Charles Barkley
Al Bello/Getty Images

NBA Hall of Famer Aids Journalism and Sports Program

"Basketball legend Charles Barkley recently announced his intention to make a $1 million gift to Morehouse College," the school announced on Friday. "In that same announcement, he pledged similar support to Auburn University (his alma mater) and the Wounded Warrior Project," for a total of $3 million in donations.


"Barkley is a member of the Basketball Hall of Fame and a noted analyst on TNT’s Inside the NBA show.

"The gift to Morehouse will benefit the College's burgeoning Journalism and Sports Program (JSP) that was initiated in 2007. Since its inception, this program has sent 40 of its students into the media workforce, while 17 have earned master's degrees in journalism or related fields, including six at Columbia University.

"Currently, nearly 65 percent of professional football players and 80 percent of professional basketball players are black; yet only 8 percent of newspaper sports journalists are African American. In response to this phenomenon, JSP was conceived by veteran filmmaker and Morehouse alumnus Spike Lee and his friend, the late Ralph Wiley, one of the nation's first African American sports columnists.


"JSP's director, Ron Thomas, joyfully reacted to this surprise announcement. 'We aim to produce the media's next generation of image makers, from columnists to digital specialists, covering a wide variety of news and marketing positions,' he said.

" 'Charles Barkley has always been very generous to students in our Journalism and Sports Program on a personal level. I am thrilled that Charles has greatly extended his generosity by donating $1 million to address our growing needs.' . . ."

In advance of the official announcement, Barkley disclosed his planned donations during a conference call for the American Century Championship's celebrity golf tournament in Lake Tahoe, Nev., on June 2, Brandon Marcello reported for


"Barkley is close friends with Cpl. Chad Pfeifer, an Iraq War veteran and amputee who teamed up with Barkley in 2014 at the event. Barkley made the decision to tell his friend — and the world — about his donation plans [June 2] while speaking to the media.

" 'I think we've had a conversation about how much I respect and admire what all you soldiers do,' Barkley said. 'So I just got a new contract. And my goal is always to, I try to give a million dollars a year away to charity. So I was going to announce Friday, I didn't know you were going to be on the conference call, but I'll announce now.

"I'm announcing Friday that I'm giving Auburn another million dollars. I'm giving Wounded Warriors a million dollars and I'm giving Morehouse University in Atlanta, each one of (you) all a million dollars. And I just want to thank you personally for having the stones to go to war, and I think it's a joke the way they treat our soldiers.' . . ."


. . . Sports Journalists Get a "D" on Diversity Hiring

The latest report on diversity among sports journalists at newspapers and websites, conducted every two years for the Associated Press Sports Editors, shows "an increase in opportunities for people of color as copy editors (from 14 percent to 16.7 percent), and slight increases for reporters (13.7 percent to 15 percent), and columnists (16.1 percent to 16.5 percent).

"There was also an increase for women as reporters (from 11.7 percent to 12.7 percent), sports editors (from 9.6 to 9.9), and women columnists (from 9.7 percent to 12.4 percent). There was a large decrease in women assistant sports editors (from 17.2 to 9.8 percent) and a slight decline for copy editors/designers (from 19.6 to 19.2 percent)."


However, the report, published by The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) at the University of Central Florida, said, "For 2014, the grade for racial hiring practices for APSE newspapers and websites was a C+, which was the same grade as in the 2012 study. The APSE newspapers and websites received the fourth consecutive F for gender hiring practices. Grades were not issued for the 2006 Report Card. The combined grade for 2014 was a D, the lowest of all the reports issued by TIDES."

Richard Lapchick, director of the Institute and primary author of the report, released on Wednesday, wrote, "ESPN has been a leader in the hiring of women and people of color in key positions. Of the 16 people of color who are sports editors at this level, seven work for ESPN. If the ESPN sports editors of color were removed, the percentage of sports editors of color would drop from 11.7 percent to 6.9 percent. Of the 11 women who were sports editors at this level, seven worked for ESPN. If the ESPN sports editors who are women were removed, the percentage of female sports editors would drop from eight percent to 3.1 percent. . . ."

Lapchick also wrote, "My primary recommendation to the APSE remains that it adopt a Ralph Wiley Rule, named after the late African-American writer.


"The Wiley Rule would be like the Rooney Rule in the NFL and would call for a diverse pool of candidates including people of color and women for each opening of these key positions. According to John Cherwa, many of the individual newspapers have adopted such a rule." Cherwa is an editor at the Los Angeles Times and adviser for the study.

Other highlights from the study include:

"The percentages of African-American men holding the position of copy editors/designers increased while assistant sports editors, reporters, columnists, and sports editors decreased.


"White male sports editors increased by 0.7 of a percentage point.

"The percentage of women sport editors increased for African-Americans and remained the same for Latinas.

"Latino men increased in percentage for sports editors, columnists, and reporters.


"Asian men increased for sport editors.

"ESPN formed a substantial part of the totals for people of color who were columnists and sport editors. . . ."

Meanwhile, the University of Missouri announced Tuesday that the Sports Journalism Institute is among seven individuals and two media organizations chosen for the Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism. The Institute, which aims to "enhance racial and gender diversity in sports departments nationwide," began in 1993 and has almost 300 graduates.


"Leon Carter, an ESPN vice president and editorial director of, and Sandy Rosenbush, an ESPN event news editor, will accept the medal on behalf of SJI. The two are co-directors of the institute."

Other medal winners include Yoani Sánchez, an acclaimed Cuban blogger, journalist and founder of 14ymedio, Cuba's first independent daily digital news outlet; and Lincoln Stephens, who co-founded the Marcus Graham Project, "which is focused on bringing more diversity to the advertising industry through mentorship, exposure and career development."

Kurt Wagner, Re/Code: LeBron James Is Giving Athletes the Last Word With Video Project 'Uninterrupted'


Judge Upholds Firing of Cop in Infamous Photo

"A white, clouted Chicago Police officer deserved to be fired for appearing in an offensive photograph, holding a black man like a hunting trophy, a Cook County Judge has ruled," Kim Janssen reported Wednesday for the Chicago Sun-Times.

"Judge Thomas R. Allen on Wednesday upheld the previous decision of the Chicago Police Board to fire Officer Tim McDermott.


"Calling the case 'straightforward' and saying it revolved entirely around what even McDermott's lawyer admitted was 'a horribly offensive' photo, he cited Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart's famous definition of obscenity.

" 'I know it when I see it,' Allen said of the shocking photo during his 30-minute ruling. . . "

The Sun-Times published the photo on May 27. Jim Kirk, publisher and editor, wrote then, "It's an offensive image, so much so that this newspaper had to think long and hard before publishing it today."


The Sun-Times editorialized last Thursday in a piece headlined, "Cop in offensive photo should never get his job back."

Jerome Finnigan, the second officer in the photo, which was taken between 1999 and 2003, was sentenced to 12 years in prison for leading a crew of rogue cops in robberies, home invasions and other crimes. McDermott was fired last year after the photo came to light, WGN-TV reported.

Student Video Gives Voice to Outrage Over McKinney

"Yes, there are conflicting storylines about the now-infamous incident involving former McKinney officer David Eric Casebolt," Mike Drago wrote in an opinion blog Wednesday for the Dallas Morning News. "I'm sure Casebolt, whose histrionics ratcheted the situation up about three notches, will roll out his side of the story pretty soon.


"Be that as it may (to quote one of my favorite colleagues), and no matter which storyline prevails as closest to the truth, the fact remains that McKinney is like every other city in America in one important way: minority populations, by and large, fear and distrust police.

"That's why relatively minor incidents (minor by comparison to Eric Garner and Mike Brown) blow up into international incidents. This country is a tinderbox that ignites with the smallest spark.

"Many Americans still don't believe this self-evident fact. In our paper this week, I've seen those teenage party-goers called 'thugs,' 'invaders' and 'animals.' Did you see these kids pleading with the cops? 'Sir, sir, please. I just came for a birthday party.' Thugs? Really?


"When my colleague Rudy Bush wrote the other day about the McKinney incident, he was viciously attacked via social media and email. I learned some new words. You wanna see thugs? Just read the comments.

"We can, and will, argue all day about whether it was racism (by police and Craig Ranch residents who called 911) or stupidity (by people who threw a party where they might shouldn’t have) that caused Friday's embarrassment.

"In my opinion, all that stuff is beside the larger point, which is that the tinderbox is real. The underlying sentiments of fear and mistrust are realities cemented through decades upon decades of actual experience. Racism is real, folks. My kids don't fear police; my black colleagues' kids do. That's a problem, and it's not race-baiting to say so.


"If you're among those who think the McKinney flap is much ado about nothing — a media creation whipped up by East Coast elites and Al Sharpton — I urge you to take a close look at this three-minute documentary, created by student filmmaker Christian Vasquez and produced by local film professor and all-around guru Barton Weiss. . . ."

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Cops gone wild?

James E. Causey, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Police kill more unarmed black people, report says.


Dallas Morning News: A Video Viewpoints ShortDoc: Protest in McKinney (video)

Mark Davis, Dallas Morning News: Thoughtful assessment of police a casualty of McKinney video

Jarvis DeBerry, | the Times-Picayune: The McKinney pool party; where do black people belong?


Gene Demby, NPR "Code Switch": Who Gets To Hang Out At The Pool?

Jenée Desmond-Harris, The only good news about the McKinney pool party is the white kids' response to racism

Conor Friedersdorf, Los Angeles Times: When 911 is the wrong number

Tristan Hallman, Dallas Morning News: Attorney says her teenage client’s treatment at McKinney pool was "inappropriate, excessive and without cause"


Allen Johnson, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: More minority cops will help but …

Kate Mather and Joel Rubin, Los Angeles Times: LAPD union president blasts commission ruling on Ezell Ford shooting

John McCaa, WFAA-TV, Dallas-Fort Worth: Uncut: McKinney's voices (video)

Tony Messenger, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: McKinney pool incident reminds us Fairground Park wasn't that long ago


Michael Meyers, Huffington Post: Fox News Must Stop Demonizing Black Males

Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News: What we all should have learned from the McKinney pool incident

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Racist or not, bad policing is on display

Sheron Patterson, Dallas Morning News: McKinney video traumatizes black women

Jasmine Poteat, NPR "Code Switch": Here's What People Are Saying About The McKinney, Texas, Pool Party Video


Tod Robberson, Dallas Morning News: McKinney officer's resignation is positive step to defuse issue he created

Josmar Trujillo, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Concocting a Crime-Ageddon to Promote Police Power

DeWayne Wickham, USA Today: In 'Bodymore, Murderland,' snitching could save lives


Lilly Workneh, HuffPost BlackVoices: This Striking Image Flips The Narrative Around Black Women And Police Brutality On Its Head

5 Reasons Women Are Underrepresented in News Media

Commenting on a report last week from the Women's Media Center on the underrepresentation of women in the news media, Sara Catania gave these five reasons Monday in an article for the Poynter Institute:

"1. Some women in journalism get brutally harassed. . . .

"2. Women in journalism are more subject to burnout and are leaving as a result. . . .


"3. Women are (still) inordinately judged on their appearance. . . . 

"4. Men are (still) considered the experts. . . .

"5. Women in journalism can do more to support one another. . . "

In a 2014 story in NiemanReports quoted in Catania's essay, Karen Magnuson, editor of the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and co-chair of the diversity committee for the American Society of News Editors, praised the hiring of women into top jobs at some newspapers.


"I certainly see strides," she said in the report. "But when it comes to people of color we’re not making the same progress."

Writers Fault Authorities for "Cruelty" That Led to Suicide

"We don't know if the grisly death by suicide of Kalief Browder could have been prevented, but it's beyond doubt that the young man's agony was intensified by years of mistreatment by a city that should have cared for him," Errol Louis wrote Tuesday for the Daily News in New York.


"As a 16-year-old, Kalief fell victim to the outright brutality of officers on Rikers Island, the incompetence of lawyers in the Bronx District Attorney’s Office — and the apathy of an indifferent public that makes the scandal complete.

"The basics of Kalief's story read like a real-world excerpt from 'The Trial' by Franz Kafka, the surreal fictional tale of a man who, charged with a crime that is never truly explained to him, endures endless court proceedings. In the spring of 2010, at age 16, Kalief was arrested for allegedly stealing a backpack; he denied guilt but was held on $3,000 bail, money his family could not raise.

"And so Kalief remained imprisoned on Rikers Island for three years, despite guidelines mandating that people charged with a crime be tried within six months.


"The sickening story came to public attention thanks to a blockbuster 7,000-word expose published by Jennifer Gonnerman in the New Yorker magazine last fall. . . ."

Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic: The Brief and Tragic Life of Kalief Browder

Jennifer Gonnerman, the New Yorker: Kalief Browder, 1993–2015

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Project Links Female Latin American Journalists, Tech

"United Airlines has announced its sponsorship of the Chicas Poderosas ('Powerful Women') project, which is designed to create a corps of female digital media leaders in Latin America and increase the number of Latin American women journalists working directly with newsroom technologies," the company said on Tuesday.

"Around 50 women journalists, media technologists and interactive designers from across the Americas will meet with professors, journalists and innovators at the Chicas Leadership Summit at Stanford University this month to receive technology training that will help them improve visual and interactive storytelling in Latin American media. The goal is to create a network of tech-savvy women in Latin American newsrooms, who will then organize training events in their own countries. . . ."


The announcement also said, "Mariana Santos, a former International Center for Journalists (ICFJ) Knight Fellow and current John S. Knight (JSK) Journalism Fellow at Stanford University, developed the program, which is being operated under the auspices of ICFJ. . . ."

Columnist Sees "Plain Ignorance" About Latino Politicians

"Let's say you're a smart and accomplished Latino politician with big dreams, impressive credentials and what many people agree is a bright future.," Ruben Navarrette Jr. wrote Tuesday for the Washington Post Writers Group.


"Only one thing stands in your way: You don't speak Spanish.

"Will that fact cause you any grief, open you up to criticism or prompt the media to pounce? If you're a Republican, the answer is likely yes. If you're a Democrat, then probably not.

"The 2016 election is adding a new twist to familiar accusations of bias in the media. Latinos are at the center of the controversy, with two of them waging well-funded and credible campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination (Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas and Marco Rubio of Florida) and three more in the wings as possible running mates (Republican Govs. Brian Sandoval of Nevada and Susana Martinez of New Mexico, and Democrat Julian Castro, the secretary of housing and urban development).


"It's a new world, and the elite Beltway media can't keep up. In an interview with Castro's twin brother, Joaquin, a congressman from San Antonio, NBC News' Andrea Mitchell made reference to his 'Cuban-American' heritage. But, as the congressman pointed out, he and his brother are Mexican-American. Last August, The Washington Post introduced a blurb about Julian Castro dining with former President Bill Clinton under the tacky subheadline: 'We'll need more fajitas.'

"That's plain ignorance, the kind that grows like fungus in a petri dish in the laboratory of mostly white newsrooms where people who are paid to know a little about everything know virtually nothing about 54 million Latinos in the United States. . . ."

James Oliphant, Reuters: Why Ted Cruz's Candidacy Isn't Catching Fire With U.S. Latinos


African Journalists Welcome Whistleblowing Platform

"Top editors and investigative journalists in South Africa have welcomed a new whistleblowing platform designed to protect sources who leak sensitive information to the media," Raymond Joseph wrote Monday for the International Journalists Network.

"The platform, afriLEAKS, is being introduced to African media following a pilot phase during which it was tested by select newsrooms, including the weekly Mail&Guardian and Oxpeckers, an environmental investigative journalism platform that has played a key role in exposing the illicit trade in rhino horns.


"The embedding of afriLEAKS in African newsrooms is being spearheaded by the African Network of Centers for Investigative Reporting (ANCIR). Based on Publeaks, a successful whistleblowing platform that is widely used in the Netherlands, afriLEAKS provides a secure platform for sources to share information and sensitive documents. The platform was customized for African newsrooms by Nairobi-based technologists affiliated with Code for Africa.

"[International Center for Journalists] Knight Fellow Justin Arenstein, a founder of Code for Africa, is leading the strategy to roll out the whistleblowing platform on the continent and coordinated a high-level gathering in Johannesburg where afriLEAKS was showcased. . . ."

The center explained, "Knight International Fellow Raymond Joseph is working with Code for South Africa to strengthen the storytelling and audience engagement of news through data journalism and civic innovation in South Africa as part of ICFJ’s Code for Africa data journalism initiative."


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Short Takes

Al Tompkins, who co-authored four editions of a Newsroom Ethics Workbook, "is questioning the lack of context in the use of a racist caricature of an Asian in news coverage of a New York prison escape," Randall Yip wrote Wednesday in his As Am News. "Convicted killers Richard Matt and David Sweat escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility in New York Friday, leaving behind a post-it with a drawing of a bucktooth Asian wearing a cone shaped hat and the notation 'have a nice day.' . . ." 


"CNN announced today that Boris Sanchez has joined CNN as a correspondent based in the New York Bureau," CNN spokeswoman Christal Jones messaged Journal-isms on Monday. "Sanchez joins CNN from KDVR in Denver where he has been an outstanding anchor and reporter since 2012. Prior to that, he worked at ABC's affiliate in Redding, California. It was also announced today the Rosa Flores will be moving from New York to Chicago later this summer. Flores will be reporting on Pope Francis' travels to South America, Cuba and the U.S. later this year."

"Sewell Chan, one of the Times' most insightful and prolific editors and reporters, has agreed to take up the post of International News Editor, London, leading our real-time news operation there," Times editors Joe KahnMichael Slackman and Dick Stevenson told staffers in a memo on Wednesday. "In this crucial role, Sewell will lead the effort to keep us ahead on digital platforms during the non-American world's day. He will work closely with correspondents to produce stories on the most important breaking news globally, while also enriching our digital report with analytical and explanatory pieces delivered when demand is highest. . . ." Chan was most recently deputy op-ed editor.

"Katie Benner of Bloomberg is joining The Times as a technology reporter," the New York Times announced internally on Friday. "She's covered Wall Street and Silicon Valley. She's been a magazine writer and a columnist. Early in her career she wrote for Beijing Review, and since last fall, she has been based in San Francisco for Bloomberg View. . . ."


"Can't get enough of Raven-Symoné? Well, you’re about to be seeing a lot more of her," theGrio reported on Wednesday. "Symoné was named an official co-host of ABC’s The View Wednesday. . . ."

Erin Patrick O'Connor of Arizona State University was among 2015 Student Edward R. Murrow Award winners, the Radio Television Digital News Association said Wednesday. "Camden, New Jersey's homicide rate was 17 times higher than the national average in 2012. The winning story explores the city and talks to people who have organized to curb the impact of gun violence. O'Connor produced and directed a documentary shown on every television news station in the state of Arizona, and was a 2014 fellow in the university's Carnegie-Knight investigative reporting [initiative]. . . ."

"Police on Wednesday began an investigation into the death of a journalist set on fire after he accused a state minister of being involved in illegal mining and land seizures in northern India ," the Associated Press reported from Lucknow, India. "The freelance journalist, Joginder Singh, gave a statement to a magistrate before dying Monday from burns covering 60 percent of his body. Police inspector general Satish Ganesh said Singh had implicated Uttar Pradesh state's dairy minister, Ram Murti Singh Yadav, as well as two police officers in the June 1 attack. No arrests have been made. . . ."


"Fallout from the FIFA soccer scandal has begun to affect journalism in the Cayman Islands," Jere Longman reported Monday for the New York Times. "David Legge and his wife, Vicki, the publishers of the only daily newspaper in the territory, said Monday that they had left for Fort Lauderdale, Fla., fearing for their safety after the Cayman Islands premier, Alden McLaughlin, described a recent editorial about corruption as 'treasonous.' . . ."

"Rwanda Media Commission (RMC), a media self-regulatory body, has called on Burundian authorities to free a Rwandan journalist who was arrested in Burundi on Monday," James Karuhanga reported for New Times in Kigali, Rwanda. "Etienne Besabesa, a reporter with Radio Flash, Radio Izuba, and, who had crossed into Burundi to cover the ongoing flight of Burundians into neighbouring countries, including Rwanda, was arrested in Burundi's border district of Giteranyi and later transferred to Muyinga, according to RMC. . . ."

"Eight journalists, six media houses and a TV programme were banned for some time," Kimeng Hilton Ndukong reported Wednesday for the Cameroon Tribune in the capital, Yaoundé. "The affected media professionals and houses were punished for publishing what the Council considered as unbalanced information presented without bothering to crosscheck the details. . . ."


"The African Court for Human and People's Rights (ACHPR) Friday ordered the government of Burkina Faso to resume investigations into the murder of investigative reporter Norbert Zongo and his three companions in 1998 and try the perpetrators, the African Press Agency reported. "The government of Burkina Faso was also ordered to pay moral damages to the families of the victims. . . ." Press freedom organizations welcomed the ruling.

In Kenya, "four journalists were yesterday attacked and beaten by county askaris [police] in Trans Nzoia as they covered demonstrations over graft," Benard Kwalia reported for the Nation in Nairobi. "They are Leonard Wamalwa (West TV), Dancan Waswa (Imani TV), Saka Richard (Milele FM) and David Musundi (Royal Media services). The attack came after the askaris barred the demonstrators from entering Governor Patrick Khaemba's office to issue him with a petition. . . ."

In Vietnam, "Incarcerated blogger Ta Phong Tan has been on hunger strike since May 13 to protest the mistreatment of political prisoners at the prison where she is being held in Vietnam's central Thanh Hoa province, according to news reports," Shawn W. Crispin reported Tuesday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "It is believed to be the third time Tan has fasted in protest at poor prison conditions since she was detained in September 2011 for her critical reporting.