FCC’s Open-Internet Vote Receives Mixed Reviews

The advocacy group Free Press celebrates the FCC vote Thursday on net neutrality.

Hispanic Journalists Rejoice; Rainbow PUSH Not So Much

"In approving strong net neutrality regulations, the Federal Communications Commission fulfilled a decade long desire by public interest advocates, technology firms and Democrats to tighten government oversight of the Internet to prevent abuses by broadband service providers," Jim Puzzanghera reported Friday for the Los Angeles Times.

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"But the agency's closely watched decision on Thursday didn't end the debate. Not even close.

"The partisan divide over net neutrality — reflected in the FCC's party-line 3-2 vote — highlighted the passions on both sides of the arcane technology policy concept and showed that final resolution of the issue still could be years away.

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"Here's what's coming next. . . ."

Puzzanghera also wrote, "If there is no court stay and the net neutrality rules take effect, the FCC still must define some of the more amorphous aspects of the plan. Parts of the proposal, as outlined by the FCC's news release, are very specific. There are three 'bright line' rules for broadband providers.

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"No blocking: Broadband providers may not block access to legal content, applications, services or nonharmful devices.

"No throttling: Broadband providers may not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of content, applications, services or nonharmful devices.

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"No paid prioritization: Broadband providers may not favor some lawful Internet traffic over other lawful traffic in exchange for consideration of any kind — in other words, no 'fast lanes.'

"But other rules are vague. . . ."

Groups representing people of color have been divided over net neutrality, and that remained the case after the FCC vote.

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The National Association of Hispanic Journalists said in a news release, "NAHJ has been the leading voice in journalism supporting Net Neutrality over the past decade.

"The National Association of Hispanic Journalists has supported network neutrality since the beginning to preserve a free and open Internet and to ensure that all Internet users can access content or run applications and devices of their choosing without manipulation or discrimination.

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" 'This is a historic day. It's the result of hard work of Latinos committed to open access without obstacles', said NAHJ's President Mekahlo Medina. . . ."

Likewise, the National Hispanic Media Coalition applauded the decision.

"This is a historic day. As people of color we have come to rely on the Open Internet to educate ourselves, organize for social change, engage in the political process and push back against a history of discrimination and exclusion in traditional media," Jessica J. González, NHMC's executive vice president and general counsel, said in a news release.

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"I applaud the FCC majority for sifting through the nonsense arguments of a few Internet service providers and their massive team of lobbyists and siding with the American people for a truly Open Internet."

However, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition was cautious.

"The Rainbow PUSH Coalition continues to support an open Internet, particularly since access to high-speed broadband provides robust tools for citizens to improve the quality of their lives and connect to essential services," it said in a statement.

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"Given today's decision to reclassify broadband as a public utility, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition is concerned about potential unintended consequences. We are particularly uneasy about the potential imposition of new telecom-related taxes and fees, and the under-capitalization of broadband infrastructure in vulnerable communities that may result from this regulatory course.

"Consumers should not be burdened with new taxes and the industry must innovate and invest in infrastructure to ensure universal access to broadband and the internet for our schools, communities and businesses.

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"Rainbow PUSH looks forward to reviewing the entire order and will comment further at the appropriate time."

The Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council (formerly Minority Media and Telecommunications Council) was likewise unenthusiastic.

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"Today's decision will have tremendous ramifications on the telecommunications ecosystem, said new MMTC President and CEO Kim M. Keenan, who in October succeeded David Honig, co-founder and president for 28 years, in those roles.

"While MMTC needs to thoroughly review the 300-plus page Order to evaluate the potential impact, we have clearly gone backward in how we regulate a tool as dynamic as high-speed broadband. Title II-style regulation could result in less access, less choice, and more opportunities to tax consumers, a totally different picture than we see today."

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Martin Chavez, senior adviser to the Hispanic Technology and Telecommunications Partnership, a coalition of 19 of the largest national Hispanic organizations, said in that group's statement, "Imposing these new regulations, which will certainly be challenged in court creating further uncertainty, will be a blow to investment and innovation that has driven significant economic activity and jobs, and will stifle further adoption by Hispanics, who are most underserved."

To Van Jones, the former Obama administration official who is now a commentator on CNN, the old-guard civil rights groups got it wrong. "Since the first days of the Internet, one principle has been in place," Jones wrote for cnn.com. "Put simply, it is that 'owning the pipes' does not give you license to mess with what flows through them.

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"Internet service providers (ISPs) can charge a fee to provide Internet access. But they cannot block or censor content they do not like, or charge for a fast lane, or relegate companies that do not pay up to slow Internet speeds that could frustrate customers.

"All the FCC did this week was keep that principle in place.

"They made sure the Internet will work the same way the phones do — a call to the small business down the street does not sound worse or cost more than one to a big chain store.

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"ISPs like Verizon and Comcast stood to make a killing from blocking this change. But what is shocking is that some trusted civil rights organizations — including the National Urban League, NAACP, and Rainbow Push — actively helped the ISPs make their case.

"Worst of all, it was a completely avoidable error. . . ."

C-SPAN plans to broadcast the FCC meeting and final vote on net neutrality Sunday from 3:15 p.m. to 4:50 p.m. Eastern time.

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Craig Aaron, Free Press: Net Neutrality Victory

Craig Aaron, Huffington Post: How We Won Net Neutrality

Harry Bruinius, Christian Science Monitor: Net neutrality's stunning reversal of fortune: Is it John Oliver's doing?

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Andrew Flanagan, Billboard: FCC Votes to Preserve Open, Neutral Internet 

Emil Guillermo, NBC News Asian America: Father of Net Neutrality, Tim Wu, Hails FCC Decision

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Harry A. Jessell, TVNewsCheck: Broadcasters Benefit From Net Neutrality

Leticia Miranda, ProPublica: Net Neutrality May Face an Uphill Battle If History Tells Us Anything

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Edward Wyatt, New York Times: Obama's Net Neutrality Bid Divides Civil Rights Groups (Dec. 7, 2014)

The Bay Area News Group, which includes the Oakland Tribune among its 11 daily newspapers, 27 weeklies and other properties, plans to tweet the Oakland memorial service Monday for Dori J. Maynard, the president of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education who died at 56 on Tuesday after battling lung cancer.

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"The #hashtag will be #dorimaynard," Martin G. Reynolds, senior editor for community engagement at the Bay Area News Group and a Maynard Institute board member, told Journal-isms by email on Friday.

Maynard's father, Robert C. Maynard, became the first African American publisher of a mainstream U.S. newspaper when he bought the Tribune in 1983. He and his wife, Nancy Hicks Maynard, sold the paper in 1992.

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As reported in this space on Thursday, the Oakland service is planned for 11 a.m. Monday at the Chapel of the Chimes, a funeral home at 4499 Piedmont Ave., Oakland 94611. The chapel holds about 175 people, a chapel spokesman said. 

Christine Harris [registration required], a longtime friend, told Journal-isms by telephone Thursday that the family expects that an East Coast service for the MIJE president will take place in Washington, where her father rests under a simple headstone in Rock Creek Cemetery. Her stepmother, who died in 2008, shares his gravesite.

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On Saturday, Harris listed these planned participants in the service:

ReynoldsPerry Lang, a former vice president of the Maynard Institute who is executive director of San Francisco's Black Coalition on AIDS and the affiliated Rafiki Wellness Center; Sally Lehrman [registration required], professor of science and justice at University of California, Santa Cruz; Harris; Barbara Rodgers, longtime show host and reporter at KPIX-TV in San Francisco and co-founder and past president of the Bay Area Black Journalists Association; and novelist and poet Ishmael Reed.

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Also, Felix Gutierrez, professor emeritus at University of Southern California; Evelyn Hsu, Maynard Institute program director; Latoya Peterson, deputy editor, Voices at Fusion and digital media consultant;  brothers Alex and David Maynard; mother Liz Rosen, and close friends Nina Ritter , Jan Christiansen and Harris.

Meanwhile, Mark Trahant, chairman of the Maynard Institute, said by telephone Thursday that "every board member I've talked to is committed to preserving both the operations and the legacy" of the Institute.

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Trahant said the board has not had time to discuss a successor for Maynard. Current board members include Trahant, Reynolds, Dorothy Butler Gilliam, Christian A. Hendricks, Warren Lerude, Paula Madison, John X. Miller, A. Stephen Montiel, Addie M. Rimmer and William Schmidt.

Maynard's influence was felt throughout the journalism business. Virgil Smith, vice president/diversity at Gannett Co., Inc., said by email on Thursday, "You know we honored Dori during our all-hands meeting for HR executives today. She was a very special and passionate advocate for diversity, as are you."

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People may donate online to MIJE, or send checks to the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, 2323 Broadway, Oakland, CA  94612.

Friends and colleagues who have photos of Dori J. Maynard or who would otherwise like to help the memorial organizers are encouraged to leave a note in the Maynard Institute "Comments" section . These messages will not be published.  [Updated Feb. 28]

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Sandra Gonzalez, Society of Professional Journalists: A Tribute to Dori Maynard

Brent Jones, USA Today: A relentless crusader for diversity is lost

Woody Lewis, woodylewis.com: Holding Fast: In Honor of Dori Maynard

Dani McClain, the Nation: Dori Maynard and the Unfinished Business of Integrating the News

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Carla Murphy, Colorlines: Dori Maynard, Advocate for Media Diversity, Dies at 56

Sam Sanders, NPR: Dori Maynard, Journalism Diversity Advocate, Dies At 56

Obama Becomes Interviewer for NPR's StoryCorps Project

"President Barack Obama is making the switch from interviewee to interviewer," the Associated Press reported on Friday.

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"The president questioned a Maryland high school senior in the My Brother's Keeper program. The interview for the StoryCorps oral history project was airing Friday on National Public Radio's 'Morning Edition.'

"Noah McQueen discussed going from being in trouble with the law to being an award-winning student.

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"Obama asked McQueen how he softened after being a 'knucklehead.' McQueen said he became accountable for his actions.

" 'It wasn't until I decided to do better for myself, that I had to be held accountable for my actions, so I'm not the same person,' McQueen said. 'I'm not the same creature. Everything about me, and my being is different.'

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"McQueen said as a black man, he feels pressure to always make the right decisions or be judged.

"The president told McQueen he'll probably make more mistakes since he's only 18. But Obama said he's proud of McQueen.

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" 'Well, look, listen. At the age of 18, I didn't know what I was going to be doing with my life,' Obama said. 'And you shouldn't feel like you can't make mistakes at this point. You're 18 years old, I promise you you're gonna make some more as you go along.

" 'But one of the things you've discovered is that you have this strength inside yourself,' Obama continued. 'And if you stay true to that voice that clearly knows what's right and what's wrong, sometimes you're going to mess up, but you can steer back and keep going.'

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"The interview marks the first anniversary of Obama's initiative to help young minority men."

Former President George W. Bush recorded a StoryCorps interview with his sister Doro Bush Koch and first lady Laura Bush at the White House in November 2008.

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Benjy Sarlin and Amanda Sakuma, MSNBC: Fiery Obama slams GOP’s immigration position at MSNBC town hall

Holder Won't Give Fox an Interview, Defends Sharpton Ties

"Mike Allen, Politico's chief White House correspondent, sat down for an in-depth interview with outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder," Josh Feldman reported Friday for Mediaite. "They touched on Holder's Republican critics, race, Ferguson, and the Department of Justice's record in cracking down on journalists, among other things. But Allen also asked a question that many critics of the Obama administration have been asking: 'Is Al Sharpton too close to this White House?'

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Feldman also wrote, "Holder shot down the idea Sharpton is 'too close' to the White House, saying, 'The president has a number of people who he listens to, who he interacts with. You know, Reverend Sharpton is a person who has interacted with people within the administration, including myself. But we also hear from people who have, you know, fundamentally different views than Al Sharpton has.' . . ."

Meanwhile, Erik Wemple reported Thursday for the Washington Post, "Fox News has failed to secure an exit interview with outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder, and it is unhappy about it. In a statement, Fox News Executive Vice President Michael Clemente signaled that his network has been excluded from a round of interviews granted to competing outlets. 'The Attorney General's decision does a deep disservice to America's largest cable news audience and the interests of a free press,' reads a statement from Clemente.' . . ."

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In Poll, Only 35% Say Bill O'Reilly Is Trustworthy

"The allegations building against Bill O'Reilly are apparently taking a harsh toll on his trustworthiness and favorability among Americans," Catherine Taibi reported Friday for the Huffington Post.

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"Only 35 percent of Americans still find the Fox News host trustworthy, while 21 percent find him 'very untrustworthy' and 16 percent find him 'somewhat untrustworthy,' according to a HuffPost/YouGov poll conducted this week.

"Thirty-seven percent of participants now have an unfavorable view of the host.

"The poll also revealed that half of Americans have now heard about the allegations against him.

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"O'Reilly has come under intense scrutiny in recent days after a report in Mother Jones revealed several inaccuracies in his war reporting experiences during the 1982 Falklands War. Since then, several other accusations have been made against the host, claiming that he embellished or lied while covering other wars and conflicts.

"Prior to the controversy, O'Reilly had actually been named the most trustworthy news anchor on more than one occasion. . . ."

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Eric Boehlert, Media Matters for America: Yes, O'Reilly's Fabrications Are Damaging Fox News

Jon Swaine, the Guardian: Bill O'Reilly's LA riots 'bombardment' stories disputed by former colleagues

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Catherine Taibi, Huffington Post: Six Former Colleagues Say Bill O'Reilly Also Lied About Being 'Attacked By Protesters' During LA Riots

More Checking Census Box for Both Black and White

"The number of people who identify as belonging to two or more races keeps climbing with each Census," Gene Demby wrote Friday for NPR's "Code Switch." "The number of people identified as both black and white, for example, more than doubled between 2000 and 2010, from about 780,000 to 1.8 million.

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"A closer look at where this change is happening, and among whom, hints at a substantial shift in how people feel about being multiracial. Brookings demographer William Frey looked at data from the most recent Census and found that Southern states have had the biggest increase among people who ID as both black and white. In his book, [The Diversity Explosion: How New Racial Demographics are Remaking America], Frey writes that while far fewer people identify this way in the South than the rest of the country, the black-white populations of the Carolinas, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama tripled between 2000 and 2010, 'while Tennessee, Florida, Arkansas, Louisiana and Kentucky were not far behind.'

"All told, the South accounted for more than 40 percent of all the folks newly identifying as both black and white between the two censuses. . . ."

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Dallas Columnist Backs Idea for Memorial to Lynchings

"Somewhere in this city, beneath the soaring skyscrapers and amidst the sprawling concrete, there should be a soulful place for what one historian calls 'a dark memorial to a brighter future,' " James Ragland, columnist for the Dallas Morning News, wrote Wednesday.

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"I really like the sound of that.

"It's an apt description for a monument which, if erected, would shine a light on one of the bleakest periods in this nation's history — a time when nearly 4,000 African-Americans were lynched in a dozen Southern states, including hundreds in Texas.

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"In case you missed it, two weeks ago the Montgomery, Ala.-based Equal Justice Initiative released an exhaustive report on the history of mob lynchings in the U.S.

"It's not a pretty picture: The study's authors counted 3,959 men, women and children as victims of 'racial terror' lynchings from 1877 to 1950.

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"The fact that Dallas, once a venomous pit of racial hostility, is on this gruesome list came as no surprise.

"But it's revolting, nonetheless.

"What Dallas shouldn't do now is get into a political brawl over a plan to memorialize the brutal lynchings that happened here and elsewhere. It should rally behind the cause and look for creative solutions. . . ."

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George E. Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association: [Du Bois] and Trotter, My Civil Rights Heroes

Kenya Downs, NPR "Code Switch": Haitian's Lynching Renews Protests Against Dominican Citizenship Law (Feb. 14)

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Debbie Elliott, NPR: New Museum Depicts 'The Life Of A Slave From Cradle To The Tomb'

Julianne Jennings, Indian Country Today Media Network: Black History Is American History

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Mark Lieberman, Washington Post: Japanese American activist heading back to Selma to commemorate march

Living Ground Ministries, Times Herald, Norristown, Pa.: Black History Month: Black German children disappeared during Third Reich

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David Schoenfield, ESPN.com: Ten greatest Negro Leaguers of all time

Demographic Shifts Point to Increasing Native Voting Power

"I have been writing for years about the success — well, at least mostly — of Native American voters," Mark Trahant wrote Thursday for his trahantreports.com. "During recent presidential election cycles the turnout from Indian Country is inspiring, helping to swing elections from Arizona to North Dakota.

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"And just last year Alaska Native voters helped dump a hostile state governor and replaced him with Gov. Bill Walker, an ally, as well as electing Byron Mallott, a Tlingit leader, as the Lt. Governor.

"But do you want to know something really cool?

"The demographic shift that reflects Native voting power is only beginning. What's more the landscape is changing faster than expected and should bring about dramatic changes in states as 'red' as Alaska and Oklahoma.

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"A new report looks at the numbers and the results are stunning. In 1980 when Ronald Reagan was elected president the population of the United States was 80 percent white. Today that proportion stands at 63 percent and it's likely to be less than 44 percent by 2060.

"The report, ['The States of Change: The Demographic Evolution of the American Electorate, 1974-2060']' is a collaboration of the liberal Center for American Progress, the conservative American Enterprise Institute and demographer William H. Frey of the Brookings Institution. One of the goals is to 'document and analyze the challenges to democracy posed by the rapid demographic evolution from the 1970s to 2060.'

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"One lens that is particularly revealing: States where people of color are the majority. The report said: 'Right now, there are only four majority-minority states: California, Hawaii, New Mexico, and Texas. But with the ongoing demographic transformation of the country, our States of Change projections find that this will become more and more common.'

"So in five years Maryland and Nevada will be in that category. Then by 2060 the number of majority-minority states will reach 22, including seven of the currently largest states, making up about two-thirds of the country's population.

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"American Indians and Alaska Natives are very much a part of this new majority because we are younger and growing faster than an older white population. . . ."

American Blogger Hacked to Death in Bangladesh

"A prominent Bangladeshi-American blogger known for speaking out against religious extremism was hacked to death as he walked through Bangladesh's capital with his wife, police said Friday," Julhas Alam reported Friday for the Associated Press.

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"The attack Thursday night on Avijit Roy, a Bangladesh-born U.S. citizen, occurred on a crowded sidewalk as he and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, was seriously injured. It was the latest in a series of attacks on secular writers in Bangladesh in recent years.

"A previously unknown militant group, Ansar Bangla 7, claimed responsibility for the attack, Assistant Police Commissioner S.M. Shibly Noman told the Prothom Alo newspaper.

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"Roy 'was the target because of his crime against Islam,' the group said on Twitter.

"Roy was a prominent voice against religious intolerance, and his family and friends say he had been threatened for his writings. . . ."

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Short Takes

"Kosher Soul," a Lifetime reality show featuring a Southern-raised African American man about to marry a white Jewish woman from Seattle, is "junk food — sweet, pleasant, easy to understand. It isn't nutritious, but as an occasional guilty pleasure, it's kinda fun," according to Anthony Weiss, writing in a dispatch dated Feb. 28 for the Jewish Telegraphic Agency. "Which is not to say it hasn't ruffled some feathers. The Alliance of Black Jews, a group that describes itself as 'people of African descent who embrace Halachic Judaism,' sent a letter to Lifetime expressing disappointment in its 'offensive stereotypes'. . . . "

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"Today is the last day for both Ronan Farrow Daily and The Reid Report, recently cancelled for their low ratings," Tina Nguyen reported Friday for Mediaite. "To commemorate the day, their respective hosts, Ronan Farrow and Joy Reid, made a reference to the classic observation (made famous recently by Taylor Swift) that haters inevitably have self-fulfilling behaviors. . . ."

"Sree Sreenivasan, the Chief Digital Officer of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the South Asian Journalists Association (SAJA), which Sreenivasan co-founded and continues on its Board, are the recipients of this year's Taraknath Das Foundation Award," americanbazaaronline reported on Monday. "The award, given to individuals or an institution which has contributed to understanding between India and America, was instituted by the Taraknath Das Foundation, which is under the aegis of the South Asia Institute at Columbia University. . . ."

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"SiriusXM's Joe Madison achieved the historic goal of a 52-hour marathon broadcast he had set his sights on and raised more than $150,000 for the construction of the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture, the final museum planned to be built on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.," SiriusXM announced on Friday.

"Despite canceling multiple shows and facing dozens of sexual assault allegations, Bill Cosby has no intention of leaving the limelight," Stephanie Marcus reported Friday for HuffPost BlackVoices. "The 77-year-old actor, who is scheduled to perform his stand-up set in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Friday, released a statement this week insisting that he's 'far from finished' with his career. . . ."

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The Telemundo Station Group announced Friday "that its local stations in Los Angeles, Miami and Chicago secured top market ratings among key demographic groups during the February 2015 sweep period. Specifically, Telemundo 51 Miami (WSCV) outranked all other stations at 11 PM among Adults 18-49 and Adults 25-54, regardless of language, for 23 consecutive months at the close of the February 2015 sweep period. . . ."

"Daniel Berehulak, a freelance photographer for The New York Times, was named Photographer of the Year in the reportage category of the Pictures of the Year International contest," James Estrin reported Friday for the Times "Lens" blog. Estrin also wrote, "Mr. Berehulak's entry included work from Brazil, India and Somalia, but the centerpiece was his extensive coverage of West Africa's Ebola crisis. . . ."

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"Three Al-Jazeera journalists were arrested in Paris yesterday on suspicion of flying a drone over the city's landmarks, reports The Local, citing a judicial source .  . . ," Roy Greenslade reported Thursday for Britain's Guardian newspaper.  " 'The first was piloting the drone, the second was filming and the third was watching,' said the source. . . ."

"Rajiv Chandrasekaran is leaving the Washington Post after more than two decades to start up a small media company in Seattle, he announced on Thursday," Hadas Gold reported Thursday for Politico. "Chandrasekaran will create and produce social-impact projects for film, TV and other media, some of them in partnership with Starbucks. Chandrasekaran co-authored a book with Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz last year. . . ."

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