Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

Boycotting Fla. Would Cost NABJ $1 Million

Send by email
Monday, July 15, 2013

Returning July 19

Association Wants Martin, Zimmerman Families in Orlando

Intern Who Confirmed Fake Asian Names Reported Fired

"We're Now Losing TV Newsrooms at . . . Eight Per Year"

N.Y. Times Reader Donations Help Cure African Women

Obama Nominates Ex-Reporter Crystal Nix Hines for UNESCO 

Sandra Lilley Named Managing Editor of NBCLatino

Al Jazeera Journalist Fears U.S. Version Aims to "Appease"

"This Week From Indian Country Today" Going Online Only 

Short Takes

Association Wants Martin, Zimmerman Families in Orlando

The Daily News in New York made clear where its sympathies were.

Even though some members of the National Association of Black Journalists are so upset by the not-guilty verdict delivered George Zimmerman that they urged NABJ to pull out of Florida for the convention scheduled in two weeks, such a pullout would cost the association more than $1 million, NABJ President Gregory H. Lee Jr. told Journal-isms on Monday.

In an emailed message to members, Lee wrote, "NABJ's convention team anticipated a verdict would be reached before the convention. The team had already extended an invitation to the [Trayvon] Martin family to participate in a panel. The team also extended an invitation to journalists covering the trial as well as political commentators and community leaders. We also plan to extend an invitation to the Zimmerman family as well. We as black journalists have a role here; we must examine this story and the ramifications of the tragedy of Trayvon Martin's death, as well as the ramifications of the verdict in the Zimmerman trial, from all sides. . . ."

The Zimmerman verdict has dominated black conversation since it was announced Saturday night. The Pew Research Center reported Monday, "The final days of the trial of George Zimmerman, which concluded July 13 with a verdict of not guilty, attracted relatively modest public interest overall. In a weekend survey, 26% say they were following news about the trial very closely. . . ."

Gregory H. Lee Jr.It added, "However, the story has consistently attracted far more interest among blacks than whites — and that remained the case in the trial's final days. Blacks are more than twice as likely as whites to say they tracked news about the Zimmerman trial very closely (56% vs. 20%).

"Moreover, fully 67% of blacks say they watched at least some live coverage of the Zimmerman trial, compared with 38% of whites. About one-in-five blacks (21%) say they watched 'almost all' of the trial coverage; just 5% of whites reported watching almost all of it. . . ."

Nevertheless, "Despite breaking late on a weekend evening, the verdict in the murder trial of George Zimmerman attracted an audience of more than 10 million viewers to cable news networks, a huge total for a Saturday night," Bill Carter reported for the New York Times.

"Preliminary ratings showed that for the hour from 10 to 11 p.m. when the verdict came in, Fox News and CNN both attracted well over 3 million viewers, while MSNBC trailed badly with only about 1.3 million. . . ."

While calls for a boycott of Florida were not widespread, entertainer Stevie Wonder pledged not to play in Florida until the "Stand Your Ground" law is abolished, Randee Dwan reported for NBC News.

Diana Ozemebhoya Eromosele wrote Monday for the Root, "If it grows in Florida, was made in Florida or makes money in Florida, then it is eligible to be included in a list of products and businesses that some Trayvon Martin supporters will boycott as a way to protest the not-guilty verdict in the George Zimmerman second-degree-murder trial." She asked readers to participate in a poll on the issue.

Some NABJ members using social media called on NABJ to cancel its convention, scheduled July 31-Aug. 4 in Orlando. A radio member acknowledged, "I know it's too late for #NABJ to cancel their Orlando convention, but I urge everyone going to spend as little as possible." A Chicago member retorted that black and brown workers would be hurt most.

Many cash-strapped NABJ members were already passing up the convention.

"We are still processing registrations but from early reports it looks like we will have a more intimate convention along the lines of San Diego or Indianapolis, two of our better conventions." Lee said in an email. "While the turnout may not be as great as when we are in a top tier city, we look forward to an amazing time in Orlando."

While NABJ attracted 2,586 registrants last year in New Orleans, the 2010 convention in San Diego had about 1,670 registrants, a spokeswoman said at the time. The Indianapolis convention in 2006 saw about 2,200 people register, but it "was not the income juggernaut that it needs to be for NABJ to have a successful year," treasurer John Yearwood said then. NABJ ended that year with a deficit.

A boycott, Lee told Journal-isms, would be impractical and costly and fail to take advantage of a "unique opportunity" for black journalists.

"If NABJ decided to pull out of the convention in Orlando, it would cost the association over $1 million when you consider the hotel would revert back to the original terms of the contract signed in December 2006," Lee wrote in an email.

"This would include the 4399 room nights we reserved at least at the $220 rate plus at least half of the food and beverage guarantees NABJ signed in the agreement. It would be impractical for NABJ to move out of the state with the other commitments we have to stage an event with our sponsors and more importantly the expenses already incurred by the membership to attend the convention.

"I have heard from many members of their conflict because of what happened in the Zimmerman trial. Be we and other black professional organizations" that have conventions in Florida this summer "have the unique opportunity to have our voices heard on this issue. Our organization will engage our membership and the community into the many facets of this story. We would encourage our members to be engaged and take what they have learned during these discussions back to the newsrooms and make a difference there. We will engage with many national leaders to break down the entire case."

Lee's note to members said that on Thursday, Aug. 1, Roland S. Martin, honorary convention chair, will host NABJ's opening plenary session, "NABJ Live." "Among the topics Martin will tackle during this forum will be the Zimmerman trial, gun violence and the Voting Rights Act.

"Also during this session, we will interview prominent news executives about the coverage and images of what the trial presented. The convention team will customize already scheduled workshops to focus on several aspects of the Zimmerman trial, including the impact of social media."

Intern Who Confirmed Fake Asian Names Reported Fired

The National Transportation Safety Board intern "who confirmed the fake, racist names of the Asiana Flight 214 pilots to a Bay Area television station has been fired," Katherine Fung reported Monday for the Huffington Post.

"BuzzFeed's Andrew Kaczynski reported the news on Twitter on Monday. KTVU came under fire on Friday when it falsely reported the names of the pilots on Asiana Flight 214 as 'Sum Ting Wong,' 'Ho Lee Fuk,' 'Wi Tu Lo' and 'Bang Ding Ow.' The station apologized, and said that it had confirmed the names with someone at the NTSB.

"That person was a summer intern, the NTSB later revealed in a statement on Saturday apologizing for the mistake."

Lloyd LaCuestaThe NTSB said it was not the source of the fake, racially insensitive names, Keith Laing reported Monday for the Hill.

" 'The intern was not the originator of the names,' NTSB spokeswoman Kelly Nantel told The Hill in an email. 'He was asked by a legitimate news outlet to confirm the names they provided to him. Doing so was in violation of our long standing policy and was also outside the scope of his authority. You'd have to ask the station where [they] received the names.' "

Al Tompkins of the Poynter Institute wrote Monday, "Today, KTVU News Director Lee Rosenthal (who I've known for several years) told me the station cannot say more about the incident because Asiana Airlines says it plans to sue the station for harming its reputation. . . ."

He praised the station for its response. "KTVU has never hidden from its mistake. It corrected the story quickly, on the same newscast where the mistake was made," Tompkins wrote.

Still, the episode was an embarrassment. Former KTVU reporter Lloyd LaCuesta, who spent 35 years at the Bay Area Fox station, wrote "with sadness" a letter to KTVU Vice President and General Manager Tom Raponi. "I was crowing to people here about how I worked at that station," wrote LaCuesta, the first elected national president of the Asian American Journalists Association and former president of Unity: Journalists of Color, Inc., AsAm News reported.

"Now, I am trying to defend the station over the airing of prank pilots' names.

"I hope that you will make every effort to tell the public the complete story about how this happened."

"We're Now Losing TV Newsrooms at . . . Eight Per Year"

"The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey found lots of staff turnover, but when the dust settled, the total TV staffing was virtually unchanged from a year ago — down just 48 to a total local TV news staff of 27,605, Bob Papper of Hofstra University wrote Monday for the Radio Television Digital News Association. "The average staff size per newsroom actually grew to break last year's record, but, once again, fewer newsrooms resulted in that slight overall shrinkage. It's still the third highest total staff ever (barely behind both 2000 and last year).

Papper also said, "The number of stations originating local news peaked in 2005 at 778. It's been steadily down since then. Some of those were marginal operations to begin with, but quite a few TV newsrooms have been subsumed in some sort of consolidation or shared services agreement. We're now losing TV newsrooms at the fairly steady rate of eight per year. Until this year, the number of stations getting news from one of those originating stations has been growing. This is the first year that list has gotten smaller. . . . "

Hadiza Soulaye with other patients at the Danja Fistula Center in Niger. (Credit

N.Y. Times Reader Donations Help Cure African Women

"While helping others is a complicated, uncertain enterprise, there are times when a modest donation can be transformative," columnist Nicholas D. Kristof wrote Sunday in the New York Times.

Kristof reported on progress that resulted after more than $500,000 in contributions from Times readers that made possible construction of a hospital in a "remote nook of Niger in West Africa" that can treat a humiliating and devastating childbirth injury.

"They straggle in by foot, donkey cart or bus: humiliated women and girls with their heads downcast, feeling ashamed and cursed, trailing stink and urine," Kristof wrote from Danja, Niger.

"Some were married off at 12 or 13 years old and became pregnant before their malnourished bodies were ready. All suffered a devastating childbirth injury called an obstetric fistula that has left them incontinent, leaking urine and sometimes feces through their vaginas. Most have been sent away by their husbands, and many have endured years of mockery and ostracism as well as painful sores on their legs from the steady trickle of urine.

"They come to this remote nook of Niger in West Africa because they've heard that a new hospital may be able to cure them and end their humiliation. And they are right — thanks, in part, to you as Times readers."

In a column last year when the hospital opened, Kristof wrote, "More than two million women and girls have fistulas worldwide. They are the lepers of the 21st century, among the most voiceless and shunned people on earth. Fistulas were once also common in America (a fistula hospital was once located in Manhattan where the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel is now), but today they normally afflict only people in poor countries of Africa and Asia. . . ."

The columnist added Sunday, "Fistulas may be a grim topic, but this center you readers have helped to build is a warm and inspiring place. Women who have suffered for years find hope here, and they proudly display skills they are learning, such as knitting or sewing, that they can use to earn a living afterward. As they await surgery, their dormitories echo with giggles and girl talk. They are courageous and indomitable, and now full of hope as well. . . "

Obama Nominates Ex-Reporter Crystal Nix Hines for UNESCO

Crystal Nix Hines

In the 1980s and again in 2001, Crystal Nix, a 1985 graduate of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, was a reporter for the New York Times.

When she left journalism, Crystal Nix Hines became friends with then-students Barack and Michelle Obama, remained part of their circle, and this month became the president's nominee as permanent U.S. representative to UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

There are more permutations to her story. "Nix Hines, who began her career as a New York Times reporter, has raised more than $1 million for Obama's two presidential campaigns," Tina Daunt reported last week for the Hollywood Reporter. "She has been a writer and producer on a number of television shows, including Alias, The Practice and Commander in Chief.

"This will not be her first experience with diplomacy, as from 1993-1997, she served in the State Department as counselor to the assistant secretary for Democracy, Human Rights and Labor; a member of the department’s Policy Planning Staff, and special assistant to the department's legal adviser.

"Earlier in her career, Nix Hines clerked for revered Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, a civil rights icon, who as an attorney successfully argued the landmark Brown v. [Board of] Education [of Topeka, Kan.] school desegregation case to the U.S. Supreme Court."

Nix Hines met Barack Obama at Harvard Law School and went to Princeton with the future first lady, becoming the first African American editor of the Daily Princetonian. "Mrs. Obama . . . was thrilled that a historic barrier had fallen," the Times' Michael Powell and Jodi Kantor wrote during the 2008 campaign.

"That did not stop her, however, from confronting Ms. Hines, a friend, over an article that contained what Mrs. Obama took to be inappropriate characterizations of a black politician. . . ."

Sandra Lilley Named Managing Editor of NBCLatino

Sandra Lilley"Sandra Lilley has been promoted to Managing Editor of NBCLatino effective today. She'll continue to be based in New York and report to Chris Peña," Veronica Villafañe reported Monday for her Media Moves site.

"In her new role, Sandra will be responsible for the day-to-day editorial direction of

"Sandra, a member of the original NBCLatino team, has been the site's Political Editor since 2011. She previously worked 8 years as Planning Editor and Producer for the NBC Network News Desk. Before that, she was Dayside Managing Editor for MSNBC. . . ."

The English-language went live last year, targeting U.S.-born and English-dominant Hispanics.

Al Jazeera Journalist Fears U.S. Version Aims to "Appease"

"When Al Jazeera last December purchased Current TV in order to launch its own "Al Jazeera America" (AJAM) network, it seemed clear they had two general options for how the new network's brand could be built. AJAM could embrace the traditional attributes that has made Al Jazeera, at its best, an intrepid and fearless global news organization: willing to cover stories, air dissident views, and challenge power in ways that many other outlets, especially in the US, are afraid to do," Glenn Greenwald wrote Sunday for Britain's Guardian newspaper.

He went on, "Because AJAM has not launched yet, debates over which course the new network has chosen have been mostly speculative. But one prominent Al Jazeera journalist, Marwan Bishara, the network's senior political analyst and host of 'Empire', is insistent that the network has chosen the latter course of appeasement, fear and self-neutering.

"Earlier this week, Bishara sent a scathing 1,800-word email to multiple Al Jazeera executives, directed particularly at those overseeing the new network. The missive, a copy of which was provided to the Guardian and whose receipt was confirmed by AJAM executives . . . excoriates network officials for running away from the Jazeera brand due both to 'the rush to act out of a personal ambition' and 'to appease those who won't, or don't necessarily want to be, appeased'. Such a re-branding effort, he wrote, "insult[s] the intelligence of the American people".

"Bishara was especially incensed at the efforts he said the executives have undertaken to avoid having the news network be labeled 'anti-American' . . . "

Indian Country Today Publisher Ray Halbritter looks through the last print editi

"This Week From Indian Country Today" Going Online Only

"A weekly magazine that is a leading source of Native American news is abandoning print in favor of an online-only presence, in a cost-cutting move that worries some readers who fear they may lose access because of the switch," Kristi Eaton reported Sunday from Sioux Falls, S.D., for the Associated Press.

"This Week From Indian Country Today, a New York City-based publication owned by the Oneida Nation, will become an online newsletter starting with its July 17 issue.

" 'In the age we live in, technology is really advanced to a point that we're trying to make sure we're serving what our audience really needs,' said Indian Country Today publisher Ray Halbritter. Converting to an online newsletter that is emailed to subscribers will eliminate some of the lag time between when news happens and when it appears in writing, he said.

"The magazine, which was started in 1981, provides a mixture of straight news stories and commentary by tribal members, and it is often a way for politicians to get their messages out to Native American communities. President Barack Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner have all done interviews or written opinion pieces."

The story continued, "Rhonda LeValdo, the president of the Native American [Journalists] Association, said Indian Country Today's switch to digital-only could be seen as a positive step for Native communities because it may free up resources for more reporting and accelerate the push for greater access to broadband. And, she added, traditional tribal newspapers may see people who prefer print turning to them for their news. . . "

Short Takes

Follow Richard Prince on Twitter

Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.

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.

Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince.

To be notified of new columns, contact and tell us who you are.

About Richard Prince

View previous columns.



Cross-Postings from the Root

LogicalLeopard I

I understand why they can't pull out of this. You've got all these people with plane tickets fllying into Florida, who would have to change them. You'd have to find a different hotel in another state, if they weren't already booked solid. This is the summertime, there are all sorts of conventions, family reunions, special events, etc booking hotels.

I agree with a Florida boycott, to a certain extent. Don't go there, don't spend money there. As far as products coming from Florida, I don't know about that. My main reason for a tourism boycott is that the law makes it easy for someone to be killed without the killer even being arrested. Not saying if I see some California oranges and Florida oranges in the store, I won't skip the Florida ones, but I'm not about to find each and every product centered in Florida.

As far as the NABJ, I think it might be interesting to find ways NOT to spend money. Come on, we black people are good at that *L* Maybe have some t shirts printed up that say "I went to Florida and all I got was this Lousy T Shirt....Printed in Georgia."

Nancy Lorieau

Change will happen when money and convenience are no longer used as excuses for inaction.

Karen Johnson

Not off the hook! No way! Why haven't you contacted Stevie Wonder? He's putting his money where his mouth is, boycotting concerts in all states with SYG laws -- I HOPE you do know that! How do you know he wouldn't be delighted to take care of the shortfall, and as a result of his support for YOUR boycott, perform at the convention, for your guests? You KNOW this is exactly the kind of generosity he has proven in the past. Brothers and sisters, get creative with this, c'mon!

LogicalLeopard I

The issue here is that the convention is TWO WEEKS away. People probably already have their plane tickets, reservations, etc. How do you shift an entire convention to another state in two weeks? I understand why they're still going. Stevie Wonder on the other hand probably didn't have any bookings in Florida at the time, certainly not within two weeks. But even still, it's easier to cancel a concert than it is a convention.

I say they should spend as little as possible, and stay away in the future.

Connie Hilliard

"Black Journalists Should Cancel Florida Conference"

Connie Hilliard I understand NABJ's need to remain financially solvent and I also appreciate the fact that the annual convention may be its principal source of revenue. But let's not forget our history. In the 1960s, civil rights leaders in some cases sacrificed their lives in the face of racial injustice. Some on this site consider it an unimaginable imposition on NABJ members that they be asked to consider foregoing the $220/ a night hotel rooms and plane tickets to Orlando in order to protest the profiling and murder of young black men and boys. But if our priorities as black professionals have changed so starkly from the vision of those who came before, then we have lost something far more precious than money.

creepy cracker

Please boycott everywhere. We will be better off without category 5 chimp-outs, rape and robbery. Please!

Mr. Self-Determination

have we forgot of who we are dealing with? Were we are? Florida is the last state to concede / surrender in civil war during slavery! Ask the Seminole Native Americans of Florida! Mr. Self-Determination

Chris G

Someone needs to tell the North American BJ'ers that you can't have it both ways...although several sick minds still do: you either go to the NABJ event -- & ENJOY IT -- or you boycott the State & take on for the Team. After all, by not going to FL, you will feel good by giving another State your bunness, & that would definitely have a much larger affect on The Man than it would the lowly workers in need of their next EBT card or ObamaPhone.


My biggest applause to Stevie Wonder, Al Sharpton for coming to the Martin/Fulton families' aid when they called and well, you too, Jessie.

Chris G

Hey Stevie:

"I'll fart in your general direction!"

A MajeztyRene

Just DO IT ! Don't talk about it..BE about it. This dialogue can happen anywhere but Florida. Boycotting has pretty much always been effective.

Keith Singleton

Consider the delicate situation - there had been eight break-in robberies; gangs of young black thieves. Families terrorized in their homes. Mothers grabbing babies and locking themselves in bedrooms as hordes of young black men ransacked homes, yanking the doorknobs. In that private, gated community, it became essential that every neighbor follow any strange youth not known to live there. Every neighbor's duty was to see what is going on after that. I am the only person so far in my experience to say Trayvon knew about these break-ins. He had to, because he was staying with people who lived RIGHT THERE. The renter would know, and pass it on. Therefore, he knew he was being followed by a concerned neighbor. He also understood that it was justified to be watched, but had to show off he wasn't chicken. All strangers had to be monitored in that private gated community, it was not a public area. Martin had to show girl he wasn't chicken, that would get around. Taryvon Martin was seen, caught, and recorded trying to murder a crybaby for over a minute. Not a scratch on Martin proves he died a bully, coward and attempted murderer. Though it was assault and battery at first, it didn't need to go on, and on, and on. Brain damage probably already had occurred on thick skull who just wasn't showing it as bad as it felt. It was pride that drove Trayvon, not fear. He knew to expect being watched, even justifiably so, but used it as an excuse to kill. MissCheevious likes this.


So what you are suggesting is that profiling is fine and every black male is a suspect. Even a teen aged boy going about his own LAWFULL business and bothering no one. His only "failure" was being born black I guess.

Pea Scott, 1Tinman1 and MajeztyRene like this.


Oh, Profiling Shmofiling. It's the way the world works.

Why would someone suspect a short white woman of being suspicious if the robberies were committed by YOUNG BLACK MALES????

If you don't want people to profile QT, then teach Black children NOT to be the highest percentage of burglars in the country! When that is the case, people will no longer "profile" young Black males.


Blah Blah. You people will repeat this lie over and over until you will actually believe it.

It won't work on THIS vine. Take it elsewhere. Go drink blood with the Zimmermans and juror B37 too !

1Tinman1 likes this.


creepy cracker

Ahem, OJ didn't seem to bother y'all. But that's different, YT was killed.


I say hold the convention there and make **** certain that EVERYONE hears you! Invite state leaders and then embarrass them with the tough questions in front of the world.

Pea Scott and 1Tinman1 like this.


i'll say that again

QuietThoughtsII likes this.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.