CNN: We're Keeping Our Cairo Team Safe
Wednesday, February 2, 2011
The CNN crew accompanying Anderson Cooper kept cameras rolling as they were attacked in Cairo's Tahrir Square. (Video)
After anchor Anderson Cooper and his crew were among journalists attacked in Cairo Wednesday by forces loyal to President Hosni Mubarak, CNN issued a statement of reassurance saying its security teams on the ground are equipped to handle such "hostile situations."
By 9 p.m. Wednesday, government officials said, about 600 people had been injured and three killed as Mubarak struck back at his opponents, "unleashing waves of his supporters armed with clubs, rocks, knives and firebombs in a concerted assault on thousands of anti-government protesters in Tahrir Square calling for an end to his authoritarian rule," the New York Times reported. ". . . . More than 150 people have died in the week of violence, human rights groups say."
Cooper and his crew were attacked early in the day. "We were set upon by pro-Mubarak supporters punching us in the head, attacking my producer Marianne Fox and my cameraman as well as trying to grab his camera, trying to break his camera," Cooper said on the air. "They didn't want any pictures taken," he added.
He tweeted, "Its getting really bad in front of egyptian museum. Got roughed up by thugs in pro-mubarak crowd..punched and kicked repeatedly. Had to escape. Safe now."
Tony Maddox, executive vice president and managing director of CNN International, told Journal-isms in a statement, "CNN does have security teams on the ground in Cairo. Our outstanding staff there are amongst our most experienced and well trained when it comes to coping with hostile situations.
"At headquarters we continue to co-ordinate closely with our folks on the ground to ensure we continue to manage risk and provide compelling coverage." He did not elaborate.
ABC's Christiane Amanpour said that she and a crew came under attack from a "mob," the Hollywood Reporter wrote.
"In a reporter's notebook released by ABC News, the attack occurred during an attempt to film on a bridge into Tahrir Square.
" 'An angry mob surrounded us and chased us into the car shouting that they hate America,' she reported. 'They kicked in the car doors and broke our windshield as we drove away.' "
Other journalists familiar to Americans tweeted from the scene. Nicholas Kristof, columnist for the New York Times, wrote, "Mubarak thugs targeted journalists, to keep us from covering his crackdown. Hmph. Makes us all the more determined."
Kim Fox, apparently one of the few African Americans there, wrote, "The negative turn of events is so disheartening. People have to know that today's events are the work of Mubarak."
Fox, who spoke to Journal-isms via Skype from Cairo, said she was disappointed by the snippets of Al-Jazeera, the BBC and CNN that she saw during the week of protests. "It hasn't presented a full picture," she said, failing to convey the collegiality and helpfulness of the Egyptians. Fox, who is from Ohio, has been teaching radio journalism at the American University in Cairo. "I feel more safe here than I do in the United States," she said. A tour guide whom she hadn't seen since last year called to ask how she was doing, "and others have done the same."
Fox was critical of the U.S. government for not pressing Mubarak more forcefully to leave. "Now the U.S. government is putting pressure because they see that the government is playing dirty," she said, speaking of the violent turn of events on Wednesday.
Playing dirty included harassing journalists.
Mohamed Abdel Dayem, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists, enumerated the attacks on journalists and wrote, "The Egyptian government is employing a strategy of eliminating witnesses to their actions. The government has resorted to blanket censorship, intimidation, and today a series of deliberate attacks on journalists carried out by pro-government mobs. The situation is frightening not only because our colleagues are suffering abuse but because when the press is kept from reporting, we lose an independent source of crucial information."
In another summary of the actions against journalists, J. David Goodman of the New York Times reported, "The attacks on reporters came as Internet access was restored in Egypt for the first time since last week, and many Egyptian bloggers began posting in earnest.
"Egyptian state television also began showing images from Tahrir Square for the first time, focusing on supporters of Mr. Mubarak and scenes of pitched street battles. It appeared likely that both moves by the government were directed at painting a violent image of the antigovernment protesters."
- David Brauer, MinnPost.com: Comcast Minneapolis adds Al Jazeera English (for a few minutes)
- Michael Calderone, Yahoo News: Pro-Mubarak supporters attack journalists in Egypt
- Michael Calderone, Yahoo News: Will U.S. cable providers carry Al Jazeera English?
- CNN senior photojournalist Neil Hallsworth — a part of Anderson Cooper's crew — describes being attacked by pro-Mubarak supporters.
- Juan Cole blog: Thoughts on the Middle East, History and Religion
- Molly Stark Dean, TVNewser: Egyptian-American Hoda Kotb on the Situation in Cairo
- Paul Delaney, Philadelphia Inquirer: Tepid response on Tunisia costs U.S. goodwill
- Mona Eltahawy, the Guardian, Britain: We've waited for this revolution for years. Other despots should quail
- Melissa Grego, Broadcasting & Cable: Analyst: Why Al Jazeera Won't Get U.S. Distribution Soon
- Kevin G. Hall, McClatchy Newspapers: Egypt's unrest may have roots in food prices, U.S. Fed policy
- Peter Hart, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Arab TV vs. Polite People Like You
- Tami Hultman, allAfrica.com: North Africa: Egypt, Sudan and Tunisia — Online Media, Al Jazeera, Lead Crisis Coverage
- Sunni M. Khalid, theRoot.com: Why Are They Protesting in Egypt?
- Danny O'Brien, Committee to Protect Journalists: Egypt rejoins the Net
- Deborah Potter, Newslab.org: Al Jazeera makes its mark
- Reporters Without Borders: International media does not escape violence unleashed by Mubarak supporters
- Sudan Tribune: Nation Tightens Press Gag After Anti-Government Protests
- Jill Tubman, jackandjillpolitics.com: Egypt: Defying A Dictator Here and There
Neal Scarbrough, a veteran of both newspaper and online sports journalism who since 2008 has been vice president of digital media for Versus, a subsidiary of Comcast, has become one of the first casualties of the Comcast takeover of NBC Universal, Richard Sandomir reported Wednesday for the New York Times.
"Dick Ebersol, who has run NBC Sports for nearly 22 years, is wasting little time putting his personal stamp on the sports properties of Comcast, which include the Golf Channel and Versus, and 11 regional sports networks," Sandomir wrote.
"NBC executives with long connections to Ebersol are adding new roles at the Comcast units five days after Comcast took control of NBC Universal. Some Versus officials lost their jobs.
"Jamie Davis lost his job as president of Versus, but will work with Mark Lazarus, a former Turner sports and entertainment executive, who was named president of the NBC Sports Cable Group to oversee the Golf Channel, Versus and the regional sports networks.
". . . Among others dismissed at Versus were Leon Schweir, the executive producer; Mike Baker, the coordinating producer for N.H.L. games; and Neal Scarborough, Versus’s vice president of digital media. Moving in to take over all studio operations will be Michael Bass, the former producer of NBC’s 'Today' show and CBS’s 'Early Show.' "
"As I know well, these things happen when a media business has to change," Scarbrough told Journal-isms by e-mail.
"We kind of were starting from scratch when I got there. And it was fun pushing the rock up the hill ... every day.
"I actually very much appreciated my days as a Comcaster. ... and they were more than fair through this change.
"Well, I had been focused on the new NBC Universal for a while ... But I have time to focus on me and my family and to pursue to right opportunity ...
"It's an exciting time to a be multi-platform media person.
"First thing I'm going to do, though, is nothing — for a short while. That rock was really heavy ... "
Versus claimed to feature "the best field sports programming on television." "VERSUS celebrates real competition across all platforms (VERSUS.com, VERSUS on Demand and VERSUS HD)," the company said when Scarbrough was named. "Now in more than 73 million homes, the network is the national cable home of the National Hockey League (NHL) and the Stanley Cup Playoffs as well as best-in-class events such as The Tour de France, Davis Cup Tennis, the Professional Bull Riders (PBR), World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), the Indy Racing League and Professional Boxing."
Scarbrough joined Versus from Wasserman Media Group/Sportnet, where as vice president and editor-in-chief, he oversaw content strategy, operations and production across a network of sports web start-ups.
"Prior to Sportnet, Scarbrough served as the General Manager and Editor of AOL Sports where he was responsible for content, programming and business development for the site. During his time at AOL Sports, he was responsible for the launch of Fanhouse, the top-ranked sports blog in the country. Before joining AOL Sports he was Vice President and Editor-in-Chief of ESPN.com. During his tenure at ESPN.com, he directed editorial operations for the network’s websites and managed the implementation of several breakthrough features and sections including ESPN Motion, SportsNation, Page 3 and the interactive news and chat forum Primetime HQ," that announcement said.
- Chris Ariens, TVNewser: MSNBC begins booking Comcast guests
- Andrew Hampp, AdAge.com: Comcast Assembles Pieces for Expanded Sports Push
- Alex Weprin, TVNewser: What Will Become of NBC News and MSNBC in a Post-Comcast World?
When readers "realize their voices have been heard, we get more followers," says Ernesto Sanchez, the editor of Peopleenespanol.com.
A tally of the 50 magazines with the largest followings on Twitter shows People en Español as the only one targeting readers of color, Folio magazine reported on Tuesday. With 122,386 followers, the Time Inc. publication ranked 46.
"There are eight magazine brands with more than a million followers, and 14 with more than half a million, while the newspaper industry has just two: the New York Times (2,882,697) and Wall Street Journal (618,751)," Folio said.
Ernesto Sanchez, the editor of peopleenespanol.com, told Journal-isms through a spokeswoman:
"At the beginning, we started out on Twitter to post information about our news stories appearing on our website. But when I saw our Twitter followers quickly growing, I started to pay closer attention to what was going on. It turns out we were having hundred of replies to everything we posted. I would spend hours reading what our followers had to say, and that’s really where our strategy was born; to develop a passionate audience and listen to them.
"Our Twitter followers have an opinion on everything. I invite them to submit their opinions for stories, photo galleries, and polls for peopleenespanol.com, and when they realize their voices have been heard, we get more followers. The numbers keep growing and the momentum has been steady. We are the only Spanish-language magazine to have such a high engagement with Twitter, and for this, we are extremely proud."
People spokeswoman Amy Galleazzi said that all told, about 4 million users follow People's brands, including People en Español, Moms & Babies, Pets, StyleWatch and the main People feed on Twitter.
Folio said, however, that "despite their growing presence on the microblogging platform, magazine publishers have yet to figure out how to monetize their Twitter followings."
O: The Oprah Magazine, a venture between Hearst Magazines and Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Entertainment Group that targets a general audience, was ranked No. 43.
"Rupert Murdoch on Wednesday pushed the send button on The Daily, a news application designed for the iPad that he hopes will position his News Corporation front and center in the digital newsstand of the future," Jeremy W. Peters and Brian Stelter reported for the New York Times.
". . . The Daily will be a first of its kind for tablet computers: a general interest publication that will refresh every morning and will bill customers’ credit cards each week for 99 cents or each year for $40.
"In journalistic and marketing ambition and scope, The Daily recalls USA Today when it began in 1982: a publication of no city or region that aspires to be a first-read in the homes of millions of Americans despite having no brand recognition."
On the Poynter Institute website on Tuesday, Damon Kiesow documented 55 of the Daily's purported 100 employees, and they included a few journalists of color. The web page shows photos of the editors.
Fox News Channel was criticized for televising live the news conference launching the product while news was breaking in Egypt. "Ironically, the Murdoch-led press conference was introduced by Fox News’ Neil Cavuto, an individual who has repeatedly reported the relevance of the Egyptian uprising on the price of oil. The decision to go with The Daily press event over the revolution in Egypt seems odd at best," Colby Hall wrote for Mediaite.
The Plain Dealer ran this illustration last month with the story, "Ohio Gov. John Kasich's 20 Cabinet appointments so far lack diversity."
"With only three posts left to fill on what had been an all-white cabinet, Gov. John Kasich today made his first minority appointment, naming Michael B. Colbert to head the giant Ohio Department of Job and Family Services," Joe Hallett reported Wednesday in the Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch.
"Colbert, who is black, had been serving as interim director of the department since Jan. 9, when the former director, Douglas E. Lumpkin, stepped down a day before Kasich's inauguration. Lumpkin, who also is black, on Monday was named chief operating officer for Republican Secretary of State Jon Husted."
The state's news media had called attention to the Kasich cabinet's lack of diversity. Two African American columnists have debated it. In the Plain Dealer of Cleveland, Phillip Morris wrote a column headlined, "The race of Gov. John Kasich's all-white Cabinet only matters if he fails to create jobs."
On CoolCleveland.com, Mansfield B. Frazier responded with,"Is Phillip Morris an Uncle Tom?" and "Retort — A Tom is Still a Tom."
"Secure Communities, a federal immigration-enforcement program designed to identify and deport violent illegal immigrants, has increasingly targeted and deported undocumented immigrants with no criminal backgrounds," Thomas Francis reported Monday for the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
The center was founded in September as the nation’s first nonprofit, digital and bilingual investigative journalism organization.
"Nationwide, according to a Florida Center for Investigative Reporting analysis of data from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 28 percent of the 75,461 immigrants deported since Secure Communities’ inception in 2008 have been 'non-criminal' immigrants, while just 23 percent of those detained and deported have convictions for violent crimes such as murder or rape. Federal officials classify 'non-criminals' as those who have been booked by police for an alleged crime but never convicted."
Professor Cornel West with Craig Ferguson, who admitted how awkward it feels for a white man to initiate a conversation about the history of black people.
"One of the most important, overlooked notions in talking about the history of race in America, is that these discussions are not just about people of color. White folks have an important seat at the table, too," Eric Deggans wrote on Tuesday for his St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times media blog.
"Which is why I was so impressed and gratified to see that Scottish-born comic Craig Ferguson decided to devote all of this evening's show to an exploration of Black History Month with noted academic Dr. Cornel West and Funk master George Clinton.
"Over time, the TV industry has grown used to treating February as a repository for 30-second public service announcements and a few documentaries on the civil rights movement.
"But Ferguson will devote an entire show tonight to the history of a group which doesn't traditionally watch his program — during a month when much of the country is in an important 'sweeps' ratings period. His goal: '(to get to) know my country better and be a better American.' And one of the first things he did for the broadcast, which was distributed days in advance to critics like me, was admit how awkward it feels for a white man to initiate a conversation about the history of black people."
Meanwhile, the cable industry announced that for Black History Month, "viewers wanting to get a peek at the cross-section of On Demand programming can visit http://www.thisiscable.com/ to discover the TV shows and movies their cable providers have waiting. To make it easy to see what’s available, the programming is broken into four distinct categories including Milestones in Black History; Profiles in Courage; Powerful Portrayals; and That’s Entertainment."
There have been other pieces about Black History Month and continued reflections on Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
- Mary C. Curtis, Politics Daily: Diversity in America: Southern Black and White Women Discuss Race Together
- Mary C. Curtis, theRoot.com: Marian Wright Edelman on Continuing King's Work
- Merlene Davis, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader: Myrlie Evers-Williams doesn't want us to forget
- Lewis W. Diuguid, Kansas City Star: Achieving King’s dream is finally within reach
- John W. Fountain, Chicago Sun-Times: April ’68: When a neighborhood died
- Allen Johnson blog, Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record: The King Day protest in Charlotte ... they do have a point
- Jackie Jones, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Hazel Trice Edney: News is Service Work
- Linda Holmes, NPR: Dr. Cornel West's Extraordinary Conversation With Craig Ferguson
- Douglas C. Lyons, South Florida Sun-Sentinel: My dream: Boost graduation rates
- Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Dr. King, Snitches, Spies, Infiltrators and Provocateurs
- News release: BET and Centric Deliver Black Star Power in Black History Month Line-up
- Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: King's dream lives in those who still hope
- David Squires, Daily Press, Newport News, Va.: Exhibiting greatness via art
- David Squires, Daily Press, Newport News, Va.: Timing off on honoring MLK
- Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune: Chicago school recognizes Martin Luther King holiday by keeping students in class
"March 3 is the deadline to apply for the 16th annual Minority Writers Seminar to be held April 14-17 at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee," the National Conference of Editorial Writers announced this week.
" 'Experienced minority journalists receive intense training for writing opinion in a 'boot camp' environment, said Neil Heinen, president of the National Conference of Editorial Writers Foundation, sponsor of the highly successful seminar in partnership with the Diversity Institute.
"Enrollment is limited to 12, and minority journalists who have been writing opinion less than two years may apply. NCEW Foundation pays for lodging and food at the Seminar and reimburses up to $200 each for transportation to and from Nashville. . . . "
For more information and to apply online, go to http://www.minoritywritersseminar.org/.
- Editor Stanley Nelson of the Concordia Sentinel of Ferriday, La., has written more than 100 stories and dedicated the past four years of his life to an all-consuming investigation of the 1964 burning of a black man's shoe repair shop, a blaze that killed 51-year-old Frank Morris, Holbrook Mohr wrote Tuesday for the Associated Press. No law enforcement agency has named Arthur Leonard Spencer, 71, as a suspect, but Nelson's stories culminated "in an article that quoted Spencer's estranged son, his ex-wife and her brother as saying the former Klansman confessed to taking part in the crime." Kim Severson also wrote about Nelson's quest Jan. 12 in the New York Times.
- Univision anchor Maria Elena Salinas is ending her King Features column because, she wrote readers, "After 10 years of writing a weekly column in English and Spanish, I need a break. . . . To those, and there are many, who have criticized me and even asked me to go back to my country (I was born in California), I thank you also. Constructive criticism helps me understand other points of view, but frankly it also makes me realize to what extent the Latino community in our country is misunderstood and misrepresented."
- NPR has hired a search firm and named a search advisory group from various parts of NPR News to find Ellen Weiss' replacement. "We’ve hired Spencer Stuart to recruit a broad and diverse mix of candidates," CEO Vivian Schiller said in a memo on Monday. The search advisory group includes Steve Inskeep, senior host, "Morning Edition"; Frank James, blog reporter; Bridget Kelley, supervising senior producer, "Weekend Edition"; Joe Palca, correspondent, science desk; Joel Sucherman, program director — ARGO/Digital; Sharahn Thomas, deputy director, news operations; and Keith Woods, vice president, diversity.
- "A bunch of journalists can't run their own society with the same values they cover American society," Michael Koretzky, a former board member of the Society of Professional Journalists, declared on Monday. He was reviewing SPJ's decision to "retire" its Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award after Thomas' comments about Jews and Palestine.
- The Capitol Hill newspaper the Hill is debuting a new weekly edition, "The Hill — Start the Week," that will feature former Sen. Judd Gregg, R-N.H., and Fox News commentator Juan Williams as columnists, Betsy Rothstein reported Wednesday for FishbowlDC. It will publish on Mondays.
- A memorial service for Kay Mills, a journalist and award-winning author who wrote about women's issues and the civil rights movement, is scheduled Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at NPR headquarters, 635 Massachusetts Ave., NW, Washington, D.C. 20001. She died Jan. 13 at age 69 after a heart attack.
- "Shawn Ching will join Hawaii News Now as an anchor and reporter, beginning Feb. 7," Pacific Business News reported. ". . . Ching returns to TV journalism after working as an attorney for the law firms Kobayashi, Sugita & Goda and King, Nakamura & Chun-Hoon. Prior to being an attorney, he spent 13 years at KITV4, serving in a variety of positions including 6 p.m. and 10 p.m. news anchor, weekend anchor, reporter and sports director."
- In a continuing duel between Native journalists Ray Cook and Tim Giago, Cook accuses Giago of "dappling in a bit of censorship himself with his rewriting of the Native American [Journalists] Association history."
- "Massachusetts Spanish TV Network (MasTV) launched in mid-January, promising to offer a viable alternative to Boston area Latinos. And on Tuesday, the channel debuted a 6 am weekday newscast, anchored by Sara de Alba," Veronica Villafañe reported Wednesday for Media Moves. " 'We're the only channel with Hispanic local content, for Boston's Hispanic community,' says Javier Marín, the new network's co-founder. Javier says a noon newscast is also in the works."
- The Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, in partnership with the National Association of Black Scuba Divers and a management consulting firm, Wednesday launched "Voyage to Discovery," a website and education initiative highlighting untold stories of African Americans and the sea. The website can be accessed at www.voyagetodiscovery.org, the National Oceanic and Space Administration announced. Michael H. Cottman, a journalist who is in the scuba divers group, told Journal-isms he planned "to interview black folks for print/video for the website. People like historians, educators, marine biologists, and everyday black folks who have connections to the sea through their families. That's up next. It's a multi-year process. The core of this project is really cool: we are searching for a sunken ship that tells the story of the African American experience in the maritime industry. We'll dive it and share the story through print and video on the website and, perhaps, a documentary film."
- "In January 2011, Q3030 Networks an Atlanta based, new broadcast media network has partnered with Woomi and DivX TV to launch on millions of HDTV's and connected devices in the UK and the US. With this launch, Q3030 has officially become the first Urban network on Web TV," the network announced.
- "Michael Vick and Tiger Woods are star athletes with high profile careers still recovering from the media blitzes about the scandals they precipitated. But where the improprieties of Black athletes draws lots of coverage, scandals involving white counterparts seem to get swept under the rug," Larry Miller wrote Tuesday for the Philadelphia Tribune. "They point to the case of Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who is set to lead his team to play in this year’s Super Bowl in Dallas on Sunday."
- "Dominican police wounded journalist Francisco Frías Morel on Friday as he was covering a funeral procession for a youth killed in a police shooting in the northeastern city of Nagua, according to news reports and CPJ interviews, the Committee to Protect Journalists reported Wednesday. It called on local authorities to "conduct a thorough investigation and to hold those responsible to account."
- "Ecuadoran authorities interrupted a news program critical of the Ecuadoran government on Monday to air an official rebuttal, a practice that has become standard in the administration of President Rafael Correa, according to research by the Committee to Protect Journalists," CPJ said. The press freedom group called on Ecuadoran authorities to "stop this practice, which has a chilling effect on public discourse."
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 BugMeNot.com 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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