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Constance White, 2 More Essence Editors Out

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Friday, February 8, 2013

Ex-N.Y. Times Writer Showcased Black Women's Diversity

Freedom Forum Diversity Unit Pulls 3 Programs From Website

3 Who Slimmed Down Say Christie Should Listen Up

Whitlock Knocks Associated Press Sports Editors as Biased

Where Were Media on Drones in Obama's First Term?

More Oppose Redskins Name After D.C. Symposium

Plenty of Reasons to Mention L.A. Suspect's Race

End of Saturday Mail Could Push Magazines to Online Only

Short Takes

Ex-N.Y. Times Writer Showcased Black Women's Diversity

Constance     WhiteConstance C.R. White, who returned Essence magazine to a showcase for black women of diverse skin tones and hairstyles, is leaving the magazine, as are Corynne L. Corbett, the beauty editor, and Greg Monfries, the creative director, spokeswoman Dana Baxter confirmed for Journal-isms Friday night and Saturday.

Vanessa Bush, the executive editor, "will step into Constance's role in the interim as managing editor," Baxter said by email. She declined to elaborate.

The Jamaica-born White, a veteran journalist, was style director, brand consultant and spokeswoman for eBay, the online company, when she was named to lead Essence, the nation's leading magazine for black women, in 2011. The Time Inc. property ranks second in circulation to Ebony among magazines targeting African Americans.

Vanessa Bush"White was previously the founding Fashion Editor for Talk magazine, a celebrated Style Reporter for The New York Times and the Executive Fashion Editor for Elle magazine. She also served as Associate Editor at Women's Wear Daily and W magazine and began her career at Ms. magazine, as assistant to co-Founder Gloria Steinem," an announcement said when she was named.

This column noted at the time that the March 2011 issue of Essence magazine, delivered during Black History Month,"might as well have been renamed 'Wigs and Weaves.' "

"It seemed like that kind of advertorial. Subsequent issues weren't much different," the summary of the year in media diversity continued.

"However, issues for the rest of the year represented a return to acknowledging the diversity among black women. Under Constance C.R. White, named editor-in-chief in March, Essence is showing women of varying skin tones and hair styles and tackling more subjects that bolster the self-esteem of its impressionable audience. The December issue included a piece by Denene Miller on colorism, defined as 'the practice of extending or withholding favor based on a person's skin tone.' 'ColorStruck' was accompanied by a quiz by Ylonda Gault Caviness to determine whether you are."

At the National Association of Black Journalists convention last year in New Orleans, White remarked that the magazine was looking for models among everyday women because editors were not satisfied with the look of the professional models available. "Street Style" became a regular feature, spotlighting "What We're Wearing In . . . "

Bush describes herself in a LinkedIn profile as a 19-year veteran of the magazine industry.

"Prior to this position, she was the Digital Editorial Manager of Food/Lifestyle Content at General Mills," it says. "She has also held various editorial posts at Life and Glamour magazines. Vanessa co-authored a best-selling beauty and empowerment book with model, entrepreneur and media icon Tyra Banks, Tyra’s Beauty Inside & Out, and is a past winner of a Merrill Journalism Fellowship in Child and Family Policy. She has also served as a contributor at Kaboose.com, a parenting and lifestyle web site. A foodie, Vanessa holds a culinary degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Arts in New York City, and is a graduate of Harvard University and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism."

Monfries, the creative director, had worked at Essence since August 2009, according to his LinkedIn profile, and was deputy design director at People magazine for 14 years and nine months.

"Corynne L. Corbett has spent more than twenty years encouraging and empowering women to look good and live well," her LinkedIn profile reads. "She is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Chic Jones Media LLC, a company that promotes communication and community among women. The company launched That Black Girl Site (www.thatblackgirlsite.com), a blog collective covering topics of interest to African American women in 2008. Corbett is also a contributing Life & Soul blogger on realsimple.com.

She was executive editor of Real Simple, editor-in-chief of Heart & Soul and editor-in-chief of Mode, "a publication that radically changed the landscape of fashion magazines with its focus on real-sized women."

Time Inc. is cutting some 500 jobs. Fourth-quarter numbers explain why, according to Peter Kafka of All Things D. "Revenue was down 7 percent, to $967 million, and ad revenue was down 4 percent. But the publisher is still the world’s biggest, and it still makes piles of money: Operating income was down 3 percent, to $200 million. . . ."

The Chips Quinn Scholars program   remains on the Freedom Forum Diversity Institut

Freedom Forum Diversity Unit Pulls 3 Programs From Website

The financially troubled Freedom Forum Diversity Institute has removed from its website references to three journalism programs that train Native Americans and students at historically black colleges and universities, leading some to conclude that those programs will not be offered this year.

Freedomforumdiversity.org no longer mentions the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop, the Multimedia Scholars Program or the American Indian Journalism Institute. However, the Chips Quinn Scholars Program remains.

Scott Williams, the Freedom Forum's vice president of marketing, told Journal-isms by telephone this week that the foundation, headquartered in Washington, was "still working out operational details" and thus did not want to put the missing programs on the website. "Everything is a work in progress," he said.

The independent Gannett Blog reported Jan. 9, "The financially troubled non-profit foundation paid CEO James Duff $1.6 million during his first four months on the job in 2011, a year when the Newseum's operator ran a $47 million deficit, newly released public documents show.

"The disclosure comes with fresh warnings of financial trouble. Today, Freedom Forum laid off 20% of approximately 150 employees at the Washington museum and other programs financed by the foundation. These are just the latest cuts since the museum opened in new quarters in 2008 that cost nearly double the original $250 million construction estimate. . . ."

Jack Marsh told Journal-isms by email this week that he was "wrapping up my duties as president and COO of the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute, retiring in early 2014 and am transitioning to a different role with the Freedom Forum for my last year with the organization."

Nearly 1,700 high school and college students have completed the Crazy Horse Journalism Workshop, which is designed to inspire Native American students to dream about the future and consider journalism as a career. During the weeklong program at the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota's Black Hills, journalists and educators from around the country teach a condensed course about the fundamentals of journalism.

The Freedom Forum Diversity Institute Multimedia Scholars Program, which takes place in May and June at the John Seigenthaler Center at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn., is a free 10-day boot camp [video] in which scholars learn to shoot and edit audio, video and photos, and  enhance their writing and editing skills. It targets students at historically black colleges and universities, is run in partnership with Schurz Communications and places successful graduates in eight-week paid multimedia internships at newspapers owned by Schurz.

The American Indian Journalism Institute, which began in 2001, is described as a concentrated academic program teaching the basics of journalism in a university-approved, four-credit course. It is held in June on the University of South Dakota campus in Vermillion.

The Chips Quinn Scholars program, with more than 1,000 alumni, says it "offers journalism students of color hands-on training in journalism and mentoring by caring news veterans. The aim: Provide special support and encouragement that will open doors to news careers and bring greater diversity to the nation's daily newspaper newsrooms. . . . Internships are offered in Spring and Summer. . . ."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie called a doctor who said he was overweig

3 Who Slimmed Down Say Christie Should Listen Up

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie yelled this week at a former White House doctor who publicly suggested that the overweight Christie shed some pounds, but three media figures who underwent gastric bypass surgery say the doctor is right.

Asked about Dr. Connie Mariano’s comments at a news conference on Wednesday, Christie lashed out, calling her "just another hack who wants five minutes on TV . . ." Holly Bailey reported for Yahoo News.

Brian Monroe, before and after". . . Governor, you might not want to dismiss her so quickly," Bryan Monroe, editor of CNNPolitics.com and a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, wrote Friday on cnn.com. "Yes, she has never examined you and maybe it's not her job to be pointing out the obvious: that morbidly obese men have a significantly higher chance of dying early than the population at large. But, still, she was probably doing you a favor. How do I know? Seven years ago, governor, I was you.

" . . . at 6 feet 4 inches tall and 441 pounds, I was morbidly obese. . . ."

Sidmel Estes, before and afterSidmel Estes, another former NABJ president, told Journal-isms by email, "I absolutely agree with Bryan. I, too, was morbidly obese most of my life and felt fine. I didn't have the 'wake up' call that Bryan had, but my doctor warned me that since I weighed more than any Atlanta Falcons offensive lineman, I was 'cruisin' for a bruisin'.

"Most people don't understand that a gastric bypass is a medical treatment for a medical problem. That's what Governor Christie should embrace. I can understand the Governor lashing out, just like when I was mocked as a young child as a 'fat girl.' If you have a broken arm, you get medical treatment, not just think it is going to heal by itself. There are so many misconceptions about how to deal with the obesity epidemic in this country. That's why I'm writing my book on going from 'Fat to Phat.' "

Estes is a longtime television executive producer and the founder and CEO of Breakthrough Inc., an Atlanta-based media consulting company. "I reached my peak at 360 pounds.... I had the surgery in 1999," she said by email. "I have kept the weight off and now weigh 190ish."

Joe Madison, talk-show host on SiriusXM radio, discussed his experience Thursday on Al Sharpton's "PoliticsNation" on MSNBC. He told Journal-isms by telephone Friday that he weighed 276 pounds when a doctor looked at him in a waiting room and said, "You're not leaving the office until I examine you." The doctor concluded that Madison's weight put him at risk for diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol levels. "If you don't lose weight, you are going to drop dead, and nobody's going to know why," Madison quoted the doctor as saying.

Soon afterward, Maynard Jackson, Atlanta's first black mayor who was also overweight, died after suffering a heart attack while on a 2003 business trip in Washington. Jackson, 65, "had all the morbidity that I had because of weight," Madison said. He also discussed the weight problem with then-Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., and his sister, Santita Jackson, both of whom had gastric bypass surgery.

"It's not a political issue, it's a matter of health," Madison said. "Stress and being president of the United State do not mix. Stress and being overweight do not mix."

Madison says he now weighs 176 pounds. "I keep a tuxedo I had when I was 276," he said. "I put it on, and both my wife and I can fit in it."

Whitlock Knocks Associated Press Sports Editors as Biased

Jason Whitlock, columnist for FoxSports.com, lashed out at the Associated Press Sports Editors Thursday, saying ". . . It's very difficult — perhaps impossible — for a person of color who writes from a minority perspective to be recognized as the best at anything in sportswriting."

"That's not a charge of racism. It's a charge of bias, an affliction we all have," Whitlock continued.

"As best I can tell, no non-white has won the APSE's column-writing contest. . . ."

Whitlock also expressed his disappointment that he was ruled ineligible for the Pulitzer Prize competition because broadcast media and broadcast media websites are not eligible, he said he learned Tuesday.

". . . Pursuing the Pulitzer in an honest, transparent fashion has been one of the things that has kept me from selling out and simply pursuing money and fame," Whitlock wrote for the Daily, a publication of his alma mater, Ball State University. "I pride myself on being a journalist. I feuded with and never made peace with ESPN because I see the Worldwide Leader as the enemy of sports journalism.

"ESPN is the very justification for the Pulitzer's stipulation forbidding broadcast media outlets from entering its competition. . . ."

Gerry Ahern of USA Today, president of the APSE, told Journal-isms by email, "The Associated Press Sports Editors contest has long been recognized as one of the premier honors for sports journalists. Our contest goes to great lengths to ensure the integrity of the judging. Bylines and newspaper affiliations are redacted from the entries. Any judge that sees an entry from their news organization or from their market recuses themselves from judging that entry or discussion of it."

Asked whether he didn't think that writers with a certain voice, particularly columnists, can be spotted even without a byline, and their ethnicity identified if they're writing about racial issues, Ahern replied:

"The entries are judged on their merit, with a column submission consisting of five entries in an attempt to best show the writer's range. That allows for diverse topics and approaches to column writing to be evidenced."

Where Were Media on Drones in Obama's First Term?

"It's been all drones all the time this week," Michael Calderone wrote Friday for the Huffington Post. "NBC News kicked things off Monday with a major scoop on the administration's legal rationale for targeting U.S. citizens linked to al Qaeda, and extensive coverage followed in print, online and on cable news.

"In the three days leading up to White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan's confirmation hearing Thursday to become the next CIA director, the words 'drone' and 'drones' were used hundreds of times on MSNBC, Fox News and CNN, according to a TVEyes search. The drone media debate over drone warfare, which gained steam in the weeks leading up to President Barack Obama's second inaugural, has only gotten more intense since.

"But where was the media during Obama's first term, given that the president authorized his first drone strike just days after taking office and has greatly expanded the secret program from the Bush years? . . . "

The Smithsonian American Indian Museum hosted a daylong symposium on "Racist Ste

More Oppose Redskins Name After D.C. Symposium

"Hurtful names and racial stereotypes of all types were discussed and dissected Thursday in a daylong symposium at the Smithsonian, and the Washington Redskins were at the top of the list for nearly all those who spoke," the Associated Press reported.

" 'I can only imagine what it would be like to be at a football game at FedEx Field in a crowd of close to 90,000, all screaming at the top of their lungs, when what they are screaming is a racial slur,' said Judith Bartnoff, a deputy presiding judge in District of Columbia Superior Court. . . ."

Among those at the forum was Suzan Shown Harjo, president of the Washington-based Morning Star Institute, an advocacy group, who said there are about 900 troublesome nicknames and mascots across the country, down from a peak of more than 3,000 in the early 1970s. Harjo, who has been active in the Native American Journalists Association, filed suit in 1992, challenging the Redskins' trademark.

Washington Post columnists Robert McCartney and Courtland Milloy wrote columns opposing the team name, and Bruce Johnson, veteran reporter at WUSA-TV, the Gannett-owned Washington CBS affiliate, wrote on Facebook:

"I'm . . . no longer using the 'Redskins' name when referring to my hometown NFL team. I am a big fan and from time to time I report on the team.

"I have no speech, no need to explain. The name is insulting to Native Americans. They've been telling us this for years. No one who isn't Native American can give the word new meaning. It's wrong and no amount of money or team of lawyers can change that; I came to shorten the name to just 'Skins,' I suppose to try and make myself feel like I wasn't part of the 'head in the sand' crowd. That was a cop out! I'm done. Thanks to Courtland Milloy, Mike Wise and others for keeping the issue real! . . ."

Plenty of Reasons to Mention L.A. Suspect's Race

Christopher Dorner

The stylebooks say race should be mentioned in describing suspects only when relevant, but Christopher Jordan Dorner, described as "a linebacker-sized ex-cop with a multitude of firearms, military training and a seemingly bottomless grudge born when the LAPD fired him in 2009," has given news outlets plenty of reasons to make it part of the story.

"Before dawn Thursday, authorities said, Dorner had already struck twice — grazing an LAPD officer's head with a bullet in Corona, and firing on two Riverside officers, killing one and wounding another," the Los Angeles Times reported.

Before the shootings, Dorner wrote a manifesto detailing who he planned to kill and why. The Times reported, "Dorner felt isolated growing up as one of the few African American children in the neighborhoods where he lived and was the victim of racism, according to the manifesto. ‘My first recollection of racism was in the first grade,’ Dorner allegedly wrote, recalling a fellow student at Norwalk Christian School who called him a racial slur. Dorner said he responded ‘fast and hard,’ punching and kicking the student."

Fox News Latino noted, "Latinos are 'high value targets' for a former Los Angeles Police Department officer who is alleged to have started a killing spree and is now a fugitive on the run in the Southwest or even Mexico. . . ."

End of Saturday Mail Could Push Magazines to Online Only

". . . The U.S. Postal Service said Wednesday that it will end first-class mail delivery on Saturdays as of August, pending congressional approval, in a move that will impact thousands of newspapers, magazines and direct-mail advertisers," Bill Cromwell reported Thursday for Media Life Magazine. "It will result in a savings of $2 billion per year for the mail service.

"One immediate consequence of the change could be pushing magazine publishers even further along toward digital delivery, an avenue that has seen significant growth over the past few years.

“ 'The bigger issue here, I think, is the continuing trend moving media consumption away from content in hard-copy form (whether it is mail, magazines, etc.) and into digital form,' says Carol Pais Hammond, director of print buying at Fallon. . . ."

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com 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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Comments

3 Who Slimmed Down Say Christie Should Listen Up

Though autoimmune disease meant an early retirement from radio news at 43, I still keep tabs on on the journalism industry.

I met Sidmel very early in my career, and bonded with her, since she and I resembled each other.

I, too, have lost weight, a total of 245 pounds, through the same miracle procedure Jesse Jackson, Jr. and Santita Jackson had, the Duodenal Switch. My highest weight was 105; on surgery day, February 25, 2009, I weighed 397 pounds. I know for a fact that both Jackson siblings have the surgery, I covered them both, and we formed a freindship outside of work.

When I had my surgery in 2009, there were only 50 surgeons worldwide who performed the procedure, according to the onlline support and information group DS Facts.  Now, the count is 75.  Still small, compared to the number of surgeons who perform the more widely known RNY gastric bypass.

The DS has a higher cure rate for Type II diabetes;and fewer DS patients have significant weight regain. In contrast,  with the gastric bypass, more than half of patients experience  significant weight regain. 

The DS is the most malabsorptive of all bariatric surgeries, and a very extensive and stringent schedule of viatmin, mineral and protein supplementation is a lifetime neccesity. 

I am currently wirting a book on the DS, my journey and the journey of others who have this weight loss surgery. There are no books that specifically talk about this particular weight loss surgery, save a fleeting mention with RNY.

It's is a lifesaver, and it truly saved mine!

Cross-postings from the Root

Divalocity

I'm not surprised by the news, even though it messed up my Sunday vibe. We didn't see Constance's vision for the magazine, we saw Time/Warner's. Being that we are a diverse demographic of women, Essence struggled to give us content that we all could relate to. I've supported the magazine since its inception and will continue to, but I would love to see it bought back from Time, Inc. Constance White is fashion royalty and is quite influential in the mainstream fashion industry, so look out for her new gig soon.

LVeney Essence is showing women of varying skin tones and hair styles Why is this an issue in 2013.

Ed Meyr

Richard Prince's "journal-isms" article contains too much unrelated information...looks a bit like a columnist's version of "stream of consciousness" writing. Unless he is being paid by the word, this column should be shortened and provide more in-depth analysis of the topics he chooses to address.

Sabrina MessengerLOL@ "wigs and weaves" comment! I picked up Essence on the newsstand for the first time in probably 20 years and was shocked at how much the magazine has changed, and NOT for the better. It's pretty clear they're pushing white standards but putting a black face on it. I was especially perturbed by that article called Sexy , single and saved! Terrible, terrible and very terrible and ungodly advice given in that article. Whatever happened to Romans 12:2?

Cross-postings from the Root

Divalocity

I'm not surprised by the news, even though it messed up my Sunday vibe. We didn't see Constance's vision for the magazine, we saw Time/Warner's. Being that we are a diverse demographic of women, Essence struggled to give us content that we all could relate to. I've supported the magazine since its inception and will continue to, but I would love to see it bought back from Time, Inc. Constance White is fashion royalty and is quite influential in the mainstream fashion industry, so look out for her new gig soon.

LVeney

Essence is showing women of varying skin tones and hair styles Why is this an issue in 2013.

Ed Meyr

Richard Prince's "journal-isms" article contains too much unrelated information...looks a bit like a columnist's version of "stream of consciousness" writing. Unless he is being paid by the word, this column should be shortened and provide more in-depth analysis of the topics he chooses to address.

Sabrina Messenger

LOL@ "wigs and weaves" comment! I picked up Essence on the newsstand for the first time in probably 20 years and was shocked at how much the magazine has changed, and NOT for the better. It's pretty clear they're pushing white standards but putting a black face on it. I was especially perturbed by that article called Sexy , single and saved! Terrible, terrible and very terrible and ungodly advice given in that article. Whatever happened to Romans 12:2?

Correction...*NOT* gastric bypass!

Jesse Jackson , Jr. and Santita Jackson did not have gastric bypasses.  They both had a bariatric surgery called the Duodenal Switch.  I know, because that's how I found out about the surgery, while living in Chicago and covering that family as a reporter. I was fortunate to befriend and enjoy casual conversations with both Santita and Jesse, Jr.

In 2009, I had the Duodenal Switch, and lost 245 pounds, more than half my body weight.

The DS, as it's called, is a lesser known, weight loss surgery that is not as widely performed in the United States.  In fact, at the time I had my surgery, only 50 surgeons *worldwide* performed the procedure. There are now 75 surgeons who perform it, still makiing it far from commonplace, as the RNY gastric bypass has become. 

I was blessed to have a bariatric program with a DS surgeon two hours away in my home state.The cure rate for morbid obesity with the DS is 95%.  It is as close to a permanent cure for morbid obesity as we have right now.  Because of the relatively small number of weight loss surgeons who perform this procedure, much of the medical community does not understand that there is a different protocol for DS patients, and many are not even aware of the surgery.  Therefore, those of us who have it become ambassadors/advocates by default, educating our own healthcare providers with regard to our medical needs.

While we're on this topic, let me address something that has become a common sentiment regarding weight loss surgery.

Many believe that weight loss surgery is "the easy way out" of a life of morbid obesity.  Let me assure you, it is not.  There is a great deal of work, much of it learning about nutrition, vitamins and minerals, and how to sustain your body after surgery.  Protein and vitamin supplementation are non-negotiable. I personally take 13 different suppements and drink 3 protein shakes daily, in addition to my meals. Daily exercise must become part of your lifestyle *permanently*. Because of the malabsorptive nature of this surgery, calorie intake is substantially higher than it was when I was obese.

That said, this surgery is enabling me to get back to the business of life.  In fact, I am so inspired by the surgery's success, that I have returned to college, to become a Registered Dietitian, specializing in post-op bariatric nutrition. My career change was also inspired by the  lack of knowledge of many on my own personal health care team. 

So, to be accurate, Jesse Jr. and Santita had the Duodenal Switch, *not* the RNY gastric bypass.

                                           -30-

 

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