TV Has Widest Gender Gap Among News Media

A Women’s Media Center report examining who provides coverage for 20 top news outlets shows that female journalists continue to report less of the news than do male journalists — with the disparity especially glaring in television,” the center reported Wednesday.

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“The WMC’s ‘Divided 2017' study finds that at ABC, CBS, and NBC combined, men report three times as much of the news as women do. Work by women anchors, field reporters, and correspondents has actually declined, falling to 25.2 percent of reports in 2016 from 32 percent when the organization published its previous report in 2015.

“The research, which monitored news outlets for three months of 2016, found that the gender gap exists in traditional newspapers, online news, wire services, and TV news. . . .”

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The center also reported, “Here are the highlights from WMC’s ‘Divided 2017' for broadcast, newspapers, online news, and wire services:

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Broadcast: Overall, men report 74.8 percent of the broadcast news; women report 25.2 percent. ‘PBS NewsHour’ again leads evening news broadcasts in showing the work of female anchors and news correspondents. Men produce 55.0 percent of the news and women 45.0 percent. ‘ABC World News’ comes in last, with men producing 88.2 percent of the news and women, 11.8 percent.

Newspapers: Overall, men report 61.9 percent of the news in print; women report 38.1 percent. None of the print outlets achieve gender parity, although the San Jose Mercury News (55.7 percent men; 44.3 percent women) and The Washington Post (57.5 percent men; 42.5 percent women) have the narrowest gap. The New York Times has done the most to narrow the gap — now 61.0 percent men; 39.0 percent women, up from 32.3 percent. The widest gender gap is at the New York Daily News, where men write 76.0 percent of the news, compared to 24.0 percent for women.

Online News: Men receive 53.9 percent of bylines. Compared to the other sectors, women garner more bylines— 46.1 percent of all bylines — at the four online news sites, combined. Fox News achieves the best gender ratio: 50.1 percent men; 49.9 percent women. The Huffington Post follows closely with men garnering 50.8 percent of the bylines and women 49.2 percent.

Wires: Men report 62.4 percent of the stories generated by the two wire services. Women report 37.6 percent. Reuters again has a higher representation of female bylines than the Associated Press, but men still dominate: 61.1 percent for men; 38.9 percent for women. . . .”

Hours after the February 2016 New Hampshire primary had been called for Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Bernie Sanders, MSNBC convened many of the NBC News campaign correspondents to talk about the state of the race. Among those taking part were Hallie Jackson, Chris Jansing, Kristen Welker, Katy Tur, Andrea Mitchell and Kasie Hunt. (TVNewser screenshot)

. . . ‘WMC’s Numbers Are Not Definitive’

In an email Wednesday commenting on the Women’s Media Center report, television news researcher Andrew Tyndall wrote:

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“The low number for NBC Nightly News was especially startling: the Presidential election campaign was the major story of 2016 and NBC News devoted considerable publicity-&-promotion resources into emphasizing the lead role of its women reporters — Katy Tur, Hallie Jackson, Kristen Welker, Kasie Hunt— on the campaign trail, as well as Andrea Mitchell’s in its DC Bureau.

“So here, for comparison are statistics generated from the database at Tyndall Report:

“ABC World News Tonight: 32% female (1097 minutes out of 3409)“CBS Evening News: 32% female (1327 minutes out of 4148)“NBC Nightly News: 44% female (1880 minutes out of 4272)

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“This difference is not noted out in order to impugn WMC’s research. It is offered merely to point out that WMC’s numbers are not definitive. Methodological differences can account for many of the disparities, to wit:

“WMC took a three-month sample; Tyndall Report monitored the entire year of weekday newscasts.”WMC counted bylines; Tyndall Report counted minutes of coverage.”WMC included credits for producers (mentioned later in the report); Tyndall Report confined itself to on-air correspondents.

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“Granted, Tyndall Report’s numbers are slightly more lenient than WMC’s (at least for ABC News and NBC News) when used for making charges of gender inequality.

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“Nevertheless, they come nowhere close to refuting WMC’s overall point, namely that a viewer of the networks’ nightly newscasts would — even in this day and age — draw the conclusion that the task of delivering series news of national and international import was primarily a man’s job.

“After all, the anchors at all three evening newscasts are male, David Muir having replaced Diane Sawyer and Scott Pelley having replaced Katie Couric. NBC Nightly News, now with Lester Holt, has never had a female anchor. If the time taken delivering the news by the anchors were added to the denominator to calculate the percentage of airtime given to female correspondents, all of those percentages would decline.

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“Nevertheless, the picture is not quite as bleak for women as the one WMC’s data suggest. And NBC News was not misleading us when it showcased its female team of Girls On The Bus, as the saying goes. Its Nightly News really was more female-oriented than its competitors.”

Seven-year-old Josephine John receives treatment for tuberculosis and malnutrition at International Medical Corps’ stabilization center at the Protection of Civilian site in Juba, South Sudan. (Crystal Wells/International Medical Corps)

South Sudan Crisis Gaining U.S. Media Attention

While South Sudan is not engaged in conflict with terrorist organizations, it is deeply divided and perilously close to descending into a second genocide,Nancy Lindborg, president of the United States Institute of Peace, testified Wednesday before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

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Three years ago, as a State Department official, Lindborg told the Association of Opinion Journalists that in such situations, attention from the American news media can save lives.

That attention is growing. Scott Pelley and a “60 Minutes” team went to South Sudan for a story that aired on Sunday. Debora Patta reported again from South Sudan for Tuesday’s “CBS Evening News.”

Forest Whitaker, the actor and social activist, wrote for CNN Tuesday that he had just returned from that country.

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Every day the conflict continues, South Sudanese people face tremendous risks and unthinkable decisions,” Whitaker wrote. “With a quarter of the country’s population uprooted by violence, stories of rape and torture echo throughout the country. A generation has been robbed of its future by forced recruitment to fight, being mistaken and targeted as opposition fighters and early marriage — when parents have no other means to pay for necessities like food.

“Schools lay destroyed or occupied by armed groups, leaving children unable to fulfill their potential; families are forced to scavenge in swamps to survive. . . .”

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Milton Allimadi, who publishes Black Star News in New York, wrote an opinion piece Tuesday in the Daily News of New York, comparing the situation to that of the Rwanda genocide of 1994.

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Lindborg, then assistant administrator for the Bureau of Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance in the U.S. Agency for International Development (an agency slated for cuts in President Trump’s budget), explained in 2014 why media attention is important.

A number of NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] reported that they raised more money for the Philippines typhoon in the first week or so after it hit of than they have in the entire Syria crisis, and we’re seeing a similar lack of private fund raising for Central Africa and South Sudan,” she told the journalists. “We know that it’s really complicated when you have a complex crisis. There are often unclear lines about good guys and bad guys.”

Lindborg continued, “America’s voice matters.” In 2011 and 2012, famine struck Somalia on the Horn of Africa, and “125,000 children died when they didn’t have to. South Sudan will teeter [into something similar] if they don’t get assistance now.” Media attention brings funds to nongovernmental relief organizations, saves lives and guards against leaving swaths of territory unprotected and lawless, leaving them to become breeding grounds for worldwide terrorism.

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“It matters whether you’re a kid in Syria or South Sudan to know that the world cares,” Lindborg added.

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Katherine Almquist Knopf, Council on Foreign Relations: Ending South Sudan’s Civil War

William Lambers, the Hill: Trump’s budget takes funds from the poor to feed his military

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John Prendergast, enoughproject.org: How The World’s Newest Country Went Awry: South Sudan’s war, famine, and potential genocide

Trump Leaving Public Affairs Office Jobs Unfilled

The New York Times (3/12/17) reported that the Trump administration, for a variety of reasons, was filling the offices of administrative agencies at a glacial pace,” Dave Lindorff reported Tuesday for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. “From the Department of Agriculture to the Weather Service, over 2,000 mid-level political-appointee positions were still unfilled; the Times called it ‘the slowest transition in decades.’

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“One place that slowness has showed up clearly is in the staffing of what are variously called Public Affairs offices, Newsrooms or Media Offices of these government departments and agencies — the very offices that reporters in both Washington bureaus and in newsrooms around the country depend on to get routine information about what these departments and agencies are doing, or, in the case of more investigative assignments, to ask basic questions and set up interviews with key personnel.

“This reporter stumbled upon the problem earlier in the month while researching a story for High Times magazine on the fate, in the Trump administration, of the now 19-year-old ban on federal student aid for any students who are convicted of even a minor criminal drug violation. . . .”

Jones Used to ‘Pissing People Off on Both Sides’

Van Jones (CNN)

Activist and CNN commentator Van Jonesexemplifies a quandary facing the left,” Janelle Ross wrote Monday for the Washington Post.

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“Caught off guard by Trump’s victory, the president’s detractors have grappled with how to respond: Some have gone to battle, calling out racism and bigotry or participating in protests. Others have focused on listening to and empathizing with the white working class, sometimes suggesting that the group’s economic challenges are unique from those of other working-class Americans.

“Critics have called Jones’s shift between those options dizzying, self-interested and gutless. Supporters have showered him with laurels, saying he’s a political commentator with a deserved cult following for his ability to bridge the political divide.

“ ‘I’ve spent my whole life being half bomb-thrower, half bridge-builder and as a result, pissing people off on both sides,’ Jones said. ‘I think sometimes people see me as the black anti-Trump crusader, but that’s not what I’m there to do all the time. Sometimes, I’m the crusader against liberal arrogance or lack of empathy or insight.’ . . .”

Fox Sidelines Analyst Over Claim That Obama Spied

Andrew Napolitano, the senior legal analyst for Fox News, has been temporarily sidelined following his unproved assertion last week that former President Barack Obama had asked for British assistance in spying on Donald J. Trump, a person briefed on the decision said on Monday,” John Koblin reported Tuesday for the New York Times.

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“Mr. Napolitano did not appear on Fox on Monday, even though there were two news events that normally would have called for his services: hearings involving the F.B.I. director James B. Comey, and the Supreme Court nominee Neil M. Gorsuch. . . .”

Lincoln Anthony Blades, Ebony: Donald Trump Isn’t Half the Patriot Colin Kaepernick Is

Dylan Byers, CNN Money: How Sean Spicer lost his credibility

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Juan Castillo, Austin American-Statesman: Why the border wall fences us in

Michael A. Cohen, Boston Globe: Reince Priebus should resign

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Editorial, Chicago Tribune: Russia’s state-sponsored thievery

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Editorial, Miami Herald: Trump’s budget makes the unkindest cuts of all

Editorial, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: No return to toxin-clogged Great Lakes — Ohio GOP lawmakers must stand firm against Trump cuts

Lloyd Grove, Daily Beast: Erin McPike: Why I Broke With The Press Pack To Interview Tillerson

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: If Democrats Cave on Gorsuch, They’ll Be Sorry

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Brian Karem, Sentinel Newspapers: Don’t do that in my ear and tell me it’s raining!

Shaun King, Daily News, New York: Donald Trump should be immediately removed from office — before we hit rock bottom

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Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Trump’s Russia ties need to be investigated

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Trump can run (his mouth) but he can’t hide

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Does the FBI’s trail lead to Russia?

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Elizabeth Warren, Boston Globe: Neil Gorsuch does not belong on the Supreme Court

Michael Paul Williams, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Standing up for immigration in uncertain times

From Atlassian’s diversity report

ProPublica: Diversity Crucial for Its Newsroom

We have written before about the steps ProPublica is taking to increase the diversity of our workplace as well as in the journalism community more broadly,Lena Groeger and Sisi Wei reported Tuesday for ProPublica.

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“In 2017, we remain committed to recruiting and retaining people from communities that have long been underrepresented not only in journalism but particularly in investigative journalism. That includes African Americans, Latinos, other people of color, women, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities and people of underrepresented faiths. Now, more than ever, it is crucial to have a newsroom filled with people from a broad range of backgrounds and perspectives.

“Here’s What We’re Doing

“We’ve continued and expanded many of the programs and scholarships we started in 2015. Specifically:

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“The Emerging Reporters Program, which offers grants to college students of color who are interested in doing great journalism, is in its second year. Learn more about these talented journalists.

“The ProPublica Data Institute, which is an all-expenses-paid two-week workshop we host at our New York offices that teaches journalists how to use data, design and coding for their own stories. This year we are excited to be partnering with the Ida B. Wells Society for Investigative Reporting. The application deadline is March 31st, so there is still time to apply if you’re interested.

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“We’re again offering $500 scholarships for students to attend the conferences of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, National Association of Black Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association. Last year we sent five extremely talented students to Washington, D.C., for the joint NAHJ/NABJ convention. This year we plan to expand that to 12 students. We’ll be announcing the applications for these scholarships soon.

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“For the third year in a row, we’ll be pairing journalists of color with managing editors, executive editors and other top journalists at our ONA Diversity Mentorship Breakfast. Be on the lookout for when our applications for this program open later this summer. . . .”

Not including fellows, ProPublica said its newsroom is 73 percent white, 10 percent Asian, 6 percent black, 6 percent two or more races and 2 percent other.

Survey: Tech Workers Confused About Diversity

A “first-of-its-kind survey of 1,400+ tech workers around the country” about diversity and inclusion has found that “greater focus on these topics over the last few years has successfully raised awareness that a problem exists, but hasn’t educated people on how big the problem really is. Judging from the data, it seems that people mistake having ‘some diversity’ for ‘we are diverse.’ ”

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The survey was conducted by Atlassian, a maker of productivity and collaboration software. Aubrey Blanche, its global head of diversity and inclusion, author of the quotation above, also wrote Wednesday, “The data shows there are major misconceptions about the true source of the problem (hint: it’s not the pipeline), and how (or whether) we need to move forward. There’s also evidence that many simply don’t understand what actions will really move the needle. For me, the fact that fully 20% of respondents still believe their company is a meritocracy illustrates a key part of the problem. . . .”

The company’s summary of key findings:

“The disconnect between diversity perception and reality.

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“While 83 percent think diversity is important or very important, half of employees think no improvements need to be made on gender, race and other key areas.

“20 percent of respondents say their company is a meritocracy and everyone is treated equally.

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“The impact of Trump

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“More than a third of employees fear that [President] Trump will stifle diversity progress.

“23 percent of employees have done something differently in relation to diversity since the election (connected with colleagues from different backgrounds, engaged leaders, and participated in discussions about diversity rank highest)

“Whose job is it, anyway?

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“The majority of people think individuals and corporations — not the judicial system or government — will be most impactful in moving the needle when it comes to diversity and inclusion.”

The hosts of the Little Black Dress podcast, Rocsi Diaz (left) and Nina Parker, interview actor Laz Alonso. (Columbia Journalism Review)

iTunes a Barrier to Podcasts by People of Color

Within the first three minutes of the premiere of the podcast Little Black Dress, entertainment journalist Nina Parker laid out the show’s mission: ‘There’s definitely a lot of podcasts with women, but there’s not a ton of podcasts with some who look like us. Nothing against the other podcasts, but we just wanted to represent a perspective that is a bit null and void,’ “ Steve Friess reported Tuesday for Columbia Journalism Review.

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“Her co-host, Rocsi Diaz, then put a finer point on it: ‘The brown perspective, OK?’

“The two veteran entertainment journalists, in fact, turned to podcasting last month as an outlet for discussion of certain corners of pop culture that they’d had difficulty getting to cover in their mainstream media day jobs.

“Diaz, who hosts Dating Naked on VH1 and is a former Entertainment Tonight correspondent; and Parker, who had stints at TMZ and The Insider before landing as an Access Hollywood Live host, felt stifled as they tried to persuade bosses and colleagues to cover people of color who aren’t already, as Parker puts it, ‘A-list superstars.’

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“In joining the podosphere, though, they quickly realized the new medium, for all its openness, still presents barriers to hosts of color and their relevant subject matter. It’s certainly true that anyone can make and publish a show, the women learned, but earning attention from iTunes — the most powerful gatekeeper in the space — can be mysterious and difficult.

“Indeed, the process may be opaque, but the results are clear: The iTunes Top 100 chart is dominated by shows featuring white hosts even as research shows the share of the podcast audience comprised of non-white listeners is growing fast. . . .”

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Steve Friess, Columbia Journalism Review: 10 great podcasts to diversify your listening lineup

This April issue will be “a happy source of pride” in Africa, Richard Horgan writes. See first item below.

Short Takes

Here’s a refreshing reminder of just how quickly the media is catching up to today’s diverse diaspora,” Richard Horgan wrote Tuesday for Fishbowl at adweek.com, which includes the Fishbowl websites. “It’s no longer a big deal, at the Fishbowl end, to come across a woman wearing a full hijab on the cover of a major magazine. Nevertheless, in Africa, the sight of Senegalese TV anchor Oumy Ndour on the cover of the April issue of Condé Nast Traveler will be a happy source of pride. The issue hits newsstands Wednesday. . . .”

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Hundreds of people — including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, music legend Tony Bennett, former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly and scores of journalists — packed into the Church of the Blessed Sacrament in Manhattan Wednesday to remember Jimmy Breslin, the often grumpy, always tenderhearted columnist whose work for Newsday, the Daily News and other publications shaped New York City as much as New York City shaped him,” Michael O’Keeffe reported Wednesday for Newsday. Daily News

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“Launched in January and led by a special reporting team, The CJ Project has produced two stories investigating topics not often covered by the media: solitary confinement and tribal police forces,” the Asian American Journalists Association told members on Wednesday, referring to the Criminal Justice Project. “The CJ Project aims to bridge the gap between the lack of substantive media coverage of juvenile and criminal justice issues in New Mexico and the opportunity for positive change. By partnering with local media and educating and training journalists on criminal justice systems and better techniques for covering these topics as they relate to communities of color, AAJA aims to support quality media coverage and inclusion in these areas to help ignite systematic change.”

People always ask why I write about race,” Chicago Tribune columnist Dahleen Glanton told readers on Monday. “The answer is simple: I was born in a Southern mill town where race was at the center of just about everything.” But, she concluded, “Racism was never discussed in my father’s house — that white, wood-framed single-family home he purchased on his own because his family could not live in the Village. From him, I learned this valuable lesson. Yes, racism exists all around us. But we can never use it as an excuse for failure. If anything, it must be the impetus for success.”

Max Robinson on ABC’s “World News Tonight.”

It’s been almost three decades since American news outlets rushed to report the unexpected death of Maxie Cleveland ‘Max’ Robinson — the Emmy award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist who became America’s first black nightly news anchor after joining ‘ABC’s World News Tonight’ in 1978 — on Dec. 20, 1988,” Siona Peterous wrote Monday for the Commonwealth Times, student newspaper at Virginia Commonwealth University. She provided a recap of Robinson’s career for those not familiar with it. “. . . Despite becoming a nationally-recognized television personality and voice of journalistic integrity, Robinson’s name has been obscured, if not forgotten — even within journalism communities. . . .”

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On March 29, the News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., is launching “the first of a continuing series of forums on topical issues known as Community Voices,” Editorial Page Editor Ned Barnett told readers Saturday. “The idea is to take the concerns that fill The N&O’s opinion pages directly to our community for comment and debate. Barnett also wrote, “These community talks are new for The News & Observer, but increasingly common around the country. . . .”

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Ebony Reed, executive advertising director at the Boston Business Journal and former director of business development for local markets at the Associated Press, has been named director of innovation and the RJI Futures Lab, the Donald W. Reynolds Institute at the Missouri School of Journalism announced on Wednesday. The lab “conducts research, shares insights and develops new tools and strategies to strengthen journalism. . . .”

Commenting on the Baltimore Sun series “Bridging the Divide: The struggle to move past segregated schools,” the Sun’s editorial board urged Monday that Baltimore County “should seriously consider the idea of increasing the size of the County Council — which has had seven members since it was established in the late 1950s — so that it better reflects the county’s diversity.” The editorial said “Baltimore County’s legacy of segregation isn’t going to go away on its own,” and concluded, “Baltimore County has changed a lot since the bad old days of segregation, but the legacy of that time is still with us. It won’t go away on its own. We need leaders just as courageous today as they were craven then.”

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The global devastation wrought by the war in Syria is the leading storyline among winners of the 78th Annual Overseas Press Club Awards,” the club announced on Monday. Among the 22 awards, “HBO’s Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel” won the first-ever Peter Jennings Award, which goes to the best TV, video or documentary about international affairs one hour or longer. “A 75-minute program revealed how a corrupt International Olympic Committee pursues wealth and privilege for its members at a great cost to human rights and dignity at the Olympic games. . . .”

Christine Portela

Christine Portela has left NBC and Telemundo to take on the position of Director of News Operations for the Univision Station Group, reporting to Chris Peña, Veronica Villafane reported Saturday for her Media Moves site. “She continues to be based in Miami. She starts at Univision on Monday, March 20. Although she is coming in with a different title, Portela essentially takes over the role left vacant by Sussy Ruiz, when she resigned in November of last year for a job as Assistant News Director at Telemundo Houston. . . .”

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The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) will honor veteran Democratic strategist Donna Brazile with the 2017 Torch Award for Outstanding Leadership and Achievement in Political Empowerment during Black Press Week 2017 (March 22-March 24) in the nation’s capital,” the association announced Monday. It also will honor Wade Henderson, president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Leadership Conference Education Fund, and Roy Lewis, photographer for the Washington Informer.

Folks on Sesame Street have a way of making everyone feel accepted,” Frazier Moore wrote Monday for the Associated Press. “That certainly goes for Julia, a Muppet youngster with blazing red hair, bright green eyes - and autism. Rather than being treated like an outsider, which too often is the plight of kids on the spectrum, Julia is one of the gang. . . .”

Karen Attiah

Loaded with weighty nuances on international development, politics, race relations and new media, Karen Attiah’s work has galvanized audiences across the nation, the African continent and the diaspora, to engage in meaningful conversations and discover opportunities to participate in change in their communities,” Eunice Onwona wrote Friday for okayafrica.com, a U.S.-based website on African culture. She noted that Attiah is the global opinions editor at the Washington Post and has worked as a freelance reporter for the Associated Press, Huffington Post, Sahara Reporters and several other notable news outlets and has a master’s degree in international relations from Columbia University.

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Mexican authorities should undertake a credible and thorough investigation into the murder of journalist Ricardo Monlui Cabrera,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said Monday. “Monlui was shot to death yesterday morning in the municipality of Yanga, in the eastern state of Veracruz, as he left a restaurant where he had eaten with his wife and son. He was 57. . . .”

Corey Dade (Syracuse University)

“I’ve been a devoted fan of your column for years. Your column should be indispensable for anyone in news and media relations.”

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Corey Dade, public affairs and crisis strategist; former journalist at NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston Globe and other outlets.

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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.