Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

Penalized for Diversity!

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Monday, July 28, 2014

Updated July 29

Study: Advocacy Backfires on Those Who Are Not White Men

Newspaper Journalists of Color Increase by 1 Percent

. . . In Local Radio, TV, Better But Still Not There

Smith Sorry for Suggesting Women Can Provoke Violence (Update: ESPN pulls Stephen A. Smith from air in wake of Ray Rice comments)

. . . Ebony in 3rd Week of Series on Sexual Violence

Activist White Women Urged to Unite With Nonwhites

NPR CEO Wants Network to Be "the Leader" in Diversity

British Journalist Can't Get Gaza Suffering Out of Mind

Western Media Lack Sustained Coverage of Much of World

Short Takes

Miles Trinidad, center, a senior at Glencoe High School, works with The Oregonia

Study: Advocacy Backfires on Those Who Are Not White Men

"Valuing diversity is apparently frowned upon in Corporate America — unless you're a white man," Jillian Berman wrote Monday for the Huffington Post.

"Women and minorities who promote diversity from corporate leadership positions tend to get lower evaluations from their bosses and colleagues, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Colorado and University of Texas. . ."

Eight of the 362 participating executives, or 2.2 percent, were listed as working in the media. The co-chairs of the Diversity Committee of the American Society of News Editors were skeptical of the findings.

"I have never been penalized for pushing diversity," Manny Garcia, editor of the Naples (Fla.) Daily News, owned by the E.W. Scripps Co., told Journal-isms by telephone. "It's actually helped me out. You can't be a leader in the industry and not realize the need for diversity. You don't have a choice." Garcia was formerly executive editor and general manager of el Nuevo Herald, and city editor and senior editor at the Miami Herald

Karen Magnuson, editor and vice president/news at the Gannett-owned Democrat and Chronicle Media Group in Rochester, N.Y., replied by email, "The news business still has a long way to go to reflect the demographics of our nation but I haven't personally observed the dynamic cited in this report.

"I've received a lot of encouragement and positive reinforcement from Gannett on being an advocate for hiring and promoting women and journalists of color. Our editorial page editor, Jim Lawrence, was recognized with Gannett's Leadership and Diversity Award. I received the same award in 2007.

"Our industry also recognizes diversity champions through awards such as the Robert G. McGruder Awards for Diversity Leadership."

However, Janice Gin, trustee of the Radio Television Digital News Foundation and former Diversity Committee chair of the Radio Television Digital News Association, said the study might be on to something.

"When white men push for diversity — other white men laud it because it is not threatening," Gin said by email. "It's shared 'think' and easy for them to agree that yes, something should be done. When a woman pushes for gender equality — to the bosses who are often white men, it is a threat because it implies they haven't been doing such a good job. When a minority pushes for diversity — to the bosses who are often white men, it is a threat because it says they haven't been doing such a good job. When a woman of color pushes for diversity — it's a double whammy. . . ."

Berman continued for the Huffington Post, "The study was based on two experiments. In the first, researchers studied the performance evaluations of 362 high-level executives. The evaluations were given by bosses and peers to execs in a leadership-training program. Women and minorities who got high marks for valuing diversity — like understanding different cultural backgrounds and managing workers with different backgrounds effectively — got lower scores in their reviews than women and minority colleagues who didn't appear to value diversity as much.

"White men didn't appear to suffer in their performance ratings for valuing diversity.

"But that experiment didn't prove that valuing diversity hurt performance scores. So the team did another experiment. In this one, 395 students watched trained actors playing human-resources professionals pitching to hire certain candidates. Some pushed for the non-white-male candidates and emphasized diversity in their pitch. Others advocated for the white male candidates.

"The students watching the presentations reacted negatively when women and minority actors pushed for diverse candidates. Women in the audience winced when they saw women pushing for another woman to get the job for the sake of diversity, according to David Hekman, the lead author of the study and a management professor at the University of Colorado's Leeds School of Business.

" 'They were like, "This is terrible, you're hurting all of us, it makes us all look like we're incompetent and weak, like we can't do this ourselves," ' Hekman said.

"Students reacted pretty positively to pitches for hiring white men, Hekman said — particularly when women and non-white actors were the ones doing the pitching.

"Such reactions may arise from negative stereotypes about women and minorities, the researchers suggested. . . ."

Berman also wrote, "But the study suggests that women and minorities who reach the top gain more personally from being a token than from helping others get ahead. . . ."

In her comments, Gin also said the study reflected human nature.

"I don't have any personal experience per se about being punished in the harshest sense for pushing diversity in the workforce. But 'punishment' can be more subtle. Yes, 'they' hear you, but they don't do anything with the push. It's lip service without saying a word. . . .

"It is human nature: When you feel threatened, you lash back. I suppose that lashing is some form of 'punishment.' I don't know that punishment is necessarily overt. But as I noted in a recent article, there is unconscious bias going on. And that means we do need more diversity training; to root out unconscious bias and then address it. Until then — at least in some places of employment — support for diversity will remain lip service.

"Specifically to journalism/broadcasting, I don't know if anyone is being punished but I know that diversity efforts fell off with the economy; companies not financially supporting diversity related programs, restructuring staff and their business models such that diversity no longer stands on its own, but returned to the HR umbrella of issues. With consolidation of media companies, we will see if diversity rises to a level of concern/interest or whether a lack of finances distract progress."

. . . Newspaper Journalists of Color Increase by 1 Percent

"The number of minority journalists in daily-newspaper newsrooms increased by a couple of hundred in 2013 even as newsroom employment declined by 3.2 percent, according to the annual census released Tuesday by the American Society of News Editors and the Center for Advanced Social Research," ASNE announced on Tuesday.

The number of blacks and Asian Americans went down while the figures for Hispanics and Native Americans rose.

Blacks went from 1,790 to 1,754; Hispanics rose from 1,518 to 1,637. The Asian American figures declined from 1,164 to 1,156; Native Americans went from 141 to 146.

"This year's census also found that 63 percent of the news organizations surveyed have at least one woman among their top three editors," the ASNE announcement continued. "The percent of minority leaders is lower, with 15 percent of participating organizations saying at least one of their top three editors is a person of color. This was the first year the questions about women and minorities in leadership were asked.

"Overall, the survey found, there are about 36,700 full-time daily newspaper journalists at nearly 1,400 newspapers in the United States. That's a 1,300-person decrease from 38,000 in 2012. Of those employees, about 4,900, or 13.34 percent, are racial and ethnic minorities. That's up about 200 people, or 1 percentage point, from last year's 4,700 and 12.37 percent. It is nearly as high as the record of 13.73 percent in 2006. . . ."

Arne Robbins, ASNE executive director, told Journal-isms by email that he had no explanation for the sudden rise in Hispanic journalists or the relatively static figures for Asian American journalists.

However, Hugo Balta, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, messaged, "NAHJ attributes the increase of Latinos being hired to the hiring of entry level and digital positions. While we do not have hard figures, in working with media partners in recruiting, the majority of the open/new positions are for the above mentioned." 

The ASNE release also said, "ASNE's goal is to have the percentage of minorities working in newsrooms nationwide reflect the percentage of minorities in the nation's population by 2025. Currently, minorities make up 37.02 percent of the U.S. population; that number will increase to 42.39 percent by 2025, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. . . ."

ASNE said it also surveyed online-only news sites and that "minorities made up about 20 percent of the workforce of the 105 organizations that responded. . . ." [Updated July 29].

Credit: Radio Television Digital News Association

. . . In Local Radio, TV, Better But Still Not There

"The latest RTDNA/Hofstra University Annual Survey finds the minority workforce in TV news, at 22.4%, the highest it's been in 13 years and the second highest level ever," Bob Papper, emeritus distinguished professor of journalism , media studies and public relations at Hofstra University, reported Monday for the Radio Television Digital News Association.

"The minority workforce in radio rose to the highest level since in the mid-1990s.

"In TV, women news directors rose to the highest percentage ever, and women in the workforce rose to the second-highest level ever. The picture for women in radio news was more mixed.

"Still, as far as minorities are concerned, the bigger picture remains unchanged. In the last 24 years, the minority population in the U.S. has risen 11 points; but the minority workforce in TV news is up less than half that (4.6), and the minority workforce in radio is up 2.2. . . ."

Papper also wrote, "The minority percentage at non-Hispanic TV stations fell from 19.7% two years ago to 19.4% last year to 19% this year.

"At non-Hispanic stations, the minority breakdown is:

"10.7% African American (up from 10.2%)

"5.3% Hispanic (down from 5.5%)

"2.6% Asian American (down from 3.3%)

"0.4% Native American (unchanged from last year)

Papper added, "Minority numbers in radio are up pretty much all across the board. What you cannot see is that those minority numbers are two to three times as high for non-commercial stations as for commercial ones. That's what makes the real difference in those numbers this year. . . ."

The RTDNA survey covers local television and radio stations but not networks.

Stephen A. Smith told ESPN viewers, "To say I was wrong is obvious."

Smith Sorry for Suggesting Women Can Provoke Violence

"Calling himself 'foolish' and 'wrong,' ESPN's Stephen A. Smith apologized Monday for suggesting women may 'provoke' domestic violence," Michael McCarthy reported Monday for

"In a cold opening of ESPN2's First Take program, Smith and ESPN tried to put a damper on the social media fire that's been swirling since Smith made his incendiary comments Friday in a segment about the NFL only suspending Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice two games for knocking out his then fiancee, now wife, at an Atlantic City hotel in February.

"Describing it as the 'most egregious error' of his career, Smith said he's long spoken out against domestic violence. He noted he was raised by his mother and four older sisters.

" 'My words came across that it is somehow a women's fault. This was not my intent. It is not what I was trying to say. Yet the failure to clearly articulate something different lies squarely on my shoulders,' said Smith on the air. 'To say what I actually said was foolish is an understatement. To say I was wrong is obvious. To apologize, to say I'm sorry, doesn't do the matter its proper justice to be quite honest. But I do sincerely apologize.' . . ."

Chris Chase added for USA Today, "Minutes after Smith's segment was aired, the network released a statement saying the analyst wouldn't be suspended.

"We will continue to have constructive dialogue on this important topic. Stephen's comments last Friday do not reflect our company's point of view. As his apology demonstrates, he recognizes his mistakes and has a deeper appreciation of our company values."

Meanwhile, Bob Raissman reported Saturday for the Daily News in New York that Smith "will soon leave ESPN-98.7 FM and take his verbal stylings to [SiriusXM's] 'MDR,' where he will host his own show, according to satellite radio sources." Raissman added, "the idea of Smith working freestyle in the uncensored world of satellite radio is fascinating. . . ."

Neither Smith nor a SiriusXM spokesman responded Monday to inquiries from Journal-isms.

. . . Ebony in 3rd Week of Series on Sexual Violence published "This Is What Rape Culture Sounds Like," by Shanell Simmons on Monday, part of  Week Three of an eight-week series, "Ending Rape 4Ever."

A headline reads, "We weren't exactly surprised at how many 'rapey' song lyrics we could find with a simple search, but to read and remember them reminds us that ending sexual assault also means rejecting music that promotes it. It means educating artists and holding them and their record
labels accountable."

The series attempts to fulfill a pledge made by Johnson Publishing Co. in 2012 after pulled an interview with Genarlow Wilson, who was convicted on child molestation charges at age 17 in 2005. It said then that it was planning "a three-part editorial series to educate Black America about these issues and to provide a platform for the powerful voices of women who have been affected by rape and sexual molestation."

The series began July 11 with postings from Lori S. Robinson, author and activist who was violently raped at gunpoint by two strangers. She reminded readers, as a headline put it, "why stopping sexual assault must stay at the top of the black agenda."

The magazine asked readers to join the conversation by tweeting their thoughts and testimonies to @ebonymag with the hashtag #EndingRape4Ever.

Michel Martin's essay appears in the current issue of National Journal.

Activist White Women Urged to Unite With Nonwhites

"Let's be clear: Women of every background face challenges when they try to balance careers and families, not least of which is the expectation that they should feel guilty for working outside the home even when they have no choice," NPR's Michel Martin wrote Sunday in a cover story for National Journal headlined, "What I've Left Unsaid: On balancing career and family as a woman of color."

"But women of color often face additional pressures that white women are far less likely to encounter," Martin continued.

"Some of those pressures are rooted in economics and are more frequently faced by low-income women; others are applicable across the income spectrum. Together, those challenges boil down to a simple reality: Race matters, including in the responsibilities of family life — particularly taking care of the young, the old, and the sick — that still fall mainly to women."

Martin also wrote, "What has made a trying situation even more painful is the sense that our story is not worth telling. Too often in my baby-boomer generation, women of color have had to fight our way into conversations that should have included us to begin with. That needs to change. It needs to change because while we have many experiences that are similar to those of our white colleagues, we are also living with realities that are very different.

"I believe that if those conversations had taken place, had been truly inclusive, and had considered a broader array of life experiences, we would all be further along than we are now in addressing so many of the things that, for many women, make life more difficult than it needs to be."

The host of the sunsetting "Tell Me More" wrote at another point, "It isn't just the entertainment industry that does a poor job of depicting women of color and their full range of experiences; journalists should take some responsibility for this as well. One former TV boss of mine used to talk about getting a 'white guy in a suit.' The thinking was, if you wanted to show that whatever you were reporting on was a universal issue, you needed to go find a 'white guy in a suit,' either as the subject of the story or even to tell the story. . . ."

Martin's piece concluded, "Women of color have a long history of making a way out of no way, of rising out of circumstances many would consider impossible, of finding hope and purpose in the most difficult circumstances. Surely these are strengths that should be brought to bear on these issues, and surely there is a way for white women to join us in this struggle.

"There is a saying that is popular on some college campuses right now: Check your privilege. As I understand it, it's mainly aimed at advantaged white people who are being admonished to recognize their advantages, especially ones they take for granted.

"I won't presume to speak for all women of color so I will speak for myself: I don't care about that. I don't want your pity, and I can't use your guilt. I don't want my white female colleagues to 'check' their privilege. I want them to use it — their networks, their assets, their relationships — to form a united front with women of color, and to help improve things for all of us."

NPR CEO Wants Network to Be "the Leader" in Diversity

Jarl Mohn, the new president and CEO of NPR, said on NPR's "Tell Me Jarl MohnMore" Monday that "I want us to be, by far, the leader in media and diversity."

Mohn, a veteran media executive most recently was chair of Southern California Public Radio. He assumed the top NPR job on July 1, and said his first meeting was with NPR executives, where "the very first topic that we discussed was diversity and what are we going to do? . . .

"What are the benchmarks? So that we know — are we moving in the right direction? Are we getting better, are we getting worse? Is it showing up in audience? Because I don't question the commitment — the folks here really seem deeply committed to the idea of diversity. Maybe they're executing, maybe they're not. Maybe they have a good plan, maybe they don't. We're going to codify it. We're going to make sure that everybody buys in to not just the concept, but what our plan is to address it. And most importantly — to your question originally when I did the town hall meeting — how am I going to be measured? How are we going to be measured? . . ."

The interview took place as "Tell Me More" prepares to end its seven-year run on Friday, canceled as part of efforts to resolve a $6.1 million budget deficit. Mohn has said he was not involved in the decision but supported it. Martin has expressed her disappointment but said on the show that she would not "relitigate" it.

However, Martin noted that cancellation of the multicultural show had raised questions about the network's commitment to diversity.

"Could we be doing more, should we be doing more? Yes, absolutely," Mohn replied. "Will we be doing more? Absolutely. But if you compare us to our peers or our colleagues in media, general, I think we're a leader already. That's not an excuse not to do more. I want us to be, by far, the leader in media and diversity."

Mohn also said, "You know, the idea of doing individual shows for individual audiences — as a programmer — does not work for me. I think, kind of, the plan that's now afoot for you and for your team — having a greater presence on Morning Edition, having a greater presence on All Things Considered, I think serves everybody in a big way. Because it's introducing to — an already successful show, an already successful, large audience — and giving the opportunity for more people to feel like that programming is for them. . . ."

He said later, "I'm just trying to acquaint myself with, you know, what the data is. The first thing that struck me was, if you look at the benchmarks that are out there, whether it's comparing the newsroom here at NPR with the newsroom of the Wall Street Journal, or the LA Times, or the Washington Post, or the New York Times, this organization does a good job. It really does do a good job. Is a perfect? Absolutely not. There are some areas that we are really far behind on, particularly Latinos. And we have to improve."

At the end of the show, Martin noted that Mohn was a former disc jockey and asked what was on his playlist. He named "Look Ahead" by Future, "Heavy Soul" by Black Keys and "Left Hand Free" by Alt-J.

British Journalist Can't Get Gaza Suffering Out of Mind

"One of Britain's most famous journalists has written that his reporting in Gaza has affected him as nothing he has ever witnessed," Jack Mirkinson reported Monday for the Huffington Post. 

"Jon Snow, who has anchored 'Channel 4 News' in the UK for 25 years, recently traveled to the Palestinian territory to report on the Israeli invasion. In a blog post on Friday, he wrote, 'I feel guilty in leaving, and for the first time in my reporting life, scarred, deeply scarred by what I have seen, some of it too terrible to put on the screen.'

"Snow spent a great deal of time at the Shifa hospital in Gaza, where many of the hundreds of children killed or wounded by Israeli strikes have been treated. In a segment on his Friday broadcast, he said that he'd seen children suffering in ways that he could not get out of his mind. . . ."

Western Media Lack Sustained Coverage of Much of World

"The Western news media are in crisis and are turning their back on the world," Anjan Sundaram wrote Friday for the New York Times Sunday Review. "We hardly ever notice. Where correspondents were once assigned to a place for years or months, reporters now handle 20 countries each. Bureaus are in hub cities, far from many of the countries they cover. And journalists are often lodged in expensive bungalows or five-star hotels. As the news has receded, so have our minds.

"To the consumer, the news can seem authoritative. But the 24-hour news cycles we watch rarely give us the stories essential to understanding the major events of our time. The news machine, confused about its mandate, has faltered. Big stories are often missed. Huge swaths of the world are forgotten or shrouded in myth. The news both creates these myths and dispels them, in a pretense of providing us with truth.

"I worked in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a stringer, a freelance journalist paid by the word, for a year and a half, in 2005-06. There, on the bottom rung of the news ladder, I grasped the role of the imaginary in the production of world news. Congo is the scene of one of the greatest man-made disasters of our lifetimes. Two successive wars have killed more than five million people since 1996.

"Yet this great event in human history has produced no sustained reporting. No journalist is stationed consistently on the front lines of the war telling us its stories. . . ."

Sundaram also wrote, "News organizations tell us that immersive reporting is prohibitively expensive. But the money is there; it's just often misallocated on expensive trips for correspondents. Even as I was struggling to justify costs for a new round of reporting in Congo, I watched teams of correspondents stay in $300-per-night hotels, spending in one night what I would in two months. And they missed the story. . . . News organizations need to work more closely with stringers. . . ."

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 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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Stephen Smith =Black Apologist For Hire

Stephen Smith spends an inordinate amount of time offering up backward commentary on Black men and why we should not wear hoodies of course when he offends feminists he surrenders and coughs ups countless apologies...

Michele Martin: Tell me less now

It still amazes me observing the angst of the MSM designated Black folks who get the pink slip. These 'drive by' temporary privileged Black folks always go out of their way to avoid making 'race' a signficant aspect of their motif until they can dismissed and discarded..

Michele martin is the latest poster girl for this bandwidth of this lot....

Richard: I believe (and hope)

Richard: I believe (and hope) that the next generation of journalists will achieve the kind of commonsense diversity for minority journalists that I have seen in my career of 35 plus years for women journalists. There was one woman in the first newsroom I walked into; when I walked into the newsroom of the 2014 Native American Journalists Association's mentoring group, 12 of the 15 students were young women. They are talented and dedicated young journalists already; see their website at to check out their work. My experience there and by attending Unity 12 leads me to think these kinds of brilliant kids will be transformative to the new universe of multimedia companies. Perhaps I'm being romantic or naive here, but at some point the lightbulb went off over the heads of media execs that hiring qualified women journalists was a no-brainer, and that lightbulb is going to be going off in new age executives' minds about minority journalists. All I think we need to do is train and mentor these young people, and then get out of their way.

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