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Posts Tagged ‘Dave Maass’

San Diego CityBeat’s Dave Maass Heading to Electronic Frontier Foundation

Looks like San Diego CityBeat ace investigative reporter Dave Maass has a new gig with the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Maass is known down south as a hellraiser with a huge motor. Here’s wishing him the best on his new gig.

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The Republican Presidential Debate You Didn’t See

Back in 2008, the Tucson Weekly discovered that getting on the Arizona presidential primary ballot doesn’t require cash, signatures or a political base. All you have to do is file a generic form. So the TW decided to recruit a slew of charismatic and/or odd individuals to run. They then hosted an hour-long debate with their fringe candidates on public access that they call Project White House.

In 2012, over half the Republicans on the ballot in the presidential primary are involved in TW‘s project. They recruited San Diego CityBeat staffer Dave Maass to be the moderator of this year’s debate. The results are reminiscent of the glory days of UHF and public access television back in the 80′s.

Some fun weekend viewing.

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Journos in Space? Give It 15 Years

In the wake of Newt Gingrich‘s ridiculous plan to set up an American moon base by 2020, San Diego CityBeat’s Dave Maass attended the “Future of Astronauts (Colonization)” panel at the SpaceUp San Diego “unconference” on space exploration at the Ansir Innovation Center last weekend. The piece spends quite a bit of time presenting a rather dark, dystopian view of the future of privatized space travel.

Writes Maass: “The darkness is in the socio-political implications of a space race that could mirror the colonization of the Americas, with all the death and exploitation that came with it. Indentured servitude. Corporate rulers. Space cults.”

But, despite all those reservations, Maass eventually gets to the real question that’s been brewing in the back of his mind.

How long until reporters are invited to junkets on space yachts?

“Fifteen years,” [I'm told].

Did I say the future is dark? Retract that. Where do I get in line?

San Diego Union-Tribune Shills for Owner’s Waterfront Redevelopment Plans

San Diego Union-Tribune… nee… make that “U-T San Diego” owner and real estate magnate Douglas Manchester ran not one, but TWO editorials in his new toy… er… paper today, shilling for his waterfront development plans. And one of them ran on the friggin’ front page!

San Diego is not pleased. Voice of San Diego CEO Scott Lewis called the plans “half baked.”

The paper provided no new insight on deep, decades-old disagreements. It merely posits that problems can be solved because problems can be solved. It worries about a skeptical public unwilling to invest in big ideas because it has been misled so much and then immediately misleads on how expensive this big idea would be.

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San Diego Reader Hit with Gender Discrimination Lawsuit

The San Diego Reader is being sued by three female former employees in its sales department for gender discrimination, sexual harassment and wrongful termination. Kelly Bonelli, Amy McKibben and Beth Wexler all say publisher Jim Holman fostered a “boys club” environment at the paper–which only became worse with the hiring of John-Paul Franklin as sales manager in 2008.

San Diego CityBeat‘s Dave Maass has the story.

“For many years, women seemed to be tolerated, but not equal to men,” the lawsuit states. “The environment became noticeably worse in 2008 when JP Franklin became the manger [sic] of the sales department…. Franklin has and displayed a very ‘bullying’ style of management, and it is ostensibly directed more toward women than men.”

As examples, the plaintiffs say that Franklin would regularly engage in casual conversations with male staff, but abruptly stopped whenever a woman tried to join in. He “frequently” went to lunch with male employees, but rarely included female workers. Franklin is currently listed on the Reader masthead as “general manager.”

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Labor vs. Media in San Diego

Interesting piece from San Diego CityBeat‘s Dave Maass on an emerging battle between local TV station KUSI and the San Diego and Imperial Counties Labor Council. According to Maass, lawyers for the Labor Council just sent a threatening letter to KUSI, citing a breach in various local and federal political disclosure regulations regarding a lengthy “investigation” into an ongoing pension-reform ballot initiative. KUSI was less-than-balanced in their approach in favor of the initiative. But, Maass insists, no such law exist to threaten the station with. He tracked down the relevant municipal code.

“An expenditure does not include a payment for member communications, nor does it include costs incurred for communications advocating the nomination, election, or defeat of a candidate or the qualification, passage, or defeat of a measure by a federally regulated broadcast outlet”

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San Diego CityBeat Uses Public Records Act to Obtain Internal SPJ Emails

After reporting extensively on the WikiLeaks cables and their local impact, San Diego CityBeat‘s Dave Maass felt a little slighted after the Society of Professional Journalists refused to consider him for a local panel on the topic.

A little while later, this happened:

This matter originated with an exchange between CityBeat’s arts editor Kinsee Morlan and SPJ San Diego organizers over the lack of alt-weekly representation in SPJ’s regional spring conference programming. Conference coordinator and SPJ-SD Vice President Christy Scannell accidentally forwarded Morlan an email containing an internal discussion in which Morlan was called “obnoxious” and there was a snide remark about my previous request to be included on a panel discussing the WikiLeaks controversy.

So, “because I’m a mean-spirited, vindictive jerk bent on retribution,” he writes, Maass submitted a public records request act for all SPJ correspondence originating from the email account of SPJ San Diego board member and regional SPJ director Jodi Cleesattle. Seems like a far-fetched request, but Maass was able to get a hold of 2,100 pages of correspondence because Cleesattle is a lawyer with the California Department of Justice, and used her work email account to conduct her SPJ correspondence.

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Southern California Papers Helping Wage Public Records Transparency War

Last week we reported on San Diego CityBeat reporter Dave Maass‘ effort–called Flashlight–to compile a comprehensive list of links for California reporters to use while searching for public records. Now the LA Times has launched a similar endeavor--providing readers with tips and selective links about how readers can obtain public records from their community institutions. Both are noble efforts in the traditional fourth-estate model–empowering readers and fellow journalists with the know-how to effectively engage their government.

As of now, the Times’ site is less extensive and easier to navigate, providing good background information on public info access, while Maass’ San Diego project is a much more practical tool for journalists who already know what they’re doing. Even though the site is San Diego-based, we asked Maass to explain to us how LA journalists could use the links he’s dug up in their reporting.

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San Diego CityBeat Helps Launch Muckraking Public Info Site ‘Flashlight’

An interesting new web startup has just emerged from San Diego. Flashlight is a new partnership between reporters at the San Diego CityBeat and the public information advocacy site Open San Diego. The effort will create an indexed, easily accessible repository for various public records searches, and documents dug up during the course of journalistic reporting.

CityBeat reporter Dave Maass blogs about the effort:

When good-government advocates began pushing for transparency through public-records laws and ethics reform, they may not have full appreciated how the slow drip of information would accumulate, over just a few years, into great expansive seas of data and documents.  At the same time, we’ve reached a point where data sets and link sites are regularly becoming obsolete, too.
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Non-Profit Voice of San Diego Taking Some Local Heat Over Misleading Fundraising Ads*

We can’t really seem to figure out why, but San Diego’s much celebrated non-profit news site Voice of San Diego is taking some heat from local press and civic leaders for allegedly pursuing a misleading fundraising campaign. In various banner ads on its site, VoSD boasts “ How about a public service news source that receives no government support? You found it.” Below the tagline is a button soliciting donations.

But, as San Diego CityBeat‘s Dave Maass dug up, the website does receive public funds–to the tune of $28,200 in ad revenue from government agencies.

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