Friday, March 7, 2008
Citizen McCaw Documentary
Tonight I had the good fortune of securing a seat in the balcony of the Arlington Theatre in Santa Barbara to see the sold out World Premiere of Citizen McCaw--a well thought out, excellently executed documentary on the downfall of the Santa Barbara News-Press since Wendy McCaw took ownership.
The documentary at first established the pre-McCaw credibility of the News-Press and even went on to show how in the first few years of her ownership, she did a service to the paper by appointing Cole and Roberts to the editorial staff. But, when her lack of understanding about the journalistic wall of integrity between editorial/opinion and news was severely exposed, and she consistently reinforced her desire to shape news content, the demise of the paper began, resulting in the mass resignation of top editors, followed by firing, or resignation of many more, with a total of 80 staff leaving as of January 2008 (I believe that was the number).
The documentary uses interviews with past employees and their personal accounts of events that took place, involving McCaw, Travis Amstrong and 'Nipper' , juxtaposed to voices from the community, other papers such as the Independent, the emergence of blogs covering the story, and how much these reporters sacrificed in the line of integrity.
I recommend this documentary to everyone in our community and nation, and the world at large. It should be shown in every journalism course at the high school and college level, and should be required viewing for all Americans to understand their freedom of speech, and to see it being violated by a woman who uses wealth and lawyers to buy her way out of truthful interaction with others.
I am sure there is a good side to Ms. McCaw and I believe everyone is capable of change. I hope she will read an Ekhart Tolle book and have an epiphany that will awaken her heart, so she can treat other humans with all of the impassioned respect with which she treats animals.
Additional screenings of citizen McCaw are scheduled as follows:
Marjorie Luke Theatre located at 721 E. Cota Street in Santa Barbara: Saturday, April 5th at 8PM and Sunday, April 6th at 3PM.
For more information, go to http://www.citizenmccaw.com/