Monday, September 17, 2007

Guzik Is Gone

Hannah Guzik, who covered "hard news" on the South Coast for the beleaguered Santa Barbara News-Press, is no longer working for the paper.

Her last day on the payroll was Friday. The circumstances surrounding her departure are unknown although it is believed that the decision to leave was hers.

A recent graduate of Westmont College in Montecito, her tenure with the paper only lasted a matter of months. Reportedly she had been advised not to accept the job. Most recently she had been assigned to cover the NLRB hearings in which the paper is defending itself against allegations that it engaged in unfair labor practices. That hearing is in recess this week.

I can't help but wonder whether sitting in the hearing day in and day out for the better part of 14 days got her to thinking about what she might have gotten herself into.

With Guzik gone it can only further stress an already overworked newsroom staff. Monday's inventory of "local" news in the paper consisted of one news story and two articles that appeared to be rewrites of press releases.

The departure of Guzik's means that Angel Pacheco, a temporary employee, is the "senior" news reporter for the News-Press on the South Coast. Seeing both Guzik and Pacheco in person at the hearings had me marveling at how young both appeared to be.

* * *

How young are the News-Press staff writers assigned to cover hard news? In most newspaper newsrooms they have a TV on all the time tuned to CNN or a local station's news broadcast. At the News-Press the TV is tuned to the Disney Channel.

Someone asked one of the young reporters what he thought of O.J. getting arrested again. The reporter asked; "Who's O.J.?"

Alright, those last two items were jokes. Don't want Dr. Laura scolding me in her column again.

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