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Coleman Moves Aside at Washington Post

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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Shirley Carswell Steps Up to Deputy M.E. Role

Shirley Carswell, who among other duties administers the multimillion-dollar budget for the newsroom of the Washington Post, on Thursday was promoted to deputy managing editor, succeeding Milton R. Coleman, the veteran journalist who now "will step out of the day-to-day running of the newsroom," Executive Editor Marcus Brauchli announced.

Shirley Carswell Milton Coleman

 

 

 

 

 

Coleman, the highest-ranking black journalist at the Post, recently moved up the ladder to become vice president of the American Society of News Editors and is expected to become its president next April.

"He has been an ardent advocate of the vitally important role of diversity in our newsroom and industry," Brauchli's memo said of Coleman.

As senior editor, "he will take on the important tasks of overseeing our ethics policies and standards and managing our corrections process. He also will continue to serve as an advisor to El Tiempo Latino and other company publications and projects that Don Graham," CEO of the Washington Post Co., "will assign."

While Coleman chiefly had administrative responsibilities, he was also in the rotation for running the day-to-day paper. "What a privilege to be able to be running the Washington Post on the day of the inauguration of the first African American president," he told Journal-isms.

Moreover, many of those who have ascended to top positions since Brauchli became editor in September had been nurtured by Coleman, he said. "It's like giving the deed to your house to your children."  

He counted Carswell among them. "She'll mostly handle administrative duties but undoubtedly will advise on news," Brauchli told Journal-isms.  In his memo, he said, "In her new role, Shirley will oversee personnel, administration, research and newsroom technology, critical areas as we re-engineer and adapt to the changes sweeping our profession.

"Anyone who has worked with Shirley knows that she is a center of calm in a bureaucratic [whirl.] She is a master of her arts, managing the integration of our print and online operations, bringing together our two staffs into a common team, rebuilding offices and running budgets.

"Shirley grew up in Pittsburgh, earned her undergraduate journalism degree at Howard University, and worked in Richmond and Detroit before joining the Post in 1988 as a copy editor. She's been Assistant Managing Editor since 1994, after a succession of jobs that included metro copy chief."

Carswell, 48, assistant managing editor for planning and administration, has also been active in the Washington Association of Black Journalists. In 2005, she won election as treasurer after running because "righteous indignation got the better of me. I was really pissed off when I heard somebody stole the money." WABJ had discovered that $4,200 in chapter funds was missing. ("We recovered more than half of the money, but not the full amount," she told Journal-isms on Thursday.)

"With these changes, Milton will step out of the day-to-day running of the newsroom, although he will continue to work closely with us," Brauchli and his co-managing editors, Liz Spayd and Raju Narisetti, said in a memo.

"Milton was first promoted from metro reporter into management as assistant city editor and then city editor in 1980. He went back to reporting on the national staff for a stint before he was named AME/Metro in 1986. He became Deputy Managing Editor in July 1996, and in that role has been a mentor, advisor and leader to so many here, including us."

Coleman, 62, has said that his obituary is sure to include high up the furor that erupted when he reported in 1984 that Jesse Jackson, as a Democratic presidential candidate, had uttered the words "Hymie" and "Hymietown" to refer to Jews and to New York. The publication led to death threats and a discussion of whether Jackson's preceding the remarks by saying, "let's talk black talk" meant the comments should not have been used.

"Milton has accomplished much in his career, and he has done a huge amount for our profession beyond these walls, too," Thursday's memo continued. "He has judged prize competitions and worked with groups promoting journalism education. He is an officer of the Inter-American Press Association, a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Multicultural Media Executives and, of course, the American Society of News Editors. He has been an ardent advocate of the vitally important role of diversity in our newsroom and industry."

Carswell's appointment continues recent promotions of journalists of color at the paper.

Last month, three received key positions in a major reorganization of the newsroom. Kevin Merida, a black journalist who is assistant managing editor for national news, became national editor. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, assistant managing editor for sports and weekend editor, who is Hispanic, became local editor, and Sandy Sugawara, an Asian American who is assistant managing editor for business, became editor of a new Universal Desk, which deals with production. It was later announced that Sugawara's deputy would be Ju-Don Roberts, a black journalist who was managing editor of washingtonpost.com.

This group reports to a top tier that is also diverse: Brauchli and Spayd, who are white, Narisetti, who is South Asian, and now Carswell, who is African American. 

4 Journalists of Color Laid Off at San Diego Paper

At least four journalists of color are among the casualties at the San Diego Union-Tribune, which "conducted a round of layoffs in all departments Thursday, the latest in a series of staff reductions the newspaper and its counterparts across the country have taken in recent years," as the Union-Tribune reported. 

Among those affected were Jerry McCormick, a copy editor and president of the San Diego Association of Black Journalists, Henry Fuentes, a veteran journalist who is the letters editor, photographer Crissy Pascual and Greg Gross, a "breaking news" reporter who covers news for the Internet, according to staffers at the paper. McCormick and Gross are African American; Fuentes is Latino and Pascual is Asian American.

"The move comes three days after Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills private equity firm, completed its acquisition of the paper from its longtime owner, the Copley Press Inc.," the Union-Tribune said.

"A total of 192 positions will be eliminated, effective July 6, the company said in a statement. Senior managers told the affected employees Thursday in meetings organized by department. The company said employees will receive transition assistance and termination benefits."

Gross, a reporter for the paper since 1976, "noted that the cuts followed the newspaper's acquisition on Monday by Platinum Equity, a Beverly Hills investment firm," Chris Bagley wrote in the North Country Times. "The acquisition was announced in mid-March, following 80 years of control by San Diego's Copley family.

"You had a feeling that the other shoe was going to drop," Gross said in the story. "You just didn't know when. It didn't really come as a shock." 

In the annual diversity census of the American Society of News Editors, the Union-Tribune reported 23.1 percent journalists of color, including 5.2 percent Asian Americans, 3.7 percent blacks, 14.2 percent Hispanics and no Native Americans.

Henry Wins Appointment as Berkeley Journalism Dean

Neil Henry Neil Henry, a former Washington Post reporter and staff writer for Newsweek magazine, has been named dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley for a full term, the school announced on Thursday. 

Henry has been a Berkeley faculty member since 1993 and interim dean since July 2007. With the appointment, his deanship is extended to a full five-year term. He did not apply for the permanent position, but the three finalists - Barbara Cochran, president of the Radio and Television News Directors Association and Foundation, Phil Bennett, former managing editor of the Washington Post, and Lincoln Caplan, former writer for the New Yorker magazine - all dropped out last month.

"Dean Henry declined our request to apply for the permanent position when the national search for a new dean was launched last fall in order not to interfere with efforts to recruit the best possible candidate pool," Provost George W. Breslauer wrote to alumni.

"As many of you are aware, that search recently ended without an offer being made to any of the finalists. Yet throughout this process, Dean Henry has remained supportive, gracious, and deeply loyal to the School and its public service mission. His commitment to faculty, students, staff, and alumni, and his exceptional talents for calm administration, have been proven beyond measure.

"He has eased divisiveness in the GSJ community, built understanding and trust among its varied constituencies, and succeeded hugely as a fund raiser.

"Dean Henry's stewardship of the School has seen the birth of a nationally leading digital news initiative funded by the Ford Foundation to serve neglected Bay Area communities in a time of crisis," the letter continued. "He has strengthened ties to private donors and new major philanthropies. He has launched the first-ever collaboration between the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and a school of journalism.

"Dean Henry also has worked to maintain Berkeley's place as a central player in the national discussion about the future of journalism and new media. Next fall the school will host an eagerly anticipated national conference at Google dedicated to future business models for media and journalism. A widely recognized author, beloved teacher, and distinguished former correspondent for the Washington Post and Newsweek magazine, his brief tenure as dean has already seen some of the most innovative new media curricular reforms in the nation.

"In the past year alone, Dean Henry has raised more than $5 million for the School's new initiatives, including two endowed chairs under the Hewlett Challenge."

Henry worked for 16 years as a metro, national and foreign correspondent based in Nairobi, Kenya, for the Post and as a staff writer for Newsweek magazine. He is the author of a 2002 racial history, "Pearl's Secret: A Black Man's Search for His White Family." His second book, "American Carnival: Journalism Under Siege in an Age of New Media," was published in 2007.

May 6, 2009

Iranian Appeals Court to Hear Saberi Case

Freelancer Ends Hunger Strike After 2-Week Prison Fast

"An Iranian appeals court will review the conviction of imprisoned Iranian American journalist Roxana Saberi next week, a judiciary spokesman said Tuesday," as Thomas Erdbrink reported Wednesday in the Washington Post.

Roxana Saberi with former Iranian President Mohammad Khatami (courtesy of Saberi family/National Public Radio) "The announcement of the review came after Saberi's family agreed not to employ a group of prominent lawyers headed by Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist Shirin Ebadi.

"'Judicial authorities have advised us that it is better to use other lawyers,' said the journalist's father, Reza Saberi.

Meanwhile, Reuters' Fredrik Dahl reported from Tehran, "Saberi has ended her hunger strike in a Tehran prison after refusing food for two weeks, her father said on Wednesday.

"The 32-year-old started eating again on Monday after beginning a hunger strike on April 21 in protest against her eight-year jail sentence on charges of spying for the United States, her father Reza Saberi told Reuters.

"Reza Saberi, who said on Tuesday his daughter was 'very weak,' said he and others had urged her to start eating again after she only consumed two dates and some water with a little sugar during her 14-day fast."

Saberi, a freelancer who is a citizen of both the United States and Iran, was arrested in late January for working in Iran after her press credentials had expired.

The case prompted an outcry from journalism and human-rights organizations, and the U.S. government has demanded her release, calling the spying charges baseless.

The Post's Erdbrink wrote that, "On Tuesday, Iranian judiciary spokesman Ali Reza Jamshidi told reporters that Saberi's case 'has been referred to an appeals court, where it is being studied.' He added that a hearing has been scheduled for next week, but that it will be closed to the news media and the general public.

"Although Jamshidi did not announce a specific date, Reza Saberi said he thinks the hearing will be May 12. 'We hope for a lenient verdict,' he said."

Separately, Marisa Guthrie of Broadcasting & Cable wrote this week that the cases of Saberi and of American journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee, who are being held in North Korea, underscore the vulnerability of freelancers, "who work without the political resources and public clout of large, internationally recognized news organizations.

"The dearth of public comments about Ling and Lee stands in stark contrast to the outcry over Saberi," Guthrie wrote. Saberi has reported for the BBC, National Public Radio, Fox News and other news organizations, while Ling and Lee were working on a piece for the lesser-known Current TV, about North Korean refugees fleeing to China.

"They were picked up by a military patrol when they allegedly crossed the border from China into North Korea. According to the official Korean Central News Agency, the investigation has concluded, and Ling and Lee will be tried, though a trial date is unknown," Guthrie wrote.

Moreover, "More Western news organizations are relying on freelance journalists to cover foreign countries where economic realities have forced the closure of fully staffed bureaus," increasing the likelihood of such incidents.

Senators Facilitate Debate on "Future of Journalism"

Sen. John Kerry called hearing a 'first conversation.' Diversity advocates like to say that attention to diversity will be the salvation of newspapers, but the "D" word hardly came up Wednesday at a Senate committee hearing on the plight of struggling newspapers in the digital era.

Instead, the session, Webcast on the Commerce Committee's Web site, provided a common space for various players with a role in that plight to present their views.

Speaking up for those who toil in newsrooms were David Simon, the onetime Baltimore Sun reporter who has gone on to produce such television series as "The Wire" and "Homicide: Life on the Street," and to a lesser extent, Steve Coll, former managing editor of the Washington Post, and James Moroney, publisher and CEO of the Dallas Morning News.

Add to that list some of the senators, who surprisingly, praised journalists, particularly as investigators who uncover wrongdoing at the local level. It is that watchdog role that makes journalists' fate a public policy issue, they said.

Defending their stances as beneficiaries of new media were Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor in chief of the Huffington Post, and Marissa Mayer, vice president, search products and user experience of Google Inc.

Alberto Ibarg?ºen, president and chief executive officer of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and former publisher of the Miami Herald, was in the middle. The Knight Foundation funds some of the new media journalism initiatives. Nothing Congress could do would be more important than providing universal digital access, Ibarg?ºen said.

Moroney testified that Congress could help newspapers partially by giving them a limited antitrust exemption so they could collaborate in experimenting with "innovative content distribution and cost-saving arrangements; and ensure that newspaper publishers have a mechanism to get reasonable compensation from Internet companies that reproduce or repackage their breaking news content for commercial gain," as William Douglas reported for McClatchy Newspapers.

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., has introduced a bill to help newspapers restructure as nonprofit organizations.

But Moroney said it would take $600 million to run his paper as a nonprofit Web site, given how little advertising goes to the Web compared with the print product. He "emphasizes that it's important to preserve the newsroom, not the newspaper, but that so far it's the newspaper carrying the bulk of the newsroom," as Clint Hendler wrote in a live blog of the session for the Columbia Journalism Review.

Mayer insisted that the elephantine search-engine company helps newspapers by driving traffic to their Web sites. They are not fully taking advantage of the medium, she said, failing, for example, to use the conclusions of stories to lure viewers to other content on the Web site. (Moroney said dallasnews.com already does that.)

Huffington, who said the Huffington Post employs 60 people, including 10 full-time investigative reporters, said that citizen journalists were uncovering stories that newspapers claimed would be lost without them. She mentioned stories about the financial meltdown as well as the blogger who captured then-candidate Barack Obama at a San Francisco fund-raiser using the word "bitter" to describe some rural white voters last year.

"The day I will run into a Huffington Post reporter at a zoning board hearing is the day we'll reach equilibrium," Simon said. In referring to the free availability of journalists' work on the Web, he asked, "Does content have value? Does intellectual property have value?"

When Mayer said early on that a successful business model for news organizations was simply in a state of transition, Kerry said the question was whether the nation could afford the loss of so many journalists' jobs in the meantime.

Coll said policymakers must determine where the public interest is located. He provided the answer: In investigative reporting at the local and state level. The members of Congress agreed.

"Life changes; business models change," said committee chairman John Kerry, D-Mass. "I want to guarantee" that whatever emerges after the turmoil "doesn't leave behind the possibility for a couple of police reporters to hold the president of the United States accountable for a crime," referring to Richard Nixon and Watergate.

Charles Robinson, a board member of the National Association of Black Journalists, said he told Kerry and Cardin that he hoped whatever emerged would include the "D" word, reminding them that diversity needs to be a part of the dialogue.

"There were no people of color involved in the overall discussion and that was disappointing," Robinson told Journal-isms. He also said he approached Huffington about getting "more diverse voices in her mix of writers."

"This is a first conversation," Kerry said in his closing remarks, "and I hope it leads to more."

Delma Francis said, "One thing my situation has instilled in me is humility." (Credit: Raoul Benavides/MinnPost)

Two Years After Buyout, Reporter Says She's Broke

"Now when I say I'm broke, I mean it — as in $10 to my name until my next unemployment check. You see, I'm the poster child for what the current economy is doing to the middle class," Delma J. Francis wrote in MinnPost, one of the investigative journalism Web sites that has been projected as the future of journalism.

"Until 23 months ago, I'd never been unemployed," she wrote. "When I took a buyout at the Star Tribune on June 15, 2007, I was sure I'd find another job quickly, although my entire career has been in newspapers — which, as you may know, are not doing a lot of hiring these days. Still, writing and editing are valuable assets to many businesses. What I hadn't counted on was the total tanking of the economy.

"I know there are thousands of Minnesotans coping with unemployment. I write this for them as much as for me. As an occasional freelance writer for MinnPost, I have a voice and a vehicle for letting our fellow citizens know what is happening. Many of them don't.

". . . My dream (aside from landing a full-time job) is to testify on Capitol Hill — to put a face on the plight of the middle-class unemployed. In the meantime, I'm doing what I can to stay afloat — like all too many others."

MinnPost is headed by Joel Kramer, former publisher of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis. According to its Web site, its initial funding of $850,000 came from four families, it has major foundation support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Blandin Foundation, and as of June 30, 2008, the site had 904 member-donors contributing amounts ranging from $10 to $10,000.

Telemundo Abruptly Removes Its Chicago Anchor

Vicente Serrano asked President-elect Barack Obama in December whether Bill Richardson's appointment as commerce secretary was a 'consolation prize' for not being named secretary of state. (Credit: NBC News)When Vicente Serrano, the main anchor for NBC-owned Telemundo Chicago, was last in this column, he had asked President-Elect Barack Obama what he thought about the disappointment among some Latinos that Bill Richardson, who is Hispanic, had not been named secretary of state, but commerce secretary. That was in December.

On Monday, after six years on the anchor desk, Telemundo abruptly removed Serrano from his job, Veronica Villafane reported Wednesday in her Media Moves column.

"He was called in to work earlier than usual on Monday. When he arrived at the station, he was immediately directed to the human resources office, where he was told that due to financial constraints, he would no longer be part of the news team. His contract technically ends in June of 2010.

"Vicente tells me he was surprised and disappointed at how things were handled. He was told the decision was made last Friday, however, the station waited until the day after he participated in a company sponsored Cinco de Mayo community event before sending him off.

"Vicente recently completed and debuted a documentary about the deportation of legal immigrants during the Great Depression.

"'I can't believe it,' he says. 'I expected more from the company I dedicated my life to for the past six years.'"

Baltimore Sun Really Did Fire Him in the Press Box

David Steele"Full disclosure: the first two times I was given stunning news about my newspaper job — in 1986 at the about-to-merge St. Petersburg Evening Independent, and in 1991 at the about-to-be-defunct National Sports Daily — I didn’t get it face-to-face either time," David Steele wrote Wednesday for RealClear Sports.

"Also full disclosure: the latter time, I learned while in the press box at a Baltimore Orioles game, too.

"Of course, I was, respectively, 21 and 26 years old back then. It’s a little different when you’re 44, when you’ve been in the business more than half your life . . . and when it’s your specific job, not your entire newspaper, which has just become defunct. And when the people responsible for giving you the news were a few dozen blocks away, calling you on your cell phone in the middle of a baseball game you thought you were going to write a column about for the next day’s paper.

"To answer your question: yes, it felt just as bad as you imagine it would. To answer another of your questions: no, I have no real desire to visit the press box at an Orioles game any time soon. Next time, maybe I’ll be told that they’re foreclosing on my house during the seventh-inning stretch.

"It’s sort of funny that even five days later, there were a lot of people in the news industry who thought it was an unconfirmed rumor: that three of the more than 40 Baltimore Sun staffers laid off on Wednesday, April 29, found out when their editors called their cell phones while they were at that fateful Orioles game. Let me confirm that definitively for everybody, because I was one of the ones who got that call, the second of the three, if my timeline is correct. A fourth got a similar call, but with the option of moving out of sports to return to a previous news reporter position. Otherwise, the list of injured bystanders was me, our other general sports columnist Rick Maese, and photographer Elizabeth Malby."

Meanwhile, the Washington-Baltimore Newspaper Guild reported Wednesday that, "More than 50 Baltimore Sun newsroom staff members, including reporters, photographers and other bylined content producers, launched a byline strike today protesting layoffs and heavy handed tactics by owner Tribune Co."

Flu Virus Entangled in Immigration Controversy

"The swine flu virus has infected the immigration debate, with talk show comments like 'fajita flu' and 'illegal aliens are the carriers' drawing vehement protests from Hispanic advocates," Jesse Washington wrote on Saturday for the Associated Press.

Mark Jurkowitz of the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism reported this week that coverage of the flu has dominated news coverage. "From April 27-May 3, the swine flu, or H1N1 as it officially became known, accounted for nearly one-third of the newshole (31%) studied," he wrote.

"The volatile immigration issue had cooled off on talk shows and in the blogosphere as the presidential election and economic crisis unfolded," Washington's story continued. "Now, some are using the spread of the virus to renew arguments that immigration from Mexico is a threat to America.

"There have been no reports of swine flu leading to incidents of discrimination or profiling of Hispanics. But some Hispanics say racist anti-immigration rhetoric fueled the recent rise in hate crimes against Latinos, and they want to prevent another surge.

"Since the virus began to spread, talk radio host Michael Savage has said the Mexican border should be closed immediately and that 'illegal aliens are the carriers.' Another radio personality, Neal Boortz, has suggested calling the virus the 'fajita flu,' and CNN's Lou Dobbs called it the 'Mexican flu,' according to the liberal watchdog group Media Matters."

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists last week "called on the media . . . to be fair and prudent when covering the spread of swine flu in the U.S. and around the world, and resist the portrayal of Mexican immigrants as scapegoats for the possible pandemic."

Reporter Cites Incorrect Reports in Abu-Jamal Case

Mumia Abu-Jamal"Each of the candidates for Philadelphia district attorney recently told Daily News columnist Michael Smerconish that, if elected, they'd pursue the death penalty for Mumia Abu-Jamal in the event of a new sentencing hearing or new trial," Milton McGriff wrote Wednesday in the Philadelphia Daily News.

"One, Seth Williams, noted that he'd attended hearings and studied court documents and trial notes before making his decision."

Abu-Jamal is the onetime president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists who is on death row, convicted of gunning down a Philadelphia police officer 28 years ago. A radio journalist who has become an international rallying point against the death penalty, Abu-Jamal lost his case for a new trial last month when the Supreme Court let his conviction stand.

McGriff is a Philadelphia journalist who reported on the case for the Philadelphia Tribune. part of the black press, from 1998 to 2000. He wrote his master's thesis at Iowa State about the case, and knew Abu-Jamal in 1969, when he was a member of the Black Panther Party, according to the Daily News.

"Three police reports and a page one Daily News story (Jan. 9, 1982) on preliminary-hearing testimony aren't in the original trial record," McGriff wrote. "Amazingly, in both the reports and the story, police officers, one an inspector, claim to have heard a wounded but talkative Abu-Jamal make two separate admissions of guilt in the early morning hours of Dec. 9, 1981, when authorities say he fatally wounded police Officer Daniel Faulkner.

"But what the police reports say was incorrectly reported by the D.A.'s office in a 'proposed finding of fact' prepared by Assistant D.A. Hugh Burns for the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

"The 'error' covered up information damaging to the state's case, and no one has ever moved to correct the official record.

"Hiding the official testimony of officers suggests that other information may be hidden, too."

White Ex-Anchor Claims "Hostile Work Environment"

In Philadelphia, "former Fox29 weekend anchor Tom Burlington has alleged in a suit that station management discriminated against him for using a racial epithet during a planning meeting at which colleagues discussed a news story about a mock funeral for the word," Michael Klein reported Wednesday for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"Burlington, 41, of Malvern, was suspended after the incident and dismissed eight months later, in February 2008, at the end of his contract.

"In his lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, Burlington, who is white, asserts that he was subjected to a hostile work environment because of his race.

"Burlington previously had filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which closed the case without issuing a determination.

"In the suit, Burlington says that on June 23, 2007, he and about eight colleagues discussed plans for the evening's broadcast. Robin Taylor, a white reporter, mentioned her story, in which a youth council of the NAACP symbolically 'buried' the racial epithet. In describing her story, Taylor used the phrase 'n-word' and not the epithet, says the complaint, filed against Fox and its parent company, News Corp."

The story picks up from there . . .

Short Takes

  • Nicole WongNicole Wong, a business reporter at the Boston Globe who volunteered in March to be laid off so that another journalist could remain at the paper, has been named one of nine Knight-Bagehot Fellows in economics and business journalism, Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism announced. "The mid-career fellowships provide full tuition and a living stipend of $50,000 for experienced journalists to take graduate courses at Columbia's Schools of Business, Law, and International and Public Affairs."
  • Kathy WilliamsNews Director Kathy Williams, who abruptly left Fox-owned KRIV-TV in Houston in March, is rejoining KPRC as its assistant news director, the station announced Monday, David Barron reported for the Houston Chronicle. Williams "is returning to the station where she started her TV career in 1985. She will work with Rick McFarland, the station‚Äôs newly appointed news director and a friend and colleague for more than 20 years. 'I had opportunities, but there‚Äôs nothing like being at home,' Williams said."
  • Alice K. Morris, executive producer/video operations for ABC-owned KGO-TV in San Francisco, is leaving the station, Morris confirmed. "In August of this year I would have celebrated 29 years with the company, and over 30 years in television news. Monday of last week I was told that I would be laid off, and that Friday May 1st would be my last day. I was the only African American in management at the station, and I am still trying to digest what took place," Morris told Journal-isms. Next, she added, "I want to push the envelope and maximize my experience and knowledge. Public Relations, Communications Director ‚Äî even Public Service ‚Äî I have an interest in all three areas." Morris started as an intern at KPIX in 1976, working with the legendary broadcast journalist Belva Davis.
  • The second annual Be'chol Lashon Media Awards, honoring excellence in coverage of Jewish ethnic diversity, were presented Sunday in San Francisco. Winners, who each received $1,000, included Anthony Weiss for ‚ÄúThe Obamas Have a Rabbi in the Family‚Äù in the Forward newspaper, a piece that discusses Rabbi Capers Funnye, an African American rabbi who is the cousin of first lady Michelle Obama; Jocelyn Frank for ‚ÄúPassover in Uganda‚Äù on National Public Radio; Cole Krawitz, ‚ÄúJen Chau Reflects on Her Work as a Change-Maker for Mixed Race Communities‚Äù on JVoices.com. The "Best of Show" went to Yasmeen Malik of Vox Teen newspaper in Atlanta for ‚ÄúMy Path to Judaism: Converting While Keeping My Muslim Roots.‚Äù
  • "A street sign will be unveiled tomorrow evening renaming the stretch of Armory Place next to WHAS-TV‚Äôs headquarters, Chuck Olmstead Way," the Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal reported on Wednesday. "Olmstead died March 10 after working 34 years as a reporter for Channel 11. The Louisville Metro Council recently passed a resolution directing that the street name be changed to honor Olmstead."
  • In Oakland, Calif., the arraignment of Yusuf Bey IV, the 23-year-old head of the now-defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery a community-group leader accused of ordering the 2007 murder of journalist Chauncey Bailey, was postponed until May 13 on Wednesday, and the judge sealed the grand jury transcripts of a man who says he was the shooter, Terry Collins reported for the Associated Press.
  • "CNN correspondent Jim Acosta returned today from Havana, Cuba, where he has filed reports since late last week for 'American Morning,'" Jim AcostaSteve Krakauer reported Tuesday for the TVNewser Web site. "Acosta, a Cuban American who had never been to the island, was granted a journalists visa last Wednesday and was on a plane the next day. 'This was more than just an assignment in a country that's off-limits for most Americans,' Acosta tells TVNewser. 'It was the trip of a lifetime. My dad left the island when he was 12 years old, two weeks before the Cuban Missile Crisis. All I've ever known about Cuba were my father's childhood memories. So, this journey gave me a chance to put some faces with the memories.'"
  • Jamaal Abdul-Alim, a reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel from 1997 to 2007, has joined Youth Today, a Washington-based newspaper that covers youth work. He had been a Knight-Wallace Fellow at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor during the 2007-08 school year. "A month or so into my fellowship, I took a buyout from the Journal Sentinel, which had begun downsizing when I was at my fellowship. I figured the best time to jump ship would be when I had an eight-month paid fellowship," he told Journal-isms. "After Knight-Wallace, I moved to Philadelphia where I freelanced, taught chess and pursued a few other literary projects and some educational endeavors. I joined Youth Today in December 2008. I cover 'College & Careers' through a position funded through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation."
  • Patrice Gaines, a journalist with an interest in incarceration issues and in empowering women, has been awarded a Soros Justice Fellowship to write articles "exploring the impact of mass incarceration on African American communities. In some neighborhoods, half of the young male population is in prison or on probation or parole," the Open Society Institute announced last week. Gaines is an author, columnist and former Washington Post reporter who now lives in Lake Wylie, S.C.
  • Alissa Krinsky of TVNewser compiled a list of journalists giving commencement addresses. They include: CNN's Dr. Sanjay Gupta: University of Michigan Medical School, May 8; PBS' Gwen Ifill: Howard University (D.C.), May 9, Marymount University (Va.), May 10, Simmons College (Mass.), May 15, Georgetown University, May 16; CNN's Suzanne Malveaux: Gannon University (Pa.), May 9, Montgomery College (Md.), May 22; CNN's Soledad O'Brien: Florida A&M University, May 3; CBS' Randall Pinkston: Jackson State University (Miss.), May 9; CBS' Byron Pitts: North Carolina A&T State University, May 9, Delaware State University, May 17.
  • "TIME magazine last night turned on the wattage for its sixth annual 100 Most Powerful People ceremony, which drew everyone from First Lady Michelle Obama and talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey to two of the three founders of blogging phenomenon Twitter," Keith J. Kelly wrote Wednesday in the New York Post. "It was high tech meets show biz meets politics."

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 BugMeNot.com 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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