Lake Morena reservoir, city proclamations and media grades

 

Dear friends of inewsource,

What’s in a proclamation?

This week, our investigative assistant — Emily Burns — published her first story for inewsource. (A newly minted graduate of SDSU’s journalism program, she’s been working part-time for us since last fall.)

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Emily wanted to know how the city of San Diego awards ‘proclamations,’ or days named in honor of certain citizens, companies or events. How on earth does a person have a day named after them? What’s the process? How many proclamations were issued last year?

calendarYou’d think this would be a relatively easy undertaking, but it took Emily weeks to research and compile the list of more than 700 proclamations awarded to various people, companies and causes in 2013, because there is no single repository for the information.

What resulted was the first interactive calendar of city proclamations that you can search by date. What’s your favorite?

Ours is World Hypnotism Day.

The reservoir

KPBS reporter Claire Trageser — working with inewsource editor Lorie Hearn —  followed up on her story from January about the controversy over San Diego’s Lake Morena, which is 50 miles east of the city. San Diego owns the water and has been legally drawing down the water for thirsty ratepayers. Today, Claire offered up a striking side-by-side comparison of water levels then and now.

Lake Morena

From the story:

“In two months, it went from 3.4 billion gallons to 1.9 billion gallons—a loss of water equivalent to 2,200 Olympic swimming pools.”

Read about the city’s plans for the reservoir, and what Lake Morena residents have to say about the drawdown’s effect on tourism.

SPJ Grade the Media

Last night, the San Diego Society of Professional Journalists put on its annual “Grade the Media” event. (Here’s the full video from SPJ)

From SPJ’s website:

“This can’t miss panel features people who have made bold statements and even bolder headlines this past year, and allows them to roast or praise the reporters who covered them.”

There were four panelists, including North County Transit District CEO Matthew Tucker.

inewsource has published dozens of stories over the past year about Tucker and the district, and when it was his turn to take the floor, he accused inewsource and KPBS of burying corrections, attributing bold headlines to anonymous sources and writing stories ahead of time without hearing his side of things.

We have stood by our reporting — and continue to do so — despite previous attacks by the district, including three retraction demands. Click here to read both the demand letters and our responses.

Among the other panelists was Rachel Laing, former spokeswoman for Nathan Fletcher’s mayoral campaign, who talked about the media’s negative coverage of Fletcher and her disappointment with the U-T San Diego’s editorial board.

Laura Fink, one of ex-Mayor Bob Filner’s first accusers, spoke about her relationship with the media and her decision to go to KPBS with her exclusive interview.

Sara Britt, whose granddaughter Hannah Anderson was kidnapped last summer and made headlines worldwide, thanked the reporters in the room for their coverage and attributed her granddaughter’s life to the media’s persistence in sticking with the story.

How would you grade the media last year?

shadow-ornament

We'll let you know when big things happen.

About Lorie Hearn:

Lorie Hearn is the founder and executive director of inewsource.