Richard Prince's Journal-isms™

Yahoo: We Don't Disclose Diversity Stats

Send by email
Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Company Won't ID Its "Manager of Diversity Programs"

Conference Attendees Pointed Out Who Was Missing

Weekly Depicts Obamas as Fred Sanford, Aunt Esther

"Mindy" Marques Named Managing Editor at Miami Herald

Stephen Buckley Tapped as Poynter Dean of Faculty

Corynne L. Corbett Joins Essence as Beauty Director

Half of Howard U. J-Class Given "F's" as "Truly Triflin'"

Sportswriter Wants Wilt Chamberlain on a Postage Stamp

Short Takes

Company Won't ID Its "Manager of Diversity Programs"

Carol Bartz, left, succeeded Jerry Yang as Yahoo! CEO When the American Society of News Editors decided to add "online-only newspapers" to its annual diversity census of print newspapers, Yahoo was one of the 21 that did not respond, ASNE said. At least four of the others protested they had not received the request.

Yahoo was not among them. "We do not release our diversity statistics," spokeswoman Carrie Davis told Journal-isms this week. "We are a major public company and have strict regulations about what we do/do not disclose."

Yahoo News is the most-visited news site on the Web, the New York Times reported in March. It has "recruited nearly a dozen journalists from traditional and online media outlets and opened a bureau in Washington to push into original content and increase the popularity of its online news site," the Times reporter, Miguel Helft, wrote on March 30.

Moreover, Mike Shields of Mediaweek reported in April that, "Yahoo is on the verge of hiring more traditional journalists as it plans to aggressively beef up original content."

However, Davis would not say whether any of these journalists have been of color.

Davis did disclose that the company had appointed a "manager of diversity programs," but said she could not disclose her name.

Asked whether that manager would be responding to the diversity questions, Davis said, "You are actually not going to hear from her. I spoke to her and we do not release our diversity statistics. If you need a 'statement' from Yahoo!, here is what we can provide: 'Yahoo! values diversity and inclusion and is an equal opportunity employer.''

[In February, the San Jose Mercury News reported that in early 2008, it had sought federal employment data for Silicon Valley's 15 largest companies through the Freedom of Information Act. "Following an appeals process that stretched over nearly two years, five of those companies - Google, Apple, Yahoo, Oracle and Applied Materials - convinced federal officials to block public disclosure," Mike Swift reported.

[He wrote, "Hispanics and blacks made up a smaller share of the valley's computer workers in 2008 than they did in 2000, a Mercury News review of federal data shows, even as their share grew across the nation."]

Since 1978, ASNE has asked news organizations for their diversity statistics in order to measure progress toward its goal of minority employment "equivalent to the percentage of minority persons within the national population." The original goal was to meet that percentage by 2000, but it was extended in 1998 to 2025.

ASNE has said that 65 percent of daily newspapers respond to its survey.

A look at Yahoo's management team shows some diversity, at least at the management level.

Jerry Yang co-founded the Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company in 1994, while working on a Ph.D. at Stanford University. Among other activities, Yang is a member of the board of directors of the Asian Pacific Fund, a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the health and well-being of Asian Americans in the San Francisco Bay Area. In April 2009, Carol Bartz succeeded Yang as CEO.

David Windley, who is black, is the leader of Yahoo's global human resources team.

The company had 13,200 workers in October, according to the Associated Press. [Updated May 8.]

Conference Attendees Pointed Out Who Was Missing

What happens when you have a conference on "the Future of Journalism" and none of the participants is of color?

It's not such an unusual occurrence, but at Stanford Law School, at least, people notice.

"Unfortunately, I don't believe there were any people of color who spoke at the conference, at least not visibly so," Sarah Hinchliff Pearson, a residential fellow and the conference organizer, told Journal-isms.

"That glaring problem was pointed out to me by many people at the conference and even by one of the speakers during a panel. This was my first shot at planning a conference, and I clearly didn't take racial/ethnic diversity [into] account the way I did with diversity of thought. I would certainly change that if I could do the planning over."

The event, produced by the law school's Center for Internet and Society, was "a conference designed to challenge the conventional wisdom about the Fourth Estate in a provocative debate among journalists, scholars, and technologists." It took place Thursday and Friday. Pearson said a video of the entire event would be posted soon on the conference website.


Publisher of Long Island, N.Y., weekly regrets any offense at its "satire." (credit: WPIX-TV)

Weekly Depicts Obamas as Fred Sanford, Aunt Esther

"Photos of President Barack Obama and his wife Michelle that surfaced in a Republican newspaper last week have caused a flurry of controversy on Long Island," New York's WPIX-TV reported on Wednesday.

"The pictures featured in the weekly Smithtown Messenger, created by Phillip Sciarello, features 'before and after' photos of six presidents and their wives, starting with Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter and continuing on to the Obamas.

"One picture of President Obama and his wife Michelle show the couple hugging, while the second depicted the 1970's show 'Sanford and Son' where Sanford's sister-in-law Aunt Esther, played by LaWanda Page, had her fists up facing comedian Redd Foxx.

"The publication issued a statement to PIX 11 News that will also appear as a retraction slated to appear in Thursday's publication.

" 'The publisher of the Smithtown Messenger regret[s] any offense taken by our readers at the photographic political satire depicting the current and past presidents on the editorial page in the April 29th, 2010 issue. While we have grave disagreement with the policies of the current Administration, we hold the office of President of the United States in great respect.'

" 'We also hold dear the principles of freedom and tolerance upon which our great Nation was founded. We are mindful that the satire seemed to some in poor taste. At the same time, we reject the notions that elected officials, at any level of government, or any race, creed, or color, can hold themselves above the law… or immune from satire. This week the President himself caused some controversy by joking about sending deadly 'predator drones' against the Jonas Brothers. We are confident he was not serious, as we are that our satiric content meant no disrespect. We Thank you for your continued readership, and as always, invite your comment or constructive criticism. Our apologies to all concerned.' 

"In addition, the questionable photos appeared in sister papers, including the Brookhaven and Ronkonkoma Review, which is sent to about 30,000 homes on Long Island."

"Mindy" Marques Named Managing Editor in Miami

'Mindy' Marques"After spending 19 years as a reporter and editor at The Miami Herald, Aminda 'Mindy' Marques Gonzalez has been named managing editor of the newsroom. She will report directly to Executive Editor Anders Gyllenhaal and oversee all aspects of the newsroom," Bridget Carey reported Wednesday for the Miami Herald. 

"Marques's appointment comes as the newsroom's management is being reorganized. The position of managing editor had not been filled for more than a year."

"She previously was senior editor for news.

"For nine years she wrote on a wide range of topics that included religion, the city of Opa-locka, Hialeah, the Hispanic community, and breaking news on the night shift. She later went on to guide young reporters as an editor for the Northwest Neighbors section, and then edited on the metro desk.

"In 2002, Marques left The Herald to work at the Miami office of People Magazine, but returned in March of 2007 as a multimedia editor, working on the launch of"

Stephen Buckley Tapped as Poynter Dean of Faculty

Stephen Buckley "Stephen Buckley, publisher of and former managing editor of the St. Petersburg Times, today was named Dean of Faculty by The Poynter Institute, a school dedicated to serving journalism in the interest of democracy," the Poynter Institute announced on Tuesday .

"Buckley, 43, who grew up in St. Petersburg and first attended a Poynter writing program as a teenager, assumes responsibility for all of the Institute's in-person and e-learning programs, as well as for the staff that designs and carries them out.

"Karen B. Dunlap, Poynter's president, announced Buckley's appointment and said his experience as a leader in print and digital journalism, together with his deep appreciation for Poynter's work and values, made him the ideal choice for dean.

"Buckley took a leave in January from the Times — which is owned by Poynter — to became interim dean. He replaces Keith Woods, who joined National Public Radio as vice president, diversity in news and operations."

Corynne L. Corbett Joins Essence as Beauty Director

Corynne L. Corbett Corynne L. Corbett has been named beauty director at Essence magazine, the publication announced on Wednesday.

"In this new role, Corbett will be responsible for leading the beauty team and executing the overall beauty vision for the magazine — in addition to writing, assigning and editing articles.

"Corbett is a veteran journalist who uses her 20 years of experience in fashion, beauty and lifestyle to create engaging and compelling content across a variety of media platforms. Before joining ESSENCE, she served as executive editor of Real Simple magazine, where she oversaw the coverage of fashion, beauty and food for the magazine. Prior to this, she also served as its beauty/wellness director. Previously, she spent 8 years in the beauty department for Elle. Early in her career she was also a regular contributor to ESSENCE for its beauty stories."

Pamela Edwards Christiani, beauty editor at Essence for a decade, joined People magazine as style and beauty editor in March.

Half of Howard J-Class Given "F's" as "Truly Triflin'"

"So, here are the final results: two As, based mostly on the potential the students demonstrated rather than actual performance; two Bs; four Cs; and eight Fs. Half the class," Jack White, contributor to and veteran of Time magazine, wrote on his blog on Wednesday. White taught a course in "Writing For the Media" at Howard University, an introduction to journalism designed for journalism and public relations majors.

"The students who flunked were, to use a word the old folks favored, truly triflin'. They did not turn in work on time even though making deadlines is essential for a journalist. They missed classes. They did not keep up with current events. Their lack of mastery of the basics of English composition — spelling and grammar — was appalling. Their carelessness was breathtaking. Howard bills itself as some kind of Mecca of black higher education, but if the kids I tried to teach this semester are any indication, that's a considerable overstatement. Many of the students I encountered simply were not prepared for college work. They are wasting their parents' hard-earned tuition money."

In a thread on Facebook prompted by the blog entry, Louise Reid Ritchie, another journalist who became an instructor, cautioned, "it is important to know it's not just HBCUs," historically black colleges and universities, with the problems White mentioned. Having taken classes "for fun" at two other schools and taught graduate students at a third, "I saw the same behaviors and problems at those schools with many students from a variety of races and backgrounds," she said.

Sportswriter Wants Wilt Chamberlain on a Stamp

Wilt Chamberlain Donald Hunt, a sportswriter for the Philadelphia Tribune, the oldest continually running African American newspaper, has started a campaign to put the late 7-foot-1 basketball superstar Wilt Chamberlain on a postage stamp.

"The feedback has been tremendous. We're hoping Wilt will get on a postage stamp in the near future. A lot of his family and friends are getting older," Hunt told Journal-isms on Wednesday.

Hunt has been on his quest for a while. In 2008, the Associated Press wrote, "Hunt, who recalled as a child watching in person Chamberlain play for the 76ers against Oscar Robertson and the Cincinnati Royals, believes 'The Big Dipper' has the credentials to join Jackie Robinson, Babe Ruth, Joe Louis and Jesse Owens among the sports legends with their own stamps.

" 'People should remember the great ones,' Hunt wrote for a Feb. 15 story. 'They don't come any bigger or better than Wilt Chamberlain.'

"Hunt said has already received support from Chamberlain fans and former teammates and opponents, and hoped the stamp would be issued during Black History Month or possibly the anniversary of Chamberlain's 100-point game on March 2, 1962 against the New York Knicks in Hershey, Pa.

"The 31,419 points Chamberlain scored during his career stood as a record until Kareem Abdul-Jabbar broke it in 1984."

Chamberlain might be as well-known for his announcement in his second autobiography, "A View from Above," in 1991, that he had sex with 20,000 women.

"He later admitted that he made up the number, but it did make him the target of jokes and criticism, including from his fellow athletes for fueling prejudices about their sexual behavior," the Chicago Tribune's Clarence Page wrote in a December column that commented on the Tiger Woods infidelity scandal.

"Yet Tiger could take a lesson from Chamberlain's sentiments in 1999 shortly before his death," Page continued. "The seven-foot star known widely as 'Wilt the Stilt' said he regretted his failure to explain that the sexual climate in the 1960s and '70s, when he had most of his sexual escapades, was much more carefree than in later decades. He also warned 'all of you men out there who think that having a thousand different ladies is pretty cool' that he had learned, 'having one woman a thousand different times is much more satisfying.' "

Short Takes

Follow Richard Prince on Twitter

Facebook users: Sign up for the "Richard Prince's Journal-isms" fan page.

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.




So Yahoo! considers itself too big to report its diversity numbers. Sounds like it has something to hide. Are not the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal and other newspapers not part of major corporations? Any journalists whose computers open browsers to Yahoo! ought to change it to another page until this Web-based company sees the virtue of transparency.

Post new comment

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