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Guild: Gender, Race Pay Gaps Nearly Gone

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Friday, April 11, 2014

In Newsrooms, "Still a Small Tilt in Merit Pay to Men"

Rich Holden, Diversity Champion at Dow Jones, Let Go

Al Jazeera America Lays Off Dozens in Restructuring

White House Press to Honor Black Reporter Once Barred

Obama's LBJ Speech a Reminder of Gap in Perceived Progress

Anchors "Lock Horns" on Responsibility for Deportations

Lisa Ling to Join CNN in Prime-Time Shakeup

Journalists Meeting Becomes Memorial to Chuck Stone

Short Takes

African American women are said to be paid 64 cents, and Hispanic women only 54

In Newsrooms, "Still a Small Tilt in Merit Pay to Men"

The pay disparity between men and women that grabbed the attention of the White House and Capitol Hill this week has nearly vanished from newspaper newsrooms, Bernie Lunzer, president of the Newspaper Guild, Communications Workers of America, told Journal-isms on Friday.

"Likely still a small tilt in merit pay to men, but otherwise your statement is correct," Lunzer said by email. His declaration also referred to differences in pay among the races.

President Obama said Tuesday, "Today, the average full-time working woman earns just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns…in 2014, that's an embarrassment. It is wrong." However, Glenn Kessler, who writes the Washington Post "Fact Checker" column, said the figure was suspect.

"The president must begin to acknowledge that '77 cents' does not begin to capture what is actually happening in the work force and society," Kessler wrote Wednesday, citing calculations both above and below 77 cents.

Regardless, Obama signed a memorandum that would prompt federal contractors to disclose what they are paying their employees, and an executive order that would prevent federal contractors from retaliating against employees who choose to discuss their compensation.

Bernie Lunzer (Credit: ©Vincent Proteau/Canadian Media Guild) On Wednesday, Senate Republicans blocked legislation meant to close the pay gap between men and women. Supporters of the bill, called the Paycheck Fairness Act, "say it would bring transparency to worker pay by making it illegal for employers to penalize employees who discuss their salaries and by requiring the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission to collect pay information from employers," David S. Joachim reported for the New York Times.

In November, the National Women's Law Center said "the wage gap is even larger for many women of color working full time, year round, as African-American women are paid only 64 cents, and Hispanic women only 54 cents, for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men. . . ."

According to Lunzer, those broader statistics are no longer applicable to newsrooms. "The days of women being stuck in features and making less in the scale" are long over," Lunzer messaged. "So on its face it is likely that most issues of stated compensation probably look fair.

"Where we see merit data, it appears that men still continue to capture more.

"The biggest issues now likely go to hiring and employment generally. That is to say, anecdotally it appears that as newsrooms have lost substantial numbers, those remaining are whiter and more male. Part of that may be related to less part-time work and less flexibility in scheduling, at least when it comes to women who seem to value that more.

"We have committed as a union to not let seniority and layoff provisions hammer diversity. We’re not prepared to let management make all the decisions, but we have bargained language that allows diversity to still be a major consideration."

Asked what accounted for the closing of that pay gap in newsrooms, Lunzer replied, "Great strides were made in the 70's and 80's as regards getting one straight scale for reporters and in many cases that was the same scale for the desk. Prior to that there was a lot of differentiation for features writers and other so-called 'soft' news.

"The other major thing to change was the understanding that women could handle any beats that men could handle, even cops. As you look around there have been some truly remarkable women cops' reporters."

The Women's Media Center, which released "The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014" last week, was not as definitive. "We're not aware of any studies that compare newsroom salaries of men and women," Julie Burton, president of the center, said through a spokeswoman. "Our Women's Media Center Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014 report, however, shows that men dominate the media and hold the majority of decision-making positions. Women comprise 36 percent of all newsroom jobs and account for only 34.6 percent of supervisors. It's unlikely that the media industry is untouched by the gender wage gap. The Women’s Media Center supports all efforts to call attention to equal pay for equal work in all industries.”

Presidents of the journalist of color organizations said they had conducted no studies on compensation or did not respond to an inquiry.

Rich Holden at the Dow Jones News Fund/Temple University Editing Residency in 20

Rich Holden, Diversity Champion at Dow Jones, Let Go

Rich Holden, who for years has helped high school and college journalism students as a teacher and as executive director of the Dow Jones News Fund, was let go by Dow Jones, and his position eliminated, Holden told Journal-isms on Friday.

Holden, 64, had been with the fund since October 1992 and with Dow Jones for 41 years, working for 19 years as an editor at the Wall Street Journal in New York and The Asian Wall Street Journal in Hong Kong.

According to a bio, among his positions at the Journal were copy editor, day news editor, night news editor, copy desk chief, national news production manager, financial editor and senior editor overseeing recruiting, hiring and training. He has served on the advisory boards at schools of communication at Howard University, the University of Arizona, Rutgers University and Lincoln University in Pennsylvania.

The Dow Jones News Fund sends college undergraduate and graduate students to work as sports and news copy editors, multimedia editors and business reporters at news organizations as paid summer interns.

"In this time of Twitter and sound bites, it’s easy to resort to clichés like 'change maker,' " Dori J. Maynard, president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, messaged Journal-isms. "In the case of Rich Holden that is not a cliché, it's a description. Through his work with us, the Dow Jones News Fund and other journalism organizations, Rich truly helped to change the industry. We will miss having a staunch ally at the Dow Jones New Fund, and will always be grateful for the work he did with us."

Frank O. Sotomayor, a co-founder of the Maynard Institute, added that Holden "has made an immense contribution to U.S. journalism and to increased diversity in the news media. The Maynard Institute was fortunate to have his services as a senior faculty member at the Editing Program for many years. He was a brilliant program teacher and a loyal friend to all. At the News Fund, he supported urban journalism workshops for decades, helped strengthen scholastic journalism and extended the scope of college internship programs. Hundreds of journalists today can trace their start in journalism to Rich and the programs he developed. We salute him and thank him."

Holden said he was given two weeks' notice that his job would end on April 1. "There's a lot of work with organizations that I didn't have an opportunity to do before," he said by telephone. "I enjoy working with the kids. We don't do well, but we do good," he said of the News Fund. He called the Fund one of the few remaining journalism organizations "that puts an emphasis on minority kids."

Colleen Schwartz, director of communications for Dow Jones, told Journal-isms by telephone, "We don't comment about personnel issues. The fund will continue its efforts as strong as they've ever been." Linda Shockley, the fund's deputy director, will keep her title, Schwartz said.

Evelyn Hsu, senior director, programs and operations at the Maynard Institute, said of Holden by email, "His generosity went beyond the sessions he led on, among other topics, math for journalists. For our program directors and faculty he was a counselor and wise advisor. Nothing flustered him. On top of everything, he would then take everyone out for dinner! I hope Rich will continue to teach and to serve as a mentor to young journalists. Journalism is smarter and more diverse because of him."

Al Jazeera America Lays Off Dozens in Restructuring

Bernie RitterDozens of staffers were laid off Friday at Al Jazeera America, including Bernie Ritter, a senior producer in the sports department, and Julio Ricardo Varela, a digital producer for the social media program, "The Stream."

"Al Jazeera America, which launched last August with nearly 850 employees and 12 news bureaus in the United States, has laid off dozens of employees as part of restructuring," Erik Hayden reported Friday for the Hollywood Reporter. "The channel is disbanding its sports unit and scaling back its social-media-driven show The Stream from a daily show to a once-a-week program.

" 'The majority of people affected were freelancers and many of the staff either came from the sports group or from The Stream,' Dawn Bridges, executive vp corporate communications, tells The Hollywood Reporter. . . ."

Julio Ricardo Verela

Neal Scarbrough, hired last summer as senior executive producer for sports programming, told Journal-isms that he was likely to be reassigned. Other surviving sports journalists of color include anchors/reporters Michael Eaves, John Henry Smith and Ross Shimabuku, he said by email.

"Today was a tough one for us as Aljazeera down-shifts its focus on Sports. We assembled a talented and versatile team, and over the last few months they did great work," he said by email. "This newsroom remains the most diverse environment I have worked in. Today's story is about a business decision affecting the Sports unit. But going forward good sports stories about diverse subjects will still find their way on air at Aljazeera America."

Ritter was the only African American among 11 layoffs in sports, Scarbrough said. He called Ritter "a pro's pro as a producer. He will do great wherever he lands."

Ritter, who came to Al Jazeera from ESPN, where he was a coordinating producer, messaged Journal-isms, "I am keeping all my options open...I have a sports and news background...but also wouldn't mind getting into media relations."

Varela, a founder of the Latino Rebels website, said his only public comment would be his tweet, "To all my @AJAMStream @AJStream family, ¡los quiero mucho! Love you all. #Paz #Peace."

Sherman McAlpin, a retired U.S. Air Force veteran who works at at the Pentagon,

White House Press to Honor Black Reporter Once Barred

"Harry S. McAlpin made history in February 1944 when he became the first black reporter to cover a presidential news conference at the White House," Lesley Clark wrote Thursday for the McClatchy newspapers' Washington Bureau.

"Time magazine and The New York Times noted the milestone. And Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who’d opened the White House doors after entreaties from African-American publishers, greeted the reporter as he made his way over to the president's desk, telling him, 'Glad to see you, McAlpin.'

"It was not a sentiment shared by McAlpin’s fellow scribes, members of the White House Correspondents’ Association who for a decade had denied black reporters the opportunity to attend the twice-weekly news conferences in the Oval Office.

"Roosevelt's invite did nothing to deter them. A member of the association told McAlpin he'd share notes from the news conference with him if he didn't attend, suggesting that in the crush of reporters moving into the room someone could get hurt.

"McAlpin 'ever so politely declined the offer,' and stepping into the White House broke the color barrier, said George Condon, a White House correspondent for the National Journal and a former White House Correspondents' Association president who's researching the group's sometimes-checkered history in celebration of its centennial this year.

"Now, some 70 years after doing all it could to block black reporters, the White House Correspondents' Association is looking to make amends, dedicating a scholarship for journalism students in McAlpin's name. McAlpin, who died in 1985, will be honored at the association’s annual scholarship dinner on May 3. . . ."

Obama's LBJ Speech a Reminder of Gap in Perceived Progress

As President Obama joined three other living presidents in marking the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act Thursday, the Pew Research Center recapped surveys showing a gap in perceptions between African Americans and whites on how much progress has been made toward racial equality.

Obama spoke at the LBJ Presidential Library in Austin, Texas, prompting comparisons between his presidency and Johnson's.

"The historic legislation sought equal access to employment opportunity, public accommodations, public education and voting rights," Jens Manuel Krogstad reported for Pew. "A poll conducted six years after the landmark bill became law found signs of perceived improvement: 64% of African Americans said things were 'getting better' for most black people compared to four or five years ago, according to a national Harris Survey.

"Fast-forward to August 2013, when just one-in-four blacks (26%) who answered a similar question agree with that statement, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted before the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. That was down sharply from the 39% who said the same in a 2009 Pew Research survey conducted the year Obama took office as the nation’s first black president.

"In the August 2013 poll, about eight-in-ten blacks (79%) said 'a lot' more needed to be done to achieve racial equality, compared with 44% of whites. Some 32% of blacks and 48% of whites said 'a lot' of progress had been made toward racial equality over the past 50 years.

"The 2013 poll also came shortly after [the] Trayvon Martin verdict. On July 13, a Florida jury found George Zimmerman, a white Hispanic, not guilty of murder in the shooting death of Martin, an unarmed black teenager. The verdict sparked outrage nationwide. . . ."

Anchors "Lock Horns" on Responsibility for Deportations

"Activists have taken aim at President Obama for the record number of deportations during his administration," Jordan Fabian wrote Wednesday for the Fusion network. "Is he solely to blame? Or do Republicans in Congress share responsibility? Enrique Acevedo, an anchor on Fusion's parent network Univision, and KMEX anchor and Fusion host León Krauze took the debate to Twitter. . . . "

Lisa Ling to Join CNN in Prime-Time Shakeup

Lisa Ling

"Journalist, television host and author Lisa Ling will be part of the new CNN prime time lineup beginning this summer, announced the cable network," Randall Yip wrote Friday on his site.

"Ling will host and report in a new documentary series which CNN says 'takes her audience on a gritty, breathtaking journey to far corners of America, immersing herself in sub-cultures that are unusual, bizarre and sometimes dangerous. Each episode delves into an alternative sect of everyday life, giving viewers an inside look at some of America’s most unconventional segments of society.'

"The addition of Ling is part of a new strategy being implemented by CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker to emphasize more original programming and less news. The strategy is being compared to MTV which long ago de-emphasized music videos and replaced it with reality programming.

"Ling’s Our America on OWN is in its last season as she transitions to CNN. . . ."

Kimberly Nordyke reported for the Hollywood Reporter, "The new primetime lineup will begin with Erin Burnett Outfront at 7 p.m. ET, followed by Anderson Cooper 360 at 8 p.m. ET. The 9 p.m. ET hour will be the new home of CNN's original series, CNN Films and the network's in-house produced documentaries like Dr. Sanjay Gupta’s Weed and Anderson Cooper’s The Survivor Diaries. That marks a change for the time slot from its previous focus of talk; Piers Morgan's talk show ran in the hour before its recent cancellation. . . ."

Members of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists pose before a memor

Journalists Meeting Becomes Memorial to Chuck Stone

On Tuesday, members of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists turned the regularly scheduled meeting into a memorial event honoring the legacy of Chuck Stone, the legendary journalist and activist who died Sunday at 89.

"At the end of the memorial event, each member in attendance signed a memorial plaque for Stone, which will be displayed in the newsroom of the Philadelphia Daily News," where Stone wrote a column from 1972 to 1991. "PABJ plans to memorialize Stone are in progress, including a possible Philadelphia City Council resolution honoring his impact on the city, and a special student journalism challenge & scholarship to be named in his memory," according to PABJ Prism, a PABJ publication.

Short Takes

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In Newsrooms, "Still a Small Tilt in Merit Pay to Men"

I'm in a digital video training program in California right now to help me with my journalism goals. All five of the instructors are white males.  After being given an assignment that dealt with choosing a scene from one of three feature films that had all caucasians in the scene, I asked if we could have a fourth choice that had some people of color in it.  I like to work on all film and journalism projects, but I also enjoy diversity and believe diversity adds to the value of this country.  In front of the entire class, the instructor said no, I had to work on one of the three he provided.  So, it seems as if even at state and federally funded universities that espouse diversity, women and minorities are not treated equally.  And since education starts in the classroom, perhaps our treatment in classes like this one is where it starts.

Cross-Postings From The Root

Frank Griffin

This 77 cents stat is lame. It purposely leaves out important items to create an issue out of a non-issue. Number of hours worked especially overtime. It ignores the relative danger of the jobs. It ignores the number of years worked.

This article, just like the white house reports on itself after it puts in a qualifier to alter the numbers for itself. So it ends up comparing apples and oranges.

Nothing but dishonesty coming from the left to try and buy a few votes.


What do you mean by race pay gap? Is it only the gap between black women and white women or does it include black men vs white men? Theroot's been dancing around this issue in that this article makes this initiative about women only with the (77 cents higher and lower debate comment) all about women but the 1st article posted about the president 'using his pen' specifically said "women and minorities, meaning women and non whites including black men". Are black men not a part of this initiative? Anyone with knowledge of the system, knows the system will pay black women more than it pays black men. It's all about community destabilization and control. I'm comparing pay for similar positions in my examples.

Hey Skip - what is the pay gap for:

black men vs white men

black men vs white women

black men vs black women

I'm interested in more than just the overall pay gap of 77/100 for men and women. You're so offensive you make me get offensive. I'll wait for your figures.

princeeditor @MXB2014The question I posed to Bernie Lunzer, president of the Newspaper Guild, made no distinction between black men and black women. It was, "Does this mean that in newsrooms, women and men, and people of all races and ethnicities, are now getting equal pay for equal work?" His answer, "likely still a small tilt in merit pay to men, but otherwise your statement is correct."

Richard Prince


@princeeditor @MXB2014 Thank you but we (I) desperately need to see a pay gap breakdown between men of all races (for similar work/production/experience). Then I want to see the gap amongst women of all races. Anything less is problematic. These unemployment numbers broken down by race and sex are very telling. These companies are obviously ignoring Title VII of the 64 CRA. One can't find a lawyer either when one's (racial) constitutional rights are violated on the job. The lawyers won't take these cases for fear of being blackballed in the industry.

So the game is seriously rigged against black people, particularly black males. It can be fixed IMO, but it'll take some bold (legal) action on behalf of black people themselves. None will fix it for us.


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