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Year's Posting Keeps Diversity Among Drive-Time Co-Hosts

Audie Cornish, who began hosting NPR's "Weekend Edition Sunday" just two months ago, will replace Michele Norris as co-host of "All Things Considered" while Norris takes a one-year leave from her hosting role, NPR announced on Wednesday. The move keeps an African American woman in the co-host slot.

In her note to the NPR staff Wednesday, Margaret Low Smith, acting senior vice president for news, wrote:

"While it was a tough decision to move Audie (albeit temporarily) from a program she has quickly made her own, her skills and experience make her the ideal person to step in. She is a warm and familiar voice to NPR audiences and an outstanding journalist and storyteller. Audie will be a wonderful compliment to Robert [Siegel] and Melissa [Block]. And, in an Election year, her experience covering Capitol Hill and the 2008 presidential election will be a huge plus."


Spokeswoman Anna Christopher said by email, "Audie will move from Weekend Edition Sunday to ATC in early January. We will do an internal search for a one-year host for Weekend Edition Sunday.

"For the rest of this year, Guy Raz has already started co-hosting the show for the month of November. Lynn Neary will be part of the December lineup."


Last week, NPR announced that Norris would take a leave from the hosting job until after the 2012 elections because her husband, Broderick Johnson, accepted a senior adviser position with President Obama's reelection campaign.

Norris said then, "I will be wearing a different hat for a while, producing signature segments and features and working on new reporting projects. While I will of course recuse myself from all election coverage, there's still an awful lot of ground that I can till in this interim role."


* Michael H. Cottman, Obama Advisor Has 'Strong Sense of Duty'

* Brentin Mock, What's the Solution to NPR's Diversity Problem?

* Edward Wyckoff Williams, Who Is Michele Norris' Husband?

A Year Later, Students Await Chicago Defender Scholarship

A year ago, at what it called its "signature event," a gala at the Hyatt Regency Hotel's Crystal Ballroom, the Chicago Defender presented its Abbott-Sengstacke journalism scholarships to Bonita Holmes, a junior at Chicago's Columbia College, and Shari' Nycole Welton, a graduate student at Northwestern University.


The Defender is preparing for another such gala on Nov. 19.

But last year's students are still awaiting their scholarships.

"Unfortunately I have yet to receive my scholarship award and to be frank it's quite upsetting to me," Welton messaged Journal-isms on Saturday. "After an entire year I haven't received anything from the Defender with regards to the scholarship besides apology letters and emails pertaining to why they can't and haven't given me something I feel I've earned." Her scholarship was for $2,500.


In a later message, Welton said she was simply disappointed. "Since the day I found out I won the Defender scholarship, I've graduated with a Masters degree from Northwestern University and landed a job here in Chicago. I truly feel if I never receive the scholarship money, God will continue to provide for me, so I'm not bitter, just a bit disappointed about how this situation has turned out," she said this week.

Michael House, the Defender's president, told Journal-isms on Wednesday that Welton and Holmes would receive their money before the upcoming dinner. "We were waiting for the funding from our donor," whose identity he would not reveal. House said he is hoping to award at least five scholarships.


Nearly two weeks ago, House laid off the Defender's top two editors, Executive Editor Lou Ransom and News Editor Rhonda Jones-Gillespie, as well as an accounts receivables staffer. Kathy Chaney has been named managing editor.

In a front-page message in the weekly's Oct. 26-Nov. 1 edition, House said:

". . . We're confident about a favorable balance of the year. Our plans include — with help of our business and community partners — a Health Fair, other community events and town hall meetings. It is imperative that our readers and advertisers understand the Chicago Defender remains open for business and committed to bringing you news relevant to Chicago's Black community."


Robert S. Abbott published the Defender's first issue on May 5, 1905. The paper is credited with triggering the Great Migration of blacks from the rural South to the industrial North after World War II. But the 1997 death of longtime publisher John H. Sengstacke "ushered in a period of family squabbling, estate-tax indebtedness, and caretaker ownership that repeatedly frustrated would-be buyers," Mark Fitzgerald wrote in 2003 in Editor & Publisher.

Under its new owners, African American businessmen operating as Real Times Inc., the Defender went from a daily to a weekly, among other changes. Its paid circulation is about 16,800, House said.


Welton told Journal-isms she wishes the paper the best. "My hope for the Chicago Defender is that they find a way to ease their financial woes and continue to service the community as they have for so many decades,"  she said. "Once again, if I never receive the Defender scholarship, I'll feel more at ease if I can be assured the Chicago Defender, a pillar in Black communities throughout Chicago, can withstand its recent financial hardships and continue on its quest to empower and enlighten the Black community."

Chicagoans Plan Nation's First Monument to Ida B. Wells

Chicagoans plan to build the nation’s first monument to the iconic anti-lynching publisher Ida B. Wells, according to her great-granddaughter, Michelle Duster. The monument is to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Wells’ birth on July 16, 1862.


“She’s included on a wall in Nashville, TN, and part of the exhibit at the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, but there are no monuments to her anywhere,” Duster told Journal-isms.

Since 1983, the National Association of Black Journalists has presented the Ida B. Wells Award “to a media executive, manager or journalist who has made outstanding contributions toward making American newsrooms and news coverage more accurately reflect the communities they serve.” Until recently, the award was presented jointly with the National Conference of Editorial Writers. The Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University remains a co-sponsor.


A news release said Tuesday:

"The Ida B. Wells Commemorative Art Committee is pleased to announce the development of a monument to honor the life and times of the historic Ida B. Wells — journalist, teacher, anti-lynching crusader, women’s rights activist and civil rights pioneer. To celebrate the upcoming 150th anniversary of Ms. Wells’ birth, July 16, 2012, world-renowned artist Richard Hunt, who is Chicago based, will create a monument which will be located in Bronzeville on the median strip on 37th & Langley. Once completed, the monument will be donated by the committee to the City of Chicago’s Public Art Collection.


"Ida B. Wells lived, worked and raised a family in the Bronzeville neighborhood of Chicago from 1895–1931. A housing project was named after her and stood in the neighborhood for over 60 years. In 2002 the last buildings were torn down."

The Chicago Office of Tourism and Culture is the funding agent for the project. Wells is also being honored Nov. 16 by the organizers of the proposed National Women’s History Museum with a ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, and is being inducted into the Chicago Literary Hall of Fame on Nov. 15.


Is Samuel L. Jackson News Five Years Late?

You must have seen this somewhere recently. Samuel L. Jackson has been named the highest-grossing actor of all time by Guinness World Records. His estimated gross is $7.2 billion.


If you were a news organization, it was news you could use. Put in "Samuel L. Jackson" and "Guinness" in the Google News search engine, and 161 results turn up; 4,690,000 if you search all of Google.

Journal-isms asked the people at Guinness World Records NA, Inc., whether the $7.2 billion was adjusted for inflation, so that all actors, past and present, were measured by 2011 dollars.


"Yes, this figure was adjusted for inflation," replied Sara Wilcox, PR and marketing assistant for the company in New York, in an email.

"This is also not a new record but actually came out in 2006."

Say what?

Then why is this news now?

"We have no idea actually!"

Many of the news stories attribute the news of Jackson's record to Entertainment Weekly, which reported on Oct. 27, "The Guinness Book of World Records has just declared that Samuel L. Jackson is the highest grossing movie actor of all time."


EW's online story links to an Oct. 25 article by Sashana Maitland in the  Daily News of New York, "Samuel L. Jackson named highest-grossing actor of all time by Guinness Book of World Records."

Maitland's story notes that Jackson is starring as Martin Luther King Jr. in the new Broadway production "The Mountaintop" alongside Angela Bassett, and mentions the Guinness record. But it never says when it was achieved. Not even a "recently."


For Jackson, 62, recognition of his achievement comes no doubt better late than never.

Catherine Bartosevich, an Entertainment Weekly spokeswoman, did not return an email Wednesday seeking comment. 


Speculation Over Politico's Source for Cain Allegation

Herman Cain's campaign Wednesday called a report of a third former employee alleging he engaged in inappropriate behavior an example of "baseless allegations," CNN reported, as speculation continued about the source of Politico's report Sunday about sexual harassment allegations against him when he headed the National Restaurant Association.


"The controversy took on an even sharper political tone Wednesday when Cain blamed a consultant with ties to Texas Gov. Rick Perry's campaign for leaking information over the sexual harassment allegations," the CNN story said.

"The GOP presidential candidate told Forbes that in 2003 he told Curt Anderson, who worked on Cain's unsuccessful 2004 U.S. Senate campaign in Georgia, about one case. 'Those charges were baseless, but I thought he needed to know about them,' Cain told Forbes. 'I don't recall anyone else being in the room when I told him.'


"Perry owes Cain an apology, said Cain's chief of staff, Mark Block, in a statement.

"Wednesday, Anderson said, 'I'd never heard any of these allegations until I read them in Politico, nor does anything I read in the press change my opinion that Herman is an upstanding man and a gentleman.'


"The Perry campaign claimed it didn't know about the allegations until Politico first published the story Sunday."

Writing on her own web site Monday, steadfast Hillary Clinton admirer Taylor Marsh said, "John F. Harris, editor in chief of Politico and the man who shepherded this blockbuster, has not just vaulted Politico into a new sphere. Mr. Harris has helped change new media's prowess. The online newspaper double sourced their story on Herman Cain, with Harris refusing tonight, in an interview with Lawrence O'Donnell, to say a word other than they got a tip, which led to three weeks of good, solid reporting."


RealClearPolitics reported Monday that Politico's Kenneth P. Vogel acknowledged that the website did receive a tip, but it was from "someone outside" who helped the reporters corroborate the story.

"Politics are politics as you said, and certainly there are people that are digging up opposition research," Vogel told CNN's Wolf Blitzer.


Asked again, Vogel said it wasn't important who delivered the story to them: "We do not think that the original source is as important as the actual information."

* Stephen Engelberg, ProPublica: Raising Cain: When Is a Scoop Ready to be Published?


* Erika Fry, Columbia Journalism Review: Cain's Other Scandal

* Jeneba Ghatt, If Cain's Accusers are Black, He'll Be All Good

* Jackie Jones, Cain Circus Invites Array of New Players

* Deborah Mathis, Thanks, Herman Cain, for Disproving a Myth


* Merrill Knox, TVNewser: Herman Cain Makes TV Rounds to Explain Sexual Harassment Case Against Him

* Julie Moos, Poynter Institute: 5 factors that will determine whether Herman Cain story grows into a scandal (Oct. 31)


* Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Cain's scandal pain

* Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Let Herman be gone

* Darren Sands, In Light of Allegations, Next 48 Hours Critical For Cain (Oct. 31)


CNN en Español Launches

"As part of a plan to expand its multi-platform efforts, CNN en Español has launched a new Spanish-language Web site,, which will feature videos, exclusive interviews and news stories from around the globe," George Winslow reported Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable.


Cynthia Hudson, senior VP and general manager for CNN en Español and Hispanic Strategy for CNN/U.S., said in a statement, "Now our massive social media following has a space to interact directly with our network and gain privileged access to our content."

"The company noted that CNN en Español (@CNNEE) already has the number one Spanish-language news account on Twitter with nearly 1.5 millions of followers, and that it has almost 850,000 fans on Facebook," Winslow wrote.


CNN spokeswoman Isabel Bucaram told Journal-isms that the site editor is Spanish-born Juan Andrés Muñoz, a senior interactive producer for CNN en Español, where he heads the Alternate Media Unit, a department charged with the network's digital projects, such as Internet sites, social media, video on demand, a la carte audio, citizen journalism and user generated content.

"The site will be in Spanish with links to the original stories in English when relevant," Bucaram said.


* Univision: Univision Launches Redesigned Homepage to Continue Super-Serving U.S. Hispanics With Interactive Offerings

Radio One Launching All-News Station in Houston

"Longtime news anchors J.P. Pritchard, Lana Hughes and Mike Barajas and veteran sportscaster Craig Roberts are among a group of veteran Houston journalists who will return to the airwaves next month as Radio One launches an all-news station on KROI (92.1 FM)," David Barron reported Saturday in the Houston Chronicle.


"News 92 FM is expected to launch the week of Nov. 14, filling the all-news void left by KTRH's (740 AM) transformation to conservative talk, capped by the dismissal of Pritchard and Hughes in June and the hiring of Ohio Tea Party rally host Matt Patrick to host a show that leans more toward commentary and call-in segments.

"Barajas, who left KRIV (Channel 26) in January, and Roberts, the former KPRC (Channel 2) sports director who has hosted talk shows on several stations, are among the other familiar names on the roster.


" 'We believe there is a huge appetite for full-service news in Houston,' said Doug Abernethy, Radio One's Houston general manager. 'News happens 24-7, and we're offering an opportunity where people will not have to wait to get the news.'

"Former Channel 26 news director Denise Bishop will be news director, and former KTRH program director Ed Shine will be project manager.


"Other staff members will include former KHOU (Channel 11) reporter Carolyn Campbell, former Channel 26 reporters Patti Shieh and Matt Sampsell, former KIAH (Channel 39) sports director Jorge Vargas, KIKK (650 AM) and KSEV (700 AM) business anchor/reporter Brent Clanton, former KTRH reporters Scott Braddock, former KLOL (101.1 FM) newscasters Laurie Kendrick and Martha Martinez, veteran traffic reporter Lanny Griffith, former KLDE (107.5 FM) host Kevin Charles and meteorologist Joe Sobel."

* Radio One will dump Praise 92.1 and bring in "News 92 FM" to Houston


L.A.'s Guy Crowder Dies at 72, "One Man News Service"

"Guy Crowder, South Los Angeles' [premier] photographer whose camera chronicled the rise of L.A.'s Black politicians, entertainers and athletes, as well as the riotous conflagration that put Watts on the map, died Sunday morning," Betty Pleasant wrote Tuesday for the Wave newspapers in Los Angeles.


"Crowder, 72, suffered a stroke, contracted pneumonia and died in a Corona hospital wrapped in the arms of his mother, his wife and his son.

"Crowder began taking pictures during the 1960s and despite being shunned by the racist mainstream periodicals of the time, he took pictures for the Los Angeles Sentinel, the various Wave newspapers, and Johnson Publications' Jet and Ebony magazines and became a giant in his field.


"He had a knack of being in the middle of wherever the biggest news was occurring. He was a stealthy stalker of the action during the Watts riots; he was standing beside Sen. Robert Kennedy in the Ambassador Hotel moments before he was assassinated; he covered the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s funeral; he was ringside shooting the evolution of Muhammad Ali, was on the sidelines at the Coliseum and photographed the daughter of the late Johnny Guitar Watson when she made her debut as, reportedly, the first Black cheerleader for USC and was there again to shoot the first Black cheerleader to shake her [pompoms] for the then Los Angeles Rams.

"Crowder functioned as a busy, one-man news service for the Black press, which came to depend on him. And he always delivered, big time. When it came to photojournalism, Crowder knew exactly what the Black media needed to cover and he shot it: The political rise of Tom Bradley, author Alex Haley signing his book 'Roots' at the May Co. on Crenshaw Boulevard, Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall judging a Moot Court competition at USC, Coretta Scott King visiting 92nd Street School, Wynton Marsalis talking to children at a Baldwin Hills school, and so on and so forth."


Trahant Calls for More Transparency Among Tribes

Mark Trahant, veteran journalist and board chair of the Maynard Institute, called for a shift in U.S. policy toward Native Americans in a speech Tuesday to 3,000 tribal leaders at the National Congress of American Indians. He also urged changes by the tribes.


Among his points:

"In my view tribes should prepare for the worst. We need to think through the impact of contraction policies and look for ways to protect people during the coming downturn.


"One policy that I would recommend is transparency. We have to be more open about what tribes do, what our priorities are, and how scarce resources serve our communities. In the age of Social Media, transparency is a valuable resource.

"Transparency also opens up the door to innovation. If people know the problems, the challenges, then, well, as Elias Boudinot put it, 'we can talk over all these matters, and, if possible, come to some definite and satisfactory conclusion.' " Boudinot was the first editor of the Cherokee Phoenix, which in 1827 became the first Native newspaper.


". . . Another idea, one that I would do quickly, as in now, go home, and start a community foundation. It's essential for tribes to build new multiple revenue streams, finding money both from government and from private sources."

Coleman Takes Helm at Inter-American Press Group

Milton Coleman, senior editor at the Washington Post and immediate past president of the American Society of News Editors, took office last week as president of the Inter-American Press Association, which met in Lima, Peru.


Coleman said, ". . . IAPA must heed a clarion call, a call to claim its historic and rightful place as a premier organization fighting for the freedoms of expression, the press and information in the Western Hemisphere in the 21st century, with a long and distinguished record as a leader and a warrior in these battles."

He also said, "I am, I believe, the first African American from the United States to occupy this post. I share African roots with many of the Afro-Latino people of Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and, yes, Peru, and with the Afro Caribbeans of Haiti, Barbados and Jamaica, among others in IAPA.


"As a young man, I fought for human rights in the civil rights struggles of the 1960s, was arrested and spent time in jail. As a young journalist, I challenged authority in the name of the people's right to know. I was arrested and spent time in jail. As an experienced reporter, my life was threatened by those who disliked what I reported. So now, as an elder statesman in the rights struggle we all fight now, I feel very much at home. I'm no stranger to this cause."

Text of Coleman's remarks in the Comments section.

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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education ( Reprinted on The Root by permission.