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Journalists Killed in Egypt Violence

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Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Hundreds Die as Authorities Target Morsi Backers

Egyptian Press Battered by Repressive Tactics

Whitlock Returns to ESPN After 6 Years With

Hugh Douglas Out at ESPN; a Writer Says Good Riddance

Will Washington Post Now Hire Native Americans?

Ethnic Groups Vary on How Much Should Be Secret

"As Long as I'm Ghostwriting Your Book . . . "

Jackson Jr. Sentenced but Leaves Unanswered Questions

Va. Editor Designs "Evening Pilot," Her Paper's iPad App

Short Takes

Reuters reported, "At least 235 people were killed in all, including at least 43

Hundreds Die as Authorities Target Morsi Backers

At least four journalists, including a cameraman for British broadcaster Sky News who was also the husband of a former Washington Post and USA Today reporter, were killed and several were injured in the violence that erupted in Egypt on Wednesday, according to news reports.

"Media watchdogs urged Egypt to investigate all attacks on journalists and to hold those responsible to account, condemning the casualties that occurred after riot police backed by armored vehicles, bulldozers and helicopters swept away two encampments of supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi," Maggie Michael and Jill Lawless reported Wednesday for the Associated Press.

Jack Mirkinson of the Huffington Post discusses the Committee to Protect Journalists' confirmation Wednesday that Michael Deane was the 1,000th journalist killed while reporting since CPJ began keeping records in 1992. (Video)

"Scores of people were killed in the violence nationwide.

"Sky News said Mick Deane, 61, was shot and wounded while covering the violent breakup of protest camps in the capital, Cairo. It said he was treated for his injuries but died soon after. The rest of the Sky crew was unhurt." Deane was the husband of Daniela Deane, a former editor and reporter for the Post and USA Today.

"The Gulf News, a state-backed newspaper in the United Arab Emirates, reported on its website that journalist Habiba Ahmed Abd Elaziz, 26, was shot dead near the Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque in Cairo as security forces moved in on a sit-in by Morsi supporters.

"The newspaper said she had been on annual leave and was not on assignment at the protest for the XPRESS, a sister publication that she worked for.

"Egyptian journalist Ahmed Abdel Gawad, who wrote for the state-run newspaper Al Akhbar, was killed while covering the crackdown at Rabaah al-Adawiya. The Egyptian Press Syndicate, a journalist union, confirmed Gawad's death, though it had no other information about how he was killed."

"Sky said Deane had worked for the broadcaster for 15 years in the United States and the Middle East. He was married with two sons.

Egypt's Al Ahram reported, "The AlRassd news website (RNN), an alternative pro-Islamist media network, also reported on Wednesday that their photojournalist Mosab El-Shami had been shot dead in Cairo."

There were other reports of violence against journalists, Jack Mirkinson reported for the Huffington Post. Mike Giglio, a reporter for the Daily Beast, tweeted that he had been detained and beaten by security forces, and Haleem Elsharani, a freelance photojournalist, said that a Reuters photographer had been shot in the leg.

"Arrested, beaten by security forces and then held at a local arena," Giglio said via Twitter, Al Ahram said.

"The police took his laptop, opened it on the scene and punched him until he gave them the password, he later wrote. His wallet and mobile were also confiscated and not returned, according to the Daily Beast reporter."

The AP story continued, "The International Press Institute said it had received reports that journalists were being targeted by both sides in the clashes.

" 'Journalists are neutral parties in conflicts and should not be the target of violence, regardless of who is perpetrating it,' IPI Executive Director Alison Bethel McKenzie said. 'The Egyptian government must also be held accountable by the international community for any deaths or attacks that deliberately targeted media workers.' "

Reuters called it the bloodiest day in decades in the Arab world's most populous country.

American reporters were among those offering reports from the scene. On NPR's "All Things Considered," Leila Fadel described a harrowing encounter at a local hospital. "Just to get to the hospital, we had to dash through an alleyway where sniper fire was being shot from buildings. And the sniper fire was coming from the security forces."

Inside the hospital, Fadel said, "The steps were slick with blood as we went from floor to floor and every few seconds people were being carried in with gunshot wounds and some were already dead. One image that sticks in my mind is a body that had been completely charred; apparently burned in one of the tents. A woman, also shot in the head. Her body wrapped in a blanket. Just on one floor of that center I counted 37 bodies. They were lined up in rows, their hands folded across their chests. And the doctor there told us that the security forces were shooting to kill.

"When we were trying to leave the gunfire intensified. We didn't know at the time that a state of emergency had been declared. We hid behind walls until we knew we had to just run, and then we got out before it got even worse. And as I was running, a man just dropped in front of me. He had been shot in the head."

In an editorial, the Washington Post called the Obama administration complicit in the day's events.

"Before the July 3 coup in Egypt, the Obama administration privately warned the armed forces against ousting the government of [Mohammed] Morsi, pointing to U.S. legislation that requires the cutoff of aid to any country where the army plays a 'decisive role' in removing an elected government. Yet when the generals ignored the U.S. warnings, the White House responded by electing to disregard the law itself. After a prolonged and embarrassing delay, the State Department announced that it had chosen not to determine whether a coup had taken place, and Secretary of State John F. Kerry declared that Egypt's military was 'restoring democracy.'

"Because of those decisions, the Obama administration is complicit in the new and horrifyingly bloody crackdown launched Wednesday by the de facto regime against tens of thousands of protesters who had camped out in two Cairo squares. . . ."

Egyptian Press Battered by Repressive Tactics

Hours before the crackdown in Cairo Wednesday, the Committee to Protect Journalists issued a strongly worded report about repression of the news media in Egypt.

"Hopes for press freedom were high after the 2011 revolution ousted Hosni Mubarak, led to an explosion of private media outlets, and set the country on a path to a landmark presidential election," began the special report by Sherif Mansour, with reporting by Shaimaa Abu Elkhir from Cairo. "But more than two years later, a deeply polarized Egyptian press has been battered by an array of repressive tactics, from the legal and physical intimidation of [Mohammed] Morsi's tenure to the wide censorship of the new military-backed government.

"[Mohammed] Morsi and his supporters pushed through a repressive constitution, used politicized regulations, pursued retaliatory criminal cases, and employed rhetorical and physical intimidation of critics. This intolerance of dissent helped lead to the Morsi government's downfall."

The report continued, "The military shut down pro-Morsi news media and obstructed coverage supportive of the Muslim Brotherhood and the toppled president. If the repression thus far has been aimed at one segment of the news media, there are ominous signs for the press across the political spectrum. . . ."

Whitlock Returns to ESPN After 6 Years With

Jason Whitlock

"ESPN president John Skipper has capped a whirlwind month by snatching Fox Sports' top digital talent and longtime ESPN nemesis Jason Whitlock, just days before the launch of Fox Sports 1, sources exclusively tell The Big Lead," Jason McIntyre reported Wednesday for Big Lead Sports.

"This shocking development — Whitlock famously left ESPN in 2006 after an interview with this website — culminates Skipper's master plan to define ESPN as the Worldwide Leader in original sports thought and intellect, while letting his new challenger, Fox Sports 1, go the 'jockularity' route."

Whitlock tweeted to his followers, "Today is my last day at Fox Sports. I want to thank David Hill and people at Fox for six great years of support. They allowed me to grow."

He followed that with, "And they stood by me during my Jeremy Lin meltdown. I wish FoxSports 1 a successful launch. Good group of hardworking people deserve success."

The former Kansas City Star columnist apologized in February for a tweet about NBA player Lin's private parts that the sportswriter said showed "my immature, sophomoric, comedic nature."

Whitlock said in another tweet Wednesday, "Seriously, looking forward to thanking a lot of people — at the top John Skipper, Rob King — for bringing me back to ESPN."

Erik Hayden noted in the Hollywood Reporter, "The columnist had been writing for Fox Sports since 2006 and hosted his 'Real Talk' podcast for Fox [Sports] Radio. He previously wrote for ESPN's Page 2. The timing of the hire arrives just prior to the Aug. 17 launch of Fox Sports 1, the national sports news network that aims to compete with ESPN."

Lou D'Emilio, a spokesman for Fox Sports, told Journal-isms via email, "Jason is a talented writer and a thought provoking columnist. We had conversations with him about continuing his relationship with FOX Sports, but we were unable to reach an agreement. We thank him for his contributions over the past six years and we wish him well."

McIntyre wrote, "Skipper, who took over as ESPN president in January 2012, has made it his goal to fix the network's No. 1 problem: the perception that the lowest-common-denominator debate culture of First Take defined the Worldwide Leader in Sports. Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless will continue to make incessant, annoying noise, but it will be impossible to deny ESPN's increased intellect push. . . ."

Hugh Douglas, left, and Michael Smith on the "Numbers Never Lie" set.

Hugh Douglas Out at ESPN; a Writer Says Good Riddance

"Hugh Douglas is no better than Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Riley Cooper when it comes to racial sensitivity," columnist George M. Thomas of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal wrote Wednesday.

"A former member of the Eagles himself, Douglas just lost his gig with the ESPN show Numbers Don't Lie, which he appeared on with journalists Michael Smith and Jemele Hill.


"As heinous as Cooper's use of the N-word was, Douglas went just as low recently when he allegedly dropped the terms 'Uncle Tom' and 'house N-word,' two more linguistic legacies of slavery, on Smith during the National Association of Black Journalists' annual convention in Orlando, Fla. Most notably it came on the night that the organization's sports journalists honored their scholarship winner, marring a party that had never had any sort of controversy associated with it.

"According to a source, who was in Orlando, the incident with Smith served as the climax of several days of alleged boorish behavior by Douglas that included excessive drinking and a lack of professionalism. The source is not permitted by his organization to speak publicly due to the sensitivity of the matter.

"Unlike Cooper, there is no damning video and ESPN treaded lightly before telling Sports Illustrated on Monday that they booted Douglas from their airwaves. Obviously they found something they didn't like or Douglas would have been hit with a suspension, all would have been forgotten and once football season began he would be dishing out his words of wisdom again.

"He won't get that opportunity.

"Good. Good riddance.

"He allegedly displayed a side of African-American culture that few outside of the community rarely see. . . ."

Will Washington Post Now Hire Native Americans?

"The Washington Post. Home of Woodward and Bernstein, the reporters who took down President Richard Nixon during Watergate. Home of numerous Pulitzer Prize winners," Rob Capriccioso wrote Wednesday for the Indian Country Today Media Network. "Home of current top-notch investigative reporting on the Edward Snowden/National Security Agency fiasco.

"But not home to many Native Americans.

"There are currently two Indian [journalists] working in the newsroom of 600, according to data collected by the newspaper's employees, which means that only 0.3 percent of the newsroom is Native.

"When The Washington Post released a report on its newsroom diversity in 2010, it omitted noting the lack of Natives altogether. Hispanics, African Americans, Asians, women were all there. That same report indicated that 'journalists of color comprise about 24 percent of the newsroom,' while 43 percent of The Post's circulation area is minority. Indians there at that time: still 0.3 percent.

"Is that a problem? Many in Indian country say it is. A common lament is that one of the nation's top publications, based in the heart of the nation's capital, does not devote any full-time reporters to covering tribal affairs, even though there are countless Indian-focused legislative hearings, Native bill mark-ups, Supreme Court cases, federal agencies and programs devoted to Indians, and tribal leader meetings taking place every month in D.C. Not to mention NFL team name disgraces, tribal lobbyists and lawyers running amok, and regular Indian cultural activities at the many museums around town. . . ."

Ethnic Groups Vary on How Much Should Be Secret

More Hispanics than non-Hispanic blacks or whites agree that "The government keeps too much information about its anti-terrorism programs secret from the public," while more blacks than Hispanics or whites say that "The news media reports too much information that can harm the effectiveness of the government' s antiterrorism programs," according to the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press.

The answers were part of a survey that showed, "Public evaluations of news organizations' performance on key measures such as accuracy, fairness and independence remain mired near all-time lows," the center reported on Aug. 8. "But there is a bright spot among these otherwise gloomy ratings: broad majorities continue to say the press acts as a watchdog by preventing political leaders from doing things that should not be done, a view that is as widely held today as at any point over the past three decades.

"In the wake of revelations about government activities, including the NSA surveillance program and the IRS targeting of political groups, nearly seven-in-ten (68%) say press criticism of political leaders keeps them from doing things that should not be done, while just 21% say press criticism keeps leaders from doing their job. Support for the media's watchdog role has risen 10 points since 2011 even as other press ratings have shown little sign of improvement. . . ."

In a racial breakdown provided Journal-isms on Tuesday, 52 percent of non-Hispanic whites, 67 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 52 percent of Hispanics agreed with the statement, "The news media reports too much information that can harm the effectiveness of the government's antiterrorism programs."

Fifty-three percent of non-Hispanic whites, 62 percent of non-Hispanic blacks and 68 percent of Hispanics agreed that "The government keeps too much information about its anti-terrorism programs secret from the public."

The July survey of 5,330 people included 3,499 whites, 629 blacks and 740 Hispanics.

"As Long as I'm Ghostwriting Your Book . . . "

Should a writer continue to report about the Rev. Al Sharpton without disclosing when he does that he is the ghostwriter of Sharpton's soon-to-be-released memoir?

Ebony magazine, which published a piece by Nick Chiles about Sharpton for its September issue, does not see a conflict of interest, according to Ebony spokeswoman Vanessa Abron. Chiles did not respond to a request for comment.

Chiles has a piece on page 122, "How To Turn Your Anger Into Action: The Rev. Al Sharpton Says We All Must Fight For Justice for Trayvon and Keep all Our Children Safe from Gun Violence. Here are 5 ways to Get Involved [PDF]."

Chiles is also the ghostwriter of Sharpton's "The Rejected Stone: Al Sharpton and the Path to American Leadership," a "political memoir" to be released Oct. 8.

Other recent Chiles pieces on the reverend do not mention the book connection. He is described this way in the tagline to a July 30 piece in the Atlanta Black Star:

"Nick Chiles is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and New York Times bestselling author. He has written or co-written 11 books and won over a dozen major journalism awards during a journalism career that brought him to the Dallas Morning News, the Star-Ledger of New Jersey and New York Newsday, in addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief of Odyssey Couleur travel magazine."

Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi Jackson, arrive for their sentencing heari

Jackson Jr. Sentenced but Leaves Unanswered Questions

"With Wednesday's sentencing of Jesse Jackson Jr. and his wife, Sandi, in a Washington courtroom, the story of the ex-congressman's triumphal rise and abrupt fall moves from scandal to consequence," the Chicago Tribune editorialized on Wednesday, before the Jacksons were sentenced. "Aside from the procedural news accounts that all of us will read — he enters prison, he leaves prison — after this day in court the saga of Junior and the feds comes to an unsatisfying lull."

The Tribune's Katherine Skiba reported later in the day, "In the end, the former congressman got 30 months in federal prison and could end up serving about five months less if he behaves behind bars." His wife, a former alderman, "got a year and stands to serve it all."

Yet the sentencing still leaves unanswered three questions, the editorial said.

"How does a man with a law degree and a pedigree — a man so self-assured that his campaign signs didn't mention his name, only the suffix 'Jr.' — think that his looting of $750,000 in campaign donations will go undiscovered? And what motive could be so alluring that such a prominent man would think his crime wave, involving staff members and other witnesses, would be worth the risks? . . ."

Another: "How Jackson grew so apart from a Chicago that had embraced him . . ."

The third: Federal jurors decided that Rod R. Blagojevich, the former governor who is now in prison, "tried to sell the U.S. Senate seat that [Barack] Obama had vacated," the editorial said. "But did Jackson try to buy it?" The people of Illinois "deserve to know if he did or didn't try to buy one of the highest offices in the land."

Va. Editor Designs "Evening Pilot," Her Paper's iPad App

Katrice Hardy, also known as Katrice Franklin, tells viewers about the Virginian-Pilot's iPad app that she oversaw. (credit: Virginian-Pilot) (Video)

Katrice Hardy, tablet enterprise editor of the Virginian-Pilot in Norfork, oversees a daily news magazine product that "showcases the best of what Pilot Media has to offer. Before that, she was the Urban team leader, overseeing 10 reporters and two assistant editors who were responsible for covering the cities of Norfolk and Portsmouth," according to her bio.

She wrote to her Facebook friends on Friday, "For more than a year, I have been working on a new project that finally officially hatched this week. It's called Evening Pilot, a new iPad app that you can download for free. We'll make it to Android tablets soon. EP is an eye-popping and interesting news magazine produced by some of the best I've ever worked with. We produce 6 days a week, Monday through Friday at 6:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 6:30 a.m. Check it out please. An amazing and talented group of folks helped me birth this baby. We've gotten great feedback so far. It's been one exhausting and exciting week. I feel blessed."

Pilot Editor Denis Finley introduced the finished product to print edition readers on Aug. 4, accompanied by a video in which he and Hardy, who also uses Katrice Franklin, her maiden name,  appear. Hardy is a 2007 graduate of the Maynard Media Academy and a past president of the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, a chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Short Takes

"It would be interestin' to discover WHICH committee decided it was un-American

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Nick Chiles and Ebony

That neither the editors at Ebony nor distinguished writer Nick Chiles sees a conflict of interest in his writing a piece onthe Rev. Al Sharpton while ghosting a book about him is indeed troubling. Another step down in what seems to me the decline of ethics in today's journalism.


Jackie Ormes

As a teenager, I lived and worked part-time in The Sutherland Hotel on Chicago's South Side. Earl Ormes, Jackie's husband, was the hotel's manager so Jackie was frequently on the premises. She was a petite beauty, smart and very close in style and looks to her cartoon character, Ginger. The Sutherland then--the 1950s--was host to some of the most historic black figures of the time--Louis Armstrong, Joe Williams, South Pacific's Juanita Hall and Dr. W.E.B. DuBois, who thrilled everyone behind the reception desk when he checked in one warm afternoon in a white summer suit, signature goatee and with a bulging briefcase. I lived in the Sutherland for six years, during which at various times I was a bellboy, night switchboard operator, janitor and waiter. It was an Afro-American history lesson that could only be found there. 


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