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Newsday: "Mallard" Strip Shouldn't Have Run

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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Conservative Cartoonist Mocked Idea of Hate Crimes

Spanish-Language Papers to Outsource Page Design

Chinese-American Press Asks, "What About Taiwan?"

Asian Journalists Pick Nonprofit Leader as Director

Natives Defend Obama's Actions at Tribal Summit

NAHJ Honors Pieces on Schools, Immigration

Ray Gomez, Texas TV News Editor, Dies at 45

Andrea Lewis, Progressive Broadcaster, Dies at 52

Short Takes

About 20 demonstrators protested in front of Newsday in Melville, N.Y., on Wednesday.  Comic strip, Newsday coverage were at issue. (Credit: Long Island Wins)

Conservative Cartoonist Mocked Idea of Hate Crimes

The Long Island, N.Y., newspaper Newsday, picketed by angry residents aggrieved over the beating death a year ago of a Latino immigrant, said Wednesday it should not have run a "Mallard Fillmore" comic strip that mocked the idea of hate crimes.

Miniature version of 'Liberals: The Early Years.' "We expect the cartoons we publish, many of which are nationally syndicated, to amuse, stir and entertain, but never to offend," said a statement signed by Newsday spokeswoman Deidra Parrish Williams, the newspaper reported. "Hate crime is a serious issue. This nationally syndicated cartoon should never have run and we have expressed our concern to the syndicator."

"The cartoon, penned by Bruce Tinsley, was titled 'Liberals: The Early Years.' It depicted a larger dinosaur chasing a small one. The bigger one says, 'I'm not chasing you because you're a pachycephalosaurus. . . . I'm chasing you because you're delicious.' The smaller dinosaur responds, 'Oh, thank goodness. I was worried that this might be a hate crime,'" reporter Keith Herbert explained in Newsday's story.

"Mallard Fillmore," commemorating its 15th year in syndication, was created as a right-wing alternative to Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury," and appears in nearly 400 newspapers, according to its syndicator, King Features. The strip celebrates what Tinsley called "the conservative underdog."

"Carrying signs that read 'Boycott Newsday,' the protesters demanded that editor John Mancini be fired," according to Herbert's story.

"The demonstrators said they were outraged that a Mallard Fillmore cartoon strip appeared just a week after the one-year anniversary of the death of Ecuadorean immigrant Marcelo Lucero in Patchogue.

"'This was insulting,' said Fernando Mateo, of the not-for-profit advocacy group, Hispanics Across America. 'It touched a chord. This is totally unacceptable.'

"'It's something serious,' said Marcelo Lucero's brother, Joselo Lucero, 35, of Patchogue. 'This is no joke for me. It was a tragedy.'

"In an e-mail to Newsday, Tinsley stood behind the cartoon. 'I take your newspaper's concern seriously, and your readers' perceptions even more seriously,' Tinsley wrote. 'But at the same time, as a cartoonist and former reporter, I don't steer away from controversy.'"

"Authorities allege that seven teenagers stabbed Lucero to death last year, and one has pleaded guilty to first-degree gang assault and fourth-degree conspiracy," Editor & Publisher added.

"The Rev. Allan Ramirez also told a Newsday reporter that many in the community felt that a recent story about one of the teens charged in Lucero's stabbing was a 'puff' item, and that the story and another recent column displayed 'biased coverage' and an 'insulting attitude' toward the immigrant community on Long Island."

The Newsday story said, "Mancini defended Newsday's stories about Long Island immigration issues. 'We stand by our coverage,' he said."

Spanish-Language Papers to Outsource Page Design

ImpreMedia, the nation’s largest Spanish language online and print news publisher, announced Tuesday it would outsource the design, formatting and production of advertising and editorial pages to Mexico-based Business News Group.

"BNG will produce ads and editorial pages for La Opini??n of Los Angeles, La Raza of Chicago, La Prensa of Orlando, El Mensajero of San Francisco and Rumbo of Houston," ImpreMedia said.

Its New York newspapers, El Diario/La Prensa and Hoy, were not mentioned.

On the Web site LAObserved, Kevin Roderick reported Tuesday about La Opini??n, "Staffers are saying that the design staff was called into a meeting yesterday afternoon and told that editorial and ad design are being outsourced to an agency in Mexico. La Opini??n's designers will stay long enough to train their replacements, according to a Facebook post going around. There have been a number of layoffs lately, leaving the newsroom — over 100 people not too long ago — under 40 now."

President Obama tours the Great Wall of China on Wednesday. Chinese-Americans wondered about their business partnerships. (Credit: Lawrence Jackson/White House)

Chinese-American Press Asks: What About Taiwan?

Unlike their mainstream counterparts, Chinese-American media reporting on President Obama's meeting with Chinese students in Shanghai on Monday focused primarily on Obama’s views on Taiwan-China relations, Vivian Po reported for New America Media.

"While the New York Times and Wall Street Journal focused on the president’s promotion of 'universal rights' — freedom of expression, freedom of religion, no restriction to Internet and information access, political participation — ethnic media focused on issues of national relations."

Ning Wang, editor in chief of Sing Tao Daily in New York, one of the largest Chinese newspapers in the United States, said the focus was based on readers’ interests.

"From the perspective of Chinese-American readers, Taiwan-China relations is a more appealing topic when compared to human rights," Wang said in the story.

Po reported, "Chinese Americans coming from China, Taiwan or Hong Kong keep close economic ties with their home countries, Wang said, and were interested in knowing the U.S. position on the Taiwan-China situation and how it would affect their business partnerships in those areas."

Taiwan's Central News Agency transmitted a dispatch that began, "A professor at Chinese Culture University in Taipei expressed worry Tuesday that the United States seems to have further 'comprehended, affirmed and accepted the position of China,' while underscoring the importance of the Taiwan issue in U.S.-Taiwan relations.

"In the wake of the announcement of a joint statement by U.S. President Barack Obama and Chinese President Hu Jintao earlier that day, Tsai Wei said Taiwan's role and function in the Taipei-Beijing-Washington relations might be further marginalized."

Asian Journalists Pick Nonprofit Leader as Director

Kathy Chow Kathy Chow, director of the nonprofit Hands On Sacramento, has been named executive director of the Asian American Journalists Association, the organization announced on Wednesday.

"At Hands On Sacramento, Chow quickly dug the organization out of a deficit by fundraising and launching revenue-generation programs. In addition to turning Hands On around, Chow's management experience includes running the nonprofit's daily operations, leading its staff and overseeing strategic planning and brand marketing to further its mission of encouraging volunteerism," the announcement said.

AAJA left its annual convention in Boston last summer with a projected $237,000 deficit.

Chow's appointment is the association's second try at replacing Rene Astudillo, who held the post for 10 years. It hired Ellen Endo, who was president of the Little Tokyo Business Association and a veteran of 24 years in the television business, in December 2008, but Endo left over "philosophical differences over AAJA’s vision and direction." the association said in July. Since then, Maya Blackmun, a 1987 graduate of the Maynard Institute's Summer Program for Minority Journalists, a longtime AAJA member and a former reporter at the Portland Oregonian, has been acting executive director.

Sharon Chan, national president of AAJA, said in a statement: "We are super excited to have Kathy Chow leading AAJA into this next era. She has the unique combination of nonprofit management, fund development experience and passion about where journalism is headed. She brings a personal commitment to AAJA's mission for increasing diversity in journalism and ensuring that Asian Americans have a voice in the media. The Governing Board is unified in its support for Chow and the energy she brings to AAJA."

President Obama was criticized for the way he addressed Fort Hood tragedy.(Video)

Natives Defend Obama's Actions at Tribal Summit

"In the waning minutes of the day-long White House Tribal Nations Conference, held Nov. 5, President Barack Obama performed two duties: He said goodbye to the hundreds of leaders of sovereign Indian nations whom he invited to Washington, and addressed the horrific shootings at Fort Hood. In doing so, he created a controversy that has perplexed some in Indian country," Rob Capriccioso wrote Saturday in Indian Country Today.

"Some observers who tuned in to see the president’s remarks late in the afternoon expected him to talk only about the tragedy.

"Soon, negative articles were written about the president’s speech, and some said he should have canceled the tribal nations’ summit altogether after the Fort Hood tragedy took place.

"The Drudge Report, a popular conservative-leaning news aggregator, eventually linked to the articles, and the topic soon gained more steam."

Many in Indian country "did not have tolerance for the questioning of Obama’s handling of the situation.

"Some said the commentators who questioned Obama were discounting that he was acting as a strong commander-in-chief by respecting and fulfilling his promise to hundreds of tribal sovereign nations — a role so many presidents before him have ignored.

"Even some conservative American Indians seemed taken aback by the criticism.

"Former Republican Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a citizen of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, said the president did what any good leader would have done — wrapped up quickly and quietly on national TV and then moved on respectfully to the Fort Hood tragedy."

NAHJ Honors Pieces on Schools, Immigration

"From crusading opinion to improve Detroit’s school system to detailed dangers Central Americans faced crossing through Mexico heading to the U.S., the 2009 NAHJ Journalism Award winners show a wide range of work and a true depth of talent," the National Association of Hispanic Journalists said Wednesday in announcing its annual award winners.

"Work like the life-saving probes on the cover up of veterans’ suicides and a faulty liver transplant system driven by profit to a trip through sound of a poor neighborhood struggling for its life and its identity makes NAHJ proud."

Among the winners, reporter Frederick Melo and photographer Brandi Jade Thomas of the St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press "took the news of the day and led the reader deep into the world of an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant scrambling to make a life for herself." [PDF]

The winner for television documentary,"American Nightmare" from TVE Espa?±a, "delves into the economic crisis in the United States and its impact on the people, particularly the Latinos in the country."

Ray Gomez, Texas TV News Editor, Dies at 45

Ray Gomez, arguably 'the most important journalist' in the Laredo, Texas, area. (Credit: KGNS-TV)Ray Gomez, a longtime television news editor who worked at KENS-TV and KSAT-TV in San Antonio, died late Monday at Laredo Medical Center, Carmina Danini reported for the San Antonio Express-News.

"Over the last several years Ray has been [arguably] the most important journalist in our area," KGNS-TV wrote on its Web site. "Ray was the News Director for Pro 8 News, the CW and Telemundo. Without Ray, many of us would not even work here. Ray launched countless careers of broadcast journalists."

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists noted that Gomez was the husband of Diana Fuentes, editor of the Laredo (Texas) Morning Times.

"I can’t imagine a couple more in sync with each other than Ray and Dee Dee,” said NAHJ President Ricardo Pimentel. “Ray was a great guy, a fine journalist and dedicated to NAHJ’s mission."

"Gomez, who most recently worked as news director of KGNS-TV, which has Laredo's only English-language news broadcast, was 45," the Express-News said. The cause of death was complications from pneumonia, said his wife.

"As news director, Gomez was responsible for five daily and two weekend newscasts at Pro 8 News; a daily 9 p.m. newscast on Your CW and morning news updates on Telemundo Laredo.

"Unlike other places where he worked, Gomez had to look out for the safety of his crews covering news in Nuevo Laredo, Mexico, which in recent years has seen an increase in drug-related violence, much of it directed at journalists.

"'I will not force any of my people to cover a story there,' Gomez said in an interview with the Dallas Morning News in March 2006. 'It's their decision.'

"Friends said Gomez had other talents, including stand-up comedy."

Andrea Lewis, Progressive Broadcaster, Dies at 52

Andrea Lewis (Credit: KPFA) "Andrea Lewis, long-time broadcast and print journalist, co-anchor of the KPFA Evening News and host of Pacifica’s Sunday Sedition, died last weekend of an apparent heart attack. She was 52," Max Pringle of KPFA-FM in Berkeley, Calif., wrote Tuesday for New America Media.

"Many thousands of radio listeners awoke to the voice of Andrea Lewis as co-host of the Morning Show and more recently Sunday Sedition. Her warm, relaxed delivery and knowledge of public affairs, music and the arts earned her a loyal following.

"'Andrea was truly a renaissance woman. She could talk about the politics of the day. She could talk about issues and what was going on not only nationally but also locally what,' says Amelia Gonzalez, KPFA Interim Assistant General Manager.

'"But it was also her knowledge of cultural affairs. She was a singer. She sang in the San Francisco Community Chorus and she was an avid golfer. We loved to argue about sports.'

"Andrea’s journalism work earned her accolades. The National Federation of Community Broadcasters recognized her with its Golden Reel award in 2002. In 2004, the California Teachers Association presented her with its John Swett Award for Media Excellence. Andrea was a fellow in the Society of Professional Journalists Diversity Leadership Program from 2006-2007.

"Matthew Rothschild is Editor of the Progressive Magazine in Madison Wisconsin, to which Andrea was a regular contributor. He remembers Andrea as a deft journalist with tools that crossed platforms."

She was also a contributor to other publications on the political left, Bob Egelko added Wednesday in the San Francisco Chronicle.

A memorial service is scheduled Tuesday from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at First Unitarian Church of Oakland, 685 14th St. in Oakland.

Short Takes

  • "It seemed the Washington Redskins would be able to keep their much-protested name after the U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear a case brought by a Native American group," the publication This Week wrote Tuesday. "But now the Skins are facing another lawsuit renewing charges that the team-name is racist. Enterprising journalists and bloggers are already brainstorming alternatives," it said, listing 19 nonracist names for the NFL team. Separately, writing on AOL Fanhouse, Kevin Blackistone recalled that in 1965, his dad and other black ticket-holders had been offended by the inclusion of "Dixie" in the Redskins band's game-day repertoire, as well as the flying of the Confederate flag in the stands.
  • "Lou Dobbs 'would be delighted' to join Bill O'Reilly as a semi-regular contributor, Dobbs says," Gail Shister reported Tuesday for TV Newser. "Dobbs, who resigned from CNN on the air last week, was 'surprised and very flattered' when O'Reilly made the offer on his Fox News show last night, Dobbs said in an interview today." On the Huffington Post site, Mark Potok, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center, wrote after Dobbs' resignation last week that "Dobbs, a supremely self-confident man who often mentions his Harvard education in private conversation, just wouldn't listen."
  • Anna DavlantesIn Chicago, "Anna Davlantes, who bolted WMAQ-Ch. 5 this summer after nine years, has joined WFLD-Ch. 32 as a contributing anchor and reporter for the Fox-owned station's 9 p.m. news," Phil Rosenthal reported Tuesday for the Chicago Tribune. "Her Channel 32 debut is set for Monday, two days before the end of the November ratings period."
  • The site team of the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication recommended Wednesday that Howard University's John H. Johnson School of Communications be reaccredited, the university announced. "The School was found in compliance on all nine standards set forth by ACEJMC," but "The report did reiterate a weakness: the need for a new facility . . . The recommendation for re-accreditation will be forwarded to the Committee of ACEJMC in March and the final determination for re-accreditation will be made by the Council of ACEJMC in April."
  • Russ Mitchell played himself. (Credit: CBS)CBS News Anchor Russ Mitchell made a guest appearance on CBS‚Äô "The Good Wife" Tuesday. Mitchell played himself conducting a jailhouse interview with Peter Florrick, played by the actor Chris Noth.
  • In Palm Springs, Calif., "Local television news reporter and weekend anchor Gloria Margarita is leaving KMIR 6 to head up a local nonprofit group that benefits minority high school students," Monica Torline reported Wednesday for the Desert Sun. "Margarita, 28, will serve as the executive director of the Reynaldo J. Carreon M.D. Foundation. The organization has given more than $1 million in scholarships to local college-bound students since 1992, according to its Web site." Margarita is a recipient of a Carreon scholarship herself.
  • Maxie C. Jackson III, senior director of program development at New York Public Radio/WNYC, has been named president and CEO of the National Federation of Community Broadcasters, consisting of stations, producers and others involved in community radio, Radio World reported on Tuesday. Jackson succeeds Carol Pierson, who is retiring.
  • Last week the Journalism Educators Association hosted its fall national high school journalists conference in Washington, "and I was honored to host a session for a small group of young writers. Early estimates say there were more than 6,000 high school journalists from across the country attending," Lesly Simmons wrote Wednesday for "Later that day I read in Richard Prince‚Äôs Journal-Isms that AOL‚Äôs new news site, Sphere, boasts 17 writers, none of whom are people of color. My heart fell for those kids I‚Äôd talked to just a few hours earlier, who keep hearing that newspapers are disappearing but still want to write because they love it. How sad to think that these kids could hear this news and think that now even the web isn‚Äôt for them."
  • Chris Ramirez, formerly of KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, N.M., will serve as Mayor-elect Richard Berry's communications director, the Albuquerque Journal reported. Ramirez covered City Hall, animal cruelty and other topics for the station. "I knew that after a career in news, I still wanted to serve my community. I'm honored that Mayor-elect Berry has given me this opportunity to help Albuquerque residents get the information they need," Ramirez said in the story.
  • "Earnest L. Perry has helped make diversity count at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism," Lewis W. Diuguid wrote Sunday for the Kansas City Star. "Since 2005, he has been chair and associate professor of journalism studies." Dean Mills, dean of the journalism school, "said he helped start a cross-cultural journalism course about a dozen years ago."
  • "Today is 'Ascot Day' on ESPN's 'Pardon the Interruption,' inspired by the style of journalist and recurring guest, Roland Martin," Matt Dornic wrote Wednesday for TV Newser. "Martin began wearing ascots last year and often sports them at formal gatherings in place of a tie. After his unique style caught the attention of ESPN's Michael Wilbon, Martin sent an ascot for him to wear on the show. An envious Tony Kornheiser asked for one as well."
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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites, but use may be illegal in some states. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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