Constance White (Frederic J. Brown/AFP/Getty Images)

Constance C.R. White, who returned Essence magazine to a showcase for black women of diverse skin tones and hairstyles, is leaving the magazine, as are Corynne L. Corbett, the beauty editor, and Greg Monfries, the creative director, spokeswoman Dana Baxter confirmed for Journal-isms Friday night and Saturday.

Vanessa Bush, the executive editor, "will step into Constance's role in the interim as managing editor," Baxter said by email. She declined to elaborate.

The Jamaica-born White, a veteran journalist, was style director, brand consultant and spokeswoman for eBay, the online company, when she was named to lead Essence, the nation's leading magazine for black women, in 2011. The Time Inc. property ranks second in circulation to Ebony among magazines targeting African Americans.

"White was previously the founding Fashion Editor for Talk magazine, a celebrated Style Reporter for The New York Times and the Executive Fashion Editor for Elle magazine. She also served as Associate Editor at Women's Wear Daily and W magazine and began her career at Ms. magazine, as assistant to co-Founder Gloria Steinem," an announcement said when she was named.

This column noted at the time that the March 2011 issue of Essence magazine, delivered during Black History Month,"might as well have been renamed 'Wigs and Weaves.' "

"It seemed like that kind of advertorial. Subsequent issues weren't much different," the summary of the year in media diversity continued.

"However, issues for the rest of the year represented a return to acknowledging the diversity among black women. Under Constance C.R. White, named editor-in-chief in March, Essence is showing women of varying skin tones and hair styles and tackling more subjects that bolster the self-esteem of its impressionable audience. The December issue included a piece by Denene Miller on colorism, defined as 'the practice of extending or withholding favor based on a person's skin tone.' 'ColorStruck' was accompanied by a quiz by Ylonda Gault Caviness to determine whether you are."

At the National Association of Black Journalists convention last year in New Orleans, White remarked that the magazine was looking for models among everyday women because editors were not satisfied with the look of the professional models available. "Street Style" became a regular feature, spotlighting "What We're Wearing In . . . "

Bush describes herself in a LinkedIn profile as a 19-year veteran of the magazine industry.

"Prior to this position, she was the Digital Editorial Manager of Food/Lifestyle Content at General Mills," it says. "She has also held various editorial posts at Life and Glamour magazines. Vanessa co-authored a best-selling beauty and empowerment book with model, entrepreneur and media icon Tyra Banks, Tyra’s Beauty Inside & Out, and is a past winner of a Merrill Journalism Fellowship in Child and Family Policy. She has also served as a contributor at, a parenting and lifestyle web site. A foodie, Vanessa holds a culinary degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, and is a graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism."

Monfries, the creative director, had worked at Essence since August 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile, and was deputy design director at People magazine for 14 years and nine months.

"Corynne L. Corbett has spent more than twenty years encouraging and empowering women to look good and live well," her LinkedIn profile reads. "She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chic Jones Media LLC, a company that promotes communication and community among women. The company launched That Black Girl Site (, a blog collective covering topics of interest to African American women in 2008. Corbett is also a contributing Life & Soul blogger on

She was executive editor of Real Simple, editor-in-chief of Heart & Soul and editor-in-chief of Mode, "a publication that radically changed the landscape of fashion magazines with its focus on real-sized women."

Time Inc. is cutting some 500 jobs. Fourth-quarter numbers explain why, according to Peter Kafka of All Things D. "Revenue was down 7 percent, to $967 million, and ad revenue was down 4 percent. But the publisher is still the world’s biggest, and it still makes piles of money: Operating income was down 3 percent, to $200 million. . . ."

The financially troubled Freedom Forum Diversity Institute has removed from its website references to three journalism programs that train Native Americans and students at historically black colleges and universities, leading some to conclude that those programs will not be offered this year. no longer mentions the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop, the Multimedia Scholars Program or the American Indian Journalism Institute. However, the Chips Quinn Scholars Program remains.

Scott Williams, the Freedom Forum's vice president of marketing, told Journal-isms by telephone this week that the foundation, headquartered in Washington, was "still working out operational details" and thus did not want to put the missing programs on the website. "Everything is a work in progress," he said.

"The disclosure comes with fresh warnings of financial trouble. Today, Freedom Forum laid off 20% of approximately 150 employees at the Washington museum and other programs financed by the foundation. These are just the latest cuts since the museum opened in new quarters in 2008 that cost nearly double the original $250 million construction estimate. . . ."

Jack Marsh told Journal-isms by email this week that he was "wrapping up my duties as president and COO of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute, retiring in early 2014 and am transitioning to a different role with the Freedom Forum for my last year with the organization."

Nearly 1,700 high school and college students have completed the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop, which is designed to inspire Native American students to dream about the future and consider journalism as a career. During the weeklong program at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota's Black Hills, journalists and educators from around the country teach a condensed course about the fundamentals of journalism.

The Freedom Forum Diversity Institute Multimedia Scholars Program, which takes place in May and June at the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., is a free 10-day boot camp [video] in which scholars learn to shoot and edit audio, video and photos, and  enhance their writing and editing skills. It targets students at historically black colleges and universities, is run in partnership with Schurz Communications and places successful graduates in eight-week paid multimedia internships at newspapers owned by Schurz.

The American Indian Journalism Institute, which began in 2001, is described as a concentrated academic program teaching the basics of journalism in a university-approved, four-credit course. It is held in June on the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion.

Asked about Dr. Connie Mariano’s comments at a news conference on Wednesday, Christie lashed out, calling her "just another hack who wants five minutes on TV . . ." Holly Bailey reported for Yahoo News.

". . . Governor, you might not want to dismiss her so quickly," Bryan Monroe, editor of and a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, wrote Friday on "Yes, she has never examined you and maybe it's not her job to be pointing out the obvious: that morbidly obese men have a significantly higher chance of dying early than the population at large. But, still, she was probably doing you a favor. How do I know? Seven years ago, governor, I was you.

" . . . at 6 feet 4 inches tall and 441 pounds, I was morbidly obese. . . ."

Sidmel Estes, another former NABJ president, told Journal-isms by email, "I absolutely agree with Bryan. I, too, was morbidly obese most of my life and felt fine. I didn't have the 'wake up' call that Bryan had, but my doctor warned me that since I weighed more than any Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman, I was 'cruisin' for a bruisin'.

"Most people don't understand that a gastric bypass is a medical treatment for a medical problem. That's what Governor Christie should embrace. I can understand the Governor lashing out, just like when I was mocked as a young child as a 'fat girl.' If you have a broken arm, you get medical treatment, not just think it is going to heal by itself. There are so many misconceptions about how to deal with the obesity epidemic in this country. That's why I'm writing my book on going from 'Fat to Phat.' "

Estes is a longtime television executive producer and the founder and CEO of Breakthrough Inc., an Atlanta-based media consulting company. "I reached my peak at 360 pounds.... I had the surgery in 1999," she said by email. "I have kept the weight off and now weigh 190ish."

Joe Madison, talk-show host on SiriusXM radio, discussed his experience Thursday on Al Sharpton's "PoliticsNation" on MSNBC. He told Journal-isms by telephone Friday that he weighed 276 pounds when a doctor looked at him in a waiting room and said, "You're not leaving the office until I examine you." The doctor concluded that Madison's weight put him at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. "If you don't lose weight, you are going to drop dead, and nobody's going to know why," Madison quoted the doctor as saying.

Soon afterward, Maynard Jackson, Atlanta's first black mayor who was also overweight, died after suffering a heart attack while on a 2003 business trip in Washington. Jackson, 65, "had all the morbidity that I had because of weight," Madison said. He also discussed the weight problem with then-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., and his sister, Santita Jackson, both of whom had gastric bypass surgery.

"It's not a political issue, it's a matter of health," Madison said. "Stress and being president of the United State do not mix. Stress and being overweight do not mix."

Madison says he now weighs 176 pounds. "I keep a tuxedo I had when I was 276," he said. "I put it on, and both my wife and I can fit in it."

Jason Whitlock, columnist for, lashed out at the Associated Press Sports Editors Thursday, saying ". . . It's very difficult — perhaps impossible — for a person of color who writes from a minority perspective to be recognized as the best at anything in sportswriting."

"That's not a charge of racism. It's a charge of bias, an affliction we all have," Whitlock continued.

"As best I can tell, no non-white has won the APSE's column-writing contest. . . ."

Whitlock also expressed his disappointment that he was ruled ineligible for the Pulitzer Prize competition because broadcast media and broadcast media websites are not eligible, he said he learned Tuesday.

". . . Pursuing the Pulitzer in an honest, transparent fashion has been one of the things that has kept me from selling out and simply pursuing money and fame," Whitlock wrote for the Daily, a publication of his alma mater, Ball State University. "I pride myself on being a journalist. I feuded with and never made peace with ESPN because I see the Worldwide Leader as the enemy of sports journalism.

"ESPN is the very justification for the Pulitzer's stipulation forbidding broadcast media outlets from entering its competition. . . ."

Gerry Ahern of USA Today, president of the APSE, told Journal-isms by email, "The Associated Press Sports Editors contest has long been recognized as one of the premier honors for sports journalists. Our contest goes to great lengths to ensure the integrity of the judging. Bylines and newspaper affiliations are redacted from the entries. Any judge that sees an entry from their news organization or from their market recuses themselves from judging that entry or discussion of it."

Asked whether he didn't think that writers with a certain voice, particularly columnists, can be spotted even without a byline, and their ethnicity identified if they're writing about racial issues, Ahern replied:

"The entries are judged on their merit, with a column submission consisting of five entries in an attempt to best show the writer's range. That allows for diverse topics and approaches to column writing to be evidenced."

"It's been all drones all the time this week," Michael Calderone wrote Friday for the Huffington Post. "NBC News kicked things off Monday with a major scoop on the administration's legal rationale for targeting U.S. citizens linked to al Qaeda, and extensive coverage followed in print, online and on cable news.

"In the three days leading up to White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan's confirmation hearing Thursday to become the next CIA director, the words 'drone' and 'drones' were used hundreds of times on MSNBC, Fox News and CNN, according to a TVEyes search. The drone media debate over drone warfare, which gained steam in the weeks leading up to President Barack Obama's second inaugural, has only gotten more intense since.

"But where was the media during Obama's first term, given that the president authorized his first drone strike just days after taking office and has greatly expanded the secret program from the Bush years? . . . "

Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: The Legality of the White Paper and Summary Execution

Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report: Fleets of Drones Descend on Africa

Conor Friedersdorf, the Atlantic: Why Does the Media Go Easy on Barack Obama?

Jeremy Scahill with Amy Goodman, "Democracy Now!" Pacifica Radio: Assassinations of U.S. Citizens Largely Ignored at Brennan CIA Hearing

" 'I can only imagine what it would be like to be at a football game at FedEx Field in a crowd of close to 90,000, all screaming at the top of their lungs, when what they are screaming is a racial slur,' said Judith Bartnoff, a deputy presiding judge in District of Columbia Superior Court. . . ."

Among those at the forum was Suzan Shown Harjo, president of the Washington-based Morning Star Institute, an advocacy group, who said there are about 900 troublesome nicknames and mascots across the country, down from a peak of more than 3,000 in the early 1970s. Harjo, who has been active in the Native American Journalists Association, filed suit in 1992, challenging the Redskins' trademark.

Washington Post columnists Robert McCartney and Courtland Milloy wrote columns opposing the team name, and Bruce Johnson, veteran reporter at WUSA-TV, the Gannett-owned Washington CBS affiliate, wrote on Facebook:

"I'm . . . no longer using the 'Redskins' name when referring to my hometown NFL team. I am a big fan and from time to time I report on the team.

"I have no speech, no need to explain. The name is insulting to Native Americans. They've been telling us this for years. No one who isn't Native American can give the word new meaning. It's wrong and no amount of money or team of lawyers can change that; I came to shorten the name to just 'Skins,' I suppose to try and make myself feel like I wasn't part of the 'head in the sand' crowd. That was a cop out! I'm done. Thanks to Courtland Milloy, Mike Wise and others for keeping the issue real! . . ."

Washington Post: Redskins name change debated (video)

The stylebooks say race should be mentioned in describing suspects only when relevant, but Christopher Jordan Dorner, described as "a linebacker-sized ex-cop with a multitude of firearms, military training and a seemingly bottomless grudge born when the LAPD fired him in 2009," has given news outlets plenty of reasons to make it part of the story.

"Before dawn Thursday, authorities said, Dorner had already struck twice — grazing an LAPD officer's head with a bullet in Corona, and firing on two Riverside officers, killing one and wounding another," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Wayne Bennett, Field Negro: Los Angeles, we have a problem.

Los Angeles Times: Manhunt manifesto

"One immediate consequence of the change could be pushing magazine publishers even further along toward digital delivery, an avenue that has seen significant growth over the past few years.

“ 'The bigger issue here, I think, is the continuing trend moving media consumption away from content in hard-copy form (whether it is mail, magazines, etc.) and into digital form,' says Carol Pais Hammond, director of print buying at Fallon. . . ."

Mary Wisniewski, Reuters: U.S. Post Office cuts threaten source of black jobs (Jan. 21)

". . . The dirty secret about the web media business is that there's a massive oversupply problem," Ryan McCarthy wrote Wednesday for Reuters. "[Every day], content creators are producing more journalism, more think-pieces, more interactive graphics, more photo galleries, more tweets, more slideshows, more videos, more GIFs, and more deviously socially-optimized Corgi listicles. All of that is being distributed via more channels on more devices. This creates more supply for display ads, web media’s favorite and still growing revenue generator. All that supply, however, drags down ad prices. . . ."

Ezequiel 'Zeke' Montes Jr."Ezequiel 'Zeke' Montes Jr., president of the National Association of Hispanic Publications (NAHP), and Tele Guia publisher and CEO, passed away on Tuesday, Jan. 29, from complications due to pneumonia," Rebecca Villaneda reported Tuesday for

"ABC News President Ben Sherwood today announced that Senior National Correspondent Jim Avila is expanding his duties," Veronica Villafañe reported Wednesday for her Media Moves site. "Starting later this year, he will be the first White House correspondent for the ABC/Univision joint venture. He'll continue to contribute to 20/20. Jim has been assigned to lead the charge for ABC News on covering Hispanic America, immigration reform, education, politics and other issues vitally important to the Latino community. . . ."

Johnny Green Jr. is joining WCAU-TV in Philadelphia, where Vice President of News Anzio Williams has been making numerous personnel changes. Green will be executive producer for late news, Merrill Knox reported Thursday for TVSpy. "He comes from WPXI in Pittsburgh, where he was the nightside and special projects executive producer."

On Thursday, Paul Cheung, new national president of the Asian American Journalists Association, joined in the condemnation of an opinion column by former New York Times reporter Joel Brinkley that alleged that Vietnamese people eat birds, squirrels, rats and dogs. Tribune Media Services retreated from the column on Feb. 1.

". . . Lifetime TV’s upcoming film 'Betty and Coretta' about the friendship between Betty Shabazz and Coretta Scott King, "has achieved a historic double-header," Barbara Reynolds wrote in the Washington Post. ". . . For most viewers, the film will be well-received. It is provocative, dramatic entertainment. But for others, who believe portraits of famous people should adhere to a truthful story line, there are problems, especially for relatives closest to the two widowed legends. . . ."

The entry deadlines for the 2013 Edward R. Murrow Awards contest and the RTDNA/Unity Awards contest have been extended to Wednesday, Feb. 20. The RTDNA/Unity Awards "encourage and showcase journalistic excellence in covering issues of race and ethnicity."

Sonia Sotomayor's latest event to promote her new memoir, "My Beloved World," surely raised a few eyebrows when she expressed hesitation about allowing cameras into the Supreme Court, Jordan Teicher reported Wednesday for New York magazine. The justice's remarks "are particularly surprising because she previously seemed inclined to allow the televising of oral arguments. . . . "

"In the run-up to the November presidential elections, skirmishes over voter ID requirements, among other voting rules, bubbled up in several swing states — including Colorado, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Virginia — as well as in the federal courts," Corey Hutchins reported Thursday for Columbia Journalism Review. "This week, news out of Virginia confirmed those fights aren't likely to fade. And neither will the need for clarifying coverage, for reporting that steers clear of the he-said, she-said pitfall, for reporters who avoid attributing something that can be stated as fact. . . ."

"Second-generation Americans — the 20 million adult U.S.-born children of immigrants — are substantially better off than immigrants themselves on key measures of socioeconomic attainment, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data," the center said Thursday. "They have higher incomes; more are college graduates and homeowners; and fewer live in poverty. . . ."

In Washington, "Longtime Channel 9/WUSA news anchor Bruce Johnson . . . has produced a documentary entitled 'Before You Eat The Church Food,' " reported Thursday. "Addressing . . . 'the incredibly high mortality rates among African Americans . . .from cardiovascular disease and what can and is being done to reverse this epidemic.' " Johnson produced the video for the Association of Black Cardiologists and is a heart attack survivor. The 40-minute documentary is to he shown on Feb. 18 at 9 p.m. via Maryland Public Television. (Video).

"Beginning this spring, Morgan State University's campus newspaper, The Spokesman, will become a strictly online publication," Odessa Mohabeer reported Thursday for the Afro-American Newspapers. ". . . Morgan State has made three previous attempts to transition to an all-online newspaper, dating back to the early 2000s. . . . "

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday it "condemns the revival of criminal charges against Ethiopian journalist Temesghen Desalegn today in what appears to be a politicized court hearing designed to censor one of the few critical voices left in the country . . . "

In India, "Individuals alleged to be part of a right-wing Hindu group attacked an employee of the Mangalore-based Karavali Ale daily on Wednesday, confiscated and torched copies of the paper's editions on Thursday, and threatened news vendors, according to news reports and the head of the media group that owns the paper. The paper had published a front page story linking the Hindu group to drug trafficking, news reports said," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported.

"The station manager of a Liberian radio station was reportedly severely beaten yesterday and later required medical treatment," Jan Beyer reported Friday for the International Press Institute. "Hector Mulbah, station manager at Radio Gbezohn, said that he was beaten after a dispute in which a politician refused to 'underwrite the cost of Radio Talks Shows whenever he is hosted,' the New Dawn reported. Country Representative Buchanan Smith allegedly ordered his guards to beat Mulbah. . . ."

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

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