Citizen Journalism gains status at the Washington Times, meanwhile more big cuts at the big publishers

The Washington Times promotes the  return of citizen journalism. 

 

Now this is what is called freedom of speech. Is this freedom the result of reality shows and especially America Idol? After all, rank amateurs turn out to be very good singers. 

At the same time, the cuts and shutdowns continue.

The Chicago Tribune plans to cut another 20% of its newsroom staff in yet another bid to reduce expenses amid continuing advertising declines.

Staffers were told of the impending layoffs last week, according to three people who attended a meeting on the topic. The cuts will take place over the next several weeks, the sources said.

The expected cuts are the latest attempt to reduce expenses at the paper, whose parent Tribune Co. filed for bankruptcy protection from creditors in December.

The Washington Times’ news gathering is about to become a whole lot bigger as the newspaper launches one full print page per day of news stories reported and written by average citizens in local communities. The citizen journalism project, set to debut Monday,(today) is a new take on a traditional idea.

Community-driven news has been a long mainstay in American newspapers. The Times’ version ramps up the intensity and the outreach, focusing on six communities within the larger Washington area: academia on Monday, the Maryland and Virginia suburbs on Tuesday, the District on Wednesday, local military bases on Thursday, faith communities on Friday and the charitable and the public service community on Sunday. The citizen journalists’ work will be showcased in the A-section as an additional page of Metro coverage and will provide a natural complement to the work of the newspaper’s reporters and editors. “We know there are many issues and communities we have not been able to fully cover within the confines of a newsroom budget, and we are excited to empower citizens within those communities to provide us news that will interest all our readers, ” Executive Editor John Solomon said. “While we are expanding our reach through this project, we will not be diminishing our editorial quality. Citizen stories must meet the same rigorous standards for accuracy, precision, fairness, balance and ethics as those written by our newsroom staff,” Mr. Solomon said. Each citizen journalist is provided a set of rules for their reporting and newswriting, as well as copies of The Times’ policies governing ethics, anonymous sources and other journalistic standards. While the project calls for some first-rate news wranglers, The Times also is tapping into some of its own editorial talent known for its savvy – and heart. Former Editorial Page Editor Deborah Simmons, a veteran newswoman with close ties to the local community, is supervising the coverage for the District, the suburbs, academia, faith and the charitable communities. Longtime Times columnist Adrienne Washington, a staple on local TV and radio, also will be a part of the outreach and the editing. “Deb and Adrienne are pillars within the Washington community and their journalistic prowess, community ties and passion for news are perfectly suited for this project,” Mr. Solomon said. “This is a groundbreaking project, and I’m excited to be on the launching pad. Readers know our bylines. Now we’re flipping the script.” Grace Vuoto, editor of The Times’ new Web property BaseNews.com, will edit the Thursday citizen journalism page on military base news. “Grace is leading the way in providing citizen reports from every military base in the world through BaseNews.com, and the Thursday page is an ideal extension,” Mr. Solomon said. The idea of community journalism in a print format is actually a new take on an old tradition, said Al Tomkins, a media analyst with the Poynter Institute. “Rural and county newspapers, community weeklies – they always had space devoted to the community news, written by someone local. That kind of coverage was and still is incredibly popular,” Mr. Tomkins said. “It takes its inspiration from a simpler time. But it remains an effective way to give a voice to the voiceless.” The new citizen journalism page is one of several changes launched in the past few weeks in The Times’ print edition. By Jennifer Harper | Monday, April 13, 2009

Will the rabble be able to follow the AP stylebook? (I know that is going through many of the “professionals’ minds.”

Anna Nicole Smith Is Dead at 39. Two years later, justice.

By Mick Gregory

Killer good looks. Now her doctors and former lawyer and “boyfriend” charged with criminal intent. Finally, justice may come to punish the monsters behind Anna’s death.

Howard K. Stern, her lawyer-turned-confidant, and Drs. Sandeep Kapoor and Khristine Eroshevich were charged in an 11-count felony complaint on Thursday, including conspiracy, unlawfully prescribing a controlled substance and prescribing, administering or dispensing a controlled substance to an addict.

“These individuals repeatedly and excessively furnished thousands of prescription pills to Anna Nicole Smith, often for no legitimate medical purpose,” California Attorney General Jerry Brown said in a statement. His office is expected to release more details about the case at a news conference Friday.

Anna Nicole’s fame and tragic end were all thanks to the mass media, and perhaps her fantasy of becoming Marilyn Monroe (another victim of mass media). Print and TV sold copies and advertising off her life. The tabloids especially made a lot of money off of her dramatic ups and downs. You can’t help but feel pity for her.

The Houston blonde bombshell, Anna Nicole Smith died in Hollywood, Florida this afternoon at the Hard Rock Cafe and Casino. The former model and Playboy Playmate collapsed at the South Florida casino and couldn’t be revived.
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pantsuit1.jpgA tragic ending to a People Magazine life. The past year she experienced the birth of her daughter and death of her son. She was 39 years old. Anna Nicole Smith used her good looks to leap from trailer park trash to super stardom.
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The media chased her around, like Princess Diana. It’s very similar to what the San Francisco Chronicle is trying to do to Barry Bonds. Some reporters even made money on a book written from illegal grand jury testimony. But Bonds has much more self control, talent and intelligence than Anna Nicole. He understands the way the media works. He hasn’t given interviews in a decade. His grand jury testimony has his statements made under oath, that he never knowingly took illegal steroid drugs.
And he’s about to be the all-time home run king.

Ask yourself this, which is harming and killing more young people? Bulimia and diet pills that girls take to just try and fit the model look? Or performance enhancing herbal remedies and vitamins that athletes may use to heal injuries and extend their careers?

Why isn’t the Chronicle looking into Nancy Pelosi’s carbon footprint? Or her hiring of non-union, illegal workers? Or, why not look at the monopoly that Shorenstien has on parking fees and downtown office space?

What do you think?

Pretty boy John Edwards thought he was safe from the mainstream media

Get your political currency here! The Enquirer kept on the beat. The Democrat’s pretty boy, Breck Girl, Silky Pony, John Edwards has been having an affair with a female staff member at the same time he was using Mrs. Edward’s cancer as a campaign ploy to win sympathy votes. Even more ironic, it is now evident Edwards accepted a “Father of the Year” on about the day of conception of his love child.

THIS JUST IN: Edwards admits to the affair that was going on while he ran for president and trotted his dying wife out to campaign with him.

Edward’s face may become the image icon for hypocrisy in the American Heritage Dictionary.

Edwards, still hoping to join the dream ticket with Obama has been protected from the mainstream media. But now, his hometown newspaper has looked into the matter.

No father is listed on the birth certificate of the child who the Enquirer has reported is linked to the former presidential contender and now VP hopeful.

What a dream it was. What a nightmare for Mrs. Edwards.

The document helps the Enquirer link the Democrat to a sexual relationship, and later a baby, with Rielle Hunter, who had been hired last year by Edwards’ presidential campaign.

The same time he had his wife on the campaign trail attracting women’s votes from Hillary.

Edwards is famous for backing the Green Party/socialist agenda while living in a 20,000 square foot house and jetting around the country to appear for photo ops in his bid to stay on the Democrat Party stage.

He jets around the nation and is driven by limos to each political function while he wants you, the little people to take busses and cheap SmartCars to work.

“Do as I say, not as I do.” Edwards has more hypocracy than Al Gore, Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry put together. He is finished with politics.

But there is more. Who benefits now  that Edwards is politically ruined? Time to connect the dots to Jim Webb and Hillary Clinton, both are in line for the VP spot now.

Next, we have to wonder about the Democrat activist who worked for both Edwards and Webb, Fred Hutchins. He  was found dead along a Virginia road in his car. “A likely suicide,” the report says.

China and Cuba drilling for oil off Florida’s coast. The Democrats say the U.S. can’t.

Mick Gregory

The Republicans have hit a political gusher. The Democrat/socialists hiding under the friendly Green flag of environmentalism are being exposed today. I predict the Democrats will vote against the issue of drilling off U.S. coasts.

This while Cuba and China begin drilling off the Florida/Cuba shore. They will have their straw in our oil reserve milkshake.

Next, I predict, President Bush will issue an Executive Order opening up drilling.

The coastal reserves are estimated to be 18 billion barrels from 20-year-old studies. That is the short estimate equal to the amount of oil the U.S. would produce in almost 10 years (that’s 3,600 days producing 5 million barrels per day). The coastal reserves are also nearly equal to what some experts believe can be recovered at Anwar Reserve in Alaska. The reserve that the Democrats and Jimmy Carter put under lock and key over 20 years ago as well.

Tonight, look for the new reality show called “Black Gold” syndicated on cable channels across the country on TruTV. It’s a show that drills down into the ongoing oil explorations going on in West Texas today.

The U.S. still has oil! In fact, almost 70 percent of the oil in mature wells, some over 100 years old, is attainable with today’s technology.

The timing is right for U.S. oil industry stocks to rise. Meanwhile, the world market of crude will soon fall to below $100 in my guestimation.

Four major league oil companies are in negotiations for contracts that will return them to Iraq, 36 years after losing their oil concession to nationalization as Saddam Hussein socialized the oil companies and grabbed power.

Exxon Mobil, Shell, Total, BP and Chevron — and a number of oil-service companies, are in talks with Iraq’s Oil Ministry for contracts to service Iraq’s largest fields, according to press releases.

The deals, expected to be announced on June 30, will begin the first commercial work for the major companies in Iraq since Hussein ordered the burning of his country’s oil fields and the start of the Iraq war.

UPDATE: Time to ask why the Democrat Congress doesn’t do anything about the oil crisis.

The percentage of voters who give Congress good or excellent ratings has fallen to single digits for the first time in Rasmussen Reports tracking history. This month, just 9% say Congress is doing a good or excellent job. Most voters (52%) say Congress is doing a poor job, which ties the record high in that dubious category.

Informant found shot to death in his home before he could testify.

An informant in the Dallas suburb of Plano who threatened to out police officers and members of the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints  was found shot to death in his home this morning (June 5), making him the second steroid dealer/informant killed this year before he could testify against law enforcement. Reported Jason Trahan at the Dallas News (“Convicted steroid dealer David Jacobs found dead in Plano home,” June 5)

Convicted steroids dealer David Jacobs, who recently agreed to tell the NFL which football players received banned substances he manufactured, was found dead in his Plano home this morning.

The body of a woman identified as Amanda Jo Earhart-Savell, 30, and a gun were also found at the home.

About 11:30 a.m., four men in ski masks and raid jackets with “police” on the back — indicating they may be undercover narcotics officers — arrived at the busy scene and entered the home with a cart to carry documents.

The Dallas Morning News spoke to Mr. Jacobs frequently and exchanged e-mails with him as recently as this weekend. He was interested in getting on with his life after accepting a plea deal for three years of probation on charges related to his steroids trafficking.

Mr. Jacobs said he wanted to rebuild his nutritional supplement business, but he was having trouble getting his old client base to work with him. He also was having financial problems, but the former Marine seemed to be in good spirits.

Jacobs claimed to have sold steroids to officers from the Garland, Richardson, Dallas, Arlington, and Plano police departments as well as to members of the Dallas Cowboys and New Orleans Saints.

Why didn’t he just hang himself like the DC madam and one of her escorts?

Will the FBI be called in? He was just a disgruntled drug dealer. Maybe he made his suicide look like murder?

The pantsuit parade comes to an end, but Hillary Rodham Clinton doesn’t know it yet

Mick Gregory

Turn off the lights, the party’s over for Hillary. Time for her to pack up her thousands of smelly pantsuits and go back to — wherever it is she’s pretending to be a resident (South Dakota, Bend, Oregon) …with the swollen, purple-faced scum bag in-chief, Billy Jeff. Wouldn’t it be smart for her to divorce him this week? Now that might get her some votes. But lose her superdelegates.

Anyway, time to pack up several semi-trailers.

Come to think of it, she would probably have the Secret Service agents pack up her things. Hillary doesn’t have to do any little people tasks.

She is sounding very shrill lately, a lot like Phillis Diller. She should borrow some of her jokes about her ex-husband, Fang, and turn them into Bill jokes.

Did a news organization ever try and do an inventory of all those pantsuits she wore during the 1.5-year campaign? It should be recorded on video for the Smithsonian.

Here’s a concept: the superdelegates don’t have to wait for marching orders from Hillary anymore. It’s over. Start to announce this week and get ready for the real campaign.

Barack Obama erased Hillary Rodham Clinton’s lock with superdelegates on Friday and won a coveted labor endorsement as elements of the Democratic Party began coalescing around the Illinois senator for the fall campaign.

Obama picked up the backing of nine superdelegates, including Rep. Donald Payne of New Jersey, a member of the Congressional Black Caucus who had been a Clinton supporter.

In addition, the American Federation of Government Employees announced its support for Obama. The union claims about 600,000 members who work in the federal and Washington, D.C., governments.

This is amazing, Halliburton has a total 50,000 employees world-wide and they are engineers doing real work.

Obama, who won a convincing victory in the North Carolina primary and lost Indiana narrowly on Tuesday, has been steadily gaining strength in the days since.

Just when you thought it was safe for Hillary’s machine, Obama wins more delegates in Texas, then Wyoming and Mississippi

Did you see this in your mainstream media? Barack Obama has beat Hillary Rodham Clinton for Texas’ Democratic caucuses on March 4. The official results won’t be available until March 29.
Until then, the last reported results – from 41 percent of the precinct caucuses – show Obama ahead with 56 percent to Clinton’s 44 percent.

Obama won by double digits in very white Wyoming and is about to win Mississippi.

So how can Hillary Rodham Clinton say she won Texas? Where is the real journalism?
Obama has won at least 31 delegates from the caucuses and Clinton has won at least 27, according to The Associated Press count. The remaining nine delegates will be awarded after the official results are announced at the end of the month.

image002.jpgThe Texas Democratic Party gave up Monday on its effort to produce a public tally. What is so hard about reporting the vote? Is it because the outcome was not in line with the Democrat machine?

Ironically, only the Democrat allows delegates and super delegates do the voting that counts. Funny how they call themselves the Democratic party. What happened to the one man, one vote concept?