Cuban President Cuts Off Historic Questioning

At NBC, ‘Breaking News’ Can Already Be Shattered

After the Questions, Trump Called Her ‘Beautiful

Rubio’s Biographer Calls Him ‘Gifted and Flawed

McConnell Bluffs Talk Shows on ‘Biden Rule’

NAHJ, California’s CCNMA to Merge

L.A. Times Revives Race and Justice Beat

Diversity Topics Win in Business Writing Contest

Tobacco Giant Gives $250,000 to Black Press Group

MLB to Hire Spanish Interpreters for Players

Short Takes

President Obama, Obama, midway through his history-making trip, succeeded in getting Cuban President Raul Castro to submit to questioning, a routine occurrence for U.S. presidents but an anomaly in a country that tightly controls media. (Credit: White House)

President Obama, midway through his history-making trip, succeeded in getting Cuban President Raul Castro to submit to questioning, a routine occurrence for U.S. presidents but an anomaly in a country that tightly controls media. (Credit: White House)

Cuban President Cuts Off Historic Questioning

In a stunning diplomatic display, U.S. President Barack Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro tussled in the Cuban capital Monday over human rights, democracy and the U.S. trade embargo as an American leader visited for the first time in decades,” Josh Lederman reported Monday for the Associated Press.

“Castro, who rarely takes questions from the media, fielded several from American and Cuban journalists, denying knowledge of any political prisoners. He rejected criticism of Cuba’s human rights record, pointing to the nation’s health care and education for all.

“Obama, midway through his history-making trip, succeeded in getting Cuba’s leader to submit to questioning, a routine occurrence for U.S. presidents but an anomaly in a country that tightly controls media. Castro’s answers were far from forthcoming. Yet the mere occurrence of the news conference was an extraordinary sight for Cubans and those hoping the communist island will change its ways.

“Asked by an American television reporter about political prisoners in Cuba, Castro seemed oblivious, first saying he couldn’t hear the question, then asking whether it was directed to him or Obama. Eventually he pushed back, saying if the journalist could offer up names of anyone allegedly imprisoned, ‘they will be released before tonight ends.’

” ‘What political prisoners? Give me a name or names,’ Castro said defiantly as Cuban citizens watched on state television. He added later, ‘It’s not correct to ask me about political prisoners in general.’

“After responding to a handful of questions, Castro ended the news conference abruptly, declaring, ‘I think this is enough.’

“Obama then leaned in toward Castro, perhaps to pat him on the back. But in an awkward misfire, the Cuban leader tried to seize Obama’s arm triumphantly and ended up holding it in the air as Obama’s wrist dangled, a moment that immediately ricocheted on social media.

“Criticized for briefly detaining demonstrators thousands of times a year, Cuba has drastically reduced its practice of handing down long prison sentences for crimes human rights groups consider political. Amnesty International said in a recent report that it knew of no prisoners of conscience in Cuba.

“It’s extremely rare for Raul Castro to preside over a formal news conference, although he has sometimes taken reporters’ questions when the mood strikes. The White House worked hard to get him to agree.

” ‘This is pure history, and I never thought I’d see something like this,’ said Marlene Pino, a 47-year-old engineer in Havana. Added Ricardo Herrera, a street food vendor, ‘It’s like a movie, but based on real life.’

NBC’s Lester Holt and ABC’s David Muir anchored Monday’s evening news broadcasts from Cuba. Muir also scored a sit-down interview with Obama.

Crews from the broadcast and cable networks arrived late last week for coverage,” Chris Ariens reported Sunday for TVNewser. “But even as relations between the two nations become normalized, some TV news crews had their gear held at customs, meaning some live shots were delayed.”

Ariens also reported Sunday, “Meanwhile, Soledad O’Brien, whose mother was born in Cuba, will sit down tomorrow with First Lady Michelle Obama in a conversation with Cuban students. Later Monday, O’Brien will moderate a panel with President Obama and Cuban entrepreneurs. . . .”

Business Insider sent three reporters to Cuba for a week; the New York Times said it would have three reporters and two photographers; and the Miami Herald said it was sending a team of seven journalists from the Miami Herald, el Nuevo Herald and the parent McClatchy Co.  [paywall], (Mimi Whitefield, Nora Gamez Torres, Patricia Mazzei, Al Diaz, Lesley Clark, Franco Ordonez and Brittany Peterson.)

Ron Howell, an associate professor of English at Brooklyn College in New York and former Newsday journalist, wrote for the Miami Herald about Marta Rojas, who in 1953 witnessed Fidel Castro and his compañeros attacking the Moncada military barracks of then-Cuban leader Fulgencio Batista. Howell called Rojas “one of the greatest American journalists during the post-World War II period. I use ‘America’ in the wider sense, to encompass the hemisphere known as The Americas, stretching north to south, Canada to Brazil, with all the French-, English- and Spanish-speaking countries in between.”

Jim Acosta

Jim Acosta

Jim Acosta, CNN senior White House correspondent, wrote Sunday about his visit to Cuba seven years ago, when he reported on Obama’s first flirtation with normalizing relations. It was also a personal journey, as he met relatives he had never seen. His father fled the island for the United States in 1962, three weeks before the Cuban Missile Crisis. “As part of the massive migration of Cubans to the U.S., families were simply ripped [apart],” Acosta explained.

On Monday, Obama called on Acosta for the first question at the rare news conference with Raul Castro.

In Spanish, Acosta asked Castro why his country kept political prisoners,” Eyder Peralta reported for NPR.

“Clearly miffed, Castro asked Acosta to hand over a list of political prisoners.

” ‘Give me a list after this press conference. If there are political prisoners, they will be released by nightfall. That’s it,’ Castro said.

“Almost immediately, The Center for a Free Cuba, which advocates for human rights on the island, sent over a list documenting more than 1,000 cases of persons who they say were ‘arbitrarily detained’ for political reasons. . . .”

At NBC, ‘Breaking News’ Can Already Be Shattered

As is his practice, anchor Lester Holt introduced the “NBC Nightly News” Monday with “breaking news.” On Monday, it was Cuban President Raul Castro awkwardly grabbing the arm of President Obama at their joint news conference. However, the “breaking news” happened three hours before the broadcast.

Broadcast news critic Mervin Block noticed this routine bit of hyping in January. “Lester Holt sure knows how to make news seem exciting. He does that by introducing a story on the newscast he anchors, NBC’s ‘Nightly News,’ as ‘breaking news.’ But often the story has already been broken, even shattered,” Block wrote.

” ‘Breaking news tonight,’ Holt began his newscast on Jan. 8, 2016, ‘officer ambushed. Horrifying images, a gunman firing 11 shots at a Philadelphia cop in his patrol car, the officer firing back, hitting the suspect, who police say pledged allegiance to Isis.’

Breaking news? Tonight? In fact, the policeman was shot shortly before midnight the previous night. And the shooter was caught in a few minutes. So all the action took place about 18 hours before Holt called it breaking news tonight. In this sampling of Holt’s scripts, we see how Holt shifts time to make stories seem far fresher than they really are — apparently a ploy to hook viewers. . . .” Block cited several other examples.

Asked about this at the time, an NBC News spokeswoman declined to comment on the record.

The website journalism.about.com gives this definition, “Breaking news refers to events that are currently developing, or ‘breaking.’ Breaking news usually refers to events that are unexpected, such as a plane crash or building fire. Breaking news can also refer to news that occurs late in the day, close to a news outlet’s usual deadline.”

After the Questions, Trump Called Her ‘Beautiful’

Karen Attiah

Karen Attiah

Donald Trump, the Republican front-runner for the presidential nomination, met with The Washington Post’s editorial board Monday to answer questions ranging from his views on NATO and the American criminal justice system to the violence that has been plaguing his rallies,” Karen Attiah wrote Monday for the Post.

“We hoped that we would get to peel back some of the layers of Trump. In our meeting, when asked whether he thought there were racial disparities in how laws are enforced, Trump said he had ‘no opinion.’ As time was running out, I wanted to press him a little more on if he plans to run on and/or govern on a message of racial inclusion. . . .”

Attiah, who is apparently a former model, also wrote, “As the meeting ended and we were walking out of the room, I thanked Trump for taking my question. He turned to me and said, ‘I really hope I answered your question,’ and added casually with a smile, ‘Beautiful.’ I was stunned. I didn’t say thank you, and I don’t think I smiled. He then walked out to meet with my Post colleagues briefly before heading to the elevator. I stayed in the conference room for a few minutes as it sunk in that the potential GOP nominee for president thought it was okay to comment on my appearance. Did he just say that?

“Planning out how to question Trump in a way that was illuminating was like planning for asymmetrical warfare against an opponent who doesn’t follow the same rules as you do. Who doesn’t believe in rules. Who thinks that rules won’t help make America great again.

“In Trump’s world, commenting on a woman’s appearance in a professional setting is fair game, as is predicting riots if he doesn’t get the nomination, threatening the speaker of the House, vowing to ‘open up’ libel laws to go after ‘unfair’ media, and helping to stoke the flames of violence at his rallies.

“Perhaps he thought that calling me beautiful would make me ignore the fact that he brazenly lied about his polling numbers among Hispanic voters. Or make me believe that he wasn’t really a racist. Who knows? At least now I know, firsthand, that the sexism that Trump puts on display against Megyn Kelly under the lights of national TV is not that much different from how he is in real life toward female journalists.

“Sad.”

Rubio’s Biographer Calls Him ‘Gifted and Flawed’

Manuel Roig-Franzia

Manuel Roig-Franzia

After his failed bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida announced last week that he is not running for governor and is not seeking re-election as senator.

But his biographer, Washington Post reporter Manuel Roig-Franzia, author of 2012’s “The Rise of Marco Rubio,” says, “I doubt we’ve heard the last of him.”

“A biographer could not ask for a more interesting subject [than] Marco Rubio,” Roig-Franzia told Journal-isms Monday by email. “He’s gifted and flawed, improbable and complicated. It was very gratifying to hear from so many US media, who were trying to understand him and had read my book or seen the additional writing I’d done about him in The Washington Post.

“But it was also very interesting how often I heard from reporters in other parts of the world, especially Latin America and Spain. I think that was an indication of how Rubio’s rise in American politics represented something larger than his own campaign. I doubt we’ve heard the last of him. So, Richard, to be continued.”

McConnell Bluffs Talk Shows on ‘Biden Rule’

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) cited what he called the ‘Biden rule’ on several Sunday political talk shows as precedent for not holding hearings or a vote on Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, which the Sunday show hosts did question,” Nick Fernandez reported Monday for Media Matters for America.

“Yet the ‘rule’ McConnell was referencing was, in fact, a call for a ‘compromise’ nominee and was in reference to a hypothetical vacancy by resignation, not a vacancy caused by death.”

In an op-ed piece in the New York Times March 3, Vice President Joseph H. Biden Jr., a former chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said what has been called the “Biden Rule” has been distorted.

Some have taken comments I made in 1992 to mean that I supported the same kind of obstructionist position as a senator,” Biden wrote. “But that reading distorts the broader meaning of the speech I gave from the Senate floor that year.

“It was late June, and at the time there was much speculation that a sitting justice would retire, leaving President George H.W. Bush to appoint a successor in the final months of his first term.

“We had been through several highly contentious Supreme Court confirmation hearings during my tenure, and I feared that a nomination at that late date, just a few weeks before the presidential conventions, would create immense political acrimony. So I called on the president to wait until after the election to submit a nomination if a sitting justice were to create a vacancy by retiring before November. And if the president declined to do that, I recommended that the Judiciary Committee not hold hearings ‘until after the political campaign season is over.’

“Those brief statements were part of a much more extensive speech that reviewed the history of Supreme Court nomination fights during election years. My purpose was not to obstruct, but to call for two important goals: restoring a more consultative process between the White House and the Senate in filling Supreme Court vacancies, and encouraging the nomination of a consensus candidate who could lower the partisan temperature in the country.

“It is the same view I hold today. . . .”

NAHJ, California’s CCNMA to Merge

The boards of the California Chicano News Media Association and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists have agreed to merge the organizations to better tackle diversity, training and development for members in Los Angeles and California,” the two organizations announced on Monday.

“ ‘NAHJ came from CCNMA 30 plus years ago and today, we come back together,’ said Mekahlo Medina, NAHJ President. ‘This new partnership will initially focus on Los Angeles, merging NAHJ LA and CCNMA’s boards and activities and then growing CCNMA’s presence in other chapters across the state.’

“The memorandum of understanding agreed by both boards maintains CCNMA’s brand and initiatives as both organizations hope to grow and reach more mutual members across the state. NAHJ chapters in San Diego and the San Francisco Bay Area will retain their independence as they also partner with CCNMA to expand our reach in California and throughout the nation.

“ ‘We’re looking forward to this new relationship with NAHJ in California,” said Joe Rodriguez, CCNMA President and former NAHJ board member. ‘The partnership will allow CCNMA to strengthen [its] signature job fair and scholarship programs as it begins to cast a wider net, from promoting journalism in minority high schools to helping veteran journalists expand their skills in a rapidly changing industry. I’d like to see our local memberships work together on every initiative from now on.’

“ ‘This is a historic moment for Latino journalists in the U.S.,’ said Antonio Mejias-Rentas, NAHJ Los Angeles President. ‘By building on the legacy of these two important organizations, we can increase our ability to meet our shared goals of increasing Hispanic representation in mainstream media and providing training opportunities for our membership, including those working in Spanish-language media.’ . . .”

Medina said that NAHJ has about 2,000 members and that many members of CCNMA, also known as CCNMA — Latino Journalists of California, have joined both groups. [Rodriguez emailed on Wednesday that in January,  the CCNMA board put membership at 40 or 50 in good standing.] [Updated March 23.]

L.A. Times Revives Race and Justice Beat

The Los Angeles Times has revived a race and justice beat and hired Jaweed Kaleem, a senior religion reporter at the Huffington Post, to fill it, Kim Murphy, assistant managing editor/foreign and national, announced to staff members on Monday.

Jaweek Kaleem

Jaweed Kaleem

Deirdre Edgar, readers’ representative, made a similar announcement to readers.

“Kaleem will be examining the ways in which race and ethnicity shape our evolving understanding of what it is to be American,” Murphy wrote. “He will be looking at persistent inequality in our schools, neighborhoods and workplaces; at why citizens’ experiences with the police, the courts and the prison system continue to vary with skin color; at the ways in which race helps shape the political debate and transform the culture.”

The Times also hired Brooke Minters of Al Jazeera’s AJ+, a black journalist and native of Los Angeles, as its new editor of video, the news operation announced last week. “In her role, Brooke will coordinate daily with the news and enterprise hub, and across the newsroom, to ensure our video offerings are creative, shareable and distinctive.”

The online channel AJ+ “revolutionized the way we watch video on social platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. She served as an executive producer on its explainer team there and was one of the original staff members. Previously, she was a producer at Current TV. . . .,” the announcement said.

Brooke Minters

Brooke Minters

Hillary Manning, the Times’ director of communication, told Journal-isms last week that “Los Angeles is one of the most diverse cities in the world: there are 25 nations for whom the largest number of people, outside the home country, live in Los Angeles. Almost 200 languages and dialects are spoken in Los Angeles, many of them from Asia and Latin America.

“In order to fulfill our commitment to being the region’s pre-eminent source for news and information, and to better serve the community we cover, it’s essential that our newsroom become more diverse.

“As of this week, our newsroom is 4% more diverse than it was less than a year ago; 32% of our editorial staff is of a minority race (non-white). That’s almost three times better than the average newsroom (ASNE Census estimates 12.76% of newspaper workforce is minority). It is currently 60% male and 40% female, while Los Angeles is 50%-50%; we are working on that as well. . . .”

Murphy said in her announcement, “Kaleem comes to us from the Miami Herald and more recently the Huffington Post, where he was a senior religion reporter, covering many of the demographic and cultural trends that reflect the nation’s racial identities. He helped coordinate the publication’s Muslim in America project, an innovative, animated digital snapshot of the range of Muslim experience in the U.S. He also wrote regularly about religion’s role in politics, national security and race.

“In Seattle, he wrote about the growth of ‘people of color’ meditation circles among Buddhists; in Florida, he wrote about young Latinos who find better spiritual community with blacks and other minorities than in the Spanish-speaking institutions of their parents; when a black church was attacked in Charleston, he wrote on the African Methodist Episcopal church’s civil rights legacy. . . .”

Diversity Topics Win in Business Writing Contest

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers announced winners and finalists Thursday in its 21st annual Best in Business (BIB) Awards competition, which recognizes outstanding business journalism that was published or aired in 2015.

Winners included reports on the lack of diversity among financial advisers, challenges facing Cuban entrepreneurs, debt collection in black neighborhoods, profiteering by private prison systems and slavery in the international seafood industry.

From the winners’ roster:

“Print – Weeklies/Biweeklies – Feature

“Winner: Elizabeth MacBride, Robert Hordt, Ellie Zhu, Liz Skinner, Matt Ackermann, InvestmentNews, for ‘Fifty Shades of White

“A strong piece that addresses the serious issue of the lack of diversity among financial advisers. Bravely shaming its core audience, the story skillfully weaves exclusive data and eye-opening anecdotes.”

“Student – Stories Written for Student Publications

“Winner: Raquel Blanco, Stevie Borrello, Lynn Chawengwongsa, Shannon Jones, Michael Machado, Kerry Mack, Baruch College, City University of New York, Dollars & Sense, “Cuba in 2015: Entrepreneurism on the Rise”

“The judges were impressed by the scope and depth of this team effort on a timely topic. The stories provided historical perspective, telling quotes, and a healthy dose of skepticism about the challenges facing Cuban entrepreneurs. The video report was added value. This series is an example of smart, well-executed enterprise.

“Digital – Explanatory, Division 1

“Winner: Paul Kiel, Annie Waldman and Al Shaw, ProPublica, for ‘The Color of Debt: How Collection Suits Squeeze Black Neighborhoods’

“It’s not easy to make a story on the statistical distribution of small debt lawsuits both interesting and compelling, but this series did just that. The deft use of data visualization made the correlation between debt lawsuits and race unavoidably clear; if you didn’t read any of the stories, those interactive graphics said it all.

“It was also due to strong reporting and storytelling that brought home the surreal consequences — a city where the mayor and most of the council have all been sued over their debt. Together the series provides a clear explanation of how a mix of social and economic factors can lead to undeniably clear racial discrimination without intent to discriminate. That makes it an important contribution to the discussion of race in 21st century America, which is about how to combat structural rather than overt racism.

“Digital – Explanatory, Division 2

“Winner: Eric Markowitz, International Business Times, for a series on profiteering by private prison systems

“Incarceration is a key issue in the 2016 elections, and the privatization of the penal system is worth a closer look. This examination of huge user fees and charges for prison telecommunications — an issue few people might ever have thought about — has already prompted a response by the FCC. No one can read these stories and not be outraged by the profiteering. Recommended reading for journalism students, and the pros as well.

“International – Investigative

“Winner: Margie Mason, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza, Esther Htusan, Associated Press, for ‘Seafood Slaves’

“Amazing work! It’s tough to think of a business news story with a bigger impact on real lives —freeing slaves! Wow. This deeply reported, passionate work was done by journalists who took great risks in dangerous areas. They showed courage, creativity and commitment. They deserve the awards being heaped upon them — this work is in a class by itself.

“News Agencies – Investigative

“Winner: Margie Mason, Robin McDowell, Martha Mendoza, Esther Htusan, Associated Press, for ‘Seafood Slaves’

“A remarkable project that was ambitious in both conception and execution. This set of stories is a sterling example of how a range of reporting and storytelling techniques can work together to make an investigation compelling as well as convincing. At a time when many news organizations are cutting costs and focusing on speed, this project showed how the expensive, time-consuming work of true investigation can affect policy and change lives.”

Tobacco Giant Gives $250,000 to Black Press Group

After National Newspaper Publishers Association President Benjamin Chavis Jr. visited Reynolds American’s headquarters in Winston-Salem, N.C., he left impressed — and with hopes of big money from the tobacco giant,” Dave Levinthal reported Thursday for the Center for Public Integrity.

“Ultimately, Reynolds American last year gave $250,000 to the organization, which from its Washington, D.C., headquarters represents the interests of more than 200 African-American-owned community newspapers across the nation.

“The donation — listed in a new Reynolds American corporate governance document reviewed by the Center for Public Integrity — represented the largest contribution Reynolds American made in 2015 to nearly three-dozen nonprofit organizations, many of which are politically active and typically keep their funders secret. . . .”

Levinthal also wrote, “Chavis of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, which last week conducted three-day gathering in Washington, D.C., that featured various elected and government officials, said he actively courted Reynolds American’s support given its long-standing advertising relationship with many member newspapers. He said he never considered rejecting Reynolds American’s $250,000 contribution when it arrived.

“One major factor, he said: ‘We saw a lot of diversity among their executives.’ Reynolds American, Chavis also noted, has diversified into non-tobacco products, invests in community development and has actively worked to curb smoking among youth. . . .”

MLB to Hire Spanish Interpreters for Players

For the first time Major League Baseball instructed its 30 teams this season to hire full-time Spanish interpreters for their Latino players, Eric Nunez reported Sunday for the Associated Press.

“For years, teams employed personal translators for their Japanese or Korean imports. But they rarely had translators on their staff for the dozens of players mainly from the Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Mexico and Puerto Rico, instead relying on veteran Latino players, coaches or [Spanish broadcasters] to help out with interviews.

“Not anymore.

“Reporting directly to the team’s public relations director or general manager, the bilingual employee has to be available year-round for media interviews before and after games, including road trips, according to a memo sent by MLB and the players’ union to all teams before spring training. The initiative would be subsidized by the penalties teams pay when exceeding the international signing bonus limit. The amount available for each club to cover the new positions in 2016 will be $65,000.

“This way, nothing gets lost in translation.

Carlos Gonzalez

Carlos Gonzalez

” ‘It’s awesome, a welcome change,’ [Colorado] Rockies outfielder Carlos Gonzalez said. ‘I was blessed because I learned English quickly, but for others it’s not easy.’

In 2004, a language misunderstanding led to a libel suit against the Miami Herald that was settled four years later.

Jockey Jose Santos rode Funny Cide to victories in the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. The suit accused the newspaper of publishing an article that falsely accused Santos of carrying an unauthorized and illegal object in his hand during his Kentucky Derby ride.

The newspaper reported that Santos said he carried an object in his hand during the race and that he described it as a “cue” ring to alert an outrider to his presence. Derby racing stewards later concluded  thatSantos was holding only his whip.

The jockey, who spoke English with a heavy accent, later said there was a misunderstanding: He was talking about his “Q-Ray” bracelet for arthritis.

“If we have a situation again where a Spanish-speaking jockey [talks to] a non-Spanish-speaking reporter, we’ll have a Spanish speaker conduct the interview,” the Herald’s then-executive editor, Tom Fiedler, said then, according to Miami New Times.

Short Takes

  • The first-ever data analysis of all Taser incidents in Maryland reveals that police agencies across the state have predominantly used the devices against suspects who posed no immediate threat,” Mark Puente and Doug Donovan reported Monday for the Baltimore Sun, summarizing a six-month investigation. “In hundreds of cases over a three-year period, police didn’t follow widely accepted safety recommendations. . . .”
  • The story of the 1973 Palace of Versailles fashion show that put American designers and black models on the map is the subject of The Battle Of Versailles, an HBO Films movie co-written and directed by Selma helmer Ava DuVernay,” Nellie Andreeva reported Monday for Deadline Hollywood. “She is co-writing the project, now in development, with Michael Starrbury (The Inevitable Defeat Of Mister And Pete). It is based on the 2015 book The Battle Of Versailles: The Night American Fashion Stumbled Into The Spotlight And Made History by fashion journalist Robin Givhan. . . .”
  • Today, many people know this small borough as a stop on the turnpike or as the site of Dickinson College,” Jeff Gammage wrote March 13 for the Philadelphia Inquirer. “But from 1879 to 1918, the town was home to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, the flagship of a fleet of federally funded, off-reservation boarding schools. It immersed native children in the dominant white culture, seeking to cleanse their ‘savage nature’ by erasing their names, language, dress, customs, religions, and family ties. The Carlisle goal: ‘Kill the Indian, save the man.’ Sometimes, both perished. Nearly 200 children are buried here in the Indian cemetery. Now the Rosebud Sioux seek to have at least 10 tribe members brought back to the reservation, where they can be reburied after appropriate native prayers and services. . . .”
  • Eldridge Cleaver message to William Drummond

    Eldridge Cleaver message to William Drummond

    William Drummond, journalism professor at the University of California at Berkeley, told Facebook friends Sunday that he found the inscription at left in his garage in a copy of Black Panther Eldridge Cleaver’s “Soul on Ice.”

  • A Chinese journalist who disappeared on his way to Hong Kong was taken away by police at the Beijing airport, his lawyer said,” the South China Morning Post reported Monday. “Jia Jia, a freelance journalist based in Beijing, has not been seen since March 15, after he went through customs at the Beijing Capital International Airport to board a flight to Hong Kong. He had been planning to attend a seminar hosted by the City University of Hong Kong. . . .”
  • “Reflecting a year of soul-searching about race and racism, Paul Beatty’s novel ‘The Sellout’ and Margo Jefferson’s memoir ‘Negroland‘ were among the winners at the National Book Critics Circle awards ceremony Thursday night in New York,” Ron Charles reported Thursday for the Washington Post. “Beatty’s crackling satire involves modern-day segregation, slavery and a host of racial stereotypes upended. Jefferson’s memoir, meanwhile, offers candid and often ironic commentary of her upbringing in an affluent African American family in Chicago during the 1950s and ’60s. . . .” Jefferson was a theater and book critic for Newsweek and the New York Times, where she won a Pulitzer Prize for criticism in 1995.
  • Ishmael Reed travels to Italy in May to receive the Alberto Dubito International Award from Università Ca’ Foscari Venezia,” Leah Garchik wrote Saturday for the San Francisco Chronicle, speaking of the poet, essayist, novelist and media critic. “Dante once lived in Venice. ‘When I was a teenager, I read English novels,’ Reed emailed. ‘The characters lived on vast estates, wore beautiful clothes and didn’t seem to have nine-to-five jobs. It’s when I read Dante that I became excited about literature. He put powerful people in hell, which I have been attempting to do in my writings since then.’ ”
  • When George E. Curry resigned as editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association News Service in October, he said he would revive Emerge magazine, of which he was editor-in-chief from 1993 to 2000. Curry is beta testing the magazine online at http://www.emergenewsonline.com/. “We’re early in the start-up stage and at this point I am still in the process of assembling staff and finalizing finances,” he messaged Journal-isms on Monday. “Once that’s completely in place, I’d be happy to share more details.”
  • Sarah Glover, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, is representing NABJ at the “World Media Summit” in Doha, Qatar. The trip is being underwritten by the conference, Glover told members last month. With her are John Yearwood, world editor of the Miami Herald, and Rochelle Riley, columnist for the Detroit Free Press and co-chair of NABJ’s Global Journalism Task Force.

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