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Media Watchdog Update

It had been a while since we checked in on the St. Louis Journalism Review.

Still, I was a bit surprised when I clicked my www.stljr.org bookmark (come on, doesn't everyone have one?) and was directed to a Web page devoted to KTRS (AM 550) talkmeister Frank O. Pinion.

A URL shanghaiing!

The KTRS host has his own page on that station's Web site and also owns the URL www.frankopinion.com; type in "www.stljr.org" and you're automatically redirected to the latter page.

The perpetrator: Local radio vet Mike Anderson, former on-air partner of Frank O. Pinion, designer of KTRS' Web site and host of the online chat room stlmedia.net.

OK, so the evidence is circumstantial. There's more here. You'll have to scroll down a ways, to the entry dated "5-19-07," which begins:

Today we offer ... free and unfettered membership to this website, our newsletter and our Message Board (upon registration) to the maillist that SJR's Charles Klotzer sent his message to when he defamed me and this website in a recent email to all of his contributors.

I quit my website design and management position for the SJR when Mr. Klotzer offered me an insulting payment for the service, after I had designed the paper on line for nearly six years.

A little background: Early this year SJR's long-time benefactor, Webster University, pulled the plug on funding and returned the 30-year-old media watchdog to its founder, Charles Klotzer.

Vowing to continue publication, Klotzer yanked SJR from the Internet. "Webster wanted to reduce the paper to a blog," Klotzer told Riverfront Times writer Chad Garrison at the time. "There are a number of people who feel strongly, as I do, that print is the better solution and they've stepped up financially to ensure it remains in its current form."

Soon-to-be-erstwhile SJR editor Ed Bishop had no problems with the concept of a watchdog-blog and said he was prepared to launch that very animal, with funding from Webster.

And Mike Anderson announced in an e-mail that he was going to debut a subscription-based Web site that would "replace the failed, dead-tree STL Journalism Review with politically and socially balanced print, audio and video commentary and coverage of all media from a local perspective."

Four months later, Anderson has yet to get his STL Media Review up and running. He declined to comment on the stljr.org URL switch.

Ed Bishop reports that he plans to debut his media-monitoring blog in September.

And the rebirthed SJR has a few print issues under its belt with co-editors Roy Malone and Avis Meyer at the helm. Klotzer is listed as "Editor/Publisher Emeritus."

Subscriptions are $25 a year. But you'll have to write in or phone if you want to order one.

-Tom Finkel

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