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Reporter to Testify at R. Kelly Trial

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Princell Hair to Head News for Comcast SportsNet

Shot Was Fired Through Window of Critic's Home



Chicago Sun-Times music critic Jim DeRogatis, who provided police with the sex tape at the heart of the R. Kelly child pornography case, is expected to be questioned by Kelly's attorneys on Tuesday, Kayce T. Ataiyero reported Monday for the Chicago Tribune.

The New York-based blog the Daily Swarm noted Saturday that the judge in the trial, Vincent Gaughan, ruled that DeRogatis will be compelled to testify if he is called as a witness for the defense.

"But buried in a court filing by the Sun Times' attorneys arguing against the subpoena is a highly charged piece of information, well known by people familiar with the case but never before reported publicly: not long after the Sun Times broke the story of the videotape now at the center of the trial, reporter Jim DeRogatis had a shot fired through the front door of his Chicago home," the blog continued. "Furthermore, the document filed by the Sun Times attorneys (entitled 'Non-Party James DeRogatis's Opposition To Motion For Leave To Issues Subpoenas To Reporter and For Offer of Proof'), alleges 'a pernicious pattern of intimidation and harassment' and strongly suggests R. Kelly is responsible for the violent and threatening act."

Gaughan ruled that DeRogatis "is not protected by any reporter's privilege or the 1st Amendment because he is the first person known to have possessed the video," the Tribune reported on Friday.

"The defense has the right to question him about what he may have done with the VHS cassette between the time he received it and the moment he handed it over to the authorities, according to the ruling.

"Gaughan will not allow the defense to ask him about his sources or subpoena any reporting notes he took before he gave the tape to a law-enforcement official, according to the ruling. However, he must turn over notes from an interview he conducted after police began investigating the case.

"DeRogatis most likely will assert his 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination and not answer certain questions while on the stand, his lawyer said.

"The defense intends to question DeRogatis about whether he manipulated, morphed or copied the video after receiving it. The singer's attorneys contend the music critic — who spent years chronicling the R&B superstar's relationships with young women — has a personal vendetta against Kelly.

"'The bias was so strong it compelled the reporter to break the law,' said Kelly's attorney, Marc Martin."

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Coverage of Bo Diddley Heightened in North Florida



Bo Diddley might be touted in headlines elsewhere simply as a father of rock 'n' roll, but on the Web site of the Gainesville (Fla.) Sun, the story was local: "Rock legend Bo Diddley dies at Alachua County home."

"We're the only local newspaper if you don't count the university, which we don't, so he was a pretty big part of the entertainment world in our area," Lillian Castro, local news editor of the 45,000-circulation paper, told Journal-isms on Monday night.

Entertainment editor Bill Dean was writing the main story as well as an appreciation, he said, and the Sun planned a timeline and reaction from local citizens.

The ABC affiliate, WCJB-TV, noted, "to his family and friends, he was much more than a legend.

"'Whenever grandpa could be home, he was home,' said Garry Mitchell, Diddley's grandson. 'He was glad to be home, because he knew home was where family was.'

"But there's no doubt that thousands in North Central Florida felt a special connection to a man who made his home between Archer and Bronson for the last 20 years.

"Bo Diddley was an active member of his congregation at Archer Church of God in Christ. Mitchell says his granddad was always willing to help out when he found out about needs in the church.

"But it was through music that most people knew Bo. Debby Hastings, his bandleader for the past 23 years, says he was a force to be reckoned with.

"'He was like a freight train,' said Hastings. "He was like 4 guitars at the same time, the way he strummed.'

"Bo Diddley died early Monday morning at the age of 79 in his home almost a year after he suffered a stroke and a heart attack three months apart.

" . . . Bo Diddley was known for invention. He designed his own distinctive 'cigar box' guitar fifty years ago. He also created the distinctive rhythm called the Bo Diddley beat that has been copied by everyone from Buddy Holly to Bruce Springsteen."

News director Brett Buell said the story led several newscasts and that Diddley's music closed the broadcasts.

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Princell Hair to Head News for Comcast SportsNet


Princell Hair

Princell Hair, former executive VP and general manager of CNN/U.S., is joining Comcast SportsNet as senior vice president of news operations. Hair will oversee news, studio programming and digital content for the Comcast networks," the TV Newser Web site reported on Monday.

"Hair was CNN's top news exec. from Sept. 2003 to Nov. 2004. He was replaced by Jon Klein."

"Princell is a veteran national and local news programmer, having headed CNN's news operations as executive vice president and general manager of CNN/U.S., and coordinated news coverage for 39 Viacom television stations in markets across the country," Jon Litner, Comcast SportsNet president, said in a memo.

"In addition to his deep news background, Princell has spent the past eighteen months advising internet start-ups on programming and content strategies to target online audiences. His multimedia experience will be a tremendous asset to our new media development efforts."

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Telemundo Cancels Its Version of "Today"

"Failing to re-create the success of 'Today' on its Spanish-language television network Telemundo, NBC Universal on Friday abruptly canceled its morning show 'Cada Dia,' " Meg James reported Saturday in the Los Angeles Times.

"The decision underscores the difficulty Telemundo faces in competing against the more powerful Univision Communications Inc., which dominates the Spanish-language market in the U.S. The Latino broadcasting business, which a few years ago was booming, is facing the same weak advertising conditions as English-language media.

"The move also highlights the continuing struggles of NBC Universal to crack the code for Spanish-language TV six years after parent General Electric Co. paid $2.7 billion for Telemundo. Attempts to borrow winning formulas from NBC haven't done the trick, analysts said."

"Other key changes announced today include the move of news and sports senior evp Jorge Hidalgo to head up the network's sports operations and its roll out of Telemundo's coverage of the upcoming summer Olympics. He also will continue to direct the growth of the network's broadcasts of the Mexican National team and its road to the 2010 World Cup," Della de Lafuente wrote Friday for Marketing y Medios.

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Obama Seen as Better Than McCain on Media Reform

"The next President will make two important decisions. The first will be whether to accept media reform legislation or veto it. There is little doubt that Congress has shifted dramatically as a result of popular pressure. Corporate lobbyists who used to worry only about battling one another for the largest slice of the pie know the game has changed. The 2008 elections will almost certainly increase support in both houses and from both parties for media reform, according to Robert W. McChesney and John Nichols, writing for the May 29 issue of the Nation magazine.

"Second, the next President will appoint a new FCC chair who will command a majority of the commission's five members. This is a critical choice. The right majority would embrace the values and ideals of the thousands of media critics, independent media producers and democracy activists who will gather June 6-8 in Minneapolis for the fourth National Conference for Media Reform. Dissident commissioners Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, who have battled the FCC's pro-Big Media majority on issues ranging from media ownership to net neutrality and corporate manipulation of the news over the past four years, will both address the conference. If Copps, the senior of the two, is named chair, this savvy Washington veteran is prepared to turn the agency into what it was intended to be by Copps's hero, Franklin Roosevelt: a muscular defender of the public interest with the research capacity and the authority to assure that the airwaves and broadband spectrum, which are owned by the people, actually respond to popular demand for diversity, competition and local control.

". . . Don't look for a President John McCain to hand Copps the chairmanship. There is a clear difference" between McCain and Democrat Barack Obama "when it comes to what the candidates say about media issues, and an even clearer difference in their records. Although many GOP voters, and some back-benchers in Congress, are supportive of media reform, the commanding heights of the party are a wholly owned subsidiary of the media giants. On the surface McCain may appear to be a complex figure who straddles the fence. In the increasingly distant past he occasionally tossed out a soundbite recognizing citizen concerns. But in recent years he has invariably championed the corporate lobbies. McCain's free-market rhetoric about government-created and indirectly subsidized media monopolies is increasingly recognized for what it is: propaganda to advance the policy objectives of massive corporations.

". . . While a President Obama would almost certainly be different from a President McCain on media issues, the extent of the difference remains open to debate. Would Obama actually make Copps or someone like him FCC chair? Would Obama move immediately and effectively to break the stranglehold of media lobbyists? That is by no means certain. While his stated policies are encouraging, competing forces are struggling to influence the candidate."

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Puerto Ricans Said to Show Ambivalence Toward U.S.

Hillary Clinton "registered an even bigger landslide win over Barack Obama here than preelection polls had predicted," columnist Juan Gonzalez reported from the island Monday in the New York Daily News.

"But there's another strong message that Puerto Rico's electorate sent to Washington. Despite all the attention and furor the Democratic presidential campaign has stirred in the 50 states, less than 15% of Puerto Rico's registered voters turned out.

"Such numbers reveal the deep ambivalence many Puerto Ricans feel about their political relationship with the U.S. How else can you explain that close to 10,000 independence supporters marched noisily through Old San Juan yesterday calling for a boycott of the entire primary?"

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Obama, McCain Teams Deny Ignoring Latino Media

"The Obama campaign has almost completely ignored Latino media, and the McCain campaign is even worse, writes La Opinión columnist Pilar Marrero," as summarized by an editor's note from New America Media Saturday over Marrero's piece. But the Barack Obama and John McCain campaigns disagree.

"Apparently the reporter was unaware that John McCain has sat down with well over a dozen national and local print, TV and radio Hispanic journalists in the past two weeks and will continue to do so throughout this campaign," Jeffrey C. Sadosky, director of regional communications for the McCain campaign, told Journal-isms. "Even spoke to her very news outlet on one of his last trips to Southern California in late March. Our campaign has numerous spokespeople who work with the Latino press corps, and will have additional staff focused on Spanish-language press outreach on board in the coming weeks."

"I've been here a month," Vincent Castillas, the Obama campaign's coordinator of Spanish media, told Journal-isms. "In my first week, I contacted La Opinión. I attempted to get them other interviews and it didn't happen. After June 3," when the primaries end, "there will be bigger possibilities. We are in the process right now of building good relations with all . . . the media — television, radio and print."

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Howard Dean Denounces Sexism in Coverage

Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, agreed with Geraldine Ferraro on Sunday that, "There has been an enormous amount of sexism in this campaign on the part of media."

Dean was told by George Stephanopoulos of ABC's "This Week" that "Ferraro wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe this week where she talked about the persistent what she said is sexism in the party and the difficulty that Barack Obama is going to have winning over Reagan Democrats. . . . "

Ferraro, the 1984 Democratic vice presidential nominee and a Hillary Clinton supporter, "said that Reagan Democrats see Obama as playing the race card throughout the campaign and no one calling him [on] it as frightening. They're not upset with Obama because he's black. They're upset because they don't expect to be treated fairly because they're white. It's not racism that's driving them, it's racial resentment. And that is enforced because they don't believe he understands them and their problems.

"She's talking about a deep breach. What does Senator Obama need to do?

Dean said, "Well first of all, I'm not going to respond to Geraldine Ferraro's reviews on race because I think they have been outside the mainstream and unhelpful. But I will respond . . . to something she said about sexism.

"There has been an enormous amount of sexism in this campaign on the part of media. Including the mainstream media. We'll leave present company excepted. Because I think that's true. But there have been major networks that have featured numerous outrageous comments that if the words were reversed and they were about race, the people would have been fired. So that's a big issue. And there are a lot of women in this country who — there's two issues here, one is, one candidate is ahead and one is not. That happens all the time in primaries and you get over that. What you don't get over is deep wounds that have been inflicted on somebody because they happen to be a woman running for president of the United States.

Stephanopoulos asked, "Does Barack Obama get over it by choosing Senator Clinton?"

Dean replied, "Well that, we don't know. But I do believe that the issue of sexism in this country has to be addressed."

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Black Bloggers' Troubles Said to Reflect Media Divide

"With its power-to-the-individual approach, the new media world promises anyone with a laptop the possibility of a publishing empire. But, as some black bloggers are finding out, the new media world is a lot like the old one: racially segregated, with many prominent black voices still fighting to be heard," Joe Garofoli wrote Saturday in the San Francisco Chronicle.

"Some bloggers felt insulted this month when the Democratic National Committee selected 55 state-oriented blogs to cover its convention in Denver; critics said few featured African American voices. The DNC said race wasn't considered in its selection from 400 applicants. Officials were more interested in the sites' audience size and how much chatter about local issues appeared on them. The DNC answered critics Thursday by adding several sites led by African Americans to its general blogger pool.

"But some critics say the DNC situation is indicative of a larger media divide. It's a division in which stories like the racially motivated beating in Jena, La., last year lingered for months on black blogs and talk radio before the mainstream press picked up the issue."

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Keith Jenkins to Head NPR Multimedia Efforts


Keith W. Jenkins

Keith W. Jenkins, the multimedia director at the Washington Post who became one of more than 100 newsroom employees taking a buyout on May 15, is joining National Public Radio as supervising senior producer for multimedia.

"I will head up their growing multimedia efforts. I am very, very happy! I start in July," Jenkins told Journal-isms.

Meanwhile, two other journalists of color accepted buyouts from the paper. Sushant Sagar, Indian-born, Washington-raised sports copy editor, started work Sunday at USA Today, according to Robert Robinson, deputy managing editor for sports. Karl A. Payne, an editor in the zoned weekly sections who came to the Post in 1984 after 13 years at the Detroit News, said he would devote his time to raising a 14-year-old son. "I'm 62, and raising black men in America is more than an idle challenge," he told Journal-isms. "I feel good about that" as well as his newfound freedom, he said.

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Short Takes

  • "New York Daily News Columnist Juan González, University of Texas at Austin Professor Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez, Ph.D. and Francisco P. Ramírez, editor of El Clamor Público, Los Angeles' first Spanish-language newspaper will be inducted into the NAHJ Hall of Fame," the National Association of Hispanic Journalists announced last week. This year's NAHJ Hall of Fame Gala takes place July 25 at the Unity convention in Chicago.
  • "Longtime Plain Dealer reporter Margaret Bernstein has won the National Association of Black Journalists' Community Service Award for her efforts to improve Cleveland's black community through her writing and volunteerism," the Cleveland newspaper wrote on Friday. "I try to live and write with purpose," said Bernstein in the story. "I'm always the proudest when I write something that jolts readers out of hopelessness and motivates them to get involved to make change in their community."
  • "FOX 29 News at 10 anchor Dave Huddleston is 'clearly disappointed' with the station's decision to not renew his contract, the anchor told us yesterday," Dan Gross wrote Saturday in the Philadelphia Daily News. "June 13 will be his last day at Fox 29, where he started in June 2002 after coming from a job in Minneapolis. 'There's new management and they want to do what they want to do,' said Huddleston, who is 44 today."
  • Naseem Sowti Miller, health reporter at the Ocala (Fla.) Star-Banner, who is Iranian-American; Greg Branch, a freelance journalist who is former managing editor of BET News; and Robert Winn, an independent documentary film producer who is Japanese American, are among nine journalists selected to participate in this year's Kaiser Media Fellowships in Health program. Miller plans to study the quality of medical care in jail and prisons; Branch, recruitment of medical personnel from Africa and Asia, and Winn wants to examine the unintended impact of anti-immigrant policies on other disadvantaged communities.
  • "There are many in Congress, including presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain, who'd like to see the adoption of a la carte cable. But many of their minority constituents worry that plan would lead to a homogenization of the increasingly diverse cable landscape. That was the beef raised yesterday by 15 groups that signed a letter to the Federal Communications Commission protesting an a la carte proposal being considered by the agency," Media Life Magazine reported. "The groups claimed that wholesale a la carte, as the proposal is being called, would hurt smaller niche, often minority-owned or focused networks because they would no longer be bundled with larger, more popular networks."
  • The contract of Herman Washington, host of the long-running


Herman Washington

  • "Daily Drum" news program on Howard University's WHUR-FM in Washington, was not renewed, university spokeswoman J.J. Pryor confirmed on Monday. The Web site dcrtv noted Monday that Washington had been with WHUR for more than 23 years. Washington was one of four hosts of "The Real D.C. Morning Show," canceled two years ago in favor of the syndicated "Steve Harvey Show." Washington, 57, told Journal-isms he was with the "Daily Drum" from 1985 to 2001 and from 2006 until May 29. "It was a journalist's dream, especially if you're a minority journalist," he said of the job. "It's reflective of what minority journalists are all about. The audience is so sharp. You have access to resources, congressmen, it's just like a dream," he said. He said he would complete personal projects. [Updated June 3.]
  • "Faubourg Tremé: The Untold Story of Black New Orleans," by Lolis Eric Elie, a columnist for the New Orleans Times-Picayune, and Dawn Logsdon, won a Golden Gate award at the San Francisco International Film Festival, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
  • "New Zealand photojournalist Trent Keegan, found dead in Kenya, was visited by police and security guards from a safari park while investigating a story, a friend said today, the New Zealand Herald reported on Friday. "'This is a devastating loss for those who knew Trent Keegan, a photographer who worked to document people in need of a voice around the world," said Tom Rhodes, Africa program coordinator for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "The Kenyan police must act decisively to bring whoever killed Keegan to justice."
  • "Reporters Without Borders welcomes the policy of transparency currently being applied to the foreign press in the areas hit by 12 May's terrible earthquake and calls on the Chinese authorities to apply the same policy to the Tibetan regions, where the security forces continue to prevent travel by foreign journalists," the press advocacy group said on Friday.
  • "Two Brazilian journalists investigating paramilitaries in this city's sprawling slums say they were kidnapped and tortured by armed men who identified themselves as police, their newspaper reported Sunday," the Associated Press reported on Sunday.

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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