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Millions Changed Race or Ethnicity in Census

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Monday, May 5, 2014

Many Hispanics Don't Claim a Race; Unusual Rise in Indians

MSNBC to Apologize for Cinco de Mayo Segment

TV Is Best on Journalists of Color; Online the Worst

Radio Host Steps in It as Sterling Fallout Continues

Editor Sounds Alarm on English-Language Magazines for Latinos

A Hat, an Impersonation Lighten Tribute to Chuck Stone

J-Student Wins Scholarship Named for White House Pioneer

Asian Americans Protest Detroit News Column

ProPublica Finds Confusion, Neglect on Desegregation

Nominate a J-Educator Who Has Helped Diversity

Short Takes

In October, National Geographic published "The Changing Face of America," featuring photography by Martin Schoeller, who said, "I like building catalogs of faces that invite people to compare them. I want to challenge the way we use appearance to shape identity.” (Credit: Schoeller Photography/National Geographic)

Many Hispanics Don't Claim a Race; Unusual Rise in Indians

"Millions of Americans counted in the 2000 census changed their race or Hispanic-origin categories when they filled out their 2010 census forms, according to new research presented at the annual Population Association of America meeting last week," D'Vera Cohn wrote Monday for the Pew Research Center. "Hispanics, Americans of mixed race, American Indians and Pacific Islanders were among those most likely to check different boxes from one census to the next.

"The researchers, who included university and government population scientists, analyzed census forms for 168 million Americans, and found that more than 10 million of them checked different race or Hispanic-origin boxes in the 2010 census than they had in the 2000 count. Smaller-scale studies have shown that people sometimes change the way they describe their race or Hispanic identity, but the new research is the first to use data from the census of all Americans to look at how these selections may vary on a wide scale.

" 'Do Americans change their race? Yes, millions do,' said study co-author Carolyn A. Liebler, a University of Minnesota sociologist who worked with Census Bureau researchers. 'And this varies by group.' "

Cohn also wrote, "The largest number of those who changed their race/ethnicity category were 2.5 million Americans who said they were Hispanic and 'some other race' in 2000, but a decade later, told the census they were Hispanic and white, preliminary data showed. Another 1.3 million people made the switch in the other direction. Other large groups of category-changers were more than a million Americans who switched from non-Hispanic white to Hispanic white, or the other way around.

"Hispanics account for most of the growing number and share of Americans who check 'some other race' on the census form. Many do not identify with a specific racial group or think of Hispanic as a race, even though it is an ethnicity in the federal statistical system. Census officials added new instructions on the 2010 census form stating that Hispanic ethnicity is not a race in an attempt to persuade people to choose a specific group. (That change, as well as other wording edits in the instructions to respondents between 2000 and 2010 may be one reason some people switched. The order of the questions and the offered categories did not change.) The Census Bureau is also testing a new race and Hispanic question that combines all the options in one place, rather than asking separately about race and Hispanic origin.

"More than 775,000 switched in one direction or the other between white and American Indian or only white, according to preliminary data. A separate paper presented at the conference reported 'remarkable turnover' from 2000 to 2010 among those describing themselves as American Indian. Ever since 1960, the number of American Indians has risen more rapidly than could be accounted for by births or immigration. . . ."

Asked what journalists should take away from this report, Cohn messaged Journal-isms:

  • "This is preliminary data, so it's a heads-up to watch for more numbers —and a more complete narrative explanation — in the next few months.

  • These are numbers, but each one is about a person with a story to tell. So the data could be a jumping-off point for journalists to interview folks about how they identify, and why.

  • The numbers also should be a red flag that if you are trying to tell a story about a racial group or Hispanics at two points in time — for example, comparing the incomes or poverty level or other characteristics of the Pacific Islander population in 2000 and 2010 — be aware that there may be a lot of change within that group. The people who made up that group in 2000 may not be the same people who were in it in 2010."

MSNBC to Apologize for Cinco de Mayo Segment

"MSNBC tried its hand at cultural commentary on Monday with a Cinco de Mayo segment featuring a stereotypical portrayal of a stumbling Mexican by a reporter pretending to guzzle tequila straight from the bottle," Roque Planas wrote for the Huffington Post. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists was among others joining in condemnation, and MSNBC spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski said Tuesday that the network planned to apologize.

"As a visual reading 'Mexican Heritage Celebration' appeared on screen, Way Too Early host Thomas Roberts explained the historical background of the holiday. As he spoke, a sombrero-clad Louis Burgdorf wandered around the newsroom shaking a maraca," Planas continued.

" 'It's also an excuse to drink tequila on a Monday morning at work for Louis,' Roberts said, adding 'you have to drink the whole thing and eat the worm.' . . ."

Skowronski messaged Journal-isms, "The statement is up on the Way Too Early website. They’ll also apologize on-air tomorrow

"On Monday, Cinco De Mayo, 'Way Too Early' made sarcastic references to the way some Americans celebrate the holiday. It was not our intention to be disrespectful and we sincerely apologize for the ill-advised references."

NAHJ President Hugo Balta said earlier in a statement, "This is simply the worst example I have seen of a discriminatory stereotypical portrayal of any community by any media. The fact that this was done by a news organization is abominable.

"This wasn't a chance occurrence. This was a planned segment where many decision makers at MSNBC’s Way Too Early program agreed on the content and execution which concluded on what was seen nationwide.

"It feeds to the ignorant misconceptions of a rich and proud people who unfortunately are too often portrayed as caricatures to be scoffed at.

"The National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) denounces the actions taken by the MSNBC journalists for their capricious actions, lack of judgment, insensitivity and attack of the Mexican community.

"The segment clearly proves that diversity is lacking at the Way Too Early program. Too often mistakes like these are made because the people making them are not representative of the community the content portrays.

"I would like to take Louis Burgdorf to Los Angeles county, San Antonio, Chicago or any of the dozens of Mexican neighborhoods in the U.S. as well as Puebla, Mexico City or Guadalajara to try to find the ridiculous character he so enthusiastically depicted.

"Who he would find is a celebrated people known for their work ethic, rich history, proud culture and resiliency which few others can contest. NAHJ demands that the employees involved in the planning and production of this segment be disciplined and made to publicly apologize for their actions.

"I am reaching out to the MSNBC leadership today."

Balta wrote on his Facebook page Tuesday morning: "just got off the phone with Alex Korson, executive producer for Morning Joe, who oversees 'Way Too Early' the program where the 5 de Mayo segment ran.

"I will have more details for you later on today, but here is a summary:

  • "He apologized for the segment.
  • "Assured me that while the props were planned; the anchors took it upon themselves to put them on and act in the manner they did.

  • "He expressed his remorse at how the producers allowed the segment and behavior to continue.

  • "He said that he and his team are reviewing the processes in place in order for an incident like this never to happen again.

  • "He said all those involved in the segment will be disciplined.

  • "He said an apology will be made."

Adrian Carrasquillo of BuzzFeed was first to write about the incident on Monday.

TV Is Best on Journalists of Color; Online the Worst

"The number of full-time minority journalists working for the U.S. news media has decreased slightly to 8.5 percent during the past decade," [PDF] Lars Willnat and David H. Weaver of Indiana University reported in "The American Journalist in the Digital Age," the latest in a series of periodic reports.

"As a consequence, the total percentage of minority journalists remains well below the overall percentage of minorities in the U.S. population (36.6 percent in 2012).

"However, a more appropriate comparison might be with the percentage of college degree holders who are minorities (27.9 percent according to the 2010 U.S. Census), considering that a four-year bachelor's degree is now the minimum educational requirement for journalists working in the United States.

"Minority journalists in the United states are more likely to be women (50 percent) than are white journalists (36.3 percent). In addition, among all U.S. journalists with less than five [years'] experience, 13.8 percent are minorities, suggesting that efforts to hire minorities in the past few years have been somewhat successful.

"Television employs the largest percentage of minority journalists (15.4 percent) and online news organizations the lowest (4.4 percent). Radio is second with 10.3 percent, followed by wire services (8.9 percent), daily newspapers (8.5 percent), newsmagazines (6.9 percent), and weekly newspapers (5.6 percent). . . ."

Overall, Willnat and Weaver reported, "Compared to 2002, the updated demographic profile of U.S. journalists reveals that they are now older on average, slightly more likely to be women, slightly less likely to be racial or ethnic minorities, slightly more likely to be college graduates, more likely to call themselves independents politically, and less likely to identify with both the Republican and Democratic political parties . . ."

The study was based on online interviews with 1,080 U.S. journalists conducted during the fall of 2013.


Chris "Mad Dog" Russo said on his SiriusXM show, "No tape has run by my desk from a black host who I would deem worthy of doing a national sports talk radio program." (audio)

Radio Host Steps in It as Sterling Fallout Continues

"Just days after Donald Sterling was exposed as a racist on secretly-recorded audio produced by TMZ long-time NY talk radio legend and current Sirius XM host Chris 'Mad Dog' Russo had what many are now calling his own 'Donald Sterling/Al Campanis moment,' " J.R. Gamble reported Friday for the Shadow League.

As RadioInk explained, "Getting into it with a caller who challenged him on why there were no African American hosts on his channel, Russo said, 'Don't you think if we thought there was a black sports talk show host who knew what was going on and who wanted the job here with us, you don't think we'd put the person on? What do you think, we're crazy?' Russo was trying to make the overall point that it's difficult for anyone to do three hours of compelling sports talk, however, he certainly 'stepped in it' a bit when he started off his rant, and when he ended it with this statement: 'No tape has run by my desk from a black host who I would deem worthy of doing a national sports talk radio program.' You can listen to the 4:30 of Russo's audio HERE."

Kareem Abul-JabbarMeanwhile, fresh from publishing a much-discussed column on Sterling by NBA legend Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Time magazine announced Friday it had signed Abdul-Jabbar as a regular contributing columnist to TIME and Abdul-Jabbar will write an op-ed column and appear in a regular video series, the magazine announced. His second column appeared Monday.

The topic prompted producers of some Sunday talk shows to seek out thinkers of color. "Face the Nation" on CBS featured author Richard Williams, CBS’s James Brown, Michele Norris of NPR, Ta-Nehisi Coates of The Atlantic, Michael Eric Dyson of Georgetown University and William Rhoden of the New York Times.

CNN’s "State of the Union" featured Republican strategist Ana Navarro, Democratic strategist Donna Brazile and Gwen Ifill of "PBS NewsHour."

Such guest lists prompted Peter Hart of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting to wonder where the thinkers of color were on other topics. The previous week's "Meet the Press" on NBC, Hart wrote Thursday, "kicked off with a discussion of the odious racist rants of Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling that had surfaced days earlier. For that segment, the show assembled a panel of all African-Americans: HBO's Bryant Gumbel, MSNBC host Al Sharpton and interim NAACP president Lorraine Miller." But for a discussion of affirmative action, "We've got three white, male, conservative-leaning pundits and Democratic/liberal pundit Neera Tanden, a woman of South Asian descent. Not exactly the most diverse set of views one might imagine. . . ."

William Douglas, a correspondent in the McClatchy Washington Bureau who also writes a column called "The Color of Hockey," found another journalists with explaining to do. '"It’s been a rough week for Los Angeles Times columnist Sandy Banks," Douglas wrote on Thursday. "Her email, voice mail have been flooded with messages — some of them stern and others Sterno-hot with anger — about a line she wrote in a weekend piece about disgraced and freshly-banned Los Angeles Clippers basketball team owner Donald Sterling following his recorded racist remarks about black people.

" 'Let the real estate magnate take his millions and buy a hockey team,' she wrote. 'Then he won’t have to worry about black superstars showing up for games on his girlfriend’s arm.' The line struck a nerve with hockey fans, particularly among fans of color who regularly confront the misconception — from within minority communities and without — that the game is an exclusively white one with little room for diversity. . . ."

Editor Sounds Alarm on English-Language Magazines for Latinos

Alfredo Estrada

"They're folding like cheap card tables," Alfredo Estrada, editor of LATINO Magazine, wrote April 29 for

"Since the beginning of the year, we've seen the demise of, an English-language website for Latinos, as well as CNN Latino, Time Warner's year-long effort to create programming for the U.S. Hispanic market. Now come rumors that Poder, Televisa's magazine providing 'Intelligence for the Business Elite,' may cease publication."

Estrada also wrote, "Today there are just a handful of publications in English for Latinos. They are Latino-owned and don't have the big bucks to compete with magazines like People en Español, owned by the ubiquitous Time Warner.

"Most of them are published quarterly or bimonthly, since there simply isn’t enough advertising to support monthly circulation. Many companies which once advertised, such as Anheuser Busch, no longer do. Those that never supported Latino media, such as Bacardi, still don't. Much of Wall Street, like Goldman Sachs, is missing in action. Other companies like Pepsi restrict their advertising to Spanish-language media. How about new kids on the block, like Samsung and Facebook? Well, good luck with that, though we buy lots of cellphones and friend each other like crazy.

"Where did the money go? Without a doubt, the recession had (and still has) a severe impact. Many budgets that were cut haven't grown back. Latino advertising agencies who were once allies have been bought out or merged into larger companies. Corporate support for Latino initiatives is often quite fragile and needs to be nurtured by champions within each company. Many of them are gone, replaced by executives more concerned with profits than corporate responsibility. And on the government side, the Federal agencies that were once active now do virtually no outreach. Nor do these agencies advertise job openings in Latino media, despite their terrible hiring record.

"Sour grapes? Perhaps, but whatever the reason, the end result is that our community is less informed about the issues that impact us. . . ."

Meanwhile, Monica Lozano, CEO of ImpreMedia, the nation’s leading Hispanic media company, told students at the University of Texas at El Paso "that ImpreMedia and its affiliates are now less about Spanish language and Latino culture and more about competing as a major metro media sources," according to Rebecca Grant, writing Friday for Borderzine.

A table of Chuck Stone artifacts lies next to the podium as 200 paid tribute. Ch

A Hat, an Impersonation Lighten Tribute to Chuck Stone

"The lights darkened in Carroll Hall auditorium and the memorial service began with a slide show of Chuck Stone images," Wayne Dawkins wrote Monday from the Chapel Hill, N.C., campus of the University of North Carolina. "As the Count Basie tune 'Shiny Stockings' played, there were black and whites of Stone as a youth, in his U.S. Army Air Corps uniform, in a dashiki, and with LBJ, with Jesse Jackson and with James Baldwin. The color images were of family.

"Stone, 89, founding president of the National Association of Black Journalists and legendary columnist turned distinguished professor, died April 6. About 200 people gathered at the University of North Carolina School of Journalism — where Stone was Walter Spearman Professor from 1991-2004 — to pay tribute.

" 'His genius was he operated in the margins of conflict. He operated as a warrior and peacemaker,' said Phil Meyer, emeritus professor at UNC, who was a neighbor of Stone when they lived in a Washington suburb in the 1960s. When Meyer persuaded Stone to leave the Philadelphia Daily News in 1991 after nearly two decades and 4,000 columns, the editor said 'You can't take him, he’s our franchise.' Meyer answered 'He's ours now.'

Dawkins also wrote, "Charles Stone III, a fine artist and drummer, said his father 'taught me how to swing, be in the zone, the Chi, or in the pocket.'

"Near the close of [the] 90-minute service, Stone impersonated his father at home. His dad would write in the den with jazz recordings blasting and vinyl records covering the floor. Charles Stone III replayed 'Shiny Stockings,' and then imitated Chuck Stone cake walking and scatting to the solos and chord changes. . . ."

Dawkins told Journal-isms that Barry Saunders, columnist for the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., spoke after he "showed up wearing the straw dandy [or 'Music Man'] hat that Chuck liked to wear.

" 'My aunt Betty in Philadelphia sent Chuck's columns, stuffed in envelopes,' said Saunders.

" 'Wow, I thought, you can make a living talking trash.

" 'Chuck was my hero. I knew him for 20 years.

" 'A friend and I called Chuck "Zelig" because he seemed to be in every scene.

" 'Saunders said when he'd write a column that upset a lot of people, more than once when he had self-doubts, Stone's critique was 'fuck 'em!'

"The audience roared with laughter."

Bob Butler, president of NABJ, said, "the Board of Directors last week renamed one of our top Special Honors. This year at the Salute to Excellence gala on August 2nd, we will be awarding the first Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award."

Glynn Hill, recipient of a White House Correspondents' Association Scholarship, sai
Glynn Hill of Howard University, recipient of a White House Correspondents' Association scholarship, said the thrill of reporting "just makes me go." (Video)

J-Student Wins Scholarship Named for White House Pioneer

Howard University journalism student Glynn Hill of Philadelphia on Saturday became the first recipient of a $7,000 scholarship named after Harry McAlpin, the first African American to cover a presidential news conference.

First lady Michelle Obama helped present the scholarship during the White House Correspondents' Association's annual dinner, as Jesse J. Holland reported for the Associated Press.

"McAlpin, a correspondent for the Atlanta Daily World, covered his first Oval Office press conference in 1944 over the objection of the Correspondents' Association. At the time, the association was an all-white club and for years it blocked black journalists from attending," as Scott Horsley added April 10 for NPR.

At the dinner, Hill told C-SPAN, "Journalism for me, it sounds kind of cliché, but I do see it as a calling of sorts. They say when you pick a career you pick something that's half what you're good at, half what you really love, and journalism kind of does both those things for me. So, chasing stories, being a reporter — I was editor in chief of the student newspaper this year — but I'm excited as a reporter, you know, just the teaching, the reporting, chasing stories, all that stuff just — it makes me go."

Asian Americans Protest Detroit News Column

Unity: Journalists for Diversity joined the Asian American Journalists Association, a member of the coalition, in saying it was "disappointed in The Detroit News' decision to publish Neal Rubin's column arguing that the beating death of Vincent Chin in 1982 had nothing to do with race.

"Rubin constructed his argument on a shoddy foundation of poorly reported facts. Most notably, he failed to even mention that Chin’s assailants used racial epithets. UNITY is also troubled by Rubin's dismissal of a woman's testimony because she was a stripper.

"The Detroit News and Neal Rubin owe its readers an apology and an explanation about why changes were made to the column."

The 1982 killing of Chin is credited with sparking the Asian American civil rights movement.

ProPublica Finds Confusion, Neglect on Desegregation

"The pace of the change wrought by the federal courts was breathtaking," Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote Thursday for ProPublica. "In 1963, about 1 percent of black children in the South attended school with white children. By the early 1970s, the South had been remade — fully 90 percent of black children attended desegregated schools. Court orders proved most successful in the South, but were also used in an attempt to combat de facto segregation in schools across the country, from New York to Michigan to Arizona.

"Today, this once-powerful force is in considerable disarray.

"A ProPublica examination shows that officials in scores of school districts do not know the status of their desegregation orders, have never read them, or erroneously believe that orders have been ended. In many cases, orders have gone unmonitored, sometimes for decades, by the federal agencies charged with enforcing them. . . ."

As Edirin Oputu reported for Columbia Journalism Review Friday in awarding "a laurel to ProPublica," "Hannah-Jones spent more than a year reporting “Segregation Now,” which focuses on the successful integration of the Tuscaloosa, AL, city school district, and its subsequent slide back into segregation. . . "

In the series' latest installment, Hannah-Jones also wrote, "Over the course of months, ProPublica has compiled the nation's most comprehensive and accurate data on active desegregation orders. We used legal databases, academic studies and contacted more than 160 school districts across the country.

"The effort uncovered a world of confusion, neglect and inaction. . . ."

Nominate a J-Educator Who Has Helped Diversity

The Association of Opinion Journalists, formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers, annually grants a Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship — actually an award — "in recognition of an educator's outstanding efforts to encourage minority students in the field of journalism." The educator should be at the college level.

Nominations, now being accepted for the 2014 award, should consist of a statement about why you believe your nominee is deserving.

The final selection will be made by the AOJ Foundation board and announced in time for the Sept. 21-23 convention in Mobile, Ala., where the presentation will be made.

Since 2000, the recipient has been awarded an honorarium of $1,000 to be used to "further work in progress or begin a new project."

Past winners include James Hawkins, Florida A&M University (1990); Larry Kaggwa, Howard University (1992); Ben Holman, University of Maryland (1996); Linda Jones, Roosevelt University, Chicago (1998); Ramon Chavez, University of Colorado, Boulder (1999); Erna Smith, San Francisco State (2000); Joseph Selden, Penn State (2001); Cheryl Smith, Paul Quinn College (2002); Rose Richard, Marquette University (2003); Leara D. Rhodes, University of Georgia (2004); Denny McAuliffe, University of Montana (2005); Pearl Stewart, Black College Wire (2006); Valerie White, Florida A&M University (2007); Phillip Dixon, Howard University (2008); Bruce DePyssler, North Carolina Central University (2009); Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University (2010); Yvonne Latty, New York University (2011); Michelle Johnson, Boston University (2012); and Vanessa Shelton, University of Iowa (2013).

Nominations may be emailed to Richard Prince, AOJ Diversity Committee chair, richardprince (at) The deadline is May 23. Please use that address only for AOJ matters.

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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Stone Service Reverential, at Times Profane, by Barry Saunders

By Barry Saunders

The memorial service for NABJ co-founder Charles Sumner "Chuck" Stone Jr. last week was understandably reverential, befitting his contributions to the worlds of journalism and education.

The service, held Saturday at Carroll Hall on the campus of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, from which Stone retired in 2004, was also irreverent, at times profane.

Just like Chuck.

Any comprehensive recollection of Chuck, as he was known universally, would have to acknowledge his love of language — often colorful and salty language.

Charles Stone III told and demonstrated via video and music how his father's exuberance when it came to jazz often led him to hijack his 13-year-old son as he arrived home from school.

"Come here, Charlie. Listen to this," Chuck, sitting on the living room floor surrounded by vinyl jazz albums, would tell his still backpack-bound son. When the desired note was played, he'd exult, "Ain't that a sunavabitch?" Stone was a Tuskegee Airman and served as an overseas representative for CARE in India, Egypt and Gaza before serving as editor and White House correspondent for the Washington Afro-American.

He served briefly as editor of the Chicago Daily Defender &mdash "briefly" because he refused to let up on his attacks on Chicago Mayor Richard Daley.

Stone then served as special assistant to U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr., D-N.Y.

Stone is perhaps best known for his 20-plus years at the Daily News in Philadelphia, where suspects wanted by Phila's Finest would turn themselves in to Chuck, so he could verify that they had all of their body parts when the cops got them.

Scores of people attended the tribute, which was presided over by Susan King, dean of UNC's School of Journalism and Mass Communication. UNC Chancellor Carol Folt spoke at the service, as did, among others, Elizabeth Wangu, a graduate of the Chuck Stone Program for Diversity in Education and Media, and NABJ President Bob Butler.

His fraternity brothers of Alpha Phi Omega conducted an Omega service. I had the honor of speaking about the man I consider my mentor, and related the most important advice Chuck ever gave me. Once, after thinking I'd missed the mark on a column and seeing the News & Observer besieged by calls for my scalp, I called Chuck.

What should I do? I asked.

"Fuck 'em," he replied.

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