Asian American Journalists Expect Watch Parties

Young People of Color Give Clinton Benefit of Doubt

USA Today Names Ron Smith M.E. for News

Dow Jones Expects Pay Gap Affects ‘Only 5%’

NAHJ Helps an Undocumented Student Overcome

Daily News: ‘We Were Wrong’ on End of Stop, Frisk

Another Killing by Police Roils Chicago

Short Takes

Time magazine contributor Darlena Cunha described Bill Clinton's July 26 at the Democratic National Convention as "literature in the spoken word, an effortlessly delivered memoristic essay with narrative components and personal vignettes expertly interwoven into a resume alive with clear human examples of Hillary Clinton’s compassion, hard work and perseverance."

Time magazine contributor Darlena Cunha described Bill Clinton’s speech July 26 at the Democratic National Convention as “literature in the spoken word, an effortlessly delivered memoristic essay with narrative components and personal vignettes expertly interwoven into a resume alive with clear human examples of Hillary Clinton’s compassion, hard work and perseverance.”

Asian American Journalists Expect Watch Parties

Former President Bill Clinton and Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson will address Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) groups on Friday at a presidential election forum co-hosted by APIAVote and the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA),” Traci G. Lee reported Sunday for NBC Asian America.

“Bill Clinton will be representing Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, and APIAVote and AAJA have noted that they’ve invited the Trump campaign to represent Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.

” ‘This tri-partisan AAPI Presidential Election Forum is historic,’ Paul Cheung, AAJA president, wrote in a post on AAJA’s website. ‘For the first time, the Republican, Democratic and Libertarian presidential campaigns will directly speak at the same event to the AAPI community at large.’

“Rep. Judy Chu, chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and Rep. Mike Honda are also expected to speak at the forum, which is scheduled to take place Friday, August 12 — during the annual AAJA national convention — at The Colosseum at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“According to AAJA, nearly 4,000 community leaders and journalists are expected to attend the forum, in addition to ‘watch parties’ hosted across the country by AAPI community groups. . . .”

Cheung messaged Journal-isms Monday that he did not have membership figures or those for convention registrants at hand. But Mekahlo Medina, who until Saturday night was president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said NAHJ, with about 2,100 members, was second to the National Association of Black Journalists among the journalists of color associations in membership. AAJA formerly was second.

On Monday, NAHJ and NABJ renewed their invitation for Trump to speak before them, as Hillary Clinton did on Friday.

“While the Trump Campaign declined NABJ and NAHJ’s initial request to address convention-goers at our historic joint convention Aug. 3-7, NABJ and NAHJ stand ready to arrange a press conference before members of both organizations within 60 days,” the groups said in a statement.

Young People of Color Give Clinton Benefit of Doubt

Young Americans are divided over Hillary Clinton’s handling of her email account while she was secretary of state, with most young whites saying she intentionally broke the law and young people of color more likely to give Clinton the benefit of the doubt,” Emily Swanson reported Friday for the Associated Press.

“The new GenForward poll of young Americans ages 18-30 also finds both Clinton and Donald Trump viewed negatively by a majority of those polled.

“GenForward is a survey by the Black Youth Project at the University of Chicago with the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The poll is designed to pay special attention to the voices of young adults of color, highlighting how race and ethnicity shape the opinions of a new generation. . . .”

Swanson also wrote, “More than half of young whites — 54 percent — think Clinton intentionally committed a crime, and another 17 percent think she did so unintentionally.

“Young African-Americans, Asian-Americans and Hispanics view Clinton’s actions in a more sympathetic light, though few clear her of all wrongdoing. Just 32 percent of Hispanics, 29 percent of Asian-Americans and 21 percent of African-Americans think Clinton intentionally broke the law, with most of the remainder saying she either did so unintentionally or showed poor judgment that did not amount to lawbreaking. . . .”

USA Today Names Ron Smith M.E. for News

Ron Smith

Ron Smith

In another indication that Gannett Co. is addressing its recent slippage on diversity, USA Today Tuesday named Ron Smith, deputy managing editor for news and production at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as managing editor for news.

“In his role at USA TODAY, Ron will be responsible for overseeing our coverage as it translates from digital to print, working with both the Page One desk and all teams across the newsroom to make this happen,” Patty Michalski, managing editor for digital and interim editor in chief, wrote in a staff memo.

“Some of you are already familiar with Ron. He visited USA TODAY several times over the past few months on behalf of the Journal Sentinel, learning about the network and our workflow for his work overseeing the breaking news and production teams for Milwaukee. But many of you also got to know Ron when he was here in July helping with Page One for a week after Andria Yu’s departure. In that one week, he was hands-on, working with stories and aspects of production.

“Before the Journal Sentinel, Ron worked as a senior editor at The (Portland) Oregonian, and a desk editor at Newsday and the Los Angeles Times. Ron is also active in the National Association of Black Journalists, the American Copy Editors Society and the Online News Association.

“He starts on Monday, Sept. 19. . . .”

In April, Gannett completed its acquisition of Journal Media Group, which included the Journal Sentinel.

The next month, Mizell Stewart III, newly named vice president of news operations of Gannett Co.’s USA Today Network and incoming president of the American Society of News Editors, said there “has been an acknowledgement that diversity is off the front burner” at Gannett and now will be addressed.

Eleven days ago, Gannett announced that Katrice Hardy, managing editor of the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk and also a black journalist, is leaving the newspaper after 21 years to become executive editor of the Greenville News in South Carolina, one of only two African American top editors at Gannett newspapers. [Added Aug. 9]

William Lewis addresses the staff of the Wall Street Journal in January 2014 after being named interim CEO of Dow Jones & Co. (Credit: Parker Eshelman/Wall Street Journal)

William Lewis addresses the staff of the Wall Street Journal in January 2014 after being named interim CEO of Dow Jones & Co. (Credit: Parker Eshelman/Wall Street Journal)

Dow Jones Expects Pay Gap Affects ‘Only 5%’

Dow Jones & Co., which promised to address racial and gender pay disparities, expects that “only five percent” of employees will require salary adjustments, the union’s executive director told Journal-isms on Monday.

Timothy Martell, executive director of IAPE 1096, the union that represents Wall Street Journal reporters, was responding to an inquiry about the National Association of Black Journalists’ awarding of its annual Thumbs Down Award to “Dow Jones & Company, The New York Times and The Washington Post for paying white male employees more than journalists of color, as demonstrated by results of several studies by unions representing staffers at each organization.”

The award announcement, delayed by the appearance of Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton Friday at the joint convention of NABJ and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, was made on Monday.

“At The Washington Post, data revealed white male reporters make on average 20 percent more than reporters of color, as pointed out in its own story by Erik Wemple,” NABJ said.

“At The New York Times, a study found non-white news division employees earned 9 percent less than the average wage [PDF] and non-white employees earned 10 percent less than the average wage across the company.

“At Dow Jones, which owns The Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch and Barron’s, a study revealed weekly pay for white women is 24 percent higher than for black women and weekly pay for white men is 31 percent higher than for black men. . . .”

The companies said at the time that they would review their pay data, with Dow Jones CEO William Lewis telling employees on March 23, “Any pay disparity relating to an employee’s race or gender is troubling and inconsistent with the standards I strive to maintain at Dow Jones. We must, as a matter of urgency, address these issues head on.” He promised improvements.

Washington Post spokeswoman Shani George told Journal-isms Monday, “We are still in the process of reviewing issues raised by the Guild.” The Washington-Baltimore NewsGuild released a salary analysis [PDF] in May.

Danielle Rhoades Ha, spokeswoman for the New York Times, messaged Tuesday, “The review is still ongoing.” On May 13, spokeswoman Eileen Brennan said, “We have received the Guild’s study and have agreed to analyse the assertions it makes. This is a detailed process that will take some time to complete.”

Martell, of Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, the Newspaper Guild/Communications Workers of America, said, “Dow Jones still has not released any data from their internal salary review. Management representatives have informed employees, during ‘Town Hall’ meetings (the most recent of which was just today in the Washington bureau), that their benefits consultant, Towers Watson, is still working on the analysis.

“However, those management reps have also stated that the preliminary results suggest ‘only five percent’ of employees will require salary adjustments.

“We stand by our earlier claims, and continue to pursue pay equity protections through the collective bargaining process.”

Rolando Ramirez and his mentor, Nick Valencia, in 2014.

Rolando Ramirez and his mentor, Nick Valencia, in 2014.

NAHJ Helps an Undocumented Student Overcome

“One of the most powerful speeches from the convention came from Rolando Zenteno Ramirez,” Mekahlo Medina, outgoing president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, wrote on Facebook Monday.

“An NAHJ scholarship recipient that told us how our support changed his life. He fell in love with journalism, but as an undocumented student in Georgia, reaching his goal was even more difficult. NAHJ believed in him and helped.”

Ramirez explained in a message to Journal-isms, “I was brought to the US at the age of seven. And I’ve lived in Ga. where undocumented students have had to face anti-immigrant policies to enroll in higher ed. And well, I’m working different odd , construction jobs to make some money while I wait to fix my current status.”

Since 2011 the Georgia Board of Regents has banned undocumented students from attending Georgia’s top five public universities and prohibited them from qualifying for in-state tuition,” Maureen Downey wrote in February for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. She wrote after the Georgia Supreme Court upheld this policy “in a ruling that condones segregation in higher education. . . .”

Nick Valencia, a CNN reporter who was president of the Atlanta NAHJ chapter when it awarded Ramirez a $5,000 scholarship, can’t say enough good things about Ramirez. “He’s the real deal,” Valencia said by telephone.

Ramirez told the Hall of Fame event on Friday, “In four years, I got to report for my local bilingual newspaper; I became a collegiate correspondent for USA TODAY College, and last summer, I was an editorial intern at AJ+ in San Francisco.

“NAHJ changes lives.

“Through mentorship. Through scholarships.

“I hope you believe that.

“Because it’s changed mine. . . .”

Text of Ramirez’s remarks in the Comments section below.

In other developments at the NABJ-NAHJ conference, journalists seeking to boost the number of investigative reporters of color launched the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting.

The group was “set up to provide training and mentoring for reporters of color who want to learn investigative reporting,” Ron Nixon of the New York Times, a founder, messaged Monday. “The support has been overwhelming. So much traffic the site crashed yesterday and we received thousands in donations from journalists and others around the country. It definitely fills a need.”

The group publicized its effort through a brochure included in convention bags, a reception at the conference and social media.

Other founders are Nikole Hannah-Jones, staff writer at the New York Times Magazine; Corey Johnson, a staff writer at the Marshall Project; and Topher Sanders, who covers racial inequality for ProPublica.

Visiting the conference were a group of Afro-Colombians who sought assistance from both the NABJ and NAHJ boards.

John Yearwood, executive board chairman of the International Press Institute, said that he, Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley, co-chair of NABJ’s Global Journalism Task Force and NABJ President Sarah Glover “had a private meeting with them in Sarah’s suite. We asked them to organize in Colombia and discussed a three-month timeline. At the end of that period, we agreed to attend one of their meetings in Colombia and participate in training or whatever else they might need. We’re very hopeful that we’ll be able to help.”

Also, “NABJ bestowed the Percy Qoboza Award for courage in pursuit of truth to Fred M’membe, editor of The Post of Zambia and his staff,” according to the Global Journalism Task Force. “The Zambian government shut down the newspaper to obstruct its ability to cover this week’s elections. Authorities arrested and beat M’membe [and] his wife. Despite the setbacks, M’membe moved his staff to a nearby vacant lot and continued to produce the newspaper. . . .”

Steven DeLuca, top (Credit: GoFundMe)

Steven DeLuca, top (Credit: GoFundMe)

Finally, a man who suffered a cardiac arrest outside the hotel rooms hosting the separate closing awards galas of NABJ and NAHJ Saturday night was reported recovering at a Washington hospital.

Aaron LaMere, who runs a production company, told Journal-isms by telephone that he and his colleague, Steven DeLuca, 50, of Silver Spring, Md., were at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel to set up for another conference to begin Monday. “We were in the registration area when he had a cardiac arrest,” LaMere said.

Attendees at the galas were notified that medical help was needed, and two of them administered CPR while paramedics were notified.

LaMere sought help on a page, writing, “Steve is a Freelance Entertainment Scenic Artist. So as long as he is recovering and can not work he has no income. On Aug 6th at about 7:30pm Steve’s heart stopped and he collapsed next to me as we were working. Two people on site jumped in and started CPR. If it wasn’t for them he would be dead. . . .”

Daily News: ‘We Were Wrong’ on End of Stop, Frisk

In an editorial Monday in the Daily News in New York, the newspaper admitted it was wrong in predicting an increase in lawlessness and bloodshed when a judge overturned the police department’s hated “stop and frisk” policies.

Three years ago this month Manhattan Federal Judge Shira Scheindlin ruled unconstitutional the NYPD’s program of stopping, questioning and sometimes frisking people suspected of criminality,” the editorial began.

“The third anniversary of Scheindlin’s ruling — August 12 — presents an opportune moment to evaluate its consequences on the city after the passage of a reasonable amount of time.

“While her findings remain as flawed today as they were then, New York has come through to a brighter day.

“The NYPD under Commissioner Ray Kelly used the lawful tactic of questioning suspicious individuals to deter crime before it happened. Many cops believed, for example, that the fear of getting stopped for questioning prompted would-be gun-toters to stop carrying their weapons.

“As many readers will know, the Daily News Editorial Board supported the NYPD’s strategy as essential to public safety. We also expressed fear that forcing the department to pull back could seriously harm public safety.

“Our editorial commenting on Scheindlin’s ruling stated:

“ ‘Make no mistake — Scheindlin has put New York directly in harm’s way with a ruling that threatens to push the city back toward the ravages of lawlessness and bloodshed.’

“In other pieces, we predicted a rising body count from an increase in murders.

“We are delighted to say that we were wrong. . . .”

Arthur Browne was editorial page editor when both editorials were written.

Still image from footage taken by Chicago police body camera shows the officer firing his weapon at a Jaguar convertible driven by Paul O'Neal, 18, on July 28. (Credit: Chicago Tribune)

Still image from footage taken by a Chicago police body camera shows an officer firing his weapon at a Jaguar convertible driven by Paul O’Neal, 18, on July 28. (Credit: Chicago Tribune)

Another Killing by Police Roils Chicago

Chicago’s two major dailies demanded accountability from the police on Monday after videos released Friday showed officers shot in the back and killed Paul O’Neal, 18, an unarmed African American trying to flee in what police said was a stolen sports car.

Meanwhile, Steve Mills, Todd Lighty and Jason Grotto reported Monday in the Tribune that “Chicago police have shot 702 citizens — killing 215 — in the past 15 years, according to Police Department records obtained by the Tribune under the Freedom of Information Act. Not once have federal law enforcement officials brought criminal civil rights charges against an officer in those shootings. . . .”

Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell called for addressing the black homicide rate with equal attention.

The Chicago Alliance Against Racist & Political Oppression issued a statement on Monday listing several demands, including that the ‘Blue Lives Matter’ ordinance proposed by Ald. Ed Burke is ‘thrown out,’ ” Mitchell wrote Monday.

“We don’t see that kind of political muscle being flexed to address the appalling homicide rate in predominantly black neighborhoods.

“A Sun-Times Watchdogs Special Report found 72 percent of the 324 victims killed during the first six months of 2016 were African-American men. These victims were an average of 29 years old.

Phillip Jackson, founder and executive director of the Black Star Project, a not-for-profit organization, is rallying community groups to partner during the long Labor Day weekend to bring attention to this crisis. . . .”

In the O’Neal case, the Tribune praised the change in attitude from city officials. “Instead of hiding from the public while a police union spokesman spun a false narrative for reporters, the police superintendent and the IPRA chief have been front and center. They don’t have many answers, but at least they’re not swatting away the questions. . . .” it editorialized. IPRA is the acronym for Independent Police Review Authority.

The Sun-Times noted that Police Supt. Eddie Johnson said the police killing of O’Neal “raised a lot of questions about whether departmental policies were followed.

After all the controversy, all the marches, all the promises to do better, shouldn’t we expect more?” the newspaper editorialized.

“When Johnson says the department will be ‘open and honest about what we discover and we will work together with our community partners to implement solutions,’ isn’t it fair to wonder whether those solutions should have been implemented already? . . .”

Short Takes

  • The country’s largest private extradition company, Prisoner Transportation Services, said Friday it has taken several steps to improve prisoner safety on its vehicles as it seeks approval to merge with its biggest national competitor next week,” Eli Hager and Alysia Santo reported Friday for the Marshall Project. “The company, which recently came under federal scrutiny after The Marshall Project and The New York Times reported on the deaths of several prisoners, said it is installing cameras and a real-time tracking system throughout its fleet of 33 vehicles. . . .”
  • WFXT FOX 25 brought in a motivational speaker to address the staff at the Boston station today,” Derrick Santos reported Wednesday for New England One. “The station that was taken over by Cox Media Group in 2014 had some ratings gains in the mornings in 2015, but those gains have been erased and Cox has now declared a ‘Code Red’ to try and fix things. The first step in improving things seems to be motivational speaker Dr. Willie Jolley, apparently. . . .”
  • has a new division, Media Next Talent, that does custom searches for editorial and media talent. Founder Eric Wee told Journal-isms at the joint convention of the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists that he knew of no other such service specializing in journalists of color.
  • On Friday, Morning Edition host Steve Inskeep interviewed David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader who is running for U.S. Senate in Louisiana,” ombudsman Elizabeth Jensen wrote Friday for NPR. “Duke ran for the same office twice in the 1990s and lost; in announcing his new candidacy, he cited the current political climate, as evidenced by support for Donald Trump’s campaign. Not surprisingly, the interview provoked a good deal of listener reaction, in letters to NPR and to my office, tweets, comments at and thousands of comments and feedback on Facebook. . . . My view: I thought the interview was well handled on all fronts. . . .”
  • Politico executive Peter Cherukuri is leaving the company to become president and chief innovation officer for growing tech startup incubator 1776,” Michael Calderone reported Sunday for the Huffington Post. “A highly regarded media executive, Cherukuri served as executive vice president for audience solutions and president of brand journalism studio Politico Focus. He previously held management positions at The Huffington Post and Roll Call, worked in the past with 1776, and served on the boards of the National Press Foundation, the West Virginia University Reed College of Media and the Close-Up Foundation. . . .” Cherukuri is Indian-American.
  • The National Educational Telecommunications Association has elected its executive committee for fiscal year 2017,” Dru Sefton reported Aug. 1 for “Ronnie Agnew, executive director of Mississippi Public Broadcasting, is board chair. . . .” Sefton also wrote, “NETA is a professional association of 94 public broadcasters. The Columbia, S.C.–based organization assists public stations by providing content, professional development resources, management support and national representation. . . .”
  • The New York Times Sunday published an excerpt of “The Underground Railroad,” a new work of historical fiction by Colson Whitehead, as a special broadsheet section in the print edition. There was no digital version. “It is not the first time The Times has printed fiction (both original fiction and excerpts) but it is something we plan to do more regularly,” Times spokeswoman Danielle Rhoades Ha messaged Journal-isms on Monday. “Jake Silverstein, editor in chief of The New York Times Magazine, made that point in editor’s note. . . .”
  • Chicago Fox-owned station WFLD is beefing up its sports department by moving morning anchor George Smith to sports anchor and reporter,” Kevin Eck reported Monday for TVSpy. “The move may be motivated by a couple of factors: the Cubs are doing well this year and the Super Bowl is on Fox in 2017. . . .”
  • TVNewser has learned that the 12th class of the Ailes Apprentice Program will graduate under a new name: the Fox News Apprentice Program,” Chris Ariens reported Thursday for TVNewser. “The renaming of the minority journalists program comes two weeks after network chairman CEO Roger Ailes, who founded the program and named it for himself in 2003, resigned his post following a sexual harassment investigation. . . .”
  • Black lives matter. Black votes matter. Black Press matters,” Benjamin F. Chavis Jr., president and CEO of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, wrote for NNPA on Sunday. He said next year will mark the 190th anniversary of the black press in America. Chavis also wrote, “There is a huge qualitative difference between media that is Black-owned as compared to non-Black-owned media that is targeted to Black consumers. Numerous national studies have documented that Black-owned newspapers remain the ‘trusted and respected’ source of news, empowering success stories and cultural aspirations for more than 45 million Black Americans. . . .”
  • NFL analyst Tom Jackson has made the decision to retire from broadcasting, concluding a remarkable 29-year career at ESPN,” Bill Hofheimer reported Wednesday for ESPN. “A Hall of Fame broadcaster, Jackson joined the company in 1987 as one of ESPN’s first NFL analysts following an outstanding 14-year playing career with the Denver Broncos. He will work his final assignment this week (Aug. 6-7) at Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement weekend in Canton, Ohio. . . .”

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