Tweeting Employees Must Play by Company’s Rules

Why Were U.S. Media Slow on Caribbean Disaster?

St. Louis Paper: Outrage at Verdict Understandable

NBC Names Team to Cover Media; Scant Diversity

Study: Asian Americans Still Marginalized on TV

Women’s TV Progress ‘Continues to Be Incremental’

Threatened Mexican Journalist Denied U.S. Entry

Blind Media Worker Reggie Anglen Dies in Ohio

‘Kid’ Explains Spoofing Kaepernick With Whitlock

Short Takes

Jemele Hill and co-host Michael Smith (Credit: ESPN)

Jemele Hill and co-host Michael Smith (Credit: ESPN)

Tweeting Employees Must Play by Company’s Rules

ESPN’s public editor said Friday that Jemele Hill violated the company’s social media policy in her tweets Monday calling President Trump a white supremacist, as Trump elevated the controversy by calling for Hill to be fired and for ESPN to apologize.

Black journalists, meanwhile, seemed largely to be standing beside Hill, especially after a disputed report by ThinkProgress that ESPN tried to take Hill off the air on Wednesday but that potential black fill-ins would not go along. The report named none of its sources and no other news organization substantiated it, but black employees elsewhere said they had seen managements try similar divide-and-conquer tactics.

Public Editor Jim Brady’s conclusion is just an opinion, as he is not a part of management. However, ESPN President John Skipper reiterated in an internal memo that “we have social media policies which require people to understand that social platforms are public and their comments on them will reflect on ESPN. At a minimum, comments should not be inflammatory or personal.”

Skipper added, “We had a violation of those standards in recent days and our handling of this is a private matter. As always, in each circumstance we look to do what is best for our business.”

Brady explained it this way: “So, yes, Hill is a U.S. citizen who clearly cannot stand the president of her country. She’s far from alone in that view. But she’s also the high-profile host of a high-profile show on a high-profile network that is going through high-profile business and cultural challenges, and none of what’s happened the past few days has accrued or will accrue to ESPN’s benefit.

“With the salary and prominence ESPN provides Hill comes some responsibility to play by the network’s rules, and, in this case, she crossed the line set by management just five months ago, when ESPN released revised guidelines about political discussions.

“Included in those guidelines was the following:

“The topic should be related to a current issue impacting sports. This condition may vary for content appearing on platforms with broader editorial missions — such as The Undefeated, FiveThirtyEight and espnW. Other exceptions must be approved in advance by senior editorial management.”

“The tweet that Hill was responding to when she wrote her most noteworthy comments had nothing to do with sports. And for those who say that Hill’s personal Twitter account isn’t ESPN’s business — and I have seen a few suggestions to that effect — ESPN made it clear when I asked back in April that it considers social media accounts of its public-facing talent part of that policy. . . .”

Hill said as much in her carefully crafted statement Thursday when she wrote that “my regret is that my comments and the public way I made them painted ESPN in an unfair light.”

In reporting Friday on Trump’s tweet calling for ESPN to apologize, “CBS Evening News” reporter Julianna Goldman noted that Trump had never apologized for his long insistence that former President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, and called Trump’s current stance “straight out of the Trump playbook.” Goldman quoted from Trump’s 2007 book “Think Big and Kick Ass in Business and Life.” “When people wrong you, go after those people because it is a good feeling and because other people will see you doing it. I love getting even.”

In the New York Times, Kevin Draper reported Friday that any disciplining of Hill “might be out of legal bounds for ESPN. The network is based in Bristol, Conn., and a Connecticut statute provides free-speech protections beyond the First Amendment, making it illegal for ESPN to punish Hill, according to some labor lawyers. . . .”

There might be a deeper reason why African Americans have been inclined to support Hill, Jarvis DeBerry wrote Friday for NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune.

With the obvious exception of those whose shtick is publicly scolding black people, most black opinion writers and pundits are signing themselves up to be attacked by white people every time they dare to talk about race,” DeBerry said. “Jemele Hill, the ESPN co-host who White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders thinks should be fired, was getting that kind of backlash long before her Monday tweet that President Donald Trump is a white supremacist who has surrounded himself with other white supremacists.

“I haven’t seen a poll on the question, but I would bet money that if you asked black Americans — or, honestly, just Americans who aren’t white — you would find widespread agreement with Hill’s sentiment. You’ll also find agreement from some white people. Some journalists who covered Alabama’s Gov. George Wallace’s campaign rallies say Trump’s campaign events are nearly identical to those of that late champion of segregation. The question that always confronts a black person who thinks in public is this: Do I say what I really think? How much grief can I take from white people today? . . .”

Articulating Hill’s view is only part of being a journalist, author and historian Ibram X. Kendi said Friday in the Washington Post in what CNN’s “Reliable Sources” host Brian Stelter called a “must-read”:

I think one of the fundamental responsibilities of a journalist is not only to report the news, but in reporting the news, to be simultaneously categorizing what is happening in society,” Kendi said in an interview with the Post’s Vanessa Williams. “We categorize hurricanes as horrific for people suffering through it. We categorize mass murder as horrific. The adjectives and descriptions and categories journalists use allow us consuming their journalism to understand it.

“One of the categories that journalists are reluctant to use, and which breeds misunderstanding and lack of understanding is the category of racism and white supremacists. To me that means journalists should be categorizing individuals, ideas and policies as racism. It will give people the ability to understand that in the way that we so freely categorize everything else. … If somebody pushes a campaign that attracts primarily white voters on the basis that he’s going to make the country in the image of white people again, we should be willing to categorize those actions as what they are — white supremacist or racist. If journalists are not going to do it, who’s going to do it?”

A Trinidad resident says other Trinis are stranded on St. Maarten. (Credit: Al Jazeera)

Why Were U.S. Media Slow on Caribbean Disaster?

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the U.S. Virgin Islands as a Category 5 storm just over one week ago, knocking out electricity and running water, and cutting off communications with the outside world,” Amy Goodman said in introducing a segment Friday on radio and television’s “Democracy Now!”

“Now, Governor Kenneth Mapp says the islands of Saint John and Saint Thomas are still nearly entirely without power. The hurricane also destroyed schools and the main hospital on Saint Thomas. The devastation was so extensive, it can be seen from space. Earlier this week, a U.S. military amphibious ship arrived on Saint Thomas ladened with equipment and supplies. The islands have also received emergency aid from residents of the nearby island of Puerto Rico, where volunteers banded together to collect supplies and transport them on dozens of ships.

“But while Hurricane Irma hit the U.S. Virgin Islands days before it made landfall on the Florida Keys, the Virgin Islands have been largely forgotten in the wall-to-wall U.S. media coverage of the storm. And that omission is even more striking given that the U.S. Virgin Islands are in the midst of celebrating their centennial as U.S. territory. . . .”

Goodman’s guest, St.Thomas native Tiphanie Yanique, an award-winning poet and novelist, wondered the same thing Tuesday in an op-ed in the New York Times.

Before Hurricane Irma hit the continental United States, it had already affected at least 100,000 Americans,” Yanique wrote. “Not tourists visiting islands. Just 100,000 Americans, living in America’s paradise, the United States Virgin Islands.”

On NPR’s “1A” on Monday, Russell Lewis, NPR’s Southern bureau chief, said a public radio reporter was in the U.S. Virgin Islands but that NPR had not heard from the journalist because the infrastructure was so poor. On Thursday, NPR spokeswoman Isabel Lara reported back to Journal-isms, “We have heard from her, but the state of infrastructure is still very poor. We are well aware of the devastation suffered by the community and the station and we are doing all we can to help them get back on the air,” she said by email.

“NPR news has a reporter and producer over there now covering the recovery effort.”

She added later that Jason Beaubien was reporting from the Caribbean (first from Puerto Rico, then St. Thomas), and started reporting from there Sept. 8, before the storm had hit mainland.

While the devastation in the black- and brown-populated Caribbean is now receiving broadcast coverage on the mainland, it was a struggle.

“Balanced coverage is always an issue,” Jim Asendio, who anchors network radio newscasts for WestwoodOne, told Journal-isms by email on Thursday. “Even Texas and Louisiana (Hurricane Harvey) have been pushed aside with so much attention being focused on Florida (Hurricane Irma). Notice much coverage of Georgia, the Carolinas? Most of the reporters and photographers are in Florida, so most coverage is of Florida.

“Coverage of the USVI/BVI/Cuba/Dominican Republic/Haiti/Bahamas remained sparse until social media images started emerging. Reporters only started being sent there a few days ago. My concern centered on the lack of even mentioning what was happening there throughout the coverage. Now that the coverage in Florida has shifted from dramatic live coverage to recovery, you’re seeing more focus on the devastation Irma caused in the Caribbean. The media’s attention and hence the public’s is fleeting. The urge is always to move on to the next big thing.”

Of course, there were exceptions, such as the Miami Herald. Herald reporter Jacqueline Charles said by email, “We’ve been on top of this story. I was positioned in Haiti, which did have farms and communities in the northern region devastated but got overlooked (audio). At the same time I’ve been providing updates on what’s happening in the Caribbean including Turks and Caicos which also had a family island devastated but [was] overlooked in the media.

“We’ve had a reporter in St. Thomas and most recently I’m [in] St. Maarten. And if course we’ve written about Cuba.

“Given Irma’s impact in Florida, and the abandonment of the Caribbean by most U.S. media outlets, we remain committed to the region.

“South Florida is home to a wide range of people from the Caribbean and Latin America, and at the Miami Herald we remain committed to [being] their source for news. There wasn’t any hesitation to send me and a photographer to Haiti ahead of Irma. Why Haiti? Because it remains one of the most vulnerable island-nations to natural disasters. Through it dodged a direct hit, it was impacted and we were the only U.S. daily on the ground to tell people so.”

“Below just one of the stories I reported from the ground:

http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/haiti/article172268857.html

“Go to our site

“Or www.miamiherald.com/haiti to see our coverage.”

To many Americans, Caribbean islands are simply tourist destinations. In the New York Times Sunday print travel section, Stephanie Rosenbloom provides an island-by-island guide.

Tourism is the most important economic driver and the main foreign exchange earner for the region, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization,” Rosenbloom wrote Friday. “Some places — including St. Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, the Bahamas and Sint Eustatius — emerged mostly unscathed.

“Yet, as of Thursday, the damage in other places was so extensive that despite the projected loss of crucial revenue, government officials were not focused on tourism; they were still struggling — and continue to struggle — to ensure people’s health and safety and evacuate stranded visitors. . . .”

For all the delay in covering the Caribbean disaster, it is receiving more coverage than other devastated parts of the world. “The effects of these hurricanes have been massive in the Caribbean and the United States, but they actually don’t compare to what’s happening in South Asia,” Goodman said at the end of her segment Friday. “Over 1,300 people have died in the flooding in Nepal and India and Bangladesh. We’re going to go to Kathmandu, Nepal. Stay with us. . . .”

Protesters block the intersection of Tucker and Market streets in St. Louis after the not-guilty verdict in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith by former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley on Friday. (Credit: Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

Protesters block the intersection of Tucker and Market streets in St. Louis Friday after the not-guilty verdict in the killing of Anthony Lamar Smith by former St. Louis police officer Jason Stockley. (Credit: Robert Cohen/St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

St. Louis Paper: Outrage at Verdict Understandable

Judge Timothy J. Wilson has no illusions about the popularity of justice,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorialized Friday. “ ‘No one promises a rose garden, and this surely is not,’ he wrote near the end of his 30-page explanation of why he acquitted former St. Louis Police Officer Jason Stockley of murder in the 2011 killing of Anthony Lamar Smith. Wilson’s verdict Friday turned on his judgment that prosecutors failed to prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

“ ‘Reasonable’ is the key word here. Wilson’s verdict can be read as entirely reasonable. It can also be read as entirely unreasonable by those who interpret the testimony and evidence as signs of Stockley’s guilt. Cops with a reasonable fear for their safety have been given wide latitude by the U.S. Supreme Court to use deadly force. The Missouri Legislature has extended the ‘reasonableness’ standard to private citizens who use deadly force in self-defense.

“But reasonableness becomes harder to accept when, time after time, law enforcers are acquitted — or not even charged — in questionable killings of black citizens.

“Reasonableness gives way to understandable outrage, as it did on the streets of downtown St. Louis Friday.

“Nationally, Stockley’s acquittal is the fourth since May of law enforcers charged in questionable shootings of black men. . . .”

The Post-Dispatch reported Friday, “Protesters began gathering immediately after the verdict was announced Friday morning. The demonstrations were largely peaceful at first, but as the night went on, protesters seriously injured two police officers and vandalized buildings, including the home of the city mayor. . . .”

NBC Names Team to Cover Media; Scant Diversity

NBC announced Friday a nine-person “all star” team to cover media, with Jo Ling Kent, an NBC News and MSNBC correspondent “who reports on the business of media, the technology giants, and social media platforms” and is Asian American, the only person of color.

Jo Ling Kent

Jo Ling Kent

“Led by senior editor and reporter Claire Atkinson — who joined us earlier this month from the New York Post where she covered the media business – the team brings together outstanding in-house NBC News & MSNBC talent with outside contributors who are among the most respected and most followed editors and journalists in this space,” reads a memo by Noah Oppenheim, president of NBC News, Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC, and Nick Ascheim, head of digital at NBC News Group.

The memo says:

  • “Claire Atkinson will be senior media editor and lead the team. Prior to her seven years at the New York Post, Claire was business editor at Broadcasting & Cable, a media reporter for Advertising Age and media editor at PRWeek. She has also freelanced for the New York Times and Condé Nast Portfolio.

“Internal contributors include:

  • Jim Rainey, who joined NBC News in April as a news reporter based in Los Angeles. Prior to joining us, Jim covered the film and entertainment industry at Variety and politics and media at the Los Angeles Times.
  • “Jo Ling Kent, an NBC News and MSNBC correspondent, who reports on the business of media, the technology giants, and social media platforms.

“External contributors include:

  • Kara Swisher, executive editor at Recode, is a definitive source on Silicon Valley and the tech industry.
  • Ben Smith, editor-in-chief of BuzzFeed, joins as an on-air contributor, bringing his team’s groundbreaking reporting on the intersection of tech and politics as well as the perspective of a digital native.
  • John Huey, former editor-in-chief of TIME Inc, joins as a contributor for our digital and broadcast platforms.
  • Gabriel Sherman, special correspondent at Vanity Fair, continues as an NBC News & MSNBC contributor.
  • Steven Brill, Journalist and Author – and Founder of Court TV, The American Lawyer Magazine, Brill’s Content Magazine, Journalism Online, and The Yale Journalism Initiative – continues as an NBC News & MSNBC contributor.
  • Peter Kafka, senior editor of media at Recode, joins as a contributor. . . .”

Study: Asian Americans Still Marginalized on TV

Although significant progress has been made in the past few years in opportunities for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on prime-time television, they remain underrepresented, marginalized and relegated to token appearances on comedies and dramas, [according to] the summation of a new study released Tuesday,” Greg Braxton reported Tuesday for the Los Angeles Times.

“ ‘Tokens on the Small Screen,’ conducted by professors and scholars from six California universities, is a 10-year follow-up to and expansion of an earlier examination of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on prime-time series. . . .”

Braxton also wrote:

“Among the major findings:

  • “White performers are dominant in the prime-time landscape, comprising nearly 70% of all TV series regulars compared to 4% of Asian Americans, according to the study. Pacific Islanders make up just 0.2% of series regulars.
  • “More than 64% of all series do not feature an Asian American or Pacific Islander as a series regular. In contrast, 96% of series have at least one white series regular. Also, the majority of shows set in cities heavily populated by Asian Americans or Pacific Islanders have no Asian American or Pacific Islanders regulars.
  • “If they are cast, Asian American and Pacific Islander regulars are mostly eclipsed by their white counterparts, who are on screen more than three times longer. . . .”

Asians, Native Hawaiians and Othor Pacific Islanders were 5 percent of the U.S. population in the 2010 Census [PDF]. Asians are projected to rise to 8 percent by 2060.

Women’s TV Progress ‘Continues to Be Incremental’

The progress of women in the television industry continues to be incremental when it hasn’t stalled out,” Maureen Ryan reported Tuesday for Variety, citing the annual Boxed In study conducted by San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television and Film.

Ryan also wrote, “There has been an increase in the depiction of characters of color: Black women represented 19% of all female speaking roles (an increase of 3% from 2015-2016), and Asian representation among female characters accounted for 6% of all speaking roles (an increase of 4% from the previous season). However Latinas are particularly underrepresented; they got only 5% of all speaking roles, an increase of only 1% from the year before.

“Overall, 69% of female characters were white, down from 74% in 2015-2016. . . .”

Threatened Mexican Journalist Denied U.S. Entry

Martin Mendez Pineda

Martin Mendez Pineda

Reporters Without Borders, the National Press Club and the Newseum Institute said Thursday they “condemn United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP)’s decision to deny Mexican journalist Martin Mendez entry into the US for several high-level meetings in Washington, DC this week.”

They said they “view this decision as an attempt to silence Mendez and prevent him from telling his story to the American people.

“Despite presenting a detailed list of high-level meetings and events that Mexican journalist Martin Mendez Pineda was scheduled to attend this week in Washington, DC, United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) denied Mendez’ request to enter the country on Sunday, September 10.

“ ‘I am angry and disappointed that I was not able to attend the events with everyone in Washington D.C. this week,’ Mendez told RSF. ‘I was very much looking forward to sharing my experiences as a journalist in Mexico and as someone whose threat to safety has been ignored by the United States Immigration officials. I lost the only job I was able to find in Mexico, while remaining in hiding, in order to have the opportunity to attend these events, which would’ve allowed me to discuss the dangers journalists face throughout the world and which I currently face in Mexico right now. . . .”

Blind Media Worker Reggie Anglen Dies in Ohio

Reggie Anglen, a seven-year president of the Columbus, Ohio, chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists who had been blind from birth, died Sept. 1, Lauren Sega reported Friday for the Columbus Underground, which listed him as a contributor.

Reggie Anglen

Reggie Anglen

The story did not list a cause of death nor an age, although he was 65 when the Columbus Dispatch wrote about him in April, when Anglen advocated for a nonprofit agency to provide a broad array of services for blind or visually impaired adults.

The Underground said “Anglen was a motivational speaker, community activist and author, completing ‘I’m Not Special, Just Me — The Reggie Anglen Story’ in 2015. He brought his passion for writing to Columbus Underground earlier this year for an editorial headlined ‘Trump Needs to Let Journalists do Their Jobs,’ about the importance of a free and neutral press.”

However, the Underground also wrote, “According to a GoFundMe set up for his funeral costs, no insurance coverage exists for his memorial service, and his family is asking for donations ‘in order to ensure a decent funeral service for Reggie.’ . . . They’re inching toward their goal, having raised $1,190 of the $5,700 needed.”

For more information or to submit a donation, visit gofundme.com/reggie-anglens-memorial-fund.

Anglen described himself this way in 2003 in a note to NABJ:

“I am Reggie Anglen from Columbus, Ohio. Currently serving (since 1997) as president of the NABJ-affiliate chapter, Columbus Association of Black Journalists. Background is in public relations, received degree in journalism with an emphasis in PR from Ohio State University. Native of Cleveland, Ohio. Blind from birth, [Pisces], Feb. 20, enjoy jazz, reading, meeting people, tandem bike riding, basketball, traveling .  . . . Am looking for employment, willing to relocate, laid off from Ohio State after 14 yrs of service, I was a PR spokesperson (downsized).”

He stepped down as president of the Columbus NABJ chapter in 2005.

Services are scheduled for Sept. 23 at the Marlan J. Gary Funeral Home, 2500 Cleveland Ave, Columbus, Ohio 43211. The wake is planned for 9 a.m.; service at 10 a.m.

‘Kid’ Explains Spoofing Kaepernick With Whitlock

Christopher ‘Kid’ Reid on Thursday broke his silence over his controversial impersonation of Colin Kaepernick,” Ryan Parker wrote Friday for the Hollywood Reporter.

“Reid, better known as half of the hip-hop turned acting duo Kid ‘n Play, was blasted after Fox Sports 1’s Jason Whitlock posted a picture from a later scrapped skit of the actor and musician dressed in a Kaepernick jersey with an afro and a raised gloved fist in air, resembling the Black Power Movement gesture.

“The image was seen by critics as wildly mocking Kaepernick, the free agent quarterback who made national headlines last season when he refused to stand for the national anthem in protest of the treatment of African-Americans in America, especially at the hands of police.

“In a lengthy post on Facebook, Reid explained what he was going for in the skit that never made it to air.

” ‘Let me be clear — the skit and photo were not meant to disrespect Colin’s message or political stance,’ he wrote. ‘Rather, we wanted to spoof the media’s treatment of him and the circus that has been created. I understand that Whitlock has been a vocal critic of Colin so the optics of the photo have got me looking crazy.’

“Reid said in the post that he stands with the Super Bowl QB.

” ‘Being born and raised in NYC I grew up seeing and reading about dozens of acts of police brutality,’ he said. ‘And the same way we know the names of Tamir Rice, Philando Castile and Michael Brown today, I grew up knowing the same fate had come to Eleanor Bumpurs, Amadou Diallo and Abner Louima. Sadly, little has changed.’

“Having learned a lesson from the incident, the actor said he would be more mindful in the future. . . .”

Short Takes

  • Stephanie Medina

    Stephanie Medina

    “To ring in the start of Hispanic Heritage Month, which runs from September 15 to October 15, NBC Latino has launched the NBC Latino 20, honoring 20 achievers who are moving the needle in their respective fields and bettering our communities and our nation,” NBC announced Friday.  The entry for Sept. 22: “Stephanie Medina, 17, and her fellow youth reporters at Boyle Heights Beat are making sure that the issues in their east side Los Angeles neighborhood are elevated and heard. . . .”

  • Comedy Central announced Thursday hat it had extended the contract of Trevor Noah, the host of its flagship late-night program “The Daily Show,” for five more years, through 2022, Dave Itzkoff reported for the New York Times.
  • Ann Kimbrough, who was demoted this spring as dean of the Florida A&M University School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, will spend this school year at her alma mater, Northwestern University,” Byron Dobson reported Friday for the Tallahassee Democrat.
  • Alexandria Neason, an education reporter and former teacher at the Teacher Project at Columbia Journalism School, has been hired as senior staff writer at Columbia Journalism Review, the senior-most reporting position at the publication, Kyle Pope, CJR editor and publisher, told Journal-isms Thursday. Neason says on her LinkedIn profile, “I write national education stories about teachers and the many issues they face for a variety of outlets.”
  • Columbia Journalism Review is hosting “a discussion about how journalists cover race and racism in American communities” from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday in Charlottesville, Va. Panelists include Jamelle Bouie, chief political correspondent for Slate; Kelley Libby, creator and producer, UnMonumental; Collier Meyerson, investigative fellow at Reveal; Siva Vaidhyanathan, director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia; Jenna Wortham, staff writer at the New York Times Magazine and Jordy Yager, freelance journalist and winner of Association of Alternative Newsmedia’s 2017 award for race reporting.
  • Monique Jones, who joined ESPN in 2015 as an NFL senior editor, has been named ESPN.com’s MLB deputy editor, ESPN announced on Thursday.
  • Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday it is “alarmed by the roundabout nationalization of four independent media outlets — two daily newspapers and two websites — that is currently under way in Egypt. It is the government’s new method for seizing control of media with supposed links to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. The two newspapers, Daily News Egypt (DNE) and Borsa, and the two websites, Masr al Arabiya and Bawabat al Qahira (Cairo Portal), are the targets of a three-stage nationalization that began in mid-August. . . .”

 

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