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Sheriff Bends on Ruben Salazar Files

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Documents Could Shed Light on Killing of Iconic Journalist

Zakaria Returns Award From ADL Over Mosque Dispute

Sydney Small Dies at 72, Co-Founded National Black Network

White Men 95% of Political Authors Reviewed in N.Y. Times

Newsday to Hire 34 Journalists; Grow Hyperlocal Coverage

Net Neutrality Backers to Target Poor, Rural Blacks

Children of Illegal Immigrants Put at 340,000

Michelle Obama Takes Message to 5 Meredith Publications

Fat Paychecks for Top Staffers at ProPublica

Short Takes

Ruben Salazar with Robert F. Kennedy in 1968, the year Kennedy was assassinated and two years before the journalist was killed by a deputy's bullet. (Credit: Ruben Salazar Archive/University of Arizona)

Documents Could Shed Light on Killing of Iconic Journalist

"Reversing his previous decision, Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca said Tuesday that he was directing his staff to determine what records might be released regarding former Times columnist and KMEX-TV News Director Ruben Salazar, who was slain by a deputy in 1970," Robert J. Lopez reported Wednesday for the Los Angeles Times.

"On Monday, Baca said he was denying a request by The Times for records that might shed light on the circumstances involving the newsman's slaying, in part because he lacked the resources to review the eight boxes of files.

"The killing, which occurred during a riot after a massive anti-Vietnam war rally in East Los Angeles, left a wound that has yet to heal 40 years later and has caused many to question whether Salazar was targeted.

'The Sheriff's Department has said the slaying was a tragic accident and that the deputy was operating under emergency conditions when he fired a tear-gas missile into the Silver Dollar bar, where Salazar and a KMEX reporter were taking a break from covering the action on Aug. 29, 1970.'

As the University of Arizona wrote in 2008, when a postage stamp was issued in Salazar's honor, "Salazar is recognized as a boundary-breaking pioneer. Mario T. Garcia, a Salazar biographer, lists him as the first Latino to work for the El Paso Herald Post, the first Latino journalist to cross into mainstream English-language journalism, the first Latino journalist to work as a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, and the first Latino journalist to become a foreign correspondent, having reported from the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Vietnam. His work was most influential when he became the first Latino journalist to have a column in a major English-language newspaper, the Los Angeles Times."

Parks, schools, libraries and scholarships across the country have been named in honor of Salazar, the Times noted. The Rub?©n Salazar Scholarship Fund, has been awarded since 1987 by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists to help boost the number of Latinos in newsrooms. "For journalists of color, Salazar is a symbol of the need to push for diversity in the mainstream media and accurate coverage of Latino issues," NAHJ said.

The Times story Wednesday continued, "Baca's decision came as the Board of Supervisors, responding to an article in The Times about the documents, ordered county attorneys to prepare a report by next week to determine whether the records are public and what the costs would be to review them.

"Baca spokesman Steve Whitmore said the sheriff changed his mind because he wants to have all the facts before deciding whether the records will be released.  The sheriff is going to examine all the options and let the analysis of the documents go forward," Whitmore said.

"In an interview, one of Salazar's daughters urged the department to release the records to help bring closure.

" 'It's been 40 long years,' said Lisa Salazar Johnson, who was 9 when her father died. 'I'd like to get an answer to why he's not here and why I had to grow up without a father.' "

Zakaria Returns Award From ADL Over Mosque Dispute

Fareed Zakaria"In an apparent protest this week, the CNN host and Newsweek columnist Fareed Zakaria returned a five-year-old first amendment award  presented to him by the Anti-Defamation League in light of the Jewish group‚Äôs opposition to a mosque that may be built near ground zero," Brian Stelter wrote Friday in the New York Times.

"In a letter to the ADL, Mr. Zakaria said he could not 'in good conscience hold onto the award' given the group’s stance.

"Last week the group said its opposition to the proposed site of the mosque was rooted in the fact that some families of victims of Sept. 11 find the proposal offensive. The group suggested that its backers find a different location."

The ADL confirmed Wednesday that it received the returned Hubert H. Humphrey First Amendment Freedoms Prize on Friday. It was presented to Zakaria, who is Muslim, in 2005.

Abraham H. Foxman, the national director of the ADL, wrote Zakaria:

"I hope you have read our statement on the proposed Islamic Center at Ground Zero and, more importantly, understand our position. We did not oppose the right for an Islamic Center or a mosque to be built. What we did was to make an appeal based solely on the issues of location and sensitivity. If the stated goal was to advance reconciliation and understanding, we believe taking into consideration the feelings of many victims and their families, of first responders and many New Yorkers, who are not bigots but still feel the pain of 9/11, would go a long way to achieving that reconciliation.

"ADL has and will continue to stand up for Muslims and others where they are targets of racism and bigotry, as we have done at the request of and on behalf of Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf.

"I am holding on to your award and check in hope that you will come to see that ADL acted appropriately and you will want to reclaim them."

Sydney Small Dies at 72, Co-Founded National Black Network

"Sydney 'Syd' L. Small, one of the nation's pre-eminent African-American broadcast owners for more than three decades, died suddenly this past weekend in New York. He was 72," Target Market News reported on Tuesday.

Syd' Small"His death was confirmed by Access.1 Communications where he was chairman and CEO. Further information about his passing was not immediately available. The company owns radio stations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Louisiana, also has television stations in Atlantic City and New Jersey.

"Small's pioneering career as an owner in broadcasting spanned 37 years. A native of Brooklyn's Bedford-Stuyvesant, he left an executive position at Time Inc. in 1972 to co-found, with partner Eugene Jackson, Unity Broadcasting Network and National Black Network. NBN was the first African American-owned line connected radio network in the U.S.

"In 1991, in what was to that point the biggest deal in the history of black radio, National Black Network and Sheridan Broadcasting Corporation came together to form what is now American Urban Radio Networks. Today, AURN is the only African-American owned network radio company in the United States. It is the largest network reaching urban America, with more than 200 weekly shows reaching an estimated 20 million listeners.

'Access.1, which owns 49% of AURN, also owns SuperRadio, a general market syndication company which distributes 40 radio programs through over 1400 affiliate agreements with more than 725 radio stations."


Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting looked at New York Times Book Review, C-SPAN. (Credit: FAIR)

White Men 95% of Political Authors Reviewed in N.Y. Times

"A new FAIR study of the New York Times Book Review and the C-SPAN program After Words finds that when it comes to politically oriented books, white male authors and reviewers dominate," the group Fairness & Accuracy In Media reported on Tuesday.

"FAIR's study examined every episode of After Words from March 2008 to January 2010, and the reviews of politically themed books in the Times Book Review from January 2009 to February 2010. In total, the study counted 100 episodes of After Words and 100 reviews in the Times.

"RACE: In the Times, 95 percent of the U.S. authors of political books were non-Latino whites. The reviewer roster at the Times was even less ethnically diverse: Just 4 percent of U.S. reviewers of political books were people of color. On C-SPAN, non-Latino whites accounted for 93 percent of the U.S. authors appearing as guests. Of the 99 U.S. interviewers who appeared, 14 were people of color.

"The study did not find a single U.S. Latino or Native American author or reviewer in either the Times or on After Words during the periods studied.

"GENDER: The numbers on gender were likewise unbalanced, with men the dominant presence in both outlets. In the Times, women made up just 13 percent of the authors and 12 percent of the reviewers. On After Words, women were 24 percent of the authors and 31 percent of the interviewers.

"Among 231 reviewers and authors combined, the Times included just two women of color: PBS news anchor Gwen Ifill and history professor Bettye Collier-Thomas, both African-American authors. The Times published no women of color as political book reviewers."

The Times did not respond to a request for comment. C-SPAN spokesman Howard Mortman said by e-mail, "Constructive criticism of our work is always welcome and we'll certainly take a look at their report in light of Book TV's overall mission to cover contemporary non-fiction books."

[Times spokeswoman Diane McNulty said on Thursday, "We haven't seen the study, but I assure you that diversity is a priority at The New York Times Company."]

Newsday to Hire 34 Journalists; Grow Hyperlocal Coverage

"The Long Island paper Newsday will hire 37 people, including 34 journalists, according to an internal memo obtained by MediaJobsDaily," Ryan Derousseau reported on Wednesday for that website.

"In the memo, Newsday editor-in-chief Debby Krenek explains that the paper will seek to grow its hyper-local coverage of Long Island towns, by adding more beat reporters while also increasing the number of pages focused on local news and opinion by 2,600 for the year.

"It's a sign that the paper will focus on smaller neighborhoods, targeting specific towns and launching 'hundreds of hyper-local pages later this month,' wrote Krenek.

"With other hyper-local sites like AOL Patch starting to creep into Newsday's neighborhood, it's not a surprise to see the local paper expand.

'Newsday also plans to improve its business coverage, by adding more daily reports and creating a new daily business newsletter. The opinion section is also set for a significant enhancement."


Net Neutrality Backers to Target Poor, Rural Blacks

"In a bid to ensure Net Neutrality, the Free Press has commissioned the Harmony Institute to develop a strategy that will target poor, rural African- Americans in the South and women to increase support for a Net Neutrality (NN) strategy," Yaounde Olu reported Tuesday for the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

"Net Neutrality is basically the principle that all Internet traffic should be treated equally. In other words, everyone has access, and all platforms, content, and sites are treated equally. The opposite concept is a system wherein there would be limited or possibly 'tiered' access. This could impact small businesses and other individuals without the economic wherewithal to access all sites.

"According to the Free Press, the core supporters of Net Neutrality are affluent whites, who have easy access to broadband and understand the issues. Poor, rural African-Americans and women, however, are the demographic that must be influenced in order to build a secure NN support base."

The development was reported a day after Google and Verizon unveiled a joint proposal for how traffic on the Internet should be regulated.

"Under the joint proposal, Verizon said it would be prepared to accept restrictions that would limit its ability to favour some types of internet traffic over others. In return, it would have the freedom to charge internet companies extra to have their services carried on a new 'fast lane' running parallel to the existing internet, and would face no restrictions on its ability to block or slow services on its mobile network," Richard Waters reported Monday for the Financial Times.

"The freedom this would give network operators drew strong reactions on Wednesday from some of Google’s biggest rivals. In a statement, Ebay said: 'Two-tier networks with corporate toll lanes would stifle ground-up innovation and benefit dominant businesses at the expense of smaller competitors and entrepreneurs.' "


Children of Illegal Immigrants Put at 340,000

"An estimated 340,000 of the 4.3 million babies born in the United States in 2008 were the offspring of unauthorized immigrants, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Hispanic Center," the center reported on Wednesday.

"Unauthorized immigrants comprise slightly more than 4% of the adult population of the U.S., but because they are relatively young and have high birthrates, their children make up a much larger share of both the newborn population (8%) and the child population (7% of those younger than age 18) in this country."

"The Pew study comes as lawmakers in Washington have been debating whether to consider changing the 14th Amendment of the Constitution, which grants citizenship to anyone born in the United States. The controversy erupted after Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, said in July that he might offer an amendment to revoke birthright citizenship for the American-born children of illegal immigrants," Julia Preston reported in the New York Times.

The number of children of illegal immigrants has become a part of that debate. On NPR's "Tell Me More" on Wednesday, Republican Ernest Istook, a former Oklahoma congressman who is a fellow at the Heritage Foundation, said "Texas became aware that last year there were 60,000 children born in the Lone Star state to parents who are illegal immigrants. . . ." But host Michel Martin told listeners when the segment ended, "We contacted the Health and Human Services Commission in Texas and its research shows that 63,466 children were born to non-citizens in that state last year. That number would include those in the country legally, as well as those who are undocumented."


Michelle Obama Takes Message to 5 Meredith Publications

Each magazine submitted its own questions."Meredith is helping Michelle Obama share her goal of ending childhood obesity and promoting general good health across the country," Alex Alvarez reported Monday for Fishbowl NY. "The First Lady graces the September cover of Ladies' Home Journal, and her message appears in four other Meredith titles: Family Circle, Parents, Ser Padres and Siempre Mujer.

"We spoke with Sally Lee, editor in chief of Ladies' Home Journal, about the innovative way these Meredith titles worked together to bring Michelle Obama's message to their readers.

"Lee explained that each of the five magazines involved submitted their own questions for the First Lady to answer in one interview, each focusing on a specific angle relevant to their respective readership."

Fat Paychecks for Top Staffers at ProPublica

"Add a fat paycheck (by the standards of today's struggling journalism market, anyway) to the list of reasons why it's awesome to work for ProPublica, the Pulitzer Prize-winning nonprofit investigative outfit," Mike Taylor reported Tuesday for Fishbowl NY.

"Yesterday, the organization submitted its 2009 Form 990, a worksheet tax-exempt organizations must turn in to the IRS to determine compliance with tax laws.

"One of the things ProPublica disclosed was the wages of its highest-paid employees. (In its admirable pursuit of transparency, ProPublica posts documents related to its operations on its website.)

"ProPublica paid out $6.4 million in salaries, other compensation and employee benefits last year, up from $4 million in 2008. Each of the top eight employees raked in six figures, drawing down a total of $2.1 million in salary plus $181,181 in other compensation. President and editor in chief Paul Steiger made more than half a million!"

ProPublica reported a staff of 13.3 percent journalists of color in the American Society of News Editors' survey of online news operations, released last month.

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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Exclusion: New Rules of Engagement for NYTBR & C-SPAN

The findings by FAIR  that both NYTBR & C-Span's After Words reviewers and authors are overwhelmingly white males and not people of color is not the newsflash one expects in this era of post racial America.

It is revealing that the depth of this exclusionary posturing by these outlets is so extreme and deep. It is also tragic that in the venues  of literature and intellectual chatter the insights and perspectives of people of color have little if any regard or value . NYTBR & C-Span must address their cultural blind spots.

One wonders if these outlets really realize that their insular posturing diminishes the substance of their productions. This degree of arrogance and contempt for inclusion reflects  the legacy of ignorance something that does not belong in the new post racial era.

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