Does Maas miss good journalism or is ‘Sinko DeMaio’ his real end game?
Your weekend news aggregator leads off with the most interesting local stories of the week and includes links to stories about statewide politics, presidential politics and social media.
A DeMaio Documentary might surface if there is any decent dirt to dig up on San Diego mayoral candidate Carl DeMaio, said Republican developer Fred Maas.
The project is in the infant stages and stems from a dearth of investigative journalism, Maas said. He insists this is not about him and Carl. The two have sparred publicly and you’re never going to see a “DeMaio For Mayor” sign in Maas’ yard, which is why some people aren’t buying Maas’ spin.
Not surprisingly, DeMaio sees this as a smear campaign and told the U-T’s Tom Blair he plans to use it to galvanize support.
Maas, who has been involved in presidential politics for years, most recently as a senior advisor on the Rick Perry campaign, said: “When is the last time a reporter has asked Carl a tough question?”
Maas said he wanted to create a news web site to showcase and produce top-shelf investigations from big cities around the country that have seen their local newspaper steadily decline over recent years. Think “Spotlight San Diego” and “Spotlight Seattle” and “Spotlight Dallas.”
“The end game is selling the site to an established media company,” Maas said.
In other local news, CityBeat editor Dave Rolland discussed the recent layoffs at the Voice of San Diego in a thoughtful editorial. Nearly a third of Voice’s editorial staff was let go, including education reporter Emily Alpert, photographer Sam Hodgson and neighborhoods reporter Adrian Florido.
Some people criticized Rolland’s piece as too harsh and others said it was too soft, he said. I think he struck just the right balance.
In it, CityBeat writer Dave Maass said the online news site “essentially cut its heart out. Adrian, Emily and Sam were Voice’s strongest journalists in terms of compassion, understanding and character.” What remains, Maass remarked, is “double-barrel reporting,” “cold data work” and “wry wonkage.”
Local political consultant Tom Shepard shared the editorial on his Facebook page and also quoted from it: “One of the reporters laid off was Emily Alpert, who’s easily the best education reporter in San Diego, if not beyond.”
Voice routinely markets its work and its staff. That generally works in Voice’s favor, but it backfired in this case. A lot of insiders were stunned and quick to pass judgment because the people who were let go were not faceless individuals.
Other factors driving the fallout: These were the first noteworthy cuts Voice has had to make, the layoffs represented 30 percent of Voice’s editorial staff and a handful of media experts and others have held up the organization as the non-profit model, the future of journalism.
Moving on…Two interesting stories about the upcoming San Diego City Council election have people talking. The first, in Voice, takes a look at why labor has not endorsed incumbent Sherri Lightner, who is being challenged by Ray Ellis.
The story led to a flurry of tweets between labor leaders, GOP Chair Tony Krvaric and the reporter. Click here for an abbreviated recap.
A story in CityBeat focused on the race to replace to Marti Emerald, who is running in a new district, and did a nice job of introducing the candidates.
Here are the week’s other top local stories:
- Manchester and Lynch discuss plans for the U-T
- High-speed rail project racks up PR costs
- Schools sparred from deepest cuts
Here are some of the top stories from around the state:
- Fletcher at bottom of CRA scorecard
- California’s divisions on bullet train get aired on Capital Hill
- State Treasurer Lockyer quits pension advisory panel in protest
- If only Lockyer was as hard on CalPERS as on Standord researchers
- State: Budget Cop-out
- Oakland Mayor to disable Facebook page
Here are some of the most interesting stories about national politics and social media:
- The GOP debate: 8 takeaways
- In spin room after Iowa: Glimpses into campaigns’ weak spots
- For GOP presidential candidates, rules to love by
- Ron Paul: A force to be reckoned with
- When magazine covers attack
- Romney called self “moderate” and “progressive” in 2002: Andy Kaczynski strikes again NOTE: Read past the Obama post to find the Romney piece.
- Obama’s vacation cost
- Is the political blog dying?
- Please stop sharing
- The most shared political stories on Facebook 2011
- Your life on Facebook, in total recall
- How to enable your FB Timeline with one click