Berkeley Daily Planet to stop print edition

The owners of the Berkeley Daily Planet announced today that they will stop their print edition next month, but continue a Web site with one reporter. Owners Becky and Mike O’Malley blamed the closure on a decline in advertising in general and a boycott led by “a few misguided zealots who represent themselves as friends of Israel.” The Berkeley Daily Planet has gone out of business before. It started on April 7, 1999 by a group of journalists and Stanford

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Paper boycotted, accused of anti-Semitism

The New York Times’ Jesse McKinley reports that a small but vociferous group of critics have launched a boycott of the weekly Berkeley Daily Planet, accusing editor and co-owner Becky O’Malley (pictured, foreground) of publishing too many letters and opinion pieces critical of Israel. McKinley writes: Those accusations are the basis of a campaign to drive away the paper’s advertisers and a Web site that strongly suggests The Planet and its editor are anti-Semitic.  “We think that Ms. O’Malley is

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Howerton goes from Berkeley to the Ex

Berkeley Daily Planet managing editor Michael Howerton, who has been at that paper since 2003, is headed to the San Francisco Examiner. Justin De Freitas, a cartoonist, writer and editor at the Planet, is taking over as managing editor. The moves were announced in Editor Becky O’Malley’s column, where she says of Howerton: “He’s been a pleasure to work with, we regret his loss and we’ll miss him, but in truth it’s a good decision for him. He’s supporting a

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Berkeley paper asks readers for help

The front of Thursday’s Berkeley Daily Planet is blank except for the cartoon at right. The Planet, which is a weekly despite its name, is asking readers for money in order to keep reporters covering the news. “[T]he most expensive part of the Planet’s budget, about a third to a half of the total, is paying for local reporting: salaries, benefits, editing, overhead,” editor and co-owner Becky O’Malley wrote. “As we’ve said repeatedly in recent issues, advertising is drying up,

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Berkeley reporter quits in ethics dispute

Both the Daily Californian (the student paper at UC Berkeley) and the http://blogs.sfweekly.com/thesnitch/2008/09/berkeley_daily_planet_reporter.php are reporting that Judith Scherr, a longtime journalist in Berkeley, has quit the weekly Berkeley Daily Planet in a dispute over journalistic ethics with editor and co-owner editor and owner, Becky O’Malley. “After 2.5 years of being insulted, berated and lied to by the Daily Planet’s executive editor — and having my stories distorted by the deletion of quotes from persons Becky O’Malley hates and the addition

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Daily Californian drops Wednesday edition

Add the Daily Californian to the list of newspapers that have dropped editions due to a downturn in advertising. The Daily Cal, a 137-year-old student-run newspaper independent of the UC Berkeley administration, says it no longer print on Wednesdays. It also plans to scale back its staff and reduce compensation, though it gave no specifics. The Daily Cal also said it will beef up its online offerings, a statement frequently made by newspapers when they cut print editions. In March,

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Berkeley ‘Planet’ cuts back to once a week

The Berkeley Daily Planet, which has printed twice a week since 2003, is reducing its publication schedule to just one issue per week. The move comes three weeks after MediaNews Group closed the Berkeley-based East Bay Daily News. Becky O’Malley, who owns the Planet with husband Michael, explained the decision in green terms: “This would have obvious environmental advantages: less paper and less gasoline consumed. We’re going to increase the number of pages in an issue, along with the number

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The new page 1: BIG photos, soft features

Berkeley Daily Planet editor Becky O’Malley writes in her latest column that she’s been talking to various friends at the Chronicle who have been discussing the Hearst-owned paper’s future now that 100 of the paper’s 400 newsroom jobs have been eliminated: One mentioned the general modus operandi of Hearst papers these days: no hard news at all on the front page because that might alienate the post-literate reader. The new Hearst style is BIG photos with soft features at the

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Papers bicker over errors, ‘silent partners’

East Bay Express editor Stephen Buel, who purchased his newspaper from the Village Voice Media chain with the help of investors, is complaining about mistakes the Berkeley Daily Planet made in covering the sale. Planet Editor Becky O’Malley has acknowledged the errors but still wants to know the identities of the investors. A few names have come out, such as Express co-founder Kelly Vance and Monterey County Weekly founder Bradley Zeve, but Buel says he doesn’t plan to identify certain

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