Journal-isms: The black journalists' organization voted not to rejoin Unity, saying that the focus of the group has shifted.
The National Association of Black Journalists should not go back to the Unity coalition "at this time," a commission appointed by NABJ President Gregory H. Lee Jr. recommended Tuesday, and Juan Gonzalez of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, a Unity founder, told Journal-isms that the commission made the right decision.
"There comes a time when you must admit, even those of us who labored for years to create and preserve this unique alliance of journalists of color, that things have radically changed, that UNITY has lost its way, Gonzalez said in a statement.
Keith Reed, the NABJ treasurer who led the commission, voiced the same sentiment in an interview at the NABJ convention, which opened officially Wednesday in New Orleans.
After NABJ left the Unity coalition last year over financial and governance issues, leaving behind the national associations of Hispanic, Asian American and Native American journalists, the remaining Unity partners invited the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association to join and changed the name from "Unity: Journalists of Color, Inc." to "Unity Journalists."
Admission of NLGJA "was not the basis of our decision," Reed said. "Unity had already begun to move away from its roots."
The coalition began as a vehicle for "co-located conventions" of the partner associations, Reed said. "What it was doing was raising a lot of money," moving toward merging organizations and "in many instances competing with one another for revenue."
Unity was never intended to be an organization with an executive director and a full-time staff, he said.
Reed said the commission's recommendation did not require NABJ board action and applied only to what the thinking is "right now." Other members of the commission -- Rochelle Riley, Zuri Berry, Herbert Sample, Joe Davidson and Sidmel Estes -- had their own reasons for their decisions, he said.
In October, Unity President Joanna Hernandez named John Yearwood, who was one of the final NABJ representatives to Unity and opposed the NABJ pullout, as chair of a 10-member Unity President's Reunification Commission, a counterpart to the NABJ panel appointed by Lee.
Yearwood, who is at the NABJ convention, said his commission could not advise the Unity president until it had a proposal from NABJ, which, as of now, will not be forthcoming.
Juan Gonzalez, who is credited with originating the Unity concept and was silent when the coalition accepted the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, said Tuesday that the National Association of Black Journalists was right to leave the coalition.
By accepting NLGJA and dropping "Journalists of Color" from its name, Unity "revealed . . . little understanding of the sacrifices and struggles made by so many journalists of color who preceded us."
Gonzalez, a former president of NAHJ, took a position contrary to that of the current NAHJ leadership. On the Unity board, NAHJ President Michele Salcedo seconded the motion to drop "Journalists of Color" from the Unity name. The motion passed 11-4 with one abstention.
Here is Gonzalez's statement:
When NABJ's board of directors voted to leave UNITY a year ago, I argued publicly against the split.
"Leadership on both sides, I said then, should have been more responsive to legitimate governance and financial issues raised by NABJ. Like my longtime friends and colleagues, Will Sutton and Joe Davidson, and like hundreds of other journalists of color within the alliance, I was deeply troubled that the current leaderships of the various organizations failed to find a way to resolve their differences.
But before the schism could be properly assessed and perhaps rectified, the UNITY board turned its attention instead to incorporating another group, the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association, into the alliance. By doing so in such rapid fashion, UNITY leaders effectively discarded the core mission that made the group such a powerful voice in American journalism since its founding conference in Atlanta in 1994. They revealed, moreover, little understanding of the sacrifices and struggles made by so many journalists of color who preceded us.
Our four organizations were all the product of two centuries of unfinished business within our nation and our media system -- the fight against all vestiges of racial and ethnic segregation and discrimination.
Saying this in no way belittles or marginalizes similar efforts to oppose other types of discrimination, whether based on gender, sexual orientation, age, or physical disabilities.
But racial and ethnic bias has proven to be the most persistent, most divisive, most intractable of social inequities. The great moral authority of UNITY was its role as the key organization advocating better coverage of race and equal opportunity for journalists of color. Its power came from being organized and led solely by journalists of color. So when UNITY rushed to incorporate NLGJA before properly addressing the departure of NABJ -- the largest and most influential group within the alliance -- it sent a clear signal, whether intended or not, that racial and ethnic equality was no longer its main mission.
The leaders of UNITY, many of them my friends, will no doubt argue differently. But the same logic that says NLGJA belongs in UNITY holds true as well for Women in Communications, for the Association of Women Journalists, for the [South] Asian Journalists Association, etc.
Back in 1827, in the inaugural issue of America's first black newspaper, Freedom's Journal, editors Samuel Cornish and John Russwurm declared: "We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us." So, too, did UNITY "plead the cause" of journalists and communities of color in noble fashion from 1994 to 2011. Then, a grand alliance lost its way in a well-intended but nonetheless misguided search for numbers over purpose.
So I extend my best wishes to the members of NABJ for a successful convention this week. Events of the past year have unfortunately proven you made the right decision. The pursuit of racial and ethnic equality in the media continues. All of our organizations, both those that currently exist and those yet to be created, are only vehicles toward that end. And when one of those organizations takes a different road, sometimes it is best to part.
A computer glitch left some registrants to the National Association of Black Journalists convention angry Wednesday as the host New Orleans hotel was unable to process them, leaving them waiting for hours in the lobby.
The snafu was resolved about 3 p.m. CDT, according to NABJ Executive Director Maurice Foster, only after some members, such as former NABJ President Sidmel Estes, had waited since 10:30 a.m. The computer went down Tuesday night, members said.
NABJ President Gregory H. Lee Jr. told Journal-isms, "NABJ will fight to ensure that our members will reap something for our inconvenience. This is unacceptable. . . Our members are waiting and frustrated."
An aide to Fred Sawyer, general manager of the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, said Sawyer was working at the front desk himself and would not be available for comment for two or three hours. However, the hotel circulated a letter of apology "for the issues experienced by guests of the National Association of Black Journalists and indeed all guests trying to check in early to our hotel today. . . " though it offered no restitution.
More than 2,250 people had registered for the convention by Wednesday, Foster said. Vice President Joseph Biden was scheduled to address the association Wednesday night, leaving attendees little time to get to their rooms and clear the security requirements. The NABJ block of 800 rooms was sold out, representing 3,500 room-nights, he said.
"This is disrespectful," said Allen Johnson, editorial page editor of the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C.. "It was only dollars for me, but I demanded some pro-rate on my rate. You don't create a situation like this for a major convention.
"A good business person would say, 'we need to do something for these people. ' "
Estes called it "the New Orleans curse. The last time NABJ was here," in 1983, "we had a fire in the hall. I have never, ever had a situation like this." She said she had been waiting to be checked in since 10:30 a.m.
Foster, who with Lee was working to resolve the issue, saw a bright side to the inconvenience. "Look at the attitude of the people," he said. "It's become a greeting (space). The people who just arrived are happy because they're here. It's made for some interesting tweets."
Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid out the Obama administration's case for re-election Wednesday before the National Association of Black Journalists, saying of Mitt Romney and the Republican congressional leadership, "I don't think they understand what's happening to ordinary people."
Noting that he was in New Orleans, home of James Carville, the "ragin' Cajun" Democratic strategist who famously said during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, "It's the economy, stupid," Biden said, "This is about more than the economy, it's about who we are."
He defined "middle class" as "a way of life. It's a point of view, it's a value system." Biden quoted his father as telling him, "Joey, a job is about more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity, your self-respect, your sense of self, your sense of community."
He contrasted those views with those of Republicans, whom he said had presented a "straight up, they're saying what they mean" approach this year. "No more compassionate conservatives."
Biden left without taking questions, a condition imposed by the White House, according to NABJ Executive Director Maurice Foster. Some journalists said NABJ should not have capitulated. "It was stupid," Kevin Merida, national editor at the Washington Post, told Journal-isms. "We're journalists."
Seated in the audience with his son and former wife, Tracy Martin, father of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and a Democrat, told Journal-isms he approved of Biden's speech, singling out "the part about 'Romney is not from his neighborhood and he doesn't understand our neighborhood' " and agreeing that "Who doesn't want their kids going to college?" The Martins are scheduled for an NABJ panel Thursday.
Gene Demby of the Huffington Post filed this account of Biden's speech.
Romney declined an NABJ invitation, but his campaign announced that the candidate would address the NAACP convention in Houston, which runs July 7-12.
"To offer further assistance to journalists who have been laid off, UNITY Journalists is offering a special discounted rate to people whose jobs have been lost during newsroom reorganizations since Jan. 1, 2012," the Unity alliance announced.
"The special registration rate for Recently Unemployed Journalists is $325, pending confirmation of the registrant's unemployment status. If you are interested in registering for UNITY at this price, you have until Friday, June 29, to submit your registration form."
The Unity pre-registration rate through June 29 is $400 for members of the Asian, Hispanic, Native American or lesbian and gay journalists associations, and $600 for non-members.
The Unity convention is scheduled for Aug. 1-4 in Las Vegas.
"Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States," the Pew Research Center reported on Tuesday.
"They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success, according to a comprehensive new nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center.
" . . . Asians recently passed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States. The educational credentials of these recent arrivals are striking. More than six-in-ten (61%) adults ages 25 to 64 who have come from Asia in recent years have at least a bachelor’s degree. This is double the share among recent non-Asian arrivals, and almost surely makes the recent Asian arrivals the most highly educated cohort of immigrants in U.S. history."
In a statement from the Asian American Journalists Association Wednesday, 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. AAJA is well positioned to help hiring managers find talented journalists who can connect with increasingly diverse communities."
Other Asian American opinions (foundasian.org)
Pew Research Center: Live Video: The Rise of Asian Americans
Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters, branded as "racist" a cartoon in the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal on the massive layoffs last week at newspapers owned in Alabama by Advance Publications.
Cartoonist Andy Marlette referenced the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, when young black protesters were blasted with fire hoses at the order of Eugene "Bull" Connor, commissioner of public safety.
In the cartoon, one white firefighter says to another, "Don't worry, since they laid off all the journalists in Alabama we can get away with this kind of stuff again."
Nate Monroe, Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal: News Journal cartoon draws ire
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.
Journal-isms: In the coverage of his death, the press misses the scope of the anger unleashed in 1992.
"I saw my page 1 proof tonight with the [AP's] Rodney King hed on it," Robin Washington, editor of the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, messaged Journal-isms on Sunday.
"Rodney King, whose beating led to LA Riots, dies
" ... and changed it to:
"Rodney King, whose beating sparked national outrage, dies
"Be interesting to see how many news outlets ran the AP version uncritically, and to know the thinking of whoever wrote it. Yes, it's true, but only indirectly -- like saying 'Archduke Ferdinand, whose assassination led to the Holocaust.' "
Washington has a point. King was beaten on March 3, 1991, sparking national outrage. But the riots didn't come until three L.A. police officers were acquitted on April 29, 1992. It was not just the beatings that led to the riots, but the additional insult of a criminal justice system that seemed to turned a blind eye to the obvious. An angry Mayor Tom Bradley publicly declared, "Today, the jury told the world that what we all saw with our own eyes was not a crime."
Asked for comment, AP spokesman Paul D. Colford said, "I noticed that many papers did go with AP's headline: http://bit.ly/M7D5df
"But as with all AP headlines, they may be changed by the AP member newspapers and other AP customers."
That response misses the point. A scan of Monday's front pages, many of which played the death of King, at 47, in his own swimming pool, as their lead story, shows that a surprising number were not as rigorous as others in nailing the outrage that made Rodney King a national symbol. The Google search that Colford referenced showed 3.24 million results for the AP headline.
A good number of news organizations did approach the subject with nuance, however, and their headlines, stories and analyses, looked more deeply at what King represented. Not all emphasized the riot.
Writing for Time, Touré reminded readers that, " . . . The video became an instant national phenomenon -- it went viral before that was a common word -- and played endlessly on cable news until it seemed as if the entire country had watched it 10,000 times. And in that way King also became an early symbol of a world where video cameras were ubiquitous, which changed society, and of a nation where 24-hour news media was like wallpaper, replaying stories or tape so incessantly that we moved from outrage into a numbness, which also changed society.
"It was the media that transformed King's horrific ordeal into a moment that would never die."
Here is how some headline writers framed King's death, courtesy of the front pages posted on the Newseum website. Many began with "Rodney King, 1965-2012":
Anniston (Ala.) Star: "Motorist whose police beating led to 1992 L.A. Riots dies"
Birmingham (Ala.) News: "Rodney King, whose beating led to LA riots, dies"
Daily News, Los Angeles: "A voice against riots: Videotaped beating by police led to L.A.'s darkest chapter"
Press-Telegram, Long Beach, Calif.: Rodney King, "whose 1991 videotaped beating by the Los Angeles police officers was the touchstone for one of the most destructive race riots in the nation's history . . . "
Los Angeles Times: "A reluctant catalyst: He is found dead in his pool. His 1991 beating led to reform, but he struggled with the expectations placed upon him."
San Francisco Chronicle: "The beating of the black motorist by white officers in Los Angeles helped fuel one of the most destructive race riots in the nation's history."
San Jose (Calif.) Mercury News: "King, 47, center of L.A. riot, dies."
Denver Post: "Beaten driver wanted us all to 'get along'." In smaller type above the main headline: "The video of Rodney King's 1992 beating by Los Angeles police led to a public outcry against police brutality."
Washington Post: "Rodney King dies at 47: The motorist whose videotaped police beating led to the 1992 L.A. riots apparently drowned in his pool."
Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: "Symbol of Police Brutality Dies"
Chicago Tribune: "Key figure in '92 LA riots found dead: Rodney King, whose videotaped beating in 1991 by Los Angeles police officers became a national symbol of police brutality, was found dead Sunday in a swimming pool. The officers' acquittal in 1992 set off some of the most violent riots in U.S. history, despite King's famous televised plea: 'Can we all get along?' "
Times-Picayune, New Orleans: "Rodney King, key symbol in riots, is dead: His beating helped reshape police tactics"
Detroit Free Press: "Rodney King, the black motorist whose 1991 videotaped beating by Los Angeles police officers was the touchstone for one of the most destructive race riots in the nation's history . . . "
New York Times: "Police Beating Victim Who Asked 'Can We Get Along?' "
Philadelphia Inquirer: Rodney King dies: Mr. King, 47, found dead at home, was attacked in 1991 by Los Angeles police while a bystander shot a video. . . . "
Writers who wrote the stories approached King by discussing, among other angles, the birth of "citizen journalism," the persistence of police brutality, the reforms of the Los Angeles Police Department that followed the King case, King's role as an accidental historical figure and the prospects of Americans ever "getting along."
Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR: Rodney King Dies In Swimming Pool At Age 47
Andrew Beaujon, Poynter Institute: Rodney King, dead at 47, sparked citizen journalism that's now commonplace
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Rodney King will never see if we can get along
Brandon Bowlin, HuffPost BlackVoices: Rodney King: Death of the Common Man
Neal Conan, "Talk of the Nation," NPR: The Lessons We Learned From Rodney King
Linda Deutsch, Associated Press: Rodney King seen as catalyst for policing change
Linda Deutsch, Associated Press: Rodney King Dead: Reporter Remembers Trial That Sparked L.A Riots
Tammerlin Drummond, Oakland Tribune: Rodney King death brings back memories of L.A. riots
Emil Guillermo blog, SFGate.com: Can we all get along? Recalling injustice from Rodney King to Vincent Chin
Melinda Henneberger, Washington Post: May Rodney King rest in the peace he called for
Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: The Tragedy, Triumph and Tragedy of Rodney King
Emily Langer, Washington Post: Rodney King death sparks debate over civil rights legacy, call for peace during 1992 riots
David A. Love, theGrio.com: Rodney King dead: How he put police brutality on the map
Michel Martin, "Tell Me More," NPR: Rodney King on How He Wanted to Be Remembered
Sylvester Monroe, theRoot.com: Rodney King's Legacy: A Civil Rights Symbol
Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times: The burden of being Rodney King
James Braxton Peterson, Daily Beast: What Rodney King's Death Symbolizes for the Black Community
Cathy Scott, Forbes: Rodney King: His Race, His Plea, His Death
Jesse Washington, Associated Press: Rodney King's plea measures his lasting meaning
Phil Willon, Los Angeles Times: Rodney King's death: Police confiscate marijuana from his home
Clinton Yates, Washington Post: Rodney King dies: Was he a civil rights hero?
"A man was arrested for assaulting a Valley reporter and damaging his camera during an immigration raid Thursday," Hatzel Vela reported for KNXV-TV in Phoenix.
"Julio Cisneros, a Telemundo reporter, set up his camera on a sidewalk in front of Autofit, the Phoenix company raided by Maricopa County Sheriff's deputies.
"While he was shooting video, he noticed the business owner Mahmoud Emadi-Dehagi approaching him.
"Emadi-Dehagi was quick to start demanding Cisneros stop recording and delete the video.
" 'Delete what you record from me,' he told Cisneros, as he slapped the camera. 'Delete it. Delete it. You need to delete it.'
"Cisneros said, "OK," but continued recording.
"Emadi-Dehagi is seen once again hitting the camera and that's when Cisneros said a piece of the camera came off.
"Cisneros is glad an average citizen, who had just exited a public bus, saw what was happening and started defending him.
" 'You can't do that,' said the Good Samaritan.
" 'It's my property,' Emadi-Dehagi said.
" 'This is not your property. This is a sidewalk,' the Good Samaritan said. 'You can't do that though man.'
"Cisneros questions whether the heated immigration debate in Arizona may be contributing to such anger.
"He admits this is not the first time he has been harassed while out in public covering a story.
" 'When I do my standup, of course I have to do it in Spanish. That's my first language,' Cisneros said. 'And I hear people, you know, when they walk by they say go back to your country. This is my country.'
"Emadi-Dehagi was charged with a felony charge of criminal damage.
" . . . Six people were arrested at the business and are believed to be in the country illegally," according to the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.
Emily Arrowood, Media Matters for America: Anti-Immigrant Slur Makes Its Way to Fox News Sunday
Emily Arrowood, Media Matters for America: Fox Pushes Yet Another Falsehood To Fearmonger Over Immigration Policy Change
Gabriel Escobar, Dallas Morning News: Two cousins, a dream and a nightmare
Janell Ross, Huffington Post: Jose Antonio Vargas, Left Out of Obama's Major Immigration-Policy Shift, But Happy
"David Houston's sign that called the president a racist name and a pedophile drew the attention of the U.S. Secret Service but didn't get him in trouble with the law, police say. His televised confrontation with a reporter did," David Hench reported Saturday for the Portland (Maine) Press-Herald.
"Houston, 59, is free on bail after his arrest on a charge of simple assault against WGME-TV reporter Steve Roldan. Houston is accused of grabbing the reporter by the throat Thursday as Roldan asked him about the sign near Houston's home in Bridgton.
"Roldan has worked for the CBS affiliate for 20 months. Before that, he spent seven years reporting for a station in San Antonio, a high-crime city with 1.3 million people.
" 'You cover a lot of crime and a lot of weird people, and even in a city like that, I never had any physical encounter with anybody,' Roldan said Friday. 'People have made threats they're going to do this, do that. This is the first time somebody has actually done anything toward me.'
"Bridgton police learned of Houston's sign, erected on the lawn at the intersection of Fosterville Road and Route 107, when a resident complained about the offensive message Tuesday.
"The sign included a racial slur, accused President Obama of raping children and urged people to join a Bridgton version of the Ku Klux Klan, the white supremacist hate group with a history of violence against black people."
Mark Blumenthal, Huffington Post: Race Matters: Why Gallup Poll Finds Less Support For President Obama
Erika Bolstad, Miami Herald: Cristina Saralegui says she'll endorse President Barack Obama
Beth Fouhy, Associated Press: Obama, Romney Ads Target News Shows
Martin Lobel, Nieman Watchdog: Job destroying taxes? Ask pols, which ones are those?
David Maraniss, Washington Post: How Obama became black
Marisa Treviño, Latina Lista: Has Obama sewn up the Latino vote?
Peter Wallsten, Washington Post: President Obama bristles when he is the target of activist tactics he once used
"A new book by New York Times reporter Rachel L. Swarns traces first lady Michelle Obama's ancestry to white slave-owners in Georgia, whose white descendants have mixed feelings about the revelation," Donovan Slack reported Monday for Politico.
" 'You really don't like to face this kind of thing,' said Joan Tribble, whose ancestors owned the first lady's great-great-great-grandmother, according to Swarns.
"Swarns used DNA tests and conducted more than two years of research for the book, 'American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama,' which is scheduled to be released Tuesday."
Reviewing the book Sunday in the New York Times Book Review, historian Edward Ball wrote, " 'American Tapestry,' a fascinating account of the first lady's family, corrects the omission of race from the Obama White House. No political memoir has ever looked or sounded like this one: the book spans several generations of Mrs. Obama's people and reads like a panorama of black life."
Swarns "has uncovered the story of an ordinary black American family, typical in so many details: generations of forced work on Southern farms; sexual exploitation; children born half white; attempts to flee slavery; emancipation at the end of a rifle barrel; terrorization by the Klan during Reconstruction; futility stirred in with pleasure and church in the 1900s; a stepladder into the working class -- and finally, the opportunity that allowed for Michelle Obama's superior education and unlocked 150 years of bolted doors.
"The book is nonfiction, but with some 30 characters competing for space it's like a saga or perhaps a mini-series, minus the dialogue. . . . "
Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune: First lady's ancestry an American story
"When plans were revealed for a pair of start-up multicast networks targeting African-American viewers and competing with Bounce TV, the space looked as lively as any. But as the third quarter approaches, principals at the new concepts, KIN TV and Soul of the South, have realized just how hard it is to bring their channels to life," Michael Malone wrote Monday for the subscriber-only section of Broadcasting & Cable.
"Soul of the South had initially pegged the first quarter for its debut; network executives are now saying the first half of September. KIN TV, which no longer has MGM on board, is shooting for August with a modest launch group.
" . . . Soul of the South's holdup, say its execs, is tied to the decision to launch its own master control operation, which they say will go live in Little Rock, Ark., in the next few weeks. 'We decided to step back and get a handle on technology and infrastructure,' says chairman/CEO Edwin Avent.
"Soul aims to set itself apart with a trio of newscasts -- content coming from headquarters, from affiliates, and from a dozen or so bureaus around the South. With massive political spending targeting TV news come fall, the network has incentive to be on the air by then.
" . . . KIN TV, meanwhile, is targeting a mid-August soft launch for five to 10 stations. 'We’re still very much alive,' insists CEO Lee Gaither.
"That's despite some big setbacks. Initially, MGM was said to be a distribution partner; now it's not. Some Fox-owned MyNetworkTV stations were lined up to air KIN, but a Fox representative says that's no longer the case. Gaither says former NBA star Charles Barkley remains a KIN partner. 'He's involved in every content decision,' says Gaither. (Barkley's management confirmed his role.)"
"Ranging from an aggregator of mobile video streams of breaking news to a platform that coordinates community disaster recovery, six media innovation ventures were awarded more than $1.37 million as winners of the Knight News Challenge on Networks," the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation announced on Monday.
Among the winners is Mohamed Nanabhay, who was the head of online at Al Jazeera English, where he led the team that produced award-winning coverage of the Arab revolutions in 2011.
"With newsrooms stretched for resources, editors have to increasingly make difficult decisions about which stories get covered and promoted," the foundation said of Nanabhay's proposal. His project, Signalnoi.se, "aims to help, by tracking social engagement with the news -- scanning social network activity to provide real-time information on what's resonating with readers. Editors are able to track their own -- and competitors' -- stories."
"Three members of an authority that helps raise money for Alabama Public Television quit this week after another commission fired two top network executives amid the possible addition of Christian-themed historical shows and a broader restructuring, officials said Friday," Jay Reeves wrote Friday for the Associated Press.
"The chairman of the Alabama Educational Television Commission, Ferris Stephens, said three of the five members on the Alabama Educational Television Foundation Authority resigned following the commission's decision earlier this week to terminate the director of Alabama Public TV, Allan Pizzato, and another executive.
" . . . Commission members who spoke with The Associated Press confirmed the firings came as the panel considered a push by at least one member of the seven-person board to have the network air videos produced by WallBuilders, a Texas-based Christian group headed by evangelical historian David Barton that promotes the idea that the United States is a Christian nation based on the Bible."
J. Holland, a newly appointed member of the Alabama Educational Television Commission, "told Current.org, a blog about public broadcasting published by American University's communications school, that Pizzato and his staff had 'grave concerns' that the videos were inappropriate for public broadcasting because of their religious tint.' "
Father's Day might be the only time of year when the preponderance of coverage of black fathers isn't about the dads who don't care for their children, end up incarcerated or otherwise fail to measure up.
It certainly seemed that way over the weekend. Instead, many media outlets went out of their way to transmit testimony about the successful ones, from those who know them best. The good feelings even extended to black men in prison. Yahoo News posted "Father's Day in Prison," a slide show about "Get on the Bus," an annual Father's Day event that brings children in California to visit their fathers in San Quentin State Prison. Photos were by Lucy Nicholson of Reuters.
Alexandra Styron, New York Times: Thoughts on Fathers and Families
Kunbi Tinuoye, theGrio.com: How black dads play an active role in their children's lives
"East African journalists fleeing violence in their countries make up nearly half of the more than 450 journalists forced into exile in the past five years, the Committee to Protect Journalists found in its 'Journalists in Exile 2012' report marking World Refugee Day," the committee reported Tuesday.
"The D.C. spending bill approved by a Senate panel this week would help the District government stay open in the event of a federal shutdown and would allow the city to place a statue of abolitionist leader Frederick Douglass in the halls of the Capitol, advancing a pair of key priorities for local leaders," Ben Pershing reported Friday for the Washington Post. Douglass published the abolitionist paper the North Star in Rochester, N.Y., and is the namesake of the highest award of the National Association of Black Journalists.
"In perhaps a new effort to step up its international programming, CNN replaced its noon hour of 'CNN Newsroom' with 'Newsroom International' on Monday," the Huffington Post reported Monday. "The addition retains the format of 'Newsroom' with a focus on international news and events. Suzanne Malveaux, who anchors news coverage from noon to 2 p.m. ET, will continue to host the new hour. She is joined by CNN International anchors Michael Holmes, Richard Quest and Hala Gorani."
"A video journalist covering the Syrian uprising for The Associated Press was wounded while filming clashes between rebels and the Syrian army," the Associated Press reported Sunday. "Ahmed Bahaddou, a Belgian citizen, was struck in the shoulder by a bullet during a firefight Friday in northern Syria and was evacuated Sunday to London. He was admitted to a hospital in stable condition, and the wound was not considered life threatening."
"Conservative bloggers at the RightOnline conference on Saturday assailed the Daily Caller's Neil Munro for interrupting President Barack Obama during remarks at the White House -- but tempered their criticism by arguing that such tactics wouldn't be necessary if the president regularly took questions from the press and the media asked tough ones," Tim Mak reported for Politico. Meanwhile, Frances Martel of Mediaite reported Monday that CNN's Don Lemon "went after Munro for his 'hissy fit' before the President and asked his boss, Tucker Carlson, to explain how he could be 'proud' of Munro's behavior. Lemon then took it a step further, asking how Carlson would have felt being heckled during his brief stint on Dancing with the Stars.
In Buffalo, "Channel 4 morning and noon anchor Victoria Hong will be the next personality at the station to walk out the door of the Elmwood Avenue studios," television writer Alan Pergament reported Monday. "Hong confirmed this afternoon that she will be leaving the broadcasting business to become the director of communications at the Delaware North Companies as soon as Channel 4 allows her to leave. That is the same business where her husband, Vito Buscemi, works as director of marketing for Sportservice."
In Atlanta, "Scores of viewers came to WSB-TV's midtown studios for a chance to meet one of local television's most beloved personalities, Monica Pearson," the station reported Saturday. "The historic station event celebrated Monica's commitment to the Atlanta community, whom she has served from the Channel 2 Action News anchor desk for 37 years."
Gus Garcia-Roberts of Miami New Times, online columnist Mary C. Curtis and Wade Kwon of Magic City Post were among the winners of the Green Eyeshade Awards, it was announced Friday. Created by the Atlanta Professional Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists, the awards are now administered by regional directors for the society. Entries came from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and West Virginia.
In Bangladesh, Zamal Uddin, a journalist hacked to death by unidentified assailants, was probably killed because of his reporting on the illegal drug trade in southwestern Bangladesh, the police said Saturday, the Associated Press reported.
On theRoot.com Monday, Charlayne Hunter-Gault discussed a weekend meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, with a government minister about journalist Eskinder Nega, who is in prison there on terrorism charges. Hunter-Gault was accompanied by Rob Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, "on whose board I serve, and Dele Olojede, a board member on the African Media Initiative (AMI), which I co-chair." "For the good of this young democracy, we each encouraged the minister to let our people -- his people -- go. The final disposition of the imprisoned journalist Eskinder Nega is due on June 21," Hunter-Gault wrote.
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.
Journal-isms: President Obama has dealt with a number of inappropriate outbursts, and many link those instances to his race.
"The interruption stunned White House correspondents and television viewers," Brian Stelter wrote Friday in the New York Times. "And it clearly surprised President Obama, too."
A reporter for the conservative Daily Caller website interrupted Obama's Rose Garden announcement of a change in immigration policy in what some reporters characterized as heckling and a member of the Congressional Black Caucus called further disrespect of the first African American in the White House.
"In a surprising breach of normal etiquette, President Barack Obama's Rose Garden remarks on Friday were interrupted by heckling from reporter Neil Munro of the website Daily Caller, whose editor-in-chief is conservative commentator Tucker Carlson," Byron Tau and Donovan Slack reported for Politico.
"Obama, announcing a change of policy that would allow the children of illegal immigrants to avoid deportation if they meet certain criteria, was interrupted mid-speech by Munro.
" 'Why'd you favor foreigners over Americans?' Munro shouted.
" 'Excuse me, sir, but it's not time for questions,' Obama responded.
" 'Are you going to take questions?' Munro asked.
" 'Not while I'm speaking.' Obama said."
Jeff Poor, reporting for the Daily Caller, wrote, "On Martin Bashir's Friday MSNBC program, Maryland Democratic Rep. Elijah Cummings said that President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder have received an 'alarming' amount of disrespect, possibly because of their race.
"According to Cummings, the so-called disrespect included an incident involving The Daily Caller's Neil Munro in the White House Rose Garden on Friday and coverage of Holder's handling of the Operation Fast and Furious gun-walking scandal.
" 'What I believe is happening is there has been a disrespect not only for the president, but for the office of the president. And that is very, very alarming. We saw it when Joe Wilson called the president a liar,' said Cummings, referring to the Republican South Carolina congressman.
" . . . Host Martin Bashir asked if race was a factor in these instances, and Cummings said he thought it was.
" 'I think that probably has something to do with it,' said Cummings, 'and I think the other thing it has to do with is they purely disagreed with their politics, period.' "
Even Fox News called the interruption disrespectful. "Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris Wallace said, "I think it's outrageous . . . The idea that you would interrupt the president in the middle of prepared remarks and shout a question -- I don't think the guy should be allowed back in the White House on a press pass and my guess is he won't be," the Huffington Post reported.
Fox's Shepard Smith said, "I'm hoping maybe Tucker didn't see it, didn't know the context, because Tucker knows better. He does. He knows better.
"Carlson told The Huffington Post that he saw nothing wrong with Munro's actions."
According to Politico, Munro said in a statement that he misjudged when Obama was ending his speech.
" 'I timed the question believing the president was closing his remarks, because naturally I have no intention of interrupting the President of the United States,' Munro said in a statement posted on the Caller's website. 'I know he rarely takes questions before walking away from the podium. When I asked the question as he finished his speech, he turned his back on the many reporters, and walked away while I and at least one other reporter asked questions,' he said."
The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone reported that Carlson defended Munro in an interview with Calderone shortly after the incident.
" 'This is what reporters are supposed to do,' Carlson said by phone. 'They're supposed to get their questions answered.'
" 'It's hard to know what's wrong with asking the president a question,' he continued."
When told that ABC News anchor Diane Sawyer referred to Munro as a heckler, Carlson said he "doesn't remember anyone saying that about Sam Donaldson," the aggressive former ABC News White House correspondent, if Donaldson interrupted the president, Calderone continued. "Carlson suggested Sawyer would probably describe Donaldson as 'being a tough reporter.' "
But the Washington Post's Karen Tumulty reached Donaldson, who said he did not approve.
“I never interrupted any president while he was making a formal presentation of any sort. You don't do that, do you?" said Donaldson, who, Tumulty recalled, titled his 1987 memoir "Hold On, Mr. President!"
"Not that Donaldson ever let them slip away quietly. But he would wait until a president had finished his remarks, he said. And if the chief executive turned away without answering questions, Donaldson would fire away."
Carlson described Munro as an experienced White House reporter in his mid-40s who has worked at the website for two years, according to David Nakamura of the Washington Post. Before that, Munro worked for National Journal. Carlson "said Munro is an immigrant from Ireland who is married to an American and has children."
Munro is not a permanent member of the White House press corps. Mark Knoller of CBS News tweeted during the encounter, "Man with temporary press credential shouts question at Pres Obama about the new policy. Pres tells him not to interrupt."
White House spokesman Josh Earnest, responding to questions about the incident, did not address Munro's future status with the press corps. He would say only, "The incident won't diminish the President's commitment to pursuing immigration policies that reflect our values, our laws and our history as a nation of immigrants," Donovan Slack reported for Politico.
Dylan Byers, Politico: WHCA: Daily Caller heckler 'discourteous'
"In Spring 2010, four undocumented students trekked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington to press passage of the Dream Act, a bill that would offer a path to permanent residency for immigrants who came to the country as minors and achieved certain educational accomplishments," Feifei Sun wrote for the June 25 issue of Time magazine.
"Moved by their courage, Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist who was part of the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize winning team for their coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting, revealed that he, too, was an undocumented immigrant in an essay published by the New York Times Magazine last June.
"A year later, Vargas finds that immigration in America has seen little progress, as he writes in this week's TIME cover story [written before Friday's developments]. On the cover, photographed by Gian Paul Lozza, Vargas stands before 35 other undocumented immigrants living across the country. 'They're living in America -- but only in the shadows,' Lozza says. 'They're very much in the dark.'
"It was important for TIME's photo editors to show just how many cultures are represented by America's undocumented immigrants. 'They come from so many different countries, religions and backgrounds,' Lozza says. 'We wanted to bring that diversity to the light. This is not just a problem for Latinos, as we hear about often, but for every culture from around the world.'
"It was a poignant topic for Swiss-born Lozza. 'For me it was fun to see how motivated the kids were, and how much they wanted to learn,' he says. 'They have dreams of being teachers, doctors, lawyer -- it was fascinating that they all want to do something for other people.' "
Cristina Costantini, Huffington Post: Jose Antonio Vargas, Undocumented Journalist, Says 'We Are Americans' In TIME Magazine Cover Story
Gabriel Escobar, Dallas Morning News: Michele Bachmann and the allegiance question (May 17)
Valeria Fernández, New America Media: In AZ, Immigrants Await Supreme Court Ruling With Trepidation
Elise Foley, Huffington Post: Obama Administration To Stop Deporting Younger Undocumented Immigrants And Grant Work Permits
John Hudson blog, the Atlantic: Why Hasn't Jose Antonio Vargas Been Deported?
Patricia Mazzei, Miami Herald: In election-year shift, Obama halts deportations of young immigrants, offers work permits
Ruben Navarrette Jr., CNN: Obama's immigration policy a shell game (June 13)
Samuel A. Rosado, politic365.com: Obama Picks Election over Real DREAMers
The two candidates for president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists have agreed that "personal attacks have no place in the campaign nor do anonymously produced and posted videos," NAHJ President Michele Salcedo said in a statement posted Thursday on the association's website.
If implemented, the pledge by Hugo Balta and Russell Contreras and their campaign managers would "reset the tone of the NAHJ's election campaign," in Salcedo's words. Balta, a coordinating producer at ESPN, has raised Contreras' history of insulting those whom he believes disagree with him. Through his campaign manager, Contreras, an Associated Press reporter who is NAHJ vice president for print and chief financial officer, accused Balta of "seeking the seat for ego" and "promoting anonymous attack videos using images of Russell's family." Balta said he supported the videos but denied any participation in making them.
Salcedo wrote that the agreement came during a conference call Wednesday morning.
The candidates agreed to "be civil, ethical and respectful for each other, all candidates, their supporters, NAHJ members in general, NAHJ staff and the organization itself. Contreras and Balta, and their respective managers, Suzanne Gamboa and Vickie Adame, agree that the campaign should focus on the critical issues that NAHJ faces now and in the coming years as it continues the important task of rebuilding."
Among the other points of agreement:
"The campaigns will remove any and all anonymously produced videos currently circulating and any new anonymous videos will be denounced by both sides.
"Candidates will encourage their supporters who have questions or criticism about the NAHJ board to address the board directly in a civil, ethical and respectful manner and the board will answer them as promptly as possible in kind.
"Candidates or their supporters may question in a civil, ethical and respectful manner their opponent's record in serving NAHJ. Criticism is to be constructive and not personal.
" . . . No images of an opponent's family or friends will be used in the production of campaign videos. No images of a candidate from Facebook, LinkedIn or any other source from any medium, including NAHJ Web or social media sites, will be used by anyone other than the candidates themselves. Opponent may use a candidate's image provided for the campaign. Any image that is altered with Photoshop or other software or means must be noted as having been altered.
"Candidates acknowledge that they respect each other as professionals and fellow members of NAHJ, and as such will not engage in 'tit-for-tat' exchanges."
Meanwhile, Joanna Hernandez, president of Unity Journalists, posted this message on a Unity Facebook page: "Just a reminder about the policy for posting on the UNITY Convention 2012: Las Vegas Facebook page. As you know, discussions need to be civil and respectful. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Also, political campaigning of any kind is not permitted, including content that expresses political ambitions and the use of images endorsing candidates."
Hernandez told Journal-isms Friday by email: "We've received inquiries about general guidelines for posting on UNITY's social media pages, and instead of responding individually, posting on the UNITY Facebook page presented an opportunity to share the policy with everyone.
"This was a reminder of issues we have dealt with in the past but also, because it is election season and there are several contested races, this was a good time to make clear that UNITY, the organization, does not participate in association campaign politics."
Hugo Balta: Si, Se Puede (Video)
Hugo Balta: Hugo on Membership fees (Video)
Russell Contreras: "Our story will not be erased" -- NAHJ 2012 (Video)
Russell Contreras: It's Halftime in NAHJ
"From New York Knicks basketball star Jeremy Lin to Priscilla Chan, wife of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the mainstream media usually portray Asian-Americans as wealthy, well-educated and foreign," Joshunda Sanders wrote Thursday for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.
"The dominant cultural narrative routinely ignores working and middle class Asian-Americans, people of various nationalities who struggle with the same socioeconomic conditions as do other Americans.
"Despite shortcomings, mainstream media are rarely criticized for the way they depict Asian-Americans, even though the lack of depth in the coverage is stunning. In fact, Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) in Washington, says simplistic media coverage pictures Asian-Americans as either the model minority or the perpetual foreigner.
"Because of this, she says, 'the true needs and complexity of Asian-Americans are totally missed by mainstream reporters. "American Beats Michelle Kwan" or "The Ultimate Assimilation" are mainstream headlines that underscore my point -- the media need to do better.' "
The New York Times website is featuring "The Scars of Stop-and-Frisk," a short documentary by freelance contributors Julie Dressner and Edwin Martinez, that speaks in a broader way to the exhortation in this space for creative ways to diversify op-ed content.
The documentary focuses on Tyquan Brehon, a young man in Brooklyn who says he was stopped by police more than 60 times before age 18.
"According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, the NYPD stopped and frisked people 685,724 times in 2011 alone. Our math tells us that just over 1,800 a day," Loop21.com said this week.
"Eighty-seven percent of those searches involved blacks or Latinos, many of them young men."
The Times calls the pieces "Op-Docs." In another short piece posted May 31, "The filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa presents an Op-Doc on black women's decision to embrace their naturally kinky hair, rather than use chemical straighteners," the Times says.
Gene Demby, Huffington Post: Stop And Frisk Too Harsh On Gay Blacks And Latinos, Advocates Say
TheRoot.com: Stop and Frisk: Which Side Are You On?
Al Sharpton, HuffPost Black Voices: 'Stop-and-Frisk' Is the New Racial Profiling
Lauren Williams, theRoot.com: Not Everyone Thinks Stop and Frisk Is Racial
"Reporters and editors who are on the front lines of covering the intersection of business and politics share their insights regarding the upcoming election, the economic stories it will offer up, and what business journalists should be watching for during the next training call from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers," the TalkingBizNews site reported on Friday.
"It's called 'Marrying Politics and the Economy: Business Coverage in an Election Year,' and it will be held 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, June 18.
"Sign up for the call here. On the day of the call, dial 218-339-2626 and, when prompted, enter the access code 4058935 and you'll be put in to the call. Callers may only listen in to the panelists' discussion, but may submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org that will be sent to the moderator for possible inclusion in the hour-long discussion."
Among those on the call is Michael A. Fletcher, national economics correspondent at the Washington Post.
Dylan Byers, Poliitico: NBC News and Telemundo join for 2012
Rob Capriccioso, Indian Country Today: Forgotten Once More? Presidential Candidates Yet to Campaign in Indian Country
Michael Cottman, blackamericaweb.com: Is Obama Star-Struck?
Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: Is Obama losing support among black N.C. voters?
Peter Dreier, Occidental College, and Christopher R. Martin, University of Northern Iowa: "Job Killers" in the News: Allegations without Verification
Jordan Fabian, Univision News: Jorge Ramos says no to Obama campaign
Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: NYT Wonders: Is Barack Obama a Crybaby?
Myriam Marquez, Miami Herald: Jeb's 'grand bargain' a lesson for GOP
Brendan Nyhan, Columbia Journalism Review: Do campaign gaffes matter? Not to voters
Zoë Schlanger, the Nation: Chris Hayes: Let's Put Obama's 'Fine' Gaffe In Context
Judith Stein, Nieman Watchdog: A reporter's checklist for the impending Obamacare ruling
Armstrong Williams blog, the Hill: Excising politics from healthcare
"Senator Marco Rubio appears to have made peace with the giant Spanish television network Univision, a year after a bitter feud over coverage of drug charges against Rubio's brother-in-law," BuzzFeed reported on Thursday.
"A Capitol Hill source noticed Rubio walking the Senate halls today with anchor Jorge Ramos for, a source told BuzzFeed, an interview to promote his memoir. The book, American Son, is due out Tuesday in both English and Spanish, part of high-profile media campaign around the book.
"The Ramos interview will add a touch of intrigue to the roll-out: Univision was badly bruised by the coverage of Rubio, which prompted Republican presidential candidates to drop out of a planned Spanish-language debate, and produced an embarrassing Miami Herald report alleging -- based in part on claims from Rubio's office -- that Univision had offered to soften the piece in exchange for an interview, something Univision denied."
"Almost everything I know about being a father, I learned from television," media critic Eric Deggans wrote Friday for his Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times blog.
Deggans offered up " . . . a short list of the TV dads who have taught me the most as I struggle to raise four children of my own. My kids have certainly turned out much better than I have any right to expect, so maybe [I] learned a little more than I realized."
His list included James Evans Sr. (John Amos) of "Good Times"; Tom Corbett (Bill Bixby), "The Courtship of Eddie's Father"; Ray Barone (Ray Romano), "Everybody Loves Raymond"; Dan Conner (John Goodman), "Roseanne"; and Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby), "The Cosby Show."
John W. Fountain, Chicago Sun-Times: Giving thanks for a father's kiss
Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: My pre-Father's Day Giant
Annette John-Hall, Philadelphia Inquirer: Teaching men to be fathers
Jeff Johnson, blackamericaweb.com: Celebrating Fathers
Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: This lucky newborn's luxury item: a dad
Josie Pickens, ebony.com: Daddy Issues
Kevin Powell, Huffington Post: Being a Father
Ruben Rosario, the Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Celebrating African-American fathers who stick with their kids
"Erica Kennedy, an author and blogger best known for popular novels Feminista and Bling, has died, according to various reports," Brett Johnson reported Friday for theRoot.com. "The Root has confirmed through sources that she has died, but no further details on the circumstances are available yet."
On Tuesday on ABC's "World News," "George Stephanopoulos announced an astonishing 1,000 percent increase in the number of people registering to become bone marrow donors in the 24 hours following Robin Roberts' announcement that she has a rare blood and bone marrow disease," Tonya Garcia reported Tuesday for PRNewser. " . . . According to the Be The Match registry, more than 3,600 people have signed up to become potential donors. An average day usually sees between 200 and 300."
In New York, "It's a run for the ages," Jerry Barmash wrote Friday for FishbowlNY. "Sue Simmons closes the book on her storied 32 years as WNBC anchor. She'll sit alongside her legendary partner Chuck Scarborough one final time tonight for the 11 o'clock newscast. . . . While the station is planning one day of on-air tributes, beyond that there is not much more than a 'no comment.' Actually, let's call it what it is – a gag order." [David Hinckley wrote Saturday in the Daily News, "Simmons made no direct reference to the circumstances of her departure Friday night, instead mostly expressing herself through a running series of impromptu one-liners."] (NABJ tribute) (Video)
"Now that Congress has mandated that stations provide audio descriptions for blind and sight-impaired viewers, broadcasters should stop fighting it," reads a blurb over a Friday column by Harry A. Jessell of TVNewsCheck. "I get it. Nobody likes to be told what to do by the government. But this is an instance where broadcasters are being told to do something that they ought to have been doing anyway. So accept it and, in the great spirit and tradition of broadcasting, make the most of it."
Mary E.W. Goodwyn, who worked many years at the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, died Tuesday at the VCU Medical Center in Richmond. She was 60. At the Times-Dispatch, she was news rewrite editor, staff writer and assistant metro editor, and was active in the Richmond chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. Funeral services are scheduled Monday at Zion Baptist Church, 225 Byrne St., Petersburg, Va.
" . . . Florida reporters make 36% more than the median Floridian. That's followed by Rhode Island (25%), Massachusetts (23%), Delaware (22%) and Georgia (19%). Puerto Rico . . . is actually tops with reporters making 54% more than the median wage," Susan Johnston reported Thursday for the Ebyline Blog. " . . . We examined state by state data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics on median wages for writers/authors and reporters/correspondents (a somewhat murky distinction, since those titles are self-reported)." Johnston also reported the states where reporters make less than the median wage.
On Wednesday, the same day the White House announced a strategic plan committing the United States to elevating its efforts in "challenging leaders whose actions threaten the credibility of democratic processes" in sub-Saharan Africa, Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., "challenged the erosion of press freedom in a key U.S. strategic partner in the Horn of Africa: Ethiopia," Mohamed Keita reported Friday for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
The Committee to Protect Journalists is launching the Steiger Fellowship program to give budding journalists an opportunity to contribute to the defense of press freedom and learn about the challenges journalists face around the world. During the six-month fellowship, "The Steiger Fellow will carry out an independent project on press freedom while supporting CPJ staff and working on a variety of assignments, including documenting press freedom abuses and assisting in international advocacy efforts," the organization said. The application deadline is Aug. 1.
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.
Journal-isms: Editor-in-chief Tina Brown explained why she decided against the "brilliant" image.
" . . . Posted on the Newsweek Tumblr -- social media, in action! -- is a video of the editor, herself, discussing a spiked cover that involved posing Barack Obama as Trayvon Martin," Foster Kamer wrote about Tina Brown Tuesday for the New York Observer.
" 'It was a Trayvon [Martin] cover that we were going to do. And the president had just said, "If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon." So we did a cover of Barack in a hoodie . . . '
"And what'd she think of it?
" 'And I really thought it was brilliant, actually, because it sort of dramatized what he was saying.'
"If she doesn't say so herself. But then?
" 'But then, I became very anxious about what could be done with it in its afterlife. And one thing you have to think about which you didn't have to think about much in the days when I was editing Vanity Fair . . . ' "
As shocking as the newsroom cuts were Tuesday at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, the losses at its sister newspapers in Alabama were greater when factoring in the harm to diversity.
"I'm the only black business writer," Roy Williams of the Birmingham (Ala.)
News told Journal-isms by telephone on Wednesday, 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."
Gregory H. Lee Jr., president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said in an NABJ statement, "It is truly a sad moment in the industry as my hometown newspaper, the Times-Picayune[,] and the other Newhouse Gulf Coast newspapers have been hit hard." Lee worked in the Times-Picayune sports department from 1993 to 1999. "The lack of diversity that will be suffered in these newsrooms is unacceptable, and will result in more losses for these companies as consumers will go elsewhere to find news that is truly representative of their community," Lee continued. "This digital strategy will have severe impact on access for poor and minority readers in the communities they serve."
NABJ 's statement said, "As part of the organization's initiative, NABJ C.A.R.E.S. (Career, Assistance, Recovery and Employment Search), NABJ is offering registrations to journalists affected by the cuts at these newspapers to attend the Convention & Career Fair. Dozens of companies will be in attendance to recruit for job opportunities." The NABJ convention begins next Wednesday in New Orleans.
Kathy Chow, executive director of the Asian American Journalists Association, said that to her knowledge, no AAJA members were affected.
Asked if members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in Alabama were affected, Roberto Pazos, an NAHJ board member who represents Alabama and nearby states, said, "I do not have that knowledge." The NAHJ Region 5 seat, which serves Louisiana, is vacant.
However, a list of several leaving the paper on a Friends of the Times-Picayune Facebook page included the name of Patricia Gonzalez, according to WWL-TV. Gonzalez had been a layout artist with the paper for nearly 40 years, WDSU-TV reported.
Jaquetta White, a black journalist who was not laid off, reported Tuesday for the Times-Picayune, "Managers at The Times-Picayune informed more than 200 members of the newspaper staff Tuesday that their last day at the company will be Sept. 30. The Times-Picayune, according to company executives, is shrinking its overall staff — including news, advertising, circulation and other departments — by 32 percent, or 201 employees.
"Employees who were not laid off were offered new jobs beginning this fall with Nola Media Group or Advance Central Services Louisiana, two new companies that will oversee news coverage and production and distribution, respectively, for The Times-Picayune and its affiliated website nola.com.
"The layoffs come as part of a plan to reduce publication of the daily newspaper to three days a week this fall. When the four publication days are cut, the news operation will shift its focus online to NOLA.com, and both the newspaper and website will be overseen by the newly created Nola Media Group."
In Alabama, Kyle Whitmire reported Tuesday for the website Weld for Birmingham, "Two weeks ago, Birmingham News publisher Pam Siddall told newsroom employees that rumors of cuts as deep as 50 percent of staff were ridiculous, but when the ax fell Tuesday morning, the cuts were even deeper, with 60 percent of newsroom staff potentially losing their jobs and many more being let go in other departments throughout the company.
"On Tuesday morning, staff at all three of Advance Publication's Alabama newspapers — the Birmingham News, the Mobile Press-Register and the Huntsville Times — as well as employees at the New Orleans Times-Picayune, began having one-on-one meetings with managers. Birmingham staff who spoke to Weld said that the number of employees keeping their jobs was well within the minority. Of the 102 positions in the Birmingham newsroom, 62 were slated for layoffs, according to a document circulating in the newsroom. Another 41 positions would be cut from other departments, about 20 percent of non-newsroom employees."
" . . . In an official statement Tuesday, the company reported that statewide 400 employees will lose their jobs as Advance Publications shifts its assets in Alabama to two new companies, the Alabama Media Group and Advance Central Services Alabama."
Williams, vice president/print of the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists, said of himself and the other laid-off African Americans, "Most are thinking of getting out of journalism and going into P.R. I'm 47 years old. I've got five years to pay on my house. I can't move."
He said the management told employees that newsgathering would be the top priority in the reorganization, "but we got the biggest hit." The other black journalists affected included Sherrel Stewart, assistant metro editor and former BABJ president; Linda Robbins Holmes, assistant editor for the lifestyles section; and editorial writer Eddie Lard, another former BABJ president whom NABJ called "the newspaper's lone African-American editorial voice."
Jim Amoss with Judy Woodruff, PBS NewsHour: Times-Picayune Editor on Commitment, Accountability Amid Cutbacks
Jason Berry, the Nation: Rolling the Dice at the 'Times-Picayune'
Steve Myers, Poynter Institute: Advance Publications lays off 600 people at Times-Picayune, Alabama papers
Rem Rieder, American Journalism Review: Newhouse Flunks the Test in New Orleans
Jim Romenesko blog: Drinks are on us!
Jason Saul, WWNO-FM: City news organizations respond to Times-Picayune layoffs
Jeff Sonderman, Poynter Institute: 600 newspaper layoffs in one day is, unfortunately, not a record
Michael D. Bolden, a local desk editor at the Washington Post who took a buyout and left the paper in April, is now managing director of the communications firm Bolden Strategic Partners, he told Latoya Peterson in a "member interview" for the Online News Association.
"We're working on a media start-up to provide premium and custom news packages across platforms. I'm also consulting on digital media strategies and transportation policy," Bolden, a member of the Maynard Media Academy Class of 2011, told Peterson.
Peterson asked, " . . . What is happening to the talent taking the buyouts? How is that impacting the journalistic landscape of newspapers like the Washington Post?"
"I am most excited by those people who are taking what they've learned into new operations to try and help create the next wave of journalism. The loss of such talent does diminish the ability of organizations like The Post to function on some level, but there are plenty of talented people who are also left behind. However, I think the loss is more than offset by what emerges. Look at ventures like MedCity Media in Cleveland. That probably would not have happened if the founders had not taken buyouts several years ago. Journalism is now richer for what they are doing."
Digital journalist Mark S. Luckie, who joined the Washington Post two years ago as national innovations editor and then sold his blog 10000Words.net to WebMediaBrands Inc., owner of the Mediabistro blog network, for an undisclosed amount, is on the move again.
"I'm excited to announce that I'll be joining Twitter as the new Creative Content Manager for Journalism! To say I'm thrilled is an understatement," Luckie told his Facebook followers on Tuesday.
" . . . The new position means I'll be leaving The Post, a newsroom with some of the most talented, hard-working journos in the world [whom] I will miss wholeheartedly. I'm looking forward to the journey this new venture will take me on and to expanding what social journalism can be."
Adam Sharp, Twitter's senior manager for government, news and social innovation, said by email of Luckie, "He'll be Manager, Journalism Creative Content, working with news organizations and individual journalists to educate them on best practices and drive new creative uses for Twitter in the journalism space."
Luckie will be based in New York.
Sarah Frier, Bloomberg: Twitter Says Expanded Postings Will Show More Media Content
Mathew Ingram, gigaom.com: Why traditional media should be afraid of Twitter
When David Westin announced in 2010 that he was stepping down as president of ABC News, Kathy Times, then president of the National Association of Black Journalists, spoke with disappointment about his tenure. "He had some opportunities to really move some African Americans into key positions as correspondents," Times said.
Under Westin's successor, Ben Sherwood, ABC News has hired at least six correspondents of color since September -- two black journalists, two Hispanics and two of Asian background.
"We're always looking for talented journalists and great story tellers [whom] our audience can relate to," ABC News spokeswoman Julie Townsend told Journal-isms by email and telephone on Wednesday, shying away from a discussion of ethnicity.
John Schriffen joined ABC in May as a New York correspondent after two months as a freelance reporter for WCBS, the CBS-owned station in New York. Canadian journalist Muhammad Lila joined in January as the new digital correspondent based in Islamabad and responsible for Pakistan, Afghanistan and that region. Bazi Kanani, an anchor-reporter at KUSA-TV in Denver, was hired in November as correspondent in Nairobi, Kenya.
Cecilia Vega, a reporter at KGO-TV in San Francisco, joined in September as a Los Angeles-based correspondent; Alex Perez, a reporter and fill-in anchor at WMAQ-TV in Chicago, joined in March to work from that city's ABC News bureau. In February, ABC hired Reena Ninan for its Washington bureau after she had covered the Middle East for Fox News Channel.
"A Brazilian journalist who entered Syria legally was arbitrarily arrested by the army on 19 May and spent six days in detention, cut off from the outside world," Reporters Without Borders reported on Tuesday.
" . . . At the same time, a British journalist said he and his colleagues were deliberately led into a trap by rebels so that they might be shot and killed by the Syrian army.
"Klester Cavalcanti, 42, a journalist with the Brazilian magazine IstoÉ, was granted a visa and planned to report on the living conditions of the residents of the northern city of Homs, devastated by fighting between rebels and government forces in February. He arrived in Damascus on 19 May and immediately boarded a bus for Homs.
" . . . At one point, an officer presented him with a blank sheet of paper and took a cigarette from his pocket, telling him: 'If you don't sign this paper, I shall burn your eye.' Cavalcanti refused to comply. The officer lit the cigarette and stubbed it out on the journalist's face, close to his eye. He signed the sheet. . . . "
Naomi Hunt, International Press Institute: UK Reporter Claims Syria Rebels Wanted Him Shot by Army
"A Wall Street Journal reporter resigned on Tuesday, following revelations she'd had an affair with a former Bush administration security advisor who is the current nominee to be the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq," Meena Hart Duerson reported Tuesday in the Daily News in New York.
"Gina Chon's 2008 relationship with Brett McGurk, 39, was exposed last week when a series of their sexually-charged emails were posted anonymously online to sites including Flickr.
"Chon 'agreed to resign this afternoon after acknowledging that while based in Iraq she violated the Dow Jones Code of Conduct by sharing certain unpublished news articles with Brett McGurk, then a member of the U.S. National Security Council in Iraq,' the Wall Street Journal said in a statement on Tuesday."
Paul Farhi added Wednesday in the Washington Post: "Chon may be the highest-profile journalist to lose her job over an intimate relationship with a source, but she's not the first. Although it rarely captures headlines, reporters 'get involved with sources fairly often,' said Kelly McBride, an ethics specialist for the Poynter Institute, a Florida-based journalism education organization.
"McBride said she receives 'five to 10' calls from news organizations every year seeking advice on how to deal with journalists who are having relationships with people they're covering."
More from the file "Journalists say the darndest things":
"Mediabistro was at Wendy Williams's studio yesterday where we taped our mediabistroTV series 'My First Big Break,' " Chris Ariens wrote Wednesday for TVNewser. "When we got there, Katie Couric happened to be taping a segment with Williams for Couric's upcoming daytime talk show. The exchange included a sort of 'would you rather?' back and forth. At one point, Williams asks Couric who would she rather sleep with: Bryant Gumbel or Matt Lauer. Couric chose Gumbel, because, she says, she feels so close to Lauer it would just be weird. . . ."
"Why does the White House seek out interviews with local television affiliates?" Charlie Spiering wrote in the Washington Examiner. "Maybe it's because they ask questions like these:
" 'Mr. President, we've heard you sing, we've seen you do stand up at the correspondents dinner.' Tom Wills of WJXT in Jacksonville, Fla. stated.
" 'I was just wondering if you would give any thought to being on "American Idol" or "America's Got Talent"?' he asked. 'You'd be a big hit Mr. President.'
" 'My wife and my daughters find me embarrassing enough when I start performing,' Obama grinned. 'They certainly don't want a large national audience seeing me in those kinds of situations. So I'm going to try to keep my singing to the shower most of the time.' "
"On the popular Fox News show [The] Five (6/6/12), co-host Eric Bolling blasted Muslim advocates who are suing the New York Police Department over its spying program targeting Muslims, saying that in the last 15 years, 'Every terrorist on American soil has been a Muslim,' " Jim Naureckas wrote for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. "In fact, Muslims are responsible for a tiny fraction of terrorism in the U.S.; as a Rand study pointed out in 2010 . . . "
"Anzio Williams, who has been the news director at Sacramento's KCRA since 2007, is set to leave the Hearst-owned station next Monday," Andrew Gauthier wrote Tuesday for TV Spy.
"KCRA general manager Elliott Troshinsky announced Williams's departure in an email to staff this week, saying that the veteran news director 'has expressed a desire to pursue some other career interests and opportunities.'
"Williams, who has been with Hearst for 14 years, joined KCRA after two
years as news director at WDSU in New Orleans. Before that, he was the assistant ND at WESH in Orlando and at WCNC in Charlotte."
" 'I believe what I've done here at KCRA has put me in the position to go on to bigger and better things,' Williams told his staff on Monday. 'I’m excited about what the future holds.' "
Meanwhile, "New Orleans native Tod Smith has been named president and general manager of WWL-TV, as well as its properties WUPL-TV, NewsWatch 15 and WWLTV.com, station management has announced," WWL in New Orleans reported on Wednesday.
"Smith replaces Bud Brown, who recently announced his decision to retire after 7 years at Channel 4.
"It is a homecoming for Smith, who began his broadcasting career at WWL before going on to hold the position of general manager at WWL's sister stations in Norfolk and Tucson, also owned and operated by Belo."
Smith is one of nine general managers of color at general-market local television stations [PDF], according to a study by the National Association of Black Journalists. Five are African American, two are Hispanic and two are Asian American.
Ranked by size, Norfolk-Portsmouth-Newport News, Va., is market No. 43. New Orleans is 52 [PDF].
"Jon Beans, a reporter and host on Alabama Public Television for two decades, died Wednesday from sickle cell anemia. He was 50," the Associated Press reported. "Jon was a great mentor and servant to NABJ. I worked with him directly as SEED [Student Education Enrichment and Development] chair and he displayed great character and professionalism in leading NABJ-TV for many years at our convention," Gregory H. Lee Jr., president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said in a statement.
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper emceed the sixth annual Mirror Awards ceremony in New York Wednesday, opening the event with commentary on the role of news organizations in society, noting the importance of incorporating women and minorities into a media industry "traditionally dominated by — well, frankly, by white men. Woohoo, white men," Cooper said sarcastically, Merrill Knox reported for TVNewser. Among the winners was "Mrs. Bhutto's Murder Anniversary Part 1: Troubling Double Standard, American photojournalism's different treatment of foreign victims" by Rhonda Roland Shearer and Malik Ayub Sumbal for iMediaEthics.
"Darhil Crooks has been named creative director of The Atlantic. Crooks comes to The Atlantic from Ebony, where he served as creative director since late last year," Chris O'Shea reported Wednesday for FishbowlNY. "Prior to his time there, Crooks was creative director of Esquire from 2005 to 2010."
"The FCC voted unanimously late Monday night to sunset the commission's viewability rule in six months that requires hybrid, analog-digital cable systems to offer viewers TV broadcast signals in an analog format so that viewers with old analog sets can continue to receive them," Kim McAvoy reported Tuesday for TVNewsCheck. "The vote is a setback for broadcasters who were asking for a three-year extension of the rule and hoping that Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn would lead the charge for it." The National Black Church Initiative aligned itself with the broadcasters, maintaining that some black pastors would no longer have access to their cable audience.
"KTVU Channel 2 reporter Lloyd LaCuesta received a special honor Tuesday in San Jose during his last week of work before he retires," the San Francisco Bay area station reported. "San Jose Mayor Chuck Reed called LaCuesta before the City Council where he was given a commendation for his 43 years in broadcast journalism and service to the city."
DeShong Perry-Smitherman, a producer at WTHR-TV in Indianapolis, starts next week as senior producer at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Shaunelle Richie, director of community and public affairs, told Journal-isms on Wednesday. WBBM was criticized last year for airing a misleading video of a 4-year old boy African American saying he wanted his own gun. Perry-Smitherman is African American.
CNN/U.S. chief Ken Jautz announced that CNN was canceling its 6 p.m. program "John King USA" and replacing it with an extra hour of "The Situation Room," Alex Weprin reported Wednesday for TVNewser. Jautz also said, "Joe Johns will be taking on a new role as the CNN Crime and Justice Correspondent, covering the Supreme Court and the criminal justice system." Johns holds a law degree.
"Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa over the weekend announced he was 'seriously considering' directing government ministers to only grant interviews to public media, the latest incident in the leftist administration's clampdown on critical press," Scott Griffen reported Tuesday for the International Press Institute.
"The Committee to Protect Journalists and the Africa Media Initiative (AMI) called for the release of journalists being held under Ethiopia's anti-terrorism laws and requested a review of those laws as they affect freedom of speech," the press freedom group reported Tuesday. "CPJ board member Charlayne Hunter-Gault, CPJ Deputy Director Robert Mahoney and AMI board member Dele Olojede met Friday in Addis Ababa with Communications Minister Bereket Simon, a senior figure in the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi."
"Security authorities in Sudan suspended on Tuesday the publication of Al-Tayyar newspaper [and] confiscated copies of Al-Ahram al-Yawm, in the most recent violation of press freedom in the east African country," the Sudan Tribune reported.
"Journaliste en danger (JED) has urged Congolese authorities to make every effort to apprehend a group of persons who abducted a journalist in downtown Lubumbashi and held him for several hours before letting him go in a neighbouring town in the dead of night," the Toronto-based International Freedom of Expression Exchange Clearing House reported on Tuesday. JED said the abductors drove Franck Fuamba, managing editor of the Lubumbashi-based Mining News magazine, to multiple locations, including a Katuba home "where he was questioned at length about his personal relationships, the politicians he knows and the political news stories that appear in his magazine."
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Journal-isms: Research suggests that race cost the president more votes in 2008 than many realized.
"Barack Obama won 52.9 percent of the popular vote in 2008 and 365 electoral votes, 95 more than he needed," Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, a doctoral candidate in economics at Harvard, wrote Sunday in the New York Times. "Many naturally concluded that prejudice was not a major factor against a black presidential candidate in modern America. My research, a comparison of Americans' Google searches and their voting patterns, found otherwise. If my results are correct, racial animus cost Mr. Obama many more votes than we may have realized.
" . . . Can we really quantify racial prejudice in different parts of the country based solely on how often certain words are used on Google? Not perfectly, but remarkably well. Google, aggregating information from billions of searches, has an uncanny ability to reveal meaningful social patterns. 'God' is Googled more often in the Bible Belt, 'Lakers' in Los Angeles.
" . . . many Americans use Google to find racially charged material. I performed the somewhat unpleasant task of ranking states and media markets in the United States based on the proportion of their Google searches that included the word 'nigger(s).' This word was included in roughly the same number of Google searches as terms like 'Lakers,' 'Daily Show,' 'migraine' and 'economist.'
" . . . The state with the highest racially charged search rate in the country was West Virginia. Other areas with high percentages included western Pennsylvania, eastern Ohio, upstate New York and southern Mississippi.
"Once I figured out which parts of the country had the highest racially charged search rates, I could test whether Mr. Obama underperformed in these areas. . . . The results were striking: The higher the racially charged search rate in an area, the worse Mr. Obama did.
" . . . If my findings are correct, race could very well prove decisive against Mr. Obama in 2012. Most modern presidential elections are close. Losing even two percentage points lowers the probability of a candidate's winning the popular vote by a third. And prejudice could cost Mr. Obama crucial states like Ohio, Florida and even Pennsylvania."
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Not Afraid to Talk About Race
Neil Foote video: ObamaRace&Image April2012
Joy-Ann Reid, theGrio.com: Obama campaign releases first black radio ad
The appearance by the vice president, scheduled for Wednesday, is usually a sign that the president will not be present, since Biden is a surrogate for President Obama. Obama addressed the NABJ convention in 2007 and the Unity convention in 2008, both times as a presidential candidate.
Valerie Jarrett, senior adviser to the president, is scheduled to address the convention on Saturday night.
Mitt Romney, the putative GOP candidate, was invited to the NABJ convention, but it could not be learned whether he plans to attend the NABJ convention or that of Unity, which is scheduled for Aug. 1-4 in Las Vegas.
"As many of you know, five years ago I beat breast cancer," Robin Roberts announced Monday as she co-hosted ABC's "Good Morning America." I've always been a fighter, and with all of your prayers and support, a winner.
"Sometimes the treatment for cancer can cause other serious medical problems. Today, I want to let you know that I've been diagnosed with MDS, or myelodysplastic syndrome. It's a disease of the blood and bone marrow and was once known as preleukemia.
"My doctors tell me I'm going to beat this -- and I know it's true.
"If you Google MDS, you may find some scary stuff, including statistics that my doctors insist don't apply to me. They say I'm younger and fitter than most people who confront this disease and will be cured. . . .
"Today, I will start what is known as pre-treatment -- chemotherapy in advance of a bone marrow transplant later this year. Bone marrow donors are scarce and particularly for African-American women. I am very fortunate to have a sister who is an excellent match, and this greatly improves my chances for a cure.
"I received my MDS diagnosis on the very day that 'Good Morning America' finally beat the 'Today Show' for the first time in 16 years. Talk about your highs and lows! Then a few weeks ago, during a rather unpleasant procedure to extract bone marrow for testing, I received word that I would interview President Obama the next day. The combination of landing the biggest interview of my career and having a drill in my back reminds me that God only gives us what we can handle and that it helps to have a good sense of humor when we run smack into the absurdity of life.
"Bottom line: I've been living with this diagnosis for awhile and will continue to anchor GMA. . . ."
Chris Ariens, TVNewser: GMA Staffers Meet to Discuss Robin Roberts Treatment
Chris Ariens, TVNewser: Following Bone Marrow Transplant Revelation, Robin Roberts Says 'Be a Donor'
Dr. Richard Besser, ABC News: Robin's Next Challenge: Myelodysplastic Syndrome
Merrill Knox, TV Newser: WWL's Sally-Ann Roberts to Donate Bone Marrow Cells to Her Sister, 'GMA' Anchor Robin Roberts
"We've recently had a rash of shootings in Seattle," Sharon Pian Chan, associate opinions editor/digital at the Seattle Times, told Journal-isms by email, saying she was inspired to write "after reading your essay on the need to develop minority opinion writers."
"A series of gang related shooting deaths in south Seattle, then a non-gang related shooting in which a man opened fired at a cafe and killed four people, then killed another woman downtown as he was on the run.
"We asked Prometheus Brown, a member of the Blue Scholars, to write an op-ed for us on the shootings. It turned into a song, and we ran the lyrics in our Sunday opinion section with a QR code that linked to an online video of him performing the song.
"Prometheus, also known as George Quibuyen, is Filipino American and he lives in south Seattle. While the Blue Scholars are from Seattle, they are a nationally known group. We want to show the community that things are changing in the opinion section, and this was a way to reach more diverse readers in a format they related to. Music has a long history of social commentary, and this piece spoke to our readers in a way that no news story could."
The Prometheus piece begins:
"Never heard of this, city getting murderous --
"occupation dangerous like Philippine journalists.
"Crazy and deranged they describe him in the same pages
"that would call him terrorist, if not for the melanin deficiency.
"Gang problem bigger than just juvenile delinquency.
"Gangs is survival if environments is grimy.
"To begin with -- speaking of which, let's be consistent --
"Today is called a tragedy, yesterday a statistic. . . . "
Editorial Page Editor Kate Riley added by email that the video "was shot by our intern Aaron Levinsky. The song lyrics were packaged with an oped by two academics discussing the mass shooting and how more gun control won't dissuade a mass murderer -- a well written, well-reasoned oped.
"Then there was Mr. Brown's song, which was good medicine for a city hurting. All heart, all irony, all painful truths. Especially poignant [are] Brown's comments about people being upset about the mass murder in the northend, perhaps more so than they were about those in Rainier Beach. Maybe yes, maybe not. But he also has a moment where he acknowledges the music is influential. The words are powerful, but the video really makes these moments. . . ."
The Washington Post commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Watergate break-in on Monday, and although there was little ethnic diversity among the journalists in attendance,
investigative journalists of color are making their mark, according to Manny Garcia, executive editor and general manager of El Nuevo Herald and president of Investigative Reporters and Editors.
Garcia told Journal-isms in an email:
"The number of investigative journalists of color has increased, and that is a very positive sign. First, I see it at the university level, where there is a hunger by students to dig into institutions. I also have seen a change for the better in some news organizations, and I see it at the non-profit level. I see the change mostly across beats, municipal governments, school boards, cops, immigration.
"I routinely get calls from news editors looking to hire investigative journalists of color, so I think there is an awareness by those newsroom leaders that if they really want to cover their communities credibly, they need a diverse and aggressive team on the beat or on projects.
"Still, despite the advances, we are not where we need to be as an industry, especially with our changing demographics. We don't have nearly enough journalists of color on I-teams — whether as investigative reporters or editors. The talent is out there.
"I see the successes in our newsroom where a diverse group of watchdog reporters has uncovered everything from child trafficking in Haiti and the Dominican Republic to illegal campaign contributions in the local mayoral races."
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is sorting through its 168 lifetime members, many of whom voted in the last NAHJ election two years ago, and disqualifying as voters those whose principal means of support is not "earned in the gathering, editing, or presentation of news," Anna Lopez Buck, NAHJ interim executive director, told Journal-isms by email on Sunday.
"Lifetime members that didn't meet the qualifications should not have been voting in the past. That was a mistake that no one caught," she said.
In the 2010 election, Michele Salcedo beat Hugo Balta for president, 137 to 124, a margin close enough for lifetime members to have affected the outcome. Lopez Buck said she had not yet determined how many lifetime members are ineligible to vote.
The culling of the lifetime membership list prompted a robust exchange on NAHJ Facebook pages over the weekend, coinciding with Saturday's deadline for seeking NAHJ office. Balta, a coordinating producer at ESPN, and Russell Contreras, an Associated Press reporter who is NAHJ vice president/print and chief financial officer, are seeking the NAHJ presidency.
Members speculated about the political leanings of lifetime members who would be purged and the motives for and desirability of purging them. They said some had signed nominating petitions with signatures that might no longer be valid.
"Lifetime members can vote if they qualify as an academic or regular member," Lopez Buck said. "Lifetime membership is not one of the 7 classes of membership as defined in the NAHJ bylaws. It was created in 2002/2003 as a fundraising tool, and a way to increase membership.
"In order for all Lifetime members to vote or hold office there would have to be an amendment passed by the membership and then it would be reflected in the bylaws.
"The bylaws state that a regular member's [principal] means of support must be earned in the gathering, editing, or presentation of news. . . . Check out our bylaws at http://nahj.org/nahj-bylaws/
"Lifetime members that didn't meet the qualifications should not have been voting in the past. That was a mistake that no one caught.
"In fact, in previous years I contacted the NAHJ office during election cycles informing them that I was receiving nomination requests and an electronic ballot when I shouldn't have. My calls and emails went unanswered. I am a lifetime member. Should I be voting[?] no. I'm not a working journalist or an academic as defined by the bylaws.
"I can't say if there were invalid signatures submitted in the past. I wasn't working with NAHJ from July 2003 - June 2011."
Suzanne Gamboa, campaign manager for the Contreras slate, did not respond to a request for comment.
Balta said by email, "I've been reading many of the FB exchanges in regards to some lifetime members not being eligible to vote. I will be making inquiries like many other members. The communication (specifically the process for candidates and voters alike) has been inconsistent. I believe that is what's causing some of the angst (for members). The Elections committee along with the NAHJ leadership should have communicated or clarified the information in the bylaws, etc. in advance of the nomination process."
Manuel De La Rosa, vice president/broadcast, said in an email, ". . . nobody asked our executive director to do this. she's just doing her job and I am glad we are cleaning up this mess and only allowing the people who are eligible to vote in elections to vote."
Elizabeth Zavala, a lifetime member who is a content editor for MultiBriefs, the publishing subsidiary of MultiView, Inc., based in Irving, Texas, said by email, ". . . Because I work for an online media company that does association-branded eNewsletters, I'm probably not considered a regular lifetime member anymore. I'm probably considered an associate lifetime member by our bylaws. Those bylaws were written a very long time ago, and they probably need to be re-invented like all of us are re-inventing ourselves in this new media world.
"But I'd rather NAHJ continue to shore up its finances before we rewrite membership categories. Getting the organization financially stable and on comfortable footing is more important because to me, it gets us closer to meeting the mission of NAHJ, the betterment of its members and journalism overall because of it."
A first-person story by Shalise Manza Young, who this fall will begin her seventh season as a beat writer covering the New England Patriots, highlighted a special section on diversity in Sunday's Boston Globe.
". . . Before Newsday promoted Kimberley Martin to be its primary New York Jets writer in April, I was the only African-American woman in the country who was a full-time beat writer for a National Football League team," Young wrote.
". . . I rarely have problems with the players I cover. Sure, I've been around for seven years, so I'm a familiar face to many of them. A majority of NFL players are African-American, and the sad fact is that many of them were raised by single mothers who worked tirelessly to make sure their sons had what they needed. In some ways, I think I am viewed similarly. I am there to do my job, and I work hard at it; I've proven that I can be trusted. I talk to them about more than X's and O's -- I learn about their wives and children, and what makes them tick off the football field.
"Sometimes they'll tell me things that they might not tell a male reporter, maybe because of some macho attitude or being afraid of being viewed a certain way, or perhaps I just asked a question a man wouldn't think to ask.
"Those often bring about the best days, when the trust I've built up leads to my breaking a story, or when I produce a profile of a player who's been written about a hundred times before, but through my eyes, his story has new details and readers get a different perspective."
Tuesday marks the 10th anniversary of the day that "Journal-isms" debuted in this space, having previously existed only on the printed page.
It began about 1991 as a catch-all column of briefs in the NABJ Journal, which was then a newspaper of the National Association of Black Journalists that Richard Prince was co-editing. It continued there for seven years.
Jackie Jones picked up the sequence of events in a 2011 piece for BlackAmericaWeb.com that refers to Dori J. Maynard, president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education:
" 'When the Internet came along,' Prince said, 'Dori Maynard was looking for something to draw traffic to the Maynard Institute [site], and it's gone from these little briefs to a full-blown column.'
"Among mainstream journalists, a column by media critic Jim Romenesko has become a staple about the news industry. In many ways, Journal-isms serves a similar purpose, only for and about people of color.
" 'That's why we started it, actually,' said Maynard, president of the journalism training institute based in Oakland, California. 'I was so disturbed by Romenesko. There was [rarely] any notice of people of color.' "
Today, many sites aggregate news items about the news business, but only one is devoted to diversity concerns. Thanks to Dori J. Maynard, Bill Elsen, Roberto Delgado and the other colleagues who have posted, edited and supervised Journal-isms for the Maynard Institute, to our partners at theRoot.com, and to the multiracial audience who, with their tips, comments and criticisms, have made it a success.
"Lorenza 'Lori' Rodriguez, a Texas journalist who in 1971 became the first Hispanic editor of the University of Texas newspaper [The] Daily Texan and later a longtime reporter and columnist for the Houston Chronicle, was found dead Thursday at her Houston Heights home," Allan Turner reported Friday for the Chronicle. "She was 62.
" 'Lori was a star in the Latino community,' said Marcario Ramirez, a Houston Hispanic activist and businessman. 'Because of her writing about our culture and tradition, she was admired. … She put our community on the roadmap — in a positive way, for the most part. Our hearts weep for her.'
"Houston City Councilman James Rodriguez called her a 'trailblazer.'
" 'There were not many Latinas covering politics for major newspapers,' he said. "She was a very aggressive, fair and balanced reporter who took the time to develop relationships in this city and cover the growing number of Latino politicians and elected officials.' "
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