Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Chron suspends Warriors writer Rusty Simmons

Rusty Simmons, the San Francisco Chronicle's Golden State Warriors beat reporter, has been suspended without pay after he wrote an article Monday that was nearly a word-for-word copy of a team press release, Columbia Journalism Review reports.

Simmons cut-and-paste a news release the Warriors issued announcing the team had purchased land for a new arena in the Mission Bay neighborhood from the software company Salesforce.

PR man Sam Singer, who represents the arena's opponents, saw the duplication and sent emails about it to his contacts. Examiner reporter Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez took Singer’s tip and tweeted screen shots of the press release and the Chronicle story.

Chronicle editor Audrey cooper confirmed to CJR that Simmons, a sportswriter at the paper since 2002, has been suspended without pay pending an investigation of his entire body of work at the Chronicle. But Cooper also told CJR that she'd be surprised if the review reveals that copying press releases was a "chronic practice" of Simmons.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Press Club to award $1,500 scholarships

Friday, Oct. 23 — That's the deadline for submitting entries to the 2015 college scholarship competition sponsored by the San Francisco Peninsula Press Club.

The competition is open to high school, community college and college students from 12 Bay Area counties who are planning a career in print, broadcast, online or photo journalism. The counties are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Monterey, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Yolo.

The club selects one college student to receive a $1,000 scholarship named for Herb Caen, the late San Francisco Chronicle columnist, and one high school student for a $1,500 scholarship named for the late Jack Russell, club co-founder.

Scholarship funds will be paid to colleges each recipient plans to attend, or is attending, to defray education-related expenses.

Work published, broadcast or webcast from fall 2014 through spring 2015 is eligible.

Entrants should send:

• A one-page resume.

• A letter of recommendation from an instructor in journalism, communications or English.

• Three to five examples of work as published or distributed. All entrants must include at least two examples of news writing or news coverage and may complete the submission with samples of feature writing or feature coverage. Only one example may be opinion-based.

• The entire package — resume, letter of recommendation and examples — should be combined into a single PDF that includes the entrant's name in the title. Video reports should be provided as links on a single PDF that is added to the combined PDF.

Entries should be emailed by Oct. 23 to: sfpen-pressclub@sbcglobal.net

Winners will be honored at the club's 37th Annual Greater Bay Area Journalism Awards Luncheon on Saturday, Nov. 21, 2015, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Foster City.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Book, concert focus on My Lai Massacre

Hugh Thompson Jr.
The 1968 My Lai Massacre, one of the most shocking episodes of the Vietnam War, will come into focus this Saturday (Oct. 10) at 6 p.m. when the musical/monodrama titled “My Lai” will be performed by the Kronos Quartet at Stanford's Bing Concert Hall.

Prior to the performance, author Trent Angers will give a brief talk about the heroism of Warrant Officer Hugh Thompson Jr., who played a major role in ending the massacre and testifying against the U.S. Army soldiers who committed the murders.

Angers, a seasoned journalist and editor from Louisiana, was twice nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature for his work on the Hugh Thompson story.

Angers has written a revised edition of his first book on Thompson. The revised edition, titled “The Forgotten Hero of My Lai,” reveals how Nixon initiated and led an effort to sabotage the My Lai Massacre trials.

One of Angers’ sources for the book were the handwritten notes of White House Chief of Staff H.R. Bob Haldeman. In a Dec. 1, 1969, meeting, Haldeman wrote that Nixon wanted to get the soldiers responsible for My Lai off the hook by destroying the reputation of Thompson. “Dirty tricks — not to high of a level … Discredit one witness … May have to use a Senator or two,” Haldeman wrote.

As for Saturday's concert, the music was composed by Jonathan Berger of Stanford; the lyrics (libretto) were written by Harriet Scott Chessman. The singer/main character is Rinde Eckert (who plays Hugh Thompson), with master Vietnamese musician Van-Ahn Vo.


For more about the concert, go to http://live.stanford.edu.

For more about Angers book, go to Amazon.