White Noise: News and happenings from inside the media bubble

by Brian Clarey and Amy Kingsley

Digging it Kudos to Mark Binker for “Questions surround scholarships,” his front-page story in the June 29 News & Record. We got an e-mail from Rep. Alma Adams too, although the press release was not attached. For that, we relied on Democratic Party activist Joe Sinsheimer. The NC Legislative Black Caucus, which Adams chairs, provided scholarships to students attending historically black colleges and universities totaling approximately $28,000 in 2005 and $26,000 in 2006, the press release reported. Here’s the revelation: “Roughly one-tenth of the total scholarship funds provided during these years benefited relatives of five legislators.” Binker, a professional, went beyond the press release and extracted from Adams that her daughter was one of the relatives who received a scholarship. According to Binker’s story, Adams’ daughter, whose name is Jeanelle Lindsay, received a $1,000 grant to pursue a graduate degree at UNCG (not a historically black college or university, last we checked). One of the question marks hanging over the foundation, which unlike a political action committee is not required to disclose information about its donors, is who’s giving the money and what political favors they might expect in return. Sifting through campaign finance records and some programs for foundation events, Binker identified three: the NC Realtors PAC, AT&T and Duke Energy. – JG

Bummer city This weekend’s News & Record, on the other hand, seemed a little more depressing than usual. Maybe it was the two stories on Saturday about losing spouses in accidents. Or perhaps the piece about traumatic brain injury on Sunday. None of the stories were meant to be depressing, I think, more like informative in the latter case and evocative of human resilience in the former. Unfortunately, all came off as cautionary tales against traveling of any sort. I might favor my bicycle this week, and my helmet. Yes, I will definitely wear my helmet. – AK

Our industry in crisis Marti Buscaglia worked at five newspapers over three decades before accepting a job as publisher of California’s Orange County Register, including highly-placed gigs with Tribune, Knight-Ridder and Gannett and, most recently, a five-year stint as publisher of the Duluth, Minn. News Tribune. Yet for some reason she felt compelled to include in her rèsumé that she is a graduate from Lima University in Peru. She, however, is not. The falsity was revealed by an anonymous tipster to the Register, and after it came out she rescinded her candidacy. Now she’ll have to rely on her fallback position – as president of the International Newspaper Marketing Association. – BC

Blog aggravator, the blog aggregator for our neck of Guilford County, is in a state of transition. Earlier this week, punching in the old web address would automatically forward you to the new site, which is now called We101. Today, however, the old address is a dead end, and, not having had the foresight to write down the new address, I’m at a loss in my quest to catch up on Monday morning kvetching. I tried to link from Cone’s site but that was a no go, too. Roch – if you read this – please drop us a line, we might have to start reading the Rhino to get our screed fix. Please don’t let it come to that. – AK

Our industry in crisis, Part II Some tidbits from the ongoing saga of Rupert Murdoch’s $5 billion don’t-you-dare-call-it-hostile takeover bid of The Wall Street Journal: A key point of negotiation was reached last week when Murdoch agreed to the formation of a five-member committee that could, according to The New York Times, “block the hiring and firing of top editors, go to court to enforce the agreement, and conduct internal investigations and publish the results on the newspaper’s editorial page.” Murdoch, in an interview with Time magazine, contemplated the idea of turning the 125-year-old broadsheet into a free, web-only product, saying, “How long would it take for the advertising to come? It would be successful.” And last Thursday more than 2,000 Journal employees nationwide staged a no-show at work to protest the impending takeover by the tabloid king and FOX News founder. The walkout lasted until 2 p.m., when the reporters’ instinct for making daily deadlines won out over idealism. – BC