• Beckel Couldn’t Get Employee to Pull Complaint
  • Trump Reaping What He Sowed. Sad.
  • Media Writers Called Out on Diversity Coverage
  • Photographers to Conduct Racial Census
  • ‘. . . Same Concerns Today as in the ’80s’
  • Black Journalists Not Creating Local Websites
  • South Asians a Bigger Part of ‘Asian Americans’
  • Ron Thomas to Receive NABJ Legacy Award
  • Short Takes
Game-show host Alex Trebek (third from right) joins Fox News Channel’s The Five. Bob Beckel is second from left.

Beckel Couldn’t Get Employee to Pull Complaint

Bob Beckel was terminated today for making an insensitive remark to an African-American employee,” Fox News announced on Friday.

Fox did not identify the “insensitive remark.”

But according to Douglas Wigdor, a lawyer representing Fox employees who are accusing the network of sexual harassment or racial bias, Beckel, a co-host of “The Five” and one of Fox News’ left-leaning commentators, “stormed out of his office when our client, a Black IT employee came to service his computer, telling our client that he was leaving his office because he is Black.”

Kelly Wright, left, and lawyer Douglas Wigdor (CBS News)

Wigdor also wrote in his statement, “In yet another example of the 18th Century Fox mentality, Fox permitted Bob Beckel to remain in his role as a prime time co-host despite his many prior incentive and racist comments. All the while, Kelly Wright, the only black male anchor at Fox News, has been relegated to an overnight position.”

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However, a Fox News spokeswoman said of Wright, “he was originally on the overnight shift to begin with.”

Erik Wemple, writing Friday for the Washington Post, added, “The dismissal was the work of a revamped Fox News human-resources department under the leadership of Kevin Lord, whose hiring was announced in December.

“Under Fox News chief Roger Ailes, who was ousted last year in a wide-ranging sexual harassment scandal, the human-resources department was a dead end for employee complaints. . . .”

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Wemple also wrote that what happened after Beckel stormed out, Wigdor said, “violates the best practices of personnel departments across the country. ‘The wrinkle here is that the head of HR permitted Beckel to go into a room and try to convince [my client] to withdraw the complaint, right in front of the HR guy,’ says Wigdor in a chat with the Erik Wemple Blog.

“ ‘That’s unheard of in corporate America.’ In this meeting, says Wigdor, Beckel started out by apologizing for this offense, but then moved into another mode altogether. ‘He said his father . . . was an important person in the civil rights movement and had done a lot of things for black people and was trying to guilt him into withdrawing the complaint,’ says Wigdor.

“ ‘What they wanted to do was sweep the whole thing under the rug,’ says Wigdor. ‘He wouldn’t withdraw the complaint and so they were forced to do it.’

“A Fox News spokeswoman called Wigdor’s tick-tock ‘a complete lie.’ The incident occurred Tuesday, she says, triggering a complaint from the employee. Lord answered within seven minutes, and over the next two days the event was investigated.

“Early Friday, Fox News reached the decision to fire Beckel. In a second-floor conference room at 10 a.m., Beckel was given the news. Then the employee was summoned to the conference room, whereupon Lord ‘facilitated’ an apology from Beckel. . . .”

David Bauder, Associated Press: Fox News fires Bob Beckel for racially insensitive remark

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CBS News: Why anchor Kelly Wright came forward about alleged racial discrimination at Fox News (April 27)

Kelly Couturier and Prashant S. Rao, New York Times: The 10 and a Half Months That Shook Fox News

Gabriel Sherman, New York: Roger and Me

Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post: Roger Ailes’s lasting legacy for women workers is one he would have hated

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Bill Wyman, Columbia Journalism Review: Ailes legacy: stoking divisions, damaging truth

David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun: Roger Ailes’ legacy as media visionary overshadowed by predatory culture at Fox News

Trump Reaping What He Sowed. Sad.

Precious few journalists of color are among the teams unloading the bombshells exposing questionable behavior by President Donald Trump, but that doesn’t mean they can’t relate to the sentiment expressed Friday by Washington Post opinion writer Dana Milbank.The president has the greatest self-pity. The best!” Milbank began.

Dana Milbank

“ ‘No politician in history, and I say this with great surety, has been treated worse or more unfairly,’ Donald Trump said this week as he heard the special prosecutor’s footsteps.

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“Thus did our assured head of state, equal parts narcissistic and uninformed, rank his treatment worse than that of Benito Mussolini (executed corpse beaten and hung upside down in public square), Oliver Cromwell (body disinterred, drawn and quartered, hanged and head hung on spike), Leon Trotsky (exiled and killed with icepick to the skull), William Wallace (dragged naked from horses, eviscerated, emasculated, hanged and quartered) and the headless Louis XVI, Mary Queen of Scots and Charles I.

“Trump hasn’t been treated badly. He has been treated exactly as he deserved, a reaction commensurate with the action. He took on the institution of a free press — and it fought back.

“Trump came to office after intimidating publishers, barring journalists from covering him and threatening to rewrite press laws, and he has sought to discredit the ‘fake news’ media at every chance. Instead, he wound up inspiring a new golden age in American journalism. . . .”

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Milbank went on to name reporters at the Post and New York Times who “have produced one breathtaking scoop after another.”

Matt Apuzzo, Maggie Haberman and Matthew Rosenberg, New York Times: Trump Told Russians That Firing ‘Nut Job’ Comey Eased Pressure From Investigation

Duane Champagne, Indian Country Today: Will Indians Survive Donald Trump?

Gene Policinski, Newseum Institute: Hassling Journalists Damages Our ‘Watchdog on Government’

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Stephen A. Nuño, NBC Latino: The Future of the GOP Lies in Suppressing the Latino Vote

Stephen A. Nuño, NBC Latino: Latino Republicans are Silent in the Face of Authoritarianism

Radio Television Digital News Association: RTDNA urges officials to ‘reverse course’ on anti-news behavior

Media Writers Called Out on Diversity Coverage

“ ‘U.S. newspapers see more bad news, as jobs decline.’ ‘Newspaper newsrooms suffer large staffing decreases.’ ‘Newspaper industry lost 3,800 full-time editorial professionals in 2014.’ ‘The halving of America’s daily newsrooms,’ “ Laura Hazard Owen reported Wednesday for Nieman Lab.

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“Executives at the American Society of News Editors are sick of headlines like these being used to sum up ASNE’s annual newsroom diversity survey. It’s not that newsrooms aren’t losing jobs; they are. But the survey, launched more than 20 years ago, was never really intended to provide a quick snapshot of the general state of health of American newsrooms. It’s supposed to be a reflection of how newsrooms are doing at hiring women and people of color. And they are doing badly. . . .”

American Society of News Editors: ASNE diversity history

American Society of News Editors: Deadline extended to May 26, don’t miss this free training!

Peter DiCampo’s photo of a man in an elevator in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, led him to reflect on the many stereotypical images of Africa that are published, Tara Pixley wrote for Nieman Reports. (Peter DiCampo/Everyday Africa)

Photographers to Conduct Racial Census

In 2015 and 2016, World Press Photo Foundation (WPP) released annual state of news photography reports that highlighted an often overlooked problem: a lack of equity and inclusivity among those who work behind the documentary camera,” Tara Pixley wrote Monday for Nieman Reports.

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“Based on responses from about 2,000 news photographers worldwide, the reports included the statistic that only 15 percent of them were female. Though a troublingly unequal division of nationalities among news photographers was mentioned in the reports, no statistics on the photographers’ racial identities were included.

“That will change this year because the WPP’s annual survey (an informational snapshot of photographers entering the yearly contest) added a question about race and ethnicity. The results haven’t yet been released. For too long, the way we as visual journalists represent and reproduce race has received no extensive analysis and critique within the field of journalism. . . .”

Pixley also wrote, “Brent Lewis, senior photo editor of ESPN’s The Undefeated, says recognizing there is a problem is the first step. ‘Being aware that when trying to cover stories in the vein of black life, you probably should have someone who actually lived it,’ says Lewis. . . . .”

‘. . . Same Concerns Today as in the ’80s’

Eunice Trotter

Eunice Trotter went into journalism early,” Will Higgins wrote Friday for the Indianapolis Star.

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“As a teenager in the late 1960s, she wrote obituaries and later the column ‘Teen Talk’ for the Indianapolis Recorder, then the largest of the city’s several African-American weekly newspapers.

“On Saturday, she’ll be honored for her dedication to her craft by being inducted into the Indiana Journalism Hall of Fame, along with three other journalists with Hoosier roots. . . .”

In a five-question Q-and-A, Higgins asked Trotter, “Black weekly newspapers have a long history, but do you see much of a future for them?”

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Trotter replied, “I think they’re even more important today than they were in the (19)80s and ‘90s. Newsroom resources have been whittled down to incredibly low staffing levels compared to what they were, which means more hard choices have to be made about hiring decisions and stories that will be covered.

“Traditional beats in newsrooms are no longer being covered. Less effort is being given to making sure diverse groups’ issues are covered. We need press that tells the stories and dissects the issues of minority groups — which by the way are becoming the majority.

“I attend meetings of the Indianapolis Black Journalists Association, and the concerns young black and Latino journalists voice today in Indianapolis and across the country are the same concerns being voiced when I was president of the black journalists group in the 1980s.”

Black Journalists Not Creating Local Websites

It’s difficult to say just when the notion first struck me to quit the relative security of a newsroom job to go it alone in the fledgling world of online community journalism,” Glenn H. Burkins wrote for the spring issue of Columbia Journalism Review.

Glenn Burkins (Angus Lamond/Creative Loafing Charlotte)

“Maybe it was late in the 1990s, during my days reporting for The Wall Street Journal, when I first saw the phrase ‘hyperlocal media’ attached to an article about BaristaNet.com.

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“Or maybe it was years later, after I moved to North Carolina to take a job as business editor at The Charlotte Observer and noted that the city’s African-American community, then about 35 percent of the population, had practically no options when it came to online media that addressed their specific needs and concerns.

“Whichever the case, in November 2008, the same week Barack Obama was elected the nation’s first black president, I walked out of the Observer’s newsroom as deputy managing editor to launch Qcitymetro.com — a website devoted to serving Charlotte’s black community — confident that I would soon be followed by a wave of black journalists in cities from New York to Los Angeles.

“Eight years later, that wave is yet to form. . . .”

The South Asian Journalists Association held an election forum with Time Inc. in October. (SAJA)

South Asians a Bigger Part of ‘Asian Americans’

This May marks the 25th anniversary of the permanent designation of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month,” Jennifer Lee and Karthick Ramakrishnan wrote Tuesday for NBC Asian America.

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They also wrote, “Asian Americans are now the fastest growing racial group in the country, with immigrants from South Asia fueling much of that growth.

“Indeed, Bangladeshis, Pakistanis, and Indians have nearly doubled their share of the Asian American population, from 14 percent in 1990 to 26 percent today. Just as important, South Asians have been prominently featured in news coverage of Asian immigrants, from success stories like the rise of Indian American CEOs like Microsoft’s Satya Nadella to heartbreaking stories of hate crimes and murders in the post-9/11 era.

“In 1992, news headlines of Asian Americans focused on Korean grocers being robbed in poor, inner-city neighborhoods like Harlem, West Philadelphia, and East Los Angeles.

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“These have been replaced with headlines of Sikhs, Hindus, and Muslims shot, beaten, and killed across the country. Sureshbhai Patel, a 57-year-old Indian grandfather in Alabama, was partially paralyzed by two police officers during an encounter in 2015 and needed spinal fusion surgery to repair damage to his back.

“As we celebrate the APAHM, we ask whether these fundamental shifts in the Asian American experience are reflected in our understanding of who is Asian American. As scholars of immigration and race, our reading of the selective outrage by Asian-American groups over the killings of South Asians suggests that this is not the case. . . .”

Gretchen Livingston and Anna Brown, Pew Research Center: Intermarriage in the U.S. 50 Years After Loving v. Virginia

Ron Thomas at a Syracuse University program in 2012. (Syracuse University)

Ron Thomas to Receive NABJ Legacy Award

Ron Thomas, who has led the Journalism and Sports Program at Morehouse College since its inception 10 years ago, has been selected for the 2017 NABJ Legacy Award, the National Association of Black Journalists announced Friday.

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“The award is presented annually to a black print, broadcast, digital or photo journalist of extraordinary accomplishment who has broken barriers and blazed trails,” NABJ said.

Before joining Morehouse, Thomas had a 34-year career as a sports reporter and copy editor at the San Francisco Chronicle, USA Today, the Marin (Calif.) Independent Journal, the Chicago Daily News and BlackAmericaWeb.com

“When he started at Morehouse, there were very few programs with a dual emphasis on journalism and sports. In addition to sports coverage, his students study, cover and report on a variety of critical issues, such as the recent presidential election,” NABJ said.

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The program was the brainchild of the late sportswriter Ralph Wiley and filmmaker Spike Lee, a Morehouse graduate.

In 2015, when Charles Barkley announced a $1 million gift to the college for the program, it had sent 40 of its students into the media workforce, while 17 had earned master’s degrees in journalism or related fields, including six at Columbia University, the school said.

Thomas’ students regularly read “Journal-isms.” “It’s so informative that whenever I give news quizzes to my newswriting class at Morehouse College, I always include at least one question stemming” from it, he said in an endorsement last year.

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In the NABJ release, he said, “I thought if I could get a (Sam Lacy Sports) Pioneer Award that would be my legacy. This is like my personal Pulitzer Award.”

Short Takes

Can we challenge the forces of unconscious white privilege and implicit bias, to come out of the closet and be held accountable?” Georgetown professor Michael Eric Dyson asked Thursday on the “PBS NewsHour’s” “Brief But Spectacular” segment.

P.J. Joshi

“Pradnya Joshi, or P.J. Joshi, as most people know her, will join us at the end of this month as the Agriculture and Trade editor,” Politico editors Martin Kady and Clea Benson told staffers on May 12. “P.J. comes to us from The New York Times, where she is assistant business editor for digital news. “Before turning to editing, P.J. was a reporter for 12 years, starting out at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/The Milwaukee Journal. She has also been a reporter at Newsday, where she was a reporter for nine years on various metro and business beats. . . .”

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The Times-Picayune in New Orleans editorialized Thursday against a Louisiana House bill that would make it more complicated for communities to remove Confederate monuments. The bill passed 65-31 on Monday. “When the Jefferson Davis statue was dedicated in February 1911, The Daily Picayune wrote a lengthy editorial praising him and defending slavery,” Thursday’s editorial recalled. “ ‘Property in slaves was distinctly recognized in the Constitution, and the protection of that property by the National Government was guaranteed, the editorial said. . . .’ “

A Journal-isms item about former MSNBC host Melissa Harris-Perry objecting to an award by the National Association of Black Journalists to MSNBC executive Yvette Miley became fodder for the New York Post’s Page Six, Mediaite and newsbusters.org. While the Journal-isms item discussed the controversy over credit for early coverage of the 2012 slaying of black teen-ager Trayvon Martin, NewsBusters headlined, “Melissa Harris-Perry Hammers Ex-MSNBC Colleague Who ‘Fired Black Folk.’ “

The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) selected 42 high school students from across the country to participate in its signature student program, JCamp,” the association announced Friday. “The annual program, which celebrates its 17th anniversary in 2017, will take place July 22-27 and will be hosted by Temple University’s Lew Klein College of Media and Communication in Philadelphia. . . .” Sponsorships enable freshmen, sophomores and juniors to attend the six-day multicultural journalism training program at no cost.

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On the Senate floor Thursday, Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) said he expected the FCC to have 2-3 million comments in the net neutrality (Restoring Internet Freedom) docket by week’s end,John Eggerton reported Friday for Broadcasting & Cable. “He was right. . . .” In a statement Thursday, the National Hispanic Media Coalition said, “The cost of internet access is already a major reason why half of Latino households are offline and remain disconnected. The FCC needs to find ways to expand access, not give a free pass to corporations . . . .”

Two fugitive former army officers have been indicted over the 2004 murder of prominent Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara, judicial sources said,” Nigeria’s pulse.ng reported Friday. “. . . Hydara, 65, an outspoken critic of then president Yahya Jammeh, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in his car on the outskirts of Banjul in December 2004. . . .”


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Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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Journal-isms is originally published on journal-isms.com. Reprinted on The Root by permission.