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Monday, March 16, 2009

Goodloe-Johnson's side gig

Not much fazes me anymore when it comes to our district, but I nearly fell out of my chair as I read today's NYTimes article on the Seattle PI's upcoming transformation:

But the P-I, as it is called, will resemble a local Huffington Post more than a traditional newspaper, with a news staff of about 20 people rather than the 165 it has had, and a site consisting mostly of commentary, advice and links to other news sites, along with some original reporting.

The site has recruited some current and former government officials to write columns, and it will keep some of the popular columnists and bloggers who already work there, in addition to the large number of unpaid local bloggers whose work appears on the site. Hearst also plans to repackage material from its large stable of magazines for the site.


Who will these "government officials" be? Drumroll, please:

Among the new columnists, Hearst said, will be Norm Rice, a former Seattle mayor, and his wife, Constance Rice; a congressman, Jim McDermott; Maria Goodloe-Johnson, who heads the city’s public schools; and a former police chief, a former United States attorney, and two former governors.


Really, I'm speechless. What about you?

30 comments:

ParentofThree said...

Excellent. Totally Excellent!

Cannot wait to register for comments!

Central Mom said...

Public figures have their choice of outlets for making their opinions and agendas known. The question is whether the public's various views on MGJ's items will be equally available. The "comments" area following the blog is a start, but better would be a full response/counterpoint being made available for every column she and every other politician are requested to write (like the pros/cons on OpEd pages or the opposing party response after Presidential addresses).

Sue said...

Wow. I can't believe this makes you speechless.

So what? So she is writing a press release or column every once in a while.

I think its fine, and really don't understand what the big deal is for you Denise.

Central Mom said...

I also encourage all those who enjoy this blog (SPS) to use every opportunity in the PI's followup/comments section to type links into the great discussions here as a followup to the items the Office of the Superintendent chooses to pen. Should be an excellent opportunity to call the district out on some of the FAQs it currently puts out into the public domain with no methodical way for parents to publicly respond beyond the Board mtgs.

And to repeat something I just typed under the school bell thread: Am I having a computer caching issue or has the district changed the bell times proposal yet again...back to 8 instead of 8:15 for K-8s. If so, the word I'm choosing to use is "flabbergasted."
http://www.seattleschools.org/
area/board/08-09agendas/
03180agenda/
transportationreport.pdf

Hopefully this is my mistake. K-8s have 6 years of elementary and 3 years of middle school. I do not understand how an 8 a.m. time can be acceptible for the same students that are starting after 9 a.m. everywhere else in the district.

Charlie Mas said...

I don't know what she's expecting or what the P-I is expecting or what I should expect.

It may be that she's expecting to write and distribute her bi-monthly happy talk column such as was projected in the Entry Plan (remember the Entry Plan?). She may not be expecting much feedback - certainly no more than she would see in the Letters to the Editor section of the Times.

But the P-I.com is not the Times. The P-I's strength will be the advantages presented by the electronic media - discussion. Whether Dr. Goodloe-Johnson knows it or not, or expects it or not, anything she writes for the P-I.com will have a discussion thread attached to it. She may or may not participate in that discussion thread, but it will be there and it will shade the tone of her work.

I don't know if I should expect her to write much or write frequently. You can be sure that the Times and the P-I would each give her all the space she wants and she hasn't published more than a handful of columns in the nearly two years that she has been here in Seattle. I certainly expect her columns to have discussion threads. I don't expect her to read, let alone participate, in those threads.

Denise Gonzalez-Walker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Denise Gonzalez-Walker said...

I'm speechless in a good way.

Anyone who's done a lot of online writing or blogging (not just anonymous commenting/trolling--thanks much, Keepin' On), knows that you put yourself out there. It really pushes you to listen and respond directly to your readers (or constituents).

I've never perceived Superintendent Goodloe-Johnson to be that into direct communication with the public. But she's sure to get it with a column. Also, I assume she'll work under an editor who wants more than boilerplate district press releases.

I'm looking forward to reading what's on Goodloe-Johnson's mind.

Central Mom said...

Denise...Assume again. Pretty much all of the editors are going going gone from the new online PI. She'll have only the slightest of editorial guidance, at least in the early days. And personally, I think that's good for us. Less canned stuff getting churned out. But, like Charlie, I doubt she'll read the responses...or even more that she'll care. (See Times profile.) But you can bet other staff will notice and care, as will other folks around town.

Mr. Edelman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Beth Bakeman said...

Central Mom, I think somehow the district reposted an older version. The one up there now has a revision date of 2/27. The one up there before had a more recent date.

Very bizarre...

Sue said...

Denise-

I apologise for the snarky post.
Your answer to my post did clarify your post - which I have to say was hard to interpret. So thanks.

I will just say, that when you agreed to be a blogger here, you did need to expect comments occasionally. And you may not like them all. And you may not like the fact that we can post anonymously. But I think that issue has been done to death already.

beansa said...

Yay! Yet another forum for MGJ to ignore us...

seattle citizen said...

A counterpoint column is a very good idea. Maybe the Post-Post-Intelligencer will offer a space for someone to offer some critique and alternative perspectives?

Melissa Westbrook said...

Well, Denise, you just got told so there (or so it seems). Sometimes this can be a funny, funny place.

I love Seattle Citizen's idea of a point/counterpoint with Dr. G-J. That certainly would be lively and give the PI some spark.

seattle citizen said...

The PPI, Melissa!

wseadawg said...

Reminds me of a joke a buddy of mine used to tell about the most conceited girl we knew.

"But I'm tired of talking about myself. You talk about me for awhile."

Except in reverse order.

Denise Gonzalez-Walker said...

Hmm, I didn't take Keepin' On's comments personally at all - it's part of the game. I suppose I should've drawn one of those inane happy faces in my response.

But, more and more I'm feeling out of sync with Seattle, with the no-irony zones (as Charlie calls it), with the district dramas, etc. so probably is time to just shut up and find the exit.

SolvayGirl said...

Denise
Please stay in the mix. I so miss The Chalkboard and the topics you brought up—including the one about satire and irony.

WenD said...

Denise, don't go away.

My own take is cynical. I'm like you. I'd love to hear what Dr. G-J really has on her mind, but I don't think she's going to do more than stick to her talking points.

I'd like to think that Norm Rice, Jim McDermott, along with MGJ, are up for blogging with the comments turned on, but I'm expecting CYA time instead. If the P-I is going to follow the HuffPo model, Mz. Ariana isn't afraid to protect her friends by deleting critical or probing comments.

Charlie Mas said...

I really like the idea of a counter-point, sort of like the response from the party out of power a la Bobby Jindal.

seattle citizen said...

Which begs the question, Charlie,
What IS the party out of power here, and who is its spokesperson?

Another question it begs is what is the party that MGJ represents, and what are its goals?

Charlie Mas said...

The community are the party out of power.

We are all spokespersons. The P-I can choose someone - anyone.

seattle citizen said...

Charlie, you ARE the master of eloquence...Concise and powerfully on point.

You are also right. Thank you.

Charlie Mas said...

This disclaimer ran on Jim McDermott's piece today:
"Editor's note: Seattle area opinion leaders have been invited by seattlepi.com to participate in Seattle Views. Posts are not edited or pre-screened by the seattlepi.com. The authors are solely responsible for content."

So... there will be no editing support from the P-I.

rugles said...

Yes, read Jim McDermott's piece today to see what to expect.

It really will leave you speechless.

hschinske said...

Yikes. I don't think quoting a whole song qualifies as fair use. I hope McDermott is prepared to pony up whatever the fee turns out to be.

Helen Schinske

zb said...

No, only 40%, the 2nd two stanzas:

http://www.bobdylan.com/#/songs/times-they-are-changin

I like the comment that the next column will be "the answer my friend, is blowing in the wind." I'm pretty sure that the current use would be considered "Fair use" but I wonder what would happen if McDermott decided to have an entire series of columns themed around Bob Dylan songs?

Also, I presume that Jim's not getting paid (I mean, other than the salary we pay him as a congressman?)

There seems like there's a free ranging comments section -- what do you have to do to register?

hschinske said...

Okay, 40%, whatever. Song lyrics are still something you STAY AWAY FROM (even a line or two) if you are worried about copyright fees.

Helen Schinske

seattle citizen said...

when I registered to comment on PI, I merely had to click a "register" button, fill out a little info and I was in. Try clicking on a "leave comment" button or something, should bring you to a registration site

Anonymous said...

Jane Addams has been a huge disappointment to our family. My daughter has just completed Grade 8 without the Spectrum education she was promised, as well as:

1. a science teacher who could not teach and was not replaced until April

2. a school counselor who couldn't counsel. She never once ran groups for middle schoolers and could not effectively deal with problems at this age group

3. silly "orange slips" for behavior that was less important than the more important things.

4. bullying was unrecognized by teachers and administrators.

It is possible the school is fine for Grades K-6. But for the older kids, it doesn't hold a candle to the more seasoned schools, like Eckstein and Hamilton.