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Legendary Journalist Chuck Stone Dies at 89

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Saturday, April 5, 2014

"A Firebrand With Unassailable Journalistic Credentials"

Charles Sumner (Chuck) Stone, Jr. (Credit: The HistoryMakers)

"A Firebrand With Unassailable Journalistic Credentials"

Charles Sumner (Chuck) Stone, newspaper editor, professor, columnist, former Tuskegee Airman and founding president of the National Association of Black Journalists — a legend to many — died Sunday at 89, according to news reports.

"Stone died in his sleep early this morning at an assisted-living home in Farmington, N.C., relatives said," Naveed Ashan reported for the Philadelphia Daily News.

As news spread Sunday morning among NABJ members, many were quick to speak of Stone's influence on them.

Herbert Lowe, who teaches at Marquette University and a former NABJ president, wrote to colleagues, "Growing up in Camden, N.J., across the river from the home of the Philadelphia Daily News, I remember reading Chuck Stone's many columns as a high school student and believe they had an impact on my wanting to become a journalist. It wasn't until years later that I had my first real conversation with him, when I was running the second time for president. It was an honor and thrill — and even moreso to see him elected into the NABJ Hall of Fame and to follow his footsteps into academia. He is one of the most important journalists and contributors of American society during the past 100 years."

Lowe had commissioned a series of profiles of former NABJ presidents. Paul Brock, NABJ's first executive director, wrote then of Stone:

"Long before becoming NABJ’s first president, Chuck Stone was a journalistic legend. He had edited three influential black newspapers — the New York Age, the Washington Afro-American and the Chicago Defender. He had written two nonfiction books, 'Tell It Like It Is' and 'Black Political Power in America,' and a novel, 'King Strut.' He had been Harlem congressman Adam Clayton Powell’s chief administrative assistant and speechwriter. [In "King of the Cats," a 1993 biography of Powell, author Wil Haygood called Stone "mercurial."]

"As the now-defunct Washington Star put it in 1969, Stone was a 'tough-minded militant' who 'probably poured forth more angry rhetoric, ruffled more political moderates and simultaneously pacified and frightened more whites than most of (Washington's) other black leaders.' He mellowed not one bit after becoming an outspoken columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News in 1971.

"Enough of a firebrand to have worked with Malcolm X and Stokely Carmichael, yet with unassailable journalistic credentials, the sharp-tongued but affable Stone was superbly suited to be the first leader of an organization seeking to not only change the way the media would tell black America’s story, but who was going to tell it. . . ."

As a columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, "Stone became a trusted middleman between Philadelphia police and murder suspects, more than 75 of whom ‘surrendered’ to Stone rather than to the cops," Brock recalled.

The suspects were black and Hispanic, Wayne Dawkins noted in "Black Journalists: The NABJ Story." "They feared for their safety once in police custody. They would be photographed with Stone to confirm their condition and Stone would call the police, who would handcuff the suspect and transport the person to jail."

Stone went on to become a popular member of the University of North Carolina School of Journalism and Mass Communication faculty, its Walter Spearman Professor from 1991 to 2005.

"Chuck's ethics and law seminar at Carolina was one of the most popular classes on the entire campus," David Bulla wrote in nominating Stone for the Society of Professional Journalists' Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007.

"His discussion of censorship captivated young people as few journalism topics can. He also inculcated what he called the four fundamentals of journalism — F-E-A-T (fairness, even-handedness, accuracy and thoroughness) — with the conviction of a preacher. Few mass communication professors in the country have had a more profound influence on a generation of journalists than Professor Stone. It’s a shame that he did not have more years in academia and did not reach even more students."

SPJ noted then that Stone "received the Freedom Forum Free Spirit Award and UNC's Thomas Jefferson Award. Additionally, he taught at Columbia College in Chicago and the University of Delaware. Further contributing to the African American political experience, Professor Stone has authored four books. Before launching his career in academia, Stone worked for the New York Age, the Chicago Defender, Washington Afro-American and the Philadelphia Daily News. On the broadcast circuit, Stone hosted the PBS show 'Black Perspectives on the News' and served as a television news analyst in Montreal, Quebec, and Durham, N.C. . . ."

To journalists of color, Stone was best known as a founder and the first president of NABJ.

"Chuck was by far more than a dominant influence. He was the reason the group was formed, USA Today columnist DeWayne Wickham, another founder, told Dawkins. "NABJ was Chuck's vision. He made it happen. He brought us together. He had a kind of mystical influence on us. There were a lot of big-shot black journalists, but when Chuck would walk into the room, it was the Adam Clayton Powell connection. Even then, people were turning themselves into Chuck."

Stone told Dawkins for his book, "Journalism chose me.

"It was a fortitous circumstances. Like the Broadway play 'A Funny Thing Happened to Me on the Way to the Forum,' a funny thing happened to me on the way to the train station in 1958.

"I had returned from India and Egypt where I was working for CARE and I was in New York getting ready to work for the Foreign Policy Association as an associate director. I was living with my sister.

" 'I was taking our mother to the train station on 125th Street and we ran into this old friend of mine. Al Duckett. This was very fortuitious. We stopped and talked. He had been the editor of the Hartford Chronicle (the black newspaper in Stone's hometown.)

"He asked me what I was going to do. I told him I was going to work for the Foreign Policy Association. He said 'don't go work for those white people. Come work for me.' He was editor of the New York Age at the time.

"I said, 'I can't write. He said 'yes you can. I used to read your letters to the editor to The Hartford Courant and Hartford Times. You're a terrific writer. I can train you to become a reporter. Come work for me and I'll let you cover Adam Clayton Powell exclusively.'

"He knew I liked politics. I said 'let me think about it.'

"My mother was horrified. She didn't want me to work for a black, or segregated newspaper. She always wanted to be mainstream. Second, she didn't have high regard for journalists.

"So when we got to the train station she said 'promise me you won't do that.' I said 'I promise.'

"Then I went back and got hired. That was August 1958.

"By October, I was writing a column. In February, Duckett resigns after a dispute with the publisher. The publisher jumped me over nine people and made me the editor.

"It was very fast, too fast. I didn't stay a reporter long enough to get the training and discipline to be a good reporter.

"That is not a good career path."

Dawkins continued, "Stone later became editor of other black-owned newspapers, The Afro-American in Washington, D.C., then The Chicago Defender.

"At The Defender, Stone was fired for 'authorizing stories that made Mayor (Richard) Daley look bad.' . . . ."

For all of the plaudits, Stone was not a household name among all generations of journalists. Stone spoke before the 2006 HBCU National Newspaper Conference and Job Fair in Greensboro, N.C., a gathering of journalism students at historically black colleges and universities.

Eddie R. Cole Jr. wrote then for the Black College Wire, "Nine of 10 HBCU student journalists interviewed before Stone's keynote address at the conference awards banquet did not know of him or his accomplishments."

Lowe told colleagues, "I hope that many more Americans who never knew about Chuck will get to know more about his life and legacy in the days to come." He preceded that with, "what a life and legacy it was."

Contrarian Columnist Disinvited Again

April 4, 2014

Hispanic Conference Says "Never Mind" to Navarrette

Roy Johnson Rebounds to Lead Sports at Ala. Media Group

Adams Simmons of Plain Dealer Named to Company Post

Star-Ledger Cuts 167 Jobs; 40 in Newsroom

AP Team Uncovers Secret U.S. Government Program in Cuba

Won't Utter Shooter's Name, but Will Say It Sounds Latino

Women-to-Men Ratio Higher for Journalists of Color

12 Schools Awarded Grants to Collaborate With Communities

Short Takes

Hispanic Conference Says "Never Mind" to Navarrette

"It's always great to be invited," Ruben Navarrette Jr. wrote Wednesday in his column for the Washington Post Writers Group. "But with Latinos, things don't get interesting until you're 'uninvited,' " wrote the Latino columnist most widely syndicated in mainstream media. "It has happened to me a few times.

"Several years ago, I agreed to speak at the annual conference of the California Association for Bilingual Education. The invitation was extended because the organizers approved of my support for immigration reform. Then someone 'Googled' me and found out that, over the years, I had also been critical of bilingual education. The invitation was quickly withdrawn.

"Soon thereafter, I was invited to accept an award from Latino legislators in California. The day before the event, a lawmaker called and took it upon herself to uninvite me. Another recipient — former United Farm Workers Vice President Dolores Huerta — was furious at me for revealing publicly the union's ugly history of turning over illegal immigrants to immigration officials for deportation. I went anyway, accepted the award, and wound up in a shouting match with Huerta.

"Now, it has happened again. I had been asked by Manny Ruiz, the CEO of the Miami-based social media conference Hispanicize, to moderate a panel that was centered on a study about the political leanings of Latino journalists. The panel included a representative of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, with which Ruiz has been trying to forge a partnership. Last year, I had criticized the NAHJ for caving in to a demand from California Assembly Speaker John Perez that the group boot a political rival from a panel at its own annual conference.

"About two weeks before the Hispanicize event, I got an email from Ruiz saying that he should have consulted with the other panelists, and that — after speaking with them — 'a decision (had) been made' and that he had to 'rescind the invitation.' "

Navarrette also wrote, "What holds Latinos back isn't just discrimination, bad schools, inadequate access to capital, nativist backlash and closed doors from Wall Street to Hollywood.

"Some impediments are internal. Many Latinos are — because of how they've been treated — plagued by insecurities, prone to infighting, envious toward one another, eager to tear each other down and insistent that everyone stick to the established narrative. They will often berate, scold or attack those who offer a different point of view.

Navarrette concluded, "Pay attention, Latinos. Standing on principle isn't the way to make friends. But it's essential if we're going to stop being our own worst enemies."

Ruiz, a former Miami Herald reporter who headed Hispanicize 2014, did not respond to requests for comment. Ruiz calls the fifth annual event, which NBC News says drew 1,500 bloggers, journalists, marketing professionals and entertainment figures, the "Hispanicized" version of South by Southwest.

Navarrette, 46, has taken pride in taking contrarian positions delivered with swagger. He was laid off in 2010 from his job as editorial writer and columnist at the San Diego Union-Tribune, but continued the syndicated column he began for the writers group in 2002 and freelances elsewhere.

[NAHJ President Hugo Balta wrote Journal-isms Saturday that he disagreed with Navarrette's characterization of the study of Latino journalists. "I am the NAHJ representative who Navarrette mentions in his column. As a member of the coalition (NAHJ, Hispanicize, FIU, CSUF) which produced the study — I can assure you Navarrette is mistaken when he writes, '...a study about the political leanings of Latino journalists.' 'The focus of the study and the findings centered around their impressions of newsrooms, the increasing importance of multiple platforms and Spanish language proficiency. NAHJ supports Manny Ruiz, Hispanicize and the coalition that worked together in providing this invaluable information to the public. We look forward to collaborating in future projects."]

Roy Johnson Rebounds to Lead Sports at Ala. Media Group

Roy S. Johnson, a veteran journalist who has been an assistant managing editor of Sports Illustrated and editor-in-chief of Men's Fitness, has been named director of sports for Alabama Media Group, overseeing "the 24/7 sports content of Al.com, and sports in The Birmingham News, The Huntsville Times, Mobile's Press-Register, The Mississippi Press and GulfLive.com," Al.com announced on Thursday.

"I am overwhelmed by the love I'm feelin' from my FB fam over the news of my new, exciting gig," Johnson wrote on Facebook Friday. "Many of you did not know that I was laid off in January by the North American Media Group, where I was editor of History Channel mag/digital. I didn't post it, nor tweet it. I simply prayed, enlisting a few of my prayer gladiators to ask God to move me where He needed me to be. I am humbled and grateful for this enormous blessing. He IS good!"

The announcement continued, "The latter half of Johnson's 30-plus year career includes deep, innovative and entrepreneurial involvement in digital journalism. In many of the senior roles, he was involved in the publications' online ventures as well as print, particularly with mensfitness.com, where he led the team that developed the outlet's mobile app. Johnson founded the fitness and nutrition venture and website Fit!Live!Win! and has for several years run his own sports blog, Ballers, Gamers and Scoundrels. . . ."

Johnson's appointment was announced by Michelle Holmes, vice president of content. "Roy knows sports, he knows journalism, he knows content, he holds great respect for the value of print publications, and he knows what digital is about and has embraced it as the journalist’s most effective means of engaging readers, especially sports fans. That's an amazing mix. We are thrilled to have Roy joining us," Holmes said in the announcement.

"Holmes said she was especially impressed that 'throughout his career, even in very senior and demanding roles, Roy has continued writing and being published. We look forward to tapping that drive and energy. . . ."

In 2012, Advance Publications announced that the Birmingham News, the Huntsville Times and the Press-Register in Mobile would drop daily circulation and distribute printed editions three days a week. The publications would put new emphasis on the al.com site, Advance said.

Adams Simmons of Plain Dealer Named to Company Post

"Debra Adams Simmons, editor of The Plain Dealer, has been named vice president of news development for Advance Local, which oversees local newspapers and websites across the country," Tom Feran reported Friday for the Cleveland newspaper.

"Advance Local is part of Advance Publications, which owns The Plain Dealer and about 30 other newspapers and websites nationwide."

"Simmons, who became editor in 2010 after three years as managing editor, announced the appointment in a meeting with staff Friday morning.

"She said that her new job — a new position in the company — would focus on producing the best possible journalism and recruiting the top journalists in the country. . . ."

The story also said, "Simmons will start on April 21 and will be based out of Advance Local's Cleveland and New York offices.

"Virginia Wang, general manager of The Plain Dealer Publishing Co., said the company will conduct a national search for a new editor.

"Managing Editor Thom Fladung will continue to be in charge of day-to-day operations.

" 'I feel like I'm leaving you in good hands,' Simmons told her staff. 'When there is a big story to be told in Cleveland, this community knows that no one can tell it like we can.'

"She said her new post would essentially extend her efforts to ensure that we are doing great journalism — particularly watchdog and public service journalism. . . ."

Star-Ledger Cuts 167 Jobs; 40 in Newsroom

"It’s not been the best week for jobs in journalism," Aparna Alluri reported Thursday for Columbia Journalism Review. "Entertainment Weekly laid off seven staffers. Digital First Media shuttered its ambitious Thunderdome project, and at least one local paper in that chain is bracing for more cuts. And today, the Pulitzer Prize-winning Star-Ledger, based in Newark, NJ, reported that the paper is cutting 167 jobs — 40 of which belong to reporters, editors, and photographers in the newsroom.

"News of the cuts was not entirely unexpected. It comes a week after Advance, The Star-Ledger's owner, announced it was forming a new company, NJ Advance Media, that will provide sales and marketing services to the paper and its affiliated website NJ.com by June, and editorial content by the fall.

"The changes follow a model Advance has established in other markets, including New Orleans and Cleveland, though in New Jersey, The Star-Ledger and other daily papers owned by Advance will continue to publish seven days a week.

"According to the Ledger's own reporting, the paper currently has 750 employees, including 156 in the newsroom. Thirty-four jobs, including 18 full-time newsroom jobs, were eliminated in a round of layoffs last year. Newsgathering staff at the paper was at a high of 350 before buyouts, attrition, and layoffs began about five years ago. . . ."

Although it could not be determined how many journalists of color would be affected by the latest Star-Ledger layoffs, business reporter Stacy Jones, 27, confirmed to Journal-isms that she was one of them. Jones, a black journalist, said by telephone that by coincidence she had been offered a job at another newspaper this week but turned it down.

 "I've been a business reporter, and I've been looking at companies and which ones are succeeding," she said. "I don't want to work for another newspaper." However, she amended that to say, "for the right newspaper, I'll make an exception."
Jones received a master's degree in online journalism in 2010 from the University of Maryland, College Park, and joined the Star-Ledger in 2011.

Alberto Arce, Associated Press correspondent in Honduras, receives the Robert Sp

AP Team Uncovers Secret U.S. Government Program in Cuba

The revelations of a secret U.S. government program to set up a cellphone-based social network in Cuba were the result of the reporting of an Associated Press team in three countries. It included Alberto Arce, who has won plaudits for his reporting from Honduras, where more than 40 journalists have been gunned down in the past 10 years.

The disclosures "are being trumpeted in the island's official media as proof of Havana's repeated allegations that Washington is waging a 'cyber-war' to try to stir up unrest," Peter Orsi reported Friday from Havana for the Associated Press.

"The findings of an Associated Press investigation, published Thursday, featured prominently on multiple Cuban state TV newscasts and occupied a full page in Communist Party newspaper Granma on Friday. They also were to be the focus of the nightly two-hour news analysis show 'Mesa Redonda,' or 'Roundtable.' "

The revelatory AP story said, "The Associated Press obtained more than 1,000 pages of documents about the project's development. The AP independently verified the project's scope and details in the documents — such as federal contract numbers and names of job candidates — through publicly available databases, government sources and interviews with those directly involved in ZunZuneo." In a play on Twitter, the "Cuban Twitter" was called ZunZuneo — slang for a Cuban hummingbird's tweet.

"Taken together, they tell the story of how agents of the U.S. government, working in deep secrecy, became tech entrepreneurs — in Cuba. . . ."

The story also said, "At its peak, the project drew in more than 40,000 Cubans to share news and exchange opinions. But its subscribers were never aware it was created by the U.S. government, or that American contractors were gathering their private data in the hope that it might be used for political purposes.' . . ."

The story was written by Desmond Butler, Jack Gillum and Arce. Contributing were AP researcher Monika Mathur in Washington and AP writers Andrea Rodriguez and Orsi in Havana. Arce reported from Tegucigalpa, Honduras.

Gillum, the lead reporter, told Journal-isms through an AP spokesman, "We’ve been working on it since October/November, with three reporters in three countries (US, Turkey and Honduras). It was a combination of document-, data- and source-driven reporting."

In 2012, Arce described his life as a correspondent in Honduras under the headline, "AP's Honduras Correspondent Navigates Violent Land."

Last month, Arce won the Batten medal from the American Society of News Editors, named for "revered reporter, editor and newspaper executive" James K. Batten and "intended to celebrate the journalistic values Batten stood for: compassion, courage, humanity and a deep concern for the underdog."

On Wednesday, Investigative Reporters and Editors named Arce winner of the Tom Renner Award.

The IRE judges said, "In a fearless investigation, AP reporter Alberto Arce chronicled Honduras’ collapse into chaos in the aftermath of a coup in 2009. Arce’s stories uncovered government-sanctioned death squads, human rights abuses in prisons and corruption among police and military forces. His reporting documented the killing of a Honduran teenager by an Army unit vetted and supplied by the U.S. government.

"Another story detailed the deaths of civilians during a drug raid in which the U.S. DEA took part. Overcoming a lack of public records available to him, Arce persuaded sources to give him copies of government documents and developed sources within the government, military, court systems and NGOs. He befriended prison officials and gang members alike to gain access to areas they controlled. Arce, who lived in Tegucigalpa with his family, had to take many extraordinary security measures and was eventually pulled out of Honduras after he was warned his reporting would get him killed."

Won't Utter Shooter's Name, but Will Say It Sounds Latino

"Last night on her Fox News program, star anchor Megyn Kelly kicked things off with a lesson in journalism ethics:" Erik Wemple reported Thursday for the Washington Post.

"Breaking tonight. Fort Hood, Texas on lockdown. A suspected shooter is reported dead. This is ‘The Kelly File’ and I’m Megyn Kelly. We’re expecting the first news conference from Fort Hood to begin any moment, Fox News confirming four people are dead, including the shooter. Fourteen people are wounded. Authorities are identifying the shooter. If you are interested, you can get his name on other shows like the one that preceded this one and online, but we have decided not to name these mass killers as a policy here on 'The Kelly File.' Too often it is infamy they seek and we decline to help.

"Some points here:

" . . . If you don't publish the name, what other details do you withhold? Kelly and her producers apparently considered newsworthy the 'nationality' of the shooter: 'The nationality of the shooter appears — it sounds Hispanic, Latino, but you can look up his name online if you care to know more.' 'Hispanic' and 'Latino,' of course, are not nationalities, but Kelly was on live television doing breaking news. The point is that if you provide certain details about the shooter's background and not others — and you can't even use the person's name — how to present a scannable news story? . . ."

Women-to-Men Ratio Higher for Journalists of Color

"The Status of Women in the U.S. Media 2014" [PDF] from the Women's Media Center reported Thursday that the overall tally of female staffers continued to hover at 36 percent and that "men were quoted 3.4 times more often than women, though the rate was not as high when women wrote the story."

It also showed that, based on data from the American Society of News Editors, women of color represented a higher proportion of those of the same race or ethnicity than was true for white women.

"In the 2013 report:

  • "Women of Asian descent represented 52 percent of all Asian newsroom employees, down from a high of 55 percent in 2004, 2005 and 2006.

  • "Black women represented 47 percent of all black newsroom employees, down from a high of 50 percent in 2010.

  • "Hispanic women represented 40 percent of all Hispanic newsroom employees, down from a peak of 42 percent in 2007.

  • "Native American women accounted for 38 percent of all Native American newsroom employees, down from a peak of 51 percent in 2000.

  • Multi-racial women accounted for 47 percent of all multi-racial newsroom employees. That figure was 53 percent in the 2012 report, the first to include multi-racial people. . . ."

12 Schools Awarded Grants to Collaborate With Communities

"A dozen U.S. universities each won a $35,000 micro-grant to seed collaborative news experiments in living labs — their communities," the Online News Association announced on Friday.

Among them:

  • "CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, 'Hack the Mold': CUNY will experiment with both in-person and on-line engagement with tenants when reporting on a low-income community's experiences with mold in New York City public housing. Partner: The New York Daily News." This project is led by Sandeep Junnarkar, former president of the South Asian Journalists Association.

  • "Florida International University: Can data feeds, 'crowd hydrology' and student-led journalism — with strong support from public television — increase community engagement about sea level rise in South Florida? Partners: Code for Miami, Hacks/Hackers, WPBT2, South Florida Water Management District."

  • "Georgia Collaborative, 'Georgia News Lab': An ambitious collaborative, including Georgia State University, Morehouse College, Clark Atlanta University, University of Georgia and two major local news outlets, will try to increase newsroom diversity by training digitally savvy investigative reporters. Media partners: Atlanta Journal-Constitution and WSBTV.

  • "San Francisco State University: 'Newspoints': Can a mobile- and web-based organizing tool improve reporting and get student journalists into the field sooner? Partners: El Tecolote, Accion Latina, Stamen Design.

  • "University of New Mexico, 'New Mexico News Port': Can a student-powered lab and publishing platform that curates content from a collaborative hub increase news in New Mexico? Partners: Radio station KUNM, television station KNME and The Daily Lobo.

Among the honorable mentions were Howard University, "The News Oasis," Ingrid Sturgis, assistant professor/new media; and USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, "Augmenting City Hall," Robert Hernandez, assistant professor of professional practice.

"The competitive Challenge Fund for Innovation in Journalism Education was created to encourage universities to experiment with new ways of providing news and information," the announcement said.

It quoted Irving Washington, ONA operations director, who administered the selection process. "We zeroed in on ideas and teams that we hope inspire innovation, collaboration and real-world impact in academia and media. The potential for true community engagement in the winning projects was every bit as important as the tools and technology used to achieve it."

Short Takes

  • "Is Detroit suddenly safer?" Steve Neavling asked Thursday on his Motor City Muckracker blog. "You might think so by picking up the newspaper or watching TV news because police have stopped reporting most murders, shootings and other violent crimes to the media and public." Neavling added, "The police department quietly stopped issuing the 'Major Crime Summary Report' following the death of radio personality and activist, Angelo Henderson, who spoke daily about the crime report and the wanted suspects on his radio show. . . ."

  • Ruben Rosario, columnist at the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., this week marked three years since he was diagnosed with Stage 3 multiple myeloma, an incurable but treatable cancer. "I want to publicly thank all those who prayed for me and supported us in small and big ways throughout the past three years, including arranging a fundraiser that first year to defray out-of-pocket medical costs," Rosario wrote on Thursday. "The folks at the Pioneer Press, from management to the newsroom grunts to Christie Iverson, the lobby customer service clerk who is dealing with her own cancer journey, have been very supportive. I have a cabinet drawer full of cards and emails from hundreds of readers and strangers — many of them cancer survivors or relatives and friends of those who have passed away. . . ."

  • Abuzar Ahmad (Credit: AFP) "On Thursday, March 20 at 8:30 p.m., the life of little Abuzar Ahmad, not yet three years old, was upended," Agence France-Presse told readers. "At that moment four Taliban assassins burst into the restaurant of the Serena Hotel in Kabul, where he was in the company of his father Sardar, his mother Homaira, his five-year-old brother Omar, and his six-year-old sister Nilofar. Abuzar is the only member of his family to survive the attack. Even that is a miracle: seriously wounded in the head by a bullet fragment, he was immediately taken into surgery. For several days he hovered between life and death, but is now out of danger." Sardar Ahman was, for a decade, a pillar of the Agence France-Presse bureau in Kabul. The agency is creating a permanent fund to receive donations for Abuzar. In a separate incident, Anja Niedringhaus, 48, a German Associated Press photographer, was shot to death Friday on the eve of Afghanistan's elections, and Kathy Gannon,60,  a Canadian reporter, was wounded.

  • "Tribune-owned Hoy newspaper in Chicago, announced today it will launch a television newscast for MundoFox on local affiliate WOCK-TV," Veronica Villafañe reported Thursday for her Media Moves site. " 'Hoy Noticias MundoFox 13' will be a Spanish-language daily newscast in partnership with MundoFox. The first newscast will air on April 18. . . ."

  • "J-Lo has outbid Puff Daddy in a battle to acquire pay-TV distribution for their rival cable networks," Andy Fixmer and Stephanie Ruhle reported Friday for Bloomberg News. "NuvoTV, backed by Jennifer Lopez, has reached an agreement to buy Fuse TV from Madison Square Garden Co., the companies announced today. Bloomberg News reported yesterday that a deal had been reached. The pop star and entrepreneur, known as J-Lo by fans, outbid hip-hop mogul Sean 'Puff Daddy' Combs, offering $226 million in cash and a 15 percent equity stake in the combined Fuse and NuvoTV, an English-language channel marketed to Latinos. . . ."

  • Marcus Henry
  • "Marcus Henry was that rare person who brightened any room he entered," Gregg Sarra wrote Thursday for Newsday. "A former athlete, he was an authority on many sports but never came across as a know-it-all. He also was a generous giver, a jovial man who never trumpeted his deeply held Christian faith. Instead, he lived it. A versatile member of the Newsday sports staff since 2003, Henry died unexpectedly Tuesday at his home in Hempstead. He was 41. . . ."

  • Univision Communications Inc. and the United Nations Foundation announced Wednesday that they have "partnered to launch a groundbreaking initiative aimed at increasing awareness about climate change and keeping U.S. Hispanics informed about its effects and innovative solutions in combating the problem." The announcement was made during the World Economic Forum on Latin America, which took place in Panama City, Panama, Tuesday through Thursday.

  • "While not intentional, the long push to bring the Native American mascot issue to the forefront has been led, in large part, by women," Mary Hudetz, editor of Native Peoples Magazine and president of the Native American Journalists Association, wrote Tuesday for the Washington Post's "She the People" section. Hudetz also wrote, "In recent years, more women have taken posts of leadership in political causes, education, medicine and government. The late Wilma Mankiller, past principal chief of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is perhaps the best known among women tribal leaders. . . ."

  • This fall, journalism professor Robert Hernandez will facilitate a class at USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism that will focus on developing Google Glass-centric software for journalists, Chris Gayomali reported Thursday for Fast Company. "It won't be a traditional lecture, per se. Rather, the curriculum's goal is to build a collaborative environment where developers, Glass Explorers, and journalists can attempt to answer questions . . ."

  • "The Pacifica Foundation announced the appointment of a new interim executive director, even as the one the foundation attempted to fire, Summer Reese, reportedly continues to camp out at the foundation’s headquarters," Andrew Lapin reported Thursday for Current.org. "Bernard Duncan, previously station manager at Pacifica's Los Angeles outlet KPFK, is the new interim head of the network, according to a statement on Pacifica's website. . . ."

  • Pulitzer Prize winner and two-time Pulitzer Prize juror George Haj will join American Lawyer Magazine on April 21 in the new role of regional editor-in-chief for Florida, Georgia and Texas, Samantha Joseph reported Thursday for Daily Business Review. "Haj comes to ALM from the Houston Chronicle, where he is senior editor of local news. Since joining the Chronicle in 2003 as assistant managing editor for business, Haj directed coverage of the 2005 BP Texas City refinery accident that killed 15 workers and the Enron trials. . . ."

  • "Neurosurgeon and newfound conservative folk hero Dr. Ben Carson sat down with Roland Martin on NewsOne Now on Friday morning and took some tough grilling from callers and the host himself," Andrew Kirell reported for Mediaite. Carson said, "We really need to get over the obsession with race," prompting Martin "to battle him over the concept of race and whether racism is still an institutional problem," Kirell wrote.

  • On C-SPAN's "The Communicators," Gautham Nagesh of the Wall Street Journal interviews conservative commentator and television station owner Armstrong Williams about the FCC's TV ownership rules affect station owners of color. "The FCC on Monday (March 31) ruled that owners cannot control more than one station in the same local market through the use of Joint Sales Agreements and Shared Services Agreements, often known as 'sidecar' deals. Guest Armstrong Williams, who owns two TV stations through a sidecar agreement with Sinclair Broadcasting, thinks the ruling can cause minority owners and small station owners more generally, to be forced out of existence. . .  " The show airs Saturday at 6:30 p.m. on C-SPAN and Monday on C-SPAN2 at 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Story.

  • The media is used to rivet attention toward an issue or challenge," syndicated columnist Julianne Malveaux wrote this week, commenting on coverage of the disappearance of Malaysian Flight 370 over the Indian Ocean. "Unfortunately, it has rarely been used for good, although it could be. What if viewers demanded that there is some focus on essential issues? What if there were a media campaign to encourage children to read more, and encourage parents and teachers to encourage this reading. Such a campaign might include paid advertising, but much of it might be driven by news stories. May I have your attention please? Might I have your attention about poverty and unemployment? May I have your attention about the status of our young people? What about the literacy issue? The paucity of open space in some cities? . . ."

  • "Condé Nast is settling a lawsuit brought by two former interns, C.E.O. Chuck Townsend said in a staff memo today," Nicole Levy reported Friday for capitalnewyork.com. "The lawsuit, 'Ballinger v. Advance Magazine Publishers, Inc.,' was filed in U.S. District Court in New York last June by Lauren Ballinger and Matthew Leib, who alleged they had been paid below minimum wage for their respective summer internships at W magazine and The New Yorker. About four months later, Condé Nast decided it would discontinue its internship program. . . ."  Also an issue in Canada.

  • Wayne State's Journalism Institute for Media Diversity is giving its Spirit of Diversity Award to Doris Truong, homepage editor at the Washington Post, and its Journalist of the Year honor to Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor at the Detroit Free Press, the institute announced. Proceeds from the April 11 event benefit the institute's scholarship programs.

  • Referring to Mexico, the Committee to Protect Journalists condemned an attack Thursday on Adrián López Ortiz, general director of the Grupo Noroeste, a media group that owns the daily Noroeste, in the state of Sinaloa. "CPJ is also alarmed by a series of threats and harassment against the paper in recent weeks and calls on authorities to bring those responsible to justice," it said.

  • "An Indian court on Friday sentenced to death three men who raped a photojournalist inside an abandoned textile mill in the financial hub of Mumbai last year," the Associated Press reported. "A fourth defendant was sentenced to life in prison, prosecutor Ujjwal Nikam said. He said he asked for the death sentence under a strict anti-rape law introduced following public outrage over a fatal gang rape in New Delhi in 2012. 'This is the first case in India in which the death penalty has been given to convicts while the victim is alive,' Nikam said. . . ."

  • "He is one of the BBC’s most prominent black journalists and even featured in an episode of EastEnders, but Kurt Barling has found himself 'surplus to requirements' under new director-general Tony Hall," Sebastian Shakespeare reported Tuesday for Britain's Daily Mail. "Barling has hit out at his bosses at the Corporation after being told he is being made redundant as part of Lord Hall's 'Delivering Quality First' cuts. 'Let’s be blunt,' he tells colleagues in an email. 'I am not leaving you out of choice. 'It beats me why the BBC has brought my news contribution to a premature close at a time when national debate is crying out for greater diversity and experience on screen and behind it.' . . ."

  • "Colombian media are making a special delivery to their friends in Venezuela's struggling newspaper industry," Manuel Rueda reported Thursday for the Fusion network, the joint ABC News-Univision project. "Andiarios, Colombia's National Association of Newspaper Editors, is sending 52 tonnes of printing paper to three Venezuelan dailies, which are currently running out of material to print their news on." Rueda also wrote, "Over the past four months, six newspapers in Venezuela have had to shut down their print editions due to chronic printing paper shortages according to Venezuela's Institute for Press and Society. These shutdowns limit the amount of news and opinion that Venezuelans can receive on their country's escalating political crisis, and on protests against president Nicolas Maduro. . . ."

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Comments

Chuck Stone, by Richard Aregood

Chuck Stone, Ivy League fashion plate with a dash of kente, aficionado of cologne and women, humanitarian who probably saved many a ghetto kid's life, lover of words nobody else knew (or understood), great friend who could be downright infuriating, man who defied definition, has died and the world is the less for it.

Chuck and I shared an office at the Daily News right after Rolfe Neill lured him to Philly. We called the office "the back of the bus" because there was no other way to describe this linkage of a brother and a hippie back then. Chuck called a politician "retromingent" (or backwards-pissing) in his column and it was love at first sight for me.

That office would be a city room station on the only underground railroad for criminal suspects a newspaper ever maintained. The Philadelphia police had a well-earned reputation for especially nasty brutality, so even the most badass kid who knew he was being sought wanted protection. Chuck offered it. Many a morning I'd turn up to find a scared kid and his unhappy, tearful mother in our office.

The kid was ready to turn himself in -- to Chuck. I'd tell them Chuck would be right in, knowing the city desk had called him.

The man could talk some, too. He showed astonishing bravery in getting a couple of armed killers who had just murdered their wardens to give themselves up, armed only with his unique combination of sweet reason and total bullshit.

He used those same skills to convince our beloved editor, Gil Spencer, to change a City Council endorsement of mine for some incomprehensible reason based in the baroque outer regions of Philadelphia black politics. I was furious, but he actually seemed to appreciate it when I took revenge by being outrageously respectful and polite to Rep. and Rev. Bill Gray.

The only time I ever saw Chuck at a loss for words was an accidental meeting in the dining room of a Fort Lauderdale hotel. There was Chuck, happily having breakfast with a prominent woman with whom he had been persistently, as they say, "romantically linked." She cheerily said hello and remarked at how strange it was to meet this far from home. Chuck examined his eggs closely. Neither of us ever would bring it up. I guess Chuck liked a modicum of mystery.

A complicated, deep mind. A sophisticated man, who knew everybody from Kwame Nkrumah to Daddy King to Franny Rafferty. The kind of man you'd have to be really talented to invent if he hadn't actually existed. I feel lucky to have known him. Goodbye, my friend.

-- Richard Aregood

 

Chuck Stone and the New York Age

I just recently came across this Page 1 editorial from the Feb. 27, 1960, edition of the venerable New York Age. (Inside, on Page 13, was a short piece about an upcoming show at the Apollo featuring "Art Blakey, of modern jazz fame" and "six feet four of fiery African dancing" by the "exotic Mya [sic] Angelou"):

 

        Ending 80 Glorious Years Of Publication         By CHUCK STONE
This is an editorial that I didn't think I would ever have to write. Even as I do, it's so heart-breaking to accept the thought which will be translated into reality with this issue of the New York AGE. Because as of this issue -- February 27, 1960 -- the New York AGE is no more. We have published for the last time. I know this comes as a shock to many of you who have been loyal to our concept of journalism and who have believed, as we did, that there is a place in our society for an intellectually superior, militant, and fun-loving Negro newspaper. But economic facts dictated otherwise. A majority obviously didn't agree with us. Ever since Mr. S. B. Fuller took over the AGE back in 1957, it has been a financially costly proposition. He sunk an incredible $300,000 into the AGE during his ownership, sparing no efforts to make it a first-class newspaper, black or white. Circulation and advertising revenue, however, simply did not keep pace with the financial requirements of the paper. During the last few weeks, it was still costing the publisher over $2,000 weekly. That, you will agree, is a lot of bread. But postmortems are like arm-chair strategists. they should never get an airing. So, we won't preside over a funeral, but rather remind Negroes everywhere that our failures must be turned into successes. Every time we stumble as a race of people, we've got to pick ourselves up and run even harder. There's no stopping to sitting down to mourn the fallen. We would like to remember the AGE with a smile. With all of its lil' ol' 80 years, it was still young in spirit. With all of its beauty, its prestige as the oldest Negro newspaper of continuous publication in America, its rib-tickling headlines, and its sound news analysis, it never caught fire. (And may the good Lord ignore that figure of speech.) We'll miss you. We hope you'll miss us....Believe in what is eternally good and right for our society, then fight hard for its growth. God bless you, good friends.

Chuck Stone

Chuck Stone is a legend. I got my masters at Univ of Maryland in 2002 and we studied about Stone. my concentration was the role of the black press and northern press in the Civil Rights Movement. He was a courageous journalist who can rest in peace that he made a huge difference during his life.  thanks for sharing this  as always Richard Prince, you amaze me with how prolific you are.

Chuck Stone

I was enormously blessed to have met, worked with and befriended Chuck Stone early in my career. He was the gold standard for young brothers trying to make a go of it in a white dominated, and often racist, news industry.

Chuck Stone, by Wil Sutton

MY TRIBUTE TO CHUCK STONE

I cherish the memory of being young Hampton guy at my first NABJ national convention in Baltimore. Determined to make the most out of the experience, I decided to try to talk to the national president, the eloquent CHUCK STONE. He was busy, but wanted to assist. He told me he had a few minutes but only if I walked with him to his room. It was hard to get a word in as nearly everybody reached to shake his hand, to tell him something important. Still, he kept me close. It wasn't until we were on the elevator that I got my "elevator speech" out and by the time we were at his room that he actually read some of my work, offered suggestions and told me he expected big things.

He was the first NABJ president. I was the 13th. Stone sworn in Sutton at UNC-Chapel Hill. He was an encourager, and a supporter, when I was in Philadelphia as a member, committee member, board member and president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists.

He encouraged and supported a wild and crazy idea that maybe, just maybe (NABJ) National Association of Black Journalists could work on things in common with Asian American Journalists AssociationNative American Journalists Association and National Association of Hispanic Journalists. He absolutely LOVED the idea, and he loved it more because I was working on it with Juan Gonzalez, a fierce competitor and friend. I knew we were onto something good, something that could be really big. Uncle Chuck promised that I could be true to my NABJ roots and pursue something bigger

I am saddened by his loss.I am blessed and happy that he spent a few minutes with a young black journalist on his way.

I am thankful that he helped me see the possibilities, and to share them with others.

We lost a giant, in journalism, diversity and life today.R.I.P. CHUCK STONE.

-- Will Sutton

Chuck Stone

Chuck Stone was a journalist with balls of steel.

In 1981, inmates at Pennsylvania's Graterford Prison took six prison employees hostage. I was a reporter at the Philadelphia Daily News, where Stone was a columnist. I was assigned to cover the story.

After four failed negotiations between the inmates and prison personnel, the inmates asked for Stone to come in and resolve the matter.

Individuals wanted by the Philadelphia police often turned themselves into Stone because the cops had a well deserved reputation for brutality especially when it came to the treatment of black men.

Stone agreed to negotiate with the inmates, which was a courageous decision. All of the inmates were convicted murderers. One of them had stabbed to death the prison warden and the deputy warden; it wasn't certain that Stone would leave there alive.

The inmates, all black men, told Stone that the white guards routinely called them "niggers" to degrade them. They also complained about other forms of verbal and physical abuse.

After two days of very difficult negotiations, the inmates released the hostages to Stone. All of them walked safely out of the prison. The New York Times wrote a long article about Stone.

I am much older now, and I realize that Stone set a standard for black journalists.

It is not enough for us to write so-called objective stories and call it a day. Our writing and reporting should be just the beginning.

We have to be thought leaders in the black community and take courageous action just Stone did.

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