Punching Down - Episode 19

Could anything be more fun than getting kettled and cuffed by the cops for allegedly messing with a railroad?

How about the SFPD busting into an urban commune (where you were charging your phone), and pointing a so-called less lethal shotgun at your face?

If you happen to be a journalist, that’s where the fun sort of ends, actually, in part because it’s kind of difficult to report the news when your hands are zip tied and you’re sitting in the sheriff bus.

This week we’re delighted to have as our guest independent journalist Steve Rhodes who describes in detail these true stories about getting arrested while reporting.

For those that don’t already know Steve, he’s often seen covering the news in the Bay Area, including the spectacular April 1 takeover of an abandoned building in San Francisco by Occupy SF, and the forceful eviction by the cops the next day.

Besides his two arrests, Steve also talks about the path that’s led him to become one of the region’s essential sources for real-time information and images.



Punching Down - Episode 18

This week’s offerings:

Fan mail. Our loyal leader (listener+reader=leader) Joe Scales appoints himself editor of the Punching Down Fan Mail segment, to which he’s also a contributor. How does one actually create a Punching Down podcast, Joe wonders. We talk about our vintage-futuristic Podcast Machine and why we’re constantly yelling at it.

Occupy! This time, Justin doesn’t get chased. Rather, he does the chasing - of 2 cops! A batch of OPD emails from Jan. 28, sprinkled with references to reporters’ tweets and livestreams. A brief taste of what Occupy SF and other activists might do April 1. No #newsdesert here, only the most delicious #newsdessert money can buy.

Twitter bugs, like the one that made us unfollow you.

Tim’s man-meat, delicately sliced. Our favorite semi-regular guest shares the next chapter in the story about his vasectomy.

Punch. As always, copious amounts of punch.

Punching Down - Episode 17

This week we’re thrilled to bring you a very special installment of Punching Down - The Brock Keeling Story!

Here’s how it goes: Once upon a time, there was a kid from Orange County named Brock who loved to surf and skate. Then one day found himself in a Bay Area bar where he met Eve Batey, although he has no memory of the encounter. Regardless, this led him to becoming editor of the beloved local blog, SFist.

Somewhere along the way, Brock mastered the art of web-logging. His secret? “Just vomit onto the screen.” Also, sleeping in the nude.

Eventually, he kicked the morning coffee habit and got into food writing. But after the Great SF Food Truck Bubble of ‘13 burst and all the bloggers lost their jobs, Brock turned to making porn, starring certain members of the SF Board of Supervisors.

Today, Brock is working on his latest project, in which he’s hoping to cast former SF mayor Gavin Newsom. “I bet [Newsom] has a big dick,” he says.

We’re currently soliciting possible titles for said project, so please leave your suggestions in the comments.

Punching Down - Episode 16

After the world is destroyed in a nuclear war, will there be any hope left for journalism education?

If anyone has the answer, it’s radio reporter, podcaster and dad Eric Klein who joins us this week to share his experiences working at the ever-troubled KPFA-FM in the Bay Area, and how those experiences contrast with his current volunteer work at Free Geek in Portland.

Punching Down - Episode 15

What is the fundamental unit of journalism? Is it a particle or a wave? And what does Operation Thunderdome mean for the future of news?

This week, we’re back inside a glass box inside the main branch of the San Francisco Public Library to discuss these questions, and we’re joined by special guest and loyal listener George Kelly, an online coordinator working for the Contra Costa Times.

Besides talking about some of the digital tools he likes (Twitter, Cover It Live), does not like (Storify) and seems neutral about (Facebook), George reflects on his career as an online journalist. He also explains why he’s skipping that thing in Austin, Texas.

Eve, meanwhile, would like you to give us a candid photo of someone drinking their morning coffee while reading a newspaper other than the fucking New York Times.

Please send your pic to punchingdown@gmail.com and maybe we’ll publish it on the Tumblr!

You can find George Kelly online in various places including allaboutgeorge.com, notherethere.com and @allaboutgeorge on Twitter.

Thanks, George!!

#morningcoffee photo courtesy of Elzza and Eric

#morningcoffee photo courtesy of Elzza and Eric

Punching Down - Episode 8

We start our ninth (we know!!) podcast with another Justin Gets Chased! segment, except this time, the Muni fare inspector that Justin ran from decided not to give chase. Weak, Muni. Weak!

Then, in a discussion about the murky business of anonymous sources, Eve talks about her struggle over whether or not to wait on publishing a story about unconfirmed allegations that SF sheriff-elect Ross Mirkarimi physically abused his wife.

In possibly one of the best gross-out moments of the Punching Down podcast, special guest Tim shares an anecdote about the time his dog rolled on a foam rubber rectum.

And, speaking of discarded sex toys, we congratulate former Chronicle editor Phil Bronstein for successfully escaping from the struggling legacy newspaper.

Show notes:

2:29 - Justin could’ve been chased, but he wasn’t!

8:10 - Eve could’ve beat Matier and Ross, but she didn’t!

26:33 - RSS feeds: full or truncated?

45:46 - The best time Tim’s dog rolled on a foam rubber rectum

47:43 - Congrats to Phil Bronstein!

Punching Down - Episode 0

Welcome to Punching Down, a podcast and some accompanying notes on media from Justin Beck and Eve Batey.

In Episode 0 we talk about some upsetting changes to Google Reader, the origins of the Punching Down podcast, a recent instance of punching down by some Bay Area journalists on Twitter, and word clouds.

So, grab your morning coffee (oh you’ll need it!) and enjoy the show.

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