Woman Says She’s Been Frightened Into Silence

Writer Has Doubts About Hill’s Future at ESPN

4 Women Sue Detroit Free Press Over Unequal Pay

Calif. Paper Has Black Publisher, Black Editor

‘Ask a Mexican’ Arellano Quits as OC Weekly Editor

FCC Chairman Pressed to Speak Out on Trump

How Trump Is Changing Hispanic Media

Telenovela Star Slaps Reporter in the Face

Press Freedom Groups Knock UNESCO Pullout

Short Takes

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Nelly with his family in 2914 on "Nellyville," which aired on BET. (Credit: BET)

Nelly with his family in 2014 on “Nellyville,” which aired on BET. (Credit: BET)

Woman Says She’s Been Frightened Into Silence

As the news media feast on allegations of sexual misconduct by Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, media attention is being blamed for frightening into silence a 21-year-old woman who accused the rapper Nelly of rape.

The attorney representing the 21-year-old woman said Friday her client has been overwhelmed by the media attention and statements made by Nelly’s attorney critical of her account of the incident,” Christine Clarridge wrote Friday for the Seattle Times. “. . . The woman called 911 from a parking lot outside of a Wal-Mart store on Oct. 7 claiming she had been sexually assaulted by the musician, whose given name is Cornell Iral Haynes Jr., on his tour bus after she met him at a South Seattle club. . . .”

Nelly was booked on second-degree rape charges but proclaimed his innocence.

We do not live in a society where a 21 year old college student can feel safe enough to pursue criminal charges against a celebrity for an alleged rape,” [PDF] the woman’s attorney, Karen Koehler, wrote in an open letter.

“If in a moment of panic and fear, she immediately calls 911, she will be interviewed, detained, and then sent to a hospital where a rape kit will be administered. Hours later after she is allowed to return home, she will look at her phone, only to be besieged by text messages of screen shots of internet articles already describing the incident. Before her initial tears have dried her phone will ring and she will belatedly realize that she is talking to a reporter who is trying to befriend her. How did this reporter get my number . . . will echo through her mind.”

The code of ethics of the Society of Professional Journalists advises, “Show compassion for those who may be affected by news coverage. Use heightened sensitivity when dealing with juveniles, victims of sex crimes, and sources or subjects who are inexperienced or unable to give consent. Consider cultural differences in approach and treatment.” However, the lawyer’s statement does not accuse the news media of improper conduct.

Later, the woman gave a recorded statement in a meeting with the investigating detective and the prosecutor’s office. The detective promised “that no one will know that she has met with them until the investigation is closed,” the attorney wrote. But the police commander told the media that the woman met with authorities. “I failed her with that promise,” the detective said, according to the letter.

Nelly maintains that no sex crime took place. His lawyer, Scott Rosenblum, said in a statement that the accuser’s “reckless accusation, once investigated thoroughly, was exposed for what it was — a fabrication. A fabrication that has caused Nelly and his family to suffer emotionally and financially. [Rosenblum] wants a public apology from the woman, and will advise Nelly to seek legal action against her,” according to complex.com.

In any case, “Cmdr. Steve Stocker of the Auburn Police Department said that the investigation was proceeding as of Friday afternoon,” Joe Coscarelli reported Friday for the New York Times.

“ ‘We’re not going to just halt the investigation,’ he said. ‘We’re still investigating the case, and it’s probably going to be referred to the prosecutor’s office sometime next week.’ . . .”

Writer Has Doubts About Hill’s Future at ESPN

Michael Smith, Suzette Hackney and Jemele Hill. (Courtesy Suzette Hackney)

Michael Smith, Suzette Hackney and Jemele Hill. (Courtesy Suzette Hackney)

Jemele Hill’s two-week suspension is scheduled to end on Oct. 23,” Richard Deitsch wrote Sunday for Sports Illustrated. “The likelihood is she will come to work that day in Bristol, CT. and continue to co-anchor the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter for the foreseeable future.

“But I believe her tenure as a SportsCenter anchor is effectively over. I also think her time as an ESPN employee is down to months rather than years. Hill cannot feel that she has management’s unwavering support given the events of the last month — and ESPN management clearly has limits to the speech it will allow from front-facing talent on social media, and particularly those representing the SportsCenter brand.

“Then there is the show itself, dubbed SC6. What Hill and co-host Michael Smith envisioned, what made their chemistry honest and unique on the ESPN2 show His and Hers and their podcasts together, is being slowly chopped away by the addition of segments you see on traditional SportsCenter shows. . . .”

Meanwhile, Hill received more support from her circle of friends.

It’s not every day that one of my best friends is bullied on Twitter — by name — by the leader of the free world,” Suzette Hackney wrote Friday in the Indianapolis Star. “Yet this week, President Donald Trump called out ‘SportsCenter’ co-host Jemele Hill as the reason ESPN ratings have ‘tanked.’

“Jemele and I have been friends since college and we spent a chunk of our professional careers as colleagues at the Detroit Free Press. She is a sister to me. She has a tremendous heart, is generous to a fault and is so funny that I often have to silence her to give my aching belly a break from laughing.

“But to many, including the president, she’s become a target. She’s America’s Most Wanted. All because she’s had the nerve to speak up for social and racial justice and speak out against police brutality. All because she hasn’t condemned NFL players for kneeling during the national anthem. All because she’s offered uncomfortable context to discussions about the intersection of race, sports and culture.

“And frankly, all because she’s an African-American woman. . . .”

4 Women Sue Detroit Free Press Over Unequal Pay

Regina H. Boone

Regina H. Boone

Four female journalists on Friday filed a federal lawsuit against the Detroit Free Press and its parent company, Gannett, for pay discrimination,” Sarah Rahal reported Saturday for the Detroit News.

“The plaintiffs, current and former staffers of the photo department, claim the newspaper underpaid them for years because they are women.

Mary Schroeder, Rose Ann McKean, Kathleen Galligan and Regina Boone filed under the Equal Pay Act of 1963 requesting unspecified damages.

“The lawsuit stemmed from a 2017 study published by the newspaper’s union that analyzed data for male and female employees at the Free Press called ‘Sex and Wage Report.’ According to that study, which looked at pay data from 2013 to 2015, for almost every category of job at the Free Press, “the male median wage was higher than the female median wage,” according to the suit. . . .”

Peter Bhatia, the new editor and vice president of the Free Press, said the claims had “no merit” and the paper has a “long-standing commitment to supporting equal employment opportunities for all employees.”

WXYZ-TV posted a copy of the lawsuit.

Boone, the first black female photojournalist for the Free Press, volunteered for a buyout in 2016. She is a 2017-18 Knight-Wallace Journalism Fellow at the University of Michigan.

Deitra Kenoly

Deitra Kenoly had been advertising director at the Record in Stockton, Calif., for 12 years. (Credit: the Record)

Calif. Paper Has Black Publisher, Black Editor

Stockton native Deitra Kenoly has been named president and publisher of San Joaquin Media Group, which includes The Record,”Almendra Carpizo reported Monday for the Record in Stockton, Calif.

“Kenoly, who has been The Record’s advertising director for the past 12 years, served as its operations leader for 2½ months following the retirement of longtime publisher Roger Coover in July.

“She is The Record’s first woman publisher.

“The 57-year-old Kenoly joined The Record in 1981 in the production department, and aside from spending five years as the director of advertising for the Tracy Press, she has been with The Record, working almost every position in the sales division. . . .”

Kenoly, who is African American, joins Donald Blount, a black journalist who rose from managing editor to editor of the paper on May 20. He was  managing editor for the last 12 years.

‘Ask a Mexican’ Arellano Quits as OC Weekly Editor

Gustavo Arellano

Gustavo Arellano

OC Weekly editor-in-chief Gustavo Arellano has quit the newspaper,” Marilyn Kalfus reported Saturday for the Orange County (Calif.) Register.

“Arellano explained his decision as a guest on the live-streaming ‘Tom Leykis Show’ on Friday, Oct. 13, saying he resigned from the alternative newspaper after refusing to lay off half the staff.

“He said he had asked his bosses for time to come up with an alternative plan to the layoffs but was told Friday that the plan was not adequate. He also volunteered to cut his own salary to help save staffers, he said.

“Managing editor Nick Schou, who has been at OC Weekly since its inception 21 years ago, will become editor-in-chief, the paper announced on its Twitter feed. . . .”

Kalfus also wrote, “Arellano’s column, ‘¡Ask a Mexican!” was nationally syndicated and collected in book form. He also wrote ‘Orange County: A Personal History’ and ‘Taco USA: How Mexican Food Conquered America.’ . . .”

FCC Chairman Pressed to Speak Out on Trump

Ajit Pai

Ajit Pai

Days after President Donald Trump suggested that network outlets’ broadcast licenses should be revoked because of ‘partisan, distorted and fake’ news coverage, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is being pressed to speak out on what some journalism groups see as an attack on First Amendment values,” Ted Johnson reported Sunday for Variety.

“On CNN’s ‘Reliable Sources’ on Sunday, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat, said that she doesn’t ‘think history will be kind to silence’ and that it was important that the agency make clear its support for the First Amendment.

“Former FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler was more critical of Pai, saying that his silence was ‘making himself complicit in the coercion that the president himself is engaging in.’ Wheeler wrote in a blog post on Friday that ‘the president may decide he can walk away from his oath of office, but the FCC commissioners have also sworn to uphold the Constitution.’

“An FCC spokeswoman did not respond to a request for comment on Sunday. Pai and the two other Republican commissioners, Michael O’Rielly and Brendan Carr, have not responded to Trump’s tweet on Wednesday, in which he said that ‘network news has become so partisan, distorted and fake that licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked. Not fair to public!’

“A number of journalism organizations, including the Reporters Committee for the Freedom of the Press, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Free Press, Media Law Resource Center and PEN America released a statement expressing concern over Trump’s comments. . . .”

How Trump Is Changing Hispanic Media

President Donald Trump’s rise in politics has posed new challenges for journalists covering the White House, but for Spanish-language outlets, it has created unique obstacles,” Dina Radtke reported Monday for Media Matters for America. “As Hispanic Heritage Month comes to a close, here’s a look back at some ways Hispanic media is changing in the Trump era:

“1. Racist attacks on Hispanic journalists have intensified. . . .

“2. Republicans are giving less access to Spanish-language networks. . . .

“3. Telemundo launched a campaign to empower Latinos to improve their lives. . . .”

Telenovela Star Slaps Reporter in the Face

Relations between the press and those it covers can sometimes be contentious,” A.J. Katz reported Thursday for TVNewser. “But what transpired on a Hollywood red carpet Tuesday night was out of the ordinary.

“Univision News entertainment reporter Paco Fuentes asked Mexican telenovela star Eduardo Yanez on the red carpet why his son had reportedly set up a GoFundMe page to pay for a car he had crashed, when he could’ve gone to his father for assistance.

“According to CBS2 Los Angeles, Yanez didn’t appreciate the question, answering in Spanish, ‘If you’re so worried about my son, you send him the money or go talk to him.’

“The journalist responded by saying people were curious and that he was just the messenger.

“Yanez didn’t buy it, saying Fuentes was basically searching for a story that didn’t exist and that he was being disrespectful. Yanez then slapped the reporter in the face. . . .”

Univision issued a statement saying “Censorship and acts of violence against journalists are reproachable no matter the source. . . .”

Katz also wrote, “This isn’t the first time a high-profile figure has used violence against a member of the press. Back in May, Montana [Rep.] Greg Gianforte assaulted The Guardian’s Ben Jacobs on the eve of the special election that put him in office. Jacobs was trying to question Gianforte about the CBO report on the American Healthcare Act. . . .”

Courtney C. Radsch, advocacy director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, provided this update on Thursday:

When Montana Congressman Greg Gianforte agreed to donate $50,000 to CPJ as part of his settlement with Guardian journalist Ben Jacobs, whom he body slammed during a congressional race in May, I reached out to set up a meeting to see if Gianforte was serious about his hope that ‘some good can come of [the] events,’ as he wrote in his apology to Jacobs.

“At the end of August, Gianforte’s staff offered CPJ 15 minutes with the congressman, with the caveat that he might be called away, but would ‘make every effort to be available to attend.’

“We rescinded that request because it would not be possible to have a meaningful conversation in 15 minutes, but agreed to a later offer of 30 minutes with the congressman.

“Only a few minutes into our October 5 meeting, a staffer came in to say that the congressman needed to go vote, which meant that it was left for Gianforte’s staff to hear what CPJ had to say. . . . I was disappointed that we did not have time to have a meaningful conversation with Gianforte, and so was Jacobs. . . .”

Press Freedom Groups Knock UNESCO Pullout

“The U.S. government’s decision to withdraw from the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which has a mandate to promote ‘the free flow of ideas by word and image [and] to foster free, independent, and pluralistic media in print, broadcast and online,’ will make the world less safe for journalists, a joint statement by the Committee to Protect Journalists, Article 19, and Reporters Without Borders,” Courtney C. Radsch, the CPJ advocacy director, wrote on Friday.

“. . . . The joint statement called for the U.S. government to reverse its decision and instead commit to increasing UNESCO’s effectiveness and impact.”

On Thursday, the State Department cited three reasons for its decision: UNESCO has an “anti-Israel bias,” needs “fundamental reform,” and the United States has a mounting financial debt to the organization that, under U.S. law, it cannot pay, Tania Rabesandratana wrote Monday for Science magazine.

Short Takes

  • The Congressional Hispanic Caucus said Friday it had sent a letter to 32 top tech companies to ask for critical diversity metrics. The companies are Airbnb, Amazon.com, Apple, Dropbox, eBay, Etsy, Expedia, Facebook, GoDaddy, Google, Groupon, Handy, Intel, Lyft, Microsoft, Netflix, Oracle, Pandora, Paypal, Postmates, Reddit, Salesforce, Spotify, TaskRabbit, Tesla, Thumbtack, TripAdvisor, Twitter, Uber, Vmware, Yahoo and Yelp.
  • Under the headline “How Chicago Gets Its Guns,Mick Dumke reported Oct. 10 for ProPublica on the case of John Thomas, who has pleaded guilty to helping to arrange the illegal sale of more than 70 guns. Dumke’s examination, “based on police reports, court records and interviews, including a series of conversations with Thomas — shows how authorities target mostly street-level offenders, sometimes enticing them with outsized payoffs. In this and other cases, critics say their techniques raise questions of whether they are dismantling gun networks or effectively helping to set them up. . . .”
  • The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and a coalition of news media organizations will file a friend-of-the-court brief to the New York Court of Appeals on Friday in support of New York Times journalist Frances Robles,” the groups said on Oct. 10. “Robles is seeking to quash a subpoena for her testimony and notes from a jailhouse interview with Conrado Juarez, who is on trial for the murder of ‘Baby Hope.’. . . . The brief argues that New York’s Shield Law protects Robles from being forced to testify because it recognizes that, in addition to confidential sources and materials, nonconfidential work product is also privileged. . . .”
  • “After Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm that hit several Caribbean Islands leaving many of them without electricity and water, a 30-year veteran news anchor started a fundraiser to help an island that is deeply rooted in her family’s history,” Phillip Jackson reported Saturday for the Philadelphia Tribune. Jennifer Lewis-Hall, an anchor for PHL 17 is leading an effort to raise funds for the people of Anguilla . . .”
  • The 30 Most Influential Hispanics in Sports,” compiled Friday by Luis Miguel Echegaray, Andy Gray and Nihal Kolur of Sports Illustrated, include Hugo Balta, senior director of Hispanic initiatives at ESPN; Luis Gerardo Bucci, sportscaster, CNN Deportes; Andres Cantor, sports commentator, NBC Deportes/Telemundo; sportscaster Fernando Fiore; Mònica González, announcer, founder of Gonzo Soccer; Tony Gonzalez, NFL studio analyst, FOX NFL Kickoff; Dan Le Batard, sportswriter/television host, Miami Herald, ESPN; Valeria Marín, host/reporter, Fox Deportes/NFLeros; Jessica Mendoza, MLB Analyst, ESPN; Sandy Nunez, coordinating producer, ESPN; Fernando Palomo; international football analyst, ESPN; Marly Rivera,  MLB writer/TV host, ESPN; Alex Rodriguez,  MLB analyst, Fox; Angel Rodriguez, sports editor, Los Angeles Times; Juan Carlos Rodriguez, president, UnivisionDeportes; Tony Romo, NFL analyst, CBS; Armando Salguero, sportswriter, Miami Herald; Shea Serrano, writer, The Ringer, and author of “The Rap Year Book: The Most Important Rap Song From Every Year Since 1979, Discussed, Debated, and Deconstructed”; Mariano Trujillo, analyst, FoxDeportes; and Luis Omar Tapia, reporter, Univision Deportes/Fox Sports.
  • “On Sept. 18th, the Varsity, a student newspaper at the University of Toronto, launched a Chinese-language edition of its website,” Shrinkhala Dawadi reported Thursday for j-source.ca.”The new subsite contains select articles from the Varsity’s English language publication that have been translated into simplified Chinese. The idea for the Chinese-language edition was born in June 2017, when Celine Liu, a University of Toronto graduate, approached Jacob Lorinc, the Varsity’s editor-in-chief, to discuss how the publication could better cater to Chinese international students. . . .”
  • I am the City of Detroit’s chief storyteller — a job title I came up with at a bar,” Aaron Foley wrote Wednesday for Columbia Journalism Review. “In March, I was appointed by Mayor Mike Duggan to be a journalist embedded in, and employed by, city government. I do this work in one of the largest and most media-rich cities in America. . . . I’ve built a team of five—a writer, a web editor, two videographers and a photographer — to cover news and features in Detroit. We research, report, fact-check and then publish to two platforms: a website and a cable channel, both branded The Neighborhoods. . . .”
  • PRI’s “The World” Friday updated a May 27 story on “addictive Japanese pancakes” with this editor’s note: “A previous version of this article was criticized for its tone and substance, including its lack of representation of Japanese or Japanese American voices. We agree that the story missed the mark in describing this common food as ‘funny’ and in assuming the audience who read it would only have experience with Western pancakes. We have made adjustments to the framing in the text, though the piece still lacks an essential Japanese voice. (See the original text.) Our policies call for us to unpublish a story only in the most specific circumstances, as a matter of public record and transparency with our audience.”
  • Abby Phillip, a White House reporter for the Washington Post, is leaving the publication to join CNN and its White House team,” Chris Ariens reported Oct. 10 for TVNewser.
  • When it comes to its own newsrooms, race has been a stumbling block for The Athletic,” Tony Biasotti wrote Wednesday for Columbia Journalism Review, referring to the sports start-up. “On August 20, [Stewart] Mandel launched the college football site with a post headlined, ‘Welcome to The All-American.’ The column featured a photo of the site’s staff: eight people, all of them white. This did not go unnoticed. . . . ‘The Stewart Mandel issue, that is 100 percent my fault,’ [Co-founder Alex] Mather says. I went to Stewart Mandel and said, you have three and a half weeks to launch a college football vertical, and I will not take any excuses. He was under immense pressure from me to launch something, and he fell back on the old system, which is to ask your friends and ask everyone you’ve worked with, and that will get you more of the same. That is an unbelievable team —every single person on that team deserves their job — but we need to do better.’ Mather says The Athletic is working with the National Association of Black Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association, and other groups to recruit journalists. . . .”
  • Rick Boone, who has spent 20 years as a reporter and anchor in San Francisco, New York, Washington and Sacramento, Calif.,  is “headed to the dark side…. News Management,” Scott Jones reported Friday for ftvlive.com. “Boone has been named the new News Director at WNKY the NBC/CBS stations in Bowling Green, Kentucky. It’s an inaugural position, the first time the station has had a News Director.”
  • A small but powerful shift has taken place in Liberia’s media landscape since the 2014 Ebola outbreak, Joanne Lu reported Thursday for Britain’s Guardian. “In an industry long dominated by politics, newly trained health journalists are strengthening the country’s health infrastructure through reporting that educates communities and catalyses action. . . .”
  • The International Press Institute asked Bernard Namunane, assignments editor for Kenya’s respected Daily Nation newspaper, about press coverage during the elections and prospects for media freedom in Kenya. A rerun of the country’s presidential vote is scheduled for Oct. 26. Namunane said the greatest challenge for media has been “The hostility of political parties when they believe they are not being given favourable coverage. NASA [National Super Alliance party of Raila Odinga] has formed the habit of telling its supporters to boycott certain media houses, which endangers journalist safety. The government withdrawal of adverts and threats against journalists also pose serious challenges. . . .”
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists Thursday called on Cameroonian authorities to immediately halt the prosecution of three journalists. “During the October 9 military court hearing, the trial judge charged Félix Cyriaque Ebolé Bola, the sub-editor of the daily Mutations; Baba Wamé, a journalist and online journalism instructor at the University of Yaoundé 2; and Rodrigue Tongué, a journalist with Canal 2 Television, with criminal defamation for their ‘complicity in attempting to insult’ President Paul Biya. . . .”
  • Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday it called on authorities “to identify those responsible for fatally shooting a reporter as she covered a riot police operation against indigenous protesters in southwestern Colombia on 8 October, and condemns a disturbing increase in police violence against journalists. Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo, 31, a reporter and presenter with community radio Renacer, sustained the fatal gunshot injuries while covering an operation by ESMAD riot police to evict members of an indigenous community occupying disputed land in Puracé, in the southwestern department of Cauca. . . .”

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