WHITE NOISE: News from inside the media bubble

by YES! Weekly staff

Our (state) industry in crisis

The Raleigh News & Observer and the Charlotte Observer, both owned by McClatchy Co., which is the second-largest newspaper company in the country, will offer buyouts to hundreds of their employees. In Raleigh, 320 workers will be offered two-weeks pay for every year served at the company, up to a year’s salary. A spokesperson for the Charlotte paper said that most of its 810 employees will have a chance at the buyout, and that 75 positions will be eliminated over the next 30 days. What does this mean? We have our suspicions, but nothing we can commit to print just yet. — BC

Don’t let the Sun go down on me

Last week, The New York Sun issued a plea to potential investors, warning them that the five-day paper would fold if it couldn’t secure sufficient funding by the end of September. In June, Sun reporter Daniel Johnson came under fire for linking Sen. Barack Obama to several forged documents in which he agreed to implement Islamic law if elected president. The Sun’s editorial page slants right and includes regular columns from famous conservatives like the late William F. Buckley. When it started in 2002, the paper was the first general interest daily launched in two decades, according to a New York Times article from April 17, 2002. — AK

Goodman’s exception to the rulers

Leftist protesters have traditionally chosen presidential nominating conventions as an arena to highlight their disillusionment with the direction political elites are taking the country, often with bloody results as police react aggressively to any perceived threat to public order or any situation that might sully the image of the convention host city. A prime case would be Chicago in ’68 when police chased anti war protesters into the park and beat them with nightsticks. As happened in Chicago and, regrettably, in St. Paul, Minn. last week during the Republican National Convention, police can sometimes fail to differentiate between protesters and the media. Such was the case when “Democracy Now!” host Amy Goodman left the floor after hearing that two of her producers had been arrested outside the convention. According to the Los Angeles Times’ Top of the Ticket blog, police said that a small group of protesters “fractured off and were breaking windows, slashing tires and harassing delegates.” Despite the fact that Goodman reportedly had a press badge slung around her neck, she too was quickly arrested. “News gathering is a constitutionally protected activity in the United States,” Kate Linthicum writes on the blog. “But although [“Democracy Now! producer Sharif Abdel] Koudous, [fellow producer Nicole] Salazar and [Associated Press photographer Matt] Rourke were wearing credentials that identified them as members of the press, they were held on riot charges.” Not all commenters were sympathetic to the press. “Those who run with terrorists should expect to get into trouble,” opined a commenter identified as Jesse Tomblin. Discussion largely bypassed the role of the AP photog and focused on Goodman, a relentless reporter with a leftist slant who takes her charge seriously to ask tough questions of those who manipulate the levers of power. And though her program sprung out of the fledgling Pacifica Radio network, she’s better known than many of her colleagues on the more mainstream National Public Radio, with syndication on 700 stations across the country. — JG