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Posts Tagged ‘Ruben Vives’

Washington Post Columnist Investigates Perpetually Postponed LA Times Celebration Party

LA Times reporter Jeff Gottlieb’s May 3 email to a Los Angeles Times Media Group exec is one of the ages. Two years after he, Ruben Vives and colleagues won a $35,000 USC Annenberg prize for their exposure of the massive Bell city corruption scandal (ahead of the Public Service Pulitzer), he was having to question the financial allotment practices at his own paper.

Washington Post media columnist Erik Wemple thoroughly retraces the history of this long-simmering matter and also, for the piece, took Gottlieb’s complaints to newspaper spokesperson Nancy Sullivan. When, Wemple wanted to know on Gottlieb’s behalf, was that promised celebration party funded by residual Selden Ring prize money going to finally take place? From Sullivan’s quoted reply:

“A small amount was set aside for a staff party. The party was postponed several times for various reasons but will be held in the near future.”

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The Scoops and Acclaim Keep on Coming for Enterprising Los Cerritos Community News Duo*

The last time a pair of reporters did this much damage on the municipal corruption front, it led to a Pulitzer Prize for the LA Times. Whatever awards the Los Cerritos Community News tandem of Randy Economy and (owner) Brian Hews win in the near future for their enterprise reporting about the massive scandal tainting the LA County Assessor’s office will be equally well-deserved.

Every other day, the duo have been detonating another bombshell, the culmination of many thousands of hours of investigative work and dozens of thoroughly documented articles. On September 27 for example, Economy (pictured) and Hews wrote about some bogus property value breaks given to The Grove developer Rick Caruso. More recently, on October 12, it was about how a modest Huntington Beach home owned by the man at the center of the graft – John Noguez – had somehow earned historical status.

On the top left-hand corner of the Los Cerritos Community News website, there is a quote given by Warren Buffett to the LA Times this spring on prominently display. It reads: ““In towns and cities where there is a strong sense of community, there is no more important institution than the local paper.” A principle that is at the very heart of Economy and Hews’ reporting for the website and weekly print edition.

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National Association of Hispanic Journalists Finally Opens an LA Chapter

Why on earth did it take 30 years for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) to open an LA chapter, as they finally have this summer? In his weekly sideline KCET.org column, KPCC reporter Adolfo Guzman-Lopez wonders aloud about this odd bit of history and then provides the answer.

He learned during the LA chapter’s first networking event August 23 that there had for several decades been a “gentleman’s agreement,” whereby the NAHJ deferred to the older local ties of CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California. However, at a recent national NAHJ gathering, it was agreed that this approach no longer made sense:

During the 2000s CCNMA’s activity in LA tapered off. “I think it would be wrong for us to depend on one organization,” said SAG-AFTRA representative Ray Bradford, whose organization co-sponsored the mixer. “Bring on two, bring on three, as long as we all have a unified mission of equality and respect, and quality journalism, bring it on.”

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LA Times Pulitzer Winner Set for Wisconsin Residency

Senior LA Times reporter Jeff Gottlieb, who along with Ruben Vives won a Pulitzer Prize for the pair’s 2010 series on endemic Bell city corruption, will be at the University of Wiconsin-Madison next week as the school’s latest public affairs writer in residence.

FishbowlLA reviewed Gottlieb’s schedule and it looks like the journalism faculty will be keeping him very busy. On Monday for example, there is a morning class with a room full of junior and senior students, a brown bag off-campus lunch with employees of the Capital Times and Wisconsin State Journal, an afternoon session with Master’s students and dinner at the La Follette School of Public Affairs.

Wednesday night, Gottlieb will talk at members of the local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists about “How Ruben and I Found the Bell Story.” Many in the audience for this evening event will once again connect him to Madison’s local papers.

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Hackariffic Day for LA Times Twitter Feeds

Yesterday was an exciting day for followers of LA Times journos and their Twitter feeds. And by exciting we mean fairly chaotic. First, Pulitzer Prize winner Ruben Vives had his Twitter account hacked.

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LA Times Pulitzer Winners Feared for their Safety in Bell

LA Times Pulitzer winners Jeff Gottlieb and Ruben Vives were in New York this week to speak at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The Columbia Journalism Review wrote up their talk and shared this story we had never heard before.

After threatening to sue if their information request was not fulfilled, Gottlieb and Vives received a seemingly ominous invitation: come and get the documents, in person, at nearby Little Bear Park, from city manager Robert Rizzo himself. It even induced a bit of paranoia; Vives envisioned a white van pulling up and kidnapping him from the parking lot. The story’s scope became apparent when a cohort of city officials, including Bell police officers, showed up to confront the reporters.

Gottlieb credits having the backing of a major newspaper like the Times for enabling them to land the story–and perhaps avoid being disappeared. “[A]s opposed to the cliché of the blogger sitting in his underwear writing. It’s too easy to push those people away.”

Can’t push this Fishie away. He doesn’t just blog in his underwear. He’s more than willing to show up at your house in his tighty-whities to get the story.

LA Press Club Award Winners Announced

The LA Press Club held its annual awards gala last night, where they announced the winners of their annual journalism awards in 80-some-odd categories.

LA Weekly‘s Patrick Range McDonald was named “print journalist of the year,” while LA Times Pulitzer Prize winners Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb earned the Press Club’s first public service award.”

This Fishie was up for a couple awards and somehow managed to finish second place to Drew Carey… in a journalism competition… sigh.

We kid the Carey.

Full list of winners after the jump:

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Latino Reporter Celebrates Pulitzer Prize Winner’s Illegal Immigrant Background

In the wake of the LA Times Pulitzer Prize win for “Public Service,” OC Weekly reporter Gustavo Arellano revisits the recently revealed fact that one of the two lead reporters for the Bell city salary scandal series, Ruben Vives (pictured), was brought into the U.S. illegally as a boy. Vives became legal with the help of a reporter, just shy of his 18th birthday.

Arellano stresses that Vives is first and foremost a reporter rather than a “Latino reporter” or “former illegal immigrant journalist.” Still, he admits this part of the story packs undeniable punch for a large segment of the Times‘ readership:

I, along with the millions of Latinos who come from an undocumented pedigree… can’t help but gloat about Vives’ background. What a wonderful chinga tu madre at the Know Nothings of the world who insist illegals can’t make anything of themselves in this country!

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LA Times Reporters Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb Win 2011 Selden Ring Award

The awards keep rolling in for LA Times reporters Ruben Vives and Jeff Gottlieb, who broke the story about the outrageous salaries of various city officials in Bell. It was announced today that the pair picked up the Selden Ring Award for Investigative Reporting–an award given out by USC’s Annenberg J-school. Vives and Gottlieb beat out finalists from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Bloomberg News.

A winners ceremony will be held at USC on March 25.

Press release after the jump.

Previously on Fishbowl LA: LA Times Bell City Scandal Coverage Garners Another Award

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LA Times Bell City Scandal Coverage Garners Another Award

A week after receiving a distinguished writing award from the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the journalists responsible for an LA Times series exposing the colossal corruption among the ranks of Bell city officials have earned another prestigious honor – the George Polk Award for local reporting.

Jeff Gottlieb, Ruben Vives and team of collaborators deserve each and every kudo received for their landmark bit of municipal investigating. It is a story that continues to reverberate, from the photo of administrator Robert “Ratso” Rizzo volunteering as a surfing museum parking lot attendant to a tearful (and highly unconvincing) mea culpa made last week on FOX 11 by former assistant city manager Angela Spaccia.

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