Veteran journalist joins the new highbrow sports and pop culture website Grantland.
Wesley Morris, the African-American film critic for the Boston Globe who won a Pulitzer Prize last year, is leaving for Grantland, the ESPN-affiliated sports/pop culture website that specializes in longform journalism, his Globe editor told staffers Thursday night.
"I just didn't have a reason to say no any longer," Morris told Journal-isms by telephone on Friday. Morris had already been writing for Grantland, and this presented an opportunity to write about film for the site full-time, he said. Moreover, "I can do my job from anywhere. That's very appealing."
Globe Editor Martin Baron started this week as executive editor at the Washington Post and was replaced by Brian McGrory. "Things are changing," Morris said of the Globe. "This seemed like a pretty good interval to try to think of things I wanted to do."
A memo from Douglas S. Most, the Globe's deputy managing editor/features, began, "There are so many reasons why it's difficult to write the words: Wesley Morris is leaving us.
". . . For a moment, forget about the writing. The superb, brilliant writing. Wesley's presence in our world has been about so much more than just his wonderful film criticism and insightful takes on pop culture," continued the memo, published on the Jim Romenesko website.
"Wesley is a true friend to so many of us. We love him for his infectious sense of humor, his generous heart, and of course his marvelously snappy sense of fashion, as he bounds in from the Red Line wearing one of his many stylish caps. . . .
"Wesley is leaving us after 10 years to write for Grantland, where he has had a column on style in the sports world and will write on film and other cultural subjects."
Morris' move was announced on Facebook and Twitter last Friday afternoon by Bill Simmons, founder of Grantland, Stephen Silver reported that Friday for the Technology Tell website. The Grantland name honors legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice.
Morris "had written occasionally for Grantland since its launch last year, writing a column about athletes' wardrobes called The Sportstorialist. The 37-year-old Philadelphia native and Yale graduate joined the Globe in 2002," Silver reported.
"Grantland splits its coverage about evenly between sports and popular culture, but has not ever employed a full-time film critic. A rival site, the Gawker Media-owned Deadspin, runs a regular movie review column by Tim Grierson and Will Leitch."
Last year, Grantland snagged Jonathan Abrams, another well-regarded black journalist, then in the sports department of the New York Times.
Simmons launched the site in June 2011 with Malcolm Gladwell, the New Yorker magazine writer and author and one of the most commercially successful black journalists, as a consulting editor.
Morris said he planned to remain on the East Coast, but not necessarily in Boston. His departure from the Globe depletes the number of film critics of color at daily newspapers. Remaining are Lisa Kennedy of the Denver Post and Rene Rodriguez of the Miami Herald. Craig D. Lindsey was laid off at the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., two years ago but continues to write about film, as in this review of Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained."
When he won his Pulitzer last year, Morris said it was important to have "everybody in on the conversation."
"I will say this," he told Michel Martin on NPR's "Tell Me More." "You know, Margo Jefferson and Robin Givhan and I are three African American people who've won this prize and I think that we have won it for doing work that is beyond the purview of race, but is not unaware of it and is willing to take it into consideration.
"I think that what it actually says to me — it's something that I've been thinking a lot about with this Trayvon Martin situation — which is that it's really important to have everybody in on the conversation. It's really important to have everybody looking at things and perceiving things and have other people listening to what other people are seeing. . . ."
CNN, under fire for the lack of diversity among its prime-time anchors, hired a "key talent development executive to help build a diverse slate of anchors," Eric Deggans writes in his new book, "Race-Baiter: How the Media Wields Dangerous Words to Divide a Nation."
A CNN spokeswoman identified the executive as Amy Entelis, hired in January 2012 to a newly created position of senior vice president, talent and content development for CNN Worldwide.
In listing her credentials, the announcement noted, ". . . ABC News President Roone Arledge recruited Entelis for her first management role with a mandate to develop women and minorities for on-air positions."
In August, Entelis hired Ramon Escobar, a veteran of the Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo, as vice president of talent recruitment and development for CNN Worldwide.
To date, no anchors of color have surfaced during CNN's prime-time schedule.
Last month, Jeff Zucker, the former NBC executive, was named president of CNN Worldwide, and any high-profile assignments are likely awaiting development of Zucker's strategy to lift CNN from its third-place ratings among the cable news channels.
In July 2011, Kathy Y. Times, then president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said that she and Bob Butler, NABJ's vice president for broadcast, raised the prime-time issue with then-CNN President Jim Walton. Walton delegated the task to Mark Whitaker, the African American former Newsweek editor who became CNN executive vice president and managing editor. Six months later, Whitaker hired Entelis, who reports directly to him.
Whitaker told Eric Deggans, media critic for the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times, "that CNN's challenge is finding journalists who can deliver a point of view and personality on news stories without being partisan or overly political," Deggans wrote in his book.
"A lot of training that journalists of all colors get, say in local news or a certain kind of news, doesn't really translate that well anymore into being host of a primetime show. You have to have a point of view, you have to have personality, conduct a lot of interviews and be spontaneous . . . that's a very, very high bar for any anchor, no matter what their color," Whitaker was quoted as saying.
The new president of the Unity alliance disclosed Friday that he was the third vote for returning the Unity Journalists coalition to its previous name, "Unity: Journalists of Color."
In the emailed balloting last weekend, 12 Unity board members voted for "Unity: Journalists for Diversity," three for "Unity: Journalists of Color," and one board member did not vote.
Tom Arviso Jr. of the Native American Journalists Association, publisher of the Navajo Times in Window Rock, Ariz., explained his preference for "Journalists of Color" by telephone.
"I think it's really just a reflection of who we are as Unity. I still believe in why the organization was started," he told Journal-isms. "Its message was to advocate on behalf of all the minorities . . . in my heart and my mind, I still feel strongly about the name.
"There's still a lot of members of Unity who still like the name 'Unity: Journalists of Color.' "
Despite his preference, Arviso said, "I accept and will respect" the board's choice, "Unity: Journalists for Diversity."
The other two votes for "Unity: Journalists of Color" came from Janet Cho of the Asian American Journalists Association and Peter Ortiz of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
Cho, Ortiz and Arviso voted in April against changing the coalition's name from "Unity: Journalists of Color" to "Unity Journalists" to accommodate the wishes of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.
In an advisory vote that ended last month, the NAJA members' vote was "UNITY: Journalists for Diversity," 49, or 67 percent; "Unity: Journalists of Color and Diversity, 14, or 19 percent; "Unity: Journalists of Color," 10, or 13.7 percent. NAJA has 232 members, Rhonda LeValdo, president, said.
Milton Coleman, who joined the Washington Post as a Metro reporter in 1976 and mastered its newsroom politics well enough to become, as deputy managing editor, its highest ranking black journalist, is leaving the newspaper.
"The end of 2012 also brought an end to Milton Coleman's remarkable run in this newsroom," Shirley Carswell, who succeeded Coleman as deputy managing editor, wrote Post staff members on Thursday. Coleman "thought he was going to slip out quietly this week. But we couldn't let him go out like that . . ., " she continued, announcing a newsroom celebration for next Thursday.
Coleman, 66, stepped out of the day-to-day running of the newsroom in 2009 to concentrate on leading the American Society of News Editors and then the Inter-American Press Association. He continued to run the Post newsroom from time to time as part of a rotation of top managers.
Coleman is a 1974 graduate of Columbia Graduate School of Journalism's summer program for minority journalists, which evolved into the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.
He has said that his obituary is sure to include high up the furor that erupted when he reported in 1984 that Jesse Jackson, as a Democratic presidential candidate, had uttered the words "Hymie" and "Hymietown" to refer to Jews and to New York. The revelation, deep in a story written by another reporter, led to death threats and a discussion of whether Jackson's preceding the remarks by saying, "let's talk black talk" meant the comments should not have been used.
Coleman responded to the criticism in Atlanta in a speech at the 1984 convention of the National Association of Black Journalists, saying, " . . . Our job is not to censor news and distort reality for black people, but to offer all we can to broaden their horizons. The people can make up their own minds."
Coleman was city editor in 1981 when Janet Cooke, a young black reporter deceived her editors (including Bob Woodward, who was assistant managing editor/metro) with a hoax about an 8-year-old heroin addict. The story won a Pulitzer Prize, which Cooke had to return. The scandal became part of journalism history, though it was eclipsed two decades later by the Jayson Blair fabrication scandal at the New York Times.
In his report on the Cooke scandal, ombudsman Bill Green described Coleman as "a rangy, tall man," and added, "His quietness is deceptive. He pursues news as though it's his quarry, and admiring colleagues regard him as highly competitive. When he sits, he sprawls. He likes to work in a vest."
In May 2009, when Coleman stepped down as deputy managing editor to become senior editor, then-executive editor Marcus Brauchli recapped the positions he had held. "Milton was first promoted from metro reporter into management as assistant city editor and then city editor in 1980. He went back to reporting on the national staff for a stint before he was named AME/Metro in 1986. He became Deputy Managing Editor in July 1996, and in that role has been a mentor, advisor and leader to so many here, including us.
"Milton has accomplished much in his career, and he has done a huge amount for our profession beyond these walls, too," Brauchli's memo continued. "He has judged prize competitions and worked with groups promoting journalism education. He is an officer of the Inter-American Press Association, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Multicultural Media Executives and, of course, the American Society of News Editors. He has been an ardent advocate of the vitally important role of diversity in our newsroom and industry."
When the noted African American historian John Hope Franklin died in March 2009, the Post was one of the few papers to accord him front-page treatment. Coleman was running the Post newsroom that week.
Coleman learned Spanish using an immersion method, became liaison to the Post-owned Spanish-language El Tiempo Latino and eagerly tackled the job of working with Latin American journalists in IAPA.
He told that group when he took office, "As a young man, I fought for human rights in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, was arrested and spent time in jail. As a young journalist, I challenged authority in the name of the people's right to know. I was arrested and spent time in jail. As an experienced reporter, my life was threatened by those who disliked what I reported. So now, as an elder statesman in the rights struggle we all fight now, I feel very much at home. I’m no stranger to this cause."
Helen T. Gray, the Kansas City Star's longtime religion editor, retired on Friday.
"It's time," Gray told John Landsberg of Bottom Line, a Kansas City website, saying that she will not only retire from the paper but also plans to relocate to New Jersey to attend to her 91-year-old mother, Landsberg reported on Dec. 17.
"I need to do this," she said.
" 'Helen is the closest thing to a saint that any newsroom has ever had,' says former reporter/editor Jim Fitzpatrick who retired in 2006 after a 37-year career at the paper and currently operates the jimmycsays.com blog," Landsberg continued.
"In the midst of a gritty stew of anxiety, hand wringing, newsroom politics and back biting, Helen presented a picture of peace and goodwill when she would occasionally drift into the second-floor newsroom, from the arts and letters labyrinth on the third floor. Her departure will be a great loss to Kansas City. But, as usual, she’s going where she believes God wants her to be."
Gray was said to be the second black person hired in the Star's newsroom. In 2005, the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists described her as the longest-working journalist of color in the Kansas City area. The group also inducted her into its Hall of Fame. Gray was a first-place winner in religion category of the Kansas Press Association's writing competition.
As a 20-year-old senior at Syracuse University, Gray dated the late Syracuse running back Ernie Davis, the first black player to win the Heisman Trophy, as Robert W. Butler wrote for McClatchy Newspapers in 2008 and William Nack wrote for Sports Illustrated in 1989.
Edward M. Eveld, Kansas City Star: Retiring religion editor Helen T. Gray looks back on her years at The Star (Jan. 5)
"Houston police have arrested a man charged with stalking KPRC-TV anchor and traffic reporter Jennifer Reyna, authorities said," Mike Glenn reported Wednesday for the Houston Chronicle.
"An HPD spokesman said police investigators captured Christopher Olson, 38, about 10 a.m. Wednesday at his apartment in Webster. . . .
"Olson was at the Harris County Jail later Wednesday with bail set at $80,000.
"Police said Olson had been trailing after the popular local news figure since mid-September. . . . Olson's apparent infatuation with Reyna has been ongoing for several years. In addition to the latest rash of stalking incidents, HPD investigators said he ignored a May 2007 court order for him to have no contact with her.
"Olson also drove his car through the front door at the news station on two separate occasions in May 2007, causing several thousands dollars in damages. . . ."
A 2009 story identifies Reyna as "a proud member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists."
"When four journalists linked to a British media institution were bundled-up and jailed on frivolous espionage charges by Liberia's dictator Charles Taylor, the world barked," the New Democrat of Monrovia, Liberia, wrote Monday in an editorial headlined, "Woes Of The African Journalist."
"Nelson Mandela sent pleading messages to the 'strongman', a man he had once lavishly entertained as a visiting, fellow African president. The Rev. Jesse Jackson, always keen on not missing an opportunity to champion good causes for media and public attention, stormed the CNN pleading the men's case. International media institutions threw their influence behind the men. The arrests became a global media sensation which human rights organizations were just too happy to exploit for the needed headlines.
"Now that four poor Liberian journalists working for an obscure media outlet have been grabbed on an identical charge and dumped into a madman's dungeon, their plight remains the reserve of their families and a few media organizations with human rights agendas. The jailed men are Africans. Their agony makes no news on a continent buried in ghastlier horrors.
"Caught firmly in the clutches of intolerance and senile tyranny, the African journalist continues to pay the thankless price for independent thinking. From Sierra Leone to Algeria (where at least 69 journalists have been killed since 1993), Angola, Burkina Faso, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Cameroon, etc., the story of the African journalist is the basically same: summary executions, arbitrary arrests, closure of media outlets, economic deprivation, and exile. Africa has registered one of the highest numbers of killed journalists in recent times. . . . "
Committee to Protect Journalists: Nigerian journalists freed, but equipment still held
Patrick Foster, USA Today: Kristof to take student on reporting trip to Africa
Reporters Without Borders: Journalist convicted — it's time to decriminalize press offences (Dec. 28)
The brutal gang rape of a 23-year-old physiotherapist on a bus in Delhi, India, has outraged a nation, prompted worldwide looks at crimes against women, and led to Sunday's front page, at right, in India's Hindustan Times.
"It is that time of year again for lists and the first one to catch my attention, in a negative light, was the Sports Business Journal's list of The Most Influential People in Sports Business," Kenneth L. Shropshire wrote Monday for the Huffington Post. "To be clear, the authors did not do anything wrong. What that list reaffirms is that although Blacks dominate on the field of play in most sports we are woefully absent from the highest levels of sport on the business side. What is particularly striking about this most influential list is that of the fifty individuals there is only one Black person, DeMaurice Smith, way down at slot number 42. . . ." Smith is executive director of the National Football League Players Association.
"The Online News Association today announced the appointment of Benét Wilson, eNewsletters/Social Media Editor, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, to its 2013 Board of Directors," the ONA announced on Friday. Jim Brady, ONA president, told Journal-isms by email, "ONA has held back one board seat to address diversity for the past few years now. Rob King from ESPN.com served last year, but he had to step down because of time constraints, so the seat was open again this year, and the board voted to appoint Benet, who has been an avid ONA supporter and volunteer for years. We also had three women leave the board this year, and only one was elected, so Benet's appointment also helped address that deficiency."
". . . For blacks, our fortunes have exactly reversed," Los Angeles writer Erin Aubry Kaplan, a former Los Angeles Times columnist, wrote Thursday for Southern California's KCET public television, discussing the Times. "In 1992 the Times showed a flurry of interest in what was happening in black neighborhoods besides mayhem; that interest faded like a trend, pushed aside by economic realities and a burgeoning Latino population that was remaking South Central demographically and politically. The black story became one of simply holding on, not exactly a sexy topic or arresting visual that would appeal to editors. . . . " Times spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan told Journal-isms, "We don't have comment on Erin Aubry Kaplan's personal reminiscence."
"Eric Ludgood is out as news director for WGCL, the Meredith owned CBS affiliate for Atlanta," Kevin Eck reported Thursday for TVSpy. "Ludgood had been assistant news director at WGCL before leaving for three months in 2010 to work as news director for WNCN in Raleigh, NC. He returned to WGCL as news director in February 2011 replacing Steve Schwaid."
"Fox News Channel's Hispanic-targeting website Fox News Latino is adding Hernán Rozemberg as its senior editor," Alex Weprin reported Friday for TVNewser. "Rozemberg had been a senior correspondent for National Public Radio, on its 'Fronteras: The Changing America Desk.' That desk focused on issues like border control and immigration. . . ."
"According to journalist and educator Miguel Perez, 2013 is a very important year for the United States — it's the 500th anniversary of the nation's discovery," the Latina Lista blog reported on Friday. ". . . Ponce de León was looking for that elusive 'Fountain of Youth' when he ran into some land and christened it Florida in April 1513. Yet, instead of crediting Ponce de León with discovering the United States, historians only gave him credit for discovering the state of Florida. . . ."
"After last year's hugely successful SAJA Editors Challenge (11 top editors across the country challenged all of us to help raise $20,000 for SAJA scholarships), we are now launching the SAJA Broadcast Challenge," the South Asian Journalists Association announced on its website. "Some fabulous current and former broadcast folks have come together to create a challenge grant for SAJA members and friends. Their special pool of money will match, dollar-for-dollar, all donations made, up to a total of $7,500. We have till Feb 1, 2013 to complete this challenge! Ali Velshi, chief business anchor, CNN, helped launch this at SAJA Gala Dinner in DC this year. . . . "
"Houston film reviewer Jake Hamilton, who has a segment called 'Jake's Takes' on Fox 26 Morning News Extra, has received a positive reaction from viewers after he refused to say the 'n-word' on the air, at the provocation of Samuel L. Jackson," Dana Guthrie reported Thursday for the Houston Chronicle.
". . . In the 'media' industry — a category that includes television, movies, print journalism and music, there were 5,641 layoffs in 2012 compared with 7,720 the year before, amounting to 27 percent fewer announced layoffs year over year," according to the firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Paul Bond reported Thursday in the Hollywood Reporter.
"When I looked at the state of reporting on mental-health issues after the Newtown, Conn., shootings, I saw a forbidding landscape," Andrew Beaujon wrote Thursday for the Poynter Institute. "John Head sees improvement. When he started reporting on mental health for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution at the turn of the century, a diagnosis or even a suggestion that a violent person was mentally ill 'was end of story,' he said in a telephone interview. 'That explained it. . . . ' "
"As the editor of the fledgling literary journal, The American Reader, Uzoamaka Maduka, a 25-year-old Princeton graduate, is proof that even in this iPhone age, some paper-based dreams have not died," Amy O'Leary wrote Wednesday in the New York Times. "Bright young things, it seems, are still coming to New York, smoking too much and starting perfect-bound literary journals. . . ."
"The Committee to Protect Journalists is alarmed by a series of investigations into independent Egyptian newspapers on accusations of insulting the president or reporting false news," the press freedom organization said on Thursday. "Some newspapers and media professionals face formal charges in connection to their critical reporting, according to news reports. . . ."
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.
For each one of the film's virtues, prominent African Americans have found a vice.
"Quentin Tarantino's 'Django Unchained' has become embroiled in the second major controversy of awards season," Steve Pond wrote Wednesday for the Wrap. "The director's liberal use of the N-word, and his temerity in tackling the issue of slavery, has drawn fire from some prominent African-Americans and impassioned defenses from others.
"Like the turmoil stirred up by the depiction of CIA-sponsored torture in Kathryn Bigelow's 'Zero Dark Thirty,' the 'Django' fuss has been caused by a filmmaker tackling a hot-button issue.
"Ishmael Reed wrote at Speakeasy . . . that the movie 'was the talk among blacks during two Christmas parties that I attended,' comparing African-Americans who said they wanted to see 'Django' to 'When Time Ran Out: Coming of Age in the Third Reich' author Frederic Zeller, who said that as a child he applauded the Aryan characters in pre-World War II German cinema.
" 'Django,' he wrote, is an 'abomination' that distorts history: 'It's a Tarantino home movie with all of the racist licks that appear in his other movies.'
"On The Root, . . . writer Hillary Crosley said she was one of only about 10 African Americans who attended a screening of the film that was followed by a Q&A with Tarantino moderated by director Peter Bogdanovich.
" '[A] black woman interrupted their conversation, saying, "A lot of black people are not going to like this movie. I'm about to have a heart attack,'" wrote Crosley, who defended the film. 'Then a few audience members began to heckle Tarantino from the balcony, shouting: "This is bulls---." ' Tarantino, she said, offered to speak to the hecklers later.
"The movie has become both a flash point and a free-for-all, and the issue is particularly sensitive among African-American viewers -- not a large audience for the film, but a key one for principals like Jamie Foxx, who plays the title role.
" 'If this movie does what it does and black people hate it, that doesn't do nothing for me,' Foxx said on BET. 'Because I feel like the reason I exist is the black audience.' "
Released on Christmas, "Django Unchained" ranked second in weekend box office receipts, behind "The Hobbit."
Black writers were of several minds. Every point raised in a given discussion -- that "it's only a movie," that it's really a love story, that it's like a cartoon, that the use of the 'n' word is historically accurate -- could find someone taking an opposing position.
On Facebook Wednesday, Darren Sands, 29, a digital producer/reporter at Black Enterprise, garnered amens when he wrote, "Django commentary by most of the black intelligentsia cannot, for all of its brains and gifts of critical analysis, fathom a fantastical film with an artistic license ... so the analysis comes off as drivel; baseless assumptions about what is lost on our conscience and about what is acceptable and accurate about a bygone era that we must hold dear lest we embarrass our ancestors. Please. At worst, it's grandstanding for attention. At best, it's not knowing how to have a good time at the movies."
By contrast, in a piece posted Wednesday by the New Yorker, Jelani Cobb, 43, recalled teaching a course on American history at Moscow State University and being confronted by Russian students questioning Tarantino's portrayal of World War II in "Inglourious Basterds."
In that film, ". . . The movie's lines between fantasy and the actual myopic perspectives on history were so hazy that the audience wasn't asked to suspend disbelief, they were asked to suspend conscience," wrote Cobb, an associate professor of history and director of the Institute of African American Studies at the University of Connecticut. "With 'Django Unchained,' Tarantino's tale of vengeful ex-slave, what happened in Russia is happening here.
". . .The film's defenders are quick to point out that 'Django' is not about history. But that's almost like arguing that fiction is not reality -- it isn't, but the entire appeal of the former is its capacity to shed light on how we understand the latter.
". . . It seems almost pedantic to point out that slavery was nothing like this. The slaveholding class existed in a state of constant paranoia about slave rebellions, escapes, and a litany of more subtle attempts to undermine the institution. Nearly two hundred thousand black men, most of them former slaves, enlisted in the Union Army in order to accomplish en masse precisely what Django attempts to do alone: risk death in order to free those whom they loved. Tarantino's attempt to craft a hero who stands apart from the other men -- black and white -- of his time is not a riff on history, it's a riff on the mythology we've mistaken for history. . . . "
Saladin Ambar, HuffPost BlackVoices: Django's Djumbles
Rodney Barnes, HuffPost BlackVoices: Lincoln, Meet Django: Slavery's Latest Films Are Controversial, But Not Why You Think
Cecil Brown, CounterPunch: Hollywood's Nigger Joke
Anthea Butler, the Grio: Does 'Django Unchained' get the history of slavery right?
Christopher Alan Chambers website: The Posthumous Journal of Dangerfield Newby ("The Real Django")
Javier David, the Grio: Does 'Django Unchained' make slavery safe for the masses?
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune: 'Django' expresses an anger not every filmmaker can show
Editorial, Washington Informer: Foxx's Django Deserves High Honors
Henry Louis Gates Jr., the Root: Tarantino 'Unchained,' Part 1: 'Django' Trilogy?
Keli Goff, Huffington Post: The Racial Slurs in 'Django' Aren't Racist But the Racial Violence May Be
Terry Gross, "Fresh Air," NPR: Quentin Tarantino, 'Unchained' And Unruly
Erin Aubry Kaplan, Los Angeles Times: 'Django' an unsettling experience for many blacks
Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Tarantino blows up the spaghetti western in 'Django Unchained'
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: 'Django' tells tale missing real slave history
Ishmael Reed, Wall Street Journal: Black Audiences, White Stars and 'Django Unchained'
Sergio, Shadow and Act: Boston Globe Film Critic Likens Samuel L. Jackson's 'Django' Character To Black Republicans
Tanya Steele, Shadow and Act: Tarantino's Candy (Slavery In The White Male Imagination)
Jeff Winbush blog: "Django" is Tarantino Unchained
Jordan Zakarin, Hollywood Reporter: Samuel L. Jackson Insists Reporter Say N-Word in 'Django Unchained' Interview (Video)
"Current TV, the small cable news channel that was co-founded by former vice president Al Gore, has been sold to Al Jazeera, the Qatar-based media company," Joe Flint reported Wednesday for the Los Angeles Times.
"The acquisition gives Al Jazeera, which is funded by the Qatar government, the opportunity to establish a footprint in the United States, where it already has an English-language version of its Qatar service -- called Al Jazeera English -- but only limited reach.
"Just buying Current does not guarantee instant distribution, however. Time Warner Cable, which offered Current in roughly 10 million of its homes, is dropping the channel. Without Time Warner Cable, which is the largest distributor in New York City and Los Angeles, Current TV is in only about 50 million homes."
The front page of Saturday's Washington Post carried a subtle reminder that the inventors of the English language -- and most of today's arbiters -- have a certain skin tone as a frame of reference.
"Street racers put their terror on tape," it said, followed by "White-knuckle stunts by D.C. area group 'a tragedy waiting to happen.' "
What does the term "white knuckle" mean? Yahoo's Answers site's "best answer": "The act of clenching your hand shuts off the blood flow to your knuckles, so they turn white. You clench your hand on a steering wheel or roller coaster bar when you are scared. So, white knuckles = scared."
But what if your skin isn't the shade that turns white? It could put you in the same category as those who are "tickled pink," but not really, become "red-faced" or once were given "flesh"-colored Band-Aids that didn't match their particular flesh.
Last year during Black History Month, Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer of the Chicago Tribune compiled "10 things you might not know about skin color."
"Crayola once had a color called 'flesh,' which was the color of Caucasian flesh," they noted as their second point. "After complaints from civil rights activists, 'flesh' became 'peach' in 1962. A similar controversy involved 'Indian red.' Crayola said the color was based on a pigment found near India, but some thought it was a slur against native Americans, so the company solicited consumer suggestions for a new name. Among the ideas: 'baseball-mitt brown' and 'crab claw red.' But 'chestnut' was chosen in 1999."
Journal-isms asked Liz Spayd, a managing editor at the Post, about the "white knuckle" headline. She replied by email, "...i think of 'white knuckled' as a common term for something that pumps up anxiety and fear. i've never heard the concern you raise about it."
Crayola didn't give up on crayons that mimicked skin tones; it adapted to a multicultural world. Its website now says, "Crayola Large Multicultural Crayons come in an assortment of skin hues that give a child a realistic palette for coloring their world. These thick crayons are easy to grip -- perfect for little hands. The crayon colors are: black, sepia, peach, apricot, white, tan, mahogany and burnt sienna. Each crayon is 4" long and 7/16" in diameter."
"Over the final weekend of 2012, UNITY Journalist's board of directors voted to change the organization's name to UNITY: Journalists for Diversity," outgoing Unity President Joanna Hernandez reported Monday on Unity's Facebook page.
George Kiriyama, departing Unity representative of the Asian American Journalists Association, and Michael Triplett, president of the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, reported the emailed vote as 12 for "Unity: Journalists for Diversity," three for "Unity: Journalists of Color" and one not voting.
Hugo Balta, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, wrote, "Mekahlo Medina, Yvonne Latty and I voted as the majority of our members did: Unity: Journalists for Diversity. Peter Ortiz voted for Unity Journalists of Color."
Separately, Janet Cho of AAJA told Journal-isms she voted for "Unity: Journalists of Color" and Michaela Saunders of the Native American Journalists Association said she chose "Unity: Journalists for Diversity." Cho had previously voted against the change from "Unity: Journalists of Color" and Saunders had abstained.
There were a actually two votes, Hernandez explained to Journal-isms by email.
"An extra step was added to the process because the board wanted to ratify the name-change vote via a motion.
"The original step was that the board of directors would vote on the name via ballot, which they did, and that is where 12 voted for the name UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, 3 voted for UNITY: Journalists of Color, and 1 board member did not vote.
"So after the board received the results of their name-change vote, Sharon Chan, UNITY VP at the time, put forth a motion (seconded by then-Secretary Patty Loew): I hereby respectfully move that: UNITY Journalists change its name to UNITY: Journalists for Diversity.
"The tally for the motion was 9 yes, 1 no, and 6 board members did not vote.
"UNITY will not be releasing how individual board members voted."
The name of the coalition became an issue after the National Association of Black Journalists left the alliance in 2011 over financial and governance issues, and Unity invited NLGJA to join.
In December, members of NAHJ, AAJA, NAJA and NLGJA -- the four journalism associations in the reconstituted Unity coalition -- each voted to replace "Unity: Journalists of Color" with "UNITY: Journalists for Diversity." The final decision was then made by the Unity board of directors.
Tom Arviso of NAJA succeeded Hernandez this week as Unity president.
"NPR News is announcing new appointments for three of its newsmagazine hosts: Michele Norris returns from a leave of absence to take on an expanded new role as a host and special correspondent; Audie Cornish will stay on as co-host of All Things Considered; and Rachel Martin anchors the week as host of Weekend Edition Sunday," the network announced on Thursday.
"Norris returns to the air fulltime in February; Cornish and Martin have been serving as interim hosts of their respective programs."
"Taken together, these three represent the journalistic depth and power of NPR News,' Margaret Low Smith, senior vice president of NPR News, said in a release. "We're incredibly lucky to have such gifted journalists. Each of them has extraordinary range and the ability to connect with audiences in meaningful ways. I'm looking forward to this next chapter for all three."
The announcement continued, "As host and special correspondent, Norris will produce in-depth profiles, interviews and series, and regularly guest host NPR News programs. One of her focuses will be 'The Race Card Project,' an initiative to foster a wider conversation about race in America that Norris began after her 2010 family memoir The Grace of Silence. . . ."
Cornish replaced Norris as co-host of "All Things Considered" in November 2011 while Norris took a one-year leave from her hosting role. Norris' husband, Broderick Johnson, had accepted a senior adviser position with President Obama's reelection campaign. The move kept an African American woman in the co-host slot. Cornish had begun hosting NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday" just two months earlier. [Added Jan. 3]
Emmitt Vascocu, the viewer whose questioning of meteorologist Rhonda Lee's short Afro hairstyle helped set in motion events that led to Lee's firing, wrote on his Facebook page in October that he was brain damaged.
"To all in ciber land (cq)," Vascocu wrote in an Oct. 29 posting.
"I have Dementia an also brain damage to my temprealobe. so in saying this if i say something that hurts someone bare in mind that i have this problem.For this is not a good thing ive lost alot of good memoreys.it effects my spelling it effects my mood and many othier things.
"So there it is i ecept that i a a major problem an my othier conditions. But im Blessed By Jesus Christ to still be here to see all of my children to become groun an to see my 9 grandchildren grow."
On Oct. 1, Vascocu wrote on the Facebook page of KTBS-TV in Shreveport, La., that "the black lady that does the news is a very nice lady.the only thing is she needs to wear a wig or grow some more hair. im not sure if she is a cancer patient. but still its not something myself that i think looks good on tv. what about letting someone a male have waist long hair do the news.what about that (cq)."
Lee responded on the same page the same day, in part, ". . . "I am very proud of my African-American ancestry which includes my hair. . . ."
She was fired on Nov. 28, the station said, for responding to viewers in violation of the station's social media policies. The case created an uproar, with most siding with Lee.
In a Christmas posting, Jack Hambrick, identified as former television reporter with KPRC-TV in Houston, WFTV-TV in Orlando, WFOR-TV in Miami and WSFL-TV in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., charged that "Lee launched her media crusade by humiliating and assaulting the character of Emmitt Vascocu, a 57-year-old white KTBS viewer, whom she knew full well was mentally ill.
"Lee had known it for two months before she was fired. . . . "
" 'Hi Emmitt. Thank you for the heartfelt response. I’m very sorry to hear about your Alzheimer disease,' Lee wrote to Vascocu on October 7 in a private message on Facebook.
"But evidently, Lee's sympathy evaporated after she was fired by KTBS on November 28. She brought out the long knives for Emmitt Vascocu," Hambrick wrote on the Digital Texan, a website of which he is publisher and editor.
Asked her response, Lee messaged Journal-isms, "I have seen the article and this 'investigative piece' really doesn't warrant a comment."
However, Lee, who is 37, later responded to Hambrick's statement that she had exaggerated the amount of time she had been in the business. "I never said I was forecasting at a TV station since I was 12. I'm not sure where he got that information. I have always maintained that I been in the business since I was a teenager -- which was 25 years ago," she said.
Pumza Fihlani, BBC News: Africa: Where black is not really beautiful
Ava Thompson Greenwell, Huffington Post: Power to the People: Hair Texture and Gender Matter to TV News Audiences
When the Emancipation Proclamation went on display at the National Archives in Washington for three days ending New Year's Day, and 150th anniversary commemorations were similarly held around the country, A'Lelia Bundles, former journalist, was out front.
Bundles, a former director of talent development for ABC News and producer for ABC and NBC News, became chairman and president of the board of the Foundation for the National Archives a year ago. She is also the biographer of entrepreneur Madam C.J. Walker, Bundles' great-great-grandmother.
"The things that we learned in elementary school and high school about the Emancipation, was not quite the whole truth," Bundles said Tuesday on NPR's "Talk of the Nation." "In fact, only the slaves who were in states that were in rebellion, where Lincoln actually really had no jurisdiction, were technically freed. But it did open the door and create a wedge for freedom to finally come with the 13th Amendment."
J. Freedom duLac reported in the Washington Post, "On Sunday, as the Emancipation Proclamation went on display, several hundred people were lined up outside the Archives, trying to avoid becoming human statuary in the raw winter wind."
Bundles explained to Journal-isms by email, "I joined the Foundation for the National Archives board in 2006, having been invited at the recommendation of Cokie Roberts, my former ABC News colleague, who was familiar with my writing and research on Madam C. J. Walker. Through the years I'd done research at the National Archives (officially known as NARA for The National Archives and Records Administration), so generally was familiar with the institution, but not with the Foundation.
"NARA is the repository for the records of all federal agencies (from military records and census records to Congressional documents and treaties) and the White House. In addition to the main building in DC and another large building in College Park [Md.], it oversees more than 40 regional facilities and the presidential libraries.
"As a federal agency, its budget is determined by Congress and it can not raise private funds. As a result, the Foundation was created as a private sector partner to raise funds for exhibitions, online educational materials, publications, programs and other initiatives to assist the National Archives in increasing civic literacy and making the records of the agency more accessible to the public."
"I became chairman and president of the board of the Foundation for the National Archives in January 2012 and will serve a three year term."
Martha M. Boltz, Washington Times: The Civil War: The Emancipation Proclamation and Lincoln, a great emancipator or great colonizer?
A'Lelia Bundles, The Root: Slave's Letter Reveals Pace of Freedom
Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic: The Wholly Misunderstood Emancipation Proclamation
Jenée Desmond-Harris, The Root: Emancipation Proclamation: Up Close
Eric Foner, New York Times: The Emancipation of Abe Lincoln
Keli Goff, Nieman Journalism Lab: A new window on race (Dec. 21)
Annette John-Hall, Philadelphia Inquirer: An underground story no more
Allison Keyes, "Weekend Edition Saturday," NPR: 'Watch Nights,' A New Year's Celebration Of Emancipation
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Slavery is key part of riveting U.S. history
Leonard Pitts, Miami Herald: Race is the stupidest idea in history
Frank Reeves, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Few were confident of Lincoln signing 'edict of freedom' for slaves
David M. Shribman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: On America's most important New Year's Eve, Lincoln found our better angels
Alicia W. Stewart, CNN: Years later, myths persist about the Emancipation Proclamation
WTTW-TV, Chicago: Early Chicago: Slavery in Illinois
John Yoo, Fox News: The Emancipation Proclamation's unforgettable lesson about presidential power
"The New York State Rifle & Pistol Association is calling for a nationwide boycott of the advertisers of the suburban New York newspaper that published online maps revealing names and addresses of people with pistol permits," Mackenzie Weinger reported Monday for Politico.
"The association on Monday announced it was urging people to stop patronizing any business who advertises with Gannett -- the White Plains-based Journal News' parent company -- until the map is removed. On Dec. 22, the Journal News published interactive maps showing the pistol permit holders in the state's Westchester and Rockland counties. The decision sparked an uproar among conservatives and gun rights advocates, but the paper says it will continue adding names to the map."
Separately, the Journal News hired armed security guards to man the newspaper's Rockland County headquarters in West Nyack, Dylan Skriloff reported Tuesday for the Rockland County Times.
In addition, state Sen. Greg Ball and two Putnam County officials said that they would refuse to release the names and addresses of residents with pistol permits, data requested by The Journal News, which sought the records under the state Freedom of Information Law. John W. Barry of the Poughkeepsie (N.Y.) Journal quoted Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, saying the law is clear. "The name and address of any gun licensee are public," he said.
Charles D. Ellison: Politics, race cloud gun control debate
Gregory Ferenstein, TechCrunch: Journalists' Addresses Posted In Revenge For Newspaper's Google Map Of Gun Permit Owners (Dec. 26)
Jeremy Gorner and Robert McCoppin, Chicago Tribune: Police: Chicago ends 2012 with 506 homicides
Chip Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle: Oakland: Happy new year means less crime
Jerry Large, Seattle Times: To vanquish the bad, first study the good
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: NRA vs. common sense
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Stop the gun madness
Bob Ray Sanders, Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas: My diet informs my social commentary
When North Carolina Gov. Beverly Perdue Monday pardoned the group known as the Wilmington 10, accused of firebombing of a white-owned grocery store in a black neighborhood in 1971, Cash Michaels celebrated. He was more than simply a journalist covering the case.
"I was coordinator of The Wilmington Ten Pardons of Innocence Project, which was a special justice outreach effort of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) and the Wilmington Journal newspaper, for which I am a staff writer," Michael messaged Journal-isms on Wednesday. "This was an historic accomplishment for the civil rights movement (I'm told), and huge victory for the Black Press!"
Michaels also thanked his supporters on Facebook. "Yesterday was overwhelming, especially, after waiting all morning, to finally get a call from the Governor herself, telling me what she was going to do, but I had to keep it to myself for 15 minutes," he wrote. "Needless to say, I naturally told my wife and Kala, and they made sure I didn't tell anybody else until the Governor's Office made it public.
"These last seven months since we filed the pardon petition papers have taught me a few things for sure -- FIRST, that whatever you do that's worthwhile, you must do it by GOD. I've seen things happen during our campaign that could only be His work, things that that didn't happen when we wanted, but certainly when we needed them, the NY Times editorial for one. -- SECOND, the incredible teamwork and partnerships we created, especially with the NCNAACP, the NAACP, Change.org and others.
"My job was to know what to do, and when to do it. But I had incredible wisdom and talent from the great people working with us, and I'm eternally grateful to them. Teamwork is a jewel, in my book. And FINALLY, the scariest part of this whole experience was knowing that six human beings, and the families of four who had deceased, trusted us, and were counting on our efforts, to bring justice and truth to the fore. It was hard work just to earn that trust. Once earned, it was even harder to build on, because the way forward was not easy. GOD allowed us to stay focused on what this cause was all about from the very beginning, and because of that, and His blessed guidance, we were able to make HISTORY!
"So thank you, everyone. We have a few loose ends to tie up, but now I can go back to being only a journalist and troublemaker. I'll never, ever forget this experience, and the many lives we touched with it.
"And I'll never forget a courageous Governor, whose heart has always proven to be pure when it comes to issues of justice."
Editorial, New York Times: When Justice Grinds Slow
"Former CNN anchor T.J. Holmes, who left the network a year ago to join BET was back on cable news today, on MSNBC," Chris Ariens reported Saturday for TVNewser. "MSNBC tells us Holmes is doing some holiday fill-in work for them, today sitting in for Alex Witt." Holmes tweeted on Saturday, "To clear this up: last 'Don't Sleep' episode of 2012 was last wk. Look forward to it in 2013. But, u can see me other places, like #MSNBC." He returned to MSNBC on Sunday.
"When I moved to Tegucigalpa last March several friends back home in Spain wanted to know why," Alberto Arce reported from Honduras Sunday for the Associated Press. "The big story was in Egypt, Libya and Syria; what was I planning to do on the other side of the globe? 'Bear witness,' I said, 'to the most violent place in the world, to a country in crisis.' I am the only foreign correspondent here, with no press pack to consult on questions of security, or to rely on for safety in numbers. I fall back on instincts honed in war zones, but they are not always sufficient when you are covering a failing state."
NBC News Wednesday denied a widely distributed story by RadarOnline.com that said, "Former TODAY co-anchor Ann Curry has formally asked her NBC bosses to let her out of her contract with the Peacock network so she can formally accept a position at CNN, where her old boss, Jeff Zucker, will officially take over the fledgling news channel in February." NBC spokeswoman Megan Kopf told Journal-isms, "There is no truth to this story."
Jet magazine, whose cover more often than not seems to feature an entertainer or similar celebrity, devotes its first cover story of 2013 to 17-year-old Jordan Davis, the latest victim of Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law. " 'Standing Our Ground' written by acclaimed journalist Denene Millner . . . exposes yet another murder of a young Black male just months after Trayvon Martin was also killed in Florida," Tonya Pendleton wrote for BlackAmericaWeb.
"The Senate Tuesday approved the renomination of FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn, this time for a full five-year term retroactive to July 1, 2012, when her current term expired," John Eggerton reported Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable.
"While the U.S. Congress has been kicking the can down the road and inching closer to the fiscal cliff, the word gurus at Lake Superior State University have doubled-down on their passion for the language and have released their 38th annual List of Words to be Banished from the Queen's English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness," Detroit's WDIV-TV reported on Monday. [Italics added.]
"Reporters Without Borders is shocked to learn that the Gaza Strip's Hamas-led government has banned Palestinian media and journalists from cooperating with the Israeli media because of the latter's 'hostility,' " the press freedom group said on Wednesday. " 'Offenders will be prosecuted,' the Hamas government said in a 25 December press release announcing the prohibition."
"Myanmar said Friday it will allow private daily newspapers starting in April for the first time since 1964, in the latest step toward allowing freedom of expression in the long-repressed nation," Aye Aye Win reported for the Associated Press.
"MundoFox, the new U.S. Spanish-language broadcast network launched in August by Fox International Channels and the RCN Television Group (RCN) of Colombia are have signed WGEN Miami," TVNewsCheck reported on Monday. "WGEN takes over the Miami MundoFox affiliation from the previously announced low-power WJAN-CD."
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.
A look back at the memorable moments of the last 12 months.
Diversity's Greatest Hits, 2012
A year in the quest for news media that look like America.
When the presidential campaign of 2012 finally ended with the reelection of President Obama, among the Election Day surprises was the demographic composition of the losing Republican base.
". . . When it comes to audience, the American newspaper industry looks a lot like the Republican Party," Ken Doctor wrote two days later for the Nieman Journalism Lab. "Consequently, its business reversals parallel the deepening Republican national electoral woes. The newspaper audience looks remarkably like the arithmetic that put Mitt Romney on the losing end Tuesday and is forcing Republicans to self-assess how to move forward. . . . The daily industry is doing okay with older, white people — mildly overperforming in print, digital, and combined.
"Among all other ethnic groups except Asian-Americans — off the charts with high overperformance for online news usage — newspapers are underperforming. They, like Mitt Romney, aren't getting their share of the fastest growing population slices in the U.S. . . ."
Perhaps not coincidentally, the news media underestimated Obama's ability to turn out the very groups underrepresented in the news media.
In October, the 4th Estate, a nonpartisan project to aggregate data around the 2012 elections, showed that more than 93 percent of front page articles on the presidential election were written by white reporters.
During the presidential debates, white journalists asked the questions. When the journalist of color organizations protested, the commission agreed to forward their questions to the debate moderators, but none were asked.
Univision's televised forums with Obama and Romney in September provided the only comparable forum for journalists of color to grill the candidates. Under questioning from moderators Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos, Obama acknowledged " . . . my biggest failure so far is we haven't comprehensive immigration reform done . . ."
Mainstream news organizations undertook enterprise reporting on one of the biggest issues for people of color: the attempt to restrict their votes through voter ID laws. In July, the Associated Press found that under such laws valid votes had been tossed, and in August, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University found that the rationale for such laws — election fraud — was infinitesimal. Still, thoughtful assessments of the record of the nation's first black president — and the role that race might have played during his presidency — were far outweighed by coverage of the horse race.
Racism hit home for one member of the media. Patricia Carroll, an African American CNN camerawoman, was assaulted with peanuts and called an animal by two attendees at the Republican National Convention. The perpetrators were never identified.
CNN correspondent Soledad O'Brien won plaudits for holding interviewees' feet to the fire as they tried to spin the facts.
News organizations rushed to embrace social media as a way to publicize their brands, but were not always prepared for the controversy that might result. For journalists of color, many of the controversies had racial overtones.
In February, CNN suspended commentator Roland Martin indefinitely over tweets that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation denounced as anti-gay. Martin denied that the tweets were homophobic but acknowledged that they were intended to be "over the top." Some Martin supporters framed the issue as white gays vs. a black journalist. Martin's suspension was lifted after a month.
FoxSports.com columnist Jason Whitlock apologized in February for what the Asian American Journalists Association called an "unnecessary and demeaning tweet" about NBA phenomenon Jeremy Lin's private parts.
Joseph Williams, who joined Politico in 2010 as deputy White House editor after five years as deputy bureau chief of the Boston Globe's Washington bureau, left Politico in June. On MSNBC, Williams had suggested that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was comfortable only around white people. The conservative website Breitbart.com ran the video and flagged a series of tweets from Williams that made fun of Romney. "After rummaging through some 3,000 tweets, they cherry-picked ones designed to prove their flimsy case: that I was biased against Romney, a racist against whites and a representative of my employer's slant against conservatives," Williams wrote.
Sunni Khalid, managing news editor at the Baltimore NPR affiliate WYPR-FM, was reportedly suspended for posting a comment on Facebook about U.S. policy toward Israel. A reader characterized it as inflammatory. In March, Khalid was fired.
In December, the story of Rhonda Lee, a black female meteorologist, went viral after she was fired from the ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La., because she responded on the station's Facebook page to a viewer who questioned her short Afro hairstyle. The station said the response violated its social media policies.
At its annual convention in August, Michele Salcedo, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, asked a student journalist to stop live tweeting the board's deliberations. Nadia Khan, who was reporting for the student convention news project, was told that she could stay but not live tweet. She left. On their first day on the job, the NAHJ's new leaders voted 6-5 to reverse the no-tweeting policy.
ESPN, too, reversed course. In March, citing the network's social media policies, ESPN warned staffers who tweet not to post photos of themselves wearing hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old black Florida youth slain in a confrontation with a neighborhood watch volunteer. After two days, ESPN " . . . decided to allow this particular expression of human sympathy," but its decision was not universally praised. The Poynter Institute's Kelly McBride wrote that ESPN was right the first time.
The Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black Florida teenager, galvanized African Americans and ultimately the nation as it slowly reached public consciousness via the efforts of black journalists and black talk radio.
First came the debate over racial profiling, then the polarization. In April, media writer David Carr wrote in the New York Times, "All over the Internet and on cable TV, posses are forming, positions are hardening and misinformation is flourishing. Instead of debating how we as a culture are going to proceed, an increasingly partisan system of news and social media has factionalized and curdled."
The controversy over Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which essentially allows a person who feels threatened to shoot, prompted investigative reporting. In June, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times found that people who killed a black person walked free 73 percent of the time, while those who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time. In addition, the law "is being used in ways never imagined — to free gang members involved in shootouts, drug dealers beefing with clients and people who shot their victims in the back," the newspaper reported.
In December, George Zimmerman, who said he shot Martin in self-defense, sued NBC for airing a 911 call he claims was edited to portray him as a racist and predatory villain.
"Besides NBCUniversal Media, defendants in the suit include Lilia Rodriguez Luciano, an NBC correspondent based in Miami, and Jeff Burnside, a Miami-based reporter, both of whom were reportedly fired over their Zimmerman coverage. It also names Ron Allen, an NBC correspondent . . . , " Tim Molloy reported for the Wrap.
The Unity alliance held its first convention without the National Association of Black Journalists in Las Vegas in August, the smallest Unity conference since its first in 1994. The coalition also fell $200,000 short of its sponsorship goals, having sought $1.25 million.
NABJ left the coalition in 2011, citing financial and governance issues. Unity then invited the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association to join. NLGJA, in turn, urged the coalition to drop "Journalists of Color" from the group's name. Without consulting their constituents, the Unity board members quickly complied, 11 to 4 with one abstention. Joanna Hernandez, the Unity president, said at the time, "I got teary-eyed. I was immensely sad" after the vote. "I did urge them not to take a vote now," she told Journal-isms, but said she was told she had no choice but to allow one.
As a result of the name change, opposition to rejoining Unity hardened within NABJ, which won support for its view even from some members of the groups that remained in Unity. The two men credited with the idea for Unity, Will Sutton of NABJ and Juan Gonzalez of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said separately that they disapproved of the name change. "UNITY has lost its way," Gonzalez wrote. DeWayne Wickham, who as NABJ president in 1988 convened the first joint meeting of the boards of NABJ, NAHJ, the Asian American Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association, said of the change, "I think it amounts to a final divorce decree. . . . "
NLGJA brought 115 people to the Unity convention, Unity board members said, compared with the 2,386 registrants that NABJ attracted to its own, separate conference in New Orleans. Unity registered 2,385 people, compared with 7,550 attendees at the 2008 Unity convention in Chicago on its final Sunday, though that figure includes sponsors and others who were not registered. No presidential candidates appeared at the Las Vegas gathering. Then-candidate Barack Obama had been in Chicago.
In December, members of the four journalism associations in the reconstituted Unity coalition each voted for "UNITY: Journalists for Diversity" as the name to succeed "Unity: Journalists of Color," as more members said they were pleased to have NLGJA in the coalition. The Unity board has not announced its final choice.
It's unlikely that any of the journalism associations ever saw a campaign like this year's for the leadership of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Attack videos appeared even when there was only one declared candidate for NAHJ president. The target of the videos was candidate Russell Contreras, an Associated Press reporter who was NAHJ's chief financial officer and vice president for print. Contreras claimed credit for helping to return NAHJ's finances to the black, but the organization's leadership had developed a reputation among many for secrecy, bullying and vindictiveness, qualities the attack videos highlighted.
Hugo Balta, a coordinating producer at ESPN, eventually joined the race and won the election, receiving 154 votes, or 61 percent, to 95 for Contreras, or 31 percent, according to the NAHJ tally.
Balta promised a change in tone from the previous two years. "The NAHJ leadership will be clear and inclusive. We will have an open-door policy to have the voices heard and respected," he said in his acceptance speech.
Among Balta's first acts was arranging for NAHJ to join the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists at the annual Excellence in Journalism Conference in 2013 in Anaheim, Calif. Balta also sought to have the questions from journalists of color included in the presidential debates even though only white journalists were chosen to moderate.
The latest newsroom census from the American Society of News Editors showed 1,650 Hispanic journalists at dailies, a decline of 443 over 10 years.
In theory, the employment picture for Latino journalists should be looking up, as major media companies continue to seek their share of the growing Hispanic market. ABC News and Univision News are jointly planning a new news and lifestyle network and hired Miguel Ferrer, the onetime managing editor of the English-language HuffPost LatinoVoices and Spanish-language Voces sites, as its first executive producer, digital. In August, MundoFox was launched. It is a joint venture between Fox International Channels (FIC), News Corp.'s international multimedia business, and RCN, the leading Latin American television network and production company.
The loss of journalists of color in newspaper and online newsrooms outstripped the decline of journalists overall in 2011, according to the annual diversity census of the American Society of News Editors, released in April.
"The total newsroom employment at daily newspapers declined by 2.4 percent in 2011, while the loss in minority newsroom positions was 5.7 percent," ASNE said. Ronnie Agnew, who co-chairs ASNE's Diversity Committee, said in announcing the results, "It's not just the numbers that are going down, there's a nuance that's going to be missed . . . with the shortage of people" lost to "this wonderful, wonderful profession."
One slice of the pie drew the attention of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, which studied the opinion pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. "Latinos were granted less than half a percent of the op-ed bylines over the two-month study period — writing two columns in the Times, one in the Wall Street Journal, and none in the Post. None of these papers has a Latino among their staff columnists," it said.
In the broadcast news media, the latest survey from the Radio Television Digital News Association and Hofstra University reported, "As far as minorities are concerned, the bigger picture remains unchanged. In the last 22 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 10.4%; but the minority workforce in TV news is up 3.7%, and the minority workforce in radio is up 0.9%."
Would-be journalists received mixed news. A survey of 2010 graduates of the nation's journalism and mass communication programs showed that "once again faring worse than anyone in the job market were racial and ethnic minority graduates, according to the University of Georgia's James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research.
Last year, however, "There was . . . a notable rise in the percentage of minority graduates in 2011 who found full-time work — 58.7%, up from 49.9% a year earlier. Even so, that rate of hiring lags well behind the non-minority level of 69.9%," the researchers reported in August.
Advocates of broadcast ownership by people of color looked to the Federal Communications Commission to address bleak numbers. In November, the FCC reported that as of 2011, whites own 69.4 percent of the nation's 1,348 television stations. That's up from 63.4 percent in 2009, when there were 1,187 stations.
While white ownership increased, most minority ownership decreased. Blacks went from owning 1 percent of all commercial TV stations in 2009 to just 0.7 percent in 2011. Asian ownership slipped from 0.8 percent in 2009 to 0.5 percent last year. Latino ownership increased slightly, from 2.5 percent to 2.9 percent.
Was it intentional that seven of the 13 recipients of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University announced in May would be people of color?
"I don't know if 'intentional' is the right word," James R. Bettinger, director of the program, told Journal-isms then by email. "We worked very hard to broaden our outreach to journalists of color, especially those involved in untraditional news media ventures, and I would say we benefited from that."
The Nieman Fellowship program at Harvard University announced an incoming class with no African Americans, two self-identified Hispanics, an "Asian-American and white/Caucasian."
Suzette Hackney, a staff writer at Detroit Free Press and an African American, became the sole U.S. journalist of color in the Knight-Wallace Fellows program at the University of Michigan for the 2012-13 academic year.
NBC News is planning to pay its interns starting in the spring of 2013, a well-placed source at the network told Journal-isms in November. The decision addresses 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.
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.
The change at NBC News comes none too soon. In December, Steven Greenhouse reported for the New York Times, "Charlie Rose and his production company have agreed to pay as much as $250,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by a former unpaid intern who claimed minimum wage violations.
"This is the first settlement in a series of lawsuits brought by unpaid interns who asserted that they had suffered minimum wage violations. Other such lawsuits have been filed against the Hearst Corporation and Fox Entertainment — both companies deny that they failed to comply with wage and hour laws regarding their interns. . . ."
Meanwhile, in December, veteran journalist Will Sutton was named director of the Dow Jones News Fund's 10-week business reporting internship program. In April, while a visiting professor at Grambling, Sutton offered an 11-point plan for adding diversity to business journalism ranks. "For far too many, it's the equivalent of a four-letter word," Sutton wrote of diversity.
Separately, ABC News announced a Fellowships in Diversity Program "to attract and develop aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds for a rigorous and rewarding year-long opportunity."
However, the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, in which African American and Latino students have been trained by reporters and editors from the Times, the Boston Globe and regional newspapers of the Times Co., announced in August it was cutting back from twice a year to annually.
U.S. Census figures released in May showed that white births are no longer a majority in the United States. As of July 1, 2011, 50.4 percent of the nation's population age 1 or under was either Hispanic or a race other than white.
The story led the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Dallas Morning News and the South Florida SunSentinel, among others. It was on the front page of such papers as the Denver Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Courier-Journal in Louisville and the Salt Lake Tribune. But it was missing from the front pages of the majority of newspapers, according to an informal survey of front pages displayed by the Newseum.
"We have a problem on our hands when the groups that have the least access to economic opportunity are becoming the majority," Jennifer Wheary wrote for the progressive think tank Demos. "Creating opportunity for Americans was already a priority, but our demographic future makes it an immediate imperative."
The Census Bureau additionally reported in December, "The U.S. is projected to become a majority-minority nation for the first time in 2043. While the non-Hispanic white population will remain the largest single group, no group will make up a majority."
Asian Americans took particular note of a Pew Research Center report in June. "Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States . . . Asians recently passed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States. The educational credentials of these recent arrivals are striking. . . ," it said.
In a statement from the Asian American Journalists Association, AAJA National President Doris Truong said, "Pew's research reinforces the importance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as a segment our society that newsrooms need to pay attention to. It was disappointing to see a lack of diverse perspectives — especially from major news networks — in covering this story."
On Friday, the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., announced staffing for the newspaper and the PennLive.com website as the print edition moves to a Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday publication schedule beginning next Tuesday.
The Patriot-News is owned by Newhouse Newspapers, which announced in May that it would stop printing a daily paper at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and its Alabama newspapers, then said it would end the daily distribution of the Patriot-News and the Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y.
Newhouse papers in other markets, such as Cleveland and Newark, were waiting to learn their fate. In Cleveland, the Newspaper Guild — the union that represents about 170 people in the newsroom — decided to try to influence the corporate decision with a campaign called "Save The Plain Dealer," Ted Diadiun, the paper's reader representative, reported in November.
In June, the Poynter Institute's Steve Myers wrote, "The Times-Picayune reported that 84 of 173 people in the newsroom were laid off, a loss of 48.5 percent. According to a list I assembled (based on conversations with multiple people in the newsroom) 14 of 26 African-Americans in the newsroom lost their jobs — a 53.8 percent cut. That includes editors, reporters and administrative personnel."
At the Birmingham (Ala.) News the same month, it appeared that diversity was also taking a hit.
"I'm the only black business writer," Roy Williams told Journal-isms then as he ticked off the losses, including his own job. "The only two black editors. All five black zone reporters. All three black copy editors. The only black editorial writer, who has been here 30 years.
"It hit us really hard."
A few black journalists have reported being hired under the new arrangement. In September, Alabama Media Group hired Janita Poe as community hub director in Montgomery, overseeing day-to-day operations of the Montgomery area newsgathering team. Marshall A. Latimore said in December that he would be designing for the Birmingham News, Huntsville Times and Mobile Press-Register, relocating to Birmingham.
Christina Mele, American Journalism Review: Battling to Stay Daily
Source: Google Analytics
1. CNN Camerawoman "Not Surprised" by Peanut-Throwing (Aug. 30)
2. Fired Over Facebook Posting (Dec. 10)
3. CNN Suspends Roland Martin Over Tweets (Feb. 8)
4. Essence Shifts White Male Managing Editor (April 20)
6. CNN Lifts Roland Martin's Suspension (March 12)
7. Done in by Facebook and Flipping the Bird? (March 21)
8. Politico Loses Its Sole Black Reporter (April 8, 2010)
9. NPR Loses Another Black Male Voice (Jan. 16)
10. Wall St. Journal Intern Out After Fabrication Charges (June 27)
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 black Oakland, Calif., group brandished guns in public in the 1960s, resulting in laws that scared rural whites.
The National Rifle Association was inspired by the Black Panthers?
Yes, according to Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA School of Law and author of "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America."
Winkler said over the weekend on NPR's "On the Media":
"One of the surprising things I discovered in writing 'Gunfight' was that when the Black Panthers started carrying their guns around in Oakland, Calif., in the late 1960s, it inspired a new wave of gun control laws (audio). It was these laws that ironically sparked a backlash among rural white conservatives, who were concerned that the government was coming to get their guns next.
"The NRA mimicked many of the policy positions of the Black Panthers, who viewed guns not just as a matter of protection for the home, but something you should be able to have out on the street, and also protection against a hostile government that was tyrannical and disrespectful of people's rights. . . . "
Winkler wrote about the connection more expansively in "The Secret History of Guns," a September 2011 article in the Atlantic that preceded the book's publication.
"The eighth-grade students gathering on the west lawn of the state capitol in Sacramento were planning to lunch on fried chicken with California's new governor, Ronald Reagan, and then tour the granite building constructed a century earlier to resemble the nation's Capitol," the article began. "But the festivities were interrupted by the arrival of 30 young black men and women carrying .357 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns, and .45-caliber pistols.
"The 24 men and six women climbed the capitol steps, and one man, Bobby Seale, began to read from a prepared statement. 'The American people in general and the black people in particular,' he announced, must
" 'take careful note of the racist California legislature aimed at keeping the black people disarmed and powerless. Black people have begged, prayed, petitioned, demonstrated, and everything else to get the racist power structure of America to right the wrongs which have historically been perpetuated against black people. The time has come for black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late.'
"Seale then turned to the others. 'All right, brothers, come on. We're going inside.' He opened the door, and the radicals walked straight into the state's most important government building, loaded guns in hand. No metal detectors stood in their way.
"It was May 2, 1967, and the Black Panthers' invasion of the California statehouse launched the modern gun-rights movement.
". . . The new NRA was not only responding to the wave of gun-control laws enacted to disarm black radicals; it also shared some of the Panthers' views about firearms. Both groups valued guns primarily as a means of self-defense. Both thought people had a right to carry guns in public places, where a person was easily victimized, and not just in the privacy of the home.
"They also shared a profound mistrust of law enforcement. (For years, the NRA has demonized government agents, like those in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the federal agency that enforces gun laws, as 'jack-booted government thugs.' Wayne LaPierre, the current executive vice president, warned members in 1995 that anyone who wears a badge has 'the government's go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens.') For both the Panthers in 1967 and the new NRA after 1977, law-enforcement officers were too often representatives of an uncaring government bent on disarming ordinary citizens. . . ."
Despite the Black Panther Party posture in the 1960s, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has found that today's African Americans support gun control.
As reported last week, when asked whether gun ownership does more to protect people from crime or puts people's safety at risk, 54 percent of whites said gun ownership protects people from crime, but only 29 percent of blacks did. Fifty-three percent of blacks said it puts people's safety at risk. Only 33 percent of whites did.
Monroe Anderson, the Root: Why I Get Obama's Response to Newtown
David Bauder, Associated Press: Film & TV Industries Cancel Premieres & Screenings In Tragedy's Wake
Heather Berkman, Quartz: What the US can learn now from Latin America's fight against gun violence
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Guns, Smoke and Mirrors
Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post News Media Services: Breeding grounds of destruction
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: Violence and the Social Compact
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: The NRA and the 'Positive Good' of Maximum Guns
Eric Deggans blog, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: Does NRA press conference mark moment gun industry turns into cigarette industry?
Editorial, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.: A nightmare before Christmas: Violent day in Webster reinforces need for change
Adam Clark Estes, the Atlantic: Even Israel Is Fact-Checking the NRA Now
Keli Goff, the Root: What the NRA Should Have Said
Annette John-Hall, Philadelphia Inquirer: This country still can't get it right on guns
Chip Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle: Gun violence in cities must be addressed
Timothy Johnson, Media Matters for America: Will Media Fact Check Misleading Claims From NRA's Question-Free Press Conference?
Jerry Large, Seattle Times: Tragedy may loosen our grip on guns
Douglas C. Lyons, South Florida SunSentinel: History shows ending gun violence will take time
Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: The common refrain of local gun violence
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post News Media Services: No easy answers
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Shootings deserve our attention every day
Nestor Ramos, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.: Let's focus on the fires worth saving
Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Proposal would be funny -- if the NRA didn't mean it
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The NRA's insane idea about more guns in schools
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: 'Arm the teachers' isn't best way to protect kids
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Newtown shines spotlight on mental health
Bob Ray Sanders, Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas: The tears keep coming -- for victims and the nation
Jesse Washington, Associated Press: Urban advocates say new gun control talk overdue
David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun: Let's not let NRA's LaPierre misdirect us with ignorance, lies about media
Public editors evaluated their news outlets' coverage of the Newtown, Conn., shooting tragedy, with the New York Times' Margaret Sullivan declaring over the weekend that the Times must be a counterweight to the often-inaccurate information proliferating on social media.
"The Times can't get pulled into the maelstrom of Twitter-era news," Sullivan wrote.
"It has to stand apart from those news sources that are getting information out in a fast, piecemeal and frequently inaccurate way. That process has its own appeal and its own valuable purpose. But The Times should be its authoritative and accurate counterbalance."
Others came at the issue of misinformation supplied by authorities - and in most cases passed on to news consumers - in other ways.
"While I have found that coordination of news information and language use sometimes falls between the cracks among NPR's many news teams and shows, the pitfalls were avoided this time," ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos wrote for NPR. He shared internal messages. "The memos are a virtual classroom lesson. Note the specificity, the caution and the instructions on what cannot be reported. Note also further down the concern for ethics and grieving families."
At the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, reader representative Ted Diadiun noted the regional focus of his organization. "When the news is hundreds of miles away . . . the only thing the paper can do is repeat what trusted organizations report, seek corroboration when possible - and correct it if it's wrong," Diadiun wrote Sunday.
Terry Eberle, executive editor of the News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., reminded readers that journalists are human beings with emotions.
"Do the media spend too much time on the story? Maybe," Eberle wrote. "Do the media invade people's privacy at this very private time? Maybe. Did the media report bad information? Definitely. Should they have confirmed the information before reporting it? Without question.
"Do viewers and readers want every detail? Yes. To some, it may be part of their grieving process. To others, they just want to know everything.
"I get discouraged watching the herd of journalists run to press conferences, make mistakes and stick microphones in the face of shocked people.
"This time, however, I saw some subtle differences. There were no cameras in the faces of the parents as they gathered to listen to President Obama on Sunday.
"There were no journalists asking questions and pushing cameras in the faces of people as the first young children were laid to rest. They shot from a distance with a long lens respecting the privacy of a breaking news event.
"I don't know how much is too much. I don't know that magic moment when we must move on to something else.
"I do know that showing a little emotion is not necessarily a bad thing for a journalist. I do know that we can show some feelings and still be objective reporters. . . ."
The New York Times called Sunday for North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue to pardon the Wilmington 10, "a group of civil rights activists who were falsely convicted and imprisoned in connection with a racial disturbance in the city of Wilmington more than 40 years ago.
"The convictions, based on flimsy evidence and perjured testimony, were overturned by a federal court in 1980. But by then, the lives of the convicted had been broken on the wheel of Jim Crow justice," the editorial said.
" . . . Newly discovered notes attributed to the prosecutor paint an even more sordid picture of how the case was pursued. The notes suggest, for example, that the prosecutor used racial profiling and other unethical tactics to disqualify black jurors, while searching out racist jurors who would endorse the case against the defendants without question. In some instances, for example, he appears to have written 'KKK' (for Ku Klux Klan) next to names of prospective jurors, occasionally commenting that this was 'OK' or 'Good.' Taken together, the notes and court documents offer a window into a time when many Southern prosecutors and courts saw it as their mission, not to administer justice, but to preserve the racial status quo. . . .
"Anger over this case has continued to fester in the black community. At a 40th anniversary commemoration last year in Wilmington, civil rights leaders rightly decided that the wrongly convicted warranted a pardon from Ms. Perdue. By providing it, she can finally bring a close to one of the more shameful episodes in North Carolina history."
Jessica Jones, NPR: Pressure Mounts To Free 'Wilmington Ten'
Cash Michaels, Wilmington (N.C.) Journal: Support Swells For Wilmington Ten Pardons (May 24)
Wayne Moore, Triumphant Warriors: The Story Of The Wilmington 10
News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Wilmington 10 member takes pardon petitions to governor (Dec. 8)
Leigh Owens, Huffington Post: Wilmington 10: NAACP Unveils New Evidence Seeking Pardon (Nov. 29)
Bruce Siceloff, Charlotte (N.C.) Observer: Four decades later, Ben Chavis and the Wilmington Ten seek a declaration of innocence (May 18)
"CNN commentator Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s recent column chastising Dreamers who he says sometimes act like 'spoiled brats' who are 'drunk on entitlement' has sparked angry reactions from the movement's supporters," Roque Planas wrote Friday for Huffington Post.
"Arguing that aggressive protests may undermine comprehensive immigration reform, Navarrette criticized undocumented activists for demanding citizenship and likened their protests to 'public tantrums' in a piece published Wednesday.
"That opinion didn't sit well with DREAMers or Latino bloggers and journalists who sympathize with their movement.
"Univision reporter Jaime Zea pounced on Navarrette, with this tweet:
"The blog Latino Rebels slammed Navarrette on its Facebook, saying 'Dreamers don't care what you think. And they shouldn't.' . . . "
"Dreamers" illegally entered the country as children with older relatives. The name is taken from the DREAM Act, legislation stalled in Congress that would put them on a path to U.S. citizenship. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors.
President Obama said last summer that immigrants up to age 31 who entered as children would not face deportation under certain conditions and can work and go to school.
For the last print issue of Newsweek, Andrew Romano compiled an oral history of the newsmagazine. The issue includes a remembrance by Mark Whitaker, now executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide, who in 1998 became the first African American to edit a major newsmagazine.
In the words of the headline writer, the former Newsweek editor wrote about, "How a band of idealistic journalists changed the civil-rights movement."
That band included correspondents Karl Fleming, Peter Goldman and Joe Cumming and editor Osborn Elliott. In 1967, these white journalists produced "a groundbreaking cover called 'The Negro in America: What Must Be Done' that won Newsweek its first National Magazine Award.
". . . A lawsuit filed by female staffers unable to advance beyond secretarial and research jobs had exposed its inconsistent zeal for equal rights," Whitaker wrote of the newsmagazine.
"But an African-American news editor, John Dotson, and his boss, Rod Gander, had finally gotten serious about integrating the magazine's ranks, and I was soon working with a rising generation of talented black journalists like Vern Smith, Sylvester Monroe, and Dennis Williams. They schooled me in Newsweek's ways, but also warned about limits to advancement. After two successful summer stints, Dotson predicted that I might become a section head some day if I accepted a full-time job. 'What about editor?' I asked. 'Newsweek isn't ready for a black editor,' he replied somberly.
As editor, Whitaker said he ". . . championed fresh, provocative black voices like Ellis Cose, Allison Samuels, Veronica Chambers, Lynette Clemetson, and Marcus Mabry. Together with our white colleagues we did covers on the hidden rage of successful blacks, the rise of black women, the future of affirmative action, the complexities of multiracial identity, and the relationship between African-Americans and Hispanics. We even dared to publish an issue called 'The Good News About Black America' . . ."
Mark Whitaker Cites His Diversity Bona Fides (March 26, 2010)
"Apparently making sweeping generalizations about athletes using ethnic stereotypes is still something people do when covering sporting events," Adrian Carrasquillo wrote Sunday for NBCLatino.
"During a game between Kansas State and Florida, ESPN announcer Mitch Holthus blamed a foul by Angel Rodriguez of Kansas State on the fact that he has a 'Puerto Rican temper.'
". . . Humor and culture site, Latino Rebels reached out to Holthus on Twitter asking for an apology for his comments and he quickly followed through. . . . "
NAHJ President Hugo Balta, a coordinating producer at ESPN, wrote to members, "One executive vice president told me that both Holthus and a producer accepted accountability for their actions and that they will be disciplined. . . . In the last 24 hours I have spoken to several ESPN managers about how to prevent future incidents."
"Judging by news coverage of the nation's fastest-growing ethnic minority, you'd think that 'the Hispanic condition' was a pathology. With the exception of growing power in the voting booth, the news makes it seem as though we're all poor, sick and generally unable to cope with life as well as others," Esther J. Cepeda wrote Friday for the Washington Post News Media Services. ". . . The steady diet of bad news about segments of the Hispanic population drives a myth that all Latinos are downtrodden, at-risk or simply not as able as others."
In the Bay Area, " . . . veteran anchor/reporter, Don Sanchez, is retiring after more than four decades at KGO-TV," Rich Lieberman reported Thursday for his Rich Lieberman Report. ". . . Sanchez was a part of the legendary time at KGO in the 1970's and 80's when KGO's newscasts were the dominant #1 program in the market. He did just about everything: sports, news, entertainment and multi-faceted features. Truly one of a kind."
The Asian American Journalists Association is mourning the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, who died Dec. 17 at age 88. ". . . AAJA especially appreciates Sen. Inouye's support of the Honolulu Advertiser's 600 employees and 150,000 daily readers in April 2010, when he wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice asking for a thorough review of the newspaper's impending sale, in the interest of 'preserving the diversity of voices in the media and protecting jobs.' "
In the Twin Cities, "Black voices are barely heard on local mainstream radio. It's even worse in local sports radio," Charles Hallman reported Wednesday for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. "There is no Black talent on the air in the Twin Cities except at KMOJ," KTWN-FM's Brandon Wright, a nine-year veteran, said in the story.
Nikita Stewart of the Washington Post, who broke stories about
District of Columbia government scandals, is becoming one of the few
journalists of color working in a newspaper's investigative unit.
Stewart will continue to report on the D.C. government as a member of
the Post's Investigative Unit, Investigative Editor Jeff Leen said, according to Will Sommer, reporting
Dec. 18 for the Washington City Paper. Leen also announces another
opening in the Investigative
The San Jose Mercury News is being challenged over a story reported Nov. 30 by Dan Nakaso that said, "Asian-Americans make up half of the Bay Area's technology workforce, and their double-digit employment gains came from jobs lost among white tech workers, according to an analysis by this newspaper of Census Bureau data . . . " Sylvie Barak wrote Friday in the EE Times, ". . . While that may or may not be true, the entire piece leaves a bad taste and stirs up sentiments perhaps better left well alone. After all, is the Mercury News implying it would rather the Bay Area start using affirmative action in the engineering space? And would that make things more fair? Is the Asian-American community to blame for seemingly having found a better way to channel children into science?"
Columnist Ruben Rosario of the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., writing about his treatment for multiple myeloma, noted that, "For reasons scientists have not been able to discern, blacks have twice the per capita diagnosis and mortality rate as whites and more than twice that of Latinos." He quoted Barbara Davis, co-leader of a multiple myeloma support group in Stillwater, Minn.: " 'Even those black support group leaders lamented the difficulty they have in reaching other black patients,' she said, adding that the disparity of medical care in less affluent populations and people of color is a concern of hers and others."
"Four Ethiopian journalists have received the prestigious Hellman/Hammett award for 2012 in recognition of their efforts to promote free expression in Ethiopia, one of the world's most restricted media environments," Human Rights Watch reported Thursday. "Eskinder Nega Fenta, an independent journalist and blogger; Reeyot Alemu Gobebo of the disbanded weekly newspaper Feteh; Woubshet Taye Abebe of the now-closed weekly newspaper Awramba Times; and Mesfin Negash of Addis Neger Online were among a diverse group of 41 writers and journalists from 19 countries to receive the award in 2012."
"The Baton Rouge Advocate is making a run at a weakened Times-Picayune in New Orleans," Ryan Chittum reported Friday for Columbia Journalism Review. "The paper, which started a daily New Orleans edition in October as the Newhouse family slashed the Times-Pic's newsroom and went to a three-day-a-week paper, has already picked up a circulation of 23,500, publisher David Manship told me yesterday. About 16,000 of those are daily subscribers."
"It hasn't been smooth sailing for Cristina Radio since its launch on Sirius XM 11 months ago," Veronica Villafañe reported Thursday for her Media Moves site. "National Latino Broadcasting (NLB), which programs and produces shows for the Cristina Radio and En Vivo channels on Sirius XM, this week has had to cut almost half of its staff. . . . An inside source tells me Cristina Saralegui is still going to the NLB studios to tape her weekly show."
A Boston Globe reconstruction of how the Mitt Romney campaign unfolded "shows that Romney's problems went deeper than is widely understood. His campaign made a series of costly financial, strategic, and political mistakes that, in retrospect, all but assured the candidate's defeat, given the revolutionary turnout tactics and tactical smarts of President Obama's operation," Michael Kranish reported in Sunday's print edition.
"Newark Mayor Cory Booker pushed back . . . against a front page New York Times story suggesting that his mayorship hasn't lived up to its promise and that he appears more concerned, at times, with his public persona than with running the city, Michael Calderone reported Dec. 17 for the Huffington Post.
Retiring editor Wanda Lloyd of the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser " 'has had her hands full during her eight years in Montgomery, instituting a digital-first approach and as well as what she calls the new Montgomery plan,' shaped by a process in which the 55,000-circulation paper set out to define the 'passion topics' of its audience," Jason Ruiter wrote for the December/January issue of AJR. ". . . They came up with three distinct audiences - young professionals, families and what Lloyd called the 'legacy' group - and tried to tailor their coverage accordingly."
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is teaming with the National Association of Black Journalists on Jan. 17. The MMTC's Fourth Annual Broadband & Social Justice Policy Summit, to be held Jan. 16-17 at the Westin Georgetown in Washington, is being paired with the NABJ's Hall of Fame Induction and Reception, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Newseum. NABJ members are encouraged to register for the conference as press, bloggers, or general registrants and MMTC attendees are urged to purchase discounted tickets to the NABJ event. This columnist is among the honorees.
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
The journo who questioned NFL player Robert Griffin III's blackness apologized Wednesday.
ESPN announced Thursday that it is suspending commentator Rob Parker for 30 days over his on-air remarks about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, tightening editorial oversight of the "First Take" show and taking "appropriate disciplinary measures" against employees who played a role in allowing Parker's remarks on the air.
On Dec. 13, Parker questioned whether Griffin was a "real" black man and was suspended "until further notice" two days later. ESPN said it was "conducting a full review."
Parker had defended his remarks before the suspension, but he apologized on Wednesday, saying in an extended Twitter message, "I blew it and I'm sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. This past Thursday I failed to do that. . . ."
Some, such as Sam Laird of the Mashable website, expected a worse fate for Parker. "ESPN is now reportedly considering firing Parker altogether," Laird wrote on Wednesday.
Others questioned whether "First Take" itself should be reined in, saying the program's atmosphere was too freewheeling.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports wrote Saturday, ". . . those within the network who have decided to abdicate any sense of journalistic responsibility in favor of a craven desire for ratings and 'buzz' should probably take a few minutes and consider that they created and nourished an environment by which Rob Parker, who had made multiple professional missteps before, could thrive by saying stupid stuff and getting away with it."
ESPN addressed that sentiment in its Thursday statement from Marcia Keegan, a vice president of production for ESPN, who oversees First Take:
"ESPN has decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days for his comments made on last Thursday's episode of First Take. Our review of the preparation for the show and the re-air has established that mistakes both in judgment and communication were made. As a direct result, clearly inappropriate content was aired and then re-aired without editing. Both were errors on our part.
"To address this, we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures. We will continue to discuss important issues in sports on First Take, including race. Debate is an integral part of sports and we will continue to engage in it on First Take. However, we believe what we have learned here and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better."
Parker said in the fateful broadcast:
"Some people I've known for a long time. My question, which is just a straight, honest question, is ... is he a 'brother,' or is he a cornball 'brother'? He's not really ... he's black, but he's not really down with the cause. He's not one of us. He's kind of black, but he's not really like the guy you'd want to hang out with. I just want to find out about him. I don't know, because I keep hearing these things. He has a white fiancée, people talking about that he's a Republican ... there's no information at all. I'm just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue. Tiger Woods was like, 'I have black skin, but don't call me black.' People wondered about Tiger Woods early on -- about him."
Although Parker apologized in his Tuesday Twitter post, he insisted, "I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert's thoughts about being an African-American quarterback and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African-American community.
"The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on First Take, and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one. I regrettably introduced some points that I never should have and I completely understand the strong response to them, including ESPN's reaction.
"Perhaps most importantly, the attention my words have brought to one of the best and brightest stars in all of sports is an unintended and troubling result. Robert Griffin III is a talented athlete who not only can do great things on the field, but off the field handles himself in a way we are all taught -- with dignity, respect and pride. I've contacted his agent with hopes of apologizing to Robert directly. As I reflect on this and move forward, I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner."
While Parker was widely condemned for his remarks, media critic Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times wrote that suspension should take place only after Parker goes back on "First Take" and has the right kind of discussion about race.
". . . There's a lot going on here. African Americans have a long, tortured struggle with self-identity in a white-dominated society which has often associated our culture with the worst shortcomings in morality and intelligence," Deggans wrote last week.
"It's understandable that some people would be wary of black celebrities who might seek to minimize, disavow or downplay their connection to black people as if they are sidestepping something undesirable. . . .
"If any ESPN executives are still reading, let me suggest you avoid the corporate reflex of burying this controversy and instead have Parker return to First Take with some people who can talk about this issue with intelligence and insight."
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told Journal-isms by email, "this decision involved several people in management...and to answer your question, yes, African Americans were actively involved in that decision/discussion."
Gregory H. Lee Jr., president of the National Association of Black Journalists and sports editor at the SunSentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., told Jason McIntyre of the Big Lead sports blog on Tuesday, "We have had internal discussions and at some point, we will speak to ESPN about it. I know a lot of people there, and we want to grasp what they're trying to accomplish on the show ... But given that the show comes on 365 days a year, how often do you have a slip up on one of those shows?
Lee went on: "I understand what Rob was trying to say, but the execution was poor. When they have discussions concerning race ... if you misinterpret something ... the way Rob executed what he said, the way he said it ... the perception is he was race-baiting."
Gregory L. Moore, editor of the Denver Post, is to receive the National Press Foundation's Benjamin C. Bradlee Award as Editor of the Year "for leading his paper's coverage of the Aurora theatre shooting spree -- which occurred at midnight after the paper had gone to bed and relied almost exclusively on social media to inform the community of the horrific events that evening," the foundation announced on Wednesday.
In answering questions from Journal-isms readers in July about coverage of the shooting spree, in which 12 people were killed and dozens wounded, Moore said, "We are doing whatever we feel we need to do to cover this story right. We had people on the scene within an hour of the shooting, maybe sooner . . . We had some people on the scene for 17 hours."
Jorge Ramos, longtime anchor of Univision News who is also a public policy show host and the author of 11 books, is receiving the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.
Frank Deford, the legendary sports journalist whose work is found on NPR, HBO and in Sports Illustrated, is to receive the 2012 W.M. Kiplinger Award for Distinguished Contributions to Journalism.
The National Press Foundation was created by the National Press Club, but the two organizations are independent of each other, Foundation President and CEO Bob Meyers told Journal-isms.
A PBS "Frontline" documentary that "follows a group of violence Interruptors to the front lines of inner city violence and profiles their efforts to combat it with dignity" was among the winners of the duPont-Columbia awards announced at Columbia University on Wednesday.
"The Interrupters" was "shot over the course of a year" as "filmmakers Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz captured the streets of Chicago during a period of widespread violence that drew national attention. With extraordinary initiative, enterprise and access, the team opened doors into places most people can't go, telling complex stories about former gang members working to break the cycle of violence," the announcement said. "The documentary provides new understanding of a stubborn societal problem through strong characters and excellent reporting, shooting and editing."
Whites and blacks differ sharply on gun control, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Monday through Wednesday in the aftermath of the deadly shooting spree in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
Asked which was more important, to protect the right to own guns or to control ownership, 51 percent of whites said "to protect the right to own guns." Only 24 percent of blacks did. Sixty-eight percent of blacks said "to control ownership," a choice selected by 42 percent of whites. Eight percent of each group said they did not know.
Asked whether gun ownership does more to protect people from crime or puts people's safety at risk, 54 percent of whites said it protects people from crime, but only 29 percent of blacks did. Fifty-three percent of blacks said it puts people's safety at risk. Only 33 percent of whites did.
Asked about the effect of allowing citizens to own assault weapons, both whites and blacks said it would make the country more dangerous. Eighty-three percent of blacks said so, as did 61 percent of whites. Only 26 percent of whites said it would make the country safer, along with just 10 percent of blacks.
Asked whether they had any guns, rifles or pistols in the home, 42 percent of whites said yes, but only 16 percent of blacks did. Eighty-three percent of blacks answered no, as did 52 percent of whites.
Overall, Pew reported, "The public's attitudes toward gun control have shown only modest change in the wake of last week's deadly shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Currently, 49% say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 42% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns.
"This marks the first time since Barack Obama took office that more Americans prioritize gun control than the right to own guns. . . . "
The survey was taken at a time of increasing criticism from African Americans that the steady killing of blacks in urban areas has received far less attention than the Newtown killings.
Meanwhile, Kristin Stoller reported Thursday for USA Today, "In honor of the 20 children and six school staffers who died, people nationwide have pledged on Twitter to perform random acts of kindness.
"Ann Curry of NBC News took the idea viral when she tweeted, "Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I'm in. If you are RT #20Acts."
"The movement quickly turned into #26Acts and became a national action."
Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven (Conn.) Register: Some black Connecticut residents question media attention on Newtown shootings
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Obama: From talk to action on gun violence
George E. Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Violence is 'as American as Cherry Pie'
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune: Guns as the solution to guns, even after Newtown?
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable: NAB Ready to Cooperate With Congress On Violence Study
Jeff Gewert, the Advocate, Stamford, Conn.: Newtown resident: Media is to blame for school tragedy
Ted Johnson, Variety: Pols call for study on violent videogames
Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable: Newtown and News Media: A Mix of Tension and Gratitude
Dori J. Maynard, Maynard Institute for Journalism Education: It's Time for Ordinary People To Lead Discussion on Guns
Elspeth Reeve, the Atlantic: What Obama Can Do On Guns Right Now, Without Congress
Barbara Reynolds, Washington Post: Newtown shootings: Focus on mental illness first
"Charlie Rose and his production company have agreed to pay as much as $250,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by a former unpaid intern who claimed minimum wage violations," Steven Greenhouse reported Thursday for the New York Times.
"Under the settlement, Mr. Rose and his production company, Charlie Rose Inc., will pay back wages to a potential class of 189 interns. The settlement calls for the interns to receive generally $1,100 each -- $110 a week in back pay, up to a maximum of 10 weeks, the approximate length of a school semester.
"The main plaintiff was Lucy Bickerton, who said she was not paid when she worked 25 hours a week for the 'Charlie Rose' show from June through August 2007. Ms. Bickerton said her responsibilities at the show, which appears on PBS stations, included providing background research for Mr. Rose about interview guests, putting together press packets, escorting guests through the studio and cleaning up the green room.
"Ms. Bickerton in an interview described the settlement as 'a really important moment for this movement against unpaid internships.'
"This is the first settlement in a series of lawsuits brought by unpaid interns who asserted that they had suffered minimum wage violations. Other such lawsuits have been filed against the Hearst Corporation and Fox Entertainment -- both companies deny that they failed to comply with wage and hour laws regarding their interns. . . ."
The Dow Jones News Fund is recruiting media and news organizations to hire 2013 summer interns for 10 weeks in its business reporting internship program," the news fund announced on Thursday.
"DJNF business reporting interns will participate in an intensive training course at New York University from May 25 to 31. The 2013 program director is Will Sutton, a Society of Business Editors and Writers member who serves on its diversity committee. Sutton has supervised business coverage as a newspaper editor and he was a 2012 Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at Grambling State University. He is a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists and a co-founder of what became UNITY: Journalists of Color. Interns will be ready for work by June 3. . . ."
In April, while a visiting professor at Grambling, Sutton offered an 11-point plan for adding diversity to business journalism ranks.
The Dow Jones announcement said, ". . . To enroll to hire one of more than 75 applicants, contact Linda Shockley at firstname.lastname@example.org or 609-520-5929. Details at https://www.newsfund.org."
Rhonda Lee, the meteorologist who was fired by KTBS-TV in Shreveport, La., after responding on Facebook to a viewer who questioned her short Afro hairstyle, said Thursday that she hasn't had any job offers but that her Facebook fan page is exploding with new "fans."
Lee appeared on Pacifica Radio's "Democracy, Now!"
From the transcript:
"AMY GOODMAN: So, what has been the response to your firing, Rhonda Lee, as you gain more and more national attention?
"RHONDA LEE: I think it has been such a blessing. It's been a blessing in disguise, that's for certain. I really had no idea that this story would go around the globe. I mean, I still continue to be overwhelmed and just so grateful for the support. I mean, the first day after the story broke, by Richard Prince with the Maynard Institute, it was phenomenal. I mean, I logged onto my fan page, and I had maybe about 600 'likes,' I think, and then it said 'new fans, 800-and-something.'
"And I said, 'That can't be right.' And then, as the day went on, I suddenly had a thousand fans, 2,000 fans, 5,000 fans. I think I'm up to 7,000-and-something now. I mean, the support has been overwhelming. I really didn't expect this to go any further than maybe Texarkana, maybe into Dallas, a couple hours away. But it has opened eyes, most importantly. And I feel that perhaps that's what this was supposed to do. I really thought it was just a labor dispute, but it turned into something bigger than myself, I feel. And it's become a good talking point and a good catalyst for perhaps moving the conversation of black women and our hair forward into the 21st century and beyond.
"AMY GOODMAN: As the former meteorologist for KTBS, what is your forecast? Do you think they're going to offer you your job back? Have you been offered other jobs?
"RHONDA LEE: I would love to have my job back. Even to this day, I maintain I had a great work environment. I really did. My co-workers were great. I loved what I did. I loved my hours. I loved everything about it. I haven't had any other job offers as of yet. Where do I go from here? Right now I'm just going to try to get through the holidays and see what happens. But I really -- like I said, more than anything, I hope that the conversation for race issues, particularly here in the South, is furthered a little bit further than what it -- what I think it has been nowadays. But my forecast is: It's looking pretty sunny, I think. . . . "
"Four Israeli attacks on journalists and media facilities in Gaza during the November 2012 fighting violated the laws of war by targeting civilians and civilian objects that were making no apparent contribution to Palestinian military operations," Human Rights Watch said Thursday, adding that it had conducted a detailed investigation into the incidents.
"The attacks killed two Palestinian cameramen, wounded at least 10 media workers, and badly damaged four media offices, as well as the offices of four private companies, Human Rights Watch said. One of the attacks killed a two-year-old boy who lived across the street from a targeted building.
"The Israeli government asserted that each of the four attacks was on a legitimate military target but provided no specific information to support its claims. . . ."
Federal prosecutors will be forced to retry David Warren, the former rookie New Orleans police officer who gunned down Henry Glover days after Hurricane Katrina, hours before another cop ignited Glover's lifeless body inside a car on the Algiers levee," John Simerman, reported Tuesday for NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune. As Columbia Journalism Review wrote in September, A.C. Thompson's reporting on transgressions by New Orleans police "led to an article in The Nation, a reporter position at ProPublica, three convictions (one since overturned) for the police officers involved in the murder of a man named Henry Glover, and, starting September 23, a character on HBO's Treme."
President Obama was named Time magazine's "Person of the Year." Is that news or a public relations ploy? David A. Graham of the Atlantic wrote Wednesday, ". . . Time manages to get everyone to treat its warmed-over sweepstakes as a major news event, year after year. In doing so, it converts the press into a gigantic public-relations arm of Time Inc. (This is how it's done, Tina Brown.)"
"Nielsen Holdings N.V. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Arbitron Inc. in a $1.26 billion deal, TVNewsCheck reported on Tuesday. Separately, David Honig, president of the Minority Media Telecommunications Council, called the acquisition welcome news because "Nielsen has unparalleled expertise in accurately measuring multicultural viewership, demographics, and consumer trends such as audience engagement."
The Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University now has a studio capable of streaming live video to major television networks at a moment's notice, Jared Council reported Dec. 14 for Inside Business: the Hampton Roads (Va.) Business Journal. "We can do it fast because anyone here on campus can be in that seat within seven or eight minutes and can be on the air within another five minutes," Dean Brett Pulley said.
"Antonio Mora, a weekday prime-time anchor at WFOR-Channel 4 in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, was let go Monday after station honchos refused to renew his contract," Jose Lambiet reported Wednesday for his Jose Lambiet's Gossip Extra. "The happy-go-lucky Mora, 57, was the solo anchor of the station's 6 p.m. news."
In New York, "The Daily News is disbanding its pool of photo permalancers, employees who work full-time hours for the tabloid on set day-rates but are not salaried employees with benefits, Capital has learned," Joe Pompeo reported Thursday for Capital New York. Among those losing the regular full-time schedules they've had for years is Marcus Santos, "the photographer who was famously decked by Alec Baldwin while on assignment covering the '30 Rock' star's marriage license acquisition last summer, said a source with direct knowledge of Santos' employment status."
"Ben Williams, a retired KPIX-TV staffer who was one of the first African-American television reporters in the nation, has died at the age of 85," the Bay Area station reported Tuesday. "Williams passed away on Monday, his daughter-in-law told CBS 5. Williams spent his entire broadcast career at KPIX before retiring in the 1980s; he got his start as a reporter at the San Francisco Examiner before moving to television." The National Association of Black Journalists paid tribute.
"Media critics have long lamented the decline of even-handedness in American news coverage," M.R. reported Monday for the Economist. "The fashion for partisan stridency on channels such as Fox and MSNBC, they say, has cheapened the national debate and split the voting public into blinkered, self-reflective camps. But the critics haven't seen the worst. The political jousting on American networks looks like child's play compared with the rhetorical fireworks that now regularly erupt on screens in Egypt. . . . "
"State security agents in Southeast Nigeria blocked a reporter from filing a story Saturday evening about the status of a governor who hasn't been seen for several months," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Tuesday, condemning "this act of crude censorship."
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.