"A special New York Police Department unit that sparked controversy by tracking the daily lives of Muslims in an effort to detect terror threats has been disbanded, police officials said Tuesday," Jake Pearson and Tom Hayes reported for the Associated Press.
"NYPD spokesman Stephen Davis confirmed that detectives assigned to the unit had been transferred to other duties within the department's Intelligence Division.
"An ongoing review of the division by new Police Commissioner William Bratton found that the same information collected by the unit could be better collected through direct contact with community groups, officials said.
"In a statement, Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, called the move 'a critical step forward in easing tensions between the police and the communities they serve, so that our cops and our citizens can help one another go after the real bad guys.'
"The Demographics Unit, conceived with the help of a CIA agent working with the NYPD, assembled databases on where Muslims lived, shopped, worked and prayed. Plainclothes officers infiltrated Muslim student groups, put informants in mosques, monitored sermons and cataloged Muslims who adopted Americanized surnames.
"After a series of stories by The Associated Press detailing the extent of the NYPD's surveillance of Muslims, two civil rights lawsuits were filed challenging the activities as unconstitutional because they focused on people's religion, national origin and race. . . ."
Matt Apuzzo, Adam Goldman, Eileen Sullivan and Chris Hawley of the AP won the 2012 Pulitzer Prize for investigative reporting for their series.
Matt Apuzzo and Linda Sarsour with Amy Goodman, "Democracy, Now!" Pacifica Radio: New York Drops Police Unit that Spied on Muslims, But Will It End Broader Profiling & Surveillance?
Matt Apuzzo with Kelly McEvers, NPR: NYPD To Disband Controversial Unit That Spied On Muslims
Omar Sacirbey, Religion News Service: Muslims welcome shuttering of NYPD spying unit
The official radio station of the Navajo Nation went ahead with a fund-raising golf tournament over the weekend despite its sponsorship by a Washington Redskins foundation, whose previously undisclosed involvement caused several other Native organizations to drop out.
The KTNN-AM tournament was sponsored by the Washington Redskins Original American Foundation, a charitable organization announced late last month by Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who has faced criticism over his refusal to change the name of his football team.
Snyder wrote then, "The mission of the Original Americans Foundation is to provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities." However, since he did not change the team name, Snyder's words were dismissed by several Native groups and their supporters as a publicity stunt or as an attempt to buy goodwill.
Tony Little, general manager of KTNN, and Rick Abasta, communications director for the Navajo Nation, did not return telephone calls on Wednesday. But Gale Courey Toensing outlined the events leading up to the tournament on Sunday for Indian Country Today Media Network:
"Newly disclosed information that the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation was sponsoring a fund-raising golf tournament organized by KTNN, the Navajo Nation’s radio station, on Friday sparked a firestorm of controversy, prompting Native organizations to withdraw from the event and Navajo citizens to scorch the virtual pages of social media with outrage.
"The Navajo Nation president backed the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation’s (OAF) sponsorship, however, and encouraged his appointees to support the tournament, according to an executive office document received by Indian Country Today Media Network.
"The news of the OAF's involvement in the golf tournament broke just hours after an announcement that the Navajo Nation adopted a bill opposing the use of the name Redskins, a term that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples called a 'hurtful reminder . . . of the long history of mistreatment of Native American people in the United States' in a separate announcement on the same day. The Nation enacted the anti-Redskins bill in a 9-2 council vote Thursday.
"On April 8 — two days before the council voted on the anti-Redskins bill — Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly's Executive Assistant Michelle Morris sought support for the tournament from more than 70 executive office staff members and Division Directors (DDs) — presidential appointees whose mission, defined at NavajoPresident.org, is 'to carry out exceptional performance and effectiveness in the respective divisions.' In an email sent at 11:22 a.m., Morris wrote, 'ALL FYI, per our discussion at the DD Mtg, please see attached is the event that the President will need your support on! Thanks. Mich.' Attached was a PDF file of a brochure with the 'Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation 1st Annual KTNN Celebrity Golf Tournament' prominently displayed. It is not clear what kind of 'support' Shelly was seeking from his appointees.
"Asked late Friday whether Shelly would withdraw his support of the tournament now that its sponsor's name was officially deemed a racial slur and opposed in Navajo law, Communications Director Rick Abasta told ICTMN, 'We have no comment at this time.' . . ."
Nicholet Deschine, Indian Country Today Media Network: Snyder's Redsk*ns Hush Money and KTNN's Questionable Behavior
Jacqueline Keeler, Salon: My life as a Cleveland Indian: The enduring disgrace of racist sports mascots
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Let's hear it for the Washington Slurs
Jeff Yang, Quartz: The Cleveland Indians' controversial mascot is hurting their bottom line
The new publisher of Crain's Cleveland Business has declared that his publication has been doing "an awful job" in representing the diversity of its community and named "a minority advisory board to provide objective, constructive input on minority-based issues."
John Campanelli, who became publisher of Crain's Cleveland in December, wrote a column in January headlined, “Prediction: We'll do better at diversity."
"The column noted that in a feature the previous week asking 32 notable community leaders to make predictions about the economy, health care, education and more for 2014, none were African-American or Asian-American, and only one was Hispanic," Scott Suttell wrote Sunday for the publication.
Suttell also wrote, "The impetus for the council came after Darrell L. McNair, president and CEO of MVP Plastics Inc. of Newton Falls [Ohio], a certified-minority custom injection molder serving the automotive, medical and industrial markets, contacted Campanelli 'expressing my concern and offering to assist the publication with closing this gap.'
"One part of Crain's effort to close that gap is with the launch of the 11-member advisory board, comprising men and women representing the African-American, Indian, Hispanic and Asian communities."
Asked what he expected his publication to look like in a year, Campanelli told Journal-isms by telephone that it would be one in which "anybody in the business community, regardless of age, race or gender, can look to Crain's Cleveland and see themselves. . . . We can be a mirror. It is dumb for any media brand to not serve everybody."
Crain Communications Inc. is one of the largest privately owned business-media companies, with 30 brands in North America, Europe and Asia, and 850 employees in 11 location. It publishes such titles as Advertising Age, Crain's New York Business ansd Crain's Chicago Business.
Each of the titles is "kind of given free rein," Campanelli said, so his is not a companywide initiative.
Glenn Coleman, editor of Crain's New York Business and CrainsNewYork.com, told Journal-isms by email, "Such a positive outcome in Cleveland.
"Crain's New York Business has no similar committee. I have no plans to inaugurate one, since readers throughout the five boroughs of New York regularly let us know when and where they think we can do a better job of covering the most diverse business capital in the world. Your readers are always welcome to share their thoughts about our coverage in New York, in all its aspects. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org."
"Hunter," Daily Kos: Brit Hume says Obama and Holder use race as a 'sword,' is stung by reactions
Nieman Journalism Lab: "Not white. Not male. Fast"
"Brit Hume is wrong. Of course white people can talk about race without being called racist. They just need to be smarter about it," read a headline above an essay by Roland S. Martin Wednesday in the Daily Beast.
"Fox News senior political analyst Brit Hume went on Bill O’Reilly Monday night to seek comfort and reassurance that he is not a racist. Forgive me if I don't shed any tears," Martin wrote.
"Hume was perturbed by a few accusations hurled at him on Twitter — like that doesn't happen all the time — that he was racist for comments he made on Fox News Sunday. The panel was discussing Attorney General Eric Holder's complaints about mistreatment at the hands of Republicans in DC.
"What raised the ire of Hume and so many others on the all-white Fox News Sunday panel was the fact that Holder dared to complain about the mistreatment he and President Obama have received.
Martin also wrote, "What Hume seems to not understand is that maybe folks are blasting him because he is making such silly assumptions. The issue for Hume isn't that as a white man he can’t discuss race; it is that he sounds absolutely idiotic doing it. That's fine, but don't act hurt and wounded when you get chin checked.
'He presents himself as Mr. High and Mighty, but has no one to push back against his assertions. An affirmation party with Bill O’Reilly isn't a discussion on race; it's two white guys essentially saying, 'What we say is the law and that is that.'
"Brit seemed to really be bothered that having an all-white panel on Sunday talking race would get criticized. Maybe what he missed is that having an all-white panel that all nodded in agreement to the same viewpoint is what the problem was. I don’t necessarily need Juan Williams there. The addition of Lisa Bloom, Tim Wise or any number of other whites, with a far more nuanced understanding of race, would have generated a much more balanced discussion.
"Brit, white folks should talk about race. Not run from it. Not avoid it. Not pretend racism has all gone away, as your colleague Eric Bolling believes. But if you are going to present your opinion, it's necessary to have a point of view that can counter and challenge your assumptions. . . ."
Meanwhile, Todd S. Purdum, the former New York Times reporter now at Politico, offered a different perspective on the issue of sharp criticism as he discussed his new book "An Idea Whose Time Has Come: Two Presidents, Two Parties, and the Battle for the Civil Rights Act of 1964" at the National Archives Tuesday night.
"There is no Internet email or flame that crosses Barack Obama's desk that wouldn't be familiar to John F. Kennedy or Lyndon Johnson," Purdum said.
"U Brands and Nia Enterprises are collaborating to create a brand-new, multi-platform destination created exclusively for fathers of color called Notorious POP (http://notoriouspop.com/), launching June 2, 2014," the companies announced on Monday.
"The site will be a go to social destination dedicated to educating, entertaining and inspiring African American fathers and their families. U Brands, which owns and licenses underdeveloped brands that target underserved audiences, is the parent company to print and digital platforms such as Uptown and Hype Hair Magazines. Entertainment and marketing company Nia Enterprises is an authority in the parenting space.
"Leonard Burnett, Jr., Co-CEO of U Brands and father of two remarks, 'I am excited about our new content destination that will defy stereotypes about our fathers and promote positive portrayals of African American Dads which are often missing in the media.' . . . ”
A story suggesting that a leading civil rights group on telecommunications issues is influenced by the companies that contribute to it won a Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the group announced Wednesday.
David Honig, president and founder of the group, the Minority Media and Telecommunications Council, disputed the article soon after it appeared.
The honor went to "Civil rights group's FCC positions reflect industry funding, critics say" by Jason McLure and John Dunbar of the Center for Public Integrity, published June 6, 2013, winning in the "Investigative Reporting (Independent)" category.
"The Center for Public Integrity published a long piece earlier this month suggesting that the MMTC’s positions were influenced by the many telecom companies that contribute to it in some way," Gautham Nagesh reported soon afterward for Roll Call. "Honig was adamant that his group does not make decisions based on the positions of its sponsors.
“ 'We’ve already seen the study challenged based on incorrect perceptions of the author’s personal views, and our organization was very frankly spoken of in an unkind way,' Honig said.
"Honig said the contributions from media and telecom firms make a small portion of the organization’s budget. A much larger percentage comes from its brokerage business helping companies sell stations to minority media entrepreneurs.
"He also pointed to the 71 open proposals his organization has pending at the FCC, many of which are designed to encourage new entrants into broadcasting. . . ."
Among the other winners were "Morir por la belleza / Deadly plastic surgery" by María Pérez of El Nuevo Herald for public service journalism (daily circulation of 50,001-100,000)," and "WEED: Dr. Sanjay Gupta Reports" on CNN in the documentaries (network/syndication service/program service) category.
In addition, "Fault Lines: Haiti in a Time of Cholera, Al Jazeera America," investigative reporting (network/syndication service/program service); Pam Coulter, CBS News Radio; March on Washington 50th Anniversary, feature reporting (market 1-100 or network syndication); Angelo Lopez of Philippines Today, editorial cartooning (newspaper circulation 1-100,000/regional magazine/ non-daily publication); and "Invisible Child," Andrea Elliott of the New York Times, feature reporting (daily circulation of 100,001+).
The Center for Public Integrity won its first Pulitzer Prize Monday for "Out of Breath: The Untold Story of Big Money, Black Lung and Doctors for the Coal Companies." SPJ added to the honor, giving the project its award for investigative reporting (affiliated).
Bill Grueskin, Columbia Journalism Review: Why was 'Dasani' shut out of the Pulitzers?
Anchors Gayle King of "CBS This Morning" and Robin Roberts of "Good Morning America," and Michael Strahan, co-host of "Live! With Kathy and Michael" were among the Hollywood Reporter's "35 Most Powerful People in New York Media 2014," a list released Wednesday.
"In its March 31 ruling giving broadcasters two years to unwind joint sales agreements used to get around the long-standing ban against owning two stations in small and medium markets, the FCC said it would consider requests for waivers," TVNewsCheck reported on Wednesday. "But the text of the ruling, released yesterday, erects a high bar for broadcasters seeking such waivers. Broadcasters must show that JSA and any 'related agreements or interests' do not provide them 'with the opportunity, ability and incentive to exert significant influence over the programming or operations of the brokered station,' the FCC says. . . ."
"This is exactly the kind of creative thinking that is required to connect with today's busy and much better-served-than-before savvy media consumers," Richard Horgan wrote Wednesday for FishbowlNY. "As part of the official launch today on the west coast of daily newspaper the Los Angeles Register, columnist Kareem Abdul-Jabbar highlights his favorite LA-themed movies. . . ."
"Vice has come up with a new gonzo stunt to attract some eyeballs," Manuel Rueda reported Monday for the Fusion network. "This time a Vice correspondent managed to casually smoke a joint as he interviewed the president of Uruguay. The scene, which would probably be impossible to replicate with the president of any other country, is part of a trailer for Vice's upcoming documentary on the legalization of weed in Uruguay. . . . "
"The Associated Press has named Michelle Faul, who has covered the major stories of Africa over the past three decades, as its bureau chief in Nigeria," the AP announced. "The appointment was announced Wednesday by Africa Editor Andrew Selsky. . . ."
"On Tuesday, MinnPost's Britt Robson sat down with new Star Tribune owner Glen Taylor to talk about the purchase," begins an editor's note about the Minneapolis newspaper in MinnPost. "Robson has interviewed Taylor many times over the years about the Minnesota Timberwolves, Taylor's NBA team, often getting remarkably candid responses. This piece is no different; Taylor, a former state senator, says the Star Tribune, which fellow Republicans criticize as liberal, will 'have better balance,' aided by veteran staffers retiring — though the shift has been ongoing and would've happened even if he hadn't bought the paper. . . ."
"The Gannett newspaper USA Today has opened an online store for consumers where they can purchase sports photography," D.B. Hebbard reported Tuesday for Talking New Media. "To launch the store, USA Today worked with Brand Affinity Technologies, a company that describes itself as 'a technology and marketing services company focused on activating, engaging, and monetizing the FAN.' Among the first photo offerings at The USA Today Sports store are a collection of more than 3,000 early-career photos of Muhammad Ali, all from the library of The Courier-Journal, the Gannett daily in Louisville, Kentucky (hometown of Muhammad Ali). . . ." Will the photographers share in the proceeds? Gannett spokesman Steve Kidera messaged, "USA TODAY Sports Images only makes available a small portion of their photo archive. Of those photos made available, the content owner is compensated per their contributor's agreement. USA TODAY Sports Images secures licensees to address any other IP rights issues for trademarks and/or likeness from the respective rights holders."
"Jorge Mettey and MundoFox have parted ways," Veronica Villafañe reported Monday for her Media Moves site. "Mettey, named SVP of News in May of 2012 and who helped launch the Spanish-language Fox start up in August of that year, told staff via email that he was leaving the company, effective immediately. In the meantime, Luis Hernández, hired in 2012 by Mettey as his Executive Producer, will be acting News Director. . . ."
The National Hispanic Media Coalition Wednesday praised Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., for introducing a bill directing the National Telecommunications and Information Administration "to prepare an update to its 1993 report, 'The Role of Telecommunications in Hate Crimes,' to examine the role of the Internet and other telecommunications in encouraging hate crimes based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation and create recommendations to address such crimes." Several groups are backing Markey's bill and its House counterpart.
"Russia's Washington-based media empire is under federal investigation for racial discrimination in the workplace after at least three of its radio journalists complained they were subjected to or witnessed racial insults from management, unequal treatment of black employees, and retaliatory firings," Alana Goodman reported Wednesday for freebeacon.com. She also wrote, "The complaints were filed by two black female radio hosts, Jamila Bey and Kim Brown, and one white male radio host, Carmen Russell-Sluchansky. The three no longer work" at Voice of Russia radio.
C-SPAN plans to rebroadcast this 50-minute portion of the April 8 Civil Rights Summit on Friday at 9:30 p.m. Eastern time: "San Antonio, Texas Mayor Julian Castro (D) & Former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour (R) explore immigration from several angles, including civil rights, border security, politics & the economy. They met at the recent Civil Rights Summit in Austin, TX – marking the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act."
"This month, Indians are voting in the largest election in history," Sumit Galhotra wrote Wednesday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "It's an exciting exercise in democracy, but it comes against a grim backdrop: censorship in the country is on the rise, according to a quarterly report by the South Asian media watchdog, The Hoot. The latest report documents 52 instances of censorship during the first three months of 2014 compared with 45 during the same period last year. . . ."
"Authorities in Cameroon should release a newspaper editor who has been imprisoned since March 29 after being convicted of criminal defamation," the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. "On Friday, a judge postponed indefinitely a bail hearing for Amungwa Tanyi Nicodemus, according to news reports. . . ."
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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.