Bullying, Structural Racism With Rose, Hockenberry

Detroit Anchor Placed on Leave After Accusation

Kimberly Godwin Named VP of News at CBS

TV One: ‘NewsOne Now’ to Return in New Format

Paper Calls Guilty Verdict for Ex-Cop a Milestone

Standing Rock Shows Need to Scrutinize Newsfeeds

CUNY Hopes to Fill Gap Left by New America Media

Mexican Seeking Asylum in U.S. Fears for Life

Asian Americans Say They Feel Discrimination

Less Attention for Drug Poisonings of Nonwhites

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Adaora Udoji and John Hockenberry

Adaora Udoji and John Hockenberry. “I speak up now for the women and women of color and people of color who are doing incredible work in public radio,” she said.

Bullying, Structural Racism With Rose, Hockenberry

As Time magazine named “The Silence Breakers: The Voices That Launched a Movement” as its “Person of the Year,” black women spoke out in a way they had not previously, adding their stories about the workplace.

Time's current issue.

Time’s current issue.

One, Rebecca Carroll, wrote in Esquire, “in this watershed moment of examination and reckoning as one powerful white man after another is disgraced following allegations of sexual misconduct ranging from harassment to assault, we’re still not talking about the ramifications for black women — or the broader connection to structural racism in America. . . .

Carroll wrote about her experience on the production team of Charlie Rose’s television interview show, but black women who said they had been bullied by host John Hockenberry on New York Public Radio’s “The Takeaway” also spoke out.

I speak up now for the women and women of color and people of color who are doing incredible work in public radio,” Adaora Udoji wrote Wednesday for the Guardian. “They deserve to be treated fairly. They deserve for meritocracy to be more than a buzzword. . . .”

Farai Chideya, who followed Udoji in the job, went on “The Takeaway” to say her experience was devastating both emotionally and financially. “This is not just a WNYC issue. This is a systemic issue and we all have a role in fixing it,” (audio) Chideya told host Todd Zwillich on Thursday.

Writing in New York magazine on Dec. 1, Suki Kim disclosed the problems that Hockenberry, who is white, had with black women co-hosts on a show designed to spotlight diversity.

Rebecca Carroll

Rebecca Carroll

The “first, Nigerian-American broadcaster Adaora Udoji, was gone after eight months. (She declined to comment; she reportedly signed a nondisclosure agreement with the station.) The vacant seat was filled, for about four months, by African-American journalist Farai Chideya. Initially Hockenberry was friendly, she said, but when it seemed like she might become a regular, he ‘got nastier.’

“One day, after a story meeting in which Hockenberry became argumentative, she said, he called her into his office. ‘You shouldn’t stay here just as a “diversity hire,” ‘ he told her, according to Chideya. ‘And you should go lose weight.’

“Chideya said she recounted the incident to CEO Laura Walker, who called it ‘horrifying’ but didn’t propose any action. A few weeks afterward, Chideya decided to leave ‘The Takeaway.’ She is now a program officer for journalism at the Ford Foundation, but she said the experience ‘derailed’ her for a time: ‘All these decisions have consequences. Public radio doesn’t become more diverse if you keep protecting people who abuse women of color, or just women.’

“Her successor, African-American Celeste Headlee, said she came into the job hearing about the conflict between Udoji and Hockenberry, and she had hoped that she’d be able to handle him better. But as Headlee laid out in emails to her superiors in April 2012, Hockenberry was professionally ‘sabotaging’ her; he interrupted her on air, ‘trampled’ her lead-ins, and didn’t ‘allow guests to finish answering questions [she] posed.’

Farai Chideya

Farai Chideya

“If she tried to discuss it with him, he’d blow up, she told the station, insulting her publicly. As a solution, her boss arranged sessions for Headlee with a ‘radio personality’ coach, who Headlee said focused mainly on teaching her how to deal with a ‘difficult personality’ — how to keep from getting ‘rattled.’

“(As far as Headlee knows, Hockenberry was not asked to get any coaching — which isn’t surprising, she added, because one of the station’s execs told her that the only reason Hockenberry was ‘misbehaving’ was that she wasn’t doing her job well.) Four months after she filed a formal grievance, the station decided not to renew her contract. ‘How did John keep his job for so long?’ she mused. ‘Men like John are protected for decades.’ ”

Hockenberry left his nearly decade-long job hosting “The Takeaway” in August, Kim wrote. “He did not announce any future plans. From the outside, his departure seemed odd: Hockenberry was only 61 years old and, according to a press release released by WNYC, ‘The Takeaway’ was ‘at a high point in its evolution, with 2.7 million weekly listeners and carriage on more than 270 stations.’ From the inside — from the point of view of women I’d eventually interview who had worked with him — there was less surprise: What had he finally done to cross the line? . . .”

Detroit Anchor Placed on Leave After Accusation

Malcom Maddox

Malcom Maddox

In Detroit, “WXYZ-TV (Channel 7) put news anchor Malcom Maddox on administrative leave Wednesday after the station was accused, at a news conference Wednesday morning of brushing aside allegations of sexual harassment made against Maddox,” Allie Gross reported Wednesday for the Detroit Free Press, updated Thursday.

“At a live-streamed news conference, the Rev. W.J. Rideout III, pastor of Our God’s People Church in Detroit, claimed that station management — including Vice President and General Manager Mike Murri — were informed of sexual harassment allegations by a current employee and failed to address the issue, instead promoting Maddox and moving the woman to a new assignment. . . .”

Gross also reported, “Near the end of the news conference, Rideout expanded his accusations to include a more broad list of media members. He brought up the names of WXYZ anchor Stephen Clark, who announced on Monday that he’ll be retiring in February, and Free Press Editorial Page Editor Stephen Henderson, but did not make any specific accusations. . . .”

Kimberly Godwin Named VP of News at CBS

Kim Godwin

Kim Godwin

Kimberly Godwin, a journalist with more than a decade at CBS News, has been named vice president of news, the network announced Wednesday.

“In her new position, Godwin will be responsible for the editorial direction, launch and coordination of all CBS News newsgathering resources domestically and around the globe,” the announcement said.

“She will also continue her role as executive director for Development and Diversity, where she has enhanced CBS News’ profile at conferences around the country and cultivated a strong pipeline of potential employees. She has also developed a lecture series that features top CBS News journalists sharing their reporting experiences with colleagues.

“ ‘Kim is a proven editorial leader from her years at the CBS EVENING NEWS and throughout the organization, where she has led the charge in our inclusion and development efforts,’ CBS News President David Rhodes said.

“Godwin has been serving as senior broadcast producer of the CBS EVENING NEWS since 2014. . . . An accomplished newsroom leader and executive, Godwin has helped shape the network’s flagship evening broadcast and the network’s coverage of major national and international events. . . .”

“In addition to being a veteran of network and local news, Godwin has spent time as a journalism educator. She was the interim director for journalism at the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication at Florida A&M University (2004-2005) and an adjunct faculty member (2003-2004) teaching newswriting, reporting and ethics. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Visitors of the journalism school at FAMU. . . .”

 

Roland Martin, left, and Tom Joyner

Roland Martin, left, and Tom Joyner

TV One: ‘NewsOne Now’ to Return in New Format

Syndicated radio jock Tom Joyner called for a boycott of TV One Thursday after its decision to pull “NewsOne Now” with Roland Martin, effective Dec. 21, but on Friday, TV One called its action a “suspension” and said “TV One is working to restructure NewsOne Now in 2018 under a new format that will better serve its audience and advertisers.”

Joyner declared on “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” “I’m calling for a boycott! I’m not trying to dress it up(audio). “It always comes down to money. All of television is suffering now, but to heal the many issues by sacrificing your community is not the answer.”

Joyner’s show is part of Urban One, which is also the parent company of TV One. He said he might be suspended, as ESPN did with Jemele Hill when she called for a boycott of the NFL, but so be it. Joyner and his sidekicks also gave out the telephone number of TV One so listeners could register their protests.

Martin is a senior analyst for the Joyner show, where his segment is heard on more than 100 stations reaching 8 million people daily, according to TV One.

Martin tweeted Wednesday night, “Fam, the sad news is true. The staff of @tvonetv #NewsnewOneNow was informed this afternoon that after four years of doing groundbreaking and award-winning work, the show will cease production at the end of the year.

Friday’s TV One statement said, “The network invested in the production of NewsOne Now for the past four years. In an effort to save the program, adjustments were made to the format this quarter. Despite the network’s commitment and investment, NewsOne Now did not gain traction with advertisers and viewers. . . .”

CEO Alfred Liggins also said in the release, “As a Black-owned multi-media company, Urban One (parent company of TV One) engages Black America daily, not just on television, but radio and also online via NewsOne.com and on 77 digital platforms. We know there is a void in mainstream media and we plan to continue to be an outlet for Black news. Roland Martin will be a part of that plan.”

The National Association of Black Journalists urged TV One to reconsider. “In a year where journalists have faced daily assaults and attempts to discredit their work with the onslaught of claims of ‘fake news,’ NABJ is concerned by TV One’s decision to halt its signature news program, one of the most credible news sources, especially for black and disenfranchised communities,” it said in a statement.

Martin tweeted Thursday, “Tough morning. Had to tell our NBC News Channel crew that is ending. Lot of my white staffers were moved to tears. Why am I saying that? They expressed how much they learned about Black America working with us for 4 years. This show changed lives, folks.”

 

 Judy Scott, mother of Walter Scott, precedes other family members out of the Federal Courthouse in Charleston, S.C., on Monday after the first day in the sentencing of Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer who fatally shot the fleeing black man in April 2015. (Credit: Wade Spees/Post and Courier)


Judy Scott, mother of Walter Scott, precedes other family members out of the Federal Courthouse in Charleston, S.C., on Monday after the first day in the sentencing of Michael Slager, the former North Charleston police officer who fatally shot the fleeing black man in April 2015. (Credit: Wade Spees/Post and Courier)

Paper Calls Guilty Verdict for Ex-Cop a Milestone

Justice was not swift, but it has been served,” the Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C., editorialized on Thursday, updated Friday.

“On Thursday, U.S. District Judge David Norton sentenced former North Charleston Police Officer Michael Slager to 20 years in prison for the shooting death of Walter Scott, bringing to an end a painful chapter in the city’s history.

“Mr. Norton’s decision came on the third day of testimony in a sentencing hearing after Mr. Slager pled guilty in May to federal civil rights charges. Mr. Slager shot Mr. Scott in the back five times in April 2015 as Mr. Scott was running away from police following a routine traffic stop.

“Judge Norton had a wide range of sentencing options: Mr. Slager could have received a life sentence or he could have been set free.

“It is frustrating that the case could not have been resolved in a state trial, which ended with a hung jury in December. Consequently, Mr. Slager, who is white, was sentenced under a federal civil rights violation of using excessive force to deprive Mr. Scott, a black man, of his rights under the law.

“The underlying charge was second-degree murder, according to Judge Norton. The federal prison system does not have parole, meaning that Mr. Slager will have to serve his entire term, barring a successful appeal.

“Mr. Slager’s guilty plea and his sentence mark milestones in the ongoing effort to bring greater accountability to police departments and address racial disparities in policing both here in the Lowcountry and nationwide. . . .”

Standing Rock Shows Need to Scrutinize Newsfeeds

Jenni Monet

Jenni Monet

I get approached frequently to discuss my time spent reporting from Standing Rock, the Indigenous-led movement to try to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline,” Jenni Monet, who was arrested during the protests, wrote Thursday for opendemocracy.net.

“But what’s funny about these invitations is that they almost always incorporate some notion that I was there as an activist — and without even asking me if that was, indeed, the case. . . .”

“But here’s the thing: Indian Country can be a complicated wander at times, and to routinely simplify the narrative perhaps perpetuates situations like we saw at Standing Rock, where major media presence was uneven at best. It was a stark absence, the lack of journalists on the ground during some of the most critical moments of the movement.

“It took a harrowing night of police weaponising water on protesters before major newsrooms ultimately sent crews to the standoff. If it hadn’t been for water protectors themselves live-streaming the episode on Facebook, many would have been led to believe what had been written by the regional Associated Press reporter, who called the sub-freezing night of police-led violence ‘skirmishes’. But even though citizen journalism corrected where mainstream under-performed, we need to recognise the relationship between the two — and start to scrutinise all newsfeeds that come across our screens.

“Since that sub-freezing night of 20 November 2016, we’ve seen an unraveling of documentation that proves that the North Dakota police used military-style tactics, guided by a former CIA operative behind the for-hire security firm, TigerSwan. From revelations by the DeSmogBlog, The Intercept and other bottom-up revelations, it’s clear that North Dakota police targeted demonstrators, treating them not unlike ‘jihadists’; they were profiled as ‘terrorists’, and some were even formally charged with such allegations.

“Again, it’s easy to see how a Native American journalist could be seen as an activist with so much stacked up against people demanding clean water. . . .”

CUNY Hopes to Fill Gap Left by New America Media

A New York university is exploring how it could help fill the role of a national organization for ethnic and community media that closed last month,” April Simpson reported Thursday for Current.org.

“The California-based nonprofit Pacific News Service and its subsidiary New America Media closed Nov. 30 after a 45-year run. When the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism learned of the impending closure, the school started reaching out to its network of journalism schools and funders.

“A collaboration that grew to include more than 3,000 ethnic and community media organizations in the U.S., PNS and NAM had spearheaded initiatives including youth media programs, a wire service, an ethnic media directory and multilingual polling services. Its staff included editors, reporters and a statewide coordinator and program director for youth media. . . .”

Simpson also wrote, “CUNY is now looking to fill the gap left by NAM’s closure by expanding on the work of a center in its journalism school. Launched in 2012, the Center for Community and Ethnic Media focuses on the New York Tri-State area. CUNY started the CCEM by assuming assets from the financially struggling New York Community Media Alliance, a spinoff of the Independent Press Association, which had close ties to NAM, said Sarah Bartlett, dean of CUNY’s journalism graduate school. . . .

“CUNY wants to partner with journalism schools in five cities to replicate the CCEM model nationwide. Bartlett said she is considering partners in California, Texas, Miami, Chicago and the Midwest, and that she anticipates the effort will be sustainable because its partners will be housed within larger institutions. . . .”

Emilio Gutierrez with Michele Salcedo of the Associated Press at the National Press Club in October. (Credit: Noel St. John/National Press Club)

Emilio Gutierrez with Michele Salcedo of the Associated Press at the National Press Club in October. (Credit: Noel St. John/National Press Club)

Mexican Seeking Asylum in U.S. Fears for Life

A Mexican journalist who sought asylum in the United States in 2008 was arrested by U.S. immigration agents this week and told he would be deported, though an appeals board temporarily halted his removal Friday — sparing his life for now, he said,” Nick Miroff reported Friday for the Washington Post.

Emilio Gutierrez, 54, who in October received a press freedom award from the National Press Club in Washington, said he and his 24-year-old son, Oscar, were taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Thursday while trying to enter an appeal to their asylum claim.

“ ‘We can’t go back to Mexico. They’ll kill us,’ Gutierrez said, using his attorney’s cellphone to speak from an ICE detention center in Sierra Blanca, Texas.

“Gutierrez said he and his son fled northern Mexico’s Chihuahua state in 2008 after he published stories exposing the abuses committed by soldiers who robbed and extorted residents in his hometown, Ascención, a notorious drug trafficking hub.

“After soldiers ransacked his home, Gutierrez said he learned his name appeared on a military ‘kill list,’ so he fled across the border into Texas with his then-teenage son.

“In July, after living nine years in the United States, Gutierrez’s asylum request was denied, and an appeal was rejected in early November. His attorney, Eduardo Beckett, said Gutierrez and his son were handcuffed and jailed Thursday when they presented themselves at an ICE processing center to enter an emergency appeal.

“ ‘I’ll go anywhere in the world,’ Gutierrez said. ‘Any place is safer for me than Mexico.’

“In a statement Friday, ICE officials said Gutierrez remains in custody pending a decision on his appeal. ‘Immigration judges in these courts make decisions based on the merits of each individual case,’ the statement said. . . .”

Asian Americans Say They Feel Discrimination

A poll of a representative sample of 500 Asian Americans found a significant number in the community say they have personally experienced discrimination,” AsAmNews reported on Wednesday.

“The survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health is part of a larger survey of African Americans, Latinos, Asian Americans, Native Americans, whites, men, women and LGBTQ adults.

“ ‘Our poll shows that Asian American families have the highest average income among the groups we’ve surveyed, and yet the poll still finds that Asian Americans experience persistent discrimination in housing, jobs and at college,’ said Robert Blendon to NPR. ‘Over the course of our series, we are seeing again and again that income is not a shield from discrimination.” Blendon co-directed the survey and is a professor of health policy and political analysis at the Harvard Chan School. . . .”

Less Attention for Drug Poisonings of Nonwhites

The American opioid crisis is only part of an overall drug abuse emergency,Susan Scutti reported Monday for CNN. “Cocaine-related overdose deaths among non-Hispanic blacks are on par with overdose deaths caused by heroin and prescription opioids among whites, according to a study published Monday in the medical journal Annals of Internal Medicine.

” ‘Numerous US national surveillance studies and media reports have highlighted an alarming rise in drug poisoning deaths in recent years,’ said Meredith Shiels, a co-author of the study and an investigator at the National Cancer Institute. However, most of the studies focus on opioid-related deaths, including prescription painkillers, heroin and fentanyl. They also tend to emphasize the fact that death rates are ‘rising most rapidly among white Americans,’ she said.

“The researchers, from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Cancer Institute, found that cocaine overdoses also killed Hispanics and whites over the time period studied. . . .”

Short Takes

 

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