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"As a large fraction of the country suffered through extreme or 
even extraordinary drought many folks naturally wondered, 'Is this 
climate change?' Then along came a presidential election in which the 
words 'climate change' disappeared from the dialogue.

"Now, just a week or so before voting day, the convergence of 
westbound Hurricane Sandy with a eastbound cold front is creating a 
massive storm, a Frankenstorm even, that is threatening millions of 
Americans. Weird weather is making yet another appearance in our lives 
and once again we ask, 'Is this climate change?'

". . . One thing that does seem clear is that warmer oceans (a la 
global warming) mean more evaporation, and that likely leads to storms 
with more and more dangerous rainfall of the kind we saw with 
Hurricane Irene last year. In addition, a paper published just last 
month, used records of storm surges going back to 1923 as a measure of 
hurricane activity. A strong correlation between warm years and strong 
hurricanes was seen. Thus if you warm the planet, you can expect more 
dangerous storms. . . ."

Storm Cuts Power in Two Newsrooms

"At least seven deaths in the New York region were tied to the storm."

At least two New York-area newsrooms -- the Daily News and the 
Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J. -- were without power.

All-news WINS-AM radio tweeted just before midnight, "#Sandy has 
forced #1010WINS off AM radio; We are now simulcasting on WCBS-FM 
101.1 continuing storm coverage at newyork.cbslocal.com."

James Gordon, a BBC New York correspondent, said 
on the BBC's "Newsday" radio program that his office was without power 
and that he was delivering his report via Skype from his Manhattan 
apartment.

[Julie Moos reported Tuesday for the Poynter 
Institute: "The Huffington Post website is down Tuesday morning, along with all the 
Gawker sites and Daily Kos. BuzzFeed was up and down Monday 
evening, as teams shifted publishing to social platforms including 
Twitter, Tumblr and Facebook."]

Lauren Johnston posted a photo of a darkened 
newsroom on a News website at 10:35 p.m. with this note:

"This is the daily news newsroom now. All power down. Three feet of 
water in the lobby. News crew there sitting tight in the  dark. Turns 
out it was a good thing that I got stranded in Pittsburgh -- my flight 
back to NYC was cancelled Sunday and  I still have power here.

"A small crew of us still have Internet access and will continue to 
post updates as regularly as possible. We have limited  access to up 
date our homepages at this time. We will be posting all updates to 
this blog. Stay with us."

On nj.com, Eliot Caroom wrote this for the 
Star-Ledger at  9:28 p.m.: "Everyone from The Star-Ledger to PSE&G 
[Public Service Gas & Electric] employees have  lost power as of 9 
tonight as Hurricane Sandy continues to wreak havoc.

"More than 1.2 million utility customers throughout the state - 
including 700,000 PSE&G customers -- were without power as of 9 
p.m., according to the Associated Press. That surpasses the peak 
number during Tropical Storm Irene last year.

"The power was out in many parts of Newark -- including The 
Star-Ledger offices -- because PSE&G shut down its Essex substation 
in the city."

Seven Advance Co. newspapers suspended delivery of 
their Tuesday print editions. The papers include: the Star-Ledger, 
the Times of Trenton, the Jersey Journal, the Express-Times (of 
Easton, Pa.), the Gloucester County Times, Today's Sunbeam in Salem 
and the News of Cumberland County.

"While the Eastern seaboard braces for Hurricane Sandy, 
65 people have already been killed by the storm in the Caribbean," 
Zack Beauchamp wrote Monday for thinkprogress.org. 
"The tragic death toll and accompanying widespread property damage are 
caused in part by poor infrastructure and poverty -- problems that 
aren't limited to the Caribbean. Indeed, America's inequality problem 
is a key reason why natural disasters wreak such havoc inside the 
United States.

"That our stratified society makes storms more deadly is nearly 
universally believed by disaster experts. According to a paper by 
three experts at the University of South Carolina (Cutter et al.), 
'[t]here is a general consensus within the social science community' 
that some key causes of vulnerability to storms include 'lack of 
access to resources (including information, knowledge, and 
technology); limited access to political power and representation; 
social capital, including social networks and connections; beliefs and 
customs; building stock and age; frail and physically limited 
individuals; and type and density of infrastructure and lifelines.' 
Inequality was, the researchers found, the single most important 
predictor of vulnerability to storm damage -- variation in the wealth 
of individual counties alone explained 12.4 percent of the differences 
in the impact of natural disasters between counties.

"The reasons for this are fairly clear -- poorer communities have 
[fewer] resources to evacuate and prepare for storms, and also live in 
housing that's less likely to be build to withstand nature's wrath. . 
. ."

"That's what Craig Jahelka, vice president and 
general manager at WBOC in Salisbury, Md., did when the station needed 
someone to haul a camera around Monday morning, with Hurricane Sandy 
lurking off shore. 'At times like this,' he says, 'everyone's got to 
pitch in.'

"Covering Irene last year is fresh on East Coast reporters' minds, 
but it's becoming clearer that Irene was a relative non-issue compared 
with the massive magnitude of Sandy. No less an expert than Weather 
Channel reporter Jim Cantore told B&C, 'You could 
probably put two Irenes inside this thing, maybe two and a half. The 
size of this enormous.' "

Michael H. Cottman, Black America Web: ANALYSIS: 
Obama Shows Leadership in Storm (Oct. 30)

Daily News, New York: Tracking 
Hurricane Sandy Live (running blog)

Editorial, New York Times: A 
Big Storm Requires Big Government

Patrick Elie with Amy Goodman, 
"Democracy Now!," Pacifica Radio: Hurricane Sandy Kills 51 in Haiti, Leaving Behind 
Fears of Disease and Growing Toll

David Hinckley, Daily News, New York: Television weather reporters get face full of Sandy

Peter Orsi, Associated Press:  Cuba's 2nd city without power, water after 
Sandy

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Romney would pass the buck on disasters

Lauren Sausser, McLean (Va.) Patch: 'A' in USA TODAY Sign Blown Off Gannett Building

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Hurricane Sandy: TV stands by its live shots

"For many blacks and other Obama allies, proving that the first 
time was not a quirk has become almost as important a landmark as the 
history made four years ago. It would be an affirmation of the 2008 
achievement, coming despite what many African Americans interpret as 
indications in some places of discomfort with a black president -- such 
as a rise in anti-government militias since Obama's election, or even 
threats to Obama's safety, such as the 2011 incident in which a man 
pulled up his car south of the White House and fired an assault rifle 
at the residence.

"The electoral landscape, however, has gotten more difficult for 
Obama, with the 2012 presidential election shaping up to be the most 
racially polarized since 1988. . . ."

A Washington Post-ABC News national tracking poll Thursday showed 
that "The 2012 election is shaping up to be more polarized along  racial lines 
than any presidential contest since 1988, with President Obama 
experiencing a steep drop in support among white  voters from four 
years ago," as Jon Cohen and Rosalind S. 
Helderman reported last week for the Post.

Those results were followed by an  Associated Press poll Saturday 
that found that "Racial attitudes have not improved in the four years 
since the United States  elected its first black president."

Yet the issue of racial attitudes was barely mentioned when the 
mainstream Sunday talk shows discussed the campaign. (An exception was 
Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who said of the 
election on CNN's "State of the Union," "the difference by ethnicity, white,  black and 
Hispanic will also be as large as we've even seen."

Only two black journalists were on the talk-show roundtables, guest 
Gwen Ifill of PBS on ABC's "This Week," and regular 
Juan  Williams on "Fox News Sunday."

Meanwhile, the Pew Center for the People & the Press reported 
Monday, "As the presidential campaign enters its final week,  Barack Obama has failed to regain 
much of the support he lost in the days following the first 
presidential debate and the race is now even among likely voters: 
47% favor Obama while an identical percentage supports Mitt 
Romney."

The president conducted a series of media interviews before 
forgoing them to deal with Hurricane Sandy. He told April 
Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks that his campaign has 
enlisted an army of lawyers to clear hurdles for his supporters.

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: The rise of hate in the age of Obama

Ben Dimiero & Eric 
Hananoki, Media Matters for America: After Criticism, CNN Discloses Fiorina's Role With The 
Romney Campaign

Tex "Red Tipped Arrow" Hall, Indian Country 
Today Media Network: Why I'm Voting for President Obama

Fredrick C. Harris, New York Times: The Price of a Black President

Rick Horowitz, YouTube: He's a Moving Target (video)

April D. Ryan, American Urban Radio Networks: April Ryan's Sit-Down Interview With President 
Obama

Hazel Sheffield, Columbia Journalism Review:  Newsrooms' digital Sandy coverage

However, Hannah-Jones wrote, George Romney's 
orders to officials in the Department of Housing and Urban Development 
prompted a backlash. Romney, father of GOP presidential candidate 
Mitt Romney, told the officials to reject 
applications for water, sewer and highway  projects from cities and 
states where local policies fostered segregated housing. But Nixon 
intervened.

"I am convinced that while legal segregation is totally wrong that 
forced integration of housing or education is  just as wrong," Nixon 
wrote, according to Hannah-Jones' story.

"Over the next four decades, a ProPublica investigation shows, a 
succession of presidents -- Democrat and Republican alike --  followed 
Nixon's lead, declining to use the leverage of HUD's billions to fight 
segregation.

"Their reluctance to enforce a law passed by both houses of 
Congress and repeatedly upheld by the courts reflects a larger 
political reality. Again and again, attempts to create integrated 
neighborhoods have foundered in the face of vehement  opposition from 
homeowners," Hannah-Jones continued.

". . . . ProPublica could find only two occasions since Romney's 
tenure in which the department withheld money from  communities for 
violating the Fair Housing Act. In several instances, records show, 
HUD has sent grants to communities even after they've been found by 
courts to have promoted segregated housing or been sued by the U.S. 
Department of Justice. New  Orleans, for example, has continued to 
receive grants after the Justice Department sued it for violating that 
Fair Housing Act by blocking a low-income housing project in a 
wealthy historic neighborhood."

Sheinin was describing 
Robert Griffin III, the black quarterback for the 
Washington Redskins who has become the team's latest phenom, perhaps 
"The One?" as the headline called him.

" 'My parents raised me to not ever look at race or color,' Griffin 
said recently, 'so it doesn't have a big part in my self-identity. 
[But] I think it has played a big part in how other people view me, 
just going back to when I was a kid, to even now, doing the things 
that I've been able to do. As an African American, I think other 
people view that in a different way than I do.'

"And yet, in a city where race remains a relevant issue -- where 
even the name 'Redskins' is charged with racial tension, and where 
old-timers still resent the fact the franchise was the last in the NFL 
to integrate in the 1960s - the symbolism of Griffin's emergence goes 
beyond the mere question of how many Super Bowl titles or most 
valuable player awards he might win.

". . . Jackie and Robert Griffin Jr. were both New Orleans natives who enlisted in the Army as 
teenagers, doing tours of duty in (among other places) Okinawa, Japan 
-- where their son, Robert III, was born -- and Korea before retiring 
from the Army and settling in Copperas Cove, just outside Fort Hood," 
Texas.

"From the beginning, they chose to raise their three children -- 
Robert has two older sisters - to be largely color-blind.

" 'They can thrive in any environment they're in, because they 
don't see color -- which is something we really strive for in our 
lives,' Jacqueline Griffin said. 'It's not about somebody's race -- 
it's about humanity. And God wants to love everybody, no matter their 
background. I don't want them to see color. It's not about that. Any 
experience we had dealing with racism, we always told our kids, 'You 
learn from that. Don't do that to others.' "

Commentator Sophia Nelson went on MSNBC's "Up 
With Chris Hayes" over the weekend, Betsy 
Rothstein wrote Monday for FishbowlDC, "and declared that she 
hadn't decided for whom she will vote in the upcoming election. She 
got clobbered online with insult after insult. The ordeal got her 200 
new Twitter followers. But poor Sophia, who usually takes the 
so-called high road, couldn't contain herself and lashed back. . . . "

"For decades, indigenous people in the United States 
and Canada have been burdened with health problems linked to 
environmental pollutants. But that isn't their only sacrifice: 
Pollution is crippling some tribes' culture, too," Brian 
Bienkowski wrote Thursday for Environmental Health News. 
"Their native foods, water, medicines, language and ceremonies, as 
well as their traditional techniques of farming, hunting and fishing, 
have been jeopardized by contaminants and development. And as 
indigenous people lose these vital aspects of their lives, their 
identity is lost, too."

"Academy Award nominee Oprah Winfrey, who has 
not appeared in a film since the 1998 release 'Beloved,' will return 
to the big screen in Lee Daniels' 'The Butler,' a star-studded feature film inspired 
by a former White House butler," Kimberly C. Roberts wrote last week for the Philadelphia Tribune. "Currently in production 
in New Orleans, 'The Butler,' starring Academy Award winner 
Forest Whitaker, is based on a screenplay by 
Danny Strong and Daniels. It is inspired by 
Wil Haygood's Washington Post article about Cecil 
Gaines (Eugene Allen in real life), an 
African-American man who served as a butler to eight presidents in the 
White House for over 30 years."

On Monday, Univision officially started its first digital 
network, UVideos, which will offer more than 1,500 hours of long-form 
programming and about 200 short clips a day free to users, 
Tanzina Vega reported Sunday for the New York Times. 
"The content will be available as a mobile application for smartphones 
and tablets and online at UVideos.com. . . . Univision will also make 
the content and the user interface on UVideos available in English, 
with subtitles on many of the network's shows. In January, Univision 
began adding English subtitles on some of its television programming."

"Two photographers whose cameras were confiscated and 
photos were deleted for taking pictures near customs buildings at the 
California/Mexico border have sued the U.S. Customs and Border 
Protection (CBP) agency for violating their First and Fourth Amendment 
rights," Lilly Chapa reported Friday for the 
Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.  Environmental activist 
Ray  Askins, who lives in Mexicali, Mexico, was on 
the U.S. side of the border taking pictures of a port of entry 
building in May. Two years prior,  human rights activist 
Christian  Ramirez took photos of male CBP agents 
patting down women at the Tijuana border.

In Orlando, "Jose Fajardo, the president and CEO 
of WMFE, is leaving, the public broadcaster announced Friday," 
Hal Boedeker reported for the Orlando Sentinel. 
"Fajardo has been with WMFE since 1996 and became CEO in 2007. He 
oversaw WMFE's getting out of public television last year, a 
controversial move that ended with the sale last month of Channel 24 
to the University of Central Florida for $3.3 million."

 "If any fans of former 106 & Park host 
Rocsi Diaz were wondering what she has been up to 
since her departure, the wait is finally over," Krystal 
Holmes wrote Wednesday for Vibe Vixen. "The TV host announced 
via Twitter that she is heading to primetime's Entertainment Tonight 
(ET)." 

"Together again on TV for the first time in more than 
27 years - Tracy, Iola and Troy," Ed Bark wrote 
Thursday for his Uncle Barky's Bytes blog, which covers the 
Dallas/Fort Worth television  market. "Their scheduled venue is the 
Tuesday, Oct. 30th 8 a.m. edition of KTXD-TV's (Ch. 47) The Texas 
Daily, where former WFAA8 news stars Tracy Rowlett, 
Iola Johnson and Troy Dungan are 
scheduled to be that day's featured attractions." 

"Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn that Mohamed Mohamud Turyare, a 
22-year-old journalist who was shot several times in the chest and 
stomach as he left a mosque on 21 October, died yesterday from his 
injuries in Mogadishu's Madina Hospital," the press freedom 
organization said on Monday. "Turyare's death brings the number of 
journalists killed with complete impunity in Somalia to 17 since the 
start of 2012." 

In Pakistan, "Two sons of a leading local journalist were gunned 
down by men on a motorcycle yesterday in Khuzdar, in the troubled 
southwestern province of Balochistan, in a suspected reprisal for his 
reporting or act of intimidation against all journalists in the 
region, Reporters Without Borders reported Friday. "Siraj 
Ahmed Khan, 25, died on the spot while Manzoor Ahmed 
Khan, 22, died from his injuries this morning in a local 
hospital. Their father, Nadeem Gurjinari, the 
president of the Khuzdar Press Club and a reporter for the Daily 
Express and Express News TV, had received repeated threats and had 
recently stopped writing because of an increase in the frequency of 
reprisals against journalists."

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