Sunday, August 31, 2008

KSFR: Bush names Michael Moore to protect New Orleans

We may be among the first among conventional media to announce this irony.

The Bush Administration has named "W. Michael Moore" to head up FEMA's relief efforts in the Gulf Coast, as Hurricane Gustav approaches.

The official statement is on the web but not on the FEMA website yet.
The more prominent Michael Moore, the film maker, couldn't help but take notice.

Here's what it says:

R. David Paulison, Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Department of Homeland Security, named W. Michael Moore as the Federal Coordinating Officer for Federal recovery operations in the affected area.


White House Press Office

Saturday, August 23, 2008

KSFR files "Sunshine Law" inquiry

More on the issue I've been posting about -- the maneuvers at the Santa Fe County administration building.

In a very serious move, I've filed a compaint -- I called it an "inquiry" -- into whether Santa Fe County had violated New Mexico's Open Meeting Act. In addition to our own newscasts, it was the front page of the Santa Fe New Mexican's local section and in the Albuerque Journal's Northern New Mexico section .

Here's the Journal's story in case their link disappears:

Open Meetings Violation Alleged

KSFR News has asked the state Attorney General's Office to investigate whether Santa Fe County violated the New Mexico Open Meetings Act by failing to give proper notice of the meetings of a county land use board.
KSFR news director Bill Dupuy, in a news release Wednesday, said KSFR reporters missed an Aug. 5 County Development Review Committee meeting because notice was not published on the county's Web site.
“KSFR had attempted to find out about a rumored discussion of oil and gas drilling in Santa Fe County. It was not until after the meeting had taken place that the reporters found the discussion had taken place at the open meeting,” KSFR said.
County spokesman Stephen Ulibarri said Wednesday that notice of the meeting was published July 29 in a local newspaper, meeting requirements of the Open Meetings Act.
KSFR, Santa Fe's public radio station, said the County Commission requires that notices of all county committees be posted on the county Web site but that no meeting notices for the CDRC had been posted between March 2007 and this month.
Ulibarri said that until recently, individual county departments were allowed to post information about meetings at their own discretion, as long as it was legally noticed.
Information about all county meetings can now be found on the County's Web site, Ulibarri said. “Should they be posted? The answer to that is yes, they should be posted. And that has been addressed,” he said.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

KSFR and Santa Fe County's gatekeeper

The previous post described the public-policy of Santa Fe County. It seems there are pesky reporters looking for "dirt." To protect administrators and staff, the public information officer would stand his post at the gate.

No need to look very far for interesting material, however. It results from their own doings, it's public, and it abounds.

KSFR's Marion Cox and Dave Obler are excellent researchers. The story of how they "discovered" a half-baked county procedure wasn't hard to find. It just took a little work.

There will be more to come about Santa Fe County and how it conducts its taxpayer-paid business in the "public interest."

Yet another story on how the county conducts it business in the "public's interest" is coming. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Constituent Relations 101

How a municipality should get along with its constituents.

Memo from Steve Ulibarri, head of public information for Santa Fe County, New Mexico, to all staff and county commissioners:

(With thanks to the Santa Fe New Mexican for doing this story.)

All: As some of you may have noticed, SF County has been coming under much closer scrutiny in the media lately. I receive calls on a daily basis looking for information on stories that focus on investigations seeking to find evidence of mismanagement and scandal. This is not a coincidence. After a KOB-TV news interview yesterday, the reporter told me that he's leaving the station because a new station manager has been brought into boost ratings (KOB has been #2 for the past 18 months). Her new approach: "turn up the crime and negativity." I responded "you mean more death and violence". The reporter said "more scandal and seeking mismanagement, immorality, dirt." He said he didn't have the stomach for it anymore.

The news media (TV, radio, and newspapers) are in business to make money. They make most of their money through advertising revenue. When the economy goes bad, the first place businesses cut expenses is in advertising. So, the news media immediately feel the pinch and competition for scarce advertising dollars becomes fierce. The way to get your share of that advertising revenue is to increase readership/viewers. How do they do that? "Turn up the crime and negativity."

It has already begun and will probably intensify.

To reiterate SF County's policy on media contact: All SF County staff are free to speak to the press, if they choose to. However, it will be that individual speaking and not SF County's official position. No staff member is under any obligation to speak to the media regardless of what they may tell you. SF County is obligated to prove public information and that is one of my main responsibilities — to make sure the public information gets to the public. If you feel uncomfortable speaking with the media or are just busy doing your job, I am here to help. Send the reporters to me and I will immediately get them what they need. Any official County Statement will come thru me to ensure consistency and accuracy of information. If you are contacted by any member of the press, please let me know ASAP.

If you have questions, feel free to ask.


PS SF County is in the midst of working to increase our transparency and access to residents — more on that in the next few months.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Podcasts, now cell-phone casts

Thought we might try something new, since we've been offering audio downloads and podcasts from for years.

The new wrinkle is the Fone Show.

While podcast subscribers can subscribe to an automatic download of a show to their computer, the Fone Show does the same for cell phones.

It took a little while for me to figure out how to subscribe, but I finally got it and received the very newscast I had posted earlier.

This advance has the potential for bringing spot news to folks who might not ordinarily catch a newscast at the exact hour it's broadcast.

From Inside Radio, a review about Fone Show.

You can subscribe to a KSFR News brief by cell phone here.