Black Journalists Back From ‘Africa’s Last Colony’ Tell Overlooked Story

Smara, largest of the five refugee camps in Algeria
Linn Washington Jr.
Smara, largest of the five refugee camps in Algeria
Linn Washington Jr.

Long-Overlooked Story Told of Continent's "Palestine"

A year ago, the Moroccan government paid expenses for representatives of the U.S. black press to visit their country. Morocco controls what is called "Africa's last colony," but that was hardly mentioned.

That "last colony" — Western Sahara — is a place that few Americans are familiar with. It cannot match the lobbying and public relations resources of Morocco but has nevertheless attempted to fight fire with fire. Now a group of nine black-press journalists and activists has returned from Western Sahara and its ally Algeria and told the story of the occupied Saharan people, known as Saharawis.

Both trips were "sponsored" and fell outside the ethical rules of mainstream journalism. The Society of Professional Journalists, for example, says in its ethics code, "Refuse gifts, favors, fees, free travel and special treatment, and avoid political and other outside activities that may compromise integrity or impartiality, or may damage credibility." Other news outlets have similar rules, based on the adage "he who pays the piper calls the tune." However, the black press does not always subscribe to the practices of the mainstream.

Advertisement

The Moroccan government last year paid expenses for a 14-member delegation from the National Newspaper Publishers Association to visit Morocco.

The Algerian National Committee of Solidarity With Sahawari People, described as a group of lawyers, businessmen, journalists, elected officials and others in Algiers, sponsored the more recent visitors for three days in Algeria and a week living with families in Western Sahara.

The trip was organized by the Institute of the Black World 21st Century, an activist group dedicated to increasing "the capacity of Black communities in the U.S. and globally to achieve cultural, social, economic and political equality and an enhanced quality of life for all marginalized people."

Don Rojas, director of communications for the Institute, said in his summary of the trip that the idea for it originated in a November conversation in Washington with Ambassador Mohamed Yeslem Beisat, the representative of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic and the Polisario Front to the United States, Latin America and the Caribbean. 

Advertisement

"So on Dec. 11, 2014, nine of us boarded planes in Washington, DC; New York, Chicago and Los Angeles," Rojas wrote, "and flew to the Algerian capital of Algiers, first to participate in an international solidarity conference with the people of Western Sahara and later to fly on to the refugee camps in the liberated territories where the Polisario Front administers a virtual 'government in exile,' with a remarkable efficiency and a high-level of social and political organization.

"From Washington DC, I am joined by scholar/activist James Early, board member of the Institute for Policy Studies and eminent journalist George Curry, [editor-in-chief] of Black Press USA, the news service of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).

Advertisement

"Flying out from New York are Patrick Delices, professor of Africana Studies at Columbia University, Milton [Allimadi], Publisher of the Black Star News, Linn Washington, professor of journalism at Temple University in Philadelphia and Demetria Irwin, freelance writer. Flying out of Chicago is Richard Muhammad, editor of the Final Call Newspaper and out of Los Angeles, videographer Brittany Washington.

"For a week, our delegation lived among the Saharawis and what we witnessed was a noble and dignified people, proud of their cultural heritage and determined to continue struggling for their full and unconditional independence and self-determination.

Advertisement

"The linguistic barriers, notwithstanding, we felt comfortable and welcomed by the warm, hospitable and generous families who hosted us in their modest tent homes sharing with us their food and their space, proudly showing off photo albums of their families in both the liberated and occupied zones, teaching us how to make tea Saharawi-style and speaking constantly of their yearning to one day live in a liberated Western Sahara. . . ."

"This was not a 'gift' — Living in a refugee camp home without running water and a flush toilet does not define 'gift' for me," Linn Washington Jr. told Journal-isms by email.

Advertisement

Curry, in his column, compared the plight of the Sahrawis with that of the Palestinians.

The story of how Western Sahara became a colony of Morocco is too long to summarize in this space (see links below), but the United Nations has sought a resolution of the status of this mainly desert territory, whose residents are of mixed Berber, Arab and black African descent, since Morocco agreed to hold a referendum on self-determination in 1991. The referendum has yet to take place.

Advertisement

Writing for World Politics Review in September, Jacob Mundy argued that the Arab Spring, which began in December 2010, actually worked against Western Sahara.

"Concerns about human rights inside the Moroccan-controlled territory had been growing since widespread Sahrawi protests greeted the new king [of Morocco] in 1999 [accessible via search engine]. A massive uprising in 2005 drew even more attention due to the role the Internet played in the diffusion of images, videos and testimonies of the Sahrawi protestors," Mundy wrote.

Advertisement

"For years, the human rights group Freedom House has considered the Moroccan-occupied Western Sahara one of the worst situations in the world, and in 2008, Human Rights Watch released a damning report detailing the excesses of the Moroccan occupation, including widespread torture. The following year, Aminatou Haidar, a Sahrawi rights activist, won the prestigious Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award, causing further embarrassment for Rabat," the Moroccan capital.

"With the Gdaym Izik protests in 2010," when a protest camp was created and then destroyed by authorities, "things appeared to be coming to a head. Then the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt, as well as the civil wars in Libya and Syria, changed everything. Morocco not only used the Arab Spring to advance its image as a moderate ally of Paris and Washington, the Arab Spring also drew attention away from Morocco's repression in Western Sahara, which included the imprisonment of dozens of young activists who had created the Gdaym Izik camp. Most have received sentences of 25 years to life imprisonment. . . ."

Advertisement

Allimadi told more of the history in his story:

"Morocco settled more than 500,000 of its own citizens in the occupied territory, meaning they now outnumber the 300,000 Sahwaris there. But when the United Nations announced a list of 84,251 eligible voters for the referendum only indigenous Sahwaris were included.

Advertisement

"The Sahwaris are chafing and even though they're renowned for their patience many are now openly talking about the possibility of another war as the only way out of the stalemate. Some note the irony that the Sahwaris' peaceful resistance against Morocco's occupation is ignored by the world while acts of terrorism by groups such as Al-qaeda and ISIS garner global media attention.

"Sahwaris also complain about the brutal regime Morocco operates on the 80% part of Western Sahara that it occupies. Peaceful protests demanding for independence are violently disrupted by Moroccan security agents.

Advertisement

"Sahwari activists in the camps showed me video recordings showing plainclothes men with [long] sticks beating, punching and kicking demonstrators, including teenagers, and women who were bloodied. Activists who distribute flyers calling for an end to Moroccan occupation are arrested and later convicted on trumped up charges of inciting violence against Moroccan security forces; the convictions carry sentences of 20 to 30 years in Moroccan prisons."

Referring to the shortened name for the U.N. mission to conduct the referendum, Alimadi continued, "Since MINURSO's mandate doesn't include human rights, Moroccan security agents are able to attack Sahwaris during protests, in plain view of U.N. personnel. MINURSO, whose budget is $60.4 million as of October 2014, is barred from even documenting the plain-view atrocities let alone investigating such cases. . . ."

Advertisement

The journalists said they were unable to secure responses from Morocco. Morocco's King Mohammed VI has said Western Sahara's status as part of his kingdom was a sacred issue, but he has offered automony within Morocco.

Beisat, the Western Sahara ambassador, accompanied Journal-isms to the Newseum in Washington on Sunday to view a tribute to the late Maynard Institute President Dori J. Maynard. He said those on the trip "did professional work. Morocco did not confuse them. They were careful in handling the issue of Western Sahara. I'm very proud of them.

Advertisement

"Our problem is lack of knowledge. I'm confident that any man who knows the situation will be on our side. People by their nature are supportive of justice.

"Then they will come to our side. It happens in every case."

. . . In Accepting Trip, "My Integrity Is Not for Sale"

Linn Washington Jr., professor of journalism at Temple University, responded to a request for comment on the Society of Professional Journalists injunction against accepting free trips. He messaged:

"I teach ethics in all of my J-classes and I am fully aware of all provisions of the SPJ Code — inclusive of giving voice to the voiceless. The SPJ Code issue you cite does —for me — involve integrity and access.

Advertisement

"My integrity is not for sale.

"My integrity has not/is not/will not be compromised.

"The facts I've reported regarding that WS [Western Sahara] controversy are firm. Those facts exist whether I was there reporting or not.

Advertisement

"On access — that aid enabled access beyond the cost of that trip.

"Access into Algeria is one step — it is hard for Americans to get a visa needed for entrance into Algeria.

Advertisement

"And access into the refugee camps is another step — the SADR [Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic] has input into access to those camps and without that assistance we would not have been able to interview so many top officials and regular folks (regular folks interviewed without any oversight by SADR monitors).

"That 'access' enabled many of us on that fact finding mission to tell a story overlooked by much of the US media. We were able to provide information to the public on a little known issue in the US.

Advertisement

"I/we were able to 'tell a story' that you faulted the NNPA for not telling on their trip to Morocco and the occupied WS last year.

". . . realistically, I don't have access to the resources of the WP [Washington Post] and NYT [New York Times].

Advertisement

"I saw this trip as a rare opportunity to give voice to voiceless and tell a story of the human experience as per the SPJ Code.

"This was not a 'gift' — Living in a refugee camp home without running water and a flush toilet does not define 'gift' for me :-)"

Advertisement

. . . "Small Publications Can't Self-Finance Such Trips"

Milton Allimadi, publisher and editor-in-chief of Black Star News, responded to the funding question this way:

"One must be selective with these kind of trips," Allimadi said by email. "Small publications with limited funding or corporate ads can't self-finance such trips on their own.

Advertisement

"Telling the story of the Sahawaris struggle for independence was worth going on the trip for me personally. I did mention at the end of my column on huffingtonpost that the trip was funded.

"I believe the journalism was strong and fair and factual information was linked. Morocco officials were given an opportunity to tell their side of the story and did not respond. Ultimately the journalism must be judged on its merit and full disclosure.

Advertisement

"On another note, it's also worth reflecting upon the acceptance of millions of dollars in corporate ads by major newspapers like The New York Times, The Daily News, and The Wall Street Journal and whether that has no influence on their 'independence' at all — or when The New York Times accepts a $250 million loan from Mexico's Carlos Slim in order to survive. I sometimes believe small publications are actually much more independent when it comes to journalism. Of course it would be ideal if we could self-finance all our stories but we can't."

Milton Allimadi, the World Post: Africa Last Colony: Sahwaris Want Barack Obama's Help (Jan. 16)

Advertisement

George E. Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association: After Cuba, Hope Rises in Palestine and the Western Sahara (Dec. 22)

Carlotta Gall, New York Times: Fighting Is Long Over, but Western Sahara Still Lacks Peace (Feb. 22)

Advertisement

Richard B. Muhammad, Final Call: Western Sahara — A Sign of Africa's freedom struggle (Feb. 3)

Reporters Without Borders: Sustained crackdown on independent reporting in Morocco

Advertisement

Reports from Western Sahara Trip

Vivian Salama, the Atlantic: The Battle Over Western Sahara (Oct. 22, 2013)

Linn Washington Jr., Philadelphia Daily News: Africa's Last Colony (Feb. 21)

Black Press Did Not Seek Grant Money for Morocco Trip (Feb. 10, 2014)

NPR Voices "Too White" Even in Announcing Underwriting

After undertaking a debate over whether NPR sounds "too white," the network has installed its second voice for its underwriting credits that sounds . . . too white.

Advertisement

NPR has extended through June the contract of Jessica Hansen, the new voice of its underwriting credits, according to an NPR spokesperson," Tyler Falk wrote Monday for Current.org.

"Sabrina Farhi, who previously voiced the credits, will no longer be heard on air but remains at NPR. 'Sabrina continues to be an important part of the team,' NPR spokesperson Isabel Lara told Current in an email. 'She’s producing and trafficking spots and working on some additional special projects.' Lara would not elaborate on the 'special projects.' . . ."

Advertisement

The voice of NPR's underwriting credits — its de facto commercials — is often overlooked in conversations about public radio diversity. Yet Reeves Wiedeman, writing in 2013 for the New Yorker, called that voice "by unofficial estimate, the most widely heard in the history of public radio." He was writing about the voice of Frank Tavares, whom listeners heard for 31 years.

Wiedeman continued, "But a record company inevitably goes looking for a new sound, and so, this spring, NPR told Tavares that it would be holding a national casting call to find a replacement for him. 'People said we should just hire Morgan Freeman,' Eric Nuzum, NPR's vice-president of programming, said. Other suggestions, like David Attenborough and Benedict Cumberbatch, were problematically British.

Advertisement

"NPR received four hundred and twenty-nine applications, which were divided, Nuzum said, into two groups: 'those who had the perfect voice of God,' much like Morgan Freeman, and those 'who actually sounded like human beings.' Some at NPR thought that the voice should emphasize its 'institutional bigness,' but Nuzum and others liked the humans. . . ."

The winner was Farhi, a voiceover and theater actress. "Out of hundreds of voices, Sabrina's immediately stood out for its warmth and conversational approach," Nuzum said in his October 2013 announcement. "We think listeners and supporters will find her engaging."

Advertisement

But Farhi's voice proved to be a problem. To this columnist's ears, her crisp, perky persona sounded a little unctuous, not to mention "too white."

Falk reported last month for Current.org, "Farhi has been criticized for having vocal fry, defined by a Los Angeles–based voice doctor as 'the low, vibratory sound that comes in some people's speech, particularly at the end of sentences' that is particularly common among women . . . . The announcement of Farhi's hire on NPR.org, accompanied by a sampler reel of her voice, prompted complaints about vocal fry. And founding Morning Edition editor William Drummond said on Current's The Pub podcast last week that Farhi’s voice is 'different in a pejorative sense.' . . ."

Advertisement

Oops. Enter another voice, that of Hansen, another white actress with a crisp, perky vocal style bordering on unctuousness.

The hiring of Farhi and Hansen took place while successive NPR presidents proclaimed their desire to make the network sound like America. "That means Southern accents, Boston accents, Midwestern accents," new CEO Jarl Mohn said after his appointment last year.

Advertisement

In late January, Chenjerai Kumanyika, an assistant professor of popular culture at Clemson University who is African American, wrote an essay for transom.org that was picked up by BuzzFeed and that NPR itself brought up for discussion. Kumanyika said that when he read for public radio he had to "code switch" into a voice that sounded more "white."

Listing some of his favorite public radio shows, Kumanyika wrote, "In short, very few of these hosts speak the way that I speak. This is one reason that some of my black and brown friends refuse to listen to some of my favorite radio shows and podcast episodes despite my most impassioned evangelical efforts. . . ."

Advertisement

The voices weren't always that way.

Adam Ragusea quoted Drummond on Feb. 5 for Current.org: "NPR was not born with so-called 'NPR voice' but acquired it as the network grew and became more mainstream. In the early days, NPR was intended to offer a 'hootenanny' of regional and ethnic voices from around the country.

Advertisement

"There was this one woman who would come on from Missoula, Montana. She was a white woman of an age, 'Kim Williams from Missoooula Montaaana,' Drummond recalled. 'It wasn't just a regional accent, I don't know what kind of accent it was, but it was just very idiosyncratic to her."

The debate extended beyond U.S. borders into Canada via the CBC and onto Twitter under the hashtag #pubradiovoice.

Advertisement

In a Feb. 12 discussion, CBC producer Mariel Borelli said the Canadian network was doing "a terrible job on diversity." She put forth one test: Do the voices on public radio sound like the people in the community it serves? "Listen to the host on your local CBC radio show and see if they have some sort of accent, and then step outside of your door, and then go to your bank teller, talk to your doctor, pharmacist, whoever you're dealing with, and hear those accents and compare the two."

A listener asked, "what is a 'white' voice, anyway?" The answer: a term of art referring to "the dominant syntax," defined by its cadence and rhythm.

Advertisement

One question not asked: To whose ears do the last two NPR underwriting voices sound "engaging"?

And given the low numbers of men of color holding on-air jobs at NPR, are those who "said we should just hire Morgan Freeman" closer to the mark?

Advertisement

Allison Griner, Images & Voices of Hope: Why there's a need for more diverse voices in public radio

Amanda Hess, Slate: Why Old Men Find Young Women's Voices So Annoying (Jan. 7, 2013)

Advertisement

Queena Kim, KQED, San Francisco: Why the Heck Do Latino Reporters on Public Radio Say Their Names That Way? (Feb. 15)

Marissa Lorusso, marissalorusso.com: A Lack of (Vocal) Color: Does Public Radio Sound Too White? (Feb. 13)

Advertisement

Adam Ragusea, Current.org: The Pub, Episode 4: How women, people of color, and everyone else can sound more like themselves on the radio (Feb. 5)

U.S. to Pay Toledo Blade $18G for Seizing Equipment

"In what was seen as a victory for First Amendment rights, the U.S. government agreed Thursday to pay The Blade $18,000 for seizing the  cameras of a photographer and deleting photographs taken outside the Lima tank plant last year," Jennifer Feehan reported Friday for the Toledo, Ohio, newspaper.

Advertisement

"In turn, The Blade agreed to dismiss the lawsuit it filed April 4 in U.S. District Court on behalf of photographer Jetta Fraser and reporter Tyrel Linkhorn against Charles T. Hagel, then the U.S. Secretary of Defense; Lt. Col. Matthew Hodge, commandant of the Joint Systems Manufacturing Center, and the military police officers involved in the March 28, 2014, incident.

"Fritz Byers, attorney for The Blade, said the settlement was made under the First Amendment Privacy Protection Act, which prohibits the government, in connection with the investigation of a criminal offense, from searching or seizing any work product materials possessed by a journalist. . . ."

Advertisement

"Empire" Keeps Adding Viewers, Shattering Nielsen Records

"Cookie Lyon is the new lion of prime time," Gary Levin reported Thursday for USA Today.

Advertisement

"Fox's Empire is shattering Nielsen records as the only series to rise in the ratings for seven consecutive weeks since its premiere, climbing steadily from 9.9 million same-day viewers for its Jan. 7 opener to 13.9 million last week. With DVR-delayed viewing factored in, it's currently averaging 15.6 million viewers a week. And among young adults, it's climbed 37% in seven weeks, the biggest gain for a new series since Fox's teen soap The OC in 2003, Fox says.

"It also ranks as this season's top-rated network drama, ahead of NBC's The Blacklist and ABC's How to Get Away with Murder. . . ."

Advertisement

"Empire" was the top-rated show with the key audience of adults 18-49 for the week ending March 1, Nielsen reported.

It was also the top-rated prime-time show among African Americans.

Nevertheless, the show has its detractors.

Dr. Boyce Watkins, a finance Ph.D., author, commentator and an African American, wrote Sunday, "When the Fox Network released the new show, 'Empire,' I was concerned about what I might see on screen. Fox is not known for producing the most favorable images of black people, so I figured this show wouldn't be any different. For some reason, black dysfunctionality makes for great television, and there is a long line of white guys getting rich off of our willingness to celebrate all that makes us miserable.

Advertisement

"If you do some research, you might notice some of the same things I've seen in this ghetto-fied hood drama: Pimps, hoes, thugs, gangsters, emasculated black men, and all kinds of other kinds of stereotypical coonery that many of us have grown tired of seeing portrayed on-screen.

"Lee Daniels is apparently the man responsible for this televised monstrosity, and I wonder if a day will ever come that the majority of us will refuse to support directors who pimp their people to help bigots like Rupert Murdoch get rich from modern day minstrel shows. . . ."

Advertisement

Megan Angelo, Glamour: 11 Things You Didn't Know About Empire

Yohana Desta, Mashable: Seriously, 'Empire'? You're like the Beyoncé of TV shows right now

Advertisement

Michael O'Connell, Hollywood Reporter: TV Ratings: 'Empire' Won't Stop Getting Bigger, Hits Eighth Week of Growth

Images of the Original Selma March From a Participant

"A timely new show at the Steven Kasher Gallery in New York, 'Selma March 1965,' reminds us that not all civil rights photographs were created equal," Maurice Berger wrote Monday for the "Lens" blog of the New York Times. "Commemorating the 50th anniversary this month of the historic Selma-to-Montgomery marches, the exhibition features the work of three documentarians of the protests: James Barker, Spider Martin and Charles Moore.

Advertisement

"While the photographs of Mr. Martin and Mr. Moore are well known, those of Mr. Barker are far less so. The most famous images of Mr. Martin and Mr. Moore — usually depicting civil rights leaders or dramatic milestones — are also more typical of the pictures we have come to associate with the movement.

"On the other hand, Mr. Barker's images are more intimate, focusing on volunteers and their everyday activities. The gallery believes his photographs are the only ones known of the Selma demonstrations that were taken from the viewpoint of a participant observer rather than a journalist. . . ."

Advertisement

Jamelle Bouie, Slate: Losing Selma's Legacy

Electronic Media Plan for 50th Anniversary of Selma March

Chris Kromm, southernstudies.org: Selma and voting rights: Commemoration or legislation?

Advertisement

Trymaine Lee, MSNBC: Inside Brown Chapel on the Selma anniversary (video)

Barbara Reynolds, Washington Post: I fought for voting rights in 1965. Racism in the North hurt me as much as racism in the South.

Advertisement

State Sen. Hank Sanders, al.com: It's harvest time for Selma

Andrew Yeager, NPR "Code Switch": Photographer Helped Expose Brutality Of Selma's 'Bloody Sunday'

Advertisement

Despite Government, Gang-Rape Film Finds Audience

"A British-made documentary about a grisly gang rape in India spread throughout social media on Thursday, thwarting official efforts to block it and gaining a wide audience despite a government ban," Suhasini Raj reported Thursday for the New York Times.

Advertisement

"A spokesman for YouTube in India, Gaurav Bhaskar, said that the company had agreed to a government request to block channels of multiple users who had uploaded the documentary. The original link on the BBC’s own website was still available, he said. By Thursday night, the film had been viewed more than 100,000 times from that link, not including viewings from other sources. . . ."

Ximena Ramirez, care2.com: India's Daughter Documentary Holds Up a Mirror to the Rape Crisis in India

Advertisement

Short Takes

In memory of the late Dori J. Maynard, president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation is donating $5,000 to the Maynard Institute, the foundation said in a Feb. 25 statement expressing its sadness at her passing.

Advertisement

With backing from donors concerned about the decline in reporting on statehouse news, Gregory Favre, former executive editor of the Sacramento Bee and vice president for news of McClatchy Newspapers, is setting up the nonpartisan, nonprofit CALmatters, Rem Rieder reported Wednesday for USA Today. Favre is interviewing potential hires. "The news outlet will focus on longform explanatory journalism whose aim is to help Californians better understand the machinations of the Golden State's politics and government. . . ."

"Latino rights groups are criticizing a headline and suspect description used in a story on a San Diego news website," Christian De La Rosa reported Wednesday for KSWB-TV in San Diego. "The story was about a shooting reported earlier this week in which a Spring Valley man was shot while driving his pickup on Interstate 8 in El Cajon. A woman passenger in the pickup was not injured. The headline that Patch.com used for the article was 'Latinos Shoot at Lemon Grove Woman in Pickup Truck.' " The National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the Society of Professional Journalists also criticized the headline. De La Rosa wrote that the story's headline was changed after the station contacted reporter Mirna Alfonso.

Advertisement

"In a freedom of speech case, South Carolina’s Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Sue Summer, a reporter for The Newberry Observer, could publish the diary of a woman recently recognized as the wife of the singer James Brown," Steve Knopper reported Thursday for the New York Times. "Ms. Summer had published excerpts from the diary as part of her coverage of the continuing dispute over the distribution of Mr. Brown's estate. In a two-paragraph decision, the court said a lower court judge's temporary restraining order, preventing Mrs. Summer from publishing the diary she received anonymously, 'clearly violates petitioner's First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.' . . ."

The Journalism Institute for Media Diversity at Wayne State University in Detroit is offering one full four-year tuition scholarship and one $5,000 Robert McGruder Scholarship. Details on this website.

Advertisement

"Guardian and Observer staffers voted Katharine Viner as their next editor, the newspaper announced on Thursday," Hadas Gold reported for Politico. "The vote means Viner, editor-in-chief of Guardian US, must be on the short list of three candidates from which the owner of the newspapers, the Scott Trust, will pick the next editor when Alan Rusbridger steps down this summer. . . ." Viner was founding editor of the Guardian edition for Australia, where most newspapers are owned by Rupert Murdoch and the indigenous people are covered with condescension, she told a dinner group of Washington journalists last year. She recruited indigenous writers, bloggers and novelists to write for the website and said the racial proportion of the staff now matches the population of the country.

Reacting to a Media Matters for America study showing the low numbers of Latino experts on Sunday talk shows, "we are in the process of gathering the experts who have self-identified as such, listing their names, contact information, and, of course, areas of expertise in a database that will be available online at LatinoRebels.com," Julie Schwietert Collazo wrote Friday for alldigitocracy.org. "Mainstream media outlets and journalists will be invited and encouraged to use the list — which will be an ongoing work in progress, continuing to accept those who want to add themselves to it — as a resource for their reporting." Last year, the National Hispanic Media Coalition launched the Latino Experts Program, funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation to increase the visibility of Latino experts in local news coverage. 

Advertisement

The Alliance for Women In Media Foundation Thursday announced its 40th Anniversary Gracies Awards [PDF]. Winners include Robin Roberts of ABC, "Real Sports With Bryant Gumbel," Hota Kotb of NBC, Al Jazeera America, ABC's "Good Morning America" and Univision News for its exploration of the dramatic exodus of Central American children to the United States in a special, "Entre el Abandono y el Rechazo" (Between Abandonment and Rejection), led by anchor María Elena Salinas.

"The Newspaper Guild of New York announced today it has reached a tentative agreement with El Diario/ImpreMedia that includes a contract extension with raises for staff, compensation for fired employees and a no-layoff pledge for 2015," Veronica Villafañe reported Wednesday for her Media Moves column.

Advertisement

Jacquie Jones and Garland McLaurin, the directorial team that won a Peabody for a documentary on 180 days in a District of Columbia high school, focus next on "two rural elementary schools in Hartsville, South Carolina, a crime-ridden county where many residents hover near the poverty line and the annual median income is $30,000." "180 Days: Hartsville" premieres nationally on March 17 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET.

"WFDC-14, the Univision-owned, Entravision-operated station in Washington, D.C. is making some talent changes," Veronica Villafañe reported Thursday for Media Moves. Longtime anchors Mario Sol and Oscar Burgos are no longer with the station. . . ."

Advertisement

"WFTX reporter Julian Glover says he's leaving Fort Myers, Fla. to join WAVE in Louisville, Ky. as an anchor," Kevin Eck reported Friday for TVSpy.

"The hub of digital media production and education at the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism will be named for Julie Chen ’91, Leslie Moonves and CBS," the school announced on Feb. 25. "The 20,000-square-foot, two-story Media Center at Wallis Annenberg Hall has been formally named the Julie Chen/Leslie Moonves and CBS Media Center, thanks to a joint gift to USC Annenberg. . . ."

Advertisement

"A Paraguayan radio journalist has been shot to death in a Brazilian city bordering a crime-ridden area that is a hotbed for drugs and arms smuggling, officials said Friday," Pedro Servin reported Friday for the Associated Press. "Gerardo Servian worked for a local radio station near the city of Pedro Juan Caballero. He was shot nine times on a street in Ponta Pora by unidentified gunmen who escaped in a motorcycle, police chief Walter Vazquez said. . . ."

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION