The Boys at New Times and Ms. Velie
May 17, 2010
Allow me to expand on a Comment I posted this morning under the story by Karen Velie entitled “New Times, Old Photo.” The article has generated many comments, some directed at me for deleting some comments I had originally posted about the controversy.
So here is my response to all the Anonymice who won’t put their names to behind their accusations:
I have been accused of the horrific and inexcusable crime of deleting comments I’ve made about the New Times article. So if it will satisfy PartyDude, Octavian, and the rest, allow me to put the comments back out there in context.
First, I originally wondered why New Times is in such a pissing contest with CalCoastNews. I wish I could give you the background on this Comment, but for now, I choose not to, other than to say there has been a flurry of nasty emails coming our way from certain writers and editors at New Times. The challenge over our use of a photograph was just one in a series of incidents. I believe New Times is out to get Karen Velie. Sorry to be so cryptic.
Second, I suggested that if Lucia Mar School District was indeed correct and that the New Times photographer was passing off one of their photos as his own, then he should be fired. The only thing more prevalent than lifting photos appears to be photographers who take credit for work they didn’t do. Turns out Lucia Mar was wrong. Photographer was right. Karen took the photo down.
Third, I took an admittedly cheap shot at Executive Editor Ryan Miller for having to consult his pastor. It’s a shot that only Ryan, Karen, and I understand and it goes back to when Karen was a reporter at New Times.
Again, I don’t want to go into too much detail, but it stems directly from the sexism that pervades the male-dominated New Times newsroom. Since Octavian and PartyDude are so into facts, can either of you count how many full-time reporters, editors, and photographers at New Times are women (not counting Arts & Entertainment)?
The answer is ZERO.
New Times is Bob Rucker and Ryan Miller and Colin Rigley and Glen Starkey and Alex Zuniga and Matt Fountain and Ed Connolly. Well, you get the idea. Women get to do sales and copy edit and write restaurant reviews–even write about the Arts. But that’s as far as it goes at New Times.
Say what you will about Sandra Duerr at the Tribune, but she took a sledge hammer to the glass ceiling over there and promoted women in the newsroom to every level imaginable, including Opinion Page editor.
What does this have to do with anything? It explains, I submit, the growing frustration that New Times has about Karen’s success. Instead of working with her on breaking timely, important stories, our weekly alternative paper has another agenda and it is fueled by the fact that Karen is a woman.
What else, guys? Oh, I’m guilty of deleting comments. Yes, absolutely guilty. I wasn’t aware that was a crime. In truth, I realized after posting the comments that I was only feeding the simmering New Times/CalCoastNews rift. Perhaps I was blowing off steam after dealing with yet another silly email from Mr. Miller and Mr. Starkey (I’ve kept the copies). Whatever, in the spirit of trying to tone things down, I removed my snarky posts.
So bring it on, guys. Put me in The Shedder. Be indignant all you want.
All that truly matters is that investigative reporting flourish on the Central Coast. Karen Velie is far from perfect. I am certainly far from perfect. But Karen is trying her best to put the spotlight on the Bad Guys.
It would be nice if the Boys at New Times could help.
There. I’m done.
David Congalton serves as Contributing Editor of CalCoastNews.