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N. Korea Pardons U.S. Journalists

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Monday, August 3, 2009

Bill Clinton Succeeds in "Private" Mission

"North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has issued a special pardon to two detained US journalists, the country's state news agency reports," the BBC and other news outlets reported on Tuesday. 

By the end of the day, former president Bill Clinton left North Korea with the two journalists, Laura Ling and Euna Lee, enroute to Los Angeles where the women will be reunited with their families, Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna said in an e-mailed statement, Bloomberg News reported.

Ling and Lee had been found guilty of entering North Korea illegally in March.

Clinton made a surprise visit to Pyongyang on what was described as a private mission.

North Korea's Central News Agency said Clinton apologized for the journalists "illegally crossing the border and committing a grave crime against our nation," according to Martha Raddatz and Joohee Cho, reporting for ABC News.

"Ling and Lee's families said in a joint statement they are 'overjoyed by the news of their pardon,'" the ABC report continued.

"'We are so grateful to our government: President Obama, Secretary Clinton and the U.S. State Department for their dedication to and hard work on behalf of American citizens,' the statement said. 'We especially want to thank President Bill Clinton for taking on such an arduous mission and Vice President Al Gore for his tireless efforts to bring Laura and Euna home.'

"Clinton met with Ling and Lee earlier in what was a very emotional meeting, a government source told ABC News."

"Kim Jong-il issued an order . . . granting a special pardon to the two American journalists who had been sentenced to hard labour," the official North Korean News Agency (KCNA) said in a statement."

Stacey Woelfel, chairman of the Radio-Television News Directors Association, said, "We are pleased that North Korean officials have recognized that journalists - including RTNDA members - covering important international issues are working for people across the globe and deserve the freedom to pursue their stories free of government interference. I have hope the release of Laura Ling and Euna Lee means the government of North Korea understands the basic right of journalists to investigate and report as they see fit." 

"This has been a long and complex process given the situation on the Korean peninsula," added Robert Mahoney, deputy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists. "We know that the families of these two reporters will be relieved to have their loved ones back home."

Paul Richter reported for the Los Angeles Times:

"The negotiations that led to former President Clinton's secret mission to North Korea began as soon as two U.S. journalists were seized by the isolated Stalinist state, and have been spurred on by the administration's hope that they might lead to a resumption of gridlocked disarmament talks, according to people close to the process.

"The goal was a specific deal: If the United States showed respect by dispatching a high-level emissary to Pyongyang, the North would release journalists Laura Ling and Eun Lee, who were arrested along the border with China on March 17. 

"'This has been an orchestrated diplomatic process, carefully calibrated in both capitals,' said a person who has been close to the exchanges since they began. He asked for anonymity because of the diplomatic sensitivity of the issue.

"A large number of respected figures volunteered to be the envoy, including Clinton; former Vice President Al Gore, who is co-founder of the media company that employs the two women; Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John F. Kerry (D-Mass.); New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson; and former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Donald P. Gregg.

"But it became clear that Clinton was the best choice. He presided over a long thaw in relations between the U.S. and North Korea as president in the 1990s and is one of the most important American visitors to the North since his secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, traveled there in 2000."

Glenn Kessler and Stella Kim reported that last point differently for the Washington Post, writing:

"A source familiar with the planning of the visit said the administration's consensus choice to travel to Pyongyang was former vice president Al Gore, who co-founded the news channel that employs the journalists. But North Korea rejected Gore as an envoy."

The Post also said, "Clinton was accompanied on the trip by John Podesta, who was his White House chief of staff, served as Obama's transition chief and is president of the Center for American Progress. Also seen in photos released by the Korean media were David Straub, former head of the Korea desk at the State Department, who is now at Stanford University; longtime Clinton aide Douglas J. Band; and Justin Cooper, who has worked with the William J. Clinton Foundation. In a sign of the significance attached to the visit in North Korea, the English-language version of the Korean Central News Agency Web site declared, "BILL CLINTON ARRIVES HERE," in extra-large type.

A spokeswoman for the Center for American Progress referred questions about who funded the trip to the State Department. News of Podesta's role came as a surprise to staffers at the center. He was believed to be on vacation in Truckee, Calif."

Heejin Koo added for Bloomberg: 

"The U.S. journalists were sentenced in June to 12 years of 'reform through labor' for charges including illegally crossing the border from China. The imprisonment coincided with increased tension with the U.S., with Hillary Clinton pushing through United Nations sanctions against the North following the regime's detonation of a nuclear device in May.

"The White House spokesman earlier today declined to comment on Bill Clinton's visit, saying in a written statement, 'While this solely private mission to secure the release of two Americans is on the ground, we will have no comment. We do not want to jeopardize the success of former President Clinton's mission.'

"Photographs were later released showing Clinton and Kim standing together and smiling. Kim had a stroke in August 2008, according to U.S. and South Korean intelligence officials. He appeared at North Korea's Supreme People's Assembly in April limping slightly and looking gaunt and aged. He is grooming his third and youngest son, Kim Jong Un, as heir, Japanese and South Korean media have reported. The elder Kim will soon transfer power to Jong Un, a South Korean government official has said.

"Yu Ho Yeol, a professor of North Korean studies at Korea University in Seoul, said the visit 'will certainly serve as a turning point in the U.S.-North Korean dialogue.'"

Are Journalists Worth Covering?

August 3, 2009

Updated August 4

At the opening ceremonies of the Native American Journalists Association conference Thursday in Albuquerque, N.M., members danced with traditional Native dancers at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center. (credit: Val Hoeppner/Freedom Forum Diversity Institute)

Media Ignored Native Americans' Silver Convention

The Native American Journalists Association just held a convention in Albuquerque, N.M., celebrating its 25th anniversary. It got almost no coverage from the local or national media, mainstream or Native.

"I don't recall ever seeing or hearing anything from them," Kent Walz, editor of the Albuquerque Journal, told Journal-isms. "As far as I know, they did nothing to seek us out or to communicate with us."

Actually, Editorial Page Editor Dan Herrera explained, someone from NAJA contacted the administrator of the joint operating agreement between the Journal and the now-defunct Albuquerque Tribune about helping to sponsor the conference.

But somehow that request, made last year, got lost amid other priorities — such as implementing significant cuts to the staff — and the paper didn't hear back from NAJA, said Herrera, a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists. "It's a tough time for stuff like that. We probably would have done some sort of sponsorship," he said.

The broadcast stations expressed no such remorse.

"That's something that wouldn't interest anybody other than us in the business," Melinda Dionne, assignment editor at KOAT-TV, the ABC affiliate, said. "A bunch of journalists talking about the business."

"No particular reason" it wasn't covered, said Johnny Chandler, assignment manager at the duopoly of KRQE-TV, the CBS affiliate, and KASA-TV, the Fox affiliate. "It didn't seem to make the agenda, that's all."

'How to Set Up a Tribal Outlet in the Modern Era' featured Jim Gray, Osage Nation principal chief; Denny McAuliffe and Shannon Shaw. Bryan Pollard moderated. (credit: Val Hoeppner/Freedom Forum Diversity Institute)A news executive at the NBC affiliate, KOB-TV, confirmed there was no coverage but did not wish to be quoted.

NAJA officials could not be reached for comment during or after the conference, which ended Saturday. Attendance was said to be smaller than usual, perhaps a couple of hundred.

Other journalist-of-color organizations, larger than NAJA, have received more ink and broadcast time. Newspapers in Florida's Tampa Bay area, site of this week's convention of the National Association of Black Journalists, have already begun their coverage. Registration stands at 1,566, according to Executive Director Karen Wynn Freeman, exceeding projections of 1,495.

The St. Petersburg Times ran a piece by its film critic, Steve Persall, Sunday on the scheduled convention preview of the first Disney film with a black female hero, and one by Eric Deggans, its media critic and president of NABJ's Tampa Bay chapter, on why NABJ is necessary.

"Put simply, mainstream media often struggles to cover stories centered on race difference. And as the highest level of government and society grow more diverse, those stories only increase in frequency and influence. Having a news room with a diversity of staffers increases the probability that coverage will take more viewpoints into account. And that also helps make stories fairer," he wrote.

Shannon Behnken quoted this writer in a Sunday piece for the Tampa Tribune, "Black journalists gather in Tampa as job prospects dim."

"As the media industry continues to struggle and shed jobs, journalists who are also people of color ponder their future and whether gains made in recent years will be lost," it began.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists received generous coverage when it met in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in June, according to Executive Director Ivan Roman. Univision broadcast two of its 6 p.m. news shows from the event, for instance, and there were daily stories in the print media.

"People in Puerto Rico care a lot about journalists," said Roman, who once covered the island. In a place that loves politics, "journalists are seen as the conveyers of the big debates." There are also five all-news radio stations.

When the Asian American Journalists Association meets in Boston next week, "We'll have an advance, and then we'll see if there's more to be done," editor Martin Baron told Journal-isms.

Shirley Leung, the convention co-chair who is also the Globe's business editor, said AAJA had already received coverage on local television and radio. With Commerce Secretary Gary Locke as one of the speakers, she said she is hoping the Globe can snare him for an interview.

"It's simple: media coverage raises awareness. Having the AAJA convention covered by the local press raises the profile of the organization and allows us to highlight important issues — from diversity in the newsroom to the release of journalists Euna Lee and Laura Ling," Americans imprisoned in North Korea. "It says to the Boston community that we have a great group of journalists in town. It's an opportunity for the AAJA to engage with the Asian American community," and with other journalists of color who cannot make it to their own organizations' conventions.

More than 600 have registered, she said, which is "at the high end" of projections. In more economically stable times, AAJA attracts about 1,000, she said.

What would readers have seen if the Albuquerque Tribune, at least, had covered NAJA?

"I would have hoped we would have had what they're doing to promote Native American journalists and to get them into the industry," Herrera said, rather than another story about bleak prospects.

"Journalism is too important to be written off. . . . I feel very, very badly that we didn't give them any coverage."

140 Registered for NAJA Conference

The Native American Journalists Association convention drew just 140 registrants, NAJA president Ronnie Washines told Journal-isms on Tuesday. 

Washines added by e-mail:

"NAJA membership has grown to around 740 members, an increase of over 100 since last conference. NAJA generated conference revenue exceeding expenses. This year's fund raising was bolstered by a benefit golf event, which had nearly 80 golfers turn out.

"Navajo Times' publisher, Tom Arviso did an excellent job coordinating the event, with a majority of the sponsorship coming from Navajo Nation entities.

"The local planning committee, volunteers and NAJA administrative staff put a lot into preliminary conference work, led by local planning committee chairwoman, Shirley LaCourse (daughter of the late Richard V. LaCourse - considered by NAJA as The Dean of Native American journalism). Shirley is not in journalism, but lives and works in Albuquerque and stepped up to chair the local committee on behalf of her father and NAJA.

"NAJA honored its founders in a special recognition event — about ten were in attendance.

"Three NAJA board member seats were up for election and NAPT's Shirley Sneve was re-elected," a reference to Native American Public Telecommunications. "NAJA welcomed Andy Harvey of New Mexico and Brett Merrill out of Oregon as new board members. The board re-seated Ronnie Washines as their chairman; Rhonda Lavaldo as the vice chairwoman; Sneve takes over as treasurer; and Antonia Gonzales is the new secretary. Other board members are Minnie Two Shoes, Lori Edmo-Suppah and Christina Good Voice. Those attending included people who had the foresight back in 1984 to launch the then-Native American Press Association; the ones that have brought NAJA to this point and those students NAJA prays will take over and lead NAJA into the future.

"We had the past, present and future come together to mark 25 years of furthering NAJA's intent and purpose.

"Sadly, and this may be more my fault, the NAJA gathering in Albuquerque maybe was not as newsworthy to warrant local coverage by any media forum.

"NAJA will be in Minneapolis for their 2010 conference. No dates or actual site have been confirmed up yet, but that should take place within the next month or so." [Added Aug. 4]

Novel Strategy: Lifetime Subscriptions at $500 a Pop

American Legacy's summer issue.American Legacy magazine, which for 14 years partnered with Forbes magazine to produce a quarterly African American counterpart to American Heritage, has come up with a novel financial strategy to survive on its own:

It is offering lifetime subscription packages at $500 each.

The package includes:

A lifetime subscription to American Legacy magazine, 10 one-year gift subscriptions, two VIP tickets to American Legacy’s 15th anniversary celebration in 2010; a "Know Your History" board game and T-shirt; and an American Legacy Television DVD set.

"We have a circulation of over 500,000 with 2.25 million readers nationwide. Our objective is to increase our paid circulation over the next 2-3 years. We anticipate that 1,000 current subscribers will become members of American Legacy’s Know Your History Society!" R. Joshua Reynolds, a spokesman for American Legacy, told Journal-isms.

Forbes began easing out of the partnership two years ago. As MediaWeek reported then, Scott Masterson, a senior vice president at Forbes Inc. and president of its American Heritage unit, explained that American Legacy founder Rodney J. Reynolds "had a different vision for American Legacy, while American Heritage had not been profitable. (The brand continues to operate online and through books while Forbes Inc. seeks a buyer.) 'Trouble with American Heritage is, it doesn't get national advertising,' said Masterson. 'There is no market for American history.'"

However, Reynolds was far from pessimistic in a June news release. It said he was "excited about the new opportunities in store for the company," citing its newest product ,'The Know Your History Game,' a family board game about African American history and culture; and the company’s 'Black History Curriculum Guide,' "a resource for educators seeking to integrate multicultural studies into their curriculum in the classroom."

So Many Errors She Warranted Her Own Copy Editor

Alessandra StanleyAt the height of the Jayson Blair scandal of 2003, involving a black New York Times reporter who fabricated stories and made numerous mistakes of fact, Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen wrote what not all of his colleagues were bold enough to say publicly.

Blair had talent, wrote Cohen, who is white, but the fact that his "sloppy work habits and erratic behavior" did not "halt Blair's career in its tracks . . . testifies to a newsroom culture, imposed from above, that cherished diversity — not more than accuracy, but so much so that journalistic standards were bent."

What, then, to make of the case of Alessandra Stanley, who is white?

Clark Hoyt, the Times' public editor, wrote Sunday that "For all her skills as a critic, Stanley was the cause of so many corrections in 2005 that she was assigned a single copy editor responsible for checking her facts. Her error rate dropped precipitously and stayed down after the editor was promoted and the arrangement was discontinued." Until the errors involving last month's obituary of the late CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, "she was not even in the top 20 among reporters and editors most responsible for corrections this year. Now, she has jumped to No. 4 and will again get special editing attention."

Hoyt introduced that thought by saying, "The Times published an especially embarrassing correction on July 22, fixing seven errors in a single article — an appraisal of . . . the CBS anchorman famed for his meticulous reporting. The newspaper had wrong dates for historic events; gave incorrect information about Cronkite’s work, his colleagues and his program’s ratings; misstated the name of a news agency, and misspelled the name of a satellite."

The extent of Stanley's sins can in no way be compared to Blair's. Yet it is interesting that many were quick to ascribe the Times' indulgence of them to race in one case but so far, not in the other.

On Gates, "Anger Has Its Place" Strikes a Chord

Two New York Times op-ed pieces on the Henry Louis Gates Jr. incident in Cambridge, Mass., made the Times' list of "most e-mailed" and were well-circulated over the weekend.

"Anger Has Its Place" was by Bob Herbert, who wrote:

"The president of the United States has suggested that we use this flare-up as a “teachable moment,” but so far exactly the wrong lessons are being drawn from it — especially for black people. The message that has gone out to the public is that powerful African-American leaders like Mr. Gates and President Obama will be very publicly slapped down for speaking up and speaking out about police misbehavior, and that the proper response if you think you are being unfairly targeted by the police because of your race is to chill.

"I have nothing but contempt for that message."

In the other, "Small Beer, Big Hangover," by Frank Rich, the columnist said, "If there was a teachable moment in this incident, it could be found in how some powerful white people well beyond Cambridge responded to it. That reaction is merely the latest example of how the inexorable transformation of America into a white-minority country in some 30 years — by 2042 in the latest Census Bureau estimate —is causing serious jitters, if not panic, in some white establishments."

Not as well circulated was a column by Rose Russell in the Toledo Blade. She found a passage that might explain Obama's initial press conference remark that Cambridge, Mass., police acted "stupidly" in arresting Gates in his own home.

"He is the first president to have any real idea about what Professor Gates encountered. Here's some insight into his empathy with the professor," she said.

"'I can recite the usual litany of petty slights that during my 45 years have been directed my way: security guards tailing me as I shop in department stores, white couples who toss me their car keys as I stand outside a restaurant waiting for the valet, police cars pulling me over for no apparent reason,' he wrote in his 2006 book, Audacity of Hope. 'I know what it's like to have people tell me I can't do something because of my color, and I know the bitter swill of swallowed-back anger.'"

11 Stories Explain, Assess Bailey's Death

"Two years after he was gunned down at 14th and Alice streets, Chauncey Bailey is still listed as editor of the Oakland Post in the newspaper's masthead." Thomas Peele, Josh Richman, Bob Butler and Martin G. Reynolds wrote for the Chauncey Bailey Project.

The newspaper's publisher, Paul Cobb, 65, "called his knowledge of Oakland and local issues 'encyclopedic.' Ken Epstein, a retired teacher, knew when he accepted Cobb's offer last year to succeed Bailey as editor that he could match neither the output nor the knowledge bank. He said he does not even try to.

"Epstein, who is white, called editing the African-American weekly 'the best and most exciting job I've ever had.' Others reiterated the importance that the Post survived.

"The newspaper 'plays a vital role in the community' and has retained its credibility even after losing its editor, said Marvin Tate, acting executive director of the Oakland African-American Chamber of Commerce."

On the second anniversary of Bailey's slaying, the Chauncey Bailey Project has published a two-day series of 11 stories that try to explain the forces that led to Bailey's death and the impact of his passing on others.

"We have also posted a poem, written for this occasion by Chauncey's brother, that honors both Chauncey and the work of our project: The Courageous Message," the project said.

ABC's "This Week" Legitimizes Michelle Malkin

It's been 10 years since Michelle Malkin, then a Seattle Times editorial writer and columnist, disparaged Unity '99 in her column, saying, "I am not a brown jelly bean. . . . For better or worse, I want readers to know me for my ideas, ideology and idiosyncrasies — not for my Filipino heritage. This is why, after more than a half-dozen years in the newspaper business, I refuse to join race-based organizations such as the Asian-American Journalists Association."

Malkin moved to Washington and wrote such works as "In Defense of Internment: The Case for “Racial Profiling" in World War II and the War on Terror" (2004)

By and large, however, Malkin was considered a rather fringe, Ann Coulter-type character — until Sunday, when she was invited to share the reporter's roundtable of ABC's "This Week" with George Stephanopoulos, with mainstream veterans Cynthia Tucker, Al Hunt and Gerald Seib.

It was her first time. "She's a provocative conservative voice with a new book," ABC spokeswoman Emily Lenzner explained to Journal-isms.

"There's no shortage of wingnuts out there, so why would George Stephanopoulos invite on someone too crazy for even Bill O'Reilly?" John Amato asked on his Crooks and Liars blog.

"Only people with a Malkin brain would believe and push across the notion that Americans would rather collect three hundred dollars a week on unemployment insurance rather than get a job that supplies benefits and pays a salary," as Malkin did on "This Week."

"The Huffington Post adds:

"'Everybody just sort of looked at Malkin, like she was INSANE, and George Stephanopoulos very politely said, 'Uhm . . . I don't know if I follow that.' To which Malkin replied: 'BUT IT WAS A CLINTON ECONOMIST, BLARGLE!' Stephanopoulos was still a bit dumbfounded, wondering why anyone in their right mind would take unemployment benefits 'when a job was available.'"

In New Orleans, Willard Andreson is restrained to the seat of a van as he is transported to the hospital on an order of protective custody. (Credit: Rod Lamkey Jr./Washington Times)

Series Examines Mental Stress Wrought by Katrina

"Almost four years after the massive hurricane inundated much of New Orleans and killed about 1,800 people, millions of words have been written about the devastating physical damage to the city, and hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent on the fitful efforts at reconstruction," begins a note over a story Monday by Audrey Hudson, Amanda Carpenter and Rod Lamkey Jr., the first in a three-part series in the Washington Times.

"But almost nothing is said — and relatively little has been spent — on a more silent wreckage: the health of New Orleans residents who were pushed over the edge by the terror and turmoil of the storm and have been unable to recover, emotionally or mentally.

"The Washington Times spent more than three weeks on the streets of New Orleans this spring chronicling the crisis. Reporters and a photographer traveled with the police crisis unit and conducted scores of interviews with victims, their families and the front-line responders.

"In a city that has famously grappled with mental illness for decades, caregivers on the front lines say the problem has grown exponentially since Katrina — and that the number of sufferers still in need of help easily runs into the thousands. Despite the rising scourge, the number of available hospital beds to treat the mentally ill in New Orleans has decreased by more than half. Locals have coined their own name for the mostly silent crisis: post-Katrina stress disorder."

Ex-L.A. Times Journalists Form a Co-op

"Couple of weeks ago it was former Los Angeles Times photographers starting a service to offer their freelance expertise. Now it's reporters and former associate editor Leo Wolinsky," Kevin Roderick wrote on LA Observed.

"We've got a mixed bag of folks but not particularly ethnically diverse, though I can't really say why that is," Scott Martelle, one of the site's founders, told Journal-isms. "I started a Yahoo group for fellow ex-LATers who got laid off or took buyouts as a means of comparing notes on COBRA, unemployment and Trib-specific issues with retirement, etc. From that emerged a desire to do some proactive stuff, and this clearinghouse emerged.

"We have it open to anyone who left the Times during this recent financial crunch, and are kicking in $50 a head to be a member — kind of an informal co-op. That will keep us live for a year, and we'll decide next summer how successful it's been and whether to keep it going. So opt-in is purely self-selected. As for journalists of color, there are a few, and the best thing to do is browse the site — www.thejournalismshop.com — to get a sense of the makeup."

Short Takes

  • The Venezuelan government "announced yesterday that it was withdrawing the licences of a total of 34 radio and TV stations, 13 of which already stopped broadcasting yesterday," Reporters Without Borders said on Sunday. "When the authorities announced the withdrawal of 34 broadcast media licences, they warned that 200 other radio and TV stations could suffer the same fate."
  • After more than a month of detention, several journalists may face trial on charges of "sending pictures to enemy media," the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. "Three documentary filmmakers were arrested today, bringing the total of journalists currently held in Iranian jails to 42, the highest count in the world. The journalists are expected to be among 20 unnamed defendants tried on an array of charges, according to a government statement posted by the semi-official Fars News agency. All were arrested in the aftermath of the disputed June 12 presidential elections."
  • "While knee-deep in completing the September issue, Ebony made the decision to switch gears and carve out a 20-page tribute to America‚Äôs pop icon, Michael Jackson. This special dedication takes a closer look into Michael‚Äôs life as a freedom fighter, philanthropist, friend, family man, entertainer and businessman," Ebony announced.
  • In Chicago, "Reporter Harry Porterfield is returning to Ch. 2, nearly a quarter century after a demotion from weeknight anchor precipitated not only his departure for rival WLS-Ch. 7 but also a lengthy boycott of the CBS-owned station," Phil Rosenthal wrote for the Chicago Tribune. "Porterfield, 81, became available to his former station after ABC-owned Channel 7 declined to renew his contract, citing a need to cut costs in these challenging times for media outlets."
  • "The Freedom Forum, in partnership with the Associated Press Managing Editors and the American Society of News Editors, is accepting nominations for the eighth annual Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership," the foundation announced. "Two awards are given annually: one for newspapers with a circulation up to 75,000; one for newspapers with more than 75,000 circulation."
  • Dharam Shourie, Press Trust of India correspondent in New York who covered the United Nations for two decades, died in New York after a brief illness, the Indo-Asian News Service reported on Thursday. He was 72. "Shourie was editor of the Press Trust of India (PTI) before being posted to the United Nations as its correspondent in 1989. "The genial and affable Shourie had become a fixture for all India-centred events at the UN and in New York and was popular in the Indian community and the South Asian journalist fraternity." More details are offered from the South Asian Journalists Association.
  • The National Association of Hispanic Journalists elected eight regional directors, a student representative and a secretary in electronic voting, the association said on Friday. Elected were Gustavo Reveles Acosta, reporter, El Paso Times, secretary; Ada Alvarez, Florida International University, student representative; as Region 1 director, Miguel Angel Rosa, WIPR-TV Canal 6 Noticias, San Juan, Puerto Rico; Region 2, Maria Burns Ortiz, freelance and ESPN.com; Region 3, Jessica Durkin, freelance, Scranton, Pa.; Region 4, Roberto Pazos, CNN en Espanol, Atlanta; Region 5, Manuel De La Rosa, KIII-TV, Corpus Christi, Texas; Region 6, Fernando Diaz, Chicago Now Project; Region 7, Angela Clemmons, Denver Post; and Elaine Aradillas, People magazine, Los Angeles.
  • The Society of Professional Journalists plans to honor pioneering Tennessee journalist Robert Churchwell with the Helen Thomas Award for Lifetime Achievement on Aug. 29. Churchwell, who died Feb. 1, was the first black journalist to work as a full-time reporter for a Southern general interest newspaper, the Nashville (Tenn.) Banner, which he joined in 1950, SPJ said.
  • Thanks to Alfred Tatum, who grew up in Chicago's Ida B. Wells housing development, "for the last four weeks, 12 young men have gathered in a basement room on the campus of the University of Illinois at Chicago. They are studying the craft of writing," Dawn Turner Trice wrote in the Chicago Tribune last week. "How mighty is the pen for kids who dodge bullets? Consider this excerpt from an essay by Levon Bridges, 14, who lives in Englewood: 'You can take my life and my mind too. You don't have to take my heart. I'm giving it to you. But the one thing you will never get is my pen because without it I'm nothing. Writing is the only thing I have left.'"
  • A federal judge granted a motion by the Honolulu Advertiser to dismiss a racial discrimination lawsuit filed last year by Pati Poblete, who joined the Advertiser in September 2006 as deputy editorial page editor after working at the San Francisco Chronicle, the Advertiser reported on Saturday. Poblete, who is Filipino, alleged that she was transferred from her job to a lesser role and was subjected to discrimination because of her race. "We are pleased that The Advertiser and Jeanne Mariani-Belding, our editorial and opinion editor, have prevailed," Mark Platte, Advertiser editor and senior vice president, said in a statement. Mariani-Belding is immediate past national president of the Asian American Journalist Association.
  • Steven Gray is leaving Chicago, where he wrote for Time.com, to open Time's Detroit Bureau in September as national correspondent, he told colleagues on Monday.

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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