Media

Monday, May 20, 2019

The New Yorker Does Humboldt

Posted By on Mon, May 20, 2019 at 12:42 PM

SCREENSHOT
  • Screenshot
Humboldt County just got The New Yorker treatment.

The lead story on the magazine’s website today, “How Legalization Changed Humboldt County Marijuana,” takes a deep dive into Humboldt County’s cannabis industry, its roots and its future. Spoiler alert: The piece isn’t entirely optimistic.

“Before legalization, people grew cannabis however they could and developed methods to avoid getting caught by law enforcement,” writes Emily Witt. “Regulation demands a different set of skills. Instead of loading their crop into duffel bags and sending it out of state, they have to learn branding and marketing. Legalization brings with it the costs of taxes, permitting, compliance and new competitors. It has also occasioned a rapid drop in price. Now Humboldt County is experiencing not only an economic crisis but also an existential one. What happens to a group of people whose anti-government ethos was sustained by an illegal plant that is now the most regulated crop in California?”
It’s a good question.

It’s always interesting when a national heavyweight reports on Humboldt County, allowing us to see our issues and ourselves through an outsider’s eyes.

Take Witt’s description of Garberville:

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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

NCJ Snags a Dozen Awards at Statewide Journalism Contest

Posted By on Tue, May 7, 2019 at 12:08 PM

Journal staff (from left) Cassie Curatolo, Jennifer Fumiko Cahill, Kimberly Wear, Kyle Windham, Judy Hodgson, Thadeus Greenson, Kali Cozyris, Lynn Leishman, Sam Leishman, Melissa Sanderson (with Whitney), Mark Boyd, Deborah Henry, Iridian Casarez, Marna Batsell, Bryan Walker and Amy Waldrip. Not pictured: Chuck Leishman, Holly Harvey, Jonathan Webster, Miles Eggleston, Jacqueline Langeland, Tyler Tibbles and Zach Lathouris. - ZACH LATHOURIS
  • Zach Lathouris
  • Journal staff (from left) Cassie Curatolo, Jennifer Fumiko Cahill, Kimberly Wear, Kyle Windham, Judy Hodgson, Thadeus Greenson, Kali Cozyris, Lynn Leishman, Sam Leishman, Melissa Sanderson (with Whitney), Mark Boyd, Deborah Henry, Iridian Casarez, Marna Batsell, Bryan Walker and Amy Waldrip. Not pictured: Chuck Leishman, Holly Harvey, Jonathan Webster, Miles Eggleston, Jacqueline Langeland, Tyler Tibbles and Zach Lathouris.

The California Newspaper Publishers Association held its annual awards gala over the weekend and we are pleased to announce the Journal took home 12 awards, including top honors in four categories.

The association, which was founded in 1888 and has more than 500 member papers throughout the state, holds the annual California Journalism Awards contest to showcase and honor the state’s best journalism in a variety of categories across several circulation divisions. Submissions are graded by a panel of judges from CNPA member papers’ newsrooms, with the top five in each category receiving honors.

Here’s a quick rundown of the categories in which the Journal received an award — finishing in the top five — and a brief explanation of the work and who created it. We are proud of our winning writers, designers and illustrators, and those sales and administrative staff who do the unseen hard work that makes each issue possible. And we offer a huge thank you to the community of readers who support us, without whom none of this would be possible.

A brief look at the awards:

First Place Arts and Entertainment Coverage to Journal Arts and Features Editor Jennifer Fumiko Cahill, Calendar Editor Kali Cozyris, a small army of freelancers and the Journal’s production staff. This is the fourth time the Journal has taken home top honors for arts and entertainment coverage in the last five years. One of this year’s judges notes: “A very nice local A&E section with sharp graphic design, lively writing and headlines, and very comprehensive coverage of community events. Nicely done.”

First Place Profile Story for Thadeus Greenson’s “A Giant Falls Among the Redwoods,” a profile of the late John Hudson, a Purple Heart war veteran, caregiver, advocate, community organizer and Sister of Perpetual Indulgence.

First Place Special Section for the June 7 Media Literacy Issue, which featured a variety of news and opinion pieces aimed at helping readers better understand how the Journal — and media in general — operates.

First Place for Special Publication for the summer/fall edition of Humboldt Insider. One judge’s take: “Publication is very well done and serving the area with quality writing, useful information and great graphic design and promotions.”


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Thursday, April 18, 2019

Letter from Legislators: KHSU Gutting a 'Slap in the Face'

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2019 at 11:19 AM

khsu_2018_cymk_transparent.png
Adding to a growing list, current and former North Coast legislators are calling on the California State University Chancellor’s Office to suspend any decision-making on the future of KHSU until new top administrators arrive at Humboldt State University.

HSU President Lisa Rossbacher and Vice President of Advancement Craig Wruck, who oversees KHSU, are both slated to retire this year.

State Sen. Mike McGuire, Assemblymember Jim Wood, retired state Sen. Wes Chesbro and retired Assemblymember Patty Berg penned a strongly worded letter that describes HSU’s decision to gut the public radio station as “a slap in the face to Humboldt County and the North Coast.”

“The reckless manner and timing of HSU shutting down this amazing station could not have been worse and it’s time for the long-term decision making by a short-term administration to stop,” the letter states. “Major decisions made behind closed doors, and with zero transparency, simply do not work for this community. It hurts the credibility of the University and makes everyone’s job harder (especially the incoming President). There was absolutely no reason for this situation to unfold as it has and we want it to stop.”

Find previous Journal coverage on the situation here, here, here and here or pick up this week's edition.

Read the full letter below:

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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

KHSU Dismantling Rebuked, KEET Board to Discuss Possible Radio Venture

Posted By on Wed, Apr 17, 2019 at 1:54 PM

KHSU's studio. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • KHSU's studio.
The recent turmoil at KHSU and the possibility of exploring a radio endeavor will be one of the discussion topics at KEET’s Board of Directors meeting Thursday but no decisions are slated to be made at this point, according to station Executive Director David Gordon.

Meanwhile, the Humboldt State University Department of Journalism and the University Senate have both come out against the administration’s decision to dismantle the campus public radio station, which stunned staff and the community.

In a Facebook posts and in an interview with the Journal, KEET’s Gordon emphasized that KHSU is just one topic on the agenda for the board’s regularly scheduled meeting and that time for public comment and seating will be limited.

“It’s just basically do we have any interest in pursuing any sort of radio venture,” Gordon said, noting recent events brought the issue to the forefront.


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Saturday, April 13, 2019

KHSU Protesters at the Arcata Farmers Market

Posted By on Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 6:40 PM

Demonstrators unhappy with the firing of KHSU staffers and the suspension of local programming gathered into a protest walk around the farmers market area. - PHOTO BY MARK LARSON
  • Photo by Mark Larson
  • Demonstrators unhappy with the firing of KHSU staffers and the suspension of local programming gathered into a protest walk around the farmers market area.

More than 100 protestors gathered on the Arcata Plaza on Saturday morning to share their frustrations, sadness and anger about Humboldt State University's decision on Thursday to cut the community programming volunteers and most of the staff at KHSU-FM. (The remaining two staff members David Reed and Natalya Estrada have since resigned, as well.) The protesters mingled and shared theories about HSU's motives, before organizing into a protest march around the farmers market area on the plaza. See photos in the slideshow below.

"The fact that they did this right after the recent fund drive shows what a bad neighbor HSU has become," said Rick Levin, a former underwriter, volunteer musician for live shows and on-air helper during pledge drives. "And now they're blaming the community for not supporting it enough."

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Last Employee Leaves KHSU

Posted By on Sat, Apr 13, 2019 at 3:09 PM

khsu_2018_cymk_transparent.png
KHSU’s Morning Host Natalya Estrada submitted her resignation to the university today, leaving the public radio station without a single employee just two days after the administration announced an across-the-board “reorganizing” that included laying off most of the staff and “indefinitely suspending” community-based programming.

Her departure follows that of David Reed — Humboldt State’s appointed choice to take over KHSU — who stepped down Friday, saying he declined the interim post and had not been consulted before the university sent out an announcement outlining changes at the station.

In a column sent to local media, Estrada explained her decision and her views on the events that have unfolded at the station in recent months, culminating in Thursday’s sweeping move, which the university said would result in “significant savings” with the intended goal of “preserving quality programming for the North Coast.”

Read previous Journal coverage here and here.

“Thank you all for letting me into your morning commute, for telling me your stories of hope, tragedy, triumph and love. Thank you for letting me speak your truths through an omni-directional microphone,” Estrada wrote. “Thank you for letting me take your photos and for calling me in the morning to let me know it’s White-THORN not Whitehorn. I will forever hold KHSU in my heart and memory as a place of acceptance, peace and home to the hardest working folks I’ve ever met.”


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Friday, April 12, 2019

Reed Steps Down at KHSU

Posted By on Fri, Apr 12, 2019 at 10:01 AM

KHSU's studio. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • KHSU's studio.
David Reed, one of two KHSU employees who were left with jobs after a sweeping shakeup at the university radio station yesterday, has resigned.

In a Facebook post, Reed said that he stepped down as of 7:30 a.m. and he had “declined the offer to be KHSU's acting director, an appointment that was made without consulting me.”

His information has been removed from KHSU’s website.

Reed’s decision comes in the wake of Humboldt State University’s decision to eliminate most of the station’s staff and “indefinitely suspend” most of the volunteer-run programing that was the hallmark of KHSU for decades.

Read more Journal coverage of the upheaval that left staff, volunteers and the community reeling here and here.

“To all of you who supported me and the station in my last 10 years, thank you from the bottom of my heart. Thank you especially to those of you who volunteered to be on the pledge drive last week,” Reed wrote. “We all made great community radio together, with your support. You can be proud of that.”
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Thursday, April 11, 2019

HSU Announces Staff Eliminations, Major Changes at KHSU

Posted By on Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 10:35 AM

khsu.jpg
Humboldt State University today announced major changes and the elimination of seven positions at its public radio station KHSU, including General Manager Peter Fretwell, whose tenure was fraught with controversy after the sudden firing of longtime program and operations director Katie Whiteside in May.

Along with the staff reductions, which the university release states will result in “significant savings,” all volunteer-run programs are under “indefinite suspension,” according to the release.

No administrators are quoted in this morning’s announcement, which states the goal of “reorganizing and streamlining operations” is “preserving quality programming for the North Coast.”

KHSU’s roots date back to the 1930s and one of its iterations — KHSC — became the first licensed non-commercial FM station in the California university and state college systems.

But recent troubles, triggered by Whiteside’s firing and the ensuing fallout, along with what many saw as major incursions into operations by university staff have caused friction at the station and in the community.

Read more about those issues in previous Journal coverage here, here and here.

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A 'Dark Day' at KHSU

Posted By and on Thu, Apr 11, 2019 at 4:00 AM

KHSU staff and volunteers speak with passersby shortly after learning Humboldt State University administrators had decided to gut the station's staff and suspend almost all volunteer programming indefinitely. - THADEUS GREENSON
  • Thadeus Greenson
  • KHSU staff and volunteers speak with passersby shortly after learning Humboldt State University administrators had decided to gut the station's staff and suspend almost all volunteer programming indefinitely.
The first sign arrived yesterday afternoon, when KHSU staff members received an email from Craig Wruck informing them there would be a mandatory meeting for all paid staff today at 9 a.m.

“I apologize for the extremely short notice, but this is an important meeting,” Wruck wrote.

When staff arrived for the meeting this morning at the new studio space in Feuerwerker House, however, they were separated. Morning Edition host Natalya Estrada and Development Director David Reed were sent to another building on campus, where they were informed of the changes and the fact that they would be the only staff members spared in the reorganization, with Reed being named interim station director. Meanwhile, Wruck was informing the balance of the staff that their positions were being eliminated, effective immediately.

As this was happening, 32-year volunteer Ed Campbell, who hosts “A Wandering Ear,” showed up to prepare for his 10 a.m. show to find his keycard no longer worked.

KHSU's studio. - MARK MCKENNA
  • Mark McKenna
  • KHSU's studio.
He knocked and Wruck reportedly agreed to let him in to do his classical music show. He played about an hour’s worth of music before putting on Russian composer Igor Stravinsky’s “Requiem Canticles.” As it played, he walked out, later explaining that Wruck and administrators could deal with the dead air. Campbell said he chose “Requiem Canticles” as the last thing he’d ever play over the station’s airwaves because it was the last significant piece Stravinsky composed and has “a bunch of finality to it.”

Outside, KHSU Producer Jessica Eden smiled and hugged volunteers who stopped by to inquire what was going on. A University Police Department patrol car sat parked nearby.

“It was a great station and we really put our hearts into it for years and years,” Eden said. “They’ve just destroyed a beautiful community resource. Shame on them.”

The upheaval included Peter Fretwell, whose tenure as general manager was fraught with controversy after the sudden firing of longtime program and operations director Katie Whiteside in May.

Along with the staff reductions, which the university press release states will result in “significant savings,” all volunteer-run programs are under “indefinite suspension.”

Eden pointed out that administrators announced this decision just days after KHSU finished a community pledge drive trumpeting how listener’s donations would support local programing. The pledge drive hadn’t fully met its goal but was widely considered to have been successful, staff said, noting that some donors and sustaining members who had walked away from the station last May in the wake of the controversial firing of longtime program and operations director Katie Whiteside firing had come back.

“Then they do this right after they took people’s money,” one volunteer grumbled.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

HSU's El Leñador Wins Multiple Awards

Posted By on Tue, Mar 19, 2019 at 3:07 PM

El Leñador 2018 issues. - SUBMITTED
  • Submitted
  • El Leñador 2018 issues.
Humboldt State University’s El Leñador newspaper won six first place awards in the 2019 California College Media Association statewide awards competition this year.

“I can’t be more proud of our El Leñador staff,” Jose Herrera, current editor-in-chief said in the press release. “The awards are a sign that we are doing incredible work covering the community.”

Founded in 2013, the bilingual El Leñador “focuses on covering Latinx and diverse community at HSU and Humboldt County,” the press release said. The bilingual newspaper won its first-place awards for Best Photo Series, Best Feature Photograph, Best Feature, Best Illustration, Best Website, and Best Inside Spread/Page Design and placed in six other additional categories. In 2016, El Leñador was named best non-weekly student newspaper by Excellence in Student Media Awards.

“These awards are a testament to the appreciation and value of news that is diverse and inclusive,” Andrea Juarez, the newspapers faculty advisor said. “El Leñador staff are passionate about producing news that is impactful and matters.”


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