Boston Globe Measures the City’s Racism

  • Is Boston ‘The Most Racist City’?
  • Black Press, Ebony Missed Booker Death
  • . . . Globe Business Side Faulted on Harassment
  • “Summit’ on Sexual Misconduct in Newsrooms
  • African American Film Critics Pick ‘Get Out’
  • Salinas Delivers a Classy, Heartfelt Goodbye
  • Dreamers to Guest-Edit the Guardian This Week
  • Short Takes
A seven-part series began in the Boston Globe on Sunday.

Boston Globe Measures the City’s Racism

Google the phrase ‘Most racist city,’ and Boston pops up more than any other place, time and time again,” the Boston Globe said Sunday in introducing a seven-part series from its “Spotlight” investigative team, reported by Akilah Johnson, Todd Wallack, Nicole Dungca, Liz Kowalczyk, Andrew Ryan and Adrian Walker and edited by Patricia Wen.


“It may be easy to write that off as a meaningless digital snapshot of what people say about us, and what we say about ourselves — proof of little beyond the dated (or, hopefully, outdated) memories of Boston’s public and fierce school desegregation battles of the 1970s.

“Except that Boston’s reputation problem goes much deeper than an online search. A national survey commissioned by the Globe this fall found that among eight major cities, black people ranked Boston as least welcoming to people of color. More than half — 54 percent — rated Boston as unwelcoming.


“Little wonder that some comedians and athletes take aim at Boston, like Michael Che of ‘Saturday Night Live’ this year telling a global TV audience this was ‘the most racist city I’ve ever been to.’ Or HBO’s John Oliver suggesting that it took this summer’s anti-bigotry march on Boston Common to finally make Boston ‘unracist.’

“The reputation is real, and pervasive — but, most important, is it deserved?

“The Globe Spotlight Team analyzed data, launched surveys, and conducted hundreds of interviews, to answer just that question. Spotlight examined the core of Boston’s identity: our renowned colleges and world-class medical institutions; the growth that keeps expanding our skyline; business and politics; and our championship sports teams.


“And the Spotlight reporters, to get a sense of how much black residents are part of the mainstream of the city, did something decidedly old-school: They visited a number of iconic Boston places and simply counted the number of black people they saw.

“All told, the findings were troubling. The reasons are complex.

“But this much we know: Here in Boston, a city known as a liberal bastion, we have deluded ourselves into believing we’ve made more progress than we have. Racism certainly is not as loud and violent as it once was, and the city overall is a more tolerant place. But inequities of wealth and power persist, and racist attitudes remain powerful, even if in more subtle forms.


“They affect what we do — and what we don’t do.

“Boston’s complacency with the status quo hobbles the city’s future. . . .”

Simeon Booker, shown in 1982, spent decades leading the Washington bureau for Jet and Ebony magazines. (Fred Sweets/Washington Post)

Black Press, Ebony Missed Booker Death, Coverage Fell to Mainstream and Social Media

When Simeon Booker, the trailblazing icon of Ebony and Jet magazines and of the black press, died Sunday at age 99, the last places where online readers could find news of his death were Ebony and Jet magazines and the black press.


The Washington Post broke the story at 12:33 p.m. on Sunday, with an account by Emily Langer quoting Booker’s wife, Carol McCabe Booker, saying that her husband had died at an assisted living facility in Solomons, Md. It would run on the front page of Monday’s print edition under the headline, “Simeon Booker, 1918-2017: Journalist risked his life to cover fight for civil rights.”

The rest of the mainstream media soon followed the Post’s online story, some going with whatever information they had, however incomplete. “Youngstown native and Civil Rights journalist Simeon Booker died today at the age of 99,” the Youngstown (Ohio) Vindicator reported at 2:33 p.m. “He died today in Maryland where he lived with his wife Carol, who was at his side along with son Teddy. [Booker was born in Baltimore but grew up in Youngstown.]


“A larger story will come tonight.

“Here is a Vindicator profile story of Booker from 2013 that was the catalyst for a local movement to create the Simeon Booker Award for Courage. . . .”


By 7:50 a.m. Monday, there were stories by the New York Times, NPR, the Daily News in New York, the Associated Press, USA Today and the local media in Youngstown, according to a Google search.

By contrast, the top stories on were “Twitter Can’t Handle How Raw Tina Lawson Just Was On Instagram,” “Why Marriage Starts BEFORE You Say ‘I Do’” and “Twitter Roasts Reality Star After She Bemoans Helping Son With Homework.”

Advertisement, retooled to appeal to millennials, featured in rotation gossipy stories from September about the sex lives of celebrities.

In 1955, Jet had secured a place in journalism history when it published Booker’s coverage of the killing of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Mississippi, complete with a photograph of his mutilated body.


For 24 hours, the websites of the black newspaper press, from the Los Angeles Sentinel to the New York Amsterdam News, were silent on Booker.

Dorothy R. Leavell

Dorothy R. Leavell, publisher of the Gary Crusader and the Chicago Crusader, and chair of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the trade association for black newspapers, pleaded lack of knowledge.”I’m sorry that I did not know personally” that Booker had died “because I took a day off,” Leavell said by telephone. “I’m embarrassed to say that we were not able to respond to this story.” Leavell said the Crusader newspapers do not subscribe to the Associated Press.

She noted that the NNPA Foundation honored Booker when she was its chair from 2006 to 2011.


The NNPA maintains a news service based in Washington, which furnishes its 200-odd member newspapers with Washington news. It was once run by veteran journalist George E. Curry, who died in 2016. Leavell said that had Curry still been there, NNPA would have had the story. Similarly, Ofield Dukes, a well-connected D.C. figure who ran a public relations firm in Washington for more than 40 years, died in 2011. He also would have made sure that NNPA knew about Booker’s death, she said.

The NNPA board named a committee to deal with its wire service at a recent retreat, she said.


The news service, BlackPressUSA, published a story by Stacy M. Brown about 2 p.m. on Monday. published its story, by Shantell E. Jamison, about the same time, accompanied by a video.


It is unclear who is editing Ebony and its website. Editor-in-chief Tracey Ferguson left in September. Owner Michael Gibson told Journal-isms on Sept. 9, “we will have an update on Ebony in the next couple of weeks.” No statement was forthcoming from the financially troubled publisher.

Black journalists elsewhere on the web, and particularly on social media, gave Booker his due.


For the seed of a tree that has to eulogize the roots from which it came, this article of remembrance might seem kindred,” Ricardo A. Hazell wrote Monday morning for “On Sunday, the individual who is perhaps most responsible for my current position here at The Shadow League, and to be certain, even its publisher’s livelihood, died. This very site itself could easily have never existed if it weren’t for a man named Simeon Booker.

“As far as the mainstream cultural zeitgeist is concerned, Booker, who died on Sunday at the age of 99, was the first full-time black journalist at the Washington Post.


“But he is at the very zenith of black journalism in America. . . .”

Later Sunday, Roy Reed, a white reporter who covered key events during the civil rights movement for the New York Times before returning to his native Arkansas to write and teach, died at 87, the Times reported.


Todd Steven Burroughs, Simeon Booker, JET Legend, Tells His Story (2013)

Sam Fulwood III, Simeon Booker, a trailblazing chronicler of segregated America, dies at 99


Michel Martin, NPR: Fear Came With Covering The Deep South (2013)

National Association of Black Journalists: NABJ Mourns the Passing of Iconic Journalist Simeon Booker


Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: A reporter who stood up to far worse than journalists get from Trump

Reginald Stuart, Diverse Issues in Higher Education: Remembering Simeon Booker, “The Dean of Black Journalists”


. . . Globe Business Side Faulted on Harassment

Even as they ramp up investigations into sexual harassment, media leaders — at The Boston Globe and other newsrooms — are looking inward, reassessing the media’s history as a male-dominated industry, and examining the current climate of their own workplaces,” Mark Arsenault reported Friday for the Boston Globe.


“At the Globe, the reckoning began even before the Weinstein scandal broke in October. Earlier this year, after a mid-level manager within the Globe’s sales department was removed for allegedly making inappropriate comments to co-workers, the Globe hired a law firm to conduct a review.

“The law firm interviewed current and former employees in the advertising department, and reviewed notes from exit interviews with employees who had left.


“The department had a ‘culture problem,’ said Linda Henry, the Globe’s managing director. ‘It had become a boys’ club.’

“The Globe has since made a number of management changes across the business side of the organization.


“Henry said the newspaper is committed to creating a more proactive human resources department under new leadership, hiring and promoting more women in advertising, requiring more training for managers and employees throughout the company, and establishing a system for employees to submit harassment complaints anonymously.

“The Globe’s review continued after the watershed Weinstein revelations. Henry has been meeting internally with women at the newspaper to discuss workplace culture, as part of the unfolding national discourse on sexual harassment, a movement often referred to by the hashtag #MeToo.


“In a number of informal interviews over the past two weeks for this story, women at the Globe had overall positive things to say about the current work culture in the news department where three of the top five jobs are held by women, and 22 of the 44 managers are women. Some have worked here for years and said they had never seen anything that would constitute harassment. Henry said different departments at the Globe seem to have their own cultures, and she was convinced the newsroom climate is ‘not one of sexual harassment or sexism.’

“Still, some women in the newsroom said they have current questions about equality of opportunity, have experienced annoying incidents of ‘mansplaining,’ or have been talked over by men in meetings. Some have had unwanted attention in recent years from male co-workers, or have been the target of inappropriate comments and e-mails, according to conversations with female staff members. . . .”


Arsenault also reported that an editor, “who left the Globe years ago and has since died, was referenced a number of times in conversations with current and former Globe employees, mostly women, who said they knew of his reputation for using his position at the paper to get close to young women, in ham-handed attempts to get them into bed. He was not the only one, according to the former and current employees. . . .”

Catherine Carlock, Boston Business Journal: Boston Globe details incidents of sexual harassment; fails to name names


Howard Gensler, Philadelphia Daily News: Jake Tapper responds after ‘State of the Union’ producer is fired by CNN (Nov. 30)

Jordyn Holman and Scott Soshnick, Bloomberg News: NFL TV, ESPN Suspend Five Ex-Players Over Harassment Claims


Colbert I. King, Washington Post: For black women, #MeToo came centuries too late

Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: At least the congressional pool is no longer clothing-optional


Shaheen Pasha, Dallas Morning News: It’s time for Muslims to talk about sexual misconduct among our Islamic preachers

Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Men, let’s not take the low road to gender equality


Vanessa Williams, Washington Post: While Democrats call for resignations, conservative women stand by colleagues accused of sexual misconduct

‘Summit’ on Sexual Misconduct in Newsrooms

“The Power Shift Summit,” “a high-level gathering of invited leaders across journalism and the media industry that will focus on sexual misconduct in newsrooms and how to create meaningful and sustainable change,” will take place at the Newseum in Washington on Jan. 9, the Newseum announced. It is to be livestreamed.


The announcement also said, “the invitation-only summit will be organized as a series of discussions featuring respected conversation leaders from all media platforms. Jill Geisler, who is Loyola University Chicago’s Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity, will lead the conversations.

“Participants include

“Carrie Budoff Brown, editor, POLITICO

Amy Brittain, investigative reporter, The Washington Post

Alfredo Carbajal, managing editor of Al Día at The Dallas Morning News and president, American Society of News Editors


Paul Farhi, media reporter, The Washington Post

Sarah Glover, president, National Association of Black Journalists

Loren Mayor, chief operating officer, NPR

Elisa Lees Muñoz, executive director, International Women’s Media Foundation

Lauren Williams, editor-in-chief, Vox”


“Get Out” was voted Best Film, Best Directing, Best Acting and Best Screenplay. (YouTube)

African American Film Critics Pick ‘Get Out’

Jordan Peele’s seismic thriller GET OUT captured the most wins from the members of the African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA),” the association announced on Tuesday.


“Released early in 2017, the film earned Best Film, Best Directing, Best Acting and Best Screenplay recognition from the world’s largest group of professional Black film critics.

“In addition to acting newcomer Daniel Kaluuya, AAFCA also recognized Frances McDormand for her tough-as-nails performance as a grieving mom in THREE BILLBOADS OUTSIDE EBBING MISSOURI.


Laurence Fishburne and Tiffany Haddish won Best Supporting nods for their performances in LAST FLAG FLYING and GIRLS TRIP, while actor Lakeith Stanfield (who also appears in GET OUT) earned Breakout Star for his lead role in CROWN HEIGHTS, which also won the group’s Best Independent Award.

“ ‘The films released in 2017 captured a plethora of lifestyles, experiences and emotions that allowed our members to engage with a different range of storylines from previous years,’ stated AAFCA co-founder and president, Gil Robertson. ‘The success of GIRLS TRIP, the first R-rated film starring an all Black female cast to surpass $100 million, and GET OUT, Jordan Peele’s directorial debut which surpassed $250 million worldwide, prove just how viable Black films are across the board.


“’Also, GOOK, with its Asian-centered storyline, and COCO, the animated film spotlighting Dia de los Muertos, the revered Mexican tradition, provided our membership with an opportunity to recognize storylines that are relevant to communities that have not previously been included on our list. Overall, it was a great year for cinema that reflects the diverse and complicated world that we live in.’ . . .”

Fisher Jack, ‘Get Out’ Named Top Film Of 2017 By African American Film Critics Association


Salinas Delivers a Classy, Heartfelt Goodbye

By Sal Morales

Maria Elena Salinas said goodbye Friday to the million of viewers who tune in daily to “Noticiero Univisión.” In what many say was a classy but heartfelt goodbye, she thanked the network for a weeklong video tribute that included clips of her 37 years with the network, saying humbly that she didn’t deserve the accolades.


Salinas gave special mention to KMEX 34 in Los Angeles, the Univision owned-and-operated television station where she began, saying she was grateful for the opportunity given her there.

Salinas encouraged Latino youth, whom she said she had “empowered with information,” advising that the key to success in the United States was not the accumulation of “fame, fortune or power” but simply to leave a mark, a small (finger) print for others to continue.


She said she had been reading texts, tweets and Facebook postings, and that each had touched her.

Journalism is more than reading the news, Salinas said, adding that for the Latino community, the craft represents “commitment, devotion and solidarity.”


Salinas hugged longtime television partner Jorge Ramos. A floor manager extended his hand, guiding her away from the set as Ramos stood behind, watching her leave.

The camera opened, letting viewers see the entire set and newsroom while a Mariachi band serenaded her with “Cielito Lindo.”


Not known for showing emotion, Salinas seemed teary-eyed as she was joined by the entire “Noticiero Univisión” staff, her daughters and the on-air staff, including that of her Sunday newsmagazine “Aqui y Ahora.” Co-anchor Teresa Rodriguez gave her a hug as the screens behind her read “Muchas Gracias Maria Elena.”

The transition at Univision, known for the stability of its news talent, will be interesting. An entire generation has never seen changes in the news lineup.


Latinos always knew that at 6:30 it was time to see Maria Elena and Jorge if they wanted to be informed of the day’s events.

Ilia Calderon, who has been at the network for more than seven years after having anchored the Telemundo Weekend News, will be Ramos’ new partner. She is the first Afro-Latina ever to anchor a weekday newscast in Spanish in the United States.


Lena Hanson, People: Noticiero Univision’s Jorge Ramos’s Moving Goodbye Letter to Former Co-Anchor María Elena Salinas

Gisela Salomon, Associated Press: US anchor leaves long Univision post, seeks new audience (Dec. 4)


Veronica Villafañe, Media Moves: Salinas bids farewell in final Univision newscast

Dreamers at the Guardian office in Washington. (Evelyn Hockstein, courtesy the Guardian)

Dreamers to Guest-Edit the Guardian This Week

Today the Guardian announces it has invited a team of Dreamers to guest edit Guardian US,” the Guardian reported on Monday. “Dreamers Itzel Guillen, Irving Hernandez, Allyson Durate, and Justino Mora will use the Guardian’s platform to tell stories about their lives and communities. ‘We’re Here to Stay’ aims to elevate voices that are often excluded from the national conversation.


“Univision News will co-publish a selection of the Guardian’s stories in Spanish, and Columbia Journalism Review (CJR) will co-publish a piece on what the media gets wrong when covering Dreamers.

“With Donald Trump’s pledge to scrap Daca, the future of more than 800,000 young people who came to this country as children is unknown, tied within a government budget deal that will not be resolved for weeks.


“Over the next 72 hours, the four Dreamers will use the power of the Guardian’s global reach to raise the pressure on Congress and tell their stories by publishing personal essays, commentary, photography and video, enabling readers to engage with first-hand perspectives of undocumented young people in America. . . .”

Itzel Guillen, Irving Hernandez, and Allyson Duarte, the Guardian: What to do (and what not to do) when writing about Dreamers


Short Takes

  • Via Twitter, President Trump denied a New York Times story posted Saturday that said that he watched four to eight hours of TV a day and said he “seldom, if ever,” watches CNN or MSNBC, Brian Stelter reported Monday in his “Reliable Sources” newsletter. “And: ‘I never watch Don Lemon, who I once called the “dumbest man on television!” ‘ CNN responded with a statement: ‘In a world where bullies torment kids on social media to devastating effect on a regular basis with insults and name calling, it is sad to see our president engaging in the very same behavior himself. Leaders should lead by example.’ “
  • “In recent years, as high rates of maternal mortality in the U.S. have alarmed researchers, one statistic has been especially concerning,” Renee Montagne reported Thursday on NPR. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “black mothers in the U.S. die at three to four times the rate of white mothers, one of the widest of all racial disparities in women’s health. Put another way, a black woman is 22 percent more likely to die from heart disease than a white woman, 71 percent more likely to perish from cervical cancer, but 243 percent more likely to die from pregnancy- or childbirth-related causes. In a national study of five medical complications that are common causes of maternal death and injury, black women were two to three times more likely to die than white women who had the same condition. . . .”
  • The 2018 Grammy nominations are overdue acknowledgment that hip-hop has shaped music and culture worldwide for decades,” the Los Angeles Times said Saturday in a note accompanying an excerpt of “Parental Discretion Is Advised: The Rise of N.W.A and the Dawn of Gangsta Rap” by Times staffer Gerrick D. Kennedy. “With the launch of this ongoing series, we track its rise and future.”
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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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