LO Credentials

This is where we place discussions and conversations about the Lakewood Observer Observation Deck.

Moderator: Jim DeVito

todd vainisi
Posts: 345
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:41 am

LO Credentials

Postby todd vainisi » Mon Nov 28, 2016 1:16 pm

Jim:

Do you have a press pass or credentials or whatever it is that journalists are given to certify in some way that they are journalists and not merely someone with a wordpress blog?

Sometimes I hear that the Observer is not actually a newspaper and that you are not a journalist. Either way, I respect and appreciate the Observer and your commitment to our city.

Thanks.


User avatar
Jim O'Bryan
Posts: 11701
Joined: Thu Mar 10, 2005 10:12 pm
Location: Lakewood
Contact:

Re: LO Credentials

Postby Jim O'Bryan » Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:19 am

todd vainisi wrote:Jim:

Do you have a press pass or credentials or whatever it is that journalists are given to certify in some way that they are journalists and not merely someone with a wordpress blog?

Sometimes I hear that the Observer is not actually a newspaper and that you are not a journalist. Either way, I respect and appreciate the Observer and your commitment to our city.

Thanks.



Todd

We have issued "LO Credentials" to only a handful of people. 99% of the time no credential is needed.

For example with a presidential visit, or candidate. We ask for credentials usually a month in advance, with the name, photo, and SS# of the journalist or writer. Once we are in the credential que it becomes easier. First White House credential took months, now with background checks and us on file, it is down to weeks. Also the LO assumes responsibility for all accredited credential holders.

With the school and library we have a form on file stating such and who is on the list.

Credentials that one wears are mostly status, and unnecessary. Rarely if ever do I enter a crime scene or cross police tape. It is not needed and just wrong.

Last year we started background checks on all credentialed LO people, and some fell off the list, not wanting to go through a background check for us. I do not think that means they are hiding anything, it just means they are protecting themselves.

Now on to the much more tougher subject, and a lot of this is personal opinion, with some facts.

Is the LO a newspaper? Simply being printed on "newsprint" makes it a news paper.

Is the LO a NEWS paper? Much tougher to answer, from the earliest days of the Observer we knew we would be monthly or twice a month. On a cycle like that is is tough being a NEWS paper, and most of the copy is old, not what people would call NEWS. At the same time we have broken some of the biggest news stories in the city. Like LeBron James resigning, and the hospital closing.

The LO was designed and thought up, while Lakewood had 5 active papers in it. Sun Papers, Plain Dealer, Westlife, Scene and FreeTimes. All with big budgets and talented staff. However we knew that there were missing much, and that advertising and editors would stop writers from writing stories. Ask Eric Sandy or Mark Holan, about the hot stories they were forced to walk away from. We also knew, that the business plan of modern papers and publications were going to be their downfall. Falling revenues, the internet, FB which had not started, etc. were taking over. BUT, we wanted something to record the long and winding road of history in Lakewood. We had also witnessed during the WestEnd Debacle, that quite often the rumors and talk on the street was more often than not more correct than the news we were being fed by City Hall and "real media." So we designed a project that could harness the rumors, vet them fairly, and fairly quickly do that the real story could be known, and used by all. Then we also wanted a vehicle to get the important information into the hands of as many readers as we could, while staying sustainable. To this day the paper goes to 3 times the number of people that read it online.

Now this is where it gets slightly silly, but bear with me. The entire project is more about THE OBSERVATIONS than the news. Example we have always dedicate a minimum of 3 pages to City Hall, the Schools, and the Library. All were suffering getting news out when we started. But during the Lakewood Hospital Debacle, City Hall not only banned us from an agreement that had existed since day one, but refused to send in ANY NEWS. While this stopped their news from going out, it also opened 3 pages to other stories, including Brian Essi. In other words they cared more about marginalizing the project, then getting information out. Observation, hiding something?

So many of the founders look at the entire project differently than the person on the street. It covers news, and opinions, but is also a moving scale on the mental health, and community that very few other projects or media can expose. IT is a mirror for the entire community, as no one has been "banned" except from the Deck for one simple reason.

Around the time you wrote this I was accused of using my credentials to get in where I do not belong. I rarely if ever put a credential on.

Getting credentials... Often for young and old photographers I will request credentials, slightly abusing the rule I suppose. An example Ivor at the Rock Hall. Ivor wanted an in, I could get him credentials, from that point on he would have to prove himself. HE DID, and became one of their photographers for pay, a good thing. We have worked with many young photographers and writers in giving them "portfolio stories" so that they could use them to get into college or into another workplace.

Journalists? Who knows? What we found out was we were able to grab hundreds of very talented writers and photographers to step up and give their talents back to the community. Example Gordon Brumm, age at the time was 78, Masters from Yale, Doctorate from Harvard, librarian and white paper writer for Jane Goddall of chimp fame. A flaming liberal, he would jump in and write about his thoughts, opinions and news. Many of our group wrote for school papers, business journals, etc. Myself I designed and produced 5 publication a month for BP America.

At the end of the day people make the Observer what they want or need to make it.

Thank you for your participation, I hope this answered some of your question, if not ask more, or lets get coffee.

.


Jim O'Bryan
Lakewood Resident

"The very act of observing disturbs the system."
Werner Heisenberg

"If anything I've said seems useful to you, I'm glad.
If not, don't worry. Just forget about it."
His Holiness The Dalai Lama

Return to “Discussions About The Deck”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest