Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The Newest Members of the Cabal?

For my money the best post-premiere coverage of Citizen McCaw hasn't been in the mainstream media, it hasn't been in the blogs, and no, it hasn't been on my blog. It's been by the Santa Barbara Middle School Teen Press.

The kids, who scooped me and just about everyone else at last month's Santa Barbara Film Fest with their interview of Angelina Jolie, have done it again.

On their website they have any number of video interviews with members of the audience as the crowd poured out of the Arlington Theater last Friday night following the showing of the film. If our local ABC affiliate Channel 3 only had a three minute segment on the Citizen McCaw premiere the middle school students must have about 30 minutes of interviews.

Their interviews with random members of the audience, as well as talking to Congresswoman Lois Capps and local TV reporter John Palminteri, is as good a range of reaction of those who saw the documentary as has been collected anywhere. They also have a segment showing part of the question and answer session with the producers that followed the film.

My only fear is that the Teen Press' reward for this thorough coverage of the premiere and the community's reaction will be landing on the News-Press' infamous "enemies list."

And if you don't think that's a real possibility then think again.

Ask your friends over at "K-E-Y us? TV" about the wrath of the News-Press. This past Saturday editorial page editor Travis Armstrong followed up his column on "Nielsen-gate" with his account of an allegedly raunchy DVD that recently fell into his hands that was made by KEYT employees and shown at a private party.

I haven't seen the video (which I have heard has been in existence since the Christmas before last) so I don't know if it actually crosses the bounds of good taste as Armstrong alleges. Regardless of whether it does or not Armstrong clearly wants to leave readers with the impression that we all should be outraged and dismiss KEYT as a source of any kind of serious news coverage.

Since Armstrong has declared open season on the News-Press' "enemies" my advice to the middle school students is that there be no video cameras at the next school dance. If Armstrong gets a hold of any of that footage he's going to be claiming there was gin in the punchbowl, smoking in the bathroom and pole dancing on the jungle gym.

Welcome to the cabal.

* * *

Speaking of teen journalists, I have been meaning to mention that the producers of Citizen McCaw have created a study guide as a companion for the documentary to help students discuss the issues of journalistic ethics raised in the film. You can download it at the Citizen McCaw website.

And 400 of the available 1600 seats for the next two showings of Citizen McCaw on April 5 and 6 have already been sold. If you want to see the movie my advice is to act quickly.

* * *

Latest in the local blogosphere to put in their two-cents worth on the Citizen McCaw premiere, Cookie Jill.

* * *

Just in case the News-Press can't find room in the paper to mention it, according to Union attorney Ira Gottlieb, the NLRB is dismissing the paper's allegation that former reporters Dawn Hobbs and Tom Schultz attempted to intimidate or threaten employees who were preparing papers for home delivery.