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Jeff Koinange Out at CNN

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Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Overseas Blog Describes a "Date Rape Journalist"

CNN Africa correspondent Jeff Koinange is no longer employed by the network, a spokeswoman said on Tuesday without elaboration. His departure comes after a blog in Kenya accused him of being "the Kenyan date rape journalist."

The Kenyan-born Koinange "is no longer employed at CNN, and we are not commenting beyond that," spokeswoman Christa Robinson told Journal-isms. "There are several different people who will fill in for the time being."

 

 

Koinange, who was based in Johannesburg, South Africa, could not immediately be reached for comment.

One Web site posted a purported March 3 e-mail from a woman to Jim Walton, president of CNN Worldwide.

It says the woman sent Koinange a press release last August about her book on the killing of a minister in Kenya's government. "Jeff replied immediately and proposed to have an interview with CNN in Atlanta and to present the book in Inside-Africa.

"Soon after he started to call me and things changed to very private and personal matters," it said.

A second Web site, apparently created by the woman in question, purports to show intimate and graphic correspondence between the woman and Koinange.

"PLEASE don't be SORRY ---- we're in this together, YOU and ME ..... so let's not start regretting anything ...." read one line attributed to Koinange.

In other postings, Koinange describes being in Darfur, Sudan, and other locations on assignment for CNN.

Koinange last appeared on CNN on May 17 on "Anderson Cooper 360°," when he was in Darfur.

"We're joined in the hour ahead with CNN's Africa Correspondent Jeff Koinange, who has risked his life on many occasions to bring the countries of Africa, the reality of Africa, into our living rooms," Cooper said.

The correspondent joined CNN in 2001. He quit his job as a flight attendant for Kenyan Airways and arrived at New York's Kingsborough Community College in 1987, at 21, according to a bio on the college's site. He moved on to New York University, ABC News, Medical News Network, NBC and Reuters Television.

"He has reported on major events from all across the African continent," his CNN bio, now removed from the CNN Web site, says. Brian Stelter of the TV Newser Web site first reported Koinange's missing bio shortly after noon Tuesday.

"Although Koinange is CNNâ??s Africa correspondent," the CNN bio continued, "his journalistic talents mean he frequently reports from outside the continent. In 2005 he was part of CNNâ??s Peabody award winning team who covered the devastation wreaked on News Orleans by Hurricane Katrina. He has also reported from Baghdad on the post-war insurgency, reconstruction and the historic 2005 elections in Iraq."

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Magazines Questioned Over Altered Cover Photos

Two weeks ago, Roy S. Johnson was named editor of Men's Fitness magazine. Now the publication is in the news -- but not in the way Johnson hoped.

"Andy Roddick may have the fastest recorded serve in the world at more than 150 miles per hour, but his arms of steel don't measure up to the bulging biceps he's flexing on the June/July issue of Men's Fitness," as ABC News put it Tuesday on "Good Morning America."

 

 

"The magazine enhanced his muscles with photo editing -- so much so that Roddick said he stopped in his tracks when he saw the cover while walking through the airport. The tennis star dubbed the hulking masses '22-inch guns' and wrote on his blog, 'If you can manage to stop laughing at the cover long enough, check out the article inside.'"

In the New York Post, Keith J. Kelly, who wrote about the cover on Friday, added that "Neal Boulton, who was the editor-in-chief at the time, resigned for personal reasons about a week ago and was replaced by Roy Johnson. Boulton had approved the cover."

Johnson told Journal-isms, "The cover was the responsibility of the previous editor. It does not reflect our practice."

The New York Times wrote on Monday that In Touch and Us magazine had also altered celebrity photographs; Us with Janet Jackson and In Touch, as Kelly wrote, with Angelina Jolie — though not to the degree that Men's Fitness did.

"You're right, we softened those veins," Richard Spencer, editor of In Touch, told the Post, speaking of Jolie. "If someone's teeth are a little yellow or they are a little wrinkled or they have a rash, we'll smooth them out."

How much alteration is acceptable?

"ASME does have a code of ethics but it doesn't cover the photo editing issue," Cristina Santos Dinozo, spokeswoman for the American Society of Magazine Editors, told Journal-isms.

"We occasionally retouch images to improve their quality, but we do not alter the intent of the photograph," Sandi Shurgin, a spokeswoman for People magazine, said.

Wendy Parks, director of corporate communications for Johnson Publishing Co., publishers of Ebony and Jet magazines, said, "In general, the image manipulation practices described (slimming, cut-and-paste one head on another body, beefing up arms, etc.) are inconsistent with the policies and practices of Ebony & Jet magazines. Specifically, for news photographs, we have strict standards on image editing and manipulation. Other than normal tonal and color correction, we donâ??t alter news photos. From our Ebony/Jet Code of Ethics, adopted in January: 'Never distort or alter the content of photojournalistic images.'"

"We're like funeral directors," Johnson said of magazine editors. "We want everybody to look good, but not unreal."

The controversy "has brought some attention to the magazine and certainly will bring attention to my first cover, the August issue," Johnson said.

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10 New Magazines Target Blacks, Latinos

The Magazine Publishers of America said last week that 105 magazine launches were announced in the first quarter of 2007, an increase of 4 percent over the same period in 2006. Among the new titles announced or forthcoming in 2007 are six more magazines crafted for African-Americans and another four targeting the Hispanic/Latino market, it said.

Among the names on the list: Enterprising Black Male, "for the achievement-oriented urban male," Médico de Familia, "a wellness and health awareness magazine for the Hispanic community; and Muslim Girl Magazine, "a new magazine . . . offering the 400,000 teen age Muslim girls in the United States a chance to be a cover girl."

Only 38 percent of new magazines last past the first year, and less than 20 percent stay on "forever," meaning 10 years or more, magazine guru Samir A. Husni told Journal-isms last year. Vaughn Benjamin, a former vice president of the Magazine Publishers Association, said two-thirds do not survive the fourth year.

Ohio Immigration Stories "Balanced," Not "Fair"

"I heard the 'fair and balanced' phrase a lot last week from readers complaining about our coverage of last Friday's raid by federal immigration agents in Painesville that resulted in 24 arrests," reader advocate Ted Diadiun wrote Sunday in the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

"Let's agree on something up front: This column's mission is to examine how well we do our jobs in the newsroom — not to judge illegal immigrants, federal agents or the merits of immigration reform. With that in mind, we will leave the social commentary to the editorial page and the columnists, and we will concentrate on the journalism.

"The Plain Dealer published four news stories about the raid in Painesville. On Sunday and Wednesday the stories ran on Page One. Monday and Tuesday, they were on the Metro front page.

". . . Each day, the reporting took care to include comments from law enforcement officials, explaining their actions and letting readers know why people had been arrested. Two of the stories included the viewpoints of people who welcomed the raid.

"In that sense, the stories were balanced.

"However, in each case that perspective was several paragraphs into the story.

". . . In other words, the coverage was balanced, but not fair. It should have been both."

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Should African, U.S. Black Journalists Talk More?

 


"They might share the same skin color, but they are strangers to each other," Jennifer W. Sanchez wrote on Friday in the Salt Lake Tribune.

"Blacks born and raised in the United States say: Africans think they are better than us. They think we're lazy and still slaves. They would rather befriend white people.

"Africans say: U.S. blacks think they are better than us. They just want us to perform African dances. They don't care about us.

"These are the stereotypes that were respectfully discussed Thursday during a community meeting for the 'African Americans and Continental Black Africans' at the Salt Lake City Main Library downtown."

Journal-isms asked Eyobong Ita, a Kansas City Star reporter who is president of the National Association of African Journalists, whether similar dialogue between African and African American journalists would be useful.

"I'm happy to say that this stereotype does not seem to apply to journalists," Ita said. "From my experience with many African American and African-born journalists I know, journalists seem to be an exception here.

"As a nursing assistant in the D.C. area many years ago, I experienced this type of stereotype among some of my fellow African American nursing assistants, most of whom were not educated beyond high school level.

"Unfortunately, some of my fellow African-born nursing assistants with much higher education had this misconception that African Americans are lazy, probably because of their personal experiences. For instance, some of them married African American women who stopped working and preferred to be 'housewives' soon after they were married.

"But this does not apply to all African Americans. As a nursing assistant I was married to a hard working African American nurse. Most African journalists I know are either married to Africans or African Americans. In fact, most black Africans I know (most North Africans consider themselves as Arabs) are married to their fellow Africans or African Americans. I don't know what applies in Utah, but nationally it would be wrong to say that many Africans prefer to marry whites. It would also be wrong in general that Africans are not involved in organizing stuff, but are invited to dance. I think the diversity of a city or an area plays a major role in this kind of stereotype issue. I really think that the experience of the Africans in Utah would not be quite as cordial as the ones in the New York or D.C. areas, as well as Chicago, Houston, Dallas and Atlanta areas.

"Well, what I'm saying is that this does not seem like a good session for journalists because to the best of my knowledge, this kind of stereotype is not an issue among African and African American journalists."

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Ken Burns Gets His Lumps on Memorial Day

The battle for the inclusion of Latinos in Ken Burns' forthcoming public-television documentary on World War II, "The War," became grist for Memorial Day stories and opinion pieces over the weekend.

In another remembrance, Desiree Cooper, a Detroit Free Press columnist who is African American, reminded readers that, "This Memorial Day, people from all walks of life will visit cemeteries to honor the dead. But in Jim Crow America, cemeteries often refused to serve African Americans, forcing them to suffer indignities beyond the grave."

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"Stop Snitchin'" Stories Gain Currency

A front-page story Sunday in the New York Times, "Newark Battles Murder and Its Accomplice, Silence," the fifth in a series chronicling Mayor Cory A. Booker's first year in Newark's City Hall, has become the latest story on the so-called "Stop Snitching" phenomenon, accelerated by a recent piece on CBS-TV's "60 Minutes."

"I don't know what frustrates me more," Capt. Sheilah Coley, the commander of the "blood-soaked Fifth Precinct," said in the story by Andrew Jacobs, "these knuckleheads killing each other, or the residents who won't cooperate with my officers."

Jacobs wrote, "That lack of cooperation— steeped in public mistrust that has been simmering at a low boil since the 1967 riots and fueled by hip-hop culture's 'stop snitching' mantra - is among the major roadblocks Mayor Cory A. Booker faces in his struggle to curb the lawlessness here in New Jersey's largest city."

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NAHJ Seeks Missing Founders

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is seeking to locate the following founders as it prepares for its 25th anniversary:

Ramona Rivera, Ruben Cruz, Emanuel Galvan, Rick Martinez, Robert Montemayor, Sergio Munoz, Gustavo Godoy, Norma Sosa, Armando Durazo, Andres Avello, Patricia Benton, Jenny Cardenas, Becky Chavarria, Rodolfo Cuellar, Elias Diaz y Perez, Sixto Escobar, Albert Frias, Mario Gallo, Manuel Gomez de la Barcenas, Leopoldo Labra, Frederick Mares.

Elmy Martinez, Peter Moraga, Joe Olvera, Alexis Sarkisian, Betty South, Mia Spilman, Gorki Tellez, Alfonso Valenzuela, Victor Valenzuela, Victor Vazquez, Dale Walton, Eucario Bermudez, Roberto Fabricio, Evelyn Fierro, Wanda Padilla.

The Hispanic Link News Service said those with information should contact Luis A. Clavell, consultant, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, 1000 National Press Building, 529 14th St. NW, Washington, D.C. 20045. Phone: (202) 662-7147. E-mail: lclavell@nahj.org

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Short Takes

  • "The Venezuelan government has opened an investigation into news broadcasters for allegedly inciting the Venezuelan public to violence over the government's decision not to renew the broadcast license of an opposition television station," CNN reported on Tuesday. President Hugo Chavez "says he's democratizing the airwaves by turning the channel's powerful signal over to a public service channel," the Associated Press reported. "Red-clad government supporters gathered . . . to show support, claiming the channel promoted violence and didn't show blacks or Indians."
  • Bill Maxwell of the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times concluded a three-part series Sunday on his disappointment in teaching at historically black Stillman College in Alabama. "I had a handful of excellent journalism students at Stillman who all had SAT scores below 1,000. Ebony Horton, for example, was a natural-born reporter," he wrote. "Ebony interned at the Tuscaloosa News and after graduation landed a full-time job with the Dothan Eagle as a general assignment reporter. Although Ebony found a good job, I am certain that we ill-served her at Stillman because we lacked a critical mass of motivated, competent students and the right facilities that would have enhanced her skills." Columnist Reginald T. Dogan commented in the Pensacola (Fla.) News-Journal.
  • In a front-page story Sunday in the New York Times, Raymond Hernandez and Jacques Steinberg examined the Congressional Black Caucus' alliance with Fox News to stage a Democratic presidential debate that the major candidates have spurned. "Not only has Fox given over precious air time for the debate, but an examination shows that its parent company, News Corporation, has also taken other steps to reach out to the group's constituency, including making campaign donations to the caucus and its members and creating internship programs at predominantly black colleges," the story said.
  • Simon K.C. Li, assistant managing editor and former foreign editor at the Los Angeles Times, confirmed on Tuesday that he is taking the paper's buyout offer. "I turned 60 last month; I have no idea what I will do next; and I've been at The Times since the summer of 1984— 23 years," he told Journal-isms.
  • "Forty-seven students of color have been named Chips Quinn Scholars for Summer 2007 by the Freedom Forum and participating newspapers," the foundation announced on Thursday. "Scholars will work in paid internships across the country at 36 daily newspapers and two Associated Press newsrooms beginning in late May."
  • "A new Maryland Public Television station to be launched this summer that will offer programming entirely in Spanish is drawing criticism from some who question why the organization, which receives public money, is catering to an individual ethnic group," Kelly Brewington and John Fritze reported Saturday in the Baltimore Sun. "The 24-hour Spanish network, called V-me, airs programs in about 20 markets and is set to debut in Maryland in August."
  • Dianne Lynch, dean of the school of communications at Ithaca College in New York, has been recommended to be the new dean of Berkeley's graduate school of journalism, Steve Rubenstein reported on Sunday in the San Francisco Chronicle. Among the five finalists was Cal associate journalism professor Neil Henry .
  • In explaining the Oakland (Calif.) Tribune's move from the storied Tribune Tower last week, editor Pete Wevurski told readers they will see "more solution-oriented reporting — relevant and essential to helping pack more 'there' into Oakland — along what former Trib owner/publisher/editor Robert Maynard called his five Fault Lines: race, class, gender, generation and geography." Chip Johnson, columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle, wrote that "for veteran journalists, including some who cut their teeth working out of the old building, the move is like a death in the family."
  • "An unfathomable 27 public school students in Chicago were killed during this past school year — 20 shot, seven stabbed or suffocated. Despite these alarming statistics, this streak of youth violence has received little attention outside of the city," CNN announced in a news release. "Anderson Cooper and correspondents David Mattingly, Keith Oppenheim and Gary Tuchman will examine what has led to this pattern of violence and try to shed light on who should be held accountable. The one-hour special, '24 Hours in Chicago,' recreates for its viewers a 24-hour stretch of time before one victim, Blair Holt, lost his life. The program airs during the first hour of 'Anderson Cooper 360°' at 10pm on Thursday, May 31."
  • Columbia Universityâ??s Graduate School of Journalism has renamed its Black Alumni Network Scholarship Fund in honor of Professor Emeritus Phyllis ("Phyl") Garland, who died in November at age 71. The goal is to raise $100,000 to permanently endow the scholarship, the school announced. To date, $60,000 has been raised. Supporters may send contributions to Sharon Meiri Fox, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, 2950 Broadway, New York, NY 10027. Note that the gift is for the BAN/Phyllis Garland Scholarship Fund.

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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