Black Media Sounds Off on Trump’s Victory: ‘This Lets Us Know Exactly Where We Stand’

Roland Martin told TV One viewers that white backlash always follows black success.

NewsOne Now’s Election Night Viewing Party at the Mulebone in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 8, 2016 KEVIN WOLF/AP IMAGES FOR TV ONE

“It’s really hard to get beyond ‘Oh, my God,’ ” Eugene Robinson, the Washington Post columnist and MSNBC commentator, said on that cable network after Donald J. Trump delivered his victory speech at 2:43 a.m. on Wednesday.

Robinson might have been the first African American to speak on national television after Trump accepted his status as the nation’s putative president-elect.

On CNN, commentator Van Jones had already expressed his pain, wondering what he should tell his children.

This was a whitelash. A whitelash against a changing country,” (video) Jones said. “It was a whitelash against a black president in part. And that’s the part where the pain comes. And Donald Trump has a responsibility tonight to come out and reassure people that he is going to be the president of all the people that he insulted and offended and brushed aside.

“Yeah, when you say that you want to take your country back, you have a lot of people who feel that we’re not represented well, either. But we don’t want to feel that someone has been elected by throwing away some of us to appeal more deeply to others. This is a deeply painful moment tonight. I know it’s not just about race. There’s more going on than that. But race is here, too, and we’ve got to talk about that.”

BET and TV One had returned to regular programming by the time Trump spoke. All night, those networks had given voice to the apprehension and downright horror that many of its African American viewers were feeling as Trump piled up leads on electoral maps being displayed on all the channels.

“For a lot of people in America, this feels like their get-back,” rapper T.I. told host Marc Lamont Hill on BET at 11:42 p.m., at least two hours before it was obvious that Trump’s victory was certain. “This lets us know exactly where we stand. Don’t keep thinking that because this is 2016, we’re in a better place than we are.”

“No matter who wins the presidency, we have work to do,” Hill agreed.

On TV One, Roland Martin, hosting that network’s coverage, told viewers during a similar discussion, “Black success has always been followed by white backlash.”

“Trump won on white populism,” Greg Carr, associate professor, Africana Studies, and chair, Afro-American studies at Howard University, said on that panel, convened at a watering hole on Washington’s historic U Street.

At the polls, African Americans as a group exhibited perhaps the most antipathy toward the real estate mogul and reality television star. “Some 88% of black voters supported Clinton, versus 8% for Trump, who said repeatedly that black communities are in the worst shape ever,” Tami Luhby and Jennifer Agiesta reported for CNN, reviewing exit polls.

However, they added, “While that’s a large margin, it’s not as big as President Barack Obama’s victory over Mitt Romney in 2012. Obama locked up 93% of the black vote to Romney’s 7%.”

BET and TV One only occasionally devote resources to news events on a scale that approaches those of the cable news channels. When they do, their efforts are often sabotaged by a steady parade of commercials that can frustrate unsuspecting viewers. In a break from one discussion early Wednesday, for example, BET ran 10 commercials in four minutes.

[“During last night’s NewsOne Now 2016 Election Night Viewing Party, TV One aired five commercial breaks per hour for a total of three minutes each consisting of commercials and promos,” a TV One spokeswoman emailed on Wednesday.]

BET was once known for booty-shaking videos. After Obama’s election in 2009, BET chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee told Journal-isms that the change in Washington helped prompt a belief that it was “time to sit back with my management team and say ‘where are we going. What do I want my legacy to be? After 30 years, what do we want to stand for?'” That led to a short-lived period in which the network gave Obama more serious coverage, even streaming presidential news conferences.

TV One made Martin its prime vehicle for news programming, with its early-morning “News One Now” and news specials, such as its election night coverage. Tuesday’s “Election Night Watch Party” featured “live interviews and commentary from civil rights activists, celebrities, Congressional Black Caucus Members and more,” according to a TV One news release.

“This was the first time that we actually controlled our own election coverage and it was important for us to bring these stories to the air,” Martin said in the release. “It was important for us to hear these storylines. It’s important for you to understand that we are not going anywhere. You can expect us to give folks hell about the issues that affect Black America.”

While Jones, Robinson, Gayle King or Juan Williams contributed black perspectives during the course of the evening on CNN, MSNBC, CBS and Fox News Channel, respectively, black viewers received concentrated doses on TV One and BET. Those doses weren’t always in language that general-interest viewers were accustomed to hearing.

Umi Selah, mission director and co-founder of the Dream Defenders, a civil rights organization formed in Florida in the wake of the 2012 slaying of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin, was part of a BET panel. Selah said of the black alarm over Trump, “Bottle it up. This country never loved us. They have not cared about black people in this country. You cannot stand on the sidelines anymore. America has shown us what it is. It’s time to mount up.”

Asked to explain “mount up,” Selah said this year marks the 50th anniversary of the founding in Oakland, Calif., of the Black Panther Party, and of the shooting and wounding of James Meredith, who attempted to walk from the Peabody Hotel in Memphis to Jackson, Miss., in a March Against Fear.

Viewers should “organize, organize, organize,” Selah said, quoting the late activist Kwame Ture, formerly Stokely Carmichael.

Soon afterward, Hill turned to Viviana Hurtado, an anchor at WTOL-TV in Toledo, Ohio, to explain Tuesday’s Latino vote. “When we do deep dives,” she said, Latinos must examine how many of their number actually registered to vote and how many cast ballots.

The much-publicized growth of the Latino voting population is a demographic fact, she added, but it had been shown previously that “half of the Latinos eligible didn’t register or show up at the polls.”

Despite Trump’s accusations that undocumented immigrants were criminal aliens and his promises to deport them, CNN reported that exit polls showed only 65 percent of Latinos supported Clinton, while 29 percent voted for Trump. In 2012, Obama won 71 percent of the Hispanic vote, while Romney secured 27 percent.

Still, alarm in some quarters of the Latino community was strong. Jack Mirkinson began his report for Fusion, designed to appeal to Latinos and millennials,”Donald Trump — a racist, misogynistic, xenophobic sexual predator and mega-fraud whose campaign unleashed some of the most horrifying demons in American history — is going to be the next president of the United States.

“Yes, it really happened. No, you’re not dreaming. For at least the next four years, ‘President Trump’ is our reality. . . .”

American Society of News Editors: ASNE stands ready to defend First Amendment rights, strong democracy

David Bauder, Associated Press: Election coverage an unexpected thrill ride on TV

Harry A. Jessell, TVNewsCheck: Media Factored into Trump Win in Many Ways

Jim Rutenberg, New York Times: A ‘Dewey Defeats Truman’ Lesson for the Digital Age

Campaign ’16: Where Media Went Wrong

Writers’ Views on How to Repair the Damage

How much responsibility do the media bear for what has been called the most shameful presidential campaign in American history? And how can they repair the damage? In recent days, media writers and other observers have attempted to answer those questions. What do you think? What role do diversity and inclusion issues play?

Vernon E. Jordan Jr., Wall Street Journal:

Raising the standards of what passes today for public discourse will not be easy [accessible via search engine]. But if anyone can do it, it is people in the technology, media and telecom industry. They are the innovators and inventors. They influence what the public sees, and hears, and shares.

“They are the people who discovered fire. Now they must ensure that we are protected from the fire.

“Regardless of the results of [the] election, for years to come our nation will be in need of some serious healing. This is the challenge. We need business models that support quality journalism. We need to use technology’s capacity to clearly, and quickly, delineate facts from lies — regardless of their source, and to develop media that require civility and respect when people exchange opinions. . . .” [Nov. 3]

Dan Kennedy, U.S. News & World Report:

For months . . . television executives were happy to give [Donald] Trump unlimited access. As CBS’s top executive, Les Moonves, put it back in February, ‘It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.’ More recently CNN president Jeff Zucker — who, while at NBC, rode Trump and ‘The Apprentice’ to reality-show success — expressed no regrets for his network’s wall-to-wall Trump coverage beyond acknowledging that ‘we probably did put on too many of the campaign rallies in the early months unedited.’

“Cynically exploiting the Trump phenomenon for ratings is one thing. A larger problem is rooted in the idealism that drives many reporters and the organizations they work for. Ever since journalism emerged from the partisan muck of the 19th century, its coverage of politics has been based on the idea of fairness and balance.

“The problem is that balance works only when we have candidates who are roughly equivalent. . . .” [Nov. 6]

Michael Oreskes, Columbia Journalism Review:

To build, or rebuild, bonds of trust we need to be a lot more thoughtful about what political journalism needs to look like. But you can’t can do that in the heat of an election. You can’t, in fact, do it around political journalism at all, at least not national political journalism. We have to be there the rest of the time, too. That means stronger roots in communities, both geographically and in terms of affinities. To rebuild trust, we have to start showing up in communities where we haven’t been much seen in recent years. . . .” [Nov. 2]

Time's Nov. 14 issue
Time’s Nov. 14 issue

Sonia Saraiya, Variety:

On cable news, there is often no clear distinction between fact and opinion, especially in panels full of talking heads. There is also no fixed spot, in the fluid motion of an always-live feed, to display corrections, clarifications, or editors’ notes. There is no space for the televisual equivalent of letters to the editor, which constitutes the bare minimum of at least appearing to take the audience’s concerns seriously.

“It is, unfortunately, poetically apt; in the cacophony of competing voices, the viewer’s voice or viewpoint is nowhere to be heard. The always-on format of cable news promotes noise and stimulates conversation, but does not encourage viewer engagement. In fact, it does almost the opposite; watching cable news is allowing rhetoric to wash over you, news cycle to news cycle, with stultifying volume and repetition. Perhaps this is why the online comments of these organizations seem to be exploding with outrage, at the farthest corners of the comment section. It is the only obvious place to respond to cable news, but there is no guarantee or even expectation that anyone from the news organization in question will respond, acknowledge, or even look at your comments.

“But constructive engagement around coverage, PBS ombudsman Michael Getler tells me, is both how media organizations improve and how audiences grow to trust their news sources. ‘Viewers and readers like to know that there’s somebody on the other end who has listened to them — who has taken their observations seriously, who has looked into, and who has published about it, given an assessment of it. And that assessment appears in a prominent place.’ . . .” [Nov. 4]

Jack Shafer, Politico Magazine:

Trump is a media pioneer, deserving of mention in the same breath with Alexander Graham Bell, Guglielmo Marconi, William S. Paley, Ted Turner, Rupert Murdoch and Mark Zuckerberg. But the media machine he has built only looks enduring. Except for a blitzkrieg grab for power, Trump doesn’t stand for anything, and that may prove his downfall. The cult of personality he has built appears to have reached its ceiling. Press scrutiny of his political being indicates he has no core of his own, only imitations of positions and soundbites voiced by Ross Perot on trade and Pat Buchanan on immigration in previous campaigns, plus a bundle of opportunistic racist and fascistic sentiments. Trump’s fealty to his often ugly and craven positions is undercut by the way he contradicts himself more often than a bushel of Walt Whitmans. . . .

“Trump may well exit the political scene if he loses the election, but the media scheme he improvised will remain on the shelf for his demagogic descendants to use. The next Trump will follow his example by exploiting the anger against the press by making it the common enemy and extracting from it whatever sympathy its public has.

“It has been nothing short of astonishing to watch Trump savage CNN while appearing on CNN, or to read his tweets about the ‘failing’ New York Times as it runs its fingers though his tax returns. The next Trump will construct a larger counterprogramming effort — more Web, more streaming video, more podcasts — to run around the established media. Meanwhile, the next Trump will follow his example of giving irresistible speeches that rabble-rouse and holding press conferences that bleed entertaining invective. . . .” [Nov. 5]

Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post:

Unfiltered free publicity for Donald Trump. A near-coronation for Hillary Clinton. Paid pundits in the tank for candidates, right and left. False equivalency that put one candidate’s lack of news conferences on a par with another’s racism and misogyny.

“Yes, we the media have done all this and more over the past 18 months.

“American journalism — unloved and distrusted to begin with — will emerge from the presidential campaign with its reputation more tarnished than ever.

“But there were moments that stand out in a positive way, too. In some instances, the media held candidates and their surrogates accountable, dug deep for information that citizens need, and told the truth in ways that people could hear and remember, including with much-needed humor.

“Here are 13 (what, you’re superstitious?) of the best, in no particular order: . . .” [Nov. 6]

Chuck Todd, NBC News:

The media made the same mistake as the 16 other GOP presidential candidates when Trump rode down the escalator in June 2015 by focusing too much on Trump himself and too little on the Trump supporter. And no entity collectively deserves more criticism on this front than we in the media. Journalists who got it first were the ones who don’t inhabit the Northeast Washington-New York City corridor.

“Reporters outside the bubble who spent time with friends and family in the part of America that’s been left behind, had a leg up in getting the Trump phenomenon. Bottom line: there was never enough early reporting about what was happening on the ground.

“Trump is an intoxicating figure and his magnetism may have clouded the judgment of some, but he was a vehicle for actual frustration in parts of the country that was hit harder by the Great Recession and has taken longer to recover. . . . “ [Nov. 8]

Andrew Tyndall, Tyndall Report:

This year’s absence of issues is an accurate portrayal of the turf on which the election is being played out. It has turned into a referendum on the candidates’ fitness for office, hinging on attributes such as honesty, trustworthiness, judgment, temperament, stamina, good health, comportment and boorishness. If the candidates are not talking about the issues, the news media would be misrepresenting the contest to do so. . . .” [Oct. 24]

Erik Wemple, Washington Post:

The tweet above is precisely what CNN invited when it hired Corey Lewandowski to become a paid CNN commentator back in June. He’s the guy in the middle — the paid CNN commentator, flanked by Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks on the left and Trump campaign manager Kellyanne Conway on the right. The message from Conway? ‘#teamwork #NH’ Now we know that officially and unequivocally, the Trump campaign regards a paid CNN commentator as part of the team. . . .” [Nov. 4]

David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun:

“. . . too many in the media bought into the argument offered by Vox editor Ezra Klein in a July piece headlined: ‘This election isn’t just Democrat vs. Republican. It’s normal vs. abnormal.’

“Once you define Trump and the entire Republican Party as ‘abnormal’ the way Klein did, all old-school legacy bets about fairness and balance are off.

“I totally disagree with the license given to ditch bedrock values. But I can understand how so many of my colleagues got there, given how many boundaries of acceptable behavior Trump transgressed.

“And though they disgust me, I can even live with the accounts of media folk like CNBC chief Washington correspondent and New York Times contributor John Harwood and Politico reporter Glenn Thrush shamelessly seeking approval and sharing information with [John] Podesta in emails published by WikiLeaks.

“But the tipping point for me were the Wiki-revelations of [Hillary] Clinton getting questions in advance on two events that aired on CNN in March. One was a town hall co-presented by CNN and TV One, the other a debate. Leaked emails show Donna Brazile, who was then a CNN contributor and is now interim chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, tipping Team Clinton off to questions the candidate would be asked.

“The emails leaked Monday about a debate question led to CNN announcing that it had severed ties with Brazile two weeks ago.

“Questions being fed to Clinton are well beyond the pale of simply poor press performance. And neither CNN nor TV One has treated the matter with the transparency and seriousness it demands.

“This is a snapshot of how bad journalism harms democracy, and we should all be outraged. . . .” [Nov. 4]

Poynter Institute: Here’s (some of) the best political journalism of 2016

Brazile Not Apologizing for Leaking Questions

Donna Brazile is not apologizing for leaking CNN debate questions and topics to the Hillary Clinton campaign during the Democratic primary. Her only regret, it seems, is that she got caught,” Callum Borchers reported Monday for the Washington Post.

Brazile was asked about hacked emails published Oct. 31 by WikiLeaks that appeared to reveal that Brazile, during her time as a CNN commentator, gave advance notice to Clinton’s camp about a debate question and a town hall question during the primary season. CNN and TV One sponsored the town hall.

“ ‘My conscience — as an activist, a strategist — is very clear,’ the interim chair of the Democratic National Committee said Monday during a satellite radio interview with liberal activist and SiriusXM host Joe Madison. She added that ‘if I had to do it all over again, I would know a hell of a lot more about cybersecurity.’

“In other words, Brazile would have made sure that her improper disclosures — which prompted CNN to drop her as an analyst — would not show up in hacked emails published by WikiLeaks. The lesson, apparently, is to pick up the phone or perhaps meet John Podesta in a dark alleyway.

“Madison hardly objected. In fact, he said CNN should have expected this kind of thing.

“ ‘The one thing folk need to understand at CNN, MSNBC and all of this: When you hire folk who are, as you say, the, you know — their responsibility is to their candidate and their party,’ Madison said, ‘they’re going to do whatever they can to win. That’s just — that’s the nature of the beast.’ . . .”

Janet Reno Also Pressured TV Execs on Violence

Janet Reno, the first woman to be U.S. attorney general and arguably one of the driving forces behind the TV V-chip/ratings system, has died at 78 from complications from Parkinson’s disease, according to multiple reports,” John Eggerton reported Monday for Multichannel News.

Janet Reno
Janet Reno

“Efforts by Reno and the late Sen. Paul Simon (D-Ill.) in the early 1990s led, ultimately, to the adoption of the V-chip, whose principal House proponent and author is now Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.).

“In the early 1990’s, Reno, a Clinton appointee, sat down with broadcast and cable TV execs to tell them she thought TV was part of the societal violence problem and had to be part of the solution.

“Sounding a little like FCC chairman Newton Minow, who famously dressed down TV for violent content in his ‘Vast Wasteland’ speech, Reno said the promise of TV had been ‘vastly [unfulfilled],’ saying TV violence had become ‘as central to the life of our young people as homework and playgrounds’ and that the link between TV violence and violence in society was real and ominous. . . .”

Associated Press: Janet Reno’s role in Elian Gonzales saga made her pariah among Miami Cubans

Ask Trump About Crime Committed by Whites

Here we are at the end of the presidential campaign that seemed endless, and Donald Trump’s two main proposals to Make America Great Again are still standing:” Peter Weber wrote Friday for The Week.

“He is going to build that wall along America’s southern border and deport those illegal Mexican immigrants, like he promised at his campaign’s launch; and he’s going to ban all Muslims, or just Syrian Muslims, or at least subject certain immigrants to ‘extreme vetting’ based on their religious or ideological values.

“Those ideas, consistent as Trump’s other ideas have shifted, aren’t actually broadly popular — his border wall and mass deportations get the cold shoulder, and voters are more evenly split on the Muslim ban. But they were enough to make him stand out from a crowded GOP field, and they will live on even if Trump loses.

“But I wish somebody would ask Trump what he would do about crime committed by white Americans. The Republican nominee often talks about how terrible and dangerous the world is, warning that you, the voter, are in extreme peril. The perpetrators of these crimes, though, always seem to be black gang members in ultra-violent black neighborhoods, Mexican ‘rapists’ and ‘murders,’ or ‘radical Islamic terrorists.’

“There aren’t perfect violent crime statistics by race, but in 2012, according to the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics, 60 percent of all people arrested for violent crimes in the United States — murder, rape, robbery, aggravated assault — were white.

“Proportionally to population, African-Americans and Latinos are more likely than whites to be arrested for these crimes, but as Robert Brame, a criminology professor at the University of South Carolina, tells PolitiFact, “The statistical fact is that you’re more likely to be a victim of a white perpetrator than a black one just because there are so many more whites in the population.”

“But Trump’s suggestion — intentional or otherwise — that white people are only victims of violent crime is just one part of his amygdala-stroking jiujitsu. . . .”

Meanwhile, Gene Demby of NPR’s “Code Switch” assembled “A Roundup of Stories About Race For Your Ears And Eyes This Weekend” on Friday. “It Was A Big Few Weeks For Coverage Of Whiteness,” one headline read.

Shaun King, Daily News, New York: In the past 5 days, 3 white men shot 6 cops and 3 other white men are on trial for violence against African Americans

Too Many Asian Americans See Whites as Standard

Frank H. Wu
Frank H. Wu

For a decade, I was a professor at Howard University Law School,” Frank H. Wu, a distinguished professor at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, wrote Oct. 21 for the Huffington Post.

“I was the first Asian American on the faculty there. Howard is historically black, even today predominantly black, and proudly so. My time there changed me for the better.

“Every now and then, especially in an argument about civil rights with an Asian American who made no effort to conceal their contempt for blacks, I was accused of being traitor to what was assumed to be ‘my people’ inexplicably in favor of our inferiors.

“Even more than questions such as what it was like to work where I did, if black students were any good, or why I hadn’t found a job someplace else, all of which I was asked more than once, the suggestion — the outright statement — that my relationships with African Americans had made me biased toward them was infuriating. I do not mean merely for its crude bigotry toward blacks. That is inexcusable in itself.

“But what baffled me was the acceptance on the part of Asian Americans, who are neither black nor white and most of whom are immigrants, of a hierarchy that established whites as the standard. My Asian American adversaries, for that is what they were, wished to partake of privilege, rather than challenge it. . . .’ ”

Angela Musallam, KOVR-TV, Sacramento, Calif.: After String Of Robberies Targeting Asians, South Sacramento Communities Unite

Philly’s Mary Mason ‘Deserves Better Than This’

As a radio pioneer, Mary Mason ruled the Philadelphia airwaves with her firebrand style of talk radio,” Bobbi Booker reported Saturday for the Philadelphia Tribune.

Mary Mason (Credit: David Maialette/Philadelphia Daily News)
Mary Mason (Credit: David Maialetti/Philadelphia Daily News)

“For 40 years, she was an AM-frequency star whose in-your-face, controversial and weekday morning chatfests both informed and chastised the Black community.

“At the height of her influence from the ‘70s through the ‘90s, Mason hosted successful radio telethons for Leon Sullivan, urged listeners to vote for W. Wilson Goode (who in 1984 became the city’s first African-American mayor) and sat on several corporate and major non-profit boards.

“Today, she sits quietly in a wheelchair in the middle of the residence hall of Sunrise Senior Living, whose sprawling Victorian building occupies a quiet lot in Lafayette Hill, Montgomery County. While her cafe au lait-colored skin remains smooth, and her smile — when exhibited — still dazzles, gone is the quick wit and boisterous exchange of conversation.

“Mason, who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, rarely talks, is catheterized, and leans slightly to the side as she sits. . . .

Booker also wrote, “Mason was last documented on the radio in 2010 — the year her Alzheimer’s disease was officially diagnosed.

“Her initial symptoms of memory loss and unpredictable behavior alarmed her son, C. Steven Turner III, who took her to a Florida specialist. Mason and her son were resourceful, and made plans while she was still of sound mind. They anticipated death, but son Steve Turner’s unexpected demise at age 62 in 2012 was the ultimate game changer. In two years, the severity of Mason’s dementia has progressed to a point that she is unable to comprehend her only child’s death.

“Nowadays, Mason, resides in near-abandonment. She is unaware that her child is dead or that her former homes have been sold for her upkeep. She is perhaps days away from eviction from the assisted living facility that has been her home since her Alzheimer’s diagnosis. . . .

“. . . For more information on the Mary Mason Care Project, call (484) 262-9388.”

How ‘Daily Show’ Comic Countered ‘Watters’ World’

Ronny Chieng
Ronny Chieng

One morning in early October, Ronny Chieng showed up to work at The Daily Show’s office, just like he had every Monday to Thursday since he was hired as a senior correspondent in September of 2015,” Alex Wong reported Oct. 31 for complex.com.

“Except, that day would be different. A video that aired the previous night on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor was making the rounds online. It was an on-the-street interview segment called ‘Watters’ World,’ in which Jesse Watters — under the guise of humor — went to Chinatown in Manhattan, New York to get a sense of how Chinese voters felt about Donald Trump.

“In the five minute clip, Watters managed to run through every basic Asian stereotype and find time to stick a microphone in front of an elderly woman who clearly didn’t speak English for the sake of embarrassing her on television.

“When Chieng — who is of Chinese descent — saw the video, he processed it in two ways. ‘As a comic, I was like, this is just lazy comedy,’ Chieng says. ‘As an Asian person, I was like, this is fucking garbage.’ . . .

Wong also wrote, “The day after Watters’ segment aired, Chieng went with a camera crew to Chinatown at eleven in the morning and spent three hours filming, actually talking to Asian Americans about this year’s election to show that they’re American citizens with informed thoughts and opinions. The video aired that evening on The Daily Show, and according to Comedy Central, reached 23 million people on Facebook. . . .”

Sabrina Fair Thomas Dies, GM of KLCS-TV in L.A.

Sabrina Fair Thomas
Sabrina Fair Thomas

Sabrina Fair Thomas, general manager of KLCS-TV in Los Angeles, died unexpectedly Oct. 20,” Dru Sefton reported Nov. 1 for current.org. “She was 59.

“Thomas was ‘a rock’ at the Los Angeles Unified School District, the station’s licensee, said Superintendent Michelle King in a statement. . . .”

Sefton also wrote, “Jennifer Lawson, who retired in May after a long career as a public TV executive, recalled Thomas as ‘a pioneer, along with others like Janalyn Glymph, Carolyn Bailey Lewis, DeAnn Hamilton, Margarita Millán, and Tanya Marie Singh as a woman of color serving as general manager of a public television station.’ . . .”

YouTube.com: Interview with Sabrina Fair Thomas (video)

Current Seeks Best Ideas From Local Public Stations

We’re live, we’re local and we’re Washington’s NPR station,” Executive Director Julie Drizen wrote Wednesday for current.org.

Julie Drizin
Julie Drizin

“The first time I heard this new branding slogan on WAMU, I thought, ‘Bingo!’ It was so good that I wondered aloud if it was a manager’s middle-of-the-night ‘Aha!’ moment or an audience-tested message carefully crafted by some Mad Men. It was that simple and that right. I think it’s exactly what listeners need to hear to be reminded of the essential and enduring value of that unique species in the public media ecosystem we call ‘the station.’

“Over the last 50 years, public media stations grew and prospered on the coattails of strong national news, talk, educational and cultural programs. Earlier generations of public broadcasting leaders wisely pooled resources, dreamed big and created brands.

“But we are now full throttle into an era of disintermediation and on-demand, personalized content. Moving forward, public media stations’ survival depends on building comprehensive multiplatform local services that cultivate community and connection, intimacy and immediacy, through programming that engenders a sense of wonder, place and belonging.

“This is why Current and the Public Media Futures Forums, both supported by the Wyncote Foundation, are joining forces with other partners to be announced on a new project, Local That Works. We want to report on the best local and regional programming, engagement and revenue ideas sprouting up at stations across the country. We are especially interested in those that provide lessons for the entire public media system and can serve as models to be customized or replicated in small and mid-sized markets. . . .”

Short Takes

Charity, it is said, begins at home,” columnist Shree Paradkar wrote Friday for the Toronto Star. “So should a critique. Last week, Black Twitter poked fun at a respected Toronto Star film critic for a repeated spelling error. While writing about the much-acclaimed film Moonlight, Peter Howell got the definition of the term ‘code-switch’ right — ‘deliberately shifting cultural traits and vernacular to suit different circumstances’ — but he spelled it ‘coat-switch’ because he was unfamiliar with it. Code-switching is a relatively obscure term in Canada but the movie world stung by #OscarsSoWhite had little patience for the mistake. . . .”

At Fox News Channel, Glenn Beck “used to scribble on a chalkboard while launching into conspiratorial rants about looming Weimar-esque hyperinflation, Barack Obama’s ties to radicals with population-cleansing schemes, and a Marxist-Islamist cabal itching to take over America,” Nicholas Schmidle wrote for the New Yorker’s Nov. 14 issue. “He once described [Hillary] Clinton as ‘a stereotypical bitch’ and accused Obama of being a racist with a ‘deep-seated hatred for white people.’ That was the old Beck, he insists: ‘I did a lot of freaking out about Barack Obama.’ But, he said, ‘Obama made me a better man.’ He regrets calling the President a racist and counts himself a Black Lives Matter supporter. . . . ”

A New York reader wrote Journal-isms, “I am in NYC and I watch NEW YORK ONE, which is a TV station which focuses on New York City news. On Saturday evening and Sunday am, they often have a NEW YORK TIMES CLOSE UP which includes a panel of NYT columnists and editors talking about the news of the week. Of course, they often discuss social issues and RARELY have a black or journalist of color on their panel.” A spokesperson for the cable station’s parent Charter Communications messaged Journal-isms in response Monday, “The New York Times Close Up is produced to reflect stories from various sections of the Sunday paper with New York Times journalists. The guests for the week depend on the subject and the availability of the journalists.”

On Tuesday Oct. 25, Seattle Town Hall was filled with a packed crowd of journalists, students and citizens alike,” Anna Kaplan reported Wednesday for the Spectator, student newspaper of Seattle University. “The alluring pull, #JournalismSoWhite was an event addressing the lack of diversity in the media. Consisting of a panel of six journalists of color from the Seattle area, the conversation fluctuated from representation to pandering to an audience to hiring practices, all while Twitter exploded with commentary from the audience. . . .”

Project South, an Atlanta-based nonprofit that aims to eliminate poverty through communications tools, is planning a new media organization that may syndicate programs to community radio,” Tyler Falk reported Thursday for current.org. “The organization is in early stages of developing the media platform that it plans to spin off into a separate media organization. The platform will focus on providing context and analysis for issues in the South and focusing on reporting that ‘sheds light on injustice [and] covers the work of people fighting for change,’ said Anna Simonton, a fellow at Project South, in an email. . . .” Meanwhile, NPR’s “On the Media” aired the fourth in its series on poverty, “When the Safety Net Doesn’t Catch You.” (audio and transcript)

The African American Film Critics Association announced Thursday its intentions to honor actor Sidney Poitier with its first Icon award,” Tre’vell Anderson reported for the Los Angeles Times. “The recognition, to be bestowed at the organization’s February ceremony, comes on the 50th anniversary of Poitier’s groundbreaking film ‘Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner.’ . . .”

If you’re a reporter and you’ve encountered a legal problem while trying to cover election events, please contact us,” the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press announced. “We can provide you with helpful information, and possibly get an attorney to appear in court for you. This hotline service is co-sponsored by: The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, American Society of News Editors, Media Law Resource Center, News Media Alliance, and Online News Association.”

In Ghana, the electoral commission is now requiring journalists to pay a fee to be accredited to cover the presidential and parliamentary elections next month,” Francisca Kakra Forson reported Friday for the Voice of America. “Journalists are rejecting the requirement, which they say will reduce election transparency. . . .”

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