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Media Scramble on Philippines Typhoon

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Colorado Teen Found as American Face on Tragedy

Incognito Says He Regrets Using "N-Word" With Martin

Freed Miami Herald Reporter Describes 48-Hour Captivity

Liberia Releases Publisher Who Protested in N.Y. Times

Malcolm X Family Sues to Block Diary's Publication

NABJ on Track to End Year in the Black, Butler Says

Philly's City Paper Retracts "Almond-Eyed" Line in Review

Short Takes

Simon Kruzban, 18, of Colorado, huddled in a kitchen with his family in the Phil

Colorado Teen Found as American Face on Tragedy

One of the most powerful storms to have ever made landfall dominated news coverage over Veterans Day, with news outlets chasing as many angles as they could in the Philippines tragedy, including first-person accounts, where to send aid, the connection to climate change and, no doubt, finding an American face to place on the story.

That last distinction might go to ABC News, which reported on its website, "Americans who witnessed and survived in the [bulls'-eye] of Typhoon Haiyan — including a stunned teenager — described a storm that demolished concrete, drowned children and tossed large freighters onto land.

"Simon Kruzban, 18, of Colorado, huddled in a kitchen with his host family in the city of Tacloban, which bore the brunt of the typhoon's fury.

"There were 'lots of injuries and then dead bodies all over the place once we like kind of left the neighborhood and walked sort of downtown,' Kruzban told ABC News. 'We were talking to a friend that lives in the neighborhood next door. ... Apparently like 50 little kids got sucked away.'

"Kruzban said he'd watched a neighborhood that he'd grown to love 'get completely decimated.' . . ."

The story, by Gloria Riviera, Anthony Castellano and Enjoli Francis aired on "Good Morning America."

As a CBS News story reported, "The typhoon struck Friday with 147-mph winds and a 20-foot fall of seawater. Authorities estimate the storm killed 10,000 or more people, but so far no one has been able to count all the bodies.

"And with shattered communications and transportation links, the final count was likely days away. Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said 'we pray' it does not surpass 10,000. . . ."

For the BBC, Jon Donnison delivered a first-person sidebar from Tacloban, which bore the brunt of the typhoon. "Tacloban has been flattened. Driving down the main high street, hardly a single building is left standing.

"People say this town was hit by a wall of water when the typhoon hit on Friday. There is the stench of rotting corpses. Driving in from the airport, we saw scores of bodies lying by the roadside. For three days they have been there, with no one to bury them.

"People are desperate for food, clean water and shelter. At the badly battered airport, a makeshift hospital has been set up. We saw two young women giving birth, laid out among the debris.

'Aid is getting in, but slowly. And this is just one town, in one province. No-one knows the full extent of the devastation elsewhere."

Story credits told the tale of who was able to deploy staffers to the scene.

The Washington Post story was bylined "By Carmela Cruz and Chico Harlan," with Harlan reporting from Seoul, South Korea.

"CBS News reporter Barnaby Lo, who himself escaped the damage on the nearby island of Cebu, said there was looting of strip malls, shops and homes in Tacloban," CBS said in an early version of its story. Lo also filed a first-person account .

"NBC News' F. Brinley Bruton reported from London, Eric Baculinao from Tacloban and Elisha Fieldstadt [from] New York," read the tagline on an NBC report. "NBC News' Hasani Gittens, Reuters and The Associated Press also contributed to this report."

A CNN story of vignettes datelined "Tacloban, Philippines," was credited to "Paula Hancocks. Anna Coren. Andrew Stevens and Ivan Watson, CNN," adding at the end that, "CNN's David Simpson, Tim Schwarz, Brad Olsen, Chandrika Narayan and Catherine E. Shoichet contributed to this report." It did not identify where the reporters were deployed.

The Los Angeles Times story from Manila was bylined, "Sunshine de Leon and Alexandra Zavis," adding, "De Leon reported from Manila and Zavis from Los Angeles."

Keith Bradsher's story in the New York Times bore this tagline: "Reporting was contributed by Gerry Mullany from Hong Kong, Floyd Whaley from Iloilo, Philippines, Austin Ramzy from Cebu, Mark Mazzetti from Washington, and Alan Feuer from New York."

The typhoon struck just as an international conference on climate change was convening in Warsaw, Poland.

"His eyes filling with tears and his voice choking with emotion over the disaster inflicted on his country, the delegate from the Philippines pleaded at U.N. climate talks Monday for his colleagues from around the world to agree on ways to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that scientists blame for global warming," Mark Memmott wrote for NPR.

"Distraught over the devastation wreaked on the Philippines by Typhoon Haiyan, Yeb Sano also said he will fast during the Warsaw Climate Change Conference, which opened on Monday and is set to run through Nov. 22. Shortly after his remarks, which drew a standing ovation, Sano tweeted that he was on "DAY 1. #FastingForTheClimate. . . ."

NPR's Richard Harris reported that climate scientists "say that as the planet continues to heat up, so will the oceans. And that means there will be more energy available for storms — and likely more Class 4 and 5 typhoons."

The BBC noted that "Typhoon Haiyan was forecast well in advance of landfall, but took the Philippines and global experts by surprise with its strength and destructive power." In a video, BBC Science Editor David Shukman explained the forces that contributed to the storm's severity.

The Wall Street Journal noted that communications can sometimes get in the way. "In disasters like the typhoon that slammed into the Philippines, sifting through a barrage of confusing and conflicting on-the-ground reports is one of the first problems facing rescue teams," James Hookway wrote. "Social-media sites such as Twitter . . .  and Facebook . . . can make matters worse. All too often, users recycle what others have posted or retweeted without adding any fresh information."

Those paragraphs introduced a newsworthy development:

"Sorting through all the noise is too much for individual agencies to handle on their own.

"So Swiss-born Patrick Meier is gearing up to attack the problem with a new approach called social mapping: Using a combination of volunteers and algorithms to filter the chaos and to provide rescue teams with a detailed, data-driven map of what they should be doing, and where. . . ."

Miami Dolphins player Richie Incognito, right, tells Jay Glazer, "In no way, shape or form is it ever acceptable for me to use that word."(video)

Incognito Says He Regrets Using "N-Word" With Martin

Richie Incognito, the suspended white Miami Dolphins player defended by black teammates after using the "N-word" in a message to African American teammate Jonathan Martin, said in an interview Sunday that he regrets using the term, Jay Glazer of Fox Sports reported.

Incognito said in an interview with Glazer, "I'm not a racist. And to judge me by that one word is wrong. In no way, shape or form is it ever acceptable for me to use that word, even if it's friend to friend on a voicemail. I regret that."

Martin left the club amid allegations that he was bullied and that Incognito was the ringleader.

"Incognito also turned over his phone records, which showed 1,142 texts between him and Martin in the past year," Glazer wrote. "Martin sent these two texts to Incognito three days after he left the team:

" 'Wassup man? The world's gone crazy lol I'm good tho congrats on the win'

" 'Yeah I'm good man. It's insane bro but just know I don't blame you guys at all it's just the culture around football and the locker room got to me a little.' . . ."

Outside of the locker room, other African Americans were less forgiving of Incognito's use of the racial slur.

On CBS's pregame show Sunday, Shannon Sharpe, retired NFL player-turned- football analyst said, "I read, and I don't know, it's alleged, that some black players said Richie Incognito was an honorary black. There's no such thing. This tells me everything I need to know about the Miami Dolphins locker room. How we got here, and why we got here.

"If you don't understand it...just ask your parents, ask your grandparents, the mountain that they climbed so a black person in America can have respect, can have dignity, and you allow this in an open locker room, is unacceptable. . . ."

Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote in his syndicated column for the Miami Herald, "Finally, there is this gem: 'Incognito considered black in Dolphins locker room.' That’s the headline of a blog post by The Herald's Armando Salguero. 'Richie is honorary,' a former Dolphin told Salguero. 'I don’t expect you to understand because you're not black. But being a black guy, being a brother is more than just about skin color. It's about how you carry yourself. How you play. Where you come from. What you've experienced. A lot of things.'

"So the quiet younger guy is not fully black, but the loudmouth with a history of disciplinary problems is? Lord, have mercy. That's precisely the kind of self-hating, self-limiting garbage one gets sick of hearing from African-American men, a statement of such numbing stupidity this guy's lips should sue his brain for making it say the words. . . ."

James E. Causey wrote Saturday in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel about the film "12 Years a Slave," expressing a thought that surely crossed the minds of others who have seen it.

"The irony in '12 Years a Slave' is how the N-word was used freely by whites to torment generations of African-Americans, but today that same word or a variation of it has become a term of endearment by many of the descendants of the very people who once had no choice but to endure hearing it," Causey wrote.

"Will this film stop young people and rappers from using the N-word in referring to each other? Probably not, but hearing it used in such vile context could trigger them to think about using the word before they say it.

"This film could not have come at a better time. . . ."

Miami Herald colleague Luisa Yanez gives Jim Wyss, a welcome hug upon his arriva

Freed Miami Herald Reporter Describes 48-Hour Captivity

Jim Wyss, the Miami Herald reporter held for 48 hours in Venezuela before his release Saturday, described his captivity for Herald readers Monday, disclosing that World Editor John Yearwood "and Herald Executive Editor Aminda Marqués Gonzalez began a furious series of back channel discussions to secure my freedom.

"Those included talks with Venezuelan Embassy officials in Washington, senior government officials in Caracas, the U.S. government and even members of the U.S. Congress who have influence with the [Nicolás] Maduro regime. Marqués then dispatched Yearwood to Caracas for face-to-face meetings."

Wyss continued, "I knew none of that when I had a second lucky break: As I was being escorted out of a downstairs bathroom, three women called my name from the entrance, saying they were reporters. I was hustled upstairs before I could say anything but the word was out.

"The Inspector was not pleased.

" 'Who let the gringo go downstairs!',' he screamed at his subordinates. 'You should have made him piss in a bucket!'

"Suddenly, he seemed eager to get me off his hands . . ."

Wyss said that the man called "The Inspector" "also asked one of his underlings to copy the contacts in my mobile phone by hand — all 1,314 of them," and that on Friday, "my face led the evening newscast." He said he didn't know why.

Liberia Frees Publisher Who Protested in N.Y. Times

Rodney Sieh, the publisher and editor-in-chief of Liberia's FrontPage Africa newspaper who wrote an op-ed column in the New York Times in August to protest his imprisonment, has been freed, Alva Mulbah Wolokolie wrote Monday for the Inquirer in Monrovia.

"Since his imprisonment, Sieh has been unhealthy and was admitted at the John F. Kennedy Hospital late August suffering from an undisclosed illness," Wolokolie reported.

She also explained, "He was jailed on August 21, 2013 after failing to pay a US $1.6 million libel judgment to former Agriculture Minister, J. Chris Toe."

Sieh wrote in his op-ed piece, "The libel case that landed me in jail began in 2010, when we published the results of two investigations by the General Auditing Commission, Liberia's independent corruption watchdog, into the Agriculture Ministry's accounts. The investigations, which Mrs. Johnson Sirleaf ordered, found nearly $6 million unaccounted for and raised questions about the agriculture minister at the time, Christopher Toe, a former president of the American online university Strayer. . . ."

Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf is Liberia's president.

Malcolm X Family Sues to Block Diary's Publication

Herb BoydA company representing the family of Malcolm X has gone to court to block publication of the black nationalist's diary, which the Chicago-based Third World Press said "was edited and annotated by author and journalist Herb Boyd in collaboration with Malcolm's and Betty [Shabazz]'s third eldest daughter, Ilyasah Al-Shabazz."

Boyd, a New York-based journalist and author, was named last week to the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Dareh Gregorian reported Friday for the Daily News in New York that the suit maintains that Ilyasah Al-Shabazz signed away her rights and interests in her father's estate to X Legacy, a company formed by the family, in 2011.

Bennett Johnson, Third World's vice president, disputed X Legacy's claims of "and said Third World had the right to publish the diaries and there was 'no doubt about it.' "

Third World Press was founded in 1967 by poet and author Haki R. Madhubuti, formerly known as Don L. Lee. He is the Ida B. Wells-Barnett University Professor at DePaul University.

In September, Third World Press announced a crowdfunding campaign for production of the private diary from 1964, raising $17,848 of its $75,000 goal as of Monday.

"This Diary, recorded by Malcolm during the year immediately preceding his assassination, describes his travels to many nations, and meetings with numerous world leaders," the company said in its fundraising appeal. "In these pages, Malcolm describes the deep emotional connections he developed during a period that was constantly colored by his prophetic sense of impending tragedy. Recovered recently from the memorabilia maintained by the family, he lays out his unique action plan for African Americans."

The emailed appeal also said, "We are very grateful that Malcolm’s children have granted us the opportunity to publish The Diary; it is the most important volume we have ever brought to the public, after more than 46 years in publishing. . . ."

NABJ on Track to End Year in the Black, Butler Says

Bob Butler

The National Association of Black Journalists "is on track to end 2013 well in the black," NABJ President Bob Butler told members Monday in a message summarizing his first 100 days in office.

At the association's convention in August, the NABJ Finance Committee said, "NABJ ended 2012 in the red, and is headed for possibly a $300,000 deficit in 2013 unless major steps are taken to eliminate the threat."

Last month, in a "town hall" conference call among members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, immediate past NAHJ president Michele Salcedo asserted that NABJ sustained a loss as of June 30 of $330,532.32, citing the members-only section of the NABJ website. Butler immediately said Salcedo was misreading the numbers.

Butler said in his message Monday, "The Finance Committee also will review the previous finance committee report that concluded NABJ was on a trajectory to suffer 2013 losses as great as $300,000. That figure was cited in a report distributed at the business meeting that had neither been reviewed nor approved by the board, finance manager or executive director. As President, I will ensure that this doesn't happen again so that members always get accurate financial information.

"And the good news is: Year-end projections released at the end of September show that NABJ will end the year with more than the budgeted net profit of $25,000. That figure is approximate and could rise or fall depending on what happens the rest of the year."

Protesters in Los Angeles target ABC Studios in Burbank, Houston, and Phoenix over a segment of 'Jimmy Kimmel Live,' in which a boy suggested that we should "kill everyone in China." (Credit: KAT/Splash News)

Philly's City Paper Retracts "Almond-Eyed" Line in Review

"After being chastised by the Asian American Journalists Association, City Paper has retracted a line from a restaurant review it published in a cover story last week about restaurants in Northeast Philly," Simon van Zuylen-Wood wrote Friday for Philadelphia magazine.

AAJA wrote the City Paper, "In your recent cover story 'Five Hidden Culinary Gems in the Northeast', the article 'Exotic Flavors at Uzbekistan Restaurant' includes the following sentence: 'The flavors at Uzbekistan are exotic, much like the almond-eyed waitresses who serve you.' . . . "

AAJA said, "Describing these waitresses as 'exotic' evokes the narrative of the 'Asian fetish,' where Asian women are depicted as sexy and servile objects of desire. Describing them as 'almond-eyed' conjures up the image of Asians and Asian Americans as having 'slanty' eyes, which further brings up condescending stereotypes of Asians and Asian Americans. . . ."

Van Zuylen-Wood was not pleased with City Paper's response. "Even if the 'exotic' reference was in poor taste — I admit I was surprised to see it included when I first read the piece — retracting it creates a bad precedent. Rather than sucking up the bad press that comes with bad choices, City Paper has simply scrubbed one article clean and erased the other altogether," he wrote.

Philadelphia magazine is not generally viewed as diversity-friendly. In March, the magazine faced considerable wrath after it published a cover story called "Being White in Philly" and event planner Adrienne Simpson wrote an article disclosing that she was the magazine's only full-time African American staffer.

Meanwhile, "On Saturday, hundreds of protesters targeted ABC Studios in Burbank, Houston, and Phoenix to protest the Oct. 16 segment of 'Jimmy Kimmel Live' where one of the late night host's tiniest guests suggested that we should 'kill everyone in China,' " Jenny Depper reported Sunday for Yahoo.

"The comment was made by a young boy during an unscripted segment called 'Kids' Table,' after Kimmel asked a roundtable of children how the United States should repay its $1.3 trillion debt to China. Both ABC and Kimmel have since apologized for the comment, and are no longer airing 'Kids' Table.' . . ."

Short Takes

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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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I will never censor words..

Regarding the saga of the n-word (I use this term out of respect for Richard) I will never stop using the word in part because I value and acknowledge the genius of Black folks to flip the very reality of America's culture.

Many years ago Black folks resented the word Black and many wanted to be called the names designated by whites for us 'negro' and 'colored'.

It makes no sense for us as a numerical minority in America to handcuff our power and presence with Whites by now using the very word which causes Whites to pause!!

I am not giving up social and political currency and power because Whites are offended by the very word they created. I see no value in leveraging away any measure and form of power in America certainly not power and currency of words.

White Americans know this and truth is so do we. I will never censor away or police the reality of words. From my optics all speech has value even HATE SPEECH.

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