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Posts Tagged ‘James Rainey’

Gawker Takes Stock of Media Critics, Proclaims LAT‘s Rainey ‘Not Memorable’

In the wake of Wednesday’s news that Poynter’s Jim Romenesko is semi-retiring and Slate’s Jack Shafer has been laid off, Gawker has declared this the twilight of media critics. They’ve compiled a list of those critics of note still standing, and it’s a short one, with David Carr of the New York Times at the top. The LA Times‘ media writer James Rainey was also named, though without much enthusiasm:

Rainey’s not a particularly memorable writer, but he does a fair job. He also has the West Coast pretty much to himself now.

Rainey, for whom FishbowlLA has considerably more affection, tweets in response:

It’s the little things…

Slandered Schwarzenegger Flight Attendant Goes After Gawker

When LA Times media critic James Rainey called out Gawker this spring for completely bungling a report about Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s love child, the first reader comment suggested that flight attendant Tammy Tousignant, wrongly tagged by reporter John Cook (pictured) as the mother of the ex-Governor’s love child, should sue the Nick Denton publication. That has now, belatedly, happened.

Tousignant wants a minimum of $10 million from Gawker, the National Enquirer, and UK’s The Daily Mail. In her Orange County Superior Court complaint, she is basically alleging that the extensive correction posted on Gawker in place of the erroneous May 17 item was not nearly enough. Per Rainey’s original report:

I asked Gawker editor-in-chief Remy Stern how the error came about. Stern said the reporter is one of “the very best.” He called the Schwarzenegger story an anomaly.

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Nikki Finke to Patrick Goldstein: ‘I’m Still Calling It As I See It’

Since LA Times media columnist Patrick Goldstein began sharing his beat with colleague James Rainey, he doesn’t write for the paper nearly as much as he used to.

But he’s got a new piece that is bound to get some good traction. In it, he wonders whether columnist Nikki Finke has gone soft(er) since being purchased by Jay Penske‘s Media Corp. Goldstein chatted with Finke last week; she dismisses the “soft” notion but admits that because her access to Hollywood execs is now greater, her writing may be “a little more nuanced.” Others aren’t so sure:

“This is about what happens when the renegade outsider becomes an institution,” said one high-level exec. “The original appeal of Deadline was that it was the place to go to see what everyone in Hollywood loves: someone taking down their competitors. But now it’s just a ticker tape for showbiz news. People used to read it with a mixture of incredulousness and fear. Now people just read it.”

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LA Times Media Critic Wades Into New Orleans Quagmire

On the heels of this week’s announcement that James Rainey has won the 2010 Bart Richards Award from Pennsylvania State University for a series about the diminishing quality of local TV news, the LA Times columnist today details a Bayou bombshell.

For five years, former New Orleans Times-Picayune photographer Alex Brandon kept quiet about some events he witnessed a week after Hurricane Katrina. But during court testimony last fall, he finally came clean about what he saw outside Harrah’s casino downtown, where African American resident Henry Glover and several others were shot at by police for alleged looting. Writes Rainey:

The death of Glover came without apparent provocation: a cop shooting the suspected looter and his colleagues covering it up. Brandon helped prosecutors draw the picture of the confrontation, especially between police and a couple of Glover’s friends who tried to come to his aid.

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LA Times Vet David Lauter Returning to Washington as Bureau Chief

The LA Times career of David Lauter began in Washington, D.C. 24 years ago, via an eight-year stint covering the administrations of Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush. Now, after heading west in 1995, Lauter is returning to the Beltway as the Tribune Co.’s Washington D.C. bureau chief.

The paper’s media writer, James Rainey, broke the news via Twitter, after which came the official memo from Russ Stanton:

Since David became LA Times California editor in October 2007, the Metro staff has produced some of the newsroom’s signature work, including uncovering the corruption scandal in the city of Bell, producing the “Grading the Teachers” series, investigating the county child welfare department and dissecting the state’s fiscal crisis. Another highlight of David’s tenure was the “Big Burn” series on wildfires, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 2009 for explanatory reporting.

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Neon Tommy Editor Lands Job at Talking Points Memo

James Rainey documents Neon Tommy‘s continued triumphs today in the LA Times. From Rainey we learn that Neon Tommy pulls in more than 270,000 unique visitors and 360,000 page views a month, making it the sixth most trafficked college news organization in America. We also learn that the site’s undergraduate editor-in-chief Callie Schweitzer has already landed herself a gig after graduation–with Talking Points Memo.

We spoke with Schweitzer, who told us the job is “a dream come true for her” and that she’ll be moving to New York to start the job at the end of May.

Her official title will be “assistant to the publisher” where she’ll be working directly under Josh Marshall.

Congrats and good luck out there!

James Rainey: No Longer For J-Schoolers, Patch is Picking Up Seasoned Pros

Over the weekend, the LA TimesJames Rainey profiled LA’s ever expanding Patch network. He especially focused in on Patch’s newfound ability to recruit experienced journos, like former LA Times reporter Nancy Wride at the Belmont Shore Patch.

Rainey’s take:

The news pros are bringing writing chops and a touch of savvy to the fledgling news operation, which has been better known as the first employer of recent journalism school grads. Patch needs that kind of consistency — not the burnout and turnover that afflicted some of its initial battalion of young editors — if it is to build credibility in communities where it’s still largely unknown.

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The Young Turks in the LAT

James Rainey has discovered The Young Turks and their Internet talk show thingy. We of course follow the plight of Cenk Uygur and crew closely because they’re down the street – they film out of a building owned by Mel Brooks on Wilshire – and they’re a phenom and like nothing else we’ve ever seen. Well…almost.

Rainey writes:

It’s tempting to view Uygur as the prototype for a new generation of political commentators, who hone their craft with blogs and Web videos and then transition to older platforms. Political commentator and comedian Tina Dupuy calls Uygur “the Tila Tequila of political talk-show hosts.” Others, no doubt, will follow.

But unlike the one-video wonders who burst on the pop music scene, it’s likely that the future political talkers in the Uygur mode will make their bones more gradually. It takes more than one catchy lyric to build the world view, credibility and tone that win audiences in the long run.

Previously on FBLA:

  • The Young Turks’ Uygur Subs For Dylan Ratigan Today
  • Weigh-In: Seder vs. The Young Turks

  • James Rainey’s Profile of Christine Pelisek


    LA Weekly’s Christine Pelisek is finally getting the credit she deserves for staying on the Grim Sleeper case (and beating the LAT at it). Good for her. The whole article by James Rainey is worth a read:

    But that the terrible, slow-motion slaughter even became known to the public owes to the obsessive reporting of Pelisek, a star investigative reporter for the LA Weekly.

    An inherently inquisitive Canadian with a knack for winning the trust of people unlike herself, Pelisek pushed to get authorities to tell her about their suspicion that the killings of seven young women in the 1980s might be connected to a skein of new deaths that began in 2002.

    Note that when Rainey writes about the coining of the phrase “Grim Sleeper,” Jill Stewart is not mentioned by name – only as “the editor.” Ahem.

    Photo credit Don Bartletti

    This American Life and ProPublica To Have a Mashup

    logo4444.gifWhen we read James Rainey‘s column about Ira Glass and Chicago Public Radio’s This American Life doing a “groundbreaking investigative piece” we looked at the date to make sure it wasn’t an old story. From the financial meltdown to the Iraq War to possibly the best overview of the health care industry ever produced, TAL has held there own in the investigative department.

    Rainey writes:

    That does not mean that Radio “TAL,” as loyalists call it, has reined in its ambitions. In the next few months, Glass said, the show will present “a huge, groundbreaking investigative piece of journalism” that it’s producing with the public-interest journalism site ProPublica.

    When I spoke to him this week, Glass didn’t want to go into any more detail about the impending scoop. But he also wanted to make it clear that the show’s staff, not to mention its core audience, felt a lot like I have — that it’s important to balance the weighty, policy-driven shows with ones that simply catch the world a little off-kilter.

    Previously on FBLA:

  • Tickets on Sale for A Night with Ira Glass