Fight Erupts During Street Interview on Violence

NBC Anchors ‘Nightly News’ From Trump Tower

Tampa Bay Times Buys, Shuts Tampa Tribune

Inquirer Concedes Flaws in Black Journalist’s Obit

Wilmore Acknowledges He “Lost the Room” in D.C.

Star Tribune Moves Prince Story to Opioid Use

AP Finds Schools Deny Migrant Children Education

When the Photog Realized It Was He and Officer

How Lack of Diversity Harms Photojournalism

Short Takes

A fight broke out when a rapper objected to WWL-TV reporter Eric Paulsen's presence in his New Orleans neighborhood. Paulsen was interviewing rapper Kwame Gates about crime and gun violence. (WWL-TV Screen shot)

A fight broke out when a rapper objected to WWL-TV reporter Eric Paulsen’s presence in his New Orleans neighborhood. Paulsen was interviewing rapper Kwame Gates about crime and gun violence. (WWL-TV screenshot)

Fight Erupts During Street Interview on Violence

A WWL-TV reporter witnessed firsthand how quickly violence can escalate during an interview with several rappers on crime and gun violence in New Orleans,” the New Orleans Advocate reported on Tuesday.

“Reporter and anchor Eric Paulsen was interviewing Kwame Gates, a rapper known as K-Gates who has produced a documentary called ‘Murda Capital,’ and his friend Al, who goes by the rapper name Easy Money, about rap culture and violent crime in New Orleans [video]. As the conversation shifted to gun violence, a man who used to be in a rap group with Easy Money started yelling at the group, saying that Gates should not be in the neighborhood.

“Easy Money and one of his friends confronted the man, and a fight broke out. The man was carrying a gun, but no shots were fired.

Althea Phillips, a mother who lost four sons to gun violence, can be heard in the background saying, ‘This is where the killing starts.’

“ ‘I hate to have brought you into that environment, but in hindsight it was a close call because the person who was angry at you and me, had a firearm,’ Gates told Paulsen later. ‘I don’t know why it happened, but I think he was disarming him so it didn’t escalate into something further.’ . . .”

In televising the footage, Paulsen warned viewers, “What happened here is graphic and frightening. This could have turned deadly.”

The next day, WWL-TV News Director Keith Esparros issued this statement:

Rarely has a news story generated the kind of reaction WWL-TV has seen since the airing of Eric Paulsen’s Taking a Stand piece last night on street violence.

“Tens of thousands of people have seen it all over the country and the comments have varied from those shocked at the video, those applauding us for showing how quickly a disagreement can escalate to violence, and those who criticized us for what some called a cheap ratings ploy.

“My name is Keith Esparros and I’m the News Director here at WWL-TV. I can assure you this was no ratings ploy. Violence is not anything we take lightly, or see as entertainment. The story takes viewers to a part of the city that many never see. Most of the time, we don’t want to see it. It’s ugly. It’s brutal.

“It’s scary. But we wanted to show it’s real, and it’s a problem not only for those who live among the violence. It’s everyone’s problem. Because when our neighbors are not safe, none of us is. If the city isn’t safe, it will hurt all of us. We must see the violence to know how to combat it. We must acknowledge it before we can attempt to reduce it.

“The violence issue is key to our future. It’s one of the reasons WWL-TV has launched its Taking a Stand Initiative. We feel it’s crucial to understand the causes and effects of violence, to look at those who are making a difference, and to try to change the conversation on an issue that will help determine the direction of our region.

“GNO Inc. Board Chairwoman Maura Donahue said, ‘Companies do not want to bring their employees to this area to open, to expand or to relocate, unless they can ensure their employees a safe place for themselves and their families.’

“And without new business, new entrepreneurship, new opportunities for all New Orleanians, the wheel of violence will turn undisturbed. Our video showed a bloody, brutal, and near fatal beating in the 8th Ward of one of America’s greatest cities. But this isn’t just a fight between two men. This is a fight for our future.”

 "Few in the industry could recount another instance where an evening newscast — considered the symbol of a network news brand — shifted its entire broadcast to a candidate’s home turf," Michael M. Grynbaum reported in the New York Times.

“Few in the industry could recount another instance where an evening newscast — considered the symbol of a network news brand — shifted its entire broadcast to a candidate’s home turf,” Michael M. Grynbaum reported in the New York Times.

NBC Anchors ‘Nightly News’ From Trump Tower

“NBC Nightly News” was anchored Wednesday night from Trump Tower, where Lester Holt interviewed Donald Trump (video), in what Media Matters for America called “the latest example of how the television news media has bent over backwards to accommodate the presumptive GOP nominee.

It’s unclear why NBC News would go to Trump’s office instead of demanding that he travel the half-mile south to their studios at 30 Rockefeller Plaza,” Matt Gertz wrote.

“On Twitter, the news drew surprise and criticism . . .

An NBC spokesperson told Journal-isms that the same offer would be made to the Democrats’ presumptive nominee.

Media Matters noted, “Cable and broadcast news programs have frequently allowed Trump unprecedented opportunities to regularly call in to their programs, rather than appearing in person or by satellite — a practice that has drawn criticism from media critics and prominent journalists. . . .”

Brian Stelter of CNN Money wrote for his “Reliable Sources” email newsletter, “Readers of this newsletter from CBS, ABC and NBC texted/emailed ‘WTF?’ reactions while watching Holt anchor his nightly newscast from the golden lobby of Trump Tower. Mediaite collected the critical tweets about it. After the broadcast, an NBC News spokesman said ‘Nightly’ will make the same offer to the presumptive Dem nominee. A rival’s response: ‘Pahleeeze…’

” — Noted, part one: Anderson Cooper interviewed Hillary Clinton in Chappaqua today, but didn’t anchor ‘AC360’ from there…

“— Noted, part two: Mark Halperin co-anchored ‘With All Due Respect’ from HRC’s Brooklyn campaign HQ one day last July…”

The presidential campaign reached a milestone Wednesday as Trump became the sole GOP presidential candidate. “Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, a moderate voice who tried to portray himself as the adult in the Republican primary field but failed to win any state but his own, ended his long-shot quest for the presidency on Wednesday, cementing Donald J. Trump’s grip on the presidential nomination,” Thomas Kaplan reported for the New York Times.

“Mr. Kasich’s departure, a day after Mr. Trump’s victory in the Indiana primary, leaves Mr. Trump as the only candidate remaining in the Republican race. His closest challenger, Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, dropped out Tuesday night. . . .”

Tampa Bay Times Buys, Shuts Tampa Tribune

The Poynter-owned Tampa Bay Times announced Tuesday afternoon that it has acquired The Tampa Tribune, ending a 29-year competitive battle in the bay region and creating the fifth-largest Sunday circulation newspaper in the nation,” Rick Edmonds reported Tuesday for the Poynter Institute.

“ ‘The continued competition between the two newspapers was threatening to both,’ said Times chairman and CEO Paul Tash. ‘There are very few cities that are able to sustain more than one daily newspaper, and the Tampa Bay region is not among them.’

“Tribune subscribers will begin receiving the Times Wednesday. Deep cuts in duplicated functions including in the Tribune newsroom are expected; shortly after the announcement Tuesday, Tash told the Tampa Bay Times at least 100 layoffs are expected. . . .”

Jounice Nealy-Brown, the Times’ communications director, did not respond to a request from Journal-isms for further explanation.

[“We should have a full understanding of the journalism landscape by early next week, ” Nealy-Brown messaged on May 5.]

The Tribune, considered a conservative alternative to the Tampa Bay Times, formerly the St. Petersburg Times, had undergone a series of cuts that left few, if any, journalists of color. Representatives of the National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Asian American Journalists could not name any.

Neither the Times nor the Tribune reported newsroom diversity figures to the American Society of News Editors for 2015, but in 2014, the Tribune said its newsroom stood at 3.3 percent black, 3.3 percent Hispanic, 1.1 percent Asian American and 1.1 percent multiracial. [PDF] In Joe Brown, it formerly featured a black conservative columnist and editorial writer.

In 2014, the Times stood at 13.8 percent journalists of color; 8.8 percent black, 3.7 percent Hispanic, .5 percent multiracial, .5 percent American Indian and .5 percent Asian American.

Tash said the Times will continue operation of Centro, the Spanish language weekly newspaper owned by the Tribune

Inquirer Concedes Flaws in Black Journalist’s Obit

Responding to expressions of outrage from black colleagues of the late Philadelphia Inquirer sportswriter Kevin A. Tatum, the Inquirer acknowledged Wednesday that Tatum’s obituary, published Monday, was flawed.

Kevin A. Tatum

Kevin A. Tatum

Tatum, 64, an Inquirer sportswriter for almost three decades, died Friday of throat cancer.

The fourth paragraph of the obituary said, “Mr. Tatum retired five years ago. He did so after the sports website Deadspin reported that he appeared to have plagiarized five paragraphs from a fan site and used them in a blog item.”

Gabriel Escobar, managing editor/news and digital, wrote to Sarah Glover, president of the National Association of Black Journalists and former president of its Philadelphia chapter, “The concerns expressed by you and by others over Kevin Tatum’s obituary prompted an extensive internal review. Based on this examination we have concluded that the information in Kevin’s obituary is correct.

“We do, however, regret including the reference to plagiarism so high in the obituary. In retrospect, the obituary should have first framed the scope of his 30-year career before raising this issue. Bill Marimow should also have been given an opportunity to speak to Kevin’s career at the Inquirer.” Marimow is the Inquirer’s editor.

However, some say no plagiarism took place, only a misunderstanding.

In a letter to Marimow, the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists said, “The allegations have been disputed and the article seemingly concedes the questionable nature of the claims, yet the Inquirer made the editorial decision to elevate them to a place unworthy of Tatum’s 30 year career. This information could have been written in such a way that it did not mar the contributions of a man who gave so much.

“The lack of empathy and respect shown by the Inquirer to a fellow colleague and an African American journalism pioneer is shameful. Over the past few years, the paper has decimated its diversity ranks, destroying in part, the sensitive eye and [judgment] needed to tackle issues like those presented in the Tatum obituary.

“Articles like these underscore why diversity matters — and not just diversity in the younger ranks of the paper, but at all levels — from the editors to reporters to managers. . . .”

[Cherri Gregg, president of  PABJ, wrote Marimow on Thursday, “A private email expressing regret over such editorial choices is not enough. It is for this reason, we renew our request for a rewrite of the obituary. . . .]

Wilmore Acknowledges He “Lost the Room” in D.C.

In a series of interviews Tuesday and Wednesday, comedian Larry Wilmore acknowledged that his monologue at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner Saturday night did not elicit the reaction he expected.  While he took pains to defend his use of the N-word with an “a” at the end, Wilmore conceded,  “It may not have been the smartest thing. I acknowledge that.”

From a pure comedic point of view, I know that I lost the room early — that was apparent,” the “Nightly Show” host told the Washington Post’s Krissah Thompson on Wednesday, “and I knew I was not going to be able to bring them back, so I just tried to have fun and enjoy it.”

Larry Wilmore at Saturday's White House Correspondents' Dinner. "I'm confident that Mr. Wilmore used the word by design," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday. "He was seeking to be provocative. But I think any reading of his comments makes it clear he was not using the president as a butt of a joke." (Credit: Pool photo)

Larry Wilmore at Saturday’s White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner. (Credit: pool photo)

He also told Thompson, “I don’t think I ever intend to provoke outrage, but I don’t mind being provocative in content. I knew I was teetering on the taste line, and I knew I was probably teetering on the wrong side of the taste line, but I was okay with that.”

As Jordan Fabian reported Monday for the Hill, “The Comedy Central host ended his speech Saturday night with a seemingly heartfelt riff about the historical importance of Obama being the first black president.” He ended by turning to President Obama, pounding his chest, and saying, “Yo, Barry, you did it my nigga!”

On Monday, he told Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air,” “It definitely was a risk. It may not have been the smartest thing. I acknowledge that. It was definitely risky, but I thought it was a thing that I was willing to at least do. . . .”

Wilmore told David Bauder of the Associated Press on Tuesday, “I knew that it would be provocative and yes, I was taking a big chance. But you know what, it was just a creative expression that I made at the time. I don’t know if I would take it back.” He added, “at this point, I think it may open up a dialogue that at the end of the day is probably pretty good.”

He told Matt Wilstein of the Daily Beast that “I came up with it like a month ago. . . . . And I knew it would be controversial and I was ready to accept the fallout from it.”

Thompson asked Wilmore whether he had any regrets.

“No, once you do it, it is done,” Wilmore said. “It’s hard to say anything except it was quite an experience. Should I be waiting to be asked back again?

“[Laughs.] . . .”

Star Tribune Moves Prince Story to Opioid Use

Federal law enforcement officials said Wednesday that they have joined local authorities in the investigation into Prince’s death,” David Chanen reported Wednesday for the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, which, quoting sources, reported Tuesday “that the death investigation focuses on Prince’s opioid use.

William Mauzy, a prominent Minneapolis attorney, told the Star Tribune Tuesday that Prince representatives contacted a California doctor who specializes in opioid addiction in the hours before Prince’s death because the musician was dealing with a grave medical emergency.

“He also told the Star Tribune that Prince died the day before an intervention and treatment plan was scheduled,” Chanen wrote.

[On Thursday, Chanen and Jeremy Olson reported,The painkiller Percocet was present in Prince’s body when he was found dead April 21 in a Paisley Park elevator, a source familiar with the investigation said Wednesday.

[“However, it is not yet clear whether the potent opioid caused or contributed to the musician’s death, the source stressed. . . .]

Meanwhile, Timothy Burke reported Tuesday for Deadspin, “On Saturday, we reported that Nashville Fox station sports guy Dan Phillips was fired after station management found his Prince-themed sports report to be ‘insensitive,’ which is how Phillips described it in a Facebook post about the firing. Now, a source at the station tells us that’s not why he was fired at all—and that his conduct on Facebook Live is to blame. . . .” Burke described Phillips’ behavior as a “meltdown.”

AP Finds Schools Deny Migrant Children Education

“The Associated Press has found that in at least 35 districts in 14 states, hundreds of unaccompanied minors from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras have been discouraged from enrolling in schools or pressured into what advocates and attorneys argue are separate but unequal alternative programs — essentially an academic dead end, and one that can violate federal law,” Garance Burke and Adrian Sainz reported Monday for the Associated Press.

They also wrote, “America’s schools remain one of the few government institutions where migrant youth are guaranteed services, but the federal government has extended little money or oversight to monitor whether that happens, in part because schools are locally governed. . . .”

"Another photographer and I were driving around and listening to the police scanners, and I just caught those words out of the corner of my eye," Kirk McKoy said. "I had to take a picture of it. The slogan, “Look what you created,” meant a lot to me. . . For me, it meant, 'I have reached my limit. This is what you’ve done. this is what you created. You did this. I didn’t.' ” © 1992 Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

“Another photographer and I were driving around and listening to the police scanners, and I just caught those words out of the corner of my eye,” Kirk McKoy said. “I had to take a picture of it. The slogan, ‘Look what you created,’ meant a lot to me. . . . For me, it meant, ‘I have reached my limit. This is what you’ve done. this is what you created. You did this. I didn’t.’ ” © 1992 Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times

When the Photog Realized It Was He and Officer

For a lot of people born after the 1990s, the movie ‘Straight Outta Compton’ may well be their first real exposure to the beating of Rodney King, or the L.A. riots,” Dexter Thomas wrote March 3 for the Los Angeles Times, republished April 29 on

“In the 25 years since the seminal events, a lot has happened in L.A. But how much has actually changed?

“The following is a conversation between three black journalists at the Los Angeles Times: Kirk McKoy, a photographer who covered the events in Los Angeles after the not guilty verdict in 1992 that set off rioting, and two young writers who are still new to the Los Angeles Times staff: Tre’vell Anderson and me, Dexter Thomas. . . .”

“DEXTER: What was it like for you, both as a photographer and just as a black man in Los Angeles? What kind of conversations were you having in your family?

“KIRK: It really wasn’t safe, not just because of the riots, but because the police were pulling black people over everywhere. I got pulled over, just trying to go home one night. At that point we lived right on the outskirts of Beverly Hills. And pulling into Beverly Hills as a black man, when the city is burning, you can imagine.

“So the officer who pulled me over asks where I’m going. He says I’m past curfew. And I’m trying to tell this police officer, ‘as a member of the press, I’m allowed to be out here if you are out here. So, you have no right to stop me right now. I understand you want to know where I’m going, but you have no right to detain me because I’m doing my job.’

“So we’re going back and forth and he’s giving me lip, and I’m giving him lip right back, and at some point in time I realize I’m alone with this guy.

“ ‘Accidents’ do happen. So I just said ‘yes sir, I’m on my way home.’ And then he let me go. So as my brother said, ‘the man was just messing with you until you turned into an Uncle Tom.’ That’s his take on it. . . .”

How Lack of Diversity Harms Photojournalism

In a recent World Press Photo report, 1,556 photographers were surveyed on the state of news photography,Anastasia Taylor-Lind, a 2016 Nieman Fellow at Harvard University, wrote Wednesday for Time.

“Beyond the issues around image manipulation and objectivity that have gripped our industry in recent years, the results put the accent on a more concerning issue: that of representation. Nearly 65% of respondents originated from Europe and North America, and only 15% were women. More disconcerting was the lack of comprehensive figures reflecting the crippling under-representation along socio-economic, racial and sexual orientation factors.

“The value of a photograph goes beyond the magazine, newspaper or web page it is placed in. It’s part of the editorial content we collectively generate, not only as a piece of journalism but also as a historical record. As contributors to this visual diary, we must consider what stories we are telling. Dare we leave the bulk of the narrative to the predominately white middle-class heterosexual man from the world’s richest countries? . . .”

Taylor-Lind also wrote, “There are many equality shortfalls to be aware of — from a lack of gender and racial representation to a dearth of social and cultural range. Put together, these inequalities can create a single homogenous narrative that can lend too much weight on a small part of the larger story — war, poverty and disease in Africa, for instance, says Lagos Photofestival director Azu Nwagbogu.

“He believes that the way Africa is represented internationally is caused by a lack of diversity in photojournalists, and that the damage these representations cause are far reaching. ‘African photographers also tell these stories because they think it’s what the West wants to see,’ he says. “They instinctively begin to follow these canons because they think this is what will get published.’ . . . .”

Short Takes

Yvette Cabrera

Yvette Cabrera



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