Sounding Racist Doesn't Make You One
Friday, August 8, 2008
Politicians, News Media Don't Always Distinguish
Jay Smooth, founder of what is described as New York's longest-running hip-hop radio show, "Underground Railroad" on WBAI-FM, has posted an entry on his video blog with special relevance to one of the latest¬†presidential campaign narratives. In "How To Tell People They Sound Racist," Smooth makes a distinction between what people say and what they are.
Smooth's video comes to mind in light of a thread¬†in the news media that began after Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee, said on July 30:
"John McCain and the Republicans, they don't have any new ideas. That's why they're spending all their time talking about me.
"I mean, you haven't heard a positive thing out of that campaign in a month. All they do is try to run me down. . . . They're going to try to say that I'm a risky guy. They're going to try to say, well, you know, he's got a funny name. And he doesn't look like all the presidents on the dollar bills and the $5 bills."
National Public Radio White House correspondent David Greene said Wednesday on National Public Radio's "Tell Me More," "I was actually with Obama in Missouri when he made that comment last week. And it didn't strike me as there being any racial undertone when I heard it. And you know, among the press covering Obama, no one said, 'my God, he just, you know, he might have played the race card.'
"But as soon as the McCain campaign made the decision to sort of go after him, you know, you saw the punditry just buzzing about this immediately. And it's sort of one of those issues where if a campaign can sort of find a way to tap into that and bring it up to the surface, it can make some headlines and become a really big deal."
In fact, the liberal media-advocacy group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting wrote on Tuesday, "Corporate media so accepted the McCain campaign's spin on this issue -- when an Obama aide acknowledged that the 'dollar bill' remark was an allusion to the candidate being African-American, ABCNews.com (8/1/08) headlined the story 'Obama Camp Admits Playing Race Card' -- that it becomes difficult to see the obvious: that it's McCain and not Obama who is eager to see the 2008 campaign become a debate about race."
"He did play the race card. McCain responded and, I think, responded fairly," commentator Juan Williams said on "Fox News Sunday," in one of the many references to the "race card" on the Sunday talk shows.
It was left to such columnists as Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post to affirm what Smooth's video does: that what people say and what they are may not necessarily be the same. Robinson pointed to Sen. Lindsay Graham, R-S.C.:"Graham said on 'Fox News Sunday' that 'there's no doubt in my mind that what Senator Obama is trying to suggest -- that he's a victim of something.' Graham later added: 'We're not going to run a campaign like he did in the primary. Every time somebody brings up a challenge to who you are and what you believe, 'You're a racist.' That's not going to happen in this campaign.'
"The key words are 'victim' and 'racist' -- which Obama did not say. Graham puts them in Obama's mouth because of their power to alienate," Robinson wrote.
Former president Bill Clinton also conflated being a racist with saying something racist, according to an Associated Press account of an appearance by Clinton on ABC's "Good Morning America":
"Asked in the interview whether he blames himself for his wife's loss, Clinton replied, 'I've heard it from the press and I will not comment on it. . . . There are things I wished I said. Things I wished I hadn't said, but I am not a racist. I never made a racist comment and I didn't attack him personally.'"
McCain's aggressive approach toward Obama is paying off in news coverage. "For the first time since this general election campaign began in early June, Republican John McCain attracted virtually as much media attention as his Democratic rival last week," the Pew Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism reported this week.
Much of that was due to a McCain ad comparing Obama with celebrities Paris Hilton and Britney Spears.¬† Hilton spoofed the ad to great effect, drawing critical raves, laughs and more than¬†than 6.2 million viewings, Wired magazine reported on Friday.
"Generational" Divide Among Pols Called Overrated"The question of how strongly race will play out in the November election -- that is, how many whites will prove to be colorblind -- has dominated the discussion of racial politics in the Obama-McCain race so far. But coming this Sunday, The New York Times Magazine looks at what the Obama candidacy ultimately means for blacks," Editor & Publisher reported on Tuesday.
"The cover story, by frequent contributor Matt Bai, is titled 'Post-Race' and the Times, in its preview, asks, 'Is Obama the end of black politics?'"
But Kenneth J. Cooper, a veteran journalist and former national editor of the Boston Globe, wonders why a writer with more experience in covering black politics wasn't assigned the piece.
"Bai's fundamental premise, shared by many newspaper reporters who covered Jesse Jackson's crude remarks about Obama's Father's Day speech, is wrong," Cooper wrote to the e-mail list of the National Association of Black Journalists.
"Obama does not represent a new 'generation' of black politicians. Born in 1961, he is a Baby Boomer. So too is Deval Patrick, the somewhat older governor of Massachusetts. But Bai also couples Obama with Newark Mayor Corey Booker, born 1969; US Rep. Arthur Davis of Alabama, born 1967, and US Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., born 1965. Booker, Davis and Jesse Jr. are not Boomers and therefore not of the same 'generation' as Obama.
"Black Baby Boomers in political office is not new. Since 1992, a bunch have served in the Congressional Black Caucus, that supposed geriatric society of civil rights champions: Cynthia McKinney, William Jefferson, Carol Moseley Braun, Chaka Fattah, Cleo Fields, Sanford Bishop, Albert Wynn, William Lacy Clay¬† . . . among others. Nearly all of Boomers in the caucus arrived with prior legislative experience. Bai's casting the CBC as a redoubt of civil rights-bred spokesmen for black people, not legislators, is dated.
"Bai says there was significant turnover in the CBC because some members did not support Jesse Jackson the elder in 1984 and 1988, leading to 'a flurry of primary challenges, the retirement or defeat of several incumbents and the arrival in Washington of a new class of black congressmen.' Wrong. Only a handful of CBC members have ever been defeated for reelection. The new class he refers to, the class of 1992, arrived because redistricting created more black majority districts, leading to a 50 percent increase in caucus membership.
"Bai also says before the 1990s Edward Brooke, elected to the US Senate from Massachusetts in 1966, was the only black candidate elected statewide with white support. Were they alive, this would be news to Lt. Gov. Mervyn Dymally of California and Lt. Gov. George Brown of Colorado, both elected in 1974.
"More than these errors and omissions, it Bai's lazy-minded, stock analysis that a 'generational' shift is somehow behind Obama's success and the decision of some black elected officials to support Hillary Clinton. Every time a black politician makes an advance, the mainstream press declares the arrival of a new generation of black politicians. Black folks do have a higher birth rate than white folks, but we don't breed that fast."
New York Times spokeswoman Catherine J. Mathis said the magazine had only one reporter assigned full-time to the magazine, Alex Witchel, who is not a person of color. "They draw on outside contributors, or people inside The Times, like Matt Bai, who does a political blog, who write for The Times elsewhere. ¬† Among the leadership of the magazine, the highest ranking person of color is Rem Duplessis, who is the Art Director and is black."
- Eric Easter, ebonyjet.com: What Jesse Jackson Should Do Now
Unity Falls Short in Influencing Election Coverage
Four years ago, Unity: Journalists of Color decided to meet every four years instead of every five in order to take advantage of the presidential election years. That way, the reasoning went, journalists of color would more directly influence the campaign coverage. The alliance of black, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American journalist associations adopted as a "strategic objective" that it would sponsor one of the presidential debates in 2008.
Did Unity meet its goal? "I'm not sure that it did," Ernest Sotomayor, who was president of Unity four years ago, told Journal-isms, "given that we were not able to get the candidates there and sponsor one of the debates."
While Sen. Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, eventually decided to speak at the 2008 Unity convention in Chicago, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., the Republican candidate, skipped it. In 2004, both Republican George W. Bush, the incumbent, and Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., the Democrat, had appeared at Unity's Washington gathering.
On Tuesday, the Commission on Presidential Debates announced the moderators for the fall presidential and vice presidential debates. Gwen Ifill of PBS will reprise her role moderating the vice presidential debate on Oct. 2 at Washington University in St. Louis, but she will be the only journalist of color before the cameras during the series.
The referee for the first presidential debate, on Sept. 26 at the University of Mississippi, is Ifill's PBS colleague Jim Lehrer; moderator for the second, a town meeting Oct. 7 at Belmont University in Nashville, is NBC News' Tom Brokaw; and out front for the third, Oct. 15 at Hofstra University in Hempstead, N.Y., is Bob Schieffer of CBS. A news release did not explain why the commission chose a single-moderator format over one that might have allowed more participation by other journalists.
Janet Brown, executive director of the Commission on Presidential Debates, was asked in 2004 about the idea of Unity as a debate sponsor. She said then that she had not yet heard of the idea, but "we're open to just about anything."
She did not return a telephone call on Friday.
- Monroe Anderson blog:¬†¬†McCain's foul talk express
- Jenice Armstrong, Philadelphia Daily News: Paris has the answer
- Betty Winston Baye, Louisville (Ky.) Courier-Journal: Too cool to be president? Says who?
- Sylvester Brown Jr., St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Paris Hilton checks into presidential race: It's hot
- Esther J. Cepeda blog: The "R-" word: are you racist, or just skeptical?
- Ka Chan, New York Community Media Alliance: Ethnic media vs. ethnic in media: What is missing at UNITY?
- Cary Clack, San Antonio Express-News: They are men, not monsters
- thedailyvoice.com: Black columnists accuse McCain of playing race
- Neal Gabler, Los Angeles Times: Obama: star of his own movie
- Richard Ivory and Lenny Mccalister, thedailyvoice.com: Uncle Toms for McCain? Not So, Say Black Republicans
- Roland S. Martin, Creators Syndicate: Why Bill Clinton's Still Upset
- Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Obama, McCain and race
- Ruben Navarrette Jr., San Diego Union-Tribune: Race: The elephant in the room
- Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Obama hasn't closed the deal yet
- David Person, Huntsville (Ala.) Times: Obama, the undercover Muslim?
- Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: An elusive Obama sticks to the shallows
- Jose Antonio Vargas, washingtonpost.com: Interactivity and the Presidential Debates
- Ron Walters, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Race: A Double-Dutch Problem for Obama
- Tonyaa Weathersbee, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Bond Between Obama and Hip Hop Being Tested¬†¬†
- DeWayne Wickham, USA Today: McCain's race problem ‚Äî among whites, that is
- Jeff Winbush, theRoot.com: Can Black Journalists Be Trusted to Cover Obama?
Chicago's Stella Foster Breaks Story of Bernie Mac Death
[Added Aug. 10]¬† "This reporter was sound asleep in my bed early Saturday when my phone rang at 5:15 a.m., bringing me the sad, sad news that Chicago's beloved and brilliant comedian/actor Bernie Mac, aka Bernard McCullough, had succumbed to pneumonia," Chicago Sun-Times columnist Stella Foster wrote Sunday.
"With that information, the Chicago Sun-Times was first to break the news to the public on our Web site.
"A source close to the grieving family told me his beautiful and devoted wife of over 30 years, Rhonda McCullough, and their beloved only child, Je'niece, were at his bedside when he made his transition."
Foster officially¬†took over the personality-driven column of tidbits in 2003 after the death of Irv 'Kup' Kupcinet, who for more than half a century brought the inside scoop on Hollywood celebrities, foreign princes and presidents to Chicago audiences.
Foster was Kup's "associate" and sometimes "co-columnist," and came to work for Kup as his secretary in 1969.¬† She did most of the writing for Kup's final four years. Her sister is Jamie Foster Brown, publisher and owner of Sister 2 Sister magazine. In fact, Stella is the "sister" in the title.
"Bernie grew up in Englewood, as did I and my sister . . . and he was proud to let folks know from whence he came," Foster wrote on Sunday, referring to the Chicago neighborhood.
"This piece is difficult to write because I have been a fan of this super-talented and funny black man dating back to an evening in 1990 at the old Cotton Club when Carolyn Albritton asked me to be a judge at 'The Best of Open Mike' contest -- where Bernie won in the comedy category."
Although the story was all over other sectors of the news media, it was still missing from the Web site of the city's leading black newspaper, the Chicago Defender, on Sunday afternoon.
When the newspaper announced in January that it was going from daily to weekly, Hiram Jackson, the Detroit-based CEO of Real Times Inc., which has owned the Defender since 2003, said on "The Santita Jackson Show" on Chicago's WVON Radio, "We're trying to grow the Defender,"¬†adding that there will continue to be daily news on the Defender's Web site. "We are by no means decreasing our influence on the community, in fact we're increasing it," he said.
Meanwhile, Kim Pearson, who teaches at the College of New Jersey, tracked the news coverage of the death Sunday of singer and actor Isaac Hayes.
"1. Breaking news is bound to be accompanied by confusion over details that get corrected over time. However, Hayes' age was easy to check, and enough eyes have seen these stories now that the time of death should have been corrected. 2. Twitter is an incredibly efficient way to spread news that might otherwise have escaped immediate notice. 3. Any news site that wants to get readers' share of mind quickly needs mastery of the best practices from new and old media worlds."
- Kelley L. Carter and Glenn Jeffers, Chicago Tribune: Chicago comedian Bernie Mac dead at age 50
- Bill Zwecker, Chicago Sun-Times: Popular comedian, actor, Chicago native remembered¬†
- WMC-TV, Memphis: Isaac Hayes dies
2 Blacks Among Latest Chicago Tribune Buyouts
At least two black journalists were among those accepted for buyouts Friday at the Chicago Tribune: Glenn Jeffers, features writer, and copy editor John Adkins.
"All told, the Tribune has said it expects to eliminate 80 newsroom positions in this round of cuts, the paper's fourth in three years. Other departments are making cuts, as well," Phil Rosenthal wrote Friday on the Tribune's Web site.
Jeffers said he did not feel comfortable talking about his situation, and Adkins, 59, also declined to elaborate.
Rosenthal said, "Among those at the Tribune who requested and received buyouts are Hanke Gratteau, a one-time assistant to the late columnist Mike Royko who rose through the ranks to managing editor for news; Timothy J. McNulty, who covered everything from the White House to the Tiananmen Square uprising en route to becoming the paper's link to readers as its public editor; and Michael Tackett, the paper's Washington bureau chief."
Meanwhile, two other journalists at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution confirmed they were taking a buyout there and leaving at the end of the month. Lisa Brown, 48, a copy editor and a black journalist, said she planned to take some time off and was "burned out on the newspaper business."
Maria Saporta, 52, a business columnist who described herself as of Spanish descent and one-quarter Jewish, said of her future, "I'm still trying to put that together." She has been at the newspaper for 27 years and a columnist covering urban issues since 1991. Brown has been in the newspaper business for 18 years, 13 at the Journal-Constitution.
- Business Courier of Cincinnati: Enquirer initiates voluntary severance program
- Arun Venugopal, Salon.com: Journalist seeking paycheck? Try India
Gap Widens in Job Prospects for Graduates of Color
The gap between white journalism and mass communication graduates and their counterparts of color "widened a little bit" in the University of Georgia's annual survey of the job market, co-author Lee B. Becker told Journal-isms.
"Certainly the movement isn't in a positive direction," he said.
"In 2007, 2,271 spring graduates from a probability sample of 83 universities around the country participated in the survey," according to a study released Thursday by the University of Georgia's James M. Cox Jr. Center for International Mass Communication Training and Research. The results were announced at the annual conference of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication in Chicago.
"The study found that, as in past years, women had more success in the job market in 2007 than did men, and minority graduates were less likely to land a job generally and to find a job in the field of communication than were non-minority graduates."
Becker told Journal-isms, "Over the last two years, the gap has increased. In a tougher job market, historically it's been the case that the minority students suffer more than the nonminority."
What happens next? Becker asked. With employers seeking cheaper employees, those seeking entry-level positions are finding work. "But ultimately, they don't want to stay in entry-level jobs. At some point, they will want to move up the line," and that will¬†cost companies more money. Will the companies be able to pay them? he wondered.
The New York Times has reintegrated its sports-reporter ranks by hiring Jonathan Abrams from the Los Angeles Times, Sports Editor Tom Jolly confirmed on Friday.
When Clifton Brown left for the Sporting News last year after covering pro sports for the Times for 19 years, it left the Times with no African American sports reporters after having had at least six just a few years ago. William C. Rhoden, who is black, is a columnist for the section.
"We have hired Jonathan Abrams from the LAT. He will start on Sept. 8 and after the standard orientation week will cover some pro football and then shift over to pro basketball, where he'll cover the Nets and Knicks and other NBA stories," Jolly told Journal-isms.
According to a "self-introduction" by Abrams published Tuesday on LAObserved, Abrams "joins the New York Times after spending three years at the paper formerly known as the Los Angeles Times. After a year covering the Clippers (yes, there is professional basketball beyond the Lakers in Los Angeles) and honing his skills reporting on a team that loses three out of four games, he is confident the same skills can transfer over to the Knicks, when necessary. Before covering the Clippers, Jonathan was a metro reporter for the L.A. Times, where he grew weary of white-knuckled drives up curvy mountains and through falling debris to cover the weekly wildfire."
Abrams, 24, is a 2005 graduate of the University of Southern California.
Ragan A. Henry, the first African American to own a network-affiliated TV station (WHEC in Rochester, N.Y.) and founder of the National Leader, an African American newspaper published in the early 1980s, died July 26 at age 74 after a long illness, Joseph A. Gambardello reported Friday in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"His passing went unannounced, just as he wanted," Gambardello wrote. "Mr. Henry, of Merion, also directed that there be no funeral, memorial service or obituary after his death, the cause of which has not been disclosed."
"Mr. Henry and his partners bought their first radio station -- WAOK-AM in Atlanta -- in the early 1970s. By 1980, the number had grown to nine radio stations, plus the Rochester TV station.¬†
"Black Enterprise Magazine said that by 1990, Mr. Henry owned more than 60 stations nationwide."
"In 2003, the University of Maryland's Library of American Broadcasting named Mr. Henry one of the 'First Fifty Giants of Broadcasting,' along with such familiar names as Jack Benny, Bill Cosby, Edward R. Murrow, William S. Paley, and David Sarnoff."
Henry saw the Philadelphia-based National Leader, edited by veteran journalist Claude Lewis, as a way to weld together America's black communities. "The local papers have neither the resources nor the will to communicate nationally. Within five years, we believe that the Leader has a potential audience of up to 2 million," he told Forbes magazine in 1983. However, the newspaper folded the next year. It boosted its circulation to about 100,000, but losses of about $1,500 each month doubled in the past four months, Lewis said in February 1984, as the paper folded.
When Henry bought WHEC in Rochester, the station installed an African American anchor, Janet Lomax, who remains in the slot today.
"It was during a NABJ Conference in DC in the late '70's -- doing some networking -- that a business associate of Ragan Henry's asked that I send her a tape," Lomax told Journal-isms via e-mail. "I did and didn't think anymore about it. About 6 months later (February 1980) I was offered a reporter's position at WHEC-TV in Rochester. I had planned to stay one year -- and move on. I anchored the 6 and 11 pm weeknight newscasts for 24-25 years. Did the 5 o'clock show for 5-6 of those years as well. I now anchor the hourlong 5pm show and 6pm show."
NABJ Rebuts Pat Buchanan With Essay by Les Payne
The National Association of Black Journalists responded to the "Whitey Need Not Apply" column by conservative commentator Pat Buchanan on Wednesday with a rebuttal from Newsday columnist Les Payne,¬†¬†a founder and past president of the association.
"Were our racial politics played out within the pages of DC Comics, Patrick J. Buchanan would likely be cast as the twisted Joker of Gotham City," Payne's piece began. "This erstwhile politician, for reasons not entirely clear in a multicultural society, is allowed to haunt the panel of almost every TV talk show discussing the politics of the day.
"Television hosts on Fox and MSNBC are careful not to label the race-based menace that Buchanan pedals, tagging him benignly as a 'political analyst.' The TV pundit, however, is as subtle as a clenched fist about his 'white folks' superiority crusade."
Young Obama Looked to Leftist Journalist for Advice
"At key moments in his adolescence, Barack Obama could not turn to a father he hardly knew. Instead, he looked to a left-leaning black journalist and poet for advice on living in a world of black and white," Sudhin Thanawala wrote on Aug. 2 for the Associated Press.
A longtime journalist, Frank Marshall Davis (1905-1987) "was among a group of prominent black writers pushing for equal rights in the 1930s and '40s, before the civil rights movement gained momentum. He published several volumes of poetry and served as executive editor of the Associated Negro Press, a wire service for black newspapers, before leaving the mainland for Hawaii in 1948," Thanawala continued.
Davis was also managing editor of the Atlanta Daily World, according to author Leonard Ray Teel.
"'Frank was part of a group of black vanguard intellectuals,' said Kathryn Takara, a professor emeritus at the University of Hawaii who wrote her Ph.D. dissertation about Davis. 'The people that he came into contact with throughout his life, like Richard Wright and Margaret Walker, were very significant.'
"As a young man in Kansas in the early part of the 20th century, Davis encountered segregation and racial epithets. In his memoir, 'Livin' the Blues,' Davis describes almost being lynched by a group of his white schoolmates as a 5-year-old in Arkansas City, Kan.
"'You could get a lot of strength from a person like Frank who had suffered all the discrimination . . . that a black man goes through in America,' said Ah Quon McElrath, a friend of Davis' who lives in Honolulu."
Press Freedom Group Makes Pirate Broadcast in Beijing
"The world's best-known advocate of freedom of the media took its message to the heart of Beijing this morning, making a pirate broadcast on Chinese radio exactly 12 hours to the minute before the start of the Olympics opening ceremony," Jane Macartney reported Friday from Beijing for the Times of London.
"Paris-based Reporters Without Borders began broadcasting on local FM radio to several districts of Beijing at 8.08 a.m local time (0000 GMT), denouncing China's grip on media and expression. The broadcast, in both English and Mandarin Chinese, while often indistinct, lasted for 20 minutes."
In another development, the Committee to Protect Journalists said Friday it was deeply concerned that Dhondup Gonsar, an American citizen of Tibetan ethnicity who works for the U.S. government-funded broadcaster Radio Free Asia, had not yet received press accreditation from Olympic organizers that would allow him to enter China to cover the Olympic Games.
"Gonsar is currently in a hotel in Hong Kong, waiting for his papers to enter China. 'The IOC has promised RFA that two of our reporters could cover the Games. I don't understand why I have not gotten my IOC accreditation and am not allowed to cover the Games," Gonsar told CPJ. 'Maybe it has something to do with my ethnicity as a Tibetan.'"
- Fannie Flono, Charlotte (N.C.) Observer: Press, politics and the Olympics
- Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Smog in Beijing
- Ali Zoibi, senior vice president and general manager of the Indianapolis Star, has been named president and publisher of the Democrat and Chronicle in Rochester, N.Y., likely the nation's only Arab-American publisher of a mainstream newspaper. "His father is from Syria. Ali grew up in the U.S. He considers himself a first generation Arab-American," Gannett Co. spokeswoman Tara Connell told Journal-isms. Jeanne Fox-Alston, vice president for talent management and diversity at the Newspaper Association of America, said she knew of no other Arab-American publishers.¬† Gannett owns both the Indianapolis and Rochester papers.
- "Local TV news anchors in New York will no longer have to leave town to get another job under a bill signed into law by Gov. David Paterson," Valerie Bauman reported Wednesday for the Associated Press. "The measure bans a common contract provision that prohibited broadcasters and other radio and TV station employees from taking jobs with competitors in the same market during a set period of time."
- Gromer Jeffers Jr., political reporter at the Dallas Morning News, broke a piece of the story Friday¬†about former presidential candidate John Edwards' confession of an affair. "Dallas lawyer Fred Baron told The Dallas Morning News today that he paid relocation and housing expenses for the woman that former presidential candidate John Edwards has confessed to having an affair with," Jeffers reported on the Morning News Web site.
- E.R. Shipp, a former New York Times reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize for commentary in 1996, while at the New York Daily News, has left Hofstra University, where she was Lawrence Stessin distinguished professor of journalism. And she is seeking work. "In this crazy period in the journalism world, E. R. Shipp is seeking employment: print journalism, broadcast journalism, Internet journalism, outreach to mentor the next generation. Give a shout out via e-mail, email@example.com, " Shipp told Journal-isms. Bob Papper, who chairs Hofstra's Department of Journalism, Media Studies and Public Relations, said, "I really like Shipp. This is a bright and talented journalist and I sincerely wish he well in whatever she's involved with."
- "DO learn who is who on the staff. DO understand that each staff is a living organism that you should easy your way into SLOWLY. Assertiveness is great but sometimes misplaced enthusiasm can rub some the wrong way. DON'T blog (Facebook or MySpace) about your internship. Your employer is watching and reading." So began a list of tips articulated during "Paying it Forward: How to Maximize Your Internship," a workshop at the Unity: Journalists of Color convention. Talia Buford summarized the tips on the Ten-95 blog created by "six young journalists, taking on one industry."
- Will Sutton, who holds the Scripps Howard Endowed Chair at Hampton University's Scripps Howard School of Journalism & Communications, is leaving his alma mater after three years to become director of communications and strategic marketing at Achieving the Dream, a nonprofit based in Chapel Hill, N.C. The organization, created in 2004, aims to strengthen community colleges. Sutton, a former deputy managing editor at the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C. and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, said he was commuting three hours weekly to Hampton from his Raleigh-area home and missed his family. Sutton was in Chicago this week for a convention of the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication. He was chosen as a fellow in the association's¬†Journalism and Mass Communication Leadership Institute for Diversity, a year-long program in which participants are mentored by deans.
- Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown "on Thursday ordered police to restore the media's access to crime information that had been removed from a Police Department computer in recent months," Brian Meyer and Matthew Spina reported for the Buffalo News. "The mayor said he had been unaware the information had been suppressed, and he blamed the policy change on 'miscommunication' caused by a 'poorly worded memo.'"
- Reporter Selena Hern?°ndez was among several employees at San Antonio's KENS-TV laid off on Tuesday, Veronica Villafane reported on her Media Moves site. "A staffer said she was 'unceremoniously shown the door this morning when she was told she no longer worked there, asked to pack up her stuff and escorted out.'
- "Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign has apologized for a Friday incident that denied access to a Tallahassee Democrat reporter," Paul Flemming reported Wednesday in the Democrat. "Senior Writer Stephen Price, asked to leave an area restricted to national reporters while other state reporters remained, got a personal apology from McCain's campaign Tuesday evening. Price was the lone black reporter among the media in the area at a Panama City rally on Friday."
- "Hundreds of people turned out Tuesday evening to say goodbye to one of Philadelphia's greatest -- NBC10's Edie Huggins," Philadelphia's WCAU-TV reported. "Edie passed away last week at the age of 72 after a battle with cancer."
- "Shanai Harris, a longtime evening news anchor at WOLO-25, had been thinking about attending law school for several years," Otis R. Taylor Jr. reported Thursday for the State in Columbia, S.C. "When North Carolina Central University School of Law offered her a three-year scholarship, it sealed the deal. Harris, a Columbia native who spent 16 years as a broadcaster, including the last six at WOLO, signed off Friday. She starts school Aug. 12."
- "Urban media company Radio One yesterday reported a second-quarter loss of $11.7 million as it contends with an industry-wide decline in radio advertising revenue and expands its Internet efforts," Anita Huslin reported Wednesday in the Washington Post. "The company said average ad prices were down 5 percent as budget-conscious companies have tightened up and shifted spending to the Web."
- "Today, Cuba's publicly owned print and broadcast media seem to be on a slow path to improvement, delving into subjects that were previously taboo," Circles Robinson wrote from Cuba Wednesday after attending this summer's Congress of the Cuban Journalists Association. The last such event had taken place nine years ago. Several of Cuba's top leaders attended, Robinson wrote. "What was most refreshing about the presence of so many authorities was that they spent their time listening attentively to the concerns of the country's media professionals."
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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