Black Enterprise Takes 35% Advertising Hit
Tuesday, April 9, 2013
USA Today Bars "Illegal Immigrant" Except in Direct Quotes
NABJ President Denies Tie Between Martin Honor, CNN Exit
Hoy Wins IRE Award for Showing Community Fear of Police
Blacks Prefer "Scandal" to NCAA; Hispanics Pick "The Voice"
Asian Americans More Satisfied Than Other Groups
How Many Ways Can a Song Be Ridiculed?
James Lewis, Publisher of Birmingham Times, Dies
Black Enterprise magazine sustained a 35.4 percent decline in advertising dollars in the first quarter of 2013 and a 34 percent hit in advertising pages, according to figures released this week by the Publishers Information Bureau.
Jet magazine dropped 31.7 percent in advertising dollars compared with the same period a year before, the bureau said, although Jet says the figure should be 13.52%. The bureau said Jet also lost 39.5 pages. For years a weekly, Jet reduced its frequency to once every three weeks effective Jan. 1. It underwent a redesign in 2010 and plans another, officials say.
People en Español rose by 20.8 percent in ad dollars and 14 percent in ad pages.
Black Enterprise announced last month it was cutting its print editions from 12 to 10 issues a year as it shifts to an emphasis on its online editions.
Alfred A. Edmond Jr., senior vice president/multimedia editor-at-large, did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday. But he told Journal-isms last month, "All things being equal, we intend to deliver content across 10 print issues roughly equivalent to what we've delivered in 12 issues each year. The savings on printing and mailing two fewer issues each year is being shifted to our other media platforms, particularly digital, which has taken over from the print platform as a source of breaking news and delivers the responsiveness and interactivity our audience expects. Those expectations can hardly be met by printed newspapers, much less by monthly or even weekly magazines."
Edmond was paraphrasing a letter to subscribers from Earl G. Graves Jr., president and CEO, in the January/February edition. The letter was repeated in the March edition, now on newsstands.
Overall, "Consumer magazines' advertising woes continued in the first quarter of 2013, with ad pages slipping 4.8 percent versus the year-ago period on declines in nine out of the 12 top categories, according to numbers released today by MPA—The Association of Magazine Media," Emma Bazilian reported Monday for Adweek.
"Most ad categories were down as publishers have grappled with the shift to digital media, including Drugs & Remedies (down 6.7 percent), Apparel & Accessories (down 5.5 percent) and Media & Advertising (off 14.4 percent). Measured by ad revenue, the industry looked a little healthier, with ad revenue edging up 0.5 percent, the first increase in about two years. . . ."
Desiree Rogers, CEO of the Johnson Publishing Co., publishers of Ebony and Jet, told Journal-isms by telephone that Jet published one less issue in the 2013 measuring period than it did in 2012's, accounting for a loss of 15 to 20 ads. In addition, the January 2013 issues were "extremely soft" in advertising. But, she said, the advertising picked up in February and March.
"The revenues from a magazine as you know are made up of subscriptions, ad revenue and newsstand. Jet is trending positive over last year in newsstand and subs. Ad sales are coming back on track. January was low," she added by email.
She would not say what percentage of the revenue picture ad sales represented.
Rogers also noted that Jet recently launched a digital version on Kindle and Nook tablets, adding to digital consumer sales, though not advertising sales.
Stephen Gregory Barr, Johnson Publishing senior vice president and group publisher, maintained Thursday that the Publishers Information Bureau figures do not tell the whole story.
"PIB didn't track through the 4/8 issue of JET, per PIB, JET is at 86.48 pages — this issue is on newsstand in the 1st Quarter (on sale was 3/25)," Barr said by email.
"Y-T-D 2012 at the same time we were at 100.00 — so the magazine is only off 13.52%, not the quoted 39.5%
"Keep in mind, JET’s newsstand [sales were] one of the few highlights in 2012 with a significant increase in growth (+5%). . . .
"The print category overall is challenged, not only to JPC, but the entire magazine industry.
"However, we are seeing momentum on both brands."
Among other magazines targeting people of color, Ebony was up 6.1 percent in advertising dollars and down 2.4 percent in advertising pages; Essence was down 19 percent in advertising dollars and 23.9 percent in ad pages; Latina was up 6.8 percent in advertising dollars and 5.4 percent in ad pages; Ser Padres was down 1.5 percent in ad dollars and 5.6 percent in ad pages; and Siempre Mujer was up 7.2 percent in ad dollars and 4.0 percent in ad pages.
- Mark Walsh, MediaPost: Digital Magazines Enjoy Uptick, Propelled By Adobe Tools
"You probably have heard that the Associated Press recently changed its style on the term illegal immigrant. Starting tonight, USA TODAY is also changing its style," William Coon, operations editor on the copy desk, wrote Wednesday in a memo to his USA Today colleagues. "It is not exactly the same as AP's, but the upshot is that we will no longer use the term illegal immigrant outside of direct quotes. Here’s the new style:
"The term illegal immigration is acceptable, but do not label people as illegal immigrants, except in direct quotes. Undocumented immigrant, undocumented worker and unauthorized immigrant are acceptable terms — depending on accuracy, clarity and context — for foreign nationals who are in the country illegally. An alternative is to use a phrase such as 'people who entered the U.S. illegally' or 'living in the country without legal permission.'
"Avoid using the word alien to refer to immigrants, except in quoted matter or official government designations. Do not use illegal or illegals as a noun. It is considered pejorative by most immigrants. Migrant can be used instead of immigrant in a tight space."
- Pamela Constable and Tara Bahrampour, Washington Post: Immigration reform rally draws thousands to Capitol calling for path to citizenship
- Editorial, La Opinión, Los Angeles: The AP Is Right
- Juan Gonzalez, Daily News, New York: With much at stake, Gang of Eight senators' immigration bill, due to be unveiled soon, awaits uphill climb
- Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: Associated Press policy change on "illegal immigrant": a harbinger for immigration changes to come?
- Latina Lista blog: It's time to take the sexism out of the debate on immigration reform
- Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times: Extra, extra! 'Illegal immigrant' and other language changes
- Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Here's the truth on top 10 whoppers about immigration
- Matt Wilstein, Mediaite: MSNBC’s Harris-Perry Is Right On AP's Decision To Drop 'Illegal Immigrant': 'Language Matters'
The National Association of Black Journalists' choice of Roland Martin as its Journalist of the Year for 2013 had nothing to do with CNN's refusal to renew Martin's contract, NABJ President Gregory H. Lee Jr. said on Tuesday.
The NABJ board voted Martin "Journalist of the Year" in a March 20 conference call the day after Martin disclosed his contract was not being renewed and weeks of public discussion about whether it would be. The disclosure fanned further concern about CNN's commitment to journalists of color under new President Jeff Zucker.
Lee told an audience on NABJ's Facebook page, "CNN had nothing to do with this. In fact, the New York Post called me and asked if this was in response to CNN. I said that NABJ decides its awards at the same time every year. He responded: 'Oh, I guess I don't have a story.' No, you don't."
Lee was reacting to a posting by Vanessa Williams, a Washington Post editor and former NABJ president who nominated Martin, an NABJ stalwart and former board member, for the honor.
"In fact, Roland's association with CNN had no bearing on my thinking; it was his role as managing editor of Washington Watch that I found worthy of nomination," Williams wrote, referring to Martin's Sunday morning show on TV One. "I'm partial to political journalism, so for me one of the biggest stories last year was the presidential race. The coverage of that story by mainstream news organizations involved almost no diversity — very little visibility with regard to journalists of color and very little attention to voters of color and issues important to them. . . ."
By contrast, on "Washington Watch," "you saw black journalists, commentators, political scientists, campaign officials, cabinet members, pollsters, activists. Washington Watch also had white guests, too. And they talked about those issues that the others ignored, including, and especially, voter suppression."
Williams, in turn, was reacting to a column by Sam Fulwood III of the Center for American Progress, who wrote about online combat between Martin and a detractor, Michael K. Fauntroy, an associate professor of public policy at George Mason University, over CNN's decision to remove Martin from its lineup.
Fulwood wrote, "The National Association of Black Journalists reacted to the CNN decision by naming Martin its 2013 Journalist of the Year," then went on to make a larger point, "Why can't black folks disagree in public and keep it civil?"
Lee told Journal-isms that Martin was not the only nominee for Journalist of the Year, "but I am not releasing those names because they were not told they were nominated and to find out in a story would not [be] appropriate."
Meanwhile, Paul Farhi of the Washington Post produced a profile of CNN under Zucker that included this line: "He has hired, fired and reshuffled anchors and hosts (out: Soledad O’Brien, Ali Velshi), added new producers and pared CNN’s long list of talking heads . . . "
Velshi, CNN's former chief business correspondent and anchor of 'Your Money' and CNN International's 'World Business Today,' has joined the new Al Jazeera America to develop and host a daily primetime business program.
Velshi told Journal-isms that he was not fired from CNN. "His info is completely wrong," Velshi messaged, referring to Farhi. In fact, Velshi said by telephone, "I had an offer. We were in long, involved negotiations" when Al Jazeera contacted him about working at the new network. "I didn't think it was a likely possibility" at first, Velshi said, "but they really are committed to being a good news organization."
Farhi's piece did not address the much-discussed diversity issues under Zucker, but he disclosed that "in recent years, CNN's inability to attract viewers consistently has begun to make a noticeable dent. The network's advertising revenue fell 10 percent last year, to an estimated $313.6 million, according to Derek Baine, senior analyst at SNL Kagan, an independent research firm.
"That's a stunning fall in an industry used to solid annual growth. But it's even more alarming to CNN's masters at Time Warner because it came in an election year, typically the most profitable for cable news. . . ."
- Belinda Goldsmith, Reuters: Friendships cut short on social media as people get ruder: survey
- Alex Weprin, TVNewser: CNN Plans Two-Day Special Report On Gun Background Checks
"Crunch Time," a collaboration between Hoy Chicago and CU-CitizenAccess.org of Champaign-Urbana, Ill., was among the winners of the 2012 IRE Awards [PDF] announced Wednesday by Investigative Reporters and Editors.
"This partnership is a smart piece of accountability reporting about racial inequality that takes us inside a community through excellent video interviews and writing takes us inside a community," the judges said, choosing it in the multiplatform - small category.
"In the stringent enforcement of marijuana use, vehicular noise and other lesser crimes like jaywalking in Champaign-Urbana, Ill., this is a story of living in fear of the police. Though black people comprise only 16 percent of the population, they represent 40 percent of those arrested. The reporters published as they went, presenting a collaborative effort online and a 16-page bilingual supplement distributed in both the Chicago and Champaign-Urbana areas. 'Crunch Time' sticks with you."
HOY contributors were Jeffrey Kelly Lowenstein, Samuel Vega, Roger Morales and Fernando Diaz. CU-CitizenAccess.org contributors were Pamela Dempsey and Brant Houston.
The IRE Medal, the organization's highest honor for investigative reporting, went to CNN Atlanta and to Sverige Radio, Stockholm. CNN won for "Benghazi: US Consulate Attack." Journalists Arwa Damon and Sarmad Qaseera and contributors Jill Dougherty, Elise Labott, Tim Lister, Richard T. Griffiths, Tony Maddox, Charlie Moore, Richard Davis and David Vigilante were cited.
Sverige Radio was awarded for "Project Simoom," in which "Swedish Radio News reporters uncovered one of the most secretive projects in Sweden: the illegal financing and construction of an advanced weapons factory in the Saudi Arabian desert in violation of the country's strict human rights criteria."
Although the early ratings results showed this year's Final Four to be the most watched in eight years, Nielsen ratings for last week showed ABC's "Scandal" series drawing bigger crowds among African Americans, and "The Voice" and several other shows outpacing basketball among Hispanics tuning into English-language programs.
For the week of April 1-7, the Nielsen ratings for English-language shows among Hispanics were: 1. "The Voice" (Monday); 2. "The Voice" (Tuesday); 3. "The Big Bang Theory"; 4. "Modern Family"; 5. "American Idol" (Wednesday); 5. "Two and a Half Men" (tie); 7. "Dancing With the Stars"; 7. "Person of Interest"; 9. American Idol (Thursday); 9. "Dancing With the Stars Results"; 11. "Castle" 11. "CBS NCAA Basketball Championships" (Saturday); 11. "How to Live With Your Parents."
Among African Americans, the top five shows for the week were: 1. "Scandal"; 2. "CBS NCAA Basketball Championships" (Saturday); 3. "CBS NCAA Basketball Championships" (Saturday — bridge to the game); 4. "American Idol" (Wednesday); 5. "American Idol" (Thursday).
- Kirk Bohls and Cedric Golden, Austin (Texas) American-Statesman: Our Take: Bohls, Golden weigh in on the Final Four (April 5)
- James Carr, the Shadow League: That National Championship Was Some Old-School Basketball
- DJ Dunson, the Shadow League: From Kentucky's Untouchables To Louisville's Undraftables, Pitino Altered His Approach
- J.R. Gamble, the Shadow League: For Kevin Ware, Now What?
- Jamilah King, Jorge Rivas, ColorLines: 6 Native American Basketball Facts, Inspired by Louisville's Star Sisters
- Barbara Reynolds, Washington Post: 'Scandal': The real 'Scandal' is the blackout on black actresses on network TV (Feb. 21)
- William C. Rhoden, New York Times: Video: The Essence of College Sports
- William C. Rhoden, New York Times: N.C.A.A. Needs Overhauling at Top
- Darren Sands, Black Enterprise: As Louisville's Kevin Ware Cut Down Nets, Fiskars Scissors Gets the Big Stage (April 11)
- Drew Sharp, Detroit Free Press: Despite loss, Michigan players should be proud of NCAA tournament run
- Jerome Solomon, Houston Chronicle: College basketball ends on a high note, but I'm glad it ended
- Jeff Wattrik, Deadline Detroit: Why Did The Free Press Jinx Michigan's National Championship Run?
"Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States. They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success, according to a comprehensive new nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center," the center reported last week, updating its 2012 survey.
The update "provides data on 14 smaller Asian origin groups with population counts below 500,000 in the 2010 Census, along with detailed data on the economic and demographic characteristics of adults in nine of these groups," the center said.
It also said, "Compared with the nation's two largest minority groups — Hispanics and blacks — Asian Americans appear to be less inclined to view discrimination against their group as a major problem. Just 13% of Asian Americans say it is, while about half (48%) say it is a minor problem, and a third (35%) say it is not a problem.
"About six-in-ten say that being Asian American makes no difference when it comes to getting a job or gaining admission to college. Of those who do say it makes a difference, a slightly higher share say that members of their group are helped rather than hurt by their race. Those with less education are more prone than those with more education to say that being an Asian American is an advantage. . . . "
"Country singer Brad Paisley's new CD is titled Wheelhouse, but if there's any subject firmly not in his, it's race relations," Helena Andrews wrote Wednesday for the Root.
" 'I think it's music's turn to have the conversation," explained Paisley on Ellen after his first single, 'Accidental Racist,' was released online Monday to the polar opposite of rave reviews.
"The problem is that instead of sparking a candid dialogue about political correctness and point of view, 'Accidental Racist' does little more than lampoon.
"On the song's absurd hook, Paisley croons, 'I'm just a white man coming to ya' from the Southland/Trying to understand what it's like not to be/I'm proud of where I'm from, but not everything we've done/And it ain't like you and me can re-write history/Our generation didn't start this nation/We're still pickin' up the pieces, walkin' on eggshells, fightin' over yesterday/And caught between Southern pride and Southern blame.'
"OK, deep breath.
" 'Accidental Racist' has been justifiably skewered on every medium imaginable. From Twitter to Facebook to watercooler chatter and comments sections, most agree that Paisley's attempt to harmonize racist apologist logic with sophomoric lyrics just isn't the jam. . . ."
Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote Wednesday in his blog for the Atlantic that Paisley's choice of LL Cool J as his partner was part of the problem:
"Paisley could have reached out and had a conversation with an artist who might actually challenge his worldview. He could have engaged Mos Def and walked through Brooklyn. He might have engaged Common, walked the South Side and read about the forces that made it so. He might have talked to Kendrick Lamar and walked through Compton. He could have visited the jails and thought about why they are heaving with black men, and wondered what connections that heaving has with the past.
"But acts would require a mind interested in something more than being told what it already knows. It would require an artist doing his job and exploring. It would require truly engaging a community, instead of haughtily lecturing it on how, precisely, it should react to great pain. It would require something more than mere reification. It would require something more than absolution. It would require talking to people who may not like you. It would require the rarest of things in this space where everyone wants to write, but no one wants to read — a truly curious mind."
- Luvvie Ajayi blog: Dear LL Cool J, 'Accidental Racist' is an Accidental Failure
- Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Intentionally clueless.
- Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: Why 'Accidental Racist' Is Actually Just Racist (April 9)
- Randee Dawn, The "Today" Show, NBC: Brad Paisley, LL Cool J stir controversy with 'Accidental Racist' duet
- Eric Deggans blog, Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times: Why we shouldn't give Brad Paisley too much grief over the misguided song "Accidental Racist"
- Chrissie Dickinson, Chicago Tribune: Brad Paisley takes sonic twist on new album, explains 'Accidental Racist'
- Joseph Lamour, Racialicious: Let Me Break It Down or You: Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist"
- D. Barbara McWhite, Q City Metro: There's nothing accidental about racism
- Alexandra Phanor-Faury, Ebony: LL Cool J Misfires on 'Accidental Racist'
- Rebecca Shapiro, Huffington Post: Touré To LL Cool J On 'Accidental Racist': 'What Are You Talking About?!'
- Matt Thompson and Gene Demby, NPR: Brad Paisley's "Accidental Racist" Sparks At Least One Dialogue
- Eric Weisbard, NPR: Brad Paisley's 'Accidental Racist' And The History Of White Southern Musical Identity
"James Lewis, publisher of The Birmingham Times and the son of the black newspaper’s founder, has died," Stan Diel reported Monday for the Birmingham (Ala.) News.
"Mr. Lewis, who colleagues said was 67 or 68, died on Sunday following an illness.
"Mr. Lewis was the eldest son of Jesse Lewis Sr., who founded the Times in 1964 to give the black community a greater voice during the civil rights struggle.
" 'If the Lord had to come down and make a child, he could not make one any better than James,' Jesse Lewis Sr. said in a prepared statement. 'The Birmingham Times made progress under his administration and will continue to do so.' . . ."
Rod Hicks, an Associated Press editor working on its regional desk in Philadelphia, told Journal-isms, "I first met James Lewis when I was 18. I recently had graduated from high school and went to the paper and asked if I could volunteer to write stories while I decided what I was going to do about college. He was happy to have me work there, and gave me real assignments like covering stories at City Hall. He paired me with a reporter who was a big help. This was my first time observing government in action, and I couldn't believe James was allowing me to interview city council members at such a young age. He was a good guy."
- Marissa A. Evans, a senior at Marquette University, is the National Association of Black Journalists' 2013 Student Journalist of the Year, NABJ announced Wednesday. "Evans is the founder and President of her student NABJ chapter at Marquette University and is an alumnus of the Online News Association student newsroom and The New York Times Student Journalism Institute. She was also one of the '30 under 30' honorees in San Diego County in 2011. . . "
- The National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters is urging President Obama to appoint FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn or Catherine Sandoval, California Public Utility commissioner to the soon-to-be-vacant FCC chairmanship. "The Commission has never had a woman of color as its Chair," NABOB said in an April 1 statement. "The next Chair of the FCC must address a number of important issues, including: the continuing decline of minority ownership in the broadcasting industry, the lack of participation of minorities in the Commission's recent auctions and new technologies, the Commission's eighteen year failure to complete the studies required by the Supreme Court's Adarand decision as a prerequisite to reestablishing the Commission's minority ownership policies, and the threatened loss of service to minority communities posed by the planned Incentive Auctions. . . ."
- "A 10-time felon has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of former Oakland Tribune freelance photographer Lionel Fluker, who was struck and killed by a stray bullet as two suspects fired on each other near an East Oakland gas station Friday night," Kristin J. Bender and Harry Harris reported Tuesday for the Oakland Tribune.
- The Commercial Appeal in Memphis has produced "6:01," a narrative account of Martin Luther King Jr.'s final 32 hours in Memphis, "wrapped in a custom interactive reading experience," Justin Ellis reported Tuesday for Nieman Journalism Lab. "Assembled through a combination of interviews, public records, published accounts, and other documents, the story builds a sense of pace and suspense from the moment King and his entourage land in Memphis to the moment James Earl Ray pulls the trigger and takes King's life. The story takes on a cinematic feel thanks to the immersive, magazine-like design, which includes ample photography from the period as well as video interviews and a timeline. . . ."
- "Alejandro Maciel has been named Editor of Hoy newspaper in Los Angeles," Veronica Villafañe reported Tuesday for her Media Moves site. "He takes over the job that has been vacant since Reynaldo Mena took the top job at La Opinión. He starts the new job on April 29. Alejandro is currently front page editor at La Opinión. His last day on the job is April 17." Hoy, owned by the Los Angeles Times, is distributed free at 3,500 racks and retail locations in 107 densely populated Hispanic zip codes, its promotional material says. It reports a circulation of 142,000, with Hoy Fin de Semana, its weekend edition, reaching 740,000 households.
- "MSNBC released another of its Lean Forward promos, this time featuring Melissa Harris-Perry, who hosts a weekend show on the network," Alan Weprin reported Wednesday for TVNewser. "The promo features Harris-Perry talking about society raising children 'collectively': The promo did exactly what a good promo should: it got everyone talking about it. Former Fox News contributor Sarah Palin commented on it multiple times. It has spread virally online, to both conservative and liberal websites, and Fox News has [run] no fewer than five segments on the ad, according to TVEyes. . . ." Harris-Perry responded with, "Why caring for children is not just a parent's job."
- Gabe Joselow, East Africa bureau chief of Voice of America News in Nairobi, Kenya, is hoping to raise about $3,000 over the next few weeks to help the wife and a five-month old child of slain Somali journalist Mohammed Ali Nuxurkey. "On Monday, March 18 a car bomb exploded in downtown Mogadishu. The attackers were targeting a security official, but the blast tore through a passing minibus, killing several bystanders," including Nuxurkey, Joselow writes. "Mohammed had been working with us at Voice of America. . . ." Joselow is at <gjoselow (at) voanews.com>.
- In Nigeria, "Leadership newspaper reporters Tony Amokeodo and Chibuzor Ukaibe were released at around 5 p.m. yesterday after being held in an Abuja police station for nearly two days," Reporters Without Borders reported on Wednesday. "The two were arrested for refusing to name their sources for an article critical of President Goodluck Jonathan." The two journalists must report to police headquarters daily.
- "The wife of a hunger-striking Libyan journalist has told Amnesty International of her disbelief that her husband has been imprisoned and denied bail for 'offending' the judiciary under [a Gaddafi]-era law," the human rights group reported Wednesday. "Amara al-Khattabi, the editor-in-chief of al-Umma newspaper, was arrested last December and has been on hunger strike since 28 February in protest at his detention. He was arrested a month after his newspaper published a list of 84 judges allegedly involved in corruption. . . ."
- "The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has condemned the shooting of a Palestinian photographer in a Refugee Camp on the West Bank yesterday evening, 9 Monday April, by Israeli soldiers and called for disciplinary action against the individuals involved in the shooting," IFJ said Tuesday. "According to media reports, Palestinian photographer Mohammed Al-Azza was shot in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet by Israeli soldiers as he took pictures of them after they entered Aida Refugee Camp, near Beit Jala, at about 5:30pm. . . ."
- "This past weekend, hundreds of thousands of Islamists took to the streets in Bangladesh's capital, Dhaka, demanding death for bloggers whose work they see as blasphemous," Sumit Galhotra reported Monday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "The demonstrations highlight the deteriorating climate for journalists, both those whose work is the target of the protests and those who have tried to cover the events. . . ."
- "Kuwaiti authorities are undermining freedom of expression with a series of arrests and prosecutions intended to stifle dissent," the Committee to Protect Journalists said Tuesday. "At least six Kuwaiti journalists are facing legal action in reprisal for their work, according to news reports. . . . "
- "Kuwait's information minister is defending a proposed media law that reports say could bring fines of about $1 million for insulting the Gulf nation's emir and other members of the ruling family," the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
- Reporters Without Borders hailed Cuba's Tuesday’s release of Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, "an independent reporter for the Hablemos Press information centre, after several weeks of mounting calls for his release from Cuban civil society and international organizations. On being freed, Martínez immediately went to Hablemos Press headquarters, where fellow independent journalists Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez, Denis Noa Machines and Gerardo Younel Ávila Perdomo had begun a hunger strike the day before to press for his release. . . ."
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