Thursday, April 17, 2014

Fire at old KNTV studio destroyed more than an abandoned building

Scott Herhold of the Mercury News says the fire that roared through the old KNTV building in San Jose on Sunday not only gutted an aging and empty structure, but it destroyed the last remnants of the early era of local television — a time that was more fun and less calculated than today’s broadcasts.

“From the weekday 'Record Hop,' which drew its inspiration from 'American Bandstand,' to a kids' show called 'Hocus Pocus,' to the used-car ads late at night, the KNTV building served as host for shows that marked a generation in San Jose,” Herhold writes.

“The early days were, well, funky. At the corner of Park Avenue and Montgomery Street stood an old house, left in place by the Gillilands (former KNTV owners), that became the station's first newsroom. Things were so crowded that one of the editors sat on a commode with a plywood board on her lap to edit the day's film.” [MORE]

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Judge to allow laptops, tablets during proceedings in the Yee case

Bay City News says U.S. District Judge Charles Breyer of San Francisco will allow reporters and members of the public to use laptops and tablets during hearings in the case of Leland Yee, Raymond Chow and others, provided that the laptop users agree to abide by court rules.

The rules are that laptops and tablets can be used only to take notes and transmit stories. They may not be used for photography, audio recording or broadcasting of proceedings.

In addition, cellphones may not be used for any purpose in the courtroom and any phones brought into a hearing must be fully turned off. Reporters wishing to bring laptops and tablets into the courtroom must submit an application stating that they understand and agree to the rules.

They will then receive a court-issued badge indicating they have court permission to use the equipment. Laptops may not be used unless the court has accepted an individual's application and issued a badge.

The next hearing in the case is a status conference before Breyer at 11 a.m. Thursday.

Further information and the application form are available on the courts website for the case: http://cand.uscourts.gov/USAvChow.

High school journalists on the Peninsula win national recognition for school's website

The Carlmont High School website.
Student journalists at Carlmont High School in the Peninsula city of Belmont won a prestigious award over the weekend at the National High School Journalism Convention in San Diego.

Carlmont’s www.scotscoop.com was honored with a Pacemaker Award by the National Scholastic Press Association.

“It’s significant for a lot of reasons,” Justin Raisner, an English and journalism teacher who is the adviser to the journalism program, told the San Mateo Daily Journal. “One is the recognition of what we do and just the affirmation that we are doing it right; but not only are we doing it right, but we’re doing it as well as, or better than, anyone else in the country.”

“For high school students, this is really exciting because a lot want to pursue media or journalism in college. So we’re hoping this will open a lot of doors that some students might get recruited from colleges and maybe get some scholarships,” Raisner said.

Students update the website daily with news stories, and the site attracts 6,000 unique visitors a month, according to Raisner.

The site is currently run by student editors-in-chief Sarah Klieves and Shira Stein.

The students post online content on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook as CarlmontHighlander.

Out of 1,112 participants, the following Carlmont students were honored with awards:
    Justine Phipps, sports writing, “superior” (a.k.a. top ranking) 
    Dana Benelli, news writing, “superior” (a.k.a. top ranking) 
    Shira Stein, news editing and headline writing, “excellent” (a.k.a. second best) 
    Karissa Tom, graphic design: advertising, “excellent” (a..ka. second best) 
    Jessica Adair, feature writing, honorable mention 
    Isabella Paragas, editorial cartooning, honorable mention

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Press Club to award $1,500 scholarships

April 25, 2014 is the deadline for submitting entries to the 2014 scholarship competition sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club.

Competition is open to high school, community college, college and university students from the 11 Bay Area counties who are planning a career in print, broadcast or photo journalism.

The San Francisco Peninsula Press Club typically selects one high school student and one college student to receive the $1,500 scholarships named for Herb Caen, the late San Francisco Chronicle columnist.

Scholarship funds will be paid to schools the recipients plan to attend, or are attending, to defray college-related expenses.

Work published, broadcast or webcast from fall 2013 to the April 25, 2014, submission deadline is eligible. This is a change from previous competitions Print and photo entrants should send:
    • A one-page resume. 
    • Three to five clippings mounted on letter-sized white paper; photos on CD; and video on DVD-R. Print entrants must include at least two clippings of news writing and may complete the submission with examples of opinion and feature writing. 
    • A letter of recommendation from an instructor in journalism, communications or English.
Entries should be sent to:
    San Francisco Peninsula Press Club Scholarships
    Attention: Darryl Compton, 
    Executive Director 
    4317 Camden Ave.
    San Mateo CA 94403-5007
Finalists will be interviewed in person by the Press Club’s Scholarship Committee. Winners will be honored at the Press Club’s 36th Annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Dinner on May 31 at the Crowne Plaza in Foster City.

The deadline is April 25, 2014

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Appeals court says officials' private emails, texts are exempt from open records law

A state appeals court in San Jose has ruled that text messages, emails and other electronic communications sent and received by public officials on their personal devices are not public records regardless of the topic.

The ruling on March 27 by the 6th District Court of Appeal means the California Public Records Act (CPRA) doesn't extend to public officials' private devices.

The decision sets a legal precedent for South Bay counties but the issue is likely to remain unsettled until the California Supreme Court weighs in, the Mercury News said.

According to the National Law Review, the suit was brought by activist Ted Smith, who sought public records about a downtown San Jose redevelopment project.

The city complied with most of his request but refused to turn over “all voicemails, emails or text messages sent or received on private electronic devices” used by the mayor, members of the City Council, or their staff.

Smith sued and won a summary judgment ruling in superior court that found the CPRA extends to any official communication, regardless of where the record originated or how it is stored. The city appealed and the League of California Cities filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of the city.

The appeals court on Thursday found in favor of the city. The appeals court ruled that, under the CPRA, communications “prepared, owned, used, or retained” by individual city officials on their personal electronic devices using private accounts were not equivalent to communications “prepared, used, owned, or retained” by the city.

The appeals court acknowledged the “serious concern” that city council members would conceal their communications on public issues by sending and receiving the communications on their private devices from private accounts, but it declined to re-write the CPRA, saying that was the job of the Legislature.

Smith’s attorney said his client will seek review of the decision by the California Supreme Court.