Today's Top Stories

AOL Cuts Budgets At Patch, "Sniper" Layoffs Elsewhere, Too?

During a conference call on Friday, Arianna Huffington and the AOL management team announced that freelance budgets have basically been slashed to the point of extinction. During the call, lead editors expressed open disdain for the "smoke and mirrors" strategy AOL is using to make some Patches look profitable.
One freelancer says the pay for covering events "doesn't even pay for gas."

Tories demand CBC explain its lengthy access-to-information battle

The Conservatives are hauling the CBC onto the carpet this fall to explain why it is fighting the access-to-information law in the courts. One Tory MP has a website petition to defund the broadcaster, and the party's spokesman recently referred to “extravagant spending” by the CBC in an Ottawa newspaper. The opposition New Democrats say this is just the beginning of a full-scale attack the Conservatives are planning against the CBC.

Whatever Happened to the American Left?

The left must realize that when progressives achieved success in the past, whether at organizing unions or fighting for equal rights, they seldom bet their future on politicians. They fashioned their own institutions -- unions, women's groups, community and immigrant centers and a witty, anti-authoritarian press -- in which they spoke up for themselves and for the interests of wage-earning Americans. Today, such institutions are either absent or reeling.

UK website claims 1,000 'citizen journalists'

"Citizen journalism" website Blottr began the latest phase of its UK roll last week, as it claimed to have 60,000 registered users and at least 1,000 contributors. Blottr is the brainchild of web entrepreneur Adam Baker, who said he first had the idea of creating a citizen journalism website after the 11 September attacks in New York. Now, with most of the UK’s newspaper publishers cutting staff he is confident that Blottr’s brand of citizen journalism can fill the void.

What Facebook’s latest updates mean for journalists

Vadim Lavrusik, Facebook’s Journalist Program Manager, is responsible for building and managing programs that help journalists, in various ways, make use of Facebook in their work. Here he explains Facebook’s recent design changes, including Subscribe, which enables readers to subscribe to journalists’ public updates, a redesigned News Feed, and Timeline, which showcases not only the most recent stories from a single user, but also contextualizes who that user is.

Kentucky Labor Institute Raises Labor’s Voice, Image

Dave Suetholz says he got fed up with “the right wing’s effective use of the echo chamber through its network of reactionary think tanks and media.” So the Kentucky labor lawyer climbed aboard his American-made Ford pickup truck and drove across the Bluegrass State seeking support for a Kentucky Labor Institute. His travels bore fruit, and seven months later the new institute has racked up an impressive record of labor activism.

Paper Tiger: Q&A With L.A. Times Pressman Ed Padgett

Ed Padgett works as a pressman at the L.A. Times’ Olympic Boulevard printing plant, a third-generation employee who has been with the paper 39 years. In this short interview, he says the company is "expecting a really bad fourth quarter. The senior vice president told us we’ve got three years more of printing the hard copy Times before they shut it down. Our plant manager says five years."

NI chief executive reneges on Rebekah Brooks promise to staff

News International's new chief executive, Tom Mockridge, has declined to meet with former News of the World staff, a significant number of whom are still seeking new jobs. Former News of the World staff claim Mockridgehas reneged on a promise by his predecessor Rebekah Brooks to hold a "town hall" meeting with the paper's ex-employees to discuss issues regarding their re-employment.