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AP Kills Internships, Says They'll Resume in 2012

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Thursday, December 9, 2010

Wire Service Suspends Attendance at J-Conventions of Color

Group Says Sex Traffickers Use Village Voice Online Ads

3 Current or Former Cops Guilty in Post-Katrina Killing

Hispanics, Blacks Outstrip Whites in Use of Twitter

Did News Director Apologize? Aguilar, Ex-Boss Differ

Obama Signs Funding Bills for Black, Indian Farmers

DREAM Act Not Dead, Columnist Says

Fox to Staff: Don't Use "Public Option" Term

On CBS, First Native on Network News Said 'Bye, Too

Univision Shakes Up Leadership of News, Sports

Short Takes 

Wire Service Suspends Attendance at J-Conventions of Color

Moorea Moreheart of San Francisco State University shows some of her work to Associated Press editor Eric Risberg during  an interview at the 2006 Journalism Job and Internship Fair at the Center for Improvement and Integration of Journalism.  (Credit ©CIIJ)The Associated Press confirmed late Friday that it is suspending the 26-year-old internship program that has launched the careers of many a successful journalist, but said it would resume the program in 2012.

It added that AP would not be present at any of the journalist-of-color conventions next summer.

"The Associated Press is putting all of its internship programs on a one-year hiatus, as well as our attendance at journalism recruitment conventions, as we focus our financial resources on our essential core businesses," AP spokesman Paul Colford said.

"We will resume an internship program in 2012, which will have the same focus on diversity, and also resume our attendance at recruitment conventions."

The announcement that the internship program would resume was met with skepticism. In 2007, AP announced that its "Diverse Voices/Diverse Visions" program would skip a year, but the program never returned.

Diverse Voices was described as "an annual five-day multicultural journalism workshop pairing aspiring student journalists with mentors who are AP writers and editors."

Diverse Visions did the same for aspiring student photojournalists.

Unity president Barbara Ciara told Journal-isms Wednesday that she proposed to Tom Curley, AP's president and CEO,  on Tuesday that the two groups work together to find a way to rescue the program but that Curley was not interested.

"I was pleasantly surprised that he took my call right away — but not happy about the outcome," Ciara said in an e-mail. "I pressed some other subscribers into action to ring him up — but I think it's a done deal."

Ciara said that Curley told her, "There is no benefit in discussing our budget process."

Tony Winton, president of the News Media Guild, told Journal-isms on Tuesday that AP management said the program costs $600,000 to $800,000 a year, but others have said that figure sounded high. The interns are paid union scale.

Others who have made appeals are the Asian American Journalists Association, the Native American Journalists Association, the National Association of Black Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists.

The copy in this ad asks the Village Voice about, the classified advertising network that has become the nation’s premier online sexual marketplace. It is owned by Village Voice Media.

Group Says Sex Traffickers Use Village Voice Online Ads

"In September, when Craigslist dropped its 'erotic services' section,, the classified advertising network owned by Village Voice Media, became the nation’s premier online sexual marketplace — and the most mainstream venue for the buying and selling of underage girls," Michelle Goldberg wrote for the online Daily Beast. "Now The Rebecca Project for Human Rights, the group that got Craigslist to drop its sex ads, is trying to convince Backpage to do the same, and to do it before February, when activists expect a spike in sex trafficking around the Super Bowl."

A disproportionate number of those who are trafficked are "black and brown girls," Faiza Mathon-Mathieu, a spokeswoman for the Rebecca Project, told Journal-isms on Friday. She added that many who are recruited are runaways or living in group homes.

"Last month, The Rebecca Project ran startling ads in a number of Village Voice Media-owned papers, featuring a man in a mugshot holding a placard saying, 'I paid for sex with a 14-year-old child I found on Backpage,' " Goldberg's story continued. "Next to it was a message to Village Voice Media: 'Each year, 100,000 children are sold for sex in America — many through your website, Do you really want to provide a platform for predators who pay for sex with girls?'

"The ad was referring to a real girl, a 14-year-old from Missouri known by the initials M.A. She’s suing Village Voice Media for aiding and abetting her pimp, Latasha Jewell McFarland, who has been sentenced to five years in prison. McFarland posted nude photos of the teenage runaway on Backpage and used it to arrange encounters with clients in highway motels.

". . . Much as Craigslist did, Village Voice Media, which didn’t respond to requests for comment, argues that it can’t be responsible for what people post on its site, and that it helps law enforcement prosecute those involved in sex trafficking."

3 Current or Former Cops Guilty in Post-Katrina Killing

Edna Glover holds a portrait of her son, Henry Glover, whose charred remains were found behind a police station. (Credit: Chandra McCormick and Keith Calhoun)"A federal jury tonight convicted three current or former New Orleans police officers in connection with the death of Henry Glover, a 31-year old man who was shot by a police officer and died in custody shortly after Hurricane Katrina tore through Louisiana in 2005," A.C. Thompson wrote Thursday for ProPublica.

"The circumstances of Glover's death were first disclosed more than two years ago in a story published by ProPublica and The Nation magazine. That story prompted a federal civil rights investigation and drew attention to the conduct of the New Orleans Police Department in the chaotic days after Katrina and the subsequent flooding ravaged the city.

"The jury found ex-cop David Warren guilty of shooting Glover, officer Greg McRae guilty of burning Glover's body, and Lt. Travis McCabe guilty of creating a false police report and misleading federal authorities when questioned about the case.

"Two other police officials, Lt. Dwayne Scheuermann and former Lt. Robert Italiano, were acquitted of all charges against them. Scheuermann had been accused of participating in the burning [of] Glover's body and beating the men who sought to rescue him after he was shot. Italiano had been indicted for trying to cover-up the crimes."

Hispanics, Blacks Outstrip Whites in Use of Twitter

Users of Twitter, the social networking system, amount to 6 percent of the adult population, according to Aaron Smith and Lee Rainie of the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

They reported Thursday:

  • "Young adults: Internet users ages 18-29 are significantly more likely to use Twitter than are older adults.

  • "African-Americans and Latinos: Minority internet users are more than twice as likely to use Twitter as are white Internet users.

  • "Urbanites: Urban residents are roughly twice as likely to use Twitter as rural dwellers."

The survey found Twitter to be used by 5 percent of white, non-Hispanic Internet users; by 13 percent of black, non-Hispanic Internet users; and by 18 percent of Hispanic Internet users.

Rebecca Aguilar accepts the Broadcast Journalist of the Year Award at the 2007 awards gala of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. (Credit: NAHJ)

Did News Director Apologize? Aguilar, Ex-Boss Differ

"The high stakes game of she said/she said continued during Thursday's court proceedings, with former Fox4 reporter Rebecca Aguilar and her ex-boss, vice president/news director Maria Barrs, again utterly at odds. This time an alleged apology is either true or false," Dallas television writer Ed Bark reported on his blog.

"Aguilar, who is suing the Dallas-based station for wrongful termination, quickly fanned the flames in the opening minutes of her morning testimony after attorney Bill Trantham lit the match. Wearing his fourth Christmas tie in as many days, he asked Aguilar to recall a chance meeting between Barrs and Aguilar at the July 2009 funeral for reporter Brett Johnson, who worked for both NBC5 and Fox4.

"During the previous day's testimony, Barrs flatly denied 'apologizing' to Aguilar, but acknowledged reaching out to her because it seemed like "the appropriate thing to do" under the circumstances. Aguilar has a polar-opposite recollection.

" 'I feel a tug at my jacket, and it was her (Barrs),' she told Trantham, her lead attorney.

"Barrs then wished her good luck before inquiring about her son, Alex, Aguilar said. Then Barrs supposedly said, 'I just want to tell you I regret everything I've done to you.'

" 'I appreciate you saying that,' Aguilar said she told Barrs, who next supposedly said, 'I have a lot of regrets.'

"Aguilar said she was shocked by both admissions. Then another reporter walked up to hug her while Barrs walked away, Aguilar told Trantham.

"During his session with Barrs Wednesday, Trantham asked her if she'd be surprised if a third party eyewitness could corroborate any apology to Aguilar.

" 'I would be surprised and disappointed that anyone would say that I said that,' Barrs told him.

"No such witness has materialized so far during the now four-day-old trial. But the jury is still out, so to speak.

"Aguilar, who mostly blames Barrs for allegedly masterminding her downfall, was suspended from Fox4 on Oct. 16, 2007, the day after her controversial interview of a 70-year-old West Dallas salvage business owner. On the weekend before the interview, [James] Walton had shot and killed an alleged burglar, the second time in three weeks that he had used deadly force on an intruder. . . . Aguilar said she initially was praised throughout the newsroom for her scoop. The station then was hit by a wave of angry emails and phone calls from viewers who essentially accused her of bullying an elderly crime victim."

Obama Signs Funding Bills for Black, Indian Farmers

"At 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, before a crowd of about 150 lawmakers from both parties, African-American activists and Native American leaders, President Barack Obama brought to a close decades of government-sponsored racial injustice — or at least two chapters in a lengthy book," Cord Jefferson wrote Thursday for

"Standing in the White House's South Court auditorium, the president signed into law H.R. 4783, otherwise known as the Claims Resolution Act. The act provides billions to fund two separate class-action-lawsuit settlements against the U.S. government: Cobell v. Salazar and Pigford v. Glickman."

DREAM Act Not Dead, Columnist Says

"After the Democrats in the Senate decided yesterday to vote no against a cloture vote on the DREAM Act, several news outlets erroneously reported that the bill was dead," Marisa Treviño wrote Friday on her Latina Lista blog.

"It's not. In fact, it was the smartest move the Democratic leadership could have made. Now, the Senate can just vote on the House DREAM Act bill that was passed rather than try and do the whole process over again in the Senate with a Senate version.

"Surprisingly, learned journalist organizations didn't understand the nuances of this tactic. They should have. Yet, once again in the quest to be first in breaking news, these journalist organizations disregarded the basic tenet of journalism — accuracy. But maybe they can't be fully blamed.

"If ever there was an issue constantly lobbed at with distortions and falsehoods, the DREAM Act bill is one."

The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act would carve a path to legal status for foreign-born youngsters brought to the United States illegally.

Fox to Staff: Don't Use "Public Option" Term

"As the health-care debate was heating up in the summer of 2009, Republican pollster Frank Luntz offered Sean Hannity some advice," Howard Kurtz reported Friday for the Daily Beast.

"Luntz, who counseled the GOP on how to sell the 1994 Contract With America, told the Fox News host to stop using President Obama’s preferred term for a key provision.

" 'If you call it a public option, the American people are split,' he explained. 'If you call it the government option, the public is overwhelmingly against it.'

" 'A great point,' Hannity declared. 'And from now on, I'm going to call it the government option, because that's what it is.'

"On Oct. 27, the day after Senate Democrats introduced a bill with a public insurance option from which states could opt out, Bill Sammon, a Fox News vice president and Washington managing editor, sent the staff a memo. Sammon is a former Washington Times reporter.

" 'Please use the term "government-run health insurance," or, when brevity is a concern, "government option," whenever possible,' the memo said."


Hattie Kauffman, left, with former first lady Betty Ford, right, for an interview that aired in 2006.

On CBS, First Native on Network News Said 'Bye, Too

"It had been a week of goodbyes at CBS News, not just Harry, Dave and Maggie, but a day earlier my long time friend and colleague Hattie Kauffman said her farewells," Soshea Leibler wrote Wednesday on her "Producer Mom" blog.

"Hattie’s departure hasn’t made the New York Post or TV Newser yet, but it’s the lead for me. Hattie and I were a correspondent/producer team for 15 years. I like to think of us as a little Cagney and Lacey like. You couldn’t have put together two people from more disparate backgrounds. I am an Orthodox Jew from New York City. Hattie is a Native American, the first and only Native American on network news. She is a Nez Perce Indian and grew up on her reservation in Idaho and in Seattle. We are the same age, but when we met I was newly married and trying to have children. She was already an empty nester.

"For 15 years, we worked together, traveled together and put countless pieces on television. Here’s what stands out for me.

"From Hattie I learned how a great interviewer works. Harry Smith called her the great empathizer. I sat in countless tiny living rooms in small towns across the West watching as Hattie held hands with total strangers, feeling their pain as they told their stories of missing children, of murdered children, of Aids, drug abuse, foreclosed homes, illnesses, sons and daughters gone to war, all the afflictions we don’t want visited upon us. As a producer, my job was to sit in the corner and take notes, to mark a big star when I heard the sound bites we were waiting for. But often times I forgot myself, as I sat engrossed in the conversation, tears streaming down my eyes, forgetting completely that it was an interview."

Univision Shakes Up Leadership of News, Sports

Isaac Lee, editor-in-chief of Poder, at the World Economic Forum on Latin America 2010 in Colombia in April. (Credit: World Economic Forum)In a shakeup at the network that boasts it is "ideally positioned to ultimately become the #1 network in America," Univision Communications Inc. announced Thursday that "longtime journalist Isaac Lee has been named president of News and that Alexander 'Sandy' Brown has been named president of Sports.

"The Company also announced that Alina Falcón, a Univision veteran of 26 years who has held numerous senior roles throughout the organization, has decided to leave her current position leading news and sports programming and production to consult on special projects.

"Lee, 39, most recently founded and served as chairman and editor-in-chief of influential magazine PODER. He will be responsible for leading the Company’s news division, including strategic and editorial oversight of programming and production across the Univision Networks, Univision Local Media and Univision Interactive Media. Lee spent the past 14 years in editorial roles leading top journalistic teams at prominent publications serving Spanish-speaking audiences in the U.S. and Latin America. Lee will be based in Miami and report to Cesar Conde, president, Univision Networks.

"Brown, 48, previously CEO of media representation firm Petry Holding, will lead company-wide sports strategy and operations in his new role, overseeing sports programming across the Company’s platforms."

Short Takes

  • Singer Keith Washington apologized for the Internet streaming of a private conversation between Washington and his ailing friend, Aretha Franklin, on the show he hosts on a Detroit radio station. "Our conversation was captured on the live video stream as are others but I was not aware her end of the conversation was audible to the microphone," he said, NewsOne reported on Friday. The Queen of Soul, 68, is battling pancreatic cancer, news organizations reported on Thursday.

  • Tony Harris CNN midday anchor Tony Harris told Journal-isms on Friday there was "very little I can say" about his scheduled departure from the network at the end of the year, confirmed Wednesday by CNN. "It's been six remarkable years. I have learned so much from the folks there at CNN. I feel blessed to have had that chair for as long as I have, and I'm looking forward to the future and it's looking bright," said Harris, 51. He was off this week and is due back on Monday.

  • Looking back on John Lennon's murder 30 years later, "it is interesting to note how the gun angle has nearly completely receded in mainstream remembrances and news coverage," columnist Tony Norman wrote Friday in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "The killer, Mark David Chapman, continues serving a life sentence in Attica. Though still demonized in the media, you rarely hear that he bought the five-shot, short barrel .38 he used to kill John Lennon from a Honolulu gun shop. For all of his craziness, his paperwork was in order and his purchase was legal. His ticket to infamy cost a mere $169, which he paid in cash."

  • For its Homicide Report, a project of the Los Angeles Times' data desk that chronicles homicides in Los Angeles County, the newspaper is departing from its guidelines discouraging identifying its subjects by race, The Times' Deirdre Edgar explained on Wednesday. Megan Garvey, the editor who oversees the Homicide Report, explained that "When people are new to the report, they often get angry that we include race/ethnicity for the victims and, when known, their alleged killers. But we think it’s important to shine a light on how some groups, particularly young black men, are disproportionately the victims of homicide. Suppressing that information only serves to tell an incomplete story."

  • "It’s been six years since I received the shocking news that journalist Gary Webb had committed suicide with his father’s pistol," Robert Parry wrote Friday on his Consortium website. "In the days after his Dec. 9, 2004, death, I was told that he had succumbed to a deep depression brought on by being blacklisted from his profession for a courageous series that he had written about the real-life consequences of a U.S. foreign policy that put Cold War priorities ahead of protecting Americans from the international drug trade." In a 1996 series in the San Jose Mercury News, "Webb explained that he had come across evidence that one Contra-connected drug conduit had funneled cocaine into Los Angeles, where it helped fuel the early crack epidemic."

  • "After one last office holiday party on Jan. 2, the seven-Brenda Starr comic 'Brenda Starr, Reporter' will go the way of the Teletype," Phil Rosenthal reported Thursday in the Chicago Tribune. "Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich — who has been writing the late Dale Messick's pre-World War II creation into and out of trouble for the last quarter-century — along with June Brigman, the strip's artist for 15 years, have decided to end their association with the strip. And, rather than find successors, syndicator Tribune Media Services opted to end the daily drama."

  • The documentary "The Nine Lives of Marion Barry," about the former District of Columbia mayor who is now a city council member, was released Tuesday on DVD. It debuted on HBO in 2009 and "is now available for broad distribution via IndiePix films,, iTunes and most major retailers," according to an announcement.

  • In a remembrance on the website of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Associated Press' Russell Contreras recalls Carlos Guerra, the retired San Antonio Express-News columnist found dead at age 63 on Monday. "As a history graduate student, I was working on a thesis about the generation of Latino writers from the Chicano Movement, and Guerra, bearded and shaggy haired, was on the cover of the October 1974 issue" of Caracol, a Texas-based Chicano literary/news magazine, Contreras wrote. ". . . I never stopped following Guerra and was looking forward to reintroducing myself as a colleague." Fellow Express-News columnist Cary Clack also devoted a column to Guerra.

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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Its crazy how website like Backpage and Craigslist are starting to be so dangerous... idk if there is a proper fix for this.

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