Browsing "Journalism"
Jul 29, 2019 - Journalism    No Comments

Join me, Liz Benjamin and Jennifer Delton for film, panel Aug. 4 about Pulitzer and the free press

Would love to have you join me, Liz Benjamin and Jennifer Delton on Sunday, Aug. 4, to watch the documentary “Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People” and talk about his indelible mark on the press, then and now.

Liz Benjamin
Barbara Lombardo

The event begins at 7 p.m. Sunday at Congregation Shaara Tflle/The Jewish Community Center of Saratoga Springs, 84 Weibel Ave. It’s part of the 2019 Saratoga Jewish Cultural Festival (check it out on Facebook) – but it is open to the general public and the topic is certainly of interest to all citizens. Admission is $5 for adults and free for students with I.D.

I’m excited to be on the panel with Liz Benjamin, who you may know for her years as host of Capital Tonight, Spectrum News’s landmark political and policy show, and the editor of its companion blog, State of Politics. I’ve long admired her knowledge and insight about government, politics and the media (which will no doubt serve her well in her new role with Marathon Strategies). I few months ago I was impressed by a program about “fake news” that she hosted for the League of Women Voters.

I’m also looking forward to meeting panelist Jennifer Delton, an author and professor of history at Skidmore College. Her work focuses on liberalism, politics, civil rights, and business in twentieth century U.S. 

The documentary, which runs about 80 minutes, will be followed by questions from the audience and our moderator, Pam Polacsek. We’ll wrap up with a dessert reception. To RSVP or get more information, call 518-584-2370 or email 

Jennifer Delton

Take Your Mother to Work Day: On Arbetter show with son Dave

Susan Arbetter billed her 15-minute conversation with David Lombardo and me on her WCNY Capitol Pressroom show today as two generations of journalists talking about the business. David tweeted it as “Take Your Mother to Work Day.”

Both were right.

It was fun to do and, I hope you’ll agree, worth listening to.

Arbetter used to know me from my years of running the newsroom of The Saratogian, the daily newspaper based in Saratoga Springs. Now she knows me as the mother of David Lombardo, the capitol reporter for the Albany Times Union and creator of its award-winning Capitol Confidential podcast.  They work across the hall from one another in the Capitol.

Arbetter is Correspondent and News and Public Affairs Director for WCNY Syracuse Pubic Television and hosts and produces The Capitol Pressroom, comprising lively, substantive, timely and (the Lombardo lovefest notwithstanding) insightful interviews on state issues. I’ve always admired her smarts, talent, presence and laugh.

It wouldn’t be too much of an exaggeration to say Dave grew up in the newsroom, though his news junkie DNA really came from his father. Wish I babbled less today about leaving David’s Pampers in the publisher’s trash can, and more about current issues facing journalists. So much pressure on a live broadcast!  

Nov 13, 2017 - Journalism    3 Comments

Commissioners Misuse City Funds for Political Agenda

Counting all the valid votes in an election is a good thing, right? Of course it is.

That’s the rationale three commissioners on the Saratoga Springs City Council are giving for their decision to hire an election lawyer to oversee the process of counting absentee ballots in the hotly contested charter change vote.

In a special council meeting on Monday, Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan defended the decision on the basis that proponents of the charter change are hiring a lawyer to oversee the process. Accounts Commissioner John Franck previously told the Times Union that he anticipates the attorney working on behalf of charter change advocates would try to get votes disqualified.

But using public funds for this purpose is essentially unheard of in New York. Election lawyers to oversee ballot counts are hired by candidates or issue activists, not by a local government.

“This is among the most categorically outrageous and inappropriate uses of public money I have ever seen and I work in Albany,” tweeted Ken Giardin, a policy analyst with the Empire Center for Policy, an independent think tank.

Advocates against charter change (including Madigan, Franck and Public Works Commissioner Skip Scirocco) could hire their own attorney using private funds.

So why are Frank and Madigan leading this charge? They need every paper ballot counted to overcome the 48-vote lead pro-charter change advocates had after Election Day. It has been reported that the returned absentee ballots (more than 510) lean Republican, which anecdotally should benefit opponents to the charter change.

Franck said on Monday that his opposition to the charter change was “immaterial,” but it’s hard to imagine he would take this position if his side was leading in the vote.

This was a guest post by David Lombardo, who has covered multiple absentee ballot counts as a reporter and oversaw the absentee ballot count for Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara in 2014.

Mar 22, 2016 - Journalism    No Comments

Brave journalists shine light in world’s darkest corners

ATDAnna Therese Day makes her living looking for trouble – and reporting on it.

She and people like her are the reason you know what you do about what’s happening to people in countries, especially in the Middle East, where conflict, repression of human rights and deadly crackdowns on dissent are the norm.

As a sister journalist, I couldn’t be prouder of this incredibly smart, bold and driven young woman. As a mother, I need a Tums.

Anna loomed larger than life in late January at a women’s luncheon in Saratoga Springs because she spoke not from the podium as planned, but via large-screen wall-mounted monitors — from an undisclosed location in Cairo.

She couldn’t get out of Egypt. Not safely, anyway. Read more »