Thank you to the friend who sent this to us! Hugs!!
North Coast Journal Publisher Judy Hodgson appears to have not screwed up anything important in her most recent selection of a new editor.
Hodgson formally announced yesterday that Carrie Peyton Dahlberg, a Sacramento Bee veteran not everyone in the world hates, would take the helm of the iconic weekly next week.
Peyton Dahlberg replaces Tom Abate, whose six-week tenure began with fascinating radio interviews and glowing “news” stories about the paper’s major advertisers, and ended–inevitably–with involuntary committal.
Peyton Dahlberg, who is not currently on parole and has no restraining orders pending against her, earned a master’s degree from Columbia University’s prestigious Graduate School of Journalism. She has a husband and two cats, all reportedly alive.
About Abate, Hodgson would only say, well, nothing.
Carrie, welcome to Humboldt County. There’s this guy named John Matthews we’re just dying for you to meet.
The twttersphere is abuzz with this tantalizing tale, but there has been no official confirmation as of yet.
This morning I was asked for my opinion of the NCJ drams, and said:
Hank’s deep-seated fear of being considered pro-Arkley hindered his objectivity, and I think at times he was unable to see past his own ideological biases. But for all of that, he was funny and obviously enormously intelligent, and he had a very broad sense of Humboldt County, if from a very narrow point of view.
Tom, on the other hand, appears to have spent much of the last few years cultivating a keen interest in Tom, and seems genuinely surprised that the rest of us don’t care about his brief stint here 30 years ago with his ex-wife and paid-for house, or the long list of all the things he knows, or his singing career or pirate impersonations or any of it.
Where Hank listened, Tom won’t shut up. Where Hank recognized and encouraged the intelligence of his staff, Tom participated–gleefully, by all accounts–in what was essentially a hostile takeover of the NCJ’s newsroom.
In Tom we have all of the same biases with none of Hank’s humanity. What I think, ultimately, is that Judy Hodgson just went to great lengths and considerable expense to shit down her own throat.
What’s your take?
Or Manny, Moe and Jack. Or Winkin’, Blinkin’ and Nod. Or was it Alvin, Simon and Theodore? Janet, Jack and Chrissy?
Okay okay. We’re told respected North Coast Journal Publisher Judy Hodgson will sell the weekly to Managing Editor Hank Sims, Arts & Culture Editor Bob Doran and Sales Manager Mark Herring. The sale has been in the works for a while, but apparently an announcement is imminent.
Indeed, last week’s issue, featuring a 9-page illustrated obsession with Rob Arkley, was said to be the trio’s debut. So yeah. That bodes well.
Just a little shout out to the Hankster, because we think he’s an entertaining fellow. We would encourage him to be a little less Copernican in his news values and a little more open to the possibility that the center of the known universe may not actually be located along the southern edge of the Arcata Plaza.
Hodgson’s broader view turned the Journal into one of the most relevant local publications ever. It would be a shame to see Sims and company turn it into the second-best weekly in Arcata.
Over the past week, numerous Humboldt Mirror readers have remarked on a North Coast Journal article in which reporter Bob Doran, covering a Tea Party meeting in Fortuna, quoted a woman he called Amy Wahlberg, who was reportedly booed and jeered for suggesting that health care is a right and not a privilege.
Discussion centered around the startling fact that many of us know Amy not as Wahlberg but Doran–Bob’s wife. That the quote in question appeared to reflect a bias manifested elsewhere in the story compounded the problem, and Bob’s clumsy attempt to conceal his wife’s identity obviously made things worse.
The good news? Publisher Judy Hodgson isn’t having any of it. From the current edition of the Journal comes this extraordinary–and appropriate–statement:
To Our Readers, an Apology
Two weeks ago a veteran member of our editorial staff made an error in judgment. He had offered to cover a controversial meeting in Fortuna–to take photos and report on the gathering he and his wife planned to attend anyway. It turned out his wife spoke at the meeting, the crowd reacted strongly and negatively, and he reported accurately on the exchange he considered pivotal to the coverage. Only he used her maiden name, one that she uses in her work as an artist and elsewhere.
Nevertheless, the intent was clear: to conceal or obscure her identity and to mislead readers. It was an ethical lapse we consider serious and we sincerely apologize.
The story, “Tea in Fortuna: Frightened patriots attempt to make sense of health care reform” by Bob Doran, is available on our Web site with an amended footnote. Doran has been the Journal’s arts and entertainment editor, covering all things cultural, since 1998.