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Broussard, left. (File) (Credit: Joan Lynch)

"Bailey, 57, was the first journalist killed over a domestic story in the United States since 1976, and his death sparked a coalition of local media to join together in what later became known as The Chauncey Bailey Project to investigate the death and the police handling of it."

Bailey's relatives bowed their heads and hugged when they learned that Yusuf Bey IV, former Your Black Muslim Bakery leader, was convicted of three counts of murder by ordering bakery handyman Devaughndre Broussard to pull the trigger, Henry K. Lee reported for the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Broussard reached a plea bargain with prosecutors and testified against Bey, saying the leader of the black empowerment group wanted Bailey dead because the Oakland Post editor was working on unflattering stories about the bakery," Lee's story continued.

"Wendy Ashley-Johnson, a cousin of Bailey's, said, "It's been a long journey, but justice has finally been done, and it's over. The family's just so thankful — thankful to God, thankful to the jury, thankful to the D.A."

She added, "Journalists have a job to do, and they should not be squashed in what they do, and that's what they tried to do to Chauncey. That's why the family decided to talk to the press, because that's what Chauncey would have wanted us to do."

Steve Geimann, president of the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation, noted that "The SDX Foundation in late 2007 approved a $20,000 grant to the Northern California Pro Chapter to help launch the Chauncey Bailey Project. Our San Francisco-based chapter was among groups that joined [New] America Media and the Maynard Institute to continue Bailey's work and answer questions about the murder amid the paper's investigation into suspicious activities of the bakery."

Robert Rosenthal, executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting and executive editor of the Chauncey Bailey Project, wrote, "One key factor in the success of the project was a commitment to the story and time. A key moment in the investigation occurred more than a year after Bailey was killed.

"A source was ready to divulge key information to the reporters. But there was one stipulation and concern. The source feared that the reporters would leave the story and that the project's commitment would falter.

"If you go away the story goes away, the source told the reporters. Without you, they were told, there will not be justice.

"The reporters stayed on the story, there was commitment from the CBP, and they were committed.

"There is a broader lesson in the success of CBP. In today's journalism world, collaboration is frequently essential. The CBP epitomized that. These verdicts and the work of the CBP are a powerful reminder that investigative reporting plays a crucial role in our democracy."

FCC Report Cites Low Level of Minority Ownership

"I'll put this simply — in spite of occasional instances of progress in recent years, media's overall grade in covering, reflecting, explaining and mirroring America's amazing cultural diversity is dreadful," Michael Copps, the most progressive Federal Communications Commission member, said on Thursday.

"Diversity of viewpoint, diversity in ownership, diversity in who and what we see on TV, and diversity in who runs the companies — all these are worse in media than in most other American industries."

Copps was reacting to a staff report for the commission, "The Information Needs of Communities," which was considerably more neutral in tone — too neutral, in Copps' view.

It said: "For ethnic minorities, it is a real best-of-times-worst-of-times story. Minority ownership of broadcast TV stations, already too low, has now declined further, as has the number of minorities employed as journalists. On the other hand, digital media provide such low barriers to entry that minorities who have been shut out of mainstream media now have infinitely greater potential to create content and reach audiences. Without gatekeepers, minority viewpoints are freer to find their audiences.

"Also, the high usage of mobile phones among minority populations positions wireless broadband to surpass efforts by other media to reach historically underserved communities with news and information."

Addressing news coverage more broadly, "After a year of study, a Federal Communications Commission special report, 'The Information Needs of Communities,' says there is a lot of journalism out there, just not much 'accountability reporting' of local and state government. Rather than leveling criticism on media companies for giving up their watchdog roles, the report offers observations without judgment," Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute reported.

"Several of the suggestions made in the project — headed by former journalist Steve Waldman — include bringing back the minority tax certificate to diversify media ownership; placing a station’s public file online; and giving the Corporation for Public Broadcasting more flexibility in the types of programming and entities it can fund.

"Other suggestions: Every state should have a 'State-SPAN' following the C-SPAN model, so the public can watch government debates and hearings. The federal government should consider directing some of its advertising spending towards local media. The FCC should eliminate burdensome rules such as the Fairness Doctrine as well as end the localism proceeding, in which staffing stations 24/7 was under consideration.

"Waldman’s group, which began is work in 2010, interviewed about 600 people for the project, including reporters, editors, scholars and foundation types.

"In the FCC meeting Thursday, Waldman said that the news industry has contracted during the tough economy and the report concludes that 'most media are vibrant, yet there are serious issues.' FCC commissioners Michael Copps and Robert McDowell took issue with that characterization; both said media are hurting and that this trend has been clearly visible for several years. . . ."

The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council said it "associates itself with the Report’s clarion call to reverse the low level of diversity in media ownership and employment and the Report’s recognition that 'greater minority ownership of media…would allow for more balanced depictions' of minorities. MMTC also joins the Report in expressing concern that the already low levels of minority ownership in traditional media are declining."

Citing previous studies, the report said, "When African Americans comprised about 13 percent of the entire U.S. population, the group owned only six television stations (or 0.33 percent of total full-power television stations) and 240 radio stations (or 1.6 percent of total full-power radio stations).

"Similarly, when Latinos comprised approximately 14 percent of the population, they owned only 1.11 percent of television stations and 2.9 percent of radio stations.

"Asian Americans, who comprised 4 percent of the U.S. population, owned a total of six broadcast television stations (or .44 percent of all broadcast television stations)."

The report says the nation’s 563 federally recognized American tribes are served by approximately 41 full-power noncommercial educational FM radio stations, which are licensed to federally recognized tribes and affiliated groups. (Some 14,547 radio stations are licensed in the United States.)

Loris Ann Taylor, executive director of Native Public Media, "says that she would like to see the number of Native-owned radio stations 'double...in the next three years,' with new regulatory efforts to increase tribal broadcast ownership and Commission approval of pending station license applications. . . .

"A 2006 report by Free Press found that television stations owned by people of color reached only 21 percent of U.S. television households and only 30 percent of households occupied by minorities."

A passage in the "Diversity" section about news coverage, which begins on page 252, notes, "Several studies have indicated that mainstream media do not adequately cover African American and other minority communities.

"Some experts believe that this is linked to hiring practices and a lack of minority voices at the editorial table." ("Journal-isms" rates a mention among the "increasing amount of news and information of relevance to minorities [that] is finding its way onto the Internet.")

A separate chapter addresses people with disabilities.

Copps challenged the report's characterization of the media as "vibrant."

"It will come as a surprise to few here this morning that this just-released Staff Report and its accompanying recommendations are not the bold response for which I hoped and dared to dream. Instead, the overarching conclusion of the Staff Report seems to be that America's media landscape is mostly vibrant and there is no overall crisis of news or information.

"But there is a crisis when, as this Report tells us, more than one-third of our commercial broadcasters offer little to no news whatsoever to their communities of license. America's news and information resources keep shrinking and hundreds of stories that could inform our citizens go untold and, indeed, undiscovered. Where is the vibrancy when hundreds of newsrooms have been decimated and tens of thousands of reporters are walking the street in search of a job instead of working the beat in search of a story?" 

Deborah D. McAdams, televisionbroadcast.com: FCC Report: Fewer Reporters Are Filling More Hours of Local TV News

Joelle Tessler, Associated Press: FCC report finds major shortage in local reporting

"I've been speaking with the publisher about the future of the site, but we haven't made any final decisions about what's the next step," he said by email. "I would love to have a 2.0 version of the site up and running in time for the 2012 campaign, but it's not completely within my control.

"In the meantime, we set up a new Daily Voice paper on Twitter that auto-generates content from chosen contributors. It's just a placeholder for now, but it allows us to maintain some kind of web presence until we figure out what's next."

The Daily Voice launched in February 2008, a week after the Washington Post Co. and scholar Henry Louis Gates launched theRoot.com, a news site on African American issues.

Boykin attended law school with President Obama and served in the White House as a special assistant to Bill Clinton. He is also a gay activist.

Ten people worked for the operation, which is based in New York. The publisher is Malcolm Harris, an entrepreneur who has started and operated several online businesses, including a partnership with careerbuilder.com.

NAHJ Member Cries Foul Over Disqualification as Candidate

Laura Tellado said she was 'stunned and very disheartened.' The National Association of Hispanic Journalists, preparing for its convention next week in Orlando, Fla., hopes to fill a dozen seats on its board of directors. One potential candidate, Laura Tellado, "did not meet the candidate requirements as stipulated in the bylaws to fill a Regional Representative position," an NAHJ announcement said on Wednesday.

Tellado replied with a message on her Facebook page saying, "Coming from the organization whose 2009 convention slogan was 'Evolve, embrace, reinvent,' I was stunned and very disheartened that they should reach such a conclusion.

"I have been a member of the NAHJ since 2006, during my sophomore year of college. Since joining, I have attended every single national convention, as well as participated enthusiastically at the local level, as a part of my Central Florida chapter. During these past five years, I have established meaningful connections and forged many long-lasting friendships.

"While the bylaws exist for a reason, I was particularly blindsided because I know for a fact that exceptions were made in the past to allow members to serve on the board (some of which remain on the board to this day). In other words, these bylaws were not set in stone for everybody. In my case, they were non-negotiable.

"To my confusion, however, there was one particular area in which the NAHJ did not hesitate to recognize my status as a professional member. Before beginning the vetting process, I was required to pay my dues for a regular membership (I had a been a student member until that point). At any rate, no amount of money could compensate for not being allowed the opportunity to serve the organization I love so much."

In a letter informing Tellado she was not certified as a candidate, Erin Ailworth, secretary and Elections Committee chair, assured Tellado she was "a valued member" but wrote that "Although your resume indicates you have previously worked for several news-gathering organizations in Florida, your resume and employer contact confirm that your most recent employment was blogging about health and lifestyle issues from a personal perspective at Marquis Healthcare, a medical supply provider. That employment ended when the company eliminated your department. Since that time you have been writing for several outlets — Holdin' Out for a Hero, a blog you started to search for a spokesperson for the medical condition Spina Bifida; blog pieces for Examiner.com, a 'local content network;' and LATISM.org, an organization for Latinos engaged in social media.

"Next, the Committee turned to the content of your work. Because you are no longer employed by Marquis, the Committee concluded that work could not count toward determining your current status. . . . At present, based on the information you provided, none of the pieces you have written for Holdin' Out for a Hero and LATISM.org constitutes paid work."

Roberto Pazos, listed as "Independent Contractor, Univision’s Al Punto," is the only candidate for the Region 4 seat.

J-Student in Weiner Case Gets "Invaluable" Lesson

"Gennette Cordova is a 21-year-old community college student from Seattle, Washington, who hasGennette Cordova been on the cover story of the New York Post, written a statement in the New York Daily News, and has been featured on the Today Show — but who is she?" asks the website NewsOne.

"Cordova, a Journalism major at Whatcom Community College who describes herself as a 'Type A, progressive, humanitarian in the making', is at the center of a scandal involving congressman Anthony Weiner from New York, after she received a lewd picture from the politico. She is one of 198 people whom Weiner follows on Twitter.

"I have seen myself labeled as the 'Femme Fatale of Weinergate,' 'Anthony Weiner’s 21-year-old coed mistress' and 'the self-proclaimed girlfriend of Anthony Weiner.'

"This scandal is like the internship of a lifetime for a journalism student, who has pointed out on her Twitter that the pestering journalists are making her consider changing her profession.

"However, she is learning from the situation, she says:

" 'This is teaching me an invaluable lesson about the importance of journalistic ethics and standards.' "

Jenice Armstrong, Philadelphia Daily News: Weiner's Women

Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: A Steward of Our Interests, Cont.

Celeste Katz, New York Daily News: Gennette Cordova Says "Weinergate" Is Bull (May 30)

Ashley Parker and Michael Barbaro, New York Times: In Reckless Fashion, Rapid Online Pursuits of Political Admirers

Jeremy W. Peters and Jennifer Preston, New York Times: A Conservative Blogger Looks for Legitimacy 

Heat's No. 1 Fan: Is Cleveland's Over "That LeBron Thing"?

What kind of small talk would President Obama make with an anchor from Cleveland who is about to interview him in the White House?

Anchor Leon Bibb answered Monday on the WEWS website: " 'You guys in Cleveland over that LeBron thing yet?' asked President Obama with a grin on his face, making reference to the decision of star professional basketball player LeBron James to bolt from the Cleveland Cavs to play for the Miami Heat.

" 'We're working on it, Mr. President,' I responded, smiling at the 44th chief executive of the United States who is an avid sports fan.

" 'Well, I think the Heat's going to take it,' he said without hesitation. He beamed and uttered a chuckle. It was obvious he was keeping up with the NBA finals between LeBron's Miami team and the Dallas Mavericks."

The two returned to the subject when the 10-minute, one-second interview was over, Bibb wrote.

"As he stood, his microphone was slipped off the lapel of his jacket. Within a step or two, still smiling, he and his Secret Service detail exited a door and walked at a quick pace down the historic hallway.

" 'I think you're right, Mr. President,' I said to the president, who was still in sight. 'It might be the Heat which will win,' I said of the NBA championship series.

" 'It's the Heat,' said President Obama, looking back over his shoulder as he walked with his several Secret Service escorts."

The Mavericks have a 3-2 series lead as they meet the Heat on Sunday for Game 6.

The Trotter Group: How's Obama Doing?

Acel Moore Hopes to Be Standing for His NABJ Award

Acel Moore, the Philadelphia Inquirer veteran who is to receive the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in August, is paralyzed from the waist down but hopes to stand to receive the award, Moore told the American Journalism Review.

"After his retirement in 2005, Moore continued to write for the Inquirer about local and national issues and how they affect the common man," Andrew Damstedt wrote Wednesday in a profile of Moore, who is 70. "However, since spinal surgery in March 2010 left him paralyzed from the waist down, he has written only one piece.

"That December 24, 2010, article mentioned his paraplegia but went on to mention Philadelphia shops he had frequented for his last-minute Christmas shopping runs, something he wasn't going to be able to accomplish that year.

"At the NABJ convention this August, Moore says he would like to be able to stand when he receives his award. He's been working out and lifting weights in an effort to reach that goal.

" 'I had a dramatic change in my life,' he says. 'I didn't think I was going to make it. But I have.' "

"A majority (53 percent) of Latino registered voters said they personally know an undocumented immigrant, and one-quarter (25 percent) said they know someone who has been deported or is facing deportation proceedings. That's according to a new poll by ImpreMedia and Latino Decisions, the third in a series of six national opinion polls exploring the views of the most integrated segment of Latinos in American society: registered voters.

". . . Matt Barreto, pollster for Latino Decisions and political science professor at the University of Washington, said the poll results put to rest the notion that Latino voters are not interested in what happens to undocumented immigrants."

Short Takes

*"Peter Cherukuri is getting a promotion because he’s 'gifted' and has an 'impressive depth of experience,' " Betsy Rothstein wrote Thursday for FishbowlDC. "The AOL HuffPost Media Group announced today that Cherukuri, V.P. and GM of HuffPost’s DC Bureau, has been named General Manager, Politics. In this new role, Cherukuri will oversee strategy and revenue for AOL HuffPost Media Group’s political content, including its 2012 election coverage across its destination properties, including Patch."

* "Former San Francisco Examiner writer Erin Sherbert, now with the SF Weekly, has noticed a disturbing trend since she left her former paper," Matthew Fleischer wrote Thursday for FishbowlLA. "In a newsroom that was already fairly male-centric when she worked there, these days only 8 of 35 editorial staffers are women. The last nine hires have been white men. On top of that, Melissa Griffin, the only female columnist at the paper, has a glowing full body shot to accompany her byline while her male counterparts have the typical gray head shot."

* "In an unprecedented collaboration, 12 young journalists from the four major minority journalism organizations in the United States spent the week covering the United Nations High Level Meeting on AIDS," Unity: Journalists of Color announced on Friday. "Mentors from all four journalism associations contributed to the project, which was directed by John Yearwood, co-chair of the UNITY World Affairs Task Force. Rochelle Riley, a columnist for the Detroit Free Press, served as editor. Committee co-chairs Djibril Diallo, senior adviser to the executive director of UNAIDS, and Cecilia Alvear, former NAHJ president and NBC producer, were also project leaders." The students' work can be viewed at http://un.unitynews.org/.

*Wednesday's termination of Sandra D. Long, vice president for editorial product development for Philadelphia Media Network, owner of the Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News, is "a sad day for journalism and diversity," Kathy Y. Times, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said in an NABJ statement Thursday. "We are grateful to Founder Long for her unwavering dedication to ensuring fair coverage of people of color in the Philadelphia community. She has worked extremely hard with The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, and our national leaders to make the upcoming NABJ convention in Philadelphia a success."


*"Two Pakistani journalists who captured images of apparent military violence against unarmed foreigners and a local man are being threatened, their colleagues told CPJ," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Friday. "The threats have come amid calls from high-ranking Pakistani military leaders to quell public criticism of their policies, made at a Thursday meeting of top level commanders." The two are Abdul Salam Soomro of the Sindhi-language television station Awaz and Jamal Tarakey, Quetta-based freelance photojournalist.

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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.