Returning Oct. 17, barring breaking news

Vindicated, but Terrified by Trump’s Accusations

How Did Martin’s Question Get to Clinton Team?

Four of 50 Highest Paid AP Employees Are of Color

Baltimore Mayor Bans Reporter From Briefings

Asian American Editor’s Tale of Insult Resonates

AAJA, Fox Producer to Meet Over Watters Segment

Undefeated Hosts Obama at N.C. A&T Town Hall

Obama Guest-Edits Wired Issue on ‘Frontiers’

Smith and Hill to Host 6 P.M. ‘SportsCenter’

Some Avoiding American Red Cross in Aiding Haiti

3 Black Opinion Writers Hit by Cuts at Guardian U.S

Short Takes

Vindicated, but Terrified by Trump’s Accusations

For 27 years, I’ve been in Donald Trump’s crosshairs,” Yusef Salaam wrote Wednesday for the Washington Post.

“I’m a member of the Central Park Five (video), a group of teenagers imprisoned for a brutal sexual assault in Central Park in 1989. When we were arrested, the police deprived us of food, drink or sleep for more than 24 hours. Under duress, four of us falsely confessed. Though we were innocent, we spent our formative years in prison, branded as rapists.

“During our trial, it seemed like every New Yorker had an opinion. But no one took it further than Trump. He called for blood in the most public way possible. Trump used his money to take out full-page ads in all of the city’s major newspapers, calling for the reinstatement of the death penalty in New York.

“During that time, our families tried to shield us from what was going on in the media, but we still found out about Trump’s ad. My initial thought was, ‘Who is this guy?’ I was terrified that I might be executed for a crime I didn’t commit.

“Thirteen years later, in 2002, we were exonerated. Matias Reyes eventually confessed to the rape and was definitively linked to the victim by his DNA. New York paid us $41 million in 2014 for our false imprisonment.

“Trump has never apologized for calling for our murder. In fact, despite all evidence to the contrary, he’s still convinced that we were guilty. When the Republican nominee was recently asked about the Central Park Five, he said, ‘They admitted they were guilty.’ . . . It’s further proof of his bias, racism and inability to admit that he’s wrong.

“When I heard Trump’s latest proclamation, it was like the worst feeling in the world. I felt as if I couldn’t breathe. Since I was 15, my life has never been my own. I had no control over what happened to me. Being in the spotlight makes me wary and self-conscious again. I am overwhelmed with a nagging fear that an overzealous Trump supporter might take matters into his or her hands.

“. . . In some ways, I feel like I’m on trial all over again. Like Trayvon Martin and Mike Brown, young men who were killed and then crucified in the media, I know what it is to be a young black man without a voice. Even though we were found innocent by a court of law, we are still guilty in the court of public opinion. That brings a certain kind of stress.

“I realize, too, that I’m not the only victim. Trump has smeared dozens of people, with no regard for the truth. And he has backed a ‘law and order’ system that would systematically target minorities. Trump says he would like to re-institute practices like New York’s ‘stop and frisk,’ a policy proven to be unconstitutional and unjust. When we hear that he is going to be a ‘law and order president,’ a collective chill goes down the spine of those of us who have been the victims of this ‘law and order.’ . . .”

Meanwhile, four women accused Trump of groping or kissing them without their consent in news reports published Wednesday, just days after the Republican presidential nominee insisted in a debate that he had never engaged in such behavior, Sean Sullivan reported for the Post.

Home page photo: Yusef Salaam, now a motivational speaker, in 2009. (Credit: Thomas Good)

TV One created a podcast of the March "town hall" meeting with the Democratic presidential candidates, co-hosted by Jake Tapper and Roland Martin.

TV One created a podcast of the March “town hall” meeting with the Democratic presidential candidates, co-hosted by Jake Tapper and Roland Martin. (Credit: TV One)

How Did Martin’s Question Get to Clinton Team?

Earlier today, the Erik Wemple Blog spoke with someone wishing to bat down the implications of an email that then-CNN contributor Donna Brazile sent to the Clinton campaign back in March,” Wemple wrote Tuesday for the Washington Post. ” ‘From time to time I get the questions in advance,’ read the subject line of the email, which was sent on March 12. In the email was a question about the death penalty.

“The next evening, Clinton faced a question about the death penalty at a CNN-TVOne town hall event at Ohio State University. TVOne host Roland Martin introduced Ricky Jackson, who had been wrongly convicted of murder back in the 1970s, when he was a teenager. He asked Clinton about the death penalty.

“Did Brazile — who left her contributorship at CNN over the summer to take over as interim Democratic National Committee chair — help the Clinton campaign to anticipate a topic in the heat of the primary battle against Bernie Sanders?

“No, says Brazile, in a statement released today: ‘As a longtime political activist with deep ties to our party, I supported all of our candidates for president. I often shared my thoughts with each and every campaign, and any suggestions that indicate otherwise are simply untrue. As it pertains to the CNN Debates, I never had access to questions and would never have shared them with the candidates if I did.’ . . . ”

Brian Stelter added Wednesday for CNNMoney under the headline, “Wikileaks mystery: How did town hall question get to Clinton campaign?”:

“In a hacked email published by Wikileaks, Democratic National Committee official Donna Brazile appeared to tell Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri that ‘from time to time I get the questions in advance.’ The March 12 email foreshadowed a question asked by TV One host Roland Martin at the March 13 town hall.

“Brazile was both a DNC vice chair and CNN political commentator at the time. But CNN flatly denied any coordination. ‘We have never, ever given a town hall question to anyone beforehand,’ a CNN spokeswoman said.

“Martin did not deny sharing information with Brazile. Instead, when asked by CNNMoney on Tuesday, he said ‘my questions were shared with my executive producer and several members of my TV One team.’

“When asked in a followup question if he would explicitly rule out any sharing of questions with Brazile, Martin did not respond. . . .”

Brazile, asked by Journal-isms whether she had anything to add, sent a statement she had given to other reporters: “The real crime is private emails were stolen from American citizens by a foreign government, probably the Russians, who provided them to Wikileaks, which is why the FBI is investigating it.

“It is clear the emails were stolen to help Donald Trump win the election.

“Trump asked the Russians to find Clinton’s emails.

“Trump has been rooting for the Russians throughout his campaign and Wikileaks ever since.

“That’s not a coincidence.

“If it is discovered that any American worked with the Russians to steal American citizens emails for any reason, let alone political purposes, that is one of the most serious crimes that can be committed against the United States of America.”

Four of 50 Highest Paid AP Employees Are of Color

Only four of The Associated Press’ 50 highest-paid employees in the editorial unit are people of color, according to an analysis by the News Media Guild,” Eileen Connelly reported Tuesday for the union.

“The Guild studied the pay of nearly 900 workers in the editorial unit with all employee names redacted. It included everyone eligible for Guild membership. The analysis did not include hourly workers and did not include overtime, economic differentials or any other additional pay beyond the weekly base rate.

“The Guild’s study reflected a dearth of diversity at the highest-paying jobs within the bargaining unit. Forty-six of the 50 highest-paid bargaining unit jobs belong to white employees, and there are no black senior journalists, a high-profile position that pays at least twice as much as typical newsperson jobs. . . .”

Paul Colford, spokesman for the AP, told Journal-isms by email, “AP remains committed to a diverse workplace.”

In May, Sonya Ross, race and ethnicity editor at the Associated Press, filed a discrimination lawsuit that accuses the AP of marginalizing her and denying her opportunities for promotion because of her race, age and gender, as Zoe Tillman reported then for the National Law Journal. The suit is pending in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Baltimore Mayor Bans Reporter From Briefings

In Baltimore, “Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has banned a local public radio reporter from attending her weekly press briefings at City Hall — a move that drew rebukes from his station and advocates for press access,” Luke Broadwater reported Wednesday for the Baltimore Sun.

P. Kenneth Burns

P. Kenneth Burns

“Rawlings-Blake said WYPR reporter P. Kenneth Burns may attend her public news conferences around the city and public meetings at City Hall. But she said he is not welcome at the briefings she holds after the city’s Board of Estimates meetings on Wednesdays.

“Burns has covered City Hall for more than three years as metro reporter for the Baltimore-based NPR member station. Rawlings-Blake took issue with questions Burns asked at last week’s briefing. . . .”

Burns, who is vice president of the Maryland chapter of SPJ, told Journal-isms by telephone, “It has felt surreal the whole day. Now I know how uncomfortable it is to be the story.” He said he had asked himself, “why now, and why with less than two months left in her term?

“I’m still going to do my job I still have a city to cover.”

Sun television reporter David Zurawik called for other reporters to join him in pushing back at the mayor. In a column on Wednesday, Zurawik wrote, “Burns is one of the few reporters from WYPR [whom] I have seen actually knocking on doors at City Hall and other government agencies trying to gather information first hand.

“This is a matter of principle, and I hope every self-respecting journalist in Baltimore will push back hard against the mayor. Let her ban everyone from her meetings.

“And that’s not some crazy suggestion. . .”

Asian American Editor’s Tale of Insult Resonates

It certainly felt like something of a moment for Asian-Americans in this country: an article about racist insults flung at one of their own, featured prominently in The New York Times, shared, posted and commented on thousands upon thousands of times,” Michael Luo wrote Monday for the Times.

Michael Luo

Michael Luo

“Admittedly, it was a little hard for me to tell, because I wrote the article and was in the middle of the torrent of responses to it, trying to do my day job as deputy Metro editor for The Times, while also managing my Facebook and Twitter feeds, which were blowing up.

“What seemed indisputable to me, though, on Monday, was that my open letter published online on Sunday, addressed to the woman who had told my family to go back to China, tapped into a deep reservoir of emotions held by many Asian-Americans about the racial prejudice they have experienced and a hunger for it to be recognized more broadly.

“Readers of all backgrounds, but especially Asian-Americans, responded in droves with recollections of their own encounters with racist taunts and with reflections on the nature of the supposed American melting pot. . . .”

AAJA, Fox Producer to Meet Over Watters Segment

The Asian American Journalists Association announced this evening that executives at Fox News have agreed to meet with them about what many considered to be a stereotype-filled report on New York’s Chinatown aired on Fox News,Louis Chan reported Tuesday for AsAmNews.

Paul Cheung, President of AAJA, says the meeting will include several community and AAJA leaders. The executive producer of Fox News has agreed to be at the meeting to be held at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York.

“Nothing was said about whether Bill O’Reilly or Jesse Watters, the reporter of the segment, will attend. . . .”

Cheung said in a Facebook posting Tuesday, “Fox News’ ‘O’Reilly Factor’ executive producer has agreed to meet with AAJA and several community leaders to discuss concerns over the Oct. 3 segment of ‘Watters’ World.’ This private meeting will take place at New York City’s Museum of Chinese in America. The date is to be determined.”

 President Obama and ESPN "SportsCenter" anchor Stan Verrett, who hosted and moderated the town hall in Greensboro, N.C. "ESPN’s The Undefeated, a website devoted to sports, race, culture and historically black colleges and universities, has picked A&T specifically because of its size — it’s the largest HBCU in the country — and prestige," John Newsome reported for the News & Record in Greensboro.

President Obama and ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Stan Verrett, who hosted and moderated the town hall in Greensboro, N.C. “ESPN’s The Undefeated, a website devoted to sports, race, culture and historically black colleges and universities, has picked A&T specifically because of its size — it’s the largest HBCU in the country — and prestige,” John Newsom reported for the News & Record in Greensboro.

Undefeated Hosts Obama at N.C. A&T Town Hall

President Barack Obama, appearing Tuesday on the campus of the nation’s largest historically black university, urged young people concerned about social change to get engaged and educated before pursuing their own path of activism,” Michael A. Fletcher reported Tuesday for the Undefeated.

“With increasing numbers of athletes, from the professional ranks down, taking part in protests of the national anthem and joining others in speaking out on issues such as police violence, Obama cautioned that students should not feel compelled to employ the same style or tactics.

“ ‘How you do it is less important than your commitment to use whatever platforms you have to speak to not just issues of just racial injustice, but to speak to issues of discrimination against Muslims or sexual assault on college campuses or a whole host of issues that we confront on a day-to-day basis,’ Obama said during a town hall meeting hosted by The Undefeated at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro, North Carolina, and aired on ESPN. . . .”

Obama Guest-Edits Wired Issue on ‘Frontiers’

“. . . [L]ast spring, when one of the president’s advisers reached out to me about working with WIRED, I pitched hard,” Scott Dadich editor-in-chief of Wired, wrote Wednesday.

“Forget a Q&A. I wanted something more ambitious. That’s why I went to Washington to invite the President of the United States to guest-edit our November edition. This isn’t about politics. We aren’t trying to get anyone elected with this issue. We are instead celebrating a kindred spirit, someone who sees the potential of the future and isn’t afraid to head into it.

“The president and his team had page after page of ideas, and we realized that many of them focused on confronting big challenges — stopping climate change, exploring Mars, using personalized medicine to cure disease. They were the kind of ambitious ideas that you can see energizing a relatively young, hopeful optimist who’s about to be out of a job. We talked about the next big hurdles humanity faces and how we will get past them. These are the things that interest us too. One word seemed to capture the mutual mood: frontiers.

“As we got deeper into our discussions, we got more specific. I wanted WIRED to collaborate with the president to illustrate how the machinery of decisionmaking can lead to a better future. President Obama’s whole job, really, is to make a series of policy decisions with the goal of assembling a stronger country. As a designer I find that particularly compelling, because to me that’s exactly what design is: a series of decisions with intent. Making policy is designing culture. . . .”

Michael Smith and Jemele Hill (Credit: ESPN)

Michael Smith and Jemele Hill (Credit: ESPN)

Smith and Hill to Host 6 P.M. ‘SportsCenter’

ESPN’s early-evening edition of ‘SportsCenter’ will soon become a ‘His & Hers’ affair,” Brian Steinberg reported Tuesday for Variety.

Michael Smith and Jemele Hill, who have co-hosted ‘His & Hers’ on ESPN2 since June of 2013 and the show was known under a different title, will take the hosting reins at ESPN’s 6 p.m. ‘SportsCenter’ on February 6, 2017, the day after Super Bowl LI.

“They will replace the broadcast’s current anchor, Lindsay Czarniak, who will go on maternity leave in early November and return next year in a new role that will be announced later. Both hosts have signed new, multi-year deals with the Walt Disney-owned sports network.

“The switch shows ESPN continuing to try to create “SportsCenter” broadcasts tailored for the times at which they air. . . .”

Some Avoiding American Red Cross in Aiding Haiti

The UN has made an emergency appeal for nearly $120 million in aid, saying about 750,000 people in southwest Haiti alone will need ‘life-saving assistance and protection’ in the next three months,’ ” Benjamin Shingler and Alison Northcott reported Wednesday for Canada’s CBC News.

They also wrote, “For its part, the Canadian Red Cross has tried to assure potential donors their money will go to help Haitians in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew and has distanced itself from online vitriol directed at the American Red Cross,” the focus of unflattering reporting last year by ProPublica and NPR.

Marjorie Villefranche, director general of the Maison d’Haiti, a community centre in Montreal, is asking Canadians to give money to NGOs that can handle emergency response, such as the Red Cross or Médecins du Monde.

” ‘When I talk to the people in Haiti now, the emergency now is water and shelter,’ she said.

“Some members of Montreal’s Haitian community, however, have chosen to give money directly to people they know in the country — if they can get it there — rather than go through a large NGO.

” ‘I don’t trust the Red Cross,’ said Raymond Gaetan, who has been sending money to family in Les Anglais, in Haiti’s hard-hit southern region. ‘It’s wasteful. We are better off sending money ourselves to our families.’ . . .”

Similarly Barry Saunders, writing Sunday in the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., quoted recommendations from Jeanette Fuccella, executive director of Raleigh-based Hearts with Haiti.

‘In addition to prayers, they need financial support. The people there know what they need,’ she said, noting that often in situations such as this, well-meaning people end up sending unusable, unneeded items, the sending of which may make them feel better but does little to better the situation.

“Before you send money, though, she said, ‘you should look for an organization with “feet on the ground” and that has a direct relationship with the people of Haiti, one that has had a presence there since before the (2010) earthquake. You should research the organizations you give money to. I don’t want to disparage any group,’ she said, before pointing out the exorbitant overhead of some well-known, large charities.

Halleluyer. For some charities that have solicited me for donations, 90 percent of each dollar donated goes to administrative costs. That’s when I hang up the phone.

“All large organizations don’t fall into that category, April Perry told me Friday. Perry, a Duke nurse who has done a lot of relief work in Haiti and led mission teams there after previous calamities, cited two organizations she’d recommend donating to — and

“ ‘They’re both quite large,’ she said, ‘but they only have 3 percent overhead.’ That means, she said, that 97 cents of every dollar goes directly to providing medical relief and rebuilding houses and other buildings. . . .”

3 Black Opinion Writers Hit by Cuts at Guardian U.S

Three black opinion writers — Syreeta McFadden, Rebecca Carroll and Zach Stafford — told Journal-isms separately Wednesday that their contracts had not been renewed or were cut short in light of a 30 percent across-the-board cut at the Guardian newspaper’s U.S. operation announced Sept. 15.

“I do find it sobering to see people of color across the media landscape being let go during a moment where they are most needed as a white supremacist inches closer to the White House,” Stafford said by email.

David Shariatmadari,  head of opinion for Guardian US, said by email Thursday there was an “expectation that previously contacted writers will continue to write on a freelance basis. Our smaller roster of contracted writers within opinion now consists of Lucia Graves, Steven Thrasher, Dave Schilling and Trevor Timm.

“As a section we’re committed to giving a platform to writers of color. Alongside Steven and Dave, we are nurturing newer voices including Ijeoma Oluo, Barrett Holmes Pitner, Moustafa Bayoumi, Esther Wang, John Paul Brammer, Arwa Mahdawi and Carla Sorey-Reed.” [Updated Oct. 13]

Short Takes

  • Julianne Malveaux, economist, columnist and former president of Bennett College, defined the difference between “corporate media” and listener-supported radio Wednesday in appearance on Washington’s WPFW-FM, a Pacifica station, during its pledge drive. “What I’ve learned in the past couple of years since I left Bennett College is that corporate media has a cookie cutter in terms of what they want and what they want to hear,” Malveaux said. “And folks don’t want to hear too much that’s too black, they don’t want to hear too much too progressive, they don’t want to really unpack the whole matter of predatory capitalism, and ‘PFW does a lot of that . . .”
  • Univision Chicago officially announced a partnership with the Pulitzer Prize-winning website of the Tampa Bay Times, PolitiFact, to closely examine the accuracy of claims made by elected officials and others who speak up in local, state or national American politics,” Univision announced on Monday.
  • Dodai Stewart

    Dodai Stewart

    Today FUSION named Dodai Stewart its new Editor-in-Chief as Alexis Madrigal returns to writing and producing in his new role as Editor-at-Large,” Fusion announced on Monday. “As our Executive Editor, Dodai has been central to defining our editorial mission, and the driving force of our voice across units and verticals,” Daniel Eilemberg, president and chief content officer, said in a staff memo. . . .”

  • A powerful surveillance program that police used for tracking racially charged protests in Baltimore and Ferguson, Mo., relied on special feeds of user data provided by Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, according to an ACLU report Tuesday,” Craig Timberg and Elizabeth Dwoskin reported Tuesday for the Washington Post.
  • Kim Kardashian West was robbed at gunpoint in Paris recently and now says she has also been victimized by an online publication,” Lisa Respers France reported Wednesday for CNN Money. “The reality star filed suit in a federal lawsuit in New York against — and its founder Fred Mwangaguhunga — alleging they libeled her. According to the suit Media Takeout published a series of stories ‘in which they claimed, without any factual support whatsoever, that Kardashian faked the robbery, lied about the violent assault, and then filed a fraudulent complaint with her insurance company to bilk her carrier out of millions of dollars.’ . . .”
  • Members of the Online News Association, the world’s largest membership organization of digital journalists, elected two new members to its Board of Directors and reelected five incumbents to two-year terms,” Trevor Knoblich wrote for ONA on Tuesday. “The newest directors, Imaeyen Ibanga, Web/Video Producer at NBC News, and Elite Truong, Product Manager, Partner Platforms, Vox Media, will join the Board Jan. 1, 2017. . . .” Benet Wilson, owner/editor-in-chief, Aviation Queen LLC, and current board secretary, and Jose Zamora, senior vice president, strategic communications, Univision Network News, were reelected.
  • Robin Smith, a longtime TV news reporter and anchor in St. Louis and a Democrat, was endorsed Sunday by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch in her contest for Missouri secretary of state. “She is eloquent, hard-driving and outspoken. Her executive master’s degree in international business and service on the St. Louis University Board of Trustees are important assets in this job,” an editorial said. Republican Jay Ashcroft lost points because “he adamantly supports stricter voter identification laws and insists he can implement photo ID requirements at the polls without disenfranchising voters. . . .”
  • Ramy Inocencio, a Bloomberg Television correspondent in New York, will serve as vice president for journalism programs of the Asian American Journalists  Association from Jan. 1 to Dec. 30, the association reported by email  Monday. “Ramy will replace Yvonne Leow, who will take over as president of the organization in January for a two-year term. Ramy will serve for one year. He is a member of AAJA’s New York chapter and has previously served as the president of AAJA’s Asia chapter. He has also worked for the Wall Street Journal and CNN. . . .” Announcement.
  • The Record in Hackensack, N.J., has received 32 applications for 14 to 16 slots in a four-day Diversity in Journalism Workshop at the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, Douglas Clancy, assistant managing editor at the Record, told Journal-isms by email on Wednesday. Tuesday was the application deadline. The program, in its 22nd year, is designed to “expose talented North Jersey high school students to one of the top communications schools in the country and to careers in newspaper, broadcast, online, magazine and digital journalism, advertising, photography, graphics and public relations. . . .” All transportation, meals and housing are free.
  • The Washington Association of Black Journalists Wednesday expressed its “its deep concern and disappointment over veteran news anchor Leon Harris’ unexpected departure from ABC7/WJLA-TV.” Wednesday was Harris’ last day at the station. “It is our hope that ABC7/WJLA-TV will demonstrate a higher level of awareness in valuing diversity as well as accomplished journalists with strong connections within our local communities,” WABJ said in a statement.
  • A well-known Pakistani journalist said on Tuesday that he had been barred from leaving the country, days after he wrote that civilian officials had confronted the military over what they called a failure to act against Islamist groups,” Salman Masood reported Tuesday for the New York Times. “Cyril Almeida, a widely read columnist for Dawn, Pakistan’s leading daily, said on Twitter that he had been placed on the ‘exit control list,’ a roster of people forbidden to leave the country. The news caused an uproar on social media, and other journalists denounced the move. . . . “



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