Black Publisher Endorses Romney

Publisher Rufus M. Friday (The Key News Journal)
Publisher Rufus M. Friday (The Key News Journal)

Rufus Friday Disagrees With Editorial Board

The publisher and president of the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader became one of few prominent African Americans to publicly support Mitt Romney for president Sunday when the paper's editorial board disclosed that Rufus M. Friday disagreed with its endorsement of President Obama.


". . . He chose not to use his power as publisher to overrule the majority," the Herald-Leader's endorsement editorial said of Friday. "His primary reasons for supporting Romney are laid out here:

"President Barack Obama simply has not made good on his biggest promise: to change the culture in Washington. During his presidency, the Capitol remained mired in partisan squabbles while a host of challenges have not been adequately addressed. . . ."

Jim Romenesko wrote Wednesday on his media blog, "Editorial page editor Vanessa Gallman tells Romenesko readers that there are five people on the McClatchy paper's editorial board and that Friday 'was the only supporter of Romney and did try to sway others.'

"She writes in an email:

" 'He did not threaten to veto the edit and did not demand rewrites.

" 'The publisher, who came up through circulation, was not comfortable writing a dissenting column (which the last publisher once did on a local-government matter) yet he wanted his view reflected inside the endorsement. That seemed much too disconcerting for readers, so we agreed on the separate statement.

" 'This has generated a lot less community reaction than I expected. A few readers have criticized the publisher for what they see as hubris, a few were thankful to know he is conservative, a few said the rest of the edit board should have followed his lead.' "

Gallman is one of only five black editorial page editors at mainstream newspapers. The latest tracking poll from the Pew Research Center, taken Sunday, shows Romney with 2 percent of the black non-Hispanic vote.


A message on Friday's telephone said he would be away from Sunday until Nov. 5. 

Chris Sivula, the editorial page editor at Friday's previous paper, the Tri-City Herald in Kennewick, Wash., another McClatchy Co. property, said he was not surprised by Friday's position.


"We endorsed candidate Obama four years ago," Sivula said by telephone. "The editorial board and Rufus did not see eye to eye. . . . His main concern was that he just didn't think he was presidential material." Friday had lived in the Chicago area and was "unimpressed with his performance as a state representative," Sivula said. The resulting editorial incorporated some of Friday's concerns. Sivula said Friday considered himself a conservative. Interestingly, the Tri-City Herald on Sunday endorsed Romney.

Friday became publisher of the Lexington paper last year. Before joining the Tri-City Herald, he was at another McClatchy newspaper, the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., "where he served two years as vice president of circulation. Friday spent the previous 11 years, from 1992 to 2003, with Gannett Co., Inc., directing circulation for newspapers in Tennessee, Illinois and Alabama," according to a news release.


"Friday was born in South Carolina and raised in Gastonia, N.C. He attended North Carolina State University, earning a football scholarship his sophomore year and playing three years as a tight end for the university. He graduated in 1984 with a degree in business management and economics and went to work for The News & Observer's circulation department, where he spent the next eight years before moving to Gannett."

Hana Baba, New America Media: Eye on Elections: Muslim Voters Disappointed With Obama, Wary of GOP


Charles W. Blow, New York Times: The Company Romney Keeps

Stanley Crouch, Daily News, New York: American women will carry the day

Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star: Why voters should give Obama four more years

John W. Fountain, Chicago Sun-Times: I¹m voting for best man for the job, not 'voting black'


Alessandra Hickson, NBCLatino: Joe Biden says "we¹re breaking our neck" on immigration reform

Raynard Jackson, National Newspaper Publishers Association: My Republican Party has abandoned me


Nick Jimenez, Caller-Times, Corpus Christi, Texas: A privilege to watch democracy in action

Latina Lista: The GOP's own contradiction is what alienates Latinos from thinking its their party


Jason Margolis, "The World," Public Radio International: President Obama Helping Undocumented Stay in US, But Offering No Healthcare Assistance

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: A one-size-fits-all morality fails

Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Can dignity of U.S. presidency survive hate?

Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Catch-phrases are plentiful this election season, but civility isn't


Bob Ray Sanders, Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas: Obama still agent of change, symbol of hope

Barry Saunders, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: For some motorists, being a jerk is a bipartisan endeavor


Goldie Taylor, the Grio: Black America, Barack Obama, and the racial backlash

Sharon Toomer, Black and Brown News: Probe Mitt Romney's Affiliation With the Mormon Church — It's Not Too Late and It's Required


NPR Names Latina as Chief Marketing Officer

NPR Thursday named Emma Carrasco, a Latina who has worked as an executive at Univision and McDonald's Corp., as NPR's chief marketing officer. Gary E. Knell, NPR's president and CEO, tied the appointment to his efforts to "reach far more Americans in every corner of our country."


Carrasco will be the only Hispanic in NPR's executive leadership. Deborah A. Cowan, chief financial officer and vice president, finance; Jeff Perkins, chief people officer and vice president, human resources; and Keith Woods, vice president for diversity in news and operations, are African American.

Carrasco is executive vice president of Republica, a Miami-based strategic and creative agency specializing in multiplatform marketing. "Her appointment as Chief Marketing Officer begins December 3 and follows an extensive national search," NPR announced.


" 'Emma has the experience and perspective to build on our strong brand and reputation and to connect NPR and our Member Stations to people who want a civil and impartial approach to news,' said Knell. 'Though our listening audience is larger than the circulation of the nation¹s top 54 newspapers combined, we still can reach far more Americans in every corner of our country with robust marketing and outreach programs that promote our award-winning radio and digital content.' "

" 'I've been an avid supporter of public broadcasting for many years, and I am thrilled to bring my personal passion and professional experience together at NPR,' said Carrasco, who added that 'NPR and its Member stations have a great opportunity to become a part of the daily media diet of a generation of young and diverse listeners, and I'm especially excited to be a part of that endeavor.' "


"Carrasco's career is bracketed by agency experience, beginning at Fleishman Hillard in Los Angeles and New York, where she created corporate responsibility and media relations campaigns, and most recently as Executive Vice President at Republica, a strategic and creative agency based in Miami, where she worked with an array of major national and international brands to grow their market share and revenue.

"She has also served in executive roles for major brands including Univision, where she helped usher in a new era of Spanish-language television programming; and at McDonald's Corporation, where she led communications campaigns to grow the Hispanic and African-American consumer base; and Nortel Networks where she led the company's global branding and advertising. Carrasco sits on the Board of Directors of WPBT-Channel 2, the PBS station of South Florida." [Updated Nov. 1]


Ethnic Media Were Lifelines During Sandy

"When the subway, tunnels and bridges were shut down on Monday, leaving no other options for New Yorkers to move in and out of the city, Abu Taher knew that his cell phone was the only link not only to his family and friends, but also to the city's Bangladeshi community," Anthony Advincula wrote Wednesday for New America Media.


"Taher, editor and publisher of a Bangladeshi weekly, Bangla Patrika, received calls from Bangladeshis as far away as Atlantic City, N.J. and some parts of Virginia, asking for updates on Hurricane Sandy and seeking advice in case their situation got worse.

" 'I was thinking about my own family and, at the same time, I had to think about my fellow Bangladeshis who largely depend on us for information,' Taher said, speaking by phone Tuesday from his apartment in Queens. 'They never called for money. But the information we'd give is far more important to them in times of natural disasters.'


"As Hurricane Sandy bore down on the East Coast, many ethnic media in the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) served as a lifeline to their respective communities by providing vital information. Without an ability to publish, newspapers translated information and posted it online. Sometimes, the journalists, who are respected community leaders, gave advice over the phone. . . . "

Erica González, executive editor of New York's Spanish-language El Diario/La Prensa, part of the ImpreMedia chain, told Journal-isms that the daily did not miss an edition.


"We had a contingency plan in place and worked remotely on both Monday and Tuesday," Gonzalez said Wednesday by email. "Many of us are in the office today. Reporters have been in the field all days. No editions were cancelled. We continued to circulate, albeit in lower numbers and [fewer] areas, because our readers rely on us for information and we partner with them to tell their stories."

The weekly New York Amsterdam News, which targets African Americans, was planning to publish on time Thursday, Elinor Tatum, editor-in-chief and publisher, said. "many disruptions, we had to move our production because the office we use (outsourced) is in the blackout zone," Tatum said by email. She added on Thursday, "We are going up online now and printing tomorrow hopefully." [Updated Nov. 1]


News Outlets Coped With Hurricane's Obstacles

". . . The storm halted the printing of newspapers in New Jersey, stopped WNYC and other stations from broadcasting on their AM radio frequencies, put a muzzle on the Gawker Web site by flooding its Internet service provider and pulled intrepid television reporters off streets with its high winds and deep water," Christine Haughney and Brian Stelter reported Wednesday for the New York Times.


" 'We knew that getting around was going to be tough, we just didn't realize, nor did anybody, how tough it would be,' said Michael Jack, the president and general manager of WNBC. Mr. Jack added that his reporters had 'three laments' in this storm: the water, high winds and restrictions on movement, like the closings of bridges and tunnels.

"Some stations found the conditions to be so daunting that they pulled back reporters during the height of the coverage. NY1, the all-news cable channel in New York City based downtown, instructed some crews to leave dangerous areas on Monday; other reporters sought temporary shelter in various places because the streets were impassable.


"At a time like this, many news organizations like the Weather Channel made use of Twitter and Facebook to find user-generated photos and videos. A few fakes surfaced, like one photo purporting to show a shark swimming through a neighborhood. But as soon as one person posted the photo, thinking it was taken recently, several other people virtually shouted it down, clarifying that it was a hoax.

"Radio stations, one of the most reliable sources of information for people without power, were also impeded by flooding on Monday. Two news radio stations, WNYC and WINS, lost their AM frequencies but continued to broadcast on FM. WNYC's transmitter 'is in a swamp, and it's flooded,' said Laura R. Walker, the chief executive of New York Public Radio, which operates the station. She added the organization had anticipated the power failure and warned listeners ahead of time. The station's Lower Manhattan studio lost power on Monday night. But a backup generator kicked in immediately and coverage was not stopped. . . . "


Are Only "Developed World" Catastrophes News?

". . . In a world shrunk smaller by digital communications, we cannot say that we do not know what happens in other countries," Roy Greenslade wrote Tuesday in his media blog for Britain's Guardian.


"Commenters to the live blog have provided many examples of our oversight. For example, GilbertTheAlien counted 65 Guardian articles on hurricane Sandy, but only eight of these referred to its effect on the Caribbean.

"Yet just consider the figures: 69 deaths in total, including 52 people in Haiti, 11 in Cuba, two in the Bahamas, two in the Dominican Republic, one in Jamaica and one in Puerto Rico.


"James Kelly made a similar point. Front pages tell of 16 deaths in the US while the Haitian deaths get virtually no mention.

"And Monkeybiz reminded us that 19 people were killed by a typhoon in the Philippines last week, one of more than a dozen such catastrophes to hit that country this year. 'Oh,' he remarked sarcastically, 'you didn't hear about that?'


"No we didn't. We seem to accept that storms routinely hit countries outside the developed world and it's therefore of no particular news value. That may be understandable because, as I say, news is local.

"But what happens to nations in the developed world is very different. Huge coverage was devoted to the earthquake that struck Christchurch in New Zealand in September 2010, for instance. . . ."


Michael Arceneaux, the Root: Mitt Romney's FEMA Fable

Jerry Barmash, FishbowlNY: Tracking Hurricane Sandy; Kaity Tong, David Ushery Shine


Wayne Bennett, Field Negro: Surviving Sandy and political rhetoric.

Michael Calderone, Huffington Post: Hurricane Sandy Cable News Coverage Avoids Talk Of Climate Change


Jon Caramanica, New York Times: NY1 Becomes a Prime-Time Anchor in the Tumult of the Storm

Jacqueline Charles with Michel Martin on "Tell Me More," NPR: Haiti Tent Camps Bear Brunt Of Sandy


Jon Cohen, Peyton M. Craighill and Scott Clement, Washington Post: WaPo-ABC tracking poll: High marks for President Obama on Hurricane Sandy response

Jarvis DeBerry, | The Times-Picayune: Michael Brown, disgraced FEMA head, can't be serious with Hurricane Sandy analysis


Jarvis DeBerry, | The Times-Picayune: Atlantic City Mayor Lorenzo Langford wrongly compared to Ray Nagin

Editorial, Daily News, New York: Depraved Indifference

Edward Esposito, Radio Television Digital News Association: Broadcast Journalism Shines In Hurricane Sandy's Dark Path


Max Fisher, Washington Post: 'It is misery': A video of Haiti¹s camps after Sandy (video)

Matthew Flamm, Craig's New York Business: Waking up in a city without newspapers


Joyce Hackel, "The World," Public Radio International: Haiti Still Reeling from Sandy's Punch

Elizabeth Kolbert, New Yorker: Watching Sandy, Ignoring Climate Change

Howard Kurtz, CNN: Sandy, the rare storm that lived up to media hype

R. L'Heureux Lewis-McCoy, Ebony: Focus on People, Not Property

Jason Margolis, "The World," Public Radio International: African Refugees in Swing State Like Healthcare Reform


Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Mitt's team scrambles with aftermath of FEMA comment and 'Romnesia'

Summer Reese, Pacifica Foundation: Pacifia's WBAI Radio Station in New York, Silenced by Sandy, Is Back on the Air


Armin Rosen, the Atlantic: The Other Hurricane Sandy: The Storm's Impact in Haiti

Sabrina Siddiqui, Huffington Post: Mitt Romney Refuses To Talk About FEMA After Hurricane Sandy Event


Sam Thielman, N.Y. Media Fumbles, Fights Its Way Through Sandy

David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun: Baltimore reporters do some fine TV storytelling on Sandy


Kathy Pellegrino, SunSentinel Diversity Advocate, 57

"Unflagging in her enthusiasm and energy, Kathy Pellegrino was a force in South Florida's journalism community, serving as a reporter, editor, lawyer and mentor to a legion of young interns," Robert Nolin wrote Tuesday in the South Florida SunSentinel.


"Miss Pellegrino, a decades-long Sun Sentinel employee, died of cancer at her sister's home Tuesday morning. She was 57."

Rafael Olmeda, a SunSentinel reporter and former president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said by email, "Kathy understood that quality and diversity went hand in hand. She was a good friend of tough, stand-up journalism.


"She came to minority journalism conferences looking for the best. It was one of the most flattering moments in my career when she expressed genuine interest in me as a job candidate. I'm sure many a Sun Sentinel reporter will say the same thing."

Douglas C. Lyons, a SunSentinel editorial writer, added by email, "Kathy was a real [trouper] when it came to making sure the Sentinel kept young talented minority journalists on the paper's radar. She had no equal before she assumed the recruiter's responsibility and she hasn't had one since."


"R.I.P. Kathy," Doris Truong, national president of the Asian American Journalists Association, wrote on Facebook. "She was a champion for newsroom diversity and a mentor to many a young journalist."

". . . She got it on diversity," wrote Sharon Rosenhause, who chaired the Diversity Committee of the American Society of News Editors and retired in 2008 as SunSentinel managing editor. "I didn't have to tell her that South Florida was changing and the newsroom had to change with it. She knew, she worked harder than anyone to make it happen," she said in an email.


"KP, as she was known, was ambitious, audacious and aggressive. She loved the paper, saw the possibilities and wanted to bring in talented, diverse staffers in every department. It never surprised us that the Sun-Sentinel led Tribune [Co.] in reflecting our diverse communities because we had Kathy working at it 24/7.

"Kathy never stopped. At what I thought was the end of a long day at a job fair or conference, she would have several more interviews set up. Some days, we would have multiple breakfasts so we could meet more candidates. KP kept in touch with the folks we didn't hire, even trying to place them with other papers if we didn't have an opening or there wasn't a good fit. For Kathy, it was as much a calling as a job.


"She kept up, she always had time for a call or advice or good wishes. I suspect there are hundreds and hundreds of diverse journalists whose lives she touched.

"She cared. She made a huge difference. And we miss her."

Bolivian Broadcaster Set Afire While On Air

"Police in Bolivia have arrested a fourth suspect after an attack on a radio presenter who was set alight by masked men while he was live on air," the BBC reported on Wednesday.


"Three men were detained shortly after Monday's attack on Fernando Vidal.

"Police said they were able to locate the suspects thanks to a witness who had written down the licence plate number of their getaway car.


"Government officials said Mr. Vidal's outspoken criticism of smuggling had likely been the motive for the attack.

"Yacuiba, where the attack took place, is only three kilometres (less than two miles) from the Argentine border.


"And while there is a high-volume of cross-border commerce, journalists such as Mr Vidal have been denouncing a rise in smuggling, particularly of liquid petroleum gas. . . ."

Committee to Protect Journalists: Critical Bolivian journalist set on fire by masked men


Scott Griffen, International Press Institute: Bolivian radio journalist set on fire during live broadcast

Carlos Valdez, Associated Press: Bolivia radio host attacked on air

Columnist Sees "Race Card" in AP Poll on Bias

"Predictable as rain, the race card has surfaced just in time to stir up electoral passions, justify outcomes and explain away inconvenient truths," Kathleen Parker, the Washington Post columnist who won the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for commentary, wrote on Tuesday.


"Just days from Election Day, the zeitgeist belched up one of its least attractive — and least defensible — memes. (Was it the weather?)," Parker continued.

"Preemptive theories, in no particular order, include: Colin Powell endorsed Barack Obama because they are both black (according to Romney surrogate John Sununu); if Obama loses Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, all of which voted for him in 2008, the old Confederacy will be restored (Daily Beast commentator Andrew Sullivan); Americans still harbor racial bias even if they don't know it (recent online poll, Associated Press).


"Anyone reading headlines related to the poll might infer that white Americans are biased against black Americans. Extrapolating, given the current election season, it follows that if some voters prefer Romney, it is because Obama is African American.

"But a review of the poll reveals something not quite so definitive or sinister. Overall, the findings suggest that most Americans are moderate, fair-minded and, for the most part, don't see things one way or the other based on race.


"Some of the questions themselves, on the other hand, were unnecessarily provocative and biased. That is, their design was based on an assumption of racial bias. . . ."

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Huck could teach about escaping racism

Ruben Rosario, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Bias can make a myth ring true

Leslie Berestein Rojas, Southern California Public Radio: Beyond newsroom diversity: Should who covers what matter?


Shankar Vedantam with Michel Martin, "Tell Me More," NPR: Is Racial Prejudice On The Rise?

Creative Director Plans "Bolder, Riskier" Atlantic

"Darhil Crooks, the creative director for The Atlantic, is just getting started," Chris O'Shea wrote Monday for FishbowlNY. "The November issue is the first to feature Crooks' designs, but he told FishbowlNY that he has big plans for the title as he makes his imprint felt.


"Crooks is highly respected in the magazine design world. During his time at Esquire the magazine received a nomination from the Society of Publication Designers for 2007 Magazine of the Year, and his revamp of Ebony — the first in its history — had readers excited about the brand. Now with The Atlantic, Crooks said it is time to up the ante.

" 'My main goal [for the magazine] is to step our game up visually by improving the way we present the ideas in the magazine and creating a more reader-friendly experience,' explained Crooks, via email. 'I want The Atlantic to be bolder and riskier.' . . . "


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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education ( Reprinted on The Root by permission.