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Survey Links "Occupy" Coverage, Support

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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

60% of Those Who Follow News of Protests Favor Them

Color of Change Wants MSNBC to Fire Pat Buchanan

AP Story Offers More Favorable African View of Gaddafi

Ad Agency Group on Record Against "No Urban" Ad Buys

Karen M. Clark Dies, Was NABJ J-Educator of the Year

Media Activists Challenge NPR on Ethics Standards

Obama White House Slammed Again on Openness

Historic Walk in Richmond, Va.

Short Takes

In Oakland, Calif., KNTV reporter Cheryl Hurd was hit with a cloud of tear gas while doing a live report Tuesday near where a confrontation had just occurred between police and Occupy Oakland protesters. (Credit: KNTV-TV) (Video)

60% of Those Who Follow News of Protests Favor Them

The news media were initially accused of ignoring the Occupy Wall Street protests that have since spread across the country, and a new survey from the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and the Washington Post finds a link between coverage and support: Those following news about the protests closely tend to be more supportive than those following less closely.

"Six-in-ten (60%) among those who followed news about the protests very closely last week say they support the movement; 31% say they oppose it. Support drops to 33% among those who say they have not followed this news too closely — and just 12% among those who say they have followed this news not at all closely," the survey found.

All told, about four in 10 Americans say they support the Occupy Wall Street movement (39 percent), while nearly as many (35 percent) say they oppose it.

By contrast, more say they oppose the Tea Party movement than support it (44 percent vs. 32 percent), according to the survey, conducted Oct. 20-23 among 1,009 adults.

Meanwhile, in Oakland, Calif., "KNTV reporter Cheryl Hurd was hit with a cloud of tear gas while doing a live report Tuesday night near where a confrontation had just occurred between police and Occupy Oakland protesters," Andrew Gauthier reported for TVSpy.

"Hurd began her report in the street as tear gas billowed in the background but had to quickly take shelter in a KNTV news van. She finished the segment sitting in the passenger’s seat, wiping tears from her eyes."

According to the Oakland Tribune, "On Tuesday, Occupy Oakland demonstrators clashed with police, who used tear gas at least three times in futile attempts to fully disperse the more than 1,000 people who took to the streets after the early-morning raid of the movement's encampment.

"The rolling protest came about 12 hours after hundreds of police from across the Bay Area rousted about 300 people from the two-week old camp at Frank H. Ogawa Plaza. Tensions escalated after protesters vowed to return to the plaza, which was left with tents overturned and food, carpet, personal belongings and mounds of trash strewed on the lawn.

" 'We had to deploy gas to stop people from throwing rocks and bottles at police," said Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan . . . "

Color of Change Wants MSNBC to Fire Pat Buchanan

According to Media Matters, Pat Buchanan's new book, 'Suicide Of A Superpower,'  'waxes nostalgic about the segregation era and cites crime statistics that he says 'might explain why black folks have trouble getting a cab.' The "African American political advocacy group Color Of Change has called for MSNBC to fire longtime analyst (and even longer-time lightning rod) Pat Buchanan for what it called his 'white supremacist ideology,' " the Huffington Post reported on Tuesday.

"The advocacy group sent petition letters to its members on Tuesday. The letter said that MSNBC gives Buchanan a platform to pass off his often loaded remarks as 'legitimate mainstream political commentary.' "

"While Color of Change cited comments made by Buchanan from as early as March 2008, the advocacy group highlighted Buchanan's new book 'Suicide Of A Superpower' and a Saturday appearance on the controversial radio show 'The Political Cesspool' (whose host has described his ideology as 'pro-white') as current reasons the network should fire Buchanan."

According to Jillian Rayfield of the TPM website, Buchanan says of Unity: Journalists of Color, Inc.: "Half a century after Martin Luther King envisioned a day when his children would be judged ‘not by the color of their skin, but the content of their character,’ journalists of color are demanding the hiring and promotion of journalists based on the color of their skin. Jim Crow is back. Only the color of the beneficiaries and the color of the victims has been reversed."

Rayfield reported Wednesday, "Tea Party Nation founder Judson Phillips defended Pat Buchanan against charges of racism by African-American civil rights group Color of Change, arguing that 'the racist in this story is the group, the Color of Change.' "

Jeremy Gaines, spokesman for MSNBC, said the network would have no comment for the moment.

The National Association of Black Journalists gave Buchanan its 2008 Thumbs Down Award after he wrote a column titled “The Way Our World Ends,” concluding that "the Caucasian race is going the way of the Mohicans "because of a "baby boom among these black and brown peoples' that will bring an end to Western Man in the 21st Century."

An image of Col. Moammar Gaddafi, now deposed and deceased, burns. (Credit: New Zimbabwean)

AP Story Offers More Favorable African View of Gaddafi

An Associated Press report by its Africa correspondents finds that "Moammar [Gaddafi's] regime poured tens of billions of dollars into some of Africa's poorest countries. Even when he came to visit, the eccentric Libyan leader won admiration for handing out money to beggars on the streets," according to a story filed Monday datelined Bamako, Mali.

" 'Other heads of state just drive past here in their limousines. [Gaddafi] stopped, pushed away his bodyguards and shook our hands,' said Cherno Diallo, standing Monday beside hundreds of caged birds he sells near a Libyan-funded hotel. '[Gaddafi]'s death has touched every Malian, every single one of us. We're all upset.'

"While Western powers heralded [Gaddafi's] demise, many Africans were gathering at mosques built with [Gaddafi's] money to mourn the man they consider an anti-imperialist martyr and benefactor.

"Critics, though, note this image is at odds with [Gaddafi's] history of backing some of Africa's most brutal rebel leaders and dictators. [Gaddafi] sent 600 troops to support Uganda's much-hated Idi Amin in the final throes of his dictatorship.

"And [Gaddafi]-funded rebels supported by former Liberian leader Charles Taylor forcibly recruited children and chopped off limbs of their victims during Sierra Leone's civil war."

AP spokesman Paul D. Colford told Journal-isms, "Whether it's the 'definitive' story remains to be seen, though clearly it draws on AP's broad reach in the region, as noted at the bottom of the story this way:

"[Krista] Larson reported from Johannesburg. Associated Press writers Godfrey Olukya in Kampala, Uganda; Michelle Faul in Johannesburg; Abdoulie John in Banjul, Gambia; Clarence Roy-Macaulay in Freetown, Sierra Leone; Louis Okamba in Libreville, Republic of Congo; and Gillian Gotora in Harare, Zimbabwe contributed to this report."

The AP story offered a more favorable view of Gaddafi among Africans than did a survey by the international website Africa News that questioned African journalists and users of social media on Oct. 20, the day he was killed.

"That is the reaction as gathered by AfricaNews for now," Joseph Appiah-Dolphyne, editor of AfricaNews.com and part of its editorial team in Ghana, told Journal-isms Wednesday by email. "These reactions, by the way, are just those that were in the reach of AfricaNews . . . at the time of publication."  He explained that "The publishers of AfricaNews, Africa Interactive is based in the Netherlands. But currently, AfricaNews has an office in Accra, Ghana where all the editorial works are done."

Meanwhile, Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan condemned the killing of Gaddafi on Tuesday, "warning that America and other western powers will soon face severe consequences for their support of the uprising that led to the dictator’s death," Ryan Haggerty reported for the Chicago Tribune.

" 'I know something of the good of Moammar [Gaddafi] that made me to love him as a brother and to feel a great sense of loss at his assassination,' Farrakhan said during a two-hour interview with radio host Cliff Kelley on WVON-AM."

Ad Agency Group on Record Against "No Urban" Ad Buys

The American Association of Advertising Agencies has adopted a policy designed to discourage discrimination against "urban" and "Hispanic" media outlets in making advertising purchases and complaint review process, the group announced Wednesday.

The action was immediately applauded by FCC Commissioner Robert M. McDowell and by the Minority Media Telecommunications Council.

"I have been working on this issue since arriving at the Commission in 2006. Shortly thereafter, I was deeply troubled to learn that discriminatory advertising practices — namely ‘no urban’ and ‘no Hispanic’ dictates — existed" [PDF], McDowell said in a statement. "Such conduct unjustly harms not only minority-owned broadcasting outlets, but minority consumers as well. Furthermore, discriminatory dictates have been estimated to cost minority broadcasters approximately $200 million every year in revenue.

“I applaud the advertising industry for working to eradicate this despicable practice."

MMTC said in a statement, "Historically, MMTC has served as both a watchdog of industry practices and a conduit by which whistleblowers anonymously reported advertisers that appeared to be discriminating against minority media because of the race of their audiences. MMTC will continue to serve in these capacities and the new Media Vendor Policy will not change MMTC’s roles.

"We look forward to the success of the 4A’s policy, and hope that in time it will be expanded to encompass other market distorting practices, such as racial discrimination that manifests itself in rates and contract terms."

Joan Behan-Duncan, a spokeswoman for the association, explained, "The 4A's as a trade association cannot adopt or enforce policy among its members but instead works to recommend and encourage adoption of best practices."

Karen M. Clark Dies, Was NABJ J-Educator of the Year

Dr. Karen M. Clark, a retired broadcast journalism professor and department chair at Langston University in Langston, Okla., died in Oklahoma City on Wednesday, colleagues said. She was 58. The recipient of a kidney transplant, she recently underwent emergency surgery and died of renal failure said Charles Shepherd, president of the Oklahoma Association of Black Journalists and with Clark, a 1994 co-founder of the association.

Karen ClarkIn 2005, Dr. Clark was named Journalism Educator of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists.

In nominating Clark the previous year for the Barry Bingham Sr. fellowship of the National Conference of Editorial Writers, Russell LaCour wrote, "Dr. Clark is currently working on her second book about the historical images of African-American women in films. This book will be her second self-published book. Her first one, "Grammar and Word Usage for African Americans — A simple A to Z Guide," was published in 2003. The grammar book was developed from the many NABJ workshops she has done for college students. . . .

"Dr. Clark is the kind of individual who toils long and hard in relative anonymity to provide budding minority journalists with the foundations needed for their future. Langston University’s chapter of NABJ has been one of the strongest student chapters in the region and was a finalist nationally for chapter of the year with Dr. Clark as their advisor. More than anything she exudes the tenets of good journalism and endeavors to imbue her students with the desire to find the truth and tell the stories that aren’t being told."

Cheryl Smith, a former NABJ regional director for Texas and nearby states, selected Dr. Clark as her deputy. "I held Karen in such high esteem because she was a real warrior," Smith said. "She loved NABJ and her students. When I selected her as Deputy Director, I did so because she worked hard to further NABJ's mission. She knew that in order to build NABJ, we had to strengthen our chapters and support our members by reaching out, providing programming, and advocating. Even when her health was failing . . . she remained committed to her students, oftentimes using her own resources for their benefit."

Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at Corpus Christi Catholic Church, 1005 N. E. 15th St., Oklahoma City, telephone 405-236-4301, according to her husband, Ronald Clark.

Media Activists Challenge NPR on Ethics Standards

"On Friday NPR decided it would no longer distribute an opera program because of the political activism of the program's host — who does not work for NPR," the media watchdog group Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting said on Tuesday.

"Together we can send a message to NPR about this appalling decision.

"A controversy erupted over freelance radio host Lisa Simeone's participation with an activist group occupying a park in Washington, D.C. Simeone was promptly fired as host of the documentary program Soundprint (AP, 10/20/11), which cited NPR ethics guidelines. NPR claims it had nothing to do with that firing (Poynter.org, 10/20/11). . . .

"NPR's standards for news reporters do not appear all that clear, either. NPR news host Scott Simon took public positions supporting the Afghan War and the Iraq War (Current, 9/8/03). News reporter Mara Liasson denounced antiwar Democratic politicians on Fox News Channel (10/3/02): "These guys are a disgrace.... You don't go to an adversary country, an enemy country, and badmouth the United States... these guys ought to, I don't know, resign.'

"What about the political opinions of news analyst Cokie Roberts? As Robert Naiman pointed out (Huffington Post, 5/22/07), Roberts co-authored a column declaring that 'Democratic leaders cannot afford to listen to the labor movement as the country approaches a major debate over trade policy.' She also co-authored a column (12/10/10) attacking 'liberals in fantasyland,' like New York Times columnist Paul Krugman, Nation editor Katrina vanden Heuvel and Norman Solomon, for their 'delusional" criticism of Barack Obama. . . .'"

President Obama delivers a statement on housing in Las Vegas on Tuesday. (Credit: Chuck Kennedy/White House)

Obama White House Slammed Again on Openness

"Much to the chagrin of open government advocates, the Obama administration has filed the necessary paperwork to appeal a federal district court ruling ordering the Secret Service to release White House visitor logs under the Freedom of Information Act," the American Society of News Editors said Wednesday.

"This longstanding dispute has been a flashpoint in the continuing debate regarding the administration’s level of transparency. White House officials have repeatedly pointed to the voluntary release of some visitor logs as evidence of its historic commitment to open government; opponents note that while the administration has released some visitor logs, it continues to adhere to the position that the records are not required to be disclosed under FOIA.

"The White House argues that the visitor logs are not subject to release under FOIA because they are presidential records, not agency records in the possession of the Secret Service — the exact same position taken by President Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush."

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Chronicle wrote in an editorial Wednesday:

"The Obama White House's restrictions on media access to its fundraising events makes a mockery of its claim to be the most transparent administration in history.

"If anything, there is almost a Nixonian quality to the level of control, paranoia — issue of media access to President Obama's fundraisers.

"Bay Area reporters will not be allowed inside the W Hotel today when the president meets with hundreds of contributors paying $7,500 or more to attend. Only Washington-based journalists were allowed in the pool — continuing a disturbing trend by this White House to severely limit access to fundraisers. Even former President George W. Bush, hardly a champion of transparency, allowed local reporters to cover his fundraising events."

Historic Walk in Richmond, Va.

(Credit: Jerome Reid/Richmond Free Press)

Sandra Sellars, a photographer for the Richmond Free Press, an African American weekly, and Raymond H. Boone, its editor and publisher, approach an entrance at the Virginia Supreme Court Friday before Sellars became the first woman and first black newspaper journalist to photograph the Virginia Supreme Court's investiture.

Sellars covered the investiture of Virginia Supreme Court Justice Cleo E. Powell as as the first black female justice in the court's 232-year history.

"Chief Justice Cynthia D. Kinser's approval of Sellars represents a major victory for the decade-long Free Press campaign to change the court's guidelines that previously barred photographers from the Free Press and other Black-owned newspapers, as well as those from non-dailies," Jeremy M. Lazarus wrote in the Free Press. "Earlier, the chief justice, in response to another Free Press campaign, expunged sexist references from the court's website.

". . . The new Kinser guidelines, for the first time, allow a pool photographer for non-daily newspapers and one, as usual, for dailies. Previously, the court only allowed one pool photographer in the courtroom — and that photographer always came from a White-owned daily or The Associated Press."

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 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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