Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

Sister2Sister Magazine Files for Bankruptcy

Send by email
Monday, October 27, 2014

Publisher Says She'll Focus on Online Edition

Native School Shooter Had "Foot in Each of Two Worlds"

Stevie Wonder Visits FCC to Aid Visually Impaired

Three Women of the Black Diaspora

On CNN's Media Show, 11 Guests of 146 Were Black

Advice from BuzzFeed's Ebola Reporter: Break the Rules

Asian Americans Energized Despite Lack of Attention

Justice Dept. Urged to Probe Abuses of Press in Ferguson

A Photographer With Fingers Crossed, Eyes Wide Open

Short Takes

Publisher Says She'll Focus on Online Edition

Sister2Sister, a women's magazine that focuses on black Hollywood, has filed for bankruptcy protection and put the print edition on hiatus so it can focus on its website, publisher Jamie Foster Brown told Journal-isms.

Brown, a onetime secretary to Black Entertainment Television co-founder Robert Johnson, is described on the magazine website describes her as "The Barbara Walters of Print," said Monday that she was preparing an official statement on the publication's status. She is publisher and sole owner of the magazine.

"The community does not want us to go away," Brown said by telephone. She said she especially felt a responsibility to prisoners who "didn't have a voice" and whom she published in the magazine. "We wanted to teach people through celebrities," she said. "God comes through other people." Working with Johnson, she said, "I saw how much power the celebrities have."

Sister2Sister is not listed in the latest circulation or advertising figures for the Publishers Information Bureau or the Alliance for Audited Media, industry bibles. However, a June 2013 profile of the monthly by Mediabistro put its circulation at 135,000. The 64-page October print edition, which was scheduled to leave newsstands on Oct. 14, features seven full-page ads, a one-third page ad for a hair product and a public service spot from the Ad Council on the inside back cover.

Writer Manny Otiko expressed his anger at the publication on Twitter Monday:


Mediabistro described the publication this way in its June profile:

"Background: Initially launched as a newsletter for women in entertainment by industry veteran Jamie Foster Brown, Sister 2 Sister has been breaking stories in black Hollywood since 1988. And, unlike the gossip and innuendo rampant in the blogosphere, S2S routinely gets its information from the stars themselves.

"Whether Halle Berry's ex-husband Eric Benet was denying a reported sex addiction or Tamar Braxton and hubby Vince Herbert were dishing about their reality show, it was S2S that often got stars to open up when other publications couldn't. The mag's trademark Q&A's — often including every 'uh,' 'er,' or 'you know?' an interviewee uttered — enable entertainers to tell their stories freely without fear of being misinterpreted. (Rapper DMX's 'ease' in disclosing that a lover had raped him while he was asleep even landed him in legal trouble in 2006.)

" 'Our stories, they're longer than what you'll find in other publications, but they're really more like conversations than interviews,' explained senior editor Ericka Boston. 'Our mission is to try to teach. So, we'll talk to the entertainers about the lessons that they've learned from whatever experiences they've gone through, and it's more so about achieving an understanding, as opposed to just fishing for a headline.' . . ."

Native School Shooter Had "Foot in Each of Two Worlds"

"You didn't hear it from me," a Native American journalist messaged Journal-isms on Friday night, "but this article identifies the shooter as being 'of Native American descent.' I'm trying to figure out why that's relevant."

The writer was referring to a freshman's shooting rampage at Marysville-Pilchuck High School in Marysville, Wash., that left three students dead, including the shooter. In all, the gunman shot five students before killing himself.

The shooter, Jaylen Fryberg, described variously as 14 or15, was a member of the nearby Tulalip Tribe. So were his victims. But on Monday, members of the media were still trying to figure out the connection to his ethnic background.

A headline Monday in the Indian Country Today Media Network read, "Community Mourns Second Shooting Victim; Won't 'Make This About Race.' " 

Yet the story, by Richard Walker, notes, "Still fighting to recover at Providence Medical Center Everett is Shaylee Chuckulnaskit, 14; and at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, Jaylen's cousins, Andrew Fryberg, 14, and Nate Hatch, 15. According to the hospitals, Shaylee and Andrew are listed in critical condition, Nate is listed in serious condition with a bullet wound to the jaw.

"All six students are citizens of the Tulalip Tribes."

The Seattle Times reported Monday on grieving at the school, with ethnicity part of the story.

"One of those counselors was Randy Vendiola, there with his wife, Monica," Erik Lacitis and Jennifer Sullivan wrote. "They're both Native Americans, and Monica is a member of the Tulalip Tribes, just like Jaylen Fryberg and several of the victims."

"Randy Vendiola said he knew Fryberg's family. 'He was a hunter, he provided for his family: elk, deer,' he said. 'He was a fisherman. He led ceremonies.' . . ."

Craig Welch and Paige Cornwell wrote Monday for the Times, "Jaylen Fryberg, like many Native American children, lived with a foot in each of two worlds". . . . But a day after Jaylen walked into the Marysville-Pilchuck High School cafeteria and shot two of his cousins and three other students — most of them also Native American — before killing himself, those who knew him were struggling to understand where Jaylen got lost navigating these universes. . . ."

In the Bellingham (Wash.) Herald on Saturday, Andrew Gobin, a member of the Tulalip Tribes who grew up on the reservation and knew Fryberg, outlined the shooter's extensive grounding in tribal culture in a story headlined, "School shooter raised in Tulalip traditions; his actions defy explanation." Gobin wrote, "Culture and tradition can fall away. Not for Jaylen. He was viewed as living hope for the tribes' future . . ."

The Seattle Times, in an editorial Friday, urged caution. "Answers about how and why a freshman student opened fire in the high-school cafeteria will come. Speculation in the absence of facts serves no one," it said.

By Monday, the shooting was still news in Washington state, but less so in the rest of the country. The Seattle Times said in its Friday editorial, "What does it tell students about their future when on campus mass-shooting drills are routine? . . ."

Stevie Wonder Visits FCC to Aid Visually Impaired

"Yes, you heard it right!" reported Friday.

"Stevie Wonder, the legendary songwriter and recording artist, made the rounds, live and in person, at the FCC recently.

"He met with the Chairman and the other four Commissioners to advocate for greater availability of audio description services to provide better access for the blind to television programming.

"Mr. Wonder noted that he can go to his choice of movies in many theaters today and get a headset that delivers video description; but when the same movies are shown on television, the video description is absent. Captioned television for viewers with impaired hearing has made great strides over the years, and it’s time for video description to make similar progress. . . ."

Three Women of the Black Diaspora

Ann Simmons, reporter for the Los Angeles Times, left, Maryum Ali, daughter of Muhammad Ali, and Yelena Khanga, a Russian talk-show host, reunited in August by happenstance in Los Angeles after first meeting in Russia nearly 30 years ago. Ali is a social worker specializing in gang prevention. Simmons, a British native, made this video of their reunion in the Los Angeles Times newsroom. (story and video)

On CNN's Media Show, 11 Guests of 146 Were Black

"CNN has been wrestling with outside criticism from minority groups," Betsy Rothstein wrote Monday for the Daily Caller. "Engage? Cut them off? Ignore? A closer look at the weekend media show, 'Reliable Sources,' hosted by Brian Stelter, isn't going to make the situation any better.

"The Daily Caller's Mirror blog studied the last six months worth of guests. The results are as follows: 11 black guests in 6 months. In other words, 11 guests out of 146 guests were black. That means that approximately 7.5 percent of all guests who appeared on the program hosted by Brian Stelter were black. Not all the black guests were even journalists. One was a member of Congress, another an actor, and still another, a Ferguson, Mo. activist (granted, it would've been hard to make him white). . . ."

Advice From BuzzFeed's Ebola Reporter: Break the Rules

"Back in August, I was one of the first foreign journalists to land in Liberia to cover the Ebola outbreak," Jina Moore wrote Friday for BuzzFeed. "There weren't very many of us willing to go to the world's hottest hot zone, and there was a general global malaise about the disease, so there wasn't very much information around about how to prepare. As the story took off, colleagues called me and asked what they should do. . . ."

Moore continued, "But the most right-on thing I told them was to break the rules . . .

"Bring gloves to give nurses you meet at clinics, even if you're there for a story. Get small change to give to the kids who have been out of school for months and are selling ground nuts for pitiful sums on the side of road. Hell, give them candy. Violate all the principles of ostensibly good aid stewardship, because the good stewardship of the developed world didn't get help here in time, and now everyone is dying around you.

"Do not mistake all your giving for generosity. This is selfish. In the midst of Ebola, the kindest thing you can do for yourself is a tiny, ordinary kindness for someone else. Because you can't touch anyone here, and when you are deprived of human touch, you can go a special kind of mad. . . ."

Asian Americans Energized Despite Lack of Attention

"In Orange County, California, home to Little Saigon and the largest Vietnamese American population outside of Vietnam, a whopping 19 Vietnamese American candidates are vying for 20 open seats this November," Andrew Lam reported for New America Media on Monday.

"For the community, ethnic loyalties are helping to galvanize an electorate largely ignored by Republicans and Democrats alike.

"It's a pattern playing out in API communities across the country.

"According to the 2014 UCLA Asian Pacific American Political Almanac, there are currently some 4,000 Asian American and Pacific Islander elected officials and appointees from 39 states. Add to that the 22 Asian Americans currently running for Congress in 12 states and territories alone, a number that nearly doubled from 2008. There are another 159 APIs running for state legislature across the nation.

"Those numbers help explain just why Asians around the country have increasingly turned out at the polls despite the fact that neither Republicans nor Democrats have worked to gain their support. A survey by the non-profit Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) showed 66 percent of API voters hadn't heard from Democrats, while 74 percent had not been contacted by Republicans. . . ."

Justice Dept. Urged to Probe Abuses of Press in Ferguson

"This report compiles 52 alleged violations of freedom of the press during the Ferguson protests," the PEN American Center reported on Sunday. "These infringements contravene a right that is protected under both the U.S. Constitution and international human rights law."

"On the basis of these findings, PEN American Center calls upon the U.S. Department of Justice to carry out investigations into violations of press freedom that took place in the context of the Ferguson protests.

"Such investigations would shed essential light on the factors that drove law enforcement officers in Ferguson to infringe on media freedoms, and on the necessary steps to ensure that in an era of instantaneous transmission, cell phone cameras and citizen journalists, the rights of members of the press and of the public at large are upheld in the context of protests and public assemblies. . . ."

New York Times photographer Ozier Muhammad weighed how to produce the right image during an event as large as last month's People's Climate March. (video)

A Photographer With Fingers Crossed, Eyes Wide Open

"There are days when everything works out for a newspaper photographer and he or she comes up with perfect photos that waltz onto Page 1," the editors of the New York Times "Lens" blog wrote on Thursday. "But more often than not, the photographer is just doing his or her best to make a good image in less than ideal circumstances.

"For Ozier Muhammad, a staff photographer for The Times, the People's Climate March last month in New York was a big example of one such challenging situation. And the Times video journalist Deborah Acosta followed him to document his day for Lens.

"During the course of the assignment, Mr. Muhammad, 64, told Ms. Acosta that 'it's hard to find a picture' when an event is so large. . . ."

Short Takes

Follow Richard Prince on Twitter @princeeditor

Facebook users: "Like" "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" on Facebook.

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.

Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince.

To be notified of new columns, contact and tell us who you are.

About Richard Prince

View previous columns.



Washington shooting

Question:  why is the shooter's ethnicity mentioned in every story I have read? I have not seen white shooter, black shooter, mexican shooter, asian shooter used in stories regardiing this type of story.  Sad.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.