Journalistic smack down of Judy Hodgson’s North Coast Journal

The Tuluwat Examiner would like to welcome the Stinging Mettle to our local blogosphere. Good Luck and keep up the good work:


“For a newspaper to become boring and irrelevant in a county as exciting and corrupt as Humboldt is unconscionable.”

The Stinging Mettle: Fritz Wunderplot

The Journal’s recent and near-constant personality parade: A doctor and his shroud. The outgoing president of HSU, then the incoming president of HSU, then the incoming Supervisor of the National Forest, followed by the four horsemen of journalistic boredom, the “transformers” whose visages on the cover invite a nap. And look, there’s Duane Flatmo … again! We also got the “smartest person” snooze; weed weed weed (on the cover two weeks in a row, plus a weekly column); a flood anniversary issue that repeated the fallacy that the 1964 disaster was unusually destructive because it was a “rain on snow” event (it wasn’t), leaving the sacred cows of logging and road building, which truly tipped the hydrological scales, unscathed. There was even a quintessentially somnambulant cover-story cliché of a headline, “Fear vs. Hope.” Zzzzzzzz.

Then — oh god spare us — “The Sex Issue,” which is a glaring enough gimmick, but itsex issue was worse than that. The cover story exposes an odd clique of mostly young people who like to dress up in furry animal costumes and work out their internal issues in public. This was news, presumably, because “the Humboldt Furries Facebook page has 18 friends and Humfurs, a local MeetUp group, has 22 members. They’re out there.”

“Out there” is the operational phrase, and it best describes the Journal’s beleaguered impression of what it means to be a North Coast news source. The cover story that followed the Furries? Beer.

The full story here:



21 thoughts on “Journalistic smack down of Judy Hodgson’s North Coast Journal

  1. Don’t hate the player, hate the game?


  2. LOCO has been eating the NCJ’s lunch for a few years. Hodgson has basically checked out and turned the rag over to the Pot, Wine, Beer and Weird crowd. Used to read it regularly now I can barely get through a story or two. Sad too, once was very good and now rubbish, worse than the T/S


  3. No news to anyone with basic literacy. The journal is a dusty old rag destined for the dust bin.


  4. Wow. Very well written post from the Mettle. I can’t wait for more!!!


  5. Welcome Fritz. Love your header and the look of your blog. Look forward to reading your perspective!


  6. With respect to both Mr. Stingingmettle and the Tuluwat Examiner:

    How often has the TE lead with an overview of a ground breaking article by the North Coast Journal?

    I don’t know but it sure is a lot more than once.

    And if memory serves… more than the LoCO or the Times Standard.

    Is this a necessary fight we need to engage in?

    Considering how often people write in here to criticize the TE’s approach and how stoutly they are repulsed by the commenters (including myself), I find it curious that now we have decided to tell the NCJ how to write it’s publication.

    Just a thought or two… carry on.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Mola, as one old mutt to another, nobody’s perfect.

      Really, the article is a criticism of NCJ but the rest of the article is a great timber discussion, one sided mostly, but some good stuff. TE just quoted from it and linked to it, I don’t see they were howlering at NCJ by doing so.

      And maybe NCJ does need a criticism from us Fellow Travelers once in a while.
      Journalism is hard and stuff.

      Liked by 2 people

    • I can sympathize with with you viewpoint Mola, but I have a little different view. The NCJ has put out some amazingly thought provoking and relevant stories regarding the north coast. However, in recent years I’ve noticed a switch to much more fluff pieces. I was really excited to see Thaddeus Greenson take the editorial helm, and was optimistic that he would steer the NCJ back toward being one of, if not the, go to source for in depth reporting.

      Instead, things seem to be pretty status quo. I still read the journal, but I have no doubt they could be doing better.

      For instance, right now the NCJ is the only media source to have written about the wrongful death suit against Eureka regarding Daren Borges. That’s great, but it took numerous posts from the TE to get them to look into the matter. That’s pretty sad that it took being called out by this small blog to actually address a major story (no offense intended TE).

      I guess I just miss the in depth stories I used to see regularly in the NCJ and from Thaddeus in the TS.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I side with you MOLA….this is a silly fight to pick with NCJ….they have and will continue to serve the community of Humboldt with thought provoking articles and stories. Gee…..TE…..can’t find anyone to pick on, so you start on the Journal? Pick your battles wisely…not simply for sport.

      Liked by 4 people

      • Johnny Maniac, just shut up. You don’t know what you’re talking about! Except I agree with you this time….but you still don’t know what you’re talking about, so there! I sure told you.

        Liked by 2 people

      • Mola,Fred and Johnny in agreement! Wow! this new “Stinging Mettle” blog really knows how to stir it up!

        Liked by 2 people

      • How is the TE picking on the NCJ? They posted about a new blog, with some quotes from the other blogs post. Being critical of media, even locally, isn’t “picking a fight”, it’s just bringing an honest perspective forward. Even if you disagree JM, I’m still glad that the new blog is speaking to what they perceive is wrong with a local media source.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. “*The increasingly poor quality of today’s mass produced redwood lumber led to the highly suspect 2012 Headwaters Fund grant of $750,000 to promote redwood products put out by Green Diamond and Humboldt Redwood Co. It may not surprise readers to learn that the Headwaters Fund is run by Dawn Elsbree, wife of Green Diamond executive Andy Elsbree. Last year Andy Elsbree was put in charge of Green Diamond’s acquisition of 600,000 acres of Oregon timber. Green Diamond now owns 1.3 million acres in California, Oregon and Washington.”

    I call it the Headwaters effect. Take 3/4 of a million dollars of taxpayer funds and give it to one or two privately held billionaires like the Gap family. That worked as well as stuffing cash into empty seats until Delta Airlines issued their own burn notice to the Headwaters fund.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. Very good TE and thanks very much for bringing this out where we could see it. It remains to be seen if Loco will reference it…and they have a great Elsewhere person might I add.

    You have selected to early part of the article that includes the long criticisms of the NCJ, but it is really a much better article after that, it goes into excellent detail about the Green Diamond and timber industry don’t miss that part, those of you interested in that.

    There’s your low-hanging fruit, reporters, it’s as easy as preschool math. 1) Green Diamond becomes (unbelievably) FSC certified with the incongruous help of a competitor; 2) HRC announces a second shift; and 3) Green Diamond closes its mills and sells its newly certified logs to the alleged competitor.

    Thanks for this.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. I just mailed a letter of cancellation with my bill to the local (almost) daily newspaper. Too much repetition of the same photos and articles has worn us out. The break is needed. Best of luck to the Stinging Mettle!

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Once again, the Tuluwat Examiner shows that it has the pulse of the people. Good job Stinging! Look forward to more insights.


  11. Which leads to a math lesson for the North Coast Journal, as well the Times-Standard and those scrappy overwrought scribes at the Mad River Union, and all those former Journal reporters at the Lost Coast Outpost: 1 + 1 + 1 = ? That’s right: 3! There’s your low-hanging fruit, reporters,

    This excerpt from Stinging’s column on wordpress. In a comment there, Grin Reaper mentions NCJ’s puff piece on Cannabis Voice. Maybe Thado and the rest sold out. Tuluwat should keep an eye on who these reporters are hanging out with.


  12. Criticizing local or national media is like shooting fish in a barrel. Noam Chomsky has written books about it.

    Journalism lacks competent and professional criticism that is common to nearly every other profession.

    The result is a vast and militant ignorance making American journalism pathetically feeble and vulgar, generally disreputable and an international laughingstock. It is a mass of trivialities and puerilities.

    I’ve read the NCJ since the beginning; they’ve always been mostly ads and never claimed to be an investigative progressive journal.

    Nevertheless, the NCJ is the only local print media other than Econews or the Independent to actually provide local investigative reporting two or three times a year…that’s two or three times more often than our centurion “community newspaper” the Times Standard.

    And yes, the Tuluwat often refers to the NCJ as a source for its posts.

    The NCJ and the Times Standard are already painfully aware of their shortcomings. Like their national counterparts, anonymous shaming does not result in good public interest reporting.

    Their advertisers are not going to tolerate a daily or weekly section focusing on the environment, the local economy, community policing, education, housing, infrastructure, healthcare, or poverty, among other areas of critical importance in every community.

    The blogs picked up some slack, however, the Lost Coast Outpost, Sentinel, Humboldt Herald and others, quickly devolved into either ego-focused slap-fests, or commercial yellow journalism hardly distinguishable from the mainstream. Who wants to wallow through dozens of police press-releases to find a story of substance?

    Anonymous muckraking at the Tuluwat is far more valuable than anonymous fist-shaking against poor rural reporting. The blogs that practice good journalism stand a better chance of positively impacting local print and TV “journalism”.


  13. An anonymous fist shaking at anonymous commenters who dare to hold local journalists to standards and expose hypocrisy is amusing. Are you a LOCO,NCJ or Richard Marks plant? Some people cannot stand the truth.


  14. No hypocrisy here, or humor.

    I just took a huge swipe at “journalism” and the LOCO’s “yellow journalism” and other blogs.

    Sorry it was too many words for you to read.

    My point is that ridicule has done nothing to improve media anywhere, Hell, they operated like Pentagon cheerleaders for our perpetual wars and remain silent on the lies/deaths, to this day.

    We learned from the defunct, right wing, “Eureka Reporter” that this community is starving for real community news reporting.

    Cry all you want about journalists turned into lap dogs, it won’t change a thing, it just generates heat….but, keep publishing the actual public reality that’s relevant to ordinary people’s lives and they will begin to gravitate towards the light.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s