Did the media pay enough attention to domestic violence and the NFL star's slain girlfriend?
News outlets were praised and criticized for their coverage of the murder-suicide involving Jovan Belcher, the Kansas City Chiefs linebacker who killed his girlfriend and then turned the gun on himself Saturday.
Not only did commentators evaluate coverage of the tragedy by CBS, ESPN and the NFL Network as a news event, but they also faulted or praised the emphasis given by print and broadcast outlets to the slain girlfriend, to the issue of domestic violence and to gun control as part of the story. NBC's Bob Costas and Fox Sports Network's Jason Whitlock were singled out for attention.
Richard Deitsch wrote Sunday for Sports Illustrated, ". . . CBS's The NFL Today show disgraced itself on Sunday.
"Viewers understand that networks have bills to pay and can tolerate mild product placement. But common sense and decency should always carry the day, and 24 hours after Chiefs linebacker Jovan Belcher murdered Kasandra Perkins (the mother of their three-month old daughter, Zoe), The NFL Today opened its pregame show with a ham-handed live advertisement for Garmin that featured host James Brown hawking the product ('We would like to thank our friends from Garmin for helping navigate our open!') like a GPS-happy P.T. Barnum."
Deitsch continued, ". . . Yesterday, on ESPN's Sunday Countdown, host Chris Berman began the show on the appropriate somber note, with the producers showing a live shot inside Arrowhead Stadium. Berman then sent the audience to reporter Ed Werder, a longtime journalist who had traveled to Kansas City. Werder provided what Werder always does: credible reporting. Given the news in Kansas City, ESPN, to its credit, canceled its comic segment with Frank Caliendo and its frivolous 'Come On, Man' segments."
In the Times Union in Albany, N.Y., Pete Dougherty also praised ESPN but panned the NFL Network. "ESPN, still the place to turn for any major breaking sports story, followed journalist principles today before reporting the [identity] of the Kansas City Chiefs player who killed his girlfriend and then himself," he wrote Saturday.
"Meanwhile, the NFL Network proved itself to be a fraud when it comes to breaking news.
"ESPNews reported the story when it broke and continued to update viewers, but did not identify the player as linebacker Jovan Belcher -- even though numerous Internet reports did -- until police released the name."
Deitsch noted, ". . . Covering crime is not easy for a sports network, but it does reveal something about its journalistic DNA. As news broke Saturday morning from Kansas City, the NFL Network opted to continue airing its regular-scheduled programming (in this case, a repeat of Playbook AFC with Sterling Sharpe) while using the scroll at the bottom of the screen to update coverage.
"I kept popping back to the network, and the only hint of coverage I saw was someone from a makeshift studio giving a 60-second news brief. The Golf Channel's Damon Hack, who covered the NFL for years for the New York Times and Sports Illustrated, spoke for many viewers when he tweeted, 'What's up w NFL Network? S Sharpe is dancing? [Matt] Millen says he's going to show how P Manning 'kills people' w play action? Can't be live.'
". . . Here's spokesperson Alex Riethmiller. 'NFL Network became aware of the breaking news in Kansas City shortly before 8 a.m. PT (NFLN's studios are located in California) on Saturday. Immediately, a story went up on NFL.com, which was composed of information from NFL.com reporters Ian Rapoport and Albert Breer, as well as wire services. At 8 a.m. PT, NFL Network broke into regularly scheduled programming (a repeat of Playbook) to report the news. NFL Network continued to give live updates from the newsroom every 30 minutes, providing the latest news and developments.'"
CBS Sports spokeswoman Jennifer Sabatelle did not reply to a request from Journal-isms for comment, but Deitsch wrote, "Asked by USA Today Sports how CBS covered the Belcher story, CBS Sports executive vice-president/production Harold Bryant said, 'We covered it very well.' And so it goes."
On NBC, meanwhile, the Associated Press reported, ". . . Bob Costas used his halftime segment on 'Sunday Night Football' to advocate for gun control . . . causing an immediate debate on social media. . . .
". . . In a segment about 90 seconds long, Costas paraphrased and quoted extensively from a piece by Fox Sports columnist Jason Whitlock."
"The online reaction to Costas' segment was swift, with many people criticizing the broadcaster for expressing his personal views on a program meant for entertainment."
Whitlock had written Saturday, "Football is our God. Its exaggerated value in our society has never been more evident than Saturday morning in my adopted hometown. There's just no way this game should be played."
Jemele Hill of ESPN advocated a different approach. "Rather than hanging Jovan Belcher's jersey inside his locker as an awkward tribute and having a moment of silence for domestic violence victims before Sunday's game, the Kansas City Chiefs should have handed out this fact sheet from the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence to every player and all the fans who attended the game," Hill wrote on Monday.
alexthechick, doublplusundead blog: An open letter to Bob Costas and Jason Whitlock
Editorial, Kansas City Star: Seeking help, not succumbing to violence, is best response
Mike Freeman, CBS Sports: Agree or not, Chiefs want to play Sunday in wake of Belcher murder-suicide (Dec. 1)
Kansas City Star special section: Chiefs Murder-Suicide
David J. Leonard, Feminist Wire: Kasandr a Michelle Perkins: We Must Say Her Name
Roland Martin Talks With Jason Whitlock About His Column About Jovan Belcher's Murder-Suicide (podcast)
Greg Mitchell blog: Update: Costas Sparks Guns (and Football) Debate
Monte Poole, Oakland Tribune: Kansas City Chiefs tragedy won't stop NFL
Dave Skretta, Associated Press: Chiefs begin picking up pieces after heartache
Deron Snyder, Washington Times: Who's big enough to bring NFL to a halt?
Rachel Binns Terrill, Seattle Times: How Jovan Belcher tragedy reveals dark side of love in NFL
Travis Waldron, Think Progress: Bob Costas Was Right To Talk About Gun Violence During Sunday Night Football
The closing of the Daily, the standalone daily iPad newspaper from News Corp., publisher of the New York Post and owner of Fox News, marks the end of an experiment in a daily "newspaper" made expressly for tablets.
The restructuring, announced on Monday, also demonstrates that digital journalists can lose their jobs just as those in the print media, and shows that staff diversity can exist even online and at a News Corp. product.
"The newspaper had a high profile launch in February 2011, but had apparently struggled to pay its way -- recent reports suggested the losses were looking like $30 million a year, and rumors that Rupert Murdoch would kill the publication have been around since at least early summer," Adam Taylor and Julia La Roche reported for businessinsider.com.
". . . the brand will live on in other channels. Technology and other assets from The Daily, including some staff, will be folded into The Post."
Derek Rose, a copy editor at the Daily who was among those laid off over the summer, messaged Journal-isms, "though not without some frustrations associated with starting a new venture, it was really a good place to work, with a diverse workforce. I worked with some really talented journalists, of all different ethnicities. I know however much this might have been rumored, the reality of it is still a blow -- but I'm confident they'll land on their feet."
Rose is now writing a daily public health newsletter for a nonprofit and working part-time as a producer at SkyeAol.com. He recalled these other journalists of color working at the Daily:
Quindell Willis, a photo editor; Nadia Wynter and Carlton Christopher on the copy desk; Mara Gay, staff writer; Hasani Gittens, a news editor; reporter Myles N. Miller; Daniel-Johnson Kim, designer, and Peter Ha, tech editor. Rose, Christopher and Kim were let go over the summer; Ha said he left in April but was not let go. He said he had a short stint with TechCrunch and is now the news editor at Gizmodo.
Ha wrote a piece for Gizmodo on Monday, "What It Was Like Launching the Doomed iPad Magazine The Daily."
It began, "I was the 19th employee hired by The Daily. My first day as the tech editor was on November 1, 2010, and the plan was to launch the next month. Needless to say, I was scared shitless."
Ha told Journal-isms by email, "While I was only one of two section leads at The Daily of color [Dan Woo led the video team], I remember it being a fairly diverse and eclectic staff. As a person of color, I usually pay attention but it never crossed my mind in the 18 or so months that I was there. The design and video teams were the most vibrant. . . . As far as the business side is concerned, it was predominantly white."
Miller, 19, a freelance political reporter who covered the White House and Congress before being laid off in July, messaged, "There was much diversity at The Daily, across all teams at the paper. Very proud of all they've accomplished."
News Corp. declined to discuss the staff diversity. "Unfortunately, I am not able to provide you with information about our employees," spokesman Nathaniel Brown said.
John Biggs, TechCrunch: The Daily's Final Day: About 100 Employees In The Newsroom, Little Inkling Of Layoffs
"Aiming to cut costs in an increasingly troubled advertising environment, The New York Times announced on Monday morning that it would offer buyout packages," Christine Haughney reported Monday for the Times. "While the primary goal of the buyout program is to trim managers and other nonunion employees from its books, the company is offering employees represented by the Newspaper Guild the chance to volunteer for buyout packages as well.
"In a letter to the staff, Jill Abramson, executive editor of The Times, said she was seeking 30 managers who are not union members to accept buyout packages. She stressed that the paper had been reducing as many newsroom expenses as possible, like leases on foreign and national bureaus. But the hiring The Times has done in recent years to help make it more competitive online has restored the newsroom to the same size it was in 2003 -- about 1,150 people."
Meanwhile, Haughney reported Sunday, "While workers at many newspapers owned by Advance Publications have tried to brace themselves for what seems to be the inevitable -- layoffs and the end of a daily print product -- reporters and editors at The Plain Dealer in Cleveland are fighting back in an unusual way: they are taking their case directly to the public.
"The staff there has started a campaign to rally community support and to try to prevent cuts like the ones Advance has made in other cities. Using money provided by Local 1 of the Newspaper Guild and a grant from the Communications Workers of America, organizers have produced a television commercial, created a Facebook page that has attracted nearly 4,000 'likes' and started a petition that has nearly 6,000 signatures so far. They have also enlisted some celebrities, like the 'Hot in Cleveland' star Valerie Bertinelli, to support their cause."
Afi-Odelia Scruggs blog: From the Newspaper Guild: Plain Dealer Could Lose One-Third of Its Newsroom
Roger Yu, USA Today: Cleveland 'Plain Dealer' mulls layoffs, restructuring
Bobby Hill, the interim program director at Washington's WPFW-FM, the Pacifica-owned community radio station, tendered his resignation Monday after removing program hosts to fulfill the general manager's order for a station reformatting.
"After 30 years of varied service to WPFW, I sincerely regret that, in my second and current term as Interim Program Director, I have been involved in implementing a grid change that has caused such discomfort to many programmers and listeners," Hill wrote in a letter posted on a website created by dissatisfied WPFW staffers.
". . . The new grid was finalized late last week, resulting in notifications of impacts being shared with programmers with very little lead time," Hill continued.
"This was far different from the then new grid that I implemented as Program Director in the spring of 2008, which had a 5-month collaborative development process, and provided a one month lead time for impacted programmers and listener notification. When I had concerns that caused me to tender my resignation from my current interim position late in this new grid development process, I reconsidered and rescinded such tender, and instead worked hard and earnestly to implement the new grid as best I could. I have offered to meet with our General Manager John Hughes to revisit our new grid.
"None of this sits well with me. Should the aforementioned meeting/grid revisit occur, I would return in this position, if it were the greater will of John and the staff/programmers. . . ."
As reported last week, WPFW has decided to eliminate much of its music programming in favor of syndicated talk, including the Tavis Smiley radio show and Smiley's "Smiley and West," with activist Cornel West; and NPR's "The Takeaway," produced and hosted by John Hockenberry, and Michel Martin's "Tell Me More," which already airs on public radio's WAMU-FM. More than a dozen people have been let go in this effort to boost listenership.
The changes were to take effect Monday, but an archived speech by the late novelist James Baldwin aired instead of "Smiley & West," the rights for which the station would have to purchase.
Hughes has said the changes were required because the politically progressive station is in financial trouble, its ratings have declined and its demographics skew too old.
At a two-hour meeting attended by about 60 people Saturday night, one of two held that day, WPFW staffers and supporters said they were demanding restoration of the previous program grid and the removal of Hughes by the national Pacifica office.
The meeting concluded with intentions to seek a court injunction against the proposed changes, on the grounds that they violated the station's and Pacifica's mission. The imported programming is underwritten by corporations, at least one of which makes weapons, they said, while the community-funded Pacifica network was founded by a conscientious objector, considers itself pacifist and does not accept underwriting.
Esther Iverem, a WPFW host who is a former Washington Post Style reporter, told Journal-isms by email, "after a monday meeting, organizers are still exploring options."
Jonathan L. Fischer, Washington City Paper: An Early Look at WPFW's New Schedule (Nov. 30)
Jonathan L. Fischer, Washington City Paper: WPFW's Programming Director Resigns
Matthew Lasar, Radio Survivor: Rough notes: towards the end of Pacifica Radio (and the start of something new) (Aug. 5)
Clinton Yates, Washington Post: A part of WPFW died over the weekend
"For the better part of four years, progressive media has had President Barack Obama's back," Dylan Byers wrote Sunday for Politico.
"Now that he's won re-election, it is faced with a choice: Should the left continue always to play the loyal attack dog against the GOP, blaming the opposition at all hours of the news cycle for intransigence? Or, should it redirect some of that energy on the president, holding him to his promises and encouraging him to be a more outspoken champion of liberal causes?
"Already, there are rumblings of change.
"In the days and weeks following Obama's victory, progressive voices, primarily in print media, have made efforts to push the president on key parts of the unfinished liberal agenda -- including climate change, drone strikes, troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the closing of the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, civil liberties and gun control. . . ."
Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio: President Obama plays hardball in 'fiscal cliff' talks
Stanley Crouch, Daily News, New York: The base attacks on Susan Rice
George E. Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Income Inequality Grows in U.S.
Tim Giago, indianz.com: Indian Country remains out of sight and out of mind
Glenn Greenwald, the Guardian, Britain: Progressive media claims they'll be 'tougher' on Obama now
Emil Guillermo, Asian American Legal and Education Defense Fund: Dis co-dancing toward the Fiscal Cliff
Eric Hananoki, Media Matters for America: CBS Analyst Frank Luntz Praised Paul Ryan While His Firm Received Money From His Campaign
Joel Jaeger, Council on Hemispheric Affairs: John Kerry vs. Susan Rice -- The View from Latin America (Nov. 29)
Roland S. Martin, Creators Syndicate: Obama Should Take the Fight to the GOP Over Rice
Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Fiscal Cliff Is Still about Slavery, Not Money
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post News Media Services: GOP dug its own hole with Latinos
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Capitol Hill cronyism targets Rice
Geraldo Rivera, Fox News Latino: Too Little, Too Late on Immigration
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Why Medicare and Medicaid remain popular programs
"Bounce TV, the thriving African- American-targeted multicast network, was supposed to get stiff competition in what looked like the fastest growing niche in the programming world. But while would-be competitors Kin TV and Soul of the South have missed multiple launch dates, casting their very existence into question, another digi-net in the urban space quietly reached a year on the air," Michael Malone reported Monday for Broadcasting & Cable. The text of the article is available only to subscribers.
"Punch TV, broadcasting to African-Americans, English-speaking Hispanics and anyone else 18-45 who identifies with the urban concept, adds 16 partner stations on Dec. 12, giving it a total of 35 -- and reaching 55 million U.S. households, according to Joseph Collins, Punch TV founder and CEO.
"The affiliates are low-power stations. But Collins, who got his start in broadcasting as a teenage intern at WVTV Milwaukee, says Punch offers something fresh, with a programming mix that's 70% original.
" 'The [others] are doing black nostalgia television,' he says. 'I am focused on something different.'
"Soul of the South had initially pegged the first quarter of 2012 for its debut, while Kin TV shot for August. Kin appeared to suffer a setback upon the announcement last month that Lee Gaither, its former CEO, had joined Africa Channel as executive vice president and general manager. Gaither would not comment, and Kin TV execs could not be reached. One person with knowledge of Soul of the South's plans said the network was targeting a Martin Luther King Day launch, and set the odds at 50-50 that it would happen. . . . "
"Fox received an 'F' from the Asian Pacific American Media Coalition and the National Latino Media Council today in the groups' annual network report cards," Dominic Patten reported Thursday for Deadline Hollywood. "But it's not because the network that airs The Mindy Project doesn't have enough Asian Pacific Americans or Latinos on their shows and in their company -- it's because Fox missed its deadlines to report its numbers.
"The APAMC says that on November 1 it gave Fox a deadline of November 15 to get back to them with the ethnic mix of their programming on both sides of the camera. . . . At the same time, the group, which gave Fox a C- overall last year, praised the network as being the only one that met its 2011 challenge to cast an Asian Pacific American in a lead role on a TV series: Debuting this season, Mindy Project stars and was created by Mindy Kaling whose heritage is Indian. The National Latino Media Council also criticized Fox today for not meeting its November 8 deadline.
". . . In response, Fox said today that they wanted to provide 'more accurate data' but were unable to do so within the APAMC's and NLMC's timelines. . . . "
The Asian group's report said, "Overall, NBC, with a B- (down one notch from last year's B), again ranked highest overall [PDF] in this year's APAMC report card, which marks the 11th anniversary of judging the inclusion of APAs in eight categories: actors, unscripted (reality) show participants, writers/producers, directors, development, procurement, executives, and network initiatives. . . ."
The Hispanic group's report said, "NBC's diversity strength comes from their behind the camera talent [PDF], and although they lack in the key area of in front of camera actors, they have pulled forward as leader of the diversity network pack. NBC gets an overall 'A-' for the 2011-12 season and they deserved it. Comcast's 2011 acquisition of NBC-Universal seems to have accelerated the progress NBC has made in its diversity programming efforts and we commend Comcast for it."
The Hispanic group gave ABC a "B" and CBS a "B+." The Asian group gave CBS and ABC a "C+."
"Lincoln is the first major biopic in more than 70 years of the man many consider our greatest president," Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote Monday in his blog for the Atlantic. "The result has been a fascinating back and forth among scholars and writers about what the film does and doesn't do, who it portrays and who it doesn't.
"Last week I spent some time (off-line) with New York Times film critic A.O. Scott debating the film's meaning and impact. We've decided to bring that discussion online and add in some other voices, including historian Kate Masur, who has examined how Lincoln deals with the role of African-American activism at the end of the Civil War.
"We pick up the conversation with the following note addressed to Scott and Masur, taking up our conversation from last week. The major theme under debate is simple: Why haven't more liberals defended Lincoln? . . ."
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Lincoln, Liberty and Two Americas
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: Slightly Longer Thoughts on 'Lincoln' (Nov. 30)
Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: What 'Lincoln' leaves out, and why it matters
Gary L. Flowers, Tri-State Defender, Memphis, Tenn.: 'Lincoln,' the movie: 'We' are what's missing
Nick Jimenez, Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, Texas: 'Lincoln' reminds us that politicians can have noble intentions
"The sixth Phyllis T. Garland/BA Network scholarship recipient is to be named this month, Columbia University J-school officials confirmed at press time," Wayne Dawkins reported for the December issue of the Black Alumni Network newsletter. ". . . This means the $5,000 scholarship opportunity will resume after a two-year dormancy. . . . The $5,000 helps underwrite the $81,000 cost of attending the graduate school."
"The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council has sold KYHN-AM in Ft. Smith, Arkansas to Kim Girdner," RadioInk reported on Monday. "KYHN was one of six radio stations donated to MMTC by Clear Channel in 2009, most of which have been placed with minority or women owner/operators."
"Univision's evening and late night newscasts had a strong November sweeps period, particularly among younger viewers," Merrill Knox reported Sunday for TVNewser. . . . "Compared to ABC's 'Nightline,' CBS' 'Late Show with David Letterman' and NBC's 'Tonight Show With Jay Leno,' " "Noticiero Univision," the network's evening newscast, anchored by Jorge Ramos and María Elena Salinas, "was the only program to post a year-over-year increase among younger viewers."
". . . far less than half of Americans are positive about the honesty of journalists, lawyers, insurance salespeople, HMO managers, stockbrokers, and advertising practitioners -- all of which have honesty ratings below 25%," Frank Newport, editor in chief of The Gallup Poll, reported on Monday.
"For those who refuse to believe that an innocent person could be convicted in a country founded on equal protection under the law, just consider the case of a young Texas Tech student from Fort Worth who was charged, tried, found guilty and sent to prison for a crime he did not commit," Bob Ray Sanders wrote Saturday for the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas. His subject was the case of the late Timothy Brian Cole. "But, as a documentary series premiering Tuesday on BET (Black Entertainment Television) shows, Cole is just one of many in this country who have been victims of a terribly flawed criminal 'justice' system based on bad policing, over-zealous prosecution and, yes, racism."
"Radio One, Inc. will consolidate its Syndication One Urban programming line-up with Reach Media, Inc. in 2013. The assembly of top talent, programming and prime national advertising inventory make Reach Media the leading radio network with the ability to speak directly to the African-American audience," the organizations announced on Monday. Marty Rabb, a spokesman for Reach Media, told Journal-isms the arrangement was intended to attract more advertisers, bringing "a mass and depth to that audience base."
"In the first issue of Symbolia, a publication that launches on the iPad today, you'll find a dispatch from Iraqi Kurdistan, a profile of a Zambian psychedelic rock band, and an article about environmental devastation in California's Salton Sea," Jessica Weisberg reported for Columbia Journalism Review. "All of these stories are told with comics."
"I've noticed in the last few years that some police, politicians and other public officials are extremely reticent to speak candidly," Lewis W. Diuguid wrote Sunday in the Kansas City Star. ". . . That's how social media have changed the flow of information from knowledgeable sources. Twitter, blogs, Facebook and YouTube have turned everyday people into citizen journalists who are too eager to 'expose' public officials."
Cesar Arredondo, Southern California freelance reporter, has been elected president of the new Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Nu Yang reported Monday for Editor & Publisher. SAG-AFTRA union representative Ray Bradford said in August there had been no NAHJ chapter "out of respect for the leadership, the long time leadership of the California Chicano News Media Association, which preceded the formation of NAHJ. . . . "
"Add former Democratic FCC commissioner and media consolidation critic Michael Copps to those criticizing Democratic FCC chairman Julius Genachowski for his media ownership proposal," John Eggerton reported Monday for Broadcasting & Cable. ". . . Instead of hurrying in the wrong direction, wouldn't the Commission's time be better utilized by considering (and actually voting on) some of the dozens of recommendations that have been put before it by civil rights and public interest groups to establish programs and incentives to encourage minority and female ownership?" Copps said.
Comedian Steve Harvey of the nationally syndicated "Steve Harvey Morning Show" saved a small struggling lingerie shop in South Philadelphia Thursday by reading aloud a desperate letter begging for his help in saving the business, Jenice Armstrong wrote Friday in the Philadelphia Daily News. ". . . Within minutes, listeners had overloaded the website."
The Future Journalism Project describes itself as a "multiplatform documentary exploring the present state, current disruption, and future possibilities of American journalism," Nu Yang reported for Editor & Publisher. "This summer, FJP launched its Latin American counterpart at la.thefjp.org with editors José L. Leyva and Roberto Juárez-Garza."
"Judith Miller and Kirsten Powers were on Fox News this morning during a weekly media segment on 'Happening Now,' " Chris Ariens reported Friday for TVNewser. "The hot topic: MSNBC's Toure describing Sen. John McCain this week as a member of an 'old, white, establishment,' who 'wrongly and repeatedly attacked a much younger black woman [U.N. Amb. Susan Rice.]' "
"It's a race to be the best of the second best," Tanzina Vega reported Sunday for the New York Times. "On Monday, Univision, the dominant Spanish-language network in the United States, will announce a new name and look for its second-largest network, TeleFutura. The move is a direct shot at Telemundo, a rival for second place among domestic Spanish-speaking viewers. . . . The new name for the network will be UniMás."
Robin Washington, editor of the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, told readers Sunday how he had promoted his 1995 public television documentary about a 1947 Freedom Ride in an online poll seeking views on the "greatest documentary ever." ". . . I can still truthfully -- and shamelessly -- say 'You Don't Have to Ride Jim Crow!' was voted the 53rd greatest documentary of all time."
"According to a report published by Ventures Africa, an African business magazine and news service, Oprah Winfrey is no longer the richest black woman in the world," Ventures Africa announced Friday. "Folorunsho Alakija, a Nigerian Fashion designer and Oil tycoon is the richest black woman in the world, and is worth an estimated $3.3 billion." Forbes magazine estimated Winfrey's wealth at $2.7 billion in September.
"The head of the United Nations peacekeeping mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) today expressed disappointment at a recent decision taken by national authorities to suspend the transmissions of Radio Okapi, a radio station backed by the world body," the U.N. News Service reported on Monday.
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
Is the radio regulatory organization looking to open its doors to diversity?
"Coincidences in Washington? Try this. Just when the Federal Communications Commission is circulating a draft order to loosen media ownership rules, it voted today to take final steps to create lower-power FM radio, a new class of noncommercial radio stations aimed at increasing diversity on the radio airwaves," Katy Bachman reported Friday for Adweek.
"While the two FCC actions may seem unrelated, they are connected by a long-standing debate in Washington about whether there is adequate ownership diversity among the nation's airwaves. Recent data from the FCC shows it is lacking, with people of color owning just 3.6 percent of full-power TV stations and 8 percent of radio stations.
"On the one hand, lower-power radio promises to increase diversity on the airwaves by allowing communities and organizations to operate hundreds of low-power, noncommercial radio stations. But the media ownership order being circulated, critics argue, would have the opposite effect by lifting the cross-ownership ban on owning radio and newspapers in all markets and TV and newspaper in the top 20 markets.
". . . Even though the procedures voted on by the FCC would pave the way to process more than 6,000 applications from communities and minority groups sitting at the agency, it will not divert criticism of the draft media ownership order that blasts the agency for offering what's basically a giveaway to big media owners."
The Prometheus Radio Project added, ". . . for the first time in more than a decade, community groups nationwide will soon be able to start small, local radio stations.
"Nonprofit organizations, schools, Indian Tribes and public safety agencies can apply for Low Power FM (LPFM) stations in October 2013. For the first time ever, the agency will allow these noncommercial stations in urban areas.
"The news is long-awaited by the Prometheus Radio Project and its supporters, who led the grassroots coalition that pushed Congress to pass the Local Community Radio Act of 2010. The law expanded community radio by directing the FCC to make more channels available nationwide, reversing an earlier law that relegated stations to rural settings. The FCC implemented the law by creating more flexible rules on where new stations can be located."
Not everyone in an urban area has waited for the FCC's authorization to start a low-power radio station.
On Thursday, Rachel Otwell of WUIS at the University of Illinois in Springfield broadcast a story on Mbanna Kantako, a blind activist who has been dubbed the "Godfather of Low-Power Radio."
The WUIS piece was promoted this way: "Human Rights Radio turned 25 years old this month. That's a quarter century of illegal broadcasting. The low-power Springfield station focuses on African American issues with a radical slant. And at its heart, is a man named Mbanna Kantako."
Mike Townsend, a retired social work professor, says in the story that although the signal went out only about two blocks, 3,000 people lived within the signal's reach.
Otwell quoted from an earlier NPR report:
"It was all, and still is, very much illegal. But Kantako has never paid any fines handed down from the Federal Communications Commission. His equipment has been confiscated, but he was never deterred. His broadcasts carry only a short distance, mostly the north side of Springfield, and show up at 105.9 on the dial.
"Kantako has become somewhat of a legend in a world where social activism and radio waves merge. . . . "
Brandy Doyle, New America Media: Expansion of Community Radio Means More Opportunities for Ethnic Media
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable: FCC Approves Diversity-Enhancing Item
Justin Ellis, Nieman Journalism Lab: Why an expansion of low-power radio stations could mean good things for community news (2011)
Luis Carlos López, Hispanic Link News Service: Civil Rights Groups Oppose FCC's Proposal to Lift Ban on Multiple Media Ownership
"Bad cops, good cops, whatcha going to do, whatcha going to do when they're recording you?" Ruben Rosario wrote Thursday for the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn.
"Well, if police are smart, the last thing they want to do is make a bogus arrest that could cost their department or city some dough after a decision this week by the nation's highest court.
"By refusing to hear an Illinois case, the Supreme Court let stand an appellate court ruling that concluded members of the public have a constitutional right to film, photograph or audiotape police officers doing their jobs in public. Similar rulings have been made by other courts.
". . . No one likes to be photographed or recorded without his or her consent or while working. But there is no longer any expectation of privacy in public for anyone. There are police surveillance and private cameras recording our every move on some streets and inside malls, shops and workplaces.
"Yet it seems that YouTube and online watchdog sites are uploaded daily with videos of blatant police misconduct or intimidation against camera-clicking civilians and, in some cases, working journalists."
American Civil Liberties Union: ACLU Calls on Maryland Transit Authority to Cease Unconstitutional Harassment of Photographers (2011)
Steve Silverman, Reason: 7 Rules for Recording Police (April 5)
Jim Walton, current president of CNN Worldwide, all but said last year that the on-air journalists of color it employs are not ready for prime time, and deployed Mark Whitaker, the highest-ranking person of color at the network, to talk with the National Association of Black Journalists about finding more suitable ones.
No prime-time anchor of color has surfaced.
When Walton announced in July that he was stepping down, Manuel De La Rosa, then vice president/broadcast of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, told Journal-isms, "CNN has talked a good game about developing Latinos and covering the issues in our community, but when you look at their product, it's not as impressive. They are not committed to Latinos and coverage of our issues."
CNN named Walton's successor on Thursday: Jeff Zucker, former president of NBC Entertainment, former president of the NBC Entertainment, News & Cable group and former president and CEO of the NBC Universal Television Group.
In an introductory conference call Thursday with the nation's media reporters, none of the questions concerned diversity.
So 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."
Zucker was one of the NBC executives who accepted a Best Practices Award from NABJ two years ago.
"NBC News and its owned and operated stations nationwide have done tremendous work promoting diversity in its management positions as well as in its coverage. NABJ has championed such issues in news for 35 years," said then-NABJ President Kathy Times.
Philip I. Kent, chairman and CEO of Turner Broadcasting System, Inc., CNN's parent company, did say during the call that Zucker's expertise in morning television was a "wonderful byproduct" of his hiring. The multiracial Soledad O'Brien hosts the CNN morning show, "Starting Point With Soledad O'Brien."
"Both executives said CNN was likely to redesign the network's morning program to make it more competitive with its cable rivals and the morning shows on the broadcast networks," Bill Carter and Brian Stelter reported for the New York Times.
Ed Bark, Uncle Barky's Blog: Zucker is CNN's new leading man after long up-and-down career at NBC
Bill Cromwell, medialifemagazine.com: Five things Jeff Zucker must do to revive CNN
Eric Deggans, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: Ex-NBC executive Jeff Zucker announced as head of CNN Worldwide, vows to broaden definition of news
Edmund Lee and Andy Fixmer, Bloomberg: Zucker Vows Program Shakeup at CNN Stressing News Roots
R. Thomas Umstead, Multichannel News: Zucker: CNN Won't Become a Partisan News Service
Alex Weprin, TVNewser: Jeff Zucker's Vision For CNN: 'Broaden The Definition Of What News Is'
WPFW-FM veteran Tom Porter speaks with other protesters in front of the station's offices Friday. (Credit: voxunion.com) (Video)
Addressing angry listeners, John Hughes, general manager of Pacifica-owned WPFW-FM, Washington's community radio station, apologized Friday for "what is perceived as an unfair, unjust or unprofessional" shakeup of the station's programming that has meant cancellation of many of the station's shows. More than a dozen of the station's on-air programmers are being let go.
"It was not my nor Pacifica's intent to diss anyone," Hughes said on the air. "Choosing to grow isn't easy. Any format change presents a potential powder keg." But, he said, listenership is dwindling, the station is "reeling under economic conditions" and needs to "be smarter about what we put on the air."
The apology did not appear to quiet the anger, as show hosts joined listeners on the air in discussing what they called Hughes' lack of transparency and betrayal of the station's principles. A protest was scheduled in front of the station's offices Friday, and two meetings with community members were planned on Saturday. (The second is at 6 p.m. at Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, 5301 North Capitol St. NE.)
As reported on Wednesday, the changes eliminate much of the station's music programming in favor of syndicated talk, including the Tavis Smiley radio show; Smiley's "Smiley and West," with activist Cornel West; and Michel Martin's "Tell Me More," which airs on public radio's WAMU-FM, from NPR.
To some at the station, part of a five-city chain founded by founded by conscientious objectors in 1949, the very soul of the station was at stake.
Previous battles within the chain have been "one white left group vs. another white left group for ideological control of the network," said Tom Porter, a veteran at the station who left recently. Porter spoke Friday on the "Superfunky Soul Power Hour," hosted half an hour after Hughes' remarks by Jared Ball, an associate professor of communication studies at Morgan State University.
"This is the only station in the entire African world that has the ability to allow African people to speak on anything in the world," Porter said. "It speaks for and to people of color. The problem in the white left is they think they are immune to racism."
The imported programming comes with corporate underwriting, which Pacifica does not accept, the dissenters said. "We're supposed to be ideologically different from Cornel West and Michel Martin," Ball said. "The difference is essential."
Paul Farhi reported for Saturday's editions of the Washington Post that the "average age of WPFW's listeners is over 55, and there are fewer of them every year. Among all area stations, WPFW ranked 28th in the most recent radio ratings." Tony Norman, chairman of the community board that oversees the station, told Farhi the station is facing its third consecutive deficit, this time $150,000 to $200,000.
The dissenting programmers faulted management for a failure to market the station properly.
"We don't know what's going to happen to the station," Jay Winter told a listener to his Native American-themed "The NightWolf Show" Friday. "But if you don't let your voices be heard, they'll do whatever they want to do."
Producer Tony Regusters emailed Journal-isms Friday night: "I was just phoned and informed tonight by program director Bobby Hill, acting on behalf of GM John Hughes that my long running program: 'Sounds of Brazil' has been cancelled . . . and that this Sunday's 10:00 to 12:00 midnight program would be [my] co-host Ilheuma Zezeh and my last show @ WPFW.
"This is clearly a retaliation for publicly standing up to decry John Hughes' illegal and unjust management of WPFW and disrespect shown to the community and the station's volunteer programmers."
On ESPN's "First Take" [audio] on Friday, Stephen A. Smith named the news organizations where he had worked and offered advice to young African Americans.
"The New York Daily News, the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Winston-Salem (N.C.) Journal, CNN, Fox Sports and then ultimately ESPN, the employers that I've run across, I'm here to tell you right now," Smith said, "if I rolled up in there with tattoos all over my body and my face and my head, I would not be sitting right here with you today doing this show."
Smith was reacting to a controversy prompted by a column Wednesday by David Whitley of AOL FanHouse, a site that is now part of the Sporting News. The column began:
"San Francisco's Colin Kaepernick is going to be a big-time NFL quarterback. That must make the guys in San Quentin happy. . . ."
Because Kaepernick is biracial, race entered the conversation. Jason McIntyre reacted Thursday on the Big Lead sports blog, which he runs.
"David Whitley, a columnist at AOL [FanHouse] -- which, I guess, is still a website -- is a racist. How else can you explain this lede to his truly awful, unbelievably lazy Colin Kaepernick column?" McIntyre began. He later filed an "update": "Bad job by me. Poor wording. I thought Whitley wrote a racist column. Having never met him, I should not have called him a racist."
Smith argued on "First Take" that race is part of the story for a different reason: because athletes influence the impressionable. Though young people of all races are tattooing themselves, African Americans are still "relatively disenfranchised in some people's eyes," and "when you add additional challenges to your life, that's just making the road to success that much harder. Everybody can't be a rapper. Everybody can't be a multimillion dollar athlete," Smith said.
Rick and Teresa Kaepernick, the parents who adopted Kaepernick as a baby, joined the discussion in an interview with USA Today's Robert Klemko. They said they objected to Whitley's characterization of their son, saying he was a 4.0 high school student who has never been arrested and that he chose to have Bible verses inscribed on his biceps, Klemko wrote Friday.
On Friday night, Garry D. Howard, editor-in-chief of the Sporting News and a black journalist, acknowledged that he "could have done more, in retrospect," to be sure his columnist's message did not get lost.
"Still, the overriding point of the column was there and one nationally televised discussion, in particular -- on 'First Take' with Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless -- did a great job of explaining that the column was indeed more generational in tone and that tattoos in today's society are not necessarily a great thing for young, prospective job candidates of all races.
". . . we should be able to -- in this day and time -- have a discussion on the subject of tattoos without it morphing into a race debate when in fact, it was about a new generation doing things in a fresh and different manner."
Mike Cole, Fox Sports: Writer defends tattoo criticism of QB
Gregg Rosenthal, NFL.com: Colin Kaepernick's parents dismiss tattoo criticism
Sixty-four percent of smartphone owners -- and 37 percent of all adult cell owners -- use their phone to get news online [PDF], the Pew Internet & American Life Project reported on Friday. The figures were not significantly different for whites, blacks and Hispanics, though there were significant differences in other aspects of smartphone use.
While only 7 percent of white, non-Hispanics used their cell phones to access Twitter, for example, the figure was 17 percent for black non-Hispanics and 12 percent for Hispanics.
"What cell owners like most about their phones: convenience, connecting with friends and family, and getting help in an emergency," Aaron Smith, research associate with the Pew Internet Project, wrote in introducing the report. "What they like least: always being reachable, paying the bill, and poor reception. More owners say the phone is a time saver than a time waster, and many are devoted to their devices."
The survey found other differences among the ethnic groups:
"African American cell owners are more likely than whites (by a 15% to 8% margin) to say that using the internet, email, or apps is the thing they like most about their cell phone, as well as to say (by a 21% to 14% margin) that the cost of cell ownership is the thing they like least," the report said.
Also, "Witnessing poor cell phone etiquette is relatively common across a wide range of demographic groups . . . whites are more likely to have experienced it than non-whites. . . ."
In other findings, the percentage of cell phone owners who use their phone to:
Use social networking sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+: white, non-Hispanic, 36; black, non-Hispanic, 48; Hispanic, 49.
Watch movies or TV shows through a paid subscription service such as Netflix or Hulu Plus: white, non-Hispanic, 6; black, non-Hispanic, 18.
Listen to an online radio or music service, such as Pandora or Spotify: white, non-Hispanic, 27; black, non-Hispanic, 34.
Play games: white, non-Hispanic, 36; black, non-Hispanic, 43.
Check weather reports and forecasts: white, non-Hispanic, 43; black, non-Hispanic, 51.
Navigate turn by turn or provide directions while driving: white, non-Hispanic, 34; black, non-Hispanic, 40.
Upload photos online so that others can see them: white, non-Hispanic, 30; black, non-Hispanic, 39.
Get news online: white, non-Hispanic, 36; black non-Hispanic, 37; Hispanic, 40.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing, a basketball Hall of Famer and business magnate, is the subject of a new book by Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press sports columnist. Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley wrote Sunday of "Dave Bing: A Life of Challenge," "Fair or not, a legacy is at stake. And those who are grateful that Bing stepped up are still rooting for him to win."
"Reynaldo Mena has been tapped to take over La Opinión's top editor job," Veronica Villafañe reported for her Media Moves site, citing "multiple inside sources" at the Spanish-language newspaper based in Los Angeles. "Reynaldo joins La Opinión from Hoy newspaper, Tribune's Spanish-language weekly in Los Angeles. . . ."
"On Tuesday, Glenn Beck focused his unique brand of criticism on the world of classical and modern art" on his Blaze TV program, Noah Rothman reported Wednesday for mediaite. "In an effort to criticize political art while emphasizing the freedom of artists to express their beliefs and values, Beck put a President Barack Obama figurine in a jar of urine." eBay on Wednesday took down the auction, Alex Fitzpatrick reported for Mashable, adding that beer served as a stand-in for Beck’s urine.
"Plain Dealer newsroom employees learned on Thursday the company is planning layoffs after January 31, 2013. That's when the contract prohibition against staff reductions expires," Cleveland writer Afi-Odelia Scruggs reported on her blog. An email from the Newspaper Guild "seems to confirm suspicions the Plain Dealer will become a three-day-a-week publication."
"On Wednesday, The New York Times's LGBT employee affinity group commemorated a cover story about the paper that ran in the Advocate 20 years ago," Jennifer Vanasco reported Friday for Columbia Journalism Review. . . . the article, by Michelangelo Signorile, explored the terror gay staffers felt when A.M. 'Abe' Rosenthal was executive editor -- until his 1986 retirement, the word 'gay' was forbidden in the paper -- and the significant changes made in both the coverage of gay issues and the quality of life of gay journalists after his successor took over."
A. Peter Bailey, an associate of Malcolm X who is a columnist in the black press, is critical of Ebony magazine's choices for the "100 Most Influential African Americans" in its December-January issue. Bailey writes in a column, ". . . It is next to impossible to believe that [the choices] are more influential than Rev. Jeremiah Wright, who all year long has been delivering powerful, perceptive, solutions-oriented speeches and sermons at churches throughout the country, or than attorney Faya Rose Sanders, founder of the [National Voting Rights Museum and Institute] in Selma, Alabama and leader of a campaign against honoring with a statue Nathan Bedford Forrest, the former Confederate general who ordered the cold-blooded murder of 300 captured Black Union soldiers during the Civil War and who also founded the [Ku] Klux Klan, a terrorist organization. . . ."
Documentarian Paul Grant has produced "The Gospel of Healing, Volume One: Black Churches respond to HIV/AIDS," which is to be screened in Memphis, Tenn., Saturday as part of World AIDS Day observances, Wendi C. Thomas wrote Wednesday in the Commercial Appeal of Memphis.
The CBS Sports Radio network will be launching Jan. 2, Joe Lucia reported Thursday for awfulannouncing.com, "and the talent lineup the network has put together for its four core three-hour shows is veteran-laden and impressive. The morning show from 6 to 9 AM just recently announced this week will be hosted by Tiki Barber, Dana Jacobson, and Brandon Tierney. Barber, the former New York Giants running back and failed Football Night in America analyst, steps back into the spotlight after leaving NBC in May 2010 surrounded by a cloud of controversy. . . ."
Irvin Harrell, a former assistant business editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, is joining the Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., as Suburban Team editor, editors announced to the Virginian-Pilot staff.
"An online petition is demanding New York Times critic Ken Johnson acknowledge racist and sexist language in his recent writings, HuffPost BlackVoices reported Thursday. "The art critic's review of 'Now Dig This! Art & Black Los Angeles' and November's preview of 'The Female Gaze: Women Artists Making Their World' are being called out for their generalizations of black and female artists."
"Steve Nunez has joined KSWT as news director," Kevin Eck reported for TVSpy on Thursday. "Nunez confirmed with TVSpy he started at the Yuma, AZ, CBS affiliate last week. The former KGUN morning anchor was let go from the Tucson ABC affiliate in September after one year on the desk."
"The International Press Institute (IPI) today demanded an investigation into the death of a Colombian journalist who police say suffered fatal head injuries after falling from a police vehicle -- despite claims from family and colleagues that the journalist was instead beaten and violently thrown from the truck," Scott Griffen reported for the press-freedom group. "Guillermo Quiroz Delgado died in a hospital in the northern Colombian city of Sincelejo after having been in intensive care since Nov. 20, when the disputed incident occurred."
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
The reality and sitcom star snagged the honor -- and people aren't happy about it.
"The Real Housewives of Atlanta firebrand NeNe Leakes graces the current cover of Ebony -- bathing in what appears to be a tub of diamonds -- and people aren’t happy about it, Karu F. Daniels wrote Tuesday for the Daily Beast.
". . . 'Those who take issue with reality television’s role in pop culture have questioned whether Ebony made the right decision by glorifying one of its most popular characters,' said Amy Dubois Barnett, the magazine’s editor in chief.
" 'As the magazine of record for the black community, it is Ebony’s role to both reflect the aesthetics and interests of our readership, and to inspire them toward higher aspirations for themselves and for all African Americans. The November issue featured the Obamas on the cover, and was a perfect example of the latter. The December/January issue featuring NeNe Leakes on the cover is an excellent example of the former.' "
"Len Burnett, Co-CEO, Group Publisher at Uptown Media Group, has left the company after striking a deal to buy back Uptown magazine from the Earvin 'Magic' Johnson-backed company, Vibe Holdings LLC, according to industry watchers," Target Market News reported on Tuesday. "The split follows the departure of Burnett's longtime partner, Co-CEO Brett Wright, who left the company in May. The two will re-unite as the co-owners of Uptown.
". . . Uptown has been part of Vibe Holdings LLC for almost two years. It was combined with other media brands after Ron Burkle's and Earvin 'Magic' Johnson's Yucaipa Johnson Fund and InterMedia Partners merged their Vibe and Uptown businesses with the BlackBook Media business and The Access Network Company. In addition to Vibe and Uptown, the company also owns the assets of the television show, Soul Train."
"Uptown was founded by Burnett and Wright in 2004. It currently has a circulation of 300,000 and is distributed in New York, the Washington-Baltimore region, Chicago and Atlanta."
Burnett told Journal-isms by telephone Wednesday that he could not talk because he was on a conference call and said he would call back.
Johnson's Aspire cable channel debuted in June. Aimed at black families, it was then available in about 7 million homes and in 16 of the top 25 African American markets, including New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Washington, the Associated Press reported.
"FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is reported to have rule changes on the fast-track that would allow broadcast-newspaper crossownership in the 20 largest markets and further radio consolidation as well -- but public watchdog groups opposed to further media consolidation are girding for battle," Jack Messmer wrote Wednesday for TVNewsCheck.
"If the FCC passes the rule changes without any public hearings -- and this could happen before the end of the year -- Free Press President-CEO Craig Aaron vows that his group will sue the commission yet again. His view that the FCC is acting in haste without allowing for public input was echoed repeatedly in a telephone press conference today by Free Press and six other organizations.
With further media consolidation, "people of color are going to be frozen out from having a voice," Alex Nogales, president and CEO of the National Hispanic Media Coalition, said during the call. "Who is employed by the media is directly related to who owns the media," added Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights.
Bernie Lunzer, president of the Newspaper Guild, said allowing newspaper companies to own more broadcast outlets will lead to fewer women and people of color in reporting slots as the total number of employees declines.
Henderson and others on the call "insisted that the Third Circuit Court of Appeals was clear that the FCC must evaluate the impact on minority and female ownership before making any rule changes -- and that the commission has not done so," Messmer reported.
"The groups noted that according to FCC statistics people of color own just 3.6% of all full-power TV stations and 8% of radio stations; and that women own less than 7% of all broadcast outlets."
Others on the call included Jesse Jackson, founder and president, Rainbow PUSH Coalition; Mee Moua, president, Asian American Justice Center; and Rashad Robinson, executive director, ColorOfChange.org.
Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Radio: Obama's FCC Intends To OK Unlimited Concentration of Radio, TV, Newspaper Ownership in Top 20 Markets
After 20 years as Knight chair in Journalism Student Enhancement at Florida A&M University, Joe Ritchie is leaving to take up residence in Asia.
"Yes, I've decided that after 20 years -- I never thought I'd ever be in any place that long -- it was time to move on," Ritchie said by email. "And, predictably enough, it's the inner expat that has been dying to bust out. I plan to return to the IHT [International Herald Tribune] in Hong Kong this summer, then stay on in Hong Kong in some capacity. I haven't been specific with folks yet, because I've got a few balls up in the air, so nothing's firm yet. I've told folks here I will be pursuing other interests in Asia."
Ritchie, who reads and writes German and Dutch, has worked as a reporter or editor at the Washington Post, the New York Times and the International Herald Tribune and had a brief term as visiting professor in the Journalism and Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.
Ann Kimbrough, dean of the FAMU School of Journalism and Graphic Communication, said by email that Ritchie's position "will remain a chair for journalism professionals who possess a Master's degree in journalism and who have considerable multimedia experience. This week, I will announce the members of the search committee. The search will begin in earnest in early 2013."
Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, called it "one of the greatest jobs. I hope the candidates will be fabulous." First funded in 1990, the FAMU chair was among the first three that the foundation established, Newton said by telephone. Today there are 11.
Ritchie wrote, "As for students, they still need our support and mentorship.... not to mention increasingly a broader set of skills, just to be marginally employable in a shrinking market.... But I also think they need a good dose of some old-fashioned journalism values and far more exposure. More reading, more travel.... And yes, languages, which is one of the reasons I've been pushing study abroad the past few years.
". . . it does sadden me to see an ever-shrinking number of HBCU students enrolling in journalism and mass communication programs who have any real strong interest in public affairs," referring to historically black colleges and universities. "Nearly half of our students are in the PR sequence, and half of those, as well as half of the students oriented toward broadcasting, seem to want careers in areas like entertainment and fashion. (huge sigh) Most frequently cited career goals: music video producer; special event planner (usually translating to: planning parties for celebrities, especially in the music field); fashion marketing; agent for musicians or sports figures....
"A few still aspire to more traditional careers in journalism; very few seem interested in newspapers or even news websites.... Some do broadcast journalism, but really see that as a bridge to doing other things in television and other electronic media.
"And probably largely because of a lack of resources, we're not seeing many of the kinds of great students that flooded our halls back in the mid-90s; we have a population that is probably over half 'alternative admits' – I've heard the figure 70 percent bandied about frequently." ["Alternative admits is jargon for students admitted who don't meet all of your normal admission requirements," he explained.] "Our typical student is less well informed about the world around her than her counterpart of a decade or two ago. There are exceptions (the two I sent to China being prime examples), but they are really far and few between."
One by one, volunteer program hosts at WPFW-FM, the Pacifica community radio station in the nation's capital, are being told that the show they are about to do will be their last.
The station has not yet informed listeners, but WPFW has decided to eliminate much of its music programming in favor of syndicated talk, including the Tavis Smiley radio show; Smiley's "Smiley and West," with activist Cornel West; and Michel Martin's "Tell Me More," which airs on public radio's WAMU-FM, from NPR, according to staffers. More than a dozen people have been let go in this effort to boost listenership, the staffers said.
Pacifica's five stations not only are noncommercial but also politically progressive. The D.C. operation is funded 95 percent by community members and considers itself rooted in the black community. Its talk programs on everything from local politics to nutrition are supplemented by music that include from jazz to zydeco, salsa, calypso, hip-hop and R&B oldies.
The station is perpetually facing financial challenges. Station Manager John Hughes said on the station's website, "The year ahead will be one of change for WPFW ... a year of transformation. We are facing two stark realities: we must move from the building that has housed us for the past 15 years; and most, if not all, of our equipment must be replaced."
Hassan Abdul-Ali, who said he has been with the station 18 or 19 years, said Hughes told him Wednesday that he had been dismissed and that the show he was about to do would be his last. He thanked listeners on air without telling them details. So did Katea Stitt, the music and cultural affairs director who does a morning jazz show and is also shop steward for the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.
"The sweeping changes are the culmination of a bleak period of WPFW's history," Stitt told Journal-isms by telephone. "There's been a constant management-union struggle. You would think the worker is first" at a station with Pacifica's political leanings. Many are working half-time or three-quarters time to save the station money.
A year ago, staffers and volunteer programmers declared no confidence in Hughes, formerly chief operating officer at Howard University's television station, WHUT-TV.
News director Askia Muhammad told Journal-isms he would lose the Tuesday morning jazz show he hosted but would produce a new "Morning Brew," the model for which he described as a combination of "Democracy Now!" Pacifica's daily newsmagazine hosted by Amy Goodman from New York, and "The Tom Joyner Morning Show," the syndicated commercial music-and-talk show geared to African American adults.
"I'm going to try to make it work," Muhammad said by telephone. "We're very, very underresourced. It's going to be a very real challenge for us."
Some of those leaving are iconic, said Stitt, daughter of fabled jazz saxophonist Sonny Stitt. Brother Ah recorded with the legendary saxophonist John Coltrane and played with the New York Philharmonic. The women's-oriented "Sophie's Parlor" came to the station when it debuted in 1977 and had been part of Georgetown University's radio programming. "It's like a death of the spirit," Stitt said. The imported shows do not match WPFW's mission, she said, especially as Smiley's show is underwritten by Wal-Mart. Pacifica boasts of its freedom from corporate influences.
Hughes, reached at home by telephone Wednesday night, told Journal-isms, "Announcements are forthcoming." Asked when, he said, "We haven't decided at this point."
Dan Siegel, CounterPunch: The Battle for Pacifica
Caller after caller denounced WPFW-FM during a half-hour community call-in show Thursday morning as the Washington station announced new syndicated programming and the removal of several programs and program hosts.
Host David Whettstone of "Community Comment" posed a question about District of Columbia school boundary changes, but callers wanted to talk about what they called a lack of transparency and the change in programming.
One called for a boycott of the station in front of its offices Friday and a meeting Saturday at Busboys and Poets, a restaurant, meeting place and bookstore at 14th and V streets NW. "We need some answers," this caller said. Others said they would cease contributing to the community-supported station until they received satisfactory responses.
"We're here when you ask us for money, but that doesn't match up with what listeners are hearing," one said. A teacher started out by discussing the school boundary changes, but ended, "WPFW has far-reaching boundaries and potential for education. That's why we're so angry" and demand an investigation.
The station posted the first official information about the programming changes on its website and its Facebook page Tuesday.
Whettstone told callers that John Hughes, the station manager, would be available to answer questions during the "Managers Mailbox" show on Friday morning. At the end of the show, he announced that the show was being replaced by an hour-long program of news, interviews and call-ins. [Added Nov. 29]
Todd Burroughs blog, "Drums in the Global Village": " 'Save WPFW!' Ulp, Wait, Too Late :(
Jonathan L. Fischer, Washington City Paper: Big Programming Changes Are Coming to WPFW
CNN had more African American, Hispanic and Asian/Pacific Islander viewers than the cable competition on election night, CNN said on Wednesday.
CNN had more viewers than Fox News Channel and MSNBC combined for each demographic. Compared with the broadcast networks, CNN also led in African American viewers in each demographic: total viewers, those ages 25-54 and those 18-34, the network said.
Paige Albiniak added for Broadcasting & Cable, ". . . CNN is the lowest-rated cable news network. Fox News Channel is basic cable's second-highest rated network, coming in behind only ESPN with an average of 2.6 million viewers in primetime, beating even NBCU's top-rated entertainment cable network, USA.
"Compared to last November, when there was no election, Fox is up 47% among total viewers and up 56% among news' key demographic of adults 25-54 in primetime. Fox News also boasts cable's top-two news programs, The O'Reilly Factor and Hannity, among that key demo. . . ."
Albiniak noted the indications that Jeff Zucker will assume the top CNN news post that Jim Walton will be leaving vacant. Zucker is the former head of NBCUniversal and the current executive producer of Disney-ABC's new talk show starring Katie Couric.
[Update: "Veteran news producer and former NBC Universal chief Jeff Zucker will become the president of CNN Worldwide in January, the network announced Thursday," CNN reported.]
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: No crow on Obama-Romney lunch menu
Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post News Media Services: Hold the election crowing
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: The Obama Mandate in Context
Sam Fulwood III, Center for American Progress: Race and Beyond: The Republican Party Has No Interest in Courting Black Voters
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post News Media Services: Immigration reform's real roadblocks
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Scrutiny of U.S. drone use is long overdue
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: If at first you don't secede ...
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Breaking Grover Norquist's anti-tax pledge
Greg Sargent, Washington Post: Publicist confirms it: Fox News banned book critical of George W. Bush
DeWayne Wickham, USA Today: Julian Castro positions himself for 2016
"We are living in the least diverse, least inclusive media environment we will inhabit for the foreseeable future, which is to say that the ecosystem forming around us will include more actors and actions than even today’s environment does," according to "Post-Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present," a report Wednesday from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University.
It might be the only time "diverse" or "diversity" was mentioned in this look forward [PDF].
Authors C.W. Anderson, Emily Bell and Clay Shirky also wrote, "Many of the changes talked about in the last decade as part of the future landscape of journalism have already taken place; much of journalism’s imagined future is now its lived-in present. (As William Gibson noted long ago, ‘The future is already here. It’s just unevenly distributed.’) Our goal is to write about what has already happened and what is happening today, and what we can learn from it, rather than engaging in much speculation.
"The effect of the current changes in the news ecosystem has already been a reduction in the quality of news in the United States. On present evidence, we are convinced that journalism in this country will get worse before it gets better, and, in some places (principally midsize and small cities with no daily paper) it will get markedly worse. Our hope is to limit the scope, depth and duration of that decay by pointing to ways to create useful journalism using tools, techniques and assumptions that weren’t even possible 10 years ago."
"The Associated Press has nixed 'homophobia,' 'ethnic cleansing,' and a number of other terms from its Style Book in recent months," Dylan Byers reported Monday for Politico.
"The online Style Book now says that '-phobia,' 'an irrational, uncontrollable fear, often a form of mental illness' should not be used 'in political or social contexts,' including 'homophobia' and 'Islamophobia.' It also calls 'ethnic cleansing' a 'euphemism,' and says the AP 'does not use "ethnic cleansing" on its own. It must be enclosed in quotes, attributed and explained.'
" 'Ethnic cleansing is a euphemism for pretty violent activities, a phobia is a psychiatric or medical term for a severe mental disorder. Those terms have been used quite a bit in the past, and we don't feel that's quite accurate,' AP Deputy Standards Editor Dave Minthorn told POLITICO."
Andrew Beaujon, Poynter Institute: NLGJA president: 'The AP is probably correct' to discourage use of 'homophobia'
"Time Magazine is set to unveil [its] Person of the Year 2012, and despite a year in which Latinos rose in prominence and coverage, undocumented immigrants in the U.S. are the only Latino representation in the group of 40 candidates," Adrian Carrasquillo reported Tuesday for NBCLatino.
"The general assembly of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate on Sunday voiced its rejection of President Mohamed Morsi's constitutional declaration, threatening to stage a general strike in retaliation against Morsi's divisive Thursday declaration," Nada Hussein Rashwan reported Sunday for Egypt's ahramonline. The Constituent Assembly "rejected our proposal to stop the practice of jailing journalists for press offences and our proposal to keep news organisations independent of political groups," said Galal Aref, former head of the Journalists Syndicate.
Yvette Miley has been promoted to senior vice president at MSNBC, the National Association of Black Journalists announced last week. "Miley who retains the title of Executive Editor joined MSNBC in 2009 to oversee the network's dayside programming. . . . Prior to working at MSNBC she was the News Director at the NBC owned and operated stations in Miami and Birmingham," Ala. "She is a 1985 graduate of the University of Florida."
"At a time of major news developments in the Middle East and North Africa, the Arab-American media's efforts to meet the demands of its audience have been complicated by declining ad revenue, new technology, and growing competition from Arab outlets in the Middle East and North Africa, according to a new study by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism," the project announced on Wednesday.
"Jason Pugh is joining WRC in Washington, DC as a sports reporter, general manager Jackie Bradford announced this morning," Merrill Knox reported Wednesday for TVSpy. "Pugh comes from West Palm Beach, where he was a sports anchor and feature reporter at WPTV-WFLX. He also works for ESPN 760 radio, where he hosts three shows and provides play-by-play for games."
"Joan Smalls is having quite the stellar year," Julee Wilson wrote Tuesday for Huffington Post. "The Puerto Rican supermodel wowed us on the cover of W magazine, landed a job as co-host on MTV's 'House of Style' and was the face of Fendi and Chanel's Spring 2012 campaigns. . . . The 24-year-old graces Vogue Turkey's first cover of 2013 in a gold-and-black embroidered dress with a sheer bodice . . . For Vogue Japan, the glossy opted for a more refined ensemble with Joan striking a pose in a long black dress with a fancy embellished neckline."
In Columbus, Ohio, "A libel lawsuit between two weathermen at WCMH-TV (Channel 4) has been settled, according to documents filed in the case," Theodore Decker reported Monday for the Columbus Dispatch. "Bob Nunnally sued fellow forecaster Jym Ganahl this month in Franklin County Common Pleas Court."
"In the first major sweep of the 2012-2013 television broadcast season, KXLN Univision 45 is Houston's No. 1 broadcast station among Adults 18-34, Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54 in all the major dayparts: daytime, early fringe, early news, primetime, late news and late fringe, regardless of language," Mike McGuff reported Tuesday on his media blog.
"Oprah Winfrey recently resurrected her annual My Favorite Things holiday gift giveaway on the OWN Network," Jenice Armstrong told readers Monday in her Philadelphia Daily News column. "My version, which replicates her gift extravaganza on a local level, never went away! . . . Simply nominate someone you know who really could use a bit of seasonal cheer. Last year's winners included a mom going through some hard times who was nominated by her 11-year-old son, and a little girl who dreamed of seeing "The Nutcracker," nominated by a family friend who knew her mom couldn't afford the tickets."
"Last week, a 28-year-old Henderson man named Barry Wilkerson was shot and killed," columnist Barry Saunders wrote Tuesday in the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. "Before his mama had a chance to pick out a suit and tie in which to bury him, a local TV station was reporting on his criminal past, even, for dramatic effect, slowly scanning the camera across the arrest record. . . . Sullying the dead unnecessarily is not a new phenomenon, but it still enrages -- even when the newspaper does it."
Columnist Bessy Reyna of CTLatinoNews took Hartford Magazine to task on Wednesday. ". . . among the '50 Most Influential' there is not one person who is a Latino," Reyna wrote. "There are a hockey player, two college basketball coaches, one university president, a couple of restaurant owners, heads of nonprofits, a disgraced utility company president and many CEOs."
"TNT will debut the drama 'Monday Mornings' on -- appropriately -- Monday, February 4, 2013," Alex Weprin reported for TVNewser on Tuesday. "The series, which is from David E. Kelley and CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta, is based on Gupta's book of the same name. Actors Ving Rhames and Alfred Molina have signed on as stars."
"I was recently surprised to receive a Facebook friend request from Tina Brown," media blogger Jim Romenesko wrote on Tuesday. "I accepted it and quickly discovered that my new virtual pal -- Tina A. Brown -- wasn't the Newsweek/Daily Beast editor; she’s a struggling journalist from Savannah, Georgia." Brown wrote Romenesko, "I've used the same byline for 30 years. I can't remember how many times I've scheduled an interview, shown up and the person asked with a dubious tone 'you're Tina Brown?' I used to think it was because they were surprised by my race. Some of my telephone sources from all over the country have said I don't sound black. They ask to see my press pass when we meet."
"Sudanese security agents blocked the Monday editions of three newspapers that had covered the arrest of a former spy chief over an alleged plot, journalists said, a move that highlighted the sensitivity of the issue," Reuters reported.
On Monday, the Committee to Protect Journalists "condemned the murder of Brazilian journalist Eduardo Carvalho in Campo Grande, the capital of Mato Grosso do Sul state, which borders Paraguay and Bolivia. Carvalho was the editor and owner of news website Última Hora News, which frequently denounced local corruption, according to news reports."
"Somali authorities must immediately release Ibrahim Mohamed Adan, a correspondent for the Somali service of the BBC, who has been held for nearly a week in Mogadishu without charge," the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday.
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
The network is hoping that the move will attract more minority talent.
NBC News is planning to pay its interns starting in the spring of 2013, according to a well-placed source at the network, addressing a long-held contention that requiring interns to work only for the experience or for college credit amounts to favoring students with well-to-do parents.
The number of internships and the salary level have yet to be determined, the source said.
The arguments for and against unpaid internships have been made for years.
In 2006, NBC News was embarrassed when Brian Williams, "Nightly News" anchor and managing editor, posted a photo of the unpaid "Nightly News" interns that showed that none were of color. Williams wrote afterward on his blog, "In previous years, our interns have better reflected American society" and added that ". . . I have spoken to Steve Capus, the President of NBC News, and going forward, racial diversity will now also be a factor in our unpaid summer internship program, because our newsrooms have to better reflect our society."
"The economics of unpaid internships are obvious," Derek Thompson, a senior editor at The Atlantic, wrote in April. "Employers are desperate for cheap work, and 'free' is pretty cheap. Workers are desperate for, well, anything, and students and recent grads are willing to negotiate their wages down to zero. But the ethics aren't so clear-cut. If unpaid internships are the key to better jobs and bigger salaries, should we be concerned about the millions of lower-class students who can't afford to work for free?"
In 2005, Reginald Stuart, then a recruiter for the now-defunct Knight Ridder newspaper chain, and now corporate recruiter for the McClatchy Co., accepted the Ida B. Wells award for promoting diversity from the National Association of Black Journalists with a plea for audience members to advocate for paid internships.
"Are you insisting at every turn that interns be paid for the work they do?" Stuart asked. "At the Howard University Jobs Fair yesterday, I was reminded how ingrained this no-pay notion is, especially in the heads of young recruiters who need to be on the front lines fighting it. I asked a young recruiter if his company was paying its interns. 'Oh no,' he said. 'They don't do that.' If he's working for them, shouldn't he be saying 'we?'
"In one breath, I was ashamed of him and for him. He reminded me of the character in the movie 'Crash' who seemed powerless to determine anything in his company, even how a line of script in a sitcom should be read. Trust me. Paying interns is an easy one."
Although NBC News in general has not paid its interns, ABC News and CNN do, and CBS News and Fox News have arrangements for the college to offer course credit.
"ABC News offers a number of paid and unpaid internships every semester," then-ABC spokeswoman Natalie Raabe told Journal-isms in 2006. "The paid internship program was instituted in 2000 for students of color who demonstrate a solid interest in journalism and network news."
[LaShanti Jenkins, ABC News intern coordinator, added by email on Tuesday: "Typically there are 50-65 interns per term (including NY, LA, and DC). All news interns are paid $8.50/hour and we transitioned to an all-paid program in Spring 2008."]
ABC's internship material states, "We offer an attractive hourly salary. Interns are not eligible for company medical benefits, holiday pay or sick pay." The internships are in New York; Burbank, Calif.; and Glendale, Calif. Candidates must be available a minimum of 16 hours a week.
CNN's website says, "Students @ Work Internships are paid at minimum-wage and structured to last approximately 12 weeks. Program dates are January 28 - April 19. Course Credit is available."
NBCUniversal news internships take place in New York; New Jersey; Universal City, Calif.; and Burbank, Calif.; and Connecticut, and include the cable networks CNBC and MSNBC.
"In addition to an up to date knowledge of the news, a successful intern exhibits extraordinary attention to detail, and can function as part of a dynamic environment driven by both pace and accuracy. Journalism and political science majors are preferred, but not required," NBC says.
An exception to the no-pay internships at NBC has been the Emma Bowen Foundation.
"The Foundation's program is unlike other intern programs in that students work for a partner company during summers and school breaks from the end of their junior year in high school until they graduate from college. During that five-year period, students have an opportunity to learn many aspects of corporate operations and develop company-specific skills. Students in the program receive an hourly wage, as well as matching compensation to help pay for college tuition and expenses. Mentoring from selected staff in the sponsoring company is also a key element of the program."
At CBS News, the interns' duties are listed as, "Log tapes, coordinate script, research stories, conduct preliminary interviews, assist during shoots, select footage, perform light clerical duties and assist staff members," with the proviso that "Duties vary in each department."
A description adds, "This is an unpaid internship. Student must get credit." [Updated Nov. 27]
Steven Greenhouse, New York Times: Jobs Few, Grads Flock to Unpaid Internships (May 5)
Derek Thompson, the Atlantic: In Defense of Unpaid Internships (May 10)
Veteran journalist George E. Curry, part of a group that purchased Heart & Soul, a health-and-wellness magazine targeting women of color, has resigned as executive vice president/content and editorial director, he confirmed to Journal-isms.
So has the woman Curry brought in as top editor, former Latina magazine editor-in-chief Sandra Guzman.
"This has been an extremely disappointing experience and I don't want to go into the details about everything that went wrong," Curry said by email. "I will say, however, that everyone had different areas of responsibilities and not everyone performed as well as we had expected. Even working with a restricted budget, I am proud of the issues we published this year. I can walk away from Heart & Soul knowing we produced an excellent product."
Curry and his partners in Brown Curry Detry Taylor & Associates, LLC of Silver Spring, Md., announced in January they had bought the 18-year-old publication from Edwin V. Avent, a Baltimore-based businessman who now heads a nascent cable network, Soul of the South.
The new Heart & Soul owners promised to compensate a group of angry writers who said they were owed more than $200,000 in back pay. The writers have not been fully compensated, and the National Writers Union has taken up their cause.
"Thirteen people are owed $150,000," Larry Goldbetter, president of the union, told Journal-isms by telephone on Monday. The owners "haven't made a payment in nine months. We initially got seven writers paid in full for $20,000. We're waiting on more." Goldbetter said that the union planned to go to court and that the company had offered a "Ponzi scheme" in which the writers would be paid later if they agreed to continue writing for the magazine.
Patrick H. Detry, executive vice president, advertising, told Journal-isms by telephone that the company was "looking at things to see how we move forward. We inherited a lot of debt. Once we started paying writers, it seems a lot more people started popping out of the woodwork."
Asked whether the company was undercapitalized, Detry said, "It was tight, but the problem was when these extra liabilities started popping up. That's when things started to have a crescendo effect. Things started slowing down, revenues got a little sporadic.
"My personal view is that if things were rolling on a regular basis, if the magazine were coming out regularly, we wouldn't have had these problems. . . . then [there were] rumors that we were going out of business. It kind of helped to slow down the selling process" for advertising. Detry said the magazine missed deadlines after "writers were slow in getting their editorial" content in.
Guzman did not respond to requests for comment.
The December issue will be the sixth under current management, Detry said.
Curry said by email, "The hardest part for me was bringing talented writers and editors aboard after being assured that the funds would be there to pay them. Obviously, that was not the case. I've never been in this situation before and hope to never been in one like it again."
Avent previously told Journal-isms that the magazine, published six times a year, had a circulation of 300,000.
Brown Curry Detry Taylor & Associates, LLC is the magazine's sixth owner in its 23 years. Until the new owners, Heart & Soul was a health-and-wellness magazine targeting African Americans. The decision to name Guzman its top editor as part of an effort to broaden its focus to other women of color.
"We're at a very critical juncture," Detry said. "The biggest thing is the writers getting paid. We need to get more positive news out there, and giving all the women of color the information we need."
Steven Spielberg's new "Lincoln" movie, third ranking in holiday weekend box office receipts, was also a hit on the Sunday talk shows.
"And what a film!" moderator David Gregory said on NBC's "Meet the Press." That‹ the chronicle is such a critical part of our history and Lincoln's presidency, fighting to abolish slavery and ‹ and‹ and‹ and winning the 13th Amendment."
Gregory was joined in the discussion by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, New York Times columnist David Brooks, MSNBC host the Rev. Al Sharpton, NBC correspondent Andrea Mitchell and Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard.
Most of the discussion was about leadership and Lincoln's political skills, but Burns said, ". . . Race is always there in America. It's always something we don't want to talk about. It's on the table. Do you think we'd have a Secession Movement in Texas and the other places, faddish Secession Movement, if this president wasn't African-American?"
Sharpton said, ". . . that was the striking part to me of the film, because I've been an activist and an advocate all my life, leading an advocate organization. A president has to get things done. So even if a president is transformational as how he gets there. And that's what Lincoln had to deal with. . . . I think that's the challenge that Mr. Obama has now. And I think that was very critical in that‹ that movie. I wish Frederick Douglass pushing Lincoln would have been a‹ a scene in the movie because I think that¹s what we're dealing with, David."
On CBS, "Face the Nation" featured a panel of authors of books on Lincoln (Doris Kearns Goodwin), Thomas Jefferson (Jon Meacham), Dwight Eisenhower (Evan Thomas) and President Obama (Bob Woodward).
Lerone Bennett Jr., former editor of Ebony magazine and author of 1999's "Forced to Glory: Abraham Lincoln's White Dream," was not among them.
". . . At this critical point, and at every other critical point, Lincoln followed the people instead of leading the people," Bennett wrote of Lincoln's leadership on the 13th Amendment. "One reads everywhere, or almost everywhere, that Lincoln dragged his feet on this or that issue because the people were not ready. In fact, on the Thirteenth Amendment and the use of Black soldiers, the people marched on before Lincoln."
Eric Foner, who won the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for history for "The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery," agreed. "The 13th Amendment originated not with Lincoln but with a petition campaign early in 1864 organized by the Women's National Loyal League, an organization of abolitionist feminists headed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton," Foner wrote in a letter to the editor of the New York Times.
"Moreover, from the beginning of the Civil War, by escaping to Union lines, blacks forced the fate of slavery onto the national political agenda.
"The film grossly exaggerates the possibility that by January 1865 the war might have ended with slavery still intact. . . ."
On Friday, Hari Jones, assistant director and curator at the African American Civil War Memorial and Museum in Washington, was supportive of Spielberg in an unbylined blog post.
"The film is almost a documentary, and far more historically accurate than 50% of the documentary films I have seen on the Civil War," Jones wrote, disagreeing with those who would like to have seen Douglass. He also said, "The focus of the movie was on the passage of the 13th Amendment. Douglass did not have a role in getting the amendment passed in January 1865. His monthly had even ceased publication by then. . . ."
Peter von Buol, Maui Magazine: Maui's Civil War Hero
Politico's Dylan Byers unveiled "10 breakout political reporters of 2012" on Sunday, and none was a journalist of color.
Was that the fault of Byers or of the Washington press corps?
Byers included this caveat in his story: "The list includes reporters from the Mitt Romney press corps and none from the Barack Obama side, which is largely due to the fact that there were more veterans on the president's trail who had already made names for themselves. (For the obvious reasons, we've decided to leave off POLITICO reporters from the list, though more than a few came up for nomination.) Also omitted are the media personalities who, despite producing excellent work, had already gained national recognition in past cycles."
The composition of the Washington press corps periodically comes under scrutiny. In 2008, Unity: Journalists of Color Inc. and the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University found that "Journalists of color make up 13.1 percent of the 495 reporters, correspondents, columnists and editors in the Washington daily newspaper press corps. That's an improvement over the last census four years ago, when just under 10.5 percent of the press corps consisted of minority journalists."
Then President Obama took office, and more black journalists were assigned to the new administration. At the Washington Post, the new Obama presidency coincided with a national desk newly led by Kevin Merida, with Terence Samuel as a political editor and Krissah Thompson, Perry Bacon Jr., Michael A. Fletcher and Nia-Malika Henderson among its reporters. Bacon left the paper for the Grio, and Fletcher now covers the economy, but Vanessa Williams became a night political editor.
But Wayne Dawkins, a Hampton University journalism assistant professor, reported in the Diversity Factor, a subscription-only online journal, "As of 2009, the Washington Press corps was less diverse than the group that covered George W. Bush from 2001-08. Media downsizing wiped out experienced journalists of color who were prepared to compete for those top beats, meanwhile, cuts in state and local gov't and political reporting dried up the pipeline of new recruits."
Sonya Ross, an editor in the Associated Press' Washington Bureau and former White House correspondent who chairs the National Association of Black Journalists Political Journalism Task Force, told Journal-isms by email:
"We are very proud of the sharp, honest work of all of our task force members who covered the 2012 campaign, particularly NBC White House reporter Kristen Welker, CNN political producer Shannon Travis, NPR national digital correspondent Corey Dade and Juana Summers, a national political reporter for POLITICO.
"These folks may not be on this latest list, but they won't be invisible forever."
Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio: The death of Allen West-style politics
Cristina Beltran, NBCLatino: Latinos Šnot a political monolith but a coalition
Mary C. Curtis, the Grio: Is a diverse presidential ticket necessary for a GOP recovery?
Suzanne Gamboa, Associated Press: Black Voters Look To Leverage Their Loyalty To President Obama
Keli Goff, the Root: Will Obama Push a 'Black Agenda' Now?
Zachary A. Goldfarb, Washington Post: How fighting income inequality became Obama's driving force
Madison Gray, the Root: Hey, White Guys, It's Time to Share America
David A. Love, Grio: GOP attacks on Susan Rice make for bad racial optics
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: Young Voters Supported Obama Less, But May Have Mattered More
Edward Wyckoff Williams, the Root: Obama's Mandate to Help the Poor
"A new study by the Radio Television Digital News Association and Hoftsra University found salaries at local television stations have been losing ground to inflation for the last ten years," Kevin Eck wrote Monday for TVSpy.
"The study [PDF] tracked salaries at local TV stations over a five and ten year period. In the period between 2007 and 2012, while inflation rose by 12 percent, local TV pay rose by only 10.5 percent. The pay gap widened over a ten year period with inflation rising by 28 percent while salaries rose by just 21.6 percent."
"Between 2002 and 2012, the study showed only news directors (+35.9%), weathercasters [(+37%)], sports anchors (+28.6%), and assignment editors (+28.3%) beat the rise of inflation. The biggest loser over the ten year period were web and mobile writers (+13.3%). News assistants saw the largest drop (-3.1%) in pay between 2007 and 2012 compared to an inflation rate of 12 percent."
"About a week ago the entertainment trade magazine 'The Hollywood Reporter' published its annual 'The Actresses Roundtable' cover story that featured leading actresses discussing the state of the industry. Now, a week later, any mention of the story on magazine's website is followed with comments criticizing the editors for only including white actresses," Jorge Rivas wrote Monday for ColorLines.
". . . .What's striking in 'The Hollywood Reporter's' case though is that diversity in the industry is an issue that makes it in to [its] stories regularly. They also understand the importance of the Latino market, and print stories ranging from Univision's record breaking ratings to Colombian actress Sofia Vergara being named the highest paid woman in television. But still she was nowhere to be found in 'The Actresses Roundtable.' Neither was Eva Longoria who came in at number three on the Forbes list of highest paid women in Hollywood. . . ."
"Phoebe Greenwood was frantically filing her latest piece for The Telegraph in Gaza City earlier this week when she noticed something," Emma Barnett reported last week for the Telegraph in London.
"Sat in the main lobby of the Al Deira Hotel, which has become effectively become a big newsroom in the war-torn strip of land, Greenwood observed that all of the correspondents of the American, Australian, Spanish and British broadsheets writing around her were women.
"Jodi Rudoren (New York Times), Ruth Pollard (Sydney Morning Herald), Harriet Sherwood (Guardian), Ana Carbajosa (El Pais), Abeer Ayyoub (freelance Palestinian journalist) and Rolla Scolari (Sky Italia) have all been Greenwood's comrades during the latest troubles in the Middle East. On the job she has also been accompanied by Heidi Levine, whom she describes as a 'ridiculously tough war photographer' and worked alongside Eman Mohammed Darkhalil, an award-winning and heavily pregnant photographer.
"At the start of the latest Israel-Gaza conflict last week, Greenwood, a freelance reporter based in Jaffa, Tel Aviv, said the majority of the correspondents first on the ground were women and what's even better, it's no longer remarkable. . . ."
"However, interestingly, Greenwood reveals that women war correspondents do have a unique advantage because of their gender when reporting in Muslim countries. . . ."
David Carr, New York Times: Using War as Cover to Target Journalists
Patrick B. Pexton, Washington Post: Photo of dead baby in Gaza holds part of the 'truth'
More African Americans, Hispanics and disabled workers planned to spend Thanksgiving with co-workers in or out of the office than did "non-diverse workers," according to a CareerBuilder online survey released last week.
Among African American workers, 26 percent said they planned to be with co-workers. Among Hispanics, the figure was 25 percent; disabled workers, 22 percent; Asians, 18 percent; and LGBT employees, 17 percent. "This compares to 16 percent of non-diverse workers," CareerBuilder said.
The survey was conducted nationally online by Harris Interactive© from Aug. 13 to Sept. 6 and included more than 3,900 workers.
"Seventeen percent of workers said they have to work on Thanksgiving, with hospitality workers the most likely to be on the clock," its authors added.
Delfin Carbonell Basset, voxxi.com: Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles and the first Thanksgiving dinner
Andrew Beaujon, Poynter Institute: Meet the journalism professor who called Thanksgiving a 'white-supremacist holiday'
"What happens when you agree to come on Fox News and then proceed to hammer the network for serving as a 'wing of the Republican Party?' Erik Wemple asked Monday for the Washington Post. "Answer: You don't stay on the air too long. Military expert Tom Ricks chatted today with Fox's Jon Scott about the Benghazi situation. Ricks was asked about how Sen. John McCain appears to be backing off of his criticism of U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, who made some much-criticized statements about Benghazi in a series of Sept. 16 interviews. Ricks: 'I think that Benghazi generally was hyped by this network especially . . .' "
"The media toll in Syria continued last week with the deaths of at least seven journalists," Roy Greenslade wrote Monday for his blog in Britain's Guardian newspaper. "State TV journalist Bassel Tawfiq Youssef was killed on 21 November in Damascus."
Journal-isms was listed Friday among "Five awesome blogs about minority communities" by Columbia Journalism Review's Jennifer Vanasco. The others are New Civil Rights Movement, Feministing, 8 Asians, The Wise Latina Club and, as a side note, iamKoreAm.com.
Despite a decline in sales of O, the Oprah Magazine since she ended her daytime talk show, Oprah Winfrey is confident she will draw more younger fans because people want "what we have to say in this magazine about fulfilling your destiny, who you're meant to be, living your best life," Christine Haughney reported Monday for the New York Times. "That's the kind of product Ms. Winfrey predicts people, regardless of age, will continue to pay for."
"HBO in February will air a documentary film based on the life and career of multiple Grammy winning singer Beyoncé," R. Thomas Umstead reported Monday for Multichannel News. "The feature-length documentary film will air Feb. 16, 2013, and will offer unprecedented access to the private entertainer's life as well as her onstage performances, according to HBO officials. Beyoncé will serve as executive producer of the show."
"A popular Pakistani television journalist who incurred the Taliban's wrath by criticising it for trying to assassinate the schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai vowed on Monday to continue 'speaking the truth' after a bomb was found planted under his car," Jon Boone reported Monday for Britain's Guardian newspaper. "Police in Islamabad said the remotely controlled device was defused by bomb experts. It was discovered shortly after Hamid Mir, one of the country's best-known television presenters, returned to his parked vehicle from a hair appointment.'
Simeon Booker's book, "Shocking the Conscience: A Reporter's Account of the Civil Rights Movement," will be available from the University Press of Mississippi in April, Amber Larkins wrote in a profile of Booker for the American Journalism Review. "It is a history of Booker's 65-year journalism career, which explains how blacks went from being completely ignored in the mainstream press to being the focus of heavy coverage of the civil rights movement, and the role of Booker's civil rights reporting in Jet magazine." Booker is to be inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Black Journalists in January.
In Raleigh, N.C., Dick Harlow, market manager for WDCG-FM owner Clear Channel Media, apologized last week to the Greater Raleigh Merchants Association, which puts on a Christmas parade. The WDCG-FM float featured a black man dressed in a skirt with fairy wings, strapped to a harness that was suspended from the back of a tow truck, Brooke Cain reported Thursday for the News & Observer.
Rafael Olmeda, a former president of Unity: Journalists of Color Inc. who advocated the inclusion of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association into the coalition, wrote Monday that he is "less than thrilled with the options before us" for a new name: UNITY: Journalists of Color, UNITY: Journalists of Color & Diversity, UNITY: Journalists of Color & For Diversity. "The first one ignores NLGJA's presence entirely. The other two strike me as clumsy attempts to acknowledge NLGJA's presence as an afterthought." Members of the coalition partners are to vote on the name by Dec. 13.
In Congo, Reporters Without Borders and Journalist in Danger said Wednesday they were worried by the measures that the M23 rebel movement took with the news media after seizing Goma, the capital of the eastern province of Nord Kivu. "Since occupying Goma, the rebels of the 23 March Movement (M23) have seized control of the news media and are behaving as if they were media executives and editors," Reporters Without Borders secretary-general Christophe Deloire said. "We remind them that it is not their job to decide the content of the news reports that the media carry."
"To mark International Day to End Impunity, Reporters Without Borders' partner organization in the Democratic Republic of Congo, JED, has published a statement drawing attention to the illegal detention of three journalists and the many abuses suffered by the media in the DRC. . . . Pierre Sosthène Kambidi, a journalist and editor with the TV station Radio Télévision Chrétienne (RTC), Fortunat Kasongo, owner of Radio Télévision Autonome du Sud Kasaï (RTAS), and John Mpoyi, technical director of the provincial affiliate of Radio Lisanga Télévision (RLTV), were arrested in August this year and have yet to be informed of the charges against them."
"Pakistani columnist Ardeshir Cowasjee was revered in his nation for exposing corruption, nepotism and mismanagement at all levels of government. He died this weekend at the age of 86," NPR said Monday in introducing a remembrance by Steve Inskeep. ". . . he wrote about all those basic things in the developing world that enrich people's lives when done properly and shorten people's lives when they're not," Inskeep said.
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Media people on a press trip unexpectedly experienced the violent conflict firsthand.
Hispanic journalists visiting Israel at the invitation of a group that offers media figures all-expenses-paid trips found themselves in Jerusalem this week while Israel and Hamas were exchanging missiles and bombs.
"Fear, terror and helplessness washed over the group," Israel Hayom, an Israeli-based online newsletter, reported on Friday. "But some good came of the incident, at least from the Israeli perspective. The foreign journalists got a taste of the war situation in Israel and felt the rocket threat firsthand. Back at the hotel that evening, they translated their experience into articles, radio broadcasts and blog posts that were seen and heard all over the world."
The story identified only two of the Hispanic journalists, but the host group's Facebook page identified others. Among those on the Facebook page are Manuel Abud, president of the NBC-owned Telemundo Station Group, Katherine Archuleta, national political director of President Obama's reelection campaign, and Adriana Grillet, who is chief marketing officer of FDP Radio Network, according to her LinkedIn profile.
Named in the story are Maria Antonieta Collins and Fernando Espuelas. Collins is described as a Mexican-born journalist who lives in Miami, writes for both the Spanish-language media outlet Univision and the Miami Herald's El Nuevo Herald, and hosts a radio program that is broadcast to 25 large U.S. cities.
Espuelas is "the host of a popular political radio program for Spanish-speakers in the U.S. His program is broadcast to New York, Chicago, Dallas and Miami, among other cities, and on the Internet. During the visit, Espuelas puts up many notes on his Facebook page, which has more than 10,000 followers," Israel Hayom reported.
Espuelas, host and managing editor of "The Fernando Espuelas Show," a radio talk show on the Univision America Network, said on his Facebook page Thursday that he was back in Los Angeles.
The story added that Collins, who was on her first trip to Israel, "says she quickly realized that 'the situation in Israel is absurd and the people here are suffering. After the one-time experience that we had at the Western Wall, I can't imagine how it's possible to live in a city that gets hit by thousands of rockets. I can't imagine what it would be like if it happened on the border between Tijuana and San Diego. Now I admire the people of Israel, who keep on living and coping with this situation.' "
In a column Tuesday in the Spanish-language El Nuevo Herald, Collins said she had been invited on the trip by Irwin Katsof, director of the New York-based America's Voices in Israel. Katsof told Journal-isms in January that his 10-year-old organization exists to sponsor such trips and that it was trying to influence the United States' growing Latino population.
Katsof's group started by inviting radio broadcasters who broadcast live from Israel. It expanded to movie actors, evangelical leaders and journalists. "There are no strings attached, no obligations," he said then. "We just present the facts to them" from a diverse group that includes Arabs and Palestinians. The funding comes from philanthropists, Katsof said.
The group director messaged Saturday that the arrangement this time was the "Exact same. No strings attached. No obligations of any sort at all. No expectations." When asked whether this was an all-expenses-paid trip as well, Katsof replied, "They paid part of their air fare."
Chinese bloggers were also in Israel at the invitation of Israel's Public Diplomacy and Diaspora Affairs Ministry, Israel Hayom reported.
The Society of Professional Journalists and the Washington Post, among other journalism organizations, maintain that journalists who accept free trips place themselves in a conflict of interest. Telemundo spokesman Alfredo Richard told Journal-isms Friday that Abud is not involved in editorial news decisions.
Espuelas was enthusiastically pro-Israel on his Facebook page. "Get the facts, folks. Israel is responding to LITERALLY 1000's of missiles shot at CIVILIANS by Hamas," he wrote this week. "Just an hour ago we had another missile warning siren because Hamas launched a rocket [at] Jerusalem -- where about 1/3 of the population is Palestinian. Hamas are terrorists -- they don't care if they even kill their own people. And Israel has only targeted MILITARY targets in Gaza, the places from which Hamas has shot at Israel.
"Don't buy into a factually wrong media narrative -- get informed." Journalists have been among the civilians wounded or killed by Israeli rockets.
A year ago, the Anti-Defamation League sponsored 17 Latino journalists from the United States and Latin America on a similar eight-day, all-expenses-paid trip to Israel.
Among the participants were Rick Sanchez, former CNN anchor, soon to be with the new MundoFox; Henrik Rehbinder, opinion editor of Los Angeles-based La Opinión, the nation's largest Spanish-language newspaper; Fernando Diaz, managing editor of Hoy Chicago and then vice president/online of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; and Nuria Net, deputy editor of Univision News, Univision's online English language platform. Others included journalists from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston.
Hispanic journalists on the January trip included Jorge Ferraez, a founder of Latino Leaders Magazine; Mary Rabago, anchor for Univision 33 in Phoenix; Lupita Colmenero, executive vice president at Latina Style, Inc., publisher of El Hispano News Hispano News and founder of Parents Step Ahead, an educational outreach initiative; syndicated columnist Ruben Navarrette Jr.; and Ruben Keoseyan, then executive editor of Los Angeles-based La Opinión, now vice president of content for Telemundo Los Angeles KVEA.
"The unprecedented killing of two cameramen for Gaza's Hamas TV station in a missile strike raised questions about whom Israel considers to be militant operatives, and thus legitimate targets," Karin Laub reported Wednesday from Gaza City for the Associated Press.
"Israel said the expanding Hamas media empire is part of the Islamists' 'terrorist operations,' although it stopped short of branding everyone working for it as a potential target in its offensive against Gaza's Hamas rulers.
"Al-Aqsa TV, which employed the two journalists, said they were killed on the job, and it accused Israel of trying to silence those documenting the suffering of Gaza's civilians.
"On Wednesday, the funeral procession for Mohammed al-Koumi and Hussam Salama set off from Gaza City's Shifa Hospital, just a few hundred meters (yards) from where the Israeli missile had struck their car a day before. Several dozen Al-Aqsa TV staffers marched behind the bodies. A wreath sent by Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh of Hamas read: 'With blood we write. With blood we film. They will not be able to silence the truth.'
"Al-Aqsa TV is the centerpiece of Hamas' increasingly sophisticated media operation, launched in 2004 with a small radio station. By the start of Israel's Nov. 14 Gaza offensive, Al-Aqsa TV and Radio had about 400 employees, including a network of reporters closely covering the Israeli airstrikes.
"Al-Aqsa reporters do not pretend to be objective and clearly work in the service of Hamas, using its lingo and loaded terms in on-air comments. The station has generally been accurate in reporting casualties in the past week and does air some other views within the Palestinian political spectrum.
" . . . Israeli government spokesman Mark Regev said those working for Hamas media cannot be considered journalists.
". . . Under the rules of war, media can only be targeted if they contribute to combat, such as relaying military orders, according to the international group Human Rights Watch. . . . "
Fernando Espuelas, YouTube: Media Bias Against Israel -- in Jerusalem (Video)
Mel Frykberg, Inter Press Service: Bombed, Wounded, and Celebrating
Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: What's Missing from CBS's Gaza History?
Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Palestinians and the Proper Way to Grieve Dead Children
Richard Horgan, FishbowlLA: CAMERA Questions LAT Designation of Gaza Clash Victim as 'Palestinian Journalist'
Adam Morrow and Khaled Moussa al-Omrani, Inter Press Service: Gaza Assault Shows a New Egypt
Shihab Rattansi, with Frank Sesno, Phyllis Bennis and Vijay Prashad, "Inside Story Americas," Al Jazeera: Gaza and the US media narrative
Geraldo Rivera, Fox News Latino: Israel-Gaza, the Unholy War
Natan B. Sachs, Washington Post: What Bill Clinton can teach Obama about Israelis
"The battle for a free press sometimes feels like a war between indignation and intimidation. Journalists learn of abuses of power, crime, or corruption, and -- indignant -- they speak out.
"In response, the perpetrators of those abuses -- be they government officials or criminals -- try to intimidate the journalists into silence with threats, lawsuits, jail, or even murder," Elana Beiser of the Committee to Protect Journalists wrote Wednesday.
"Last night, the Committee to Protect Journalists paid tribute to a handful of journalists for whom indignation is a driving force, no matter the scale of intimidation.
" 'Indignation is what best defines the motivation of those who do this kind of journalism,' Maury König told a crowd of nearly 900 in New York's Waldorf-Astoria grand ballroom as he accepted one of CPJ's International Press Freedom Awards.
"König is an investigative reporter who has exposed human rights abuses and corruption in his native Brazil, including sex trafficking and kidnapping of Brazilian children for military service in Paraguay. While researching the latter in 2000, König was captured by suspected Paraguayan policemen and severely beaten, strangled, and left for dead. He has been threatened with death several times since, but, he said, 'My indignation is greater than my fear.'
"Another of CPJ's award winners, Mae Azango of Liberia, practically exudes indignation. This is directed at former warlords in her once-war-ravaged country; at corrupt and brutal police; and at complacent government officials. But Azango reserves special indignation for the secret societies in Liberia who practice female genital cutting. Reporting on this practice -- a taboo subject in Liberia -- led to death threats against Azango this spring and forced her to take her nine-year-old daughter into hiding. . . ."
Two other fearless journalists from China and Kyrgyzstan were honored at the benefit dinner, hosted by PBS senior correspondent Gwen Ifill.
Roy Greenslade blog, the Guardian, Britain: Why the Day of Impunity is so vital to journalists across the globe
Scott Griffen, International Press Institute: Journalist murdered in Brazil
International Press Institute: 2012 deadliest year on record for journalists, says global network
"Guess Rihanna is sort of 'apologetic' after all," Ian Drew, senior editor for Us Weekly, reported on Tuesday.
Drew, a note explained, "has been among the 250 journalists, fans and entourage members flying with Rihanna via Delta 777 jet for her 777 tour -- as she plays seven concerts in seven cities in seven different countries in seven days to promote her seventh album, Unapologetic."
Drew continued, "Days five and six of the wild tour (in Berlin and London, respectively) dissolved into a 'hopeless' situation, I blogged on Monday Nov. 19. Most passengers were deliriously deprived of sleep, food and sunlight; members of the press were upset that Rihanna had been completely unavailable for quotes, photos or much of anything offstage following day one of the tour. One particularly despondent Australian shock-jock even streaked naked through the plane in protest; in London, one journalist handed out fake 'Missing: Rihanna' flyers.
"On the final day, Rihanna (who reportedly heard about the 'Missing' flyers) acknowledged what I call 'Plane-a-Geddon' as the 777 prepared to land in NYC for one more concert.
"Coming to the back of the plane to address the group, the 'Diamonds' singer sheepishly addressed her in-flight press [corps] -- plopping down in an aisle seat right across from me.
" 'Guess what, we made it! This has been an experience [that] I will never ever forget. I barely slept. My sleeping was all done on this plane,' explained the superstar, who kicked off the tour, heading toward Mexico City, in high spirits, pouring champagne for everyone. 'I want to thank everyone for making this trip the sh--. I want to see the naked Australian! ' . . . "
"MSNBC President Phil Griffin labels his network's sensibility as progressive, but the cable news channel could also be described these days as simply pro-Obama," Michael Calderone wrote Wednesday for the Huffington Post.
"In the final week of the 2012 election, MSNBC ran no negative stories about President Barack Obama and no positive stories about Republican nominee Mitt Romney, according to a study released Monday by the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism.
". . . Griffin acknowledges that his hosts are more likely to agree with Obama on policy matters than with Republicans, but rejects comparisons to Fox News.
" 'This channel has never been the voice of Obama. Ever,' Griffin told The Huffington Post. 'People want to talk about Fox. Fox is the voice of the Republican Party.' "
"Clearly, there are differences, such as Fox News giving significant airtime to contributors like political consultant Dick Morris, who acknowledged after the election that he had tailored his analysis to cheer up Republicans, and Karl Rove, perhaps the most powerful Republican operative. And although MSNBC hosts were upset by Obama's initial debate debacle, they didn't sugarcoat the performance.
Calderone quoted several progressives who said that MSNBC hosts are too easy on Obama.
But Calderone continued, " 'We hire smart people with a progressive sensibility,' Griffin said. 'I tell them to go think for themselves. We don't have talking points.' . . . "
". . . Bryan Burwell, who has been the No. 2 columnist since arriving a decade ago, is moving to a newly-created multimedia role that will include many video appearances on the website, Dan Caesar reported Friday for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"Joe Strauss, who has been the lead Cardinals reporter since coming to the paper in 2002, moves to Burwell's No. 2 columnist slot, behind Bernie Miklasz. Derrick Goold switches from No. 2 on the Cards beat to Strauss' lead slot. And Rick Hummel, a Hall of Fame baseball writer, will increase his Cardinals coverage in addition to continuing to report on the sport from a national perspective."
Caesar quoted Sports Editor Roger Hensley: ". . . 'Essentially I was asking myself three questions: One, in an age of digital journalism, how could I put Bryan Burwell into a position where we could utilize not only his years of writing and reporting experience, but also the vast background he has in television?"
". . . A studio has been constructed in the Post-Dispatch building to provide his base," Caesar continued.
" 'Bryan will have his own video production, titled "Upon Further Review," that we'll produce and air three times a week,' Hensley said. 'Sometimes it might just be Bryan on camera giving commentary. I would expect he'll also have guests in studio from time to time. In addition, we plan for Bryan to go out and film segments on site, interview athletes, coaches, etc.'
"Burwell won't disappear from print -- he'll write one column a week for the paper and another for online publication only, and he's eager to start his new endeavor. . . ."
The Chicago dailies agreed on one thing after this week's resignation of Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill.: It's good that voters will have a wide-open primary to fill the seat, rather than be handed the choice of politicians who met in a back room.
". . . May the best candidate win -- not the one pre-ordained by Democratic power brokers," editorialized the Chicago Sun-Times.
". . . Come one, come all," said the Chicago Tribune. "The incumbent's fall doesn't change the fact that there is a big job to fill."
As the Sun-Times' Natasha Korecki reported on Wednesday, "In a two-page letter dated Nov. 21 and tendered to U.S. Speaker of the House John Boehner, Jackson acknowledged he is cooperating with a federal investigation into his 'activities' and cited a continued battle with his mental health."
The Sun-Times editorial said, ". . . We have been among the congressman's admirers. We liked how [he] went to bat for a third airport, his tenacious advocacy for people in the Southland, how he carved out a space for himself separate from his famous father.
". . . Indeed, Jackson accomplished much to be proud of. With the passage of time, he will undoubtedly and justly be remembered for it."
The Tribune was less effusive. " 'None of us is immune from our share of shortcomings or human frailties and I pray that I will be remembered for what I did right,' Jackson wrote" in his letter to House Speaker John Boehner, the Tribune reminded readers.
"The letter listed several projects, finished and otherwise, that 'have made the 2nd District of Illinois a better place.' He is due credit for all of that.
"The rest of what he'll be remembered for remains, for now, a mystery."
Mark Brown, Chicago Sun-Times: Large field to possibly seek Jackson's seat
Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Sobbing Rev. Jackson on son’s resignation: Jesse Jr. 'is not well'
Lynn Sweet, Chicago Sun-Times: Jesse Jackson Jr.'s agony: He couldn't escape father's shadow
Do American Indians celebrate Thanksgiving?
Here's one answer from Dennis W. Zotigh (Kiowa/San Juan Pueblo/Santee Dakota), a writer and cultural specialist at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. He believes the celebration perpetuates harmful images:
". . . No, I don't celebrate. But I do take advantage of the holiday and get together with family and friends to share a large meal without once thinking of the Thanksgiving in 1621. I think it is the same in many Native households. It is ironic that Thanksgiving takes place during American Indian and Alaskan Native Heritage Month. An even greater irony is that more Americans today identify the day after Thanksgiving as Black Friday than as National American Indian Heritage Day."
Rhonda LeValdo, president of the Native American Journalists Association, posted this message on Facebook:
"Blessings to all of you however you spend this day! Remember our ancestors who fought so bravely, many who lost their lives, those who survived and all of us who are still here in remembrance of those original inhabitants, thank you Creator for another day we can make a difference, thank you to all of you who make a difference for Indian Country!"
Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post News Media Services: The grinches who stole Black Friday
Simon Moya-Smith, Indian Country Today Media Network: United American Indians of New England Commemorate a National Day of Mourning on Thanksgiving
Stephanie Siek, CNN: Thanksgiving is some Native Americans' 'Day of Mourning'
". . . Beginning at midnight on Dec. 1 through 11:59 p.m. on Dec. 15, students at a high school, community college or university ages 14 and up can tweet their support for the First Amendment with the hash tag #FreeToTweet, which will enter them in the "Free to Tweet" scholarship competition," the American Society of News Editors announced on Monday. High school and college students nationwide can win one of five $5,000 scholarships.
"Lester Holt joined his son, NBC Chicago anchor Stefan Holt, at the anchor desk for the station's noon newscast today," Merrill Knox wrote Friday for TVSpy, accompanying the item with a video. " 'I invited myself to co-anchor the noon news on channel 5,' Lester admitted. 'And he invited himself to Thanksgiving dinner as well,' Stefan added."
"Bad news for Washington political watchers: KING 5 has canceled its long-running Sunday political program, 'Up Front with Robert Mak,' " Jim Brunner reported Wednesday for the Seattle Times. " . . . Mak has been offered 'a role to continue on as our chief political reporter,' KING Executive News Director Mark Ginther was quoted as saying. Times editorial writer Thanh Tan Wednesday called the decision "a punch in the gut." She noted that Mak is ". . . also a long-time Asian American Journalists Association member who has inspired minority journalists (including myself) to pursue serious, public interest news."
The Publishers Association of Liberia "threatened that it would place [a] media blackout on individuals and groups that make reckless and unsubstantiated statements intended to cause panic, public unrest and disharmony," The News in Monrovia, Liberia, reported on Thursday.
"Dylan Stableford at Yahoo! News caught up with Gustavo Almodovar, a former Central Florida news reporter whose 2008 farewell compilation video was rediscovered last week by Reddit users and launched anew," Richard Horgan reported on Tuesday for FishbowlLA. "The 46-year-old Almodovar now works in the field of medical marketing and tells Stableford he's not sure the above video is worthy of the viral madness," he wrote as he provided a link to the video.
In Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa, Reporters Without Borders said Tuesday it was "relieved to learn that the journalist Houssein Ahmed Farah was finally released on 18 November after being held without trial for more than three months."
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