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Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin (Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)

The National Association of Black Journalists Tuesday provided more details of its plans to discuss the George Zimmerman trial at its convention next week in Kissimmee, Fla., near Orlando, as talk of a boycott of the state over the not-guilty verdict seemed overshadowed by conflicting reports.

"The conference will open with a dynamic plenary session, 'NABJ Live,' hosted by the organization’s [Journalist] of the Year, and political commentator, Roland S. Martin," an NABJ news release said. "Martin will have a conversation with the parents of slain Florida teen, [Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton and [Tracy] Martin, about their continued efforts to get justice for their son." The Zimmerman family was also invited.

The release continued, "Martin will also interview the Mayor of Atlanta, Kasim Reed in a session on the recent Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act. Bishop T.D. Jakes will participate in a one-on–one interview with Martin to discuss black leadership and deliver a message to the media.

"In response to the recent news of the verdict in the George Zimmerman trial, Rev. Al Sharpton will lead a session with key journalists that [led] coverage of the case, such as MSNBC's, Touré, Mark Russell, Editor of the Orlando Sentinel; as well USA Today's Yamiche Alcindor, NABJ's Emerging [Journalist] of the Year. . . ."

The release quoted NABJ President Gregory H. Lee Jr., "So much has happened in the past year affecting African-Americans that people still are talking about and news organizations still are covering -- from the Supreme Court ruling on the Voting Rights Act to the Trayvon Martin case to questions about black leadership. We look forward to delving deep into these issues, and exploring how they were covered in the news."

Lee said last week that pulling out of its convention commitment in order to protest the verdict would cost the association more than $1 million

Still, others are urging a boycott. On Monday, April D. Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, reported a list of musicians and performers boycotting the state that included such heavyweights as Justin Timberlake, Jay-Z, Kanye West, Alicia Keys, Madonna and more, crediting the list to "sources close to the Stevie Wonder camp." Wonder was the first major entertainer to announce he was boycotting the state.

However, "Denials reached a critical mass that began to shed serious doubt on the veracity of the list," Kia Makarechi wrote Tuesday for the Huffington Post. On Wednesday, Ryan wrote on her website, "Last night I received an official statement from Alicia Keys' publicist regarding a list I published on this website of entertainers who purportedly support Stevie Wonder's boycott of Florida's Stand Your Ground Law. Supporters hope the boycott pressures lawmakers.

"Kelly Bush, the publicist, emailed this statement: 'We question the validity of this list since Alicia's name along with many others has appeared erroneously.'

"I was given this list from a source who has been reliable in the past. So far, in addition to Stevie Wonder, two other entertainers whose names appear on the list have been identified by other news organizations as being supporters of the boycott. They are Mary Mary and R&B singer Eddie Levert."

The participation of the Congressional Black Caucus was likewise in question. On "Fox News Sunday," host Chris Wallace asked Rep. Donna F. Edwards, D-Md., "Some of your colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus say that they are supporting the Rev. Jesse Jackson's call or threat of an economic boycott against Florida, which he calls an, quote, 'apartheid' state for its passage of 'Stand Your Ground' laws.

"Do you support Jackson's rhetoric and his call -- or possible call -- for an economic boycott of Florida?"

Edwards replied, "I actually haven't examined that, to be quite honest with you. And I think that, you know, many of us understand that sometimes when we call for those kind of economic boycotts, the impact on some of our communities could be really tremendous.

"So I want to examine that first. And I don't think there's been a unanimous call within the Congressional Black Caucus. In fact, we didn't even discuss that in the Congressional Black Caucus, to my knowledge."

Some were questioning the wisdom of boycotting the annual Jazz in the Gardens festival held annually in the city of Miami Gardens, Trayvon Martin's home, Wanjira Banfield reported for the Grio.

"Circle of One Marketing CEO Suzan McDowell has been involved in the creation of the annual Jazz in the Gardens festival since its inception in 2005," Banfield wrote. "She understands the sentiments behind the boycotting of Florida. However, she believes that the threat of boycotting an event like Jazz in the Gardens does more harm than good for the Miami Gardens community.

" 'Trayvon Martin is from the city of Miami Gardens and the city of Miami Gardens produces and owns Jazz in the Gardens, which is the same city that Trayvon was born and raised in,' McDowell stated, 'To me it would seem a little ridiculous for people to punish the city that Trayvon was born in in order to support Trayvon.'

"With over 70 percent of the residents of Miami Gardens being African-American, McDowell doesn't see the relevance in boycotting one of the largest black cities in the state of Florida. . . ."

Meanwhile, Tracy Martin appeared at the inaugural meeting of the Congressional Caucus on Black Men and Boys on Wednesday, as participants discussed ways to protect and invest in black males, Sabrina Siddiqui reported for the Huffington Post.

She wrote that Martin "served as the meeting's guest of honor and made an impassioned plea for a statute or amendment named for his son that would circumvent future incidences of racial profiling.

" 'Let's not let a not guilty verdict dictate what our youth legacy becomes. Fifty years from now when I'm dead and gone, I would like to see that Trayvon Martin's name is attached to some type of statute or amendment that says you can't simply profile our children, shoot them in the heart, kill them and say that you were defending yourself,' Martin said.

" 'The question is, what can we do as parents, what can we do as African-American men, to assure our kids that you don't have to be afraid to walk outside your house, go the store, get a bag of Skittles and a can of iced tea and make it to your home,' he added. 'And next time your parents see you, they're dressed in white at a funeral.' "

Jenice Armstrong, Philadelphia Daily News: Saving the next Trayvon Martin

Kush Azrael
, Call & Post, Cleveland: Battle cry: Boycott Florida

Wayne Bennett
, the Field Negro: Shelby's turn

Peter Bell
, Star Tribune, Minneapolis: Blacks must also look inward, at our culture

Charles M. Blow
, New York Times: Barack and Trayvon

Keith Boykin
, BET.com: Why White People Don't See Racism

Sharon Broussard
, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: President Barack Obama's speech was just what this nation needed

James Causey
, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: President Barack Obama on Trayvon Martin: 'Could have been me.'

Gregory Clay
, McClatchy-Tribune News Service: After that grandiose speech, what's next, Mr. President?

Ta-Nehisi Coates
blog, the Atlantic: The Banality of Richard Cohen and Racist Profiling

Michael H. Cottman
, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Is Anyone Black Enough for Cornel West?

Stanley Crouch
, Daily News, New York: Resisting hysteria, rising together

Jarvis DeBerry
, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Black people as ordinary is a radical notion

Frank Deford
, NPR: NCAA Should 'Bolster And Reinforce' African-American Players

Jenée Desmond-Harris
, the Root: How Not to Derail the Dialogue on Race

Josh Feldman
, Mediaite: Juan Williams Fights Hannity And Allen West Over Zimmermam: Don’t Kid Yourselves, Case Was All About Race

Alexis Sobel Fitts
, Columbia Journalism Review: Telling the tale of two young black men

John W. Fountain
, Chicago Sun-Times: Raising a son in Trayvon's America

Julius K. Hunter
, St. Louis magazine: Trayvon Martin Case Reminds Julius Hunter of His Own Experiences With Racism as a Teen in St. Louis

Derrick Z. Jackson
, Boston Globe: The Zimmerman verdict: Acquittal exonerates vigilantes (July 17)

Tom Joyner, BlackAmericaWeb.com: An Open Letter to Rachel Jeantel July 17

Julianne Malveaux, syndicated: Looking Beyond George Zimmerman (July 17)

Roland S. Martin, Creators Syndicate: Trayvon Martin Could Be This Generation's Emmett Till

Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Vigilante Zimmerman -- 'Have Gun-Will Travel' (July 17)

Wamara Mwine with Tim Farley, "The Morning Briefing," SiriusXM Radio: XM Radio POTUS with Wamara Mwine and Host Tim Farley 7/23/13 (Video)

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Joining the conversation, reluctantly

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Post-Zimmerman, race goes personal again

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Obama's race challenge -- and ours

Barry Saunders, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Saunders: Zimmerman, O.J. cases don't match up

Shelby Steele, Wall Street Journal: The Decline of the Civil-Rights Establishment

Touré, Laura Washington and Bryan Monroe with Tom Ashbrook on "The Point," NPR: Race In America Today

Michael Paul Williams, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Zimmerman verdict stirs dismay, but not surprise (July 17)

"KTVU-TV has dismissed at least three veteran producers over the on-air gaffe involving the fake names of those Asiana airline pilots that became an instant YouTube hit -- and a major embarrassment to the station," Phillip Matier and Andrew Ross reported Wednesday for the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Station sources confirmed late Wednesday that investigative producer Roland DeWolk, special projects producer Cristina Gastelu and producer Brad Belstock were all sent packing following an in-house investigation into the July 12 broadcast of four fake names of the pilots involved in the Asiana Flight 214 crash at San Francisco International Airport on July 6.

"A fourth -- noon news producer Elvin Sledge -- told colleagues he was leaving for health reasons.

"News of the firings was first reported on Rich Lieberman's 415 Media blog." 

The on-air mistake coincided with the last scheduled workday for Associate News Director Janice Gin, a member of the Asian American Journalists Association, Donna Howell wrote last week for Investor's Business Daily. Howell noted that many have said the station might not have fallen for the prank if it had a news staffer sensitive to racist humor directed at Asians. However, Gin, "one of the most experienced Asian-American news pros in the business," had already left the station.

Emil Guillermo, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: KTVU's Asiana Airlines Debacle: They fired some people, but you can't fire racism (July 25)

Derek Zhang, Sing Tao Daily: Sing Tao Reporter Denied Equal Press Access

"In 2012, 82% of Hispanic adults said they got at least some of their news in English, up from 78% who said the same in 2006. By contrast, the share who get at least some of their news in Spanish has declined, to 68% in 2012 from 78% in 2006.

"Half (50%) of Latino adults say they get their news in both languages, down from 57% in 2010.

"The rise in use of English news sources has been driven by an increase in the share of Hispanics who say they get their news exclusively in English. According to the survey, one-third (32%) of Hispanic adults in 2012 did this, up from 22% in 2006. By contrast, the share of Hispanic adults who get their news exclusively in Spanish has decreased to 18% in 2012 from 22% in 2006. . . .

"When hearing a quote from Republican Mo Brooks [R-Ala.], 'There is a surefire way to create jobs now for American citizens: evict all illegal aliens from America' 77% of Latino voters said it gives them a less favorable view of the overall Republican Party. After hearing quotes from eight different House Republicans, 66% of Latino voters said the anti-immigrant quotes represent 'many Republicans in Congress' compared to 27% who said they represent only a few isolated individuals. . . . "

Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio: Republicans’ re-brand leaves minorities in the dust (July 11)

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: The out-of-touch caucus (July 14)

Geraldo Rivera, Fox News Latino: Immigration's Stacked Deck (July 12)

Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: GOP intent on stalling immigration reforms (July 12)

Viji Sundaram and Josue Rojas, New America Media: Indigenous Undocumented Farmworkers Left Out of Health Care Reform (June 25)

Juan Williams, the Hill: GOP right's anger fueled by fear (July 15)

 

 

Mary Hudetz, West Regional Desk editor for the Associated Press, was selected by the board of directors of the Native American Journalists Association as president of the association, NAJA announced Wednesday.

Hudetz, a member of the Crow tribe who turned 33 on Saturday during the NAJA convention, was NAJA vice president and chair of its 2013 conference planning committee. Jason Begay, assistant professor at the University of Montana and a former New York Times reportr, was chosen vice president. All nominees were unopposed and elected unanimously by the nine-member board on Sunday.

NAJA has 338 members, Hudetz told Journal-isms. "I believe that is a 46 percent membership increase over last year and we expect to keep growing," she said by email.

"My priorities for the coming year stem from the work that both the NAJA board and staff carried out in the past year. I want to be sure that we move ahead with the goals and initiatives, and continue to move forward with them over the next 12 months," she added.

"I am definitely looking forward to working with the new board on continuing to deliver on the goals outlined in NAJA's new strategic plan, which was created earlier this year. I took part in the planning process at OU [the University of Oklahoma] in January with others who were members of the executive committee at the time. Here is the link to the plan: http://www.naja.com/about/strategic-plan/.

"You'll see that there are five overarching goals within the plan that I know will advance NAJA's mission.

"I personally am very eager to put focus back on rebuilding a stronger career pipeline for Native student journalists.

"I also will be looking to our leaders and staff to find ways to push for greater news and information access in tribal communities. I want to see NAJA again become swift and consistent in responding to free press and freedom of information issues in Indian Country. Our mission statement has strong free press language, and we want to make sure we are staying on course with carrying out the intentions of our founding members, especially as we continue to celebrate them and begin to prepare for our 30th annual conference next year.

"When I talk about the overall topic of information access in Indian Country, I also think the opportunities springing up from tech developments are important to keep in mind too. I expect we will continue to explore partnerships that help our individual members and tribal news outlets take advantage of new tools and help them close tech gaps that have stood in the way of media changes and overall progress in Indian Country in recent decades.

"We already have two initiatives in place to begin delivering on these two fronts. One is the legal hotline and the other is the Native Health News Alliance. Both projects were announced at our conference over the weekend in Tempe.

"The conference was definitely an energizing event for our members, and I’m happy it’s the launch point for what I expect to be another productive year for NAJA."

Begay and three others were elected to three-year board terms. The others are Shannon Shaw Duty, editor of the Osage News; Eugene Tapahe, creative web developer at Brigham Young University; and Dalton Walker, digital journalist at the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D.

Robert Ortiz, a journalist for the Southern Ute Drum, will serve one year to fulfill the term of a former board member who stepped down last year, an announcement said.

Anthony Advincula, New America Media: Ethnic Media Highlight Role of Covering Indian Country

Reporter Siobhan Riley's report on WJRT-TV in Flint, Mich., was the object of snickers around the country Wednesday as Riley's phallic illustration of Saginaw roads affected by ongoing construction went viral. News director Jayne E. Hodak wrote media blogger Jim Romenesko in an email: "This was an innocent mistake on behalf of the reporter. In no way was it intentional."

"Al Jazeera America, the new American news channel that will launch on August 20, today announced that Emmy Award-winning journalist Joie Chen will host America Tonight, the channel's daily primetime news and current affairs magazine program," Deadline Hollywood reported on Wednesday.

Chen worked at CNN International and at CNN's domestic operation, where she received an Emmy for her work as an anchor covering the bombing at Centennial Olympic Park during the 1996 Atlanta Games. Chen also spent six years as a correspondent and anchor at CBS News in Washington, D.C., where she covered the White House and Capitol Hill, news events in 20 states and three presidential summit meetings, Deadline said.

"Alison Mitchell's ascension to National Editor made urgent the task of finding a weekend editor," Abramson wrote.

"Lucky for us, Marc Lacey has accepted the job and will be an Associate Managing Editor in charge of our weekend report. Marc has been a brilliant deputy on foreign and, to our amazement and delight, has found that he adores editing. As most of you know, Marc has been a White House correspondent, a foreign correspondent in Nairobi and Mexico City as well as a stint in Iraq. He blazed new trails for the national desk as our first, extremely prolific, Phoenix bureau chief. His collegiality, smarts and leadership will make him a superb steward of our weekend news report. He has a wonderful staff, strengthened in so many ways over the years by Alison, to support him."

"The interns had been working for $12 per hour for nearly a year, their terms extended informally after the end of their initial six-month employment agreement. As part of a larger staff reduction at public radio's most popular nationally distributed classical music program, APM cut the show's paid internships along with three full-time jobs.

"But unlike the staff positions, the internships weren't being eliminated altogether. Three weeks after releasing its three paid interns, Performance Today began a new search: for unpaid, 'volunteer' interns.

"Recruitment of interns to work for little or no compensation is commonplace in public media, an institution mainly composed of community-based nonprofits that have long relied on volunteers. Nearly every station, production company and distributor in the system has some form of an internship program that's designed to offer training and experience, but not necessarily pay.

"One notable exception is NPR, which recruits three classes of more than 50 paid interns per year. The interns receive basic training in audio production and writing for radio.

"Last week PBS announced that starting this fall, it will begin paying all of its interns. Currently PBS compensates only interns who work through the summer, while those who intern in the spring or autumn receive no pay. NPR had a similar system in place prior to 2011.

"To budget for the expansion of paid internships, PBS will limit the size of its intern classes: 30 will be retained in the summer and no more than 10 each in the fall and spring.

"This summer, 40 interns are working for PBS, more than double the 18 retained in 2007. Its previously unpaid internships typically recruited about nine interns each for fall and spring semesters. . . ."

"Essence Communications, which has been without an editor in chief for its flagship publication since February, is said to be in the final stages of choosing a new leader for the magazine, the fifth such appointment in 13 years," Tanzina Vega wrote Tuesday for the New York Times. One of the magazine's greatest challenges, Vega wrote, is "a growing sense among some readers, bloggers and media analysts that the magazine has lost its editorial direction." Meanwhile, "HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill spoke with Black Enterprise's editor-at-large, Alfred Edmond Jr., about how African-American publications are adapting to industry changes," HuffPost Live reported. 

C-VILLE Weekly in Charlottesville, Va., apologized Tuesday for a profane, racist rant that appeared in the publication after dozens of people protested outside its offices, the Blaze and the Associated Press reported Tuesday. "The comment used profanities and accused local black residents of asking for free food at restaurants." Jeff Winder, who helped to organize the protest, said he and others want the newspaper to discontinue the anonymous comment section, where the rant appeared, but Editor Giles Morris said, "Sometimes it shows you the ugly side of the community. That's not the worst thing for people to be aware of." 

"Three years after it was banned by the state of Arizona, the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) is resurrecting its Mexican-American studies program due to a federal court order," Ted Robbins reported Wednesday for NPR. "The courses are now known as culturally-relevant classes and are set to begin in a couple of weeks, when the school year begins. And they hold the same potential for controversy. . . ."

"Univision Radio Network has dropped 'Piolín por la Manana,' the wildly popular, nationally syndicated Spanish-language morning radio talk show hosted by Southern California-based Eddie 'Piolín' Sotelo, a Univision spokesperson confirmed," Reed Johnson reported for the Los Angeles Times. "No reason has been given for the reported dropping of the show, which airs on dozens of radio stations in more than 20 U.S. states. . . ."

In Philadelphia, "CBS3 [KYW-TV] has announced it is adding reporter Ileana Diaz to its roster of reportersMolly Eichel reported Tuesday for the Philadelphia Daily News. "Diaz, who hails from Los Angeles, comes to Philly from New York, where she worked at the Fox affiliate on stories such as the high-profile confession of the murderer of Etan Patz. . . ."

Addressing Pacifica Radio's financial problems, Kellia Ramares-Watson, an independent journalist in the San Francisco Bay Area, wrote Monday for the Leftist Review, "The time for balkanized programming in a general audience radio station and network is long over. The answer for the growth of Pacifica and other progressive media is to focus on issues common to us all, with diverse voices addressing how each group is affected by them. . . . "

Two of the Washington Redskins most celebrated players, Art Monk and Darrell Green, both inducted into the NFL Hall of Fame in 2008, told Washington's WTOP-FM that if Native Americans object to "Redskins" or other names that reference American Indians, then a name change should be "seriously considered" (audio), Dick Uliano reported Tuesday for WTOP.

Craig Kadoda, who had been a reporter in Uganda, where there are efforts to criminalize all gay-related acts, announced he was gay on a Kenyan current affairs TV show, the Observer in Kampala, Uganda, reported Tuesday.

"Turkey's main opposition leader accused Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday of cowing local media into self-censorship after a journalist group said dozens of reporters were fired for their coverage of anti-government protests," Reuters reported. "The Turkish Journalists Union (TGS) said at least 72 journalists had either been fired, forced to take leave or had resigned in the past six weeks since the start of the unrest, which spread to cities around the country. . . ."

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