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Blacks Lead Whites in Naming TV as Top News Source

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Monday, July 8, 2013

Internet Is Second Choice for All Groups, Gallup Says

Reporter Finds Calif. Forcibly Sterilized Female Inmates

Sun-Times Editor Sorry "If Anybody Was Offended"

Leader of "Secret Supreme Court" Hid in Plain Sight

Raymond Rodriguez, 87, Revealed Latino Deportations

Is "Caucasian" a Polite Euphemism Whose Time Has Passed?

Egyptian Crowd Targets CNN After Mistaken Identification

Police Horsewhip Nigerian Journalist Delivering Letter

Short Takes

In the Gallup poll, half of adults aged   18 to 29 and half aged 30 to 49 identify television as their main source of news.  Above, MTV's "Beavis and Butt-Head." In the Gallup poll, half of adults aged   18 to 29

Internet Is Second Choice for All Groups, Gallup Says

"Television is the main place Americans say they turn to for news about current events (55%), leading the Internet, at 21%," the Gallup Organization reported Monday, with people of color turning to television more than whites and less to the Internet, print and radio.

The organization noted that Americans have an abundance of news choices. But when consumers named a single television news source, Univision led among Hispanics, at 6 percent, and MSNBC among blacks, at 4 percent, according to figures Gallup provided to Journal-isms.

Among whites, the preferences were television, 25 percent; computer/Internet/web/online (non-specific), 19 percent; newspapers, 7 percent; radio, 4 percent; local TV News, 3 percent.

Among nonwhites, television, 27 percent; computer/Internet/web/online (non-specific), 16 percent; newspapers, 3 percent; radio, 2 percent; local TV news, 5 percent.

Among blacks, television, 31 percent; computer/Internet/web/online (non-specific), 9 percent; newspapers, 3 percent; radio, 2 percent; local TV news, 8 percent.

Among Hispanics, television, 26 percent; computer/Internet/web/online (non-specific), 19 percent; newspapers, 1 percent; radio, 2 percent; local TV news, 3 percent.

Overall, 9 percent said newspapers or other print publications were their main news source, followed by radio, at 6 percent.

"These results are based on a Gallup poll of 2,048 national adults conducted June 20-24, in which Americans were asked to say, unaided, what they consider to be their main source of news about U.S. and global events," Lydia Saad reported for Gallup.

She continued, "If the current media preferences of young adults are any indicator of the future, the data offer good news for TV, but bad news for print media. Half of adults aged 18 to 29 and half aged 30 to 49 identify television as their main source of news. This is nearly double the rate for the Internet even among these more tech-savvy populations. However, it does differ from older generations who put relatively more emphasis on TV and less on the Internet.

"At the same time, heavy reliance on print is exclusive to seniors, among whom 18% cite newspapers or other print publications as their main source of news. By contrast, 6% to 8% of younger age groups rely on print.

"Few adults of any age say their main source of news is radio. While many Americans certainly tune in to radio for entertainment as well as talk radio, it is clearly not the place most turn for hard news about current events. . . ."

However, the survey noted that employment is a key determinant of news choices. "Working Americans — those employed, either full or part time — are much more likely than those not currently working to identify the Internet as their main source of news, 26% vs. 15%. Those not working prefer television at a correspondingly higher rate; nevertheless, television is the top choice among both groups.

"Additionally, employed adults are more likely to cite radio as their primary news source, likely reflecting the listening habits of some commuters. . . ."

Fox News Channel was chosen by 10 percent of whites, 1 percent of blacks, 5 percent of Hispanics and 3 percent of nonwhites (including Asian Americans and Native Americans); CNN was chosen by 6 percent of whites, 11 percent of blacks and 9 percent of Hispanics and 9 percent of nonwhites.

MSNBC was the choice of 1 percent of whites, 4 percent of blacks, 1 percent of Hispanics and 2 percent of nonwhites.

Saad wrote, "Fox News is a clear driver of Republicans' higher tendency to turn to television for their news, with 20% versus 6% of independents and 1% of Democrats, naming it as their main news source. No other television, print, or online news source generates as much loyalty from either Democrats or independents. The closest is CNN, named by 10% of Democrats, 6% of independents, and 4% of Republicans.

"Underscoring the different partisan preferences of those who rely on Fox News vs. CNN for their news, the demographic and political profile[s] of Americans who name each as their top news source are highly distinct. For example, nearly two-thirds of Fox News-oriented news consumers are 50 and older, compared with barely a third of CNN-oriented news consumers: 66% vs. 35%. Relatedly, 69% of the Fox News group is married, versus 37% of the CNN group.

"Additionally, core CNN viewers are more likely than core Fox News viewers to be male, while core Fox News viewers are much more likely than core CNN viewers to be white, Protestant, attend church weekly, and to earn $75,000 or more per year. . . ."

The Gallup sample included 1,574 whites, 419 nonwhites, 164 blacks and 192 Hispanics.

Gallup Organization polling took a credibility hit when it showed Republican Mitt Romney with a significant lead among likely voters 10 days before the Nov. 6 presidential election and marginally ahead of President Obama on the eve of an election that Obama won by about 3 percentage points. Frank Newport, Gallup editor in chief, conceded then that Gallup might have underestimated the number of likely black and Hispanic voters by the way it posed its questions.

Kimberly Jeffrey, a former Valley State Prison for Women inmate, spends time wit

Reporter Finds Calif. Forcibly Sterilized Female Inmates

"Doctors under contract with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation sterilized nearly 150 female inmates from 2006 to 2010 without required state approvals, the Center for Investigative Reporting has found, Corey G. Johnson reported Sunday for the center.

Corey G. Johnson

"At least 148 women received tubal ligations in violation of prison rules during those five years — and there are perhaps 100 more dating back to the late 1990s, according to state documents and interviews. . . ."

Johnson pointed out, "The allegations echo those made nearly a half-century ago, when forced sterilizations of prisoners, the mentally ill and the poor were commonplace in California. State lawmakers officially banned such practices in 1979."

Johnson, 38, is one of the few black journalists doing investigative reporting full-time. "I've put in several months work on this," he told Journal-isms by email, referring to the sterilization story. "A CNN report on eugenics in the 1900s piqued my interest. I had no idea of how big of a role California played before watching that report. From there, I wanted to know more. And as I dug, I got a tip that questionable sterilizations may had occurred more recently in the prisons."

Johnson was featured in this space last year, when the Center for Investigative Reporting's California Watch won Scripps Howard's Roy W. Howard Award for Public Service for "On Shaky Ground," a 19-month series detailing a breakdown in the way the state protects children and teachers from the threat of a major earthquake.

At a session on diversity two weeks ago at the American Society of News Editors convention in Washington, Stephen Engelberg, editor-in-chief of the investigative site ProPublica, said he had just left the annual convention of Investigative Reporters and Editors, where "lack of diversity in the ranks of investigative reporters" had been a topic.

Keith Woods, vice president for diversity in news and operations at NPR, who was leading the session, said investigative reporters should ask themselves, "How'd you wind up there? Look at the interns, and where are the people of color in the organization now, and where are they getting the opportunity to stretch.

"There's a need to attend to it consciously," Woods said. "We're still uncomfortable saying, 'You're a woman, and I'm going to do something that's inspired by that fact.' We get a little queasy." He recalled that while at the Times-Picayune in New Orleans, then-Associate Editor Jim Amoss sent him to South Africa in 1990 when Nelson Mandela was about to be freed from prison. "It was so far from being anything I'd seen before," Woods said, but Amoss allowed him to "stretch."

Sun-Times Editor Sorry "If Anybody Was Offended"

Chicago Sun-Times

"A front-page headline in the Chicago Sun-Times provoked debate after Saturday's Asiana airline tragedy in San Francisco. Some who saw the tabloid's cover took offense, contending that the headline — 'Fright 214' — perpetuated the oft-used stereotype of an Asian accent," Bobby Caina Calvan, Media Watch chair of the Asian American Journalists Association, wrote Sunday.

"While we at the Asian American Journalists Association are willing to give the Sun-Times the benefit of the doubt, the headline used to accompany the paper's coverage was certainly unfortunate. An editor should have caught the racially tinged wording.

"In a brief telephone conversation on Sunday, Sun-Times Publisher and Editor-in-Chief Jim Kirk said it didn't dawn on his editors that the play on words could be construed as offensive.

" 'There was nothing intentional on our part to play off any stereotypes. … If anybody was offended by that, we are sorry,' Kirk added.

" 'We were trying to convey the obviously frightening situation of that landing,' Kirk said. . . ."

Kirk did not respond to a question from Journal-isms about the extent of diversity among its editors. The Sun-Times did not participate in the latest newsroom diversity census [PDF] of the American Society of News Editors.

Calvan wrote, "If the Sun-Times' copy desk is like many others in newsrooms across the nation, it probably lacked the diversity of voices on staff that might have questioned the appropriateness of the headline. . . ."

On the Facebook page of media blogger Jim Romenesko, a "friend" named Roger Ailes commented, "Sun-Times headline writer real Ah So."

Ailes is the name of the president of Fox News Channel and chairman of the Fox Television Stations Group.

Leader of "Secret Supreme Court" Hid in Plain Sight

Reggie B. Walton

With the controversy over surveillance of U.S. citizens in the news for weeks, it's surprising that it took this long for a profile of U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton to surface.

"The chief judge of America's most powerful secret court is a 64-year-old man who has said his path toward the law began in part when he was stopped by police in the early 1960s simply for being black, and who once said he became a lawyer to 'make an impact on the quality of life for people of color in this country,' " John Stanton wrote Sunday for BuzzFeed.

"Reggie Walton is the presiding judge of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, whose 11 members are appointed directly by the chief justice of the Supreme Court. Revelations of broad spying by the National Security Agency have drawn unusual attention to the Court, which The New York Times reported Sunday 'has created a secret body of law giving the National Security Agency the power to amass vast collections of data.' "

The story was headlined, "Meet The Chief Justice Of America's Secret Supreme Court."

In the Times' lead story on Sunday, by Eric Lichtblau, Walton wasn't named until three paragraphs from the end, on the jump. But Lichtblau reported that Walton's court "has quietly become almost a parallel Supreme Court, serving as the ultimate arbiter on surveillance issues and delivering opinions that will most likely shape intelligence practices for years to come," according to officials.

Jennifer Valentino-Devries and Siobhan Gorman followed up Monday in the Wall Street Journal, disclosing that "The National Security Agency's ability to gather phone data on millions of Americans hinges on a secret court ruling that redefined a single word: 'relevant.' " The "secret court" was Walton's, though this story did not name him.

John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke of Reuters did identify Walton in a June 21 story on the FISA court's judges. It noted that Walton helped to  direct the White House war on drugs under President George W. Bush and sentenced Scooter Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's chief of staff, to 30 months in prison for perjury.

The Reuters story added, Walton "may be best known for two high-profile perjury trials — the one with Libby, who was ultimately pardoned by Bush and another against former baseball pitcher Roger Clemens. Walton declared a mistrial in [Clemens'] case after the government improperly presented evidence and on retrial the athlete was acquitted. Lawyers say Walton is a stern judge at sentencing, but note he has also chaired the national prison rape commission. 'He's pro- government, but I don't think he's pro-government in terms of doing reflexively what the government wants,' a defense lawyer wrote of Walton in an anonymous survey published by the Almanac of the Federal Judiciary."

As the BuzzFeed article notes, Walton was one of the subjects of 1994's "Black Judges on Justice" by black journalist Linn Washington of the Philadelphia Tribune and Temple University.

Walton was then a D.C. Superior Court judge. "Walton believes in punishment, yet he also believes prisons are not the only way to punish the guilty," Washington wrote. "Walton believes effective efforts to curtail crime and drug abuse must include social programs to address poverty-related problems, a position that frequently put him at odds with fellow [George H.W.] Bush administration officials who he said were [averse] even to the mention of social programs. But Walton believed in a basic tenet of the administration: part of the crime problem is related to the breakdown of the family, particularly the inner-city, nonwhite family. . . ."

From 1929 to 1944, more than 2 million people of Mexican descent – 1.2 million o

Raymond Rodriguez, 87, Revealed Latino Deportations

"Raymond Rodriguez was 10 years old in 1936 when his immigrant father walked out of the family's Long Beach farmhouse and returned to Mexico, never to see his wife and children again," Elaine Woo reported Saturday for the Los Angeles Times.

"The son would spend decades pondering the forces that had driven his father away, an effort that reached fruition in 'Decade of Betrayal,' a social history of the 1930s focusing on an estimated 1 million Mexicans and Mexican Americans unjustly deported or scared into leaving their homes in the United States by federal and local officials seeking remedies for the Great Depression. . . ."

She continued, "Rodriguez, 87, a former Long Beach City College administrator and columnist for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, who believed 'the greatest tragedy of all' was public ignorance of the deportations, died June 24 at his Long Beach home. The cause was believed to be a heart attack, said his daughter, C.J. Crockett.

" 'It is no exaggeration to say that without the scholarly work by Ray' " and co-author Francisco Balderrama, " 'no one but a handful of individuals would ever know about the illegal deportations of Mexican Americans in the 1930s,' said former state Sen. Joseph Dunn (D-Santa Ana), who sponsored 2005 legislation that apologized for California's part in 'fundamental violations' of the deportees' constitutional rights. . . ."

Is "Caucasian" a Polite Euphemism Whose Time Has Passed?

"As a racial classification, the term Caucasian has many flaws, dating as it does from a time when the study of race was based on skull measurements and travel diaries," Shaila Dewan, an economics reporter for the New York Times, wrote Sunday for the Times' Sunday Review. "It has long been entirely unmoored from its geographical reference point, the Caucasus region. Its equivalents from that era are obsolete — nobody refers to Asians as 'Mongolian' or blacks as 'Negroid.'”

"And yet, there it was in the recent Supreme Court decision on affirmative action. The plaintiff, noted Justice Anthony M. Kennedy in his majority opinion, was Caucasian.

"To me, having covered the South for many years, the term seems like one of those polite euphemisms that hides more than it reveals. There is no legal reason to use it. It rarely appears in federal statutes, and the Census Bureau has never put a checkbox by the word Caucasian. (White is an option.) . . . "

As for her own racial identity, Dewan wrote, 'In the South, I was often asked about my ethnic origins, and I had a ready answer. 'My father is from India,' I would recite, phrasing it in such a way as to avoid being mistaken for an American Indian. 'And my mom is white.' Almost invariably, if I was speaking to black people, they would nod with understanding. If I was speaking to white people, I would get a puzzled look. 'What kind of white?' they would ask. Only when I explained the Norwegian, Scottish and German mix of my ancestry would I get the nod. . . .

On Saturday, ABC News' Byron Pitts tweeted this photo of himself in a Muslim Bro

Egyptian Crowd Targets CNN After Mistaken Identification

"CNN has become a target of protesters in Egypt after it mistakenly labeled a crowd as being supporters of ousted president Mohammed Morsi and repeatedly referred to his overthrow as a 'coup,' " Jack Mirkinson reported Monday for Huffington Post.

"The crowd was actually protesting against Morsi, and backers of his ouster have strongly objected to calling it a coup, saying that the Egyptian military deposed him based on popular will. CNN called the events a coup minutes after Morsi's departure from office was announced last Wednesday.

"Someone created a 'CNN Supports Terrorism' Facebook page and Twitter account, and protesters could be seen in Cairo with signs reading 'CNN Shame On You':

"There was also a march in New York, and a petition which has garnered over 40,000 signatures.

"Ben Wedeman, CNN's longtime Cairo correspondent, said on Twitter that people had become so incensed about the coverage that he didn't feel safe enough to go to Tahrir Square . . . "

Police Horsewhip Nigerian Journalist Delivering Letter

In Nigeria, "On 3 July 2013, a police officer manning the gate of the government house in Makurdi, Benue State, North-Central Nigeria, publicly flogged Mr. Chris Atsaka — the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Benue State Council — with a horsewhip," the Toronto-based International Freedom of Expression Clearing House reported on Friday.

"Atsaka said he was at the government house on invitation from the chief of staff to Governor Gabriel Suswam, to deliver a letter to him about the planned NUJ Press Week.

"Narrating his ordeal, Atsaka said: 'On getting to the gate, I told the [State Security Service] officer identified as Manasseh that I was there on appointment to deliver a letter to the chief of staff to the governor, who had earlier called me. Manasseh told me that I couldn't see him.'

" 'Then I called the chief of staff, he told me that he was not in the office, but would send someone to meet me at the gate and collect the letter.'

"He said when he made his way to the press centre to wait, Manasseh ordered the police officer to beat him up.

"A policeman named Gbenga then started to flog Atsaka with a horsewhip right from the entrance of the government house to the press centre, in the full glare of staff of the special duties. Gbenga was later joined by Manasseh himself, who repeatedly hit him with the butt of his gun.

"The security men reportedly dragged Atsaka out of the press centre and tried to force him into a truck, until the special adviser to the governor on media and public affairs, Mr. Cletus Akwaya, and Jacob Ayati, another official working in the government house, intervened and took him in a car to the office of the governor's chief of staff."

Short Takes

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Sun-Times headline

As a supporter and former member of NABJ, NAHJ and AAJA and a long-time advocate of diversity in our industry, it pains me to see how some "political correctness" can be carried to the point of silliness. I looked at the Sun-Times headline for more time than is usual, trying to ascertain just what was offensive. Then I thought it must have been something in the other headline on the page. When I learned that some saw it as a slur on Asian-Americans, the was dumbfounded. No, I do not consider myself insensitive to the feelings of others. But to make the leap from a headline remarking on what indeed must have been a frightening experience to a racial slur is over the top. To stretch "political correctness" to the point that we search for offense in every utterance is to devalue our influence and credibility on those occasions when the insult is substantive.


Editor's note: Joe, here's a comment from the Asian American Journalists Association's Facebook page:

 Tony Ramirez I am always amazed that people actually fear political "correctness" more than they do actual racism. 

To recap: South Korea is in Asia. The plane crash involved a South Korean airline. The crash killed two young Asian girls. Scores of people, mostly Asian, were injured. Racists substitute an "r" for an "l" when mocking Asians. The Chicago Sun-Times used to be a respected American newspaper.

"Political correctness" is another one of those right-wing canards that seems to have seized the general public's imagination. Why? I have no idea. 

Is it bad that a mildly flirtatious remark is criminally prosecuted as sexual harassment? Sure, I agree. But it's never happened, except in the fevered imagination of some. 

Is it politically incorrect to tell rape jokes in the office? Yes, and I'm fine with that.

Is it politically incorrect to tell nigger jokes in the office? Yes, and I'm fine with that.

Is it politically incorrect to tell fag jokes in the office? Yes, and i'm fine with that. 

What if those jokes carried, as they once did, no social stigma whatsoever? Well, I wouldn't be fine with that. 

And maybe there should be a little more public disgrace attached to the ching-chong-Chinaman jokes and the still-popular taunt of lifting up the edge of your eyes. Politically incorrect? Okay. It is.

Why in the name of public decency is it so bad to name and shame? At any rate, maybe the Chicago Sun-Times, and others, would learn to flinch next time.

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