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Charles Ramsey (screenshot via ABC News)

Interviews Produce "Internet Hero We've Been Waiting For"

An Australian columnist called Ramsey "America's newest hero." Lacey Mason of Washington's WTOP-AM said, "Charles Ramsey just might be the Internet hero we've been waiting for."

Ramsey actually was interviewed by more than one reporter, including John Kosich of WEWS-TV, the Cleveland ABC affiliate, and Kevin Freeman of WJW-TV, the Fox affiliate.

Heim offered this account: "Michelle Knight, 32, Amanda Berry, 27, and Gina DeJesus, 23, were found at a house in Cleveland Monday after going missing between 2002 and 2004.

"Three brothers were arrested, including 52-year-old Ariel Castro.

" 'I heard screaming,' Ramsey told Cleveland's ABC affiliate. 'I'm eating my McDonald's. I come outside. I see this girl going nuts, trying to get out of a house. So I go on the porch, and she says 'help me get out. I've been here a long time.' So you know, I figured it was a domestic dispute. So I opened the door, and we couldn't get in. ... So we kicked the bottom. And she comes out with a little girl and she says "call 911. My name is Amanda Berry." '

"Ramsey said he had no idea what was going on at his neighbor's house. 'My neighbor, you got some big testicles to pull this off, bro,' he said. 'Because we see this dude every day. Every day. I mean every day. I barbecue with this dude. We eat ribs and what not and listen to salsa music. You see where I'm coming from? Bro, not a clue that girl was in that house.'

"The reporter then asked him what the reaction was on the girls' faces. 'Bro, I knew something was wrong when a little pretty white girl ran into a black man's arms," Ramsey said. Something's wrong here. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Dead giveaway. Either she's homeless or she's got problems. That's the only reason she run to a black man.' . . ."

* Thomas J. Sheeran and John Coyne, Associated Press: Frantic 911 call leads to 3 missing women in Ohio

"It's easy to believe the worst is over in the economic downturn," Nancy DiTomaso wrote Sunday for the Opinionator section of the New York Times website. "But for African-Americans, the pain continues -- over 13 percent of black workers are unemployed, nearly twice the national average. And that's not a new development: regardless of the economy, job prospects for African-Americans have long been significantly worse than for the country as a whole.

"The most obvious explanation for this entrenched disparity is racial discrimination. But in my research I have found a somewhat different culprit: favoritism. Getting an inside edge by using help from family and friends is a powerful, hidden force driving inequality in the United States," continued DiTomaso, vice dean for faculty and research and a professor of management and global business at Rutgers Business School. She is the author of "The American Non-Dilemma: Racial Inequality Without Racism."

"Such favoritism has a strong racial component," DiTomaso wrote. Through such seemingly innocuous networking, white Americans tend to help other whites, because social resources are concentrated among whites. If African-Americans are not part of the same networks, they will have a harder time finding decent jobs.

"The mechanism that reproduces inequality, in other words, may be inclusion more than exclusion. And while exclusion or discrimination is illegal, inclusion or favoritism is not -- meaning it can be more insidious and largely immune to legal challenges.

"Favoritism is almost universal in today’s job market. In interviews with hundreds of people on this topic, I found that all but a handful used the help of family and friends to find 70 percent of the jobs they held over their lifetimes; they all used personal networks and insider information if it was available to them.

"In this context of widespread networking, the idea that there is a job 'market' based solely on skills, qualifications and merit is false. . . ."

As DiTomaso offered relatively fresh thinking on the inequality issue, the Economist magazine went in the other direction. Last week, its cover featured the headline "Time to scrap affirmative action" and the image of a thumbs down.

Along with the familiar arguments against affirmative action, the cover story maintained that even the notion that the practice promotes diversity on campuses does not wash.

"The University of Texas (UT) justifies discriminating in favour of black people not on the ground that society owes it to them, but because, it claims, a diverse university offers a better education to all its students," the Economist asserted. "That is a reasonable argument -- some companies benefit from understanding a variety of customers, for instance, and the police probably keep order better if enough of them share a culture with the neighbourhood they patrol -- but it does not wash for most institutions. In UT's case, although colleges benefit from a diversity of ideas, to use skin colour as a proxy for this implies that all black people and all Chinese people view the world in a similar way. That suggests a bleak view of the human imagination. . . . "

Noliwe M. Rooks, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, suggested something else was afoot with such arguments.

"It's clear that at some point, our national debate over race and affirmative action shifted from a primary concern over when and how colleges might use the policies to help students overcome past and present economic, social, and cultural barriers to a belief that such policies should be used only if they don't keep middle-class white students from attending the college of their choice," she wrote. "In the process, we have ignored the fact that the fewer numbers of black, Latino, and Native American students there are on a college campus, the greater the likelihood that white students will racially harass them.

"Those were the findings of a June 2012 research brief issued by the University of California at Los Angeles's Higher Education Research Institute, which found that on campuses with the lowest diversity, racial harassment is a consistent and growing feature of college life. That should trouble us. . . ."

* Lee A. Daniels, syndicated: The Economy's Invisible People

* Jerry Large, Seattle Times: Inequality a poor path to follow

* Mark Trahant, indianz.com: Indian Country left behind as jobs evaporate

*Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines: How Public Policy Built The Racial Wealth Divide

Howard Kurtz Grilled Over Mistakes in Riveting TV

"The extraordinary edition of CNN's 'Reliable Sources' contained not only his apology but also a session with two other media critics who sharply questioned his credibility. . . . "

Media writer Eric Deggans wrote in his Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times blog, "I can’t recall the last time a major journalism figure faced up to his mistakes in such a straightforward fashion -- devoting the first 15 minutes of his show to a grilling by two other reporters. (The New York Post, by contrast, was resistant enough to expressing regret for errors in its Boston Marathon coverage that a prankster inserted a fake apology from its editor into some copies of the newspaper.)

"Here’s hoping this brings better reporting from Kurtz and more accountability from journalists in general, as we recognize any one of us has the potential to make a big mistake at the wrong time. . . ."

Meanwhile, Collins and his family members were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey for a 90-minute show on Winfrey's OWN network, and the Democratic National Committee announced Collins would headline its annual lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender gala, on May 29.

Chris Broussard of ESPN, who said April 29 on ESPN's "Outside The Lines" that homosexual acts, adultery and premarital sex were "walking in open rebellion to God," continued to be attacked for singling out homosexuality. Broussard has said he is not making further public comments.

* Kevin Cirilli, Politico: Howard Kurtz apologizes on CNN for errors

*Peter Lauria, BuzzFeed: No One Watched Howard Kurtz's Apology Sunday (May 7)

* John McWhorter, Daily News, New York: On basketball and the Bible

* Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Who is Jason Collins? The word finally is out 

*Ian O'Connor, ESPNNewYork.com: Lombardi: A champion of gay rights

* Rem Rieder, American Journalism Review: Howard Kurtz's Mea Culpa

*Meenal Vamburkar, Mediaite: 'I Screwed Up': Howard Kurtz Gets Grilled On Controversy Over His Erroneous Jason Collins Story (video)

Latinos Become Largest Ethnic Group in Texas Schools

In another indicator of the nation's changing demographics, the Dallas Morning News reported for Sunday's editions that "Hispanics have passed whites as the largest ethnic group in Texas schools, making up almost 51 percent of public school enrollment.

"The influx of Hispanic students, many from poor families, has brought about many changes in classrooms, with more expected as that population continues to grow," according to the story by Yvonne Marquez and Luke Winkie.

"Some schools already struggle with how to teach an increasing number of poor children who don’t speak English. Others are preparing for a day when their enrollment primarily is made up of low-income students, most of them Hispanic. . . . "

* Drew DeSilver, Pew Research Center: How Mexicans in the United States See Their Identity

* Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Mark Hugo Lopez, Pew Hispanic Center: A Demographic Portrait of Mexican-Origin Hispanics in the United States

* Liz Hester, Talking Biz News: The intersection of business and politics

* Nelson D. Schwartz, New York Times: Transformation of a Town Underscores Immigrants' Impact

3 Services Honoring Neuharth Planned Next Week

The Newseum Monday announced two additional services celebrating the life of Al Neuharth, the USA Today founder who led the Gannett Co., the Freedom Forum and the Newseum before he died April 19 at 89.

All three services are to be streamed online. The first takes place Tuesday, May 14, at 5:30 p.m. EDT at Florida Today in Melbourne, Fla., the newspaper he founded as a precursor to USA Today.

The second is scheduled for Wednesday, May 15, at the Newseum in Washington at 5:30 p.m. EDT. As previously announced, the third is planned for 10 a.m. CDT May 17 at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion.

The Washington service is scheduled at the same time as a memorial for Lynne Duke, the former Washington Post reporter and editor, who is to be remembered at 6:30 p.m. May 15 at the Post building.

In the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., on April 25, Publisher Orage Quarles III listed "three very important principles that I practice each day and share as often as possible with young people." He said he learned all of them from Neuharth: "Pay attention to detail," "Arrive early" and " Learn to listen."

* Editorial, Daily World, Opelousas, La.: Al Neuharth leaves a rich legacy behind

* Tom Fenton, El Paso Inc.: From the publisher

* Roland S. Martin, Creators Syndicate: Al Neuharth Was a True Champion of Media Diversity

NPR Reporters' Mellifluous Names Reflect a Diversity

What makes NPR reporters' names so particularly mellifluous? There's that pleasing alliteration -- Allison Aubrey, Louisa Lim, Carl Kassell, Susan Stamberg," Deirdre Mask wrote Monday for the Atlantic.

"And it's hard to match those mouth-filling [double-barreled] names. Think Ofeibea Quist-Arcton, Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson, Chana Joffe-Walt, Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, Dina Temple-Raston, Charlayne Hunter-Gault. According to one study, women in the arts and entertainment are more likely to keep their names; the authors hypothesized that their maiden names had already become 'akin to a "brand".' All the same, reporter 'Nell Boyce' lacks the snazzy ring of Nell Greenfieldboyce, her married name mash-up. . . ."

Mask continued, "Of course, NPR's seemingly exotic names reflect the sweep of NPR's international coverage and America's own diversity. Yuki Noguchi isn't an unusual name for a Japanese woman, and Doualy Xaykaothao might be a perfectly boring name for a Lao-Hmong-American. Neda Ulaby's first name means 'dew' and is fairly common in Syria. ('It's also the name of the heroine of an opera called Pagliacci who is literally killed by a clown,' she told me over email.) Lakshmi Singh's Carribbean father is probably the reason why she pronounces her name LAK-shmee and not LUK-shmee, as South Asian friends like to tell her it should be pronounced.

"Some names are just family names. You can blame Michele Norris's father for the heavy stress on her first name's first syllable; she honors him by insisting everyone pronounce the name the same way he did (MEE-shell). Cokie Roberts's full name is actually Mary Martha Corinne Morrison Claiborne Roberts. Cokie was just easier for her brother to pronounce.

"Korva Coleman's name is actually a twist on an elderly relative's name, Cora. But 'in some Slavic languages and possibly Hebrew,' Ms. Coleman explained in an email, 'my name apparently means "slut." ' . . ."

Mario Machado, Chinese-American TV Reporter in L.A.

Machado died at his West Hills home Saturday of complications of pneumonia, his daughter said, according to Rebecca Trounson of the Los Angeles Times. He had been ill for some time with Parkinson's disease.

Roderick continued, "Machado had been born in Shanghai of Chinese and Portuguese heritage: his father was a vice-chancellor of the Portuguese consulate in Shanghai. From KHJ Machado moved quickly moved to 'The Big News' at Channel 2, the city's dominant evening news program with Jerry Dunphy as the anchor. He became the city's first designated consumer reporter. In the 1970s Machado hosted 'Noontime' on KNXT and began to handle a number of other news and interview shows, as well as radio. . . ."

Machado played Casey Wong in three RoboCop films in a parody of TV anchors and portrayed an interviewer in Rocky III (1982) and Scarface (1983), Mike Barnes wrote Monday for the Hollywood Reporter. Barnes wrote that Machado often played a journalist in films and on television.

Nominate a J-Educator Who Has Helped Diversity

The Association of Opinion Journalists, formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers, annually grants a Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship -- actually an award -- "in recognition of an educator's outstanding efforts to encourage minority students in the field of journalism." The educator should be at the college level.

Nominations, now being accepted for the 2013 award, should consist of a statement about why you believe your nominee is deserving.

The final selection will be made by the AOJ Foundation board and announced in time for the Oct. 13-15 convention in Newport, R.I., where the presentation will be made.

Since 2000, the recipient has been awarded an honorarium of $1,000 to be used to "further work in progress or begin a new project."

Past winners include James Hawkins, Florida A&M University (1990); Larry Kaggwa, Howard University (1992); Ben Holman, University of Maryland (1996); Linda Jones, Roosevelt University, Chicago (1998); Ramon Chavez, University of Colorado, Boulder (1999); Erna Smith, San Francisco State (2000); Joseph Selden, Penn State (2001); Cheryl Smith, Paul Quinn College (2002); Rose Richard, Marquette University (2003); Leara D. Rhodes, University of Georgia (2004); Denny McAuliffe, University of Montana (2005); Pearl Stewart, Black College Wire (2006); Valerie White, Florida A&M University (2007); Phillip Dixon, Howard University (2008); Bruce DePyssler, North Carolina Central University (2009); Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University (2010); Yvonne Latty, New York University (2011); and Michelle Johnson, Boston University (2012).

Nominations may be emailed to Richard Prince, AOJ Diversity Committee chair, richardprince (at) hotmail.com. The deadline is May 24.

* "The American Society of News Editors, which hosts and provides support for more than 5,000 student-written publications on my.hsj.org, announced last week that it would no longer host school newspapers because there are 'so many more options available to schools,' " Katina Paron reported Monday for schoolbook.org. "But those options were not clear yet to many advisers who oversee their school’s journalism program. . . ."

* On KTXD-TV in Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, "rotating Texas Daily pundit Debbie Denmon accepted an on-air marriage proposal during Friday's show from Richard Greagor," Ed Bark reported Monday for his Uncle Barky's Bytes site. "They've been dating since December 2011. Denmon, a former longtime WFAA8 anchor-reporter, is now director of communications for the Dallas County District Attorney’s office. Witnessing the bended-knee ring ceremony were Texas Daily host Jeff Brady and pundit Iola Johnson, also formerly of WFAA8. . . . (video).

* "Uriel Posadas has been named News Director of KINT-26, the Univision affiliate in El Paso," Veronica Villafañe reported Friday for her Media Moves site. "He replaces Zoltán Csanyi-Salcedo, who left in March to take a job at ESPN. . . ."

* In New York, "WNBC reporter John Noel is hospitalized with brain cancer," Jerry Barmash reported Wednesday for the Tuned In site. He's reportedly being treated at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn. Noel, who joined WNBC in 1998, was first diagnosed with the disease last year. . . ."

* In Orlando, Jessica Sanchez, the morning traffic reporter at WKMG-TV wrote on her blog Saturday about her ongoing treatment for non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. "There’s a simple explanation for why it has taken me so long to get back on here and jet out another update: Cancer. People can tell you cancer is a bitch but until she runs her blackened claws through your hair and you feel the bitter coldness of her tongue mark you with a capital C as you tremble with fear and uncertainty you don’t quite understand the depths of her depravity… especially when she partners up with the other big C: Chemotherapy. . . ."

* In Santa Barbara, Calif., "KEYT News anchor Paula Lopez has been noticeably absent from behind the news desk the past two weeks, less than a month after an inaugural broadcast return that followed her brief disappearance," Gina Potthoff wrote Thursday for Noozhawk.

* The International Press Institute and the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers Monday "welcomed the passage of seminal legislation in Mexico designed to combat the almost complete impunity in cases of crimes committed against the country’s journalists. The changes to the Federal Code on Penal Procedure, among other statutes -- all of which entered into force last Thursday, World Press Freedom Day -- put into practice a constitutional reform from last summer granting the federal government the power to prosecute crimes against freedom of expression . . .," Scott Griffen of IPI reported.

* In Mexico, "Two sons of a well-known journalism couple have been shot to death, authorities in a northern Mexico border state said Sunday," the Associated Press reported. "Alfredo David Paramo, 21, and Diego Alejandro Paramo, 23, were followed by gunmen, intercepted at an intersection and killed as they were driving home about 4 a.m. Saturday in the state capital, Chihuahua state prosecutor’s spokesman Carlos Gonzalez said. . . ."

*"Part of the weekend's celebratory aspects of the World Press Freedom Day in Liberia caused nerve-wracking emotions when the head of the presidential guard took the podium to unleash his venom, calling some journalists 'terrorists' and vowing to pursue them whenever they published articles questioning his integrity and those of other government officials," the New Democrat of Monrovia reported on Monday.

* "Burundi's government took unusually swift action last week in response to the police shooting of a radio reporter, after the journalist sought information at a roadblock in the capital Bujumbura where market vendors were allegedly being 'taxed' for passage," Mohamed Keita wrote Friday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "Perhaps the shooting could have been averted if authorities had bothered to discipline officers involved in previous attacks on journalists. . . ."

Follow Richard Prince on Twitter.

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