SPJ/LA Hosts Panel Discussion: “How the L.A. Times Got Its Union: Inside Their Historic Campaign”

Staffers at the Los Angeles Times voted overwhelmingly in January to join the NewsGuild, overcoming opposition from the paper’s corporate owners. That historic vote, held at an institution with a history of anti-union activities, followed a yearlong organizing campaign driven by smart messaging and a focus on “newsroom transparency.”

On Wednesday, April 11, the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists will host a panel featuring some of the journalists who led that organizing campaign.

The panel will feature L.A. Times arts writer Carolina Miranda, data journalist Anthony Pesce and national reporter Matt Pearce. Emily Alpert Reyes, who covers City Hall for the Times, will moderate.

WHAT:
SPJ/LA Hosts Panel Discussion: “How the L.A. Times Got Its Union: Inside Their Historic Campaign”

WHO:
*Carolina A. Miranda is a staff writer at the Times, where she reports on art and culture. She has also been a reporter for Time magazine and a contributor to outlets such as NPR, ARTnews and ARCHITECT. She is co-chair of the L.A. Times Guild.

*Anthony Pesce is a data journalist at the Los Angeles Times. He helped initiate the union drive at the Times in 2016 and helped lead the organizing effort to its historic 85% victory. He is now co-chair of the L.A. Times Guild.

*Matt Pearce is a national reporter for the Times and a vice chair with the L.A. Times Guild. Prior to joining the newspaper, he was a freelance journalist based in Kansas City, Mo.

*Emily Alpert Reyes reports on city government and politics for the Times. Before she joined the newspaper, she wrote about education for voiceofsandiego.org, reported from Bolivia on an International Reporting Project fellowship, and provided wall-to-wall coverage of the Garlic Festival for the Gilroy Dispatch.

WHEN:
Wednesday, April 11, 2018, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. (Panel begins at 7:30 p.m.)

WHERE:
The Association Bar
110 E. 6th Street
Downtown Los Angeles, between Main and Los Angeles streets

COST:
Free and open to the public.

RSVP:
Please RSVP at spjlosangeles@gmail.com

PARKING:
Secure 24-hour parking available at 545 S. Main St., $5/20 min., $13/max.

CONTACT:
Julia Wick, SPJ/LA
juliawick@gmail.com

Navid Nonahal, SPJ/LA
(818) 317-2234

SPJ/LA Announces Sponsors for Regional Conference

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists is proud to announce sponsors for its upcoming Regional Conference on April 27-28 at the Universal City Hilton.

Lanyard Sponsor:

NBC4 Southern California

Friday Evening Reception Sponsors:

Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Law Offices of Kelly Aviles
Olmstead Williams Communications

Good Neighbor Sponsor:

California State University, Northridge, Journalism Department
San Diego State University School of Journalism and Media Studies

Thank you to those who have sponsored the conference.

The Regional Conference will kick-off with a Friday night reception with former AP Courts Reporter Linda Deutsch. On Saturday, we will have opening and closing guest speakers in addition to a total of nine panels and workshops presented by more than 30 people, many of whom are prominent L.A. journalists. Panelists will be discussing how to cover topics like immigration, disaster, homelessness, the LGBTQ+ community and sexual harassment. In addition, there will be workshops on broadcast investigative journalism, data reporting, freelancing and making your stories “sing.”

It’s also the day when dozens of student journalists will receive awards at the SPJ Mark of Excellence luncheon where Stephen Galloway, executive features editor for The Hollywood Reporter, will be the keynote speaker.

There are still several sponsorship opportunities available:

  • Gold–$1,500
  • Silver–$1,000
  • Bronze–$500
  • Logo on tote bags: $1,000
  • Friday night reception sponsor: $400
  • Mid-morning coffee break host: $400
  • Mark of Excellence luncheon host: $400
  • Opening Speaker sponsor: $400
  • Closing Speaker sponsor: $400
  • Good Neighbor: $100

All Gold, Silver and Bronze contributors will have their logo on our flyer for the conference in addition to two complimentary passes to the conference to be used by your company or clients.

All contributors will be mentioned in the event program, are welcomed to provide a flyer or small SWAG item for attendees and will get a shout out at the opening session on Saturday. All Friday night reception sponsors will receive two passes to the reception from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, April 27 at the Universal City Hilton.

For more information about being a sponsor, please contact Stephanie Bluestein, SPJ/LA chapter president, at bluestein.spjla@gmail.com.

For schedule and registration information, visit our conference website.

Early Bird Registration for SPJ Region 11 Conference Extended Until Thursday, March 22

We know you want to go to the SPJ Regional Conference in L.A., but you just haven’t had a chance to register. No problem. The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists—your conference host—has extended the Early Bird registration by three days, until Thursday, March 22.

The conference begins Friday, April 27 with an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m., followed by guest speakers, panel discussions and workshops from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, April 28, both at the Universal City Hilton.

Linda Deutsch will be “holding court” at the Friday evening reception, talking about her amazing career at AP. The next morning, USC’s Prof. Robert Hernandez, the self-described “mad scientist of journalism” will kick off Saturday’s events with a talk about the future of journalism.

The remainder of the conference on Saturday consists of a total of nine panels and workshops presented by more than 30 people, many of whom are prominent L.A. journalists. They will be discussing how to cover topics like immigration, disasters, homelessness, the LGBTQ+ community and sexual harassment. In addition, there will be workshops on broadcast investigative journalism, data reporting, freelancing and making your stories “sing.”

Register before March 22 to receive the early bird registration rates of:
$95 early bird registration for SPJ members
$115 early bird registration for non-members
$75 early bird registration for students

After that date, registration prices will increase to:
$115 standard registration for SPJ members
$135 standard registration for non-members
$90 standard registration for students

Registration includes admission to both the opening night reception and the full day of panels and workshops on Saturday.

Admission to just the opening night reception is $50 for SPJ members and $60 for non-members.

In addition to the conference sessions, Emmy Award-winning journalist Stephen Galloway, executive features editor of The Hollywood Reporter, will speak at the Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon on Saturday, April 28.

The Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon is a separate ticket at $55 for students and $65 for non-students.

This conference is only in L.A. every six years so we really hope you can be there! It’s your chance to network, learn new skills and become a more informed journalist.

Register today at spjregion11conference.org/.

For sponsorship possibilities and any questions, please email spjlosangeles@gmail.com.

L.A. journalists call on UCLA to post censored video of treasury secretary’s campus appearance, seek public records behind decision to suppress recording

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists today called on UCLA Chancellor Gene Block to reverse a recent decision to not to post a video recording of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s campus appearance on February 26, 2018.

UCLA and the Treasury Department had a prior agreement to post the video of Mnuchin’s delivery of the annual Arnold C. Harberger Lecture at the UCLA Burkle Center for International Relations, as was done with previous lectures, but Mnuchin later withdrew his prior consent after the program turned rowdy and several hecklers had to be removed.

The website for the public-radio program Marketplace, whose host Kai Ryssdal moderated the discussion with Mnuchin, subsequently posted an edited transcript and the full recorded audio.

In its letter to UCLA, SPJ/LA noted that the university is a public institution, hosting a public event involving a public official speaking on matters of public interest, and was under no legal obligation to comply with a federal government request to suppress the online publication of an official record of such an event.

A UCLA official told SPJ/LA that while there was no formal agreement with Mnuchin’s office, there was a clear understanding that the video would be posted on the sponsoring Burkle Center website after the event, as the Center customarily does with all public events. The official said this was the first time to her knowledge UCLA was asked not to post a video of an event after its conclusion.

Copies of the letter to Chancellor Block and the CPRA request are attached.

March 7, 2018

Society of Professional Journalists
Greater Los Angeles Chapter
210 W. Temple Street, 18th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Chancellor Gene Block
UCLA Office of the Chancellor
2147 Murphy Hall, Los Angeles, CA 90095

Dear Chancellor Block,

As president of the Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, I am writing on behalf of my membership to express our concern over, and disagreement with, UCLA’s recent decision not to post a video recording of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s recent appearance on February 26, 2018 at UCLA for the Arnold C. Harberger Lecture at the UCLA International Institute, which was sponsored by the Burkle Center For International Relations.

Despite a clear prior understanding that UCLA was granted permission to post this video of a public appearance by a public official at a public institution on matters of public interest, Secretary Mnuchin withdrew his consent after the event, and to the best of our knowledge, UCLA readily acquiesced with little or no resistance.

Further, we were informed by a UCLA representative that there was no formal written agreement about posting the video, which means that Secretary Mnuchin had not been legally granted veto authority over the posting, nor would UCLA face any legal exposure for violating terms of a contractual agreement that did not exist.

SPJ/LA believes it sets a very bad precedent for a public university, which has expressly dedicated itself to the values of academic excellence and civic engagement, instead to permit government officials overly sensitive to appearances to constrain academic debate and deny public engagement by effectively censoring UCLA’s online publication of the record of a public event held on campus. UCLA’s decision seems particularly absurd in light of the fact that Marketplace, the public radio program hosted by Kai Ryssdal, who moderated Secretary Mnuchin’s discussion, has already posted the full audio recording on the program’s own website. How can UCLA do any less?

It is disheartening and inexplicable that UCLA would so readily submit to such an inappropriate action by a federal official. I respectfully ask that you reconsider and reverse UCLA’s decision and in the name of transparency and accountability publish online the video recording of Treasury Secretary Mnuchin’s appearance.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Stephanie Bluestein, President
Greater Los Angeles Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists

March 7, 2018

Society of Professional Journalists
Greater Los Angeles Chapter
210 W. Temple Street, 18th Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Ms. Peggy Mcinerny
Director of Communications
UCLA International Institute
10270 Bunche Hall
Los Angeles, California 90095-1487

RE: Public Records Act Request

Dear Ms. Mcinerny,

Pursuant to my rights under the California Public Records Act (Government Code Section 6250 et seq.), I ask to obtain a copy of the following, which I understand to be held by your agency:

Any and all written correspondence, digital and hard copy, between the members of representatives of the UCLA International Institute, the Burkle Center for International Relations, or any other relevant UCLA departments and member or representatives of the U.S. Treasury Department or any other federal agency, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin himself, regarding authorization and related decision-making concerning the on-line posting by UCLA of a video or any other recording of the public appearance and delivery of the Arnold C. Harberger Lecture by Secretary Mnuchin on the UCLA campus on Monday, February 26, 2018.

I am requesting such correspondence generated and received within the time-frame of March 1, 2017 and March 2, 2018.

I ask for a determination on this request within 10 days of your receipt of it, and an even prompter reply if you can make that determination without having to review the record[s] in question.

I would not ordinarily trouble you with this written request, but when I first made it informally, you directed me instead to file a formal request under the California Public Records Act.

If you determine that any or all or the information qualifies for an exemption from disclosure, I ask you to note whether, as is normally the case under the Act, the exemption is discretionary, and if so whether it is necessary in this case to exercise your discretion to withhold the information.

If you determine that some but not all of the information is exempt from disclosure and that you intend to withhold it, I ask that you redact it for the time being and make the rest available as requested.

In any event, please provide a signed notification citing the legal authorities on which you rely if you determine that any or all of the information is exempt and will not be disclosed.

If I can provide any clarification that will help expedite your attention to my request, please contact me at <bellman>. Because this information should be available electronically, you should not incur any duplication costs.

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

Joel Bellman, Ethics Committee Chair and Board Member
Greater Los Angeles Chapter, Society of Professional Journalists

Registration Open for SPJ Region 11 Conference

Registration is now open for the SPJ Region 11 Conference on April 27 and 28, hosted by the Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, at the Universal City Hilton.

The conference website, available at http://spjregion11conference.org, includes a full schedule and bios of all 34 panelists, workshop presenters and speakers.

The event will begin with a no-host reception on Friday evening, April 27. Linda Deutsch, retired AP courts reporter, will “hold court,” sharing war stories and telling tales from some of the biggest trials of the century including Charles Manson, the Menendez Brothers, O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson.

USC Professor Robert Hernandez will kick off the conference Saturday morning, April 28, giving his thoughts about recent trends in journalism and the changing news media.

Next up, will be many sessions conducted by top-notch local journalists from newspapers, radio and TV speaking about how to cover a variety of timely topics including immigration, disasters, homelessness, the LGBTQ+ community and sexual harassment.

Several other workshops, focusing on broadcast investigative journalism, writing ledes, data reporting and freelancing, will also be offered throughout the day.

Register before March 19 to receive the early bird registration rates of:

$95 early bird registration for SPJ members
$115 early bird registration for non-members
$75 early bird registration for students
After that date, registration prices will increase to:
$115 standard registration for SPJ members
$135 standard registration for non-members
$90 standard registration for students
Registration includes admission to both the opening night reception and the full day of panels and workshops on Saturday.

Admission to just the opening night reception is $50 for SPJ members and $60 for non-members.

In addition to the conference sessions, Emmy Award-winning journalist Stephen Galloway, executive features editor of The Hollywood Reporter, will speak at the Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon on Saturday, April 28.

The Mark of Excellence Awards luncheon is a separate ticket at $55 for students and $65 for non-students.

This conference is only in Los Angeles every six years, so mark your calendar to attend. It’s an amazing opportunity to network, learn and be inspired! For sponsorship possibilities and any questions, please email spjlosangeles@gmail.com.