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2 Reporters Detained, Released in Ferguson

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Washington Post's Lowery Tweets He "Can't Shake Anger"

AP Journalist Is First Reporter Killed in Israel-Gaza Conflict 

Key Figure in Story on Blacks and AIDS Changes Account 

Navarrette Blasts NAHJ Over Award to Fox News Latino 

Sports Reporter Nate Taylor Hired at SunSentinel 

Social Media Give More a Venue to Challenge Yellowface 

Back From Suspension, Le Batard Has a Sly Message

Short Takes

Wesley Lowery reports from Ferguson, Mo., before his arrest later Wednesday. (Cr

Washington Post's Lowery Tweets He "Can't Shake Anger"

"The Huffington Post's Ryan J. Reilly and the Washington Post's Wesley Lowery were arrested Wednesday while covering the protests in Ferguson, Missouri surrounding the death of unarmed African American teenager Michael Brown, who was shot by a police officer last week," the Huffington Post reported Wednesday.

"The journalists were released unharmed, but their detentions 
highlighted the town's ramped up police presence, which has left numerous residents 
injured by rubber bullets, pepper spray and tear gas during protests held every night after 
Brown's death.

"SWAT officers roughed up the reporters inside a McDonald's, where both journalists were working. Reilly snapped a photo, prompting cops to request his identification.

" 'The officer in question, who I repeatedly later asked for his name, grabbed my things and shoved them into my bag,' said Reilly, who appeared on MSNBC's 'All In with Chris Hayes' shortly after his release to recount the arrest. 'He used his finger to put a pressure point on my neck.'

" 'They essentially acted as a military force. It was incredible,' Reilly said. 'The worst part was he slammed my head against the glass purposefully on the way out of McDonald's and then sarcastically apologized for it.' . . ."

Lowery, meanwhile, tweeted these messages:

Talking Points Memo added, "The police actions were condemned by senior editors from both the Huffington Post and Washington Post.

" 'We're very glad that Ryan has been released and is doing well,' Ryan Grim, Washington bureau chief for the Huffington Post, told TPM in an email. 'But this is what happens when local police are allowed to become para-military units.'

" 'That behavior was wholly unwarranted and an assault on the freedom of the press to cover the news,' Marty Baron, executive editor at the Washington Post, told Post reporter Mark Berman.

Lowery wrote a first-person account of the experience for the Post.

AP Journalist Is First Reporter Killed in Israel-Gaza Conflict

"Simone Camilli, a video journalist with the Associated Press, died Wednesday in an explosion in the Gaza Strip," Howard Koplowitz reported Wednesday for International Business Times. "The Italian, who worked for the wire service since 2005, is the first journalist to be killed since the conflict in Gaza between Hamas and Israel started more than a month ago.

"Camilli was one of five people killed in the explosion, which occurred while Gaza police engineers were trying to neutralize unexploded ordnance in Beit Lahiya, the AP reported. Also killed were Ali Shehda Abu Afash, who was working for the AP as a translator, and three Gaza policemen. Four others were seriously injured in the incident, including AP photographer Hatem Moussa, the wire service said.

"Since it erupted more than a month ago, the Gaza conflict has left more than 1,900 Palestinians and 67 Israelis dead.

"The death of the AP journalist came a day after New York Times journalist Alissa J. Rubin was injured when an Iraqi military helicopter trying to deliver aid to stranded Yazidis on Mount Sinjar, in Iraqi Kurdistan, crashed. The pilot of the helicopter was killed in the accident. . . ."

Meanwhile, the International Federation of Journalists said Tuesday it was "appealing to its affiliates across the world to contribute to a special solidarity appeal it has set up to provide financial aid to journalists in Gaza who are desperately in need of help.

"The IFJ says that the current limited cease-fire may have halted the loss of life, but many journalists and families are now homeless after their houses were razed to the ground or suffered extensive damages as to render them inhabitable. . . ."

Chart headlined, "Estimated Incidence of HIV Infection Among Men Who Have Sex wi

Key Figure in Story on Blacks and AIDS Changes Account

A key figure in an ambitious Washington Post story about black gay men and HIV who caused the Post to remove a 2,000-word chunk of the story after he told the Post he had fabricated his account now says he was not fabricating after all.

Instead, Mickyel Bradford said, the reporter, Jeff Guo, misunderstood what he was saying. Bradford contended that he said he had fabricated only to help protect the reporter. He actually was describing the actions of several people, not just himself, he said. 

Bradford said in a note to Journal-isms, "I did not fabricate a story, I spoke with Jeff at length on several occasions and he appears to have misunderstood what I was telling him, all of which was true as I described it, but involved different people and wasn't accurate the way Jeff described it in the article.

"At this point, I'm seeking to have my name removed from the correction because it casts me in a bad light and makes it sound like I lied to a reporter, rather than what actually happened, which is that the reporter did not correctly collect the information and wrote an inaccurate story as a result."

The Post says Bradford's latest story is hogwash.

Jim Tankersley, editor of Storyline, the new Post section that published the piece, said by email, "Mikyel Bradford has admitted to The Post, in writing, that several details of the courtship story he recounted to our reporter 'were fabricated'. He confirmed that our reporter 'was unaware of any of these fabrications.' We also have recordings of the interviews in which Mr. Bradford describes those fabricated events. We stand by our editor’s note."

As Erik Wemple explained in the Post on Aug. 5: "Bradford was one of the people upon whom 'Storyline' reporter Jeff Guo had relied to tell the human dimension of his story. The goal was to shed light on something of a conundrum: Why do gay black men have such high rates of HIV even though they practice safe sex? As the story notes of the preliminary results in an Atlanta study, 'Among black gay men, 43 percent were HIV positive, compared to 13 percent of white gay men, even though the black gay men had fewer sex partners and less unprotected sex.'

"The sections of the piece that have been retracted and removed are well written and provide dimension to the story. If only they had held up, that is. . . ."

Bradford's complete statement is in the "Comments" section.

Navarrette Blasts NAHJ Over Award to Fox News Latino

Sid Garcia and Barbara Rodriguez

Ruben Navarrette Jr., the most widely syndicated Hispanic columnist in English-language media, takes another swipe at the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in his latest column for the Washington Post Writers Group.

"The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is getting good at producing embarrassing headlines," Navarrette wrote Tuesday.

"Last year, at the NAHJ's conference in Anaheim, the organization's leaders rolled over and allowed one of the panelists — John Perez, then the Democratic speaker of the California Assembly — to exclude Republican political consultant Hector Barajas. "Last week, as the NAHJ met in San Antonio, 84-year-old Charlie Ericksen, one of the group's co-founders, kicked up some dust when he said it was 'kind of a farce' for the organization to honor Fox News with an NAHJ Media Award.

"The group seemed impressed by the fact that the conservative network launched FoxNewsLatino.com a few years ago. Still, it certainly didn't hurt that Fox News Channel and Fox News Latino sponsored the conference. [Fox News and Fox News Latino were among several sponsors of the convention, whose chief sponsor was Toyota.] . . ."

Navarrette concluded, "Ericksen may be right about Fox after all. But he's also right to use the word 'farce' to describe the process by which NAHJ hands out its awards. In fact, he should have gone further and applied that label to the entire organization.

"Because of its corporate subservience, knack for public relations and coziness with elected officials and the same media companies over which it is supposed to be a watchdog, the NAHJ has gone from a valued institution to a vaudeville act."

Meanwhile, new NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina announced that the NAHJ board on Sunday had named Sid Garcia of KABC-TV in Los Angeles, longtime member of NAHJ and CCNMA: Latino Journalists of California, interim secretary. The board also chose Barbara Rodriguez of the Associated Press to be vice president, print. No one ran for the two positions in last week's election. Both are to serve in their positions for one year and run for election in August 2015.

Sports Reporter Nate Taylor Hired at SunSentinel

Nate Taylor

Nate Taylor, who in 2012 replenished the vacant ranks of African American sports reporters at the New York Times when he joined the paper under a program that hires young reporters on a probationary basis, is leaving the paper for the South Florida SunSentinel, Gregory H. Lee Jr., SunSentinel executive sports editor, said Wednesday.

Taylor is to become the paper's Florida Atlantic University athletics and recruiting reporter, Lee said.

Taylor's departure leaves the Times again without black reporters or editors in its sports department, though William C. Rhoden remains a sports columnist. 

Taylor is a 2009 graduate of the Sports Journalism Institute, a nine-week training and internship program for college students interested in sports journalism careers, and has worked at the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C.;  the Boston Globe; the Star Tribune in Minneapolis; and freelanced for the Kansas City Star.

Social Media Give More a Venue to Challenge Yellowface

Sharon Pian Chan"You might have heard a lot about 'yellowface' in recent months," Sam Sanders reported Wednesday for NPR's "Code Switch."

"It's the word widely used to refer to someone donning makeup or clothing to present the appearance of looking Asian. But why is it that we're seeing the word — and the phenomenon it refers to — so much this year? Is it because it's happening more, or are we just more aware?

"In the past month, Seattle's Gilbert and Sullivan Society came under fire for its production of The Mikado. The operetta premiered in London in 1885 and was intended to be a satirical commentary of British society — except it was set in Japan. (The Mikado was banned in Japan in the opera's early years.)

"Sharon Pian Chan, a columnist for The Seattle Times, penned an op-ed that sparked another wave of discussion:

" 'The opera is a fossil from an era when America was as homogeneous as milk, planes did not depart daily for other continents and immigrants did not fuel the economy.'

"The Gilbert and Sullivan Society in Seattle wrote its own op-ed in the same paper. Mike Storie, the show's producer, and Gene Ma, a board member of the group, wrote that 'the ethnicity of the actor or the production is only an issue if one is looking for issues.' 

"A few years ago, Rick Shiomi found a way to produce The Mikado in Minneapolis, Minn., with no yellowface. . . ."

Sanders quoted Chan, "If there were not an Asian-American columnist at the Seattle Times this year, no one would have written about it here."

Sanders also wrote, "There are more Asian-Americans now than ever who are observing the culture and speaking about it. Social media, blogging and the like have given people the tools to discuss issues in ways that historically weren't available. . . ."

A tag beneath the story added, "Come back Thursday as we chat more about this topic with three experts."

Back From Suspension, Le Batard Has a Sly Message

ESPN television and radio host Dan Le Batard returned from a two-day suspension for paying for billboards in Cleveland that mockingly read 'You're Welcome, LeBron. Love, Miami,' and displayed the two title rings he won with the Heat. He wrote a column about it on Monday.

"Everyone sided with me in the matter of Le Batard vs. ESPN," LeBatard wrote. "I mean, everyone. I'm used to being unpopular. I'm used to having opinions people don't like. I've never had this many people behind me on an issue ... even though I didn't believe in my actual cause ... and even though I understand exactly why ESPN had to suspend me because, you know, I have more information than the people applauding me, and I was insubordinate. . . "

He also wrote, "This fun and ridiculous stunt all turned out to be accidental performance art that created media buzz and ratings in a benign way while sticking to my irreverent beliefs about not genuflecting in the cathedral we've made of fun and games.

"So I say this a little bit scared and sheepish and suspended but:

"You're Welcome, ESPN?"

Short Takes

  • "Officials are fast-tracking deportation hearings for Central American migrants, and journalists who once got a welcoming media campaign now find locked doors," Columbia Journalism Review wrote over a story Wednesday by Michelle Garcia.

  • "The Rev. Jesse Jackson is the latest fan of the sports blackout rule to write FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler about keeping the rule," John Eggerton wrote Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable. "Jackson argues the issue is about backs and hands, not just eyeballs, and paychecks, not just pay TV. In his letter, Jackson pointed to the employment full stadiums provide, often in urban areas where unemployment is high. He said Rainbow PUSH — Jackson is the founder — has experience in monitoring how large sports franchises can boost jobs and economic development. . . ."

  • "Comcast and Time Warner Cable are sponsoring a dinner honoring FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn at a time when the agency is weighing whether to approve a multibillion-dollar merger between the two companies," Alex Byers reported Monday for Politico. "Comcast will pay $110,000 to be a top-level 'presenting sponsor' at the Walter Kaitz Foundation's annual dinner in September, at which Clyburn is receiving the 'diversity advocate' award, according to a foundation spokeswoman. Time Warner Cable paid $22,000 in May to the foundation for the same event, according to a Senate lobbying disclosure filed at the end of last month. The foundation supports diversity in the cable industry. . . ."

  • "Students in Howard University journalism professor Yolanda McCutchen's intro to broadcast journalism class have, in the past, focused solely on learning to report, write, and produce segments for television. But when her students return to campus this month, they'll also be required to learn a new set of skills: producing video stories specifically for the web," Joseph Lichterman wrote Monday for Nieman Journalism Lab. "The added focus on web video is a direct result of McCutchen's participation this summer in a new program, Back in the Newsroom, run by the International Center for Journalists. It paired five journalism professors from historically black colleges and universities with news organizations across the country for fellowships in their newsrooms to refresh their approach to journalism while also working to improve newsroom diversity. . . ."

  • "For the Obama Administration and the African Union (AU), a coalition of 54 states on the continent, the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, D.C. last week was an opportunity to help expand the narrative beyond the story of American aid, to reflect the current opportunities of investment and trade," George White wrote Monday for New America Media. White also wrote, "Among the American-based news media, it was those either managed by nonprofits or owned by African Americans or African immigrants that proved the best at providing context as well as coverage. . . ."

  • "Bloomberg's Edmund Lee is off to join the independent tech site Re/code, where he will be managing editor," Kirsten Browning reported Wednesday for muckrack.com. "He has been a media reporter with Bloomberg since 2011. That means Re/code's most recent managing editor Kenneth Lihas been promoted to editor-in-chief. . . ."

  • "Oh, mainstream media. You have done it once again," Joanne Bamberger wrote Wednesday for alldigitocracy.org. "It seems that you just can't help yourself when it comes to promoting white guy after white guy, especially for your signature shows. Rumors have been swirling that David Gregory is on his way out as host of 'Meet the Press.' In many ways that's a good thing, as the show, while an important one in terms of hearing directly from influencers, politicians, and newsmakers of the day, is in dire need of change — let's get some fresh blood, fresh perspectives, and a new approach. So the choice to accomplish that is ….. Chuck Todd? . . ."

  • Organizers of the annual ScienceWriters conference, hosted by the National Association of Science Writers and Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, are urging journalists of color to attend. "This year attendees can apply for an NASW Diversity Travel Fellowship," DNLee wrote Tuesday for Scientific American. "Sponsored by a generous NASW Idea Grant, these awards (five at $1,000 each) were created to encourage minorities in science journalism to attend the conference. . . ." The event takes place Oct. 17-20 in Columbus, Ohio.

  • "The New Orleans Times-Picayune is slowly walking back on the decision made two years ago to publish a print edition only three days a week," medialifemagazine.com reported on Sunday. "The newspaper has decided to add home delivery of a Saturday and Monday edition this fall, Advance Publications announced recently. The decision coincides with the football season, beginning Sept. 6 and lasting until the hometown New Orleans Saints' last game, which could go all the way through to February. . . ."

  • "Requirements from Nigeria's broadcast regulator that radio and television stations nationwide should give notice of any live transmission of political programs has angered some journalists and raised questions about implementation," Peter Nkanga reported Tuesday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "The regulator, the National Broadcasting Commission, on May 30 directed stations nationwide to notify the commission in writing at least 48 hours before live-transmitting any political program. Authorities said they were worried that the content of political programs was threatening Nigeria's unity and peace ahead of the 2015 general elections. . . . Some journalists swiftly objected. . . ."

  • The Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday it "condemns the murder on Monday of Mexican reporter Octavio Rojas Hernández in the state of Oaxaca and calls on authorities to investigate the killing, identify the motive, and bring those responsible to justice. The Oaxaca attorney general's office said in a statement that Rojas was lured from his home at around 5:30 p.m. by an individual who said he wanted to purchase a vehicle from Rojas. The individual then shot the journalist four times in front of his home. . . ."

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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 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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Comments

Statement of Mickyel Bradford on Washington Post article

My name is Mickyel Bradford and I’m the person in the redacted portions of Jeff Guo’s Washington Post story entitled "The black HIV epidemic: A public health mystery from Atlanta’s gay community."

I got involved in in the story when I was contacted by a friend of mine who works in Emory University's Public Health department. I wanted to participate in the story because as a black gay man, I’m invested in these issues and I was excited for the opportunity to participate in an important story about the black gay community.

Initially I was just supposed to help the reporter, Jeff Guo, find points of contact and the lesser known social spaces. Jeff and I met in person twice, talked on the phone about 3 times, and emailed about 5 times. Most of the in person meetups were talking about Atlanta and other general background information.

On the phone, we focused on me and my life. I discussed many personal details and information about what was going on in my life, including several past and present love interests, one of whom was Seth, the person featured in the final story. At no point did Jeff explain to me how the story would be written, and that my personal story would be such a major focus of the finished product. Jeff did not ask for my help in contacting Seth and did not attempt to contact Seth himself.

When the story was released, I was surprised to find Seth’s name and personal details featured in the story, which was not something Jeff had discussed with me, nor did he discuss it with Seth. Further, the account in Jeff’s story combined several events I described to him into one storyline involving Seth, which is neither the way it happened nor the way I relayed it to Jeff.

Upon reading the story, I contacted Seth and told him about it, because I was surprised as anyone by how it was executed and how much of his personal information, and false information, had been put into it without his knowledge or consent.

I contacted Jeff directly and we spoke by phone, and when I explained to him the issues with the story, he seemed genuinely surprised by the issues and asked me to have Seth contact him directly.

Seth sent an email to editor Jim Tankersley and copied Jeff, asking them to retract the story because he did not give consent to be included by name in a story about sensitive health issues, and because some of the events described were not accurate.

After the email was sent, Jeff contacted me by phone and said he was in trouble with his boss because of Seth’s letter, and when I asked Jeff about retracting what he’d written, he said they would not be able to change anything unless I took full responsibility for the misinformation in the story. I felt guilty about inadvertently getting Seth involved in the situation, and I felt bad for Jeff, who seemed to be in trouble because of what I thought was a genuine misunderstanding. I wanted to rectify the situation as quickly as possible, so I sent Jim an email saying I gave Jeff the incorrect information and that Jeff was unaware of this.

After I sent the email, the portions of the story about Seth and I were taken out of the story and the correction was printed, with my name in it, saying I had fabricated the story. I did not fabricate a story, I spoke with Jeff at length on several occasions and he appears to have misunderstood what I was telling him, all of which was true as I described it, but involved different people and wasn’t accurate the way Jeff described it in the article.

At this point, I'm seeking to have my name removed from the correction because it casts me in a bad light and makes it sound like I lied to a reporter, rather than what actually happened, which is that the reporter did not correctly collect the information and wrote an inaccurate story as a result. I have since spoken with Jim on a couple of occasions and have been told he cannot remove my name from the correction at this point, and on another occasion, I was told he could not do anything about the correction without a written request from me. I feel very betrayed as a result of this and am eager to clear my name, as I feel I am being punished for being willing to help a reporter with a story about a subject that is near and dear to my heart.

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