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Friday, October 28, 2011

Editor Reynolds in New Social-Media, Community Role

In Poll, Two-Thirds Favor More Even Distribution of Wealth

So, How Do D.C.'s Blacks Really Feel About "Redskins"?

Sowell: Bullying Became Issue Because "Gays Are in Vogue"

Rubio Controversy Could Cost Him National Latino Support

Jet Features Obama Cover for 60th Anniversary

Prison-Slavery Comparison Doesn't Mean What It Seems

Heidi Jones Given 350 Hours of Community Service

Short Takes

Editor Reynolds in New Social-Media, Community Role

Print properties of Bay Area News Group. (Credit: BANG)"The Oakland Tribune, Contra Costa Times and several other East Bay newspapers will retain their own mastheads, and the Tribune will open two new community media laboratories in Oakland, executives of the papers' parent company announced Thursday," George Avalos reported for the Tribune.

Martin G. Reynolds, editor of the Tribune, told Journal-isms on Friday that he will leave the editor's job to head the "community media laboratories."

"I can say my new Bay Area-wide role will be an eventual complete transition from the traditional duties of the editor of the paper," Reynolds said by email. Reynolds, a Bay Area native, has been with the newspaper since 1997, starting as a reporter.

"I am very excited and a little sad at the same time," he said. "I have loved being the editor of this newspaper and it has been a joy and an honor to follow in the footsteps of the many editors who came before me. While I will remain very involved with certain aspects of the paper, the media labs and creating the open newsroom and some enterprise reporting projects already in the works, the day-to-day editing of the Trib will eventually fall to someone else.

"But I have complete confidence in our management team and have been very involved in the discussions around who will step in."

Avalos' story continued: "The Bay Area News Group also said it will halt home delivery on Mondays of the Oakland Tribune, The Argus and the Hayward Daily Review, starting sometime in November. The Monday papers will still be available at retail outlets, newsracks and other locations, and there will also be electronic versions.

"BANG had previously planned to combine its East Bay papers into two mastheads, but reconsidered the move based on feedback from the community. The only newspapers whose mastheads will be combined are the Valley Times, Tri-Valley Herald and San Joaquin Herald, and the Oakland Tribune and the Alameda Times Star. The Valley Times, Tri-Valley Herald and San Joaquin Herald will be renamed the Tri-Valley Times. The Alameda Times Star will become part of the Oakland Tribune.

"As part of Thursday's announcement, the company also said the San Mateo County Times would retain its own masthead, rather than become part of the San Jose Mercury News.

Martin G. Reynolds

"BANG operates 12 daily newspapers in the East Bay, South Bay and Peninsula, including the Mercury News, the Oakland Tribune and the Contra Costa Times."

The Oakland Tribune was owned from 1983 to 1992 by Robert C. and Nancy Maynard, who became the first African Americans to own a major metropolitan daily.

John Paton, chief executive officer of the Denver-based MediaNews Group, said that BANG and its parent MediaNews Group plan to emphasize social media and community participation that are focused on local news.

"One of the community media centers that BANG is planning will be in the future downtown Oakland newsroom of the Oakland Tribune, which is moving out of its current location near the city's airport. The other will be a satellite office," Avalos wrote.

"This strategy is in the forefront of the newspaper industry's transition from print-centric businesses to a locally focused provider of news and information across multiple platforms," Paton said in the story.

Referring to Mac Tully, president of BANG, the story continued, "BANG also intends to expand the media laboratory to other newsrooms around the Bay Area as part of what Tully said was an initiative to open the papers' doors to the community."

Cartoonist Mike Luckovich of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution comments on the city's decision to reclaim Woodruff Park early Wednesday, arresting 52 protesters after multiple warnings, according to the Journal-Constitution. "Mayor Kasim Reed told reporters more than 100 officers were involved in the operation, adding the Occupy Atlanta protests, which started more than two weeks ago, had cost the city roughly $300,000,"  the story said. (Credit: Mike Luckovich/Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

In Poll, Two-Thirds Favor More Even Distribution of Wealth

"Almost half of the public thinks the sentiment at the root of the Occupy movement generally reflects the views of most Americans," Jeff Zeleny and Megan Thee-Brenan wrote Tuesday in the New York Times, reporting on the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

"With nearly all Americans remaining fearful that the economy is stagnating or deteriorating further, two-thirds of the public said that wealth should be distributed more evenly in the country. Seven in 10 Americans think the policies of Congressional Republicans favor the rich. Two-thirds object to tax cuts for corporations and a similar number prefer increasing income taxes on millionaires.

"On Tuesday, the Congressional Budget Office released a new study concluding that income distribution had become much more uneven in the last three decades, a report that could figure prominently in the battle over how to revive the economy and rein in the federal debt.

"The poll findings underscore a dissatisfaction and restlessness heading into the election season that has been highlighted through competing voices from the Occupy Wall Street and Tea Party movements, a broad anti-Washington sentiment and the crosscurrents inside both parties about the best way forward."

Peter Hart of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting noted that the Times headlined the story "New Poll Finds a Deep Distrust of Government" and mentioned the findings of wealth distribution in the fourth paragraph.

"So the public favors — by a substantial margin — greater income redistribution and higher taxes on the super-wealthy. And they oppose cutting taxes on corporations," Hart wrote.

"Perhaps the unwillingness of the government to do those things contributes to public distrust of that government."

So, How Do D.C.'s Blacks Really Feel About "Redskins"?

Zema Williams, known as Chief Zee, is the Washington Redskins' unofficial mascot"Fifty years ago this fall, civil rights groups protested the opening of D.C. Stadium, whose most important tenants — the Washington Redskins — were the last National Football League team to remain segregated. A half-century after many area sports fans boycotted the team for racial reasons, the Redskins have an unrivaled hold on Washington’s black community."

So began a lengthy front-page story Thursday by the Washington Post's Dan Steinberg and Chris L. Jenkins, examining the remarkable attachment of African Americans in the Washington area to a team that once shunned them. But the story, which sprang from a Post poll of area sports fans, left out the elephant in the room: the team name, which Native Americans have challenged for at least two decades as racist.

"As far as polling on the name was concerned, we kind of blew it," sports editor Matt Vita told Journal-isms by email on Friday. "It was on the original list of potential questions, and as we revised and worked on them before our polling unit set out to do the survey it dropped off. We regretted it as soon as the results came back."

Vita began his message by saying, "The piece was inspired by the poll. When we saw the results and the numbers we thought hey, that would be an interesting story, especially because of what we knew about the Redskins' history but also because of what everyone sees at FedEx Field and frankly, throughout the area, during football season. The story gave us an opportunity to write about the unique relationship between a sizable and important segment of our readership and a prominent local institution."

How most African Americans feel about the Redskins name will have to remain a matter of conjecture. The team's unofficial mascot is a black man, Zema Williams, who wears an Indian headdress, red jacket and rimmed glasses and is known as Chief Zee. He has attended Washington Redskins games since 1978.

On the other hand, Pacifica Radio's WPFW-FM and at least one black-owned radio station decreed that the team be referred to only as "the Washington football team," local Post columnist Courtland Milloy regularly denounces the name and Head-Roc, a rapper who came to agree with the critics, has composed and performed "Change That Name" in protest.

Sowell: Bullying Became Issue Because "Gays Are in Vogue"

"The current media and political crusade against 'bullying' in schools seems . . . to be based on what groups are in vogue at the moment," according to syndicated black conservative columnist Thomas Sowell. "For years, there have been local newspaper stories about black kids in schools in New York and Philadelphia beating up Asian classmates, some beaten so badly as to require medical treatment.

"But the national media hear no evil, see no evil, and speak no evil. Asian-Americans are not in vogue today, just as blacks were not in vogue in the 1920s," Sowell wrote in his Creators Syndicate column.

"Meanwhile, the media are focused on bullying directed against youngsters who are homosexual. Gays are in vogue.

". . . The school authorities can ignore the beating-up of Asian kids, but homosexual organizations have enough political clout that they cannot be ignored. Moreover, there are enough avowed homosexuals among journalists that they have their own National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association — so continuing media publicity will ensure that the authorities will have to 'do something.' ”

Rubio Controversy Could Cost Him National Latino Support

Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia's Oct. 20 revelation that Sen. Marco Rubio's parents did not arrive in the United States "following Fidel Castro’s takeover," as Rubio had stated on his website, might affect the Florida Republican's chances for national office, Scott Wong wrote Thursday for Politico.

" 'He is a laughing stock in the Southwest … because people discovered he wasn’t telling the truth about his political Cuban exile history,' said DeeDee Garcia Blase, founder of Somos Republicans, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based GOP group that backs a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. 'They are saying, at the end of the day, "He is just like us. His mom and dad came here; they migrated because of economic reasons, just like the rest of us," ' Wong wrote.

"The controversy about when — and under what circumstances — his family arrived in the U.S. has proved to be the first major test for the rising GOP star as he transitions from Sunshine State politics to the national stage, where the exile experience that he’s embraced doesn’t resonate among non-Cuban Hispanics as much as it does in the quaint cafes and bustling streets of Little Havana.

"That cultural divide between his home crowd and the larger Latino electorate could pose a problem for Republicans who have billed Rubio, a favorite for the vice presidential spot in 2012, as their party’s great Hispanic hope."

Jet Features Obama Cover for Its 60th Anniversary

On sale Nov. 1Jet magazine is celebrating its 60th anniversary with an issue that features President Obama, "who exemplifies the very pinnacle of success," while "Inside Oprah Winfrey, Will Smith and Tyler Perry also show us how they are Living The Dream," according to an announcement Friday from Johnson Publishing Co.

"We reside in a country that has seen a lot of change — and the journey hasn’t been easy. JET’s feature, '10 National Policies That Changed Black America,' chronicles the life altering legislation that’s sculpted the African-American experience. From Brown v. Board of Education to the Civil Rights and Voting Acts to the recent Affordable Care Act, JET explores how these policies helped shape the world we live in.

"Beauty may be fleeting but Beauties of the Week are forever. We present a look at some of the sexiest JET Beauties of the Week from the last six decades.

"And what is a trot down memory lane without a look at sports? JET highlights the biggest events in sports history in 'Top Sport Moments Since 1951.' Among them are Michael Jordan’s first NBA title, Hank Aaron’s record breaking [home run], and Venus and Serena Williams’ US Open Championship."

The issue hits newsstands on Nov. 1.

Johnson CEO Desiree Rogers has said a revamping of the pocket-sized Jet, similar to a recent cover-to-cover redesign of Ebony, is on the company's agenda.

On theRoot.com, Joel Dreyfuss wrote this week, "Many people read Jet stealthily rather than publicly, but for a long time the tiny publication was an unmatchable source of news about a community that was largely ignored in the mainstream media.

"That changed as large newspapers integrated their coverage and with the advent of BET, NewsOne and other Internet news and gossip sites aimed at African-American readers. But with a weekly circulation still officially touted at 800,000, Jet has managed to hang in there. May it live long and prosper."

Prison-Slavery Comparison Doesn't Mean What It Seems

In her 2010 book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," Michelle Alexander cites the startling statistic that more blacks are in jail today than were in slavery in 1850. The comparison has since bounced around the Internet.

Alfred A. Edmond Jr., senior vice president/multimedia editor-at-large of Black Enterprise magazine, wrote Friday that while he is sympathetic to the alarm over the number of African Americans in what has been called the prison-industrial complex, context is in order.

"While the fact that today’s Black incarcerated population is larger than the 1850 slavery population in sheer numbers (and alarmingly out of proportion to Black Americans’ share of the U.S. population) is a shocking comparison, it doesn’t really say much," Edmond wrote for Black Enterprise. "That’s because today’s total Black population is far larger than America’s Black population in 1850. So a more accurate and illustrative comparison would be the percentage of the Black population who were slaves in 1850 versus the percentage of the Black population incarcerated today.

"According to the 1850 Census, there were 3.6 million African Americans (including roughly 3.2 million slaves) in the U.S. population. By comparison, in 2010, the Census reported nearly 39 million African Americans (not counting those of mixed races), more than 10 times the Black population in 1850. Based on those figures, it is not plausible, even at first glance, that today’s Black incarceration rates are anywhere near the proportion of Blacks in slavery in 1850. In fact, nearly 90 percent of Blacks in America were slaves 160 years ago. According the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics, non-Hispanic Blacks (including women) are 39.4 percent of the total prison and jail population in 2009. Not even close."

Heidi Jones Given 350 Hours of Community Service

Heidi Jones"Former TV weather lady Heidi Jones apologized to the NYPD as a judge sentenced her Wednesday to 350 hours of community service for faking claims a mystery man assaulted her in Central Park," Melissa Grace reported for the Daily News in New York.

" 'I just want to take a moment to express my sincere and profound apology to all who were involved — most importantly to the Police Department,' Jones told Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Richard Carruthers.

"The community service hours reflect the amount of time detectives spent chasing her bogus claims that she was attacked by a 'Hispanic' stranger in the park and approached by the same man outsider her apartment last fall, prosecutors said."

Short Takes

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Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site 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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