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George Zimmerman at his trial (pool/Getty Images)

The fallout from the George Zimmerman trial was in the air Friday, as President Obama made a surprise speech about the verdict in the White House press briefing room. But at the National Native Media Conference in Tempe, Ariz., where the Native American Journalists Association was meeting, other topics ruled the day. The words "George Zimmerman" or "Trayvon Martin" were hardly uttered.

When asked why, attendees offered remarkably similar responses, variations of, "Welcome to my world. Native Americans receive unequal justice all the time."

"We have our own system of injustice, and we've been living it for 100 years," Tim Giago, Oglala Lakota, veteran Native journalist and founding president of NAJA, told Journal-isms.

"We're used to it. We have to prove our innocence," replied Lucinda Hughes-Juan, Tohono O'odham, a freelance business writer and business instructor at Tohono O'odham Community College.

"Native Americans have always dealt with similar circumstances," said Ronnie Washines of the Yakama Nation Review, a  Yakama and a former NAJA president.

Each could cite examples.

In South Dakota, Giago said, a Native American was given a five-year sentence for driving while intoxicated, while a white man received probation.

"On my reservation alone," Washines said, "there have been almost a dozen unsolved murders and missing women cases." Then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales came to the reservation and promised to have investigators review all of the unsolved homicide and mysterious death cases on the reservation.

"They can't find anything. Came back with zero," Washines said.

"This is typical," Hughes-Juan said of the way justice was administered in the Martin case. "Being followed around in stores, stuff like that. We have so many issues, poverty issues, day-to-day survival." In March, NAJA and other Native groups complained to CBS-TV about the sitcom "Mike and Molly." "In the episode in question, Mike's mother, Peggy, who is played by Rondi Reed, reacted negatively to remarks that she should go to Arizona," Bill Donovan reported then for the Navajo Times.

"It's a stereotype we get all the time," Hughes-Juan said. "Welcome to the club. I could still be going into a store in Tucson and not be waited on."

Both a publicist for the show and CBS refused to apologize -- or to comment at all, Donovan wrote. A CBS spokeswoman told Journal-isms on Monday that the network still had no comment.

Loren Tapahe, president and CEO of the American Indian Chamber of Commerce of Arizona and former publisher of the Navajo Times in Window Rock, Ariz., recalled the 2010 case of Vincent Kee, a young mentally disabled Navajo man.

"Two other McDonald's employees, Jesse Sanford and William Hatch, joined them after their shift.

"There, in the course of a nightmarish evening that the defense would attempt to characterize as pranks gone awry, they drew the words 'white power' on the back of Kee's neck with a marker and an obscene picture on his back, shaved a swastika into his hair, and used markers to write the words 'KKK' and 'White Power' within the lines of the swastika, clearly identifying its intent.

"Finally, Kee was assaulted. Beebe put a towel in his mouth to stifle his screams and branded a swastika on his arm with a wire hanger heated on the stove. The defendants recorded their actions on a cell phone as 'proof' that Kee consented to their acts. . . ."

Three men were sentenced for the crime, but, Tapahe said, "It didn't make the news until the federal government got involved."

Native Americans rank near the bottom on so many social indicators that "a lot of this one is Native people are always dealing with our own issues," Perci Ami, a Hopi master trainer and facilitator who came to the convention in place of an ailing Patty Talahongva, a past NAJA president. If Martin had been an Indian, "We would have responded the way African American people are responding. That's probably the main reason you don't see a lot of discussion."

Outside the convention, some Native Americans have taken a different approach. Activist Suzan Shown Harjo last year used the Martin case, in which Zimmerman, a night watchman, fatally shot Martin, an unarmed black teenager, as an example of white privilege.

"All sorts of excuses are made for whites who harm non-whites, mainly that they act out of fear," Harjo wrote. "No one really acknowledges what their fear is: That non-whites, once in charge of anything, will be as bad to the whites as they have been to us."

Suzette Brewer wrote last week for the Indian Country Today Media Network about a high-profile custody case involving 3-year-old Veronica Brown, a Cherokee, and Matt and Melanie Capobianco, a white couple who took the newborn Veronica home from the hospital in an open adoption approved by the mother. Brewer quoted an outraged Native legal scholar: "This is Indian country's Trayvon Martin moment; we cannot pass on this."

Gyasi Ross, a member of the Blackfeet Nation whose family also belongs to the Suquamish Nation, wrote last year about the backlash he received from "one small group of dissenters" who disagreed with his piece urging everyone to care about the Martin case.

"We must realize that Native people have a vested interest in making sure that everybody in this country's rights are respected," Ross wrote. "The more that all people of color are able to enforce their rights in this country, the more likely that justice will eventually make its way to Native people.

"We are all inextricably linked and need each other -- therefore, Indian people should be screaming for justice for Trayvon Martin specifically because we've seen many instances of Native people being killed by rednecks under the theory that the Native people were 'threatening' before.

"We should be screaming for the racial profiling of Mexicans in Arizona to stop specifically because we know what it feels like to be racially profiled and to thus be robbed of our rights. When redneck legislators attempt to limit the ability of homosexuals to decide whether they want to marry or not, we should stand beside them understanding how demeaning it is to have outsiders dictate what you can and cannot do as a group.

"We should stand with poor and voiceless people of all colors, including poor white people. We should stand up for them, because we would want them to stand up for us when our human and civil rights are threatened. No more begging for scraps -- let's demand full justice for all of our people." 

Ruth Hopkins, lastrealindians.com: Stand Your Ground for Trayvon Martin and All Our Children  

Jacqueline Keeler, Native News Network: My Dad Was Almost Trayvon Martin

"At least eight in 10 African Americans say the shooting of the Florida teenager was unjustified, recoil at the verdict in the trial and want the shooter, George Zimmerman, tried in federal court for violating Martin's civil rights.

"On the Martin shooting in particular, the racial gaps are extremely wide. . . ."

The Pew Research Center released similar findings.

"African Americans express a clear and strong reaction to the case and its meaning: By an 86% to 5% margin, blacks are dissatisfied with Zimmerman's acquittal in the death of Trayvon Martin," the center said Monday. "And nearly eight-in-ten blacks (78%) say the case raises important issues about race that need to be discussed. Among whites, more are satisfied (49%) than dissatisfied (30%) with the outcome of the Zimmerman trial. Just 28% of whites say the case raises important issues about race, while twice as many (60%) say the issue of race is getting more attention than it deserves.

"Not only do reactions to the outcome of the case vary widely across racial lines, but overall interest levels also are very different. When asked, in a separate survey, what recent news story they are talking about with friends and family, 63% of blacks volunteer the Zimmerman trial compared with 42% of whites. Nearly six-in-ten African Americans (58%) say they followed news about the verdict and reactions to the case very closely compared with 34% of whites. . . ."

Meanwhile, the Root reposted an April 2012 piece by Edward Wyckoff Williams, who wrote, "On last week's episode of This Week on ABC, Washington Post columnist George Will said that despite the Trayvon tragedy, '150 black men are killed every week in this country,' and 'about 94 percent of them by other black men.'

"Will parroted arguments made by many conservatives, his intended point being that black-on-black crime remains the real problem our nation should address. The half-truth he spoke went curiously unchallenged by the panel -- including former White House adviser Van Jones -- largely because the meta-narrative of black-on-black violence is widely accepted in journalistic and political circles."

But, Williams noted, "What Will, [Shelby] Steele and [Bill] O'Reilly failed to mention is the exacting truth that white Americans are just as likely to be killed by other whites. According to Justice Department statistics [pdf], 84 percent of white people killed every year are killed by other whites. . . ."

In just a few hours, the Rev. Al Sharpton played several parts in the Trayvon Martin story, Paul Farhi wrote for the Washington Post, "virtually at once: national TV host, Martin-family advocate, rally organizer and promoter, and newsmaker."

Farhi added, "Sharpton's immersion in the story -- unthinkable for a network-news figure even a few years ago -- has raised questions for MSNBC and its parent, NBC News. Among them: [Are] Sharpton, and MSNBC, helping to create some of the very news MSNBC is covering?

"MSNBC's president, Phil Griffin, acknowledged in an interview that Sharpton is different from the network's other hosts; indeed, Griffin hired him in 2011 with a 'carve out' from NBC News' policy of prohibiting employees from direct involvement in political activity."

Farhi went on to quote Gregory H. Lee Jr., president of the National Association of Black Journalists. "Rev. Sharpton has never claimed to be a journalist, so therefore, as to the question of the ethics of his participation in protests and rallies surrounding the Trayvon Martin tragedy, I'm not sure that the same rules apply as it would to, say, a reporter or anchor," Lee said in the story.

" 'I said at the time of the Rev.'s hiring that I am pleased that he represents a growing amount of on-air diversity at cable networks,' Lee said, adding: 'It is of the utmost importance that the nation's television networks, radio stations, newspapers, magazines and online outlets represent the diversity of our viewers, listeners and readers.' "

Speaking of online diversity, Roxane Gay wrote in Salon Saturday of her "anger, frustration and bewilderment" in reading a piece by Salon writer Rich Benjamin that asked about Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., " Is Holder the president’s conscience? Or his Inner Nigger?

Gay replied, "As I followed various reactions on Twitter, I wrote my Salon editor, Anna North, because I wanted to know more about the editorial process. Later, I spoke on the phone with Salon's interim editor-in-chief, David Daley, and we had a frank and lengthy conversation with about diversity and editorial/creative freedom.

"But. Is Benjamin's piece a writing problem or an editorial problem? In looking at the editorial staff of Salon, one thing is clear -- there is little ethnic diversity. Let's not pretend, however, that this is only a Salon problem. Most magazines, online and print, are utterly lacking in editorial diversity and demonstrate little interest in addressing the problem. I don't need to name names; just pick a magazine. . . ." 

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: A flawed victim?

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Black on black slime.

Michael H. Cottman, Black America Web: Obama is Right to Speak About the Sting of Racism

Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: In conversations on race, everyone has to listen

James Harper, Florida Courier: In this Reporter's Opinion, Hope Must Prevail

Clyde Hughes, Journal & Courier, Lafayette, Ind.: What you'll do if you care for Trayvon Martin

Geraldo Rivera, Fox News Latino: White Hispanic, Yellow Journalism

Georgiana Vines, Society of Professional Journalists: Zimmerman Trial Activism: A Political Reporter Offers Coverage Tips

 

"During Ivory's 16 years at The Courier-Journal, the news organization won a 2005 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning and amplified its reputation as a staunch advocate for public journalism. Under Ivory's leadership, the newspaper won awards for news reports that shed light on child abuse in the state, prescription drug abuse and an attempted merger of University of Louisville Hospital with religious health-care organizations. . . ."

He added, "Before that, he worked in his hometown of Hot Springs, Ark.; Monroe, La.; Jackson, Miss.; in Brevard County, Fla.; and Wilmington, Del. He was on the start-up team as national editor at USA Today, and as managing editor at The Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss., in 1989 directed reporting that led to the re-indictment of white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith in the murder of civil-rights leader Medgar Evers 26 years earlier."

Ivory messaged Journal-isms, "What do I plan to do next? I have a list that includes fishing, some travel, grandkids, etc." Asked why he is retiring at 62, Ivory wrote, "Why the hell not??? I never had any intention of going until 65 or later."

Don Hudson, executive editor of the Decatur (Ala.) Daily, told Journal-isms by email, "Bennie is going to be missed big time in our industry. He was my role model coming up, and still is. He cares about people and for a long time has been a leader of diversity in the industry.

"Bennie is an outstanding news person, especially on the FOIA front. He never looked for or expected recognition; it just came his way because of his aggressive, hard-nosed approach toward journalism."

Wanda Lloyd, a former fellow Gannett editor, messaged, "Bennie Ivory is one of the deans among journalists in Gannett. We met briefly when I arrived in Gannett at USA Today in 1986.

"Bennie was an editor there, already on his way out the door to work in a leadership role at another Gannett paper. He told me once that he was moving around the company so fast that he sometimes didn't get to unpack all of his family's boxes because Gannett called him to higher and higher roles.

"He found his niche in Louisville and he did some great work there. We relied on Bennie's sober perspective and wisdom in matters of journalism excellence and newsroom diversity. He mentored a lot of young journalists and he made our business better."

Lloyd is now chair/associate professor of the Department of Mass

"I first met Helen Thomas when I was covering the Reagan White House for ABC News," retired anchor Carole Simpson messaged Journal-isms Saturday after the news broke that Thomas, 92, had died.

"It was exciting to finally meet the woman I had watched end presidential press conferences through the years with her words, 'Thank You Mr. President.'

"For all her accomplishments as a trailblazer for women journalists wanting to cover the White House, she was surprisingly down to earth with a ready laugh, but all business when news broke out. I remember her being one of the first reporters to arrive in the morning and one of the last to leave at night. And at that time she was considered a 'older woman.' But no young Turks were going to beat her. I used to tell her 'I want to be you, when I grow up.' What I meant is that, I wanted to continue to turn out excellent work long past retirement age.

"I am saddened that people remember the lamentable end of her career when she answered a question about the Middle East, in which she said, "Israel should get out of Palestine...etc." An uproar followed. I fear she'll be remembered for that one minute of speaking her mind rather than her many accomplishments as a trailblazing female journalist. She took the slings and arrows of male discrimination and sexual harassment to reach the top of our profession. All women journalists today owe her gratitude and respect."

Reginald Stuart, a corporate recruiter for the McClatchy Co. and a past president of the Society of Professional Journalists, remembers Thomas' ties to SPJ. "Helen was a treasured colleague who would do anything to help her fellow journalists," Stuart told Journal-isms.

"In the case of SPJ, when we were on hard times in the mid-'90s, she went the extra mile to help us keep our profile up. She went to regional meetings, national conferences. At that point in time, to have Helen Thomas on the marquee was like having a superstar -- but she was a superstar.

"She was especially attentive and kind and patient and she would not leave a venue until she answered every question everybody had, and she was especially kind to young, aspiring journalists."

The Lebanese-born Thomas received a "Pioneers in Journalism" award from the Asian American Journalists Association in 2004.

Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association: AMEJA Mourns Death of Helen Thomas

Mike Feinsilber, Associated Press: Helen Thomas: She Asked the Unasked Questions

Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine: Remembering Helen Thomas, pioneer

Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio/Radio Television Digital News Association: Remembering journalist Helen Thomas

David Lightman, McClatchy Washington Bureau: Helen Thomas opened White House press corps to women

Karen Tumulty, Washington Post: What Helen Thomas taught us

Former FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps Saturday urged the FCC to "say no to this continuing consolidation" of media outlets, pointing to last month's announcement that Gannett Co. plans to buy Belo Corp. for $2.2 billion in a deal that will make Gannett the USA's fourth largest owner of major network affiliates, reaching nearly a third of U.S. households.

Copps was speaking at the National Native Media Conference in Tempe, Ariz., where he implored Native Americans -- and all Americans -- not to fall further behind in adopting and becoming familiar with broadband technology.

Copps was considered the most progressive member of the FCC when he served from 2001 to 2011, with media consolidation and diversity among his signature concerns. Last week, the Radio Television Digital News Association reported, "We're now losing TV newsrooms at the fairly steady rate of eight per year," as "quite a few TV newsrooms have been subsumed in some sort of consolidation or shared services agreement."

Appearing with Copps was Geoffrey Blackwell, who heads the FCC's recently created Office of Native Affairs and Policy. Blackwell, an enrolled member of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, told the group, "We need champions who are non-Native" and that "more people have got to get more serious about the opportunities and the challenges here. It's not the commission's job to take care of Indian Country. It's my job to provide opportunity. Folks need to get involved. . . . You've got to do a lot of reading."

Copps called broadband -- high-speed Internet connections -- "the infrastructure of the 21st century. There will be no resolution to any of the important problems facing this country unless we realize that each one has a broadband component to it.

"The overall job that the country is doing in broadband is not very good. It's not just Native lands that have suffered; it's everybody in the country that's been held back."

Copps, now an adviser to Common Cause, said in his keynote speech, "We have to engage tribal policymakers the way they were engaged in the '60s and '70s" around social concerns. "Develop a cadre of people in organizations like this" on such issues, he said.

In addition to broadband issues, Natives and others should be focusing on the upcoming auction of broadcast spectrum. Will the spectrum be used by the big commercial companies or targeted toward people of color for use in mobile broadband or otherwise? Copps asked.

The FCC last month "adopted a Report and Order that will add 10 megahertz to the wireless broadband inventory for flexible use services in the 'H Block' spectrum (1915-1920 MHz and 1995-2000 MHz) for commercial licensing," Gary Arlen reported for Multichannel News. "The ruling establishes that the bandwidth will be licensed on an 'Economic Area basis' and auctioned through a system of competitive bidding.

"Ruth Milkman, chief of the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, said she expects 10 MHz of spectrum will be available for use -- including for mobile broadband -- with a target of February 2015."

Marcella Gadson, Minority Media & Telecommunications Council: Wheeler: Incentive Auctions Are 'Monumental Undertaking,' But Solutions Achievable

Asian Journalists Meet with KTVU Managers Over Prank

"Last Friday, a team of AAJA leaders met with high-level managers at KTVU for a lengthy discussion over the broadcast of bogus Asian-sounding names that purported to identify the four pilots on board Asiana Flight 214, which crashed at San Francisco International Airport on July 6," Bobby Caina Calvan wrote Monday for the Asian American Journalists Association. "The 90-minute meeting, held at the station’s offices in Oakland, was professional and constructive."

He added, "AAJA's primary interests focused on moving forward and understanding the chain of events that led to the on-air slurs being broadcast during KTVU’s noon newscast on July 12. We were firm in our questions, but professional. In the end, the station declined to share key details because of personnel issues and the continuing possibility of litigation. We expressed serious concerns over the lack of detail, and we will continue to push KTVU to be more forthcoming. . . ."

Calvan continued, "The station vowed to improve its journalism by adopting basic protocols in vetting information:

"Check spelling and pronunciation of names

"Confirm the identity of sources, including position within the "organization

"Rely on more than a yes/no confirmation

"Establish a better system to check graphics

"Slow things down to take the time to properly vet information.

"Scrutinize tips that come from social media"

"The station said it would do whatever it could to repair its credibility and relationship with the Bay Area’s Asian American communities. [Vice President and General Manager Tom] Raponi said he has reached out to a few Asian American groups. . . ."

In a midyear message to members on Monday, National President Paul Cheung said AAJA had 1,454 members as of July 1, of whom 777 were full members, 145 gold full, 19 platinum full, 130 gold associate, 14 retired, six lifetime and 350 student members.

Paul Cheung, Huffington Post: 'Sum Ting Wong'? Yes, There Is

"The White House's we’ll-keep-an-eye-on-that response to the biggest municipal bankruptcy filing in U.S. history is an astounding puzzler and suggests a dangerous lack of urban vision -- and no understanding of Detroit's unique issues," Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press, wrote Sunday in his column.

"White House spokesperson Amy Brundage said the president was 'monitoring' the situation and remained 'committed' to a partnership in recovery.

"Vice President Joe Biden was even more aloof. 'We don't know' how the federal government can help Detroit, he told MSNBC on Friday morning.

"Really? No agenda or ideas for helping the nation's auto capital, once its fourth largest city, get back on its feet after a 60-year decline that owes, in large part, to spectacular, federally subsidized abandonment, scattered and inconsistent manufacturing policy and retiree issues that are beginning to sink cities around the country?

"Let's provide some much-needed direction for President Barack Obama and Clueless Joe.

"Detroit's rebirth is what they ought to be focused on, thinking about how federal dollars can help fuel the city's economic growth, shore up its services and attract the businesses and residents who will ply its future. . . . "

Liz Hester, Talking Biz News: Covering Detroit's bankruptcy

Members of the Native American Journalists Association elected five new members to three-year terms on their board, all write-in candidates: Eugene Tapahe, with 54 votes; Jason Begay, 51; Shannon Shaw Duty, 43; Dalton Walker, 39; and Robert Ortiz, 27 votes. Ortiz was tied with "another eligible NAJA member," NAJA spokeswoman Rebecca Landsberry messaged. "Because Ortiz had previously served the board as an interim member, the election committee determined that at this time, of the two candidates, he would best be able to transition to serving the organization. . . ." Landsberry did not report whether the board had elected officers.

Tessa Cheek wrote a tribute to her friend Armando Montaño, whose body was found the morning of June 30, 2012, at the bottom of an elevator shaft in Mexico City, where at age 22 he was working as an intern for the Associated Press. "Mando had been reporting on drug-related violence, but his own death didn't bear the hallmarks of the drug war. The case is unresolved, and the loss unresolvable . . ." Cheek wrote in the Colorado Independent.

"If you haven't seen it by now, Geraldo Rivera tweeted a semi-nude, sideways selfie early this morning," Chris Ariens wrote Sunday for TVNewser. " '70 is the new 50,' Rivera, who became a septuagenarian on July 4, writes. No clothes. Towel only. Below the belt. A hoodie, was definitely in order. Thankfully for everyone, Geraldo is NOT trending on Twitter. But people are talking about it. . . ."

"WLS-TV/ABC 7 Chicago has released news anchor and 'Healthbeat' reporter Sylvia Perez after 24 years with the station," chicagoradioandmedia.com reported. "Officially, her contract, which expires in September, is not being renewed. Her last time on the air was yesterday, June 20th. . . ."

Ana Cabrera is joining CNN as a correspondent based in Denver, the network announced Monday. Cabrera was an anchor for the top-ranked daily morning news program at KMGH-TV 7 News, the ABC affiliate in Denver, where she covered local and national news including the Aurora movie theater shooting, the 2012 Denver presidential debate and the election.

"Asparagus is a flowering vegetable that draws nary a tilted eyebrow when featured in the food section. But a Post-Dispatch story Wednesday about a quasi-public official in University City seeking social justice over allegations of dried asparagus unleashed a torrent of reader reaction," Editor Gilbert Bailon wrote Sunday in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He continued, "David Olander, a member of the University City Commission on Human Relations, wrote a letter complaining to Schnucks that its grocery stores stocked better produce in wealthier neighborhoods and inferior produce in less affluent, minority neighborhood stores. . . . "

"In an appeals decision on Friday, the film industry's Title Registration Bureau upheld an earlier ruling that the Weinstein Company was violating bureau rules by calling a coming film 'The Butler,' but said the company may use a variation on the title by adding the name of the director, Lee Daniels," Michael Cieply wrote Saturday for the New York Times. The movie is based on a Washington Post story by Wil Haygood, who has written a newly published book version, "The Butler: A Witness to History."

The High School Journalism Institute, a collaboration between the Oregonian in Portland and Oregon State University to increase diversity in newsrooms of the future, begins this week with 20 students, Yuxing Zheng reported for the Oregonian. "All of the students have voices and backgrounds that are underrepresented in America's newsrooms. . . . " Zheng wrote.

"Telemundo Denver journalist Maria Rozman was one of four Hispanic journalists from around the country invited to the White House Tuesday for interviews with President Barack Obama, who's pushing passage of a bipartisan immigration-reform bill, passed by the U.S. Senate but stalled in the Republican-controlled House of Representatives," Jason Salzman reported for the Huffington Post. The New York Times reported Friday that Obama was prepared to talk about the George Zimmerman case in brief interviews Tuesday with four Spanish-language television networks but that the plan was foiled when none of them asked about it.

"Mexican authorities should conduct an open and thorough investigation into the murder of a crime reporter whose body was found on Wednesday in Oaxaca City, the capital of Oaxaca state," the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. "Alberto López Bello had been badly beaten and shot, government officials told CPJ. . . ."

"Reporting from Catatumbo, a region in northern Colombia dominated by guerrillas and drug traffickers, has always been challenging," John Otis reported Monday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "But working conditions for journalists have seriously deteriorated amid nearly two months of anti-government protests pitting thousands of angry peasant farmers against soldiers and riot police. . . .

"A Zambian journalist was charged Wednesday with possession of restricted information, in a latest crackdown on media workers critical of the government, his lawyer said," zambianwatchdog.comreported. "Police searched Wilson Pondamali's home and found a document linking him to an article published by the country’s only investigative news site, Zambian Watchdog, [according] to Agence France-Presse (AFP). . . ."

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

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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.