Members of the St. Louis County Police tactical team take two journalists into custody on Aug. 19, 2014.  Lukas Hermsmeier, left, a reporter for Bild, a German newspaper, and Ryan Devereaux, a reporter for theintercept.com, were in the area when police arrived. 
David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"Four journalists who alleged abuse during the 2014 Ferguson protests have reached a confidential settlement with the St. Louis County police, lawyers said Wednesday," Robert Patrick reported for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"The department agreed to 'adopt policy changes that will address the issues raised this lawsuit,' lawyers for both sides said in a joint statement about their agreement.

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"It says, in part, 'The County and the Department recognize that Plaintiffs, in bringing this lawsuit, have sought reform that would benefit both the police department and the citizens that they serve.'

"Under Missouri law, public bodies can make confidential settlements but must yield to open records laws.

"The county police did not respond to a request to produce the settlement, referring it to lawyers. "The journalists are Ryan Devereaux of Intercept/First Look Media; Ansgar Graw, senior U.S. political correspondent for Die Welt and Welt am Sonntag; Frank Herrmann, the U.S. correspondent for a group of German regional papers; and freelancer Lukas Hermsmeier. "Their suit, filed in federal court in St. Louis in March 2015, claimed they were falsely arrested, held without probable cause and subjected to false imprisonment and battery. . . ." On Aug. 20, 2014, Devereaux explained what happened to Amy Goodman of "Democracy Now!" as she reported from Ferguson: "On Monday night, I was reporting in the same area. Most of the media had been cleared out by the police due to what they deemed a, quote, 'public security threat.' They had said to journalists something about shots being fired in the area, but they didn’t offer any details. Most media in the area cleared out. I was with German journalist Lukas Hermsmeier, and we were returning a reporter for the National Post to his car. He had been separated from his car in the area.

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"And we were in the neighborhood where clashes have happened throughout the last week and a half and dropped off the reporter.

"As we were trying to find a way to this command center — actually, where we are right now — where the police had directed media to go, I heard over a loudspeaker an announcement: 'This is your final warning.' Some number of protesters had returned to the scene despite the media being cleared. I immediately pulled the car over and parked. You know, having heard that this is your last warning, my first instinct was to check out what was going to happen.

"I found about two dozen protesters on one side of Florissant Avenue. They had a megaphone. They were taunting the police. A garbage can was set on fire. Some street posts were removed from the ground. On the other side of the street, a separate group of protesters were sort of decrying what the first group was doing, saying, 'This is not helping issues.'

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"I crossed the street to interview a young woman who was quite vocal on that side. And as I was beginning to ask her questions, police began firing tear gas canisters in our direction. We moved into a parallel — onto a parallel street in a residential neighborhood. I would continue to speak with this woman. Then the police began coming up the road in armored vehicles, firing more and more tear gas canisters, and also, it appears, shooting rubber bullets out of their vehicle —rubber bullets or bean bag rounds, nonlethal projectiles, as they call them.

"I actually ran into the young woman that I was interviewing that night last night, and she showed me a wound on her leg that she said was from being shot that night as we were trying to get away. This young woman and her friends piled into a car. They took off.

"The German reporter and I were still stuck on the ground, and we were basically separated from our vehicle by a road that was quickly becoming entirely engulfed in tear gas and police who were screening up and down the street in armored vehicles, shooting tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. I saw the police on at least one occasion drive into the residential neighborhood, seeming to be seeking out anyone who was still around, shooting tear gas canisters at them, other nonlethal projectiles at them. We took cover behind a tree for a period of time, trying to ensure that we weren’t going to be hit in the head or body with any of these projectiles.

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"At one point, we decided that the safest option for us was to walk north on this residential street parallel to the main thoroughfare, Florissant Avenue, and try to get past the cloud, cross the street and back over to our car. We could see through the gaps in the houses, as we were walking, armored police vehicles racing back and forth, up and down the street. At one point, one of those police vehicles turned a left towards us, and it was clear, given the high-powered lights that they have, that they would see us. And we felt that our best option was to immediately identify ourselves as journalists in hopes that they wouldn’t shoot at us.

"We put our hands in the air, yelling, 'Press! Press! Press! We’re journalists! We’re journalists! We’re journalists!'

"A police officer on top of an armored vehicle turned his light on us, saw us. There was a pause. He beckoned us to come in his direction. We continued doing so, coming in his direction with our hands up, continuing to yell that we were press. We took a right at the corner where this armored vehicle was parked and continued towards West Florissant Avenue, towards another armored vehicle, where several heavily armed police officers had their rifles trained on us. We were walking towards those officers, moving halfway to three-quarters of the way up this block, when the police officers behind us in the armored vehicle, who had beckoned us over, began opening fire on us with nonlethal projectiles. And I was hit in the back, and the German reporter was hit twice, as well.

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"At this point, we realized that the police were willing to shoot at us, and we had several similarly armed officers with their guns trained on us directly in front of us and every reason to believe that those officers at any moment would open fire. The fear was that some of them might not be using nonlethal rounds.

"So we dove behind a car to take cover. And the police basically surrounded us, pulled us out of there, zip-tied our hands behind our backs, threw us in the back of their armored vehicle, drove us to this command center, where we were informed that we were being arrested, that we would be taken to the county jail, unclear as to why or for what charges.

"We repeatedly identified ourselves as journalists. They asked us why we were out. I told them, the same reason that they were out, that we had a job to do, that as journalists it’s our job to be out here. They took us to the jail, and we were held for approximately 18 — or, I’m sorry, eight hours. The closest we got to an explanation for our detention was they told us we were being charged with refusal to disperse. I was released yesterday morning, and I’m continuing to report. . . ."

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Jonathan Peters, Columbia Journalism Review: More than 20 months after Ferguson, Ryan Reilly and Wesley Lowery are still facing charges in St. Louis County (April 19)

Jim Salter, Associated Press: AP Interview: Michael Brown's mom's book recalls death, life

Freddie Gray Case Presented in 'Augmented Reality'

"The Washington Post published its first augmented reality initiative yesterday (10 May) to explain through visual elements the events that lead to Freddie Gray's arrest and death in Baltimore last year," Mădălina Ciobanu reported Tuesday for journalism.co.uk.

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"The launch of this new format, available through the ARc app oniOS and Android, comes as the second of the six police officers involved in the case is set to go trial this week. . . ."

Washington Post: Events leading to Freddie Gray’s death, explained in augmented reality

What the West Point Cadets’ Photo Is Really About

"I had only recently started my job as a newspaper columnist when a woman called my editor to complain," Issac Bailey wrote Monday for CNN.

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"We knew there'd be pushback: I was a young black guy delving into treacherous waters, writing about race relations in the South for a mostly conservative white audience — and was replacing a retired, beloved older white man who was known for his lighthearted take on issues of the day. I was football to his golf. I was surprised, not by the complaint, but by the nature of it.

" 'He's flashing a gang sign,' the woman told my editor, in reference to a photo of me paired with my columns.

"In the photo, I was wearing a pair of slightly nerdy, thin-framed rounded glasses, resting my chin in my left hand. I didn't smile, trying to look contemplative.

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"Maybe she thought I was a member of the Bloods because the sweater I wore was red? Or maybe it was because she had never encountered someone like me in a columnist photo, and it was easier to fall back into the comfort of the unexamined stereotypes making their way through her brain.

"I suspect that's at the heart of complaints over a photo recently posted online of 16 African-American women, graduating cadets at West Point. Each of the women, in one of the academy's time-honored traditions, is dressed in her ceremonial uniform, posed on the steps of historic Nininger Hall.

"The controversy? Each has a raised fist.

"I look at the photo and see a group of young people celebrating an enormous accomplishment in solidarity with each other. It's a big deal to make it through the nation's premier military academy, particularly when there are so few people like you to share the journey. Other people though saw the photo and imagined they were pledging allegiance to cop killers. . . ."

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Tony Lombardo reported Tuesday for Army Times, "The 16 black female cadets who posed for a photo with their fists raised and sparked a nationwide debate will face no punitive action, West Point officials announced Tuesday. The women will, however, receive additional counseling prior to graduating this month. . . ."

In addition, Tommy Christopher of Mediaite reported, "At Wednesday’s White House daily briefing, American Urban Radio Network’s April Ryan asked Press Secretary Josh Earnest if President Obama had seen the photo, the third consecutive day he has been asked this, and whether the President had any reaction to the controversy or the conclusion. Earnest’s response elicited visible frustration from Ryan," although Ryan told Journal-isms that she did not, as Mediaite reported, give Earnest "side-eye."

Solomon Jones, Philadelphia Daily News: Black pride evident in photo of female West Point cadets

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Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Duty, Honor, Country — raise a fist to that

Rickey Smiley Morning Show: West Point Cadets Raising Fists Are Proof That Black Pride And American Identity Remain At War

Mary Tobin, Facebook: This is Not About a Fist (May 5)

Somali-American Reporter Blocked at Checkpoint

"A few minutes after 8 o'clock Monday morning, Mukhtar Ibrahim started filing through the security line at the federal courthouse in Minneapolis," Mike Mullen reported Tuesday for City Pages in Minneapolis.

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"It was a big day for Ibrahim, and figured to be a long one: day one of a high-profile trial for three local men accused of plotting to join ISIS fighters in Syria.

"Ibrahim and a reporter for the Star Tribune approached the security screening and offered their bags for clearance by a security officer. The other reporter, who is white, passed right through and headed for the elevator. Ibrahim was stopped, and told he couldn't go in yet. He would have to wait for the time when the court opened to the public.

"Ibrahim protested, pulling out a press badge showing he works for Minnesota Public Radio. Not good enough, the officer said. Go wait with the rest of the public.

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"Ibrahim didn't argue and instead just collected his wallet, keys, and bag, and went to wait with public spectators. The way Ibrahim figures, he shouldn't have even needed to flash the badge. He's been covering cases there for a year and a half: These guys should recognize him by now. " 'They know who I am, they see me every day,' Ibrahim said. 'I'm not a stranger coming to cover this case from the East Coast. I've been covering this case since day one. They know I'm a reporter.' "It's not the first time Ibrahim has experienced different treatment from courthouse security. . . ." Aaron Rupar added Tuesday for ThinkProgress, "A security official with the U.S. Courthouse in Minneapolis didn’t immediately respond to a message asking why Ibrahim was held up. Security guards did not give a reason at the time why they had to detain the reporter, and it’s not entirely clear if it was because of his background.

"Ibrahim, a Bush Foundation fellowship winner who was born [in] Somalia and came to the United States with his family in 2005, didn’t want to speculate as to whether he was a victim of profiling. . . .

Editorial Board, Star Tribune, Minneapolis: Countering extremism in Minnesota: A beautiful goal, barely begun (April 23)

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International Federation of Journalists: Syria: Three Spanish journalists released after almost a year in captivity

‘Race and Punishment on Texas’ Death Row’

"Two men one white, one Latino — were charged with killing a woman in a Dallas suburb in 1998. The white defendant pled guilty, served 17 years in prison, and got out on parole a few weeks ago," Fusion wrote over a story Tuesday by Casey Tolan headlined, "Meth, hypnosis, and murder: An incredible true story of race and punishment on Texas’ death row."

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"The Latino defendant claimed he was innocent and was sentenced to death. He will be executed next month."

Tolan wrote, "Nationwide, minority defendants who are charged with murdering white victims are far more likely to be sentenced to death than white defendants charged with murdering minority victims. In Texas, 178 of the 246 people currently on death row are black or Latino. It’s racial disparities like these that are leading many activists and legal experts to predict increased scrutiny of the death penalty by the Supreme Court in coming years. . . ."

NPR Introduces 'Code Switch' Podcast

"NPR’s award-winning Code Switch team will launch a podcast this month exploring how race and culture collide with everything else in people’s lives," the network announced on Tuesday. "With a rotating cast of Code Switch reporters, editors and guest contributors, the podcast will invite listeners to re-examine their perspectives about race and identity in ways that might inspire, entertain and challenge them. . . ."

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"The podcast will be hosted by NPR’s Gene Demby (@GeeDee215) and Shereen Marisol Meraji (@RadioMirage), who each have a broad base of experience on air and online, and will draw on the talents of the Code Switch writers and radio reporters. . . ."

RTDNF Creates Lee Thornton J-Scholarship

The Radio Television Digital News Foundation announced Wednesday that it had created a Lee Thornton Journalism Scholarship. "Thornton's estate has pledged $50,000 to endow a scholarship in her name," the foundation said.

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"Lee Thornton was the first African-American woman to cover the White House for a major news network (CBS) and the first African-American host of All Things Considered on National Public Radio. Later in her career, she taught at the University of Maryland's Philip Merrill College of Journalism and served a year as the school's interim dean. She held a master's degree from Michigan State University and a doctorate in mass communications from Northwestern University. . . ."

Thornton died in 2013 at age 71.

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This billboard ad comes from the London ad agency AML for an internal creative award. "And like ghost ads often do, the concept escaped: An agency staffer in Singapore got hold of it, and shared it with followers. In the weekend that followed, it quickly spread from Asia to the U.S., making it the most widely shared story on The Poke and enjoying 36,000 shares on Facebook alone," Angela Natividad reported for adweek.com.

More Reporters Urge Fact-Checking Trump

"Veteran campaign reporters are calling on media outlets to sharply increase their fact-checking of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, telling Media Matters 'the stakes are too high' to let Trump get away with peddling conspiracy theories and near-constant falsehoods," Joe Strupp reported Wednesday for Media Matters for America.

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"In the week since Trump’s win in the Indiana presidential primary essentially clinched the nomination for him, the candidate has faced criticism from media critics and fact-checkers for his continued embrace of outlandish conspiracy theories. CNN’s Brian Stelter on Sunday called on journalists to confront Trump 'head-on' over his misinformation. Washington Post fact checker Glenn Kessler hit a similar note in a May 7 article, writing that outlets have 'no excuse' to let Trump get away with falsehoods.

"In conversations with Media Matters, Kessler and several veteran presidential campaign reporters highlighted the sheer tonnage of misinformation from Trump, with several arguing that outlets need to be more aggressive when challenging the Republican.

“ 'The Trump lies are so many and they come out at such a rapid fire, Gatling-gun fashion, it is hard for the reporters to keep up in May. I can just imagine what it will be like in October,' said Walter Shapiro, who covered nine presidential campaigns dating back to 1980 for The Washington Post, Newsweek, Salon and others. . . ."

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The comments seem premised on the notion that Trump supporters are concerned with whether Trump has his facts right.

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Donald should send William to Cleveland.

Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star: McCain is right to advise Trump to try to mend political fences ahead of GOP convention

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Editorial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Bigots and demagogues, crawl back to your hole

Shaun King, Daily News, New York: Democrats, now is your last chance to change your mind about Hillary Clinton

Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News: Trump’s debt comments are baffling even after his clarification

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Chris Murray, thechrismurrayreport.org: Black Voters Must Demand Accountability Beyond Election Day

Angela Natividad, adweek.com: Here's the Real Story Behind This Simply Perfect Anti-Donald Trump: Billboard Can a ghost ad change anyone's vote this time around?

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Trump brings back Buchananism

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: If Trump loses, get ready to duck

Western Press, North Korea Like Oil and Water

"The late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il professed such 'boundless love' for his country’s reporters that the state press published a book in 1983 that called him, in its title, 'The Great Teacher of Journalists,' " Barbara Demick reported Tuesday for the New Yorker.

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"Kim took care that journalists had hot breakfasts before they started work, and umbrellas to keep them dry when they went out reporting in the rain, the book explained, and in return they 'must become propagandists who spread far and wide the voice of our party.'

"However, when North Korea meets the foreign press, it turns out, more often than not, that they don’t like each other very much. The mutual antipathy was on display on Monday, when North Korea detained a BBC correspondent, Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, for eight hours. He was then made to sign an apology, and was expelled from the country.

"The secretary-general of North Korea’s National Peace Committee, O Ryong-il, held a press conference, where he accused Wingfield-Hayes of being disrespectful and speaking 'ill of the system and the leadership of the country.'

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"Wingfield-Hayes and his crew, who had been following a delegation of Nobel laureates touring the country in advance of its first Workers’ Party Congress in decades, had made the critical error of reporting what they actually saw. During a visit to the Pyongyang Children’s Hospital, the BBC correspondent quoted a delegate observing that that the purported patients look like perfectly healthy children and that the adults present were not doctors. 'Everything we see looks like a setup,' Wingfield-Hayes concluded on camera.

"Broadcast footage also included quarrels with the journalists’ North Korean minders, who objected on camera to a piece that the correspondent did in front of a statue of Kim Jong-il, North Korea’s previous dictator. . . . 'The level of control and nervousness we’ve experienced betrays the weakness and insecurity that lies beneath,' Wingfield-Hayes said.

"The minders also didn’t like Wingfield-Hayes’s observations about the current leader, Kim Jong-un. 'What exactly he’s done to deserve the title marshal is hard to say,' he said in one report. 'On state TV the young ruler seems to spend a lot of time sitting in a large chair watching artillery firing at mountainsides.' Perhaps the biggest slap was that he referred to young Kim as 'corpulent.' . . .”

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Short Takes

"As the United States navigates a political moment defined by the close of the Obama era and the rise of #BlackLivesMatter activism, Aperture magazine will release 'Vision & Justice,' a special issue guest edited by Sarah Lewis, the distinguished author and art historian, addressing the role of photography in the African American experience," the magazine announced. The issue was "inspired by Frederick Douglass’s 1864 speech 'Pictures and Progress,' a call to consider the transformative power of pictures in affecting change in the United States. . . ." James Estrin wrote about the effort Tuesday in the New York Times.

"Marques Harper has been appointed fashion editor for the Los Angeles Times," Deirdre Edgar reported Wednesday for the Times. "Harper has been serving as interim fashion editor and has quickly made his mark on the Image section. He has deftly contributed to The Times' coverage of live events, including the Oscars, and added an important fashion element to our recent coverage of the Coachella Music and Arts Festival.. . ."

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"Two prominent foreign policy journalists are pushing back at The New York Times Magazine for what they described as a “defamatory” characterization in a much-discussed article," Michael Calderone wrote Monday for the Huffington Post. "The article, a nearly 10,000-word profile of Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communications Ben Rhodes by David Samuels, suggested that the Atlantic’s Jeffrey Goldberg and Al Monitor’s Laura Rozen 'helped retail' the Obama administration’s argument for a nuclear deal with Iran. Both Goldberg and Rozen described the description as false, even slanderous, and criticized the paper for failing to seek comment ahead of time. . . ."

"Ole Miss journalism students who spent a week in the Mississippi Delta examining the legacy of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (video) won a 2016 Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award in the college journalism category, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights announced on Wednesday. David Maraniss won book award "for Once in a Great City: A Detroit Story, an insightful look at Detroit’s history as a once-powerful manufacturing metropolis fueled by the motor industry, but with foreshadowing of an imminent decline. . . ."

The Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service, "the award-winning website launched five years ago at milwaukeenns.org . . . offsets limited media coverage of 18 inner city neighborhoods in need of revitalization by focusing on residents and small non-profits eager to reflect resiliency, not just despair," Herbert Lowe wrote Saturday for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "They are too often ignored by mainstream media, which continue to endure budget cuts and prioritize people living in the suburbs. . . " He concluded, " Borne and supported by foundations, neighborhood organizations and a university, it is unclear if this journalism experiment can continue long term. . . ."

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"The world is already aware that Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock will team up for their new Fox Sports 1 show Speak For Yourself, which should be called (and which we are calling) All Takes Matter, but no one was prepared for it to be a full hour at 6 p.m.," Samer Kalaf reported Tuesday for Deadspin. "Fox Sports announced in a press release today that All Takes Matter will debut on June 13. . . ."

"Kenya-based freelance photojournalist Adriane Ohanesian, who has documented conflicts in Sudan and South Sudan, has won an award for courage named for an Associated Press photographer killed on assignment in Afghanistan in 2014," Jessica Gresco reported Tuesday for the Associated Press. The announcement that Ohanesian won the Anja Niedringhaus Courage in Photojournalism Award was made Tuesday.

"Reporter Rob Elgas is moving up to the anchor desk at Chicago’s WLS-Channel 7," Veronica Villafañe reported Tuesday for her Media Moves site. "Starting May 26, he’ll anchor ABC 7’s Eyewitness News at 4:00 pm alongside current co-anchor Linda Yu. . . ."

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"The Dow Jones News Fund will train and send 97 undergraduate and graduate students to work this summer as data and digital journalists, business reporters and news editors in paid internships at 49 of the nation's leading news organizations," the fund announced on Wednesday. "The News Fund received more than 900 applications last fall. This summer's program saw a significant increase in new media partners with the introduction of the Fund's data journalism program. Investigative Reporters [&] Editors will train eight journalists at the University of Missouri. . . ."

"Native Sun News staff came home last week from the South Dakota Newspaper Association’s Better Newspaper contest in Mitchell with the association’s top award, General Excellence," Editor Ernestine Chasing Hawk reported May 4 for the newspaper.

"South Florida Business Journal has named award-winning journalist Mel Meléndez editor-in-chief," Brian Bandell reported Tuesday for South Florida Business Journal. "President and Publisher Melanie Dickinson tapped Meléndez for the media outlet’s top editorial post after he worked as the media outlet's managing editor since 2013. . . ."

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Sabriya Rice is joining the Dallas Morning News as its new business of health care reporter, Chris Roush reported Tuesday for Talking Biz News, quoting Morning News business editor Paul O’Donnell. She wrote for the trade publication Modern Healthcare in Chicago and was a producer for CNN Health in Atlanta.

Daion Morton of Indiana University is the 2015 Ed Bradley Scholarship Winner, the Radio Television Digital News Foundation announced Tuesday. "In 1994, RTDNF presented the first Ed Bradley Scholarship. Since then, 23 young and aspiring journalists have received the award created by the late CBS News and 60 Minutes correspondent. . . . "

"The 22 award-winning entries for the annual Overseas Press Club (OPC) Awards highlight the increasing hazards facing foreign correspondents around the world," the press club announced April 28. "The Associated Press, the Center for Public Integrity[,] Foreign Policy, FRONTLINE, Reuters and The New York Times won multiple awards; The Associated Press won two awards for its story, 'Seafood from Slaves.' . . ."

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The Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday that it "strongly condemned an Egyptian court's recommendation to sentence three journalists to death. They were convicted of helping to smuggle secret documents to Qatari intelligence officers and the Qatari broadcaster Al-Jazeera. . . ."

Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

Send tips, comments and concerns to Richard Prince at journal-isms-owner@yahoogroups.com.

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