A champion of diversity in the media industry passes away.
Allen H. Neuharth, who led the newspaper industry in championing diversity and made it possible for Robert C. Maynard to become the first African American publisher of a mainstream newspaper, died Friday at his home in Cocoa Beach, Fla. He was 89.
An obituary by Herbert Buchsbaum of the New York Times described Neuharth as "the brash and blustery media mogul who built the Gannett Company into a communications Leviathan and created USA Today, for years America's best-selling newspaper" and noted, "In an industry long dominated by white men, Mr. Neuharth led the way in the hiring and promotion of women and minorities, tying compensation to hiring goals.
"By 1988 the proportion of minorities in Gannett newsrooms was 47 percent higher than the national average. Women accounted for nearly 40 percent of the company's managers, professionals, technicians and sales agents and an unheard-of quarter of its newspaper publishers."
A February 1992 article in Black Enterprise magazine listing the "25 Best Places for Blacks to Work" said of Gannett, "total minority employment has progressed from 12 percent to 21 percent since 1980."
Neuharth even believed that black Washington Post reporter Janet Cooke, who forced the Post to return a 1981 Pulitzer Prize when it was disclosed that Cooke had fabricated her winning story in that highly competitive newsroom, deserved a second chance. However, the Gannett paper Neuharth had in mind for Cooke, who left the Post in disgrace, reportedly balked at the idea.
Neuharth's support for diversity "went from supporting individuals within the company to the Oakland Tribune, in particular when it mattered most," Dori J. Maynard, president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, said by telephone.
Michael Liedtke wrote in the October 1991 edition of American Journalism Review:
"Then-media tycoon Al Neuharth stood beside newspaper publisher Bob Maynard in mid-August to celebrate the salvation of the long-suffering Oakland Tribune, the two men hoped for a better ending than the first time they'd joined forces to rescue the newspaper.
"That was 1979, when the hard-driving Neuharth was chief executive officer of the ever-expanding Gannett Company. The newspaper firm had just purchased the Tribune and hired Maynard to edit it. Four years later, Maynard bought the paper from Gannett in one of the first leveraged buyouts of the 1980s and he and Neuharth parted ways.
"Now, together again, the duo takes a stab at a happier course. The plot remains the same — Neuharth provides the deep pockets, Maynard the journalistic savvy and community connections — and the flailing newspaper gets a handhold.
"But the story may twist with the allegiance of Neuharth, the self-professed 'S.O.B.' who two years ago retired from Gannett to become chairman of the nonprofit Freedom Forum. The Forum, at Neuharth's urging, committed $7.5 million of its $670 million endowment to save Oakland's paper.
"What remains unclear is what impelled Neuharth back into the Oakland game. Is he — as he and Maynard maintain — merely the generous bystander with nothing more on his agenda than the preservation of a 117-year-old paper? Or does he see the Tribune rescue as a chance to tweak noses at the Arlington, Virginia, offices of his former employer, which wound up swallowing most of the Tribune 's $31.5 million debt?
"Neuharth insists the reports of a feud are overblown. 'All the speculation that we are trying to poke each other in the eyes is not true,' he says. 'It didn't matter to me whether the Tribune's major creditor was Gannett or Joe Blow...
" 'It's really quite simple,' he says. 'We believe in the Maynards and we believe in the staff of the Oakland Tribune.' . . . "
The Loma Prieta earthquake, coverage of which won the Tribune a Pulitzer Prize for spot news photography in 1990, combined with a national recession and a troubled city economy to force Bob and Nancy Maynard to sell the Tribune in 1992. The pair had owned the paper for 10 years.
David Honig, president of the Minority Media & Telecommunications Council, told Journal-isms by email, "I'm originally from Rochester, NY. Gannett was based there in the 1970s, when I got to know Al Neuharth. I found him to be gracious, collaborative and insightful. As his obit in USA Today and his autobiography made clear, sometimes Al was not a very nice person. Al had little charm and no sartorial taste. But Al was way, way ahead of his peers when it came to diversity.
"Al, Doug McCorkindale, and I put together Gannett's 1979 'Partners in Progress' program – the first modern voluntary affirmative action program in journalism. It was highly effective because Al, with his can-do spirit and low tolerance for excuses, commanded his publishers and TV station general managers to observe it and exceed its goals and targets. Their compensation and bonuses depended on it.
"Lots of people who Al treated poorly are probably saying (to themselves) 'finally the bastard is dead.' But I will miss him."
Neuharth extended his commitment to diversity to his personal life. In 2010, Anne Straub wrote for Space Coast Medicine, Neuharth was father of six children with his third wife, Cocoa Beach chiropractor Rachel Fornes. All were adopted at birth and come from diverse backgrounds. Neuharth also had two grown children.
David Colton and Rick Hampson, USA Today: USA TODAY founder Al Neuharth dies at 89
Alex S. Jones, New York Times: Cash and Debt Concessions Save Oakland Tribune (Aug. 15, 1991)
Native American Journalists Association: NAJA statement on passing of USA Today founder Al Neuharth
Rosamunda Neuharth-Ozgo, Accuracy In Media: My Father Al Neuharth and Media Hypocrisy (April 27, 2009)
New York Times: Gannett Stressing Minority Groups (1988)
Mike Schneider, Associated Press: USA Today founder Neuharth dies in Florida at 89
"CNN's John King has taken to Twitter to further explain his erroneous report of an arrest in the Boston Marathon bombing," Erik Hayden wrote Thursday for the Hollywood Reporter.
King's defense of his report that law enforcement officials had identified "a dark-skinned male" as the suspect came a day before the Boston area was placed on lockdown as authorities sought — and eventually captured — a suspect who was not dark-skinned, but in fact was a native of the Russian republic of Chechnya.
" 'Source of that description was a senior government official. And I asked, are you sure? But I'm responsible. What I am not is racist,' the anchor wrote Thursday," Hayden reported.
Hayden's story continued, "The anchor's comments received widespread criticism on social media. Among many others, the NAACP, The Daily Show's Jon Stewart and MSNBC's Al Sharpton took issue with King's report.
" 'The fact that this information was false is only part of the problem,' said NAACP president and CEO Benjamin Todd Jealous in a statement Thursday. 'Our concern is that CNN used an overly broad, unhelpful and potentially racially inflammatory categorization to describe the potential suspect. History teaches us that too often people of color are unfairly targeted in the aftermath of acts of terrorism.' "
CNN has not commented on King's error, leaving it to King to respond. But King has not addressed the larger implications of identifying a suspect as "dark-skinned."
"People are less tolerant are less tolerant when mistakes aren’t acknowledged or the on-air speculation veers into ethnic or racial stereotypes, as the discussion of 'dark-skinned' or alleged Muslim suspects did this week, says Emily Bell, a journalism professor at Columbia University," Paul Farhi reported for Saturday's Washington Post.
" 'You're inviting a very visceral reaction when you wander into that territory,' she says. 'The unintended consequence is that it cast instant suspicion on a lot of innocent people and adds very little' to the public understanding of the story."
On the suspense-filled day after King's tweet of explanation, "In the waning moments of daylight, police descended Friday on a shrouded boat in a Watertown backyard to capture the suspected terrorist who had eluded their enormous dragnet for a tumultuous day, ending a dark week in Boston that began with the bombing of the world’s most prestigious road race," Mark Arsenault reported for the Boston Globe.
"The arrest of 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of Cambridge ended an unprecedented daylong siege of Greater Boston, after a frantic night of violence that left one MIT police officer dead, an MBTA Transit Police officer wounded, and an embattled public — rattled again by the touch of terrorism — huddled inside homes.
"Tsarnaev’s elder brother and alleged accomplice — 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the second suspect in Monday’s Boston Marathon attack — was pronounced dead early Friday morning at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, after suffering shrapnel and bullet wounds in a gunfight with police. . . ."
Nearly all of the news networks went live to the scene as the suspect was captured and news conferences were held. Univision and Telemundo continued to show telenovelas, and Black Entertainment Television and TV One likewise continued with their regular programming.
Robin Abcarian, Los Angeles Times: For Muslims, bad memories and new worries
Paul Cheung, Asian American Journalists Association: AAJA Urges Vigilance in Reporting on Boston Bombing Suspects
Eric Deggans, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: Why did media make so many mistaken assumptions about Boston Marathon bombers' race?
Rick Horowitz, Huffington Post: Lost in Boston's Carnage... (video)
Jennifer Ludden, NPR: Muslims Fear Backlash After Suspects' Faith Revealed (April 20)
Michael E. Ross, the Root: Describing a Suspect: A Few Tips for Mr. King
Gerry Shih, Reuters: Media, old and new, takes heat for Boston coverage (April 20)
Scott Simon and David Folkenflik, "Weekend Edition Saturday," NPR: Lessons Learned From The Media's Coverage Of Boston Bombing (April 20)
Adrian Walker, Boston Globe: The reckoning begins in Ashmont
Adrian Walker, Boston Globe: Three secular ministers preach healing
Jesse Washington, Associated Press: Across America, a Week of Chaos, Horror — and Hope (April 20)
Tim Wise blog: Terrorism and Privilege: Understanding the Power of Whiteness (April 16)
David Zurawik, Daily Download: Boston Coverage: Diane Sawyer Shines, CNN Struggles, Geraldo Rivera Sinks (April 20)
Figures showing a decline in advertising dollars for print magazines don't tell the whole story, according to the agency that prepares those figures for the magazine industry.
In fact, "Consumer Magazines are very powerful brands and are finding audiences and advertising through their brand extensions digitally via web, tablet, and mobile," Suzie Ross of Kantar Media messaged Journal-isms on Thursday.
"It's actually an exciting time for magazines as they reinvent themselves and evolve based on consumer interests/needs/behavior."
Ross, vice president for strategic partnerships and industry relations, was commenting on a report this month from the Publishers Information Bureau comparing advertising dollars and advertising pages for the first quarter of 2013 with figures for the previous year.
Journal-isms reported April 10 that Black Enterprise magazine sustained a 35.4 percent decline in advertising dollars and a 34 percent hit in advertising pages, that Jet magazine dropped 31.7 percent in advertising dollars compared with the same period a year before and that People en Español rose by 20.8 percent in ad dollars and 14 percent in ad pages.
Overall, "Consumer magazines' advertising woes continued in the first quarter of 2013, with ad pages slipping 4.8 percent versus the year-ago period on declines in nine out of the 12 top categories, according to numbers released today by MPA—The Association of Magazine Media," Emma Bazilian reported April 8 for Adweek.
Ross was asked to clarify the figures after Johnson Publishing Co., publisher of Jet, maintained that the decline in advertising dollars for the pocket-sized magazine should actually be much lower — 13.52 percent instead of 31.7 percent.
"There is nothing inaccurate in your column," Ross wrote. "The reported decline was correct, as was the comment about Jet having [fewer] issues in 2013 versus 2012.
"However, I should note that the PIB Press report you referenced does not reflect the concept of 'same store sales' and we provide our clients with information (such as number of issues published by publishers from one year to the next in a given period) that allows them to look deeper into the data and analyze it as they wish. This is not to say that PIB reporting is inaccurate — but you were wise to report the mistakes that many make when they use this data by quoting Mr. Barr," referring to Stephen Gregory Barr, Johnson Publishing senior vice president and group publisher. "The PIB reports that you referenced report . . . organic activity in a given time period — and provide year-over-year comparison so that the general idea of gains and losses is available.
"The Jet issue of 4/8 was not included in the Jan-Mar data because its an April issue and will appear in April's data (PIB data does not report by On Sale Date, but by Issue Date).
"What I would like to add is that declines in print really don't . . . tell the whole story and you are doing a disservice to the industry by highlighting print declines. Consumer Magazines are very powerful brands and are finding audiences and advertising through their brand extensions digitally via web, tablet, and mobile. It's actually an exciting time for magazines as they reinvent themselves and evolve based on consumer interests/needs/behavior. Kantar Media, the company that collects and reports PIB data, is actually working with the MPA [Association of Magazine Media] and PIB to capture the full magazine media footprint from an advertising perspective which currently includes both web and tablet. So stay tuned."
In the Bay Area, "KRON 4 reporter Stanley Roberts was attacked while he was attempting to film his 'People Behaving Badly' segment in Berkeley Thursday afternoon when his subjects took exception, resulting in a sprained back," Katie Nelson reported Thursday for the Oakland Tribune.
"Two suspects in the attack were detained and later arrested on suspicion of battery and felony vandalism. They were booked into the Berkeley City Jail, said Officer Jennifer Coats, spokesperson for the Berkeley Police Department.
"Roberts said he was filming outside of Amoeba Music located at 2455 Telegraph Ave. doing his 'normal schtick' for a segment about how squatters begging for money had become more rampant in the area.
"He said he had filmed three men from a distance at first and then walked up to them to get a closer shot.
"The men, who have not yet been identified by police, told Roberts they did not want to be filmed, but because they were in a public place, Roberts said, he told them he was allowed to do so."
Eventually, there was a scuffle, Nelson reported, during which "Roberts had his press credentials stolen and his $5,000 camera and $1,000 microphone broken before police arrived. . . ."
"Preston Davis, a pioneering television executive who served as president of broadcast operations and engineering for ABC, died April 15 after an illness, the Walt Disney Co. said Wednesday. He was 63," Mike Barnes reported Wednesday for the Hollywood Reporter.
"In 1993, Robert Iger, then president of the ABC Network Television Group, promoted Davis to lead broadcast operations and engineering, making him the first African-American president of any Capital Cities/ABC division in the history of the media company.
" 'Preston and I started at ABC around the same time,' Iger, now Disney chairman and CEO, said in a statement. 'He was a talented and tenacious leader who earned wide respect for his abilities and was revered for his impeccable integrity. When I had to choose someone to lead BO&E into the future, there was no question Preston was the right person, and he led that team to great achievements for the better part of two decades. Preston was a class act and a great guy who had a tremendous impact on everyone who knew him.' "
The story added, "Davis, who retired from the company in 2011, joined ABC in 1976 as an engineer in Washington, D.C. He moved into various positions of increasing responsibility involving field and studio operations in D.C., Atlanta and New York and was promoted in 1988 to vp television operations for the East Coast, where he directed studio and field operations, electronic newsgathering, telecommunications and the RF operations and engineering group. . . ."
"Lynne Duke, a journalist who brought an emotional clarity to the most trenchant stories, from the crack epidemic that terrorized a Miami housing project once known as 'the Graveyard' to the legacy of apartheid South Africa, died April 19 at her home in Silver Spring," Adam Bernstein reported Friday for the Washington Post. "She was 56.
"The cause was lung cancer, said her husband, Phillip Dixon, a former Washington Post city editor. Ms. Duke worked at The Post from 1987 to 2008, retiring as an editor in the Style section after earlier assignments reporting from Johannesburg and New York.
"Ms. Duke had once aspired to a career in dance and theater, and she brought the expressive qualities of those art forms to her journalism.
"Covering South Africa was a defining experience for Ms. Duke. She first visited for The Post in 1990, when Nelson Mandela was released from prison after 27 years. She returned to Johannesburg in 1994 for the nation's first multi-racial election and stayed on to cover Mandela's presidency. She also jumped around the region for breaking news, including the aftermath of Mobutu Sese Seko's dictatorial rule in what was then Zaire.
"Howard W. French, a former New York Times reporter in Africa and author of 'A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa' (2004), described Ms. Duke as a dogged competitor for whom the experience of working in Africa also provoked deep emotional discovery. . . ."
Jackie Jones, a former Post colleague, told Journal-isms, "Lynne was not warm and fuzzy. There were not a lot of hugs and kisses and stuff that lots of women friends do with each other, but if you wanted a frank opinion, a clear appraisal or someone who would listen and reserve judgment — until you stopped talking — Lynne was the one to call. . . "
"The Soul of the South Network, targeting African-American viewers, said Thursday it will launch in 30 markets May 27 after closing an initial round of funding for $10 million raised from the state of Arkansas and private investors," Alex Ben Block reported Thursday for the Hollywood Reporter.
"The new network will be distributed initially by over-the-air stations and on digital channels on the broadcast spectrum but also plans to air on cable and expects its stations to qualify under FCC must-carry rules (which mandate nearby cable systems must carry it) because it is local and offers unique news programming.
" 'Our distribution footprint covers at least 70 percent of all African-American households in the south and in Chicago and Philadelphia, which we call sister regions,' says Doug McHenry, the Hollywood-based producer of films including New Jack City and House Party and TV shows including Malcolm & Eddie, who is the new network's president of entertainment.
"By the end of this summer, Soul of the South expects to be in 50-60 markets with a high concentration of African-Americans, reaching 30-40 million households.
"At launch over Memorial Day weekend, the network will not have any original programming outside of an active news presence in its local markets.
The story added, "The lead investors in the Soul of the South Network include Richard Mays, a former Arkansas Supreme Court justice and civil rights attorney, who is chairman of the board; Edwin V. Avent, who is CEO; attorney Christopher Rankin Clark, who is executive vp business and legal affairs; and Matthew J. Gruber from Mississippi, who is vice chairman of the board."
Tom Jacobs is news director.
Black Network Plans 5 Hours of News (June 8, 2012)
Mike Reynolds, Multichannel News: Multiethnic TV Awards: BET's Lee to Competitors — Bring It On
The Chicago Tribune has decided to follow the Associated Press in its declaration that the word "illegal" should describe an action, not a person, when discussing immigrants who are in the country illegally, Joe Knowles, associate managing editor/editing and presentation at the Tribune, told Journal-isms on Friday. .
"We decided to follow AP style on 'illegal immigrant' and 'illegal immigration,' " Knowles said by email. "Where possible, we will be more specific ('in the country illegally' or 'in the country on an expired visa')."
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
Experts of color comment on CNN's inaccurate reporting about a suspect matching that description.
On a day highlighted by false reports that a suspect had been arrested in the Boston Marathon bombing, CNN's John King was singled out for reporting that law enforcement officials had identified "a dark-skinned male" as the suspect, and at least three news organizations demonstrated that it is possible to put people of color on the air as experts if one makes the effort.
"Eventually, of course, King's entire thesis turned out to be false. Federal authorities made clear that there was no suspect in the attacks yet. At the time, though, he appeared to have a scoop.
"King was the first to report that law enforcement officials had identified a suspect in Monday's bloody attacks.
" 'I want to be very careful about this, because people get very sensitive when you say these things,' he said. 'I was told by one of these sources who is a law enforcement official that this is a dark-skinned male.'
"He said that there had been a further description given, but he was refraining from sharing it with viewers.
" 'There are some people who will take offense for even saying that,' he said. 'I understand that.'
" 'We can't say whether the person spoke with a foreign accent, or an American accent?' Wolf Blitzer asked. 'That would be premature.' . . . "
"PBS anchor Gwen Ifill tweeted her disapproval of King's choice:
"Disturbing that it's OK for TV to ID a Boston bombing suspect only as 'a dark-skinned individual.' "
Ifill's concerns were later echoed by the Rev. Al Sharpton on his "PoliticsNation" show on MSNBC and by the National Association of Black Journalists, among others.
"Sharpton railed against King’s 'offensive, coded language,' " Noah Rothman reported for Mediaite. "He said that, in that moment, King turned every minority in the city of Boston into a terror suspect."
Media blogger Erik Wemple of the Washington Post called King's description of the suspect "useless information that borders on inflammatory."
NABJ issued a news release calling attention to its style guide and said, "NABJ in no way encourages censorship but does encourage news organizations to be responsible when reporting about race, to report on race only when relevant and a vital part of a story. Ultimately this helps to avoid mischaracterizations which might encourage potential bias or discrimination against a person or a group of people based on race or ethnicity."
King was not alone in reporting bad information. "Mistaken sources led CNN, Fox News, the Associated Press and the Boston Globe to report at various times this afternoon that a suspect had been identified and arrested in connection with the crime," Eric Deggans reported for the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times. Ironically, CNN reported, "JUST IN: Man sought as possible suspect is WHITE MALE, wearing white baseball cap on backwards, gray hoodie and black jacket."
Deggans continued, "Other news outlets, including NBC and CBS insisted that no arrest had taken place; eventually sources in the Boston police department and Department of Justice denied an arrest had taken place, issuing official statements to quell the furor.
" 'Despite reports to the contrary there has not been an arrest in the Marathon attack,' read a terse post on Twitter by Boston police, issued about an hour after CNN's initial report that a suspect has been arrested."
The misinformation prompted the FBI to issue what was described as a scathing statement in mid-afternoon: "Contrary to widespread reporting, no arrest has been made in connection with the Boston Marathon attack. Over the past day and a half, there have been a number of press reports based on information from unofficial sources that has been inaccurate. Since these stories often have unintended consequences, we ask the media, particularly at this early stage of the investigation, to exercise caution and attempt to verify information through appropriate official channels before reporting."
Meanwhile, NPR and the Spanish-language television networks Telemundo and Univision demonstrated how experts of color can be called upon to comment on such major stories as the marathon bombings.
The gender, ethnicity and political leanings of guests asked to comment on news events has been as much a diversity issue as the choice of journalists, particularly on the Sunday morning talk shows. A survey this month by Media Matters for America shows that apart from Melissa Harris-Perry's Sunday show on MSNBC, "No other program had a guest pool that was less than 82 percent white . . ."
Journal-isms asked the television networks and NPR whether they had used experts of color, and NPR, Univision and Telemundo responded affirmatively.
NPR spokesman Emerson Brown said that on Thursday, "Talk of the Nation" would feature Khaled A. Beydoun, adjunct faculty member and critical race studies teaching fellow at the UCLA School of Law and author of "Boston explosions: 'Please don't be Arabs or Muslims' " on aljazeera.com. In addition, "Tell Me More," which specializes in multicultural discussions, spoke with the Right Rev. Gayle Harris of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts about churches' plans to help people cope with the aftermath of the attack.
Univision said it spoke with Emilio Viano, an expert in transnational crime who is a professor in the Department of Justice, Law and Society at American University, and Judge Cristina Pereyra, its own legal analyst, who was running in the marathon.
NBC-owned Telemundo spoke with Eric Rojo, a retired U.S. Army colonel with field experience in vulnerability, site and risk management reviews, spokesman Camilo Pino said, along with Octavio Pérez, a retired U.S. Army colonel who worked with the Drug Enforcement Administration, and Manuel Gómez, a former principal relief supervisor and special agent with the FBI. Gómez investigated terrorism and espionage cases as an agent in the National Security Division.
On "CBS This Morning," former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, now a CBS contributor, said terrorist attacks such as the one that rocked the Boston Marathon present presidents with a leadership dilemma.
A spokeswoman for the "PBS NewsHour" did not respond to a request for comment, but another PBS spokeswoman noted that "NewsHour's" first report was provided by Noreen Nasir of the show's production staff, who was near the scene when the explosions took place.
She added, "You can see Ms. Nasir's report at: http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2013/04/explosions-rock-finish-line-at-boston-marathon.html (scroll down to the second video clip, after the still image she tweeted from near the Boston Public Library)."
ABC News spokesman David Ford likewise did not respond when asked about a diversity of news sources on the story, but supplied this information about its correspondents:
"Linsey Davis was our first Correspondent on the scene in Boston and has been closely following the stories of the victims and their families over the past two days (WATCH).
"ABC News Senior Justice Correspondent Pierre Thomas has been one of our leading reporters covering the investigation by federal authorities (WATCH).
"Senior National Correspondent Jim Avila has been contributing to our coverage, last night he reported on the search for answers as experts analyze shrapnel and fragments left over from explosion (WATCH).
"Our new Chief National Correspondent Byron Pitts filed his first piece last night on 'World News' on the new meaning to the injunction 'see something, say something' has for Americans in light of this week's tragic events (WATCH).
"On Monday, Alex Perez and Cecilia Vega reported on the increased law enforcement presence at sporting events, travel centers and malls (The bombings have dominated the news since Monday.
Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America: This Is Bad, Even For The New York Post
Michael Calderone, Huffington Post: Boston Globe Editor: Marathon Coverage Shows Why 'Metro Papers Matter'
Max Fisher, Washington Post: 'Please don’t be a Muslim': Boston marathon blasts draw condemnation and dread in Muslim world
Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine: Viewers tune to NBC for latest on bombings
Jason Fry, Poynter Institute: Boston explosions a reminder of how breaking news reporting is changing
Prachi Gupta, Salon: Sloppy news coverage becomes news after CNN misreports arrest
Lauren Hockenson, 10,000 Words: Boston Marathon Tragedy Exposes Twitter's Reporting Flaws
Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe: Runners and supporters share a bond of trust
Andrew Kirell, Mediaite: The 10 Absolute Worst Media Reactions To The Boston Marathon Bombings
Merrill Knox, TVNewser: Morning Shows Focus on Human Impact of Boston Bombings
Sam Laird, Mashable: 'Sports Illustrated' Cover Honors Boston Marathon First Responders
Christina Lee, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.: My heart is in Boston
Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable: Boston Stations Pull Off 'Incredibly Jarring' Shift After Bombing
Diana Marszalek, TVNewsCheck: How TV Switched From Celebration To Terror
John McDermott, Ad Age: Boston Marathon Bombing Makes Vine a News Platform
Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Terrorist-defying response to the Boston Marathon bombing? Follow Billy Iffrig’s example and keep on running
John Newland, NBC News: The man in the hat at Boston Marathon finish line: Carlos Arredondo didn't set out to be hero
Chris O'Shea, FishbowlNY: Time to Release Special Tablet-Only Edition on Boston Marathon
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: No. 1 goal: Find who did it
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Americans stand defiant with Boston
Adam Serwer, Mother Jones: Arab American on Boston Marathon: "Everyone in This Room Is Holding Their Breath"
Spencer Soper, Morning Call, Allentown, Pa.: Rodale reporters switch gears at blast site
Farah Stockman, Boston Globe: The Marathon attack: the surreal and the stubborn
"In angry remarks following the defeat of a bipartisan amendment on background checks that presaged the broader collapse of an effort to pass more stringent gun control legislation, President Obama promised the fight would go on," Chris Cillizza wrote Wednesday for the Washington Post.
" 'I believe we're going to be able to get this one,' he said. 'Sooner or later we are going to get this right.' He added: 'I see this as just round one.'
"Is Obama right? Are we in the first round of a 10-round fight on guns? Or does what happened on the Senate floor Wednesday amount to a knockout for the forces pushing for more gun control measures? . . . "
Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: Can we talk about gun violence?
Adrian Walker, Boston Globe: We can't let the gun lobby win
"Hours after a bipartisan group of eight senators introduced a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s immigration system, conservative radio talk show hosts took over two floors of a Capitol Hill hotel on Wednesday and denounced the proposal on the country's drive-time airwaves as nothing more than a reward for lawbreakers," Michael D. Shear and Julia Preston reported Wednesday for the New York Times.
"On a Florida station, WFTL, the host Joyce Kaufman called it 'pure amnesty.' Jim Sharpe, a talk show host on KFYI in Phoenix, promised that 'Arizonans are still not taking this sitting down.' On Denny Schaffer's show in New Orleans, callers demanded deportations.' . . . "
Clyde Hughes, Journal & Courier, Lafayette, Ind.: Still missing the target on immigration reform
Editorial, La Opinión, Los Angeles: Black Leaders Play Key Role in Immigration Reform
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Hung up on border security
Pew Research Center: Unauthorized Immigrants: How Pew Research Counts Them and What We Know About Them
Peter Wallsten, Jia Lynn Yang and Craig Timberg, Washington Post: Facebook flexes political muscle with provision in immigration bill
Mackenzie Weinger, Politico: Marco Rubio's toughest crowd: Radio talkers
"More than 2,000 guests from around the world paid their last respects at the biggest such occasion since the Queen Mother's funeral in 2002.
"Thousands of members of the public and the armed forces lined the funeral procession route through London.
"PM David Cameron said it was a 'fitting tribute' to a major figure.
"Four thousand police officers were on duty in central London but, despite concerns about demonstrations, only a small number of protesters voiced their opposition to Lady Thatcher's policies and there were no arrests."
Jermaine Haughton, writing for Britain's Voice newspaper, which considers itself a spokesman for Britain's black community, wrote of Thatcher, "Upon hearing her name, some shudder with anger while others pound their fists with pride. What side of the fence are you on?"
Jon Lee Anderson, the New Yorker: Neruda, Pinochet, and the Iron Lady (April 10)
Richard Dowden, African Arguments: Africa: Mrs Thatcher and the Continent (April 8)
Violet Gonda, SW Radio Africa: Zimbabweans react to Thatcher's death (April 8)
Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: On Thatcher, What's the Difference Between PBS & Fox News? (April 9)
Linton Kwesi Johnson, Huffington Post: Thatcher and the Inner City Riots
New York Times: Under Thatcher, Some South Asians in Britain Embraced Militancy (April 8)
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Not a 'quota woman' (April 10)
Noah Rothman, Mediaite: The Incredible Insensitivity Of Sending Martin Bashir To Cover Margaret Thatcher’s Funeral
Raphael Satter, Huffington Post: BBC Faces Controversy Over Airing Of Anti-Thatcher Hit 'Ding Dong, The Witch Is Dead' (April 12)
Kunbi Tinuoye, the Grio: Black Britons have mixed feelings about Margaret Thatcher legacy
John Yearwood, Miami Herald: Humility, compassion under Margaret Thatcher’s iron-fisted persona
Gary Younge, the Nation: How Did Margaret Thatcher Do It? (April 9)
Dave Zirin, the Nation: Why Would Anyone Celebrate the Death of Margaret Thatcher? Ask a Chilean (April 9)
Bryant Gumbel closed his HBO program, "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel," with this tribute on Tuesday:
"Finally tonight, a personal note. Like millions of Americans, I'm applauding last night's 66th anniversary of Jackie Robinson's debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. But for admittedly selfish reasons, some of them obvious and some not so much.
"Since success has many fathers, there's praise aplenty on this anniversary -- for Jackie, his wife Rachel, and of course for Branch Rickey. But indulge me for giving the lion's share of my personal applause to a relatively forgotten hero named Wendell Smith.
"It was Smith, a sportswriter for the now-defunct Pittsburgh Courier who made black opportunity in the majors a personal crusade. It was Smith who brought Robinson to the attention of Branch Rickey. And it was Smith who co-wrote Jackie's autobiography and documented his exploits in the crucial days that led to greater integration of the game.
"More importantly to me, it was Smith, who in 1964 became a local sports anchor with WGN-TV in Chicago -- the first person of color in a position of authority ever seen on television by yours truly, who at the time was an impressionable sports-minded teenager on the south side of the city. Given my limited skill set, I knew back then that while I couldn't be a Jackie Robinson, I could become a Wendell Smith. Of such small occasions are big dream borne, and memories made, some of which still linger.”
Two columnists writing for the National Sports Journalism Center -- Ed Sherman and Eric Deggans -- argued that the "42" film, which finished first at the box office last weekend, does not give Smith his due.
Yvette Carnell, Your Black World: Why I Won’t be Going to See the Jackie Robinson Movie '42'
Eric Deggans, National Sports Journalism Center: 42 falls short in portraying integral role of sportswriter Smith in Robinson's rise
Marshall Fine, Daily News, New York: Wendell Smith plays 'Jackie Robinson of sportwriters' in '42' (April 10)
J.R. Gamble, the Shadow League: The "Jackie Robinson Day" Elephant In The Room
Stefen Lovelace, the Grio: Jackie Robinson changed baseball with his play, too (April 12)
Omar Mazariego, the Shadow League: Reel Talk: "42" Beats The Odds, Is Much More Than The "Typical Black Movie"
Darryl E. Owens, Orlando Sentinel: '42' reminds us Sanford, U.S. haven't crossed home on race
Kevin Powell, CNN: It's Jackie Robinson Day, but black boys no longer dream of playing baseball
David Protess, Huffington Post: Race in Baseball: A Fan's Journey From Ebbets to Wrigley
Ed Sherman, National Sports Journalism Center: Smith’s role in Robinson's rise created the 42 legacy
Lilly Workneh, the Grio: '42' tops box office: Are more feel good black films on the way?
"Don't look now cable operators, but multicultural viewers are increasingly using over-the-top services to access their favorite Tv shows and movies," R. Thomas Umstead reported Tuesday for Multichannel News.
"Nearly 85% of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American viewers have access to services such as Netflix, Hulu and Roku, and 46% of all urban viewers use such services on a weekly basis, according to new data from Horowitz Associates' Focus Latino 2013 report.
"Hispanics are on the front end of that trend, with more than half (56%) using OTT services on a weekly basis, according to Horowitz. Further, among 18-24 year old Hispanics, OTT penetration is a whopping 96%, with viewers in the demo using such services an eye-popping 86% on a weekly basis. . . ."
New CNN President Jeff Zucker spoke before the Atlanta Press Club Monday, his first such talk since he began his new job "exactly three months ago today," Maria Saporta wrote for Atlanta Business Chronicle.
She added, "In a particularly sensitive exchange, Zucker was asked about the recent departure of two African-American CNN brands -- Soledad O'Brien and the Roland Martin -- and whether the network was committed to diversity.
Zucker said that CNN had just hired five correspondents and four of them were 'diverse.'
"Long-time television anchor Monica Pearson called out from the back of the room how many of them were black. Zucker answered that two of them were African Americans. . . ."
Zucker hired Michaela Pereira as a newsreader for his new morning show, promoted George Howell to full-time correspondent and hired Alina Machado. Howell and Pereira are black.
Terri Thornton, PBS MediaShift: CNN's Jeff Zucker Talks Social Media, Considers Native Ads
"An estimated 70,000 people have been killed in Mexico's brutal drug-cartel wars over the past six years," Reed Johnson wrote last week in the Los Angeles Times.
"Those costs are horrific enough. But there are also collateral damages, including a precipitous drop-off in tourism that has dented Mexico's otherwise robust economy; a chilling effect on the Mexican media, which faces constant threats, kidnappings and worse from the warring cartels; and frequent indifference or ineptitude from the country's legal authorities.
"That lamentable combination has led international press-rights groups to name Mexico the world's most dangerous place to be a reporter in years past -- even worse than Iraq or Afghanistan. Dozens of Mexican journalists have been among the drug violence's victims, and virtually all of their killers are still at large because the nation's legal system generally fails to identify, let alone prosecute, the assassins.
"Playwright Marcela Toledo dramatizes that disturbing situation in her first play, 'Silenced Screams,' which will premiere this weekend at the Arena Theatre of Cal State Los Angeles. The play is one of four works written and performed by MFA candidates in theater, film and television.
" 'Silenced Screams' takes place in a Mexico City newsroom and focuses on two newspaper crime reporters, Libertad and Hermes. Toledo, a professional journalist herself, has worked for newspapers, magazines and radio stations on both sides of the border. . . ."
Javier Manzano, who won the 2013 Pulitzer prize for feature photography on Monday, is the first freelance photographer to win a Pulitzer in 17 years, Veronica Villafañe reported for her Media Moves site. "Born in Mexico, Javier immigrated to the U.S. when he was 18. A great portion of his work has focused on cross-border issues. . . ."
"Newspapers are still better at engaging audiences than any other form of media, according to a new Newspaper Association of America (NAA) survey conducted by Nielsen, and print newspaper advertising remains effective," Laura Hazard Owen reported for paidcontent.org. "With newspaper ad revenue plunging, though, the picture isn't as rosy as this survey makes it appear -- and newspapers can do more, especially when it comes to social networking and mobile. . . ."
"Long the voice of black talk radio in Milwaukee, Eric Von has gone from the airwaves to cyberspace where he hopes to deliver a major punch in combating health disparities among African-American men," Tannette Johnson-Elie wrote last month for the Business Journal in Milwaukee. "The primary weapon in his arsenal: a newly launched website -- Brain Brawn & Body -- dedicated to the health and wellness of African-American men. . . ."
Michelle Johnson, an associate professor of practice in mulitmedia journalism at Boston University, has been named the National Association of Black Journalists' 2013 Journalism Educator of the Year, NABJ announced Wednesday. "Johnson has a legacy of being an effective team member and team leader. During her professional growth, Johnson reached back into the classroom to 'teach' as a NABJ Student Project mentor," NABJ said in a news release. It added, "Johnson's commitment extends to journalism organizations such as NABJ, including as past editor of the NABJ Journal; member of Boston Association of Black Journalists; founding national board member of the National Lesbian [&] Gay Journalists Association and co-founder of its New England chapter; and a member of the Online News Association." Johnson won the Barry Bingham Sr. fellowship last year from the Association of Opinion Journalists, awarded to an educator who has helped diversity.
While Nielsen ratings for the week of April 1-7 showed ABC's "Scandal" series drawing bigger crowds among African Americans than the NCAA Final Four games, and "The Voice" and several other shows outpacing basketball among Hispanics tuning into English-language programs, the following week showed different results. For April 8-14, the week of the championship final, the game was No. 1 among both groups.
April 18 is National Columnists Day, for reasons explained by Dave Lieber, then of the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas, in a 2009 column for the National Society of Newspaper Columnists.
"Al Jazeera has tapped veteran investigative journalist Ed Pound to lead the 16-person investigative unit at its new American cable channel, Al Jazeera America, the company said Monday," Keach Hagey reported for the Wall Street Journal. "Mr. Pound, 69 years old, joins Al Jazeera from his current job as communications director at Recovery.gov, a federal government website that tracks stimulus spending. . . ."
Afi-Odelia E. Scruggs, an independent journalist and former columnist at the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, was interviewed by Anna Clark for the Columbia Journalism Review. A Plain Dealer watcher, Scruggs said the paper "isn't what it was, that's for sure. Not that it was perfect; the paper hasn't covered poverty or minority affairs well at all. Still, the Plain Dealer is too big to ignore because it sets the news agenda for the region. Its future isn't clear. . . . "
In Boston, "WGBH general manager Marita Rivero will step down in June after 30 years in various roles at the Boston public broadcaster, WGBH said Friday," Chris Reidy wrote Friday for the Boston Globe. He added, "In a press release, WGBH said that Rivero is responsible for WGBH's signature programs and community initiatives, including the global news program The World on 89.7-FM, and Greater Boston, Basic Black and High School Quiz Show on WGBH 2. . . ."
On HuffPost LatinoVoices, Michele Serros, author of "How to Be a Chicana Role Model," explained "How Jonathan Winters Helped Me Find My Inner Latina Angst."
Dori J. Maynard, president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, came to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to speak about "Why Diversity Matters to White People" alongside Alicia Shepard, former NPR ombudsman and current visiting professor, Alexis Rosa reported Tuesday for the Rebel Yell, the student newspaper. Michelle Rivas, 20, "came into the lecture thinking it was going to be like the others she had previously attended. She thought she could sit there for the hour and leave with the extra credit. Instead, she left with a whole new perspective on why diversity is important to journalists. She now thinks more teachers and presenters should talk about touchier subjects to get students interested and aware. . . ."
A journalism conference, "Covering Suburban Poverty," is scheduled Sept. 26 and 27 at Hofstra University School of Communication on Long Island, N.Y., in cooperation with the National Center for Suburban Studies. "From 2000 to 2010, poverty grew almost five times faster in the suburbs of major cities than in the cities themselves, according to researchers at the Brookings Institute. USA Today has called the suburbs the new 'ground zero for poverty and
hunger.' " Application.
In Venezuela, "The opposition's decision to dispute ruling party candidate Nicolás Maduro's very narrow victory in last Sunday's presidential election has heightened concern about the effects of the Venezuelan media's extreme polarization," Reporters Without Borders said on Tuesday. "The demonstrations that have been held or will soon be held in various parts of the country are reinforcing the already considerable dangers for journalists and freedom of information. . . ."
Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday it "roundly condemns the draconian directive that China's media regulator -- the General Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television -- issued yesterday banning the Chinese media from using unauthorized information from foreign media and websites. . . ."
The Committee to Project Journalists said Wednesday it "condemns a recent decision by the Nigerian government to ban the exhibition and distribution of a documentary film on corruption in the state's management of oil wealth, 'Fuelling Poverty.' In an April 8 ruling reviewed by CPJ, the federal government-run National Film and Video Censors Board (NFVCB) called the contents of the 30-minute film by Ishaya Bako, 'highly provocative and likely to incite or encourage public disorder and undermine national security.' . . . "
In Brazil, newspaper photographer Walgney Assis Carvalho was killed Sunday in the municipality of Coronel Fabriciano, Vale do Aço, in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais, press-freedom groups said Tuesday. "The fourth journalist to be murdered this year in Brazil, Carvalho was gunned down just one month after Rodrigo Neto de Feria, who worked for the same newspaper, Vale do Aço," according to Reporters Without Borders.
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
An African-American doctor is on trial for murder in Philadelphia.
Two years ago, a headline writer wrote this over a story by Lynette Holloway for The Root: "Abortion doctor Kermit Gosnell has been charged with eight counts of murder. Both sides of the abortion debate are having a field day with this case. But what happens to poor women of color facing unwanted pregnancies?"
Holloway wrote, "The grisly murders and gruesome discoveries inside Kermit B. Gosnell's West Philadelphia abortion clinic leave one wondering what would make mostly poor, minority women so desperate that they would utilize his filthy clinic, where body parts of dead fetuses allegedly were stored in jars that lined the shelves of the macabre scene."
She included this figure: "Overall, African-American women account for 36.4 percent of all pregnancy terminations in the United States, although blacks make up only 13 percent of the population, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention."
Now Gosnell, himself African American, is on trial, and in the last two days the Internet has seen a dramatic rise in commentary asking why the Philadelphia case hasn't received national media attention.
"Obviously, conservatives believe the media is ignoring this story because it's about abortion, and the lefties who run our media empires hate stories that put abortion in a bad light," Kevin Drum wrote Friday for Mother Jones. "Alternatively, it could be because it's a Philadelphia story, and the national media doesn't usually give a lot of time to local cases like this. Frankly, I don't know — though I'll note that even the conservative media didn't give it a huge amount of coverage until fairly recently, when Gosnell's trial started. . . ."
Others say the Gosnell story — and it is a horrifying, grisly one — is also a story about race and the media.
When the case broke in 2011, Jill Filipovic, who blogs as "Jill" on the Feministe site, wrote:
"Gosnell's clinic hadn't been reviewed by the Department of Health in 15 years. Members of his staff were unlicensed and not properly trained. And Gosnell knew that he could get away with offering sub-par care to women who he thought were less likely to complain — young women, immigrants, poor women and women of color."
Filipovic quoted Lori Adelman, who wrote in January 2011 on the Grio, "buried deep in articles describing 'bloodstained furniture' and 'jars packed with severed baby feet,' is a less gory but equally as horrifying insight that, at Dr. Gosnell's clinic, 'white women from the suburbs were ushered into a separate, slightly cleaner area' than Gosnell's regular clientele, which was comprised primarily of poor minority women, including many immigrants. Gosnell reportedly treated these white suburban clients to a more pleasant and sanitary experience because he believed they were 'more likely to file complaints' about substandard care."
Irin Carmon wrote Friday for Salon, "I can't speak for big news organizations like CNN and the networks, but let's think about this question another way: How often do such places devote their energies to covering the massive health disparities and poor outcomes that are wrought by our current system? How often are the travails of the women whose vulnerabilities Gosnell exploited — the poor, immigrants and otherwise marginalized people — given wall-to-wall, trial-level coverage? . . . "
Laura Bassett and Ryan Grim, Huffington Post: Kermit Gosnell Trial Is A 'Peek Into The World Before Roe v. Wade': NARAL President Ilyse Hogue
William Bender, Philadelphia Daily News: Kermit Gosnell's son can't stand dad's name
Jill Filipovic, Feministe: What Kermit Gosnell tells us about late-term abortion (Jan. 20, 2011)
Joshua Gillin, Poynter Institute: Media coverage swells over the lack of media coverage for abortion provider Kermit Gosnell
Patrick Howley, Daily Caller: Black leadership group condemns defense tactics, media coverage in abortion-doctor murder case
David Knowles, Daily News, New York: Former worker testifies that Dr. Kermit Gosnell snipped the spines of moving babies following abortions at Philadelphia clinic
Kirsten Powers, USA Today: Philadelphia abortion clinic horror: Column
Joseph A. Slobodzian, Philadelphia Inquirer: Gosnell intern testifies on teen years at clinic
David Weigel, Slate: Kermit Gosnell: The Alleged Mass-Murderer and the Bored Media
Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Washington Post pledges Gosnell coverage
Cliff Brunt worked for the Associated Press for seven years when Associated Press Sports Editor Terry Taylor told him he would have to transfer to Indianapolis or take a buyout. He couldn't move, so he took a buyout. Now Blunt is a used car dealer, and this week he offered readers of the Indy Sports Legends website "the top 10 most important things I've learned since April 11, 2012," the fateful day Taylor called him with the news.
Brunt wasn't the only journalist of color offering a personal story in the last few days. To help inaugurate "Code Switch," a new NPR site, Eric Deggans, television critic for the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times, recalled Wednesday how he had to "code switch" between his black boyhood neighborhood in Gary, Ind., and the white-dominated private school he attended outside of it.
" 'You guys doing anything today?' " Deggans began.
"That might sound like an ordinary, even dull question. But in my old neighborhood — mostly poor, entirely black '70s-era Gary, Ind. — that kind of question was grounds for serious ridicule. Or worse.
"The problem: I had dared use a word none of my partners ever let pass through their lips, unless they were making fun of a white person: 'guys.' . . ."
In collaboration with the Huffington Post, Terrell J. Starr, associate editor at NewsOne, wrote Thursday for Facebook, "I Found the Father I Never Knew I Needed On Facebook."
"Growing up on Detroit's west side, my neighborhood was rife with gang violence, drug abuse and semi-hopelessness," Starr wrote. "Manhood was measured by ghetto Darwinism: only the toughest young guns who dared not to fear the pistol-toting bullies, stray bullets or the temptation of the drug game survived." He had no idea who his father was then, he wrote, "but I knew I wanted him in my life."
Starr said he "ducked and weaved those travails by doing well in school, participating in after-school sports activities and being a pretty good kid."
In fact, according to the tagline, "Starr has a bachelor's degree in English from Philander Smith College and two master's degrees (M.S. in Editorial Journalism) and (M.A. in Russian, East European and Eurasian Studies) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is a Fulbright Journalism Scholar (Ukraine 2009-2010) and a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer (Georgia 2003-2005). He is an expert in African diasporas in the former Soviet Union and lived in the region for four years. He is pursuing opportunities to write a book on his life."
Brunt listed these as his 10 most important lessons: 1. "Job titles don't mean much. . . ." 2. "The journalism business as we knew it is dead. . . ." 3. "There are some good people in journalism. . . ." 4. "I can create a website (with a lot of help).. . ." 5. "I'm not good at selling cars. . . ." 6. "I'm not the only one. . . ." 7. "We're not missing meals, so I have no right to whine. . . ." 8. "Terry Taylor is a good person. . . ." 9. "My readers and the athletes like my writing, even if it’s not for the AP. . . ." 10. "My wife is my biggest fan. . . ."
R.L.G., Johnson blog, the Economist: How black to be?
"Donna De Cesare had just walked into the AIDS ward at a public hospital in El Salvador one day in 1989 when a young voice greeted her," David Gonzalez reported Wednesday for the New York Times' Lens blog.
" 'What's up?' she recalled hearing. 'Finally, someone from my country!'
"She was taken aback. The voice was in English, with the rhythmic cadence of Chicano Los Angeles, where the young man had once lived. His name was Franklin Torres. Though he was born in El Salvador, he had fled during its violent civil war to what his mother thought was the safety of Los Angeles. Instead, he found refuge in gangs and drugs. Gangs led to his deportation, and back in El Salvador, drugs would claim his life.
"The unexpected encounter stayed with Ms. De Cesare, who had traveled to Central America to photograph the civil wars wracking the region. She would, in time, document the overlooked legacies of those bloody proxy wars, zeroing in on how witnessing unspeakable violence scarred young minds both in Central America and in the barrios of Los Angeles.
"This month, Ms. De Cesare released 'Unsettled/Desasosiego' (University of Texas Press), an urgent and moving work that chronicles those who grew up amid political wars, gang wars or both. It is a look back on lives that were lost, and some who triumphed, during her many years in the region. It is also, for her, a motivation to continue to examine these issues and to push for action through her bilingual Web site, Destiny's Children.
" 'We need to consider what we are doing as a society when we abandon so many children,' said Ms. De Cesare, who is an associate professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. 'We need to see these young people as they truly are — children who have been burdened with so much that is painful from an early age and whose fragile hopes and dreams are being thwarted.' . . . "
Lizzie Chen, KERA-FM, Dallas: UT's Donna De Cesare Trains Her Lens On Central America, Children And Civil War (April 5)
The prominence given immigration status in contrasting stories from the Boston Globe illustrate a bias against one group of unauthorized immigrants, but not another, according to the advocacy group Latino Rebels.
"Irish nanny Aisling Brady McCarthy has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of a one-year-old girl she had been caring for in a Cambridge apartment, Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.'s office said today," began a story Friday by John R. Ellement.
In the 12th paragraph, readers learn that "Brady, a native of Ireland who has been in the country illegally, faces deportation to Ireland if she is freed from state custody, according to the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency."
By contrast, a Globe story by Maria Sacchetti from Sept. 28, 2011, begins, "Scituate police arrested an illegal immigrant from Brazil for motor-vehicle violations three months before he allegedly stabbed his former girlfriend to death in a brutal attack this week, reigniting debate over whether Massachusetts should participate in the federal Secure Communities program."
Globe editor Brian McGrory did not respond to a request for comment.
Meanwhile, Latino Rebels also pointed to a 2012 Hill+Knowlton Strategies online survey for the Latino Donor Collaborative that "showed that one-third think that more than half of the country's Latinos are undocumented and nearly 80% of non-Latino Americans think Latinos are involved in crime and gang activity."
Hill+Knowlton and the Latino Donor Collaborative tried to interest CNN in exclusively broadcasting the data in May 2012, Latino Rebels said, but CNN said online surveys did not offer the same credibility as those using other methods.
David Iannelli, president, global, of Research+Data Insights, disagrees. In fact, he told Journal-isms Friday by email, "Aside from the approach we take of (using demographically balanced panels, etc.) the methodological benefit of using an online approach for a survey on such a sensitive topic is that it neutralizes the problem of the socially-desirable response bias that tends to occur in telephone interviews where the respondent may offer what they believe is the politically correct response to be seen in a positive light by the interviewer. . . ."
Jacquellena Carrero, NBCLatino: The Immigration Line: Who's on it and for how long?
Juan González, Democracy Now!, Pacifica Radio: Immigration Debate "A Battle Over What America Will Look Like in 21st Century"
María Hinojosa with Juan Cartagena on "Latino USA," NPR: The Enforcement Taboo (audio)
María Hinojosa with Reps. Luis V. Gutierrez, D-Ill., and Xavier Becerra, D-Calif., on "Latino USA," NPR: The Congressional Potluck (audio)
John T. Moore, Ventura County (Calif.) Star: Ridding our news pages of labels
"The Republican Party is struggling with its future," Charles M. Blow wrote Wednesday for the New York Times.
"Will it be a regional, Congressional party fighting a last-gasp battle for a shrinking base in a David and Goliath war against ominously expanding federal government? Or will it become a national, presidential party capable of adapting to a new American reality of diversity and expression in which the government serves an essential function in regulating public safety, providing a safety net and serving as a safeguard against discrimination?
"Senator Rand Paul is trying to find a balance between the two. The same week that a dozen defiant senators threatened to filibuster any new gun control legislation, Paul ventured across Washington to historically black Howard University and gave a speech aimed at outreach and bridge building.
"The man is mulling a presidential run after all.
"The speech was a dud. . . ."
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: The Conservative Black Hope (April 4)
Ta-Nehisi Coates, New York Times: He Wears the Mask (April 3)
Merlene Davis, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader: McConnell should apologize to Judd, others battling mental illness
Charles D. Ellison, Philadelphia Tribune: Black Republicans Lost in GOP Rebranding
John McWhorter, Daily News, New York: Dr. Ben Carson's bad medicine (April 4)
Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Black Doctor Stepped in over His Head (April 3)
Adam Serwer, Mother Jones: Rand Paul Does Not Deserve a Gold Star for Speaking at Howard University
"Whenever it is that an icon passes from being human to being a saint is the point at which it's probably too late for a good movie," Wesley Morris, who won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism last year while at the Boston Globe, wrote Thursday for Grantland.
"All you get is the lessons learned and very little of the naturalism or idiosyncrasy or personality that made the person iconic in the first place. Or you get all that courtesy of a great performance, but then there's no filmmaking or storytelling to support it. You rarely get both acting and an angle, the way you did, say, with Walk the Line and Lincoln. It's usually that the subjects mean so much to the filmmakers that they can't bring themselves to take the subjects out of their historical packaging and play with them, lest they lose their value.
"That's the Jackie Robinson situation. . . ."
Not all shared Morris' view in reviewing "42," the Robinson film biography that opened Friday, but many did.
Journalists might have a special interest in the portrayal of Wendell Smith, the legendary African American sportswriter who also helped to desegregate baseball. Smith was inducted posthumously into the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Black Journalists in January. Andre Holland, the actor who plays Smith in the film, was present for the occasion, and La Velle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, now president of the Baseball Writers Association, accepted the award for Smith.
David Germain wrote for the Associated Press, "The story of black baseball writer Wendell Smith (Andre Holland) parallels Robinson's, but the film burns up a lot of time trying to establish camaraderie between the two that never quite gels."
Zeba Blay, Shadow and Act: Review — '42' Is A Well-Intentioned But Watered-Down Telling Of Jackie Robinson's Story
Cal Fussman, ESPN: "I Was Allowed To Dream After That" — Henry Aaron
Dana Jennings, New York Times: The Superhero Who Leapt Color Lines
Jonathan Kim, HuffPost BlackVoices: Review: 42 — Which Side of History Are You On?
A. Stacy Long, Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser: Skeeter Barnes on Jackie Robinson movie: 'It's not just a baseball thing'
Roland S. Martin, Creators Syndicate: Dr. Phil! Help Me Fall Back in Love With Baseball
Eric Metaxas, Religion News Service: Jackie Robinson's faith missing from '42' movie
Wesley Morris, Grantland: Bill Simmons talks to Grantland's film critic Wesley Morris about the upcoming Jackie Robinson biopic '42' and discusses why some movie biographies work and why others don't. (podcast)
Mark Newman, MLB.com: '42' movie receiving rave reviews
Chris Oberholtz, Emily Rittman and Dave Jordan, KCTV-TV, Kansas City: KC rolls out red carpet for stars of Jackie Robinson movie '42'
Rob Parker, the Shadow League: Black People Shouldn't Waste Jackie Robinson's Legacy
Duane Rankin, Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser: '42' better get it right ... and inspire another generation
Alyssa Rosenberg and Travis Waldron, ThinkProgress: What '42' Misses About Jackie Robinson's Integration Of Baseball, And
About The Civil Rights Movement
Andrew Schall, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Wendell Smith: The Pittsburgh journalist who made Jackie Robinson mainstream (June 5, 2011)
A. O. Scott, New York Times: That Rookie at First Is in a New Position
Larry Stone, Seattle Times: As Jackie Robinson is celebrated, African-American participation in MLB dwindles
Jason Whitlock, Fox Sports: Looking for next Jackie? Won't happen
Jason Woullard, the Shadow League: In The Life Of Jackie Robinson: Branch Rickey
"The mass shootings last year in Colorado, Wisconsin and Connecticut reawakened Americans to recurring tragedies of gun violence and rekindled a national debate about gun control — one that public radio and television have chronicled and analyzed through ongoing programs and the package of special broadcasts that aired on PBS last month," Debra Blum wrote this week for Current.org, which covers public broadcasting.
"But along with news coverage and the occasional specials, pubcasters and documentary producers could be doing much more on the gun-violence issue, observers say, if more funding were available in the field.
" 'Philanthropy is really sparse on this topic,' says Vince Stehle, executive director of Media Impact Funders. 'There's some attention paid to it, and maybe a little more now, but it's not well-resourced.'
"Audiences have already demonstrated their interest in programs dealing with gun violence:
"A two-part radio series examining the crisis of gun violence in one Chicago school, 'Harper High School,' proved so popular when it aired on This American Life in February that the show’s distributor Public Radio International is arranging for rebroadcasts on other nonprofit and commercial radio stations. More than 1 million listeners have downloaded the programs from the TAL website, and so many listeners expressed an interest in helping the school that administrators set up an online donation page. . . . "
Natalie Neysa Alund, Oakland Tribune: Memorial service set for former Oakland Tribune freelance photographer gunned down Friday
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Murder of AmeriCorps volunteer challenges our indifference to killings
Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Michelle Obama and community come together for youth
Barry Saunders, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Seeing the victims of crime can send a powerful message
"The Supreme Court hearing cases this year on same-sex marriage [has] thrust gay rights issues to the forefront again. One dominant voice continues to reflect the perspective of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community in news: the white male," Sherri Williams wrote Wednesday for Quill. She added, "The absence of the voices of people of color, women and transgender people from news stories about LGBT issues implies that they don’t exist, said Daryl C. Hannah, director of media and community partnerships for the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. . . . "
The Washington Post has hired Alice Rhee, who spent more than 15 years at NBC and MSNBC, as senior producer of shows as it staffs up in preparation for the summer launch of an online politics channel, Michael Calderone reported Friday for the Huffington Post. He cited a Post memo.
Dr. Shelley Stewart is the recipient of the National Association of Black Journalists' 2013 Community Service Award, NABJ announced on Friday. Dr. Stewart is a broadcast journalist, president and CEO of O2Ideas, and founder of The Mattie C. Stewart Foundation. His "InsideOut" is a 26-minute documentary that presents the stories of [prison] lifers, in their own words, and exposes the lasting and devastating effects that can occur when one drops out of school. It has been viewed in 47 states and Canada.
The American Society of News Editors is teaming with the American Press Institute to hold its Minority Leadership Institute June 23-24 in Washington, coinciding with the annual ASNE convention. The institute provides leadership and management training to 15 mid-level editors and business executives. The program was conceived by ASNE's Diversity Committee and first conducted in August 2012 at Unity.
"With Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable network gaining traction with African-American viewers, Bounce TV picking up advertisers on broadcast and Magic Johnson and P. Diddy backing new channels, long-time leader BET isn't ignoring its rivals," Jon Lafayette reported Thursday for Broadcasting & Cable. Louis Carr, BET's president of ad sales, "pointed to research on engagement with African-Americans that showed BET was the No. 1 among 400 media brands they were unwilling to give up. BET beat ESPN by 22%, TV One by 41% and OWN by 89%. BET's Centric network beat OWN by 7%. . . ."
"*Co-host of MSNBC's daytime show 'The Cycle' Touré joined HuffPost Live host Marc Lamont Hill Thursday and defended his network's all-white primetime lineup," EURWeb reported. The item added, "But Touré said that within MSNBC's modern era, there have only been five hosts to fit into three valuable slots — and the current lineup of Chris Hayes, Rachel Maddow and Lawrence O'Donnell is 'brilliant' and 'extraordinary.' "
"While their English-language counterparts have struggled in the ratings so far this year, Univision and Telemundo are headed in the other direction," Rick Kissell reported Thursday for Variety. "The Spanish-language broadcasters recorded some historic highs in the first quarter, with Univision closing in on NBC in 18-49 and pulling ahead of it in the younger half of the [demographic.] And for the 2012-13 season to date, Telemundo, Univision and its sister network UniMas are the only broadcasters showing any growth in the 18-49 demo, according to Nielsen. . . ."
"More African Americans wear the union label than non-blacks, but the number of union members declined in 2012 compared with the year before," the NorthStar News & Analysis reported Friday. "The University of California Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education reported in 2012 that 13.1 percent of black workers in the United States were union members compared with 11.0 percent of non-black workers. . . ."
"The new president and c.e.o. of dual licensee Lakeshore Public Media in Merrillville, Ind., is James Muhammad, currently director of radio services for West Virginia Public Broadcasting. He begins work in his new post May 20," Dru Sefton reported for current.org on Thursday.
"Margaret Sullivan, the public editor of The New York Times, writes about technology writer Jenna Wortham's recent admission that she shares passwords for Netflix," Chris Roush wrote Thursday for Talking Biz News. Sullivan quoted Jeff Sommer, an assistant business editor who worked with Wortham to conceive the column idea. "The column is supposed to be experimental, and Jenna is deliberately on the frontier – that's the whole point. It's wonderful to have someone who's ahead of the curve. . . ."
In Winnipeg, Manitoba, the Winnipeg Free Press was honored Thursday "for bridge-building journalism that has helped Manitobans better understand the province's Muslim community," the paper reported. "Free Press diversity reporter Carol Sanders and faith writer Brenda Suderman received the Ansar and Ihsan Awards from the Islamic Social Services Association Inc." It continued, "Sanders used her speech to thank the Islamic community for their patience and understanding in the 104 stories she has written since 2004 that involved questions about their religion. . . ."
In Venezuela, "The late President Hugo Chavez appeared constantly on TV, and attacked media that criticized him," Juan Forero reported Friday for NPR. "Now, only one opposition TV station remains. The left-leaning president called Globovision part of a right-wing conspiracy. Though Chavez is gone, the station's end may also be near."
The Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday it "welcomes Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's announcement that he will withdraw legal complaints against journalists who 'spread wrong information.' The announcement was posted on the presidency's Twitter account and confirmed by Presidential spokesman Ehab Fahmy. . . ."
"In a return to old tactics, the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) in Sudan have resumed strict pre-publication censorship," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Friday.
In Tunisia, Free Arabs, a new secular-minded website, "includes skits poking fun at Islamic legal opinions by dramatizing them far beyond their logical conclusions," John Thorne reported Wednesday for the Christian Science Monitor. He added, "Launched last month by Moroccan journalist Ahmed Benchemsi, it aims to sustain the spirit of intelligent irreverence that helped drive the Arab Spring. . . ."
The Nigeria National Committee of the International Press Institute declared Friday, "Detaining journalists while investigating their alleged professional infractions is a throw back to the best forgotten dark days of dictatorial regimes. The courts, not detention centres, are the proper place to take alleged offenders. . . ."
Reporting on Ecuador, Reporters Without Borders said Friday it "hopes for quick results from the investigation into journalist Fausto Valdivieso's murder yesterday in Guayaquil. The motive is not yet known but press reports quoted local sources as saying he had been the target of a murder attempt 24 hours earlier and had received threats. . . ."
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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
A look back at how the late film critic often saw the nuances in films about people of color.
Among the tributes to the likability, insight and journalistic skill of America's most well-known film critic, Roger Ebert, was praise for the way Ebert expressed his appreciation for diversity in his professional and personal lives.
Ebert, the Chicago Sun-Times critic who became more broadly well-known as half of the television team of Siskel and Ebert, died at 70 on Thursday after a long battle with thyroid cancer.
Ebert's appreciation of diversity was wide-ranging. He is survived by his African American wife, Chaz Hammelsmith Ebert. Oprah Winfrey's website posted a piece about their two dates in the 1980s, during which he encouraged the then-host of a modest local TV show, "AM Chicago," to go into syndication. As the cliche goes, the rest is history.
"Roger Ebert is one of my Asian American heroes, because he helped change the face of Asian American film after he famously responded to a (white) heckler during the Q&A after a screening of Justin Lin's Better Luck Tomorrow at Sundance in 2002," Joz Wang, who uses the pen name jozjozjoz, wrote Thursday on the website 8Asians.com.
She quoted from a transcript of Ebert's remarks:
"I was on a panel today with Chris Eyre, the Native American director. And he said, that for a long time, his people, American Indians, had always had to play some kind of a function, like they were the source of spirituality, or the source of great wisdom and they spoke to the trees and the wind and so forth. And he wanted to make a movie that allowed Native Americans to be people. People in some cases who are alcoholics or who are vigilantes, or in prison (music interrupts). And what I find very offensive and condescending about your statement, is nobody would say to a bunch of white filmmakers, 'How could you do this to your people?' This film has the right to be about these people and Asian American characters have the right to be whoever the hell they want to be. They do not have to 'represent' their people. . . ."
Wesley Morris, a black journalist who won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism last year while at the Boston Globe, added to that thought Friday on the Grantland site:
"Ebert did a lot of reading, particularly on social issues," Morris wrote. "No major critic did more for black movies than he did. He championed great filmmakers like Spike Lee and Charles Burnett. He lifted up directors like John Singleton and Matty Rich, finding the upside in some of their mediocre filmmaking without ever seeming to damn with faint praise, lower his standards, or lie. Their filmmaking might not have been spectacular, but he deemed it morally necessary.
"That Ebert married a black attorney named Chaz Hammelsmith in 1992 doesn't seem relevant to his racial sagacity and yet it does: He could see her radiance. Neither on television nor in print was there any kind of white guilt, just empathy and an uncanny sense of the nuances of racial politics.
"Talking to [Gene] Siskel about 1991's House Party II, Ebert observed that the dark-skinned kids were portrayed as troubled, bad, or stupid while the light-skinned kids were smart and virtuous, and worried that that dynamic just reinforced all the old intra-racial inferiority complexes. That was the sort of insight television producers were always bringing on Julianne Malveaux to make. To see a white critic express that and do so with that kind of concern only made you feel closer to Ebert. He and Siskel were not unfairly hard on Whoopi Goldberg, Eddie Murphy, or Richard Pryor, making them responsible for their bad choices and not the vagaries of Hollywood racism. There was no lament in the criticism, just disappointment. . . ."
Eric Deggans, television critic for the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times, credited Ebert with being "the first arts critic who showed me just how far you could take this gig," who was "so cool he once dated Oprah and has Martin Scorsese working on a film about his life."
On the "She the People" section of the Washington Post website, Mary C. Curtis steered readers to Ebert's July 17, 2012, blog posting, "Roger Loves Chaz," and wrote, "Try to read this love letter from Roger Ebert to his wife, Chaz, and not cry."
"Wednesday, July 18, is the 20th anniversary of our marriage," Ebert wrote. "How can I begin to tell you about Chaz? She fills my horizon, she is the great fact of my life, she has my love, she saved me from the fate of living out my life alone, which is where I seemed to be heading. If my cancer had come, and it would have, and Chaz had not been there with me, I can imagine a descent into lonely decrepitude. I was very sick. I might have vegetated in hopelessness. This woman never lost her love, and when it was necessary she forced me to want to live. She was always there believing I could do it, and her love was like a wind forcing me back from the grave. . . ."
Angry Asian Man blog: Roger Ebert, Champion of Asian American Cinema
Roger Ebert's Journal, Chicago Sun-Times: A photo of a little girl, and memories of two beloved aunts (March 2011)
Editorial, Chicago Tribune: Two thumbs up
Adam Howard, the Grio: Roger Ebert dead at 70: Legendary film critic was a champion of black film
Oprah.com: A Date With Destiny
Caryn Rousseau, Associated Press: Famed Movie Critic Roger Ebert Dies At 70
"The Plain Dealer in Cleveland, whose reporters organized one of the industry's most active opposition movements against its parent company's plans for cutbacks, will trim home delivery to three days a week and create a new digital company, the owner, Advance Publications, said on Thursday," Christine Haughney reported for the New York Times.
The paper is also expected to cut more than one-third of the 165 Newspaper Guild members on its newsroom staff. However, the contract guarantees employment for those who remain through 2019.
"According to the announcement, the company is creating a new digitally focused media company called the Northeast Ohio Media Group. It will continue to print a daily newspaper that readers can buy on newsstands and elsewhere. These changes will start to take place this summer," Haughney reported.
It is expected that some of those cut from the newsroom staff will be assigned to the Northeast Ohio Media Group.
Debra Adams Simmons, the Plain Dealer's editor, told Journal-isms it was too early to discuss their fate.
"No staffing decisions have been made. The leadership of the new company was just announced yesterday," Adams Simmons said Friday by email. "The next step would be to decide what skills are needed and to identify the best talent to fill those roles. We currently have a diverse staff and I expect that to continue here and at the new company. You may have noticed three of the top positions in our market — the president of the media group, the general manager of the publishing company and the editor — are held by women, including two women of color. You often have said diversity in top positions breeds a more diverse workforce so I think we are well poised."
Robert L. Smith noted Thursday in the Plan Dealer story, "Many newsroom staff, while lamenting the end of a home-delivery era, expressed relief the changes were not more dramatic. Advance, a privately held company run by the heirs of S.I. Newhouse, has been drastically curtailing the print schedules at many of its newspapers across the land."
The Associated Press reported that the Plain Dealer has a weekday circulation of about 286,400 and that other Advance papers, such as the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and the Birmingham News in Alabama, have cut back their publishing schedules to three days a week.
"When the Associated Press Stylebook decided to no longer sanction using the term 'illegal' or 'undocumented' immigrant, we noted our policy as well," John Rosman wrote Friday for the Fronteras website.
He continued, "As a striking change as this is for journalists, we were curious if this decision impacted our audience. We sent out a query asking people what terms they used, and were surprised by the responses we got along the border and across the U.S."
Using Google Maps, the Fronteras site developed a map of responses and published "some of the voices that highlight the complexities of a term."
Meanwhile, "Editors at the Los Angeles Times are considering changes in policy regarding the use of the term 'illegal immigrant' in Times reports," Cindy Chang and Marisa Gerber reported in that newspaper.
They continued, "At the Los Angeles Times, 'illegal alien' was the preferred usage from 1979 until the newspaper's style guide changed in 1995, said Henry Fuhrmann, assistant managing editor in charge of copy desks.
"Since then, writers have been directed to use 'illegal immigrants' while avoiding 'illegal aliens' and 'illegals.' "
At the 17th annual American Copy Editors Society conference in St. Louis, Darrell Christian of the AP Stylebook team "said discussion about banning ['illegal immigrants'] was long and involved talks with interest groups, but no reasoning could be found for 'ease of use' to trump not offending people," Gerri Berendzen reported in a blog from the conference.
"But while groups asked for a ban on the word 'illegal,' Christian said it will continue to be used to describe 'illegal actions.' . . . "
Elsewhere, "The Americans for Legal Immigration political action committee, which is neither a traditional news publication nor a reliable source of independently verified information, said Wednesday that it will adopt the term 'illegal invader' in its communications to replace 'illegal immigrant,' ” HuffPost Latino Voices reported Friday.
Freddie Allen, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Immigration Isn't Just a Latino Issue
Rob Sachs and Kim Palchikoff with Hugo Balta and Jonathan Rosa, Voice of Russia Radio: AP's evolution on 'illegal immigrant' raises debate on language, race
Rinku Sen with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, "Democracy Now!", Pacifica Radio: Drop the I-Word: In Victory for Advocates, Associated Press Stops Using Phrase "Illegal Immigrant"
"Led by former FCC chairman Reed Hundt, a dozen former FCC officials, activists and others have written Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder asking him to change the name of the football team, suggesting broadcasters are breaking the law by using the name on the airwaves," John Eggerton wrote Friday for Broadcasting & Cable.
"In addition to the letter, Hundt wrote an op ed in the Washington Post on Friday saying that the FCC 'clearly has the authority to investigate whether broadcasters' use of derogatory names to describe sports teams and players comports with the public interest.'
"And he would like them to use it.
"Hundt told B&C that his first choice would be for Snyder to change the name, but if that didn't happen, for broadcasters not to use it on-air, and for the FCC to actively investigate whether its use constitutes indecency. 'The FCC chairman and commissioners ought to speak up right now. They don't have to say they have to regulate, but they ought to say what the right answer is. It's not their job to be silent.' . . ."
Meanwhile, Julius Genachowski, the current FCC chairman, announced last month that he was stepping down. In the Columbia Journalism Review, Tracie Powell wrote Thursday that journalists should care who succeeds him because:
"That person will likely decide whether Rupert Murdoch and other big media owners will be allowed to own both newspapers and TV or radio stations in large markets.
"With more newspapers reducing print schedules and relying solely on digital, the next FCC chair will determine ways to either make broadband more accessible and cheaper or whether to maintain the status quo, with rising prices and a limited number of competitors in the marketplace.
"The FCC is the only agency with a mandate to make the media more diverse, local, and accountable. A new chief could choose to use its enforcement powers to ensure diversity is reflected in the voices, perspectives, and owners in media.
"The new chairperson could also determine whether to make political advertising more transparent in TV ads and online. . . ."
In Denver, the National Conference for Media Reform opened Friday. The "Democracy Now! radio and television show reported, "Some 2,000 people are expected to gather to look at how media, technology and democracy intersect. . . . One of the major topics this year is media consolidation. As newspapers struggle to survive, billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch have expressed interest in buying Tribune Company, which includes the Los Angeles Times and the Chicago Tribune. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch is also weighing a bid for the Los Angeles Times in a market where he already owns two television stations. . . . "
Moni Basu, CNN: Native American mascots: Pride or prejudice?
The Washington publication National Journal published a piece Thursday that is called "Has Obama Done Enough for Black Americans?" online and "the Weight" in print.
It assumed added interest for this column because the Journal is one of a circle of Washington magazines not known for their diversity. The Journal also maintained a partnership with PBS' "Washington Week" with Gwen Ifill from 2005 to 2012, supplying panelists to appear on the show.
The piece's conclusions were not surprising, saying of many African Americans, "Thrilled beyond words at seeing a proudly black man in the Oval Office, they almost don't want to admit they want still more. But they know they have to be exceedingly careful in pushing [President] Obama to talk more about — and do more for — black Americans still reeling from a recession that hit them harder than anyone else.
"Wanting more is why so many blacks, from the barbershops and street corners to the think tanks and highest levels of academe, are investing so much in the belief that Obama has been liberated by his reelection to become more of a champion for his community. . . ."
Charles Green, editor of the Journal since 1999 responded to a question from a Journal-isms reader asking whether any African Americans worked on the story.
"Neither George Condon nor Jim O'Sullivan, the authors of the story, is African American," Green responded by email.
"We currently have two African Americans on our editorial staff," he continued in response to another question.
"To answer a question you didn't ask: I don't think the fact that both Condon and O'Sullivan are white detracts from the merits of the article about President Obama. The two authors reported on what black supporters and black critics of President Obama had to say on the issue of whether the president has focused enough on race during his presidency. I think the story airs both sides of the issue and is a very fair treatment of a sensitive subject.
"I hope you agree that it was a worthwhile piece."
Green said that of the two African Americans, one is a reporter and the other a copy editor. The editorial staff includes about 70 people. He said he did not want to name the black journalists without their permission, and they are not readily evident among the magazine's staff bios.
Green also said the publication has no staff openings at the moment.
Gwen Ifill, PBS: Embracing Difference: Telling Other People's Stories Well
Al Jazeera America made this announcement on Thursday:
"Al Jazeera America, the new US-based news channel set to launch later this year, today announced that Ali Velshi, CNN's former chief business correspondent and anchor of 'Your Money' and CNN International's 'World Business Today,' has joined Al Jazeera America to develop and host a daily primetime business program.
"Based in New York, the as yet-to-be named 30-minute magazine-style program will initially launch in a weekly format but is expected to move to a five-days-a-week schedule by year's end. The program will cover a variety of topics including employment, personal finance, healthcare and education and will feature a mix of field reports, studio guests and interactive discussions designed to highlight how economic developments in the U.S. and around the globe affect the daily lives of Americans. The program will draw upon the extensive global resources of the Al Jazeera Media Network and will employ specialists and other correspondents who will lend their expertise. . . . "
Velshi is Al Jazeera America's first on-air hire, Joe Flint reported Thursday for the Los Angeles Times.
The Qatar-based network announced in January that it had bought the struggling liberal channel Current TV from Al Gore for $500 million, and would use it to expand into American coverage. It received 5,000 applications for open positions within 24 hours of posting openings for the majority of its new positions, BuzzFeed reported at the time.
Thursday's release quoted Velshi: "I'm thrilled to be joining Al Jazeera America, an organization that puts quality, fact-based journalism first. It's a tremendous opportunity and I look forward to taking advantage of the extraordinary U.S. news-gathering capabilities the channel is building and working with such a diverse and talented group of colleagues to tell compelling stories that matter to Americans."
He told Brian Stelter of the New York Times, "I think the product will trump any preconceived notions that people may have going into it. They're very determined for this brand to make an impact and for this brand to be a meaningful provider of news.”
Flint added, "Al Jazeera America has not set a launch date but has said it plans to be up and running before the end of 2013." He continued, "Al Jazeera America is opening bureaus all around the country and has plans to compete on the domestic news front with CNN, MSNBC and Fox News."
"The four broadcast networks' Sunday morning political talk shows guests skewed right during the first quarter of 2013," Rob Savillo reported Friday for Media Matters for America.
"MSNBC's two Sunday programs featured far greater gender and ethnic diversity in its guests than the broadcast programs and CNN's Sunday morning political talk show."
Savillo continued, "Melissa Harris-Perry was the only show to host a majority of non-white guests — 39 percent of guests were African-American, 4 percent were Latino, 4 percent were Asian-American, and 1 were percent Arab-American. Up [with Chris Hayes] was still significantly more diverse than broadcast and CNN, with 37 percent of guests being non-white. No other program had a guest pool that was less than 82 percent white; Fox News Sunday was the least ethnically diverse, with 91 percent of guests being white." In addition, "MSNBC's programs were the only ones not dominated by white men."
"Broadcast Networks Hosted Republican And Conservative Guests Most Often.
"A report that examines national TV networks' coverage of unions and the labor movement over three years confirms what unions have long known: The media largely ignores labor, except to paint unions as a source of trouble in the American economy," the Newspaper Guild reported Tuesday.
" 'Even in stories about labor or unions, the main sources relied on are external to labor or unions,' writes Professor Federico Subervi in a summary of the report. 'Moreover, the discourse and framing continues to fault the workers and their representatives for any conflict or impasse, not the business, company or government.'
"Professor Subervi's report was commissioned by The Newspaper Guild-CWA. Subervi is the director of the Center for the Study of Latino Media & Markets at the School of Journalism and [Mass Communication] at Texas State University. . . . "
"Authorities in Ethiopia describe Eskinder Nega, a prominent columnist and government critic jailed since September 2011 on vague terrorism charges, as a dangerous individual bent on violent revolution," Tom Rhodes reported Friday for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
"However, in an opinion handed down in 2012 — publicized only this week by Washington, D.C.-based legal advocacy group Freedom Now — a United Nations panel of five independent experts ruled that Eskinder's imprisonment came 'as a result of his peaceful exercise of the right to freedom of expression.'
"The opinion from the U.N. Working Group on Arbitrary Detention was issued after a judge in Addis Ababa sentenced Eskinder to 18 years in prison in July 2012, accusing him of writing 'articles that incited the public to bring the North African and Arab uprisings to Ethiopia.'
Rhodes continued, "The opinion, however, is not binding, and Ethiopian authorities have a notoriously tough hide when it comes to international criticism of their human rights record — despite being major recipients of Western aid . . ."
Nega's supporters in the United States and around the world have been pleading for his freedom for months.
Charlayne Hunter-Gault wrote last year on the Root, "Crying onstage in front of a crowd is not my thing, but a few days ago, as I stood next to Serkalem Fasil, I couldn't hold back my tears. It was a bittersweet moment because Fasil had just received the prestigious PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award on behalf of her husband, Eskinder Nega.
"He faces life in prison on charges of terrorism and incitement to violent revolt after writing an article discussing the implications of the Arab Spring uprising for democracy in Ethiopia. And Nega is not alone in being on the receiving end of an ongoing government crackdown on independent journalists in Ethiopia, many of whom are also being silenced by arrests and imprisonment. Many have fled the country to keep hope (and themselves) alive. . . ."
Marco Chown Oved, Radio France Internationale: Eritrean Journalist Relaunches Paper in Canada
Yamiche Alcindor, a national reporter at USA Today, has been selected for the National Association of Black Journalists' 2013 Emerging Journalist of the Year Award, NABJ announced on Friday. "Alcindor is presently a breaking news reporter at USA Today and has reported from the scenes of some of the biggest stories in recent memory. In 2012 she traveled to Sanford, Fla. to cover the Trayvon Martin story, to Tallahassee, Fla. to cover the Florida A&M University hazing scandal, and to Newtown, Conn. to cover the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting. . . ."
Carlos Sanchez, managing editor of the Baton Rouge, La., bureau at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, has been named to lead the editorial coverage of the Monitor in McAllen, Texas, Jared Taylor reported Thursday for the Monitor. An El Paso native, Sanchez, 52, served for nearly a decade as executive editor of the Waco (Texas) Tribune-Herald. He has also held newsroom positions at the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman; the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas; the Washington Post and other newspapers.
"Doris Truong, a multiplatform editor on the Universal News Desk at Washington Post, was named the eighth winner of the American Copy Editors Society's Robinson Prize during the national conference banquet Friday, Gerri Berendzen reported in a blog from the St. Louis conference. The award "recognizes substantial contributions to the craft of copy editing and excellence in overall copy-editing skills" and comes with $3,000. "I also set aside a portion of the prize money to issue a matching-funds challenge to the ACES attendees. Donations from that effort brought in about $3,000 for the ACES Education Fund," she told Journal-isms by email. Truong is immediate past national president of the Asian American Journalists Association and current vice president of the Unity: Journalists for Diversity coalition.
"This week marks Tiger Woods' 21st cover on Sports Illustrated. So it isn't exactly a novelty for the old/new world No. 1 golfer," Ed Sherman wrote Thursday for the Sherman Report. "Yet it still is Sports Illustrated. If the magazine is going to do a big cover piece, you figure you might make yourself available to spend a few minutes with the reporter. Right? Well, in the no-surprise department, Woods snubbed SI's Michael Rosenberg. . . ."
CNN President Jeff Zucker has "tossed out the repeats of 'Anderson Cooper 360' that have inexplicably been wasting an hour of primetime real estate the past year and a half, airing at 10 p.m.," Louisa Ada Seltzer wrote Wednesday for Media Life Magazine. "And this week h'es testing a new show in its place called '(Get to) The Point.' The program showcases a panel of diverse personalities, led by Donny Deutsch, who break down the day’s events. Think of it as a backdoor pilot of sorts. It's only scheduled to run for five days. If it draws good ratings and buzz, CNN could decide to develop the show into a primetime program and recruit more talent. . . . "
"For the first time in more than four decades of polling on the issue, a majority of Americans favor legalizing the use of marijuana," the Pew Research Center reported Thursday. "A national survey finds that 52% say that the use of marijuana should be made legal while 45% say it should not." Fifty-six percent of blacks said marijuana should be legalized, as did 52 percent of whites and 51 percent of Hispanics.
Maria Molina, a meteorologist for Fox News Channel, says she wanted to be a meterologist since 1992, when she was 5 years old and Hurricane Andrew hit her home in South Florida, Valerie Tejeda reported Tuesday for Latina magazine. "It was traumatizing to say the least. I learned how dangerous weather can be at a young age and since then knew that I wanted to forecast and warn people of severe weather events," Molina told Tejeda. Molina is the magazine's "Inspiring Latina of the Week."
"Earlier this week, we noted that Chris Hayes inaugural edition [of] 'All In' [on MSNBC] had brought a 45 percent increase in viewers aged 25-54 — a boost we interpreted as evidence that the network's bid to court younger viewers had paid off," Dylan Byers reported for Politico. "The second night's ratings suggest we jumped the gun. Viewership for 'All In' dropped 54 percent in the 25-54 demo, a net decline of 26 percent from the average March viewership for Ed Schultz's show, which previously occupied the hour. . . ."
"In a wave of censorship, Cameroon has indefinitely banned two TV programs for what regulators considered violent content and another three radio programs on vague charges of ethics violations, according to news reports," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Wednesday. CPJ condemned the move, which includes the suspension of at least seven journalists.
In Mexico, "Reporters Without Borders condemns the harassment of community radio stations in the southern state of Oaxaca by the local authorities and international companies," the press freedom group reported on Friday. "The radio stations are opposing the proposed construction of a huge wind farm in the Isthmus of Tehuantepec by Mareña Renovables and Gas Natural Fenosa and are criticizing the failure to consult the local indigenous communities. . . . "
In South Africa, the University of Cape Town's "weekly student newspaper Varsity has issued a formal apology for printing a survey polling the most attractive race," Kieran Legg reported Friday for IOL News. "The survey documented the dating preferences of 60 people — 10 whites, 10 coloureds, 10 Indians, 10 east Asians, 10 'biracial' people and 10 Africans — and concluded that white people were considered to be the most attractive. African people were considered to be the least desirable." Lorne Hallendorff, president of the university's Student Representative Council, said that to draw conclusions from a poll of 60 people failed to meet any real statistical requirements.
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Journalists of color have a harder time recovering from job loss.
The contraction of the news industry and the recent recession hit black and Latino journalists harder than whites, the American Society of News Editors has established, and a new study suggests that those journalists might have been less financially equipped to withstand the layoffs than their white counterparts.
The Pew Charitable Trusts' "Hard Choices: Navigating the Economic Shock of Unemployment" did not specifically examine journalists, but it did look at the effects of unemployment on African Americans and Latinos.
"The study finds that while families at every rung of the economic ladder experienced unemployment, their ability to withstand and recover from losses differed dramatically," it said.
"Low-income families and those of color had both the greatest risk of job loss and the least access to resources to buffer negative effects."
It continued, "For example, when comparing those households that experienced unemployment, the median wealth of white households was at least seven times that of black households in each year of the study," which covered 10 years.
"Moreover, families that experienced unemployment not only suffered lost income during their period not working, but also longer-term wealth losses, compromising their economic security and mobility."
ASNE reported last year that overall, total newsroom employment at daily newspapers and online outlets declined by 2.4 percent in 2011, while the loss in minority newsroom positions was 5.7 percent.
"The decline in minority newsroom employment . . . appears to be stabilizing," the organization reported. But it noted "a decline of approximately 800 minority newsroom positions in both 2008 and 2009," followed by a loss of 500 jobs over 2010 and 2011. ASNE counts participating newspaper and online outlets, but not broadcasters.
(Bob Papper of Hofstra University, who tracks local broadcast numbers for the Radio Television Digital News Association, told Journal-isms by email, "At this point, total TV news employment is slightly ahead of the last pre-recession number ... and the percentage of minorities is virtually unchanged. No progress … but no loss either.")
The National Association of Black Journalists said after last year's ASNE report, "Since 2002, African American journalists have lost [993 newsroom] jobs -- more than any other group of minorities, including Hispanic, Asian and Native American."
No one seems to have tracked what happened to all those who were laid off, and African Americans have no doubt proved resilient in many ways. But the Pew report includes among its interviewees a laid-off African American news reporter named Bob Johnson, who eventually found another job yet was still financially challenged.
The Johnson family "did not have family wealth to draw on, felt squeezed and challenged by financial obligations, and had to make difficult choices," the report said. " 'When you have aging parents who you're helping,' Bob said, 'and you've got a daughter who's going through what she's going through [health and disability challenges] and another daughter in college, it just gets spread out so thin.' The Johnsons' loss of income affected not only their immediate family, but also the well-being of their aging parents, and these responsibilities affected the speed with which depleted resources could be rebuilt."
The researchers said, "Data from the interviews reinforced that the economic position of families at the onset of unemployment strongly influences whether and how they are able to maintain their well-being.
"Inherited assets are not evenly distributed among families. Research has shown that black and Hispanic families receive lower overall levels of support from private transfers than white families and are five times less likely to receive inheritances and large gifts."
The report concluded, "The findings in this report provide insight for policymakers seeking to help families build assets that can protect them in times of need and provide a foundation for future upward mobility. Mechanisms that encourage families to build savings and access low-cost loans in times of economic shock, as well as public safety-net programs that prevent downward mobility and also promote recovery and return to the labor market, are all needed."
Krissy Clark, "Marketplace," American Public Media: Recovery from job loss: Easier for whites than blacks
Large newspapers were in no rush to follow the Associated Press Wednesday in its declaration that the word "illegal" should describe an action, not a person, when discussing immigrants who are in the country illegally.
"We generally follow AP style, but in this case we're still discussing whether or not to go along," Joe Knowles, associate managing editor/editing and presentation at the Chicago Tribune, told Journal-isms by email, "... partly because it makes headline writing difficult if not impossible. One of our copy chiefs sent a note to Ask the Editor on what they recommend in headlines. 'Perpetrator of illegal immigration' isn't going to fit too well."
While many journalists of color and immigrant advocates applauded the AP, others, ranging from conservative politicians and commentators to the CNN anchor Don Lemon, ridiculed the decision or at least were strongly skeptical. "File this in the overflowing cabinet labeled: No Wonder the Mainstream Media Is Dying," right-wing commentator Michelle Malkin wrote.
"I disagree with the Associated Press," Ruben Navarrette Jr., the contrarian syndicated columnist, wrote on Facebook. "But I'll give this decision the consideration it deserves. Which is, not much." Navarrette referred his followers to a November column in which he listed 10 reasons he thought "illegal immigrant" was accurate.
The AP's new stylebook entry for "illegal immigration" reads, "Entering or residing in a country in violation of civil or criminal law. Except in direct quotes essential to the story, use illegal only to refer to an action, not a person: illegal immigration, but not illegal immigrant. Acceptable variations include living in or entering a country illegally or without legal permission.
"Except in direct quotations, do not use the terms illegal alien, an illegal, illegals or undocumented."
The note from Kathleen Carroll, the AP's senior vice president and executive editor, said, "Specify wherever possible how someone entered the country illegally and from where. Crossed the border? Overstayed a visa? What nationality?"
The AP Stylebook is used by most newspapers in the United States, and an overwhelming number of them publish stories from the wire service.
Still, some large newspapers have their own stylebooks.
After the AP announcement, Margaret Sullivan, public editor of the New York Times, told readers of her blog, "The Times, for the past couple of months, has also been considering changes to its stylebook entry on this term and will probably announce them to staff members this week." But, Sullivan added, "From what I can gather, The Times's changes will not be nearly as sweeping as The A.P.'s."
Martin Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, which also has a stylebook of its own, told a reporter, "We have not addressed this subject since the changes at AP and the New York Times, which occurred within the last few days," according to a Post spokeswoman.
At the Los Angeles Times, "The Times' Standards and Practices Committee has been studying this issue for several months and has not yet reached a decision on whether to recommend a style along the lines of what AP has announced," spokeswoman Nancy Sullivan told Journal-isms.
However, the Los Angeles paper had already nixed "illegal" or "illegal aliens," though it approved of "illegal immigrants."
Its "illegal immigrants" entry reads, "Use this term in referring to citizens of foreign countries who have come to the country with no passport, visa or other document to show that they are entitled to visit, work or live in the United States.
"Do not use illegal aliens or illegals except in direct quotes.
"The nouns alien and illegal should not appear in headlines. The term undocumented immigrant is acceptable as a synonym for illegal immigrant under certain conditions, such as when a form of the word illegal already appears in a sentence. Example: Although their parents are not legally eligible for welfare, the children of undocumented immigrants qualify for benefits. Take care in assigning people the status of illegal immigrants. Those arrested by border police are held or deported by the INS if they are suspected of being illegal immigrants. It is wrong to accuse someone of illegal activity if it is untrue. We cannot know without asking, for example, whether particular dayworkers are illegal immigrants or immigrants at all."
Freddie Allen, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Immigration isn't just a Latino issue (March 30)
Hugo Balta, voxxi.com: NAHJ: NY Times, stop reconsidering 'illegal immigrant' and be sensible
Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post Writers Group: Stealing a childhood through identity theft
Tammerlin Drummond, Oakland Tribune: Don't blame Korean culture for Oikos massacre
Latina Lista blog: It must be the year of the Latino: AP announces it's dropping the 'i' word
David Leopold, Huffington Post: There Is No Such Thing As An 'Illegal Alien'
Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post: Fox News Objects To AP Dropping 'Illegal Immigrant'
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Reforming immigration the right way
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: A rightward tilt to immigration reform
Ruben Rosario, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Give students a chance to step out of the shadows
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Prosecutor puts focus where it should be in undocumented worker case
Tavis Smiley, HuffPost LatinoVoices: LATINO NATION: Beyond the Numbers
Peter Sterne, Columbia Journalism Review: No more 'illegal immigrants' in AP stories
Taylor Miller Thomas, Poynter Institute: Why San Antonio Express-News stopped using 'illegal immigrant' five years ago
Seth Freed Wessler, Colorlines: Immigration Reform May Throw Siblings Under the Bus (March 26)
"Hey, Reince Priebus: Here's some more top-notch minority outreach from your partners at the right-wing Media Research Center," Joan Walsh wrote Tuesday for Salon, referring to the chairman of the Republican National Committee.
"MSNBC just announced that Karen Finney, a network political analyst and former communications director of the Democratic National Committee, will host a new weekend show. MRC director of media analysis Tim Graham immediately Tweeted:
" 'MSNBC touting Karen Finney as another African-American host. Would the average viewer be able to guess that? Or is Boehner a shade more tan?'
" ' -- Tim Graham (@TimJGraham) April 2, 2013'
"Finney is African-American, although MSNBC didn't particularly 'tout' that in its press release; it mentioned that she was the first African-American communications director of the DNC and is a member of the National Association of Black Journalists. I'm not sure what would cause Graham to even muse about her racial bona fides, let alone share his idiocy publicly. When mocked on Twitter, he just dug his hole deeper . . ."
Walsh continued, "Graham's buffoonery reminded me of when former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown mocked and questioned Sen. Elizabeth Warren's American Indian background, and when Tucker Carlson accused Barack Obama of exaggerating his 'black' accent when speaking to black ministers. . . ."
Rebecca Shapiro, Huffington Post: Tim Graham's Controversial Tweet About Karen Finney Provokes Backlash
"CNN's chief business correspondent Ali Velshi is leaving the channel, TVNewser has learned," Alex Weprin reported Wednesday for TVNewser.
"CNN Worldwide president Jeff Zucker noted the change in a meeting with CNN staff today. Velshi's last day will be Friday. Zucker said that CNN and Velshi were parting as friends, and that the channel was sorry to see him go.
" 'It's been an amazing almost 12 years at CNN. Love it more today than I ever have, and CNN is going to be great under Jeff,' Velshi says. 'I basically grew up here, so it's sad to leave, but I've got a great opportunity to stretch some new muscles and grow something, and it appeals to my entrepreneurial side.' "
Weprin wrote, "It isn't clear where Velshi is going just yet, but Zucker said that Velshi is leaving to work on a new project that 'he couldn't pass up' according to an insider."
"Men armed with pistols, knives and steel pipes stormed into three Baghdad newspaper offices, beating employees and smashing computers after publication of an article about a Shi'ite Muslim cleric, police and editors said on Tuesday," Ahmed Rasheed reported for Reuters.
"Monday's attacks illustrated the stubborn influence of hardline Islamist militias in Iraq, where Sunni and Shi'ite insurgents often imposed their own fundamentalist vision on the streets during the height of sectarian war a few years ago."
The story continued, "Iraq's media landscape has loosened dramatically since the days of dictator Saddam Hussein, when state-controlled media churned out endless propaganda. Now Iraqis have a choice of 200 print outlets, 60 radio stations and 30 TV channels in Arabic and also in the Turkman, Syriac and Kurdish languages.
"But while press freedom has improved, many media outlets remain dominated by religious or political party patrons who use them for their own ends. The government has also occasionally threatened to close media outlets it regards as offensive.
"The Iraqi media are still frequently targeted for their work. Five Iraqi journalists were killed in 2012, according to the International Federation of Journalists. . . ."
Meanwhile, Jackie Spinner, a former Washington Post journalist and its Baghdad bureau chief, interviewed correspondents who had covered Iraq since the U.S. invasion in 2003. Spinner, an assistant professor of journalism at Columbia College in Chicago and a U.S. Fulbright Scholar in Oman in 2010-11, wrote for the February/March issue of the American Journalism Review.
"Hannah Allam, who was Baghdad bureau chief for Knight Ridder (now McClatchy) from the end of 2003 through 2005, continued to cover the story after she left, returning from Cairo after becoming bureau chief there," Spinner wrote. "She spent much of 2010 in Iraq while pregnant with her son.
" 'I was lucky in that my editors always fought to keep the Iraq story in our papers, so I've always had a great deal of support,' says Allam, now McClatchy's foreign affairs correspondent based in Washington. 'But, yes, after the U.S. military withdrawal and even during the winding-down period, it became much harder to get people excited about Iraq stories. There were only so many ways to write about suicide bombings, government collapses, the rise of the Sadrists, the marginalization of the Sunnis, the Iranian influence, the huge and cloistered U.S. Embassy, the oil industry picking up, disputed mixed-sect provinces/neighborhoods, etc., etc. All those tropes had been explored in depth, and it became very difficult to find something new and fresh to cover in the country.' . . . "
Allam was the National Association of Black Journalists' "Journalist of the Year" in 2004 when she worked for the now-defunct Knight Ridder chain.
Hannah Allam, McClatchy Newspapers: War forever changed lives of six Iraqis we knew well (2011)
"The story begins in the slums of Eastleigh, a sprawling suburb of Nairobi in Kenya and home to a huge Somali community," Jamal Osman reported for Britain's Channel 4 News in a story reprinted Wednesday for the Daily Beast. "There, I met Adan. He and his friends are running an industry that had been fooling some of the best journalists from around the world. Their business? Pretending to be pirates.
" 'We pretend because we have the talent,' Adan told me. 'With ships being regularly seized and crews kidnapped, Somali pirates have been much in demand by the news media. 'They [journalists] go to the boss and say, "We need pirates," ' Adan said. 'The boss comes to us and says, "The white men need pirates." So he says, "Assume to be a pirate." '
"The scam is coordinated by a 'fixer' who offers journalists the opportunity to interview 'real live pirates' -- for a fee. Touting his local knowledge, he promises to reach parts of the community a Western journalist never could. There then follows an elaborate scheme to convince journalists of the plan's legitimacy. The 'fixer' drives the Westerners around -- sometimes for days -- in search of the elusive pirates, telling them it is too dangerous yet to approach the men.
"The scheme culminates in sit-down interviews with the so-called pirates -- interviews that have made it into the venerable pages of international newsmagazines and broadcast in documentaries, one of which was reportedly shown in some 18 countries across the world. . . ."
The duped magazines include Time, which still has a 2010 interview with one of the impostors on its website.
Russ Mitchell, the former CBS News anchor now at WKYC-TV in Cleveland, received the Robert G. McGruder Award from Kent State University on Tuesday, "given to today's media leaders who exemplify the commitment" of McGruder, the former Detroit Free Press editor and diversity advocate who died in 2002.
"This was the 10th anniversary of the program," Eugene Shelton, associate professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, told Journal-isms Wednesday by email. Shelton coordinates the event.
"It was a milestone event. Annette McGruder," McGruder's wife, "surprised us with a generous donation to the McGruder Scholarship Fund. We surprised her with an award of appreciation for her 10 years of dedicated support. If Bob McGruder's name is on the program, Annette McGruder is there. His legacy lives on because of her. In this 10th year it was time to extend the award to a broadcast journalist.
"Russ Mitchell left CBS network news to accept a position as managing editor and evening anchor at WKYC (NBC) here in Cleveland. Like McGruder, Mitchell accomplished many firsts in his broadcasting career. He represents broadcast journalism at its finest. The color of his skin has nothing to do with his talent. Who better represents McGruder's message than Russ Mitchell, who is now a member of our own community.
"Betty Lin-Fisher is the first Asian American journalist to be recognized with the McGruder Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award. She is a business reporter and columnist for the Akron Beacon Journal. Too often when we think of diversity we think black and white. Again, in this milestone year it was important to expand and recognize that Bob McGruder's message was not limited to African Americans."
"The Republican National Committee has tapped Raffi Williams to serve as its youth and African-American outreach director," Joyce Jones reported Tuesday for BET News. "For now, the 24-year-old's biggest claim to fame is that he's the son of Fox News commentator Juan Williams. But if things go the GOP's way, he could go down in history as a leader who succeeded where others have failed by cultivating support from African-Americans and other demographic groups that have so far eluded the Republican Party.. . ." Juan Williams is a Democrat.
"The Other Redskins is a deeply reported enterprise reporting project on high schools across the country that, like the NFL team, use the name Redskins," according to Sean Mussenden, director of the Capital News Service's online bureau at the University of Maryland's Merrill College of Journalism. "It features a long text story, interactive Google Earth maps/graphics graphics and it was responsively designed to work seamlessly across mobile devices, tablets and desktop browsers." The site continues, "The project took about three weeks to produce and was spearheaded by three students, Kelyn Soong (who did the text story, the bulk of the reporting and data analysis), Sean Henderson (who did reporting, data analysis built the interactive maps and tables, designed other graphics, and coded and designed the responsive website) and Angela Wong (who did reporting, designed the overall look of the site with help from Sean Henderson, and built some of the graphics). . . ."
At the University of Maryland, the Shirley Povich Center for Sports Journalism hosted a panel on diversity in sports media March 27. Moderated by Kevin Blackistone, Merrill College faculty member, panelists were Turner Sports' David Aldridge; Mary Byrne, USA Today managing editor for sports; Kevin Lockland of SBNation; Keith Clinkscales, creator of the Shadow League website; and David L. Andrews, professor of kinesiology. Video.
"During a conversation with POLITICO's Mike Allen Wednesday, White House Senior Advisor Dan Pfeiffer criticized what he sees as the media's 'Pavlovian response' to controversial links posted on conservative news aggregator The Drudge Report," Matt Wilstein reported Wednesday for Mediaite. "Pfeiffer also argued that the site actively 'hurts' the White House's efforts to convey their message 'on a daily basis.' . . ."
"Capitalizing on the possibilities of the digital age, the Obama White House is generating its own content like no president before, and refining its media strategies in the second term in hopes of telling a more compelling story than in the first," Nancy Benac reported Monday for the Associated Press. "At the same time, it is limiting press access in ways that past administrations wouldn't have dared, and the president is answering to the public in more controlled settings than his predecessors. . . ."
Farai Chideya, distinguished writer in residence at New York University's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute, moderated a panel discussion Wednesday at the Newseum in Washington on "Improving Coverage of Race, Class, and Social Mobility." Sponsored by Columbia Journalism Review and the American Civil Liberties Union, panelists were Raquel Cepeda, Dominican-American author and documentary filmmaker; Jeff Yang, columnist for the Wall Street Journal and editor of "Secret Identities: The Asian American Superhero Anthology"; Richard Prince; and Gene Policinski, senior vice president and executive director of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute and the First Amendment Center. The discussion can be viewed as a C-SPAN video.
"Melissa Lee . . . is cutting back her anchoring duties at CNBC," Chris Ariens reported for TVNewser. "Lee is moving off the 9am ET show 'Squawk on the Street' which he has co-anchored since Erin Burnett's departure almost two years ago. . . ."
David Plazas, engagement editor at the News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., won the Gannett Co.'s annual Leadership and Diversity award for an individual, the company announced Wednesday. The Greenville (S.C.) News won the award for a Gannett unit.
What a difference a "T" makes: The Native American Journalists Association website on Wednesday was advertising its schedule for "Nat'l Naive Media Conference Day 1."
"Let's resist the urge to make Roland Martin out to be some wrongly aggrieved talking head," Michael Fauntroy, who teaches at George Mason University, wrote Monday for Black Blue Dog. "He is a marginally knowledgeable loudmouth who was more sizzle than steak." Martin, whose contract as a CNN commentator is not being renewed, responded Wednesday, "How dumb can you be to write something like that and not even read my bio? . . . "
In West Palm Beach, Fla., "Juan Carlos Fanjul has left WPEC, where he was weekend anchor and reporter for CBS12 News in West Palm Beach, Veronica Villafañe reported Tuesday for her Media Moves site. "His last day on the air was this past Sunday. 'Management was very kind to offer a new contract, but after 5 years, it was time for a change. I am currently looking at some new and very exciting opportunities,' he wrote on his Facebook page today. . . ."
Donald L. Duster, a grandson of the legendary activist journalist Ida B. Wells, died on March 11 in Chicago. He was 81. "He and I were both members of the Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee that has commissioned world-renowned artist Richard Hunt to create a monument to honor our ancestor," his daughter, Michelle Duster, told Journal-isms. For more than 20 years, Duster oversaw the operations of several sites and numerous social service programs throughout Chicago. A tribute service is planned for April 13 at 1 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church of Chicago, 6400 S. Kimbark Ave.
"With media professionals across Mexico continuing to face high levels of violent crime, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), the World Editors Forum (WEF) and the International Press Institute (IPI) call on the federal government to do more to protect journalists and reverse the prevailing culture of impunity," IPI reported Wednesday.
The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomed Tuesday's "decision by a judge in Mali to grant bail to a journalist who was jailed for 27 days in connection with his paper's publication of a letter critical of a military leader. CPJ calls on the public prosecutor to drop the charges against Boukary Daou, an editor of the daily Le Républicain. . . ."
"For media analysts, coverage of the Syrian war has seriously eroded the reputations of channels like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya," Neil MacFarquhar reported Monday for the New York Times. "Where their newscasts once brought a measure of objectivity to a region dominated by servile state-run media, they are increasingly viewed as mouthpieces for the foreign policy objectives of Qatar and Saudi Arabia." MacFarquhar said that Absi Smesem, who became the editor in chief of a new weekly Syrian newspaper, began publishing in February "in the spirit of objectivity." "It was one of several publications introduced at roughly the same time."
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