From the ABC drama "Scandal" to miniseries on the histories of Latinos and of African Americans to close-up looks at urban high schools and NPR's "The Race Project," the George Foster Peabody Awards announced Wednesday were enriched by the lives and work of people of color.
"The Peabodys come from the University of Georgia Grady School of Journalism. The honor signifies excellence on television, radio and the Internet," the school explained. The record 46 winners were announced on "CBS This Morning."
Eric Deggans, NPR television critic and a first-time Peabody board member, told Journal-isms by email, "I think you'd be hard-pressed to find another major general-interest TV/media award with as much diversity as this Peabody list."
Charlayne Hunter-Gault, the veteran journalist, three-time Peabody recipient and Peabody board member, joined Ira Glass, host and executive producer of the public radio series "This American Life," in announcing the honorees on "CBS This Morning."
Hunter-Gault told Journal-isms by email, "I am so happy to work with a group of people committed to excellence and that they see it in so many works by and about African Americans, among others."
TVNewsCheck reported, "Issues of race and ethnicity were explored in several impressive recipients: The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates Jr. and Latino Americans, both shown on PBS, traced the history and the ongoing influence of peoples whose presence here predates the forming of the United States. Ken Burns' The Central Park Five, also on PBS, revisited [an] infamous New York rape case that wrongly sent five black and Latino teenagers to prison. National Public Radio reporter Michelle Norris' The Race Card Project used six-word summations of listeners' thoughts about race as the basis of remarkably telling feature reports."
Among the winners are:
"180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School (PBS)
National Black Programming Consortium, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, PBS
"Chronicling a year at Washington Metropolitan, aka DC Met, it's an intimate, unvarnished portrait of a high-poverty high school and the challenges facing students, teachers and administrators."
The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (PBS)
"Thirteen, Inkwell Films, Kunhardt McGee Productions in association with Ark Media
"A long time coming, not to mention five years in the making, Gates' history of African Americans, their trials, their triumphs and their ongoing influence on this nation, reaches back five centuries to find stories that inspire, unsettle, surprise and illuminate."
Best Kept Secret (PBS)
"American Documentary / POV, BKS Films, LLC
"The 'secret' at Newark's poor John F. Kennedy High School is its unexpectedly resourceful program for special-needs students, especially autistic teens. This documentary — frank, poignant, never simplistic — immerses viewers in the struggles of three autistic kids and one dedicated teacher."
The Bridge (FX)
"Shine America and FX Productions
"A crime drama set in motion by a murder victim left literally on the border of West Texas and Northern Mexico, its rare, non-stereotypical depiction of two cultures rubbing against and informing each other is as fascinating as the mystery."
The Central Park Five (PBS)
"Florentine Films, WETA
"A tragic story, finally told in full, The Central Park Five reexamines not only the case of black and Latino teenagers from Harlem who were railroaded and wrongly imprisoned for a rape but the climate of fear and the media frenzy that surrounded their trial."
Fault Lines: Haiti in a Time of Cholera (Al Jazeera America)
"Al Jazeera America
"Nearly 8,000 Haitians have died of cholera since the island was devastated by an earthquake in 2010, and more than half a million others have been infected. Fault Lines presses for accountability as it reports mounting scientific evidence that U.N. peacekeepers were the source of the epidemic."
FRONTLINE: League of Denial: The NFL's Concussion Crisis (PBS)
"FRONTLINE, Kirk Documentary Group
"Undeterred by the National Football League's defense, FRONTLINE's investigative team produced a solidly-sourced, high-impact documentary about the extent of brain damage among players, a story still reverberating throughout the world of sports."
Harper High School (WBEZ Chicago 91.5)
"WBEZ Chicago's This American Life
"A trio of This American Life reporters embedded themselves for five month at Harper, a Chicago high school where gun violence was epidemic, and produced a pair of hour-long documentaries that were vivid, unblinking, poignant, and sometimes gut-wrenching."
In Plain Sight: Poverty in America (NBC & [http://www.nbcnews.com/feature/in-plain-sight/plain-sight-poverty-america-n69736])
"Many faces and forms of poverty, some predictable, some startling, are highlighted in NBC News' wide-ranging, multi-platform project, geared to the 50th anniversary of President Lyndon Johnson's declaration of 'war' on the scourge."
Key & Peele (Comedy Central)
"It's like Abbott and Costello Meet Richard Pryor when the duo of Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele fearlessly apply their mischievous minds and satirical savvy to racially aware sketches both broad and incisive."
Latino Americans (PBS)
"WETA, LPB (Latino Public Broadcasting), Bosch & Company, ITVS
"A revelation no doubt for many viewers, the documentary series' six fascinating installments traced a people's history that's older than the United States itself and showed how Latinos, rendered to foreigners in a land their ancestors colonized, are now reshaping it."
The Race Card Project (NPR's Morning Edition)
"The Race Card Project, NPR News, NPR's Morning Edition
"Undercutting the term's political, pejorative meaning, Michelle Norris' website project and NPR series defines 'race card' literally, inviting listeners to share six-word summations of their racial ideas and experiences that became the basis of compelling reports about race, pride, prejudice and identity."
The announcement continued, "Ira Glass will host this year's Peabody Awards event on May 19. It will air on Pivot, Participant Media's network, later this spring."
Center for Investigative Reporting: CIR wins Peabody Award for investigation of VA’s soaring use of opiates
Andrew Lapin, Current.org: Independent Lens, PRX, American Graduate among Peabody honorees
A national online survey of Latino journalists found "guarded optimism" about the future in light of technological changes, according to the "2014 State of Hispanic Journalists Report," released Tuesday. The characterization applied to both English and Spanish-language Latino journalists.
The survey, using the media databases of the Hispanicize event partnership and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, was conducted by California State University Fullerton, Hispanicize, NAHJ, and Florida International University. Participants were 294 Latino journalists living in the United States.
"Overall there was an even balance of perceptions about the climate for Latino journalists [PDF] with 34% indicating they were still less optimistic, 34% [seeing] no change in the past few years, and 32% seeing more opportunity," according to a summary.
"53% believed the economic problems in the media industry impacted everybody equally regardless of ethnicity, while 39% indicated a greater negative impact on Hispanics.
"59% indicated that the growth in online and social media was having a positive impact on their careers.
"58% indicated their organizations were ready to adapt technologically and to grow despite the challenges presented by online and social media.
Entrepreneurism and the entrepreneurial spirit were reflected in the results:
"41% of respondents indicated they currently blogged.
"42% rated their blog as either successful or very successful.
"54% reported that if online and social media proved economically viable they would be likely to start their own digital content platform in the next year.
"When respondents were asked to identify the TOP issue that will impact Latino journalists in the next 5 years the results indicated that:
"31% saw Technology and the growth of online and social media platforms as the main issue.
"19% saw Economics as the main issue with threats to financial stability and low pay as main themes.
"17% saw Demographic shifts and changes in language (such as bilingualism) and culture shaping the industry. . . ."
The report was released at the Hispanicize 2014 conference that continues until Friday in Miami.
Robert Schoon, Latin Post: Hispanicize 2014 Kicks Off with "The State of Hispanic Journalists" Report of First Ever Survey
Carmen Sesin, NBC News: Tapping Latinos' Growing Influence at "Hispanicize 2014" (April 3)
"Both Telemundo and Univision are pushing back against a study released Monday by a conservative-leaning organization that said the two networks show a markedly liberal stance in their evening news programs, Hadas Gold reported Tuesday for Politico.
"The report by the Media Research Center's new Latino-focused group MRC Latino, found that from November through February, Noticiero Univision and Noticiero Telemundo focused most of their domestic U.S. policy stories on immigration and the new health care law, and featured liberal or left-leaning guests and viewpoints more often than conservatives.
"Telemundo spokesperson Camilo Pino said the program offers objective information.
"Noticias Telemundo stands for accuracy, fairness and independence, while we strive to meet the highest ethical standards in the industry. We are devoted to our audience of U.S. Hispanics and strive to offer them the most reliable and objective information on the subjects that matter the most to them," Pino said in a statement. "The journalistic principles that rule our work ensure that our news coverage is transparent, impartial and factual.
"As for the political affiliation of the people and groups interviewed or cited, MRC said conservatives should work harder at outreach and getting themselves on these shows, while also faulting networks for not featuring more conservative voices.
"But Gabriela Domenzain, a principal at The Raben Group and former Director of Hispanic Media for Obama's 2012 campaign, said that when she worked at both Univision and Telemundo conservative guests often didn't want to appear on the network even when invited. . . ."
Hadas Gold, Politico: Report: Univision, Telemundo skew liberal
"Today, we’ll hear official word of the demise of Project Thunderdome, one of the news industry’s highest-profile experiments in centralized, digital-first, mobile-friendly, new-news-partner content creation," Ken Doctor wrote Wednesday for Nieman Journalism Lab.
"Digital First Media CEO John Paton first announced the creation of what became a 50-plus person, New York City-based operation three years ago.
"In the closing, and in other cuts at Digital First Media, we see the impact of unending high-single-digit loss in print advertising. The ongoing devastation in print is overwhelming even DFM’s relatively faster pace of digital innovation. . . ."
Roger Yu added Wednesday for USA Today, "While other newspaper companies, including USA TODAY publisher Gannett, has adopted the approach, DFM's experiment — called Project Thunderdome — was one of the earliest industry efforts to allow local newspaper staffs to focus on local news while a separate team of reporters and editors produced national news and digital-first content at another centralized location."
Hadas Gold reported for Politico, "Digital First Media's Editor-in-Chief Jim Brady advertised on behalf of his soon-to-be former staffers in a tweet on Wednesday morning."
Those staffers include Nelson Hsu, graphics editor; Daniel Fuentes, interaction designer; Yvonne Leow, director of video; Meena Thiruvengadam, business channel manager; Bianca Prieto, SWAT reporter; Kim Bui, senior breaking news producer; Laura Li, intern; and Angela Carter, features producer.
Gold continued, "The demise of Thunderdome is another example of the incredibly difficult landscape of local news. No one seems to have found the formula on how to do local in a quality and profitable way. Two months ago, AOL sold a majority of Patch to a private equity company and then laid off two-thirds of its editorial staff. In November, the Tribune Company laid off some 700 staffers across its newspapers, including the Los Angeles Times, the Chicago Tribune and six other dailies. . . ."
Gold added that Paton announced in a memo that "Brady and Project Thunderdome Editor Robyn Tomlin will leave Digital First Media."
"In the May issue of EBONY magazine, the publication partnered with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) to release the State of the Black Family Survey," the Johnson Publishing Co. said on Tuesday. "In the study, a national sample of 1,005 African-American respondents identified job loss and financial insecurity as the number one issue confronting Black families.
"The survey polled African-Americans on their views on the economy, education, relationships, race relations, health care, employment, finances and media trends."
A majority of survey respondents agreed that the media's portrayal of African Americans was "generally negative," and only 9 percent said it was "generally positive."
The study also found:
"84% of respondents [say] racial discrimination still pervades American society.
"74% think society isn't doing enough to support young men and boys of color.
"Almost two-thirds of respondents say they are better off financially than they were five years ago, but 82% are concerned that Whites still make more than Blacks for doing the same jobs.
"52% see the media portrayal of African-Americans as generally negative.
"60% of respondents agree we are making progress in providing access to health care.
"50%, however, feel that we are losing ground in reducing the gap between rich and poor.
"Almost 1/3 are concerned that their children are not getting a quality education.
"44% of survey respondents said they know someone that has been killed or committed suicide.
"30% said 'improving the creating more jobs/good paying jobs' [was] top issue of concern.
The survey, conducted by telephone in February by Lester & Associates, said about news media consumption:
"Nearly two-thirds (63 percent) of African Americans say they rely on television news more than any other news source. Slightly more than 10 percent (12 percent) rely on the Internet, while 9 percent depend on major daily regional or national newspapers for news. Seven percent depend on social media the most for their news. An additional 4 percent rely on radio and 2 percent on other sources. Only 1 percent report relying on African-American newspapers. Two percent of respondents say they 'don't know.' "
It also said, "Differences in the sources of news that survey respondents rely on can also be seen by education level. More than seven out of 10 (74 percent) survey respondents who graduated from high school rely on television news the most. A similar percentage of respondents with less than a high school education (64 percent) and respondents with some college education (64 percent) rely on television news.
"These numbers dropped considerably among those with a bachelor's degree (51 percent) or higher (47 percent). Respondents with a college degree are more likely to say they rely on the Internet (20 percent) the most for news, while respondents with a graduate degree are more likely to rely on major daily regional or national newspapers (22 percent) than other respondents. . . ."
The survey "also found that 88 percent of respondents are 'very satisfied' or 'somewhat satisfied' with their quality of life," the W.K. Kellogg Foundation added in its news release.
"Despite the many problems and challenges African Americans face in 2014, they display the same strength and resilience that has characterized their [400-year] struggle in America,” said Ron Lester, who heads Lester & Associates. 'Most express high levels of satisfaction with their lives in general and in the aggregate, they have an estimated buying power of over $1 trillion dollars annually. Yet at the same time, many problems persist.' . . . "
The remaining results are in the May issue of Ebony. Part two of the survey is scheduled for the June issue.
"From birth, the average black child in America is at a relative disadvantage, according to an Annie E. Casey Foundation study released Tuesday," Rebecca Klein reported for HuffPost BlackVoices.
Klein also wrote, "As America becomes increasingly diverse, the Casey Foundation report looked at how five racial groups fare against a dozen milestones in stages of life from birth to adulthood, including the number of eighth-graders with math proficiency and the number of young adults who are in school or working. The report, titled the Race for Results, finds that while no group perfectly meets every milestone, Asian-Americans fare the best and African-Americans do the worst. . . ."
Annie E. Casey Foundation: Race for Results: Building a Path to Opportunity for All Children
Rick Cohen, Nonprofit Quarterly: How the Kellogg Foundation Takes On Structural Racism
Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: Powerful yet vulnerable black women: A contradiction rooted in history
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Think you know everything about poor folks?
Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Young black men with dreadlocks are often perceived as thugs
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: The true face of poverty
Justin Slaughter, San Francisco Public Press: Poor Is the New Black: Segregation in San Francisco Today (March 26)
Robert L. Woodson Sr., Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: How to triumph over poverty
"Fox News yesterday took a pounding among critics for putting up a misleading chart about Obamacare," Erik Wemple wrote Tuesday for the Washington Post. "Here it was, as revealed by Media Matters for America:
"The numbers were right, the proportions were off. Six million is not one-third of 7 million-plus. The chart appeared to channel the network's most deeply held wishes — namely, that President Obama's key domestic program had a LONG way to go before reaching its enrollment goals. This morning, the network made clear that it is listening. It posted a correction of the chart . . . "
Daniel Angster and Salvatore Colleluori, Media Matters for America: Study: Top NC Newspapers Miss Coverage Gap In Reporting On Medicaid Expansion
Perry Bacon Jr., the Grio: Why the latest Obamacare 'delay' is a good thing (March 26)
Ryan Chittum, Columbia Journalism Review: Audit Notes: WSJ’s Obamacare frame, undercover, too big to fail The Journal’s angle slants against HealthCare.gov
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Do you want your employer involved in your medical decisions? (March 26)
Trudy Lieberman, Columbia Journalism Review: What’s missing from Medicaid coverage: actual people (March 27)
Media Matters for America: CNN's Reliable Sources Highlights How Conservative Media Downplay Positive Obamacare News
Charles Ornstein, ProPublica: Judging Obamacare: How Do We Know If It's a Success or Failure?
Bob Ray Sanders, Star-Telegram, Fort Worth, Texas: Healthcare plan is working despite the efforts by the Obama haters
Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Obamacare official stiff-arms New York Times
While opponents of media consolidation and such groups as the National Association of Black Journalists applauded Monday's decision by the Federal Communications Commission to curb shared services agreements, the National Association of Broadcasters denounced it.
A JSA, or joint sales agreement, is between two stations in the same market in which one station is authorized to sell advertising time on the other. A shared services agreement, or SSA, "allows same market stations to share resources, such as employees, administrative services, or hard assets, such as a news helicopter," as the FCC defines it. Opponents say such agreements eliminate journalists' jobs and inhibit diversity of ownership. The NAB disagreed.
"For a decade, Republican and Democratically-controlled FCCs have approved JSAs, which allow free and local TV stations to survive in a hyper-competitive world dominated by pay TV giants. That model is now declared illegal, based on the arguments of pay TV companies whose collaborative interconnect advertising sales practices make JSAs seem pale by comparison," NAB Executive Vice President of Communications Dennis Wharton said in a statement Monday.
"It's disappointing the FCC would take this action without first completing its 2010 statutorily mandated media ownership review. As the record before the Commission clearly shows, the public interest will not be served by this arbitrary and capricious decision."
Brendan Sasso reported Monday for the National Journal that "Ajit Pai, a Republican FCC commissioner, said the order is the 'most problematic' he has encountered in his two years at the agency. The agency's other Republican, Michael O'Rielly, called it an 'unjustified step backwards.'
"The Republican commissioners argued that the FCC should be loosening — not tightening — its media ownership rules. Limitations on how many newspapers a TV company can own in a market are especially outdated, they argued. . . ."
Doug Halonen, TVNewsCheck: High-Stakes Duel In D.C.: NAB Vs. FCC (April 3)
Jennifer G. Hickey, newsmax.com: FCC Rules Are Barrier to Diversity, Critics Say
Michael Malone, Broadcasting & Cable: Station Stocks Hold Up Amid JSA News
Tracie Powell, Columbia Journalism Review: Shared Service Agreement limits in the crosshairs
"Top-rated WLS-Channel 7 is bringing on board Terrell Brown as a general assignment reporter and contributing anchor," Lewis Lazare reported Tuesday for Chicago Business Journal. "Brown starts his new job on Apr. 14. Brown most recently was an anchor and correspondent at CBS News in New York City, where he appeared on 'Up To the Minute' and the 'CBS Morning News' and served as fill-in anchor for the weekend editions of the flagship 'CBS Evening News.' He was at CBS News from 2009 through 2014. . . ."
"So stoked to announce that Alex Abad-Santos is joining us as a culture writer!" according to a social-media message Wednesday from Vox Media, Ezra Klein's journalism startup that is among those criticized for lack of diversity. Abad-Santos added to the message: "For the past two and a half years I've been working at The Wire née The Atlantic Wire (Atlantic Media's news site, not the popular television show). During my time there, I've covered a variety of topics ranging from hot physics gossip about the Higgs boson, to Kim Yu-Na's triple lutz, to the ways Scandal has been hiding Kerry Washington's baby bump. . . ." Abad-Santos, 31, messaged Journal-isms that he is Filipino and said he starts on April 21.
"Oprah Winfrey and her TV network were once plagued by poor ratings, but now they have a reason to celebrate," Chris Witherspoon reported Tuesday for the Grio. "OWN, the first, and so far only, network inspired by a single individual, scored its most-watched quarter in network history, averaging 508,000 total viewers and delivering double-digit growth across all demos versus the previous quarter, making OWN the fastest-growing cable network for women 25-54. . . ."
"The Blade and two of its journalists, who were detained Friday by military security outside the General Dynamics Lima tank plant and whose cameras were confiscated, filed complaints Tuesday with the Federal Bureau of Investigation," Nolan Rosenkrans reported Tuesday for the Blade in Toledo, Ohio. The journalists are reporter Tyrel Linkhorn and photographer Jetta Fraser.
"Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez says her planned digital newspaper is just weeks away from its debut, with a dozen staffers getting last minute training and looking for novel ways to distribute the reports with text messages, emails and digital memory devices," Ivonne Gomez and Juan O. Tamayo reported Tuesday for the Miami Herald. They also wrote, "She coyly declined to reveal the name of the publication — a risky endeavor in a country where the communist government controls all newspapers, radio and television outlets. . . ."
Time magazine has promoted 10 journalists and added three, Chris O'Shea reported Tuesday for FishbowlNY. Daniel Kile, a spokesman for Time, did not respond to an inquiry about whether any were African American. Time has no black correspondents.
"Reliable sources tell me that the long delay in approving the Feb.-March issue of the San Quentin News was due to Sacramento's uneasiness about a piece on transgenders in prison," William Drummond, journalism professor at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote Wednesday to his Facebook followers. "Yes, 'gender variant' inmates are serving time in men's prisons. The piece, as published, is low-key, factual, even clinical. Availability of brassieres is an issue. Read all about it on page 20 of the latest issue www.sanquentinnews.com (Feb-March 2014)."
The African-American Public Radio Consortium has begun a 40-day, $40,000 crowdsourcing campaign for "The Spin," "a bold new show that exposes us to progressive women and ideas we should all know about." It is hosted by "International journalist, pundit, playwright and host Esther Armah," and plans to feature such guests as Asha Bandele, editor and author; author and filmmaker dream hampton; journalists Jamilah Lemieux and Charisse Jones; scholar Blair Kelley; and Joan Morgan, Jamaican cultural critic. Listeners can hear the pilot.
"Former Giants sack master Michael Strahan is on the verge of tackling a new job — co-host of ABC's 'Good Morning America,' " Don Kaplan and Bill Hutchinson reported Tuesday for the Daily News in New York.
The Rev. Dr. Barbara A. Reynolds, author, columnist and activist, is being inducted into the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers Thursday, in a ceremony to take place on the Morehouse campus in Atlanta. "The Board of Preachers is comprised of ordained ministers from the Christian tradition as well as faith leaders ([Rabbis, Imams], Priests, etc.) from a wide array of global spiritual and ethical traditions. These diverse individuals have exhibited a commitment to and/or promise for using their positions of religious leadership to promote peace, tolerance, interfaith understanding, healing, reconciliation and cosmopolitan social progress," according to the college's Martin Luther King Jr. International Chapel.
"Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff has issued a defense of a Brazilian journalist who says she has received rape threats after launching a campaign against rape on her Facebook page," the Associated Press reported Tuesday from Sao Paulo, Brazil. "Rousseff sent a Twitter post Monday saying that journalist 'Nana Queiroz deserves all my solidarity and respect.' . . . "
The National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications has named the 2014 class of Next Generation Leaders Awards, which honor executives "for their professional acumen and achievements in fostering multi-ethnic diversity and inclusion within the communications industry." Honorees are "Sean Coar, group vice president, Strategy and Business Decisions, Media, Time Warner Cable; Isaac Lee, CEO, Fusion, and president, Univision News; Nodir Nazarov, vice president, IP Network Technology, Cablevision Systems Corporation and Shana C. Waterman, senior vice president, Event Series Development & Production, FOX Broadcasting Company. . . ."
In the San Francisco Bay area, "Veronica De La Cruz has been named anchor for KPIX 5/KBCW, effective Monday, May 5," the stations announced on Tuesday. "She will co-anchor the 6pm newscast, Monday through Friday on KPIX 5 with Ken Bastida, and the 10pm Monday through Friday newscast on KBCW, also with Ken Bastida. De La Cruz comes from MSNBC, where she anchored and reported. She was a host of MSNBC’s 'First Look,' as well as for NBC’s 'Early Today Show,' and she served as a correspondent for both NBC and MSNBC. . . ." Story.
"A major step has been taken towards the protection of journalists," Catherine Taibi reported Tuesday for the Huffington Post. "A resolution adopted by the UN Human Rights Council on Friday now acknowledges 'the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of peaceful protests.' Reporters Without Borders announced Tuesday that it 'recognizes and endorses' the duties of journalists covering protests and demonstrations and denounces any attacks against the journalists as they fulfill these duties. . . ."
"Why should Europeans care — and why should European leaders do more than propose prizes for Ethiopia's terrified journalists, no matter how well meaning these honours?" Alison Bethel McKenzie, executive director of the International Press Institute, wrote Tuesday in a commentary published by EurActiv.com, a Brussels-based news and policy website. The answer: "Because Europe has a major investment in the wellbeing of Ethiopia and its people. . . ."
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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.