"Dennis Rodman's trip to North Korea wasn't an accident or an oddity, but the result of a gonzo media company facilitating a summit between a Basketball Hall of Famer and an oppressive dictator who grew up a Bulls fan. But making sense of it doesn't equip Rodman for the international politics he stumbled into," Matt Ufford wrote Monday for SB Nation.
"Vice has a reputation for stunt journalism," Brian Stelter wrote for the New York Times, referring to Vice Media, a Brooklyn, N.Y., media company that is producing "Vice," a newsmagazine that will have its premiere on HBO on April 5.
Rodman's trip made headlines and on Sunday landed him on ABC's political talk show "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, earning the ex-NBA star known as "the Worm" his share of ridicule as out of his depth.
"This is what we know," Ufford continued in SB Nation:
"Kim Jong Un's father and predecessor Kim Jong Il was an ardent fan of the NBA who, according to the San Diego Union-Tribune, had regulation courts at most of his palaces and 'a video library of practically every game Michael Jordan ever played for the Bulls.'
"In 2000, attempting to warm U.S.-DPRK relations, Madeline Albright gave Kim Jong Il an NBA basketball signed by Jordan that is now on display in a Pyongyang museum. The dictator invited His Airness to North Korea the following year; Jordan declined.
"The basketball addiction was apparently passed on to Kim Jong Un. Kim attended a Swiss high school under an assumed identity, where he wore Air Jordans, displayed pictures of himself with Toni Kukoc and Kobe Bryant, played tenaciously on the court, and 'spent hours doing meticulous pencil drawings of Chicago Bulls superstar Michael Jordan.'
"Vice Media, which arranged the trip for a newsmagazine that will air on HBO, is no stranger to North Korea. Co-founder Shane Smith has visited the country twice before to make Vice documentaries, and information gathered then spurred the idea for a basketball exhibition starring Rodman and three Harlem Globetrotters. (Vice paid the players an undisclosed sum, according to the New York Times.) Though there was no promise of meeting Kim when the trip began, 'We knew he'd be tempted by basketball,' said a Vice spokesman.
"So it was that Dennis Rodman — late of Celebrity Mole, Celebrity Apprentice, Celebrity Rehab, and Dr. Drew's Sober House — became the first American to meet with Kim Jong Un, the master of a nuclear weapons platform that threatens the civilized world, since he assumed power after his father's death."
Rodman was said to know more about Kim now that the CIA does.
On "This Week," "Rodman was at turns incoherent and contradictory, with host George Stephanopoulos pushing him on why he would speak well of a man who presides over prison camps and stifles dissent," wrote Chris Cillizza, the Washington Post's "The Fix" political columnist. Cillizza posted a photo of Rodman and Stephanopoulos and conducted an online caption contest. The winning caption has Rodman saying, "Wait. You're saying there's two Koreas?”
Sports commentator Stephen A. Smith, appearing on MSNBC's "Hardball," evaluating Rodman's performance, said, "you realize how pathetic he can be."
CNN anchor Anderson Cooper interviewed Laura Ling, the journalist who was detained in North Korea with a colleague from Current TV in 2009. "I mean, Kim Jong-un is trying to portray himself as this more jovial leader, more in the vein of his grandfather, Kim Il-Sung," Ling said Monday on "Anderson Cooper 360°". "But we're sort of guilty of it when we shine a light on this whole Dennis Rodman visit, because that's the information that is disseminated, whereas we really should be focusing on the egregious human rights abuses that are taking place in that country.
She added, "But I do think that, you know, for people who don't know anything about North Korea, you know, here's a chance for us to talk about it, and to talk about the misinformation, and how ill-informed Dennis Rodman may have been and probably was at the true nature of what's going on inside that country."
Alex Weprin reported on TVNewser that "Rodman apparently had a number of other media appearances lined up. The key word there is had, because he seems to have been canceling them."
DJ Dunson, the Shadow League: Dennis Rodman Returns To Spotlight As North Korean Ambassador, Likely Dooms Us All
Mara Schiavocampo, NBC News: Rodman: Kim Jong Un is 'my friend'
David Steele, AOL FanHouse/Sporting News: Strangely irrelevant: Dennis Rodman goes to North Korea
Ishaan Tharoor, Time: 5 Things We Hope Dennis Rodman Learned About North Korea
"Philadelphia Magazine just published an article by Robert Huber titled 'Being white in Philly: In a city that is largely poor and segregated white people have become afraid to say anything at all about race. Here's what's not being said,' " Daniel Denvir wrote Saturday for the Philadelphia City Paper.
"No, it is not an Onion-esque parody of Philadelphia's most white-bread journalistic institution, a magazine that seemingly hired Gene Marks just because he wrote the jaw-droppingly offensive article 'If I Were a Poor Black Kid' for Forbes.
"But before I continue, I must first disable the story's booby trap, a defense built into its very DNA: the idea that 'in so many quarters, simply discussing race is seen as racist.'
"Huber is not a brave man, and his premise is totally false. People will only think . . . 'simply discussing race' is racist if you, like Huber, treat black people like inscrutable extraterrestrials whose moral shortcomings might be responsible for their own poverty.
"The reality is that many black people frequently talk about race and racism. And really, white people do too — sometimes intelligently, sometimes not so much. To the extent that whites do not discuss race more it is because they do not want to address important pieces of context like, say, history (see Louis CK).
"Indeed, I'm a white guy who writes about race and frequently talk to black Philadelphians — and often, gasp, about race. Black sources have never protested frank questions about race for articles I write about poverty and educational inequity, police brutality and mass incarceration, or neighborhood segregation and (yes, largely black) gun violence. . . ."
Wayne Bennett, Field Negro: "Being White in Philly"
Mike Bertha, Philadelphia Inquirer: Philly Mag wants white people to talk about race
Jason Fagone, Philadelphia Magazine: Philly Mag's "Being White in Philly" Doesn't Make Sense as Journalism
"In recent months, journalists covering crime and other stories here have themselves become victims of crime, robbed of expensive cameras, sometimes at gunpoint," Carol Pogash wrote Saturday from Oakland for the New York Times.
"In less than a year, every major television news station in the Bay Area has been a victim, some more than once. One experienced newspaper photographer has lost five cameras.
"In the most brazen episode, a group of men punched a KPIX-TV cameraman last November while he was filming at midday in front of an Oakland high school. The robbers fled with his camera while it was still recording. Viewers saw the reporter sign off and then an inexplicably wobbly image.
"Robberies and assaults are changing the way journalists report in Oakland. Armed, plainclothes security guards sometimes accompany news crews on pieces, even mundane ones. Some camera crew members are refusing to take assignments in Oakland at night. And while crime provides the daily drama for much of the local television news, reporters are spending less time on the street and more time at the Oakland police department. Once the police leave a crime scene, television crews depart as well. . . . "
"There is a telling paragraph in the U.S. District Court opinion last year that found Texas deliberately discriminated against minorities in redistricting," O. Ricardo Pimentel wrote Saturday for the San Antonio Express-News.
" 'In the last four decades, Texas has found itself in court every redistricting cycle, and each time it has lost.'
"Such serial stubbornness is a sign of many things, but not redemption. Texas is not reformed of its discriminatory past. It has merely rebranded — in Coca-Cola Classic fashion. Funny, tastes just like the old discrimination.
"Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments in a case whose outcome will have a profound effect on whether Texas and other states and political jurisdictions with histories of voter discrimination get away with this flim-flam.
". . . Texas, in urging the high court to eliminate Section 5, is essentially saying that it would prefer no one looking when it does anew what it has a sordid history of doing."
The Chicago Tribune differed. It said in an editorial Monday, "Like the rest of the nation, the South is far from immune to racial conflict and prejudice. But it has changed beyond recognition, and it's about time for the law to change as well."
Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio: Over Obama's objections, Supreme Court pushes view of 'post-racial' America
Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: White robe, black robe: What was Justice Scalia saying to us about voting rights?
Latina Lista blog: The Voting Rights Act is a long way from being 'racial entitlement'
Julianne Malveaux, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Turning the Clock Back on Voting Rights
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Voting Rights Act is far from out of date
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Voting Rights Act not a 'racial entitlement'
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Voting Rights Act still necessary
Michael Paul Williams, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: We still need a Voting Rights Act with teeth
Raju Narisetti, newly named senior vice president and deputy head of strategy for the New News Corporation, is currently head of editorial teams and content strategy for the Wall Street Journal Digital Network, and had a similar role as a managing editor at the Washington Post. He told Justin Ellis of Nieman Journalism Lab Monday that most news organizations have not caught up with the impact that mobile devices are having on journalism.
And Narisetti named some of his favorite emerging technologies: Android, Spreeecast, Google Glass, Tout and Storyful. He also praised Twitter, which he said "actually brought serendipity back into my life in a major way."
In a Q-and-A, Ellis asked, "You gave a talk recently and mentioned that a little over 30 percent of traffic to the Journal comes through mobile. That number doesn't seem that far from the rate at other media companies, but people were still surprised by the way mobile is growing. Do you think there's an understanding of how big an impact mobile is going to have on journalism?"
Narisetti replied, "I don't think we are there yet in most newsrooms. The reason I went public with that number was that I think people need to understand the profound changes that our audiences are going through. A year ago, I suspect if I went back and looked when I rejoined the Journal, I bet that number was in the low 20s, if that. A year from now that number, I guarantee that number is going to be in the high 40s.
"What has happened, I think, is that most newsrooms have created mobile teams to embrace apps and embrace Apple and, now, Android devices. But they've seen it as a small team building a product and then not worry about it. Others, like the Journal, who have been more self-aware, have responded in the last few months and last year by creating more responsive design where the content adjusts to the container. But my view is that with so much of your audience consuming your content and your journalism through anywhere between a 3- to 7-inch device, you have to start pivoting from creating just content to creating a great experience and creating different experiences on different devices. And it's hard.
"There's probably no newsroom in the world — and I probably am not wrong in saying this — there's probably no newsroom in the world where the mobile team is more than a single-digit team. Maybe occasionally somebody hits like 10 people. That is where I'm very worried — we've gone from print-first for centuries, if you will, to (somewhat kicking and screaming) to web-first, and we're not entirely there yet.
"But what we really need to be is increasingly saying: What does it mean to be mobile-first? . . . "
In Indonesia, "A television reporter in East Kalimantan says she suffered a miscarriage after being beaten by a village chief and more than a dozen other men while covering a land dispute on Saturday," Tunggadewa Mattangkilang reported Monday for the Jakarta Globe.
"Normila Sari Wahyuni, 23, a reporter from Paser TV, which airs locally in the district of Paser, was interviewing one victim of a bitter land dispute in Rantau Panjang village when she was allegedly stopped by a number of men, including the village chief, Ilyas. She said the men tried to confiscate her camera before attacking her.
"Normila, who was on Sunday seeking treatment at Panglima Sebaya Hospital in the town of Tanah Grogot, said she was beaten, had her clothes ripped off and her camera taken from her."
The story continued, "Nurdin, chairman of the Paser chapter of the Association of Indonesian Journalists (PWI), condemned the attack, saying that the perpetrators must also be charged with violating the Law on the Press.
"The law stipulates that anyone trying to stop or threatening to stop journalists from doing their work could face up to two years in prison."
"March 15 is the deadline to apply for the 18th annual Minority Writers Seminar to be held May 2-5, 2013, at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee," the Association of Opinion Journalists announces. "The institute is a partner with the AOJ Foundation of the annual workshop.
"Enrollment is limited to 12, and minority journalists who have been writing opinion less than two years may apply. AOJ Foundation pays for lodging and food at the Seminar and reimburses up to $200 each for transportation to and from Nashville."
AOJ said the Minority Writers Seminar has enabled dozens of journalists of color to write opinion pieces and manage editorial pages.
"The Chicago Tribune has agreed to pay a total of $660,000 to 46 current and former TribLocal reporters to settle a class-action lawsuit over unpaid overtime wages," Robert Channick reported Friday for the Tribune. "The settlement offer was mailed this week to reporters who worked for TribLocal between February 2009 and September 2012. Those who don't opt out will receive an average of $9,000 each after attorneys fees and costs."
Ruben Rosario, columnist for the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., disclosed to readers Saturday that he had been molested as a child. "I decided last week — more than half a century later — to publicly bare what I should have told someone decades ago. I do this now not so much for me. I'm doing this for the little boys and girls across this state, across this nation, across this world, who are being similarly abused, as I write this, by a loved one or a family friend or a so-called trusted adult."
President Obama has announced his intention to nominate Jannette L. Dates, dean of the Howard University School of Communications from 1993 to 2012, to the board of directors of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. "Since 1968, CPB has been the steward of the federal government's investment in public broadcasting and the largest single source of funding for public radio, television, and related online and mobile services," CPB says.
"The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press has sent a letter asking . . . the Senate Judiciary Committee to raise the issue of the Justice Department's policy on release of federal booking photographs with Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. when he testifies at an oversight hearing scheduled for March 6," the committee said Monday. "The concern comes in light of a new policy by the U.S. Marshals Service to restrict access to federal mug shots. . . . "
Clay Shirky of Columbia Journalism Review compared a Washington Post interactive map of murders in the District of Columbia between 2000 and 2011 with the approach taken by Homicide Watch, which also uses a database feed to track killings. The biggest difference is what readers see. "The Post's default view is a map. Homicide Watch's default view is a face. . . . Not to put too fine a point on it, The Washington Post has produced a white-people map of murder, a map that assumes you couldn't possibly know the victim. Homicide Watch has produced a brown-people map — a map that assumes you might, a map for a city where brown people are 30 times more likely to be murdered than white people." Homicide Watch is expanding to Chicago.
"PBS is close to a decision on adding weekend broadcasts of the 'PBS NewsHour' for the first time since the program began in 1975, and producing them in New York, instead of the program's longtime studios in Arlington, Va., according to public television employees," Elizabeth Jensen reported Sunday for the New York Times. ". . . Hari Sreenivasan, a correspondent for the program and its director of digital partnerships, has been proposed as the anchor of a weekend program, as has Jeff Greenfield, an occasional anchor of 'Need to Know.' "
The Native American Journalists Association protested to CBS-TV Monday about the sitcom "Mike & Molly," in which, NAJA said, "Mike's mother Peggy, played by Rondi Reed, posed the question, 'Arizona? Why would I go to Arizona? It's nothing but a furnace full of drunk Indians.' "
"More and more Black women are speaking out against the minstrelsy of Black women on negative-themed 'reality' shows," Sil Lai Abrams wrote Feb. 28 for Clutch magazine. "Could it be that Black women are finally getting sick and tired of the 'Crazy Black Reality Chick' meme?" Abrams singled out Meeka Claxton, former "Basketball Wives" cast member; Kelly Smith Beaty, author of a Huffington Post op-ed; Sabrina Lamb, teen financial empowerment guru; and Michaela Angela Davis, former editor-in-chief of Honey magazine, "for having the courage to stand up for Black women, our image, our young girls and our future. . . ."
"History's original mini-series The Bible drew a whopping 13.1 million viewers in its Sunday night debut, according to Nielsen fast cable ratings," R. Thomas Umstead reported Monday for Multichannel News. "The Mark Burnett-produced, 10-hour miniseries is the second-most watched premiere of a non-sports cable show in cable history, behind the 13.9 million viewers History drew with the May 28, 2012 debut of Hatfields & McCoys."
Jim Asendio, former news director at Washington public radio station WAMU-FM, is now a freelance anchor at the Washington-based MarketWatch Radio Network, Asendio confirmed Monday for Journal-isms. "He does twice an hour business newscasts and feature stories for many major market stations including WTOP, plus major CBS all-newsers in NYC, Boston, Chicago, and Los Angeles, Dave Hughes reported for DCRTV.com. " 'I started this month and am filling in as needed. It's great to be back on the air, especially on stations where I once worked,' he tells us.' " Asendio was the highest-ranking African American news director at a top-tier NPR affiliate when he resigned from WAMU a year ago "because I did not agree with an upper management decision to have working journalists attend a donor-only, station-sponsored event."
"Ann Romney told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday that . . . she is 'mostly over' her husband Mitt's loss in the 2012 presidential election and that the media was unfair to him during the campaign. Romney said that she is 'Happy to blame the media' for his loss'," Garrett Quinn reported Sunday for Mediaite.
"Josh DuBois, who left his position as faith advisor for President Barack Obama early last month, is joining The Daily Beast," Chris O'Shea reported Monday for FishbowlNY. "According to a memo obtained by Politico, [DuBois] will be the site's new faith columnist."
Maurita Coley, chief operating officer of the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, which advocates for minority broadcast ownership, is profiled by Lauren DeLisa Coleman of Madame Noire. Asked her "recent read," Coleman replied, "I read multiple books at the same time. Right now I'm reading: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color-Blindness by Michelle Alexander; Blueprint for Black Economic Empowerment: A Moral, Political, and Economic Imperative for the Twenty-First Century, by Amos Wilson, Ph.D; The Science of Being Great by Wallace D. Wattles; and The Circle Maker by Mark Batterson."
In Washington, "We're just now hearing that Gayle Perkins (later Atkins) died of cancer on December 15th in NYC," Dave Hughes reported Monday for his DCRTV site. "She was editorial director at Channel 4/ WRC in the 1980s, and was a reporter and editor at that station's news radio outlet, WRC-AM, 980, in the 1970s. She later became a member of the New York social scene and married a prominent attorney." More at Legacy.com.
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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.