Returning Feb. 7

In Newsroom, ‘Everyone Seemed Ready to Move On’

N.Y. Times Puts a Training Program on Hiatus

Ciprian-Matthews Named EVP at CBS News

Columnist Gave Black Journalists a Platform

Ex-Nashville Anchor Sees Lack of Progress

Rebooting Shows With White Casts Not a Good Sign

Kenya Ignores Court Order to Restore TV Signals

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In Newsroom, ‘Everyone Seemed Ready to Move On’

Robert Moore, the managing editor of the Daily News in New York and its top-ranking African American, has left the news organization along with Alexander “Doc” Jones, the Sunday editor, the Tronc parent company confirmed on Thursday. Both were investigated over sexual harassment allegations.

“Mostly mixed feelings about Rob,” a newsroom staffer told Journal-isms Thursday night. “Still a little sadness despite the circumstances. Not so much for Doc. But everyone seemed ready to move on. Rob’s name came off the masthead today. But his picture was still on the wall with the other Pulitzer winners.”

The New York Association of Black Journalists awarded Moore its Trailblazer Award in 2016. Asked to comment, NYABJ president Julie Walker told Journal-isms by email on Friday, “This is a national issue. We support those who speak out and respect the investigative process.”

Writing about Moore a week ago, Andy Campbell and Maxwell Strachan of HuffPost outlined how 20 sources “described a wide spectrum of inappropriate and threatening behavior — both in public and in private — by a man who abused his position of power inside the Daily News’ ‘frathouse’ atmosphere in a way that kept many employees quiet.” On Thursday, they published a similar story about Jones.

At the New York Daily News, they came to be known as ‘Doc assignments,’ and employees who had been there long enough could spot them from a mile away,” they wrote.

“The pitches followed a familiar pattern: Longtime Daily News editor Alexander ‘Doc’ Jones would call upon a young female staffer, often outside his remit as a manager, to write a first-person story about an event he wanted her to attend. How could a young journalist resist? Here was an established personality in New York media offering up the possibility of a prominent byline.

“He’d use that power to his advantage. Employees at the paper said he would approach young female reporters and assign them first-person stories about events in New York area — specifically events that obligated them to wear skimpy clothing to be shown in images in the newspaper or on the website. . . .”

When Moore won the Trailblazer Award, Larry McShane wrote in the Daily News:

Moore joined The News as a staff writer in 2004 and became the 97-year-old tabloid’s first African-American managing editor in 2011 before a promotion to Head of News, his current position.

“ ‘Your steady climb from a staff writer to your current management position is an inspiration to journalists everywhere,’ read a letter from the NYABJ informing Moore of the award.

“Moore, 45, who lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, attended Syracuse University and previously worked at the St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Charlotte Observer newspapers.

“ ‘When I was a kid, I always wanted to be a journalist and I always wanted to work at the New York Daily News,’ he said. ‘Once I started at The News, I was given every opportunity to succeed.’ . . .”

Moore told Journal-isms when he was named managing editor, “Long term, my goal is to run the whole thing.”

Last year, Moore accepted the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service on behalf of the News along with Sarah Ryley, formerly of the News, and Eric Umansky of ProPublica, for uncovering, primarily through Ryley’s work, widespread abuse of eviction rules by the police to oust hundreds of people, most of them poor and of color. The News and ProPublica jointly published the story.

N.Y. Times Puts a Training Program on Hiatus

Ted Kim

Ted Kim

The New York Times is overhauling a longstanding program designed to bring new journalists into the newsroom, and two reporters have lost their jobs in the process.

The suspension of the program was not announced, even internally. One of the reporters told Journal-isms she was a year and a half into the two-year Intermediate Reporter Program, known as 8i, when she was told she would have to leave. “My understanding was that I was one of the last people admitted to the program,” she messaged. “Right now I’m just exploring opportunities.”

Ted Kim, named director of the Newsroom Fellowship and Internship Program in November, was given a mandate to “help us overhaul the 8i program,” according to an announcement then from assistant editor Carolyn Ryan. “Our goal is to remake 8i into a true fellowship that promotes diversity and training,” Kim told Journal-isms by email.

“There is a consensus in the newsroom that our previous program drifted from that mission. I won’t get into specific numbers. Yes, we had to make some hard choices but we remain deeply committed to the mission and the 8i program.”

The 8i program “for years hired young reporters on a probationary basis, rotating them around usually to several different desks and then opting to make them permanent (union) employees if they proved themselves,” according to Doree Shafrir of the New York Observer, writing in 2007 about Brian Stelter, a former Times media writer who is white. He came through the program and now is host of CNN’s “Reliable Sources.”

Gregory Winter, deputy editor of the Times’ International Desk who is African American, came to the Times as an intern in 2000, then joined the 8i program.

“It has been a great way of bringing people into The Times over the years but certainly not the only way,” Winter said by email.

Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews gave tips to students participating in the JCamp high school journalism program in 2012 (Credit: Jack Chen/JCamp)

Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews gave tips to students participating in the JCamp high school journalism program in 2012 (Credit: Jack Chen/JCamp)

Ciprian-Matthews Named EVP at CBS News

Ingrid Ciprian-Matthews has been promoted to executive vice president of CBS News, the network announced Thursday.

In the new role, she continues to work directly with David Rhodes, president of CBS News, “in overseeing day-to-day news operations, including supporting editorial, personnel and newsgathering initiatives,” the announcement said.

“Ciprian-Matthews has been with CBS News for 25 years and has served as CBS News’ Senior Vice President of News Administration since January 2015. She is a multiple award-winning journalist and accomplished manager who has coordinated the efforts of overseas and domestic bureaus, correspondents and producers.

“ ‘Ingrid is an extraordinary journalist and newsroom executive who is passionate about the integrity of CBS News and the people who work here,’ said Rhodes. ‘Her leadership has been central to our organization’s growth and transformation in this digital age.’

“Previously, she was CBS News’ Vice President of News (2011-2015), a role in which she coordinated all day-to-day news coverage. Before that, Ciprian-Matthews served as CBS News’ Foreign Editor (2006-2011); Senior Broadcast Producer for the ‘CBS Evening News’ (2004-2006); and Senior Producer for CBS News’ foreign coverage (2000-2004). In 1998, she became the Deputy Bureau Chief for the CBS News London bureau (1998-2000) and served as Senior Broadcast Producer for CBS News’ ‘This Morning’ and the ‘CBS Morning News’ (1994-1998). . . .

“In 2016 the National Association of Hispanic Journalists presented Ciprian-Matthews with the Presidential Award of Impact, citing her vast news experience and deep commitment to journalistic excellence.

“She was born in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. . . .”

Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham wrote of Nicholas von Hoffman, “My life would have been a lot simpler had Nicholas von Hoffman not appeared in the paper. But he also had a gifted voice and represented a certain segment of the population that needed to be heard. Almost alone among American journalists at the time, von Hoffman was telling us what was in the minds of the young who felt dispossessed and unrepresented by the so-called establishment press.” (Credit: YouTube)

The late Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham wrote, “My life would have been a lot simpler had Nicholas von Hoffman not appeared in the paper. But he also had a gifted voice and represented a certain segment of the population that needed to be heard.  . . . ” (Credit: YouTube)

Columnist Gave Black Journalists a Platform

When reporter Nicholas von Hoffman joined The Washington Post in 1966, he brought with him a flair for controversy that eventually triggered a resignation threat from a top editor, a boycott from advertisers and, according to Post historian Chalmers M. Roberts, ‘produced more angry letters to the editor than the work of any other single reporter in the paper’s history,’ ” Harrison Smith reported Thursday for the Post.

Von Hoffman died Thursday in Rockport, Maine. He was 88.

Robert C. Maynard

Robert C. Maynard

He “had worked for community organizer Saul Alinsky in Chicago before reporting on the civil rights movement in the South while sporting an elegant suit and a prematurely white shock of hair,” Smith wrote. When seven black reporters known as the Metro Seven filed a discrimination complaint against the Post in 1972, von Hoffman turned over his column to the issue.

“What, we invariably ask, do they want?” von Hoffman, who was white, wrote in that March 24, 1972, column. “To learn what they want in their own words I’ve excerpted sections from two documents.”

The first was a statement of support for the black Metro reporters written by future icons Robert C. Maynard and Roger Wilkins and signed by 26 black staff members.

“But the lack of black participation in the shaping of the news about the society in which they play so vital a role has led to unfortunate distortions of the basic posture of the community on such vital questions as crime in the streets and the busing of school children,” it said in part. “The complexity of those issues has been masterfully distorted by politicians for political ends in ways that reflect almost nothing of the stake of the black community in those vital questions. . . .”

The second was a letter of resignation from the Associated Press by Austin Scott, later Austin Long-Scott, who had been hired 11 years earlier as the AP’s first black reporter. He was joining the Post’s national reporting staff.

“We now have, by the latest word I got from Mr. [Keith] Fuller, 18 black reporters, none of whom have had anything like the chances AP offered to me. And as I’ve said to you and others in repeated letters, I think the time for tokens passed long ago.

Roger Wilkins

Roger Wilkins

“Once I’m gone, AP will have only three ways to deal with the black community stories that I cover, from black politics to welfare to the Panthers: Ignore them, send in white reporters, or bring more black reporters along faster . . .

“In any case I think I will have done the AP good by stepping aside, whether I help stop the pretense that we have done what we should, or help us to move faster. . . .

“There’s another reason for this resignation — I’ve run out of ways to fight. All those letters didn’t do any good. The memos didn’t do any good. The discussion didn’t do any good. Even the examples set in the form of stories have not persuaded AP line bureaus, or AP executives, to become more aware of the cavernous gap between what happens in black communities around the country, and what AP says about those black communities on its wires.

“Two of the best stories that I wrote last year, stories that cost the AP nine days of my time and $1,000 in expenses, did not even get as far as the editor’s pencil. . . We may have the best intentions, but we certainly don’t rank them very high in priority.

Austin Long-Scott

Austin Long-Scott

“Closely related to that is AP’s record in searching out and hiring black talent. And here, shameful is the kindest word I can think of. I marvel every day that there seem to be more black sheriffs, more black businessmen, more black educators and policemen, more black judges and state legislators and computer programmers and salesmen and heavy equipment operators.

“But in a nation of 22 million black people, only a couple of dozen of us have the potential to make it in The Associated Press. It’s funny how talent is distributed. We can sing and dance and hold conventions, but none of us can write.

“. . . I think that in 10 years, changes in the AP will have proved me correct. Times change, and while institutions move grudgingly, they usually move when it becomes painful not to . . . .

“It’s crucial, I think, that we stop explaining why we can’t and start doing a little bit more. Each week, just a little bit more. Because if we do that, one day we’ll be able to look back and realize we don’t have to spend all that time any more thinking up excuses.”

In 1978, “women and blacks at the Associated Press filed a joint complaint against their employer . . .,” Pamela Newkirk reported in her 2000 book, “Within the Veil: Black Journalists, White Media.” “Their case, in 1979, was joined by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which filed a class-action suit based on race, gender, and national origin. . . .

“The AP case, which was the first to enjoin the issues of race and sex discrimination, was, like other lawsuits at other news organizations, including ABC and Newsweek, settled out of court in the early 1980s. . . ”

Long-Scott was inducted into the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Black Journalists in 2016 after 29 years as a journalist for the AP, the Post and other news organizations and a teacher for 20 years at San Francisco State University.

Ex-Nashville Anchor Sees Lack of Progress

Anne Holt

Anne Holt

News 2 personality Anne Holt — among Nashville’s first African-American TV anchors — said she is disappointed and concerned the station has only one full-time African-American personality on air,” Brad Schmitt reported Tuesday for the Tennessean in Nashville.

“Holt’s comments came after the station announced traffic reporter Paige Hill, who is African-American, is leaving. Hill, whose last day on air is Wednesday, is joining the gubernatorial campaign of former Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, the station’s website said.

“I’ve made no secret of being disappointed that we don’t have [more] representation on air,” Holt told The Tennessean.

“It’s a concern for me. I wish we had a different makeup,” said Holt, who started as anchor/reporter at News 2 in 1976 before becoming the main anchor in 1980.

“Holt announced a year ago she was leaving the anchor desk, but she still produces weekly segments for News 2’s afternoon newscasts.

“News 2 general manager Tracey Rogers and news director Elbert Tucker did not respond to emails and voicemail messages asking for comment Tuesday. . . .”

Rebooting Shows With White Casts Not a Good Sign

Last week CBS announced that it’s picking up a ‘Murphy Brown’ revival with Candice Bergen, who starred in the original (airing for 10 seasons starting in 1988), back in the title role,” Nina Metz reported Thursday for the Chicago Tribune.

“Days later in a head-spinning bit of news, CBS said it has plans to bring back yet two more ’80s-era shows — ‘Magnum P.I.’ and ‘Cagney & Lacey’ — both as reboots, with new casts and showrunners.

“If this feels like an avalanche, you’re right — the revivals include ‘Will & Grace’ and ‘Roseanne’ already in the can with the original casts, and a multitude of reboots in the works: ‘Party of Five, ‘The Greatest American Hero,’ ‘Charmed’ and ‘Roswell.’

“The most common (and exasperated!) response I’ve seen so far: Ugh, Hollywood has run out of ideas. But here’s what also jumps out: The creators of these original shows were white (and mostly male). The top-billed actors on these shows were white as well. It’s not hard to see the potential downsides to this in terms of who is getting opportunities now.

“Or as Keah Brown, an entertainment writer and creator of the #DisabledAndCute hashtag, said on Twitter: ‘Instead of rebooting shows, why not try letting black and brown people share our ideas for brand new shows where we exist?’ . . .”

Kenya Ignores Court Order to Restore TV Signals

Kenya’s three leading TV stations were off the air for a fourth day Friday as police prevented the delivery of a court order to restore their transmissions after they tried to broadcast opposition leader Raila Odinga swearing himself in as ‘the people’s president,” Tom Odula reported Friday for the Associated Press. “The government has called the ceremony an act of treason, and its arrests of ‘conspirators’ continued.

“Rights activist Okiya Omtata said he was forced to paste the High Court order, issued a day earlier, on the wall of Kenya’s communications authority as police told journalists to stay away from its gate. Police were not immediately available to comment. . . .”

Odula also wrote, “As journalists and rights groups raised an outcry over the government shutdown of TV stations, the United States urged Kenya’s authorities to respect the court order and allow broadcasts to resume. . . .”

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