Ex-Editor's Tell-All Cites Racist Comments
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Updated March 19
The April issue of GQ is available in New York and Los Angeles and goes on sale nationally next week. But 'You Think Your Job Sucks? Try Working for Lenny Dykstra' is online.
GQ Piece Paints Unflattering Picture of Lenny Dykstra
A photo editor's unflattering portrait of baseball-player-turned-financial adviser Lenny Dykstra as a racist, sexist and homophobe has prompted an African American NBA official to call for a boycott of Dykstra and the magazine he produces.
In the upcoming April issue of GQ, already online, Kevin Coughlin recounts his experience working for Dykstra's glossy magazine, the Players Club, which offers athletes financial advice as it touts a luxurious lifestyle.
"At one meeting, Lenny goes off on how a particular layout looks 'faggy' - despite the presence of a gay page designer in the room," the piece reads. "(Later, Lenny says to me: 'Did you see the look on that fag's face?') On another occasion, I field a call from Lenny about potential cover subjects while I'm at home; Lenny's on speaker when he proudly states, for both my wife and me, that 'nobody can call me a racist - I put three darkies and a bitch on my first four covers.'
"The first four Players Club covers featured Derek Jeter, Chris Paul, Tiger Woods, and Danica Patrick.
''What was that, Lenny?' I ask.
''I said I put three spearchuckers on the cover!' he replies."
The piece also painted Dykstra as financially irresponsible. Its publication online prompted Arthur Triche to write this on Monday to the e-mail list of the Sports Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists:
"His magazine was (and I emphasize, WAS) a staple in our team's locker room whenever it was sent to us, but from now on, it will go right into the garbage dump, and as the Hawks' Vice President of Public Relations, and the first African-American PR director in the NBA, I assure you, none of my players will ever speak to anyone associated with this magazine.
"And before it's all said and done, I will be speaking with Billy Hunter of the NBAPA and the new Executive Director of the NFLPA regarding this." He was referring to the players associations of the National Basketball Association and the National Football League.
"Maybe he'll get the message then."
Triche's comments prompted responses on the NABJ list and in print.
"Maybe you believe Dykstra, and you think he's being viciously attacked by a disgruntled former employee," John Gonzalez wrote¬†Tuesday in the Philadelphia Inquirer. "Maybe you want to give him the benefit of the doubt. I can't do that. Not anymore.
"We've known for a long time that Dykstra isn't perfect. No one is. But, in the past, I was always willing to overlook his mistakes, no matter how appalling.'
In the same issue of the Inquirer, Jim Salisbury wrote that Dykstra told him Sunday night by telephone, "Everything in there is a lie.
"I'm not going down in the dirt with this guy," Dykstra told Salisbury, speaking of Coughlin, who now works for the New York Post. "He's [ticked] off because he got fired. He was masquerading as a photo editor.
"I lived with [Darryl] Strawberry and [Dwight] Gooden," he said, referring to former New York Mets teammates who are black, Salisbury wrote. "I'm not reducing myself to this. What a crazy thing."
Mark Kirby, a senior editor who edited the piece for GQ, told Journal-isms, "We're entirely confident in Kevin's story; it went through the magazine's fact-checkers [the way] that any piece for GQ does. We talked to roughly a dozen people through the years who have worked with Lenny."
Kirby said the magazine employs at least 10 fact checkers and had one dedicated to Coughlin's piece for a couple of weeks.
"My problem is not with GQ," Triche said. "It's with the one who uttered the words. I don't think that anybody should talk to him ever again for his magazine. As recently as last week I was trying to get my players in his magazine."
A short bio of Dykstra on thestreet.com says:
"Nicknamed 'Nails' for his tough style of play, Lenny is a former Major League Baseball player for the 1986 World Champions, New York Mets and the 1993 National League Champions, Philadelphia Phillies.
"A three time All-Star as a ballplayer, Lenny now serves as president for several privately held businesses in Southern California. He is the founder of The Players Club; it has been his desire to give back to the sport that gave him early successes in life by teaching athletes how to invest and protect their incomes. He currently manages his own portfolio and writes an investment strategy column for TheStreet.com, and is featured regularly on CNBC and other cable news shows. Lenny was selected as OverTime Magazine's 2006-2007 'Entrepreneur of the Year.'"
- Joe Guckin, outsports.com: Dykstra article alleges homophobia and more
- Matt Gagne, New York Daily News: Hawks exec Arthur Triche crusades to put Lenny Dykstra out of business
- New York Daily News: Lenny Dykstra, formerly of the Mets, is 'nailed' as racist in mag
2 U.S. Journalists Taken Into N. Korean Custody
"Two American journalists were detained by North Korean soldiers while on a reporting trip earlier in the week near the country's border with China, South Korean news reports and a South Korean missionary said Thursday," Kwang-Tae Kim reported for the Associated Press.¬†
The journalists - Laura Ling and Euna Lee, reporters for former Vice President Al Gore's San Francisco-based online media outlet Current TV - were taken into North Korean custody on Tuesday, a missionary who spoke to them earlier that day told the AP.
Ling is a sister of Lisa Ling, a former co-host of the American TV talk show 'The View' and now a field correspondent for Oprah Winfrey, a later AP story reported.
"The Rev. Chun Ki-won of the Seoul-based Durihana Mission said by telephone from Washington that he had been informed that the two women and a guide hired in China to assist them had been detained but refused to reveal his sources. Chun is a South Korean activist who helps North Korean refugees seek asylum," the earlier AP story continued.
". . . Chun said he arranged for the reporters to meet with North Korean defectors in South Korea and China, but warned them to stay away from border areas.
"'I told them very clearly not to go to the border because it's dangerous,' he said.
". . . Ling, apparently sending updates about her trip to the online site Twitter, wrote Saturday that she was at the Seoul airport en route to the 'China/NKorea border.'
"'Hoping my kimchee breath will ward off all danger,' she wrote.
"In a post three days earlier, she wrote: 'Spent the day interviewing young N. Koreans who escaped their country. Too many sad stories.'
"The most recent entry, from Monday, simply read: 'Missing home.' The username for 'lauraling' does not say she is a reporter for Current TV, but the person appearing in the profile photo appears to be the same person whose photo appears on the Current TV site."
According to ABC News,¬† Chun said, "What is likely to have happened is that the North Koreans probably tricked the American journalists to come to their side of the river and detained them for ransom." Chun said that is a common tactic of North Korean soldiers, the story by Joohee Cho and Kirit Radia said.
Ellen Endo, executive director of the Asian American Journalists Association, told Journal-isms that the group had put the Associated Press in touch with its Asia chapter and that Lee might have been a student member of the association.
AAJA said of the two journalists late Thursday that it "urgently requests that all sides take steps to ensure their swift release.¬† Our hearts go out to their families and friends as we join other organizations in calling for fair treatment of journalism professionals throughout the world." [Added March 19.]
El Nuevo Herald Editor Resigns Over Mandated Cuts
"The top two editors of El Nuevo Herald are stepping down, prompting changes in newsroom leadership at the Spanish-language daily and its sister publication, The Miami Herald," Andres Viglucci reported Thursday in the Miami Herald.¬†
"El Nuevo Herald executive editor Humberto Castell?? announced his resignation after seven years in the job. His place will be taken by Manny Garcia, now The Miami Herald's senior editor for news.
"Garcia's job overseeing the daily news operation will be taken over by the current features editor, Aminda Marqu?©s Gonzalez. Garcia and Marqu?©s Gonzalez are Miami Herald veterans who began their journalism careers as reporters in the newspaper's Neighbors sections.
"El Nuevo Herald managing editor Tony Espetia, meanwhile, said he would retire in June after 40 years in journalism."
". . . Castell??, addressing his staff in Spanish, said he resigned because he was unwilling to make the mandated cuts 'whether they are justified or not.' He said a reduced staff would mean El Nuevo would likely have to share more stories from The Miami Herald." [Added March 19]
- Bob Norman "Daily Pulp" blog, Broward-Palm Beach New Times: New Miami Herald 'Senior Editor' Is Mindy Marques; More Editors Will Lose Jobs
Blog on Columbia U. Conference Diversity Challenged
The dean of Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism is acknowledging that a conference there last week on investigative reporting "should have had more U.S. diversity."
But Charles Lewis, criticized by a Huffington Post blogger as an organizer of the conference who believed "there were no U.S. journalists of color whose investigative chops were sufficient to merit inclusion," calls that sentence "outrageously offensive."
"Sometime after lunch on day one of a Columbia University confab on the future of watchdog journalism, I came to an unsettling realization: every U.S. panelist was white and over 40. Nearly all were male.
"Could this be part of the problem?
"When I put the question to Charles Lewis, founder of the Center for Public Integrity, president of the Fund for Independence in Journalism and an organizer of the conference, he said 'I see your point.'"
She also wrote, "Lewis told me — apologetically — that there were no U.S. journalists of color whose investigative chops were sufficient to merit inclusion."
The piece touched a nerve among many who have complained about the lack of diversity at other such conferences — MediaBistro had such a "summit" in New York just a few days before — as well as on Sunday talk shows and other presentations that feature a monochromatic view of journalists.
The responses from two conference principals, however, also challenge the journalistic credibility of many blogs, although Catania teaches journalism at the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication and is a contributing op-ed writer for the Los Angeles Times. Also disputed last week were time.com's listing of the "10 Major Newspapers That Will Fold Or Go Digital Next," and a report Friday about a program at Stony Brook University that was said to have already received funding for a program to employ laid-off journalists to teach news literacy.
Nicholas Lemann, dean of the Columbia journalism school, said Wednesday he wrote this the previous day to Bob Butler, a board member of the National Association of Journalists:
"I don't think the piece on HuffingtonPost got across the actual flavor of the conference, which was small enough to be intimate (it was not, that is, just panelists addressing a large audience from on high) and was highly diverse by ethnicity and gender by virtue of being highly international. But you're right, we should have had more diversity, including American racial diversity, on the panels, and next time we will do a better job to get that right."
Lewis also wrote Butler on Tuesday, saying:
"Responding to a snark attack in the blogosphere is not my specialty. The conference was diverse in terms of both ethnicity and gender, because of its international focus, but certainly, without question, it should have had more U.S. diversity.
"The outrageously offensive sentence in the Huffington Post item, about who has the 'chops' to do investigative reporting, does not remotely reflect my worldview nor my practice as a reporter and editor the past 30 years. Responding to something I didn't say, from a fleeting, less than five minute conversation that clearly was misunderstood and taken out of context by the blogger, who also did not fully identify herself to me, is perilous to even attempt. I really appreciate, more than you might realize, that you asked me if I 'really said that.' Others have simply assumed that that single sentence was true, a long career besmirched by an incendiary slur by a blogger.
"Suffice it to say that I have worked with NABJ over the years, dating back to the 1990s as executive director of the Center for Public Integrity, and a year ago I interviewed Dean Baquet," Washington bureau chief of the New York Times, "whom I have known since 1998 when we were both on an IRE panel in New Orleans — for a high definition TV and radio documentary project in which I interviewed 23 important national journalists of the past half century (I also interviewed Moses Newson, regarded by many to be the most respected surviving African-American reporter who covered civil rights between 1955 and 1965 or so, whose Freedom Rider bus was firebombed in 1961). Separately, after this snark attack last week, Cheryl Thompson" of the Washington Post "and I spoke, and we hope to have lunch in the weeks ahead. I have also had many NABJ members on my various nonprofit Boards and Advisory Board, and even former employees who have previously been NABJ directors.
"That is not to suggest that I have ever believed there is sufficient diversity in investigative reporting throughout the nation, or in journalism writ larger. That has always quietly frustrated me, and reaching out via internships and even via black colleges has never been terrifically successful, in my own experience, despite the efforts. I hope to change and improve that, somehow. Perhaps NABJ and the Investigative Reporting Workshop at American University, a new muckraking entity which I have begun, can find a way to work together down the road . . ."
Newsroom employees listen as Union-Tribune Editor Karin Winner announces the paper's sale. (Credit: K.C. Alfred/Union-Tribune)
San Diego Paper Bucks Dismal Trend, Finds a Buyer
In a break from the dismal news of newspapers closing after being unable to find buyers, the parent company of the San Diego Union-Tribune announced Wednesday that it has reached an agreement to sell the newspaper.
The Copley Press Inc. had been seeking a buyer since July, when it hired investment bankers to explore "strategic options‚" amid a nationwide decline in newspaper advertising and circulation, Thomas Kupper reported on the paper's Web site.
The editorially conservative paper was sold to the Beverly Hills private equity firm Platinum Equity for an undisclosed price. That firm includes David Black, who owns and operates more than 150 newspapers in the U.S. and Canada. The sale marks the end of the Copley family's run in the newspaper business, including 80 years as San Diego's dominant media company, the Associated Press noted.
The Union-Tribune reported 18.8 percent journalists of color in last year's diversity census of the American Society of Newspaper Editors: 5.3 percent Asian American, 3.2 percent black; 9.9 percent Hispanic and 0.4 percent Native American. It is the home base of Ruben Navarrette, a Hispanic columnist who is syndicated by the Washington Post Writers Group.
"There's a sense of relief — and vindication," Navarrette told Journal-isms Wednesday night. "With other papers going up for sale, and then going out of business when they couldn't find a buyer, it's better to be purchased than to be passed over. This is obviously a very challenging time for all of us who love newspapers. But San Diego remains a highly-desirable market. I'd say our new owners made a good investment."
Meanwhile, the Gannett-owned Tucson (Ariz.) Citizen reported that the Citizen "will be published on a day-to-day basis while negotiations are completed with two interested buyers, according to an executive with the Citizen's corporate owner."
That newspaper reported 29 percent journalists of color, with 23.2 percent of them Hispanic but none Native American.
- Pete Carey, San Jose Mercury News: To keep San Francisco Chronicle publishing, should it team up with Mercury News' owner?
- Robert Jamieson, Seattle Post-Intelligencer: Column a blessing of learning about you
A List of 10 Reasons to Hire a Journalist . . .
Jill Geisler, who heads the Leadership and Management Group at the Poynter Institute, has come up with "Ten Reasons You Should Hire a Journalist."
In a letter to a generic potential employer, Geisler gives these reasons: Journalists will improve the writing, photography or design in your organization; they deliver on deadline; are multi-taskers, quick studies and critical thinkers; they get answers faster than most, know how to use the Web, have a great work ethic and a solid moral compass, and are loyal.
. . . and Some for Keeping Journalists of Color
In Boston, representatives of Hispanic, Asian American and black journalists wrote Monday to Martin Baron, editor of the Boston Globe, reminding the paper that as it prepares to reduce its newsroom staff yet again, "Any reduction of journalists of color at the Globe would make a less diverse and less relevant newspaper for our communities.
"The newspaper's few journalists of color help create a product that offers balanced and creative coverage. These staffers bring to the table what their colleagues may not — speaking other languages, knowledge of the city's mostly minority neighborhoods, and perspectives shared with the city's minority residents," they said. "We hope that specialized skills such as knowledge of other languages will be considered alongside seniority."
The letter was signed by Russell Contreras, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists — New England; Shirley Goh, co-president, Asian American Journalists Association — New England; and Latoyia Edwards, president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists.
Tim Giago to Start Print-Only Native Newspaper
"Last week I opened an office in Rapid City that will be the home of the brand new Native Sun News," veteran Indian journalist Tim Giago wrote from South Dakota for Native Times.
"Many of my old reporters will be writing articles for me and the investigative articles that were a weekly menu of the Lakota Times and Indian Country Today (when I owned it) will once again become a weekly staple. For too many years some tribal governments have run roughshod over their members without recourse. Indian country needs a watchdog, one that does not fear turning over a rock to see what is under it.
"You won't find us on the Internet. So many of my Indian readers do not have computers or do not even have access to them. Native Sun News will go back to the traditional way of providing news for Indian country. The paper will have serious news, but we will never abandon that Indian sense of humor that so many non-Indians accuse us of not having. You will be able to hold our newspaper in your hands, sip on a hot cup of coffee, and read the news you used to love to read in The Lakota Times and Indian Country Today."
As Men Leave, Newscasts Get "Female Makeovers"
"As layoffs and early retirements alter Boston's television newsrooms, the traditional anchorman is becoming a minority and newscasts are getting female makeovers," Johnny Diaz wrote Wednesday in the Boston Globe.
"Men have been leaving their anchor jobs because of budget cuts forced by the recession and changes in direction at the stations, and women are being elevated to more prominent roles. At WHDH-TV (Channel 7) the marquee anchor duo is Frances Rivera and Kim Khazei. At Univision Boston, an all-female team anchors and reports the news. At NECN, women anchor all weekend newscasts. Women have replaced male anchors on other stations' newscasts, as well.
"While their managers say they were the best candidates for the jobs, their gender influenced the decisions in some cases. Managers say today's audiences are more willing to accept news from a young woman. As stations lose industry veterans, who typically earn much larger salaries, they turn to younger anchors to cut costs and draw viewers."
L.A. Broadcaster Plans New Spanish TV Network
Los Angeles-based Liberman Broadcasting, "best known for its 21 major-market Hispanic radio stations, plans on launching a Spanish-language TV network this summer with the original programming that it has developed over the past 11 years for its own short string of TV stations," TV Newsday Editor Harry A. Jessell reported TAuesday, publishing a question-and-answer with the company's executive vice president, Lenard Liberman.
"Estrella TV will offer 55 hours of original programming each week — musical variety, drama, comedy and talk — supplemented by the best of what it claims is an evergreen library of 6,000 additional hours." He did not mention news.
Separately, Eduardo Stanley, editor of the Spanish-language newspaper El Sol in Visalia, Calif., wrote that the economic crisis is taking a toll on Hispanic media in the Central Valley, where Spanish-language publications and even radio stations are struggling to survive.
"The word crisis is the same in English and Spanish," he began.
- Jesse Washington, Associated Press: Census challenge: How to count Hispanics
Homeowners of Color Overlooked in Coverage of AIG
"AIG ignited the national firestorm of rage with its shell out of $160 to $600 million in tainted bonuses to its tainted executives. But what has gotten almost no attention is a big reason that AIG had to stiff the government and everyone else. That's the role that the company played in the subprime loan racket — a racket that hurt and still hurts tens of thousands of would be black and Latino homeowners," syndicated columnist Earl Ofari Hutchinson maintained on Wednesday.
"The lender's bait and switch tactics, the deliberately garbled contracts, deceptive and faulty lending, questionable accounting practices, and charged hidden fees, all with the connivance of sleepy-eyed see-no-evil oversight of federal regulators, are well known and documented. Their snake oil loan peddling wreaked havoc with thousands of mostly poor, strapped homeowners. A disproportionate number of them were Latinos and African-Americans."
But the problem didn't just hurt low-income homeowners, as Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan told African American journalists in a conference call on Monday.
"Even in New York's Jamaica, Queens — identified in the 2000 census as the single county in the entire country where median income for African-Americans was higher than it was for whites &mdasah; 60 percent of all loans in that community were high cost loans, the secretary said," as Jackie Jones and Michael H. Cottman reported for BlackAmericaWeb.com.
Also in the conference call, Donovan had some welcome news for laid-off workers. Under the recently passed stimulus package, the federal government will pay up to 65 percent of COBRA health-plan coverage for nine months, he said.
- Associated Press: Photographers' access limited to Obama-Leno taping
- CBS News: Obama To Appear On Sunday's 60 Minutes
- Brian Gilmore, ebonyjet.com: Obama's African blood lines are not a gateway to success
- Michael J. Sniffen, Associated Press: Flaws abound in FOIA if Obama wants to fix them
- Krissah Thompson, Washington Post: The Ties That Align: Administration's Black Women Form A Strong Sisterhood
- Washington Post: The Washington Post Launches Obama Appointee Tracker
- Tonyaa Weathersbee, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Stimulus-Snubbing Govs Don't Care About People, Black or White
Relationships Vital in Retaining Young Journalists
Doug Mitchell, who has trained scores of young journalists of color to enter broadcasting while an employee of National Public Radio, shares some of what he learned in a piece for Transom.org, "an experiment in channeling new work and voices to public radio through the Internet."
"I want to stress two things that seem to run against each other but in my case, worked really well," wrote Mitchell, who was project manager for NPR's Next Generation Radio, and is continuing his training work despite being laid off from the public radio network.
"Number one: the importance of continuing to build upon already established relationships. For me, that means having former students become mentors once they start working professionally.
"A lot of money was spent developing people, making connections when they were young. The high level of commitment and passion for storytelling is there. To keep the commitment, you have to keep the conversation going. In any business, maintaining passion and commitment will provide a solid foundation for successful recruitment and then retention. People won't stay if they lose their way. Businesses tend to blame the employee. Some of my most cherished recruits left public radio within five years of first landing. And the bleeding continues.
"I don't chalk that up solely to generational impatience. They left because of 'management' issues. Not leadership, but management. They quit the network but didn't quit non-profit media. They found new places because they made connections with others within the system. That is an example of leaders continuing to do everything possible to make sure the passion doesn't die at the hands of being too busy, not having any money, or a lack of creativity or vision. I can't tell you how many hours a year I spend with former students. It isn't in the job description. I go ahead and do it anyway.
"Number two: a willingness to take risks on people you do not know and/or who didn't come out of an already established pipeline."
- The demise of "Chocolate News," featuring David Alan Grier, on Comedy Central, "D. L. Hughley Breaks the News" on CNN, and other shows with African American leads "raises some questions about whether television actually made any progress last fall in better reflecting the audience it serves, and whether viewers will see a return to old, monochromatic ways in the coming season," Edward Wyatt reported Tuesday in the New York Times.
- Public broadcasting's Gwen Ifill, moderator of "Washington Week" and senior correspondent on "The News Hour with Jim Lehrer," received the Goldsmith Career Award for Excellence in Journalism at the Kennedy School at Harvard on Tuesday. Monica S. Liu reported in the Harvard Crimson that Ifill said in her acceptance speech, "I learned to treat race as an advantage, to see things that other didn't, to talk to people that others wouldn't, and to tell stories that others couldn't." She later explained that she "was always drawn to stories about people who beat expectations, especially when those expectations were low . . . my favorite politicians are the underdogs, the underestimated, and even the 'mis-underestimated.' "
- "Some liberal political activists and economists are seizing on comedian Jon Stewart's attacks of CNBC to push an online petition drive urging the network to be tougher on Wall Street leaders," David Bauder reported Tuesday for the Associated Press. "Spearheaded by the new Progressive Chance Campaign Committee and supported by the watchdog Media Matters and others, the group is asking CNBC to hire economic voices with a track record of being right on the current economic crisis, and do more to hold business leaders accountable."
- The tragic story of Chicago Tribune editorial writer Leanita McClain, who died in 1984 at age 32, was retold Tuesday by Natalie Y. Moore on theroot.com. "Depressed and angry about the intense racial animosity following the election of the city's first black mayor, the Chicago Tribune columnist killed herself. She could not have imagined Obama's America. And we can't afford to forget hers," Moore wrote.
- Barbara Cochran, president of the Radio and Television News Directors Association and Foundation, Phil Bennett, former managing editor of the Washington Post, and Lincoln Caplan, former writer for The New Yorker, will be interviewing for the deanship of the School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley, the school announced on Tuesday. Interim Dean Neil Henry told Journal-isms he did not apply for the position.
- "Ethnic media were recognized on March 13 at the 2009 Southern and Central California Ethnic Media Awards organized by New America Media (NAM) and the University of Southern California's Annenberg School for Communication," Jun Wang reported from Los Angeles for New America Media. "Some 100 media professionals gathered at the Japanese American Cultural and Community Center for the awards ceremony.
- "The New York Times' Peter Baker reports today (3/18/09) that [President] Obama has tapped 'a Swahili-speaking retired Air Force officer who grew up in Africa as the son of missionaries' to be his special envoy to Sudan," Julie Hollar wrote for Fairness & Accuracy in Reporting. "Does Baker or his Times editors realize that they don't speak Swahili in Sudan?"
- Black Press Week, the annual celebration of the birth of the black press in America on March 16, 1827, will honor the entire first family of President Obama, civil rights icon the Rev. Joseph Lowery, Xernona Clayton, president and CEO of the Trumpet Foundation, activist the Rev. Al Sharpton and Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C., Hazel Trice Edney reported for the National Newspaper Publishers Association.
- Dionicio "Don" Flores, who resigned in August as editor of the El Paso Times and is now a self-employed media consultant, was named by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Southern University Board of Regents for a term to expire Feb. 1, 2015.
- In Tibet, "International reporters — who are legally allowed to interview anyone who consents in China — are still not allowed into the Tibetan Autonomous Region. Police obstructed Agence France-Presse reporters for two consecutive days this week in Tibetan parts of northwestern Qinghai province; The Associated Press was ordered out of a city in a predominantly Tibetan area on Monday," Madeline Earp wrote Thursday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "If things are bad for the foreigners, conditions for locals are worse."
- In Cuba, "March 18, 19, and 20 will mark the sixth anniversary of the detention of 75 peaceful journalists and librarians, as well as human rights activists, convicted weeks later to up to 28 years in jail during summary trials. Fifty-four of these innocent people, who demanded a democratic society and respect for human rights, remain imprisoned under inhumane conditions; 20 of them are journalists," Oscar Espinosa Chepe. a Cuban economist, wrote for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
- Burundian online journalist Jean-Claude Kavumbagu, jailed since September, was acquitted Wednesday, according to local journalists. "In a separate case on Tuesday, however, authorities detained two journalists covering the activities of a former CPJ Press Freedom Award winner, according to the same sources," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported on Wednesday.
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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