New Orleans Media Celebrate "Super Saints"
Monday, January 25, 2010
New Orleans Saints meet Indianapolis Colts at the Super Bowl on Feb. 7.
Black Weekly Recalls When Players Boycotted CityOne look at the Webcast of New Orleans' WDSU-TV on Sunday night confirmed that the cliff-hanging 31-28 overtime victory of the New Orleans Saints over the Minnesota Vikings - placing the Saints in the Super Bowl - meant more than the usual football conference championship.
And the media were a part of the celebration.
Cameras took the viewers to Bourbon Street and the French Quarter. "For anybody who grew up here, it's hard to say what it means," a field producer said from the street. "For 40 years, they've cried tears of sorrow. Now they're crying tears of joy."
"I'm a fan," veteran reporter and former anchor Heath Allen said from nearby Elmwood, La. "I was biting my fingernails and my heart was beating. It was a dream come true for me. I've been a fan for 40-some years. I really, really, really enjoyed myself."
Co-anchor Norman Robinson described the victory as "the biggest, greatest present ever to the people of New Orleans."
The New Orleans Times-Picayune had produced newspapers with the banner headline "Super Saints" for fans to wave, and they did with gusto. When the actual Monday paper was published, it sold out.
"We thought we understood how passionate the people of southeast Louisiana are about the Saints. But after selling out this morning's newspaper, we underestimated the demand," the paper announced on its Web site Monday, saying it was printing more copies.
In her Times-Picayune story, Nakia Hogan explained that, "Through all the Mardi Gras parades, Sugar Bowls, Jazz and Essence Festivals, New Orleans has never partied like this.
"More than four years after Hurricane Katrina wrecked this city, severely damaged the Dome and left unprecedented damages, some questioned if New Orleans would ever recover, let alone party like this.
". . . It has taken 43 years to get here, rising from an expansion team whose first roster was pieced together by rejects from other teams."
The Louisiana Weekly, part of the black press, published on Monday and said there was added significance for African Americans.
"The Saints won a game that left the city positively giddy. That night obscure linemen got standing ovations at restaurants chosen for post-game meals; middle-aged white men exchanged fist bumps with Black teenagers in parking lots, Hispanics and Asians earnestly engaged in accented evaluations of team prospects for next week," contributing writer Jay Lake wrote.
"On January 16, 1965 the fledgling American Football League played its all-star game in Houston instead of New Orleans.
"After a lot of groundwork, the game was scheduled to be played at Tulane Stadium on January 11. It was an open secret that New Orleans was being considered for a franchise in the five-year-old league.
"But when African-American players arrived in New Orleans, they were greeted with racial insults in restaurants, barred from night clubs in the French Quarter, and even had difficulty getting taxis. Such was the racial climate after the Civil Rights Act of 1964 had been passed by Congress and signed into law by the President. There were 31 Black players who had made the 58 member all-star team, and they were outraged.
"They didn't call the mayor, or even call for a protest march. Instead they called a meeting at their hotel and, on January 10, they voted not to play in the game. With Ernie Ladd, the 6'9' tackle from Grambling, and running back Cookie Gilchrist of the Buffalo Bills as their main spokesmen, they stood fast in the face of pleas from both white and Black 'leaders' who wanted them to reconsider. Ladd later recalled that Jack Kemp, the Buffalo quarterback, was the only white player to stand with them from the beginning.
"But Ladd also gave credit to AFL owners Lamar Hunt (Chiefs), Bud Adams (Oilers), Sonny Werblin (Jets), and Barron Hilton (Chargers) for ' . . . taking a stand and helping us make pro football history.
"On January 11, the AFL Commissioner announced that the game would be played on January 16 in Houston. The Black players had engineered a successful boycott of an entire city."
As Hogan wrote in the Times-Picayune, "The Saints will meet the Indianapolis Colts, who beat the New York Jets 30-17 in the AFC championship game, in the Super Bowl on Feb. 7 in South Florida."
Her paper was selling reprints of its front page on high quality photo paper, ready for framing, for $25, and a book with "160 pages of full-color photos, stats and columns by the staff of The Times-Picayune" for $26.95.
It's not that Indianapolis fans weren't also celebrating. The Indianapolis Star published an 18-page special section on the Colts.
- Maria Garcia Marks, New Orleans Times-Picayune: New Orleans Saints' season unites fans and families
- Dave Walker, New Orleans Times-Picayune: New Orleans Saints-Minnesota Vikings battle scores huge TV ratings
"Stories like this are very good at reminding people about why we got into this business," said Tony Maddox of CNN International. (Credit: Dudley M. Brooks/Johnson Publishing Co.)
News Outlets Prepare to "Draw Down" from Haiti"Weeks after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the meter is still running for news organizations that have flooded the region with personnel. The bill for Haiti is expected to come to approximately $1.5 million for each broadcast network, say current and former television news executives," Marisa Guthrie reported Monday for Broadcasting & Cable.
"In an event of this magnitude, 'you cover it first and worry about the money second,' said Paul Friedman, an executive vice president for CBS News," Brian Stelter reported Monday in the New York Times.
"Executives acknowledge that the worries arise now. They say, however, that the same technology that let reporters and camera crews arrive ahead of aid shipments will let them withdraw staff from the country but return with relative ease when events call for it.
"Mr. Friedman said Friday that CBS was 'drawing down people as fast as we can, because the story is not as central as it was, and because we‚Äôve got to start worrying about all the money we‚Äôre spending.'
"Susan Chira, the foreign editor of The Times, said the newspaper would decrease staff gradually. She expects 'to have a regular presence rotating in and out of Haiti over the coming year since the reconstruction will be a compelling and important story.'"
Tony Maddox, the managing director for CNN International, "said he expected CNN to maintain some staff in Haiti for months."
CNN's Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta "decided over the weekend to stay in Haiti for another week," Stelter wrote.
" 'I can‚Äôt really imagine going home,' Mr. Cooper wrote on Twitter on Saturday morning. He expressed almost the same sentiment after Katrina.
" 'Stories like this are very good at reminding people about why we got into this business,' Mr. Maddox said."Among the news organizations sending journalists of color to Haiti was theGrio.com, the NBC project targeting African Americans. Staffer Todd Johnson, freelancer Marlie Hall and NBC digital journalist Mara Schiavocampo left on Jan. 13. Johnson and Hall returned to New York on Thursday, but Schiavocampo is still on the ground filing original reports specifically for theGrio.com, spokeswoman Lauren Skowronski told Journal-isms. The reports are collected here.
"TheGrio also has a partnership with the Haitian Times and their reporters are continuing to file stories for TheGrio," she said. "To my knowledge, TheGrio is the only news outlet specifically dedicated to providing news to the African American audience who's been on the ground in Haiti."
Ombudsmen Defend Graphic Photos From HaitiThe ombudsmen at the New York Times, Washington Post and Miami Herald defended the graphic images their newspapers and Web sites have run from Haiti.
"I asked Kenneth Irby, leader of the visual journalism group at the Poynter Institute in Florida, for his assessment of the pictures from Haiti," Clark Hoyt wrote Sunday in the Times. "Irby brings unusual perspectives to the task. He is a veteran photojournalist and an ordained minister, the pastor of an African Methodist Episcopal church in Palmetto, Fla. His wife‚Äôs best friend is Haitian, and her family was still unaccounted for when we talked last week. 'I think the Times coverage has been raw, truthful and tasteful,' he told me, defending even the most graphic images.
"Irby, who has been in touch with photographers in Haiti, said survivors want the world to see what has happened. 'The actual loved ones, the bereaved, implore the journalists to tell their stories,' he said.
"That is exactly what Damon Winter told me. He is the Times photographer who took the pictures that elicited most of the protests to me and much praise on the paper‚Äôs Web site."
In the Miami Herald, Edward Schumacher-Matos wrote the previous Sunday, "The photographs have captured the pain and promise of this catastrophe. Some readers understandably complained about a poignant front-page photo Thursday by Herald photographer Patrick Farrell that showed the panties of a dead young woman being carried in the arms of helper. But as the father of two young women, I wasn't troubled; the photo powerfully conveyed the tragedy of a lost life. There are times to criticize the paper for shortcomings. It is, after all, a human venture that can make mistakes. The Haiti coverage, however, is not one of those times."
In the Washington Post on Sunday, Andrew Alexander quoted Post photo director Michel du Cille: "The magnitude of the story, on so many levels, is so deep that it gives us pause not to run the hardest-hitting images. But we don't go just for the graphic shock value."
"The Post could have mitigated adverse reaction with editor's notes explaining the rationale for running the most troubling photos," Alexander said. "Even if they disagree, readers are more accepting when they know editors have taken their feelings into account.
"But I'm comfortable with The Post's decisions, including the front-page play. Journalism is about truth, and the horrific images convey reality. Photos, even unsettling ones, are meant to capture our emotions."
- Eric Deggans blog, St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times: A modest proposal to preserve ethical journalism in Haiti: When you're helping, turn the cameras off
- Bob Richter, San Antonio Express-News: We have become a nation of bellyachers
Deaths of 3 Haitian Journalists Confirmed"The Association of Haitian Journalists has recorded at least three media fatalities and one seriously wounded journalist as a preliminary toll from the earthquake that struck the Caribbean island on January 12," Jean Roland Chery reported Sunday for the Committee to Protect Journalists.
"In an interview with CPJ from Port-au-Prince, AJH Secretary General Jacques Desrosiers identified the early victims as Wanel Fils, a reporter with Radio Galaxie; Henry Claude Pierre, a Jacmel-based correspondent for Radio Magic 9; and Belot Senatus, a cameraman for Radio Tele Guinen.
"Jean Robert Fran?ßois, a reporter with Radio Magic 9, was seriously wounded. He was preparing a 6 a.m. radio report, when the station‚Äôs offices collapsed. Desrosiers said Fran?ßois, who survived after spending more than 12 hours under the rubble, was evacuated for medical care.
"The AJH itself suffered considerable losses, Desrosiers noted. The organization‚Äôs offices, in the central part of the capital, could not withstand the impact of the earthquake. . . . Desrosiers said the management team of AJH must be realistic in its goals, noting that many journalists have become homeless since the earthquake. They have neither clothes to wear to work nor money to support their families, he said.
"'We are all struggling for daily survival,' Desrosiers said, asking that public support to Haitian journalists primarily be economic."
- Jean Roland Chery, Committee to Protect Journalists:¬†For Haiti‚Äôs Michele Montas, trauma and determination
- Marc P?©ralte Dandin, New America Media: A Letter from Haiti: A Dream Unfulfilled
- Henry Louis Gates Jr., theRoot.com: The Curse on Haiti: It wasn‚Äôt the devil that hurt Haiti; it was Thomas Jefferson.
- RosaMaria Pegueros, Mylatinovoice.com: Saving Haiti, Today and Tomorrow
- Star Tribune, Minneapolis: Letter of the day: Haiti suffers, and Robertson sees the hand of Satan
Obama Writes Piece About Greensboro Sit-InsA letter from President Obama to the Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record commemorating 50th anniversary of the sit-in movement in that city was played at the top of the front page of the newspaper on Sunday.¬†
It was headlined, "Greensboro Sit-Ins Left Mark on Nation": A Personal Message from President Barack Obama."
"It's not every day the President of the United States writes a letter to the editor of the newspaper. In our case, it's not ever. But we published one today. Here's how it came about," Editor John Robinson blogged to readers on Sunday.
"In full disclosure, we did edit him," Robinson said in a postscript. "Because of the way he originally worded the seventh paragraph, the timeline was slightly confusing. Editor Penny Wofford noticed it and fixed it."
Obama's piece began, "In 1960, four young students from North Carolina A&T walked into a Woolworth store in Greensboro, North Carolina, sat down at a lunch counter and reignited a movement for social justice that would forever change America."
It concluded, "To the four young men who courageously sat down to order a cup of coffee 50 years ago, and to all who they inspired, I simply say, thank you."
- John Robinson, Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record: From Negro to black [Jan. 26]
Series on Race Begins in Capital of Old ConfederacyThe Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch, published in the capital of the old Confederacy, Sunday began a series, "Race in Richmond."
"In advance of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and the end of slavery, we launch a new series to examine how the region and its people are merging their history with their future.¬†This will continue to develop throughout the series," the paper said.
The Sunday story, by Michael Paul Williams and Karin Kapidelis, said, "Richmond's story has been treated as an embarrassing family secret, to be told in furtive whispers or spun in exalted myths.
"But Richmond shows signs of awakening from what University of Richmond President Edward L. Ayers terms 'America's amnesia' about its slave-trading past.
"And while this next chapter remains unwritten, some key leaders see a story emerging that moves from denial toward truth and reconciliation."
Readers of the online version, predictably, began debating each other "I don‚Äôt recall seeing any slave auctions in Richmond lately. Get over it! What‚Äôs past is past and nothing can ever be done to change it," wrote a poster named Jack.
"It‚Äôs good to know that rehashing old history is all the problems the black community has to deal with. Everything else must be just great."
Essence, People en Espa?±ol Hurt Less by Ad Decline
Essence and People en Espa?±ol magazines emerged the least scathed among African American and Hispanic-oriented magazines, respectively, when advertising dollars for 2009 were tallied, according to figures from the Publishers Information Bureau.
Essence ad dollars dropped by 10 percent, compared with 26 percent for Black Enterprise, 38.9 percent for Ebony and 35.5 percent for Jet.
Ad dollars for People en Espa?±ol slid by 22.6 percent, compared with 30.0 percent for Latina and 62.7 percent for Readers' Digest Selecciones. Both Essence and People en Espa?±ol are owned by Time Inc.
"Together the 250-some titles tracked by PIB lost . . . a quarter of their ad pages over the course of 2009, making it probably the worst year for magazines ever as publishers struggled against the recession and the flight of readers and ad dollars to the internet," Louisa Ada Seltzer wrote this month for Medialifemagazine.com.
"And yet a dozen and some titles actually reported gains in pages, and they were spread across a wide range of categories. A number of other titles reported page losses that were far less severe than those of their competitors."
The relative successes of Essence and People en Espa?±ol echo the results of circulation figures released in August by the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Essence was one of the few magazines to record an increase in circulation for the first six months of the year, while People en Espa?±ol saw an increase in subscriptions, though it sustained a drop in newsstand sales.
NAHJ Holding Multimedia Workshops in Texas"Consistent with the recent emphasis by the journalist-of-color organizations on training members to cope with the new multimedia environment, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, with Texas State University, San Marcos, is hosting multimedia workshops at the university on Saturday.
"Take advantage of this full-day of intensive workshops¬†which will include training on: editing video using Final Cut Express, streaming live video using laptops and cell phones, using the latest in Social Media for better storytelling and journalism, creating your blog inexpensively using Wordpress, and learning how to shoot and edit good video using the best techniques in video storytelling," the association says on its Web site.
The fee is $75 for members and $100 for nonmembers, with reduced rates for students.
Majority of Reporters, Editors Depend on Social Media"An overwhelming majority of reporters and editors now depend on social media for their story research, a new survey of journalists has found," Megan Garber reported Monday for Columbia Journalism Review.
"Among the journalists surveyed by Cision, a media analysis firm, and George Washington University‚Äôs Program in Strategic Public Relations: 89 percent said they use blogs for story research, 65 percent use social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, etc.), and 52 percent use microblogging services like Twitter. Surprisingly, only 61 percent use Wikipedia (or perhaps more accurately: admit to using Wikipedia)."
- A memorial service Saturday in St. Paul, Minn., for Deborah Howell, former editor in Minnesota and for Newhouse News Service, and later Washington Post ombudsman, "drew more than 200 relatives, friends and acquaintances in what amounted to a blue-ribbon list of Twin Cities journalism and politics ‚Äî two circles with which she was intimate," Dave Orrick reported Saturday in the Pioneer Press. "The lesser-known, as well as the notorious, sides of Howell, a pioneering journalist and former editor of the Pioneer Press, were remembered and celebrated with tears and laughter," he wrote. Howell died Jan. 2 at age 68.
- "Venezuelan regulators have ordered cable and satellite operators to stop carrying one of the country‚Äôs best known broadcasters, RCTV International, along with five other stations, alleging that the broadcasters violated a requirement to air President Hugo Ch?°vez‚Äôs speeches," the Committee to Protect Journalists reported with disapproval on Monday.
- Barack Obama "is the first truly wired president, the first to have Internet access at his desk and to converse regularly via e-mail," Anne E. Kornblut and Michael A. Fletcher wrote Monday in the Washington Post. "His advisers said he looks for offbeat blogs and news stories, tracking down firsthand reporting and seeking out writers with opinions about his policies. Obama was particularly interested in Atlantic Online's Andrew Sullivan's tweeting of the Iranian elections last year, said an aide, who requested anonymity to discuss what influences the president." Senior adviser David M. Axelrod "said the president reads 'magazines like crazy,' including the New Yorker, the Economist, Sports Illustrated and Rolling Stone.'"
- "Fox News's decision to stick with its opinion shows Friday night while their competition carried the 'Hope for Haiti Now' telethon worked for ratings," Chris Ariens reported Monday for MediaBistro. "Fox News more than doubled CNN and MSNBC which carried the concert and telethon from 8pm-10pmET."
- Jonathan D. Glater, who was among the journalists of color who decided to leave the New York Times¬†in December in response to the paper's request for 100 buyouts to avoid layoffs, " has joined the UC Irvine School of Law as interim director of academic support. He'll also be teaching writing," Kevin Roderick reported Monday for his LAObserved site. Glater was a legal affairs writer for the Times.
- "Liz Chun, the first female sports director at a major Honolulu television station and the most prominent woman sportscaster in Hawaii history, resigned from her position at Hawaii News Now (KGMB-KHNL) on Friday," the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported.
- Cornel West, the Princeton professor and social activist, was asked by the New York Times, "Ever read fluff?" He replied, "I might pick up Time or Newsweek and take a peek," Cara Buckley reported on Friday.
- Heather Faison, a multimedia journalist at The Philadelphia Tribune, and Chandra R. Thomas "an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in People, Essence, Ebony, Newsweek, Upscale, Heart & Soul, The American Prospect and Atlanta magazines, along with The Root and Time.com Websites," are among five Kiplinger Fellows in Public Affairs Journalism, the John Glenn School of Public Affairs at Ohio State University announced.
- "Oprah Winfrey is the No. 1 personality on television, up three places from where she was last year, according to the Harris Poll, conducted by Harris Interactive," Allison J. Waldman reported Monday for TV Week. "New to the annual top 10 list and landing right behind Oprah was Fox News talker Glenn Beck, with NBC's Jay Leno coming in third."
- "On the heels of yet another public incident between his anchors, MSNBC president Phil Griffin reined in his talent in a staff memo Friday afternoon," Danny Shea reported in the Huffington Post. "Griffin sent a memo, obtained by the Huffington Post, to network talent and executive producers clamping down on infighting within the network."
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