Whenever the nation experiences a horrific mass killing such as the gunning down of nine people Thursday at an Oregon community college, opponents of tighter gun laws point to cities such as Chicago, where gun violence continues despite relatively restrictive regulations.
They fail to take into account differing laws in nearby jurisdictions where guns can more easily be obtained. Moreover, their view that such laws are futile is not shared by Chicago media.
The Chicago Sun-Times editorialized Wednesday, "Last weekend in Chicago, four people were killed and 53 more were wounded.
"Fifty-three. Enough bleeding people to fill a bus.
"This is nuts. . . .
"This is the first in a series of editorials in coming weeks and months that will look at solutions to Chicago's gun crisis. We're looking for answers. In future reporting-based editorials, we will examine specific proposals to raise the mandatory minimum sentence. We will look at an intriguing idea to create a specialized gun court in Cook County. We will look at Chicago Police practices.
"We will hunt down the best solutions out there, check them out and bring them to you. . . "
On Friday, after the Oregon shootings, the Sun-Times editorialized, "Pass a law — two good bills are ready to go — that would make it illegal to sell a gun online or at a gun show to anybody who is a convicted felon, repeat domestic abuser or seriously mentally ill. . . .
"We want to be specific here because previous editorials that called more generally for saner gun laws — after Sandy Hook, after Virginia Tech, after Northern Illinois University — sure didn't move the needle. . . ."
In an emotional television address after Thursday's killings, President Obama asked news organizations to "tally up the number of Americans who've been killed through terrorist attacks over the last decade and the number of Americans who've been killed by gun violence, and post those side-by-side on your news reports.
"This won't be information coming from me; it will be coming from you. We spend over a trillion dollars, and pass countless laws, and devote entire agencies to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil, and rightfully so. And yet, we have a Congress that explicitly blocks us from even collecting data on how we could potentially reduce gun deaths. How can that be?"
John Eggerton reported for Broadcasting & Cable Thursday that CNN and NBC News took up the president's challenge.
"On its website Friday (Oct. 2), CNN did just that," Eggerton wrote.
" 'Using numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we found that from 2004 to 2013, 316,545 people died by firearms on U.S. soil,' CNN reported. 'This data covered all manners of death, including homicide, accident and suicide.' . . .
"By contrast, CNN said, '[a]ccording to the U.S. State Department, the number of U.S. citizens killed overseas as a result of incidents of terrorism from 2004 to 2013 was 277. In addition, we compiled all terrorism incidents inside the U.S. and found that between 2004 and 2013, there were 36 people killed in domestic acts of terrorism. This brings the total to 313.' . . .
"NBC found that while 153,144 people were killed in firearm homicides over that period (the number would have been 394,912 if all deaths were included), only 3,046 people in the U.S. died in terrorist or possible terrorist attacks with the 9/11 attacks obviously representing the majority of those deaths. . . ."
Other journalists and their news organizations responded to John Hanlin, sheriff of Douglas County, Ore., who urged the news media to avoid using the shooter's name, saying it would only glorify his actions.
While such television personalities as Fox's Megyn Kelly and CNN's Anderson Cooper agreed with Hanlin, the editorial page of the Oregonian in Portland was among others who rebuked him.
"Hanlin's insistence that he and his office will not utter the name of the shooter, identified by others as Chris Harper-Mercer, amounts to little more than grandstanding at a time that demands professional leadership," the Oregonian wrote on Friday under the headline, "Why naming the Oregon shooter matters."
"Selecting which facts to share is no way to build confidence in an investigation or to foster true debate — both of which are critical in any effort to stop what has become nauseatingly routine. . . ."
Another Oregon newspaper agreed with critics who said gun laws were not the answer. The solutions reside instead with taxpayers and voters, the Statesman Journal in Salem editorialized.
"We, as President Barack Obama said Thursday in grieving for the Roseburg victims, have allowed ourselves to become numb," the Statesman Journal said.
"Numbness is a defense, but only in the short term. Numbness is not an answer.
"Each of us must find some way, big or small, to stand up to the violence in our society. To reach out to those who exist on the margins of our society. And to bring mental illness and treatment out of the darkness."
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Marco Rubio gets it, John McWhorter does not.
John Cassidy, the New Yorker: Obama, Guns, and the Politics of Hopelessness
Chris De Benedetti, David DeBolt and Harry Harris, Oakland Tribune: Artist fatally shot in West Oakland while working on community mural
Jarvis De Berry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Website's map of mass shootings covers about half the U.S.
Jarvis De Berry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: New Orleans crime has been worse, but it's still scary and bad
Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star: Domestic violence homicides in U.S. keep women in the crosshairs of guns
Tammerlin Drummond, Oakland Tribune: Senseless murder of muralist renews focus on fighting gun violence
Editorial, Chicago Tribune: Ending the horrifying constancy of Chicago's bloodshed (June 12)
Editorial, Los Angeles Times: Demand an end to gun violence, now
Editorial, Oregonian, Portland: Roseburg's terrible moment belongs to everyone
Editorial, Register-Guard, Eugene, Ore.: A day to mourn
Editorial, Statesman Journal, Salem, Ore.: Time to stop arguing; time to find answers
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable: Media Outlets Answer President's Gun Violence Challenge
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Shooting coverage is routine, and that's the story
Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe: The shameful irony of Ore. mass shooting
Philip Kennicott, Washington Post: Refusing to say a killer's name is no more than symbolic empowerment
German Lopez and Soo Oh, vox.com: Mass shootings since Sandy Hook, in one map
Polly Mosendz, medium.com: What It’s Like To Report on Mass Shootings Routinely
Scott Stantis, Reboot Illinois: Cartoon: Chicago Shootings Exceed NYC + LA Gun Violence in 2015 (June 14)
Franklin E. Zimring, Daily News, New York: Black Lives Matters foes' very bad facts
"Terrible news events in the social-media age have inspired eyewitness tweets, videos and Facebook postings," Paul Farhi reported Thursday for the Washington Post. "They've also inspired a secondary phenomenon: The news media's nearly instant descent on anyone posting such accounts, in search of interviews.
"So it was Thursday, when a gunman opened fire at a community college in Roseburg, Ore., killing at least nine and wounding seven before he was killed. Within moments of the first tweets from people in Roseburg came follow-up tweets from journalists seeking to speak to those who witnessed the rampage — and a backlash wave from people disgusted by the news media. . . ."
Farhi also wrote, " 'Absolute human vultures,' tweeted one. 'Sickening,' wrote another. This being Twitter, there were numerous unprintable denunciations.
"Journalists say the public reaction may miss an important element: This is how news is gathered and how the public gets accurate information when news breaks. That is, the only way to separate fact from fiction in a news story is by going directly to the people involved. . . ."
Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times: Viewers flock to Fox News and CNN for coverage of Oregon college shooting
Sam Biddle, gawker.com: Reporters Are Rude During Tragedies Because They're Reporting
Jim Naureckas, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Media Coverage Is 'a Sort of Advertisement to Mass Murder'
Hamilton Nolan, gawker.com: Public Trust in Media Approaches Media's Trust in Public
Laurie Roberts, Arizona Republic | azcentral.com: Media blew it in naming Oregon mass murderer
"Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump abruptly pulled out Friday of a question-and-answer session at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce scheduled for Oct. 15, citing his unwillingness to abide by the terms and conditions of the appearance, the USHCC said," Andrew O'Reilly reported Friday for Fox News Latino.
"The USHCC said in a statement that the group refused to change the format of its forum by excluding any issues or topics, or granting any immunity from objective scrutiny of his policies. As a result, Trump — who, according to the USHCC, had agreed numerous times to attend the session — reversed his position and decided not participate in the forum. . . ."
O'Reilly also wrote, "The USHCC, which cited to FNL [Fox News Latino] notes taken during a meeting with Trump about his willingness to appear at the Q&A session, said that the GOP candidate was concerned about being 'put on trial' despite guarantees that all speakers at the forum will be treated equally."
Ammar Campa-Najjar, the director of communications at the USHCC, said Trump's camp "had appeared anxious about what would transpire at the Q&A, and asked if liberal reporters would be there. Trump's campaign expressed particular concern about Univision's anchor Jorge Ramos, who confronted the real estate mogul at a press conference before a speaking event, prompting the candidate's security team to remove the journalist from the room. Ramos later returned and Trump took several of his questions.
"Trump's camp also asked if MSNBC's anchor Jose Diaz-Balart would be there. When they were told they were likely to be there, Campa-Najjar said, the campaign staffers strongly objected. . . ."
Hadas Gold, Politico: Telemundo positions itself as 'straight news' against rival Univision
Wamara Mwine, the Hill: GOP divisions overshadow 2016 primary
Northwest Asian Weekly: Here [Are] 8 Ways Asian Americans can stand up to racist presidential candidates (Sept. 10)
"Delving into a decades-long controversy, Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said the name of the Washington Redskins football team is not offensive to Native Americans," Sergio Bustos reported Wednesday for the Associated Press.
" 'It's a sport, for crying out loud. It's a football team. I'm missing something here, I guess,' Bush told 'The Arena,' a new SiriusXM radio show, in a pre-recorded interview that airs Friday. An interview transcript was released Wednesday by SiriusXM.
" 'I don’t think (the team) should change it,' said Bush when asked whether the football team should drop the name, which some Native Americans find offensive.
"Change the Mascot, a group that campaigns against the use of the nickname on behalf of Native American tribes and others, said in a statement that 'no presidential candidate should be promoting this racial slur against Native Americans.' . . ."
Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Jeb Bush: Crying Out Loud
"There's a ton of info in the memo that just went out to New York Daily News staff from executive editor Jim Rich," Richard Hogan reported Friday for FishbowlNY. "In the wake of all those recent veteran journalist layoffs, the paper is adding a deputy head of news, a senior justice writer and a digital long-form team guided by another new hire."
Managing Editor Rob Moore, a black journalist, becomes head of news, and according to Rich's memo,"Shaun King, most recently of The Daily Kos, will join us in the newly created role of Senior Justice Writer.
"Shaun's writing on social inequality, police brutality and race relations in America has been some of the best work done in the country. His passion and attention to detail on topics that are of critical importance to our readers — both online and in print — make him a perfect fit for the Daily News. He will remain based in Atlanta and begin writing for us full time on Oct. 15."
As reported in August, Breitbart.com posted a report stating that King, an active Twitter user and prominent member of the Black Lives Matter movement, "is white and has been lying about his ethnicity for years." Forced to make public family secrets, King said that his biological father was black and that the white man listed on his birth certificate was not his actual father, as Dexter Thomas reported at the time for the Los Angeles Times.
In an interview with the New York Times Sunday, Daily News owner Mort Zuckerman said, "We're focusing The News more and more on its online activities, because that's where the audience is going," the Times' Alan Feuer reported "It's a younger audience and that' what advertisers want. If people don't want horses and buggies anymore and they want to ride in automobiles, then you better damn well get into the auto business."
"The program honors rising reporters, recent graduates or business professionals who demonstrate a clear commitment to a career in journalism and an ability to generate story ideas relevant for a Reuters audience, with a focus on multimedia, using text, video and/or graphics.
"The paid fellowship program, in its first year, offers up to nine months of hands-on, real-world experience in a Reuters bureau. The fellowship, open to members of the NABJ, is part of the Reuters News Trainee Program, during which participants gain a deep grounding in financial and/or general news reporting, work on fast-paced news stories and develop skills in enterprise journalism. . . ."
The fellows are Makini Brice, who "will continue with Reuters in the Dakar bureau" in Senegal; Gina Cherelus, who "is taking on a breaking news post with a social media focus in New York"; Bethel Habte, "a reporter and audio producer based in the Washington D.C. metro area who will join the Reuters digital team in New York"; Marcus E. Howard, who "will join the Reuters markets desk in New York"; Justin Madden, who will join Reuters' Chicago bureau; and Clarece Polke, who "will join the Washington bureau at Reuters in February. . . ."
"The recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals (9th Cir.) to require copyright owners to consider 'fair uses' of their work before requesting takedowns may be a double-edged sword for journalists and bloggers who work with online content," Jennevieve Fong wrote Wednesday for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
"In the eight-year-long case of Lenz v. Universal Music Corp, [PDF] Universal filed a takedown notice under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 200 YouTube videos, including Lenz's 29-second long home video of her two sons dancing to Prince's hit song, 'Let's Go Crazy.' Universal stated they had 'good faith belief that the above-described activity is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.'
"Under representation of the Electric Frontier Foundation, Stephanie Lenz filed a lawsuit in 2007 against Universal, [alleging that] musical artist Prince’s copyright administrator had knowingly '[misrepresented] Lenz's "Let's Go Crazy #1" posting as infringing.'
" '[The recent] ruling sends a strong message that copyright law does not authorize thoughtless censorship of lawful speech,' EFF Legal Director Corynne McSherry stated in a press release. 'We're pleased that the court recognized that ignoring fair use rights makes content holders liable for damages.'
"Journalists were always able to incorporate copyrighted work in their publications under 'fair use,' but this ruling secures journalists' rights to use copyrighted content without the threat of copyright holders abusing their abilities to take down their work.
"Kathleen Lu, an associate from Fenwick and West LLP who has written on this topic, said journalists are often targeted with fraudulent takedown notices in order to censor any negative press. This is 'a clear abuse of copyright law and the DMCA notice and takedown system.'
Fong also wrote, " 'Since reporters engage in fair use all the time, I think it's a very important case for them,' McSherry said. This is 'very important for reporters because if Universal Music Group's version of the world had won today, then it would've [been] possible for copyright owners to send takedown notices for even stories or reviews … that were engaging in very fair uses like quoting texts in a review.'
"However, this ruling makes it harder for journalists to protect their own copyrighted work. It creates another hurdle for writers or artists to remove unauthorized versions of their content. . . ."
"Have you heard the news? Asians will displace Hispanics as the largest foreign-born group in the U.S. by 2055," Esther J. Cepeda wrote Friday for the Washington Post Writers Group, speaking only of the immigrant population.
"I, for one, am thrilled — the pressure will be off.
"As someone who happily lived in a time back when the 'Hispanic community' was not a commodity described almost strictly in terms of its number of immigrants or consumer purchasing power, I will be delighted to see the Latino moment in the sun pass into history.
"I can't wait to say goodbye to the-fate-of-the-nation-rests-on-you hyperbole from policymakers. And good riddance to the we're-going-to-take-over-America demographic glee by Latino activists reacting to years of oppressive media coverage that almost exclusively depicts Hispanics as low-income, foreign and poorly educated.
"Demographers have been talking about rising Asian immigration for several years. But the Pew Research Center's new report, which coincides with the 50-year anniversary of the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, got a lot of play last week resulting in breathless headlines reminiscent of those about Hispanics.
"Asians are, according to different media outlets, 'set to surpass Latinos' or are 'on pace to overtake Hispanics,' as if there were some sort of competition underway. Other publications were sunnier, saying Asian immigrants would 'propel' or 'prop up' the country's population. Some took a darker tenor, noting that Asians are driving a 'surge in U.S. immigrant population.' . . ."
Cepeda also wrote, "In this I do not envy the Asian-American population. Once they become even more of a media sensation they'll have to endure any number of silly, poorly worded, stereotype-laden articles that will present facts about them as though they are all brand-new visitors from a far-away land. . . ."
"Robert Curvin, a fiercely loyal advocate for Newark who never gave up on his troubled city and devoted a scholarly career to alleviating urban poverty, died on Tuesday at his home in the Vailsburg section of the city," Sam Roberts reported Wednesday for the New York Times. "He was 81.
"The cause was multiple myeloma, his wife, Patricia, said.
"Dr. Curvin was a co-founder of the Newark chapter of the Congress of Racial Equality, successfully lobbied to integrate construction jobs in the early 1960s, earned a doctorate from Princeton, helped make Kenneth A. Gibson the first black mayor of a major Northeast city when he won election in Newark in 1970, and was a Ford Foundation official.
"He also served on the editorial board of The New York Times for nearly six years and was a dean at the New School in Manhattan. . . ."
Roberts also wrote, "Dr. Curvin was named to The Times's editorial board in 1977 by Max Frankel, then the editorial page editor. In an email, Mr. Frankel, who went on to become executive editor, recalled Dr. Curvin as 'a most valuable, sensitive and deliberative voice, giving us great insight into the needs and tensions of poor Americans and also sophisticated understanding of white as well as black politics in New Jersey.'
"In 1979, while writing editorials for the paper, Dr. Curvin, with Bruce Porter, published 'Blackout Looting: New York City, July 13, 1977,' a meticulous study that attributed street violence that summer to high unemployment, high prices for household staples and a 'spiritual kind of hunger.'
" 'The welfare check or the unemployment allotment is important for survival,' they wrote, 'but just surviving is not enough in a society that is constantly beating into the minds of all its citizens that all kinds of goods and luxuries are necessary for a decent life.'
"Dr. Curvin later served as director of the Ford Foundation's Urban Poverty Program; president of the Greentree Foundation, which hosts international conferences; dean of the Milano School of Management and Urban Policy at the New School; chairman of the Fund for the City of New York; and senior policy fellow at the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers. . . ."
The South Asian Journalists Association is holding its annual gala and awards ceremony Saturday at New York University. "It's a gala reception and not a dinner this time," co-founder and board member Sree Sreenivasan told Journal-isms by email Friday. "We're expecting about 100 folks from various news organizations as well as their guests. Highlights include the chat between Amna Nawaz of ABC and Ben Smith of BuzzFeed and our awards and scholarships. Our emcee is board member Raakhee Mirchandani of New York Daily News."
"Mi-Ai Parrish has been named president and publisher of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com," Kathy Tulumello reported Sept. 25 for the Republic and azcentral.com, "after serving as a publisher in Kansas City, Mo., and Boise, Idaho, where she gained a reputation for transforming and diversifying business operations and encouraging quality journalism. Parrish will start her new job Oct. 12. . . . Parrish, a Korean-American, is a two-time Pulitzer Prize juror, a longtime member of the Asian American Journalists Association, and was named one of the 100 Most Important Minority Journalists of the Last Century. . . ."
"The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee launched an online fundraising campaign in October for a monument to honor the life and work of Ida B. Wells (1862-1931)," the committee announced on Thursday. "The goal is to raise $100,000 (of the total $300,000 needed) to begin the creation of a monumental interpretative sculpture by renowned sculptor Richard Hunt. Those wishing to support the campaign can visit http://igg.me/at/idabwellsmonument, where donations from $10.00 to $5,000 will [help to] fund this historic monument of national importance. The sculpture will be located on the winding path in the grassy median at 37th and Langley, a short walk from the house at 3624 S. King Drive where Wells once lived. It will include images, biographical information and excerpts of Wells' writings. . . ."
The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists urged Tom McGrath, editor of Philadelphia Magazine, to resign in light of the publication's October cover on education, which depicted seven children, none of them black, in a school district where 52 percent of students are African American. In the Philadelphia Daily News, columnist Helen Ubiñas said Thursday that the issue is larger. "When your newsroom doesn't reflect the community you are reporting on — or should be reporting on — you're not just going to step in it, you're going to be irrelevant . . . ."
"The Michigan Court of Appeals has sided with the Detroit Free Press in its battle to gain information about Wayne County's multimillion-dollar fail jail in Detroit," Eric D. Lawrence reported Friday for the Free Press. "In a 3-0 decision, the court struck down Wayne Circuit Court Judge Vonda Evans' September 2014 decision sealing the court record and prohibiting prosecutors and defense attorneys from discussing the case with the media or members of the public. . . ."
"The city of Atlanta says it will repeal an ordinance aimed at 'street photographers' and widely condemned by legal experts as unconstitutional after The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and a local civil rights lawyer raised questions about the matter," Jennifer Brett reported Friday for the Journal-Constitution. "Several photographers have told the AJC that officers have recently cited the ordinance, which dates back to 1977, in rousting them from public streets near movie sets. . . ."
"Today I work my last shift at CNN to transition to full time coverage of the auto industry," Greg Morrison, assignment editor for the Affiliate Content Center at CNN and treasurer of the National Association of Black Journalists, wrote Facebook friends on Friday. "I will miss some very good journalists and friends there but it is time to step out on my own. So going forward Bumper2Bumpertv will be my outlet and since I own it that means working harder and applying all of my professional experience to this project. . . ."
Journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the first black woman to enroll in the University of Georgia, joined hip-hop artist Nasir Jones, better known as Nas; former U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr.; Children's Defense Fund founder Marian Wright Edelman; businesswoman Mellody Hobson; and photographer Carrie Mae Weems in receiving a W.E.B. Du Bois Medal at Harvard University on Wednesday, Sarah Sweeney reported for the Harvard Gazette, a university publication. "One, receiving his award in absentia, floated, you might say, like a butterfly: the legendary boxer and activist Muhammad Ali. . . ."
"Each year for much of the last two decades, Pittsburgh has become more vibrant and dynamic despite being one of the least diverse and least inclusive metro areas in America, Tony Norman wrote Thursday for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "In doing so it is defying gravity, but its luck is bound to run out," Norman also wrote, "Pittsburgh's overwhelming whiteness and resistance to any change that involves more than token levels of diversity result from generations of social engineering, fear-mongering, and failed political and moral leadership by the mostly white ethnic Democrats who have run this town. . . ."
"Prominent Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has told FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler in no uncertain terms that he does not want the FCC to eliminate broadcast exclusivity rules, saying it would foster 'controversy rather than consensus,' lacks adequate input from stakeholders, would be disruptive and would run counter to the intent of Congress," John Eggerton reported Friday for Broadcasting & Cable. Under the rules, cable companies cannot carry the same programming as a local station, which helps to protect stations owned by people of color, those who back the rules have contended.
"Twenty years after the acquittal of O.J. Simpson, BET Networks presents an unapologetic and unfiltered look at the O.J. Simpson story from the perspective of a diverse array of African Americans — including many who cheered Simpson's acquittal in 1995 with a new original documentary 'WHO GOT THE JUICE?! THE O.J. SIMPSON TRIAL 20 YEARS LATER' premiering Wednesday, October 7 at 10 PM ET/PT," BET announced on Tuesday.
On the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette website Friday, Meghan Pryce, who concluded a copy editing summer internship at the newspaper, wrote about feeling lost as a freshman as one of nearly 50,000 students at the University of Florida. "It wasn't until I got involved with UF's National Association of Black Journalists student chapter that I finally found where I felt like I could be myself."
"It is important to remain aware of ticking bombs in Africa, specifically in Burkina Faso, Somalia, South Sudan and West Africa in the context of overall U.S. policy," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette warned in an editorial Thursday.