‘Many Bought Not Just a Paper but a Whole Bundle’

Sotomayor Cites Authors of Color in Dissent

Family Asks Whether Torres Died Over Journalism

Yvonne Leow Unopposed for AAJA President

Asian American Groups Unhappy With Cable News

Trump-Hitler Comparison Marks Media Boldness

Orlando Focus: Guns, Accuracy, Transcripts

Syrian Journalists in Danger at Home, as Refugees

Short Takes

Front page of Monday's Plain Dealer of Cleveland.

Front page of Monday’s Plain Dealer of Cleveland.

‘Many Bought Not Just a Paper but a Whole Bundle’

More than 20,000 fans of the new NBA champion Cleveland Cavaliers greeted the team Monday as it returned to Cleveland from its historic come-from-behind victory over the Golden State Warriors, and the Cleveland news media were there to share in — and profit from — the excitement.

George Rodrigue, editor of the Plain Dealer, told Journal-isms by email:

“- we tripled our normal press run for Monday and still sold out by mid morning.

“- we loaded up a truck and sold papers from the entrance to our printing plant. We put the word out on social media. Folks lined up by the dozens to buy. Many bought not just a paper but a whole bundle.

“- we will publish a keepsake commemorative edition tomorrow on hi brite paper, a season review on Wednesday, a special section on the victory parade on Thursday, and a book recapping the season by this weekend.

“It is safe to say that people here are pretty excited about all this.”

The victory delivered a professional sports championship to the city for the first time in 52 years. It was a boon for all of Northeast Ohio, especially Akron, birthplace of LeBron James, MVP for the final series.

High demand for the Beacon Journal’s Monday front page ‘Won for all!’ caused many high-volume outlets to run out of the newspaper,” the Akron Beacon Journal reported.

“An additional 35,000 papers were printed Monday afternoon and should be on news stands at Summit County Acme and Giant Eagle stores and the Beacon Journal kiosk in Summit Mall by about 7 p.m. Monday. . . .

“In all, the Beacon Journal printed an additional 57,000 papers on Monday, or more than 75 percent over a normal Monday publication. . . .

“That’s not the end to the poster front pages.

“Another full-page photo showing the team’s arrival home will appear on Tuesday’s front page, and there will be another Thursday after the parade. The Beacon Journal is planning a special commemorative section for Tuesday June 28.

“. . . T-shirts celebrating the victory also will be available.”

Cleveland’s WJW-TV, the Fox affiliate, was offering white oval decals touting the Cavaliers for $5 each.

Nationally, “The NBA’s two biggest stars, Cleveland’s LeBron James and Golden State’s Steph Curry, produced the league’s biggest ratings ever Sunday night when their teams met in Game 7 of the finals,” Toni Fitzgerald reported for Media Life Magazine.

“The deciding contest in the seven-game series, which delivered Cleveland’s first major sports title in decades, became the highest-rated NBA game ever on ABC or sister network ESPN. . . .”

 

Sotomayor Cites Authors of Color in Dissent

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor cited critically praised books by authors of colors Monday in dissenting from a ruling that, in the words of a New York Times editorial, “further weakened the Fourth Amendment by making it even easier for law enforcement to evade its requirement that stops be based on reasonable suspicion.”

The justice named Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” (2010), W. E. B. DuBois’ “The Souls of Black Folk” (1903), James Baldwin’s “The Fire Next Time” (1963), Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” (2015) and “The Miner’s Canary: Enlisting Race, Resisting Power, Transforming Democracy” by Lani Guinier and Gerald Torres (2002).

As the Times editorial explained, “The case, Utah v. Strieff, started when the police in Salt Lake City got an anonymous tip of drug activity at a house. An officer monitoring the house became suspicious at the number of people he saw entering and leaving.

“When one of those people, Edward Strieff, left to walk to a nearby convenience store, the officer stopped him and asked for his identification. A routine check revealed that Mr. Strieff had an outstanding ‘small traffic warrant.’ The officer arrested him based on that earlier warrant, searched him and found drugs in his pockets.

“The State of Utah agreed that the initial stop was illegal, because it was not based on reasonable, individual suspicion that Mr. Strieff was doing anything wrong. Instead, the state argued that the discovery of the valid warrant — after the illegal stop — got around the Fourth amendment violation.

“The Utah Supreme Court rightly rejected this argument, but that decision was overturned in a majority opinion written by Justice Clarence Thomas. The officer’s lack of any specific suspicion of Mr. Strieff, Justice Thomas wrote, was a result of ‘good-faith mistakes.’ The illegal stop was, at worst, “an isolated instance of negligence.”

“In a powerful dissent, Justice Sonia Sotomayor took apart that specious reasoning. ‘Do not be soothed by the opinion’s technical language,’ she wrote. ‘This case allows the police to stop you on the street, demand your identification, and check it for outstanding traffic warrants — even if you are doing nothing wrong.’ . . .”

Listing invasive police searches that she called humiliating and unconstitutional, Sotomayor, citing the authors of color, wrote, “it is no secret that people of color are disproportionate victims of this type of scrutiny. . . .”

Alexander wrote on social media, “I am giving Justice Sotomayor a standing ovation for her courageous and candid dissent from the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold yet another routine violation of the Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures. . . .”

At Jay Torres' funeral on Saturday, several Latino leaders said Torres was often the only journalist to report their concerns. Jay cared about journalism, but he cared about the core of news — people and their stories, said his friend, Rebecca Aguilar. (Credit: Rebecca Aguilar).

At Jay Torres’ funeral on Saturday, several Latino leaders said Torres was often the only journalist to report their concerns. “Jay cared about journalism, but he cared about the core of news — people and their stories,” said his friend, journalist Rebecca Aguilar. (Credit: Rebecca Aguilar).

Family Asks Whether Torres Died Over Journalism

The family of Jacinto Hernández Torres knows why he went to Garland, Texas. They still don’t know why he died there,” Samantha Allen wrote Friday for the Daily Beast.

“On June 13, a business partner found Torres, a 57-year-old real estate agent and a beloved local journalist, dead in the backyard of a home in the Dallas suburb. By then, his body had already been there for ‘multiple days,’ according to a Garland PD press release. He had been shot in the torso, his body left ‘exposed to rain and moisture’ for days, according to the local Spanish-language newspaper Al Día.

“Now, his family and his colleagues want to find out if his investigative journalism had anything to do with his murder.

“Torres worked as a freelancer under the name Jay Torres for La Estrella, the Spanish-language offshoot of the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth. La Estrella executive Juan Antonio Romas confirmed last Thursday that Torres was working on an assignment but that they ‘did not think at any time that there was any risk.’

” ‘Jay was a very dedicated and caring person who kept us informed about his work,’ Romas wrote, ‘and for that reason his killing is alarming and disturbing.’

“The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) also noted in a statement that they were ‘alarmed’ by the murder, especially given the infrequency with which journalists are killed for their work in the United States. CPJ has only documented seven such cases since 1992. If Torres was indeed killed for his work, he would be the eighth. . . .”

Mekahlo Medina, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, wrote for NBC News Latino Monday that the killing had not received enough coverage.

In Dallas, most of the news media discounted Jay Torres’ murder or delivered it under 30 seconds. There were only a few news outlets, mostly Spanish-language and one English language affiliate, that treated the story with the importance and respect it required. These stories were mostly done by Latino journalists who not only understood the potential gravity of a journalist gunned down on U.S. soil, but the intricacies of being a Latino journalist covering the stories Jay covered. . . .”

A GoFundMe drive raised $7,270 of its $7,000 goal for funeral expenses.

Yvonne Leow Unopposed for AAJA President

Yvonne Leow, a part of Vox Media’s revenue strategy team and the Asian American Journalists Association’s national vice president for journalism programs, is running unopposed for AAJA national president, the association announced on Monday.

Yvonne Leow

Yvonne Leow

For the past nine years, I’ve had the gift of growing up with AAJA,” Leow said in a statement.

“From my first job in journalism to my first layoff, AAJA has been a constant source of support and inspiration. It’s been an honor to help lead AAJA through periods of transformation. While diversity has become a mainstream buzzword, there’s still a dearth of people of color in executive leadership.

“Today, AAJA’s mission matters more than ever. I’m running for national president because I believe our organization needs to grow in three ways: programming, partnerships, and people.”

Also running unopposed are Pia Sarkar, deputy editor for the East region at the Associated Press, for vice president of civic engagement; and Shawn Nicole Wong, media producer and an urban consultant, for treasurer.

Nominations have closed. Online voting begins July 20. Election results are to be announced at the Gala Scholarship & Awards Banquet at the 2016 AAJA National Convention in Las Vegas on Aug. 13.

Asian American Groups Unhappy With Cable News

The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) and 22 other Asian American groups issued an open letter to MSNBC, CNN and FOX expressing troubling concerns on how the AAPI community is characterized in network news and the lack of Asian American and Pacific Islander voices in the programs,” the Asian American Journalists Association reported on Thursday.

“ ‘We write this joint letter [PDF] to express our concerns regarding the representation of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community on your cable news networks. Collectively, CNN, MSNBC and Fox reach more than 3.5 million primetime viewers per day, and recent events raise troubling questions about how the AAPI community is characterized on your networks and underscore the lack of inclusion of Asian American and Pacific Islander voices on your programming.”

The AAJA report added, “At the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), we know news organizations need to represent multiple viewpoints — and sometimes those viewpoints will be controversial. But AAJA challenges networks and their anchors to call it out when a guest uses a derogatory term.

“By allowing guests to use antiquated terms that demean Asian Americans, journalists are being complicit in allowing slurs and misrepresentation to persist. . . .”

Trump-Hitler Comparison Marks Media Boldness

Yes, Hitler,” Leonard Pitts Jr. wrote Friday in his syndicated Miami Herald column.

“Some of you questioned my evocation of history’s great villain in a recent column on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s surrender to presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump. I likened Ryan to Franz von Papen, a German politician who helped Adolf Hitler rise to power under the naive delusion that he could control him.

“A handful of Trump fans found that. as one put it, ‘a bit of a stretch.’ One guy expressed his skepticism through the time-honored expedient of the triple punctuation mark: ‘Hitler???’

“Yes, Hitler. . . .”

Pitts’ characterization appeared under the headline, “If it talks like a Hitler and walks like a Hitler …” and exemplified a new aggressiveness by a media that had been accused of giving Trump too much uncritical coverage.

Donald Trump and the political media have become this election season’s odd couple,” David Uberti wrote Friday for Columbia Journalism Review. “So it’s fitting that this week, which saw the one-year anniversary of Trump’s descent by escalator into the presidential campaign, has been something of a best-hits celebration of the relationship.

“Journalists took familiar battle stations after Trump’s self-congratulatory and conspiracy-riddled response to a terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando last weekend. They aggressively needled the patchwork alliance between Republicans and their standard bearer. They painted increasingly vivid portraits of a campaign — if Trump’s effort can be called as much — run by amateurs. And they once again raised questions of the reality TV star’s true motives behind his presidential bid. . . .”

Pitts also wrote, “for the record, I’m not the only one who sees the shadow of Germany in the 1930s over America in the 2010s. Once again, a clownish demagogue bestrides the political landscape, demonizing vulnerable peoples, bullying opponents, encouraging violence, offering simplistic, strongman solutions to difficult and complex problems, and men and women who bear more moral authority on this subject than I ever could see something chilling and familiar in him. . . .”

The Society of News Design discussed the evolution of this page.

The Society for News Design discussed the evolution of this page.

Orlando Focus: Guns, Accuracy, Transcripts

At just after 9 p.m. on Wednesday, June 15, The Boston Globe Opinion team tweeted the front page of the next day’s paper. On it, an AR-15 assault rife, a single bullet hole, and a headline that implored, ‘Make it stop.’ A powerful, and unequivocal call to action in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in United States history,” Kyle Ellis wrote Friday for the Society for News Design.

However, “The Senate rejected four separate gun control measures on Monday as Republicans and Democrats jockeyed for position the week after the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history,” as Alexander Bolton reported for the Hill.

Despite numerous reports establishing that the term “deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history” is inaccurate without further qualification, Ellis, “CBS Evening News” anchor Scott Pelley and some CNN anchors continued to use the phase.

“As Wednesday night turned to Thursday morning, the project gained virality,” Ellis continued. “It became clear this would be a time where the press and the American people spoke with one voice. (Recent polling suggests 61% of the American people support tougher gun laws.) In the wee hours of morning, The Globe’s digital team published a companion that shows, among other things, the number of shots a semi-automatic weapon could fire as you’re reading, and ways to contact the Senators blocking tougher gun legislation.

“I asked Dan Zedek, Assistant Managing Editor for Design, and Michael Workman, Digital Design Director to share how the pieces came together. . . .”

Meanwhile, on Monday, “Orlando gunman Omar Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier in calls with authorities during his rampage and demanded to a crisis negotiator that the U.S. ‘stop bombing Syria and Iraq,’ according to transcripts released by the FBI on Monday,” wire services reported in an early compilation by the Orlando Sentinel.

The partial transcripts were of a 911 call made by Mateen and three conversations he had with the police crisis negotiators. “The Justice Department said in a statement it initially withheld the names so as not to give extremists ‘a publicity platform for hateful propaganda,’ but the omissions became an unnecessary distraction” as journalists and public officials called for more complete transcripts, the wire service reports said.

Also Monday, Mekahlo Medina, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, wrote for NBC News Latino that despite the large number of Latinos among the 49 killed in Orlando, “being Latino is almost erased from the story.” Twenty-three of those who perished had roots in Puerto Rico, Charlie Vázquez wrote Friday for Latino Rebels.

At NPR, ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen recapped listener comments about NPR’s coverage, including its early characterization of the tragedy as “the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.” “As they pointed out, the characterization only holds true for recent mass shootings, and ignores an entire swath of earlier U.S. history, including numerous mass killings of Native Americans and African Americans,” Jensen wrote.

Jensen added, “Bottom line: The newsroom waded into murky waters. There would have been nothing wrong with calling this one of the deadliest mass shootings of recent times and leaving it at that; alternatively, while journalists like to default to shorthand, in this case more precision about what exactly was being ranked would have avoided the problems. Either way, NPR should stop using the ‘deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history’ designation, as it did even as late as one Tuesday headline. . . .”

In the Detroit Free Press Sunday, Rochelle Riley described the objections as being “over whose misery, whose mayhem through history has been worse,” though she acknowledged, “As journalists, we must get the facts right. We must get history right because God knows, too many people are trying to revise it. . . .” She favored a coalition of the aggrieved to fight gun violence.

In a column for indianz.com, Rosemary Stevens, editor-in-chief of the Cheyenne & Arapaho Tribal Tribune, listed each of the Orlando victims but also some Indian massacres and added, “By no means, is this commentary meant to diminish the murder of 49 young men and women in Orlando. It is an attempt to bring to light that perhaps we as journalists need to research our history before applying general terms such as ‘worse mass shooting in U.S. history.’ . . .”

Brandon Ecoffey, editor of Lakota Country Times, wrote that he instantly saw that the Associated Press’ headline labeling Orlando the “largest mass shooting” was wrong.

However, he added, “When the headlines first started to come out I wanted to immediately address them, like many of our people were already doing via Twitter and Facebook, but I chose not to. The reason I didn’t is because I felt that as a Native person the best thing for us to do was step back and allow our LGBT relatives their space to mourn those who died at the hands of this mad man. As a community Native people know tragedy and trauma. We know what it is like to need time to heal. This is what our LGBT relatives deserve. . . .”

Syrian Journalists in Danger at Home, as Refugees

To mark World Refugee Day, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) is today publishing a report about the situation of Syrian journalists who have been forced to flee their country since the start of the Syrian Uprising in March 2011,” the press freedom group said on Monday.

“Journalist of all kinds — professional and non-professional, Syrian and foreign — run the risk of violence and reprisals throughout Syria. The violence, started by the government crackdown, can now come from any quarter: from government forces, from armed ‘opposition’ groups and from radical Islamist militias such as the Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State.

“At least 51 professional journalists and 144 non-professional journalists have been killed since start of the conflict in 2011, while around 50 are currently missing or detained arbitrarily in the regime’s many jails or held hostage by Islamic state or other radical armed groups.

“And hundreds of professional and non-professional journalists have fled the country because they were exposed to both targeted persecution and the conflict’s extreme violence.

“Many of them face constant difficulties and continue to fear for their safety in the countries in which they seek refuge. Syria’s borders are easily crossed not only by journalists fleeing violence but also by every kind of predator. Syrian journalists must also often cope with hostility from the authorities in these countries and with restrictions that local legislation imposes on them. . . .”

Casey Gradischnig, a trans man, looks out the window of his home in Des Moines. (Credit: Rodney White/Des Moines Register)

Casey Gradischnig, a trans man, looks out the window of his home in Des Moines. Columnist Rekha Basu followed him as he attempted to use women’s rest rooms as some laws require. (Credit: Rodney White/Des Moines Register)

Short Takes

  • As part of a “Trans in Iowa” series, Des Moines Register columnist Rekha Basu wrote June 13 about following Casey Gradischnig, a transgender man, as he used women’s restrooms. Under North Carolina law, “and in legislation being considered in various states, Casey would be required to use women’s bathrooms,” Basu wrote. “And if a budget amendment proposed by Rep. Steve King of Iowa passes, Casey also would have to use women’s rooms on visits to his U.S. senator or representative in Washington, D.C. This is a cautionary tale about the unintended consequences of such requirements. . . .”
  • Rodney Ho, television critic for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, wrote Friday that he was offered an interview with Keshia Knight Pulliam, best known as Rudy on “The Cosby Show” and Miranda on TBS’s “Tyler Perry’s House of Payne.” She was being honored by the Urban League. “But the publicist said I cannot ask her questions about Bill Cosby. I understand why. It’s a sensitive topic. Still, I ultimately said no because Cosby has been in the news lately and he helped her career get started. . . .” Ho asked readers whether he made the right decision.
  • In Pittsburgh, “Former WTAE news anchor Wendy Bell filed a federal lawsuit against her previous station and its corporate owner today, asking for her job back after she was fired in late March for making controversial comments on Facebook about the mass shooting in Wilkinsburg,” Paula Reed Ward reported Monday for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “In the lawsuit against Hearst Stations filed by attorney Sam Cordes, Ms. Bell alleges that she was fired without cause and that her employer repeatedly called her a ‘model anchor and newsroom leader’ and encouraged her to use social media in her work. The lawsuit includes claims for race discrimination under the federal Civil Rights Act. . . .”
  • LaCrai Mitchell

    LaCrai Mitchell

    LaCrai Mitchell, a December graduate of Florida A&M University, has been named the National Association of Black Journalists’ 2016 Student Journalist of the Year, NABJ announced on Friday. After graduation, Mitchell “immediately began work as a news associate at CBS News, where she researched, compiled footage, fact-checked material and used social media to contribute to the success of the network’s news program ’48 Hours.’ She is currently a production associate for CBS News. . . .”

  •  “I’d long wanted to report on school segregation in New York City, but I had decided early on I was not going to write about my daughter’s school,” Nikole Hannah-Jones wrote June 14 for the New York Times “Insider.” “. . . But as the months went on, I felt increasingly compelled to tell a story about the battle to integrate P.S. 307 precisely because I was both personally involved and deeply aware of the history of contemporary struggles against school segregation. So, I pitched the story to my editor, who loved the idea. And then I immediately regretted having done so. . . .”
  • Columbia Journalism Review Thursday listed “4 ways newsrooms can address a lack of diversity”: “acknowledge there is a problem,” “consciously work to overcome barriers to entry,” “tell stories minorities want to read” and “focus on retention.”
  • Frank McCoy, a veteran business journalist who has worked at Black Enterprise, U.S. News & World Report and Hispanic Business, launched stemrules.com on May 16. “STEMRules.com aspires to be your go-to platform for news and information about black, Hispanic, Native American, Inuit, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and women of color Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) students, professionals, and the public, private, and nonprofit organizations that hire them,” he says on the site.
  • HLN has set July 11 for veteran Los Angeles anchor Michaela Pereira’s homecoming,” Stephen Battaglio reported Monday for the Los Angeles Times. “The sister channel to CNN plans to announce Monday that Pereira’s live, three-hour daily news program will be called ‘Michaela’ and air from 7 to 10 a.m. PT and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET. . . .”
  • In Columbus, Ohio, “Candice Lee is leaving WCMH-TV (Channel 4) in July to become a ‘mom-ager’ for her NFL-player son,” Ken Gordon reported Friday for the Columbus Dispatch. “Darron Lee, a New Albany High School graduate and an Ohio State University linebacker, was a first-round draft choice of the New York Jets in April. The day after the draft ended, Candice, a reporter and weekend anchor, gave WCMH officials 90-day notice. Her last day on air will be July 27. . . .”
  • Jay Caspian Kang is joining Vice’s new nightly HBO show, and will cover civil rights and criminal justice, according to a tweet from his Twitter account,” alldigitocracy.org reported Monday. “Kang, a former editor with the now-defunct Grantland and author of, ‘The Dead Do Not Improve,’ a crime mystery novel, currently writes for The New York Times Magazine, and will continue to do so, according to FishbowlNY. . . .
  • “According to a report monitored on the Hausa service of the Voice of America, the Islamist sect, Boko Haram has established an FM radio station,” Nigeria’s Vanguard newspaper reported Friday. It also wrote, “The Voice of America report said the station broadcast mainly propaganda materials to counter media reports of victories by troops from Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon and Niger Republic against the Boko Haram militants. . . .” Also, Jennifer Lazuta reported Friday for Voice of America, “U.N. agencies say rapid assistance is needed for the more than 2.7 million people displaced by the Boko Haram insurgency in the Lake Chad Basin over the past three years. The United Nations has called it the fastest growing displacement crisis in Africa. . . .”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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