Archive for the ‘Money & Media’ Category

The next chapter: Nick Martin joins Talking Points Memo later this month

By Nick R. Martin | Wednesday, December 7th, 2011 | 5:01 pm | No Comments »

As you may have already heard by now, I’ve accepted an offer to work for Talking Points Memo. I’ll be moving to New York City later this month to join the site’s muckraker team, where I’ll be covering corruption, crime and extremist groups throughout the nation.

I couldn’t be more excited. I’ve been a fan of TPM for several years now and am looking forward to being part of such a talented team. It may come as no surprise that this site, Heat City, took some of its early cues from TPM’s success. Talking Points Memo began 11 years ago as a one-man blog written by Josh Marshall. Today, it’s staffed by some two dozen people and has been credited for breaking open a few of the biggest U.S. political scandals in recent years.

One of the best parts of this move is that I’ll still get to write stories about Arizona from time to time, but now for a much larger audience. I have a lot of affection for this state. I got my journalistic start here, and I’ve called it home on and off for the better part of 16 years. In the past few years alone, that’s given me a chance to cover some remarkable people and stories. I’m glad to continue writing about it. So if we’ve talked in the past or if you’ve ever sent a tip my way, please keep in touch. Your insight will be as valuable as ever.

In the meantime, I want to thank everyone who has supported my work here on Heat City. Whether through a donation to the site, a prominent link somewhere or even just a kind email, this site was able to break some pretty good stories and win some awards because of your help. So thanks. Recently, the site has grown pretty quiet, mostly because I’ve been so busy as a freelancer. I suppose that means this is also a good time to call it quits here. I will keep the site online for archival purposes. But I don’t have any plans to publish stories here anymore.

I’m looking forward to what’s next. I hope you’ll join me for it.

21 states want Village Voice Media to shut down adult listings

By Nick R. Martin | Wednesday, September 22nd, 2010 | 2:46 am | 3 Comments »
Read the letter
Attorneys general from 21 states call on Village Voice Media to shut down its adult listings.

Click for two-page PDF.
Letter to Village Voice Media

The top law enforcers from 21 states asked Phoenix’s Village Voice Media Holdings on Tuesday to shut down the adult services section of its popular Backpage.com, saying ads for prostitution and child trafficking “are rampant on the site.”

The call from the attorneys general comes just weeks after the online classified ad giant Craigslist reluctantly removed its own adult listings because of growing criticism from law enforcement and child advocacy groups nationwide.

“We sincerely hope Backpage, like Craigslist, will finally hear the voices of the victims, women and children, who plead with it to make this important change,” the attorneys general wrote in a letter sent to Village Voice attorney Samuel Fifer. “We believe that ads for prostitution — including ads trafficking children — are rampant on the site and that the volume of these ads will grow in light of Craigslist’s recent decision.”

Phoenix New Times goes after another website owner

By Nick R. Martin | Friday, September 10th, 2010 | 4:34 pm | 4 Comments »

the_best_of_phoenix_small
The Phoenix New Times filed a federal lawsuit against a New York man running the “Best of Phoenix” website shown here. Click image for larger screenshot

There’s only one company allowed to decide which businesses are the “Best of Phoenix.” At least that’s the message the Phoenix New Times is sending to anyone hoping to use the trademarked name of the newspaper’s annual list of what’s hot in town.

The alternative weekly and its parent company, Village Voice Media Holdings, filed their second federal lawsuit in less than a week on Wednesday against someone who owns a website domain name using the phrase “best of Phoenix,” which the newspaper trademarked back in 1997.

Phoenix New Times sues former employee for cybersquatting

By Nick R. Martin | Tuesday, September 7th, 2010 | 3:52 pm | 10 Comments »
Best of Phoenix 2009 issueThe Phoenix New Times publishes an annual Best of Phoenix issue, like this one from 2009.

The Phoenix New Times is well on track to publishing its Best of Phoenix 2010 issue later this month, with billboards and ads already heralding its arrival. But it turns out the next two years of the newspaper’s annual hot list have already hit a road block.

The alternative weekly and its parent company, Village Voice Media Holdings, filed a federal lawsuit Friday against one of the newspaper’s former employees, accusing him of Internet piracy and trademark violations for cybersquatting on the website domain names bestofphoenix2011.com and bestofphoenix2012.com.

Republic shuts down ex-cop's blog

By Nick R. Martin | Wednesday, September 1st, 2010 | 12:05 am | 50 Comments »

Bill Richardson photo
Bill Richardson

Of the many blogs written by outside contributors to the Arizona Republic‘s website, Bill Richardson’s was perhaps the most critical of the region’s police and their practices.

Now, the retired Mesa police officer says the the state’s largest newspaper has given in to outside pressure from those who wanted his criticism silenced. The newspaper closed down his blog, deleted all his old posts and blocked him from even commenting elsewhere on its website.

No arrest in news crew attack after all

By Nick R. Martin | Friday, August 27th, 2010 | 6:29 pm | 14 Comments »

Pat McReynolds photo
Pat McReynolds

Heat City was hoping to get its hands on a nice, colorful police report about the attack on a Phoenix television news crew earlier this week. But we found out Friday it’s not going to happen.

It turns out the KPHO (Channel 5) crew never pressed charges against the man who threw some large rocks at them Wednesday while they were on assignment in Casa Grande.

Angry guy throws rocks at TV news crew

By Nick R. Martin | Thursday, August 26th, 2010 | 3:38 pm | 1 Comment »

CBS 5 (KPHO) News Crew gets rocks thrown at it

File it under the dangers of being a journalist. In this must-watch video, Phoenix television news reporter Pat McReynolds and a videographer dodge rocks being thrown at them by a man they were hoping to interview.

Phoenix magazine names Nick Martin best blogger in Valley

By Nick R. Martin | Friday, August 20th, 2010 | 12:30 am | 12 Comments »

Best of the ValleyI was pleasantly surprised Thursday to see a message on Twitter from Phoenix PR pro Charlotte Shaff, telling me some good news: “Congrats, Nick on your recognition by Phoenix Magazine!”

Turns out the editors over at Phoenix magazine named me the best blogger in the Valley for my work here on Heat City. Here’s what they wrote in their annual Best of the Valley issue:

Nick Martin leaves the Arizona Guardian

By Nick R. Martin | Thursday, August 19th, 2010 | 3:30 pm | 6 Comments »

Well, that was fast. My stint with the Arizona Guardian, the startup website covering politics and news from the state Capitol, has come to a end sooner than any of us expected.

We parted ways amicably last week, about a month and a half into my tenure there. In that time, I wrote a few good stories, offered some ideas on technology/social media and got to work with some seriously talented journalists.

Nick Martin joins the Arizona Guardian

By Nick R. Martin | Tuesday, July 13th, 2010 | 2:22 pm | 16 Comments »
Arizona Guardian logo

Starting this week, my work will be appearing regularly on the political news site, the Arizona Guardian. The specifics are still being worked out, but the broad outline was hatched over the long Fourth of July weekend. I’ll be covering a number of political races as well as helping the Guardian grow as a company. This is a great opportunity to work with a fledgling company that has a bright future.

Yes, the Guardian is a paid-subscription site, which means you’ll have to pony up some cash to read it. You may remember I wrote a fairly in-depth profile about the company last year in Phoenix magazine. At the time, I said it was too expensive for most people, but the company’s target readers — lobbyists, lawyers and politicians — were often willing to pay the price because it gives them the kind of news they need for success.

That model has worked for the Guardian so far. Now, the founders are hoping to build on that accomplishment. They are open to new ideas and experiments, and that’s where I’ll be playing a role. What does that mean specifically? I’ll let you know once we figure it out.

Heat City will still be here. This site will remain a place for me to write stories that don’t have a home anywhere else. The only difference now is that my political (and sometimes legal) stories will be appearing in the Arizona Guardian.

As a special offer for readers of Heat City, the Guardian is also offering a 60 percent discount to new subscribers. This means individual readers can get access for just $12 a month (down from $30) and businesses, such as law firms, news organizations and creative agencies, can give all their employees access for just $60 a month (down from $150). When you sign up, simply enter the coupon code heatcity for your discount.

Finally, if you’ve been one of the generous people who has financially supported Heat City over the past year and a half, we are planning something special for you. Look for it in your email box over the next week.