Isabelle Roughol – The J junkie

The tribulations of a young journalist and writer looking for work

Archive for the ‘Santa Cruz Sentinel’ Category

Update: Sentinel’s Honig is taking job in PR

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I always find it depressing when I hear of journalists leaving the profession (the faith?) to take a job in PR. Tom Honig, my former editor at the Santa Cruz Sentinel, where I interned this summer, is now doing it, too. Of course, there are plenty of interesting jobs in public relations, and the pay sure is better, but journalists too often take those jobs out of necessity (which, again, doesn’t preclude a certain level of interest) more than out of desire.

I like how Tom puts it: “It’s not like I’m leaving because I was dying to do this, but I am really excited about it,” he said in the Sentinel’s story. A new job is exciting, but really, if he had his say… Tom also mentions in the Sentinel story that he’s expecting other cuts in the newsroom and thought his move might prevent a couple. The jury’s still out on that.

But, no, I will not yield to the sayers of dooms and glooms. And I will NOT take a job in PR. (Talk to me in 20 years, I guess.)

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Written by Isabelle Roughol

Monday, 3 December, 2007 at 00:10

Santa Cruz Sentinel loses its longtime editor; moves to one-man leadership

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‘Tis my day to write about my editors under fire. Tom Honig is stepping down as editor of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, where I interned this summer.

Nothing has trickled down yet about the reason for the decision. Let’s be honest, info rarely does trickle down within Medianews, a private company that doesn’t have shareholders to be accountable to. Not much to blog about thus, except, well, it sucks. I didn’t work with Tom much; there’s a whole range of people between the big man and the intern. But he seemed a good editor to me, who cared about the Santa Cruz community, and he definitely did not look happy when he announced job cuts in a staff meeting this June.

Tom is still a bit young for retirement; we’ll see where he ends up, but it doesn’t sound to me like an entirely voluntary decision. Managing editor Don Miller is taking up the editor spot, but no one will replace him as ME. Convenient way for Dean Singleton, owner of Medianews, which owns the Sentinel, to cut likely the newsroom’s biggest salary from the budget. Would that free up 2 or 3 budgetary units to rehire some of the 8 reporters, photographers and production people fired this summer? For instance, the only guy who could design a graphic? Not likely.

The Sentinel has been in crisis for a while now. After multiple sales, it ended up in the portfolio of Mr. Singleton, a man not quite dedicated to journalistic excellence. Since I was there this summer, it has moved to new offices in Scotts Valley, a few miles out of Santa Cruz. For the complete background, check out the Sentinel’s announcement. I’ll scan their headlines over the next few days for more developments.

Good luck Tom, it was a pleasure working with you. Good luck, Don, on taking up two men’s work.

Written by Isabelle Roughol

Wednesday, 28 November, 2007 at 19:00

Newspaper is a state of mind.

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You people warm my heart. Just as I was on a day of intense journalistic discouragement, I checked my blog stats and found 29 views just today, about three times my average. (I’m just starting here.) I don’t know what brought this on, but keep it coming.

Speaking of journalistic discouragement, I think I upset a couple old-timers in the newsroom today. I explained to them that I hadn’t particularly noticed the teaser to the Sunday paper on the front page because, although I browse the print product to see what it looks like (and, let’s face it, see my name in print), I am unabashedly part of this new generation who only reads news online. I got stares. Me, a newspaper journalist, taking part in the downfall of the industry? I believe it’s time I explain my newspaper philosophy.

Newspaper is a state of mind. Newspaper is NOT cheap paper and runny ink. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Isabelle Roughol

Friday, 6 July, 2007 at 01:50

The court, the jail and the toy factory

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Another long day in court, and I don’t have the strength to write much more than a stream of consciousness, a bit like NPR’s Radio Lab, which I am now discovering and I sense will fast become a deliciously guilty pleasure. The way the editing mirrors the thought process of a human brain is a gem of storytelling. Try it, get converted.

So, long day in court. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Isabelle Roughol

Wednesday, 4 July, 2007 at 03:02

Death to the “man on the street”

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Just like most people, I owe a lot to my parents. My journalistic skills owe them a lot, too. I could take hours listing the qualities of those two highly intelligent people, but I’d lose readers. Let me get to the point. My mother is a writer, among many other things, a keen observer of the media and a darn good speller. To her I owe my habit of pointing out every grammatical mistake journalists make on French public radio. I’m sure she’s got something to do with the fact that I can’t help but edit restaurant menus, too.

One of my mother’s major media pet peeve is TV’s uncontrollable urge to put a “man on the street” in every single story, as though that particular man (it can be a woman, really) held the key to some subtle, hidden stake in the story. The producer typically ends up wasting 5 or 6 seconds, so precious in TV news, for an “I am really mad about this” or “I wish they’d do something about that.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Isabelle Roughol

Saturday, 30 June, 2007 at 23:19

Death to the “man on the street”

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Just like most people, I owe a lot to my parents. My journalistic skills owe them a lot, too. I could take hours listing the qualities of those two highly intelligent people, but I’d lose readers. Let me get to the point. My mother is a writer, among many other things, a keen observer of the media and a darn good speller. To her I owe my habit of pointing out every grammatical mistake journalists make on French public radio. I’m sure she’s got something to do with the fact that I can’t help but edit restaurant menus, too.

One of my mother’s major media pet peeve is TV’s uncontrollable urge to put a “man on the street” in every single story, as though that particular man (it can be a woman, really) held the key to some subtle, hidden stake in the story. The producer typically ends up wasting 5 or 6 seconds, so precious in TV news, for an “I am really mad about this” or “I wish they’d do something about that.” Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Isabelle Roughol

Saturday, 30 June, 2007 at 23:19

iRandom

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Happy iPhone Day everyone! That’s right, I’m an iFan(atic). Had I a car, I would have rushed to the Capitola AT&T store (one of only two stores in the county to sell the iPhone) just to see it. But I haven’t and I am left to stare at my barely one-year-old video iPod, which is suddenly as attractive as Donald Trump on a bad hair day. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Isabelle Roughol

Friday, 29 June, 2007 at 23:57