Coalition of journalists, watchdogs sue for right to broadcast court recordings

Clarence M. Mitchell, Jr. Courthouse. Photo via Baltimore City Circuit Courts.

A coalition of local journalists, watchdogs and legal groups filed a federal lawsuit today arguing for the right to broadcast recordings of criminal trials in Maryland.

Under a section of Maryland’s Code of Criminal Procedure, the publication of audio and visual records from a trial, hearing, motion or argument during a criminal proceeding is forbidden, even though citizens can purchase audio recordings and review video–complete with bench conferences–at the courthouse.

This ban, the plaintiffs argue, violates the First and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution. In asking for it to be removed, the plaintiffs say putting these materials into the public sphere would provide greater government transparency and accountability.

‘Out of the Blocks’ wins third National Endowment for the Arts grant

Image via WYPR-FM

“Out of the Blocks,” Aaron Henkin and Wendel Patrick’s WYPR show chronicling the lives of people on individual city blocks, has received its third grant from the National Endowment for the Arts, the station announced today.

The $20,000 grant is one of 977 awarded in the Art Works category by the federal agency.

“We’re extremely grateful for the NEA’s ongoing trust in the philosophy and methodology of ‘Out of the Blocks,'” Henkin, producer of the series, said in a statement. “This award is a real validation of the belief that everyone’s story is worth listening to and learning from.”

Mary Bubala let go from WJZ-TV after question about race, gender and leadership of mayors

Photo via Mary Bubala/Facebook

Mary Bubala is out at CBS affiliate WJZ-TV after asking a question last week that linked the race and gender of the last three mayors and wondered if the city needs a new direction in leadership.

“Mary Bubala is no longer a WJZ-TV employee,” Audra L. Swain, vice president and general manager of the network, confirmed in an email to Baltimore Fishbowl. “The station apologizes to its viewers for her remarks.”

Critics slam Mary Bubala’s on air-question about mayoral scandal, calling it racist

Photo via Mary Bubala/Facebook

Reflecting on Catherine Pugh’s historic resignation on Thursday afternoon, anyone with basic knowledge of the scandal would recall that her ethically questionable children’s book business dealings, currently under state and federal investigative scrutiny, contributed to her decision to step down.

Since the “Healthy Holly” news broke, many have pointed to a prior mayoral scandal that led Sheila Dixon to resign as Baltimore’s mayor less than a decade ago.

And while logic would suggest it was both Pugh’s and Dixon’s financial misdeeds that caused their mayoral terms to end prematurely, WJZ-TV’s Mary Bubala offered a cringe-worthy alternative explanation last night during a political analysis segment with Kaye Whitehead, an associate professor of communication and African and African-American Studies at Loyola University Maryland.

Young says his ‘hate to see it’ remark on a Pugh comeback was taken out of context

Photo by J.M. Giordano.

On Tuesday, Ex Officio Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young raised some eyebrows after saying to WYPR-FM’s Tom Hall that he would “hate to see” Pugh attempt a return to the mayor’s office following her “Healthy Holly” scandal.

But at a wide-ranging press conference this morning at City Hall, Young said his words from the radio were taken out of context, and that he doesn’t see how he could have been misinterpreted.

Baltimore Sun staffers make a pitch for pay raises

“Rai$e Our Pay Now” balloons in The Sun’s newsroom. Image via the Baltimore Sun Guild’s Twitter.

As The Sun‘s newsroom heads toward negotiations with management over a new contract, staffers went on social media today to highlight one of their top priorities: pay raises.

Reporters posted pictures holding the green balloons with an upward-pointing arrow and the words “Rai$e Our Pay Now.” In a couple photos, the balloons appeared to be tied to nearly every desk in the paper’s Port Covington newsroom.

At long last, a critic’s review of ‘Healthy Holly: Exercising Is Fun!’

Mayor Catherine Pugh displays a “Healthy Holly”-affiliated bib on March 28. Still via live stream from Charm TV/Facebook.

Amid all of the furor surrounding the nearly $800,000 that Mayor Catherine Pugh’s LLC took from health care firms and others for copies of her “Healthy Holly” books, it’s easy to forget the value in trying to educate children, as an emotional Pugh attempted to explain days before taking an indefinite leave of absence.

But rather than take the mayor’s word for it, let’s hear from Washington Post book critic Carlos Lozada.

Ken Ulman, David and Karen Nitkin buy stake in Baltimore Fishbowl


Former Howard County Executive Ken Ulman, former Baltimore Sun editor David Nitkin and writer Karen Nitkin have bought a stake in Baltimore Fishbowl.

The Baltimore Beat is returning as an online venture

Image via Facebook

A year after it was shuttered, the Baltimore Beat, an alt-weekly newspaper founded by staffers of the City Paper after its demise, is coming back next month as a nonprofit online journalism outlet.

Lisa Snowden-McCray will return as editor-in-chief, and Brandon Soderberg will work for the organization part-time. The start date is March 6.

Long-time WBAL radio anchor Dave Durian dies

Dave Durian broadcasts from Valley View Farms. Courtesy: WBAL NewsRadio 1090 and FM 101.5

Dave Durian, the long-time morning host on WBAL 1090, died early Monday after a battle with lung cancer and a stroke, the station announced this morning. He was 72.