Home > Media > Journal gets new editor

Journal gets new editor

UPDATE: News of a new editor appears to come as a big surprise — even to those close to the Journal. At least one columnist for the paper didn’t know until the Blogthing post this morning. After a series of “WTF” tweets following the big announcement, the Twitterverse is strangely quiet.

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Breaking news over at the North Coast Journal Blogthing.

Tom Abate, a founding member of the NCJ, is moving back to Humboldt to take the helm, while current editor Hank Sims will “play a crucial role in this evolutionary process by working with Abate as web editor and senior staff writer while also continuing his popular weekly column, the Town Dandy.”

The change is being billed as an “expansion” that will “develop a hybrid form of journalism.”

Full story.

  1. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 11:41 am

    “to use what I’ve learned in Silicon Valley to invent new ways of doing journalism in a community I love,” said Abate

    It sounds like Hank was demoted. Abate is the Silicon Valley whiz kid, but it’s Hank who is going to be the web editor? That’s quite a disconnect.

  2. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    This would be an opportune time for the NCJ to take over the inept Times Standard as the number one paper.

  3. Ross
    January 26, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    We always want the cool media group to trounce the more inept media group when we have no inkling what it takes to

  4. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    I give it a 3 months…

  5. Richard
    January 26, 2011 at 1:52 pm

    Giving Hanks some adult supervision can only be a good thing.

    Hank’s latest smear against Neal Latt was over the top, damning with innuendo and offering no evidenced to back it up. Making a moral and legal allegation as a way of responding to a criticism of his work as an editor. It was beyond the pale but indicative of this overly sensitive, defensive and insecure man-child. He has no business being the editor of a legitimate paper.

    I have seen Keith Easthouse’s byline appearing now and again (most recently in The Independent). It would be wonderful to see the NCJ return to the high journalistic standards Keith showed when he was editor.

  6. Not A Native
    January 26, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    Well its a new hire, helps lower HumCo’s unemployment rate. And he’s a Columbia grad and Pulitzer prize nominee, not ‘self taught’, uneducated, and locally born and (in)bred. I’ve no doubt the job pays a living wage.

    One more person to displace the traditionally dominant HumCo culture of ‘anti-education, anti-intellectual and anti-modernism’. Resource extraction jobs out, information analysis and writing jobs in.

  7. Ross Rowley
    January 26, 2011 at 2:06 pm

    Sorry about that.

    We always want the cool media outlet to trounce the more inept media outlet when we have no inkling what it takes to run a media outlet, period. The problem is the cool media group of the moment is only cool for a while and it’s quite a struggle to maintain that coolness. In fact, it’s really hard work. And, it’s even harder to be the inept one. Of course, this all lies in the perception of the reader, viewer, listener and blog commentor.

    Where else in society do we judge a business so harshly? Certainly not here on the blogs. Is Abruzzi’s inept and Sea Grill the number one restaurant? And do we get personal about the chef at one restaurant or another calling him or her a derogatory term? Is TP Tire the number one tire wholesaler and Gosselin Tire an embarrassment to our community? Should independent muralist Jerry Lee Wallace take over the behemoth power structure of Duane Flatmo with it’s ties to giant corporate dollars based upon the views of the art appreciator?

    “Before you abuse, criticize, and accuse walk a mile in my shoes.” – Elvis Presley

    “That’s one of the great things about rock and roll – every night there’s a different world’s greatest band.” -Kieth Richards

  8. Plain Jane
    January 26, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    Posters on blogs judge blogs just as harshly, if not more so, than they do the local news, Ross. The press has special privileges because of their importance in educating the citizenry to maintain a democracy. When they abdicate the responsibility for which the special rights were granted, they no longer deserve the respect that would be due if they fulfilled it.

  9. Ross Rowley
    January 26, 2011 at 2:23 pm

    Jane, I grant you that. But, based upon whose perception? Ultimately, the reader/viewer/listener, so there you go.

  10. Rick Levin
    January 26, 2011 at 2:27 pm

    I have always enjoyed Hank’s columns. Though often controversial, as an opinion columnist I think he is top notch and the first thing I read in the NCJ every week. That being said, I believe that he has made some very questionable decisions as editor of NCJ and I agree that a change was needed.

    Mr. Abate is a seasoned professional journalist who graduated from one of the top journalism schools in the country as well as spending close to 20 years working as an award winning writer for one of the top newspapers in the country.

    Combined with his love (and a true love it is) for Humboldt County, I am looking forward to the changes he will bring. Will he be right all the time? I doubt it. But will he make NCJ a better paper? I’ll bet on it.

    I readily admit that Tom is a close friend of mine. So while I am biased in my respect for him, I have also been reading his columns and following his career since 1992 when he started writing for The Examiner. He is a man of ideas and energy. And I think this is a logical step both for his career and for NCJ.

    I congratulate Judy on her choice. I look forward to the changes it will bring.

  11. Mitch
    January 26, 2011 at 2:31 pm

    Ross,

    Around here, each subtype of the press is essentially a monopoly. The area cannot support two dailies, as the Reporter proved. The area cannot support two county-wide weeklies. Individual cities, towns, and subregions cannot support more than one weekly. Thus we are stuck with what we have got, much as we are stuck with Suddenlink for cable and PG&E for electricity. (That’s all assuming that the papers need to be advertising supported, which seems like a pretty safe assumption.)

    I think the reactions about the press are fairly similar to those about Suddenlink and PG&E service. In each case, people get upset when they perceive that they are not getting quality from the only game in town.

    Your example of restaurants further sheds light on the phenomenon. When you don’t like a restaurant, you don’t mouth off — you just take your business elsewhere. It’s only when you are confronted with de facto monopoly that you might feel a need to vent.

  12. January 26, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    Mr. Abate is a seasoned professional journalist who graduated from one of the top journalism schools in the country….

    I wonder how he would feel about having a cover story consisting of a 2 to 3000 word essay by Tom Hayden on Obama being a transformational leader?

  13. January 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    News of a new editor is a big surprise even to those close to the Journal. At least one columnist for the paper didn’t know about it until the Blogthing announcement this morning. After a series of WTF tweets after the big announcement, the Twitterverse is strangely quiet.

  14. Plain Jane
    January 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    Isn’t who we respect or don’t always based on our own perceptions, Ross?

  15. Ross Rowley
    January 26, 2011 at 3:29 pm

    Always, Jane. Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don’t.

  16. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    I don’t know if it was Hank’s influence, but for the past few years, the Journal has struck me as having a certain arrogance. If Tom can make the organization a little more humble, this is good news.

  17. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 3:51 pm

    Surprising your columnists on Twitter with a staff shakeup doesn’t exactly herald an era of new media trouncing old media. Nice catch Heraldo.

  18. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    “I don’t know if it was Hank’s influence, but for the past few years, the Journal has struck me as having a certain arrogance.”

    I swear, I really think it’s the diabolical influence of that damned “Town Dandy” graphic! Ever since Hank started writing as the Town Dandy, he has increasingly adopted a somewhat snide and arrogant tone, sometimes even bordering on sneering cynicism.

    So: ditch the Dandy — and bring back plain ol’ Hank!

  19. Not A Native
    January 26, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    I appreciate Hank’s style, his snottiness is much better founded than that of Kevin Hoover. I think Hank quick perceptiveness merits lapses into snotty. I’d not be surprised if Hank’s even handed critiques of pot growers and the old guard alike is what got him in trouble.

    Around here anyone with book larnin’ is resented and smeared as arrogant or elitist. I guess having 16+ years of education at progressively more competitive institutions does mean you’re elite, in the sense of having been selected out a large group. Personally, I prefer the designation professional, same title that high performing athletes and prostitutes are given.

  20. Richard
    January 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    Sorry to be contrary, but as long as he’s being (an editorial) columnist, I think he’s perfectly entitled to his arrogant and snide demeanor. It was only that he was also wearing the hat of editor, as well as claiming to be a journalist, that Hank was such an offense. Let him keep his column and his blog, both of which are places where one is not expected to maintain the same standards of journalistic integrity a news reporter, or investigate journalist should.

  21. Mitch
    January 26, 2011 at 4:30 pm

    Tom Abate and Hank Sims will both have challenging rows to hoe. In this area, for good reasons, people turn to the Herald and other blogs before they turn to newspapers or newspaper blogs. I’m typing this after 20 comments have been posted to this thread on the Herald, and the Journal blog, where the news was announced, has three comments.

    That can change, but it won’t change automatically.

  22. tra
    January 26, 2011 at 4:32 pm

    Oh, I think he’s entitled to take as arrogant or snide a tone as he wants to in his column and on the blog. I just wish he wouldn’t choose to do so.

  23. we're all native to somewhere
    January 26, 2011 at 4:35 pm

    I echo the appreciation for Hank Sims’ Town Dandy column. It is far better than listening to the electronic voices proclaiming class-war on behalf of the gruff, arrogant, disenfranchised-but-educated elite (e.g. NAN).

  24. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    The arrogance observation had nothing to do with his Dandy column. It has to do with how the people being covered in the paper are treated, from when they submit corrective letters to the editor to when they see their submitted events given back-handed compliments. Snide and immature remarks on blogs don’t help though. You’ve got to be more professional than us anonymous commenters if you want to gain the public’s respect.

  25. January 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm

    I am both glad and sorry to hear this – Tom and Mia started the paper all those years ago and they are wonderful – and Hank has done a lot to bring it back from the damage done by Easthouse. Hank found his stride with the Dandy and made that one of the most interesting reads in the county – ever.

    And Mitch, you’re wrong, people come here to dissect the news, and trash political opponents – they rely on (and bloggers rely on – real reporters for real news, complete with the requisite fact-checking and legwork that goes into it.

    Unless and until “heraldo” is willing to put his face to his work, hesheitthey does not rise to that level.

  26. January 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    Rose does not rise to that level, no matter what she calls herself.

  27. Walt
    January 26, 2011 at 5:04 pm

    OMG! I find myself agreeing with Rose. . .kind of. Couldn’t care less about Heraldo’s real identity, but this site has never been about journalism. Blogs may undermine papers, but they will never replace them. You gotta PAY, real money, for people to do real journalism. And unless I’m mistaken, Tom is going to piss off a few people too: that’s the job of a journalist.

  28. Mitch
    January 26, 2011 at 5:24 pm

    Rose,

    I don’t even know where to begin. But comedian Stephen Colbert had some comments about the White House Press Corpse at its annual dinner a couple of years ago that seem to apply doubly well here in Humboldt. The WH press didn’t think he was funny, which just showed how out of touch the WH press was and is.

  29. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 5:27 pm

    Yes sir, the Herald is great for rumors, but rumors need to be confirmed by journalists.

    The Journal isn’t arrogant per se. This ‘thing’ manifests itself as more of a contempt for the people it reports on. The first time I noticed this was a few years ago when the event section profiled a free community event in McKinleyville, spending most of the graphs to take a bunch of old men who play softball to task for writing a bad press release. Newspapers receive poorly written and/or grandiose press releases every day. To mock a softball league at length while supposedly promoting its event left me wondering if anyone was steering the ship.

    Another memorable hit was the reporting on dioxins in Arcata Bay just before Arcata’s oyster festival was held. It was solid reporting, but I recall there being a claim that the article wasn’t timed to coincide with the festival. That’s just insulting the intelligence of your readers. The festival was as big as ever that year, which either meant the Journal had a credibility problem, people viewed the article as a hit piece, or no one cares about their own health. You decide.

  30. Mitch
    January 26, 2011 at 5:32 pm

    And Rose,

    Did you by any chance notice here, yesterday, where the editor of one of our fair weeklies pointed out that he didn’t know a fairly significant fact about one of our candidates? You know, that fact that the candidate’s supporters insist no one needed to report because “everybody” knew it? You know, the “irrelevant” fact?

    When someone commented that the editor didn’t seem to be doing a very good job, I believe his reply was along the lines of “shove my next issue up your ass.”

    If and when a local paper gets beyond that attitude, and if and when a local paper actually starts doing the basics of reporting (let alone investigating things), THAT’S when people will support it. I hope it happens, because heaven knows this area needs some good, fearless investigative reporting.

  31. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 5:36 pm

    Isn’t it clear? Arkley is behind this!

  32. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 6:11 pm

    Mitch, I had to go look up that quote. I take it you don’t read the McKinleyville Press. It regularly takes on controversy in McKinleyville that the Times-Standard ignores, and writes respectful editorials even when assailing an elected official. McKinleyville residents simply don’t seem to care what happens in their town, which is why the county regularly rolls right over this community.

    The anonymous commenter was simply making **** up. This quote is the tell: “Why have you become scared of pissing someone off.” Such a person cannot possibly be a reader of the newspaper because the Press does piss people off, namely the MCSD, the county and sometimes the CHP.

  33. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    Mitch missed the obvious.

    Step 1. Internet troll whines that Jack won’t piss anyone off.

    Step 2. Jack tells Internet troll to shove the paper up his ass.

    Step 3. Internet troll pissed off.

  34. Mitch
    January 26, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    All well and good, folks. You’re right that I don’t read that paper. But the editor of the paper was saying he didn’t know about the fact in question, when others were saying there was no reason to report it, because “everyone” knew. I believe the editor, but it doesn’t speak well of the paper’s ability to report the facts.

    I don’t view “pissing people off” as the goal of a newspaper. I view reporting the facts as the goal of a newspaper. Pissing people off is a side effect of reaching your goal.

  35. anon1
    January 26, 2011 at 7:26 pm

    Rose is,and has always been, mean, and vindictive..Her parents are wonderful people.. Judging of no-one..Roses family have put food on the table from the public trough during her whole childhood. Rose is in a fantasy land and full of shit..Most of her siblings are teachers in one way or another..Roses Mom Brailles books for the less fortunate..hmmmmmmm. Whats up Rose? Get some counseling and get over being so angry.

  36. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 7:36 pm

    Yeah, what’s up with that?

    Give a blind man a braille book and you feed his mind for a day. Teach a blind man to convert books to braille and you feed his mind for a lifetime.

  37. sfb
    January 26, 2011 at 7:39 pm

    Herald is an anonymous fisherman hucking chum.
    We posters are nothing but sharks (and more chum).

  38. sfb
    January 26, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    …and kudos to Jack for telling the troll where to put the next issue!

  39. January 26, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Poor Fred. He’s still angry about the NCJ supporting Obama. He really knows how to nurse a wound.

  40. Anon
    January 26, 2011 at 7:51 pm

    McKinleyville Press has taken on a different tone lately and that is not a good thing. Some of their reporters used to report the facts that went on at the various meetings but Elaine (and at times Daniel) still do not report all the facts and what actually went on at the various meetings which actually slants the news and causes a totally different tone in that newspaper.

    I can’t believe that they did not know about the DUI as it was on all the blogs and could have been checked out.

    After talking to some that have gone to the various meetings the McKinleyville Press reports on, maybe Jack needs to get back to going to some meetings sometimes and actually reporting what went on instead of his hired writers reporting what they want to report.

  41. anon1
    January 26, 2011 at 8:01 pm

    I believe he knew about the DUI also. He says he didn’t but what else could he possibly say?

  42. Jack Durham
    January 26, 2011 at 8:11 pm

    I wish I had known about the DUI. It would have been a nice scoop and, maybe, sold a few more papers.

    Gotta run. I’ve got Arkley on the phone. He’s about to give me my marching orders for next week.

  43. Andrew Bird
    January 26, 2011 at 8:17 pm

    This is exciting news for Humboldt newsies. A demotion for the Hankster? I think not. This is an opportunity with good timing. Tom Abate is ready to get out of the City and the North Coast Journal is in a position to grow. Tom is not pushing Hank out, they’re forming a team. Tom brings skills, experience and connections that nobody in Humboldt has. I really look forward to what this collaboration produces.

  44. January 26, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    As long as they don’t mess with Charlie Myers there won’t be any trouble.

  45. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    It seems whomever planned the unleashing of this surprise made a huge tactical error by sending it to bloggers instead of the real news media. Awww shucks.

  46. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    Sure Andrew. Moving from print editor to web editor is a step up. Moving from the money-making side of the operation read by thousands to the dead-end side of the operation read by hundreds is a step up. Uh huh.

    But… but… millions of people are on the Internet! Yeah, I’m sure the website’s traffic stats seem impressive, but most of the traffic likely comes from random search engine users who don’t even live locally and may not even be reading the pages they land on because they were looking for something else.

    Wasn’t Hank already in control of the website? We’ve already seen what he’s going to do with it. Ditched a website design that dated back to the Stone Age and put up a blog. Where’s the monetization?

  47. woodsworker
    January 26, 2011 at 9:40 pm

    I’m very happy to hear that there will be a new editor before the NCJ folds. I think that Hank has made some very poor choices from his unending, issue after issue, attacks on Richard Salzman to the issue with the bloody back on the cover. HE never should have been given the position of editor. I know a number of people who have sent complaints about him to Judy Hodgson.

  48. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm

    Attacks? It’s a funny thing when the reporting of facts is considered an attack. You have a twisted sense of morals, as does anyone who defends what the guy did. So much for upholding honesty in our community.

  49. January 26, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    LOL, Hank, Salzman is all over this thread. You can tell him by his issues. LOL.

  50. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Sorry Rose, I’m not Hank. I just care about honesty.

    Let’s stroll down memory lane…

    For at least the last 10 months, controversial political figure Richard Salzman has authored numerous letters to local newspapers under fake names, the Journal has learned.

    Source. Are any of the facts in dispute? I don’t think so.

  51. anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    “Gotta run. I’ve got Arkley on the phone. He’s about to give me my marching orders for next week.”

    “Jack and Jill” cards as a side business and you joke about Arkley’s influence?

  52. Anonymous
    January 26, 2011 at 11:46 pm

    The “Hooked” cover photo poisoned my mind against Hank. Then I became aware that he taunts grade-school children in the letters column. What a fiend.

  53. skippy
    January 27, 2011 at 1:58 am

    I read about eight newspapers in a day. When I’m in a town with only one newspaper, I read it eight times.

    A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries.

    ~ Will Rogers, humorist, cowboy, vaudeville entertainer (1879-1935)

  54. owltotem
    January 27, 2011 at 6:46 am

    “Journalism is not a profession or a trade. It is a cheap catch-all for fuckoffs and misfits”

    “If I’d written all the truth I knew for the past ten years, about 600 people – including me – would be rotting in prison cells from Rio to Seattle today. Absolute truth is a very rare and dangerous commodity in the context of professional journalism.”

    Hunter S. Thompson, gonzo journalist 1937–2005

    don’t take it personally H ;)

  55. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 7:05 am

    owltotem,

    Regarding Hunter, I think his quote is dated. The death of journalism probably took place when it became a “professional career.” Suddenly, the people who enjoyed rocking the boat became replaced with people who aspired to be Sabbath gasbags.

    To see for yourself if this is true, look at the way the “professional media” has reacted to Wikileaks, an organization that does what the press once aspired to do. It’s funny/sad to watch ex-CIA analysts praising Wikileaks while CNN is appalled with it.

  56. owltotem
    January 27, 2011 at 7:32 am

    First of all Heraldo, you are golden.

    Mitch, Agreed, journalism and politics have become theater. They are used to persuade, divide, inflame and rally, and control the masses, regardless of truth.

    I do believe the “truth is a dangerous commodity in journalism” quote is still true, but now for different reasons. So very often reporting is not about the truth. You see it everyday around here and the TS is notorious for it, controversy, regardless of facts sells papers (Oh and a pot leaf emblazened on the front page, what is this, High Times or a Newspaper?).

    When I was a kid (I date myself) we would sit around the family dinner table and watch the war in Viet Nam on TV. I remember feeling like nothing could be so important that men would arm themselves and kill eachother. Those images are no longer allowed to invoke feelings like that in youth. We are only spoon fed what those in ultimate control allow us to see.

    If Thompson were alive today he would be a blogger (or an inmate :)

  57. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 7:38 am

    owltotem,

    Agreed. And whoever invented “embedding” (Rove?) and prevented the press from showing returning coffins was a cynical genius who understood how things work and exactly what today’s government can get away with given today’s press sycophants.

  58. January 27, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Wow, Rose is omniscient (“Salzman is all over this thread”) and, apparently, hilarious (two “LOL”s).

  59. Jack Durham
    January 27, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Oh shit. Arkley now controls my massive T-shirt business too! Yowza!

  60. treesnstuff
    January 27, 2011 at 7:55 am

    as long as its not hoover then i’ll keep an open mind. hank is a great writer and has guided the ncj to a lot of success. hank is valuable and i hope he stays at the ncj. just don’t let hoover in the door, let him keep printing his joke rag where he can get out all his unresolved childhood aggression. we need the ncj, otherwise we’d be left with the substandard and greenfuse.

  61. owltotem
    January 27, 2011 at 8:01 am

    Mitch, I strongly believe that the more Truth is suppressed and the more we realize it, the more and more unacceptable it will become, wikileaks, cellphone video of abu graib, news blogs, the act of oppressing the Truth itself is fueling this backlash. The truth will not have to prevail, the suppression of the truth will fail.

  62. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 8:04 am

    Good ol’ pothead would rather Hoover pretend our neighborhoods haven’t been invaded by people such as himself. Hoover just reports what’s happening, and worse, when people say stupid things at public meetings, he quotes them. The horror!

  63. Pumpkin Boy
    January 27, 2011 at 8:36 am

    Hoover is a cop

  64. skippy
    January 27, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Nice take, Owltotem and Mitch. Dear old Dad, the old-school New Yorker that he was, advised not to believe all that was read while explaining the practice of ‘payola’ in the media and record industries back in the day. Mr. Hearst and others were a master of this practice. I was appalled.

    Later, groups like Accuracy in Media (AIM) and Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), funded by questionable conservative sources and practicing some dirty tricks, enforced their own slant to pressure and counter perceived liberal bias. I was shocked.

    An old journalism professor suggested reading many media sources taking in differing information and points of view.

    Of course, this was before the slow erosion of ‘investigative reporting’ and some good newspapers, the Internet, the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Fox News, the Citizens United case, embedding, instant video, Wikileaks… and blogs.

    Oh, and before the Times-Standard, NCJ, Mr. Sims, Mr. Hoover, and Rose

  65. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 9:08 am

    8:04 I agree. Potheads are so out of it they don’t know reality anymore. The reality is, pot and working around pot makes you stink. It ruins neighborhoods. It ruins towns, and whatever money coming in helps the economy , the money gets used up paying to clean up the messes they leave behind. If you are smoking every day, you need rehab, whether you believe it or not.

  66. skippy
    January 27, 2011 at 9:22 am

    Our sinking media need rehab, whether they believe it or not.

  67. Anonymous
    January 27, 2011 at 10:12 am

    ~ Will Rogers, humorist, cowboy, vaudeville entertainer (1879-1935)

    Skippy, Will Rogers was also a popular movie actor. Just before the airplane accident that took his life, he had signed a contract to act in TEN new movies for the same movie studio!

  68. Cristina Bauss
    January 27, 2011 at 11:44 am

    Mitch, just a reminder that Garberville has long had two newspapers (as well as an independent radio station), and they both make money. If the community members actually give a shit about news, a relatively small community CAN keep multiple media sources funded. And before you ask… no, the Redwood Times is not subsidized by MediaNews. It’s self-supporting.

    I agree with your points about the serious lack of real investigative journalism. Since I don’t live in your neck of the woods, I’m not in a position to opine about the perceived shortage of such coverage in NoHum; I can tell you that in SoHum, it’s simply a shortage of writers. There are a lot of people around here with real investigative and writing talent – but unfortunately, most of the ones I know of are in the hills pursuing more, ahem, profitable endeavors.

  69. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 11:51 am

    Cristina,

    You are absolutely right — I shouldn’t have generalized.

    While I’m at it, I should also point out that my negative comments about the local press really represent my feelings about the North Coast Journal and the Times-Standard — I’m unfamiliar with most of the rest, and I think Kevin Hoover at The Eye has actually done the right thing w/r/t covering indoor grows in Arcata. I guess it was incredibly unpopular and probably cost him a lot, but if he was pointing out what he considered to be a health and safety hazard caused in his town, he was acting in the finest traditions of journalism. That’s not to say I don’t think The Eye has stumbled, a lot. And I’m no fan of his police blotter.

  70. treesnstuff
    January 27, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    hoover does not just report what he sees. he goes to people’s homes with new york times camera crews and accuses people of growing pot. he digs through people’s trash. he is on some sort of vigilante crusade but nobody ever deputized this dude to go around accusing people, digging through trash, etc. if you want to write stories about how prohibition is harming our communities then fine, but hoover chooses to insert himself into the story and become an element. big fish in a small pond, he’d be recognized as a total hack anywhere else where his “eccentricities” would likely be prosecuted as criminal.

  71. Mitch
    January 27, 2011 at 1:35 pm

    Well, treesnstuff, it makes me nervous when journalists collaborate with police, because I’ve always felt it’s a safe bet that any police force, particularly in an area under prohibition, has a lot it’s hiding itself. I’d much rather see journalists interested in investigating the police.

    I don’t think anyone can deny that indoor grows have caused problems for Arcata, ranging from landlords discovering ruined homes to lives endangered by poor wiring. That merits reporting. Just because the local industry happens to be pot doesn’t mean that moguls aren’t running over everyday people in their quest for the next buck.

    The truth is, my experiences with the Arcata Police have always been positive, so maybe they are exceptional, or maybe I’ve been lucky. I’d still prefer it if the various law enforcement agencies realized that if they cross the line, there are people who are devoted to discovering and exposing their actions. That’s hard when the journalists are either friends of the police or (not Kevin’s case) just plain lazy and incompetent.

  72. tom abate
    January 27, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    Wow, what a wealth of comments. I jump on now in what will be an atypical remark outside the Journal’s web site, as I construe my job as editor to attract folks to our content. But in addition to wanting to let folks know that if they want to interact with me that I can be found on the Journal’s pages and forums, I want to add, without embellishment, a post I wrote on the Journal website in reaction to a comment that my friend Rick Levin left both here and on the Journal blog. Before I spool out my rejoinder to ERick, I can tell you that John Matthews of KHUM tried to get the real story as opposed to our message (publisher Judy Hodgson was also on). I didn’t see a podcast of the interview (about 45 minutes) posted on the site; maybe they will? Meanwhile, staying on message:

    As long as I’ve known Rick Levin this is the first time he has ever called me “Mr Abate.” Thanks. That said I wish to distance myself from any criticism, reproach or even any public discussion of the new editorial lineup. What I will say is that I see a huge opportunity: the print Journal is a great read with a great rep and a great sales team; its publisher is reinvesting in the paper and it has in Hank a homegrown guru in developing journalism apps for smart phones, plus his Dandy column and reporting. What do [I bring? Well soon I’ll start writing for the Journal and that will add a bit; plus I have Silicon Valley contacts; a background in print, radio and television. With open source business models good stuff that starts at the Journal can make a difference not only here but elsewhere. By analogy, we have all the elements that go into gunpowder; but we need to get the mix right; we don’t need some errant spark to cause a blowup. So, Mr. Levin, whilst I appreciate your support, and hope to justify your confidence in me, I ask you and any other Abatistas out there to restrain your enthusiasm until such time as I do something other than parachute in unexpectedly.

  73. Plain Jane
    January 27, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    Welcome home, Mr. Abate. Wishing you and the NCJ the best of luck and Humboldt County good journalism.

  74. Angel
    January 27, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Why does the Arcata Eye attempt to joke around with the crime reports?

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