#EbonyStillOwes: Writers Union Intervenes

  • Magazine ‘Treats Folks Like Sharecroppers’
  • Fewer Cries of Alarm Over Far-Right U.S. Terrorists
  • N.Y. Times Eliminates Public Editor Position
  • Scott Pelley Out at ‘CBS Evening News’
  • Memes Make Fun of Tiger Woods’ Misfortune
  • How to Tell Who’s Serious About Diversity
  • Hispanic Caucus Members to Visit Deported Vets
  • Leaked Papers Reveal Surveillance at Standing Rock
  • Nominate a J-Educator Who Promotes Diversity
  • Short Takes
“We have the list of everyone and are working to get them paid asap,” Chairman Michael Gibson said on May 7.

Magazine ‘Treats Folks Like Sharecroppers’

Despite assurances that freelancers for Ebony would be paid, the venerable magazine has become the target of biting accusations from still-unpaid contributors, who have created Twitter accounts called #Ebonyowes and #Ebonystillowes.


They charged that the company, in retaliation, has blocked them from viewing the magazine’s own tweets.

Larry Goldbetter, president of the National Writers Union, told Journal-isms by telephone Wednesday that the union is representing 14 writers who are owed $30,000. He said the union and Ebony spoke Wednesday about resolving the debts.


Ebony officials did not respond to requests for comment. On May 7, Michael Gibson, chairman of the CVG Group LLC, which purchased Ebony from Johnson Publishing Co. last year, said by email, “We have the list of everyone and are working to get them paid asap. Our apologies that this had taken this long to resolve. We will pay everyone what is owed.” He said the company would settle the oldest debts first.


Zerline Hughes, who created the hashtag #EbonyStillOwes, explained in an email why she did so:

Zerline Hughes

“I have been working for Ebony as a freelancer since September. Excited at the opportunity — especially when I was invited to write again and again — I continued to accept assignments. The pay window was 45 days which meant I would complete and submit an article and get another story assignment several times before seeing payment. So having started in late September, I knew I wouldn’t see payment until early December.

“Then, with turnover in the accounts payable department, with the buyout and of course the holidays, I thought the lag was somewhat understandable, though very inconvenient.


“At the start of the year, I started following up twice monthly about payment and by March I told my editor I could no longer accept assignments until I received payment for nine stories I’d written for online and magazine publication.” At the start of the Twitter storm and #EbonyOwes, I received payment for under half of what was due me. That was a start, but I wasn’t happy with the response time, the company’s Twitter reply that was ultimately taken down, nor with being hung up on to follow up on the second half of my payment.

“As a result, I continued to rally for myself and other writers with #EbonyStillOwes.


“My hope is that the National Writers Union serves as an effective advocate and representative on our behalf. I also hope more young writers understand that they, too, deserve payment and deserve to advocate for themselves vs thinking they should stay quiet in order to protect their careers.

“I’m a veteran in the field and have moved from a career in daily journalism and regular freelancing, but it was such a pleasure to be invited to write that I was doing it for fun and to show my mom my Ebony byline!


“It truly hurts to see a Black publication doing this to its own folk. That’s the most [disappointing] part about this. Being treated with disrespect by your own and having to come out of the closet and tell on your own folks.”

A memorial of chalk messages, photographs, handwritten notes, flowers, candles and stuffed animals at the Hollywood Transit Center in Portland, Ore., seen on Tuesday after Friday’s stabbing deaths and injuries of three good Samaritans on a MAX train. (Stephanie Yao Long/the Oregonian/OregonLive)

Fewer Cries of Alarm Over Far-Right U.S. Terrorists

Back in February, the Republican congressman from Wisconsin told CNN’s [Alisyn] Camerota that white terrorists of the far right variety did not pose the same level of danger to Americans as so-called ‘Islamist’ or ‘jihadist’ terrorists,” Mehdi Hasan wrote Wednesday for the Intercept.


“Why? ‘I don’t know, but I would just tell you there’s a difference,’ proclaimed [Rep. Sean] Duffy, who went on to dismiss as a ‘one-off’ the attack on a mosque in Quebec by a Trump-supporting white nationalist, in which six Muslim worshippers were killed.

“One-off? Seriously? Has Duffy been reading the news in recent days? On May 20, Richard Collins III, a black, 23-year-old U.S. Army second lieutenant, was murdered while visiting the University of Maryland by a member of a Facebook group called ‘Alt-Reich: Nation.’ According to University of Maryland police chief David Mitchell, the group promotes ‘despicable’ prejudice against minorities ‘and especially African-Americans.’ . . .”


Such incidents are part of a trend that the media are underplaying by failing to connect the dots, according to Dave Zirin of the Nation, who called the May 20 fatal stabbing of Collins a “lynching.” He wrote a second piece defending his use of the term.

Six days later, “53-year-old U.S. Army veteran Rick Best and 23-year-old recent university graduate Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche were murdered, while 21-year-old poet Micah David-Cole Fletcher was severely injured, by a knife-wielding white supremacist when the three of them tried to prevent him from harassing a Muslim woman in a headscarf on their commuter train in Portland, Oregon,” Hasan continued.


“Why isn’t Duffy back on CNN decrying the threat posed by such vile domestic terrorists? Why aren’t the Republican political and media establishments loudly alerting voters to the white-skinned far right menace in their midst? . . .”

Other examples aren’t difficult to find. Two Marines were arrested for trespassing May 20 during a Confederate rally in Alamance County, N.C., Natalie Allison Janicello reported Saturday for the Times-News of Burlington, N.C.


They were “displaying a banner with symbolism associated with modern white nationalist movements,” Janicello wrote.

The Oregonian reported that Portland “Mayor Ted Wheeler has said the city will not issue permits for two ‘alt-right’ protests in June,” a position understandable but wrong, the newspaper editorialized on Wednesday.


“In a strongly worded Facebook post on Monday, he also has called on the federal government to revoke its permit to one of the groups, which planned to hold a protest at a federal plaza.”

But, the Oregonian said Wednesday, “Not only will his efforts only legitimize complaints of government suppression of free speech, but he will further push away people — some of whom are likely Portlanders too — who condemn the killings just as much as he does. . . .”


Heidi Beirich with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, “Democracy Now!,” Pacifica Radio: Did Trump Campaign Rhetoric Empower the White Extremist Who Killed Two Bystanders on Portland Train?

Editorial, the Oregonian, Portland: Heroes’ stand against intolerance should unite Portland


Renée Graham, Boston Globe: Too little, too late from President Trump on Portland killings

Renée Graham, Boston Globe: A ‘hate crime’ meant to sow terror (May 23)

Colbert I. King, Washington Post: The U.S. has a homegrown terrorist problem — and it’s coming from the right


Media Matters for America: Brit Hume laments Portland murders are getting more press coverage than a protest at Evergreen State College

Aaron Mesh and Corey Pein, Willamette Week, Portland, Ore.: White Supremacists Are Brawling with Masked Leftists in the Portland Streets. Homeland Security is Watching. (May 23)


Sophia A. Nelson, NBCBLK: Opinion: Racial Hate Is Infecting College Kids in America (May 25)

New York Times: A Murder at College Park

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Richard Collins III’s death a grim reminder that hate thrives — even on campus


E.R. Shipp, Baltimore Sun: Don’t let hate consume our country

Steven W Thrasher, the Guardian: The terror of lynching haunts black Americans again (May 24)


Kristi Turnquist, the Oregonian/OregonLive: Fox News and CNN offer contrasting views of Portland MAX stabbing case

Douglas Williams, the Guardian: Is shooting unarmed black people considered ‘law-and-order’? (May 25)


N.Y. Times Eliminates Public Editor Position

The New York Times is eliminating its public editor position, a move that will reduce accountability at the most powerful news organization in the country at a time when it needs it the most, Matt Gertz reported Wednesday for Media Matters for America.


“Current public editor Liz Spayd (pictured left), who was reportedly expected to remain in the position until 2018, will leave the paper Friday, according to a note to staff from New York Times Publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. about the elimination of the public editor role obtained by Media Matters. HuffPost’s Michael Calderone broke the story of the position’s elimination.


“Since 2003, the Times has employed a public editor to review criticism from the public about the paper’s ethics, the quality of its journalism, and its standards. With a broad mandate and the ability to work ‘outside of the reporting and editing structure of the newsroom,’ the position marries true independence with the ability to get answers from reporters and editors about their methods and stories. . . .”

The Times’ own story by Daniel Victor began with an announcement that the organization “offered buyouts to its newsroom employees on Wednesday, aiming to reduce layers of editing and requiring more of the editors who remain. . . .”


Victor also wrote, “The buyouts are meant primarily for editors, but reporters and others in the newsroom will also be able to apply for them, the memo said.” Executive Editor Dean Baquet and Managing Editor Joseph Kahn “said that the savings generated by the reduction in editing layers would be used to hire as many as 100 more journalists. . . .”

Sulzberger said in a newsroom memo that the public editor’s role had become outdated.


Victor added, “On Tuesday, The Times announced the creation of the Reader Center, an initiative that appeared to overlap somewhat with the public editor’s role. The center will be responsible for responding directly to readers, explaining coverage decisions and inviting readers to contribute their voices. . . .”

Liz Spayd, New York Times: The Declining Fortunes of Women at The Times (March 4)


Liz Spayd, New York Times: Preaching the Gospel of Diversity, but Not Following It (Dec. 17)

James Warren, Poynter Institute: New York Times editor: Local news is the biggest ‘crisis’ in journalism


Scott Pelley Out at ‘CBS Evening News’

Scott Pelley

Tuesday night’s edition of the CBS Evening News led, ironically, with what substitute anchor Jeff Glor called ‘a shakeup at the White House’ — a reference to the resignation of President Donald Trump’s communications director,” Lloyd Grove reported Wednesday for the Daily Beast.

“Left unmentioned on the newscast was an even sexier shakeup story — the forced removal of the program’s permanent anchor, Scott Pelley.


“The 59-year-old Pelley, whose name remained in the newscast’s title and whose image appeared in the opening graphics, is leaving the broadcast after years of friction with news division President David Rhodes to work full time for 60 Minutes, according to CBS News insiders who confirmed a report Tuesday night in the New York Post’s Page Six column. . . .”

Stephen Battaglio added in the Los Angeles Times, “The network named veteran correspondent Anthony Mason as an interim anchor who will take over in July. . . .”


Chris Ariens, TVNewser: Lester Holt Named 2017 Fred Friendly Award Honoree

Andrew Tyndall, Tyndall Report: Anchor Scott Pelley Leaves CBS Evening News (analysis)

In one meme, Tiger Woods’ mug shot is photoshopped to compare him with a similar shot taken of the late James Brown. (hollywoodlife.com)

Memes Make Fun of Tiger Woods’ Misfortune

Tiger Woods’ mug shot was released following his DUI arrest on May 29 and the Internet treated the matter with dignity and respect,” Jason Brow wrote Tuesday for hollywoodlife.com. “Just kidding. Fans turned Tiger’s mug shot into memes, saying he looked like everything from a stoned Furby to Nick Nolte.


“Should it be a surprise that the Internet would have a blast mocking Tiger Woods, 41, following his latest scandal? The golf icon was busted during the early hours of May 29, charged with driving under the influence. Soon after he was released on his own recognizance, his mug shot was released to the public.

“You know what that means — memes and puns that made fun of Tiger’s misfortune. The most savage has to be the front page of the New York Post, who ran Tiger’s mug with the caption ‘DUI Of The Tiger.’ . . .”


Woods told . . .officers he had not been drinking, and two breath tests at the jail registered a 0.0 blood-alcohol level,” the Associated Press reported on Thursday.

Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post: The mug shot is ‘the great equalizer.’ Just look at Tiger Woods.


Michael A. Fletcher, the Undefeated: Tiger Woods says he’s ‘Cablinasian,’ but the police only saw black

Erik Ortiz, NBC: Is Tiger Woods’ DUI Arrest the Final Nail in His Coffin?

Mark W. Sanchez, New York Post: Why ESPN used Photoshopped Tiger Woods mug shot

Daniel Uthman, USA Today: Tiger Woods’ mugshot after DUI arrest now under the influence of society


David Whitley, Orlando Sentinel: If mugshots could talk, Tiger Woods’ would be yelling ‘Help!’

How to Tell Who’s Serious About Diversity

Raju Narisetti

Why do you think most U.S. newsrooms are overwhelmingly white and male?,Chris Roush of Talking Biz News asked Raju Narisetti, a veteran media executive who is now chief executive officer of Gizmodo Media Group, which operates websites Gizmodo, Deadspin, Jezebel, Jalopnik, Kotaku and Lifehacker. The group is owned by the Univision.

In an emailed response published Friday, Narisetti answered, “Weak leadership; Lack of real intent; Unwillingness to take risks by reaching deeper into the ranks when the top layers are not historically diverse; Not focusing enough on building a diverse starter pipeline; Being satisfied with tokenism in the masthead; Unwillingness to connect growing lack of trust issues to lack of diversity in newsroom; Poaching from each other than adding to the diversity pool.


“I always say a good way to really get a feel for a news organization’s true leadership on diversity is to ask, especially during job interviews, for data.

“If a hiring manager, especially senior managers, are not able to give you their staff profile and numbers — whether it is diverse or not — off the top of their head, then you know it is not a key priority for them, at least not on an ongoing basis. . . .”

Carlos Torres, 61, a deported Army veteran, puts on his “Seguridad” (security) uniform before going to work at a maquila at his home in Reynosa, Mexico. (Rodolfo Gonzalez/Austin American-Statesman)

Hispanic Caucus Members to Visit Deported Vets

“This Saturday, U.S. Rep. Joaquín Castro, D-San Antonio will lead a delegation of seven members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus into Tijuana, Mexico to meet with U.S. military veterans who have been deported south of the border — the subject of a 2016 American-Statesman investigation highlighting the plight of honorably discharged veterans who were later kicked out of the country, often for non-violent criminal infractions,” Jeremy Schwartz reported Wednesday for the Austin American-Statesman.


“The visit to the Deported Veterans Support House will be a chance to talk up legislative efforts to help deported veterans return to the U.S., which have fizzled periodically in recent years, victims of congressional gridlock on immigration reform. . . .”

Leaked Papers Reveal Surveillance at Standing Rock

A shadowy international mercenary and security firm known as TigerSwan targeted the movement opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline with military-style counterterrorism measures, collaborating closely with police in at least five states, according to internal documents obtained by The Intercept,” Alleen Brown, Will Parrish, Alice Speri reported Saturday for the Intercept.


“The documents provide the first detailed picture of how TigerSwan, which originated as a U.S. military and State Department contractor helping to execute the global war on terror, worked at the behest of its client Energy Transfer Partners, the company building the Dakota Access Pipeline, to respond to the indigenous-led movement that sought to stop the project. . . .”

Brown, Parrish and Speri also wrote, “The leaked materials not only highlight TigerSwan’s militaristic approach to protecting its client’s interests but also the company’s profit-driven imperative to portray the nonviolent water protector movement as unpredictable and menacing enough to justify the continued need for extraordinary security measures. . . .”


Indian Country Today: TigerSwan, Counter-Terrorism and NoDAPL: 10 Astonishing Revelations in ‘The Intercept’ Report

Georgia News Lab students at WSB-TV in Atlanta, 2015. Director David G. Armstrong, 2106 Bingham award winner, is fifth from left. (Georgia News Lab)

Nominate a J-Educator Who Promotes Diversity

Beginning in 1990, the Association of Opinion Journalists, formerly the National Conference of Editorial Writers, annually granted a Barry Bingham Sr. Fellowship — actually an award — “in recognition of an educator’s outstanding efforts to encourage minority students in the field of journalism.”


AOJ merged last year into the American Society of News Editors, which is continuing the Bingham award tradition.

Since 2000, the recipient has been awarded an honorarium of $1,000 to be used to “further work in progress or begin a new project.”


Past winners include James Hawkins, Florida A&M University (1990); Larry Kaggwa, Howard University (1992); Ben Holman, University of Maryland (1996); Linda Jones, Roosevelt University, Chicago (1998); Ramon Chavez, University of Colorado, Boulder (1999); Erna Smith, San Francisco State (2000); Joseph Selden, Penn State University (2001); Cheryl Smith, Paul Quinn College (2002); Rose Richard, Marquette University (2003).

Also, Leara D. Rhodes, University of Georgia (2004); Denny McAuliffe, University of Montana (2005); Pearl Stewart, Black College Wire (2006); Valerie White, Florida A&M University (2007); Phillip Dixon, Howard University (2008); Bruce DePyssler, North Carolina Central University (2009); Sree Sreenivasan, Columbia University (2010); Yvonne Latty, New York University (2011); Michelle Johnson, Boston University (2012); Vanessa Shelton, University of Iowa (2013); William Drummond, University of California at Berkeley (2014); Julian Rodriguez of the University of Texas at Arlington (2015) (video); and David G. Armstrong, Georgia State University (2016) (video).


Nominations may be emailed to Richard Prince, ASNE Opinion Journalism committee, richardprince (at) hotmail.com. The deadline is June 23. Please use that address only for ASNE matters.

Short Takes

The Daily Caller, a popular conservative website, published a news story about recent protests in Charlottesville, Va., led by prominent white supremacists and anti-Semites, A.C. Thompson reported Wednesday for ProPublica. But “it didn’t disclose that its author, Jason Kessler, is supportive of white supremacist groups, and on the day of the march had himself made a speech to the protesters in which he praised fascist and racist organizations, thanked a prominent Holocaust denier, and declared the beginnings of a cultural ‘civil war. . . .”


Administrators of Bethune-Cookman University, where Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was booed by students May 10, had a good reason to invite her, Zaid Jilani reported Monday for the Intercept. The school, “as it happens, recently formed a new affiliation with a for-profit school under fire for its practices. If the school, Arizona Summit Law School, loses its ability to take federal loans, the school becomes effectively defunct. . . .”

The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., which undertook “five years of reporting on phony classes, generous grades for athletes who needed them to maintain eligibility and relentless obfuscation by university officials who treated the scandal more as a public relations problem than anything else,” editorialized Saturday about its dissatisfaction with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s failure to own up to its mistakes.


The World Bank estimates the Dominican Republic will be one of the countries most affected by climate change in the coming decades,Mariana Dale reported Wednesday for KJZZ-FM in Tempe, Ariz., and for NPR. “Rising sea levels could wash away the Caribbean nation’s tropical beaches and the homes of its most vulnerable citizens. . . .”

John Ketchum, associate producer for social media at CNN, is joining SB Nation, a Vox Media site that says it “makes every fan better,” June 19 as deputy editor. “John will be running the newsroom at night to start, working with our writers and engagement team to program the site. He’ll also be involved in larger on- and off-platform planning and programming, as well,” Managing Editor Brian Flood said Wednesday by email.

Pallavi Gogoi

Pallavi Gogoi, a senior editor at CNN who has worked at the Associated Press, USA Today and Business Week, has been named NPR’s new chief business editor and head of the Business Desk, NPR announced Tuesday. “Pallavi is known as an editor and manager who brings out the best in the reporters she works with and who has a great nose for where the story is going next and enterprise reporting that pulls relevant threads together to add up to something more meaningful,” Edith Chapin, executive editor of NPR News, wrote to staff members.


The USAA financial services firm is reinstating its advertising on Sean Hannity’s Fox News Channel program after receiving heavy criticism for its initial decision from many of the military members and veterans that it serves,” David Bauder reported Wednesday for the Associated Press.

Malia Zimmerman, the FoxNews.com reporter who wrote the now-retracted May 16 story that would breath new life into the Seth Rich murder conspiracy retweeted some curious articles on Monday, as flagged by CNN’s Oliver Darcy,” Aidan McLaughlin reported Wednesday for Mediaite. . . . According to David Gauvey Herbert writing in Quartz, Zimmerman has a track record of providing conspiracy fodder to Fox News anchors . . .


It’s been another bad month for ESPN,” Claire Atkinson reported Tuesday for the New York Post. “New data [show] the Disney flagship sports channel losing 3.8 percent of its subscribers in May, as cable cord cutters continue to defect to streaming video services like Netflix and Amazon Prime. . . .”

Showtime Networks has named Johanna Fuentes executive vp corporate communications, the top PR post at the pay cable outfit . . .,” Michael O’Connell reported Tuesday for the Hollywood Reporter. “ ‘Johanna is one of the smartest people in our business and the epitome of dedication to her work,’ Showtime Networks president and CEO David Nevins said Tuesday in a statement. . . .”

Viviana Hurtado

Iris Carreras, associate producer, CBS News, New York; Allegra Johnson, reporter/producer, Sheridan Broadcasting Networks, Pittsburgh; Viviana Hurtado, anchor/reporter, WTOL, Toledo, Ohio; and Edgar Zuniga, producer, Telemundo News, New York are among 14 producers, reporters, and editors to become Fellows in Europe in September during the height of the German election campaign, the Radio Television Digital News Foundation and the RIAS Berlin Commission announced on Wednesday.


At least two media workers were killed and 11 others injured when a powerful vehicle bomb exploded in the Zanbaq Square in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, on Wednesday, the International Federation of Journalists reported. “At least 80 people were killed and 350 injured in the incident. TOLO TV’s staff member Aziz Navin was killed along with BBC Kabul’s staff driver Nazeer Ahamad in the explosion. Three more journalists of BBC Kabul and a reporter of TV1 channel were also injured. . . .”

Reporting on Mexico, Reporters Without Borders said Thursday it is “extremely concerned about Salvador Adame Pardo, a local TV journalist who has been missing since 18 May, when gunmen kidnapped him in Nueva Italia, a town in the western state of Michoacán. . . .”


Since the start of 2016, Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday, it has “registered more than 70 cases of violence against journalists and media outlets in the course of their work in Nigeria.” It “reminds President Muhammadu Buhari’s federal government of its obligations as regards media freedom, including the obligation to ensure that state governors respect it. . . .”

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