Constance C.R. White says Time Inc. leaders are disregarding the needs of black women.
Constance C.R. White has disclosed that her departure as editor-in-chief of Essence magazine was involuntary and the result of repeated clashes with Martha Nelson, the editor-in-chief of Time Inc. who White says sought to limit the way black women were portrayed.
"I went in there with passion and excitement and high expectations," White told Journal-isms, referring to her 2011 hiring. "It wasn't what I expected at all.
"What needs to happen is the reader is getting lost and the reader has to be at the center. To make their world smaller is unacceptable," White said by telephone. "A lot of the readers have sensed" what is happening, she said.
Essence, the nation's leading magazine for black women, was originally black-owned but has not fared well under Time Inc. ownership, White maintained. Nelson vetoed such pieces as a look at African American art and culture, and "I was not able to make the creative hires that needed to be made," White said.
She elaborated by email, "When was the last time you saw Essence in the community advocating for or talking with Black women?
"No more T-shirts with a male employee's face on it being distributed at the [Essence] Festival."
Essence announced White's departure in a terse statement on Feb. 8. No explanation was given.
But White told Journal-isms that her exit came after "another tug of war with them" in January. "Them" was principally Nelson.
Nelson, a 20-year Time Inc. veteran, became editor-in-chief of Time Inc. in January, responsible for the editorial content of all 21 of Time Inc.'s U.S. magazines and its digital products, according to her bio. Before that, Nelson spent two years as editorial director, overseeing the 17 titles and editors in the company's Style & Entertainment Group and Lifestyle Group.
The final "tug of war" came in January, White said. Referring to Nelson, White recalled, "My boss said, 'you know what? It's time to go.' I was asked to leave my position. I asked, 'Was it something we can discuss, or has the decision been made?' She said, 'The decision has been made.'
"I had a certain point of view about black women being central to this magazine. The boss didn't agree with me, and the president didn't agree with me," she said, referring to Michelle Ebanks, president of Essence Communications Inc. "It became an untenable situation." She would not comment on whether she had a contract with the publication.
Ebanks issued this statement Friday night: "We truly wish Constance well. Essence exists to affirm and inspire Black women. We always have and we always will."
Essence magazine debuted in 1970, the product of a communications company founded in 1968 by a group of African Americans that included as principals Edward T. Lewis and Clarence O. Smith.
Time bought 49 percent of Essence Communications in 2000 and absorbed the rest in 2005.
Lewis said in 2000, "The reason Time Warner is interested in Essence is they are interested in the editorial view of the magazine. They are not there to change it."
Indeed, Essence still proclaims on its website, "ESSENCE is Where Black Women Come First for news, entertainment and motivation. ESSENCE occupies a special place in the hearts of millions of Black women — [it's] not just a magazine but her most trusted confidante, a brand that has revolutionized the magazine industry and has become a cultural institution in the African-American community."
However, White's comments indicate that white corporate ownership has changed the magazine after all.
"This is a magazine where the central DNA was laid down by Gordon Parks," she said, referring to the famed African American photographer who helped found Essence and was its editorial director from 1970 to 1973. White intimated that her efforts to maintain Parks' standards had been rebuffed.
"How is it that from 2000, when Susan [L. Taylor, longtime editor] left — she was pushed out — we have had about five editors, including two acting editors, yet Essence continues to decline? So where's the problem? And the editors are the black women. 'They are disposable. Let's keep changing them.'
"The point is, it didn't start with me," White said of the conflicts between top Essence editors and Time Inc. management. "If I can make a difference, I'd like to. If no one speaks up, it's possible it won't end with me."
She continued in an email, "Martha Nelson cannot shape the editorial [content] for the magazine, and it was a strange use of her time considering People, the cash cow of Time inc accounting for over $1 billion, was down 12-18 percent in the last two years and All You was down 38 percent." All You is described on its advertising website as "proudly" providing the value-minded woman "with practical, attainable, no-nonsense ideas for her everyday life."
The Publishers Information Bureau reported in January that the number of advertising pages in Essence dropped by 10.3 percent during 2012. Industrywide, ad pages were down by 8.2 percent. However, circulation rose from 1,051,000 in 2011 to 1,104,871 in 2012, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, previously the Audit Bureau of Circulations. For the industry overall, magazine circulation declined last year.
Influencing White's efforts to speak with Journal-isms, she said, was the decision by Time Warner this week to spin off Time Inc. magazines. As a result, Laura Lang, CEO of Time Inc. since 2011, said she would step down.
"I believe that Essence may have fared better under Laura Lang's regime because people became more accountable for their jobs rather than playing out their personal politics. But with her departure I just don't know what's going to become of Essence," White said.
The Jamaica-born White was style director, brand consultant and spokeswoman for eBay, the online company, when she was named to lead Essence. "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," an announcement said when she was named. "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."
"I still love magazines," White told Journal-isms. "I'm considering my next move. I'm happy to be able to see more of my kids," of whom there are three. "Later this month I will be speaking at Syracuse University on branding and the media and I will resume my appearances on NY Live!," referring to "New York Live," a daily lifestyle show on New York's WNBC-TV.
"I'd really like to see Essence move forward in a stronger way. I'm even more concerned about how Essence has fared being part of Time Inc. It hasn't fared particularly well. Hopefully, this upheaval will be for the better.
"There has to be a come-to-Jesus moment when people say, 'Here's what we're going to do and here are the right people to do it. We are a very valuable audience. In my farewell speech I asked my team to present to management what needs to happen at Essence to ensure its survival because they know.
"Essence needs stability and the brand needs a leader with a vision. Black women are social leaders, cultural leaders, we are aspirational and spiritual. Black women deserve the best. Essence is the last place where black women should be demeaned and diminished."
Associated Press: Meredith shares fall on Time Warner spin-off plans
Danielle Belton, the Black Snob: Fmr. Essence Editor Constance C.R. White Says She Clashed With Time Inc. Over Black Women
Amy Chozick, New York Times: In a Spinoff of Time Inc., Evolution Is Complete
Bill Cromwell, Media Life Magazine: Readers: Magazines aren’t that bad off
Daniel Gross, Daily Beast: Why Time Warner Felt It Had to Spin Off Magazine Unit Time Inc.
Keith J. Kelly, New York Post: 'Lighter mood' as a new day dawns at Time
Sam Mamudi, Barron's: Time Warner Rises After Spin-Off Decision; Meredith Falls 7%
Bill Mickey, Folio:: Time Inc. Spinoff Has a Bumpy Road Ahead
Isoul Harris, an alumnus of People magazine, the Huffington Post and Atlanta-based 944 Magazine, has been promoted from executive editor to editor-in-chief of Uptown magazine. The March issue is his first as top editor. Harris succeeds Angela Bronner Helm.
"I certainly want to build on what the brand has become over last 9 years," Harris, 39, told Journal-isms by email, "a publication presenting African-American life in the most beautiful, professional and creative way possible.
"The current March cover with comedian and actor Kevin Hart leaping mid-air sporting a Dolce & Gabbana tuxedo jacket exhibits the new direction in which I would like to take the magazine: stylish, fun, and energetic. That coupled with more substantive pieces such as 'The New America,' a feature about post-Obama America, which was written by MSNBC host and civil rights leader Al Sharpton. I want UPTOWN to be a book of sophistication and substance."
Harris' first book, "Nicki Minaj: Hip Pop Moments 4 Life," is due from Omnibus Press on April 1. He says he has interviewed Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith, Janet Jackson, Rihanna, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Drew Barrymore, LeAnn Rimes, Usher, Beyoncé, Outkast, Vince Vaughn and Queen Latifah.
Uptown, based in New York, has a circulation of 228,488, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, previously the Audit Bureau of Circulations.
Soledad O'Brien, who is giving up her CNN morning show, "Starting Point," in exchange for forming a production company and supplying documentaries to CNN on a nonexclusive basis, says she has obtained the rights to the "Black in America" and "Latino in America" franchises.
"We struck an unusual deal," O'Brien told Diane Brady of Business Week on Thursday. "I’ll get to leave CNN with my catalog and documentaries. We were able to create a brand at CNN — Black in America — that I now own. I can take that brand and extend it in any way I want. You have Netflix (NFLX) and all these channels that are looking for interesting and different ways to tell stories. To have ownership of Black in America and Latino in America is hugely important.
"I absolutely pushed for that — it was critical to me. I’m so affiliated with this brand that there wasn't a real struggle. I don't just own it, but I can now take it across other platforms.
"I’m not exclusive to CNN. If I decide I want to go and do a show somewhere, I can go and do it. I’ve never owned my own content. Most people in TV do not own their own production company. In fact, most of us don't even own our own Facebook (FB) pages, and some don't own their Twitter account. . . ."
"In a case of apparent plagiarism, Fox News pundit Juan Williams lifted — sometimes word for word — from a Center for American Progress report, without ever attributing the information, for a column he wrote last month for the Hill newspaper," Alex Seitz-Wald reported Thursday for Salon.
"Almost two weeks after publication, the column was quietly revised online, with many of the sections rewritten or put in quotation marks, and this time citing the CAP report. It also included an editor's note that read: 'This column was revised on March 2, 2013, to include previously-omitted attribution to the Center for American Progress.'
"But that editor’s note mentions only the attribution problem, and not the nearly identical wording that was also fixed.
"In a phone interview Thursday evening, Williams pinned the blame on a researcher who he described as a 'young man.' "
Erik Wemple wrote Friday for the Washington Post, "So what Williams is saying here is that he lifted his researcher's words. Why, then, wasn't the researcher credited in the piece?
Referring to Hugo Gurdon, editor in chief of the Hill, Wemple continued, "When asked about that matter, Gurdon replied, 'I’m not sure that researchers always do get credit.'
"They should. The only time they rear their heads should not be when they allegedly screw up."
Paul Waldman, American Prospect: How Many Big-Time Pundits Are Plagiarists?
"Latinos own smartphones, go online from a mobile device and use social networking sites at similar — and sometimes higher — rates than do other groups of Americans, according to a new analysis of three surveys by the Pew Research Center," Mark Hugo Lopez, Ana Gonzalez-Barrera and Eileen Patten reported Thursday for the Pew Hispanic Center.
"The analysis also finds that when it comes to using the internet, the digital divide between Latinos and whites is smaller than what it had been just a few years ago. Between 2009 and 2012, the share of Latino adults who say they go online at least occasionally increased 14 percentage points, rising from 64% to 78%. Among whites, internet use rates also increased, but only by half as much — from 80% in 2009 to 87% in 2012.
"Over the same period, the gap in cellphone ownership between Latinos and other groups either diminished or disappeared. In 2012, 86% of Latinos said they owned a cellphone, up from 76% in 2009. . . ."
The evidence is mounting that familiarity with social media is becoming mandatory for journalists.
Twitter "is building a powerful media company that is a threat to many of the biggest players in digital media," Brian Morrissey reported Wednesday for Digiday.
"Its ambitions to this point have been dogged by questions of scale. Remember all those stories about Twitter quitters? No more. Two hundred million monthly active users, the company reports, are double last year’s number. But still, how many people really tweet? The company now processes 1 billion tweets every two and a half days. During New Year's in Japan, that meant 33,000 tweets per second. Half of all Americans now see, read about or hear about tweets every day. These are facts that back up its execs' contention that Twitter is now a 'global town hall.'
"All that scale and activity gives Twitter something else: leverage. . . ."
Meanwhile, Lynne Varner, editorial writer and columnist at the Seattle Times, wrote Friday about the backlash against the Seattle Public Schools after it began investigating a class exploring white privilege.
Varner told Journal-isms by email, "I also created a Word Cloud adjacent to my column to get responses from people about how they view the treatment of minority students in Seattle. I opened it to responses from parents and non-parents, in Seattle and outside, because I want to better understand how the public education system overall treats minority students. As you know with Word Clouds, the more a word is chosen the larger it will be."
In applying for a $3.5 million job-creation grant last year from Miami-Dade County, Fusion, the new ABC-Univision English-language cable network targeted to Hispanics, "promised to create 346 new jobs over the next five years — 201 in 2013 — in addition to retaining 137 jobs in the county," Veronica Villafañe recalled Tuesday for TVNewsCheck. "The new jobs would have an average salary of $81,000.
"So far, there isn't much evidence of such hiring.
"A LinkedIn site currently shows only 10 job listings for Fusion, including a digital reporter, coordinating producer, assignment manager and director of communications and public affairs, but an ABC spokesperson says they’re 'working 24/7 to bring people on board.' . . . "
"Having won our independence in a nonviolent struggle, Indians join Americans in celebrating the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s leadership of the civil rights movement in the United States," Nirupama Rao, India's ambassador to Washington, wrote Friday for Politico. "On Aug. 28, we will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington where King delivered his 'I Have a Dream' speech, and, on April 4, we will mourn the 45th anniversary of his assassination.
"On March 10, we will mark another milestone moment in King's public ministry and personal journey. On that day, 54 years ago, he returned from a monthlong journey to India where he rededicated himself to the nonviolent struggle for justice to which the leader of our nation's independence movement, Mahatma Gandhi, gave his life.
Rao continued, "Through most of the past century, Indians and African-Americans supported each other's struggles because we identify with each other’s predicaments and principles. . . . " He elaborated on the Gandhi-African American connection.
Ta-Nehisi Coates, New York Times: The Good, Racist People
Khalid Salaam, the Shadow League: Social Illiteracy Is What's Plaguing America's Race Relations
Fatima Shaik, In These Times: Black and Bengali: A new book traces the hidden story of a mixed-race community.
"In the wake of Hugo Chávez's death Wednesday afternoon, British GQ re-published an interview in which British supermodel Naomi Campbell fawned over the 'rebel angel' Venezuelan autocrat," Andrew Kirell reported Friday for Mediaite.
"Within hours, however, the piece was mysteriously scrubbed from the site. Was this a protective PR demand from Campbell's people? After all, she's in the midst of promoting her new Oxygen reality show? . . ."
Editorial, Al Día, Philadelphia: In Latin America, U.S. Would Rather Talk About Villains than Partners
Katie Glueck, Politico: Jesse Jackson on Hugo Chavez: 'Democracies evolve'
Vanessa Rodriguez, Fox News Latino: After Hugo Chavez's Death, Venezuelan Expatriates Ponder a Return to Homeland
" 'In Plain Sight' is a special initiative by NBC News to report on poverty in America. Our work is supported by a grant from the Ford Foundation," NBC News says on its website. "In America's most dangerous and poorest city, Camden, N.J., bullet holes are visible in a church's stained glass window, crosses commemorating the murdered line the outside of city hall and the police staff is so outnumbered and outgunned, drug deals occur in the open. Rock Center's Brian Williams visits Camden and talks to those fighting to turn around the forgotten city." So began an introduction to a "Rock Center" segment this week. The series is also running on the "NBC Nightly News."
BET and Univision picked up Walter Cronkite awards from the Norman Lear Center at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, with both cited for serving their viewers "extremely well" with the kind of "solid coverage" the judges said all Americans deserve, John Eggerton reported Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable. BET said its award recognized five BET News broadcasts, "Michelle Obama on a Mission: Impact Africa," about the first lady's journey to South Africa and Botswana, "President Obama Answers Black America," "The Curious Case of Citizen Cain," about former GOP presidential hopeful Herman Cain, "Second Coming?: Will Black America Decide 2012?" and "Battleground 2012: Countdown With The First Couple." Univision was cited for its presidential forums. Watch the winning entries.
"The cover says it all: 'Simply The Best!' Which is why we can't believe this April 2013 issue of Vogue magazine marks Tina Turner's first time gracing the glossy. Finally!" Julee Wilson wrote Friday for the Huffington Post. Turner is 73, and the Vogue in question is the German edition.
The Associated Press added an entry in its Stylebook Thursday on mental illness: "Do not describe an individual as mentally ill unless it is clearly pertinent to a story and the diagnosis is properly sourced. When used, identify the source for the diagnosis. Seek firsthand knowledge; ask how the source knows. . . ."
As scheduled, CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker hosted a networking reception in New York Friday as part of the Region 2 conference of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He "Just reinforced commitment to diversity n working w NAHJ," NAHJ President Hugo Balta messaged Journal-isms. The appearance was scheduled before NAHJ and the National Association of Black Journalists complained that Zucker's first hires have included no journalists of color.
Justice B. Hill, a veteran sports reporter who writes for sports websites that include MLB.com and SBnation.com, is not optimistic about Richard E. Lapchick's suggestion that news organizations "adopt a Rooney Rule" to boost the numbers of African American sports journalists. "Rooney sounds great, except in its execution," Hill wrote Thursday for BET.com. "In reality, the rule has proved an embarrassment. Blacks went 0-for-15 in the latest round of Rooney interviews for head coaching and front office jobs. . . . "
"According to Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch, women carry zero clout in the sports media world," Chris O'Shea wrote Thursday for Fishbowl NY. "Deitsch published a list of the 'The 10 Most Powerful People in Sports Media' and there's not a single woman made the cut. There are even 10 additional honorable mentions, but still it's all dudes, all the time. . . ."
In Vermont, "The Caledonian Record newspaper of St. Johnsbury is being criticized by the Asian American Journalists Association for publishing a poster using a print type associated with Chinese calligraphy for the words 'Fry Rice' to urge a local school to beat its opponent — Rice Memorial High School — in a state championship basketball game," Wilson Ring reported Friday for the Associated Press. In an editorial Saturday (http://bit.ly/Yj75aB ), the newspaper said the back-page poster meant no offense to any individual or group. The editorial said it sought a play on words, and simply invoking ethnic customs does not constitute racism, AP reported.
"Radio One, Inc is flipping its Indy's Music Channel station – WDNI – to Spanish," Veronica Villafañe reported Wednesday for her Media Moves site. "Telemundo Indy will start broadcasting on channel 19 next Monday, March 11, making it the only Spanish-language broadcast station in the market. . . ."
"It took tax evasion to bring down Capone," Philip Bump reported Thursday for the Atlantic. Referring to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Bump continued, "A Native American group hopes that another arcane economic law — trademarks — can do the same to the Washington Redskins. Later today, the USPTO's Trademark Trial and Appeal Board will consider if the NFL team should lose its federal trademark because it violates Section 2(a) of the Trademark Act, which bars any mark that '[c]onsists of or comprises immoral, deceptive, or scandalous matter; or matter which may disparage or falsely suggest a connection with persons, living or dead, institutions, beliefs, or national symbols, or bring them into contempt, or disrepute . . . ' "
Crystal Wright, who runs the blog Conservative Black Chick and the PR firm Baker Wright Group, LLC, "has formed a new political action committee designed to help make the Republican Party more inclusive," Byron Tau and Anna Palmer reported Thursday for Politico's Politico Influence column. "The PAC will support women and candidates of color at the state and federal level, Wright told PI. Obama 'bothered to talk to minority groups and women,' Wright said. 'We haven't bothered. The Republican Party hasn't bothered to really talk to most ethnic groups in 20-plus years.' "
A "Celebration of Life" service for NPR journalist Brenda Box Johnson, who died Thursday after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, is scheduled from 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday at Demaine Funeral Home, 5308 Backlick Road, Springfield, Va., her friend, Geri Coleman Tucker of USA Today, announced. The funeral home can be reached at 703-941-9428.
Viviana Hurtado, founder of the Wise Latinas Club, Laura Donnelly Gonzalez, COO and co-founder of the digital magazine Latinitas, and Alicia Rascon and Dream Activists finished in a three-way tie for New Americano awards presented at the Social Revolución, the official Latino event at the 2013 SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas. Dream Activists is an online network of social media activists who advocate the enactment of the DREAM Act by sharing the stories of individual DREAMers online.
Lynn Norment, a former editor at Ebony magazine active in the National Association of Black Journalists, has launched Chicago-based Lynn Norment Media "to offer services and expertise to individuals, agencies, corporations and government entities to advance and elevate reputations, brands, products and personal/business goals" as well as writing and editing services.
"Gunmen stormed the offices of a television station in the Libyan capital of Tripoli on Thursday amid a protest outside the station's studios, according to news reports," the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday. "The gunmen abducted at least five journalists and media workers, the reports said, although all were released within 24 hours."
"At a meeting of the Beijing delegates during China's National People's Congress, a journalist asked a question about air pollution that lasted over 3-minute mark, and saw her almost break down in tears numerous times," Adam Taylor reported Thursday for Business Insider. "The delegates response? Nothing at all. . . ."
"Twenty-one people have been arrested for a wave of crimes that included 11 murders (six of which were committed against police officers), the abduction for hours of five employees of El Siglo de Torreón newspaper, the murder of a mayoral candidate, and attempted murder of a current mayor in a large metropolitan area in central Mexico, according a senior federal official," Mike O’Connor wrote Friday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "The question is, will the arrests have any effect on the larger climate of fear among the area's press and public? . . ."
"It's the biggest news of the year in Kenya: A presidential election with huge potential for violence. Why then are the headlines so boring, the TV broadcasts so dull? the Associated Press asked Thursday. "The answer: Kenyan media are self-censoring the story to avoid fanning the flames of conflict. Kenya's Media Owners Association told The Associated Press that media leaders made a 'gentleman’s agreement' to balance the national interest and the public's right to know, including not reporting anything that could incite ethnic tensions and not airing political statements live. . . ." Kenya's election commission declared Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta the winner, but Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Saturday he would not concede and would challenge the results in court.
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
The former NBA star spoke of his unlikely friend, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea wasn't an accident or an oddity, but the result of a gonzo media company facilitating a summit between a Basketball Hall of Famer and an oppressive dictator who grew up a Bulls fan. But making sense of it doesn't equip Rodman for the international politics he stumbled into," Matt Ufford wrote Monday for SB Nation.
"Vice has a reputation for stunt journalism," Brian Stelter wrote for the New York Times, referring to Vice Media, a Brooklyn, N.Y., media company that is producing "Vice," a newsmagazine that will have its premiere on HBO on April 5.
Rodman's trip made headlines and on Sunday landed him on ABC's political talk show "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, earning the ex-NBA star known as "the Worm" his share of ridicule as out of his depth.
"This is what we know," Ufford continued in SB Nation:
"Kim Jong Un's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il was an ardent fan of the NBA who, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, had regulation courts at most of his palaces and 'a video library of practically every game Michael Jordan ever played for the Bulls.'
"In 2000, attempting to warm U.S.-DPRK relations, Madeline Albright gave Kim Jong Il an NBA basketball signed by Jordan that is now on display in a Pyongyang museum. The dictator invited His Airness to North Korea the following year; Jordan declined.
"The basketball addiction was apparently passed on to Kim Jong Un. Kim attended a Swiss high school under an assumed identity, where he wore Air Jordans, displayed pictures of himself with Toni Kukoc and Kobe Bryant, played tenaciously on the court, and 'spent hours doing meticulous pencil drawings of Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan.'
"Vice Media, which arranged the trip for a newsmagazine that will air on HBO, is no stranger to North Korea. Co-founder Shane Smith has visited the country twice before to make Vice documentaries, and information gathered then spurred the idea for a basketball exhibition starring Rodman and three Harlem Globetrotters. (Vice paid the players an undisclosed sum, according to the New York Times.) Though there was no promise of meeting Kim when the trip began, 'We knew he'd be tempted by basketball,' said a Vice spokesman.
"So it was that Dennis Rodman -- late of Celebrity Mole, Celebrity Apprentice, Celebrity Rehab, and Dr. Drew's Sober House -- became the first American to meet with Kim Jong Un, the master of a nuclear weapons platform that threatens the civilized world, since he assumed power after his father's death."
Rodman was said to know more about Kim now that the CIA does.
On "This Week," "Rodman was at turns incoherent and contradictory, with host George Stephanopoulos pushing him on why he would speak well of a man who presides over prison camps and stifles dissent," wrote Chris Cillizza, the Washington Post's "The Fix" political columnist. Cillizza posted a photo of Rodman and Stephanopoulos and conducted an online caption contest. The winning caption has Rodman saying, "Wait. You're saying there's two Koreas?”
Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, appearing on MSNBC's "Hardball," evaluating Rodman's performance, said, "you realize how pathetic he can be."
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper interviewed Laura Ling, the journalist who was detained in North Korea with a colleague from Current TV in 2009. "I mean, Kim Jong-un is trying to portray himself as this more jovial leader, more in the vein of his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung," Ling said Monday on "Anderson Cooper 360°". "But we're sort of guilty of it when we shine a light on this whole Dennis Rodman visit, because that's the information that is disseminated, whereas we really should be focusing on the egregious human rights abuses that are taking place in that country.
She added, "But I do think that, you know, for people who don't know anything about North Korea, you know, here's a chance for us to talk about it, and to talk about the misinformation, and how ill-informed Dennis Rodman may have been and probably was at the true nature of what's going on inside that country."
Alex Weprin reported on TVNewser that "Rodman apparently had a number of other media appearances lined up. The key word there is had, because he seems to have been canceling them."
DJ Dunson, the Shadow League: Dennis Rodman Returns To Spotlight As North Korean Ambassador, Likely Dooms Us All
Mara Schiavocampo, NBC News: Rodman: Kim Jong Un is 'my friend'
David Steele, AOL FanHouse/Sporting News: Strangely irrelevant: Dennis Rodman goes to North Korea
Ishaan Tharoor, Time: 5 Things We Hope Dennis Rodman Learned About North Korea
"Philadelphia Magazine just published an article by Robert Huber titled 'Being white in Philly: In a city that is largely poor and segregated white people have become afraid to say anything at all about race. Here's what's not being said,' " Daniel Denvir wrote Saturday for the Philadelphia City Paper.
"No, it is not an Onion-esque parody of Philadelphia's most white-bread journalistic institution, a magazine that seemingly hired Gene Marks just because he wrote the jaw-droppingly offensive article 'If I Were a Poor Black Kid' for Forbes.
"But before I continue, I must first disable the story's booby trap, a defense built into its very DNA: the idea that 'in so many quarters, simply discussing race is seen as racist.'
"Huber is not a brave man, and his premise is totally false. People will only think . . . 'simply discussing race' is racist if you, like Huber, treat black people like inscrutable extraterrestrials whose moral shortcomings might be responsible for their own poverty.
"The reality is that many black people frequently talk about race and racism. And really, white people do too -- sometimes intelligently, sometimes not so much. To the extent that whites do not discuss race more it is because they do not want to address important pieces of context like, say, history (see Louis CK).
"Indeed, I'm a white guy who writes about race and frequently talk to black Philadelphians -- and often, gasp, about race. Black sources have never protested frank questions about race for articles I write about poverty and educational inequity, police brutality and mass incarceration, or neighborhood segregation and (yes, largely black) gun violence. . . ."
Wayne Bennett, Field Negro: "Being White in Philly"
Mike Bertha, Philadelphia Inquirer: Philly Mag wants white people to talk about race
Jason Fagone, Philadelphia Magazine: Philly Mag's "Being White in Philly" Doesn't Make Sense as Journalism
"In recent months, journalists covering crime and other stories here have themselves become victims of crime, robbed of expensive cameras, sometimes at gunpoint," Carol Pogash wrote Saturday from Oakland for the New York Times.
"In less than a year, every major television news station in the Bay Area has been a victim, some more than once. One experienced newspaper photographer has lost five cameras.
"In the most brazen episode, a group of men punched a KPIX-TV cameraman last November while he was filming at midday in front of an Oakland high school. The robbers fled with his camera while it was still recording. Viewers saw the reporter sign off and then an inexplicably wobbly image.
"Robberies and assaults are changing the way journalists report in Oakland. Armed, plainclothes security guards sometimes accompany news crews on pieces, even mundane ones. Some camera crew members are refusing to take assignments in Oakland at night. And while crime provides the daily drama for much of the local television news, reporters are spending less time on the street and more time at the Oakland police department. Once the police leave a crime scene, television crews depart as well. . . . "
"There is a telling paragraph in the U.S. District Court opinion last year that found Texas deliberately discriminated against minorities in redistricting," O. Ricardo Pimentel wrote Saturday for the San Antonio Express-News.
" 'In the last four decades, Texas has found itself in court every redistricting cycle, and each time it has lost.'
"Such serial stubbornness is a sign of many things, but not redemption. Texas is not reformed of its discriminatory past. It has merely rebranded -- in Coca-Cola Classic fashion. Funny, tastes just like the old discrimination.
"Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case whose outcome will have a profound effect on whether Texas and other states and political jurisdictions with histories of voter discrimination get away with this flim-flam.
". . . Texas, in urging the high court to eliminate Section 5, is essentially saying that it would prefer no one looking when it does anew what it has a sordid history of doing."
The Chicago Tribune differed. It said in an editorial Monday, "Like the rest of the nation, the South is far from immune to racial conflict and prejudice. But it has changed beyond recognition, and it's about time for the law to change as well."
Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio: Over Obama's objections, Supreme Court pushes view of 'post-racial' America
Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: White robe, black robe: What was Justice Scalia saying to us about voting rights?
Latina Lista blog: The Voting Rights Act is a long way from being 'racial entitlement'
Julianne Malveaux, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Turning the Clock Back on Voting Rights
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Voting Rights Act is far from out of date
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Voting Rights Act not a 'racial entitlement'
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Voting Rights Act still necessary
Michael Paul Williams, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: We still need a Voting Rights Act with teeth
Raju Narisetti, newly named senior vice president and deputy head of strategy for the New News Corporation, is currently head of editorial teams and content strategy for the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, and had a similar role as a managing editor at the Washington Post. He told Justin Ellis of Nieman Journalism Lab Monday that most news organizations have not caught up with the impact that mobile devices are having on journalism.
And Narisetti named some of his favorite emerging technologies: Android, Spreeecast, Google Glass, Tout and Storyful. He also praised Twitter, which he said "actually brought serendipity back into my life in a major way."
In a Q-and-A, Ellis asked, "You gave a talk recently and mentioned that a little over 30 percent of traffic to the Journal comes through mobile. That number doesn't seem that far from the rate at other media companies, but people were still surprised by the way mobile is growing. Do you think there's an understanding of how big an impact mobile is going to have on journalism?"
Narisetti replied, "I don't think we are there yet in most newsrooms. The reason I went public with that number was that I think people need to understand the profound changes that our audiences are going through. A year ago, I suspect if I went back and looked when I rejoined the Journal, I bet that number was in the low 20s, if that. A year from now that number, I guarantee that number is going to be in the high 40s.
"What has happened, I think, is that most newsrooms have created mobile teams to embrace apps and embrace Apple and, now, Android devices. But they've seen it as a small team building a product and then not worry about it. Others, like the Journal, who have been more self-aware, have responded in the last few months and last year by creating more responsive design where the content adjusts to the container. But my view is that with so much of your audience consuming your content and your journalism through anywhere between a 3- to 7-inch device, you have to start pivoting from creating just content to creating a great experience and creating different experiences on different devices. And it's hard.
"There's probably no newsroom in the world -- and I probably am not wrong in saying this -- there's probably no newsroom in the world where the mobile team is more than a single-digit team. Maybe occasionally somebody hits like 10 people. That is where I'm very worried -- we've gone from print-first for centuries, if you will, to (somewhat kicking and screaming) to web-first, and we're not entirely there yet.
"But what we really need to be is increasingly saying: What does it mean to be mobile-first? . . . "
In Indonesia, "A television reporter in East Kalimantan says she suffered a miscarriage after being beaten by a village chief and more than a dozen other men while covering a land dispute on Saturday," Tunggadewa Mattangkilang reported Monday for the Jakarta Globe.
"Normila Sari Wahyuni, 23, a reporter from Paser TV, which airs locally in the district of Paser, was interviewing one victim of a bitter land dispute in Rantau Panjang village when she was allegedly stopped by a number of men, including the village chief, Ilyas. She said the men tried to confiscate her camera before attacking her.
"Normila, who was on Sunday seeking treatment at Panglima Sebaya Hospital in the town of Tanah Grogot, said she was beaten, had her clothes ripped off and her camera taken from her."
The story continued, "Nurdin, chairman of the Paser chapter of the Association of Indonesian Journalists (PWI), condemned the attack, saying that the perpetrators must also be charged with violating the Law on the Press.
"The law stipulates that anyone trying to stop or threatening to stop journalists from doing their work could face up to two years in prison."
"March 15 is the deadline to apply for the 18th annual Minority Writers Seminar to be held May 2-5, 2013, at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee," the Association of Opinion Journalists announces. "The institute is a partner with the AOJ Foundation of the annual workshop.
"Enrollment is limited to 12, and minority journalists who have been writing opinion less than two years may apply. AOJ Foundation pays for lodging and food at the Seminar and reimburses up to $200 each for transportation to and from Nashville."
AOJ said the Minority Writers Seminar has enabled dozens of journalists of color to write opinion pieces and manage editorial pages.
"The Chicago Tribune has agreed to pay a total of $660,000 to 46 current and former TribLocal reporters to settle a class-action lawsuit over unpaid overtime wages," Robert Channick reported Friday for the Tribune. "The settlement offer was mailed this week to reporters who worked for TribLocal between February 2009 and September 2012. Those who don't opt out will receive an average of $9,000 each after attorneys fees and costs."
Ruben Rosario, columnist for the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., disclosed to readers Saturday that he had been molested as a child. "I decided last week -- more than half a century later -- to publicly bare what I should have told someone decades ago. I do this now not so much for me. I'm doing this for the little boys and girls across this state, across this nation, across this world, who are being similarly abused, as I write this, by a loved one or a family friend or a so-called trusted adult."
President Obama has announced his intention to nominate Jannette L. Dates, dean of the Howard University School of Communications from 1993 to 2012, to the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. "Since 1968, CPB has been the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services," CPB says.
"The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has sent a letter asking . . . the Senate Judiciary Committee to raise the issue of the Justice Department's policy on release of federal booking photographs with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. when he testifies at an oversight hearing scheduled for March 6," the committee said Monday. "The concern comes in light of a new policy by the U.S. Marshals Service to restrict access to federal mug shots. . . . "
Clay Shirky of Columbia Journalism Review compared a Washington Post interactive map of murders in the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2011 with the approach taken by Homicide Watch, which also uses a database feed to track killings. The biggest difference is what readers see. "The Post's default view is a map. Homicide Watch's default view is a face. . . . Not to put too fine a point on it, The Washington Post has produced a white-people map of murder, a map that assumes you couldn't possibly know the victim. Homicide Watch has produced a brown-people map -- a map that assumes you might, a map for a city where brown people are 30 times more likely to be murdered than white people." Homicide Watch is expanding to Chicago.
"PBS is close to a decision on adding weekend broadcasts of the 'PBS NewsHour' for the first time since the program began in 1975, and producing them in New York, instead of the program's longtime studios in Arlington, Va., according to public television employees," Elizabeth Jensen reported Sunday for the New York Times. ". . . Hari Sreenivasan, a correspondent for the program and its director of digital partnerships, has been proposed as the anchor of a weekend program, as has Jeff Greenfield, an occasional anchor of 'Need to Know.' "
The Native American Journalists Association protested to CBS-TV Monday about the sitcom "Mike & Molly," in which, NAJA said, "Mike's mother Peggy, played by Rondi Reed, posed the question, 'Arizona? Why would I go to Arizona? It's nothing but a furnace full of drunk Indians.' "
"More and more Black women are speaking out against the minstrelsy of Black women on negative-themed 'reality' shows," Sil Lai Abrams wrote Feb. 28 for Clutch magazine. "Could it be that Black women are finally getting sick and tired of the 'Crazy Black Reality Chick' meme?" Abrams singled out Meeka Claxton, former "Basketball Wives" cast member; Kelly Smith Beaty, author of a Huffington Post op-ed; Sabrina Lamb, teen financial empowerment guru; and Michaela Angela Davis, former editor-in-chief of Honey magazine, "for having the courage to stand up for Black women, our image, our young girls and our future. . . ."
"History's original mini-series The Bible drew a whopping 13.1 million viewers in its Sunday night debut, according to Nielsen fast cable ratings," R. Thomas Umstead reported Monday for Multichannel News. "The Mark Burnett-produced, 10-hour miniseries is the second-most watched premiere of a non-sports cable show in cable history, behind the 13.9 million viewers History drew with the May 28, 2012 debut of Hatfields & McCoys."
Jim Asendio, former news director at Washington public radio station WAMU-FM, is now a freelance anchor at the Washington-based MarketWatch Radio Network, Asendio confirmed Monday for Journal-isms. "He does twice an hour business newscasts and feature stories for many major market stations including WTOP, plus major CBS all-newsers in NYC, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Dave Hughes reported for DCRTV.com. " 'I started this month and am filling in as needed. It's great to be back on the air, especially on stations where I once worked,' he tells us.' " Asendio was the highest-ranking African American news director at a top-tier NPR affiliate when he resigned from WAMU a year ago "because I did not agree with an upper management decision to have working journalists attend a donor-only, station-sponsored event."
"Ann Romney told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that . . . she is 'mostly over' her husband Mitt's loss in the 2012 presidential election and that the media was unfair to him during the campaign. Romney said that she is 'Happy to blame the media' for his loss'," Garrett Quinn reported Sunday for Mediaite.
"Josh DuBois, who left his position as faith advisor for President Barack Obama early last month, is joining The Daily Beast," Chris O'Shea reported Monday for FishbowlNY. "According to a memo obtained by Politico, [DuBois] will be the site's new faith columnist."
Maurita Coley, chief operating officer of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, which advocates for minority broadcast ownership, is profiled by Lauren DeLisa Coleman of Madame Noire. Asked her "recent read," Coleman replied, "I read multiple books at the same time. Right now I'm reading: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color-Blindness by Michelle Alexander; Blueprint for Black Economic Empowerment: A Moral, Political, and Economic Imperative for the Twenty-First Century, by Amos Wilson, Ph.D; The Science of Being Great by Wallace D. Wattles; and The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson."
In Washington, "We're just now hearing that Gayle Perkins (later Atkins) died of cancer on December 15th in NYC," Dave Hughes reported Monday for his DCRTV site. "She was editorial director at Channel 4/ WRC in the 1980s, and was a reporter and editor at that station's news radio outlet, WRC-AM, 980, in the 1970s. She later became a member of the New York social scene and married a prominent attorney." More at Legacy.com.
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
The show's first reporter of color since Ed Bradley's death is to bring his skills to the rival network.
ABC News is finalizing a deal to hire Byron Pitts of CBS, a contributor to "60 Minutes" and chief national correspondent for the "CBS Evening News, " according to reliable news reports published Friday.
"Pitts will serve as both chief national correspondent and anchor at ABC News, and will appear across the network's programming. ABC News President Ben Sherwood is expected to announce the news next week," Dylan Byers of Politico, the first to break the news, reported. Marisa Guthrie of the Hollywood Reporter later reported that she had been given the same information by "sources."
"Pitts is just the latest in a string of high-profile hires for the network," Byers wrote. "Sherwood announced the hire of New York Times reporters Jeff Zeleny and Susan Saulny earlier this week, as well as the appointment of Rick Klein to political director. Sources who spoke to POLITICO earlier this week said Sherwood is trying to beef up the network's political bench following a number of recent departures."
Both Pitts and Saulny are black journalists, providing a marked contrast with the new hires at CNN after Jeff Zucker recently assumed the top job. Zucker hired white journalists Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo and Rachel Nichols while sidelining anchor Soledad O'Brien, who is black and Latina. Zucker's appointment also prompted the resignation of Mark Whitaker, an African American who was CNN executive vice president and managing editor. Zucker's personnel moves prompted protests from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Pitts, 52, joined CBS News as a correspondent in May 1998. He was named a contributing correspondent on "60 Minutes" in 2009, becoming the first African American presence on the show since correspondent Ed Bradley died in 2006. "I wanted to be a part of '60 Minutes' since I was in high school," Pitts then told Richard Huff of the Daily News in New York. "For me, '60 Minutes' is to broadcast journalism what the Yankees are to baseball: It's the gold standard."
Pitts, ABC News and CBS News were not commenting on Friday.
Pitts' wife, Lyne Pitts, is also involved in a new venture. She is heading up the U.S. operation of Arise News, a 24-hour international TV news operation that launched last month.
Byers reported last week, "In recent weeks, ABC News president Ben Sherwood has been courting political reporters from The New York Times, The Washington Post, and other outlets in an effort to strengthen the network's D.C. bureau after a string of recent departures, sources familiar with the network’s plans tell POLITICO. . . .
"Sherwood's motivations are clear: He is eager to bolster ABC's commitment to political coverage, especially after the loss of political director Amy Walter, senior Washington producer Virginia Moseley and chief White House correspondent Jake Tapper — all three of whom left, for various reasons, within the past three months."
Armstrong Williams to Buy Two TV Stations
Armstrong Williams, the conservative commentator and entrepreneur, is buying two television stations newly acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., the parties announced Thursday. The transaction would instantly multiply the tiny number of commercial television stations owned by African Americans.
African American ownership dropped from 12 stations in 2009 to 10 stations in 2011, or less than 1 percent of the nation's 1,348 full-power television stations, the Federal Communications Commission said in November.
Williams plans to acquire WEYI-TV, an NBC affiliate in the Flint/Saginaw/Bay City/Midland, Mich., market, ranked no. 67, and WWMB-TV, a CW affiliate in market 103 in the Myrtle Beach/Florence, S.C., market, near Williams' hometown of Marion, S.C.
No purchase price was disclosed. The transaction is part of a larger deal in which Sinclair agreed to purchase the broadcast assets of 18 television stations owned by Barrington Broadcasting Group, LLC for $370 million and entered into agreements to operate or provide sales services to another six stations. The deal is subject to approval by the FCC and antitrust clearance. Williams said he was financing the purchase through J.P. Morgan Chase.
The stations Williams plans to buy are in markets where the Hunt Valley, Md.-based Sinclair would own too many stations under FCC rules.
David D. Smith, president and CEO of Sinclair, said in a statement, "We are pleased to advance the diversity efforts of the FCC and create a path for minority ownership in the broadcast space through Howard Stirk Holdings," Williams' firm. Smith told Journal-isms that Sinclair does not plan to sell any more of the newly acquired stations, since their acquisition would not violate the FCC rules.
In his own statement, Williams said, "Today's announcement fulfills a life-long dream to own and operate broadcast facilities and give back to an industry that I love. I have been privileged to work with the Sinclair Broadcast Group for years and I am truly thankful for the opportunity it has provided. Many in the industry talk about diversity and expanding opportunity, but here the Sinclair Broadcast Group is putting words into action. The name 'Howard Stirk' is taken from my mother's maiden name, Howard, and my [father's middlename], Stirk. Knowing the humble, [hardscrabble] beginnings of my family in rural South Carolina, I felt honoring my parents in this small way was the right thing to do."
The Sinclair announcement noted, "In addition to his well-known work as a political commentator, Mr. Williams has spent nearly twenty years developing and producing high quality television programming, including primetime specials with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, former Vice President Dick Cheney and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. From 2001 to 2003, Mr. Williams served as Chief Operating Officer of the Renaissance Cable TV Network with responsibility for all programming, advertising and content development."
Despite his Republican credentials, Williams told Journal-isms by telephone, "I've evolved. I don't care about political party. I care about what works for the people."
Smith told Journal-isms that he and Williams had long worked together and that Sinclair was looking to expand its relationship with him. "I've always admired his ability to stick his neck out there and call people . . . for what they're doing," he told Journal-isms by telephone. "We're big believers in advocacy journalism, and he fits that mode. He was the first one I called" when the ownership possibility arose.
Williams said that he would manage the stations himself and that the purchase would give him the opportunity to do more television production. He said that he would not want to tamper with the NBC programming but that "local television should be about the local area."
Richard Horgan, FishbowlLA: Three and a Half Decades Later, Stevie Wonder’s Radio Station Still Rocking
Lack of Media Diversity a Worldwide Problem
Diversity in newsrooms is an issue worldwide, according to heads of state, government representatives and experts meeting this week in Vienna.
At the fifth United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC) Global Forum, "Leaders from the conflict-plagued Middle East were among the strongest voices calling for media to recognise its responsibility in reporting on diverse cultures fairly and accurately," Pavol Stracansky reported Friday for the Inter Press Service.
"Emir of Qatar, Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani, said: 'Understanding others and respecting their cultures and beliefs and the renunciation of extremism, hatred and racism are the most effective ways to plug the pretexts used by those who try to exploit these manifestations to encourage violence and terrorism. There is a growing responsibility of media in portraying the right image of 'the other' while avoiding prejudices and stereotyping others, and looking at the facts to judge accordingly.'
Stracansky continued, "Media experts at the summit in Vienna made several suggestions to improve media diversity:
"Mainstream media needs to be shown what that they can benefit from diversity.
"Media literacy is vital to promoting diversity.
"Laziness is a key reason for journalists not being inclusive in their reporting.
"Indigenous peoples need to be included in mainstream media and not just have their own specific media representing them.
"More women should hold top positions in media.
"Diversity of newsroom staff can help naturally encourage diversity of reporting.
"It is imperative that marginalized communities are represented in the media in a natural way, not just when mainstream papers need to know something about specific ethnic customs or traditions."
Steven M. Ellis added for the International Press Institute, "However, unaddressed was the question of whether moves ostensibly intended to increase diversity are ultimately a positive step when they have the practical effect of limiting media freedom.
"Such a conflict currently exists in Argentina, where the government, which has feuded with media outlet Grupo Clarín over the outlet's critical stance in recent years, threatened last December to implement legal provisions allowing it to seize all but 24 of the outlet's cable television licenses and all but 10 of its open frequency radio or television licenses.
"The government has justified this action as a necessary step to limit concentration of media ownership and ensure greater diversity. Critics, however, believe the move is retaliation for Grupo Clarín's criticism of government policies and violates the outlet's fundamental ownership rights."
Bloomberg Businessweek executives did not return telephone calls or emails this week when Journal-isms inquired about its cover, but when Politico, Slate, the Atlantic and other publications blasted the cover's racial overtones on Thursday, editor Josh Tyrangiel broke his silence.
" 'Our cover illustration last week got strong reactions, which we regret,' Josh Tyrangiel, the magazine's editor, wrote in a statement sent to POLITICO," Dylan Byers, Politico's media reporter, wrote. " 'Our intention was not to incite or offend. If we had to do it over again we'd do it differently.' "
Slate's Matthew Yglesias called that "a pretty categorical non-apology. . . . Note that Tyrangiel doesn't say they regret publishing the actual content of the cover, but the 'strong reactions' that it incited. How hard is it to take responsibility for the cover, say sorry, and leave it at that?"
The cover shows people of color surrounded by cash in a house, with the cover line, "The Great American Housing Rebound," keyed to a story about Phoenix in which no people of color are mentioned.
Ryan Chittum wrote in Columbia Journalism Review, "The cover stands out for its cast of black and Hispanic caricatures with exaggerated features reminiscent of early 20th century race cartoons. Also, because there are only people of color in it, grabbing greedily for cash. It's hard to imagine how this one made it through the editorial process.
"Compounding the first-glance problem with the image is the fact that race has been a key backdrop to the subprime crisis.
"The narrative of the crash on the right has been the blame-minority-borrowers line, sometimes via dog whistle, often via bullhorn.
"It's a narrative that has, not coincidentally, dovetailed with 'Obamaphone' baloney, the ACORN pseudo-scandal, and Southern politicians calling the first black president 'food-stamp president,' and is meant to take the focus off the ultimate culprits: mortgage lenders with no scruples and the Wall Street banks who financed them. . . ."
The artist was Andres Guzman, a Lima, Peru, native currently residing in Minneapolis. CJR's Sara Morrison reported, "He wrote on his blog that he 'was asked to make an excited family with large quantities of money.' He added: 'Drawing dollars was a drag. ' "
Jason Linkins of the Huffington Post added, "Rachel Nagler, Head of Communications for the magazine, passes along a note from Andres Guzman, the illustrator: 'The assignment was an illustration about housing. I simply drew the family like that because those are the kind of families I know. I am Latino and grew up around plenty of mixed families.'
Morrison and Linkins made the point that, in Morrison's words, "All that said, it's surprising that no one at Businessweek took a minute to consider that the cover could be viewed as racist."
That, too, was the message from the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists:
"The image that was published by Bloomberg BusinessWeek is just a microcosm of a bigger problem in the magazine industry — the lack of diversity," NABJ President Gregory Lee Jr. said in a statement. "The last presidential election demonstrated that our nation’s demographics are changing rapidly and it is essential that media companies should make the appropriate changes to welcome diversity in their newsrooms, specifically in managerial positions.”
Errin Haines, NABJ vice president-print, said in the same statement, "Being controversial is one thing, but this cover is clearly offensive and demeaning.
"What is the message this cover seeks to convey to readers? And who thought this was a good idea? That such an image would be published by a magazine of the stature and exposure of Bloomberg BusinessWeek suggests that there was no one with the cultural sensitivity or awareness in the room to step in before this cover made it to press.
"While that fact is problematic, this incident presents an opportunity to prevent such oversights in the future, and NABJ stands ready to help the magazine bring more diversity to its masthead."
"In an interview, Hugo Balta, the president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said the cover 'continues to speak to the insensitivity of how minorities, and in this case Latinos, are being portrayed in media,' " Tanzina Vega wrote for the New York Times.
" 'I think it oversimplifies an issue that obviously has tremendous financial impact to the country, and it also puts a face to a community that is too often vulnerable to those types of attacks,' Mr. Balta said. 'If we go with the old saying that a picture is worth a [thousand] words, the message in this picture is that it's the minority’s fault.' "
Emily Badger blog, the Atlantic: Bloomberg Businessweek's Racist Cover Also Gets the Housing Crisis Backwards
Hugo Balta, National Association of Hispanic Journalists: Bloomberg Businessweek Cover: Blame the- Latinos for Your Problems? (March 1)
Wayne Bennett, Field Negro: The last day of Black History Month.
Adrian Carrasquillo, NBCLatino: Bloomberg Businessweek cover blasted as offensive for depictions of Hispanics, blacks
Matthew Iglesias, Slate: The Context for Businessweek's Housing Cover
Channing Kennedy, ColorLines: Bloomberg Businessweek’s New Name-That-Racial-Stereotype Cover
Miami, Fresno, Lakeland Lead in Sports Journalists of Color
After previewing its major findings earlier in the week, Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, released its annual report Friday evaluating diversity in sports journalism at more than 150 newspapers and websites.
Lapchick told the Associated Press Sports Editors, which requested the report, "For 2012, the grade for racial hiring practices for APSE newspapers and websites remained at a C+, the same grade issued in the 2010 Study. . . . The grade issued for gender hiring practices remained constant as well, recording the third consecutive F for gender hiring practices."
The full report provided details not disclosed in Lapchick's column Monday.
For example, "In circulation size 'A' papers, the Miami Herald (FL) had the highest percentage for people of color at 38.1 percent. For the second year in a row, The Fresno Bee (CA) had the highest percentage of people of color at 'B' newspapers with 45.5 percent. The Lakeland Ledger (FL) had the highest percentage for people of color for size 'C' newspapers at 33.3 percent. In size 'D' newspapers, both the Triangle Tribune (NC) and Ste. Genevieve Herald (MO) had 100 percent people of color. It should be noted that each only reported one employee. For papers with five or more employees, the Midland [Reporter-Telegram] (TX) had the highest percentage with 50 percent people of color in the size 'D' category."
When people of color and women are tallied, the results were:
"Of all the 'A' circulation size papers, the Miami Herald (FL) totaled the highest percentage of diversity within its sports staff for the second straight year with 76.2 percent people of color and/or women. The New Orleans [Times]-Picayune leads the 'B' circulation size papers with 63.6 percent of their staff being women and/or people of color. The Register-Guard (OR) led the circulation size 'C' papers with 90 percent of its sports staff being women or people of color. Finally, in the circulation size 'D' papers with more than five employees, there was a tie at 66.7 percent women and people of color between the Iowa City Press-Citizen (IA) and the Midland Reporter-Telegram (TX)."
Maria Burns Ortiz, one of the few Latina sports columnists and leader of the Sports Task Force of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, told Journal-isms Friday that her social media column for espn.com is going on hiatus.
Ortiz's column notwithstanding, the study from the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport asserted Friday, "For the fourth straight survey of the APSE newspapers and websites, there were no Latina columnists."
"I've actually been a freelancer (since 2006) — so I'm guessing I'm simply not considered as part of the company's demographics," Ortiz said. "Additionally, I was notified on Thursday that due to ESPN budgetary issues, my column is actually going on indefinite hiatus so yesterday was my last column," she messaged.
Ortiz, a former regional director of NAHJ, also contributes regular sports columns to Fox News Latino. She covered men's college soccer for ESPN starting in 2006, then was a Page 2 contributor before beginning the social media column in 2011.
Of the low numbers of Latinas, "I think it speaks to the dearth of Latinas in sports journalism, which I've written about in the past," Ortiz said. "What I find more troubling is that looking ahead to the future I don't see anything that leads me to believe any significant change is on the horizon," she wrote. "The study notes no Latinas as sports columnists and an all-time low in Latina sports reporters. The other numbers don't bode much better. Through my work with NAHJ, this is something I've tried to tackle, but it is definitely an uphill battle."
The NAHJ Sports Task Force plans a session at NAHJ's Region 2 conference in New York next week.
A Year After Tirade, Limbaugh Still Bad for Business
"It's been one year since Rush Limbaugh's invective-filled tirade against then-Georgetown Law student Sandra Fluke. With hundreds of advertisers and millions of dollars lost, the business of right-wing radio is suffering, but Rush Limbaugh continues to act as if it were business as usual, which is why Limbaugh is still bad for business," Angelo Carusone wrote Friday for Media Matters for America.
"On February 29, 2012, Rush Limbaugh initiated a three-day smear campaign against Sandra Fluke, launching 46 personal attacks against her. This moment and Limbaugh's subsequent refusal to apologize for, or even acknowledge, all but two of those attacks put the spotlight on the right-wing talk business model that Limbaugh helped construct.
"During the following weeks, headlines tracked in near real-time the names of advertisers exiting Limbaugh's show as pundits and natterers speculated about Limbaugh's future. As so often happens, the buzz faded and the news cycle rolled on. But the consequences didn't fade, they intensified. This is due in large part to scores of independent organizers, like the Flush Rush and the #StopRush community. . . ."
What Will Journalists of Color Regret in 2050?
"Yes, we in the media can have blind spots — often huge ones — when it comes to social change," multimedia journalist Farai Chideya wrote Friday for the cover story of Columbia Journalism Review. "To help identify them, we set out to have a national conversation about what we’re missing these days, and how media must adapt to cover an America that constantly reinvents itself.
"Race, class, immigration, and social mobility were the issues we used to frame our discussion, conducted in January. Using the online conversation tool Branch, we virtually convened 18 members of the media and asked them to weigh in."
Chideya received a variety of responses when she asked, "If we were to write the mea culpa of race coverage for 2050, what would it be? What are we missing now? And how do we deal with what we missed before?"
Raju Narisetti, newly named senior vice president and deputy head of strategy for the New News Corporation, said, "In hindsight, we might be apologizing for treating race through a white/nonwhite prism, long after America became much more multicultural, and race reporting ought to have become as much about covering 'white' issues, and not just in relation to nonwhite 'minorities.' "
Eric Deggans, media critic for the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times, said, "I write a lot about how race and prejudice play out in media. But I was still shocked during an interview with Shirley Sherrod — yes, that 'Breitbarted' Shirley Sherrod [who was bullied into resigning from a government job after racial comments she made were taken out of context] — when she told me a high school near her home in Georgia still has segregated proms. Far as the nation has come on racial issues, especially in big cities, there is a still a lot of prejudice and ignorance out there. I have a feeling future news outlets will be apologizing for allowing the level of racial animus toward nonwhite people which still appears on Fox News Channel, the Drudge Report, The Daily Caller, and many areas of conservative media."
June Cross, assistant professor at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, said, "We will have missed the nuances of race and ethnicity. When I get together with my Latino friends, they talk about how different their individual cultures are: Mexican, Dominican, Puerto Rican, Colombian, and Guatemalan [cultures] not only have different holidays and use the same word to connote different things; they also speak Spanish in different accents. The cities that receive immigrants are creating a melting pot of Latin America that I haven't seen reported at all in mainstream press. Ditto for the immigrant flow from Africa and the West Indies. Further, in the press's binary paradigm, undocumented immigrants are rarely Russian, Eastern European, Canadian, Irish — even though their ranks also fill immigration detention centers."
As February Closes, Two Seek to Clarify Blackness
Among the pieces closing out Black History Month 2013 was an essay by Tonyaa Weathersbee decrying that "more black people seem to be using their money or their fame to look whiter, rather than use it to make people appreciate their blackness," and another by Ivory A. Toldson, Ph.D., knocking down the oft-repeated line that there are more black men behind bars than in college.
"Today there are approximately 600,000 more black men in college than in jail, and the best research evidence suggests that the line was never true to begin with," Toldson wrote Thursday for The Root.
"In this two-part entry in Show Me the Numbers, the Journal of Negro Education's monthly series for The Root, I examine the dubious origins, widespread use and harmful effects of what is arguably the most frequently quoted statistic about black men in the United States."
Weathersbee, writing Tuesday for Black America Web, argued, "Sometimes, I think we ought to dedicate Black History Month to reviewing the part about black pride.
"I say this because these days, it seems that a lot of us either missed that chapter or just decided to skip it altogether. . . ."
Calling out such celebrities as Lil' Kim, Nicki Minaj, Sammy Sosa, Trina McGee of the television series "Boy Meets World" and Jamaican rapper Vybz Kartel, Weathersbee wrote, "Tanned white people have never been banned from using bathrooms and water fountains, while black people have been denied access strictly for being black."
"Do news blackouts help journalists held captive?" asks a headline over a piece Tuesday by Frank Smyth of the Committee to Protect Journalists. "The matter is hardly an academic one for journalists and others either known to be in captivity or still missing today," Smyth wrote. "Freelance journalist James Foley, a contributor to Global Post, was kidnapped in northwest Syria late last year; his family waited six weeks before deciding to make the case public. He remains missing. Austin Tice, a freelance journalist for McClatchy newspapers and The Washington Post, was seized in Damascus in August, and what appears to be a staged video of him in captivity leads observers to suggest that Syrian government forces may be holding him. His parents recently traveled to Beirut to try and appeal to whoever may be holding him.. . ."
"Mexican authorities say gunmen have attacked a newspaper in the northern city of Torreon for the third consecutive day, killing a bystander and wounding two federal police officers guarding the building," the Associated Press reported Wednesday. "Coahuila state prosecutors say the attack on the offices of El Siglo de Torreon happened Wednesday afternoon. Just hours earlier, the newspaper published a story detailing an attack on Tuesday in which gunmen wielding automatic rifles fired at least 30 shots at the building’s main door from a car."
"From humble beginnings on the Cheyenne River Reservation to New York City Radio Host, Tiokasin Ghosthorse is making a mark on mainstream society," Christina Rose wrote for Native Sun News. "Growing up with oral traditions, he has taken the tradition on the road and used it to bring awareness of the crises facing Mother Earth and all people. His program 'First Voices Indigenous Radio' is heard on 43 frequencies in the United States and people in Europe and Australia tune in to his website weekly to hear the voices of Indigenous people from around the country and the world."
"Following his fiery, contentious segment with Democratic congressman Keith Ellison, Sean Hannity decided 'to take a closer look at the man who called me immoral and a liar,' " Meenal Vamburkar reported Friday for Mediaite. "Asserting hypocrisy, Hannity hit Ellison’s 'radical connections,' linking him with Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan."
"Ron Oliveira, a fixture on Austin TV for three decades, will sign off from KEYE's 5, 6 and 10 p.m. newscasts on Friday," Gary Dinges wrote Wednesday for the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman. "After eight years at the station, the anchor says managers told him his contract wouldn't be extended. 'I was informed that the corporate office in Baltimore decided not to renew my contract,' he said. 'No reason was given. It took me by total surprise. I’m heartbroken because I love what I do.' "
"After a 42-year television career, anchor Ysabel Duron has announced she's retiring from KRON-4 in San Francisco," Veronica Villafañe reported Friday for her Media Moves site. "She has been with the station almost 23 years. A weekend anchor of 'KRON 4 Weekend Morning News,' Ysabel joined the station as a general assignment reporter in 1990. She was named morning weekend anchor in 1992."
"Many of our crime stories involving robberies include a description of the suspects when provided by police. White, black, Asian, it doesn't matter," Mike Johnston, managing editor of Canada's durhamregion.com, which publishes content from several newspapers, wrote Wednesday. "If that description helps with an arrest, we are glad to help. But lately, when the suspect was black, it brought out the most vile, repulsive and offensive comments we have ever had on our website. In fact, it has now got to the point that we are turning off commenting on crime stories when they appear on our website."
The family of Maya Jackson Randall, a reporter at the Dow Jones Newswires/Wall Street Journal Washington bureau who died at 33 this week after a long fight with leukemia, has created a memorial fund to start a public charity in her honor. The total passed the $6,500 mark on Saturday morning. The goal is $10,000. [Updated March 2.]
"Angry Kenyans have taken issue with a news item broadcast by CNN, claiming that Kenyans were arming themselves and preparing for war, ahead of Monday's historic poll," Wambui Ndonga reported Friday for Capital FM in Nairobi. "The Kenyans who vented their anger on social networks like Facebook and Twitter accused the international media house of bias over its article titled 'Kenyans armed and ready to vote'."
"The Taliban has dissociated itself; the Pakistan Army has extended its condolences; and government functionaries, politicians, and civil-society representatives have offered condolences as 'unidentified' armed men took the life of another journalist in Pakistan's perilous tribal areas on February 27," Daud Khattak reported Thursday for Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty. "Malik Mumtaz, who was reporting from Miranshah, North Waziristan, for Pakistan's 'The News International' and Geo television, was gunned down while on his way home from a funeral in a nearby village. He thus became the 11th tribal journalist killed in armed attacks or bomb blasts since February 7, 2005."
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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.
It published a photo of a white teen under the title "African Queen."
The French magazine that published a photo of a darkened 16-year-old white girl under the title "African Queen" apologized Wednesday "to anyone who may have been offended."
But the magazine's management offered a different explanation of what the photo represented than did the photographer, and the controversy again shone a light on the lack of racial progress in the fashion industry.
Anna Klassen wrote Wednesday in the Daily Beast, ". . . Unfortunately, increased racial diversity within the fashion industry is still an issue. According to reports, at New York Fashion Week this season, an astonishing 82 percent of models were white. Of the remaining 18 percent, only 6 percent were black. And while some design houses are trying to remedy this problem -- see Miu Miu's spring campaign video that features an entirely black cast -- they are few and far between. . . ."
Just a week ago, Margaret Sullivan, public editor at the New York Times, quoting a reader's letter about the Times' redesigned T Magazine, wrote, ". . . There is a complete absence of any people of color in articles or fashion shoots. I assume the ads cannot be controlled, but I saw only one African-American and one Asian-American among the thousands of models in the ads. The T doesn¹t look like my neighborhood or America."
Writing about the Numéro photo spread, Julee Wilson explained Wednesday in HuffPost BlackVoices, ". . . Ondria Hardin, a 16-year-old, blond-haired, blue-eyed model is seen with darkened skin, striking a pose for the glossy.
" 'Some people have declared that they have been offended by the publication in Numéro magazine n°141 of March 2013, of an editorial realized by the photographer Sebastian Kim called 'African Queen', featuring the American model Ondria Hardin posing as an 'African queen', her skin painted in black.
" 'The artistic statement of the photographer Sebastian Kim, author of this editorial, is in line with his previous photographic creations, which insist on the melting pot and the mix of cultures, the exact opposite of any skin color based discrimination. Numéro has always supported the artistic freedom of the talented photographers who work with the magazine to illustrate its pages, and has not took part in the creation process of this editorial.
" 'For its part, Numéro Magazine, which has the utmost respect for this photographer's creative work, firmly excludes that the latest may have had, at any moment, the intention to hurt readers' sensitivity, whatever their origin. . . ."
However, Kim denied the model represented a black woman and called the "African Queen" title unfortunate.
"At 11:03am The Huffington Post received the following statement from photographer Sebastian Kim via email," Wilson continued.
" 'I would like to apologize for any misunderstanding around my recent photos for Numero France. It was never my intention (nor Numero's) to portray a black woman in this story. Our idea and concept for this fashion shoot was based on 60's characters of Talitha Getty, Verushka and Marisa Berenson with middle eastern and Moroccan fashion inspiration. We at no point attempted to portray an African women by painting her skin black. We wanted a tanned and golden skin to be showcased as part of the beauty aesthetic of this shoot.
" 'It saddens me that people would interpret this as a mockery of race. I believe that the very unfortunate title 'African Queen' (which I was not aware of prior to publication) did a lot to further people's misconceptions about these images. It was certainly never my intention to mock or offend anyone and I wholeheartedly apologize to anyone who was offended."
Klassen wrote in the Daily Beast, ". . . this isn¹t the magazine's first racial offense. In 2010, it used Caucasian model Constance Jablonski to portray an African mother in an editorial spread, complete with Afro and dark face paint, posing with a black baby in a field of wheat.
"Numéro joins the ranks of other magazines that have featured racially insensitive spreads in the past. In 2006, fair-skinned Kate Moss posed for The Independent wearing nothing but black paint covering her face and body. In 2010, Claudia Schiffer posed for Karl Lagerfeld in yellow and blackface, wearing an afro-like wig, sequined top and brown face and body paint. And in 2012, make-up brand Illamasqua featured a model in dark face paint and makeup."
Claire, Fashion Bomb Daily: White Model Ondria Hardin Poses in Numéro's African Queen Editorial: What is Fashion's Obsession with Blackface?
Editorial, Daily News, New York: Assemblyman Dov Hikind is a Knucklehead for appearing in blackface at a holiday party
Jet magazine editor-in-chief Mitzi Miller has apologized for a Facebook comment expressing her exasperation over having to compose a statement defending the magazine's use of a 10-year-old photo of cover subject Fantasia Barrino, who became famous in 2004 as a winner on television's "American Idol."
"I apologize for the lack of sensitivity shown in my FaceBook post. It was a thoughtless comment made during a moment of frustration. It was unprofessional and not representative of the JET mission, which is to uplift. I regret letting my emotions get the best of me. I am truly apologetic," Miller said in a statement, Veronica Wells reported Tuesday for Madame Noire.
As reported in this space on Friday, Miller told her Facebook friends, "The fact that I wasted an hour of my workday writing a press release to address an issue created by a person who cannot even read it is just... #whyiwannaBahousewife."
On Wednesday, President Obama spoke at the unveiling of a full-length bronze statue of civil rights icon Rosa Parks, the first African American woman so honored in the U.S. Capitol's Statuary Hall.
"Mrs. Parks would have been more embarrassed than flattered," historian Douglas Brinkley wrote Wednesday for the Washington Post's theRootDC. "She was an extremely self-deprecating woman. What would have truly perturbed her was that Obama has yet to issue an executive order to create the Harriet Tubman National Monument. The paperwork is ready. It just needs the president's signature.
"Mrs. Parks enjoyed noting that she was born in February 1913 and Tubman died just a month later in March. She felt that the freedom struggle baton had been passed on to her from her all-seasons hero.
"The National Monument deal which Obama should sign -- like the one he did in October 2012 for Latino human rights activist Cesar Chavez in Keene, Calif. -- would have units in both New York (Auburn) and Maryland (adjacent to the Blackwater National Wildlife Refuge). All the leading elected politicians in those states -- Cuomo, Schumer, Gillibrand, Cardin, Mikulski and O'Malley -- are for the federal preservation of the Tubman sites. . . "
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: The "mistake" that delayed justice for Dorsie and company.
Thomas L Blair, Chronicleworld's Weblog, Britain: Journalists Revive Black Britain's Spirit
Trudy Bourgeois, the Root: Why It's Time to End Black History Month
Zack Burgess, Real Times News Service: 10 no-nos for white people during Black History Month (Feb. 4)
James Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Rosa Parks statue was a long time coming
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: A Flawed America in Context
Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: In her 100th year, is it time to take Rosa Parks off that pedestal?
Lee A. Daniels, syndicated: Whitney M. Young Jr.: Powerbroker of the Civil Rights Movement
Merlene Davis, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader: UK exhibit features women of the Underground Railroad
Lewis W. Diuguid, Kansas City Star: The never-ending effort to free KC of prejudice
Lewis W. Diuguid, Kansas City Star: A facet of black history that needs to change (Feb. 17)
Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig blog: Keeping black history real
Michael Fletcher, Washington Post: Study ties black-white wealth gap to stubborn disparities in real estate
Fannie Flono, Charlotte (N.C.) Observer: A year to remember those who changed us
Sam Fulwood III, ThinkProgress: Racial Flap Could Have Unintended Consequences
Harold Jackson, Philadelphia Inquirer: The memories of a black child in Birmingham
Bill McGraw, Deadline Detroit: Once Upon A Time, The Liberal Free Press Really Disliked Black People
Tim Murphy, Mother Jones: Why Does the Capitol Still Whitewash White Supremacists?
Branden J. Peters, the Shadow League: Black History Month: The Basketball Difference-Maker, Don Barksdale
James Braxton Peterson, the Grio: Dear white friends and family: Whether it's ni**a or the n-word, you just can¹t say it
Wendi C. Thomas, Commercial Appeal, Memphis: 150 years later, the Emancipation Proclamation is lauded but still largely misunderstood (Feb. 16)
Michael Paul Williams, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Danville bank¹s history is safe and secure at U.Va.
"A key provision in one of the U.S.'s best known civil rights laws, the Voting Rights Act, received a highly skeptical and sometimes downright hostile response from the conservative justices at the Supreme Court on Wednesday," Josh Gerstein wrote Wednesday for Politico.
But renewing the measure has the support of some of the nation's leading editorial pages.
After Justice Antonin Scalia said during a Supreme Court argument Wednesday, "This is not the kind of a question you can leave to Congress," the Washington Post editorialized with this rejoinder:
". . . 'It was clear to 98 senators, including every senator from a covered state, who decided that there was a continuing need for this piece of legislation,' Justice Elena Kagan said, in what might seem a self-evident point.
"But not to Justice Scalia. 'Or decided that perhaps they'd better not vote against, that there's . . . none of their interests in voting against it,' he said. Later he elaborated on why he feels free to dismiss this particular congressional action: 'I don¹t think there is anything to be gained by any senator to vote against continuation of this act. . . . They are going to lose votes if they do not reenact the Voting Rights Act. Even the name of it is wonderful: the Voting Rights Act. Who is going to vote against that in the future?'
"This is a stunning line of argumentation. Congress is empowered to write legislation enforcing the Fourteenth and Fifteenth Amendments. But if Justice Scalia doubts the purity of lawmakers' motives, then apparently this power is limited. We wonder how the justice is able to discern what lay within the hearts of these 98 senators. We also wonder how many challenged acts of Congress would survive if the court saw fit to strike down any that were enacted by lawmakers considering, in part, their reelection prospects. . . . "
Lois Beckett and Suevon Lee, ProPublica: Five Ways Courts Say Texas Discriminated Against Black and Latino Voters
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: "Those who ignore history are bound to repeat it."
Editorial, the Advertiser, Montgomery, Ala.: Don't abandon key provision of Voting Rights Act (Feb. 16)
Editorial, Baltimore Sun: Voting Rights Act isn't obsolete
Editorial, Clarion-Ledger, Jackson, Miss.: Preclearance actions still needed in voting process
Editorial, Courier-Journal, Louisville, Ky.: Keep Section 5
Editorial, Herald-Progress, Ashland, Va.: Is the Voting Rights Act an archaic statute? (Jan. 31)
Editorial, Los Angeles Times: Judging the Voting Rights Act
Editorial, Seattle Times: Washington needs Voting Rights Act (Feb. 7)
Editorial, Star-Ledger, Newark, N.J.: Voting Rights Act remains bulwark against abuse (Nov. 19)
Editorial, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: Keep sharp watch on voting rights
Editorial, USA Today: Uphold Voting Rights Act: Our view
Editorial, Washington Post: The Voting Rights Act's work isn't finished
Suevon Lee, ProPublica: Why the Supreme Court May Rule Against the Voting Rights Act
Ian Millhiser, ThinkProgress: The Double Standard Behind The Roberts Court's Hostility To Voting Rights
David Oedel and Rob Teilhet with Tom Sabulis, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Voting Rights Act debate
Brian Powell, Media Matters for America: Virginia News Coverage Ignores Reality As GOP Pushes For Tighter Voter ID (Jan. 30)
Jeffrey Rosen, Sherrilyn Ifill and Michael Carvin with Diane Rehm, "The Diane Rehm Show," WAMU-FM Washington and NPR: Voting Rights Act Before The Supreme Court
Adam Serwer, Mother Jones: Chief Justice Roberts' Long War Against the Voting Rights Act
Josh Shaffer, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Voting Rights Act made a difference from the beginning in N.C.'s Franklin County
"Looks like wall-to-wall crippled cruise ship coverage wasn't enough to get CNN off rough ratings seas. One full month since Jeff Zucker officially took over the cable news network, CNN saw a 5% dip in total day viewers and a 1% slip in primetime viewership in February as compared to January," Dominic Patten wrote Tuesday for Deadline Hollywood.
Meanwhile, Zucker is expected to host a networking reception in New York March 8 as part of the Region 2 conference of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. "He will be speaking to NAHJ members and guests," NAHJ President Hugo Balta told Journal-isms, in an appearance scheduled before NAHJ and the National Association of Black Journalists complained that Zucker's first hires included no journalists of color.
Zucker met Monday with NABJ leaders. On Tuesday, NABJ President Gregory H. Lee Jr. issued a statement saying NABJ had a standing quarterly meeting with CNN that predates the current leadership team. ". . .This particular meeting was an opportunity for NABJ to speak with Mr. Zucker and to learn more about his vision for the network. We had a productive discussion on how CNN can partner with NABJ to achieve our common objective of promoting a diverse newsroom, in particular within the management ranks, where our industry overall is lacking in diversity . . .," Lee said.
". . . It has been reported that CNN veteran contributors, Roland Martin and Donna Brazile could be next on [CNN President Jeff] Zucker's chopping block," Tanya Young Williams wrote Wednesday for the HuffingtonPost.
"While on the red carpet at the 44th NAACP Image Awards, Martin spoke candidly about his current role at CNN and his future relationship with the network. Martin appeared unperturbed by the uncertainty of his pending employment with CNN. In fact, he said, 'I'm excited about other opportunities.' Martin, who was scheduled to meet with Zucker in days following the interview, continued, 'It's up to them if they want me to stay around.' "
Martin messaged this statement to Journal-isms on Wednesday:
"I've worked hard to build my company, Nu Vision Media, from one platform to several. We have CNN, TV One, Tom Joyner Morning Show, the websites, books, and speaking. We are working on two new books and looking at other ventures, including documentaries. I'm also looking to expand my portfolio at TV One. I recently appeared on ESPN's First Take, and would love to do more sports stuff. My passions run well beyond politics; anyone who has seen Washington Watch on TV One could see that. I would love to do more sports stuff.
"I don't know what the future holds at CNN. It's not my call. My deal is up April 8 and I'll know by then whether my six-year stay there will come to an end or I will continue to provide the kind of cutting-edge commentary on a variety of issues that has been well-received by many. I can't control when I'm booked and on what shows. I just try to deliver something different and exciting each time I'm on, and do my best to make my work stand out.
"In the past few weeks since all of this speculation began, I have numerous people reach out to me expressing their strong feelings about my work. Many of them are in entertainment, sports, politics, business, and everyday people. Their feedback has been nothing short of amazing, whether it's Sidney Poitier, Hank Aaron, Harry Belafonte, Charles Barkley, Stevie Wonder to the brothers and sisters shouting at me as I walk down the streets of DC, NY, Houston, Detroit and other cities. I appreciate all of the love and support. It's always amazing to me how you can be on for a short period of time but affect people in so many different ways.
"I wake up with the same motto that has always driven me: If you do good, I'll talk about you. If you do bad, I'll talk about you. At the end of the day, I'll talk about you!"
"Detroit News reporter Leonard Fleming has returned to work after making headlines last month when the ex-wife of state Treasurer Andy Dillon received a personal protection order against him," Bill McGraw wrote Feb. 21 for Deadline Detroit.
". . . A person with knowledge of the matter said Fleming received a 10-day suspension, a warning from management and a new assignment. He had covered city hall for several years.
". . . Fleming has not explained his version of events publicly, but has told people there is another side to the story."
Fleming did not respond to an inquiry from Journal-isms on Wednesday.
Leonard N. Fleming, Detroit News: GOP's Santorum visits Metro area
"The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport has released its 2012 study of minorities and women covering sports at America's news outlets this week, and unfortunately, its findings haven't changed much since it released its first study in 2006," Travis Waldron wrote Tuesday for the Center for American Progress.
". . . The most interesting part of the study, though, is that without the world's largest sports outlet, the numbers would be far worse. ESPN is the target of constant (often deserved) complaints in the world of sports journalism, but when it comes to diversity, the Worldwide Leader is leading the way, as the Institute's president Richard Lapchick wrote at Sports Business Daily:
" 'In the new report card, of the 12 people of color who are sports editors at "Circulation A" media outlets (the largest newspapers and dot-coms, with a circulation of 175,000 or more), four work for ESPN, which employed two of the six African-American sports editors and two of the four Latino sports editors. If ESPN's people of color were removed, the percentage of sports editors in the 'A' organizations who are people of color would drop from 15 percent to 11 percent.
"Of the 11 women who are sports editors at this circulation level, six work for ESPN. If the ESPN sports editors who are women were removed, then the percentage of female sports editors at this level would drop from 14 percent to 8 percent.
"Those numbers translate down the ladder too. . . . "
"The Gossip Game," a new VH1 series premiering April 1 at 9 p.m. Eastern and Pacific time, "draws viewers into the lives of seven media personalities covering the fast-paced, competitive urban entertainment beat in New York City," the network announced Thursday.
"Every day, these ambitious women navigate the ever-shifting landscape of the media industry, where they strive to preserve their place in the 'pecking order' while chasing the latest exclusive scoop. . . . "
Cast members are "Angela Yee, co-host of the top rated 'Breakfast Club' show on Power 105.1; K. Foxx, co-host of 'The Cipha Sounds & Rosenberg Show with K. Foxx' on Hot 97 FM; Kim Osorio, Editor-In-Chief of The Source magazine; Sharon Carpenter, reporter on Russell Simmons' Global Grind website; Jas Fly, freelance writer, whose pop culture column appears on Vibe.com twice a week; Ms. Drama, host of the MsDramaTV blog and on-air personality at Major Playaz, an on-demand radio show, as well as Everywhere Radio on Sirius 40: Hip Hop Nation; and NYC Gossip Girl (Vivian Billings), whose HipHopGossipSite.com blog provides a taste of what the streets are saying along with exclusive dish on hip hop celebrities. . . . "
The Feb. 25-March 3 issue of Bloomberg Businessweek features apparent people of color surrounded by cash in a house that illustrates "The Great American Housing Rebound." The story, "A Phoenix Housing Boom Forms, in Hint of U.S. Recovery," by Susan Berfield, however, makes no mention of people of color in the majority-white city. Neither Bloomberg Businessweek Creative Director Richard Turley, Josh Tyrangiel, editor of Bloomberg Businessweek and an executive editor of Bloomberg News; nor Carl Fischer, who heads Bloomberg's global marketing, responded to inquiries this week.
"Major media companies, facing criticism about the level of violence in their content, are initiating a campaign intended to make parents more aware about ways to limit exposure to violent entertainment," Brian Stelter reported Wednesday for the New York Times.
"The Federal Communications Commission won't vote on changes to U.S. media ownership rules until an outside group studies effects on minority broadcasters, the agency's chairman said today," Todd Shields reported Tuesday for Bloomberg. "The study will take 'several weeks,' followed by public comment and a commission vote, Chairman Julius Genachowski said in a statement." The Minority Media & Telecommunications Council asked for the delay.
"Maya Jackson Randall was a Washington consumer-finance reporter remembered for her persistence and versatility," Gary Fields wrote Tuesday for the Wall Street Journal. "Ms. Jackson Randall, who wrote for The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, died Tuesday in Atlanta. She was 33 years old and had a rare form of leukemia." Fields told Journal-isms, "I was something of her mentor -- along with Mary Lu Carnevale. We plotted to get her back into this office after she came through in 2001 as an intern. She was one of the most beautiful souls I have ever encountered. Every once in awhile God lets one of those souls out to let the rest of us see what would have been possible. Maya was one of those souls."
A 400-strong crowd turned out Saturday at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts to toast the "tenaciously talented and universally beloved" Belva Davis, "who recently wrapped an award-winning 50-year career in the dog-eat-dog world that is the Fourth Estate," Catherine Bigelow reported Tuesday for the San Francisco Chronicle. "Among her admirers: Sen. Dianne Feinstein; Davis' husband, former KTVU cameraman William Moore, and her children, Steven Davis and Darolyn Davis; Attorney General Kamala Harris; actor Danny Glover; Denise and Bernard Tyson; Dr. Ernie Bates; Anette Harris and Marc Loupe; Wilkes Bashford; Tommy Moon and his wife, Giants announcer Renel Brooks-Moon; the Very Rev. Jane Shaw and her partner, Sarah Ogilvie; 5th Dimension vocalist Lamonte McLemore; and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee. . . ."
Democratic Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota "attacked Fox News host Sean Hannity on-air tonight in what is surely one of the most explosive and contentious interviews between an anchor and a politician in recent history," Dylan Byers reported Tuesday for Politico. "Rep. Ellison began the interview by calling Hannity 'the worst excuse for a journalist I've ever seen.' He went on to accuse Hannity of violating 'every journalistic ethic I have ever heard of' and called him "a shill for the Republican Party.' . . . "
"Univision Los Angeles stations Univision 34 and UniMás 46 will launch their first financial wellness event under Univision Communication¹s newest empowerment pillar Plan Prosperidad (Prosperity Plan), an initiative designed to create awareness about financial literacy and entrepreneurship among the U.S. Hispanic community," the network announced Wednesday. The event takes place March 16 at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles.
"NBC-owned Telemundo affiliate KSTS San Francisco. . . has been named the official Spanish television partner of the San Francisco Giants," TVNewsCheck reported Wednesday. "As part of the new partnership, KSTS will produce a half-hour local sports show dedicated to the Giants franchise. The show will be hosted by long time Giants Spanish announcers Erwin Higueros and Telemundo's sports anchor Juan Francisco Ramirez. . . . "
"Increasing minority participation in the energy sector, specifically among blacks and Hispanic Americans, was at the forefront of an institute devoted to teaching journalists how to report on the industry ," Renita D. Young reported Tuesday from Houston for the Grio. "In addition to learning how to navigate the sector, reporters, entrepreneurs, students and others who attended a one-day institute hosted by the National Association of Black Journalists shared ideas on how to increase minority participation. . . . "
"On Monday St. Louis Mayor Francis G. Slay declined to attend The Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists association's Mayoral Town Hall Meeting on Feb. 27," Rebecca S. Rivas wrote Tuesday for the St. Louis American. ". . . Association members said they were shocked and disappointed because the event was primarily to give their program's students a chance to cover a mayoral forum. . . ."
Stories Beneath the Shell, "the newest web publication covering news at the University of Maryland," has debuted. The staff members are journalism majors at the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park.
"After nearly 20 years here at KTTV, I'll be leaving next month to pursue that next step in my career. At this point, I've yet to identify that specific path," Al Naipo, Orange County bureau chief for KTTV, the Los Angeles Fox station, wrote to colleagues, Kevin Roderick reported Tuesday for LAObserved.
Dinah Eng, who wrote "How I Started" for Fortune, won in the Small Business category of the Society of American Business Writers and Editors' 18th annual Best in Business Awards.
"Last week, Stephen B. Shepard, the founding dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, emailed departing Columbia Journalism School Dean Nicholas Lemann to tell him that he was planning to announce his resignation -- just as his uptown counterpoint had emailed him last October," Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke reported Tuesday for the New York Observer. The journalism program began in 2005, offering a one-year master's degree program. Shepard was former editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Jeff Zucker, the network's new president, met with black journalists to talk diversity.
CNN President Jeff Zucker met Monday in Atlanta with leaders of the National Association of Black Journalists in the wake of Zucker's failure to include journalists of color among his first few appointments and the elimination of his "Starting Point" morning show hosted by Soledad O'Brien.
NABJ President Gregory H. Lee Jr. said he wanted to talk with the NABJ board of directors before commenting.
[On Tuesday, Lee issued a statement saying NABJ had a standing quarterly meeting with CNN that predates the current leadership team. ". . .This particular meeting was an opportunity for NABJ to speak with Mr. Zucker and to learn more about his vision for the network. We had a productive discussion on how CNN can partner with NABJ to achieve our common objective of promoting a diverse newsroom, in particular within the management ranks, where our industry overall is lacking in diversity. . . . "]
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists also took note of Zucker's first moves. NAHJ President Hugo Balta said in a message posted on the NAHJ website, ". . . With Soledad's departure, there is now only one Latina anchor at CNN, Zoraida Sambolin, who co-hosts 'Early Start' from 5-7 a.m. There are no other Latino anchors on CNN's daytime programming or in its prime-time schedules. NAHJ urges CNN to take judicious positive steps in diversifying its lineup and filling this void with the hiring of Latino talent for its English-language network. . . ."
Balta wrote that ". . . Soledad has always been a champion of diversity, behind the scenes and in front of the camera," and that ". . . her generosity makes it possible for NAHJ to award up to $5,000 annually to student members pursuing careers in TV broadcast journalism."
O'Brien, daughter of a white Australian father and a black Cuban mother, announced jointly with CNN last week that she would form a production company and continue to supply documentaries to CNN on a nonexclusive basis. She also plans to make them for other television channels and for the Web.
Gail Shister reported Monday for TVNewser that O'Brien said she had already received four pitches for documentaries and other long-form programming.
" 'I'll consider all pitches,' says O'Brien, 46, who will continue as anchor of 'Starting Point' until May or June. 'Excited' is an overused word, but I'm excited to take this step,' " Shister wrote.
"O'Brien's Starfish Media Group, to launch in June, will produce three documentaries for CNN in 2014, including another of her 'Black in America' series. She is free to create content for other networks, platforms and partners.
"She is also free to appear on the air elsewhere, but 'odds of that in the near future are low,' she says. 'They're probably high in the far future.' ”
In reporting on Zucker's planned meeting with NABJ, Betsy Rothstein wrote Monday for FishbowlDC, "Speculation continues . . . to swirl about the network's future with journalist and NABJ member Roland Martin. He recently answered a question from a fan on Twitter who would like to see him go to MSNBC. Martin's contract with CNN deal expires April 8.
"Some at the network believe times have been iffy for black journalists at CNN. TJ Holmes left his anchor slot in late 2011 over concerns of future advancement. Morning anchor Tony Harris did not have his contract renewed by CNN in early 2011 and surfaced at Al-Jazeera.
"With O'Brien's departure, Suzanne Malveaux will be the only black weekday anchor. On the weekends there are [Fredricka] Whitfield, Don Lemon, and Victor Blackwell. [Isha Sesay anchors part of "Anderson Cooper 360," and Lisa Sylvester does news updates for "The Situation Room," according to the network's list of anchors and reporters.]
". . . So far, of the major personnel moves made by Zucker -- the hiring of Jake Tapper, Chris Cuomo, Rachel Nichols -- none are black," Rothstein wrote. In addition, Mark Whitaker, executive vice president and managing editor, left at the end of January to give Zucker a chance to build "his own team and management structure and the freedom to communicate one clear vision to the staff."
Meanwhile, MSNBC has been gaining black viewers. In 2012, for the Monday through Sunday 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. slot, MSNBC had more black viewers than CNN and Fox News Channel combined, Tommy Christopher reported last month for Mediaite.
In Zucker's introductory conference call in November with the nation's media reporters, none of the questions concerned diversity.
Journal-isms posed this question to Zucker afterward through CNN spokeswoman Christa Robinson:
"How long does he think it will be before there is a weekday, prime-time anchor of color: African American, Hispanic, Asian American or Native American?"
The answer: "I hope you understand that it would be premature to engage on any programming or talent decisions at this time. I'm sure you gathered that from the call today."
Attempts to glean any progress on diversity since then have been unsuccessful. Zucker is not giving interviews, a CNN spokeswoman said.
"A legal settlement finalized Monday is expected to unveil dozens of photographs and records documenting the late Ernest Withers' secret work as an FBI informant in Memphis during the civil rights era," Marc Perrusquia reported Monday for the Commercial Appeal in Memphis.
"The agreement between the FBI and The Commercial Appeal allows the newspaper to access portions of 70 investigative files in which Withers participated as an informant.
"Those 70 cases, ranging from the FBI's investigation of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. while in Memphis in 1968 as well as examinations of his Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the NAACP and the black power and peace movements here, represent a fraction of the celebrated photographer's work for the FBI between 1958 and 1972.
". . . The settlement also requires the FBI to pay $186,000 in attorney fees and legal costs the newspaper accumulated since filing suit in 2010. In turn, the newspaper agreed to drop its lawsuit, which it did Monday morning in U.S. District Court in Washington.
"The settlement, believed to be the first of its kind involving a civil rights era informant, is expected to provide a rare look inside the FBI's domestic intelligence machine that kept a close eye on Black America in search of Communist and militant influences. . . . "
Withers, who died in 2007 at age 85, was widely honored in life as one of the foremost photographic chroniclers of the civil rights movement. When Perrusquia first reported Withers' secret work in 2010, readers and associates said they were shocked.
Among Withers' honors was a Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Association of Black Journalists in 2000.
"Of all the racial and gender report cards produced by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida, the most discouraging was the first Associated Press Sports Editors report card in 2006. Unfortunately, that sentiment is still applicable today," Richard E. Lapchick, director of The Institute, wrote Monday for the Sports Business Journal.
"It is discouraging because the percentages of people of color and women in the top-level positions in sports media remain dismally low. The hiring practices of ESPN appear to be the only factor that is bringing up the percentages.
"In the report that's due to be released this week, the grade for racial hiring practices for APSE newspapers and websites last year remained a C+, the same as in 2010. The F grade issued for gender hiring practices remained constant as well. The combined grade for 2012 was a D+.
". . . . My primary recommendation to the APSE remains that it adopt a rule, similar to the Rooney Rule in the NFL, that would call for a diverse pool of candidates for each opening of these key positions. I would call it the Ralph Wiley Rule after the late writer. That may be the push that is imperative."
"The satirical publication The Onion apologized on Monday for a post published Sunday night on its Twitter account that made an obscene reference to Quvenzhané Wallis, the 9-year-old actress nominated for an Academy Award for her performance in 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' " Dave Itzkoff wrote Monday for the New York Times.
" 'On behalf of The Onion, I offer my personal apology to Quvenzhané Wallis and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences for the tweet that was circulated last night during the Oscars,' Steve Hannah, chief executive of The Onion wrote in a post on Facebook. 'It was crude and offensive -- not to mention inconsistent with The Onion's commitment to parody and satire, however biting."
Several writers noted the rarity of such an admission from the publication.
Before the apology, Prachi Gupta wrote Monday for Salon, ". . . At best, the tweet reads like a degrading attack on a child; at worst, it's a racially-tinged degrading attack on a child, by virtue of the fact it dredges up memories of those offensive tweets directed at Rue from 'The Hunger Games,' another young, black, female child actress in her breakout role. Also, it turns out that no one really thinks calling a child a c-word is funny. . . . "
In attempting to explain what went wrong, former Onion staffer Baratunde Thurston wrote that the Onion "largely satirizes media and the general public. Everyone fawning over a clearly lovely and innocent little girl presents an opportunity to go the opposite direction with something contrasting and clearly false. It was also a take on tabloid media extremism... but it was an extremely high-risk move and missed that target by WIDE margin. Limited upside. HORRIBLE downside."
Meanwhile, "The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) on Monday blasted an Oscars sketch in which potty-mouthed film star bear Ted joked about Jews in Hollywood, calling it 'offensive and not remotely funny,' " Agence France-Presse reported.
"The anti-Semitism watchdog said the sketch, at the 85th Academy Awards hosted by 'Family Guy' and 'Ted' creator Seth MacFarlane on Sunday night, was 'sad and disheartening.'
" 'While we have come to expect inappropriate "Jews control Hollywood" jokes from Seth MacFarlane, what he did at the Oscars was offensive and not remotely funny,' said ADL national director in the US Abraham Foxman. . . ."
Other than the ADL protest, the bear's remarks in a routine with Mark Wahlberg drew little comment, though a statement that implied that CNN was controlled by Jews (then-CNN/U.S. president Jon Klein was Jewish) cost Rick Sanchez his CNN anchor spot in 2010.
Mike Burns, Media Matters for America: Michelle Obama Attacked For Oscars Appearance
Kacy Capobres, Fox News Latino: Oscars 'In Memoriam': Where Was Lupe Ontiveros?
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Quvenzhane Wallis and Michelle Obama the subject of cruel tweets Oscar night
Eric Deggans, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: Host Seth MacFarlane stumbles by turning Oscars into live-action Family Guy episode
Robin Givhan, Washington Post: On Oscars' red carpet, an actress's choice means business
Laura Hudson, Wired: Why The Onion's C-Word Tweet Was Well-Intentioned -- But Wrong
HuffPost LatinoVoices: Seth MacFarlane Hispanic Joke: Oscar's Host Can't Understand Latino Actors, Twitter Reacts
Andrea Morabito, Broadcasting & Cable: Primetime Ratings: 2013 Oscars Draw 40 Million Viewers, Most Watched in Three Years
Arturo, Racialicious: Apparently, People Have Beef With Quvenzhane Wallis
Maureen Ryan, Huffington Post: David Carr On Quvenzhané Wallis And The Onion: The Worst Possible Response
Krissah Thompson, Washington Post: Michelle Obama's Oscar presentation raises questions about the role of a first lady
Veronica Villafañe, Media Moves: Oscars 2013 memoriam: where's Lupe?
Richard Wike, Pew Research Global Attitudes Project: American Star Power Still Rules the Globe
Nubyjas Wilborn, the Shadow League: The Oscars In Tweets: Anne Hathaway and Dwight Howard Should Date
"For a two-part series on 'This American Life,' I spent five months beginning in August with two social workers at Harper High School in Englewood, an impoverished neighborhood on Chicago's South Side,' Alex Kotlowitz wrote Sunday for the New York Times Sunday Review. "The previous school year, Harper had lost eight current and former students to gun violence -- and 21 others were shot and wounded.
"On the first day of school, when I met the social workers, Crystal Winfield Smith and Anita Stewart, they were dragging, unsure whether they could make it through another school year. Just two months earlier, in June, a 16-year-old sophomore, Shakaki Asphy, whom they had been very close to, was gunned down while standing on the porch of an abandoned building talking with a friend. That friend, Thomas, had already witnessed a number of other shootings, including one at age 10 when, at a party, the birthday girl, who was also 10, was hit by a stray bullet.
". . . Harper's school psychologist, Elizabeth Stranzl, told me of one 16-year-old boy whose friend was gunned down in front of him, in the morning on the way to school. The boy, who had been doing well at school, began to drift. When walking through the neighborhood he'd have hallucinations, imagining that he was seeing his dead friend, imagining ways that he might have protected him. He became disconnected from friends and from school. His affect became flattened. 'You could see the transformation,' Ms. Stranzl said. 'He was present, but he wasn't. He just felt defeated.' She worried he was getting more active in the streets. . . ."
The two-part series, which concluded over the weekend, makes for gripping radio. It is available at http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/487/harper-high-school-part-one.
Emily Condon, a spokeswoman for the show, which originates at WBEZ-FM in Chicago, said by telephone that while none of the three reporters is a journalist of color, one of the producers, Robyn Semien, is African American. Diversity "is always something we're always concerned about," she said, and "This American Life" tries to reflect diversity in the subjects it chooses. The staff is small, and there is little turnover, Condon said.
David Carr, New York Times: 'This American Life' Looks at a High School Marooned in Violence
Quinn Ford, DNAinfo,com Chicago: Louis Farrakhan: Gang Members Can Serve As Protectors
Amy Green, Florida Center for Investigative Reporting: In National Gun Control Debate, No Discussion of 'Stand Your Ground'
Harry A. Jessell, TVNewsCheck: 1st, 2nd Amendments Closer Than I Thought
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune: Violence, Chicago and its storytellers
Linda Lutton with Michel Martin, "Tell Me More," NPR: Chicago Kids Say They're Assigned To Gangs
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Gun lobby defends not a cynical business model, not the Constitution
Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica: What Researchers Learned About Gun Violence Before Congress Killed Funding
The election of Barack Obama "has really changed the perception of African Americans, of black people around the world, . . ." Keith B. Richburg, who has reported for the Washington Post from the United States, Asia, Africa and Europe, said Sunday on C-SPAN.
"People in Africa are looking at the U.S. in a different way," [video] Richburg said on "Q&A." "I think the election of Obama was a fantastic thing, not just for Africa, but it is all over the world. I am amazed when I go to Indonesia and I am checking in at the airport and the immigration officer looks at my passport and looks at me and says, Obama, Number One," said Richburg, an African American who most recently was the Post correspondent in Beijing. "Taxi drivers in Beijing will look over and say, 'I like Obama.' He has really changed the perception of African Americans, of black people around the world, for some."
Richburg, 54, left the Post in January after 34 years because "it was time to move on," he told interviewer Brian Lamb, adding that there were more books he wanted to write. He is now a fellow at Harvard University's Institute of Politics.
Richburg, who also spent two years as Post foreign editor, devoted most of the interview to his time in China. But he defended his 1997 book, "Out of America: A Black Man Confronts Africa," published after a tour that included coverage of the Rwanda genocide and the crisis in Somalia in which U.S. troops were dragged through the streets. In the book, he declared, "I am terrified of Africa. I don't want to be from this place. In my darkest heart here on this pitch black African night, I am quietly celebrating the passage of my ancestor who made it out."
It prompted a full page of letters when it was first published as a Washington Post magazine piece in 1995, and later was discussed in public forums.
"I do not hate Africa or the Africans," Richburg said on C-SPAN. "I hate the corruption. I hate the brutality, the inhumanity, the kids who point guns in my face, the 'big men' who scare away billions in the Swiss bank accounts. I hate the propensity of Africa to roll over and wallow and endure this suffering without taking it to the streets and doing more to demand their own rights. I hate the people who tossed firebombs to the opposition. I hate the way people can walk by suffering. . . ."
Almost all of the feedback to "Out of America" was positive, Richburg said, with some coming up to him after book signings and saying they secretly agreed with him. He wrote a new preface after Obama's election.
David Carr, New York Times: Debating Drones, in the Open
Jodi Kantor and Monica Davey, New York Times: Crossed Paths: Chicago's Jacksons and Obamas
Sophia Kerby, Center for American Progress: The Top 10 Reasons Why People of Color Should Care About Sequestration
Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Obama: Eject media so we can take questions
"For all the hot air wasted on Sunday morning talk shows, one thing you don't see is true diversity," says Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University's first chief digital officer, faculty member at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism and co-founder of the South Asian Journalists Association. "It's usually the same parade of predictable politicians and overexposed pundits, with only (very) occasional women and minority guests," Sreenivasan wrote Sunday in a message to Journal-isms.
"But my favorite Sunday morning talk show doesn't have that problem. It's (surprise!) ESPN's 'Sports Reporters' and it's diverse not just because it covers sports, a topic dominated by minority athletes.
"The host, John Saunders, is a terrific TV personality who happens to be African American. But ESPN isn't content to just have one minority on the show. Usually one of the three guests is also black; sometimes even two. And then, something magical like today happens. All three guests are black and one of them is a woman. And they had the usual engaging, entertaining show.
"Those of us who complain loudly every time we see an all-white-male or all-white panel on TV (or at a conference) should also take the time to celebrate when a network and/or executive producer (or conference organizer) makes the effort to showcase diverse speakers of all kinds. So I'm making a fuss over something most people wouldn't even notice or bother to remark about.
"Here we go again," Laura Beck wrote Monday for Jezebel. "Here's 16-year-old white model Ondria Hardin; she's doused in a very deep bronze in an editorial for Numéro magazine called 'African Queen'. Ugh. Foudre makes the excellent point/sums it up with, 'why hire a black model when you could just paint a white one!' . . . "
Numéro, a French magazine, says it "offers an avant-garde view of the worlds of fashion, art, and luxury."
Susan Saulny, who spent the last 12 years with the New York Times covering national news and contributing to the paper's digital video efforts, "is joining the talented ranks of the ABC News Washington bureau as a correspondent," ABC News announced on Tuesday. Jill Abramson, executive editor of the New York Times, emailed Politico's Dylan Byers Friday that she was trying to keep Saulny and Jeff Zeleny, the Times' national political correspondent, but ABC announced Monday that it had hired Zelany. [Updated Feb. 26]
"The chairman of J.C. Watts Companies hopes to merge the Black Television News Channel (BTNC) with Florida A&M's School of Journalism & Graphic Communication (SJGC), bringing a 24-hour news channel to the university," Kyle Person reported Monday for the Famuan, the student newspaper at FAMU. "J.C. Watts Jr., along with the company's management team, toured the SJGC and met with faculty Thursday. . . ." Watts was a Republican member of Congress from Oklahoma from 1995 to 2003.
"News Corporation . . . today announced the appointment of Raju Narisetti as Senior Vice President and Deputy Head of Strategy for the New News Corporation, the proposed global publishing entity to be formed as part of the Company's intended separation into two independent, publicly traded companies," the company said. "Mr. Narisetti is currently a Deputy Managing Editor with The Wall Street Journal and Managing Editor of The Wall Street Journal Digital Network.. . . "
"After more than a century, the Census Bureau is dropping its use of the word 'Negro' to describe black Americans in surveys," Hope Yen reported for the Associated Press. "Instead of the term that came into use during the Jim Crow era of racial segregation, census forms will use the more modern labels 'black' or 'African-American'. . . "
"Taking a cue from recent headlines of love gone wrong, TV One delves into the lives of victims who have fallen prey to con artists, charlatans and thieves when new series Deceived, premieres Monday, March 25, 9PM/ET," the network announced on Monday.
"Incomes and tax revenues have grown from 2009 to 2011 as the economy recovered, but an astonishing 149 percent of the increased income went to the top 10 percent of earners," David Cay Johnston reported Monday for taxanalysts.com. "If you wonder how that can happen, the answer is simple: Incomes fell for the bottom 90 percent. The rich really are getting richer while the vast majority is getting poorer. These facts should be at the center of any debate about changes in tax law and spending with the March 1 budget sequestration deadline just four days off. . . ."
Former Dallas TV journalist Rebecca Rodriguez is the new communications chief for Dallas Independent School District, Tawnell D. Hobbs reported Feb. 14 for the Dallas Morning News. "Rodriguez, who currently works for the city of Arlington as marketing communications manager, will begin on March 1. Her base salary is $155,000, and she could earn more in bonus money for meeting certain performance targets. . . .
"Former East Cleveland mayor Eric Brewer has just announced the debut of his online newspaper, The Cleveland Challenger," the blog rtandrews.blogspot.com reported Saturday. "Brewer, who is both editor and publisher, said in an email circulated today, that the first issue carries an assortment of fifteen pieces, including articles dealing with the Cleveland police chase that resulted in the homicides of Timothy Russell and Malissa Williams last November; alleged bias on the part of Cleveland Heights officials in targeting a nightclub that catered to black patrons in the tony Cedar-Fairmount area; and assorted other pieces. . . . "
Delece Smith-Barrow, web editor for the Washington Post's TheRootDC for the past eight months, is leaving the Post for U.S. News & World Report, where she will cover non-breaking higher education news, with a focus on business, law and medical schools, RootDC Editor Chris Jenkins told colleagues on Monday.
"Politico's Manu Raju has been re-elected to serve on the Executive Committee of Periodical Correspondents," Peter Ogburn reported Thursday for MediaBistro. The committee is "one of four Congressional/Press Media Galleries that issue press credentials to bona fide correspondents. . . ."
"Salem Radio Network vice president/news & talk programming Tom Tradup spent the past week in Guatemala preparing a week-long SRN News series titled The Poorest of the Poor," RadioInk reported Sunday. "Tradup said, 'We always strive to be 100% objective covering any story. But for me -- especially as the father of two -- many aspects of this trip were heartbreaking.' . . . Tradup embedded with the American relief agency Food For The Poor to cover the story of impoverished children in Guatemala."
"A respected Peruvian photojournalist was gunned down on Saturday afternoon as he left at his home in Lima's Pueblo Libre district," Scott Griffen reported for the International Press Institute. "Peruvian media reported that Luis Choy, 34, a photographer who covered a wide variety of subjects for the newspaper El Comercio, was intercepted at approximately 3:40 pm by at least one gunman and shot at least three times, in the throat and the head. The assailant fled the scene in a waiting car. . . . "
In Nigeria, "Reporters Without Borders is relieved to learn of Al-Mizan editor Musa Muhammad Awwal's release on 22 February and urges the authorities to stop harassing him," the press freedom group said Monday. "His family was never told why or where he was being held after the State Security Service arrested him on 14 February."
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