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Syracuse Press Club


NYS Open Gov. Cmte's Bob Freeman

Nov 19, 2015, 7 PM

at Syracuse University, Newhouse III, Rm 141

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  • Ta-Nehisi Coates: Jason Whitlock resembled ‘big-time drug dealer’ with recruiting pitch

    Money and exposure both reportedly figured into a heavy-handed pitch to lure National Book Award winner Ta-Nehisi Coates away from The Atlantic to join The Undefeated, ESPN’s so-called “Black Grantland” that began under the leadership of sportswriter Jason Whitlock.

    That’s according to Coates, who last week recounted Whitlock’s attempt to woo him away from the monthly magazine of politics and culture in an interview with Evan Ratliff of the Longform Podcast.

    Coates said he talked with Whitlock on the phone about the possibility of joining ESPN before Whitlock was ousted from The Undefeated. During the conversation, Whitlock offered to triple Coates’ salary at The Atlantic and put him in front of the camera, Coates said:

    We were talking on the phone, and it was like if you were in the hood and some big-time drug dealer rolled up on you and said, ‘I want you to work this package for me.’ That was what his approach was like.

    Read more
  • 5 resources for covering climate change and COP21
    U.S. President Barack Obama, centre, attends a session at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. (Eric Feferberg/Pool Photo via AP)

    U.S. President Barack Obama, centre, attends a session at the COP21, United Nations Climate Change Conference, in Le Bourget, outside Paris, Monday, Nov. 30, 2015. (Eric Feferberg/Pool Photo via AP)

    COP21, the United Nations climate change talks, started Monday in France. With the talks, we should see even more coverage of climate change, at least for a bit. Here are a few resources if this event is suddenly part of your beat:


    CBS News has a pretty good primer with definitions of terms and acronyms being used about the climate change conference. Here are a couple:

    COP 21: COP stands for Conference of the Parties, referring to the countries that have signed up to the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The COP in Paris is the 21st such conference.

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  • Climate change fact checks from around the world


    With approximately 150 Heads of State or Government gathering in Paris for the 21st Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21), all eyes are on the French capital. Opinion and fact are often confused when it comes to climate change, and leaders’ eagerness to look good on the world stage and gain political points at home provides rich pickings for fact-checkers.

    This article summarizes fact checks on climate change published around the globe and will be updated as the COP21 progresses. Feel free to share more in the comments section or @factchecknet on Twitter.

    1. Libération’s Désintox looked at whether a recent NASA study showing gains on the Antarctic ice sheet refuted prevailing evidence on global warming, as several media reported.
    Read more

E.R. Vadeboncoeur

WSYR Radio and TV

Syracuse Journal

Mention the name E.R. Vadeboncoeur and it's his radio news broadcasts and Election Night commentaries that come to mind for many longtime Central New Yorkers. Long forgotten is that "Curly," as he was known to his friends, started out to be a newspaperman.


He got his first job on a newspaper after leaving Central High School and worked his way up to city editor at the old Syracuse Journal. When the paper merged with the Herald a few years later, he was offered a spot on the new Herald-Journal. Instead, he decided -- on the advice of his wife Orletta -- to switch to broadcasting by accepting another job offer at WSYR Radio.

The change made sense because Curly had been doing a Sunday night broadcast on WFBL called "City Editor" during his later years at the Journal. Soon after joining WSYR, he began doing noon-hour news and commentary every day. In the late 1940s, he successfully crusaded against a proposal for a city sales tax. (Years later, however, the tax became reality).

In an effort to help his listeners better understand what was happening overseas during World War II, Curly traveled to the Pacific for a month. He is believed to be the only war correspondent accredited personally by Gen. Douglas MacArthur. Several times, he risked his life by flying in bombers on missions out of New Guinea to get a better feel of war.

In the early 1950s, several years after he became general manager of WSYR radio and television, Vadeboncoeur gave up his broadcasts to become more involved in S.l. Newhouse's plans to expand Newhouse Broadcasting, which owned WSYR. The expansion included purchase of stations in Harrisburg, PA; St. Louis, MO; Birmingham, AL; and Portland, OR. Curly traveled weekly to Harrisburg and once a month to the others. He also was involved in the development of Newhouse cable properties.

Meanwhile, he continued to appear on television every Election Night, analyzing returns for viewers after being introduced as the "dean of Syracuse newsmen."

As a boy, Curly Vadeboncoeur earned money to support his widowed mother by bicycling prints of films from theater to theater. His interest in theater led him to join Murray Bernthal to create the Famous Artists Series in 1946. The two men also launched a concert series. The following year, they inaugurated the star-driven Famous Artists Country Playhouse in Fayetteville, later expanding to East Rochester and Watkins Glen.

Vadeboncoeur served as president of the Upstate Chapter of American Cancer Society, was awarded the Simon LeMoyne Medal by LeMoyne College, and chaired numerous Red Cross benefits.

Even after Newhouse sold off the television stations and then the radio stations, E.R. continued to preside over the Newhouse cable enterprises almost until his death in 1986.
--Joseph A. Porcello
Last Updated ( Monday, 17 November 2008 01:26 )
"Everything is being compressed into tiny tablets. You take a little pill of news every day—23 minutes—and that’s supposed to be enough."
--Walter Cronkite

Wall of Distinction

Jerry Barsha



During 32 years of reporting on Central New York radio and television, Jerry Barsha gave meaning to the term "breaking news." He broke many exclusive stories and conducted news investigations that brought him recognition from the home audience and his peers alike.
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