SPJ/LA’s Statement in Wake of Annapolis Newspaper Shooting

For Immediate Release
June 28, 2018

Contact:
Stephanie Bluestein
SPJ/LA President
818-677-3407
Bluestein.SPJLA@gmail.com

SPJ/LA’s Statement in Wake of Annapolis Newspaper Shooting

SPJ/LA mourns the loss of five people today at the Annapolis Capital-Gazette building, in addition to those who were injured in this senseless shooting.

Based on the most current information available, the alleged shooter, Jarrod Ramos, had a longtime grudge against the Capital-Gazette, having lost a defamation lawsuit against the paper, and may have been seeking revenge in a personal matter.

While the shooting appears to be tied to a specific lawsuit, we cannot ignore that this troubling incident at a newspaper office took place during a climate of relentless political attacks on the legitimacy of the press, causing public trust and respect to decline precipitously in recent years.

A deliberate attack on a reporter is an attack on the free press, and on the freedom and liberty of every American as guaranteed in the First Amendment to the Bill of Rights. We stand strong with journalists who work hard every day to provide fair and accurate information necessary for the existence of a healthy democracy.

SPJ/LA welcomes Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong as the new owner of L.A. Times

Today, SPJ/LA sent the following letter congratulating Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, as the new owner of the Los Angeles Times.

Society of Professional Journalists
Greater Los Angeles Chapter
P.O. Box 572632
Tarzana, CA 91357

Patrick Soon-Shiong, M.D.
Executive Chairman, California News Group
Los Angeles Times
202 W. 1st St.
Los Angeles, CA 90012

June 21, 2018

Dear Dr. Soon-Shiong,

On behalf of the Society of Professional Journalists, Greater Los Angeles Chapter, we are writing to congratulate you on your recently concluded purchase of the Los Angeles Times, and extend to you a warm welcome to the Los Angeles journalism and media community.

We know the business climate for newspapers is challenging, and expectations for your stewardship are high. We join the rest of our fellow journalists in wishing you well in rebuilding and restoring the Times, and ensuring it remains financially and journalistically strong while serving our community.

SPJ/LA, which has enjoyed a long and close relationship with many Los Angeles Times journalists over the years, stands ready to assist and support you in this effort. If there’s any way our local chapter or our national organization may be helpful, please do not hesitate to reach out and contact us.

Thank you for your willingness to invest in the Los Angeles Times for all the right reasons. Best of luck to you in this exciting new era for our Times.

Sincerely,
Stephanie Stassel-Bluestein, Ed.D.
President, SPJ/LA
Los Angeles Times Valley Edition staff member, 1990-2004
bluestein.spjla@gmail.com

SPJ/LA Expresses Grief and Sorrow on the Loss of Veteran KTLA Reporter Stan Chambers

SPJ/LA Expresses Grief and Sorrow on the Loss of Veteran KTLA Reporter

Stan Chambers

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists mourns the passing of veteran KTLA reporter, Stan Chambers.

“Los Angeles has lost a legend, a reporter who invented live television news,” SPJ /LA President Navid Nonahal said.  “SPJ/LA extends its condolences to Stan’s family and colleagues.”

Chambers passed away today at age 91, at his home in Holmby Hills, surrounded by his family. He worked at KTLA for 63 years, retiring at age 87 in 2010.

Colleague and SPJ/LA board member, Jeff Wald, said Chambers was known for his storytelling skills and particularly his ability to report news events live. In 1949, Chambers invented live television coverage of breaking news, reporting the tragedy of a little girl named Kathy Fiscus who had fallen down an abandoned well in San Marino. He was on the air for more than 27 hours.

Some 40 years later, Chambers provided live coverage of a light plane that had become entangled in high-tension wires. “Two men were trapped upside down in their private plane.  The plane never moved as firemen worked to rescue the pilot and passenger.  This went on for hours. Stan’s reporting was gripping and our viewers couldn’t turn away,” Wald said.

In his 63 years at KTLA, Chambers covered the assassination of Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968 and countless fires, floods, riots, and human-interest stories.  All of the stories — some 22,000 of them — were presented with accuracy, consistency and solid reporting.

In honor of Chambers, here’s the link to a collection of interviews from the Archive of American Television, including a short clip on how he’d like to be remembered. http://www.emmytvlegends.org/interviews/people/stan-chambers

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to promoting high standards of ethical behavior and encouraging the free practice of journalism.  Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press.  The Greater Los Angeles professional chapter celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009.

SPJ/LA Mourns the Loss of Veteran Los Angeles Daily News Reporter Rick Orlov

For Immediate Release
Feb. 3, 2015

Contact:
Navid Nonahal, SPJ/LA
SPJLosAngeles@gmail.com

SPJ/LA Mourns the Loss of Veteran Los Angeles Daily News Reporter

Rick Orlov

The Greater Los Angeles Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists mourns the loss of veteran Los Angeles Daily News reporter Rick Orlov, who died Monday of diabetes complications.

“The Los Angeles journalism community has lost one of its best, who will be truly irreplaceable,” SPJ/LA President Navid Nonahal said. “SPJ/LA extends its condolences to Rick’s family and colleagues.”

Orlov, a past SPJ/LA Distinguished Journalist Award recipient, covered local politics at the Los Angeles City Hall for several decades, and through the years, earned a reputation as “dean of the City Hall press corps” both for his long experience, and for his generous mentoring and fatherly advice to younger reporters.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti noted that all of City Hall was in mourning, and City Council President Herb Wesson has announced plans for a motion to name the media room behind City Council chambers in Orlov’s memory. We agree that this would be a fitting tribute to one our most dedicated, respected, and much-loved journalists.

The Society of Professional Journalists is the nation’s largest and most broad-based journalism organization, dedicated to promoting high standards of ethical behavior and encouraging the free practice of journalism. Founded in 1909 as Sigma Delta Chi, SPJ works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists and protects First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. The Greater Los Angeles professional chapter celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2009.

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Our Statement: Urging Support for the Federal Shield Law

shield-law

The Greater Los Angeles chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists joins with the national organization in calling for the passage of a federal shield law to protect journalists.

We urge the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives to open the way for serious consideration of the Free Flow of Information Act, H.R.1962 and S.987. The recent news that federal authorities monitored reporters at The Associated Press and FOX News underscores the urgent need for a federal shield law. Continue reading