Former News-Press editor gives piece of settlement to good journalism

jerry-roberts-sbi.jpgJerry Roberts was the editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press who stood up to the news outrages of owner Wendy McCaw. He eventually won a settlement of nearly $1 million over her jihad against Roberts and his reputation. Roberts, who is battling lymphoma, said today he is donating $150,000 of the settlement to a journalism startup in Santa Barbara and two non-profits. From Barney Brantingham, the former News-Press columnist who writes these days for the Santa Barbara Independent:

Roberts, former News-Press executive editor, has been in treatment at UC San Francisco medical center since October for an especially aggressive form of lymphoma.

Roberts said he gave $50,000 to the Society of Professional Journalists “in line with my promise to folks who gave to my defense fund that I would return part of any money I was awarded … to journalism organizations that promote ethical, enterprising, public-interest journalism.” Many local attorneys and others donated to the fund.

The other two organizations getting $50,000 each are the Electric Frontier Foundation (, which fights to defend Internet free speech, privacy, innovation, and consumer rights; and Mission and State (formerly the Santa Barbara Journalism Initiative), an online investigative-journalism project in Santa Barbara.

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