Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

Michael Jack Named NBC Diversity Chief, Succeeding Paula Madison

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Tuesday, June 18, 2002

Michael Jack Named NBC Diversity Chief, Succeeding Paula Madison
Michael Jack, former president and general manager of the NBC-owned TV station in Columbus, Ohio, has been named NBC's new vice president for diversity, succeeding Paula Madison, general manager of NBC's station in Los Angeles.

Madison, long active in the National Association of Black Journalists, will oversee NBC's Telemundo stations in Los Angeles, while continuing as general manager of KNBC, the Washington Post reports. Jack simultaneously becomes president and general manager of the Washington, D.C., market's NBC-owned station, WRC.

Missing-White-Girl Story Better, Says NABJ President
In a growing debate over whether the news media are slighting the case of a missing black girl, Alexis Patterson of Milwaukee, in favor of a missing white girl, Elizabeth Smart of Salt Lake City, the president of the National Association of Black Journalists says "the Smart case is a better story.

"And this is me applying my news judgment," Condace Pressley, assistant program director at WSB-AM in Atlanta, tells Boston Globe media writer Mark Jurkowitz. "It strikes at the heart of every parent's fear, regardless of race. Here, this family is at home and in the dead of night, an intruder comes into the home and, at gunpoint, takes a child from her bed.''

Veteran black journalist Earl Caldwell, former Maynard journalist-in-residence, has a different view. "Whatever happens in a black neighborhood doesn't really surprise anybody," he said. "The public is conditioned to expect that. We take the privilege, and we equate it with the quality of the people."


Native Columnist Lists Stories Mainstream Misses
Mainstream reporters "don't know how to talk to Indians, they don't know anyone on a reservation," Gannett News Service columnist George Benge, a Cherokee, told Native college students.

Native stories that are commonly overlooked or misreported by the mainstream media include what he called the attack on sovereignty by non-Indians, "genocide by bureaucracy," health care, the loss of Native languages, tribal economic "empowerment," the digital divide on reservations, and casinos - "the new stereotype," Benge told students attending the Freedom Forum's American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He urged them to pursue journalism careers and tell their own stories.

The Native American Journalists Association Convention begins today in San Diego.


Byron Pitts: Latchkey Kid to Journalist of the Year
CBS News' Byron Pitts made a name for himself as a journalist by taking on the tough stories and overcoming tough odds in his old East Baltimore neighborhood, writes the Baltimore Sun of the reporter named Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

Pitts says he wants to be a White House reporter and ultimately to join "60 Minutes." "I've never met someone who was as clear about what his goals are as Byron," says Marcy McGinnis, senior vice president of news coverage at CBS.

Pitts says of African American network correspondents, "They were called too arrogant. They 'didn't work hard enough.' They 'don't write well'.... "I was determined that those things wouldn't be said of me."


'Everyone Comes to Me and Says 'What Do the Asians Think?'
Nguyen Qui Duc, radio show host of "Pacific Time" on KQED San Francisco, talks with the News Watch project about being one of the few Asians on the radio.

"...Working at the same station (KALW in San Francisco) for over seven years and being the only Asian there was great. The problem with that is you end up being a representative of the Asian American community and you never really should think of yourself as that. But everyone comes to me and says what do the Asians think? Or what about Asians? I don't represent anybody," Duc says.


Connie Chung Starts at CNN on Monday
Connie Chung moves to CNN Monday with her own live nightly prime-time program. "If people didn't know Chung was serious about being back in the fray, they do now," says the New York Daily News. The veteran television journalist calls CNN "the last sanctuary for news."


Mexico's Vicente Fox Disappointed at NAHJ, Says N.Y. Columnist
"Many of us in the audience that evening were disappointed," writes Albor Ruiz in the New York Daily News. "We had expected he would say something new about issues such as his running dispute with Cuban President Fidel Castro, human rights in Mexico or, even better, would take the opportunity to talk clearly about the state of immigration negotiations with Washington, a question as important for the U.S. as it is for Mexico." In his Tijuana talk before the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Fox's compatriots wanted the Mexican president "to tell them for how long the terrible Sept. 11 tragedy will be invoked every time someone raises the issue of President Bush's apparent change of heart about the amnesty."


K.C. Star Columnist Says Fox Was Right on Immigration
"Fox was right to call for legalization of an estimated 3 million to 5 million Mexicans now living and working in the United States, as well as expanding the number of temporary visas," writes Mary Sanchez in the Kansas City Star.


Sun-Times Explains Why It Gave Cops R. Kelly Video
"Critics are missing a few obvious and important points. First, no one subpoenaed or pressured the Sun-Times to give police the video," the newspaper explains. "It was our idea. We did it voluntarily because while sources must be protected--otherwise no one would take their stories to a newspaper--the videotape was not a source; it was a piece of evidence in a criminal investigation that up to that point had been stalled.

"Second, we do not view crime indifferently. The video showed an adult sexually exploiting a teenage girl."


Northwestern to Offer Joint Music, Journalism Training
Newspaper reviewers who lack musical training are not exactly in short supply, writes Howard Reich, Chicago Tribune arts critic.

"And that's why a new and still untested degree program at Northwestern University comes not a moment too soon, for it just might raise the level of music criticism in America. Or at least try to."

Jointly designed by the School of Music and the Medill School of Journalism, the new course of studies will offer budding critics an opportunity that has been sorely missing from academia: rigorous training in both music and journalism.


20 Named Knight Science Journalism Fellows
While no Americans of color are among the winners, awardees include journalists from Kenya, Brazil and Malaysia.

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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