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."
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.
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.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
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."
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 American Idol singer isn't pleased with her newest cover photo.
Relying on public relations photos for your cover shots can be messy, as Jet magazine is finding out.
Jet editor-in-chief Mitzi Miller on Friday issued a defense of the magazine's use of a 10-year-old photo of cover subject Fantasia.
"JET magazine is honored to have Fantasia grace the cover of its March issue," her statement began. "It is unfortunate that Fantasia is displeased with the cover selection, however JET stands by its decision," Miller wrote.
"As standard editorial practice, JET consulted with Fantasia's team, but reserves the right to select the image we deem as most appropriate for JET's brand and reflective of the cover story sentiment.
"JET continues to root for Fantasia's success and encourages her fans to pick up the new issue."
Clutch magazine wrote on Wednesday, "Fantasia has been the subject of harsh criticism in the public eye for everything from admitting her illiteracy to being involved with a married man who eventually betrayed her. When news hit that she had attempted suicide, many of us wondered if she'd ever be able to find peace. She also recently posted about gay marriage in a rant about being judged, that many took issue with.
"The American Idol winner recently sat down with Jet Magazine for an interview in which she muses about self-love and raising her children, and appears to be in a better place . . . ."
However, Clutch added, ". . . The singer erupted on Instagram, chastising the magazine for using an old photograph of her:
" 'This saddens Me!!! It is clear that this picture is 10 Years Old and JET Magazine puts it on the Cover!! After I send them the NEW LOOK AND DIRECTION. . SAD!!! I WANT A PUBLIC APOLOGY FROM JET. Now im not sure if the interview is correct. SEE!! America they and use me as they crash Dummy BUT NO MORE. IF I DONT STAND FOR SOMETHING ILL FALL FOR ANYTHING.' "
While its full-size Ebony sibling shoots its own covers and was the only major black magazine to post an increase in advertising pages during 2012, Jet has lagged. Its frequency has been reduced from weekly to every two weeks, and although it now has editors from the hip-hop generation and has been redesigned, it saw a 16.1 percent drop in advertising pages last year. Ebony's rose 22.9 percent.
Still, Jet's reputation was partly built on photographs, such as those in 1955 of the mutilated body of the lynched 14-year-old Emmett Till, and years of Jet centerfold beauties.
So why wouldn't Jet want to shoot its own cover subjects?
"Cost cutting is the name of the game or so it seems," Samir Husni of the University of Mississippi, known as "Mr. Magazine," told Journal-isms by email. "Fewer magazines are taking their own photos, so this is more of the norm of small magazines rather than the exception." He added, ". . . times have changed and competition is now tougher even for the African American magazines..."
Miller told her Facebook friends she was exasperated. "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."
"The Associated Press did the right thing on Thursday. After a week in which gay reporters, LGBT blogs, gay advocacy organizations, and even AP reporters expressed dismay at a misguided memo that seemed to say the words 'husband' and 'wife' didn’t apply to legally married gay couples, the news organization corrected itself with a beautifully simple addition to its Stylebook," Jennifer Vanasco wrote Friday for Columbia Journalism Review.
"From now on, the Stylebook will say, 'Regardless of sexual orientation, husband or wife is acceptable in all references to individuals in any legally recognized marriage. Spouse or partner may be used if requested.' . . . "
While most news organizations follow Associated Press style, not all do. The New York Times, Washington Post and Los Angeles Times did not respond to an inquiry from Journal-isms about their own style or said they were looking into the issue. Joe Knowles, associate managing editor/editing and presentation at the Chicago Tribune, said by email, "In this case, we would follow AP style."
Nathaniel Frank, Los Angeles Times: The power of the words 'husband' and 'wife'
National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association: AP releases new entry for husband, wife
Jennifer Vanasco, Columbia Journalism Review: Loaded language of gay marriage (Jan. 4)
The author of a book that made it to the Wall Street Journal's best-seller list and then quickly disappeared has described how best-seller lists can be manipulated by campaigns that he called "the unacknowledged pachyderm of the book business."
Such campaigns can especially hold back journalists of color who strive to make such lists.
". . . There’s good reason why most industry insiders would prefer that the wider book-buying public didn’t learn about these campaigns," Soren Kaplan, author of "Leapfrogging," wrote on the book's website.
"Put bluntly, they allow people with enough money, contacts, and know-how to buy their way onto bestseller lists. And they benefit all the key players of the book world. Publishers profit on them. Authors gain credibility from bestseller status, which can launch consulting or speaking careers and give a big boost to keynote presentation fees. And the marketing firms that run the campaigns don't do so bad either. . . ."
Kaplan named one such company, ResultSource, and added, "I learned that this niche marketing firm had apparently cracked the code on how the sales of books are calculated by companies like Nielsen that produce bestseller data — the very data that major trade publications, newspapers, and journals rely on to populate their bestseller lists, just like The Wall Street Journal. I learned that bestselling authors like Tony Hseih, CEO of Zappos and author of Delivering Happiness, and Chip and Dan Heath, co-authors of Switch and professors at Stanford University and Duke University, and numerous other bestselling authors had employed its proven methodology.
"I too contracted with ResultSource. . . ."
Angela P. Dodson, a freelance writer, editor and consultant who works with authors and formerly edited Black Issues Book Review, said by email after reading Kaplan's piece, "I have never seen it explained in such detail, but it is the sort of thing that people kind of know about. It's one of the reasons black authors have such difficulty meeting the thresholds for best seller status, especially early on. They usually can't afford this kind of help, and many sources told us over the years that black book consumers tend to buy by word-of-mouth, thus the whole process is delayed.
"By the time black books begin to sell, they have often been remaindered and the publisher has pulled the plug on publicity. It takes time for one person to read it, tell their book club and have the members read it and tell someone else. Books that become 'bestsellers' months after publication don't make the lists usually."
Journalists-turned-authors expressed surprise.
Natalie Hopkinson, whose "Go-Go Live: The Musical Life and Death of a Chocolate City" was released last year, said by email, "I had no idea, and Go-Go Live is my second book!
"But I also was the sucker who took the SAT without paying for a prep course as apparently everyone else was doing. I hustled my books the old fashioned way: readings, events, social media, celebrity blurbs, reviews, etc. But think it's sad that this pay-to-play culture is compromising the integrity of newspapers' bestseller lists. The lists are influential because readers assume it is a fair system. This is just another practice that is putting publishing out of reach for writers who lack money and connections."
Leonard Pitts Jr., the syndicated Miami Herald columnist, released the novel "Freeman" last year. "I'd never heard of such a thing," he told Journal-isms by email. Pitts said he was leaving for dinner, "so I haven't time to absorb the whole thing, but I can tell you that my initial response is that it blows my mind."
Just as new media have demonstrated the same problems with racial diversity as the old, "Newer, online-only news sites have fallen into the same rut as legacy media [PDF]," according to a report Friday from the Women's Media Center. "Male bylines outnumbered female bylines at four of six sites reviewed."
Julie Burton, president of the Women’s Media Center, said in a statement, "The report shows that while media is the most powerful economic and cultural force today, it still falls far too short in its representation of women. Who tells the story, what the story is about, and who is quoted in the story are core to the work of The Women's Media Center, and the numbers demonstrate that the glass ceiling extends across all media platforms. We can do better — we must do better. Women represent 51 percent of the U.S. population yet we're still not seeing equal participation. That means we are only using half our talent and usually hearing half of the story."
The report, by Diana Mitsu Klos, included these other findings:
"By a nearly 3 to 1 [ratio], male front-page bylines at top newspapers outnumbered female bylines in coverage of the 2012 presidential election. Men were also far more likely to be quoted than women in newspapers, television and public radio.
"On Sunday TV talk shows, women [made up] only 14 percent of those interviewed and 29 percent of roundtable guests.
"Talk radio and sports talk radio hosts are overwhelmingly male.
"As newspaper employment continues to tumble, so does the number of women in key jobs.
"The percentage of women who are television news directors edged up, reaching 30 percent for the first time. Overall employment of women in TV news remains flat.
"Obituaries about men far outnumber those of women in top national and regional newspapers.
"Women [made up] just 9 percent of the directors of the top 250 domestic grossing films of 2012.
"Women [made up] 39 percent of documentary directors whose work appeared at major festivals in 2011-12.
"Across all behind-the-camera positions, females were most likely to be producers. However, as the prestige of the producing post increased, the percentage of female participation decreased."
President Obama met Thursday with two groups that have complained that they deserve more of his attention: White House reporters and African American leaders.
"President Barack Obama held an off-the-record meeting with top White House reporters on Thursday afternoon, POLITICO has learned," Dylan Byers reported Friday for Politico.
"The meeting, with reporters from major print and television outlets, comes days after the White House Correspondents Association complained publicly about their lack of access to the president during a golf outing in Palm Beach, Fla., and one day after Obama met with local television reporters.
". . . WHCA president and Fox News White House correspondent Ed Henry did not immediately respond to a request for comment regarding the meeting. . . ."
The White House identified participants in the meeting with African Americans as Melanie Campbell, president, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation; Ralph Everett, president and CEO, Joint Center for Economic and Political Studies; Wade Henderson, president, Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Ben Jealous, president, NAACP; Avis Jones-DeWeever, executive director, National Council of Negro Women; Sharon J. Lettman-Hicks, executive director and CEO, National Black Justice Coalition; Al Sharpton, founder and president of National Action Network; the Rev. Derrick Harkins, pastor, 19th Street Baptist Church in Washington; and Judith Browne Dianis, co-director, Advancement Project.
Everett said in a statement, "The meeting was a positive, constructive exchange of views. The President fully understands the concerns of the African American community and has set forth a sensible plan to continue America's economic recovery. We look forward to working with him to strengthen the economy for the middle class and continue to build more ladders of opportunity for those trying to get there."
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: A Game of Chicken
Eric Boehlert, Media Matters: The Bush Years And What A "Lapdog" Press Really Looked Like
Joe Davidson, Washington Post: Feds vent about budget cuts on new message board
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Barack Obama's emphasis on fatherhood shouldn't be taken as woman-blaming
David Cay Johnston, Columbia Journalism Review: People aren't too worried about the sequester. Is the media to blame?
Julianne Malveaux, syndicated: State of the Union on Point
John McWhorter, Daily News, New York: The curse of 'college for all'
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: On use of drones, Obama overreaches
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: No winners in this game
Tom Rosenstiel, Poynter Institute: The dangerous delusions of the White House press corps and the president
"President Obama's push to overhaul immigration laws this year hasn't produced a bill yet, but it already has restored his standing among Hispanics," Susan Page reported Thursday for USA Today.
"In the heady days when he took office in 2009, Obama's approval among Latinos was 78%, according to the Pew Research Center. It had sunk to 48% by the last quarter of 2011, when it became clear he wouldn't deliver on his campaign promise for an immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.
"In a new USA TODAY/Pew Research Center Poll, the president's approval rating among Hispanics has rebounded to 73%. The survey of 1,504 adults was taken Feb. 13-18. (Data on approval was combined with other surveys on a quarterly basis to increase the sample size of Hispanics.). . ."
Meanwhile, Sasha Chavkin wrote Wednesday in Columbia Journalism Review that ". . . little scrutiny has been directed at a multi-billion dollar industry with a lot riding on the future of immigration policy: the private companies that operate federal prisons and detention facilities.
"For-profit prison management has become a booming business in recent years. Much of that growth is driven by the government's ramped-up immigration enforcement, which have boosted demand for privately-run prison facilities to detain suspected illegal immigrants until deportation hearings, and to incarcerate immigrants who have been convicted of crimes. . . ."
Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post Writers Group: Voices for the voiceless in immigration debate
Sam Fulwood III, Center for American Progress: Overlooked Story of Black Immigrants in the United States Deserves Attention
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: The guest-worker poison pill
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Rubio vs. an invisible Obama
Albor Ruiz, Daily News, New York: The only 'real' immigration reform must affect all of the nation's 11 million undocumented immigrants (Feb. 17)
By race, the highest national poverty rates are for American Indians and Alaska Natives (27.0 percent), and for blacks or African Americans (25.8 percent) [PDF], according to a U.S. Census Bureau report issued this week.
The bureau's American Community Survey, covering 2007 to 2011, found that 42.7 million people, or 14.3 percent of the U.S. population, had income below the poverty level.
Among its findings:
"Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders had a national poverty rate of 17.6 percent.
"For the Asian population, poverty rates were higher for Vietnamese (14.7 percent) and Koreans (15.0 percent), and lower for Filipinos (5.8 percent). Poverty rates for Vietnamese and Koreans were not statistically different from one another.
"Nine states had poverty rates of about 30 percent or more for American Indians and Alaska Natives (Arizona, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Utah).
"For Asians, nine states had poverty rates of about 10 percent or less (Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Virginia, and South Carolina).
"The 2007–2011 national poverty rate for Whites was 11.6 percent, and most states (43) as well as the District of Columbia had poverty rates lower than 14.0 percent for this group."
Wesley Morris, who won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism last year as a film critic for the Boston Globe, wrote Friday of the Academy Award nominees up for honors Sunday night, ". . . This is the best collection of movies since the field expanded four years ago."
The nominees are "Amour," "Argo," "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Life of Pi," "Lincoln," "Les Misérables," "Silver Linings Playbook" and "Zero Dark Thirty."
Morris, who now writes for the Grantland web site, continued, "The gamut they run is wide, but their quality is high, too.
"The two best of the nine are Django Unchained and Amour. One is a historical epic that was made by someone who doesn't care for the retrospective neatness of history, but it's shocking how Quentin Tarantino mastered schlock that doesn't tip into abject tastelessness. It's easy to assume that Amour is here because so much of the voting membership is older than 60. But this is the most unflinching movie ever made about accepting the return on several decades of marital investment. . . . "
Amy Alexander community forum: Two Reasons Why Denzel Washington Won't Win Best Actor Oscar....and Thoughts on Why He Should
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: I finally saw Django Unchained (Jan. 26)
Zaron Burnett III, Word Machine blog: THE "N-WORD," ULTRA-VIOLENCE & FAKE HISTORY: In Defense of Tarantino (Jan. 19)
Nelson George, New York Times: Still Too Good, Too Bad or Invisible (Feb. 15)
Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: Asian Americans have a rooting interest in the Oscar race: Anupam Kher, Dr. Patel in Silver Linings Playbook
Morris W. O'Kelly, Huffington Post: We Owe Spike Lee a Huge Apology (Jan. 22)
Zachary M. Seward and David Yanofsky of the Quartz website wrote Friday that they had obtained the names of 44 of the journalists who sit on the Pulitzer Prize nominating juries, which began deliberating Friday. They include Kevin Merida, managing editor, Washington Post; George Rodrigue, vice president and managing editor, Dallas Morning News; Paul Cheung, global interactive editor, Associated Press and national president, Asian American Journalists Association; Raju Narisetti, deputy managing editor, Wall Street Journal/head of WSJ Digital Network; Peter Bhatia, editor, the Oregonian; Mark E. Russell, editor, Orlando Sentinel; Randy Lovely, senior vice president/news and audience development, Republic Media, Arizona Republic.
Danielle C. Belton, freelance journalist and TV writer, founder of the blog blacksnob.com and editor-at-large of Clutch Magazine Online, has bipolar disorder. So does former Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., who pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one felony fraud count in connection with his improper use of $750,000 in campaign money. But, Belton wrote for the Root, ". . . Bipolar and success. Bipolar and failure. They aren't mutually exclusive. One doesn't cause the other; one is simply present no matter what environment surrounds it. . . ."
Jack Marsh, president of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute, confirmed that the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop, which trains Native American high school journalism students, "won't take place this spring due to fundraising issues," in the words of Kelly Thurman, writing Thursday for the Argus Leader in Sioux Falls, S.D. "The American Indian Journalism Institute, an academic and internship program to recruit and retain Native American journalists, also has been suspended this summer," Thurman wrote. "Marsh, who is to retire in 2014, said he no longer is heading the Freedom Forum's diversity efforts as he transitions into a new role with the organization. . . ."
"Jane Harrington-Smith, a former news reporter, talk-show host, weekend anchor and assignment editor for WXII-TV in the 1970s, died Feb. 15 of heart failure at her home in Fishers, Ind. She was 62," the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal reported Tuesday. "Harrington-Smith, a native of Winston-Salem, worked for six years at WXII before she accepted a job at WTHR-TV in Indianapolis in July 1980. She was the first black female reporter at WXII, according to her obituary. . . ." At WTHR, she was the lead reporter on the Mike Tyson rape trial in 1992 and was part of the station's investigative team, that station reported Monday. Harrington-Smith ". . . was the only reporter I know of that ever got an interview with Desiree Washington," the accuser, colleague Bob Weinzierl said.
Public information officers today "are more likely trying to manage the media, end interviews if they get difficult, control who you can speak to, and berate you or even call your boss to complain if you try and go around them . . . ," Vincent Duffy, chairman of the Radio Television Digital News Association, wrote on Wednesday.
"Tonia Moore is not a millionaire," Andrew Beaujon wrote Friday for the Poynter Institute. "The National Journal copy editor incorrectly answered a question about the origin of Universal Studios' name on an episode of 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' broadcast Friday, ending a run that began with a show broadcast the day before. . . . "
Brittany Tom, writing Thursday for the Grio, interviewed three great-great-grandchildren of anti-lynching crusading journalist Ida B. Wells. Michelle Duster said, ". . . I think Ida B. Wells should be remembered as an African-American woman who battled both racism and sexism at a time when it was extremely dangerous to speak out… She used her gift of writing, speaking and organizing to help shed light on injustice. She was extremely brave and held steadfast to her convictions despite being criticized, ostracized and marginalized by her contemporaries. . . ."
Simeon Booker, who as Washington bureau chief for Jet and Ebony magazines directed coverage of the 1963 March on Washington by a team of reporters and photographers from across the country, told the Overbeck Capitol Hill History Project, ". . . What folks today might not realize is that Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. neither planned nor organized the march, although when it was over, it was clear that he would own it for all time. . . ."
"Media freedom campaigners say police in Zimbabwe are breaking the law by seizing and banning small radio receivers that can tune in to stations not linked to the state broadcasting monopoly controlled by President Robert Mugabe's party," the Associated Press reported Friday.
"The insurgents who have fled from invading French troops in Mali have been taking with them some of their most important possessions — slaves," Clare Morgana Gillis wrote last week for USA Today.
"Liberal blogs are all aflutter about a Fox News contributor named Lisa Daftari burping out a chunk of crazy on Megyn Kelly's America Live Wednesday afternoon, with the main point being that a Fox News contributor said something crazy," Tommy Christopher wrote Thursday for Mediaite. "What hasn't been discussed, perhaps because they take it for granted, is that Daftari's crazy and factually inaccurate statement about 'sleeper cells' in Detroit went completely unchallenged by 'hard news' anchor Megyn Kelly, who was more interested in Fairly and Balancedly talking about how Al Jazeera is 'about to infiltrate America.' "
In Bangladesh, "Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the murder of an outspoken anti-Islamist blogger, Ahmed Rajib Haider, who was hacked to death in the capital, Dhaka, on 15 February," the press freedom organization said Tuesday.
"Reporters Without Borders condemns the renewed crackdown on Iranian journalists, in which a wave of arrests in Tehran on and around the 'Black Sunday' of 27 January has been followed by interrogations and arrests of journalists in several provincial cities," the press freedom group said Wednesday. "At least 15 journalists and netizens . . . were summoned and interrogated for several hours by intelligence ministry officials in the southwestern city of Ilam on 17 February. . . ."
In Nigeria, "Reporters Without Borders firmly condemns Al-Mizan editor Musa Muhammad Awwal's illegal detention since his arrest without a warrant by heavily-armed security operatives five days ago. Neither his family nor his colleagues know why he was arrested or where he is being held . . ." the group said Tuesday. On Thursday, Ismail Mudashir of the Daily Trust in Nigeria wrote, ". . . Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper, Mallam Ibrahim Musa, in a statement said all efforts to reach the editor have proved abortive . . . . "
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
The anchor will leave her morning show to produce documentaries for the network.
"Soledad O'Brien will leave CNN's morning show in the spring, but she won't be leaving the cable news channel altogether," as Brian Stelter put it Thursday for the New York Times.
"Ms. O'Brien, who is well-known for CNN documentaries like 'Black in America,' said Thursday that she would form a production company and continue to supply documentaries to CNN on a nonexclusive basis. She'll also make them for other television channels and for the Web."
The removal of O'Brien from the anchor desk appeared to leave the main CNN U.S. network with no anchors of color during the week.
O'Brien, daughter of a white Australian father and a black Cuban mother, was named "Journalist of the Year" by the National Association of Black Journalists in 2010. NABJ called her "the impetus of CNN's acclaimed 'In America' franchise, which began with CNN's 'Black [in] America' in 2008, a groundbreaking documentary, which took an in-depth look at the challenges confronting blacks in America." Later, the series took on "Latino in America" and "Gay in America."
Stelter's story continued, " 'There's so many great stories to tell,' said Ms. O'Brien, who is preparing two new installments of the 'Black in America' franchise for CNN.
"The deal is an unusual one for CNN. In effect, Ms. O'Brien will go from being an anchor to an outside producer. She may have had little choice in the matter: the new head of CNN Worldwide, Jeff Zucker, decided even before he started the job in January that he wanted to replace Ms. O'Brien's morning show, 'Starting Point,' with a brand new one."
The "In America" franchise is expected to continue after those two installments.
In its official announcement, CNN said, ". . . O'Brien's company, which will launch in June, will produce three long-form programming specials for CNN in 2014. Those specials will include one of the network's most successful franchises, Black in America. O'Brien's new production company, Starfish Media Group, in conjunction with CNN, will act as the exclusive worldwide distributor of previous documentaries featuring O'Brien. She will also host the 2013 CNN Black in America documentary, which will air later this year."
" 'We greatly value Soledad's experience, and her first-rate storytelling will continue to be an asset to CNN,' said Zucker. 'Documentaries and long-form story telling are important to our brand and we're anticipating more of what we've come to expect from her‹ riveting content.' "
Stelter's story continued, "The hosts of the new, as-yet-untitled show have not been named, but Mr. Zucker hired Chris Cuomo from ABC last month with the intention of pairing him with Erin Burnett, who presently hosts the 7 p.m. hour on CNN. . . ."
In a story widely picked up in social media and on websites Tuesday, the New York Post's Page Six gossip column reported that "Page Six has exclusively learned" that "High-profile morning anchor Soledad O'Brien is on her way out at CNN."
However, neither CNN nor O'Brien would confirm the item, attributed to unnamed sources, and the ultimate resolution of O'Brien's status proved not so cut and dried.
Earlier Thursday, O'Brien acknowledged that "Starting Point" would end, but said she was "talking" with the network about her role.
O'Brien stopped by "The Wendy Williams Show" on Thursday and Williams immediately asked whether she would be leaving CNN, Mackenzie Weinger reported for Politico.
" 'You know, we're talking about my role,' O'Brien told Williams. 'As you know, it's been reported a lot that the morning show is going a different direction. So, we're talking about what ways I can contribute to CNN. Doing stuff I like to do, which is hard-hitting journalism.' . . ."
Judge Tells Journalist What Not to Write
A federal judge in Miami ordered a Haitian-American journalist never again to write about the professional, personal or political lives of Haiti's prime minister or a South Florida businessman, ruling that the journalist had defamed them.
"The ruling seems pretty outrageous on its face," Gregg Leslie, legal defense director of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, told Journal-isms by telephone on Wednesday. According to Nolo's Plain-English Law Dictionary, ". . . Prior restraints are considered a violation of the First Amendment and are rarely permitted except in cases in which the publication is obscene, defamatory, or represents a clear and present danger -- a theory articulated by the U.S. Supreme Court in Near v. Minnesota (1931)."
Leo Joseph, journalist for the New York-based Haiti Observateur, told Journal-isms by telephone that he was not even in Florida when the Feb. 6 ruling was issued. "I did not have thousands of dollars to defend myself," Joseph said. "I had no desire to make a fool of myself." He added, "They never served me properly. I'm going to appeal this. . . . I did not have a lawyer." Of those who sued him, Joseph said, "I did not think they had the guts to do it."
Leslie said the ruling by U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro sounded as though she invited the lawyers for the plaintiffs to draw up a proposed order, which she accepted. "It seems like the judge signed it without thinking it through," Leslie said.
Joseph agreed. He told Journal-isms, ". . . They were trying to silence me, because I have more stuff coming."
The Florida law firm Perlman, Bajandas, Yevoli & Albright, P.L., distributed a news release on Tuesday, apparently on behalf of the Haitian plaintiffs. The Associated Press transmitted a story the same day.
The news release began, "A US Federal Judge ruled on February 6, 2013 against the Haiti Observateur, a New York based Website noting that it had published false and defamatory statements against Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and Patrice Baker, his former business partner and prominent South Florida businessman. The ruling also notes that the Website and its reporter acted with malice.
"In August 2012 Leo Joseph, a reporter for the Haiti Observateur, wrote two articles making allegations against Baker and Lamothe in relation to the sale of a bankrupted telephone company in Haiti.
"Noting the false and malicious nature of the accusations, Baker and Lamothe immediately sued Joseph and the Haiti Observateur in a US District Court, Southern District of Florida. Federal Judge Ursula Ungaro provided a sweeping ruling that sided entirely with the plaintiffs. Judge Ungaro notes in her ruling that the Haiti Observateur's publications are 'replete with statements that are outrageous, scandalous and reminiscent of a tabloid publication. . . . ' "
Joseph told Journal-isms, ". . . After this, I am going to sue them back." But first, he said, he is looking for a lawyer.
The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, founded in 1970, provides free legal advice, resources, support and advocacy to protect the First Amendment and Freedom of Information rights of journalists working in areas where U.S. law applies, regardless of the medium in which their work appears, according to its website.
It was founded after New York Times reporter Earl Caldwell, later a founder of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, was ordered to reveal to a federal grand jury his sources in the Black Panther organization, threatening his independence as a newsgatherer.
Joseph said the Haiti Observateur has a circulation of 40,000 for its print edition and reaches "no less than 25,000 every week" on the Internet.
International Press Institute: IPI Special Report: Criminal defamation laws remain widespread in the Caribbean (Feb. 4)
Ken Moritsugu, Bangkok-based Asia enterprise editor for the Associated Press, won a special election for vice president for print of the Asian American Journalists Association, the group announced on Tuesday. Moritsugu defeated Neal Justin, TV and media critic for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, 133 to 114.
Asked how he would fulfill his duties from Asia, Moritsugu told Journal-isms by email, "We have three board meetings a year so I'll be flying to the US for them."
He said in a statement, ". . . As a longtime member who has led chapters in both the U.S. and Asia, I also hope to build bridges between our membership at home and overseas."
AAJA announced, ". . . Moritsugu has served on the boards of three AAJA chapters and is a former president of AAJA-New York. He is currently president of AAJA's Asia Chapter, and during his tenure the chapter has grown from 30 to 130 members and launched an annual conference with the University of Hong Kong." He is also the son of Henry Moritsugu, assistant news editor at Newsday.
"AAJA held a special election to fill the post of Vice President for Print after Tom Lee resigned from the position for personal reasons in January. Moritsugu will serve out the remainder of the term" until December, the announcement continued.
"After two interim deans and more than a year of searching, the University of North Texas named Dorothy M. Bland dean of the university's school of journalism on Tuesday," Rachel Mehlhaff reported for the Denton (Texas) Record-Chronicle.
Bland headed the Division of Journalism at Florida A&M University from 2007 until last fall, when she stepped down from the director's position to pursue a Ph.D. A new dean, Ann Wead Kimbrough, assumed control of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication in August.
A former publisher of the Fort Collins (Colo.) Coloradoan, Bland was one of only a handful of black female daily newspaper publishers during her career with the Gannett Co., Inc., which ended in 2005. She is a 1982 graduate of the Maynard Institute's Editing Program for Minority Journalists.
Warren Burggren, provost and vice president for academic affairs, told the Denton newspaper that Bland was the university's choice because of her experience in publishing and higher education.
"She has deep experience in both those areas," Burggren said.
FAMU saw its share of controversy in January when Kimbrough ordered the Famuan, the student newspaper, "delayed" until Jan. 30 while she implemented training for staff members.
Press-freedom groups such as the Society of Professional Journalists and the Student Press Law Center objected. Overall, the university had accreditation issues and was weathering negative publicity generated by the well-publicized hazing death of drum major Robert Champion in November 2011.
"President Barack Obama is a master at limiting, shaping and manipulating media coverage of himself and his White House," Jim VandeHei and Mike Allen wrote Monday for Politico.
"Not for the reason that conservatives suspect: namely, that a liberal press willingly and eagerly allows itself to get manipulated. Instead, the mastery mostly flows from a White House that has taken old tricks for shaping coverage (staged leaks, friendly interviews) and put them on steroids using new ones (social media, content creation, precision targeting). And it's an equal opportunity strategy: Media across the ideological spectrum are left scrambling for access.
"The results are transformational. With more technology, and fewer resources at many media companies, the balance of power between the White House and press has tipped unmistakably toward the government. This is an arguably dangerous development, and one that the Obama White House -- fluent in digital media and no fan of the mainstream press -- has exploited cleverly and ruthlessly. And future presidents from both parties will undoubtedly copy and expand on this approach. . . . "
Meanwhile, "Continuing to hunt for a political advantage in the fight over the looming sequester," Obama was scheduled Wednesday "to conduct interviews with eight local television stations in an attempt to intensify pressure on congressional Republicans," Justin Sink reported for the Hill.
The anchors included Vic Carter, news anchor for WJZ-TV, the CBS affiliate in Baltimore.
Dylan Byers, Politico: Ed Henry: 'This isn't about a golf game'
Stanley Crouch, Daily News, New York: The GOP pied piper of common sense: Joe Scarborough points the way toward reason, unlike most of his wayward party
David Ferguson, Raw Story: Maddow: Regular Americans routinely ask tougher questions than whiny Beltway media
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Rubio's sip was no fatal slip
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Rubio vs. an invisible Obama
Ishmael Reed, New York Times: Neo-Classical Republicanism
Meenal Vamburkar, Mediaite: Morning Joe Chides 'High-Maintenance' Press Corps For Complaining About Access To Obama
Dr. Boyce Watkins, syndicated: Study: Obama Pays Less Attention to Race than Any Democratic President in the Last 50 Years
DeWayne Wickham, USA Today: Chris Christie, not Rubio, best bet in 2016
" 'Now,' Robin Roberts said to the staff of her top-rated morning show, 'Good Morning America,' right after it wrapped on Wednesday, 'we can resume regular programming,' " Brian Stelter reported Wednesday for the New York Times.
"Ms. Roberts had just made a television comeback unlike any other, as a host of the program for the first time since she was forced to leave it in August to fight a life-threatening illness. The return, promoted two weeks ahead of time by ABC, was celebrated by fans, tens of thousands of whom sent well-wishes on social networking sites. Many of them watch the program specifically for Ms. Roberts, who is, according to industry research, the most-liked host on any American morning news program by a wide margin. . . ."
"Ken Burns and his production company, Florentine Films, overcame efforts by New York City officials to forcibly seek the release of outtakes and footage from his recent film about five men wrongly convicted in the attack and rape of a Central Park jogger," Jack Komperda wrote Wednesday for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
"Federal magistrate judge Ronald Ellis granted on Tuesday the request by the famed documentary filmmaker's team to quash the city's subpoena seeking the unpublished material from the film 'The Central Park Five,' concluding that the documentarians had demonstrated the requisite independence to be considered journalists under the reporter's privilege.
"Judge Ellis also found that New York City officials were not able to overcome the privilege by showing that the information they sought involved a significant issue in this case that was unavailable by other means.
"The film, which was released last November, depicts the experiences of five men convicted of the April 1989 attack on Trisha Meili. The men served full sentences before finally being exonerated after another person confessed to the attack. They have since filed a $250 million civil rights lawsuit against the city. . . ."
"The new T magazine made an impressive start on Sunday," public editor Margaret Sullivan wrote Wednesday for the New York Times. "Thick with ads, its editorial content -- including a fascinating cover story on the 79-year-old socialite Lee Radziwill -- was strong.
" 'T: The Times Style Magazine' has been redesigned with a well-respected new editor, Deborah Needleman, who came to The Times recently from The Wall Street Journal.
"There was much to admire. But many readers found one aspect of the magazine disturbing -- its lack of people of color. . . ."
". . . I asked Ms. Needleman to respond. She noted that the response to the magazine has been extremely positive but said she agrees with this complaint. And she intends to remedy it in future issues. She wrote:
" 'It was something I noticed and regretted as we were putting the issue together. We are a global magazine and so would like the content, subjects and geography of stories to reflect that. In coming issues, we cover the people and places of Seoul, São Paulo, Kenya, Bollywood actors, Nigeria, etc. A majority of fashion models are still unfortunately mostly white, but it is our aim to celebrate quality and beauty in all its diverse forms. We can and will aim to do better, but our goal is first and foremost to deliver the best stories we find, and it is my belief that quality and good journalism appeal to all of us regardless of our specific ethnic origins.' . . . "
Kevin Merida, newly promoted to managing editor at the Washington Post, and his wife, author and former Post columnist Donna Britt, were among 31 current and former journalists of color Tuesday at a Journalists Roundtable dinner in Washington. Many were Post alumni.
Merida, the first African American to become a Post managing editor, said the historic significance of his promotion took a while to sink in. As national editor, Merida said he was still focused on those duties and on family considerations when new Executive Editor Martin Baron extended the offer. Eventually, Merida said he realized that not only would he become managing editor of his hometown paper but also the breaker of a glass ceiling. When the announcement was made on Feb. 4, the flood of congratulations from colleagues, friends and acquaintances present and past confirmed the promotion's significance.
Merida said he advises young people that it is a great time to become a journalist, citing the steady creation of new positions at the Post in the digital space. He also said his lifelong familiarity with the Washington area would be part of what he brings to the managing editor's job.
In November, HuffPost BlackVoices named Merida and Britt one of eight "BV Power Couples," although, as Britt said at the time, they are "a couple that's neither glamorous, rich nor famous." This particular night, however, was Merida's.
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The AOJ Foundation and the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University are sponsoring the 18th Annual Minority Writers Seminar May 2-5 in Nashville, Tenn., the Association of Opinion Journalists announces. Registration information is at http://www.minoritywritersseminar.org. The application deadline is March 15.
Tony Gaskins, for 18 years a reporter at WEWS-TV in Cleveland, died Tuesday of an apparent heart attack, Leon Bibb reported Tuesday for WEWS. He was 56. "Tony was the kind of reporter every news director wants on the street. He could dig for the facts of a breaking news story, get the story written, meet the deadline for the story, and present it on camera in a calm and professional manner. . . ." In recent years, Gaskins worked for the city of Cleveland, Mark Dawidziak reported for the Plain Dealer.
In San Antonio, Texas, news anchor Karen Martinez of KABB-TV died Monday night after battling breast cancer for five years, WOAI-TV reported. Martinez, 37, "was a driving force behind the annual Healing Hearts Gala fundraiser, which raised money for cancer research and treatments."
Hispanicize 2013, a partnership of the Hispanic Public Relations Association, Hispanicize and the Public Relations Society of America, is planning 20 sessions for its inaugural Hispanic Journalist Showcase, the organization announced. The event is scheduled for the Eden Roc Hotel in Miami Beach, April 9-13.
The Radio Television Digital News Association wrote Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressing its disappointment that she no longer favors television cameras and microphones in the courtroom. "RTNDA urges you to reconsider your position, and believes you and your colleagues should provide unlimited seating in our nation's highest court by permitting audiovisual coverage of its proceedings," Executive Director Mike Cavender wrote.
"Ray Lewis has joined another team: ESPN," Richard Deitsch wrote Wednesday for Sports Illustrated, referring to the Baltimore Ravens linebacker. "SI.com first reported on Jan. 3 that Lewis was close to signing with ESPN, and Tuesday at a launch event in New York City for a new ESPN Films documentary series, ESPN president John Skipper confirmed the hire when asked how comfortable he was with the possibility of Lewis as an NFL analyst. . . ."
"In the wake of President Rafael Correa's landslide re-election on Sunday, many Ecuadoran reporters are bracing for another four years of conflict with his left-leaning government," John Otis reported Wednesday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "Neither side claims to relish the prospect, but continued clashes seem inevitable given the bad blood that has developed between them. . . . "
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