Ten years ago this week, five top editors at the Santa Barbara News-Press resigned. They claimed that the wealthy publisher Wendy McCaw was interfering with the paper’s news gathering and reporting activities. Much more drama unfolded over the following months. Reporters joined the Teamsters Union. They also covered their mouths with duct tape at a memorable rally in De La Guerra Plaza after being ordered to keep quiet about what was happening inside their newsroom. Community members canceled their newspaper subscriptions in droves. Eight reporters were fired — and legal action continues to this day.

Yesterday, Thursday, July 7th, KCSB presented a tenth-anniversary broadcast recounting the events of the “New-Press Mess,” and its ongoing impact. Two former News-Press reporters, Melinda Burns and Dawn Hobbs, shared their stories with KCSB’s News and Public Affairs Director Lisa Osborn. They were also joined by Teamsters attorney Ira Gottlieb.

KCSB News invited management at the News-Press to contribute to this special program, and did not receive a response.

A podcast of this forty-minute special is now available online here, for your convenience. You can stream it via the player below — or Control Click on the link HERE to download to your computer or personal device.


Santa Barbara News-Press workers' rally, Summer 2006. Photo by Doc Searls under a Creative Commons License 2.0.

(Santa Barbara News-Press workers’ rally, Summer 2006. Photo by Doc Searls under a Creative Commons License 2.0.)