Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude
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Black News and Black Views with a Whole Lotta Attitude

Reporters Uncover ‘Real Story’ Behind Chicago’s Gun-Death Stats, Black Flight From the City

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  • Heroic Medics Keep Toll From Rising Even Higher; School Closings Drove Many Blacks to Leave City
  • 700 Honor Editor, Historian Lerone Bennett Jr.”
  • Bethel McKenzie Named SPJ Executive Director
  • In Debate Over Arming Teachers, What About Race?
  • Idea of Cultural Affinity Escapes Assigning Editors
  • Stephanie Mehta Named Editor of Fast Company
  • Grayson Mitchell, Reporter, Political Adviser, Dies
  • Diversity Means Native People Telling Own Stories
  • L.A. City Hall Exhibit Honors Black Journalists
  • 95 Years Ago, SCOTUS Ruled Indians Aren’t White
  • Short Takes

Heroic Medics Keep Toll From Rising Even Higher; School Closings Drove Many Blacks to Leave City

During the Great Migration, Chicago was one of the most desirable destinations for African Americans seeking opportunities,” the Weekly Reveal, from the Center for Investigative Reporting, summarized Monday. “But since 2000, the city’s black population has declined by more than 250,000.

“We wanted to better understand two issues that have fueled the exodus: gun violence and school closures. So for this week’s show (audio), we teamed up with two Chicago-based newsrooms — the Data Reporting Lab and the Chicago Reporter.


“Here’s what they found:

“The real story behind Chicago’s gun death stats

“Significantly fewer people are dying because of gun violence in Chicago. However, it turns out that more people are actually being shot.

“Gun homicides dropped by 30 percent in the last two decades, and law enforcement officials take credit for the drop.

“Analysis from the Data Reporting Lab throws cold water on that theory: Shootings in the city actually increased by 15 percent during the same period.


“The reporters found a different cause for the decline in deaths: improvements in trauma care at hospitals, thanks to innovations pulled from the battlefields of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

“Confronted with this new information, officials say closely studying injuries, not deaths, could change how local governments try to solve gun violence.”


“Read more: The Bleeding of Chicago

“What happened after Chicago’s great school closure

“Chicago’s historic school closures were supposed to help kids in bad schools, but researchers determined that most kids didn’t see improvements.


“In 2013, Chicago’s school board voted to close 50 schools – an unusually large number.

“At the time, Mayor Rahm Emanuel claimed the closures were to ensure that kids in bad schools made their way to better ones.


“Chicago’s public schools have lost more than 52,000 students in the past 10 years. That’s because school closures sometimes prompt parents to leave the city altogether.

“And black neighborhoods have suffered some of the most severe declines and most of the school closures and budget cuts. A loss of 11,000 students in 2016 ‘tracked closely with population decline in communities with high crime or poverty,’ according to a report from WBEZ.”


700 Honor Editor, Historian Lerone Bennett Jr.

‘It Was Always About Our Struggle,’ a Friend Says

By Cheryl V. Jackson

Lerone Bennett Jr.’s “What Manner of Man: A Biography of Martin Luther King Jr.” was the first book on King that Michael Eric Dyson ever read, the author, minister and Georgetown University sociology professor said Saturday.


“That book was like a Bible to me. I can still see the cover. I can still smell that book.

“I read that book and it changed my life.”

Dyson was giving the eulogy at Bennett’s funeral, for which about 700 people packed St. Columbanus Catholic Church on Chicago’s South Side to pay tribute to the former Ebony and Jet magazine editor who authored some of the most consumed books on black history.


“[My] original inspiration was Lerone Bennett Jr. because he took his tasks seriously,” Dyson continued. “If you read that book today, it is insightful, it is rhetorical, it is sophisticated in every sense of the word — like Mr. Bennett himself.”

Bennett died of advanced vascular dementia at his Chicago home Feb. 14. He was 89.


“Everything about the service was befitting Lerone and the essence of Lerone,” said Lynn Norment, a former Ebony managing editor. It reflected the people and things that Bennett held dear.

They included jazz: Saxophonist Audley Reid played Duke Ellington’s “Take the A Train” to lead the recessional.


They included the advancement of black people, of which he eagerly spoke about, even in his down time.

Actress Val Gray Ward, a longtime friend, spoke of the Fourth of July holidays their families would spend together, “playing jazz or bid whist and just talking about our struggle.


“It was always about our struggle.”

And they included his alma mater, Morehouse College.

“He said many times the smartest, stupidest thing he ever said was that if he didn’t attend Morehouse College, he didn’t want to attend any college,” said his oldest granddaughter, Nekesa Josey, herself an author.


Morehouse President David A. Thomas, who took office Jan. 1, said, “Lerone Bennett Jr. is the model for Morehouse men. I look out at the 2,000 students and see somewhere among them is a Lerone Bennett. I have to go forth as if each one of these 2,000 young men is my Lerone Bennett.” About 40 alumni sang the school hymn. At the visitation Friday night, about 30 members of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity sang the Kappa song.


Those dearly held institutions also included Johnson Publishing Co., where Bennett wrote about key events in the civil rights movement, and where he published works that have been on coffee tables and library shelves for decades. Among them is a 1964 biography of King, his Morehouse classmate.

Bennett worked for Ebony magazine from 1954 until his retirement in 2003.

“Lerone was the historian that Dr. King trusted the most because he knew him best,” the Rev. Jesse L. Jackson Sr. said from the pulpit.


Others in attendance included the Rev. George Clements; Walter E. Massey, former National Science Foundation director and Morehouse president; Julieanna Richardson, founder of the HistoryMakers; Haki Madhubuti, poet and founder of Third World Press; Norment, who spoke; Ken Smikle, president of Target Market News; Renee Ferguson, former Chicago television journalist; and Linda Johnson Rice, daughter of Johnson Publishing Co. founder John H. Johnson and CEO of Ebony Media Operations. Johnson Publishing sold Ebony and Jet magazines to a private equity firm in 2016.

Joy Bennett, Lerone Bennett’s daughter, told Journal-isms she had invited Minister Louis Farrakhan of the Nation of Islam, “who was very comforting.” Farrakhan could not attend because it is the Nation’s Saviour’s Day weekend, she said, but he sent a representative to read a tribute.


Bennett’s “Before the Mayflower: A History of Back America,” first published in 1962, told of the first blacks arriving in the colonies on a ship that reached Jamestown, Va., in 1619, the year before the Mayflower did.

In the controversial “Forced Into Glory: Abraham Lincoln’s White Dream,” Bennett said Lincoln was not an abolitionist but “a conservative politician who said repeatedly that he believed in white supremacy.”


“One of Lerone Bennett Jr.’s gifts to us all is that he was indeed a scholar, a historian, a teacher of history that forced America to look at herself; at her whole self,” said Rev. Michael Pfleger, pastor of St. Sabina Catholic Church in Chicago. “He made history shaping, forming, educating and shining a light on hidden truths.

“I thank you for your boldness and your willingness to teach America lessons she still doesn’t want to learn.”


Few addressed Bennett as “Lerone.”

“Those of us who have known and worked with him; we had so much respect for him that there was no other way to refer to him. He was Mr. Bennett,” said Walter Leavy, former Ebony managing editor.


Yet he was anything but standoffish.

“He was a totally unpretentious man unaffected by his stature,” Leavy said. “Through it all, he was one of the most approachable people you could ever imagine.


“We watched him. We listened to him. We followed directions. And each one of us became better — better writers, better editors, better artists, better photographers, better administrative assistants. Overall, we just became better. That was the effect he had on us,” Leavy continued.

“In the sports world, you hear them talking about certain players having an aura about them that brings out the best in their teams. Well, in that sense, Mr. Bennett was our Michael Jordan.”


Honoring a “Race Man’s” Values: More than 2,000 at John H. Johnson Services (Aug. 14, 2005)

Cheryl V. Jackson is a Chicago journalist.

Bethel McKenzie Named SPJ Executive Director


The Society of Professional Journalists today announced that veteran journalist and association leader Alison Bethel McKenzie (shown left) will become its 20th executive director,” the society said Monday.

She will be the first African American in the position.

“ ‘Alison is a game changer for SPJ,’ said SPJ National President Rebecca Baker. ‘Her track record of successes, both as a working journalist and a tireless advocate for press rights and the practice of journalism, will help SPJ combat the forces that seek to diminish or destroy the role of the free press as a cornerstone of democracy in this country. SPJ and its members are fortunate to have Alison as our executive director, and I look forward to working with her.’


“Bethel McKenzie succeeds Joe Skeel, who took the executive director position with the Indiana State Bar Association in December.

“A native of Miami, Bethel McKenzie served for five years as executive director of the International Press Institute, the world’s oldest global press freedom organization, in Vienna. She was the first American, first woman and first African American to hold the position since it was founded in 1950. In addition, she has worked as a visiting professor of print and investigative journalism at the Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media in Bangalore, India. . . .


“ ‘I am beyond excited to join an organization that I have held in high esteem since I first learned of it as a high school rookie reporter at The Miami Herald,’ she said. ‘The work that SPJ has done in supporting both student and professional journalists, as well as its diligent fight for press freedom in the United States and abroad, is crucial — now more than ever.

“Bethel McKenzie was a Knight International Journalism Fellow in Ghana in 2008-09, managing director of the Nassau Guardian in the Bahamas in 2007 and executive editor of the Legal Times in Washington, D.C., in 2006-07. She has also worked at The Los Angeles Times and The Miami Herald. . . .”


In Debate Over Arming Teachers, What About Race?

In the wake of the school shooting that killed 17, President Trump and the National Rifle Association’s main proposal to prevent another tragedy like the one in Parkland, Fla., has been to arm teachers . . .,Eugene Scott wrote Friday for the Washington Post.


“But that desire has led some Americans, especially those who discuss race and politics, to raise questions: Will we be arming all teachers, including black teachers or education professionals who teach in mostly minority districts? It’s a worthwhile question, given the police killings of unarmed black men in recent years.

“ ‘It’s another layer to the conversation about how racialized the debate around gun violence can be. There has not been a mass shooting in a predominantly minority high school that compares to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a school of mostly white students in a fairly affluent suburb. But some activists have pointed out that there are some students who face gun violence in their community on an almost daily basis.


“ ‘Another tragic moment. But there are folks in communities that I know who have been burying their kids for a long time because guns have been in their communities. Parents have been grieving because they’ve been putting their babies in [the] ground,’ Eddie S. Glaude, a Princeton University religion and African American studies professor, told MSNBC host Stephanie Ruhle on Thursday.

“Glaude added that it took ‘certain kinds of people to die for us to get this question on the table.’


“When it comes to arming teachers and the factor race might play, two issues are being raised: (1) Arming teachers of black students who may have a racial bias, and (2) arming black teachers and education workers, who face their own risks carrying a weapon. . . .’ “

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: An open letter to Alfonso Calderon and the kids of Parkland, Fla.


Editorial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The real test for Parkland’s young activists is when the media attention goes away

Julia Manchester, the Hill: Media organizations sue for security footage from outside Florida high school


Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: America needs to talk about a lot more than just guns

Robyn Pennacchia, Quartz: What America is getting wrong about three important words in the Second Amendment


The South Korean boy band BTS, also known as Bangtan Boys and Bulletproof Boy Scouts, has achieved unparalleled success in the United States for a group that mostly does not sing in English. Still, U.S. publications cover the group with non-Korean-speaking journalists. (video)

Idea of Cultural Affinity Escapes Assigning Editors

The decision by Essence to publish three different covers in honor of the release of Black Panther took the internet by storm over the past 24 hours,Brent Lewis wrote Feb. 14 for the Undefeated. “That means five major magazines — Time, Essence, Variety, Allure and British GQ — have published cover stories on the highly anticipated film in the past few days. And all five elected not to use a black photographer to handle the representation of the all-black starring cast of Black Panther.


“Instead, five white men, one white woman and one Asian woman were tasked with creating the pictures, which have immediately gone viral, especially on Black Twitter. (Kwaku Alston did shoot a Black Panther cover for Entertainment Weekly last fall.) . . .”


Lewis also wrote, “Unfortunately, this is far from the first time that magazines have missed an opportunity to make a statement with who they hire to shoot their covers. . . . When you look at three of the largest magazines that write about and reflect African-American culture — Essence, Ebony and GQ — you see the lack of African-American photographers is nothing new.

“In 2017, [among] the three magazines, just 4.25 covers were made by a black photographer, and three of them were done by the same person. (The .25 comes about because a photographer shot one photo in a series for a cover image.)“


Brooke Pawling Stennett, digital managing editor of the Columbia Chronicle at Columbia College Chicago, cited Lewis’ piece Sunday in making a similar point about covering a popular Korean boy band.

In the last year, South Korean boyband BTS, also known as Bulletproof Boyscouts, has achieved unparalleled success in the U.S. for a group that does not sing in English — except for a few lyrics. 2017 was huge for BTS: It became the first ever K-Pop group to win a Billboard award, hit top 10 on the American iTunes charts, performed at the American Music Awards and rung in 2018 on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve.


“But the success came with a major drawback. The only member of the group who speaks semi-fluent English is the ‘leader,’ RM, though other members memorize certain phrases for interviews. During the group’s press tours in March and November 2017, the other six members were forced to sit in nearly complete silence until RM got a second to breathe and translate the questions.


“And most of the time, there was no time to translate, thus alienating the members and resulting in mass video compilations of painfully awkward silences. Not only did the members not understand a majority of what was being said, but the journalists also floundered when the members did their best to communicate and were met with blank looks or a quick diversion. Sure, this is funny in retrospect, but it wasn’t until BTS was the face of Billboard Magazine’s February issue that it became apparent how unfunny it was. . . .”

E. Alex Jung, a freelance journalist was sent to Seoul, South Korea, to interview BTS for the cover. . . .


“Though Jung points out in his Feb. 15 article that his Korean is ‘like a 10-year-old’s,’ in the words of RM, at least Billboard had the decency to send someone who can interview a Korean group in the language its members are comfortable, no matter if he got help or not.

“Jung took to Twitter shortly after the release of the interview, stating in a Feb. 15 tweet: ‘[A]lso, props to Billboard for hiring someone (yes, in this case me) who can speak Korean to interview a Korean group. I’ve seen way too many publications send non-Korean speaking reporters to cover K-Pop and it truly blows my mind how that’s acceptable journalistic practice.’ . . .”


Stephanie Mehta Named Editor of Fast Company

Mansueto Ventures has tapped Vanity Fair deputy editor Stephanie Mehta as the next editor-in-chief of Fast Company,Greg Dool reported Monday for Folio:, quoting CEO Eric Schurenberg. Fast Company is a monthly business magazine that focuses on technology, business and design.


“The announcement comes two months after the magazine’s longtime editor-in-chief Robert Safian revealed plans to step down after 11 years in the role. Safian has since gone on to found the media advisory firm Flux Group.

“Mehta arrives at Fast Company having spent the last two years at Vanity Fair, where she headed up the brand’s New Establishment Summit and Founders Fair conferences in addition to serving as one of the magazine’s deputy editors. . . .”


The South Asian Journalists Association has reported that Mehta’s father is from India and her mother from the Philippines.


Grayson Mitchell, Reporter, Political Adviser, Dies

Grayson Mitchell, a former journalist at the Chicago Sun-Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Johnson Publishing Co. and Black Enterprise who became Chicago Mayor Harold Washington’s first press secretary and a political adviser, died Feb. 23 at his South Side home of undetermined causes, Steven R. Strahler reported Monday for Crain’s Chicago Business. He was 67.

Strahler wrote, “Mitchell’s City Hall experience, according to friend and attorney Stephen Allison, provided a ‘fantastic perspective of crisis management’ that informed relationships with African-American leaders (paywall) like the late attorney Earl Neal and the late Chicago Public Schools President Michael Scott, and with clients that included Exelon and the city of Chicago. . . .”


“Beginning his career as a journalist, Mitchell covered politics for the Sun-Times in 1970 after winning an internship as a precocious Morehouse College student, according to the . . . HistoryMakers. The Mobile, Ala., native received an economics degree the following year from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

“Mitchell worked for the Washington Post from 1972 to 1973 and as Jet and Ebony magazines’ Washington editor until 1974. After a stint as Washington columnist for Black Enterprise magazine, he became director of corporate communications in 1980 for Johnson Products in Chicago. . . .” Mitchell was also a consultant to Carol Moseley Braun’s successful and historic U.S. Senate campaign in 1992.


Diversity Means Native People Telling Own Stories

Reporting on, featuring, and otherwise highlighting issues within the American indigenous community is something that I will continue to do, in part because . . . covering the Mountain West means covering Native issues,” Anne Helen Petersen, senior culture writer for BuzzFeed News, wrote Sunday for

“But I also hope that every story on Native issues will be my last. Not because I don’t want to keep covering it, but because I’d so love to see us hire an indigenous writer who can decide what stories need telling, and how best to tell them. (To be clear, I don’t think that indigenous people should only report on indigenous matters; one of the beauties of the BuzzFeed culture section is that we’re able to write in a way that matches our broad interests.)


“Since white people first arrived in the Americas, they have been the primary authors of the Native experience for other white people, using rhetoric that transformed annihilation, exploitation, and degradation into, well, the story of Thanksgiving, and Pocahontas, and countless other bloodless, white savior narratives. No matter how sensitive I try to be, no matter how much I shut up, I am still a part of that long and unforgivably destructive history. It’s not my personal fault, per se, but it is my fault if I can’t understand that legacy and my place in it.

“When we talk about diversity or discrimination in this country, Natives are generally made invisible. . . .


“Natives are also generally excluded from conversations about diversity in newsrooms. Maybe it’s that most national newsrooms are located in places without prominent Native populations; maybe it’s that most editors, like most people, have never lived in a place where Native issues were framed (by the white press) as prominent. But the logic that encourages hiring more Muslim reporters, more trans reporters, more black reporters, more non-binary reporters, more non-coastal reporters, more conservative reporters, should naturally extend to indigenous reporters.

“If, after Trump’s election, we actually want to take issues of class and rural-ness more seriously, it makes sense to hire someone familiar with some of the most working class and rural parts of the nation: reservations. (It also makes sense to hire a Native person who didn’t grow up on a reservation — as Tommy Orange’s book explains, if there’s anything more invisible than the reservation Native, it’s the Urban Native). . . .”


L.A. City Hall Exhibit Honors Black Journalists

To kick-off Black History Month, LA City Council President Herb Wesson recently recognized the Los Angeles chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ-LA),” Erron Franklin wrote Feb. 16 for the University Times at California State University - Los Angeles. “This honor is part of a City Hall display, [titled] ‘Write in America’ paying homage to local Black journalists.


“Wesson writes: ‘It was not always the case we could turn on TV and see people that looked like us. That’s why it was so important to me that this year’s Black History Month City Hall exhibit focus on African-American journalism in Los Angeles and beyond.

Anthony Cox, Associate Chair of Journalism at Cal State LA, is a founding member and the first president of NABJ-LA. He attended the ceremony last Tuesday along with other prominent journalists from SoCal. . . .


“The ‘Write in America’ display is located on the 3rd floor of City Hall and can be accessed via the Henry Rio Bridge. It is free and open for public viewing until the end of February.”

Cornell William Brooks, Boston Globe: W.E.B. Du Bois offers lessons to this generation of citizen activists


Editorial, Kansas City Star: Let’s start work now on the 100th anniversary of the Negro Leagues (Feb. 20)

Alyssia Graves, the Lantern, Ohio State University: Despite increase in Ohio State’s diversity, African-American male enrollment remains at 2.6 percent (Feb. 19)


Morgan Harrison, the Sentinel, Kennesaw State University: Professor’s new book details lives of black journalists in the twentieth century (Feb. 12)

Adeel Hassan, New York Times: Race/Related: A Postcard View of African-American Life


Tracy Jan, Washington Post: Report: No progress for African Americans on homeownership, unemployment and incarceration in 50 years

John Leland (text) and Anthony Barboza (photographs), New York Times: Honoring Black Artists in Light and Shadow


Frederick Melo, Marcus R. Fuller, Nick Woltman and Sarah Horner, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: 16 trailblazing black Minnesotans you should know more about (Feb. 9, 2016, updated Feb. 1, 2017)

Vivian Nguyen, the Alligator, University of Florida: UF’s first African American college of journalism alumna spoke about her experiences (Feb. 20)


Raul A. Reyes, NBC Latino: With network anchor Ilia Calderón’s increased visibility, Afro-Latinos see a step forward

The Source: Veteran Black Journalist, Ed Gordon, Drops Powerful Documentary ‘Am I Black Enough’


Jared Weber, Daily Tar Heel, University of North Carolina: The DTH has a 125-year-old, institutional diversity problem

Lee J. Woolman, Star Tribune, Minneapolis: Counterpoint: Why I banished ‘Huckleberry Finn’ from my classroom


95 Years Ago, SCOTUS Ruled Indians Aren’t White

Indians are officially not white — that was the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling 95 years ago, on Feb. 19, 1923, in the case United States v. Bhagat Singh Thind,” Preeti Aroon wrote Feb. 19 for, part of the Aerogram’s collaboration with the South Asian American Digital Archive. “Yes, the court actually made a legal determination that Indians are not white.

“Bhagat Singh Thind was born in Punjab and immigrated to the United States in 1913. A judge later granted him naturalization, but that decision was appealed and Thind’s case eventually made its way to the Supreme Court, as described in the 1923 Literary Digest article ‘Hindus Too Brunette to Vote Here,’ available through the South Asian American Digital Archive.


“The laws of the time limited naturalization to just ‘free white persons’ and ‘aliens of African nativity and…persons of African descent,’ so Thind’s legal strategy was to prove that he was white. . . . “

Short Takes

Just before the 2016 presidential election, Dean Baquet, the executive editor of The New York Times, gave an interview that touched on the fragile, financially stressed condition of local journalism,” John Schwartz wrote Saturday for the Times Insider publication of the Times. “ . . . It all led to a first-of-a-kind partnership between the newsrooms of The Times and | The Times-Picayune, to take on the most critical environmental issues facing the country: coastal erosion and sea-level rise, as experienced at its epicenter in South Louisiana. (The Times has teamed up with other news organizations in the past, including Pro Publica and The Guardian, but not local ones.) . . .”


Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza has created a new initiative aimed at helping black communities achieve greater political power,” Taryn Finley wrote Monday for HuffPost Black Voices. It is joining with other groups, whose “first initiative is the Black Census Project, which the group said is the first large survey focusing on black lives in America in more than 150 years. The project aims to capture the range of issues black people are facing in their lives ― something the U.S. Census is limited in doing. . . .”

A journalist has filed a lawsuit against the city of St. Louis and its officers, saying police assaulted him during his arrest at a demonstration where they rounded up protesters en masse in an unconstitutional crackdown last year,” Ryan J. Reilly reported Friday for HuffPost. “St. Louis Post-Dispatch reporter Mike Faulk, 32, was one of the many people the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department arrested during a protest in downtown St. Louis following a not guilty verdict in a criminal case against a former officer who shot and killed Anthony Lamar Smith back in 2011. . . .”


Weekend Today” host, “Today” National Correspondent and MSNBC Anchor Craig Melvin will lead the keynote session at Anchor Leadership: Truth and Trust in the Digital Age, an RTDNA-Loyola University Chicago program this summer,” the Radio Television Digital News Association announced on Feb. 20.

NBC News has hired Lawrence Jackson as the newest co-host of Stay Tuned, the network’s twice-daily news show on Snapchat,” A.J. Katz reported Monday for TVNewser. “Jackson heads to NBC News after a stint as a host and correspondent for MTV’s TRL (or Total Request Live for those of you over 25). Before MTV, Jackson was a host for Revolt TV, the music cable network launched by Sean ‘P. Diddy’ Combs. . . .”


We lost a member of our CBS News family over the weekend,” (video)Jeff Glor reported Monday for the “CBS Evening News,” showing footage from the Philippines. “Longtime camerman [Frolian] ‘Rollie’ Malicsi died in the Philippines of an apparent heart attack. He was 59 years old. Rollie brought us images from some of the most dangerous places on earth. We will always remember his infectious laugh and his heart of gold. He was 59 years old. . . .”


Commenting on Iran, Reporters Without Borders said Thursday it was “extremely concerned about the fate of two journalists who were arrested during violent clashes between police and members of a Sufi religious order called the Gonabadi Dervishes. The journalists were beaten and, according to some sources, are now in a coma. . . .”

The International Federation of Journalists Monday “called for the immediate release of an Egyptian journalist who was arrested on 16 February after conducting an interview with an opposition figure. Moataz Wadnan, a Huffington Post Arabi reporter, published on 11 February an interview with Hesham Geneina, a campaign aide to ex-general and presidential candidate Sami Anan, who claimed that Anan possessed dangerous documents on the Egyptian post-2011 revolution and the involvement of military leaders in the toppling of former President Hosni Mubarak. . . .”


In Lesotho, “Prominent South African lawyer, Advocate Gilbert Marcus, has urged the Constitutional Court to strike down the criminal defamation law, saying it has the ‘chilling effect’ of muzzling the press in violation of the freedom of expression that the national constitution seeks to uphold,” Tefo Tefo reported Friday for Lesotho Times. “He argued that as long as criminal defamation remained on the statute books in the Penal Code Act of 2010, it will continue being used as a weapon by those in power to silence critics. . . .” Basilidon Peta, publisher of the Lesotho Times, published a satirical article relating to a former army commander. International press-freedom groups have targeted criminal defamation laws.

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