Ebony Extends Hiatus for Fashion Fair
Thursday, March 4, 2010
¬†Ten cities were selected in 1958 by John H. and Eunice W. Johnson to host the first Ebony Fashion Fair, and it ran uninterrupted until fall 2009. (Credit: Johnson Publishing Co.)
Spring Show Canceled, Death of Eunice Johnson CitedThe traveling Ebony Fashion Fair, which had already suspended its fall production "in light of the overall economic challenges that are affecting many, including our potential corporate sponsors," is now canceling its spring show, citing the Jan. 3 death of the show's 93-year-old creator, Eunice W. Johnson.
Barely a week after the death, the sorority sponsoring the event in Baton Rouge, La., the largest seller of tickets in the country, told the Baton Rouge Advocate that the financially troubled company tried to change the terms of staging the show, and that the sorority would not go along.
In addition to helping local community groups and charities, the Ebony Fashion Fair boosted the circulation of Ebony and Jet. Those who bought a ticket received a subscription to one of the magazines.
"Understanding that this news may disrupt the current fundraising plans for participating organizations, we will donate two designer garments from the exclusive Ebony Fashion Fair vault to help each organization raise funds," CEO Linda Johnson Rice, daughter of founder John H. Johnson and Eunice Johnson, said in a statement.
"With Mrs. Eunice W. Johnson's longstanding legacy living on in all of the lives that she touched through Ebony Fashion Fair, we are currently evaluating how we can best assure this continuing legacy. Johnson Publishing Company is committed to the iconic Ebony Fashion Fair brand and its importance to the community and fashion industry."
The statement was posted on the Johnson Publishing Co. Web site on Jan. 21, according to a spokeswoman, but the decision became more widely known on Thursday, when it was mentioned in a story by Dionne Walker of the Associated Press.
However, spokeswoman Jeanine Collins said such headlines as "Close of Ebony Fashion Fair means end of an era" were inaccurate, as "the show is on hiatus not closed."
The Fashion Fair made nearly 200 stops around the country, raising an estimated $55 million for local charities, which used the money for scholarships and other good deeds.
In the Baton Rouge (La.) Advocate, Desire?© Honor?©, president of the sorority that has hosted the show in Baton Rouge for the past 51 years, indicated that Johnson Publishing Co. had changed the terms of the arrangement in ways that would have made hosting it untenable this year.
" 'They sent us a proposal, but the terms had changed drastically,' said Honor?©, president of Gamma Eta Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority," Karen Martin wrote in a Jan. 12 story. "'They want us to put up substantial money upfront and sign a contract saying they had the right to cancel the show and we would lose that money. Our chapter was not willing to risk that.'
"Honor?© said the chapter, which with more than 2,000 sales was the largest seller of tickets in the country, never had to pay any upfront money before.
"Also, she noted the proposal for a new show called for upping ticket prices from $30 for general admission and $35 for reserved seats to $40 and $45.
" 'We were worried that people would not pay that much for a fashion show,' she said.
"Honor?© said sorority members are heartbroken over not being able to bring what's billed as the 'world's largest traveling fashion show' to Baton Rouge.
" 'But we really felt that the terms were somewhat unfair,' she said. 'And not just to us, but to the community.'
"Honor?© said the sorority is looking for a way to fill the $20,000 budget hole left by the loss of the show's proceeds.
"Most of the money was used to fund scholarships for high school and college students, she said."
Some local groups have already made other plans. In Dothan, Ala., the Kappa Pi Omega chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority decided to work with Tallahassee, Fla., producer Tony Barnes and the Images Modeling Troupe from Florida A&M University to stage a "Runway Extravaganza" show last month, Peggy Ussery reported in the Dothan Eagle.
On Feb. 9, Gary Pettus of the Jackson (Miss.) Clarion-Ledger quoted Barbara Hilliard of Jackson: "We'll probably do either a raffle or a silent auction here," Hilliard said. "That will help fill the void." This year's event had been scheduled for March 12.
Jet Shadows Mo'Nique on Oscar WeekendMo'Nique won the Academy Award for "best supporting actress" Sunday night for her portrayal of an abusive mother in "Precious: Based on the Novel 'Push' by Sapphire." The fifth black actress to win an Academy Award, the comedian thanked Hattie McDaniel, who in 1939 became the first African American to win an Oscar, "my BET family" and others. Mo'Nique hosts a BET talk show.
Over the weekend, Jet magazine spent time with the actress, posting a video and a story on the experience.
"Our editorial team has been talking with Mo'Nique over the past several days and she graciously agreed to give us exclusive access to her this weekend as she has a great appreciation for Jet. She was absolutely wonderful to our team," Johnson Publishing Co. spokeswoman Wendy E. Parks told Journal-isms.
"Precious" also won the adapted-screenplay Oscar for another African American, Geoffrey Fletcher, as David Germain reported for the Associated Press. Fletcher became the first African American to win in that category.
"This is for everybody who works on a dream every day. Precious boys and girls everywhere," Fletcher said.In another first, "The Hurt Locker" director Kathryn Bigelow won for best director, becoming the first woman ever to achieve the top honor. It was presented by a beaming Barbra Streisand, who herself was a pioneer female director.
In accepting her award, Mo'Nique called her win a victory for performance over politics.
"A question some viewers may have is what 'politics' Mo'Nique was referring to as she accepted her Oscar," Larry Carroll wrote for MTV. "Backstage, she explained that she was addressing those who thought she needed to 'campaign' harder if she wanted to win.
" 'Through this journey and process, some journalists and some reporters wrote, "Somebody needs to teach Mo'Nique a lesson; someone needs to teach her how the game is played," ' the actress explained. 'I am proud to hold this Oscar in my hand, because the Academy said, "We are not willing to play the game." ' "
- Peter S. Canellos, Boston Globe: Race relations: Sign of progress in 'Precious' [March 7]
Kristina Dorsey, the Day, New London, Conn.: For Geoffrey Fletcher, Oscar nomination means a 'lifelong dream' comes true¬† [Feb. 3]
- Wilson Morales, AOL Black Voices: Six Degrees of Lee Daniels
- Miki Turner, ebonyjet.com: Jet spends weekend with Oscar nominee Mo'Nique (Video) (Twitter feed) [March 7]
- Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Two Oscar sides of race [March 7]
- BET Live Blogging from the Academy Awards [March 7]
- TheRoot.com Twitter feed on the Academy Awards [March 7]
Unity Survey Unscientific, Creator ConcedesA newly released survey by Unity: Journalists of Color that "tracks the views of professional journalists of color on issues of race and media" was not conducted scientifically and thus, "we can't generalize to all journalists of color," the survey creator conceded on Friday.
A number of media outlets have reported on the Journalism in Color survey, which was released Feb. 26 under the headline, "OBAMA IMPROVES RACE RELATIONS BUT MEDIA FAILS TO ADVANCE GOAL OF POST RACIAL SOCIETY ACCORDING TO SURVEY BY THELOOP21.COM & UNITY: JOURNALISTS OF COLOR, INC.
"CNN Cited as Most Trusted Cable News Outlet for 'Fair and Unbiased' Coverage of Racial and Cultural issues; FOX Least Trusted
"Diversity of Views is the Key to Improving Coverage of Racial Issues."
The self-selected survey was conducted by asking journalists of color to vote by going to a Web site and responding to questions.
On the Web site of the National Council on Public Polls, an organization of polling groups, Sheldon R. Gawiser and G. Evans Witt write this in a piece headlined, "20 Questions A Journalist Should Ask About Poll Results":
"Unscientific pseudo-polls are widespread and sometimes entertaining, but they never provide the kind of information that belongs in a serious report. Examples include 900-number call-in polls, man-on-the-street surveys, many Internet polls, shopping mall polls, and even the classic toilet tissue poll featuring pictures of the candidates on each roll.
"One major distinguishing difference between scientific and unscientific polls is who picks the respondents for the survey. In a scientific poll, the pollster identifies and seeks out the people to be interviewed. In an unscientific poll, the respondents usually 'volunteer' their opinions, selecting themselves for the poll."
Darrell Williams, an economist who supervised the poll as publisher of theLoop21.com, gave Journal-isms this response on Friday:
"One major distinguishing difference between scientific and unscientific polls is who picks the respondents for the survey. In a scientific poll, the pollster identifies and seeks out the people to be interviewed. In an unscientific poll, the respondents usually 'volunteer' their opinions, selecting themselves for the poll. Thus, the only real difference between a 'scientific' and 'unscientific' poll is to what extent can the results be generalized to the broader populations.
"The Journalism of Color: Race & Media survey does not allow us to 'generalize' in the way that a randomly selected sample does. Our results refer to the 'journalists surveyed' or 'our panel of journalists'. While our survey pool includes journalists of color, (African American, Asian, Hispanic and American Indians members of UNITY: Journalists of Color), we can't generalize to 'all journalists of color'.
"Our approach to this survey is scientific, in its survey pool and analysis. Please note, companies make product decisions based on 'focus groups' which are much smaller than our panel of 552 journalists. CNN and other major networks often put 20 or 30 people in a room with meters to score candidates during debates and broadcast those results to many millions of people.
"It is a universally accepted practice on news shows to take 'snap polls' where people call-in or go to a website to express their opinion which are broadcast during the show; Lou Dobbs for example used this method as a standard practice.
"In light of these widespread practices and the use of tiny focus groups of 15-20 people by marketers and industry for decades and their widespread use during election coverage, the Journalism in Color: Race & the Media survey panel consisting of hundreds of journalists, is substantially larger than the average poll of this type and therefore more informative."
Cartoon Has Paterson's Seeing Eye Dog ResigningAs New York Gov. David Paterson's approval rating sank to "among the lowest in recent records," the New York Post published a cartoon in which Paterson's Seeing Eye dog resigned, and the New York Times was criticized by the city's largest black weekly, which asked whether a white politician would be treated similarly.
The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute found that "a mere 21 percent of New York voters polled this week approve of Paterson, among the lowest recorded for an elected official in its 18 years of polling," Reuters reported on Friday.
Paterson "insisted Friday that he had no plans to step down as his staff tried to carry on the business of state amid a fiscal crisis and the cloud of multiple investigations," Jeremy W. Peters and Danny Hakim reported in the New York Times.
"He continued to push back against reports that have detailed his administration‚Äôs intervention into a domestic assault case in which a close adviser was accused of a violent confrontation with a companion."
The New York Post ran a front-page depiction of a letter of resignation with the headline, "Just Sign It Dave! (or get someone to forge your signature)." On Thursday, its cartoonist Sean Delones, who ignited protests last year with his portrayal of a policeman shooting a chimpanzee that was widely taken to represent President Obama, depicted Paterson's Seeing Eye dog resigning. "In the background Paterson is seen crying and saying, "Not You Too!!!" Sam Stein wrote in the Huffington Post.
On Thursday, the governor‚Äôs communications director, Peter E. Kauffmann, resigned.
The New York Amsterdam News, the black weekly that is an ally of Paterson, and the Nytpick, a blog that reports on the Times, were critical of the newspaper whose stories have led coverage of the scandal.
Elinor Tatum, the Amsterdam News editor and publisher, wrote, "They have taken a story about an aide and created a governmental crisis. The style and the approach taken by the reporters seems more in the style of the Daily News or the Post rather than the higher quality we have grown to expect from the New York Times. It appears that the Times reporters have decided to put the governor on trial on the news pages, and the editorial page has decided to act as the jury in the case. Would the reporters have taken the same aggressive stand if they were talking about a white politician?"
Nytist began its Friday blog entry, "In its page-one story about David Paterson today, the NYT yet again quietly added new wrinkles to its narrative of the governor's actions in the domestic violence case at the core of his troubles ‚Äî altering yet again the timeline of events, and contradicting its own previous reporting of the case."
Some readers defended the Times in the blog's "comments" section.
Meanwhile, Joel Dreyfuss, managing editor of theRoot.com, wrote collectively about the troubles of Paterson; Rep. Charles Rangel, D-N.Y., who is "temporarily" stepping aside as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee; and Marion Barry, the former District of Columbia mayor who has been stripped of his chairmanship of a city council committee. Dreyfuss concluded that, "the unusual scrutiny of African-American politicians reflects the unprecedented acquisition of power by black Americans."
- Nayaba Arinde and Herb Boyd, New York Amsterdam News: Paterson demands: Facts, not fiction
- Adrian Chen, Gawker: Is It Racist?: The Pressure on David Paterson
- Juan Gonzalez, New York Daily News: Led by Carl McCall, ex-Mayor David Dinkins and Rev. Al Sharpton, Harlem calls Paterson home
- Bob Herbert, New York Times: Paterson on the Brink
- Steve Kornacki, Salon.com: The politics of Rangel-bashing
- Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: Censure vote? The people know where Marion Barry's heart is
- Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: He's 'been through worse,' but Marion Barry's battles are taking a toll
- David Squires, Daily Press, Newport News, Va.: Black leaders in crisis near and far
- Cynthia Tucker blog, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Sorry, Charlie. Rangel won‚Äôt be back as chair of Ways and Means
- Rod Watson, Buffalo News: Racial gains sullied by big slips up high
Saturday's magnitude 8.0 earthquake, above, was followed on Friday by a magnitude 6.6 shock that rattled buildings for nearly a minute. It was the most powerful aftershock in six days and sent terrified Chileans fleeing into quake-shattered streets and forced doctors to evacuate some patients from a major hospital. (Credit: Pan-African News Service)
ImpreMedia Says It Beat CNN With Webcam From ChileImpreMedia, the nation's largest Spanish-language newspaper chain, used social media to beat CNN to live images from Chile's earthquake on Saturday, Alberto Vourvoulias-Bush, executive editor for ImpreMedia, told Journal-isms.
"Our news alerts went out minutes after the earthquake at 3am, beating most major pubs and media in the US. We put stories up online on all the sites almost immediately thereafter," he wrote Thursday via e-mail.
"We used both facebook and twitter not only to spotlight our work but as a journalistic tool. For example, through twitter we found one of the few webcams that was live in Santiago and dropped its live feed into one of our blogs (Tu mundo al dia) in time to catch visible aftershocks. As a result, ImpreMedia had live images from Chile before CNN did."
Vourvoulias-Bush added, "We worked rolling stories on the tsunami alerts as these traveled around the world. We refreshed amplified and updated the earthquake story throughout the day and weekend ‚Äî worked on by different shifts by editors in LA, NY and MEX. We put up information on how to reach people in Chile and where to send help.
"We published (and continue publishing) a number of exclusive articles from stringers on the ground in Chile. We also brought chainwide resouces to bear including our stringer network and our DC correspondent.
"We generated many multimedia videos and ‚Äì including live video interviews from Chile over skype ‚Äîand photo-galleries including a gallery of snapshots of the destruction sent to us by ordinary people in Chile.
"Our two daily newspapers El Diario in New York and La Opinion in LA, produced and are producing excellent in-depth special coverage and analysis. Together with impremedia‚Äôs weekly publications, La Raza in Chicago, El Mensajero in SF, Rumbo in Houston and La Prensa in Orlando ‚Äî we have covered the local community reactions and the efforts to help the victims of the quake in the major Hispanic centers across the country."
Univision, the largest Spanish-language network, was "on the air for more than 12 hours on Saturday and had reporters on the ground beginning Sunday," spokeswoman Lenis E. Guzman said. "On Tuesday night we aired a special edition of Aqui y Ahora dedicated to this disaster."
She listed those who have been reporting from Chile as Jorge Ramos (and crew); Maria Luisa Martinez (and crew); Ricardo Arambarri (and crew); Tifani Roberts (and crew); and Pablo Monzalvo, a freelancer who contributes on a fairly regular basis.
English-language media also used social media, of course. At the Duluth (Minn.) News Tribune, "We found a Chilean national and Santiago resident, Diego Herrera, who had attended one of our colleges, the University of Wisconsin-Superior, who immediately wrote a first-person account for our Sunday paper," Editor Robin Washington told Journal-isms. "He also provided photos that we used in a gallery and one, of the tsunami that hit Chile (while everyone was thinking of Hawaii), that ran page one with a wire story on that part of the devastation.
"Turned out also that he had been the roommate of a cameraman at our news partner, FOX21News/KQDS-TV. You get that in a small town."
- Mark Fitzgerald, Editor & Publisher: After Earthquake, Newsprint Shortage Looms for Chilean Newspapers
- Daniel Hernandez, Los Angeles Times: Quake exposes social disparities in Santiago, Chile
- Multichannel News: TV Chile To Air Marathon As Part Of Fund-Raising Effort For Nation's Earthquake Victims
- Albor Ruiz, New York Daily News: Chile quaking after disaster
- Ginger Thompson, New York Times: Strong Aftershocks Strike Chile
Ojibwe Tribal Watchdog Bill Lawrence Dies at 70"Bill Lawrence, a Red Lake Ojibwe and crusading journalist who hounded tribal officials in northern Minnesota for more than 20 years ‚Äî and helped send some to prison ‚Äî died Tuesday in Idaho, where he was being treated for prostate cancer at a Veterans Affairs medical center," Chuck Haga reported Thursday in the Grand Forks (N.D.) Herald.
"Lawrence, 70, was founder and editor of the Native American Press/Ojibwe News, which he started in 1988 . . . Because of his declining health, his last edition was published last fall.
‚Äú 'I am no longer physically able to do the tasks ‚Äî computer searches, investigating, seeking ads‚Äî that are necessary to put out an edition,' he wrote in a final editorial.
"Apparently borrowing a line from Chief Dan George in the 1970 film 'Little Big Man,' he titled the editorial 'A good day to die.'
"In addition to his campaigns against corruption, Lawrence fought for requirements that audits of Indian casinos be made public ‚Äî he received an award for that in 2003 from the Society of Professional Journalists ‚Äî and published a series detailing the causes and consequences of fetal alcohol syndrome among Minnesota‚Äôs Indians.
"Lawrence had 'devoted most of his adult life to digging up dirt on corrupt tribal politicians and shedding light on news neglected by both the tribal and the mainstream press,' Salon.com reported.
"Lawrence made liberal use of anonymous sources and had what Salon called a 'laissez-faire attitude toward journalistic decorum,' which drew criticism from some other Native American journalists.
"His severest critics, though, were tribal leaders who resented and resisted his calls for more transparency in tribal government, including the legendary Red Lake Tribal Chairman Roger Jourdain ‚Äî who was Lawrence‚Äôs godfather.
" 'I should have dropped him in that baptismal font,' an unsmiling Jourdain told another reporter in 1990."
Atlanta Post Web Site Targets High-Income Blacks"Moguldom Media, the company behind Bossip.com and Hip-Hop Wired, today announced the launch of The Atlanta Post, a site catering to high-income African Americans," Mike Taylor wrote Thursday for MediaBistro.
"Don't let the name fool you. The Atlanta Post is a New York-based, nationally focused site. Its name comes from Atlanta's prominent place in African-American culture, managing editor Rahwa Asmerom tells us:
" 'It's been said that Atlanta is the capital of African-American influence. It's a city with a deep African-American history and is a locus of burgeoning black entrepreneurs and businesses. It's the spirit of the city's African-American activity and progress that we were trying to capture with the name. (Not to mention, the parent company Moguldom Media Group is also based there)'.
"With local editions geared toward New York, DC, Chicago and of course Atlanta, the site provides original and aggregated content on personal finance, business, media and politics. In a statement, Moguldom CEO Marve Frazier says that The Atlanta Post will fill a gap in current online media."
Tavis Smiley Sets Up "Black Agenda" Meeting"Two months after ending his annual State of the Black Union conference, 'Tavis Smiley is gathering African-American advocates to press the case for a black agenda,'" Jesse Washington wrote Thursday for the Associated Press.
"The decision was motivated by what Smiley called recent statements from some black leaders downplaying the need for President Barack Obama to specifically help African-Americans.
" 'I was compelled to do it because of this debate,' the activist and PBS talk show host said Wednesday.
"The panel discussion will be March 20 at Chicago State University. Panelists include advertising pioneer Tom Burrell, professors Michael Eric Dyson and Cornel West, Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, and Bennett College President Julianne Malveaux."
- Michael H. Cottman, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Obama‚Äôs Black Agenda is the American Agenda
- George E. Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Tavis Goes into Battle of Wits with Sharpton Unarmed
- Glen Ford, Black Agenda Report: Smiley vs. Sharpton: A Potemkin Drama
- Laura Washington, Chicago Sun-Times: Obama could face black foe in 2012
- DeWayne Wickham, USA Today: What should Obama do for blacks? First, heal a growing rift.
Reporters to Continue Probing Civil Rights "Cold Cases""Over the past 20 years, every unsolved civil rights murder case that has been reopened and successfully prosecuted in the South was the direct result of an investigation initiated by a journalist.
"So the FBI‚Äôs decision to close, without prosecution or further disclosure, all but a few of the 108 unsolved murder cases it began re-examining three years ago, only highlights the vital need for investigative reporting that can find the truth, tell the stories and fill in the gaps in our nation‚Äôs history," the Berkeley, Calif.-based Center for Investigative Reporting said in a statement on Thursday.
"The Civil Rights Cold Case Project (www.coldcases.org), a team of investigative reporters, documentary filmmakers and interactive media producers, is digging into unsolved civil rights murders in the South. Led by the Center for Investigative Reporting and Paperny Films, the project ‚Äî which includes Clarion Ledger reporter and recent MacArthur Genius award winner Jerry Mitchell, and Pulitzer Prize winner Hank Klibanoff ‚Äî has been focused for more than two years on race murders and crimes primarily in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama.
‚Äú 'These cases are not cold when it comes to the relatives and friends of the victims,' said Robert J. Rosenthal, executive director of the Center for Investigative Reporting. 'Our reporting has found that these cases resonate powerfully today. Too many Americans are unaware of the terror of that era and how it has affected our country in terms of race and reconciliation.' ‚Äù
Separately, the Gannett. Co. announced that ContentOne, its restructured Washington-based news service, "has launched a major Gannett-wide project around the Civil Rights Movement.
"It is a dynamic live portal that updates continually and features news stories, archived records through partner Footnote, documents and videos on the civil rights movement," Jennifer Carroll, Nichelle Smith and Jeanette Barrett-Stokes wrote for the company's Newswatch newsletter.
"At the project‚Äôs heart is an all-out effort to capture the personal stories that tell the history of the movement. The site invites four generations to write about their experiences, upload photos and videos and pass along their histories. To give context and inspiration, the video segment showcases stories from all four generations. And the site conveys the stories of the communities, beginning with Jackson, through its newspaper archives and award-winning reporter Jerry Mitchell. Mitchell‚Äôs investigations of unsolved civil rights murders have won kudos and led to convictions."
- A new "Gannett Foundation Award for Digital Innovation in Watchdog Journalism" has been created, "spurred by our belief that as people consume information differently, we must constantly learn new ways to deliver watchdog journalism," Kate Marymont, Gannett Co.'s vice president/news, announced in Gannett's Newswatch newsletter. She said the award had been added to the contests of the Associated Press Managing Editors, National Association of Black Journalists, Asian American Journalists Association, Online News Association, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Radio-Television Digital News Association and others. "In each case, $5,000 is awarded, a significant commitment by the Gannett Foundation."
- In New York, "Bloggers will now have a shot at getting press passes, thanks to new rules being implemented by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Azi Paybarah wrote Tuesday for the New York Observer. The rules were issued in response to a lawsuit filed by Rafael Martinez-Alequin, reporter, blogger and gadfly; editor David Wallis of featurewell.com and publisher Ralph E. Smith of the Guardian Chronicle, a blog about African American correction officers, and their lawyer, Norman Siegel.
- "TV One, one of the fastest growing cable networks to launch in the past decade, has surpassed the 50-million household subscriber mark, according to the March 2010 Nielsen universe estimates," the network announced on Monday. "The entertainment and lifestyle network for African American adults that launched six years ago is now available in more than 50.1 million U.S. households, according to the March 2010 Nielsen universe estimates. TV One launched on January 19, 2004 in 2.2 million households."
- Betty Nguyen, anchor of the weekend morning edition of "CNN Newsroom" since 2004, has been named a CBS News correspondent, CBS announced on Thursday. "In her new role, Nguyen also will anchor the CBS MORNING NEWS, report regularly for THE EARLY SHOW and contribute to the Division's other broadcasts and platforms. The appointment is effective March 11."
- A week after the death of jailed Cuban dissident Orlando Zapata Tamayo, journalist Guillermo Fari?±as, 48, who is on a hunger strike, "is seriously ill while health conditions of imprisoned reporters remain dire. As the seventh anniversary of the massive crackdown on dissidents approaches on March 18, the Committee to Protect Journalists renews its call for the Cuban government to immediately and unconditionally release all jailed journalists," the committee said on Thursday.
- "The French weekly Courrier International opened its columns on February 4 to Haitian print media journalists in a special edition being circulated worldwide," Jean Roland Chery wrote Thursday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "The paper‚Äôs managers did it to express solidarity with Haitian journalists following the earthquake, which completely paralyzed the publication of the country‚Äôs dailies. The two dailies in Haiti‚Äôs capital, Port-au-Prince, Le Nouvelliste and Le Matin, were honored in the special edition. Haiti Libert?©, a Haitian weekly based in Brooklyn, New York, also participated."
- USA Today and Newsday, a Jamaican publication, Thursday announced the launch of the USA Today Trinidad & Tobago Edition. The first edition was to be published Thursday.
- Thuy Vu, a reporter for KPIX-TV in San Francisco, won a Gracie Award from American Women in Radio and Television as "outstanding reporter/correspondent" in the top 25 television markets. She won for a composite of three stories, including one on Khmer Rouge survivors telling their stories publicly for the first time.
- Marcellus Alexander, president of the National Association of Broadcasters Education Foundation, was among the honorees in Washington Thursday at the organization's First Amendment Awards Dinner. "Alexander spoke about the importance of the First Amendment to all broadcasters as he accepted the First Amendment Award from David J. Barrett, president & CEO, Hearst Television, Inc.," the organization reported.
- "I'm happy to announce that we've hired an assistant editor," John Temple, the former president and publisher of the defunct Rocky Mountain News who is heading Peer News, a Web site backed by eBay Inc. founder Pierre Omidyar, said Wednesday on his blog. "We're bringing home a local star ‚Äî Sara Lin ‚Äî to work as my partner leading the Honolulu-based news service. Lin worked at the Los Angeles Times and the Wall Street Journal, "where today she is a real estate reporter and columnist."
- FCC Commissioner Michael J. Copps, speaking Wednesday at a Joint Center Media and Technology Policy Forum in Wasington, counseled civil rights groups to stand together in support of the FCC's Open Internet proceeding, John Eggerton wrote for Broadcasting & Cable. "There has been some division in the minority community over the impact of network neutrality ‚Äî Copps calls that an 'inelegant' term ‚Äî on the digital divide. Some groups have expressed concern that codifying and expanding the FCC's network openness guidelines could discourage the kind of investment that will get broadband to underserved areas that are disproportionately minority." Others, including the journalist-of-color organizations and Copps' fellow Democratic Commissioner Mignon Clyburn, "holds that openness benefits entrepreneurs and protects equality of access to the lifeline of broadband."
- The Minority Writers Seminar, a program of the National Conference of Editorial Writers to increase the pool of skilled opinion writers of color, is accepting applications for its next class until Monday, March 8. The sessions take place April 29 to May 2 at the Freedom Forum Diversity Institute at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tenn. Lodging and food at the seminar are covered; participants are reimbursed up to $200 for transportation to and from Nashville. Enrollment is limited to 15. More information at: http://www.minoritywritersseminar.org/
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