• President Meets Trifecta of Free-Press Violators
  • Washington Post Russia Scoop Sets Record
  • Staff Slips ‘Fake News’ Into Trump’s Media Diet
  • ‘Malicious, Unprecedented’ Effort Against Haitians
  • Coverage of Trayvon Martin Still at Issue
  • Rachel Swarns Leaving N.Y. Times for NYU
  • Salinas to Address Harvard Latinx Graduation
  • Grangenois In, Steiner Out at Morgan State Radio
  • Mexican Journalist Slain; Covered Crime
  • Short Takes
Turkey holds at least 81 journalists in jail, according to data compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists. (Yalibnan.com)

President Meets Trifecta of Free-Press Violators

When President Donald Trump meets tomorrow with Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, he will complete the press freedom violators trifecta,” Joel Simon, executive director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, wrote Monday for Columbia Journalism Review.

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“Trump has already met with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, whose country holds 25 journalists behind bars, and President Xi Jinping of China, where 38 journalists are imprisoned. Turkey holds at least 81 journalists in jail, according to data compiled by the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“These three countries are the world’s leading jailers of journalists and together account for more than half of all journalists imprisoned around the world. . . .”

Simon also wrote, “Along with the ceaselessly hostile rhetoric toward the US media — the rants about fake news, failing news organizations, and journalists as ‘enemies of the American people’ — Trump’s embrace of the world’s leading press freedom violators is serving to normalize media repression. The damage to the global press freedom movement is hard to overstate. . . .”

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Compared with former president Barack Obama, Simon continued, “. . . The Trump administration . . . is delivering a different message on the global stage.

“It is this: Journalists are contemptible, and governments that crack down on the media face no consequences in terms of their relationship with the US. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson all but institutionalized this position when he noted in a May 3 speech to all [State Department] employees that an ‘America First’ agenda means deemphasizing human rights.

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“That’s terrible news not only for the Turkish journalists languishing in jail but for all those around the world seeking to report independently in places where the government claims the power to determine the truth.”

Washington Post Russia Scoop Sets Record

President Trump revealed highly classified information to the Russian foreign minister and ambassador in a White House meeting last week, according to current and former U.S. officials, who said Trump’s disclosures jeopardized a critical source of intelligence on the Islamic State,” Greg Miller and Greg Jaffe reported Monday for the Washington Post.

Other news outlets rushed to confirm the scoop, and the Post story set a record for most readers per second, Glenn Kessler, the Post’s fact checker columnist, tweeted.

Staff Slips ‘Fake News’ Into Trump’s Media Diet

White House chief of staff Reince Priebus issued a stern warning at a recent senior staff meeting: Quit trying to secretly slip stuff to President Trump,” Shane Goldmacher reported Monday for Politico.

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“Just days earlier, K.T. McFarland, the deputy national security adviser, had given Trump a printout of two Time magazine covers. One, supposedly from the 1970s, warned of a coming ice age; the other, from 2008, about surviving global warming, according to four White House officials familiar with the matter.

“Trump quickly got lathered up about the media’s hypocrisy. But there was a problem. The 1970s cover was fake, part of an Internet hoax that’s circulated for years. Staff chased down the truth and intervened before Trump tweeted or talked publicly about it. . . .”

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Trump’s Madness Invites Mutiny

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Jonah Engel Bromwich, New York Times: ‘Morning Joe’ Hosts: Conway Said She Needed a Shower After Speaking for Trump

Lauretta Charlton, New Yorker: The Trump Administration’s Uneasy Relationship with Historically Black Schools

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Matt Gertz, Media Matters for America: Why The “Alt-Right” Is Getting Scoops From The Trump White House

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Nicholas Kristof, New York Times: Is President Trump Obstructing Justice?

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: There are none so blind as those who will not see racism

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The only realistic way to stop Trump

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Jim Rutenberg, New York Times: Politics, It Seems, Has Jolted Even the Idiot Box Awake

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Margaret Sullivan, Washington Post: ‘Dude fires people’: How the chaotic Trump news cycle confuses and misinforms the public

Charlie Warzel, BuzzFeed: What Happens When The Pro-Trump Media Get Actual Scoops?

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Eric Zorn, Chicago Tribune: FBI news overshadows Trump’s disturbing interview performance

Marianne, the subject of a Boston Globe story, attends Mass in Mattapan, Mass. She works 40 hours a week and sends $50 to her eldest son back in Haiti. (Pat Greenhouse/Boston Globe)

‘Malicious, Unprecedented’ Effort Against Haitians

It didn’t take long for Haitians to find out how President Trump really feels about them,” the Boston Globe editorialized on Sunday. “While campaigning last fall in Miami’s Little Haiti, he said: ‘The Haitian-American community adds so much to our country: dedication to family, perseverance, entrepreneurship.’

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“Now they, too, have fallen victim to his administration’s relentless efforts to criminalize immigrants and refugees left and right.

“About 58,000 Haitian beneficiaries of an emergency immigration program will see their status expire in July unless the administration approves an extension.

“As the Homeland Security secretary John Kelly weighs his decision, internal communications reported by the Associated Press last week reveal a malicious and unprecedented effort by the federal government that seems designed to find disingenuous reasons to cancel the program.

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“Top immigration officials have put out requests for derogatory information about those Haitians, including how many have been convicted of ‘crimes of any kind,’ and how many have been taking advantage of public benefits (which they are not even eligible to receive in the first place). The administration appears to hope it can find a few horror stories to justify disrupting the lives of thousands. . . .”

Maria Cramer, Boston Globe: Exiled by an earthquake, Haitians in Boston are in limbo

Coverage of Trayvon Martin Still at Issue

Yvette Miley (Socialmiami.com)

The National Association of Black Journalists announced Monday that it has selected Yvette Miley, MSNBC’s senior vice president of talent and diversity and executive editor, as recipient of its 2017 Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award.

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That didn’t sit well with Melissa Harris-Perry, who left MSNBC last year in a public dispute over pre-emptions of the weekend show she hosted. She refused to sign a non-disparagement clause that her husband, James Perry, said would have restricted her mentions of the network to those that were “positive or in her academic work.”

In an email to NABJ Monday, Harris-Perry zeroed in on this paragraph in the association’s news release:

A well-respected news executive, Miley was early in identifying the significance of the Black Lives Matter movement, the impact of the shooting of Trayvon Martin and the unrest in Ferguson.”

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Harris-Perry wrote, “You MUST be kidding right?

“She is the one who identified Trayvon Martin’s importance? I remember that being Jamil Smith and Shanta Covington on the MHP Show team.

Melissa Harris-Perry

“She thought Ferguson was important? I sure remember that as being the MHP staff.

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“And where is the part where she systematically fired, dismissed and gaslit black folk in national media while hiding behind the white boys at MSNBC?

“Please remove me from the NABJ mailing list.”

The case of Martin, a 17-year-old African American fatally shot on Feb. 26, 2012, in Sanford, Fla., by neighborhood watchman George Zimmerman, is widely cited as an example of the need for diversity in newsrooms.

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It’s likely that Martin’s death, which resulted in the arrest and indictment Wednesday of confessed shooter George Zimmerman, would never have crowded into the national consciousness had it not been for Martin’s family, its lawyers and an enterprising PR man,” Paul Farhi wrote on April 12, 2012, for the Washington Post.

“For the most part, the Martin story found the media, rather than vice versa. Outraged by the lack of an arrest, the Martin camp lobbied news outlets to examine what had happened that night in Sanford.

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“Eventually, the media did, and the story moved like a fast-burning fuse, leaping from traditional news sources to the blogosphere and social media. . . .” Journalists of color often took the lead.

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“I recall flagging it the day it was first reported in local Orlando press,” Smith, now at MTV, told Journal-isms on Monday. “Shortly after Trymaine Lee reported on it for HuffPost in early March 2012, that’s when we got going with a segment on it. Our first report happened on March 17,” on the Harris-Perry show.

Others have written that the first national report was done by CBS on March 8 when reporter Mark Strassmann, who is white, interviewed Martin’s father, Tracy Martin.

The next national report was issued by the Associated Press the next day,” [PDF] researcher Wes Benash wrote. “. . . By March 12th, the story had blown up nationally, reaching news broadcasts in all corners of the country. . . .”

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MSNBC declined to comment on Harris-Perry’s remarks.

Rachel Swarns Leaving N.Y. Times for NYU

Rachel L. Swarns, a New York Times correspondent since 1995 who has written books about Michelle Obama’s ancestry and is working on another about Georgetown University’s slaveholding past, is joining New York University’s Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute as an associate professor, the university announced on Monday.

Rachel L. Swarns

Marc Lacey, the Times’ national editor, wrote the Times staff:

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“. . . Rachel (who is currently on leave working on a book based on her spectacular articles about Georgetown University’s relationship with slavery) is leaving The Times to become an associate professor of journalism at NYU; it’s a tenure-track faculty position that will allow her to continue writing books and articles and to focus on her passion for 19th century American history.

“That she will be missed is an understatement. ‘She is one of our finest and most empathetic writers,’ says [Executive Editor] Dean (Baquet.) ‘She can see things in her subjects that others miss because she listens.’

“Rachel’s journalism is matched only by her laugh, which [Metro editor] Wendell [Jamieson] noticed after luring her to Metro to write a column:

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“ ‘Bringing Rachel Swarns back to Metro was one of my greatest coups, and reading the work she did here, and then the work she’s done since, one of my greatest joys. She is a reporter and writer of rare sensitivity. And she has one of the best laughs in the building — when one of my jokes lands well with her, and she lets it out, my day is officially made. Boy will I miss that.’

“Rachel is the author of ‘American Tapestry: The Story of the Black, White and Multiracial Ancestors of Michelle Obama,’ published in 2012. She is a co-author of ‘Unseen: Unpublished Black History from The New York Times Photo Archives,’ a project that grew out of [the] Race/Related [newsletter] that will be published . . . in October.

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“She also serves as an academic advisor to the African American Civil War Museum in Washington, D.C., which is launching an exhibit based on her book about Michelle Obama’s ancestors.

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“Lest you think all that talent is disappearing altogether from our newsroom, fear not. Rachel will continue to write for us occasionally, and please tune in every Wednesday night for the Race/Related Facebook Live show that she produces with John Eligon.”

Maria Elena Salinas in 2016 at Cal State Fullerton (screengrab from Cal State Fullerton College of Communications video)

Salinas to Address Harvard Latinx Graduation

The Harvard Latinx Student Alliance, “the pan-Harvard organization of Latinx students,” announced Saturday its “third annual Harvard Latinx Graduation with a keynote address from award-winning journalist and co-anchor of ‘Noticiero Univision,’ María Elena Salinas.

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“The Harvard Latinx Graduation celebrates the families and accomplishments of graduating HLSA members from the United States and Puerto Rico and Harvard’s College, Graduate and Professional Schools.

“ . . . The event, which is closed to the public, will take place at 5:00 PM at Harvard University on Tuesday, May 23 . . .”

Laura Ly, CNN: Harvard to host commencement ceremony honoring black students

Grangenois In, Steiner Out at Morgan State Radio

Mireille Grangenois

Talk-show host Marc Steiner is leaving Baltimore’s WEAA-FM, run by Morgan State University, after nine years, David Zurawik reported Wednesday for the Baltimore Sun.

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DeWayne Wickham, dean of Morgan’s School of Global Journalism and Communication, told Steiner that the school would no longer be contributing to the production of his program.

Zurawik also wrote, “Wickham said when he turned his attention to the radio station this year, he saw an operation that was not serving its educational goals.

“ ‘What I saw was an organization that had lost its way,’ he said.

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“All our programming was done by professionals, and students had very little involvement in the production of the content. And I could not justify it. I could not justify continuing to fund Marc Steiner’s show, as fine a show as he has.’ . . .

“Not renewing Steiner’s contract, according to Wickham, is part of the larger transformation to serve the school’s educational mission.

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“Wickham said the school recently brought in Mireille Grangenois, former publisher of The Chronicle of Higher Education, as interim general manager to start that change process. . . .”

Tweet reads, “The College of Journalists and Writers of Sinaloa ‘José Cayetano Valades’ condemn killing of Javier Valdez.”

Mexican Journalist Slain; Covered Crime

Javier Valdez, an award-winning reporter who specialised in covering drug trafficking and organised crime, was murdered in the northern Mexico state of Sinaloa, the latest in a wave of journalist killings in one of the world’s most dangerous countries for media workers,” Al Jazeera reported on Tuesday.

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“Valdez’s killing on Monday makes him at least the fifth journalist to be murdered in Mexico in just over two months, and the second high-profile reporter to be slain in the country over the past few years after Regina Martinez Perez, who was found strangled in her home in 2012.

“A Sinaloa state government official said Valdez, 50, was shot dead in the early afternoon in the state capital, Culiacan, near the offices of the publication he had co-founded, Riodoce. The official was not authorised to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity, the Associated Press news agency reported. . . .”

Short Takes

In the long and raucous, altogether lively if recently beleaguered history of Chicago newspapers, Monday will rank as a ‘stop-the-presses’ day after it was announced that, in short headline style: ‘Chicago Tribune Seeks To Buy Chicago Sun-Times,’ “ Rick Kogan reported for the Tribune. . . .”

‘She lived with my family for 56 years. She raised me and my siblings, and cooked and cleaned from dawn to dark — always without pay. I was 11, a typical American kid, before I realized she was my family’s slave,’ “ the Atlantic wrote Monday on Facebook. “In our June issue, Alex Tizon tells Lola’s story. Look for it online tomorrow.” Tizon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and professor, died March 23 at age 57.

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They are called ‘must-runs,’ and they arrive every day at television stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group — short video segments that are centrally produced by the company,” Sydney Ember reported Friday for the New York Times. He also wrote, “During the election campaign last year, it sent out a package that suggested in part that voters should not support Hillary Clinton because the Democratic Party was historically pro-slavery. More recently, Sinclair asked stations to run a short segment in which Scott Livingston, the company’s vice president for news, accused the national news media of publishing ‘fake news stories.’ . . .”

“ESPN rising stars Bomani Jones, host of ESPN Radio’s The Right Time with Bomani Jones, and Pablo Torre, senior writer for ESPN The Magazine and ESPN.com, will host a newly created one-hour live program premiering Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 on ESPN from noon - 1 p.m. ET,” the network announced on Tuesday. “More details about the show will be announced at a later date. . . .”

Angela Tuck

For African-Americans, the isolation of living in a racially segregated neighborhood may lead to an important health issue: higher blood pressure,” Carmen Heredia Rodriguez reported Monday for Kaiser Health News. “A study published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine suggested blacks living in such areas experienced higher blood pressure than those living in more diverse communities. . . .”

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Angela Tuck, who retired from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution in 2015 after 25 years at the paper, including time as public editor, has joined the Greenville (S.C.) News and Independent Mail as senior engagement editor. “I’ve been a resident of the Upstate for all of two weeks and I’ve already visited three places of worship. I look forward to visiting more,” she told readers on Friday.

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Our journalism lost its focus on local,” Michael Oreskes, NPR’s senior vice president of news and editorial director, wrote for the spring issue of Columbia Journalism Review. “We tend to talk about this as if we were passive victims of a great disruption that decimated the business models that had made local coverage an enormous profit center. But it was more than that. And we need to face that reality if we have any hope of bringing local back to the heart of American journalism, for our own sake and the country’s. . . .”

The media’s progress — or lack of — in reporting news from diverse perspectives since Detroit’s 1967 riots was the focus of a panel on Saturday at The Detroit Historical Museum,” Jennifer Chambers reported Saturday for the Detroit News. She also wrote, “Diversity in newsroom and in media has improved since that time, many panelists agreed, but storytelling from the perspective of minority reporters remained critically important and remained lacking in many cases. . . .”


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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.