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KWMU To Discuss New “Where We Stand” Report

November 21, 2006 Media 6 Comments

KWMU Radio (90.7FM) will discuss the Economic and Social Health of St. Louis on Wednesday morning (11/22/06) from 11am to noon (CST) with a repeat at 10pm. Podcasts will also be available for download to your computer.

On-air guests discussing East-West Gateway’s new report Where We Stand: A Strategic Assessment of the St. Louis Region,
5th Edition
will be:

Les Sterman
Executive Director
East-West Gateway Council of Governments

Richard Rosenfeld
Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice
University of Missouri-St. Louis

Todd Swanstrom
Professor of Public Policy Studies
Saint Louis University

Dr. Swanstrom, some of you may recall, is one of my professors at Saint Louis University in the Public Policy Department. This should be an interesting discussion.


St. Louis Magazine’s 50 Most Powerful List

November 20, 2006 Media 24 Comments

stlmag_1206Hitting the streets this week is the December 2006 issue of St. Louis Magazine. The feature is St. Louis’ ‘50 Most Powerful in 2006‘ with a sub-title on the cover: From the King of Beer’s to the Blogosphere’s Court Jester We Rank the City’s Royalty.

The issue has your normal players such as John Danforth (#1), August Busch IV (at #4), and SLU President Rev. Biondi (#9). Mayor Slay makes the list at #12 behind his chief of staff Jeff Rainford at #11. Just behind the mayor literally is Deputy Mayor Barb Geisman at #13 with her partner Richard Callow at #14.

A number of developers are on the list such as the Roberts Brothers (#21), Joe Edwards (#22), historic Century building demolisher Steve Stogel (#33), Pyramid’s John Steffen (#35), Pete Rothschild (#37), Amrit & Amy Gill (#38) and Ted & Sam Koplar (#40).

Other than Mayor Slay the only other elected official on the list hasn’t even been sworn in yet (or has he?), newly elected State Senator Jeff Smith (#47). At #49 on the list is restauranteur and boxing promoter Steve Smith. Who rounds out the list? Well, that would be yours truly — the court jester.

Yes, I’m on the list at #50. I’ve actually had a month to get over the shock and disbelief at such an idea. But I think I do have power — not to change people’s minds about an issue so that they agree with me. No, my power comes from passionately talking about issues that I feel are important to discuss. Clearly, many of you also agree these issues need to be aired publicly. I feel honored to have been included on the list.

Following the article on the power list is an article on blogging called, Typing Truth to Power: Bloggers take on St. Louis’ fellowship of the Tweed Ring. This article mentions Urban Review as well as 15thWardSTL, the Arch City Chronicle, Blog St. Louis, The Commonspace, The Ecology of Absence, PubDef, STL Diatriber, and the STL Syndicate. Pick up a copy or read it at the library.

[UPDATE 11/20/2006 @ 6pm — One quick correction on elected officials on the list, at #48 is Illinois’ 12th District Congressional Representative Jerry Costello. ]


What defines “Indy” media in St. Louis?

November 16, 2006 Media 14 Comments

St. Louis has an abundance of publications beyond our sole daily paper, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Other print media includes:, The Vital VOICE, The Riverfront Times, The Healthy Planet, Sauce, and others that focus on targeted areas such as The West End Word, the Webster-Kirkwood Times, The Pulse (Brentwood/Mid-County) and the Arch City Chronicle.

But which of any of these are independent media? The Post-Dispatch and Suburban Journals are now owned by Lee Enterprises, a publicly traded corporation, so clearly they are not so indy. The Riverfront Times was founded by local boy Ray Hartmann but is now owned by a Village Voice Media based in Arizona. A number of the above list are owned by single individuals — Pam Schneider owns the Vital VOICE, Jeff Fister owns The West End Word and JB Lester owns The Healthy Planet. These, in my view, all constitute independent media as no outside interests have an ownership stake — they are self supporting. Or perhaps they are now too mainstream to still be considered “indy?”

Which brings me to The Arch City Chronicle. While the publication started out small and truly independent its need to take on investors has, in my mind, called into question its “indy” status. This is not necessarily a bad thing, I get much information from non-independent media outlets. But publisher Dave Drebes and editor Lucas Hudson continue to cling to the labels “indy” and “alternative” for their publication. However, the ACC has some investors that help fund the paper — we don’t know who they are, what percentage they own or what kind of money we are talking about. Sorry guys, but independent you are not. I don’t care how many times you repeat it, the virtue of having secret private investors removes all chances of being independent in my eyes.

I’ve been critical of other print media in the past including St. Louis Magazine, the Suburban Journals and the Arch City Chronicle. The reactions, however, were quite different. The editor of St. Louis magazine emailed me after tearing apart an article they wrote, thanking me for the critical feedback. In doing the same with the ACC you’d think I dangled a baby over a balcony or something the way people reacted.

The lack of knowledge around the funders brings up my suspicious side — yes, a conspiracy theory (someone was bound to say it so I thought I might as well be the first). It is my belief the ACC has turned into a quasi front group for the local political establishment, seeking a hip venue for dispensing the status quo to the non-blue hair set. My proof? None. If I had any real proof you’d seen it in full glory here. What leads me to this, beyond the curiosity about the identity of the investors, are postings swayed toward a single candidate or the close association with political insiders like Lou Hamilton. I just don’t see the Post-Dispatch using images by Hamilton unless part of a press kit given to everyone.

The Arch City Chronicle has many virtues and many great individuals responsible for the final edition, but “indy” is just not something I can accept.


Patterson on KDHX Tonight

November 13, 2006 Media 1 Comment

I will be a guest on KDHX’s Collateral Damage show this evening from 7pm to 7:30pm (CST). Collateral Damage is hosted by D.J. Wilson and Fred Hessel and is immediately followed by The Wire with Amanda Doyle and Thomas Crone. Both programs can be streamed live or downloaded as a podcast.


“Mr. Smith” Among Five Finalists for International Documentary Award

November 1, 2006 Local Business, Media 1 Comment

Locally produced film “Can Mr. Smith Get To Washington Anymore?” is a finalist for the 2006 IDA Feature Film award. The other four films up for the award are Deliver Us From Evil, Iraq in Fragments, SHOWBUSINESS: A Season to Remember, and Sierra Leone’s Refugee All Stars.

The International Documentary Association will announce the winner on December 8th at the Directors Guild of America. If you missed the film during its held over run in St. Louis you can catch it on November 8th as part of the Webster University Film Series.

Here is the trailer: