This week’s LIVE episode of The CAP·impact Podcast was recorded a little while back at the Sterling Hotel here in Sacramento. Every year, the Capital Center for Law & Policy hosts the Mike Belote Endowed Capital Lecture. This year’s topic, and today’s episode, was Journalism in the Era of Fake News.

The discussion between the three esteemed journalists on the panel runs longer than our normal shows so we’ve split it in two episodes. Part 1 is the moderated portion of the panel discussion. Next week’s episode is Part 2, where we’ll feature the audience questions.

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And last but not least, you can learn more about the Capital Center for Law and Policy at McGeorge School of Law here.

Thanks for listening to today’s show.

This is a slight departure from our usual content. That said, last night’s event – the Belote Lectore on Journalism in the Era of Fake News – warrants the change of pace. The video above is of the entire one-hour discussion. Please enjoy the fantastic conversation between three stellar political journalists who know their craft inside and out.

The Annual McGeorge School of Law Mike Belote Endowed Capital Lecture was held last night at the Sterling Hotel in downtown Sacramento. The topic of last night’s event was Journalism in the Era of Fake News.

A full house of attendees enjoyed a dynamic, frank, and funny discussion which featured three influential journalists discussing the role of journalism today, as well as ethics in the journalism profession, the impact of Facebook and Twitter, and what members of the legal community can do to help journalists with combating the issue of fake news.

McGeorge Dean Michael Hunter Schwartz gave the opening remarks and then handed the discussion off Professor and Associate Dean for Experiential Learning Mary-Beth Moylan, who expertly moderated the evening’s discussion. The speakers were Jonathan Weisman, Deputy Washington Editor for the New York Times; John Myers, Sacramento Bureau Chief for the Los Angeles Times; and Joe Mathews, California columnist and editor for Zócalo Public Square.

The Mike Belote Endowed Capital Center Lecture series was made possible by a generous donation from Mike Belote (McGeorge Class of ’87), who is President of California Advocates, Inc. and a longtime Pacific McGeorge alumni donor and volunteer.

To stay up to date with the McGeorge Capital Center for Law and Policy and CAP⋅impact, you can subscribe to email updates by scrolling up and typing your email into the form just to the right of this post. You can Like CAP⋅impact on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @CAPimpactCA.

The Role of the Media in California’s Legislative Process

Today’s podcast focuses on the role of the media in California’s legislative process. The media’s role is so important that they’re considered a fourth branch of government and sometimes referred to as the Fourth Estate.

Their coverage – or lack thereof – can have great influence over the fate of legislation. The media can bring to light what goes on behind the scenes during California’s legislative session. They can use their coverage to draw attention to a particular piece of legislation and make the public aware of it. The media also play a large role in the ethics of legislature by covering FPPC investigations and fines, and scandals – such as in 2014 when three State Senators were suspended due to alleged criminal conduct or, more recently, in their coverage of the #WeSaidEnough movement that is bringing to light the issues of sexual harassment in the Legislature working to make this arena a safer place to work. The opinions of newspapers’ editorial boards – sought after by candidates and ballot measures in campaigns – are also important in the legislative process.

This is why taking the media into account is a key part of legislative strategy. Whether responding to a headline with a timely piece of legislation to address an issue in their local paper, or trying to get their viewpoint on a bill out to the public via an opinion piece or a letter to the editor, the media are an important means for legislators, staff, and special interest groups to have their viewpoint heard. Social media has also become important for doing this.

Prop 54, which I talked about in an earlier podcast, has also changed the dynamics with the media. Effective now, any person is authorized to take video or audio recordings of legislative proceedings – closed session excluded – and can use that for any legitimate purpose without needing to pay a fee to the State of California. Effective January 1, 2018, the Legislature will have to make audio/visual recordings of all its proceedings available online – again, excepting closed sessions.

If the role of the media are something that interests you, you should also plan on attending the McGeorge Capital Center for Law & Policy’s annual Belote Lecture on January 11, 2018. This year’s topic is Journalism in the Era of Fake News and features Jonathan Weisman of the New York Times, John Myers of the Los Angeles Times, and Joe Mathews of Zócalo Public Square. You can RSVP the event by emailing mcgeorgeevents@pacific.edu or calling (916) 739-7138.

 By: Erinn Ryberg

Actions the Governor Can Take on Legislation

As Legislative Director for Assembly Woman Cristina Garcia, I’ve learned a couple of things about Governor Brown when it comes to how he’ll act on legislation. The first thing I’ve learned? More often than not, he signs bills into law. John Myers had a piece in the Los Angeles Times today, noting that Governor Brown only vetoed 12% of the 977 bills that came to his desk this year – down from vetoing 15% of bills last year. The second thing I’ve learned is about the types of bills that land in that 12%.

There are two categories of bills that Governor Brown likes to veto – bills that create new crimes and bills that either cut taxes or create new spending. I’ll start with why he tends to veto the spending bills. The reasoning tends to fall along the lines of new spending bills – new money leaving the General Fund – or new tax cut bills – money no longer entering the General Fund – should be considered with all the other budget priorities as part of the budget process, not as separate, standalone bills. You can imagine my very pleasant surprise when it was announced that he signed my boss’s bill, AB 10 into law. I’ll have more on that bill in another post and conversation with Jon Wainwright. The reasoning behind his vetoes of bills creating new crimes is that the Governor believes that California’s penal code is long and complex enough and there’s no need to make it any longer or more complex.

You can also find a great in depth piece on the some of the major bills Governor Brown signed this year on CALmatters, including AB 10.

For more information on California lawmaking, check out our other In Brief podcasts.