A few interesting news items:
Last week I wrote a little bit about the Vera Pretrial Services budget controversy, specifically critics' comparison of the program to the Philadelphia Pretrial Services Division. Independent journalist Zoe Sullivan has since done an interview with Orleans Parish First Assistant District Attorney Graymond Martin, who speaks at length about pretrial services. Martin, who used to represent the commercial bail industry, responds to that industry's criticism of the program.
Also, The Lens' Tyler Bridges has a story on the Jindal administration's use of the "deliberative process privilege" to shield public records. Bridges interviews a few state legislators who suggest the privilege may face a challenge during next year's legislative session.
Finally, the Times-Picayune has been doing fantastic work following up on allegations that Grand Isle Shipyard, which employed some of the people aboard the Black Elk energy platform that caught fire last week, has been mistreating workers brought here from the Philippines.
Yesterday, the T-P posted a story in which Grand Isle president Mark Pregeant gives Richard Thompson a tour of the company's Galliano bunkhouse.
Pregeant's court statement on the bunkhouse, filed in federal court last July.
Statements from the plaintiff workers, filed in response to Pregeant's statement
We've had some fun little scraps these past several months, Travel + Leisure. We know you just love a good click-through slideshow article to grab our attentions and have us write reactionary blogs as you bathe in a money jacuzzi — we know you love us. C'mon. You do.
The Crescent City is the ultimate crowd-pleaser: it scored in the top five in more than half of the survey’s categories. These high marks run the gamut from the quite civilized—fine dining, architecture, and antiques—to the boisterously unpretentious, such as its top-rated music scene and the colorful people-watching.
When we tabulated the overall popularity results—those cities with the most top-five rankings across the 66 categories—a clear winner emerged. New Orleans scored in the top five in more than half of the survey’s categories, from fine dining, architecture, and antiques to the entertaining people-watching and its No. 1-ranked music scene.
Also, here's a satisfying graphic you can recreate with the city-to-city face-off:
In a move that beautifully illustrates everything terrible about lists and the void-staring media butt-scratchers' obsession with defining "hipster," Forbes.com comes along and uses a dang formula ("a quantitative approach") to come up with a Top 20 of places everyone already recognizes as "pretty cool" now designated "hipsterdom."
And what's even better, it includes the Warehouse District, a haven for lost tourists and "art lovers," home of the towering Entrepreneur Spire the IP Building and upscale loft dwellers with vague job descriptions.
"No, that can't be," says infuriated card-carrying hipster-hating New Orleans Resident, as their straw fedora pops off in a fit of steaming rage. "Marigny. Bywater. That's where they are. Riding bikes and being vegan, all over my Epic Bacon."
The contrarian tastemakers at Forbes have defied you, New Orleans Resident:
Forget the French Quarter, NOLA's brand of hipster hangs here. The neighborhood, also known as the Arts District, touts amazing restaurants (including Emeril Lagasse's original restaurant), access to the Crescent City farmers market, and a collection of galleries and museums that include the Contemporary Arts Center and the National World War II Museum.
Emeril Lagasse: Hipster
Back in June, we reported the new NOLA Media Group was eying space in One Canal Place, the office tower connected to the Shops at Canal Place:
Some employees who have been invited to remain with the company have been told those offices may be in the One Canal Place Office Tower, the 32-story office building with The Shops at Canal Place on its three lowest floors.
While navigating the parking garage at One Canal Place, exiting into downtown traffic and trying to reach freeway on-ramps would seem to be more difficult than getting out of the more centrally-located 3800 Howard location, reporters and photographers have been told they will spend most of their time out of the office and "in the field," communicating with the main office via laptops and mobile devices.
NOLA Media Group president and publisher Ricky Mathews denied that report at the time ("We’re investing heavily in downtown space — you’ll see that soon — there was a story in Gambit this morning, they got it wrong, but when we do announce what we’re doing, you’re going to be very impressed"), but the company has now made it official with a story that carried no byline either in today's Times-Picayune or on NOLA.com:
NOLA Media Group has leased 27,000 square feet on the top two floors of the Canal Place office tower in downtown New Orleans to house the new media company once renovations are complete in December, company officials announced Thursday. The Canal Place complex also includes the Shops at Canal Place and the Westin Hotel.
The renovated space will take up the entire 32nd floor and a portion of the 31st floor. The news-gathering operation, along with sales, digital solutions, marketing and other administrative functions, will be housed at the new offices, accommodating more than 140 employees, said NOLA Media Group president and publisher Ricky Mathews.
Seems like a story ripe for comment — but several NOLA.com commenters emailed Gambit overnight and this morning saying their comments have been removed from NOLA.com. A couple of screenshots of the comments have been preserved below the jump — and you're welcome to leave your own here.
The author of the essay collections Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Modest Bestiary is releasing a new book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, in the spring.
The NPR affiliate most recently brought This American Life host Ira Glass to McAlister for an event. Sedaris debuted many of his stories that would later appear in print on that show, and he still contributes the program (recently he performed on a live episode of TAL).
As a marketing officer and online media buyer for American Apparel, Ryan Holiday has bought millions of dollars in advertising. But he has gained a reputation for the hoaxes and pranks (more on media deceptions) that gained free publicity for his company (as well as Tucker Max, the author/professional lout he’s advised on media strategies). There’s a back story on the animus between the Gawker blogs and American Apparel owner Dov Charney, but when Holiday wanted some free advertising, he turned to the Gawker blog Jezebel.
Posing as an employee willing to leak company materials, he offered photos from American Apparel photo shoots that he said were banned from advertising in publications. Thinking they had a scoop, Jezebel staff posted the photos and invited its female, predominantly feminist readership to be outraged. Many were. But at the end of the day, Holiday succeeded in getting the blog to drive readers to view otherwise unused photos. Jezebel benefitted from the traffic the post drew regardless of whether staff checked out the source or not. American Apparel got a lot of exposure without having to pay for it in the form of advertising.
It seems relatively harmless, but Holiday had caught on to how corruptible journalism, particularly blogs and online journalism, can be. To prove his point, he went on the website Help A Reporter Out (HARO), and responded to queries as a source on various topics. He was soon quoted in a New York Times piece about collecting vinyl records (which he doesn’t do), on a website about boatcare, in CBS in a story about embarrassing office stories, etc. He appeared in many news stories and shared bogus information on things he knew little or nothing about. His point: reporters never sought to verify his identity or anything about his credibility as a source. What does he have to say about his attempts to expose the media’s practices:
“People are lucky my intentions are to sell T-shirts,” he says. He finds placing bogus information on blogs and in major publications and broadcasts alarmingly easy.
Holiday moved to New Orleans 15 months ago to write Trust Me I’m Lying: Confessions of a Media Manipulator. It’s actually a critique of the what’s wrong with journalism and the problems intrinsic to the transformation to the Internet driving news coverage. The book was released two weeks ago, and he signs copies at Octavia Books today at 6 p.m. His thoughts on the decline of The Times-Picayune after the jump.
A team of YouTube videographers broadcast some 2012 New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival sets live. Some of those videos are still posted. A team also created a series on hipsters in select hipster enclaves (New Orleans, San Francisco, Philadephia and Austin so far). The first three New Orleans videos are up. They feature Maurepas Foods, artist Michael Pajon (who was profiled in Gambit here) and bounce rapper Nicky Da B. I believe a profile of Bacchanal is forthcoming; the YouTube team spent an evening filming there.
The other Pajon and Nicky Da B videos are after the jump.
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