"With elements echoing many of the fixtures of Hollywood's fictional crime tales, Tuesday's showdown with real-life fugitive Christopher Dorner brought the conflicting agendas of law enforcement and the media into sharp relief, spotlighting the challenges — and pitfalls — of such immersive live coverage," AJ Marechal reported Tuesday for Variety.
"Uncensored obscenities made it on the air, phone conversations interrupted live coverage and journalists were asked by authorities to restrict their coverage to avoid tipping off the suspect.
"The confrontation featured aspects that viewers have seen often in the reporting of real-life incidents (swarms of helicopters, roadside checkpoints) as well as fictional onscreen tales ranging from 'The Negotiator' and 'The Fugitive' to 'High Sierra,' (rogue cops seeking to clear their name, a multi-jurisdictional manhunt playing out in a remote locale). . . . "
The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday, "Charred human remains have been found in the burned cabin where police believe fugitive ex-cop Christopher Dorner was holed up after trading gunfire with law enforcement, authorities said.
"If the body is identified to be Dorner’s, the standoff would end a weeklong manhunt for the ex-LAPD officer and Navy Reserve lieutenant who is believed to be responsible for a string of revenge-fueled shootings following his firing by the Los Angeles Police Department several years ago. Four people have died, allegedly at Dorner’s hands. . . ."
The saga was fraught with racial implications. "Fugitive and suspected murderer Christopher Dorner may have been found dead in a burned-out cabin in Big Bear, Calif., on Tuesday evening, ending a weeklong manhunt," Hillary Crosley wrote Wednesday for the Root. "However, for many the story of the former Los Angeles police officer and Navy reservist gone rogue isn't a clear-cut one of death and destruction, but rather of race, police brutality and the blue wall of silence. . . . "
Coverage bumped up against President Obama's State of the Union message. Wayne Bennett, who blogs as the Field Negro, wrote Wednesday, "As one of my tweeter fam said, it's the 'state of the Dorner coverage' on the news tonight. Sorry Mr. President, but this is like a real live Hollywood movie playing itself out in SoCal.
"I know that a lot of my cousins are cheering for Dorner because dude is getting Robin Hood love from certain quarters, but I hope that these folks remember that he started his killing spree by killing a brotha. . . ."
Caitlin Dickson, Daily Beast: Carter Evans, the Reporter Caught in the Christopher Dorner Crossfire
Merrill Knox, TVSpy: LA Stations Pivot From Dorner Coverage to State of the Union
Kevin Roderick, LAObserved: Weird story o' the day: Dorner's mom at bar watching standoff
The two best-known Spanish-language networks, Univision and Telemundo, decided to air novelas instead of President Obama's State of the Union address Tuesday, and Univision was rewarded with a ratings victory.
"On a night littered with reruns leading into the State of the Union address, there was only one original show on the Big Four networks," Toni Fitzgerald wrote Wednesday for Media Life Magazine.
"That paved the way for a rare weeknight victory for Univision, which also won every hour of the evening with its original telenovelas." Fitzgerald cautioned that the figures could change later in the day.
The audience for the State of the Union speech was split among the various networks that carried it.
CNN en Español, a third Spanish-language network, did carry the speech live. It was followed by a Republican response from Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, who had also prepared a Spanish-language version of his remarks. "Actually we [pre-empted] our 9 pm show called Cala. We aired it on CNN en Español and on CNN Latino," spokeswoman Isabel Bucaram told Journal-isms by email.
Representatives of Univision and NBC-owned Telemundo were quick to point out that they carried the annual presidential address on other platforms.
"We aired the State of the Union and the response live on Galavision (this is the second year we do this) and then re-aired both later on Univision, in addition to streaming both the State of the Union and the response," Monica Talan, senior vice president of corporate communications and public relations at Univision, told Journal-isms by email. Cable, which carries Galavision, has a fraction of the audience of broadcast television, which transmits Univision.
Asked the reason for not pre-empting the telenovelas on the main Univision channel, Talan replied, "This the second consecutive year we aired on the #1 Spanish-language cable network and later on the Univision Network."
Camilo Pino, a spokeswoman for Telemundo, which aired the telenova "La Patrona," emailed, "We video-streamed both speeches at Telemundo.com. President Obama's SOTU was dubbed in Spanish. Rubio's was the one he originally delivered in Spanish. We also showed highlights from both speeches last night on a special news program from D.C. hosted by Jose Díaz-Balart ('Estado de la Nación' at 11:35pm/10:35 c). 'Estado de la Nación' featured commentary and analysis by Representatives Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Ileana Ross Lehtinen (R-FL) as well as reactions by young 'dreamers.' By the way, we also had Rubio on our morning show today."
Meanwhile, members of the media said that Obama delivered an “effective” State of the Union address that ended with an emotional turn with an emphasis on gun violence, Mackenzie Weinger reported for Politico.
According to a CNN/ORC International poll, 53 percent of viewers had a "very positive" reaction to the Obama speech, 24 percent said they had a "somewhat positive response" and 22 percent said they experienced a negative response, Politico's Katie Glueck reported.
Lawrence D. Bobo, the Root: Rubio Repeats a Failed Message
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: The Art of Infinite War
Michael H. Cottman, Black America Web: Obama Highlights Urban Gun Violence On National Stage
Merlene Davis, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader: Don't give us special rights, give us equal rights
William Douglas and Franco Ordonez, McClatchy Newspapers: Many African-Americans concerned about Obama's focus on immigrant rights (Feb. 11)
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable: SOTU: Gun Violence Plan Makes No Mention of Entertainment
Sam Fulwood III, Center for American Progress: Black Immigration Views Too Often Ignore Fact and History
Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: A hopeful State of the Union — upstaged by the manhunt for Christopher Dorner
Jack Mirkinson, Huffington Post: Touré: Drone Critics 'Getting A Little Soft,' 'Defending Civil Liberties Of Al Qaeda Members' (VIDEO)
Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Can GOP end the 'carnival of the crazy'?
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: A visual statement of progress, followed by the same old story
Janell Ross, HuffPost LatinoVoices: Watching State Of The Union 2013, New York Immigrants Hope Congress Really Heard Obama
Jack White, the Root: Rubio's Big Moment Fizzles
"Time Warner is in talks to shed much of Time Inc., the country's largest magazine publisher and the foundation on which the $49 billion media conglomerate was built, according to people involved in the negotiations," Amy Chozick and Michael J. De La Merced reported Wednesday for the New York Times.
"Time Warner is in early discussions with the Meredith Corporation to put most of Time Inc.'s magazines — including People, InStyle and Real Simple — into a separate, publicly traded company that would also include Meredith titles like Better Homes and Gardens and Ladies' Home Journal."
Time Inc. is also the parent company of Essence magazine, the leading magazine for African American women; and People en Español, which launched in 1998, the result of suggestions from Latino employees of Time Inc. Essence debuted in 1970 under black ownership. In 2005 Time Inc., which had acquired 49 percent of Essence Communications, bought the rest of the company.
While Meredith does not publish any titles targeting African Americans, it has created Meredith Hispanic Ventures, which produces the successful Ser Padres and Siempre Mujer magazines. Last year Ser Padres, a parenting publication, increased its advertising pages by 28.8 percent while most other magazines were losing pages.
Lucia Moses, Adweek: Meredith, Time Inc.: A Comparison (Feb. 14)
Roman Catholic worshippers and clergy in Africa and Latin America, where the church is rapidly growing, greeted Monday's news of Pope Benedict XVI's impending retirement with surprise, respect, and a question: Could the next pontiff be from their continent? Jon Gambrell wrote Tuesday for the Associated Press.
Some African Americans and Latinos wondered the same thing, including two journalists-turned-clergy members who shared their thoughts with Journal-isms.
". . . the catholic church's biggest areas of growth and numbers are in south america and africa," the Rev. M. Dion Thompson, a former reporter at the Baltimore Sun, told Journal-isms by email. "however, choosing a pope from those areas is a long shot. it's as if the old guard cannot and will not step aside."
Thompson, rector at the Church of the Holy Covenant in Baltimore, continued, "i'm an episcopalian, part of the anglican communion, and we had a similar situation when our most recent leader, the archbishop of canterbury, retired last year. nigeria has the largest number of anglicans. however, once again, the archbishop came from the british isles.
"sometimes these leadership changes provide insight on a church's thinking as well as power concerns."
Dan Amira wrote Monday for New York magazine, ". . . so far, overseas bookmakers are picking two black cardinals, Ghana's Peter Turkson and Nigeria's Francis Arinze, as the front-runners. . . But don't get too excited just yet. The bookmakers don't really have any idea what they're talking about. . . ."
Of the 118 cardinals eligible to be the next pope, 14 are from Latin America, including three from Brazil, three from Mexico and two from Argentina, Mimi Whitefield and Jim Wyss reported Monday for the Miami Herald.
"Some are on the papal shortlist, but it may be premature to think of a New World pope, said Father Hermann Rodriguez, the dean of theology at Bogotá's Jesuit Javeriana University," the story by Whitefield and Wyss continued.
". . . The pope did not do much in the area of race relations, which is [a] disappointment," the Rev. Susan Smith, another clergy member, told Journal-isms by email.
". . . the words of Jesus (as opposed to Christian doctrine) point to the equality of people, no matter their race, religion or gender. Pope Benedict did not step out of his comfort zone and try to lead priests worldwide to a new consciousness about the need for Christians to embrace racial equality and dignified treatment of all people, since all people were created by the one God of us all."
Smith is senior pastor at Advent United Church of Christ in Columbus, Ohio. She worked for newspapers in Baltimore and Texas, and as a radio and television talk-show host in Baltimore and Columbus.
Not all the concerns are racial. Marlene L. Johnson, a former editor at the Washington Times who is a 2007 graduate of Howard University School of Divinity, earning a masters of arts in religious and social ethics, had these questions she said she'd want to see answered in the coverage:
"Will the conclave's process will be different because of the unexpected resignation of the Pope and how the selection will be handled," she asked by email. "Also there's a looming question of whether the conclave will hesitate to select one of its older members and opt for a younger one. And what systems are in place to accommodate the physical frailties of the Pope in terms of the demands on his time and his travel itineraries. What will be the impact on conclave members and lay Catholics in the interim in view of the looming religious, spiritual and social issues that require leadership from the top?"
Associated Press: The world reacts to pope's decision to retire;
Samuel Burke, CNN: Meet the man who could be the first black pope
Los Angeles Times: The cardinals who might be pope (photo gallery)
Mary Jo McConahay, New America Media: La Sorpresa: The Papal Resignation, in the Latin American Eye
When historical films take license with the facts to fit a filmmaker's narrative, critics are usually admonished with, "It's only a movie."
But what if the movies are shown as part of students' education?
"Steven Spielberg's biopic of Abraham Lincoln is to be sent to schools across the US to be used as a teaching aid," Ben Arnold reported Wednesday for the British version of Yahoo News.
"DVD copies of 'Lincoln', starring Daniel Day-Lewis as the American president, will be sent to high and middle schools as part of a campaign called 'Stand Tall: Live Like Lincoln'."
While the "Lincoln" movie was critically praised and considered an odds-on favorites to win Academy Awards for its principals, it has been criticized for downplaying the role of blacks in their own liberation, along with the role of abolitionists.
Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Eric Foner wrote in a letter to the New York Times, ". . . The 13th Amendment originated not with Lincoln but with a petition campaign early in 1864 organized by the Women's National Loyal League, an organization of abolitionist feminists headed by Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
"Moreover, from the beginning of the Civil War, by escaping to Union lines, blacks forced the fate of slavery onto the national political agenda. . . . "
On Tuesday, Lincoln's birthday, the Los Angeles Times editorialized about the film's decision to incorrectly portray the Connecticut congressional delegation as voting against the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery.
". . . Of course, 'Lincoln' is not a documentary. It's historical fiction,' the editorial said. "Spielberg and [screenwriter Tony] Kushner were within their rights to take what artistic license they felt was needed, and they did: Dialogue has been created; encounters have been imagined. Nevertheless, the challenge of good historical fiction is to tell a compelling story in the context of history. . . ."
"Employees of The McClatchy Company, which operates The Miami Herald and dozens of other newspapers, will not receive 401(k) matching funds for 2012 — a repeat of what happened to them in 2011," Ned Resnikoff wrote Tuesday for msnbc.com. His essay was headlined, "How lower-income Americans are shut out of journalism."
" 'We often get asked when the 401(k) match will be reinstated,' said a Monday email to the company’s staff obtained by [media blogger Jim Romenesko]. 'Although reinstating a company match is a priority, the company's financial performance must improve before we can start making matching contributions once again. For now, we will continue to closely monitor the company's profitability to determine when we can reinstate the 401(k) match.'
"McClatchy made the decision to withhold 401(k) benefits in response to falling earnings, an epidemic across the traditional newspaper media. But while much has been said and written about the difficulty of turning a profit in today's journalism world, the labor side of things has been largely ignored. The news media's current economic climate doesn’t just shrink newsrooms and kill magazines: it also reifies professional class barriers, making it tougher for aspiring journalists from working-class backgrounds to obtain steady jobs or big soapboxes. . . . "
Two ways to observe Black History Month via the media:
"When a rapper says he's gonna 'pop a pill' then 'beat that p*ssy like Emmett Till,' that’s when we know that he might have gone just a little bit too far," Dr. Boyce Watkins wrote in his syndicated column. "But that’s just what happened this week, and the Till family isn't happy.
"In the song, Lil Wayne takes the liberty of turning the mutilated face of Emmett Till into a weary s*x organ, ridiculing the agony experienced by this young man many years ago. The matter is made is even sadder by the fact that Till’s legacy was trampled by Lil Wayne, Future and Universal Records right in the middle of Black History Month. . . . "
On Wednesday, Epic Records apologized "and said it was looking to pull all traces off the Internet of the so-called unauthorized remix . . ." Natalie Finn reported for E! Online. ". . . Out of respect for the legacy of Emmett Till and his family and the support of the Reverend Jesse L. Jackson, Sr., we are going through great efforts to take down the unauthorized version," the company said.
By contrast, Bonnie Boswell Hamilton, niece of Whitney M. Young Jr., the underappreciated executive director of the National Urban League during the crest of the civil rights movement of the 1960s, has produced a film about her uncle that is to be shown on PBS this month.
"We just had a terrific launch party at the Ford Foundation in NYC," Hamilton wrote via email. " '60 Minutes' Leslie Stahl moderated a panel following the screening with Ken Chenault, Vernon Jordan, Richard Parsons and Jeanette Takamura." The men are African American business executives; Takamura is dean of Columbia University's School of Social Work.
The film's website says, ". . . During the turbulent 60s, he was a diplomat between those in power and those striving for change. Young had the difficult tasks of calming the fears of white allies, relieving the doubts of fellow civil rights leaders, and responding to attacks from the militant black power movement. This complex tale explores the public and private trials of the man at the center of the storm. . . "
"The Powerbroker: Whitney Young's Fight For Civil Rights" premieres on "Independent Lens" on Monday at 10 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings), narrated by Alfre Woodard.
Karen Bass, the Grio: Living Uplifting African-American foster youth
Gene A. Budig, USA Today: No simple answers to racial inequality
Todd Clayton, Huffington Post: Gay Will Never Be the New Black: What James Baldwin Taught Me About My White Privilege
Emily Deruy, ABC News-Univision: Why Some Minorities Lag Behind in Silicon Valley
Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star: Honoring black soldiers who helped free Koreans
Fannie Flono, Charlotte (N.C.) Observer: Race, secrets and a past that’s not past
Blair L.M. Kelley, the Grio: What to do if someone asks: 'Why isn’t there a White History Month?'
Julianne Malveaux, syndicated: Embracing Black History
Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune: Documentary spotlights civil rights pioneer: 'The Powerbroker' features Whitney Young and his work behind scenes
Dawn Turner Trice, Chicago Tribune: Search for natural father leads to racial discovery
Armstrong Williams, Townhall: Strom Thurmond and Essie Mae
"Our Guide to Giving challenged News & Observer readers to give at least $58,000 in donations to the charities on our holiday wish list last year," the Raleigh, N.C., newspaper told readers on Tuesday. "If that happened, we promised that columnist Barry Saunders — a true-blue UNC fan — would don the gear of rival Duke. Readers ultimately gave more than $67,500. . . . "
Univision News has signed Dr. Juan José Rivera as its chief medical correspondent, the network announced Tuesday, saying Rivera will appear regularly throughout Univision News programming. ". . . A prominent cardiologist, educator, researcher, and lecturer, Dr. Rivera is the Director of Cardiovascular Prevention for Mount Sinai Hospital in Miami Beach and has his own private practice . . ."
"A Somali journalist was freed after being detained without charges for more than a week for speaking out against the imprisonment of a fellow reporter," the Associated Press reported. "Daud Abdi Daud was released but he said Wednesday that the Somali government wants to charge him in court with 'offending the president's wife.' Government officials declined to comment on Daud's claim that he will be charged. . . . "
Gilbert Alton Maddox, a former communications professor and department chair at Morgan State University who is said to be the first black man in the United States to earn a PhD. in mass communications (1970), died in Washington Jan. 12 of pancreatic cancer, according to Patricia Montemurri, writing last month in the Detroit Free Press, and a death notice in the Washington Post. He was 82. The Riverside Condominium in Detroit said the Detroit native produced six television series on local television in the 1960s and 1970s and also taught at Wayne State University, Howard University, the University of Michigan and the University of the District of Columbia. In a 2007 interview with FishbowlDC, April Ryan, White House correspondent for American Urban Radio Networks, called Maddox the person who had the biggest influence on her journalism career.
UNITY Journalists for Diversity, Inc. said Wednesday it supports the Newspaper Association of America's lawsuit against the Postal Regulatory Commission regarding a deal to offer a reduced mailing rate solely to Valassis Direct Mail. "Cuts to the newspaper industry disproportionately hurt diversity in news coverage and the numbers of journalists of color and other underrepresented groups in newsrooms. . . .," the organization said.
As reported on Friday, longtime news anchor Bruce Johnson of Washington's WUSA-TV has produced "Before You Eat The Church Food," a documentary that addresses high mortality rates among African Americans from cardiovascular disease, linking them to eating habits and lack of exercise. Andre H. Williams, CEO of the Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc. told Journal-isms Wednesday that the organization is launching www.beforeyoueatthechurchfood.com on Monday, from which copies of the video may be downloaded free of charge. Johnson, a heart attack survivor, produced the 40-minute documentary for the association. (Video).
Producer Tracey E. Edmonds has teamed with BET Founder Robert L. Johnson to establish Alright TV, which launches on Easter Sunday, transmitting via YouTube. The network "will appeal to the aspirational and inspirational goals of consumers of all ages with buzz-worthy comedies, talk, reality, music, and online streaming of Sunday church services from around the country," according to a news release.
"Three Nigerian journalists have been arrested and accused of inciting violence by saying on a radio show that polio immunizations were an anti-Islamic Western conspiracy, just days before health workers administering the vaccines were killed, the police said Monday," Reuters reported. "Gunmen shot the nine health workers in Kano on Friday. . . ."
A memorial service for Faye Bellamy Powell, an activist with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in Selma, Ala., who edited the SNCC newsletter, is scheduled for Feb. 22 at the Auburn Avenue Research Library in Atlanta, according to Atlanta's WRFG-FM. The station produced a podcast discussing her life. Bellamy Powell died on Jan. 5 at age 74. "Fay played a central role at WRFG from the very beginning. She served on the WRFG Board of Directors in the 1970's and, in 1977, became the first Black and first woman to serve as board chair. She was also on the station's Program Committee in the 1970's and set the tone for the station's progressive stance on issues of and advocacy for justice overall," the station said.
In Chicago, the Community Renewal Society is seeking an editor and publisher for its investigative news organization, the Chicago Reporter. "The Reporter is a non-profit, independent news organization that examines issues in metropolitan Chicago with a focus on race and poverty. It deploys investigative and computer-assisted reporting, data analysis and a distinctive focus on the poor and communities of color to produce groundbreaking, high-impact journalism," an announcement says.
Longtime anchor Jim Vance of WRC-TV in Washington reiterated his opposition to the Washington Redskins team name in an essay, Dan Steinberg reported Monday in the Washington Post. "Back in the day, if you really wanted to insult a black man, attack a Jew, an Irishman, and probably start a fight, you threw out certain words," Vance said on Friday. "You know what they are. They were, and they are, pejoratives of the first order, the worst order, specifically intended to injure. In my view, 'Redskin' was and is in that same category. . . .”
"John Rogers is joining WFLA, the NBC affiliate in Tampa-St. Petersburg. He will be a reporter covering Manatee and Sarasota counties," Merrill Knox reported Wednesday for TVSpy. ". . . Since 2009, Rogers has been a reporter at WALA, the Fox affiliate in Mobile, Ala."
Drab coverage of Ecuador's presidential election ". . . is one result of reforms to the electoral law that took effect in February 2012, which prohibit biased reporting on electoral campaigns and [allow] candidates to sue reporters and news outlets who allegedly violate the law," John Otis reported Tuesday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "To avoid lawsuits, El Universo's editors have set aside an inside page of the newspaper devoting equal space to everyone from the frontrunner — President Rafael Correa, who is seeking a third term — to fringe candidates. . . ."
"The Criminal Court in Bangkok has sentenced the former editor of the now defunct magazine Voice of Thaksin for defaming Thailand's monarchy," Adnan Mujagi? reported Tuesday for the International Press Institute. "The Criminal Court sentenced Somyot Prueksakasemsuk to 11 years in jail for publishing two articles deemed insulting of the royal family. . . ."
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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.