Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Audrey Cooper new top Chronicle editor

Audrey Cooper
Audrey Cooper tried unsuccessfully 15 years ago to get an internship at the San Francisco Chronicle. Now she has been named editor in chief of the paper, Hearst Corp. announced.

She succeeds Ward Bushee, who retired in 2013. Cooper had been acting editor-in-chief, though her title was managing editor. The appointment is effective immediately. A search for a new managing editor to succeed Cooper will start immediately.

Cooper, 37, is the first woman to hold the position of editor in chief at the Chronicle. The appointment comes three days before the Chronicle celebrates its 150th birthday.

Cooper is a native of Kansas City, Kan., and a 1999 magna cum laude graduate of Boston University, with degrees in journalism and political science. She previously worked at the Tri-Valley Herald, the Associated Press and the Record of Stockton, where she served as metro editor.

Cooper joined the Chronicle as an assistant metro editor in 2006. She was named metro editor in 2009, assistant managing editor in 2011, deputy managing editor in 2012 and managing editor in 2013.

The story announcing her appointment said her immediate plans call for hiring investigative reporters and expanding SFChronicle.com.

Cooper’s appointment to lead the newspaper was in sharp contrast to her first attempt to join the Chronicle 15 years ago. “I applied for an internship three years in a row,” she said. “I never even got a callback.” (Photo credit: Mike Kepka, Chronicle, 2013)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Newspaper building defaced with paint after it uses term "illegals"

The Associated Press reports that the Santa Barbara News-Press building was defaced with paint and graffiti after the paper referred to immigrants as "illegals" in a front-page headline.

Police were investigating the vandalism that occurred Wednesday night or Thursday morning.

In addition to apparent paintball splatters, the entrance to the building was spray-painted with graffiti that read: "Fight back" and "The border is illegal not the people who cross it." Cleaning crews went to the building to wash off the paint.

The paper on Saturday printed a story about a California law taking effect that allows people who are in the country illegally to apply for driver's licenses.

The page had a photo of people waiting in line at a Department of Motor Vehicles office with the headline: "Illegals Line Up for Driver's Licenses.

The headline drew intense criticism.

"Not only is snapping a photo of a group of Latinos and calling them illegal wrong and ignorant, it also creates a hostile environment for the largest ethnic community in the state," said a petition on the website change.org.

The petition, which had 2,500 supporters as of Thursday, called on the paper to retract the story and apologize for what it terms "racist and hateful" language.

A demonstration also was planned for Thursday evening in front of the News-Press building.

Donald K. Katich, the News-Press director of news operations, said in a statement that the newspaper has used the term for nearly 10 years.

"It is an appropriate term in describing someone as 'illegal' if they are in this country illegally," he said, adding, "When breaking the law becomes the norm, America is no better than other lawless nations."