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Black Networks Plan Election-Night Coverage

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Sen. Barack Obama makes light of himself, jabs at Fox News at the annual Alfred E. Smith Memorial Foundation dinner at New York's Waldorf-Astoria on Thursday.

Obama Picks Up Historic Newspaper Endorsements

Despite their entertainment focus, the two African American cable networks plan "comprehensive" or "extensive" election night coverage, the two networks said on Friday, as Sen. Barack Obama seems poised to become the nation's first African American president.

Three more major newspapers, meanwhile, endorsed the Democratic senator from Illinois, and Colin Powell, the Republican former secretary of state and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, arranged to appear on NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday amid speculation that he, too, planned to endorse Obama.

[He did, and Obama's opponent, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., responded on "Fox News Sunday," as Jonathan Martin reported for]

Obama and McCain got in digs at the broadcast news media, particularly cable outlets, on Thursday at the annual Alfred E. Smith dinner in New York. And Fox News answered this statement by Obama in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine: "I am convinced that if there were no Fox News, I might be two or three points higher in the polls."

TV One said it would offer "comprehensive coverage" of the presidential election returns on Nov. 4 beginning at 7 p.m. Eastern time, anchored by team members from its Democratic convention coverage in August, which was criticized by some for its inclusion of comedians and other entertainers.

Present on election night are to be Arthur Fennell, host and managing editor of "Art Fennell Reports" on CN8, the Comcast Network; Joe Madison, XM Satellite and WOL-AM radio talk show host; and Jacque Reid, news correspondent on radio's syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show." The network said it plans live coverage from seven different locations, including Obama and McCain election night headquarters.

Johnathan RodgersExperts including pollster Shawnta Walcott plan to analyze the votes and exit polling, and panel of African American commentators, including Michael Eric Dyson and Joyner, will provide commentary and perspective, the network said. Roland Martin, who is also a CNN analyst, is to report live from CNN election headquarters in New York. TV One additionally plans to offer remote broadcasts from Florida A&M and North Carolina A&T State universities, two historically black institutions in battleground states.

"Election night 2008 will be a historic night for African Americans, under any circumstances," said TV One President and CEO Johnathan Rodgers.

Keith Brown, senior vice president, news and public affairs at Black Entertainment Television, said his network would soon announce its plans, and "They will be extensive. We are absolutely covering," he told Journal-isms.

The latest newspaper endorsements bring Obama's lead over McCain to 51 vs. 16, according to Editor & Publisher. In contrast, John Kerry barely edged George W. Bush in endorsements in 2004, by about 220 to 205, E&P said.

The endorsement from the Los Angeles Times is that newspaper's first in a presidential election since 1972, and the first ever of a Democrat.

The historically Republican Chicago Tribune's recommendation breaks a precedent that goes back to the 19th century. Its principles "don't translate into blind faith for any party or cause," the Tribune's Paul Weingarten told readers. The Washington Post also backed Obama.

Powell, who served under three Republican presidents, was once considered a potential running mate for McCain. "Some McCain advisers suspect, without being sure, that Powell will endorse Obama," Mike Allen reported Friday for Politico.

"We've had a longstanding invitation to General Powell to appear on 'Meet the Press' and we are pleased that he's accepted that invitation for this Sunday morning," NBC spokeswoman Jenny Tartikoff told Journal-isms.

In their appearance at the annual Alfred E. Smith dinner, Obama joked that Fox News accused him of fathering two African American children in wedlock. He wondered aloud whether Fox was considered part of the media, since the media is said to be in "love" with him.

The Democrat says in this Sunday's New York Times Magazine, "the way I'm portrayed 24/7 is as a freak! I am the latte-sipping, New York Times-reading, Volvo-driving, no-gun-owning, effete, politically correct, arrogant liberal. Who wants somebody like that?"

In reaction to Obama's comments, John Moody, Fox News executive vice president of news editorial, told TV Newser, "Senator Obama's comments about Fox News are misdirected. If he is uncomfortable with tough questions, it may be because he has faced so few from the news media. The McCain campaign also complains when we make them squirm. We will continue to do hard, honest reporting and let American viewers decide if we're being fair."

Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera English reporter Casey Kauffman interviewed supporters of GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin at an Ohio rally who voiced such statements as, 'I'm afraid if he wins, the blacks will take over. He's not a Christian! This is a Christian nation! What is our country gonna end up like?' and 'Obama and his wife, I'm concerned that they could be anti-white. That he might hide that.'

Washington Post columnist Colbert I. King devoted his Saturday column to a video of Kauffman's story.

Similarly, white journalist Joe Killian of Greensboro, N.C., described covering a rally for Palin at Elon University:

"It was an interesting day and I'm glad to have had the experience. But now here I sit, sunburned and sore with a throbbing headache and an aching leg.

"Why? Because a McCain-Palin supporter tried to kick my ass.

"I know what you're thinking.

"But no, I didn't have it coming." [Updated Oct. 19]

. . . Presidential Hopefuls Take Shots at the Media

Sen. John McCain jabs, too."While comedians were impersonating the presidential candidates at 30 Rock, a few blocks away the presidential candidates were taking a shot at impersonating comedians. Both Sen. John McCain and Barack Obama took to the podium at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel last night, and each delivered impressive comedy set," Steve Krakauer reported Friday for the TV Newser Web site.

"The candidates cracked many jokes at each other's expense, but also aimed at elements of the media. McCain said that MSNBC's Chris Matthews 'used to like me, but he found someone new.'

"He also joked about MSNBC as a whole. 'It's going to be a long long night over at MSNBC if I manage to pull this thing off,' he said. 'I understand that Keith Olbermann has ordered up his very own 'Mission Accomplished' banner. And they can hang that in whatever padded room has been reserved for him. Seriously, Chris, if they need any decorating advice for that banner, ask Keith to call me so I can tell him right where to put it.'

"Obama got a shot in at Fox News. 'Is Fox News included in the media?' he asked McCain. 'Because, I'm always hearing about this "love."

"And McCain used the press to make another point. 'We all know the press is really an independent, civic minded and non-partisan group . . . like ACORN,' he joked."

Jailed Rwandan Reporter Freed After 14-Year Ordeal

Dominique Makeli (Credit: Reporters Without Borders)Dominique Makeli, a former reporter with state-owned Radio Rwanda who had been held since 1994 on a vague, genocide-related charge, was released Monday, the international press advocacy group Reporters Without Borders said Friday it had learned.

Makeli's release was a result of his acquittal by a popular tribunal on Oct. 5, the group said. Detained since Sept. 18, 1994, Makeli had been transferred from one detention center to another, ending up in central prison in Kigali, the capital.

"A public prosecutor told Reporters Without Borders in October 2001 that Makeli was accused of inciting genocide in his reports. While covering a supposed appearance of the Virgin in Kibeho, in the west of the country, in May 1994, Makeli reported that she was supposed to have said: 'The parent is in heaven.'

"The prosecutor insisted that, in the context of that moment, this was taken to mean, 'President [Juv?©nal] Habyarimana is in heaven' and was interpreted as a message of support for Habyarimana and, by extension, the policy of exterminating Tutsis. Both Makeli and many local independent observers disputed that interpretation."

"This is excellent news and a great relief," Reporters Without Borders said. "Like fellow Radio Rwanda journalist Tatiana Mukakibibi, who was freed in November 2007 after 11 years in detention, Makeli has suffered an incredibly long ordeal during which he was unable to defend himself against slanderous allegations. We hope he will now be able to live peacefully, after these 14 years of isolation and injustice."

U.S. Economy Driving Mexican Immigrants Back Home

"Remember Operation Scheduled Departure, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency's self-deportation program put in place two months ago that was scrapped for lack of takers?" Abor Ruiz asked on Wednesday in his New York Daily News column.

"Well, where the feds failed, the economic crisis is succeeding: Self-deportation is becoming a reality.

"'Due to the state of the economy in the U.S., thousands of Mexican immigrants are going home,' said Joel Magall?°n, executive director of the Asociaci??n Tepeyac, a community organization in Manhattan."

Separately, the Pew Research Center for People and the Press reported on Wednesday that, "Americans are concerned about the nation's economic problems almost to the exclusion of every other issue, and they register the lowest level of national satisfaction ever measured in a Pew Research Center survey. Just 11% say they are satisfied with the way things are going in the country – down 14 points in the past month alone.

"However, there is little indication that the nation's financial crisis has triggered public panic or despair. Most Americans express confidence that the government still possesses the power to fix the economy, though that belief has lost adherents since July. There has been no decline in people's perceptions of their own financial situations. Looking ahead to next year, Americans are more confident than they were in July about an improvement in the national economy and in their own personal finances."

L.A. Times Vet Jesus Sanchez Starts Web Publication

Jesus Sanchez, laid off at the Los Angeles Times in July after 21 years, in August started The Eastsider LA, a Web publication that "explores the joys, hassles, contradictions and general weirdness that defines Echo Park and the Eastside of Los Angeles. You can also expect news, history and tips on making the most of living in this corner of L.A.," as the publication says.

Discussing the L.A. Times, Sanchez, 48, told Journal-isms, "I spent about 16 years there in the Business Section, covering a variety of beats, including airlines and real estate. In 2003, I became part of the paper's first team of reporters and editors devoted exclusively to web stories. This year, I became a blogger assigned to the paper's LA Now blog, which was devoted to breaking local news. Now I'm looking for freelance story assignments for online and print media."

Kevin Roderick of L.A. Observed had called LA Now "an addictive read."

Fletcher Clarke Retiring in Louisville After 21 Years

Fletcher J. Clarke"After 21 years at The Courier-Journal, 35 years with Gannett and 47 years in journalism, Fletcher J. Clarke, who most recently served as a copy editor and as Indiana Neighborhoods editor here, has decided to retire," Jim Kirchner, day news editor at the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal, announced to the staff on Friday.

Clarke, a member of the 1970 class of the Columbia School of Journalism's summer program for minority journalists, a forerunner of the Maynard Institute's Summer Program for Minority Journalists, came to the newspaper in 1987 as national/international editor after having been managing editor of the Niagara (N.Y.) Gazette and managing editor/business at Gannett News Service. He was also part of the start-up of USA Today in 1982.

Clarke, who turns 66 on Dec. 9, told Journal-isms, "As of now the plan is to relax for a couple of months and appreciate weekday dinners with Penny. I'll continue studying tai chi and being a student-teacher to a tai chi class for seniors. This has been a wonderful career; I'm thankful for the shoulders I've stood on and hope mine have been supportive."

Evangelicals in the News, but Not in Newsrooms

"Journalism has become more of a white-collar field that draws from elite colleges," according to Terry Mattingly, director of the Washington Journalism Center for the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities and a religion columnist for Scripps Howard News Service. "While there's been heavy gender and racial diversity . . . there's a lack of cultural diversity in journalism," including religion.

Mattingly was quoted in a story Friday by Rose French of the Associated Press, "Evangelicals are in the news, but not in newsrooms."

"Since the 1980s, when the Christian right emerged as a powerful force in American culture and politics, evangelicals have made significant inroads in law and government by training believers to work inside secular institutions. But while the same universities that helped students launch careers in those fields are offering similar programs in journalism, they haven't been as successful at changing the nation's newsrooms," French wrote.

"Many evangelical journalists start out in secular news organizations but they soon join Christian media that offer an environment more accepting of their beliefs and more family-friendly than the long hours and low pay of secular journalism, said Robert Case II, director of the World Journalism Institute, which offers seminars for young evangelicals seeking work in secular media."

Brian Williams reported the death of the Four Tops' Levi Stubbs at 72 on Friday on "NBC Nightly News." The Detroit News prepared a Web tribute to Stubbs, "whose gritty, impassioned baritone was one of the most iconic voices to come out of Motown Records."

Short Takes

  • "We thought that it was just liberal welfare policies and all that that kept blacks from progressing while other minorities grew and prospered, but no, it is these wackos from Bill Ayers to Jeremiah Wright to other anti-American Afrocentric black liberation theologists with ACORN, and Barack Obama is smack dab in the middle of it," Rush Limbaugh told his radio audience, according to John Amato, writing Friday on the Huffington Post. "They have been training young black kids to hate, hate, hate this country, and they trained their parents before that to hate, hate, hate this country."
  • The Tennessee Tribune, a black-oriented Nashville weekly, is again embarrassing hundreds of registered voters in African American neighborhoods who didn't go to the polls in 2004, publishing their names and addresses, Mark Fitzgerald reported Thursday in Editor & Publisher. "A local TV station interviewed several people angry about finding their names and addresses on the list, especially since they believed they had valid reasons they missed the 2004 vote," he wrote.
  • Patricia Smith, who resigned from the Boston Globe in 1998 after admitting she had fabricated parts of four columns, is a finalist for a National Book Award, Lynn Andriani reported Wednesday for Publishers Weekly. Smith, who has become a successful performance poet, was nominated in the poetry category for "Blood Dazzler," published by Coffee House Press. The winners are to be announced on Nov. 19.
  • Bill ChurchWith the addition of Raul Ramirez, a retired sheriff who is Latino, the editorial board of the Salem (Ore.) Statesman Journal, a Gannett property, is a little more diverse, Editorial Page Editor Dick Hughes told Journal-isms. He described the board this way: "Publisher: Jewish white male, liberal to moderate; Editor: Asian American male, conservative to moderate [a reference to Bill Church]; Editorial page editor: Protestant white male, raving centrist (I'm a Presbyterian elder but am still an American Baptist at heart); Opinion editor: Catholic white female, liberal; Community member: Latino male, moderate (retired sheriff); Community member: White female, conservative (business person)."
  • "DeLora Hannaham, a former Yonkers resident and Westchester radio journalist, died Sept. 29 in Boston. She was 76," Len Maniace reported Oct. 10 for the Journal News in Westchester County, N.Y. "From 1976 to the late 1980s, Hannaham was a news reporter for radio station WFAS in Hartsdale, reporting on such major events as the 1981 Brinks robbery in Rockland County and the National Association for the
    Advancement of Colored People's segregation lawsuit against Yonkers."
    A son, James M. Hannaham, writes for
  • The American Journalism Historians Association honored Mark Trahant, editor of the editorial page at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, on Oct. 2. He received its Local Journalist Award, which recognizes the work of a journalist in the region of the association's annual convention. Trahant is also board chair of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.
  • Bill Schechner, 66, and John Lobertini, 48 sued KPIX-TV in San Francisco on Thursday, saying they were the victims of age and sex discrimination when the station laid them off in what it said was a cost-cutting move last March 31, Henry Lee reported Friday in the San Francisco Chronicle. Other well-known reporters who were laid off were Manny Ramos, 56, Tony Russomanno, 57, and Rick Quan, 51.
  • "'Torturing Democracy,' a documentary examining the Bush administration's detention and interrogation policies, will be shown on WNET in New York on Thursday and on a grab bag of other public television stations nationwide in coming weeks. But some of the country's viewers will have to watch online if they want to see the program anytime soon because PBS decided that no national airdate was available until Jan. 21, a day after a new presidential administration takes office," Elizabeth Jensen reported Wednesday for the New York Times.
  • Saying it had not given the team enough notice, European soccer's ruling body suspended a ban it imposed on Spanish soccer power Atletico Madrid because of violent and racist behavior. Among other findings, the ruling body declared that inadequate security allowed fans to racially abuse two black journalists in the press area, according to British news reports.
  • Amy GoodmanA debate scheduled for Sunday between third-party presidential candidates Ralph Nader, Cynthia McKinney, Bob Barr and Chuck Baldwin at Columbia University in New York was canceled on Friday, the Sacramento Bee reported for Saturday's editions, after none of the four candidates had committed to the event. C-SPAN spokesman John Cardarelli told Journal-isms that the network had planned to televise it sometime next week. The moderator was to be Amy Goodman of Pacifica Radio.
  • Veteran journalist Charlayne Hunter-Gault, who with Hamilton E. Holmes integrated the University of Georgia in 1961, is among 20 African American women honored in a traveling exhibit, "Freedom's Sisters," opening Oct. 25 in Sacramento, Calif. It is a collaboration between the Cincinnati Museum Center, Ford Motor Co. and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service. Others honored are Constance Baker Motley, Shirley Chisholm, Mary Church Terrell, Septima Poinsette Clark, Kathleen Cleaver, Myrlie Evers-Williams, Fannie Lou Hamer, Dorothy Height, Barbara Jordan, Mary McLeod Bethune, Rosa Parks, Sonia Sanchez, Coretta Scott King, Betty Shabazz, Harriet Tubman, C. Delores Tucker, Frances Ellen Watkins Harper and Ida B. Wells.

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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Black Networks Plan Election-Night Coverage

With Hispanics poised to play their most important role yet in a presidential election, Univision Communications Inc., the leading Spanish-language media company in the U.S., has announced its plans to provide the most complete campaign and election coverage in its history through its television, online, mobile and radio platforms. ------------ Tanyaa Message Marketing


Thanks for that information. If Univision has made such an announcement, may I gently suggest that it post it on its news-release page? Thanks, Richard Prince

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