Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

Angelo Henderson Dies, "Buoyant" Pulitzer Winner

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Friday, February 14, 2014

Report: Medical Examiner Cites Natural Causes

Robin Washington Exits as Editor of Duluth News Tribune

Report: Medical Examiner Cites Natural Causes

Angelo B. Henderson, a Detroit radio personality who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1999 while at the Wall Street Journal, died in his home in Pontiac, Mich., Saturday, according to Detroit news reports. Henderson died "after being rushed to the hospital in the morning. The 51-year old had been off the air recently" after a leg injury, WDIV-TV reported.

The Oakland County Medical Examiner's Office said Henderson died of natural causes, according to John Wisely, writing in the Detroit Free Press.

"The cause of death is unknown," Lauren Abdel-Razzaq and Darren A. Nichols reported for the Detroit News. "His death was confirmed by his wife, Felecia D. Henderson, assistant managing editor of features and presentation at The Detroit News."

They also wrote, "Back in January, Henderson had surgery to repair a torn tendon in his knee after a fall. It is unclear if the surgery had anything to do with his death."

In 2009, Angelo B. Henderson campaigned for   entrepreneurship in his quest to bOn Jan. 18, Henderson showed his Facebook followers a photo of his elevated left leg wrapped in a brace and wrote, "FB Cuz's: I fell on black ice @ a The Palace of Auburn Hills. Damage: quadriceps tendon rupture - surgery is Thursday! Off work sIx (6) weeks..... On lots of pain meds and even more on Thursday.."

His note drew 246 comments.

On Tuesday, Henderson tweeted, "I have 2 weeks more of healing b4 any physical therapy. Healing 1st - trying to garner lessons."

Henderson was active in the National Association of Black Journalists, where he ran unsuccessfully for president in 2009. NABJ President Bob Butler messaged members with the news "with great regret" Saturday afternoon.

"The news of Henderson's passing hit all members hard, particularly NABJ presidents," Butler said in a statement.

" 'Angelo was one of the most influential members in this organization,' said Sidmel Estes, who served as president from 1991-1993, Henderson’s second term on the executive board as parliamentarian.

" 'His buoyant style in terms of his personal demeanor, as well as his love for NABJ is unmatched. This is just devastating to me.'

"Henderson was a stalwart for NABJ. He had a passion for journalism, the ministry and issues affecting African Americans. . . ."

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said Detroiters "lost one of their strongest voices today.  Through his radio program, his ministry and his personal community service, everything Angelo did was meant to uplift our city and its people."

Max White added for Detroit's WXYZ, "Henderson was a radio host on News Talk WCHB 1200 AM and 99.9 FM.

"He was also a two-term Parliamentarian and two-term chapter President for the National Association of Black Journalists.

"He was also a founding member in the Detroit 300, [whose] focus is to help communities organize and eradicate crime by policing targeted areas and pursuing individuals committing crimes. Henderson, along with Raphael B. Johnson and Malik Shabazz created the group out of the Detroit community's frustration with perpetual neighborhood crimes."

Henderson's Pulitzer was awarded in the feature writing category "for his portrait of a druggist who is driven to violence by his encounters with armed robbery, illustrating the lasting effects of crime."

He had written again about crime as recently as December, when the Detroit News published "Detroit crime: When is enough enough?"

In 2011, Henderson was named director of community affairs for Triumph Church, with locations in Detroit, Southfield and Canton, according to his website, the Free Press reported.

Henderson wrote in his 2009 NABJ campaign biography:

"Mr. Henderson earned a bachelor of Arts in journalism in 1985 from the University of Kentucky. In fact, in 2005, the University of Kentucky — the state's largest university — inducted Mr. Henderson into its Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame. He studied magazine publishing at Howard University in Washington D. C., and he studied leadership at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, Business School as well as Harvard's Divinity Schools as part of the Summer Leadership Institute. He is a member of Phi Beta Sigma Inc.

"Son of the late Ruby and Roger Henderson, Mr. Henderson was born in Louisville, Kentucky. He is married to Felecia Dixon Henderson, Assistant Managing Editor of Features and Presentation at The Detroit News, who directs a [50-plus] member department comprised of assigning feature editors, reporters, copy editors, page designers, graphic artists and editorial assistants. They are the proud parents of son Grant, an aspiring sports agent and NBA star."

Robin Washington Exits as Editor of Duluth News Tribune

"Duluth News Tribune Executive Editor Robin Washington has left the newspaper after more than four years in the publication’s top news job," the Minnesota newspaper told readers on Saturday. As news director, Robin Washington   was second in command of the newsroom but also concentrated on the Duluth paper's non-print   endeavors, particularly its daily Webcast, DNTV

Washington was one of 11 black journalists who led U.S. newspaper newsrooms, according to a tally last year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Another black journalist, Jason Johnson, assistant managing editor, assumes day-to-day leadership until a new editor is named. Washington brought Johnson, 46, to the paper and to the AME post in September.

Johnson was teaching courses in journalism and mass communication at Northwest Vista College in San Antonio, Texas, and had worked at the San Francisco Chronicle, Dallas Morning News and Boston Herald.

"Publisher Ken Browall informed newsroom staff Thursday afternoon of the change in leadership," the News Tribune story said.

" 'Robin Washington has left the editor position at the Duluth News Tribune. I wish him well in his future endeavors. The search for a new editor will begin immediately,' Browall said in a prepared statement. He declined to elaborate on the situation.

"Washington had led the News Tribune's news department since Jan. 8, 2010, when then-editor Rob Karwath was laid off and his position eliminated, among others at the paper, as part of cost-cutting measures. The News Tribune and its news staff won numerous awards during Washington’s tenure.

" 'I thank everyone there for a great 10 years,' Washington said in an interview Friday. 'And I wish the paper well in its new direction.'

"Washington, 57, a Chicago native, started at the News Tribune in 2004 as editorial page editor. He previously worked as columnist and reporter for the Boston Herald and has produced award-winning public television documentaries.

"The paper's executive editor oversees 36 reporters, photographers, copy editors, city editors and other journalists who produce the newspaper and the website."

Forum Communications Co., parent company of the News Tribune, installed a new leader in January. Bill Marcil Jr. succeeded Lloyd Case as president and CEO

Washington told Journal-isms by telephone that he planned to devote more time to the Institute for Jewish & Community Fesearch, based in San Francisco. He was the first recipient of its Be'chol Lashon Media Award to honor excellence in coverage of the ethnic and racial diversity of world Jewry and now runs the awards program.

Washington is a former parliamentarian of the National Association of Black Journalists, past board member of Unity: Journalists of Color and a member of the Trotter Group of black columnists. He notes on his website, "Washington grew up in Chicago in a family of black and Jewish civil rights activists. Participating in sit-ins and protests when he was three years old, today he recalls those events fondly as 'family outings.' "

Double Standard in Ray Nagin Verdict?

February 14, 2014

Columnist Says It Must Be Because Former Mayor Is Bald

Olympics Diversity: Whites From Almost 88 Nations

FCC Dropping Plans to Deploy Researchers in Newsrooms

Comcast Bid for Time Warner Cable Could Aid Net Neutrality

How Blacks Presented Themselves in Their Own Photos

Knight Fellowship Prospect Pool "One of Our Most Diverse"

AP Profiled Judge Who Wrote Historic Same-Sex Ruling

Short Takes

Columnist Says It Must Be Because Former Mayor Is Bald

Most Americans — journalists included — remember C. Ray Nagin only as the face of New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina. But to Jarvis DeBerry, local columnist for and the Times-Picayune, Nagin was additionally a disappointment and the victim of a double standard.

At least, that's what DeBerry wrote in his three columns this week on Nagin.

As Campbell Robertson reported Wednesday for the New York Times, "C. Ray Nagin, a former corporate executive who became mayor in 2002 pledging to modernize city government and instead became an emblem of government dysfunction in the months and years after Hurricane Katrina, was found guilty in federal court on Wednesday on 20 counts of bribery and fraud.

"The verdict marks a dubious milestone in a city long associated with an ethically loose style of politics: It makes Mr. Nagin the first New Orleans mayor to be charged, tried and convicted of corruption. . . ."

DeBerry wrote Thursday, "Right about now Ray Nagin is probably wishing that some way, some how, he could transform himself into Peter Galvan, the corrupt former coroner of St. Tammany Parish who was harshly finger-wagged Wednesday in federal court. Galvan was so arrogant, so full of contempt for the community that he served, that when Tammany residents cried foul over his wasting their money, he wasted more of their money lawyering up against them. He took St. Tammany Parish for a ride. Nix that. Galvan took himself for one, using the office's credit card to buy boat equipment, aviation charts and an in-flight GPS.

Jarvis DeBerry

"As outrageous as his crimes were, U.S. District Judge Susie Morgan concluded Wednesday that Galvan is sorry, and she sentenced him to an awfully short two years in prison and fined him $5,000. On top of that, Galvan's expected to pay back the nearly $200,000 he stole. I bet Nagin, who was convicted Wednesday on 20 of 21 corruption charges, is wishing the judge in his case, Ginger Berrigan, will give him a similarly short sentence and just let him pay back the half-a-million bucks he stole. But he shouldn't count on it. Nagin is bald. Galvan has a full head of hair.

"You'd think that in 2014 it wouldn't be this way, that the alopecia set could count on finding as much sympathy at a federal courthouse as the Absalom facsimiles. But it seems certain that Nagin is looking at a long stretch behind bars. The estimated sentence you hear most often thrown about is 20 years — if not more. Or 10 times what Galvan got.

"You doubt it was the hair that softened Galvan's sentence? Hmmm . . ."

On Friday, DeBerry took a different tack:

"It's not supposed to be that way, is it? We are supposed to maintain a binary view of the world: good people, bad people. The good folks and their families are worthy of our empathy; the bad folks and their families are not. Well, sue me for not following the script. As I sat in a federal courtroom Monday before closing arguments in the trial for former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, I ached for his family: his mother and father, his wife Seletha."

DeBerry also wrote, "it shouldn't be surprising that I ache for Nagin's family as they brace themselves to be separated from him. Even when he was flying high, Nagin's wife, Seletha, never seemed comfortable with the public gaze. Though never unpolite, the shy Seletha Nagin seemed to be making public appearances grudgingly, like she'd rather be somewhere else — by herself.

"So imagine what she must have been feeling Wednesday, having first had to tell their son Jeremy on the phone that his father had been found guilty and then walking out into a scrum of photographers documenting the scene.

"I'm just as upset as any other New Orleanian that Nagin sold his office and that a man as talented as he is would disgrace himself and hold our city up for ridicule. Despite his humble beginnings, he had made a great rise and was making a good deal of money before he became mayor. He traded that money for power. Then he decided that he still wanted the money, too.

"We are all justified in being angry at Nagin for that. But I find myself just as angry at him for putting his family through this ordeal."

Olympics Diversity: Whites From Almost 88 Nations

"Don’t listen to your friends back home saying the Winter Olympics are just for white people who like the cold and vacation in Aspen," Mike Wise, sports columnist at the Washington Post, wrote on Wednesday from the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. "This is the most inclusive Winter Games ever. Why, there are Caucasians here from almost 88 different nations.

"Bada-bing! I’ll be here all week.

"Actually, I will be here the next 10 days. And in that time, I will encounter no more than a dozen people of African American descent. They are the same ones I see over and over.

"Speedskater Shani Davis, Lolo Jones and the U.S. women’s bobsled team, NBC correspondent Lewis Johnson and about three other black journalists, one of whom I sang backup for in a Salt-N-Pepa karaoke gig at the media dorm at 3 a.m. the other night. (I was Salt.) . . ."

Wise's column prompted a retort from the conservative NewsBusters site. Ken Shepherd bemoaned Wise's "obsession with skin tone," and added, "P.S.: As my colleague Tim Graham pointed out to me today, if Wise is really so concerned with diversity, he should look no further than the Post's sports desk, where Jason Reid is the Shani Davis of the bunch."

However, Post Sports Editor Matt Vita told Journal-isms that his sports staff includes black reporters Michael Lee, Tariq Lee, Mike Jones and Brandon Parker in addition to Reid, and African American editors Keith McMillan and Alexa Steele.

NewsBusters wasn't Wise's only critic. "I got so many emails on this Winter Olympics thing that begin, 'How come you don't write the NBA is too black?,' " Wise told Journal-isms by email. "And, [your] problem is you have white guilt.'

"Billy Hunter, the former NBA players union chief, said it for me years ago: 'The NBA needs another white, American-born superstar like [Larry] Bird to get to the next level. That's the truth.'

"Billy's point was: a white-paying audience occasionally wants to racially identify more with the product.

"I don't think many people get that racially identifying, finding interest in rooting for someone who looks like you, is so far from racism. Now if a person only watches people of his color and finds nothing else interesting, that's different.

"I always say, I don't have white guilt. I have contempt for anyone of any color who thinks that talking about race equals race-baiting.

"I also find the diversity issue in America always becomes a white-black narrative. I've met many diverse people over here, most of whom happen to be white. I've also met a lot of Asians here. And they qualify as a minority."

Wise, who grew up in Hawaii, was last mentioned in Journal-isms after he defended white columnists' right to weigh in on whether black people should call themselves the N-word.

Wise also disclosed that the "Pepa" in the karaoke gig was Sam Sanders of NPR. He also clarified another reference in his column. William Douglas of the McClatchy Washington bureau was the black journalist who greeted Lawrence Murray, an intern for the U.S. Olympic Committee finishing up his master's in journalism at Southern California.

"He's the only one I've seen or talked to," Murray said of Douglas and African Americans.

Sanders tweeted on Tuesday, "Olympics were wearing me down, but then I found a karaoke bar. And then I sang 'Push It.' And then life was good. #nprsochi #saltandpeppa."

FCC Dropping Plans to Deploy Researchers in Newsrooms

"The Federal Communications Commission is quietly changing course on a controversial study after parts of the methodology were roundly criticized by GOP lawmakers and commissioner Ajit Pai for encroaching into editorial decisions and content at TV stations," Katy Bachman wrote Wednesday for adweek.

"The Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs, which aimed to help the commission figure out how to lower entry barriers for minorities in broadcasting, may now be on hold. At the very least, the controversial sections of the study will be revisited under new chairman Tom Wheeler and incorporated into a new draft. Regardless of the study's intent, it's hard to fathom why the FCC sent its minions into newsrooms of the stations it licenses and ask questions about how stations exercise their First Amendment right.

" 'The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories,' wrote Pai in a Wall Street Journal op ed earlier this week. As Pai described it, the FCC would be sending in researchers to 'grill reporters, editors and station owners about how they decide which stories to run.' . . ."

Pai quoted the FCC on the purpose of the study: to ferret out information from television and radio broadcasters about "the process by which stories are selected' and how often stations cover 'critical information needs,' along with 'perceived station bias' and 'perceived responsiveness to underserved populations.' . . ."

Comcast Bid for Time Warner Cable Could Aid Net Neutrality

"Telecom regulators may never have a better opportunity to regulate," Gautham Nagesh wrote Friday for the Wall Street Journal.

"Even before Comcast's . . . $45 billion bid for Time Warner Cable . . . was announced on Thursday, the telecom industry was anxiously watching the Federal Communications Commission for action on how Internet providers can treat traffic on their networks.

"Now, the proposed acquisition gives the commission additional leverage to act — and may even force its hand — on the issue, also known as 'net neutrality,' as well as a host of other policy matters. The decision could further a trend in which regulators make telecommunications policy on merger approvals rather than through traditional rulemaking processes.

"As they review the merger, regulators must address the question of whether the combined company would hold so much power in the marketplace that it could favor certain content providers and limit consumers' choices. . . . "

Nagesh also wrote, "As part of its 2011 agreement to acquire NBCUniversal, Comcast agreed to treat all content traveling over its broadband networks equally. Last month the D.C. Circuit Court struck down net neutrality rules the FCC issued in 2010, opening the door for broadband providers to start charging Web companies like Netflix . . . or Google a toll to reach consumers at the fastest speeds. . . . "

Journalists of color organizations have endorsed the concept of "net neutrality."

Meanwhile, the National Association of Black Journalists said in a statement Thursday that it was disappointed that Comcast/NBC has decided to cancel "Art Fennell Reports," a program that reported news in the Philadelphia region for the past seven years.

The statement quoted Craig Robinson, executive vice president and chief diversity officer of NBCUniversal, telling NABJ, "At the broad view, the Comcast Network is being closed down and will now be used as a second sports network for Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia. Leadership at Comcast has been in discussion with Art for over a year about the upcoming change as he notes in his interview. While I appreciate that there are those who will miss the show, the parting was respectful and amicable. The show's cancellation is in no way an indication that Comcast is going back on its promise to add more programming for people of color in general."

How Blacks Presented Themselves in Their Own Photos

"Although the photographer Hugh Bell had been part of 'The Family of Man' exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, he later realized inclusivity went only so far when he called to pitch a story to an editor at Esquire," David Gonzalez reported Tuesday for the New York Times' Lens Blog.

" 'I had a beautiful, poetic, romantic idea,' he recalled. 'She said: "That’s great. Come up and tell me about it." '

"When he got there, the editor looked around.

" 'She said, "Where's Hugh Bell?" I said, "Ah, I got it. You didn’t expect me to be a black photographer." '

"The disappointment of that painful epiphany lingered in his voice and eyes as he recounted it decades later for the documentary 'Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People,' which has been well received at the Sundance Film Festival and elsewhere.

"The film, which was directed, co-written and co-produced by Thomas Allen Harris, is a sweeping narrative that traces from the 19th century to the 21st how African-Americans presented themselves in their own photos, often in stark contrast to how they were demeaned and stereotyped by the larger society. Inspired by 'Reflections in Black,' a book by Deborah Willis — one of the film’s producers — it deftly blends historical images from before and after the Civil War, with family albums and photographs by such luminaries as Gordon Parks Jr. and Carrie Mae Weems. . . ."

Knight Fellowship Prospect Pool "One of Our Most Diverse"

The number of people applying for the 12 U.S. John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford University rose from 100 last year to 139 this year, and is "one of our most diverse pools ever, with 43 percent identifying themselves as people of color and 50 percent identifying as white (7 percent declined to state)," Jim Bettinger, director of the program, wrote for the program's website on Tuesday. "Nearly two-thirds are women."

Bettinger began his message by saying, "We're constantly striving to expand the reach of the Knight Fellowships program, and the number of people applying to be fellows is one way of assessing how effective we are. The numbers this year tell us that we’re doing something right. . . ."

AP Profiled Judge Who Wrote Historic Same-Sex Ruling

The ruling by a federal judge striking down Virginia's ban on same-sex marriage made headlines Thursday and Friday, but less attention was given to the judge who wrote it: the first black woman to serve on the federal bench in Virginia.

In her opinion, U.S. District Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen, who has been on the bench for less than three years, quoted Abraham Lincoln and made reference to Virginia's onetime ban on interracial marriage.

"Tradition is revered in the Commonwealth, and often rightly so," Wright Allen wrote. "However, tradition alone cannot justify denying same-sex couples the right to marry any more than it could justify Virginia's ban on interracial marriage."

Credit Matthew Barakat of the Associated Press for providing a profile of Wright Allen, which moved Feb. 6. "The judge deciding what could become a landmark gay marriage case in Virginia defies easy characterization: She was a prosecutor, but also a public defender. She was appointed by President Barack Obama, and she also served in the military as a Navy lawyer. . . ." Barakat also noted, "She is married to Delroy Allen, a former pro soccer goalie in the old North American Soccer League. . . ."

David A. Fahrenthold of the Washington Post followed with a profile on Friday.

Short Takes

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Angelo Henderson

From Jason Miccolo Johnson:

Sorry to learn of the death of my old friend Angelo. He was one of the first persons I became friends with upon attending my first NABJ convention, 1988 in St. Louis. Angelo always brought life to any social gathering, and common sense to any business meeting. His energy and commitment to journalism was remarkable. He will be missed as much as he was admired. Gone too soon.

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