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Latinos Scarce in the Press Box

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Thursday, May 12, 2011

Hispanic Men 3 Percent of Sports Department Staffs

French Journalists Captive 500 Days in Afghanistan

Gaddafi Forces Holding British Photographer 39 Days

Zakaria Walks Back Idea That He "Advises" President

White House Ends Re-Enactments of Speeches for Photogs

Obama Said "Geronimo" Was Code for Bin Laden

Some Question New Vogue Italia's "Black Beauty" Issue

More Evidence of Thriving Papers in Latin America, India

NBC Said to Push Trump for Decision on "Apprentice"

Short Takes

At the Sports Journalism Institute, a nine-week training and internship program for college students, the Class of 2011 includes, clockwise, from top left, Sarah Kuta, Ignacio Marquez, Chris Torres, Mike Martinez, Chaunte'l Powell, Craig Malveaux, Tariq Lee, Elizabeth Torres, Patricia Lee, Carron Phillips and Jay Lee.

Hispanic Men 3 Percent of Sports Department Staffs

"For seven seasons, José Romero worked the plum assignment as a beat writer covering the Seattle Seahawks for The Seattle Times," Manny Gonzales wrote Thursday for Fox News Latino.

"It was the early 2000s and often times when Romero looked around the press box it became starkly apparent that there were few, if any, other Latino sports reporters to whom he could relate.

" 'I think there were only three or four Latinos in the entire country covering the NFL on a regular basis at that time,' said Romero, 37, who left the Times about a year ago and is now freelance reporting and editing in Phoenix, Arizona. 'I ascended to a level where [Latinos] are not present at all really, and it would make me wonder why there weren’t more people like us doing these types of jobs.'

". . . According to a study released recently, some 320 websites and newspapers that belong to the Associated Press Sports Editors slightly improved their racial hiring practices last year. The report showed that 97 percent of the sports editors at APSE newspapers and websites in 2010 were white, and 94 percent of sports editors overall were men.

"Just 5.5 percent of sports staffs, moreover, are black men, and only 3 percent are Latino men. Latino and Asian men increased by an average of .54 percent in sports desk job categories, except as sports editors."

Angie ClemmonsAngie Clemmons, sports copy chief at the Denver Post and a board member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, messaged Journal-isms that "sportswriting jobs are still some of the most highly coveted positions in journalism and I think there is still an inside network — a good old boy network, if you will — that determines a lot of the hiring.

"If you don't already have women and minorities in positions of power in sports — and we do not, as the APSE survey bore out — then there is a pipeline of convenience that continues to be in play.

"I've been in and out of the sports journalism business for 20 years (I've also worked news desks and entertainment desks). I've seen it play out over and over. Hiring gets done somewhat shoddily in sports, and I might have to think through why that is, but I would guess it's because it's an overlooked department in the grand scheme of things, even though the sports job market is fiercely competitive," Clemmons continued.

"I know a lot of Latino candidates, and I think some other surveys have shown that often Latino college students come from smaller, Division II schools, which could possibly hurt them when so much of sports is about Division I. It's not right, but I think there is a bias there."

Latino sports journalists have made several efforts to organize, modeling themselves after the Sports Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Maria Burns OrtizThe NAHJ Sports Task Force was relaunched in the spring of 2010, led by Maria Burns Ortiz, a freelance journalist who is a Page 2 contributor and soccer writer for and is Region 2 director of NAHJ.

"Angie hit on a lot of valid points. And I agree," Ortiz messaged Journal-isms. "I think that perhaps the biggest issue is diversity in decision-making. I've found when I ask about diversity, it's not [an] issue of editors or those in hiring positions not thinking diversity is important, but it's that the idea of diversity might not even have occurred to them. That's a tougher hurdle to overcome.

"The Sports Task Force is something recently revived as it had fallen dormant. However, the response in the last year has been really promising.

"I would say we have about 15 core professional members who have been directly involved in the last year and maybe another dozen students that have inquired about it."

She added, "I don't know how much of an impact this has, but I also think that at some level, whether it's conscious or not, if you look at around not just your newsroom, but virtually every press box, and you're the only Hispanic journalist, it can be discouraging, especially for those journalists starting out. And when you look around and there are just a handful of Hispanics in the most high-profile positions (sports editors, columnists) — for Latinas, the numbers are even smaller — I can see how some journalists might have concerns about the potential for advancement. I've had colleagues express those concerns to me."

Jose de Jesus Ortiz, baseball writer at the Houston Chronicle and no relation to Maria Burns Ortiz, headed the now-disbanded Latino Sports Media Association.

"Most of us who are bilingual do understand that athletes are quoted when they're speaking English [in a way that] doesn't reflect their intelligence," he told Journal-isms in 2009. "I always encourage guys to learn English as quickly as they can so they can communicate better."

The perils of not understanding Spanish-speaking sports figures were demonstrated most vividly at the Miami Herald. Jockey Jose Santos sued the Herald after riding Funny Cide to victories in the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes.

Santos' suit "accused the newspaper of printing an article that falsely 'accused Jose Santos of carrying an unauthorized and illegal object in his hand during his Kentucky Derby ride of Funny Cide,'" the Herald later reported.

"Derby racing stewards later concluded Santos was holding only his whip."

The reporter misunderstood Santos, a Spanish speaker, and the Herald later apologized. Santos and the Herald reached a settlement in 2008.

French Journalists Captive 500 Days in Afghanistan

"The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European group the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today joined events marking the 500 days of captivity of two French journalists, Hervé Guesquières and Stéphane Taponier, who are still held hostages with their guides in Afghanistan," the groups said on Friday.

" 'Five hundred days in captivity are five hundred too many days,' said IFJ President Jim Boumelha. 'We are concerned about the physical and mental health of our colleagues after all this time. Despite calls from family, colleagues and journalists' organisations, there has been no news about their situation from French or Afghan authorities. This has to change quickly.' "

Gaddafi Forces Holding British Photographer 39 Days

"Concern is growing over a British-based photographer who has been missing for 39 days after being captured in Libya by forces loyal to [Moammar] Gaddafi," Peter Beaumont wrote Friday for Britain's Guardian newspaper.

"Anton Hammerl, an award-winning photographer, was captured on 4 April and his family have had no concrete news about him since then.

"The regime has, however, allowed access to three other journalists who were captured with him.

". . . The Libyan regime has admitted it is holding all four journalists, and has allowed the two Americans and the Spaniard to receive a visitor where they are being held, but it has provided no information about Hammerl."

The Americans are freelancers Clare Gillis, who has written for USA Today and the Atlantic, and James Foley, also a correspondent for GlobalPost.

CNN's Fareed Zakaria says he sees President Obama in face-to-face meetings. (<a href="">Video</a>

CNN's Fareed Zakaria says he sees President Obama in face-to-face meetings. (Video)

Zakaria Walks Back Idea That He "Advises" President

CNN's Fareed Zakaria Saturday attempted to scale back the impression that he has been "advising" President Obama, having said Thursday on Eliot Spitzer's CNN show "In the Arena" that Obama consults him on world issues, engaging in "very thoughtful conversation."

"The characterization that I have been 'advising' President Obama is inaccurate," Zakaria wrote on his Global Public Square blog. "Over the last few months I've had a couple of conversations with the president, off-the-record. At no point did president President Obama ask me for advice on a specific policy or speech or proposal, nor did I volunteer it. I know that he has had similar meetings with other columnists."

Spitzer said Thursday, "Look, I read something in the paper this week a couple of days ago that actually made me — you know brought a smile to my face. It said the president of the United States calls you for wisdom and advice about issues around the world.

"So first, when he calls you, what does he say? 'Hi, Barack calling for Fareed?' What does he do?

ZAKARIA: "Mostly it's been face-to-face meetings."

SPITZER: "Right."

ZAKARIA: "You know, usually organized by Tom Donilon, the national security adviser."

SPITZER: "Right."

ZAKARIA: "What I'm struck by, though, honestly, Eliot, is how much time he's spending thinking about the issues of the Arab spring, particularly the issues of Egypt, how — how to make Egypt go right, what — you know, what is the — what are the mechanisms that the United States has to help the moderates and liberals.

"It's been a very thoughtful conversation. You know we'll see where it goes."

SPITZER: "I'm not going to ask you what you have said to the president but it makes my heart warm that the president is calling you for wisdom and advice. And thanks for coming on the show."

ZAKARIA: "My pleasure." [Updated May 14]

White House Ends Re-Enactments of Speeches for Photogs

"Calling it a 'bad idea,' the White House has decided that it will no longer re-enact speeches for still photographers, as it did the night President Obama announced the death of Osama bin Laden," Steve Myers wrote Friday for the Poynter Institute.

"That re-enactment was the subject of a story that sparked industry conversation about the ethics of staging photos, particularly one of such a historic event.

"On May 1, continuing a practice in place for decades, the White House barred still photographers from photographing the live presidential address because of the disruption the still cameras would cause. After the speech, President Barack Obama walked down the hallway toward the microphones for a second time and spoke for a few minutes, just so still photographers could capture what they missed.

"Photojournalists defended the practice to, in part because captions disclosed that the photos were not taken during the live speech. But the captions weren’t all that clear that the photos were staged, and our audit found that in many cases those captions didn’t run with the photos.

"The question now is what will take the place of the re-enactments. Kenny Irby, Poynter’s visual journalism faculty, said the easiest option would be to move to a single-camera pool. That means one photographer, from a select group of news outlets, would document the event, and those images would be shared with all the news outlets that cover the White House. The easiest option, though, is not the most inclusive, Irby said.

"Photojournalists who spoke with on Thursday evening oppose that approach for still images, saying it limits photographers’ storytelling options and creativity."

Obama Said "Geronimo" Was Code for Bin Laden

"Many people angrily responded to my previous column on this subject by claiming that the U.S. military had merely applied the Apache leader Geronimo’s name to the U.S. military operation to hunt down bin Laden, and had not applied the name to bin Laden," Steven Newcomb wrote Wednesday in Indian Country Today.

"Well, President Obama laid that canard to rest in a May 8 interview with the CBS program 60 Minutes.

"60 Minutes: 'When was the first indication that you had found the right place, that bin Laden was in there?'

"President Obama: 'There was a point before folks had left, uh, before we had gotten everybody back on the helicopter and were flying, uh, back to base, where, uh, they said, uh, "Geronimo, uh, is, uh, has been killed, and Geronimo was the code name for bin Laden".'

"Now the issue becomes one of interpretation. The analogy takes the story of Geronimo and associates it with the story of Osama bin Laden. They were both hunted and pursued by the military forces of the United States. They both successfully eluded capture for a lengthy period of time.

"There are problems with the analogy. . . ."

Some Question New Vogue Italia's "Black Beauty" Issue

Vogue Italia's new issue"Vogue Italia has been praised for making steps towards diversity in the fashion world, especially after they published the 'Black Issue' (July 2008), the 'Black Barbie' supplement issue (July 2009) and a 'Black Allure' photo shoot (Feb 2011) — all issues or shoots that only featured black women," wrote last week.

"The overseas fashion manifesto is back again with a 'Black Beauty' shoot for June 2011. The current tribute is a shoot styled by Giulio Martinelli with an accompanying article written by Claire Sulmers.

"But some readers wonder if these shoots aren’t just a way to segregate the models, and argue if the magazine was really about inclusion and diversity, they’d simply have more black models throughout the year, rather than cramming them all into one issue or shoot every several months."

More Evidence of Thriving Papers in Latin America, India

"If you spend much time in U.S. newsrooms these days, you might contract a serious case of gloom and doom, Anne Nelson wrote Wednesday for PBS MediaShift. "Talk is still focused on declining circulations, aging readerships, and the absence of new business models to pay for the production of quality content.

"But it would be a mistake to assume that this is the case for the rest of the world. In fact, in many regions, the newspaper business is booming. Some countries' newspapers are pulling in record advertising and those double-digit profit margins that were common in 1990s America.

"I recently had the chance to observe this phenomenon firsthand at the Bogota, Colombia, conference of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA), where there was little gloom or doom to be found.

"Instead, newspapers were reporting extraordinary growth in advertising sales from 2005 to 2009: 62 percent in Argentina, 70 percent in Brazil, and 57 percent in Colombia itself. (These figures, drawn from a ZenithOptimedia forecast, contrasted with 34 percent drops in the U.S. and the U.K. over the same period.)"

In Toronto's Globe and Mail, Stephanie Nolen reported Thursday from New Delhi, "It took 64 years for the revered Indian newspaper NaiDunia to reach a circulation of 500,000 — a figure that would make most North American publishers swoon.

"That was two years ago. Since then, the paper’s circulation has soared a stunning 62.5 per cent to 800,000 copies a day, and the publication’s owner, NaiDunia Media Pvt. Ltd., says that’s just the start.

"By 2016, the company aims to reach a readership of 15 million — nearly triple the circulations of the three biggest U.S. dailies, USA Today, Wall Street Journal and New York Times, combined.

"The market for newspapers is on fire in India, where household spending and government investment fuelled the second-fastest economic growth among advanced countries last year, behind only China. That growth has given rise to a new, more literate consumer class — and the payoff for print media has been huge."

NBC Said to Push Trump for Decision on "Apprentice"

"NBC is pushing Donald Trump to make up his mind about whether he wants to be a reality-show host or run for president before the Peacock network unveils its fall lineup on Sunday, The Post has learned," Lois Weiss and Claire Atkinson wrote Friday for the New York Post.

"The real-estate magnate had previously said he would make his decision a few days after the finale of '[The] Celebrity Apprentice' on May 22, but NBC desperately needs the show to be in its fall schedule to pump up affiliates and advertisers ahead of its annual 'upfront' presentation on Monday."

Meanwhile, Ryan Chittum wrote Friday for the Columbia Journalism Review, "On Wednesday, the Los Angeles Times took a good look at Donald Trump’s business empire and how he built it with the aid of government largesse. Today it’s The New York Times’s turn, and it’s even better, with an investigation by Michael Barbaro that raises serious questions about how Trump’s business interests increasingly ensnared consumers in the last several years in money-losing ventures, including shaky real estate developments and a bogus online 'university'."

Short Takes

  • "Meredith Attwell Baker, a Republican who was appointed to the F.C.C. by President Obama two years ago, defended her decision to join Comcast on Friday after it drew objections this week from groups that opposed the company’s acquisition of NBC Universal," Edward Wyatt wrote on Friday for the New York Times. "Ms. Baker supported the takeover and the commission approved it in January on a 4-to-1 vote. . . . Ms. Baker said in a statement that 'until late this spring' she had intended to seek renomination as a commissioner. 'Not once in my entire tenure as a commissioner had anyone at Comcast or NBCUniversal approached me about potential employment,' she said in a statement."

  • "LATV, the national bilingual entertainment network, mostly distributed through digital television subchannels, is expanding its programming to include news," Veronica Villafañe reported Friday for her Media Moves site. "Alfonso 'Poncho' Vera has been tapped to anchor 'Noticias LATV,' which debuts next Monday, May 16. It will air Mon-Fri at 8 pm ET/5 pm PT."

  • The March cruise of the "Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage" generated $6.6 million in revenue, Radio Ink reported. "Radio One reported net revenues at Reach increased 83.8% in Q1 of 2011. And a big reason for that huge increase was the impact of Reach Media assuming operational and financial control and responsibility for 'Tom Joyner Fantastic Voyage.' " Radio One owns 53.5 percent of Reach Media.

  • Audie Cornish, named the new host of NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday" on Thursday, was asked by Journal-isms how the show will be different. "I don't want to give away too much," she said by email. "But we will have the next few months to tinker with some ideas for new segments, for different approaches to existing segments — all kinds of things. The important thing is that the core values of the program — the news analysis, the emphasis on arts and culture (the puzzle!) will remain the same."

  • Bishop T.D. Jakes, in an appearance to be shown Sunday on TV One's "Washington Watch With Roland Martin," scores the Rev. Franklin Graham, who has been given license on CNN and ABC to question President Obama's Christianity. "I find it insulting. We didn't question the Christianity of President Bush when he said he accepted Christ, and I'm disappointed in Rev. Franklin Graham in that regard," the Dallas megachurch pastor said. "I wish he had the diplomacy of his father, who brought the gospel to people without being nuanced by politics because when you do those things you offend people that you are actually called to save and to serve. And I would hope that he would see the rationale in apologizing for such statements — because if the President's faith is suspect then all of our faiths are suspect, because the Bible is quite clear about what it takes to be saved and the President has been quite open about his accepting Christ and him openly confessing it before men. And if it's good enough for the Bible it ought to be good enough for the rest of us."

  • Lynda Lopez"Lynda Lopez, a veteran of various New York TV and radio stations, is joining Fox 5/WNYW as entertainment contributor for the 10 p.m. newscast," Jerry Barmash reported Thursday for FishbowlNY. "Her primary role, at the start, will be covering 'American Idol.' Ironically, Lopez is the younger sister of Idol judge Jennifer Lopez. Her first report aired last night."

  • "Jim Lehrer has announced that he is taking another step toward ending his 36 years of anchoring or co-anchoring our daily public television news broadcast," PBS announced on Thursday. "Lehrer said, effective June 6, he will no longer be part of the regular daily anchor rotation team, but he will still appear on many Friday evenings to moderate the weekly analysis of Shields and Brooks, syndicated columnist Mark Shields and New York Times columnist David Brooks." A multianchor team of senior correspondents Gwen Ifill, Judy Woodruff, Jeffrey Brown, Ray Suarez and Margaret Warner will continue hosting the broadcast on a rotating basis.

  • ESPN has apologized for a post about University of Alabama offensive lineman Aaron Douglas, who was found dead at age 21 Wednesday in Jacksonville, Fla. The college football section of's Insider RumorCentral wrote that the death "leaves the door wide open" for five-star OT Cyrus Kouandjio to seize the job when he arrives this summer," John Taylor reported Thursday for NBC's CollegeFootballTalk. The offensive post was removed and ESPN executive Rob King wrote, "Apologies for the Rumor Central post related to Aaron Douglas’ tragic death. It did not meet ESPN editorial standards and was removed asap." Some thought King's words were not strong enough.

  • Several members of the Society of Professional Journalists — "journalists who specialize in a variety of media and live across the country — have worked for weeks to gather and analyze information that ultimately led them to craft" a resolution reinstating the Helen Thomas Lifetime Achievement Award, "which they'll present to SPJ's voting delegates during the national convention in September," Christine Tatum, a former SPJ president, wrote on Facebook. Thomas was accused of anti-Semitism.

  • "The Federation of African Journalists (FAJ), the African Regional Organisation of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), welcomes the historic move of the African Commission on Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) to adopt a landmark resolution on the safety of journalists and media practitioners in Africa," the IFJ said from Brussels on Friday. ". . . The resolution, the first ever decision of [the] African Union organization on the safety of journalists, also urged "all parties involved in situations of armed conflicts to respect the independence and freedom of journalists and media practitioners to exercise their profession and guarantee their safety and security in accordance with international humanitarian law."

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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 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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