A look back at the memorable moments of the last 12 months.
Diversity's Greatest Hits, 2012
A year in the quest for news media that look like America.
When the presidential campaign of 2012 finally ended with the reelection of President Obama, among the Election Day surprises was the demographic composition of the losing Republican base.
". . . When it comes to audience, the American newspaper industry looks a lot like the Republican Party," Ken Doctor wrote two days later for the Nieman Journalism Lab. "Consequently, its business reversals parallel the deepening Republican national electoral woes. The newspaper audience looks remarkably like the arithmetic that put Mitt Romney on the losing end Tuesday and is forcing Republicans to self-assess how to move forward. . . . The daily industry is doing okay with older, white people — mildly overperforming in print, digital, and combined.
"Among all other ethnic groups except Asian-Americans — off the charts with high overperformance for online news usage — newspapers are underperforming. They, like Mitt Romney, aren't getting their share of the fastest growing population slices in the U.S. . . ."
Perhaps not coincidentally, the news media underestimated Obama's ability to turn out the very groups underrepresented in the news media.
In October, the 4th Estate, a nonpartisan project to aggregate data around the 2012 elections, showed that more than 93 percent of front page articles on the presidential election were written by white reporters.
During the presidential debates, white journalists asked the questions. When the journalist of color organizations protested, the commission agreed to forward their questions to the debate moderators, but none were asked.
Univision's televised forums with Obama and Romney in September provided the only comparable forum for journalists of color to grill the candidates. Under questioning from moderators Maria Elena Salinas and Jorge Ramos, Obama acknowledged " . . . my biggest failure so far is we haven't comprehensive immigration reform done . . ."
Mainstream news organizations undertook enterprise reporting on one of the biggest issues for people of color: the attempt to restrict their votes through voter ID laws. In July, the Associated Press found that under such laws valid votes had been tossed, and in August, the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University found that the rationale for such laws — election fraud — was infinitesimal. Still, thoughtful assessments of the record of the nation's first black president — and the role that race might have played during his presidency — were far outweighed by coverage of the horse race.
Racism hit home for one member of the media. Patricia Carroll, an African American CNN camerawoman, was assaulted with peanuts and called an animal by two attendees at the Republican National Convention. The perpetrators were never identified.
CNN correspondent Soledad O'Brien won plaudits for holding interviewees' feet to the fire as they tried to spin the facts.
News organizations rushed to embrace social media as a way to publicize their brands, but were not always prepared for the controversy that might result. For journalists of color, many of the controversies had racial overtones.
In February, CNN suspended commentator Roland Martin indefinitely over tweets that the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation denounced as anti-gay. Martin denied that the tweets were homophobic but acknowledged that they were intended to be "over the top." Some Martin supporters framed the issue as white gays vs. a black journalist. Martin's suspension was lifted after a month.
FoxSports.com columnist Jason Whitlock apologized in February for what the Asian American Journalists Association called an "unnecessary and demeaning tweet" about NBA phenomenon Jeremy Lin's private parts.
Joseph Williams, who joined Politico in 2010 as deputy White House editor after five years as deputy bureau chief of the Boston Globe's Washington bureau, left Politico in June. On MSNBC, Williams had suggested that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney was comfortable only around white people. The conservative website Breitbart.com ran the video and flagged a series of tweets from Williams that made fun of Romney. "After rummaging through some 3,000 tweets, they cherry-picked ones designed to prove their flimsy case: that I was biased against Romney, a racist against whites and a representative of my employer's slant against conservatives," Williams wrote.
Sunni Khalid, managing news editor at the Baltimore NPR affiliate WYPR-FM, was reportedly suspended for posting a comment on Facebook about U.S. policy toward Israel. A reader characterized it as inflammatory. In March, Khalid was fired.
In December, the story of Rhonda Lee, a black female meteorologist, went viral after she was fired from the ABC affiliate in Shreveport, La., because she responded on the station's Facebook page to a viewer who questioned her short Afro hairstyle. The station said the response violated its social media policies.
At its annual convention in August, Michele Salcedo, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, asked a student journalist to stop live tweeting the board's deliberations. Nadia Khan, who was reporting for the student convention news project, was told that she could stay but not live tweet. She left. On their first day on the job, the NAHJ's new leaders voted 6-5 to reverse the no-tweeting policy.
ESPN, too, reversed course. In March, citing the network's social media policies, ESPN warned staffers who tweet not to post photos of themselves wearing hoodies in solidarity with Trayvon Martin, the unarmed 17-year-old black Florida youth slain in a confrontation with a neighborhood watch volunteer. After two days, ESPN " . . . decided to allow this particular expression of human sympathy," but its decision was not universally praised. The Poynter Institute's Kelly McBride wrote that ESPN was right the first time.
The Feb. 26 shooting death of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed black Florida teenager, galvanized African Americans and ultimately the nation as it slowly reached public consciousness via the efforts of black journalists and black talk radio.
First came the debate over racial profiling, then the polarization. In April, media writer David Carr wrote in the New York Times, "All over the Internet and on cable TV, posses are forming, positions are hardening and misinformation is flourishing. Instead of debating how we as a culture are going to proceed, an increasingly partisan system of news and social media has factionalized and curdled."
The controversy over Florida's "Stand Your Ground" law, which essentially allows a person who feels threatened to shoot, prompted investigative reporting. In June, the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times found that people who killed a black person walked free 73 percent of the time, while those who killed a white person went free 59 percent of the time. In addition, the law "is being used in ways never imagined — to free gang members involved in shootouts, drug dealers beefing with clients and people who shot their victims in the back," the newspaper reported.
In December, George Zimmerman, who said he shot Martin in self-defense, sued NBC for airing a 911 call he claims was edited to portray him as a racist and predatory villain.
"Besides NBCUniversal Media, defendants in the suit include Lilia Rodriguez Luciano, an NBC correspondent based in Miami, and Jeff Burnside, a Miami-based reporter, both of whom were reportedly fired over their Zimmerman coverage. It also names Ron Allen, an NBC correspondent . . . , " Tim Molloy reported for the Wrap.
The Unity alliance held its first convention without the National Association of Black Journalists in Las Vegas in August, the smallest Unity conference since its first in 1994. The coalition also fell $200,000 short of its sponsorship goals, having sought $1.25 million.
NABJ left the coalition in 2011, citing financial and governance issues. Unity then invited the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association to join. NLGJA, in turn, urged the coalition to drop "Journalists of Color" from the group's name. Without consulting their constituents, the Unity board members quickly complied, 11 to 4 with one abstention. Joanna Hernandez, the Unity president, said at the time, "I got teary-eyed. I was immensely sad" after the vote. "I did urge them not to take a vote now," she told Journal-isms, but said she was told she had no choice but to allow one.
As a result of the name change, opposition to rejoining Unity hardened within NABJ, which won support for its view even from some members of the groups that remained in Unity. The two men credited with the idea for Unity, Will Sutton of NABJ and Juan Gonzalez of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said separately that they disapproved of the name change. "UNITY has lost its way," Gonzalez wrote. DeWayne Wickham, who as NABJ president in 1988 convened the first joint meeting of the boards of NABJ, NAHJ, the Asian American Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association, said of the change, "I think it amounts to a final divorce decree. . . . "
NLGJA brought 115 people to the Unity convention, Unity board members said, compared with the 2,386 registrants that NABJ attracted to its own, separate conference in New Orleans. Unity registered 2,385 people, compared with 7,550 attendees at the 2008 Unity convention in Chicago on its final Sunday, though that figure includes sponsors and others who were not registered. No presidential candidates appeared at the Las Vegas gathering. Then-candidate Barack Obama had been in Chicago.
In December, members of the four journalism associations in the reconstituted Unity coalition each voted for "UNITY: Journalists for Diversity" as the name to succeed "Unity: Journalists of Color," as more members said they were pleased to have NLGJA in the coalition. The Unity board has not announced its final choice.
It's unlikely that any of the journalism associations ever saw a campaign like this year's for the leadership of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. Attack videos appeared even when there was only one declared candidate for NAHJ president. The target of the videos was candidate Russell Contreras, an Associated Press reporter who was NAHJ's chief financial officer and vice president for print. Contreras claimed credit for helping to return NAHJ's finances to the black, but the organization's leadership had developed a reputation among many for secrecy, bullying and vindictiveness, qualities the attack videos highlighted.
Hugo Balta, a coordinating producer at ESPN, eventually joined the race and won the election, receiving 154 votes, or 61 percent, to 95 for Contreras, or 31 percent, according to the NAHJ tally.
Balta promised a change in tone from the previous two years. "The NAHJ leadership will be clear and inclusive. We will have an open-door policy to have the voices heard and respected," he said in his acceptance speech.
Among Balta's first acts was arranging for NAHJ to join the Radio Television Digital News Association and the Society of Professional Journalists at the annual Excellence in Journalism Conference in 2013 in Anaheim, Calif. Balta also sought to have the questions from journalists of color included in the presidential debates even though only white journalists were chosen to moderate.
The latest newsroom census from the American Society of News Editors showed 1,650 Hispanic journalists at dailies, a decline of 443 over 10 years.
In theory, the employment picture for Latino journalists should be looking up, as major media companies continue to seek their share of the growing Hispanic market. ABC News and Univision News are jointly planning a new news and lifestyle network and hired Miguel Ferrer, the onetime managing editor of the English-language HuffPost LatinoVoices and Spanish-language Voces sites, as its first executive producer, digital. In August, MundoFox was launched. It is a joint venture between Fox International Channels (FIC), News Corp.'s international multimedia business, and RCN, the leading Latin American television network and production company.
The loss of journalists of color in newspaper and online newsrooms outstripped the decline of journalists overall in 2011, according to the annual diversity census of the American Society of News Editors, released in April.
"The total newsroom employment at daily newspapers declined by 2.4 percent in 2011, while the loss in minority newsroom positions was 5.7 percent," ASNE said. Ronnie Agnew, who co-chairs ASNE's Diversity Committee, said in announcing the results, "It's not just the numbers that are going down, there's a nuance that's going to be missed . . . with the shortage of people" lost to "this wonderful, wonderful profession."
One slice of the pie drew the attention of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting, which studied the opinion pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal. "Latinos were granted less than half a percent of the op-ed bylines over the two-month study period — writing two columns in the Times, one in the Wall Street Journal, and none in the Post. None of these papers has a Latino among their staff columnists," it said.
In the broadcast news media, the latest survey from the Radio Television Digital News Association and Hofstra University reported, "As far as minorities are concerned, the bigger picture remains unchanged. In the last 22 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 10.4%; but the minority workforce in TV news is up 3.7%, and the minority workforce in radio is up 0.9%."
Would-be journalists received mixed news. A survey of 2010 graduates of the nation's journalism and mass communication programs showed that "once again faring worse than anyone in the job market were racial and ethnic minority graduates, according to the University of Georgia's James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research.
Last year, however, "There was . . . a notable rise in the percentage of minority graduates in 2011 who found full-time work — 58.7%, up from 49.9% a year earlier. Even so, that rate of hiring lags well behind the non-minority level of 69.9%," the researchers reported in August.
Advocates of broadcast ownership by people of color looked to the Federal Communications Commission to address bleak numbers. In November, the FCC reported that as of 2011, whites own 69.4 percent of the nation's 1,348 television stations. That's up from 63.4 percent in 2009, when there were 1,187 stations.
While white ownership increased, most minority ownership decreased. Blacks went from owning 1 percent of all commercial TV stations in 2009 to just 0.7 percent in 2011. Asian ownership slipped from 0.8 percent in 2009 to 0.5 percent last year. Latino ownership increased slightly, from 2.5 percent to 2.9 percent.
Was it intentional that seven of the 13 recipients of the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University announced in May would be people of color?
"I don't know if 'intentional' is the right word," James R. Bettinger, director of the program, told Journal-isms then by email. "We worked very hard to broaden our outreach to journalists of color, especially those involved in untraditional news media ventures, and I would say we benefited from that."
The Nieman Fellowship program at Harvard University announced an incoming class with no African Americans, two self-identified Hispanics, an "Asian-American and white/Caucasian."
Suzette Hackney, a staff writer at Detroit Free Press and an African American, became the sole U.S. journalist of color in the Knight-Wallace Fellows program at the University of Michigan for the 2012-13 academic year.
NBC News is planning to pay its interns starting in the spring of 2013, a well-placed source at the network told Journal-isms in November. The decision addresses a long-held contention that requiring interns to work only for the experience or for college credit amounts to favoring students with well-to-do parents.
Although NBC News in general has not paid its interns, ABC News and CNN do, and CBS News and Fox News have arrangements for the college to offer course credit.
The change at NBC News comes none too soon. In December, Steven Greenhouse reported for the New York Times, "Charlie Rose and his production company have agreed to pay as much as $250,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by a former unpaid intern who claimed minimum wage violations.
"This is the first settlement in a series of lawsuits brought by unpaid interns who asserted that they had suffered minimum wage violations. Other such lawsuits have been filed against the Hearst Corporation and Fox Entertainment — both companies deny that they failed to comply with wage and hour laws regarding their interns. . . ."
Meanwhile, in December, veteran journalist Will Sutton was named director of the Dow Jones News Fund's 10-week business reporting internship program. In April, while a visiting professor at Grambling, Sutton offered an 11-point plan for adding diversity to business journalism ranks. "For far too many, it's the equivalent of a four-letter word," Sutton wrote of diversity.
Separately, ABC News announced a Fellowships in Diversity Program "to attract and develop aspiring journalists from diverse backgrounds for a rigorous and rewarding year-long opportunity."
However, the New York Times Student Journalism Institute, in which African American and Latino students have been trained by reporters and editors from the Times, the Boston Globe and regional newspapers of the Times Co., announced in August it was cutting back from twice a year to annually.
U.S. Census figures released in May showed that white births are no longer a majority in the United States. As of July 1, 2011, 50.4 percent of the nation's population age 1 or under was either Hispanic or a race other than white.
The story led the New York Times, the Washington Post, USA Today, the Dallas Morning News and the South Florida SunSentinel, among others. It was on the front page of such papers as the Denver Post, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Courier-Journal in Louisville and the Salt Lake Tribune. But it was missing from the front pages of the majority of newspapers, according to an informal survey of front pages displayed by the Newseum.
"We have a problem on our hands when the groups that have the least access to economic opportunity are becoming the majority," Jennifer Wheary wrote for the progressive think tank Demos. "Creating opportunity for Americans was already a priority, but our demographic future makes it an immediate imperative."
The Census Bureau additionally reported in December, "The U.S. is projected to become a majority-minority nation for the first time in 2043. While the non-Hispanic white population will remain the largest single group, no group will make up a majority."
Asian Americans took particular note of a Pew Research Center report in June. "Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States . . . Asians recently passed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States. The educational credentials of these recent arrivals are striking. . . ," it said.
In a statement from the Asian American Journalists Association, AAJA National President Doris Truong said, "Pew's research reinforces the importance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as a segment our society that newsrooms need to pay attention to. It was disappointing to see a lack of diverse perspectives — especially from major news networks — in covering this story."
On Friday, the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., announced staffing for the newspaper and the PennLive.com website as the print edition moves to a Tuesday-Thursday-Sunday publication schedule beginning next Tuesday.
The Patriot-News is owned by Newhouse Newspapers, which announced in May that it would stop printing a daily paper at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans and its Alabama newspapers, then said it would end the daily distribution of the Patriot-News and the Post-Standard in Syracuse, N.Y.
Newhouse papers in other markets, such as Cleveland and Newark, were waiting to learn their fate. In Cleveland, the Newspaper Guild — the union that represents about 170 people in the newsroom — decided to try to influence the corporate decision with a campaign called "Save The Plain Dealer," Ted Diadiun, the paper's reader representative, reported in November.
In June, the Poynter Institute's Steve Myers wrote, "The Times-Picayune reported that 84 of 173 people in the newsroom were laid off, a loss of 48.5 percent. According to a list I assembled (based on conversations with multiple people in the newsroom) 14 of 26 African-Americans in the newsroom lost their jobs — a 53.8 percent cut. That includes editors, reporters and administrative personnel."
At the Birmingham (Ala.) News the same month, it appeared that diversity was also taking a hit.
"I'm the only black business writer," Roy Williams told Journal-isms then as he ticked off the losses, including his own job. "The only two black editors. All five black zone reporters. All three black copy editors. The only black editorial writer, who has been here 30 years.
"It hit us really hard."
A few black journalists have reported being hired under the new arrangement. In September, Alabama Media Group hired Janita Poe as community hub director in Montgomery, overseeing day-to-day operations of the Montgomery area newsgathering team. Marshall A. Latimore said in December that he would be designing for the Birmingham News, Huntsville Times and Mobile Press-Register, relocating to Birmingham.
Christina Mele, American Journalism Review: Battling to Stay Daily
Source: Google Analytics
1. CNN Camerawoman "Not Surprised" by Peanut-Throwing (Aug. 30)
2. Fired Over Facebook Posting (Dec. 10)
3. CNN Suspends Roland Martin Over Tweets (Feb. 8)
4. Essence Shifts White Male Managing Editor (April 20)
6. CNN Lifts Roland Martin's Suspension (March 12)
7. Done in by Facebook and Flipping the Bird? (March 21)
8. Politico Loses Its Sole Black Reporter (April 8, 2010)
9. NPR Loses Another Black Male Voice (Jan. 16)
10. Wall St. Journal Intern Out After Fabrication Charges (June 27)
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
The black Oakland, Calif., group brandished guns in public in the 1960s, resulting in laws that scared rural whites.
The National Rifle Association was inspired by the Black Panthers?
Yes, according to Adam Winkler, a professor of constitutional law at UCLA School of Law and author of "Gunfight: The Battle Over the Right to Bear Arms in America."
Winkler said over the weekend on NPR's "On the Media":
"One of the surprising things I discovered in writing 'Gunfight' was that when the Black Panthers started carrying their guns around in Oakland, Calif., in the late 1960s, it inspired a new wave of gun control laws (audio). It was these laws that ironically sparked a backlash among rural white conservatives, who were concerned that the government was coming to get their guns next.
"The NRA mimicked many of the policy positions of the Black Panthers, who viewed guns not just as a matter of protection for the home, but something you should be able to have out on the street, and also protection against a hostile government that was tyrannical and disrespectful of people's rights. . . . "
Winkler wrote about the connection more expansively in "The Secret History of Guns," a September 2011 article in the Atlantic that preceded the book's publication.
"The eighth-grade students gathering on the west lawn of the state capitol in Sacramento were planning to lunch on fried chicken with California's new governor, Ronald Reagan, and then tour the granite building constructed a century earlier to resemble the nation's Capitol," the article began. "But the festivities were interrupted by the arrival of 30 young black men and women carrying .357 Magnums, 12-gauge shotguns, and .45-caliber pistols.
"The 24 men and six women climbed the capitol steps, and one man, Bobby Seale, began to read from a prepared statement. 'The American people in general and the black people in particular,' he announced, must
" 'take careful note of the racist California legislature aimed at keeping the black people disarmed and powerless. Black people have begged, prayed, petitioned, demonstrated, and everything else to get the racist power structure of America to right the wrongs which have historically been perpetuated against black people. The time has come for black people to arm themselves against this terror before it is too late.'
"Seale then turned to the others. 'All right, brothers, come on. We're going inside.' He opened the door, and the radicals walked straight into the state's most important government building, loaded guns in hand. No metal detectors stood in their way.
"It was May 2, 1967, and the Black Panthers' invasion of the California statehouse launched the modern gun-rights movement.
". . . The new NRA was not only responding to the wave of gun-control laws enacted to disarm black radicals; it also shared some of the Panthers' views about firearms. Both groups valued guns primarily as a means of self-defense. Both thought people had a right to carry guns in public places, where a person was easily victimized, and not just in the privacy of the home.
"They also shared a profound mistrust of law enforcement. (For years, the NRA has demonized government agents, like those in the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, the federal agency that enforces gun laws, as 'jack-booted government thugs.' Wayne LaPierre, the current executive vice president, warned members in 1995 that anyone who wears a badge has 'the government's go-ahead to harass, intimidate, even murder law-abiding citizens.') For both the Panthers in 1967 and the new NRA after 1977, law-enforcement officers were too often representatives of an uncaring government bent on disarming ordinary citizens. . . ."
Despite the Black Panther Party posture in the 1960s, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press has found that today's African Americans support gun control.
As reported last week, when asked whether gun ownership does more to protect people from crime or puts people's safety at risk, 54 percent of whites said gun ownership protects people from crime, but only 29 percent of blacks did. Fifty-three percent of blacks said it puts people's safety at risk. Only 33 percent of whites did.
Monroe Anderson, the Root: Why I Get Obama's Response to Newtown
David Bauder, Associated Press: Film & TV Industries Cancel Premieres & Screenings In Tragedy's Wake
Heather Berkman, Quartz: What the US can learn now from Latin America's fight against gun violence
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Guns, Smoke and Mirrors
Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post News Media Services: Breeding grounds of destruction
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: Violence and the Social Compact
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: The NRA and the 'Positive Good' of Maximum Guns
Eric Deggans blog, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: Does NRA press conference mark moment gun industry turns into cigarette industry?
Editorial, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.: A nightmare before Christmas: Violent day in Webster reinforces need for change
Adam Clark Estes, the Atlantic: Even Israel Is Fact-Checking the NRA Now
Keli Goff, the Root: What the NRA Should Have Said
Annette John-Hall, Philadelphia Inquirer: This country still can't get it right on guns
Chip Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle: Gun violence in cities must be addressed
Timothy Johnson, Media Matters for America: Will Media Fact Check Misleading Claims From NRA's Question-Free Press Conference?
Jerry Large, Seattle Times: Tragedy may loosen our grip on guns
Douglas C. Lyons, South Florida SunSentinel: History shows ending gun violence will take time
Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: The common refrain of local gun violence
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post News Media Services: No easy answers
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Shootings deserve our attention every day
Nestor Ramos, Democrat and Chronicle, Rochester, N.Y.: Let's focus on the fires worth saving
Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Proposal would be funny -- if the NRA didn't mean it
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The NRA's insane idea about more guns in schools
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: 'Arm the teachers' isn't best way to protect kids
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Newtown shines spotlight on mental health
Bob Ray Sanders, Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas: The tears keep coming -- for victims and the nation
Jesse Washington, Associated Press: Urban advocates say new gun control talk overdue
David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun: Let's not let NRA's LaPierre misdirect us with ignorance, lies about media
Public editors evaluated their news outlets' coverage of the Newtown, Conn., shooting tragedy, with the New York Times' Margaret Sullivan declaring over the weekend that the Times must be a counterweight to the often-inaccurate information proliferating on social media.
"The Times can't get pulled into the maelstrom of Twitter-era news," Sullivan wrote.
"It has to stand apart from those news sources that are getting information out in a fast, piecemeal and frequently inaccurate way. That process has its own appeal and its own valuable purpose. But The Times should be its authoritative and accurate counterbalance."
Others came at the issue of misinformation supplied by authorities - and in most cases passed on to news consumers - in other ways.
"While I have found that coordination of news information and language use sometimes falls between the cracks among NPR's many news teams and shows, the pitfalls were avoided this time," ombudsman Edward Schumacher-Matos wrote for NPR. He shared internal messages. "The memos are a virtual classroom lesson. Note the specificity, the caution and the instructions on what cannot be reported. Note also further down the concern for ethics and grieving families."
At the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, reader representative Ted Diadiun noted the regional focus of his organization. "When the news is hundreds of miles away . . . the only thing the paper can do is repeat what trusted organizations report, seek corroboration when possible - and correct it if it's wrong," Diadiun wrote Sunday.
Terry Eberle, executive editor of the News-Press in Fort Myers, Fla., reminded readers that journalists are human beings with emotions.
"Do the media spend too much time on the story? Maybe," Eberle wrote. "Do the media invade people's privacy at this very private time? Maybe. Did the media report bad information? Definitely. Should they have confirmed the information before reporting it? Without question.
"Do viewers and readers want every detail? Yes. To some, it may be part of their grieving process. To others, they just want to know everything.
"I get discouraged watching the herd of journalists run to press conferences, make mistakes and stick microphones in the face of shocked people.
"This time, however, I saw some subtle differences. There were no cameras in the faces of the parents as they gathered to listen to President Obama on Sunday.
"There were no journalists asking questions and pushing cameras in the faces of people as the first young children were laid to rest. They shot from a distance with a long lens respecting the privacy of a breaking news event.
"I don't know how much is too much. I don't know that magic moment when we must move on to something else.
"I do know that showing a little emotion is not necessarily a bad thing for a journalist. I do know that we can show some feelings and still be objective reporters. . . ."
The New York Times called Sunday for North Carolina Gov. Bev Perdue to pardon the Wilmington 10, "a group of civil rights activists who were falsely convicted and imprisoned in connection with a racial disturbance in the city of Wilmington more than 40 years ago.
"The convictions, based on flimsy evidence and perjured testimony, were overturned by a federal court in 1980. But by then, the lives of the convicted had been broken on the wheel of Jim Crow justice," the editorial said.
" . . . Newly discovered notes attributed to the prosecutor paint an even more sordid picture of how the case was pursued. The notes suggest, for example, that the prosecutor used racial profiling and other unethical tactics to disqualify black jurors, while searching out racist jurors who would endorse the case against the defendants without question. In some instances, for example, he appears to have written 'KKK' (for Ku Klux Klan) next to names of prospective jurors, occasionally commenting that this was 'OK' or 'Good.' Taken together, the notes and court documents offer a window into a time when many Southern prosecutors and courts saw it as their mission, not to administer justice, but to preserve the racial status quo. . . .
"Anger over this case has continued to fester in the black community. At a 40th anniversary commemoration last year in Wilmington, civil rights leaders rightly decided that the wrongly convicted warranted a pardon from Ms. Perdue. By providing it, she can finally bring a close to one of the more shameful episodes in North Carolina history."
Jessica Jones, NPR: Pressure Mounts To Free 'Wilmington Ten'
Cash Michaels, Wilmington (N.C.) Journal: Support Swells For Wilmington Ten Pardons (May 24)
Wayne Moore, Triumphant Warriors: The Story Of The Wilmington 10
News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Wilmington 10 member takes pardon petitions to governor (Dec. 8)
Leigh Owens, Huffington Post: Wilmington 10: NAACP Unveils New Evidence Seeking Pardon (Nov. 29)
Bruce Siceloff, Charlotte (N.C.) Observer: Four decades later, Ben Chavis and the Wilmington Ten seek a declaration of innocence (May 18)
"CNN commentator Ruben Navarrette Jr.'s recent column chastising Dreamers who he says sometimes act like 'spoiled brats' who are 'drunk on entitlement' has sparked angry reactions from the movement's supporters," Roque Planas wrote Friday for Huffington Post.
"Arguing that aggressive protests may undermine comprehensive immigration reform, Navarrette criticized undocumented activists for demanding citizenship and likened their protests to 'public tantrums' in a piece published Wednesday.
"That opinion didn't sit well with DREAMers or Latino bloggers and journalists who sympathize with their movement.
"Univision reporter Jaime Zea pounced on Navarrette, with this tweet:
"The blog Latino Rebels slammed Navarrette on its Facebook, saying 'Dreamers don't care what you think. And they shouldn't.' . . . "
"Dreamers" illegally entered the country as children with older relatives. The name is taken from the DREAM Act, legislation stalled in Congress that would put them on a path to U.S. citizenship. DREAM is an acronym for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors.
President Obama said last summer that immigrants up to age 31 who entered as children would not face deportation under certain conditions and can work and go to school.
For the last print issue of Newsweek, Andrew Romano compiled an oral history of the newsmagazine. The issue includes a remembrance by Mark Whitaker, now executive vice president and managing editor of CNN Worldwide, who in 1998 became the first African American to edit a major newsmagazine.
In the words of the headline writer, the former Newsweek editor wrote about, "How a band of idealistic journalists changed the civil-rights movement."
That band included correspondents Karl Fleming, Peter Goldman and Joe Cumming and editor Osborn Elliott. In 1967, these white journalists produced "a groundbreaking cover called 'The Negro in America: What Must Be Done' that won Newsweek its first National Magazine Award.
". . . A lawsuit filed by female staffers unable to advance beyond secretarial and research jobs had exposed its inconsistent zeal for equal rights," Whitaker wrote of the newsmagazine.
"But an African-American news editor, John Dotson, and his boss, Rod Gander, had finally gotten serious about integrating the magazine's ranks, and I was soon working with a rising generation of talented black journalists like Vern Smith, Sylvester Monroe, and Dennis Williams. They schooled me in Newsweek's ways, but also warned about limits to advancement. After two successful summer stints, Dotson predicted that I might become a section head some day if I accepted a full-time job. 'What about editor?' I asked. 'Newsweek isn't ready for a black editor,' he replied somberly.
As editor, Whitaker said he ". . . championed fresh, provocative black voices like Ellis Cose, Allison Samuels, Veronica Chambers, Lynette Clemetson, and Marcus Mabry. Together with our white colleagues we did covers on the hidden rage of successful blacks, the rise of black women, the future of affirmative action, the complexities of multiracial identity, and the relationship between African-Americans and Hispanics. We even dared to publish an issue called 'The Good News About Black America' . . ."
Mark Whitaker Cites His Diversity Bona Fides (March 26, 2010)
"Apparently making sweeping generalizations about athletes using ethnic stereotypes is still something people do when covering sporting events," Adrian Carrasquillo wrote Sunday for NBCLatino.
"During a game between Kansas State and Florida, ESPN announcer Mitch Holthus blamed a foul by Angel Rodriguez of Kansas State on the fact that he has a 'Puerto Rican temper.'
". . . Humor and culture site, Latino Rebels reached out to Holthus on Twitter asking for an apology for his comments and he quickly followed through. . . . "
NAHJ President Hugo Balta, a coordinating producer at ESPN, wrote to members, "One executive vice president told me that both Holthus and a producer accepted accountability for their actions and that they will be disciplined. . . . In the last 24 hours I have spoken to several ESPN managers about how to prevent future incidents."
"Judging by news coverage of the nation's fastest-growing ethnic minority, you'd think that 'the Hispanic condition' was a pathology. With the exception of growing power in the voting booth, the news makes it seem as though we're all poor, sick and generally unable to cope with life as well as others," Esther J. Cepeda wrote Friday for the Washington Post News Media Services. ". . . The steady diet of bad news about segments of the Hispanic population drives a myth that all Latinos are downtrodden, at-risk or simply not as able as others."
In the Bay Area, " . . . veteran anchor/reporter, Don Sanchez, is retiring after more than four decades at KGO-TV," Rich Lieberman reported Thursday for his Rich Lieberman Report. ". . . Sanchez was a part of the legendary time at KGO in the 1970's and 80's when KGO's newscasts were the dominant #1 program in the market. He did just about everything: sports, news, entertainment and multi-faceted features. Truly one of a kind."
The Asian American Journalists Association is mourning the death of Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, who died Dec. 17 at age 88. ". . . AAJA especially appreciates Sen. Inouye's support of the Honolulu Advertiser's 600 employees and 150,000 daily readers in April 2010, when he wrote a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice asking for a thorough review of the newspaper's impending sale, in the interest of 'preserving the diversity of voices in the media and protecting jobs.' "
In the Twin Cities, "Black voices are barely heard on local mainstream radio. It's even worse in local sports radio," Charles Hallman reported Wednesday for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. "There is no Black talent on the air in the Twin Cities except at KMOJ," KTWN-FM's Brandon Wright, a nine-year veteran, said in the story.
Nikita Stewart of the Washington Post, who broke stories about
District of Columbia government scandals, is becoming one of the few
journalists of color working in a newspaper's investigative unit.
Stewart will continue to report on the D.C. government as a member of
the Post's Investigative Unit, Investigative Editor Jeff Leen said, according to Will Sommer, reporting
Dec. 18 for the Washington City Paper. Leen also announces another
opening in the Investigative
The San Jose Mercury News is being challenged over a story reported Nov. 30 by Dan Nakaso that said, "Asian-Americans make up half of the Bay Area's technology workforce, and their double-digit employment gains came from jobs lost among white tech workers, according to an analysis by this newspaper of Census Bureau data . . . " Sylvie Barak wrote Friday in the EE Times, ". . . While that may or may not be true, the entire piece leaves a bad taste and stirs up sentiments perhaps better left well alone. After all, is the Mercury News implying it would rather the Bay Area start using affirmative action in the engineering space? And would that make things more fair? Is the Asian-American community to blame for seemingly having found a better way to channel children into science?"
Columnist Ruben Rosario of the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., writing about his treatment for multiple myeloma, noted that, "For reasons scientists have not been able to discern, blacks have twice the per capita diagnosis and mortality rate as whites and more than twice that of Latinos." He quoted Barbara Davis, co-leader of a multiple myeloma support group in Stillwater, Minn.: " 'Even those black support group leaders lamented the difficulty they have in reaching other black patients,' she said, adding that the disparity of medical care in less affluent populations and people of color is a concern of hers and others."
"Four Ethiopian journalists have received the prestigious Hellman/Hammett award for 2012 in recognition of their efforts to promote free expression in Ethiopia, one of the world's most restricted media environments," Human Rights Watch reported Thursday. "Eskinder Nega Fenta, an independent journalist and blogger; Reeyot Alemu Gobebo of the disbanded weekly newspaper Feteh; Woubshet Taye Abebe of the now-closed weekly newspaper Awramba Times; and Mesfin Negash of Addis Neger Online were among a diverse group of 41 writers and journalists from 19 countries to receive the award in 2012."
"The Baton Rouge Advocate is making a run at a weakened Times-Picayune in New Orleans," Ryan Chittum reported Friday for Columbia Journalism Review. "The paper, which started a daily New Orleans edition in October as the Newhouse family slashed the Times-Pic's newsroom and went to a three-day-a-week paper, has already picked up a circulation of 23,500, publisher David Manship told me yesterday. About 16,000 of those are daily subscribers."
"It hasn't been smooth sailing for Cristina Radio since its launch on Sirius XM 11 months ago," Veronica Villafañe reported Thursday for her Media Moves site. "National Latino Broadcasting (NLB), which programs and produces shows for the Cristina Radio and En Vivo channels on Sirius XM, this week has had to cut almost half of its staff. . . . An inside source tells me Cristina Saralegui is still going to the NLB studios to tape her weekly show."
A Boston Globe reconstruction of how the Mitt Romney campaign unfolded "shows that Romney's problems went deeper than is widely understood. His campaign made a series of costly financial, strategic, and political mistakes that, in retrospect, all but assured the candidate's defeat, given the revolutionary turnout tactics and tactical smarts of President Obama's operation," Michael Kranish reported in Sunday's print edition.
"Newark Mayor Cory Booker pushed back . . . against a front page New York Times story suggesting that his mayorship hasn't lived up to its promise and that he appears more concerned, at times, with his public persona than with running the city, Michael Calderone reported Dec. 17 for the Huffington Post.
Retiring editor Wanda Lloyd of the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser " 'has had her hands full during her eight years in Montgomery, instituting a digital-first approach and as well as what she calls the new Montgomery plan,' shaped by a process in which the 55,000-circulation paper set out to define the 'passion topics' of its audience," Jason Ruiter wrote for the December/January issue of AJR. ". . . They came up with three distinct audiences - young professionals, families and what Lloyd called the 'legacy' group - and tried to tailor their coverage accordingly."
The Minority Media and Telecommunications Council is teaming with the National Association of Black Journalists on Jan. 17. The MMTC's Fourth Annual Broadband & Social Justice Policy Summit, to be held Jan. 16-17 at the Westin Georgetown in Washington, is being paired with the NABJ's Hall of Fame Induction and Reception, Jan. 17 at 6 p.m. at the Newseum. NABJ members are encouraged to register for the conference as press, bloggers, or general registrants and MMTC attendees are urged to purchase discounted tickets to the NABJ event. This columnist is among the honorees.
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
The journo who questioned NFL player Robert Griffin III's blackness apologized Wednesday.
ESPN announced Thursday that it is suspending commentator Rob Parker for 30 days over his on-air remarks about Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III, tightening editorial oversight of the "First Take" show and taking "appropriate disciplinary measures" against employees who played a role in allowing Parker's remarks on the air.
On Dec. 13, Parker questioned whether Griffin was a "real" black man and was suspended "until further notice" two days later. ESPN said it was "conducting a full review."
Parker had defended his remarks before the suspension, but he apologized on Wednesday, saying in an extended Twitter message, "I blew it and I'm sincerely sorry. I completely understand how the issue of race in sports is a sensitive one and needs to be handled with great care. This past Thursday I failed to do that. . . ."
Some, such as Sam Laird of the Mashable website, expected a worse fate for Parker. "ESPN is now reportedly considering firing Parker altogether," Laird wrote on Wednesday.
Others questioned whether "First Take" itself should be reined in, saying the program's atmosphere was too freewheeling.
Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports wrote Saturday, ". . . those within the network who have decided to abdicate any sense of journalistic responsibility in favor of a craven desire for ratings and 'buzz' should probably take a few minutes and consider that they created and nourished an environment by which Rob Parker, who had made multiple professional missteps before, could thrive by saying stupid stuff and getting away with it."
ESPN addressed that sentiment in its Thursday statement from Marcia Keegan, a vice president of production for ESPN, who oversees First Take:
"ESPN has decided to suspend Rob Parker for 30 days for his comments made on last Thursday's episode of First Take. Our review of the preparation for the show and the re-air has established that mistakes both in judgment and communication were made. As a direct result, clearly inappropriate content was aired and then re-aired without editing. Both were errors on our part.
"To address this, we have enhanced the editorial oversight of the show and have taken appropriate disciplinary measures with the personnel responsible for these failures. We will continue to discuss important issues in sports on First Take, including race. Debate is an integral part of sports and we will continue to engage in it on First Take. However, we believe what we have learned here and the steps we have taken will help us do all that better."
Parker said in the fateful broadcast:
"Some people I've known for a long time. My question, which is just a straight, honest question, is ... is he a 'brother,' or is he a cornball 'brother'? He's not really ... he's black, but he's not really down with the cause. He's not one of us. He's kind of black, but he's not really like the guy you'd want to hang out with. I just want to find out about him. I don't know, because I keep hearing these things. He has a white fiancée, people talking about that he's a Republican ... there's no information at all. I'm just trying to dig deeper into why he has an issue. Tiger Woods was like, 'I have black skin, but don't call me black.' People wondered about Tiger Woods early on -- about him."
Although Parker apologized in his Tuesday Twitter post, he insisted, "I believe the intended topic is a worthy one. Robert's thoughts about being an African-American quarterback and the impact of his phenomenal success have been discussed in other media outlets, as well as among sports fans, particularly those in the African-American community.
"The failure was in how I chose to discuss it on First Take, and in doing so, turned a productive conversation into a negative one. I regrettably introduced some points that I never should have and I completely understand the strong response to them, including ESPN's reaction.
"Perhaps most importantly, the attention my words have brought to one of the best and brightest stars in all of sports is an unintended and troubling result. Robert Griffin III is a talented athlete who not only can do great things on the field, but off the field handles himself in a way we are all taught -- with dignity, respect and pride. I've contacted his agent with hopes of apologizing to Robert directly. As I reflect on this and move forward, I will take the time to consider how I can continue to tackle difficult, important topics in a much more thoughtful manner."
While Parker was widely condemned for his remarks, media critic Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times wrote that suspension should take place only after Parker goes back on "First Take" and has the right kind of discussion about race.
". . . There's a lot going on here. African Americans have a long, tortured struggle with self-identity in a white-dominated society which has often associated our culture with the worst shortcomings in morality and intelligence," Deggans wrote last week.
"It's understandable that some people would be wary of black celebrities who might seek to minimize, disavow or downplay their connection to black people as if they are sidestepping something undesirable. . . .
"If any ESPN executives are still reading, let me suggest you avoid the corporate reflex of burying this controversy and instead have Parker return to First Take with some people who can talk about this issue with intelligence and insight."
ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz told Journal-isms by email, "this decision involved several people in management...and to answer your question, yes, African Americans were actively involved in that decision/discussion."
Gregory H. Lee Jr., president of the National Association of Black Journalists and sports editor at the SunSentinel in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., told Jason McIntyre of the Big Lead sports blog on Tuesday, "We have had internal discussions and at some point, we will speak to ESPN about it. I know a lot of people there, and we want to grasp what they're trying to accomplish on the show ... But given that the show comes on 365 days a year, how often do you have a slip up on one of those shows?
Lee went on: "I understand what Rob was trying to say, but the execution was poor. When they have discussions concerning race ... if you misinterpret something ... the way Rob executed what he said, the way he said it ... the perception is he was race-baiting."
Gregory L. Moore, editor of the Denver Post, is to receive the National Press Foundation's Benjamin C. Bradlee Award as Editor of the Year "for leading his paper's coverage of the Aurora theatre shooting spree -- which occurred at midnight after the paper had gone to bed and relied almost exclusively on social media to inform the community of the horrific events that evening," the foundation announced on Wednesday.
In answering questions from Journal-isms readers in July about coverage of the shooting spree, in which 12 people were killed and dozens wounded, Moore said, "We are doing whatever we feel we need to do to cover this story right. We had people on the scene within an hour of the shooting, maybe sooner . . . We had some people on the scene for 17 hours."
Jorge Ramos, longtime anchor of Univision News who is also a public policy show host and the author of 11 books, is receiving the Sol Taishoff Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism.
Frank Deford, the legendary sports journalist whose work is found on NPR, HBO and in Sports Illustrated, is to receive the 2012 W.M. Kiplinger Award for Distinguished Contributions to Journalism.
The National Press Foundation was created by the National Press Club, but the two organizations are independent of each other, Foundation President and CEO Bob Meyers told Journal-isms.
A PBS "Frontline" documentary that "follows a group of violence Interruptors to the front lines of inner city violence and profiles their efforts to combat it with dignity" was among the winners of the duPont-Columbia awards announced at Columbia University on Wednesday.
"The Interrupters" was "shot over the course of a year" as "filmmakers Steve James and Alex Kotlowitz captured the streets of Chicago during a period of widespread violence that drew national attention. With extraordinary initiative, enterprise and access, the team opened doors into places most people can't go, telling complex stories about former gang members working to break the cycle of violence," the announcement said. "The documentary provides new understanding of a stubborn societal problem through strong characters and excellent reporting, shooting and editing."
Whites and blacks differ sharply on gun control, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted Monday through Wednesday in the aftermath of the deadly shooting spree in a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.
Asked which was more important, to protect the right to own guns or to control ownership, 51 percent of whites said "to protect the right to own guns." Only 24 percent of blacks did. Sixty-eight percent of blacks said "to control ownership," a choice selected by 42 percent of whites. Eight percent of each group said they did not know.
Asked whether gun ownership does more to protect people from crime or puts people's safety at risk, 54 percent of whites said it protects people from crime, but only 29 percent of blacks did. Fifty-three percent of blacks said it puts people's safety at risk. Only 33 percent of whites did.
Asked about the effect of allowing citizens to own assault weapons, both whites and blacks said it would make the country more dangerous. Eighty-three percent of blacks said so, as did 61 percent of whites. Only 26 percent of whites said it would make the country safer, along with just 10 percent of blacks.
Asked whether they had any guns, rifles or pistols in the home, 42 percent of whites said yes, but only 16 percent of blacks did. Eighty-three percent of blacks answered no, as did 52 percent of whites.
Overall, Pew reported, "The public's attitudes toward gun control have shown only modest change in the wake of last week's deadly shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut. Currently, 49% say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 42% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns.
"This marks the first time since Barack Obama took office that more Americans prioritize gun control than the right to own guns. . . . "
The survey was taken at a time of increasing criticism from African Americans that the steady killing of blacks in urban areas has received far less attention than the Newtown killings.
Meanwhile, Kristin Stoller reported Thursday for USA Today, "In honor of the 20 children and six school staffers who died, people nationwide have pledged on Twitter to perform random acts of kindness.
"Ann Curry of NBC News took the idea viral when she tweeted, "Imagine if all of us committed to 20 mitvahs/acts of kindness to honor each child lost in Newtown. I'm in. If you are RT #20Acts."
"The movement quickly turned into #26Acts and became a national action."
Shahid Abdul-Karim, New Haven (Conn.) Register: Some black Connecticut residents question media attention on Newtown shootings
Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Obama: From talk to action on gun violence
George E. Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Violence is 'as American as Cherry Pie'
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune: Guns as the solution to guns, even after Newtown?
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable: NAB Ready to Cooperate With Congress On Violence Study
Jeff Gewert, the Advocate, Stamford, Conn.: Newtown resident: Media is to blame for school tragedy
Ted Johnson, Variety: Pols call for study on violent videogames
Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable: Newtown and News Media: A Mix of Tension and Gratitude
Dori J. Maynard, Maynard Institute for Journalism Education: It's Time for Ordinary People To Lead Discussion on Guns
Elspeth Reeve, the Atlantic: What Obama Can Do On Guns Right Now, Without Congress
Barbara Reynolds, Washington Post: Newtown shootings: Focus on mental illness first
"Charlie Rose and his production company have agreed to pay as much as $250,000 to settle a class-action lawsuit brought by a former unpaid intern who claimed minimum wage violations," Steven Greenhouse reported Thursday for the New York Times.
"Under the settlement, Mr. Rose and his production company, Charlie Rose Inc., will pay back wages to a potential class of 189 interns. The settlement calls for the interns to receive generally $1,100 each -- $110 a week in back pay, up to a maximum of 10 weeks, the approximate length of a school semester.
"The main plaintiff was Lucy Bickerton, who said she was not paid when she worked 25 hours a week for the 'Charlie Rose' show from June through August 2007. Ms. Bickerton said her responsibilities at the show, which appears on PBS stations, included providing background research for Mr. Rose about interview guests, putting together press packets, escorting guests through the studio and cleaning up the green room.
"Ms. Bickerton in an interview described the settlement as 'a really important moment for this movement against unpaid internships.'
"This is the first settlement in a series of lawsuits brought by unpaid interns who asserted that they had suffered minimum wage violations. Other such lawsuits have been filed against the Hearst Corporation and Fox Entertainment -- both companies deny that they failed to comply with wage and hour laws regarding their interns. . . ."
The Dow Jones News Fund is recruiting media and news organizations to hire 2013 summer interns for 10 weeks in its business reporting internship program," the news fund announced on Thursday.
"DJNF business reporting interns will participate in an intensive training course at New York University from May 25 to 31. The 2013 program director is Will Sutton, a Society of Business Editors and Writers member who serves on its diversity committee. Sutton has supervised business coverage as a newspaper editor and he was a 2012 Donald W. Reynolds Visiting Professor of Business Journalism at Grambling State University. He is a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists and a co-founder of what became UNITY: Journalists of Color. Interns will be ready for work by June 3. . . ."
In April, while a visiting professor at Grambling, Sutton offered an 11-point plan for adding diversity to business journalism ranks.
The Dow Jones announcement said, ". . . To enroll to hire one of more than 75 applicants, contact Linda Shockley at email@example.com or 609-520-5929. Details at https://www.newsfund.org."
Rhonda Lee, the meteorologist who was fired by KTBS-TV in Shreveport, La., after responding on Facebook to a viewer who questioned her short Afro hairstyle, said Thursday that she hasn't had any job offers but that her Facebook fan page is exploding with new "fans."
Lee appeared on Pacifica Radio's "Democracy, Now!"
From the transcript:
"AMY GOODMAN: So, what has been the response to your firing, Rhonda Lee, as you gain more and more national attention?
"RHONDA LEE: I think it has been such a blessing. It's been a blessing in disguise, that's for certain. I really had no idea that this story would go around the globe. I mean, I still continue to be overwhelmed and just so grateful for the support. I mean, the first day after the story broke, by Richard Prince with the Maynard Institute, it was phenomenal. I mean, I logged onto my fan page, and I had maybe about 600 'likes,' I think, and then it said 'new fans, 800-and-something.'
"And I said, 'That can't be right.' And then, as the day went on, I suddenly had a thousand fans, 2,000 fans, 5,000 fans. I think I'm up to 7,000-and-something now. I mean, the support has been overwhelming. I really didn't expect this to go any further than maybe Texarkana, maybe into Dallas, a couple hours away. But it has opened eyes, most importantly. And I feel that perhaps that's what this was supposed to do. I really thought it was just a labor dispute, but it turned into something bigger than myself, I feel. And it's become a good talking point and a good catalyst for perhaps moving the conversation of black women and our hair forward into the 21st century and beyond.
"AMY GOODMAN: As the former meteorologist for KTBS, what is your forecast? Do you think they're going to offer you your job back? Have you been offered other jobs?
"RHONDA LEE: I would love to have my job back. Even to this day, I maintain I had a great work environment. I really did. My co-workers were great. I loved what I did. I loved my hours. I loved everything about it. I haven't had any other job offers as of yet. Where do I go from here? Right now I'm just going to try to get through the holidays and see what happens. But I really -- like I said, more than anything, I hope that the conversation for race issues, particularly here in the South, is furthered a little bit further than what it -- what I think it has been nowadays. But my forecast is: It's looking pretty sunny, I think. . . . "
"Four Israeli attacks on journalists and media facilities in Gaza during the November 2012 fighting violated the laws of war by targeting civilians and civilian objects that were making no apparent contribution to Palestinian military operations," Human Rights Watch said Thursday, adding that it had conducted a detailed investigation into the incidents.
"The attacks killed two Palestinian cameramen, wounded at least 10 media workers, and badly damaged four media offices, as well as the offices of four private companies, Human Rights Watch said. One of the attacks killed a two-year-old boy who lived across the street from a targeted building.
"The Israeli government asserted that each of the four attacks was on a legitimate military target but provided no specific information to support its claims. . . ."
Federal prosecutors will be forced to retry David Warren, the former rookie New Orleans police officer who gunned down Henry Glover days after Hurricane Katrina, hours before another cop ignited Glover's lifeless body inside a car on the Algiers levee," John Simerman, reported Tuesday for NOLA.com|The Times-Picayune. As Columbia Journalism Review wrote in September, A.C. Thompson's reporting on transgressions by New Orleans police "led to an article in The Nation, a reporter position at ProPublica, three convictions (one since overturned) for the police officers involved in the murder of a man named Henry Glover, and, starting September 23, a character on HBO's Treme."
President Obama was named Time magazine's "Person of the Year." Is that news or a public relations ploy? David A. Graham of the Atlantic wrote Wednesday, ". . . Time manages to get everyone to treat its warmed-over sweepstakes as a major news event, year after year. In doing so, it converts the press into a gigantic public-relations arm of Time Inc. (This is how it's done, Tina Brown.)"
"Nielsen Holdings N.V. announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Arbitron Inc. in a $1.26 billion deal, TVNewsCheck reported on Tuesday. Separately, David Honig, president of the Minority Media Telecommunications Council, called the acquisition welcome news because "Nielsen has unparalleled expertise in accurately measuring multicultural viewership, demographics, and consumer trends such as audience engagement."
The Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications at Hampton University now has a studio capable of streaming live video to major television networks at a moment's notice, Jared Council reported Dec. 14 for Inside Business: the Hampton Roads (Va.) Business Journal. "We can do it fast because anyone here on campus can be in that seat within seven or eight minutes and can be on the air within another five minutes," Dean Brett Pulley said.
"Antonio Mora, a weekday prime-time anchor at WFOR-Channel 4 in Miami/Fort Lauderdale, was let go Monday after station honchos refused to renew his contract," Jose Lambiet reported Wednesday for his Jose Lambiet's Gossip Extra. "The happy-go-lucky Mora, 57, was the solo anchor of the station's 6 p.m. news."
In New York, "The Daily News is disbanding its pool of photo permalancers, employees who work full-time hours for the tabloid on set day-rates but are not salaried employees with benefits, Capital has learned," Joe Pompeo reported Thursday for Capital New York. Among those losing the regular full-time schedules they've had for years is Marcus Santos, "the photographer who was famously decked by Alec Baldwin while on assignment covering the '30 Rock' star's marriage license acquisition last summer, said a source with direct knowledge of Santos' employment status."
"Ben Williams, a retired KPIX-TV staffer who was one of the first African-American television reporters in the nation, has died at the age of 85," the Bay Area station reported Tuesday. "Williams passed away on Monday, his daughter-in-law told CBS 5. Williams spent his entire broadcast career at KPIX before retiring in the 1980s; he got his start as a reporter at the San Francisco Examiner before moving to television." The National Association of Black Journalists paid tribute.
"Media critics have long lamented the decline of even-handedness in American news coverage," M.R. reported Monday for the Economist. "The fashion for partisan stridency on channels such as Fox and MSNBC, they say, has cheapened the national debate and split the voting public into blinkered, self-reflective camps. But the critics haven't seen the worst. The political jousting on American networks looks like child's play compared with the rhetorical fireworks that now regularly erupt on screens in Egypt. . . . "
"State security agents in Southeast Nigeria blocked a reporter from filing a story Saturday evening about the status of a governor who hasn't been seen for several months," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Tuesday, condemning "this act of crude censorship."
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.
The media cover gun control, race and our culture of violence in the wake of the tragedy.
"There's been a lot of talk about media in the wake of the horrific shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., as the world struggles to understand something that may be beyond rational thought," media critic Eric Deggans wrote Monday in the Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times.
"Big picture-wise, I think America is experiencing the brutal intersection of many thorny issues: a runaway gun culture we have indulged for too long; a culture of violence which too-often glorifies those who end problems with a fist or gun; a chronically underfunded mental health system woefully unable to help average people struggling with mental illness; and a media culture which can make outsize villains of those who commit the most horrific acts.
"It would be nice if the tragedy of 20 children killed in their own elementary school was a big enough shock to prompt some movement at least on the curbing of assault weapons ownership and boosting of mental health resources in America. But at a time when politicians can't even agree on a plan to avoid raising every voter's taxes by the start of 2013, I'm not holding my breath. . . . "
Peter Applebome and Brian Stelter, New York Times: Media Spotlight Seen as a Blessing, or a Curse, in a Grieving Town
Lauren Ashburn, Daily Beast: There's No Crying in Journalism -- Even After the Horrifying Connecticut School Shootings
Wayne Bennett, Field Negro: A culture of madness
Curtis Brainard, Columbia Journalism Review: Lanza, autism, and violence
KJ Dell'Antonia, New York Times: How Not to Talk With Children About the Newtown Shooting
Tammerlin Drummond, Oakland Tribune: Gun control must also address ongoing urban mayhem
Toni Fitzgerald, Media Life Magazine: Newsmagazines soar over shooting coverage
Leonard Greene, New York Post: Our culture of killing
Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: Newtown: A marker for how far we haven't come in the gun control debate
Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Does the Public Really Oppose Gun Restrictions?
Bob Herbert, Demos: War At Home
Blair Hickman, Suevon Lee and Cora Currier, ProPublica: The Best Reporting on Guns in America
Richard Horgan, FishbowlLA: Mass Shooting Takes Sports Out of 710 ESPN Talk Radio Equation
Harry A. Jessell, TVNewsCheck: TV Should Lead Push To Reduce Violence
Timothy Johnson, Media Matters for America: Fox News Sunday And Meet The Press Push Media Myth On Gun Lobby's Electoral Dominance
Albert Kleine, Media Matters for America: Media Rely On Inflammatory Rhetoric In Absence Of Real Economic Debate
Suevon Lee, ProPublica: Seven of the Most Striking Ways States Have Loosened Gun Laws
Matt K. Lewis, Daily Caller: The media should be ashamed of its Connecticut coverage
Liza Long, Blue Review: I am Adam Lanza's Mother: It's time to talk about mental illness and Hanna Rosin, Slate: Don't Compare Your Son to Adam Lanza
Wesley Lowery and Christopher Goffard, Los Angeles Times: School shooting: How do you tell a child his protectors are dead?
Melody T. McCloud, M.D., Psychology Today: Mental Health Experts, After Sandy Hook, If Not Now, When?
Steve Mertl, Daily Brew: Reporters covering school massacre slammed for interviewing children
Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Connecticut shooting 'reminds us that evil knows no boundaries'
Tim Molloy, the Wrap: Newtown School Shootings: Why Are Networks Interviewing Kids?
Frazier Moore, Associated Press: Media Struggle With Shooting Story Facts
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: Public Divided over What Newtown Signifies
Janita Poe, al.com : Tell me, Alabama: Gun control or "right to bear arms?"
James Poniewozik, Time: Kids at Tragedies: Turn Off the Cameras
Radio Ink: What if You Are a Music Station?
Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Perhaps gun control now possible in honor of 20 dead children
Betsy Rothstein, FishbowlDC: Journos Take Verbal Beatings During Weekend Coverage of Sandy Hook Killing Spree
Walter Sabo, Radio Ink: How Should Your News Station Cover The Tragedy?
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Remember the children, and address what ails our nation
Yan Searcy, Ebony: AFTER SANDY HOOK: Can We Stop the Violence?
Gabriel Sherman, New York magazine: Rupert Murdoch Wants Stricter Gun Laws After Newtown, But Fox News Doesn't Get the Memo
Tavis Smiley, HuffPost BlackVoices: Blood on Our Hands
Brittney M. Walker, EURWeb.com: Among the Sandy Hook School Victims, a 6-Yr-Old Black Girl: Ana Greene
Dr. Boyce Watkins, Your Black World: Adam Lanza's Mother Taught Her Son How to Shoot…Then He Killed Her First
Alex Weprin, TVNewser: The Media's Attention Turns To Guns
David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun: Early Sandy Hook coverage once again reveals a confused, failed media
Media personality Tavis Smiley, a harsh Obama critic whose "poverty tour" champions the cause of people in poverty, is having his chain pulled by a Los Angeles radio talk-show host who formerly worked for Smiley.
In escalating language between the two men, Morris W. O’Kelly, whose on-air name is Mo'Kelly, has called Smiley's campaign "more about ego and constant pushing of his name."
A story in the Los Angeles Wave newspapers last week asserted that Smiley sent O'Kelly "a 'cease and desist' letter demanding that he stop talking and writing bad about him!" It made the Obama critic seem as though he could not take criticism when he was the object.
Smiley publicly remained silent, but the story by Betty Pleasant gained steam as its message was repeated on at least two black-oriented websites, the black entertainment outlet EUR Web and radio host Tom Joyner's Black America Web.
Then, on Sunday, EUR Web published an "open letter" to Smiley from Najee Ali, director of Los Angeles-based Project Islamic HOPE (Helping Oppressed People Everywhere), siding with O'Kelly.
Ali said of Smiley, ". . . It's time that you cease and desist with this foolishness! "Tavis the White establishment has been propping you up for years. . . ."
Moreover, O'Kelly appeared Tuesday to discuss the dispute on a national platform: Roland Martin's segment on radio's syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show," on which Smiley was once was a regular.
On the Tuesday program, Martin referred to the dispute as the "Tavis-Mo'Kelly throwdown." O'Kelly said he was all for eradicating poverty, "but I am not going to support foolishness." The poverty tour "is not substantive change," he said.
The drama is part of a narrative that began in the 2008 presidential campaign after Obama did not appear at Smiley's annual "State of the Black Union" symposium. Smiley became increasingly critical of the future president and was later joined by Princeton professor Cornel West. West recently called Obama "a Rockefeller Republican in blackface."
The Oct. 30 "cease and desist" letter cited by the Wave newspapers does not in fact demand that O'Kelly "stop talking and writing bad about him!"
Sent by the law firm of Browning & Browning, the letter cites the "Confidentiality and Non[-]-Disclosure Agreement" that O'Kelly signed when he left Smiley's company. "While we acknowledge your First Amendment rights to comment on Smiley's views and opinions, we will not tolerate blatant violations of the Agreement, statements that constitute defamation against Smiley and the Smiley Enterprises, or statements that are intentionally tortious in nature," it says.
Verboten are "the use, dissemination, or publication of any Confidential Information" and "disseminating or publishing any false, misleading, or otherwise defamatory statements pertaining to Smiley and/ or Smiley Enterprises."
At issue is whether the observations O'Kelly has told his listeners about Smiley's actions while O'Kelly worked for him violate the confidentiality agreement. O'Kelly says no; Smiley says yes.
Asked by Journal-isms Monday for an on-the-record statement, Smiley said through his spokeswoman Leshelle Sargent, "The document from Ken Browning's office speaks for itself. As the letter indicates, Mr. O'Kelly was fired but has every right to speak on Mr. Smiley's political views -- which he had done repeatedly over radio and social media without interference from our company. He cannot, however, speak on Mr. Smiley's confidential and privileged business affairs. You must know that this is common practice in our business. Mr. O'Kelly surely did which is why he signed the confidentiality agreement.
"To go on the radio airwaves suggesting anything other than what is clearly stated in the letter is pure gossip. And we don't deal in gossip. To THEN spread lies in a newspaper article is ridiculously beyond the pale. . . . "
O'Kelly denies he was fired. "I was given an end date to my employment of Jan. 1 2011, due to 'funding' I decided to leave early," he told Journal-isms.
Journal-isms asked O'Kelly Monday whether the disagreement is simply a case of a former disgruntled employee striking back. O'Kelly messaged:
"When Tom Joyner said that Dr. West was his 'sidepiece'...I said nothing publicly. When Steve Harvey called him and Dr. West 'Uncle Toms' I had no public comment. When Najee Ali picketed and protested Smiley's building (both times) I had no public comment, either time. Even more recently (yesterday) when MSNBC's Melissa Harris Perry likened him to the Black nurse during the Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment, I neither commented nor highlighted it.
"All of the aforementioned were low-hanging fruit. I said nothing. I could have easily [piggybacked] on any or all of those if the goal were to simply snipe at him. I have never engaged in any name-calling and I've never wavered from the issues. This is far from personal on my part. But I am absolutely clear that his litigation threats have been reserved for me and me only. So if there is animosity, it's not from me.
"Let the record be clear on these inarguable truths.
"He's released a number of books on poverty, and his story about 'Failing Up' I've said nothing. I haven't engaged in tearing down anything and all things 'Tavis.' There is no such history.
"In the time between me leaving The Smiley Group (11.24.2010) and now, I have only made three public commentaries in relation to him.
"In June of 2011, I published a commentary on EURWEB.com regarding the coming release of R. Kelly's memoir and how Smiley was publishing it. Given Smiley's public statements and stances regarding the mistreatment of women in this country, it was highly odd and an obvious contradiction that someone supposedly so in support of women and touting a "youth foundation" would also be trumpeting publishing R. Kelly's memoir. I highlighted the glaring contradiction. . . . "
"Blog version of story below: "http://mrmokelly.com/2011/06/the-lies-of-r-kelly-and-his-truth-for-25-95/
" To which, Tavis called Lee Bailey and demanded that my story be removed. . . . He is the disgruntled employer, let's be clear. . . ." [Updated Dec. 18]
Mo'Kelly with the Rev. Dion Evans: "Mo'Kelly in the Morning," KTLK-AM Los Angeles, Nov. 16: "The Unmitigated Gall" (mp3)
Mo'Kelly: "Mo'Kelly in the Morning," KTLK-AM Los Angeles, Nov. 29: "U Mad Bro?" (mp3)
Members of the four journalism associations that make up the Unity Journalists coalition each voted for "UNITY: Journalists for Diversity" as the new name to succeed "Unity: Journalists of Color," the groups announced on Monday.
"Unity: Journalists for Diversity" won out over "UNITY: Journalists of Color" and "UNITY: Journalists of Color and Diversity."
The full Unity board is to discuss the results of the membership vote on Friday, with each board member save the president, who votes only when there is a tie, weighing in on the new name. "UNITY board members are expected to vote how their organizations voted and respect the wishes of their members," a Unity announcement said on Dec. 4.
Voting among the associations was light. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists tally was UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, 116 votes, or 66 percent; UNITY: Journalists of Color & Diversity, 34 votes, 19 percent; UNITY: Journalists of Color, 25 votes, 14 percent. NAHJ has nearly 2,000 members, President Hugo Balta said.
The Asian American Journalists Association vote was UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, 217 votes, or 70.7 percent; UNITY: Journalists of Color & Diversity, 58 votes, or 18.9 percent; UNITY: Journalists of Color, 32 votes, or 10.4 percent. AAJA has more than 1,700 members, Doris Truong, national president, said.
The Native American Journalists Association vote was UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, 49, or 67 percent; UNITY: Journalists of Color and Diversity, 14, or 19 percent; UNITY: Journalists of Color, 10, or 13.7 percent. NAJA has 232 members, Rhonda LeValdo, president, said.
The National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association vote was UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, 132 votes, or 81.4 percent; UNITY: Journalists of Color and Diversity, 29, or 17.9 percent; and UNITY: Journalists of Color, 1, 0.6 percent. NLGJA has 584 members, Michael Triplett, NLGJA president, said.
Although the National Association of Black Journalists withdrew from Unity last year, 82 members voted in an unofficial poll, according to Benet Wilson, an NABJ representative to the Unity Name Task Force. NABJ has more than 3,000 members.
UNITY: Journalists of Color & Diversity Inc. received 35 NABJ votes, or 50 percent; UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc., 28, or 40 percent; and UNITY: Journalists of Color & for Diversity Inc., 9 votes, or 12.9 percent. The "UNITY: Journalists of Color & for Diversity Inc." option was later changed to "Unity: Journalists for Diversity." There were 12 write-ins.
The Unity coalition renamed itself "Unity Journalists" in April after it admitted NLGJA, which warned that its members might boycott Unity's summer convention if the words "Journalists of Color" were not dropped from the coalition's name.
The name change prompted a backlash from many who said Unity was veering from its history and purpose. Among them were NABJ members, who left the coalition last year over governance and financial issues, and who Unity is trying to woo back.
The ballot sent to members of the associations in the coalition explained, "The UNITY Board created the UNITY Name Task Force to address our members' concerns about how our previous name, 'UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc.' was changed to 'UNITY: Journalists Inc.' without their input at our April Board meeting. The Board unanimously agreed to find a name that better reflected our expanded coalition."
With perhaps unfortunate timing, a weekend airing of "Django Unchained: The TV One Special," showed TV One founder Cathy Hughes and director Quentin Tarantino talking about how much they liked Westerns because people are allowed to kill each other so much.
In the one-hour "profound and revealing look at the making of Quentin Tarantino's blockbuster film Django Unchained," Tarantino added that he likes "extreme violence."
The interview was filmed before Friday's horrific violence in Connecticut, in which a gunman killed 20 first-graders, his mother, six school employees and himself. In the wake of the shooting, the Weinstein Co. is canceling the Hollywood premiere, Amy Kaufman reported Monday for the Los Angeles Times.
In an interview Saturday, Jamie Foxx, a star of the film, told the Associated Press that actors can't ignore the fact that movie violence can influence people.
Foxx told the AP's Nicole Evatt Saturday, "We cannot turn our back and say that violence in films or anything that we do doesn't have a sort of influence. It does."
Evatt wrote, "In true Tarantino form, buckets of blood explode from characters as they are shot or shredded to pieces by rabid dogs," describing the film as "Quentin Tarantino's upcoming ultra-violent spaghetti Western-style film about slavery.
"Tarantino, whose credits include 'Pulp Fiction' and the 'Kill Bill' volumes, said he was tired of defending his films each time the nation is shocked by gun violence," Evatt continued. "He said 'tragedies happen' and blame should fall on those guilty of the crimes."
Journal-isms asked a TVOne spokeswoman if she wished to clarify her remarks. ". . . Ms. Hughes has no comment at this time," Monica Neal replied by email.
Richard Horgan, FishbowlLA: Thanks to Drudge N-Word Headline, THR Wednesday Web Traffic Was Off the Chain
The African American jobless rate is about twice that of whites, a disparity that has barely budged since the government began tracking the data in 1972, Michael A. Fletcher noted Saturday in the Washington Post.
Discrimination has long been seen as the primary reason for this disparity, which is evident among workers from engineers to laborers. "But fresh research has led scholars to conclude that African Americans also suffer in the labor market from having weaker social networks than other groups," Fletcher continued.
"Having friends and relatives who can introduce you to bosses or tell you about ripe opportunities has proved to be one of the most critical factors in getting work. Such connections can also help people hold onto their jobs, researchers say.
" 'It is surprising to many people how important job networks are to finding work,' said Deirdre A. Royster, a New York University sociologist. 'The information they provide help people make a good first impression, get through screening and get hired.' "
Gregory H. Lee Jr., president of the National Association of Black Journalists and a former chairman of its Sports Task Force, told Journal-isms that the observation holds true in journalism.
"Networking is key to our industry, the problem is in sports journalism not many of the decision makers know any of our members nor other minorities," Lee said by email. "Journalism is still about who you know, especially in sports journalism. There [has] been some progress, but not enough has been made to make a larger impact."
ESPN is being criticized for creating an environment in which ESPN commentator Rob Parker would question on the air whether Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was a "real" black man. Parker was suspended on Friday, a day after he made the comments on ESPN's "First Take."
"ESPN should not be congratulated for suspending Parker, though that's undoubtedly the desired reaction in Bristol," Doug Farrar of Yahoo Sports wrote Saturday.
"Instead, those within the network who have decided to abdicate any sense of journalistic responsibility in favor of a craven desire for ratings and 'buzz' should probably take a few minutes and consider that they created and nourished an environment by which Rob Parker, who had made multiple professional missteps before, could thrive by saying stupid stuff and getting away with it."
In announcing Parker's suspension on Friday, ESPN said a "further review" of the Parker situation would take place.
That review ". . . should include not just Parker, but also everything about the show on which Parker made his comments on Thursday morning, ESPN First Take," Michael David Smith wrote Friday for NBC Sports.
"It's telling that when ESPN aired Best of First Take on Thursday afternoon, it included Parker's comments. That's because First Take thrives on provoking controversies with its panelists making outrageous claims, and it wasn't until Parker's comments were the subject of widespread criticism later in the day that ESPN felt the need to acknowledge the comments were inappropriate," Smith wrote.
Two months ago, viewers watching "First Take" accused Stephen A. Smith of saying "N**** please" to another commentator while the two debated a topic. Smith denied using the word.
Asked to comment on the criticism, ESPN spokesman Josh Krulewitz said by email, "Our thoughts are with our neighbors in connecticut and we will come back to this issue in due time."
Deron Snyder of the Washington Times wrote that he spoke with Parker just before he went on the fateful show. Snyder told Journal-isms by email, "my regret is that i didn't caution rob about his angle or attempt to flat-out dissuade him from pursuing it." He wrote in his column, ". . . I imagine this is what it feels when you're the last person to speak to someone before he or she harms themself."
Michael Cottman, Black America Web: Rob Parker's Rhetoric Becoming a Pattern
Ricardo A. Hazell, EURWeb: Rob Parker's Remarks Prove Ivy League Degree Not Indicative of Intelligence
Shane Paul Neil, HuffPost BlackVoices: An Open Letter to Rob Parker
Bob Raissman, Daily News, New York: The FALL guy: If ESPN cans Rob Parker for his absurd comments on Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III, he shouldn't be only one
Jason Reid, Washington Post: Robert Griffin III shouldn't have to 'prove his blackness'
Michael David Smith, NBC Sports: Rob Parker’s RG3 comments prove a thorny issue at ESPN
George M. Thomas, Akron Beacon Journal: ESPN suspends Rob Parker and reality
Rhonda Gillespie, who was laid off a year ago as news editor of the Chicago Defender, has returned to the black-press publication as managing editor, Michael House, the Defender president, told Journal-isms on Monday. "She had done a good job for us before . . . ," House said.
The previous managing editor, K.P. Chaney, said she became executive producer of the "Perri Small Show" on WVON-AM in October.
Gillespie had been at the Citizen News Group, according to her LinkedIn profile.
House said he wants more local news coverage and is looking to hire an executive editor and "a couple good reporters." Four people remain on the editorial staff, he said.
Meteorologist Rhonda Lee, fired from KTBS-TV in Shreveport, La., after responding to a Facebook posting criticizing her short Afro, may be "the New Poster-Lady for Black Women," as EURWeb dubbed her, but she would not have a strong legal case to challenge her termination, according to John F. Garziglia, a Washington communications law attorney.
Garziglia wrote Monday for Radio Ink that "social media policies are a whole new field of employment law." Lee was wrong to respond to the viewer, he said, given that "The broadcast station had a policy that management, not the air personality, responds to viewer complaints."
Reminded that Lee maintained she viewed the criticism as a comment, not a complaint, Garziglia elaborated for Journal-isms.
". . . If I was representing the terminated employee, I would probably attempt to argue that it was a 'viewer comment' and not 'viewer complaint' but I would also have to wonder how far that argument would take me," Garziglia wrote in an email. "What I would need to know in assessing whether this is a valid point is whether Lee and other TV station personalities at her station routinely posted replies responding to [viewers'] comments on the station's Facebook page. If the air personalities at this station routinely posted reply comments in response to viewer comments, and such postings were encouraged by management, then that significantly changes the story.
"There is no indication from anything I read on this story, however, that such postings of reply comments by the station's air personalities on Facebook were either routine or encouraged by station management. Rather, it appears to me that Lee's reply postings at issue were a lark or an exception, and something that management specifically warned against in its August 30th email.
"Indeed, if the August 30th email was as Lee apparently would like to interpret it, one would have expected management to include a statement encouraging employees to continue their posting of social media reply comments but warning that if a viewer comment could be regarded as a complaint, then it should be referred to management. That is not what the email said. After management explained why in general terms it was best for air personalities not to respond to viewer complaints at all, the email went on to specifically state:
" 'If you choose to respond to these complaints, there is only one proper response: Provide them with (redacted) contact information, and tell them that he would be glad to speak with them about their concerns. Once again, this is the only proper response.
" 'And don't forget, if you have a social media question of any sort, please contact me and I will be glad to help you in deciding the best plan of action.'
"There is no suggestion in this admonition that employees should continue reply comments. Further, there is the specific direction that if there are any questions, management should be consulted. It is specific and definitive.
"Finally, it is Lee's own words that perhaps most pointedly contradict her defense that she believed that the viewer posting was a 'comment' and not a 'complaint'. She begins her reply comment with the statement 'I am sorry you don't like my ethnic hair'. A person stating that he or she does not like something is the classic definition of a person making a 'complaint' (a statement expressing discontent or unhappiness about a situation). Lee thus acknowledges that the viewer posting was a complaint. . . ."
"I will also add as an aside that I do think that management here in this incident may have been woefully tone-deaf to the journalism, diversity and social issues surrounding criticisms of an air personality's physical appearance. But that is an observation that goes to the wisdom of firing an air personality under the circumstances, rather than to the law applicable to doing so when there is not any claim that the air personality's physical appearance itself had any bearing on management's decision."
Jason Samenow noted in the Washington Post last week, "African Americans have historically been an minority in meteorology. A 2008 American Meteorological Society survey revealed less than 2 percent of its members were black (that breakdown is for the entire meteorology industry; statistics regarding race/ethnicity in the broadcast industry were not provided in that survey)."
Jamil Smith, Melissa Harris-Perry site: Comments on her 'ethnic' hair should've been a teachable moment
" 'Zero Dark Thirty' was named the top picture of the year by the African American Film Critics Assn., which gave 'Middle of Nowhere' honors for lead actress Emayatzy Corinealdi and to Ava DuVernay for her screenplay," Jon Weisman reported Sunday for Variety.
"Ben Affleck of 'Argo' was best director, while Denzel Washington ('Flight') won lead actor honors. Nate Parker ['Arbitrage'] . . . and Sally Field ('Lincoln') earned supporting acting kudos.
" 'The Intouchables' won for top foreign-language film, while 'The House I Live In' and 'Versailles '73: American Runway Revolution' tied in documentary. 'Rise of the Guardians' won for top animated feature.
"The org's top 10 in film this year: 'Zero Dark Thirty,' 'Argo,' 'Lincoln,' 'Middle of Nowhere,' 'Life of Pi,' 'Les Miserables,' 'Django Unchained,' 'Beasts of the Southern Wild,' 'Moonrise Kingdom,' 'Think Like a Man.' "
"Congo has become a never-ending nightmare, one of the bloodiest conflicts since World War II, with more than five million dead," Jeffrey Gettleman, East Africa bureau chief for the New York Times, wrote Sunday in a first-person piece about covering the Democratic Republic of Congo. "It seems incomprehensible that the biggest country in sub-Saharan Africa and on paper one of the richest, teeming with copper, diamonds and gold, vast farmlands of spectacular fertility and enough hydropower to light up the continent, is now one of the poorest, most hopeless nations on earth. Unfortunately, there are no promising solutions within grasp, or even within sight. . . . "
". . . Quietly, and mostly on shoestring budgets, Haitian media in greater Miami are covering news of Haiti beyond its catastrophes," Tsitsi D. Wakhisi reported Monday for Editor & Publisher. "Catering to America's largest concentration of Haitian immigrants and their offspring, emergent ethnic media are reaching out to a South Florida audience longing to connect to their homeland -- and the new land. The Haitian media's efforts are documented in a University of Miami study released earlier this year. The study looks at the uses and practices of Haitian media in Greater Miami -- from newspapers and radio to TV shows and websites. . . . "
As part of a "Can't Stop Giving" effort, former Washington Post columnist Donna Britt has asked readers to send holiday cards to Sybrina Fulton, mother of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin, "during what surely will be a painful first Christmas without her son."
Reporter Nefertiti Jáquez of KPRC-TV in Houston is heading back to Philadelphia's WCAU-TV, Mike McGuff reported on his Houston blog on television news. Anzio Williams, who joined WCAU as VP of news in July, and has been shaking up the staff, announced another departure at the station in an email to the staff Friday night: that of Dawn Timmeney, who has been an anchor and reporter over her 12 years there. Philadelphia Daily News columnist Dan Gross reported the news via Twitter. In other developments this month, Williams announced that meteorologist Brittney Shipp is joining WCAU from KTVK in Phoenix and that Tim Lake would anchor his final broadcast after 20 years at the station. Last month, reporter Daralene Jones was hired from WFTV in Orlando.
". . . Mort Zuckerman, widely known for his work as a publisher, editor, real estate investor and philanthropist, has pledged $200 million to endow the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute at Columbia University," Lee C. Bollinger, president of Columbia, said in a message to alumni Monday. Reviewing the year, Bollinger also said, "We reaffirmed Columbia's commitment to diversity by dedicating $30 million to the recruitment and support of outstanding female and under-represented minority faculty members."
"In a coda to the often contentious relationship between Mitt Romney's staff and the press, news outlets are preparing to file a formal complaint to the Romney campaign contesting some of the seemingly inflated charges that were billed to them from the campaign trail," McKay Coppins reported Friday for BuzzFeed.
"The International Press Institute (IPI) today welcomed news that Bolivian journalist Fernando Vidal was released from an Argentine hospital where he had been treated for third-degree burns suffered during an arson attack in October," Scott Griffen reported Friday for the institute. " . . . Vidal had been conducting a live radio broadcast when four masked men stormed his station and set the journalist on fire using gasoline canisters they had brought with them. . . ."
Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.
Following his controversial comments, ESPN is launching a full review of the pundit's conduct.
ESPN commentator Rob Parker was suspended Friday after igniting a firestorm when he questioned whether Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III was a "real" black man.
Parker said Thursday on ESPN's "First Take," "Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?" Both men are African American.
"He's not real. OK, he's black, he kind of does the thing, but he's not really down with the cause," Parker said. "He's not one of us. He's kind of black, but he's not really, like, the guy you want to hang out with because he's off to something else.
"We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about how he's a Republican ... Tiger Woods was like, 'I've got black skin but don't call me black.' "
ESPN spokesman Mike Soltys said in a statement, "Following yesterday's comments, Rob Parker has been suspended until further notice. We are conducting a full review."
Griffin's father, Robert Griffin II, told USA Today that "he was baffled by the comments but wouldn't fire back Thursday night, even though Parker's remarks ignited the blogosphere and sparked angry social media responses," Jim Corbett reported for USA Today.
"A few minutes later after his father spoke, Griffin III tweeted to supporters: 'I'm thankful for a lot of things in life and one of those things is your support. Thank you.' "
Parker's comments have landed him in hot water before. In January 2009, Parker resigned as a sports columnist for the Detroit News after the criticism that followed asking losing Detroit Lions coach Rod Marinelli at a postgame news conference whether he wished his daughter had married "a better defensive coordinator."
Parker said then he "asked the people for a buyout and they granted me one" after the climate at the paper had deteriorated for him.
Less than two months before that, Parker apologized for implicating Michigan State University backup quarterback Kirk Cousins in an off-campus assault in a comment on WDIV-TV's "Clubhouse Confidential." Cousins now backs up Griffin for the
In 1991, Parker was brought up on charges by the Newspaper Guild for crossing picket lines during a bitter strike at the New York Daily News. The charges were later dropped, and Parker moved on to the Cincinnati Enquirer.
Writing of Griffin in October in a 3,600-word profile in the Washington Post, Dave Sheinin said, ". . . He was raised in a military household, by two now-retired Army sergeants who taught him to see the world without much regard to race, and those lessons continue to inform his worldview as a young adult.
" 'My parents raised me to not ever look at race or color,' Griffin said recently, 'so it doesn't have a big part in my self-identity. [But] I think it has played a big part in how other people view me, just going back to when I was a kid, to even now, doing the things that I've been able to do. As an African American, I think other people view that in a different way than I do.'. . . "
In the Washington Post, Dan Steinberg recounted Thursday's "First Take" exchange:
" 'This is an interesting topic,' Parker said. 'For me, personally, just me, this throws up a red flag, what I keep hearing. And I don't know who's asking the questions, but we've heard a couple of times now of a black guy kind of distancing himself away from black people.
" 'I understand the whole story of I just want to be the best,' Parker continued. 'Nobody's out on the field saying to themselves, I want to be the best black quarterback. You're just playing football, right? You want to be the best, you want to throw the most touchdowns and have the most yards and win the most games. Nobody is [thinking] that.
" 'But time and time we keep hearing this, so it just makes me wonder deeper about him,' Parker went on. 'And I've talked to some people down in Washington D.C., friends of mine, who are around and at some of the press conferences, people I've known for a long time. But my question, which is just a straight honest question. Is he a brother, or is he a cornball brother?'
"What does that mean, Parker was asked.
" 'Well, [that] he's black, he kind of does his thing, but he's not really down with the cause, he's not one of us,' Parker explained. 'He's kind of black, but he's not really the guy you'd really want to hang out with, because he's off to do something else.'
"Why is that your question, Parker was asked.
" 'Well, because I want to find out about him,' Parker said. 'I don't know, because I keep hearing these things. We all know he has a white fiancée. There was all this talk about he's a Republican, which, there's no information [about that] at all. I'm just trying to dig deeper as to why he has an issue. Because we did find out with Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods was like I've got black skin but don’t call me black. So people got to wondering about Tiger Woods early on.'
"Then Skip Bayless asked Parker about RGIII's braids.
" 'Now that's different,' Parker said. 'To me, that's very urban and makes you feel like…wearing braids, you're a brother. You're a brother if you've got braids on.'
"Then Stephen A. Smith was asked for his take. He exhaled deeply.
" 'Well first of all let me say this: I'm uncomfortable with where we just went,' Smith said. 'RGIII, the ethnicity, the color of his fiancée is none of our business. It's irrelevant. He can live his life any way he chooses. The braids that he has in his hair, that's his business, that’s his life. I don't judge someone's blackness based on those kind of things. I just don't do that. I'm not that kind of guy.
" 'What I would say to you is that the comments he made are fairly predictable,' Smith went on. 'I think it's something that he may feel, but it's also a concerted effort to appease the masses to some degree, which I'm finding relatively irritating, because I don't believe that the black athlete has any responsibility whatsoever to have to do such things. . . . ' "
"Late Thursday, Parker remained confident there would be no disciplinary action taken," Todd Johnson reported for the Grio. "When a Twitter user sarcastically wished Parker 'good luck' in his 'next line of work,' Parker shot back:
"Typical silly response. Watch me on First Take tomorrow and Sat.#pleze"
Michael Cottman, Black America Web: Black Women: Is RG3 Down With Me? (Dec. 10)
Eric Deggans blog, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: Hey ESPN: Don't fire Rob Parker for his "cornball brother" comments; learn to talk about race better
Jose de Jesus Ortiz, Houston Chronicle: Controversial ESPN comments about RGIII stir unfortunate race debate
"'There's a lot of trying to shield the children from the eyes of the media,' ABC News reported in the aftermath of the horrific Sandy Hook school shooting, describing the scene," Joanne Ostrow reported Friday for the Denver Post.
"There was a lot of shoving of microphones in the faces of the children, too.
"Shielding and shoving, the media plays its part in what has now become a too-well-rehearsed ritual.
"Television did its usual best and worst Friday morning to relay information of the latest national horror. For hours, a confusing array of raw information, much of it unconfirmed, was pushed through social media and TV outlets. More questions than answers kept the spectacle a blur. Were there multiple shooters? How many fatalities? How many of them children? Did the killer or killers have a connection to the school?
"On CNN, Soledad O'Brien said, 'we want to remind viewers this is raw reporting from various networks, we cannot independently confirm.'
"In special reports pre-empting regular programming, news anchors used the media's familiar backhanded trick of lamenting media intrusiveness while furthering media intrusiveness in the pursuit of information.
"Beyond the sickening events, beyond the much needed discussion of gun control, the Connecticut tragedy moved questions of journalistic ethics to the fore.
"Questions like: Does it serve any journalistic purpose to put children on live television in the immediate aftermath of a mass shooting? Is it ethically [permissible] to put shocked parents on live TV, to give the nation a taste of the horror? . . . "
Autistic Self Advocacy Network: ASAN Statement on Media Reports Regarding Newtown, CT Shooting
Marian Wright Edelman, Children's Defense Fund: "Dear God! When Will It Stop?"
James Fallows, the Atlantic: American Exceptionalism: The Shootings Will Go On
Jeffrey Goldberg, the Atlantic: The Case for More Guns (And More Gun Control)
Scott Hensley, NPR: How To Talk To Your Kids About The Conn. Shootings
Blair Hickman, Suevon Lee and Cora Currier, ProPublica: The Best Reporting on Guns in America
Rick Horowitz, YouTube: Just the Latest Mass Shooting (video)
Ezra Klein, Washington Post: Twelve facts about guns and mass shootings in the United States
Roland S. Martin, Creators Syndicate: Now Is the Time to Talk Guns, Mental Illness
Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post: Connecticut Shooting Media Coverage Follows Tragically Familiar Script
Darryl E. Owens, Orlando Sentinel: Teen's death over loud music one more reason to change gun laws (Dec. 7)
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press: As Fiscal Cliff Nears, Democrats Have Public Opinion on Their Side
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Gun control? Maybe these kids are onto something (Dec. 4)
Kevin Powell, Daily Kos: The Connecticut Shooting: How Many More?
Nate Silver, New York Times: In Public 'Conversation' on Guns, a Rhetorical Shift
Al Tompkins, Poynter Institute: What journalists should know about school shootings and guns
Jeff Winbush blog: A Real American Horror Story
Tavis Smiley's radio partner Cornel West, the Princeton University professor, made headlines last month when West called President Obama a "Rockefeller Republican in blackface."
On Thursday, the president agreed with the first part of that phrase. In an interview with Alina Mayo Azze of Univision's Noticias Univision 23, Obama said, ". . . The truth of the matter is that my policies are so mainstream that if I had set the same policies that I had back in the 1980s, I would be considered a moderate Republican. I mean, what I believe in is a tax system that is fair."
Azze asked Obama, " . . . why reach out to the local media? I'm from a local TV station in Miami, why reach out to us?"
Obama answered, "One thing that I found is so important during the course of the campaign is that the conversation here in Washington isn't the same as the conversation out in the country. The people are worried about paying their bills, about paying their mortgage, about the quality of their schools, about getting their kids to college, big potholes in roads, flooding, making sure that we have safe streets. And so when I — whenever I talk to local stations where what I find is the ability to reach more Americans, and in resolving issues like the fiscal cliff here, it's so important that members of Congress hear from people back home.
"So I'm hoping that if one thing comes out of this — this interview, I'm hoping that people will watch me and say, 'You know what? I want to reach out to my member of Congress and say, "Compromise. Let's go ahead and get this thing solved. Let's think about the country first and not politics first." ' "
Michael Gerson, Washington Post: The overlooked plight of black males
Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: President Obama's Legacy: On Top of His Game?
Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Who's afraid of the fiscal cliff?
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Good pol should never say never (Dec. 9)
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Ready to jump from the 'fiscal cliff'
Tonyaa Weathersbee, Black America Web: The Obama Attacks Continue
Howard W. French, New York Times bureau chief for West and central Africa in the 1990s and author of "A Continent for the Taking: The Tragedy and Hope of Africa," wrote Dec. 3 about Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations then viewed as President Obama's choice to become the next secretary of state.
". . . In any discussion of Susan Rice's career, there is no escaping Africa," French, who now teaches at Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, wrote in the Atlantic. "It is the place where she cut her teeth and built her essential record as a diplomat and national security official. Although there has been nary a hint of this in the fuss about Benghazi, I would go further still and say that one would be hard pressed to find anyone in American government who has played a larger and more sustained role in shaping Washington's diplomacy toward that continent over the last two decades."
U.S policy toward Africa ". . . remains mired in an approach whose foundation dates to the Cold War, when we cherry-picked strongmen among Africa's leaders, autocrats we could 'work with,' according to the old diplomatic cliché.
"These were men like Zaire's late dictator, Mobutu Sese Seko, whose anti-democratic politics, systematic human rights violations, and high tolerance for corruption we were willing to overlook so long as they stayed on our side in the great strategic struggles of the day. We counted on them to hold down the fort in their respective countries and regions, and in so doing, as the thinking went, to protect U.S. interests."
Does that mean that Rice's announcement Thursday to withdraw her name from consideration for secretary of state was a good thing?
"Absolutely," French told Journal-isms by email. "Her legacy in Africa has been a very negative one."
Anson Asaka, Jack & Jill Politics: Why Didn't Obama Stand By Susan Rice?
Dylan Byers, Politico: Fox News slams Andrea Mitchell
Bonnie Newman Davis, the Grio: Susan Rice's withdrawal reminds us of Guinier, Elders and more
Keli Goff, the Root: Susan Rice: This Decade's Lani Guinier
Janaye Ingram, Loop21: Susan Rice and How Washington Works
Melody Johnson, Media Matters for America: Fox Uses Falsehood-Based Poll Questions To Back Up Its Phony Benghazi Scandal
John Prendergast, Daily Beast: Susan Rice's Middle Finger, and the World’s Deadliest Wars
Susan Rice, Washington Post: Why I made the right call
J. Christian Watts, Jack & Jill Politics: A Hell of a Day
A second reporter at KTBS-TV in Shreveport, La., was fired for defending himself online, but unlike his former colleague Rhonda Lee, the meteorologist with the short Afro who has been the center of a media whirlwind, Chris Redford would rather not talk about it.
"I'm really just trying to lie low and keep things private right now," Redford, a crime reporter at the station, messaged Journal-isms on Friday.
However, Lylah M. Alphonse, senior editor of Yahoo! Shine, reported Friday, "one source with ties to the station tells Yahoo! Shine that Redford was fired without warning for responding to a personal attack on his own Facebook page.
" 'He is an openly homosexual man that denounced gay slurs left on same KTBS site,' the source, who requested anonymity out of fear of retaliation, wrote in an email to Yahoo! Shine. 'The only difference is he did not write on the KTBS Facebook page, he responded on his own PERSONAL FB page and was given NO prior warning.'
"Redford . . . was defending a straight coworker who was being harassed online, the source wrote. KTBS [general] manager George Sirven told Yahoo! Shine in an email that he had no comment.
"In November, Shreveport, Louisiana police arrested a local man accused of stalking Redford. 'KTBS gave emotional and financial support to white females that faced problems with stalking, but directed Chris Redford to ignore the public humiliation this man put him through,' the source told Yahoo! Shine."
Asked about an earlier report that he was dismissed "for using Facebook to respond to a reported gay stalker," Redford messaged Journal-isms, "I did not 'respond to a gay stalker.' "
Meanwhile, Jennifer Vanasco, writing Friday in Columbia Journalism Review, wrote that Lee should not have been fired.
". . . News organizations are not ordinary businesses. They have a duty to the public to inform and educate. What Rhonda Lee did in responding to those Facebook posts was correct misinformation on a Web page administered by the station as well as educate viewers about African American culture. Lee was using social media as a journalist; she did exactly what she should have," Vanasco wrote.
"But she shouldn't have needed to do anything, because the station should have responded first, either by taking the comments down (most organizations have a policy of deleting racist, sexist, homophobic, and otherwise inappropriate comments) or by replying in a way that supported its African American staff members and viewers."
More than 13,000 people have signed a petition to reinstate Lee.
"The state-run weekly, which also comes in digital form, aims to explain 'the relationship between China and the African continent,' its editor says.
"China's CCTV and Xinhua news agency already have operations in the region.
" . . . 'The relationship between China and the African continent is one of the most significant relationships in the world today,' said the paper's publisher and editor-in-chief, Zhu Ling.
". . . China has also implemented other innovative media projects, like giant news screens in Ethiopia's capital, Addis Ababa, and thousands of scholarships for African journalists, reports BBC Africa analyst Mary Harper."
Last month, the Associated Press reported that the U.S. military's Africa command had established two newswebsites in Africa as part of a propaganda effort aimed at countering extremists in two of Africa's most dangerous regions — Somalia and the Maghreb. The sites' American origins are not immediately evident to viewers.
". . . Last week, I stopped at a gas station on the South Side and a quirky magazine caught my eye," Mary Mitchell wrote Monday in the Chicago Sun-Times. "Nab Shot is a compilation of mug shots and bills itself as 'Chicago's Premier Crime Stopping Publication.'
"For $1, you can look at people arrested in a two-week period for offenses ranging from retail theft and prostitution to DUI and first-degree murder.
"The publisher, identified only as Jeff, said, 'What I am doing is exposing criminals and people that have been arrested. Bottom line, I am just putting everybody's business out there.'
"That idea is actually a throwback to the 'Evening Whirl,' a weekly publication Ben Thomas started in St. Louis in 1938. Thomas developed a strong following by dishing up sordid details of crime, scandal and gossip going on in the black community. . . . "
"This week, Republican lawmakers in Michigan — birthplace of the United Auto Workers and, more broadly, the U.S. labor movement — shocked the nation by becoming the 24th state to pass 'right-to-work' legislation, which allows non-union employees to benefit from union contracts," Chris Kromm wrote Thursday for the Institute for Southern Studies.
"While Michigan's momentous decision has received widespread media attention, little has been said about the origins of 'right-to-work' laws, which find their roots in extreme pro-segregationist and anti-communist elements in the 1940s South.
" . . . Civil rights leaders like Martin Luther King, Jr., who saw an alliance with labor as crucial to advancing civil rights as well as economic justice for all workers, spoke out against right-to-work laws; this 1961 statement by King was widely circulated this week during Michigan's labor battles:
" 'In our glorious fight for civil rights, we must guard against being fooled by false slogans, such as 'right to work.' It is a law to rob us of our civil rights and job rights. Its purpose is to destroy labor unions and the freedom of collective bargaining by which unions have improved wages and working conditions of everyone…Wherever these laws have been passed, wages are lower, job opportunities are fewer and there are no civil rights."
Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: Right-to-work for Christmas: The Labor Scrooge lives in Michigan and maybe in our communities
To look through the fall 2012 newsletter [PDF] of the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University is to see a faculty and staff that seems to lack people of color. "We have had many among the fellows" in the past, though there is "no one on the staff at this time," Alex S. Jones, the former New York Times reporter who is director of the center, told Journal-isms by telephone on Friday. Jones said there are only four fellows and noted that the center does not have quotas. Turnover among the staff is slow. Still, he said that the organization is "mindful of gender and race" and that "you can expect to find people of color when we can and to make the diversity broadly defined. If you will look over our history, you will see that we have had people of color represented and we will again."
"NBC News correspondent Mara Schiavocampo has been named the anchor of the early-morning NBC program 'Early Today,' which airs at 4 AM ET and MSNBC's early news show 'First Look,' which airs at 5 AM ET," Alex Weprin reported Friday for TVNewser. "She will continue in her role as a correspondent, contributing to all of the NBC News platforms and programs."
"Blacks are barely represented on the air and in management at Twin Cities television and radio stations," Charles Hallman reported Wednesday for the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder. "The MSR recently examined four local station websites — WCCO (Channel 4), KSTP (Channel 5), KMSP (Channel 9), and KARE (Channel 11) and found: WCCO: one Black female anchor, one Black anchor/reporter, one Black reporter. KSTP: No Blacks. KMSP: One Black reporter. KARE: No Blacks."
"If a notable woman dies and a major national newspaper doesn't report it, did it actually happen?" Dana Liebelson asked Wednesday in Mother Jones. "Big papers' lists of significant deaths in 2012 overwhelmingly feature men. The Washington Post put 18 women and 48 men on its list. On the other side of the country, the Los Angeles Times listed 36 women and 114 men. And lest you think this is some kind of freak 2012 phenomenon, the New York Times has consistently listed many more men than women over the last five years."
"Django Unchained: The TV One Special," a one-hour "profound and revealing look at the making of Quentin Tarantino's blockbuster film Django Unchained " airs Saturday at 7 p.m. ET and Sunday at 2 p.m. ET, TV One announced. Cathy Hughes, founder and chairperson of the cable network, "asks filmmaker Quentin Tarantino about why he wrote and directed this controversial and never before told story about one of the most shameful and difficult times in American history." The movie features Jamie Foxx as a slave who kills white men to free his wife from the clutches of a sadistic plantation owner.
Philadelphia Daily News columnist Jenice Armstrong Friday announced the 10 winners of the paper's third annual, Oprah-style My Favorite Things holiday-gift giveaway. "Thank you to everyone who nominated deserving neighbors, friends and co-workers. We had a couple of hundred entries, and narrowing the list down to just 10 names was a challenge," Armstrong wrote.
"On the New Orleans radio show 'Out to Lunch' Monday, Nola.com business manager David Francis said The Times-Picayune's print circulation has gone up since it cut print frequency," Andrew Beaujon reported Friday for the Poynter Institute. " 'I will tell you that we've been pleasantly pleased with what we've seen since Oct. 1, when we launched the three-day-a-week newspaper,' he told host Peter Ricchiuti."
T.J. Holmes left CNN, where he was a weekend anchor, for BET, which developed a daily late-night show for him that has since been scaled back to once a week. "Don't Sleep" was partly inspired by Comedy Central's "the Daily Show" with Jon Stewart. Now the Daily News in New York, citing "industry sources," reports that Jeff Zucker, CNN's new chief, "is looking to liven up the ailing channel's late-night slate with a news-driven satire program, like 'The Daily Show' . . . "
In Charlotte, N.C., "Radio personality Ramona Holloway has been named the new co-host of 'Charlotte Today,' the lifestyle and entertainment show that airs on WCNC-TV," April Bethea reported Thursday for the Charlotte Observer.
"Mexico's regional newspapers are publishing more stories about murders linked to the drug trade, but they remain reluctant to write what they know about the organizations responsible for the killings," Stephen Engelberg reported Thursday for ProPublica. "A new study by our colleagues at Fundación MEPI, an investigative journalism center in Mexico City, reviewed daily coverage in 14 of 31 Mexican states. It found a significant increase in the number of stories on organized crime groups. But the study says that only two newspapers, El Norte in Monterrey and El Informador in Guadalajara 'provided context to the violence, identified the victims and did follow-ups. . . . ' "
"An Equality Matters analysis found that cable news networks' coverage of the reemergence of Uganda's proposed 'Kill the Gays' bill — legislation which would make homosexuality punishable by death — has been scant over the past several weeks and paled in comparison to their coverage of the Korean pop song 'Gangnam Style,' " according to EqualityMatters.org, "a new media and communications initiative in support of gay equality." The bill was officially moved to the bottom of the Parliament's schedule on Thursday.
"Reporters Without Borders is saddened to learn that the journalist Al-Hosseiny Abu Deif died yesterday in central Cairo's El Qasr Al Aini Hospital of the serious head injury he received while covering clashes outside the presidential palace in Cairo in the early hours of 6 December," the press freedom group reported on Thursday. "Hospitalized in a critical condition after a rubber bullet was fired at his head at close range, Deif never recovered consciousness."
". . . HuffPost Media Group is partnering with Japan's Asahi Shimbun Company to make the Japanese-language version of the HuffPost happen. As for when the site will launch, well, that's still being worked out. However, HuffPost officials are still excited about it," Chris O'Shea reported Thursday for FishbowlNY.
An item in an early version of this column about Tavis Smiley and a Los Angeles radio host has been withdrawn. Journal-isms will return to the topic in a future column.
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