Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

Hispanic Journalists' Money Woes Worsen

Send by email
Sunday, August 15, 2010

Convention Sponsors Said to Owe Nearly $100,000 in Pledges

Convention Sponsors Said to Owe $100,000 in Pledges

With revenue from its June convention falling short of expectations and at least two convention sponsors said yet to pay pledges totaling nearly $100,000, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists is preparing to tap its endowment fund to meet payroll and overhead costs.

Other journalism organizations are also facing financial problems, but those at NAHJ appear to be more severe than most.

A measure to authorize a loan of up to $50,000 from the endowment fund was placed before the board of directors, sources told Journal-isms.

Newly elected President Michele Salcedo and Executive Director Ivan Roman did not respond to requests for comment. But both are said to have scolded board members for what Salcedo called "this public sharing of internal information."

NAHJ's financial problems have been well known.

Last year, then-NAHJ president O. Ricardo Pimentel told members the group was facing a $300,000 budget shortfall and had canceled its annual awards banquet.

On July 20, the association announced another fund-raising plea: "Don't miss the chance to be an NAHJ member in good standing for the rest of 2010 for just $35 for professionals, $15 for students."

During the June 23-26 convention in Denver, Veronica Villafa?±e, a past NAHJ president, wrote on her Media Moves site:

"The organization has a $227,000 deficit. It has had to pull money from reserves, borrow $75,000 from its scholarship fund and is still in the red. The membership as of June of this year is 1340, down from 2400 in 2008, impacting dues revenues.

"In all the years I have attended the membership meeting, I have never seen a room so packed. Members came in full force to find out what's in store for NAHJ. President Ricardo Pimentel urged members now more than ever, to donate to the association. There is currently a campaign to raise funds to match a $25,000 challenge grant."

In the Latino Reporter, the student convention newspaper, Ernesto Lopez wrote about the membership:

"Board members tried to allay their fears, insisting the organization is not in the red, despite raiding the scholarship and reserve funds to make ends meet.

"They acknowledged that if $125,000 is not raised by year's end, NAHJ will be in the red. They are looking for members to dig into their pockets - even in this recession in which many have lost or are in fear of losing their jobs - in order to sustain NAHJ's future. They also promised to move the organization forward to adapt to the changing media environment which sees fewer corporate dollars coming into the coffers. . . .

"NAHJ now counts 1,340 members, even though a goal was set to increase membership to 2,010 by 2010. Forty percent of those members are students, who pay only $35 in annual dues versus $75 for regular, associate and academic members."

NAHJ members have not yet been told of the idea of tapping into the endowment fund. The issue of communications of boards of directors with their memberships has come up at other journalist-of-color associations.

During the recent campaign for the presidency of the Asian American Journalists Association, candidate Neal Justin wrote:

"You should know that I'm proposing that an independent reporter will be present at every board meeting and write a story for members that will be unedited by [the] executive director or anyone on the board. I hope that will help members feel like we're being more open." He lost to Doris Truong.

The National Association of Black Journalists used to have such a practice, but abandoned it. The communications issue arose again after the organization announced it was accepting money from the Barry Bonds Foundation, and members said they did not know such a proposal was under consideration.

Surge in Blacks Using Broadband

August 13, 2010

Updated August 14

African Americans Showed Year's Highest Growth Rate

Pacifica Ousts 2 at D.C. Station; Program Director Reinstated

English-Dominant Latinos Tune in Spanish-Language Media

New D.C. Website Says Blog Network Gives It Diversity

. . . Hyperlocal Patch Sites Seek Local, Regional Editors

Radio's "Dr. Laura" Apologizes for Repeated Use of N-Word

9 White Men, 4 White Women Among TV News' Top Earners

Law Praised as End of "Open Season" on Indian Women

Sree Sreenivasan Wins Diversity Award for Educators

Short Takes

African Americans Showed Year's Highest Growth Rate

Broadband use by blacks was 'by far the highest growth rate of any major demographic group,' according to the Pew Internet & American Life Project. (Credit: Rushmore Drive)"Over the last year, the broadband-adoption gap between blacks and whites has been cut nearly in half," according to a new survey by the Pew Internet & American Life Project.

Broadband is generally defined as high-speed Internet access.

"Broadband adoption by African Americans now stands at 56%, up from 46% at a similar point in 2009," the study said. "That works out to a 22% year-over-year growth rate, well above the national average and by far the highest growth rate of any major demographic group."

The increase has implications for media targeting African Americans, black-owned and otherwise.

In a piece Friday on theRoot.com, Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co., owners of Ebony and Jet magazine, told E.R. Shipp, "Today, outlets are charged with deciding which form of technology best suits the story. For instance, black consumers can now receive stories via iPads, satellite radio and the Web in addition to traditional print."

Johnson Rice said her major challenge is "to stay relevant on the newsstands while establishing a timely and engaging presence on the Web."

Shipp noted that "in that arena, her company faces competition from The Root, the Grio, Black America Web and AOL's Black Voices, among others" and that "Jet recently rolled out a jazzed-up print edition and a digital version called MyJet247.com."

BET Networks has partnered with the National Urban League, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, HealthCentral, Kaplan Ventures, MedHelp.org, One Economy Corporation and Tutor.com in a proposal to the U.S. Department of Commerce's National Telecommunications and Information Administration for a grant under the Broadband Technology Opportunities Program, Ann Brown reported in June for the Network Journal. That effort is a part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, known as the stimulus package.

"Under the proposal, BET wants to increase the adoption of broadband technology amongst African-Americans through its National Sustainable Broadband Adoption Project," Brown wrote.

African Americans are consuming cell-phone technology in large numbers as well.

Pew reported last month that 64 percent of African Americans surveyed in May said they access the Internet over their laptop or mobile phone, an increase from 57 percent who said they did in 2009.

Overall, according to the new study, released Wednesday, "After several consecutive years of modest but consistent growth, broadband adoption slowed dramatically in 2010. "Two-thirds of American adults (66%) currently use a high-speed internet connection at home, a figure that is not statistically different from what the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project found at a similar point in 2009, when 63% of Americans were broadband adopters."

In addition, "By a 53%-to-41% margin, Americans say they do not believe that the spread of affordable broadband should be a major government priority. Contrary to what some might suspect, non-internet users are less likely than current users to say the government should place a high priority on the spread of high-speed connections. . . .

Mark Hachman added on PCMag.com:

"When asked why African-Americans reported such a large jump," Aaron Smith, research specialist with Pew. "said that Pew's research didn't examine the reason. 'But we've been picking up on it for a couple of years now; not necessarily with broadband, but with higher levels of engagement with the Internet in general,' he said.

"Pew began noticing higher levels of engagement within the African-American community since the 2008 election, Smith said; since blacks hadn't embraced broadband as quickly as whites, the lower baseline allowed a more dramatic increase, he added."

Pacifica Ousts 2 at D.C. Station; Program Director Reinstated

A year after Pacifica Radio ousted the general manager of its Washington outlet, WPFW-FM, Pacifica officials this week dismissed the interim general manager and interim program director. But during a meeting Saturday called to discuss the resulting turmoil, the program director, Bob Daughtry, was reinstated, according to participants in the meeting at the "jazz and justice" station.

"The latest carnage at the progressive jazz-and-politics station: Station Manager Grigsby Hubbard and Program Director Bob Daughtry were both given the axe yesterday during the D.C. visit of Pacifica Foundation Executive Director Arlene Engelhardt," Michael Schaffer and Erin Petty reported late Friday for the Washington City Paper.

" 'We needed a slightly different direction,' Engelhardt said. She declined to elaborate, calling the management changes . . . an HR matter.

"But in classic lefty-radio form, the firings have inspired the station's volunteer-dominated and famously independent-minded corps of programmers to organize meetings, examine by-laws, and otherwise protest the national network's meddling in the affairs of the local station, which is located one story down from Washington City Paper in Adams Morgan." 

At a two-hour meeting Saturday with about 40 programmers, paid staff and local station board members, participants told Journal-isms, Engelhardt acknowledged she had "recommended" that business manager Robert West, whom she had named interim general manager, fire Daughtry, a former general manager at Pacifica's WBAI in New York.

But when West asked whether he could rehire Daughtry, since Daughtry's status was actually West's to decide, Engelhardt said yes. West then reinstated his program director.

"This is a victory for WPFW, for the programmers of WPFW," Daughtry told Journal-isms. "Pacifica comes in and makes changes without notification, and that was one of the big issues there today.

"We're often not given any notice. We don't even find out after the fact." He said he still did not know why Englehardt recommended he be fired. "I waived my right to any personal privacy," so that could be explained. "Even then, it was not clear to any of us the reasons for my dismissal," Daughtry said.

"This is not the first time Daughtry has been a casualty of Pacifica's [feisty] internal politics," the City Paper wrote. "In 2002, while serving as acting general manager at WBAI in New York, he was terminated during a Pacifica board meeting that was broadcast live on all five of the network's stations."

A year ago, General Manager Ron Pinchback was let go in similar fashion, with all concerned refusing to discuss the reasons, saying it was a personnel issue. Hubbard, one of the founders of the station, was then named interim manager, praised for his "decades of managerial experience in both the nonprofit and for profit sectors."

Hubbard said in a state-of-the-station report in January, "As the second decade of the 21st century begins, WPFW appears to be on the road to recovery."

Daughtry said he would be speaking with others at the station to discuss its direction in light of the weekend events.

"Jazz and justice" is a reference to the station's "progressive" format. Jazz is a major part of its music programming, although it plays world music, zydeco, oldies, Latin music, blues and other genres, and its talk programs revolve around issues of social justice.  Most staffers are volunteers and the station refuses corporate donations, relying on listener support. [Added Aug. 14]

English-Dominant Latinos Tune in Spanish-Language Media

"An Associated Press-Univision poll finds many English-speaking Hispanics turn frequently to Spanish-language TV and radio, drawn by a cultural connection and some concerns that English-language media portray them negatively," Hope Yen and Ileana Morales reported Thursday for the Associated Press.

In an e-mail, Univision added, "Ninety-percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanics watch some Spanish-language TV and 75 percent listen to Spanish-language radio each day.

"Among English-dominant Hispanics, nearly 4 in 10 said they consume either Spanish-language television or radio.

" 'The Univision-AP Poll on Media Consumption confirms that Hispanics who speak English and Spanish continue to choose Spanish-language TV and radio for culturally relevant content they can’t get anywhere else,' said Ceril Shagrin, executive vice president, Audience Measurement Innovation and Analytics for Univision Communications Inc. 'Today’s findings reaffirm that Spanish-language media reaches 80 percent of all Hispanics in the U.S.'

"On the interactive front, 57 percent of Spanish-dominant Hispanics have Internet access at home, of which 90 percent access Spanish-language sites.

"The survey also found that English-speaking Hispanics are somewhat skeptical of English-language news and programs. Nearly 35 percent said English media portrayed Hispanics mostly in a negative way, nearly three times more than those who said it was mostly positive, and 50 percent said English media was neutral."

The AP story said, "The media consumption of Hispanics is drawing attention as businesses and political groups battle for their loyalty. Hispanics now represent 16 percent of the U.S. population, a number projected to grow to about 30 percent by 2050."

"I suspect that the TBD racial/ethnic diversity is closer to (though still not matching) the diversity of the community than most metro news organizations," said Steve Buttry, TBD's director of community engagement.

New D.C. Website Says Blog Network Gives It Diversity

TBD, the new website promising hyperlocal coverage of the ethnically diverse Washington metropolitan area, launched this week promising diversity through its network of more than 130 local blogs and websites.

As Tanzina Vega reported in the New York Times, "Allbritton Communications started its local news Web site, TBD.com, on Monday, creating a multimedia platform for news in the Washington D.C. area that can draw on the work of two television stations, 127 local bloggers and community sites and a staff of producers, reporters and editors.

"The site already has a presence on Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare and plans to make significant investments to better use such tools. It will also use geocoding technology to help offer readers content specific to their location. The site hopes to engage readers in helping to report or complete articles by encouraging them to send in tips and leads to reporters. Users can download an Android mobile app and will soon have access to one for the iPhone."

While white men and women dominate the website's leadership — including General Manager Jim Brady, formerly executive editor of washingtonpost.com, and Editor Erik Wemple, formerly editor of Washington City Paper — Steve Buttry, director of community engagement, said there is diversity:

"Our TBD leadership includes a Latina (TV news director) as well as an Asian-American (senior director, product management, the first person Jim Brady hired for TBD, long before it had a name) and an African American (assistant news director)," he said by e-mail. "I haven’t run the numbers, but I suspect that the TBD racial/ethnic diversity is closer to (though still not matching) the diversity of the community than most metro news organizations." The news director is Malissa Reyes; the senior director, product management is Bageshri Ghate and the assistant news director is Yolanda Massey. Buttry describes himself as a longtime friend of the Maynard Institute who led sessions at the Maynard Media Academy at Harvard in March. He added that Reyes' father is Filipino.

Among the website's 12 reporters are arts reporter Sarah Godfrey and sports reporter Mike Jones, who are African American, and Elahe Izadi, who is Iranian-American.

Jeff Sonderman holds the position of senior community host. "I'm part of a six-person team of people who work on community engagement projects and social media," he said by e-mail. "Our site is very open to listening to the community and featuring content from blogs and other news site in the community. Much of what we do involves building those relationships and giving the users ways to contribute to the conversation and content.

"I am not a person of color, but we certainly have a very diverse newsroom here. I haven't done a survey or anything, but we have a strong balance of women and men, of many races and backgrounds, including white, black, Asian, Indian, Persian, etc. Beyond just skin color, we also have a diverse mix of personalities and views.

"Also, I think it's very important for you to consider that because TBD operates very differently than other media organizations, the diversity of our own staff is not the only consideration. Much of the news content you find on TBD.com is not produced by TBD staff. TBD works with a network of more than 130 local blogs and websites to feature their content on TBD.com.

"Those bloggers are also a very diverse group, both in their personal background and what they write about. . . . This network gives us realistic, balanced community life coverage of some majority-black neighborhoods of DC where the traditional media usually just covers shootings and fires. And we are always open to including new bloggers and viewpoints in that mix. We also aggregate from hundreds of other nonmember sites to make sure we find the broadest sample of local news possible."

As reported last month, the site planned to launch without copy editors. "Faced with a choice between hiring copy editors or reporters, though, we went with the latter," Wemple said.

. . . Hyperlocal Patch Sites Seek Local, Regional Editors

Patch, AOL's entry in the hyperlocal website sweepstakes, is looking for local and regional editors as it plans to spend $50 million to expand Patch nationally to hundreds of sites by the end of the year.

"It’s an ambitious and risky strategy, given that AOL is entering the local news business without the reporting muscle of a major news operation," Johnny Diaz wrote last week in the Boston Globe. "Patch officials say they believe they can cover these communities with a low-cost model: Each site has one full-time editor who also writes and shoots video.

" 'Our goal is to fill any voids in information that is critical to living life in these communities, and provide a platform for local journalists, residents, and organizations to share important information,’ said Patch president Warren Webster."

A pitch on the Patch site reads: "Are you a passionate and entrepreneurial online journalist? Want to be part of a dynamic and innovative team of journalists, engineers, designers and business pros who are creating a bold new solution for our industry? Do you think that traditional news media just don't get it anymore? Would you like to run your own local news Web site, where you'll tap the multimedia and social media skills you've mastered to transform community journalism and connect with communities? If you answered 'yes' to any of those questions, keep reading ‚Ķ

"We're Patch.com, a start-up that's radically reinventing community journalism. We launched in February 2009 and we currently operate more than 50 local news sites in towns with populations under 70,000 and now we're expanding again!"



Dr. Laura Schlessinger told a black caller complaining about use of the n-word, "If you're that hypersensitive about color and don't have a sense of humor, don't marry out of your race." She later apologized. (Video)

Radio's "Dr. Laura" Apologizes for Repeated Use of N-Word

"Dr. Laura Schlessinger has followed up the N-word with the S-word," Aliyah Shahid reported Friday in the New York Daily News.

"The talk radio host says she's sorry for repeatedly using the N-word several times during an on-air conversation with a caller [who] she said was being 'hypersensitive' to racism.

"In an apology issued on her website, Schlessinger said she was trying to make a philosophical point, but was wrong and soon after the talk realized she had made a 'horrible mistake.'

"The red-faced doc said she was so mortified that she pulled herself off of the air at the end of the hour."

The episode generated discussions on several talk shows, among them CNN's "Rick's List," where Don Lemon was guest host on Friday With Lemon were Al Vivian, a diversity consultant based in Atlanta, and Buck Davis, described as a diversity and inclusion expert.

9 White Men, 4 White Women Among TV News' Top Earners

TV Guide has compiled a list of television's top salary earners:

In the News category, none were of color. They were (figures are per year):

Matt Lauer (NBC's "Today") $16 million +
Katie Couric (CBS) $15 million
Brian Williams (NBC) $12.5 million
Diane Sawyer (ABC) $12 million
Meredith Vieira ("Today") $11 million
Bill O'Reilly (Fox News) $10 million
George Stephanopoulos (ABC) $8 million
Keith Olbermann (MSNBC) $7 million
Shepard Smith (Fox News) $7 million
Wolf Blitzer (CNN) $3 million
Christiane Amanpour (ABC) $2 million
Lawrence O'Donnell (MSNBC) $2 million
Eliot Spitzer (CNN) $500,000

 

President Obama signs the Tribal Law and Order Act on July 29. 'When one in three Native American women will be raped in their lifetimes, that is an assault on our national conscience; it is an affront to our shared humanity; it is something that we cannot allow to continue,' he said. (audio and video)

Law Praised as End of "Open Season" on Indian Women

"The general public was shocked to learn of the high rates of sexual assault against Indian women," Mary Annette Pember wrote Thursday for DailyYonder.com. "The news hit the headlines in 2007 after Amnesty International published their Maze of Injustice Report: The Failure to Protect Indigenous Women in the U.S. The Report found that 1 in 3 Indian women will be raped in their lifetimes. This represents the highest rate of sexual assault for any ethnicity in this country."

Pember was praising President Obama's signing of the Tribal Law and Order Act on July 29.

"An emotional Lisa Marie Iyotte of the Rosebud Sioux tribe introduced President Obama at the bill signing ceremony. Iyotte works at the Sicangu Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence, where she speaks on behalf of victimized Indian and Alaska Native women. She is also a sexual assault survivor who never saw her perpetrator brought to justice. Federal authorities declined to prosecute the crime or even interview her. (Her perpetrator was eventually arrested and convicted for assaulting another victim.) She said she is hopeful that the TLOA will prevent cases like hers from happening again.

". . . I and all the Indian women I know want to know, however, who those other two women are who haven’t been assaulted — because we’ve never met them. The truth is that it’s been open season on Indian women for a very, very long time.

"It took far too long for the U.S. to notice or care. I’m not ungrateful but am profoundly sad for the pain we have endured in silence for so many generations. Indian women have not talked about sexual assault, not even to each other. We haven’t gone to the police or even the hospital unless absolutely necessary. We have found neither justice nor healing through the justice system, only more shame, blame and disappointment. Our families have often not supported us. So we showered and went on, until now."

Among those in the media who focused attention on the issue was Laura Sullivan, who won several awards for her stories on NPR.

Sree Sreenivasan Wins Diversity Award for Educators

"Sree Sreenivasan, a professor of digital media and dean of student Sree Sreenivasan (Credit: Miriam Berkley)affairs at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, is the recipient of the 2010 Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship. The award, given in recognition of an educator’s outstanding efforts to encourage students of color in the field of journalism, will be presented at the National Conference of Editorial Writers (NCEW) annual convention in Dallas, Texas, which will be held September 22-25," the NCEW announced.

"Sreenivasan, the first South Asian and the first from a graduate school to receive the honor, is best known for his work in co-founding SAJA, the South Asian Journalists Association, in March 1994. . . .

"Sree’s job as dean of student affairs means that he plays a pivotal role in helping minority students at the J-school. . . .

"That means actively seeking out minorities, bringing them to Columbia, ensuring they succeed, helping them get good jobs and following their careers. Sree takes personal interest in all of this and has formalized many aspects of minority support that were done in an ad hoc basis — including appointing a multicultural affairs coordinator who supervises the Journalism School’s Asian American Journalists Association, Arab and Middle Eastern Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and South Asian Journalists Association chapters. The J-school has among the highest percentage of minority students at Columbia."

Short Takes

Follow Richard Prince on Twitter

Facebook users: Sign up for the "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" fan page.

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.

Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince.

To be notified of new columns, contact journal-isms-subscribe@yahoogroups.com and tell us who you are.

Special thanks to The McCormick Foundation for its generous support of the Journal-isms column.

 

Comments

Post new comment

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