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Posts Tagged ‘Celeste Fremon’

LA Times, KPCC Crown LA Press Club Awards

At last night’s 54th Annual SoCal Journalism Awards, the big winners were the Los Angeles Times and KPCC 89.3 FM, with eight first prizes each. The LAT was led by photographer Francine Orr, who won three awards (Photojournalist of the Year, Entertainment Photo, Photo Essay), while KPCC’s haul included a pair for Molly Peterson (News or Feature Short Form, Use of Sound). KCRW, KPCC’s main competitor in the LA public radio space, failed to win any first-place prizes.

On the Hollywood trades side, it was THR five, TheWrap two and one, with Variety essentially abstaining. Kim Masters won a Journalist of the Year prize as well as another for her article with Daniel Miller about high-stakes Hollywood poker. Meanwhile, for TheWrap, it was not a main reporter but rather blog network contributor Richard Stellar who claimed both nods, for Weblog, Individual (tied with Danielle Berrin, Jewish Journal) and Best Facebook Presence by an Individual.

Other leading first-place winners at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel Sunday night, each capturing six such awards, were the Los Angeles Business Journal, KCET’s SoCal Connected and LA Weekly. Although in one case with the Weekly, film critic Karina Longworth was the only journalist nominated in the Daily/Weekly Newspapers category of Entertainment Reviews/Criticism/Columns.

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LAPD Chief Charlie Beck Has Some Harsh Words for the LA Media

FishbowlLA was at the Downtown Public Library last night to check out author David M. Kennedy and LAPD Chief Charlie Beck talk about the ever-evolving problem of gang violence in Los Angeles. Father Greg Boyle, Celeste Fremon and most of the other social justice folks you’d expect to be there were in attendance. It was an interesting evening, as Kennedy–typically a vicious critic of police departments across the country–was highly laudatory of Chief Beck and his style of community policing. Kennedy told Angelenos they have no idea how rare it is for a police chief to take a human approach to policing (sometimes mocked as the “hug-a-thug” approach in cop circles) instead of a military one.

There were plenty more insights along those lines we could get into, but this is a media site, so we’ll get to the nut. When asked about the media’s coverage of gang violence in Los Angeles, Beck pronounced himself not a huge fan.

“The coverage here in Los Angeles is very shallow. No one spends very much time on these types of stories and the attention span is very small. These are complicated issues that don’t fit into a small news article or into a 30-second spot on Fox News.”

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LA Justice Report Publishes First Part in Series on LA County Jails

The LA Justice Report, a collaboration between and Celeste Fremon‘s WitnessLA, has launched the first part of its investigative series “Dangerous Jails”–looking into the troubling realities of deputy abuse of inmates inside the LA County Jail network. Your humble Fishie was the lead reporter on the piece.

Among other findings, our story reports that only two days after the fight at the Sheriff’s Department’s Montebello Christmas party that left two deputies badly beaten at the hands of nearly a dozen of their colleagues–deputies on the third floor of Men’s Central Jail allegedly severely beat an inmate, stripped him naked and threw him in a cell with gang members, where he was raped multiple times.

There’s more:

A six-month investigation by the LA Justice Report, however, has uncovered new information from a source well placed inside the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, a whistleblower who is intimately familiar with the workings of Men’s Central Jail, who informed us that rogue cultures have been allowed to flourish for years inside the facility. Our source maintains that Sheriff’s Department officials at the highest levels have known since at least 2005 that there were serious problems with groups of deputies who operate inside Men’s Central Jail almost like street gangs, complete with distinguishing tattoos and handshakes.
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LA Times Baghdad Bureau Manager Joins Layoff List

In addition to the other names we told you about last week, it seems LA Times Baghdad Bureau manager Salar Jaff was also let go, reports Celeste Fremon at Witness LA.

Writes Fremon:

Jaff, who is Iraqi, was the Times’ journalist who was integral to keeping other reporters safe during the worst days, months and years in Baghdad. He talked people out of dangerous situations, smoothed the way for them when things got dicey, told them where they could go, and where it was too perilous, headed off potential trouble. This often meant that, as an Iraqi citizen, he was the one at the bureau who took the greatest risks of all to make sure that the reporters in his charge could function in what was, for a long period, one of the deadliest of places on earth for journalists.

A source told Fremon that Jaff had “literally saved lives.” For that effort Jaff was reportedly paid $4,000 a month–a pittance for a job as important as bureau chief of a war zone.

Previously on FishbowlLA: Major Layoffs at the LA Times

The LA Times Brushes Off University of Colorado’s Critical Gaze

This morning, researchers at the University of Colorado released the results of a study that wasn’t nearly as enthusiastic about the LA Times‘ stories on “value-added” teacher scores as the Philip Meyer Award judges seemed to be. But don’t tell the LA Times that.

Over at Witness LA, Celeste Fremon notes that despite the harsh conclusions of university researchers, the Times’ writeup of the study seems to suggest the research “confirms” their findings.

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LA Justice Report to Launch Investigation into County Jails

The LA Justice Report,” an investigative collaboration between and Witness LA, has announced it will launch a prolonged investigation into the “culture of fear and violence” in the LA County Jail system.

Witness LA founder and Justice Report editor Celeste Fremon explains:

In May of 2010 the Southern California ACLU released a 64-page report charging that Los Angeles County’s Men’s Central Jail was fostering what they described as a “culture of violence and fear,” in which certain guards routinely beat and otherwise physically abused prisoners— sometimes to the point of severe injury.  If inmates tried to report the mistreatment, said the report, those same deputies threatened them with physical harm.

Meanwhile, the ACLU jail monitors personally observed injuries ranging from broken ribs, black eyes and boot marks on inmates’ backs to severe head wounds.

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‘LA Justice Report’ Publishes Its Final Look at LA’s Gang Reduction Program

Witness LA‘s Celeste Fremon has just published the third part in the three-part “Follow the Gang Money” series, investing LA’s Gang Reduction and Youth Development program. The piece, co-produced through a partnership with, offers a series of recommendations for how Los Angeles can clean up its act when it comes to gang reduction.

Writes Fremon:

Those of you who read the two Follow the Gang Money stories know that, in both cases, we were critical of GRYD.

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FBLA 20 Questions: Celeste Fremon

Celeste Northern Lights.jpg

Celeste Fremon is the kind of writer who gives journalists a good name. She’s able to combine solid reporting with a conscience and an urban consciousness. But she’s no goody two shoes, and proves it by unleashing her inner torch singer and answering our unexpectedly probing questions.

1. What’s the first thing(s) you read in the morning? My email, LA Times, NY Times, WaPo, Huff Post, LA Observed, How Appealing, Sentencing, Law & Policy—and FBLA, of course.

2. What’s your favorite guilty pleasure website? I’m a research freak. So I can fall down a rabbit hole on the web while researching one minor fact and not come out for, like, ever. My capacity for screwing around under the guise of work is truly frightening.

3. What job do you fantasize about having? Writer of hardboiled mystery novels.

4. Last movie you saw? No Country for Old Men. It was bloody, but brilliant, the Coen brothers at their dark best. Besides, I like Cormac McCarthy.

5. Last book you read? Tom McGuane’s Gallatin Canyon. I also just listened to Heart of Darkness on my iPod. I hadn’t read it since college, and it was great having it read to me. Ditto Anna Karenina, Great Expectations and Candide. I’m on a classics kick.

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LAT Yields to Public Pressure: Al Martinez Could Come Back


The voice of the people has spoken, and Al Martinez will once again write for the LA Times. According to LA Witness and Celeste Fremon, the Topanga Democratic Club organized an email campaign to keep Martinez around.

So, O’Shea and the other big-wigs relented and as Martinez wrote:

They have asked for the return of my column once a week, possibly in op ed. If they come up with the right deal in the right place, I shall return, to quote a guy once kicked off an island.

Considering that the contributing op-ed writers get about $750 per piece, we’re not betting on the deal or the place being all that right.

The Times also dumped Mallard Fillmore, but we’re pretty sure that no one in Topanga squawked.