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Beyoncé's Media Move Not So Glamorous

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Friday, April 26, 2013

News Outlets Urged to Counter Ban on Photographers

Vibe Magazine Sold, to Become Digital Only 

Boston Carjacking "Unfolds Like Tarantino Movie" 

Actuary Beats Newspaper Reporter? Get Me Rewrite 

S. Africa Increases Curbs on Press Freedom

CNN, NBC, ABC Have Used "Undocumented," Not "Illegal"

ADL Loses Bid to Stop Honor for Arab-American Publisher 

Nominate a J-Educator Who Has Helped Diversity 

Short Takes

HuffPost Live reported Wednesday on Beyoncé's ban on professional photographers during her "Mrs. Carter Tour." (Video)

News Outlets Urged to Counter Ban on Photographers

The general counsel of the National Press Photographers Association is urging the news media to refuse to run the official publicity photos of Beyoncé's latest concert tour that the entertainer is posting in lieu of allowing photographers at the events.

"That's only going to encourage bad behavior," Mickey H. Osterreicher told Journal-isms Friday by telephone.

"Let's say she's exhausted and passed out on stage. Do you think we'd see those photos? I don't think so," Osterreicher said. "They'll realize they can't have it both ways." They become celebrities because of the publicity, then, when they become stars, "they try to control."

Sean Michaels reported Wednesday in Britain's Guardian newspaper, "The move to prohibit press photographers is seen by most observers as a reaction to this year's Super Bowl kerfuffle, when sites such as Gawker and [BuzzFeed] compiled 'unflattering' images of Beyoncé's jubilant exertions. After publishing these shots by Getty Images, [BuzzFeed] received an email from Beyoncé's US publicist Yvette Noel-Schure, 'respectfully asking' the site to 'change' their article. 'I am certain you will be able to find some better photos,' Noel-Schure wrote.

"As the blog Fstoppers points out, barring professionals means that newspapers and magazines will have to rely on amateurs: '[The media] will do anything possible to get images that other publications don't have,' explained Noam Galai. 'If they can't send a photographer to give them original photos, the next best thing they can do is buy photos from fans in the front rows in the arena … Now, not only is the mainstream media showing unflattering photos of her, they are showing bad-quality unflattering photos of her.' "

As Osterreicher pointed out, the move by Beyoncé is the latest attempt by public figures to control coverage of them, but not the most offensive.

Just last week, Osterreicher said, a legislator met with some of the families victimized by the Boston Marathon bombers, but banned the press, instead having a staffer make photos available.

In 2011, Lady Gaga was even more audacious. Andrew Beaujon and Jay Westcott wrote then for the now-defunct, based in Washington, "At her Verizon Center concert last week, photographers were given a 'Photo Release Form' to sign." It included this language: "Photographer hereby acknowledges and agrees that all right, title and interest (including copyright) in and to the Photograph(s) shall be owned by Lady Gaga and Photographer hereby transfers and assigns any such rights to Lady Gaga."

 Altered photo from Rep. Nancy Pelosi's office includes female members oIn January, the staff of House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi digitally altered an image of female members of Congress to include four legislators who did not show up for the photo session — and some news organizations that used the image realized the fraud too late.

Still, Pelosi defended the image.

"It was an accurate historical record of who the Democratic women of Congress are," Pelosi said at a news conference, according to the Huffington Post. "It also is an accurate record that it was freezing cold and our members had been waiting a long time for everyone to arrive and ... had to get back into the building to greet constituents, family members, to get ready to go to the floor. It wasn't like they had the rest of the day to stand there."

Replied Osterreicher, "They could save time and just Photoshop everyone." He said there were a couple of instances where legislators were moved around because they weren't seen clearly enough. Another's hair was "fixed," he said.

Even journalists have been guilty. In December, the Washington, D.C., chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, pleading lack of space, announced that "there will not be any media availability for our special guests: San Antonio Mayor Julián Castro and Telemundo Anchor José Díaz-Balart." It added, "The Chapter will release pictures, video, and a write-up on our website as we usually do with our events. . . ." A national NAHJ board member apologized privately.

The Beyoncé tour began April 15 in Serbia and continues until Aug. 5 in Brooklyn, N.Y. It could not be determined whether news media in Europe were using the authorized photos or those taken by concertgoers or photographers who simply bought tickets and sat in the audience.

Writing Thursday in Slate, Alyssa Rosenberg agreed with Osterreicher.

"Knowles-Carter is used to getting her way with these things, it seems," Rosenberg wrote. "Her commercial draw is such that HBO even aired an entire documentary about her that she produced herself, rather than an independently directed examination that might have produced actual insights. But while Knowles-Carter may have the right to log her life all she likes, no news outlet should feel required to oblige her directives. If Knowles-Carter is going to stick to this demand on her tour, news outlets should pay for fans' crowd-sourced photos instead — or just not cover the tour at all."

The South Africa National Editors' Forum said in 2011, when Lady Gaga imposed a similar ban on free news media photography in that country, "The only way in which the public can trust media coverage of such events is when journalists and photographers can operate freely and independently and the public is aware of this.

"A ban on photographers or interference with journalists would immediately raise public suspicions about the integrity of reports of such events. Should this occur not only will the newspaper be harmed but so will the attraction of the event."

Meanwhile, the Radio Television Digital News Association joined NPPA and other journalism organizations to oppose California proposals to restrict newsgathering.

"Two bills making their way through the California legislature, AB-1256 and AB-1356 would broadly redefine personal privacy with the intent of keeping paparazzi away from celebrities, but with the added consequences of severely curtailing legitimate newsgathering, while exposing journalists to criminal prosecution and civil liability," RTDNA reported.

NPPA reported Tuesday, however, "In the wake of opposition from NPPA and other groups the CA Assembly Judiciary Committee made both AB-1256 and AB-1356 '2 year bills.' A 2 year bill is one which will not move out of the policy committee this year. It is eligible to be taken up again at the beginning of the 2nd year of the biennial session thus the term '2 year bill.' . . . "

Vibe Magazine Sold, to Become Digital Only

"Online publisher SpinMedia has acquired Vibe magazine with plans to operate it as a digital property and without the print edition, the company said today," Nat Ives reported Thursday for Ad Age. "Terms were not disclosed.

"The deal, first reported by All Things D, brings Vibe and Spin back together, in website form at least. Spin magazine and Vibe magazine both once belonged to Vibe/Spin Media until a series of ownership changes that delivered Spin to BuzzMedia last year. BuzzMedia, which owns or sells ads for sites including Stereogum and Idolator, shuttered Spin's print edition and later changed the company's name to SpinMedia.

"Vibe was founded in 1992 by Time Warner and Quincy Jones. Time Inc. sold Vibe in 1996; the buyers sold Vibe again 10 years later. It went out of print in 2009, but returned within months under yet another set of owners, investors led by InterMedia Partners. Last summer the magazine said it would embrace electronic dance music along with its usual hip-hop and pop culture coverage.

"Vibe's website will do better as part of a larger portfolio of websites, according to Ari Horowitz, CEO of Vibe Media. 'It's about scale, it's about really good brands and it's about being able to leverage infrastructure,' he said. 'That's the way you win in the digital media business.' . . . "

Boston Carjacking "Unfolds Like Tarantino Movie"

Eric Moskowitz of the Boston Globe explains what a 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur told him about being carjacked by a suspect in the Boston Marathon killings. (Video)

"The 26-year-old Chinese entrepreneur had just pulled his new Mercedes to the curb on Brighton Avenue to answer a text when an old sedan swerved behind him, slamming on the brakes. A man in dark clothes got out and approached the passenger window," Eric Moskowitz reported Friday for the Boston Globe. "It was nearly 11 p.m. last Thursday.

"The man rapped on the glass, speaking quickly. Danny, unable to hear him, lowered the window — and the man reached an arm through, unlocked the door, and climbed in, brandishing a silver handgun.

" 'Don't be stupid,' he told Danny. He asked if he had followed the news about Monday's Boston Marathon bombings. Danny had, down to the release of the grainy suspect photos less than six hours earlier.

" 'I did that,' said the man, who would later be identified as Tamerlan Tsarnaev. 'And I just killed a policeman in Cambridge.'

"He ordered Danny to drive — right on Fordham Road, right again on Commonwealth Avenue — the beginning of an achingly slow odyssey last Thursday night and Friday morning in which Danny felt the possibility of death pressing on him like a vise.

"In an exclusive interview with the Globe on Thursday, Danny — the victim of the Tsarnaev brothers' much-discussed but previously little-understood carjacking — filled in some of the last missing pieces in the timeline between the murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier, just before 10:30 p.m. on April 18, and the Watertown shootout that ended just before 1 a.m. Danny asked that he be identified only by his American nickname.

"The story of that night unfolds like a Tarantino movie, bursts of harrowing action laced with dark humor and dialogue absurd for its ordinariness, reminders of just how young the men in the car were. . . . "

"Are You With It?" (1948) featured Donald O'Connor as a mathematician. But it was no "All the President's Men" or "The Front Page." (credit:

Actuary Beats Newspaper Reporter? Get Me Rewrite

The CareerCast survey this week that ranked "newspaper reporter" as this year's worst job rubbed some reporters the wrong way, especially since "actuary" was ranked the best.

The CareerCast survey considered the newspaper reporter job literally; journalists who work in other media were not included. Still, it rankled.

"When was last time you went to see a movie with an actuary as the lead protagonist or one in a leading role?" Ruben Rosario wrote Thursday in the Pioneer Press of St. Paul, Minn.

"Among newspaper reporters, we have, among many others: 'All the President's Men,' 'The Front Page,' 'His Girl Friday,' 'The Killing Fields,' 'State of Play,' 'The Soloist' and 'The Paper,' loosely based on my former employer, a New York City-based tabloid.

"Superman, arguably the most popular comic-book superhero of all time, did not choose actuary as his civilian job cover. He chose 'mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper.'

"Actuaries? Let's see. No superhero I know of. There was a 1948 movie titled "[Are You With It?]," a musical comedy starring the late Donald O'Connor as an actuary forced to join a carnival after he misplaced a decimal point on a statistical table. Riveting stuff. Must have been a box-office blockbuster.

"I asked folks to connect me with an actuary with a sense of humor for this piece. I was told that would be a nearly impossible task. I heard there's a whole nest of them over at Securian, two blocks from the newsroom. Then I heard back they needed permission from corporate as well as from their mothers and then they had to devise a spreadsheet to assess whether there would be a probability of favorable outcome in publicly talking to me on the record.

"A photographer volunteered a neighbor who is an actuary but added, "he's not necessarily a funny guy, kind of quiet. . . ."

Others have likewise commented on writing, editing and the state of newspapers in the Internet age.

S. Africa Increases Curbs on Press Freedom

"Despite pleas from press freedom groups and stalwarts of the struggle against apartheid, South Africa's Parliament on Thursday passed a much-criticized secrecy bill that will increase the government's power to restrict access to information and impose hefty fines and jail terms on reporters who publish information the government classifies as secret," Lydia Polgreen reported Thursday for the New York Times.

"The bill was first passed in 2011, but the government modified it because of complaints that it would unduly restrict freedom of the press. But journalism advocates said that the revised bill remained too restrictive, and vowed to challenge it in the constitutional court if President Jacob Zuma signs it into law, as is expected. . . ."

CNN, NBC, ABC Have Used "Undocumented," Not "Illegal"

CNN and NBC News told Journal-isms this week that their networks were using the term "undocumented immigrant" before the Associated Press announced this month that its stylebook "no longer sanctions the term 'illegal immigrant' or the use of 'illegal' to describe a person. Instead, it tells users that 'illegal' should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally."

Meghan Pianta, an NBC News spokeswoman said by email, "For some time, the NBC News policy has been to use the term 'undocumented immigrants or workers.' "

Bridget Leininger of CNN said, "Our style is 'undocumented immigrant' or 'undocumented worker.' " ABC News spokesman Jeffrey W. Schneider said earlier in the week that ABC has used the terms "undocumented worker" and "undocumented immigrant."

CBS News and Fox News Channel did not respond to an inquiry.

"On Tuesday, The New York Times updated its policies on how it uses the phrase 'illegal immigrant' in its coverage," Christine Haughney reported that day for the Times. "The newspaper did not go as far as The Associated Press, and it will continue to allow the phrase to be used for 'someone who enters, lives in or works in the United States without proper legal authorization.' But it encourages reporters and editors to 'consider alternatives when appropriate to explain the specific circumstances of the person in question, or to focus on actions.' "

Philip B. Corbett, the Times' associate managing editor for standards, responded Thursday to the Asian American Journalists Association, one of many organizations critical of the Times position:

"You write: 'We agree with AP that "illegal" should not be used to describe people but be used to describe the actions people take,' " Corbett wrote.

"It's hardly the most important element of the discussion, and I understand the overall sensitivity of the language, but it's simply wrong to suggest that "illegal immigrant" is a unique case of using "illegal" to modify a noun referring to a person.

"A very cursory search of turns up hundreds of uses of other such phrases – illegal tenants, illegal renters, illegal loggers, illegal miners, illegal parkers, illegal drivers, and no doubt others I haven’t thought of.

"I realize that none of those carry the same political freight as 'illegal immigrant.' I just wanted to point out that this construction is a perfectly ordinary one, in which a reader understands that it is the specific action that is being characterized as 'illegal.' An 'illegal tenant' is not an illegal person who rents an apartment, but rather a person who is renting illegally. Similarly, 'illegal immigrant' does not describe an 'illegal person,' but rather a person who has immigrated illegally."

ADL Loses Bid to Stop Honor for Arab-American Publisher

Osama Siblani, publisher of the Arab American News, joined four others who were inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame Sunday, despite the objections of the Anti-Defamation League.

"The ADL called on Michigan State University to reconsider the induction of Osama Siblani, publisher and editor-in-chief of The Arab American News, to the university-run Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame due to 'his newspaper's repeated publication of anti-Semitic diatribes and rhetoric,' " Sam Sokol reported April 17 for the Jerusalem Post.

"Siblani is also the chairman of the Congress of Arab American Organizations, a major voice in the Arab-American community.

"According to its website: 'The Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame recognizes reporters, editors, publishers, owners, photographers, broadcasters, educators, and others who have made outstanding contributions to the profession.'

"The Anti-Defamation League accused Siblani's newspaper, published in both English and Arabic, of being a 'forum for hate' in an April 12 letter to Lucinda Davenport, the head of MSU's journalism hall of fame. . . ." Siblani's newspaper quoted a statement from MSU spokesman Kent Cassella in its Thursday edition: "After reviewing the concerns raised by the Anti-Defamation League, members of the selection committee support their earlier decision.

"The Hall of Fame selection committee believes in the freedom of the press and the right to freely express one's views, although it may not always agree with all the views expressed by its inductees, or those printed in publications with which the inductees are affiliated."

The Arab-American News also named the members on the committee: "Tim Boudreau, from Central Michigan University, Sue Carter from Michigan State University, Lucinda Davenport from Michigan State University, Janet Geissler from Mid-Michigan Chapter, Jayne Hodak from Michigan Association of Broadcasters, Tina Lonski from Michigan Press Women, Maureen McDonald from Association of Women in Communications of Detroit, Walter Middlebrook from the Detroit Chapter of Society of Professional Journalists, Gloria Olman from Michigan Interscholastic Press Association, Rochelle Riley from the Detroit Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, Jam Sardar from the Michigan Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, Kendall Wingrove from Michigan State University, and at-large Members Bob Giles and Janet Mendler."

Nominate a J-Educator Who Has Helped Diversity

The Association of Opinion Journalists, formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers, annually grants a Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship — actually an award — "in recognition of an educator's outstanding efforts to encourage minority students in the field of journalism." The educator should be at the college level.

Nominations, now being accepted for the 2013 award, should consist of a statement about why you believe your nominee is deserving.

The final selection will be made by the AOJ Foundation board and announced in time for the Oct. 13-15 convention in Newport, R.I., where the presentation will be made.

Since 2000, the recipient has been awarded an honorarium of $1,000 to be used to "further work in progress or begin a new project."

Past winners include James Hawkins, Florida A&M University (1990); Larry Kaggwa, Howard University (1992); Ben Holman, University of Maryland (1996); Linda Jones, Roosevelt University, Chicago (1998); Ramon Chavez, University of Colorado, Boulder (1999); Erna Smith, San Francisco State (2000); Joseph Selden, Penn State (2001); Cheryl Smith, Paul Quinn College (2002); Rose Richard, Marquette University (2003); Leara D. Rhodes, University of Georgia (2004); Denny McAuliffe, University of Montana (2005); Pearl Stewart, Black College Wire (2006); Valerie White, Florida A&M University (2007); Phillip Dixon, Howard University (2008); Bruce DePyssler, North Carolina Central University (2009); Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University (2010); Yvonne Latty, New York University (2011); and Michelle Johnson, Boston University (2012).

Nominations may be emailed to Richard Prince, AOJ Diversity Committee chair, richardprince (at) The deadline is May 24.

Short Takes

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

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Cross-postings from the Root


Quit your crying! It's too bad, that some of you entertainers, take it a step forward. If you didn't want your face plastered in every newspaper, don't allow the paparazzi in your concerts or tours! This will resolve all your issues. Besides, who the hell has time to read about your social and personal life? Talk about a selfish tasteless _itch!


With that kind of arrogance,Beyonce, better hope she is still viable in another year. Remember young lady,the fan base is a very fickle, and dangerous group of individuals. Here today, and gone tomorrow. Think,Madonna, who had to move to Europe, to get her career back. Humility can be contagious, and arrogance is clearly dangerous.


Don't work thataway Beyonce!!! Only the Prez has a press secretary. You've made millions selling yourself across the stage with photos of your public and private life. Now, you wanna ration stardom out? Ok..then give back some of that money then!! Can't have it your way. That is, if you want all of that cash!!!!!!!


i'm not that worried though.


Beyonce,stick to your guns,stop the public dictateing to the public what they want us to see and not your business image .I say control your destiny.I here people say media can make you or break you,that's not true .A person make thereselves,media benefits by exploiting and profitting.Fanning will come to see Beyonce if the Media shows up or not.Black people stop being afraid of Europeans.

Edward Medina

Fame is bought, period. Who do you pay? Media. It's an investment like buying a house, paying for a degree or doctorate, or buying stocks / bonds. It doesn't always yield but if it does, you win. Fame in entertainment is NO different.

Yes, TGR (a black choice)... OK, but let's be real... Bey was famous / rich more than a decade ago. Now she's iconic now. I couldn't care less about her or any other iconic figures and success comes in many many forms. "Black people stop being afraid of Europeans." ..... what????


Bluntly, you are dreaming. Without the press a "star" is a has been looking for a place to retire.

Edward Medina

zzzzz... funny. to say the least..... obviously none of these people, (including you) have actually worked in hollywood. I won't burst your delusions.

Lady Shonda

The media can make anyone a star. You can ban them, but they can make you disappear. If they decide they are not going to cover her anymore her career would be so quiet people will forget about her. It would be all over and she would in sense just be a housewife and mother.

QuietThoughtsII and Edward Medina like this.


Really dumb move Bey, and to make it worse it won't work.

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