For Journalists of Color, Covering Racists Can Take Its Toll

  • Challenge Is in Staying Safe, Mentally Healthy
  • Kaepernick Is GQ’s ‘Citizen of the Year’
  • Roland Martin, Jake Tapper Go at It
  • Vanity Fair Gets Its First Top Editor of Color
  • Time Inc. Steps Up Courtship of Latino Market
  • Black Ala. Paper to Focus on Moore’s Opponent
  • Lupita Nyong’o Says Don’t Edit Her Hair
  • Calle to Manage LA Weekly Under New Owners
  • The ‘Other Side’ of Maryland’s HBCU Funding Fight
  • Gordon Sakamoto, Wire Service Reporter, Dies at 82
  • Short Takes
White Lives Matter supporters attended a rally in Murfreesboro, Tenn., that reporter Julieta Martinelli covered in October 2017 for Nashville Public Radio. (Julieta Martinelli/WPLN-FM, Nashville)

Challenge Is in Staying Safe, Mentally Healthy

Nashville Public Radio reporter Julieta Martinelli was covering a rally of white nationalists in Shelbyville, Tenn., last month when two young men began pushing her deeper into the crowd,” April Simpson wrote Friday for

Julieta Martinelli

“ ‘You fucking cockroach, you need to move,’ they said to Martinelli.

“Speakers were riling up the crowd and screaming for media to leave, but the hostility also felt personal. Martinelli, 29, came to the U.S. from Argentina 20 years ago and was undocumented for most of her life. ‘I’m one of the people they were protesting against,’ Martinelli said.


“Martinelli kept her shotgun microphone hoisted and didn’t make eye contact with the men. The 5-foot-1-inch reporter said she felt intimidated but didn’t show emotion and stood her ground.

‘We’re talking to you, you fucking cockroach,’ the men said.

“ ‘I stood for a second longer, but I decided that was the time for me to step back,’ Martinelli said.


“White nationalists and rowdy Trump supporters have targeted all kinds of media figures at rallies, but journalists of color like Martinelli say they encounter particular challenges when encountering racist attitudes face to face. . . .”

In an accompanying story, Simpson quoted Phillip Martin, a senior investigative reporter with Boston’s WGBH, John Sepulvado, morning host of KQED’s The California Report, Al Letson, host of Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting, and KQED reporter Erika Aguilar.

Phillip Martin

“It isn’t easy for journalists of color to interview racists or report on events where they may be discriminated against because of their skin color,” Simpson wrote. “While reporting this story on journalists’ experiences, Current also asked journalists and safety experts to offer advice about staying safe and mentally healthy in situations where a reporter may be verbally or physically harassed. Here’s what they said:


“1. Know who you’re dealing with . . ..

“2. Stick to the basics . . .

“3. Show empathy and remember it’s not about you . . .

“4. Have your follow-ups prepared . . .

“5. Brace yourself before and during the event . . .”

GQ’s Citizen of the Year

Kaepernick Is GQ’s ‘Citizen of the Year’

Colin Kaepernick is on the cover of Gentleman’s Quarterly,” Rochelle Riley wrote Monday for the Detroit Free Press.


“As he should be.

“He is GQ’s Citizen of the Year, and the magazine explains why in a beautiful, powerful essay that opens this way:

“ ‘He’s been vilified by millions and locked out of the NFL — all because he took a knee to protest police brutality. But Colin Kaepernick’s determined stand puts him in rare company in sports history:

Muhammad Ali, Jackie Robinson — athletes who risked everything to make a difference.’


“While some people and media want to ignore that Kap ignited the necessary national conversation that we may truly be having for the first real time in decades — or hate him for it — we must remember that the world once hated Ali. And more and more each week, America is coming to terms with and understanding the protest. That means there is hope that the National Football League will pay for how they’ve treated one of their best quarterbacks — and all because he cried ‘Kunta Kinte’ rather than ‘Toby.’

“For anyone who doesn’t understand the reference and doesn’t want to Google, there is a moment in ‘Roots,’ the landmark television series about American slavery, where an overseer is forcing a young African boy to take on a new name to replace the one his parents gave him. The monster beats the boy until he calls himself ‘Toby’ rather than ‘Kunta Kinte.’ It is one of the most heartbreaking thefts in American literature — and entertainment. . . .”


The Editors of GQ, Gentleman’s Quarterly: Colin Kaepernick Will Not Be Silenced

The Editors of GQ, Gentleman’s Quarterly: Colin Kaepernick Is GQ’s 2017 Citizen of the Year


Fox News: Britt McHenry, ex-ESPN reporter, blasts GQ for naming Colin Kaepernick ‘Citizen of the Year’

Nestor Ramos, Boston Globe: One way to win over this Pats hater: Sign Colin Kaepernick (Oct. 31)


Mike Wise, the Undefeated: In the national anthem debate, why does it feel like everyone lost? (Nov. 1)

Roland Martin, left, and Jake Tapper (Mediaite)

Roland Martin, Jake Tapper Go at It

Earlier today, CNN’s Jake Tapper lit into TVOne’s Roland Martin after Martin took to Twitter to tell Tapper that the media needs to stop using the term ‘false claims’ and instead should be using the word ‘lie’ when calling out President Donald Trump,” Justin Baragona reported Sunday for Mediaite.


“Martin had taken issue with Tapper telling Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin that Trump had falsely claimed that the latest GOP tax plan was the biggest tax cut in history.

“After Tapper said he didn’t need to be lectured by Martin on journalism and that Martin still needed to answer for how his debate questions made it to Hillary Clinton’s campaign last year, the TVOne host fired back. And he took some pointed shots at the CNN anchor. . . .”

Radhika Jones at the Time 100 gala in New York in 2013 (Casey Kelbaugh/ New York Times/Redux)

Vanity Fair Gets Its First Top Editor of Color

Radhika Jones, the editorial director of The New York Times books department and former editor in chief of Time magazine, will take over as top editor of Vanity Fair, replacing Graydon Carter,” Tom Kludt and Jackie Wattles reported Monday for CNNMoney.


“Vanity Fair confirmed the news Monday, after multiple reports over the weekend indicated that Jones was taking over.

“Jones, 44, will be the first woman to run Vanity Fair since Tina Brown, a British journalist who edited the magazine from 1984 to 1992.


“She will also be the first woman of color to hold the top editing spot at Vanity Fair, which is owned by Condé Nast.” Her mother is from India.

“ ‘There is nothing else out there quite like Vanity Fair,’ Jones said in a statement. ‘It doesn’t just reflect our culture — it drives our understanding of it.’ . . .”


Sydney Ember, New York Times: Radhika Jones, Vanity Fair’s Surprise Choice, Is Ready to Go

Joe Pompeo, Vanity Fair: Meet Radhika Jones, Vanity Fair’s Next Editor-in-Chief


Time Inc. Steps Up Courtship of Latino Market

On the eve of its third-quarter earnings report, Time Inc. revealed it’s putting an aggressive focus on the fastest growing U.S. market with the introduction of Time Inc. Latino,” Caysey Welton reported Wednesday for Folio:.


“The new division looks to leverage the company’s already-deep penetration into the Hispanic/Latino market by serving more English and Spanish language content tailored to that audience.

“Believe it or not, Time Inc. has a larger Hispanic/Latino audience than Univision and Telemundo combined in digital, with a reach of 18.3 million, according to 2017 comScore Multiplatform/GfK MRI Media + Fusion data. So more emphasis on this audience is intended to further strengthen the market share, which offers a lot of upside as marketing budgets are increasing to reach multicultural demos.

Shirley Velasquez

“For now, the new division is rolling out with two branded verticals — People Chica and Planeta Futbol. The former will be an English-language extension of the People brand, and the latter is Spanish-language collaboration between Sports Illustrated and 90min, a company that produces soccer coverage from around the world.


“But more is coming in 2018, according to People en Espanol’s VP and brand sales director, Monique Manso, who is spearheading this project. While she wouldn’t reveal what other new brands or verticals are on the horizon, she did suggest that food and health and wellness are extreme areas of interest for the company. . . .”

Shirley Velasquez is the executive editor of PeopleEnEspañ and Chica. “A tri-lingual journalist [Spanish, French, English] with 15 years of experience, Velasquez has written about the lives of young, professional women during her tenure at established general market brands, including Glamour, Elle, and Ralph Lauren Digital,” according to Time Inc.


On social media, people posted photos of themselves at age 14 to express disapproval of Alabama Republican Senate candidate Ray Moore, accused of sexual misconduct with a 14-year-old when he was 32.


Black Ala. Paper to Focus on Moore’s Opponent

The sexual misconduct accusations against Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy S. Moore dominated news reports on Monday, but at the Birmingham Times, which calls itself “The Southeast’s Largest Black Weekly,” editors have their eye more on Moore’s Democratic opponent, Doug Jones.


“We’re focusing our coverage on the upcoming senatorial election on Dec. 12 between Democrat Doug Jones and Republican Roy Moore and not on the allegations surrounding Moore,” Barnett Wright, executive editor, told Journal-isms by email. “Those allegations are getting 24/7 coverage in all media outlets — as well they should — and there’s very little we can add without regurgitating what’s already out there.

“We expect our coverage to include coverage of Jones, a former U.S. attorney, who secured the convictions of KKK members who murdered four African-American girls in the 1963 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham and the crucial role the black vote can play in the outcome of the senate election, especially in light of what happened in Virginia on [Nov. 7] elections.”


As DeNeen L. Brown reported Thursday in the Washington Post, “The case haunted Birmingham for years. Four black girls in Alabama had been killed in the 1963 bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church — a crime that shocked the country and helped fuel the civil rights movement.

“Yet the men responsible — members of the Ku Klux Klan who’d boasted about their role — were never tried and convicted. That changed in 1977 when Robert ‘Dynamite Bob’ Chambliss, the suspected ringleader of the bombing, was put on trial.


“At the time, Doug Jones, now a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate in a hotly contested race Alabama, was a second-year law student. He skipped classes to sit in on the trial, watching in amazement as William Joseph Baxley II, then U.S. attorney in Alabama, presented evidence against Chambliss. . . .”

As for Moore, a new accuser, Beverly Young Nelson, said Monday that Moore sexually assaulted her “when she was 16, the fifth and most brutal charge leveled against the Republican Senate candidate,” Jonathan Martin and Sheryl Gay Stolberg reported for the New York Times. “Senate Republicans are now openly discussing not seating him or expelling him if he wins the Dec. 12 special election. . . .”


Via, newspapers in Birmingham, Mobile and Huntsville, owned by Advance Publications, published an editorial Monday calling Moore “grossly unfit” for office.

On social media, Alanna Vagianos reported for HuffPost that “People on Twitter are using a powerful hashtag to condemn Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore of Alabama amid the recent allegations that he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl.


“. . . .The #MeAt14 hashtag picked up steam when Lizz Winstead, co-creator of ‘The Daily Show,’ tweeted a photo of herself at 14 on Saturday.

“ ‘This is me at 14. I was on the gymnastics team and sang in the choir. I was not dating a 32 year old man,’ Winstead wrote, asking others to tweet a picture of their 14-year-old selves. . . .”


In another development, Scott R. Brunton, a former model and actor, contacted Ryan Parker of the Hollywood Reporter to accuse “Star Trek” icon George Takei of sexual assault in 1981, when Brunton was 23.

THR spoke to four longtime friends of Brunton Norah Roadman, Rob Donovan, Stephen Blackshear and Jan Steward — who said that he had confided in them about the Takei encounter years ago, Parker wrote Friday.


“Takei’s rep, Julia Buchwald, told THR, ‘George is traveling in Japan and Australia and not reachable for comment.’ Takei, now 80, rose to fame playing Hikaru Sulu on the original Star Trek television series. He is also an author and activist and has been an outspoken advocate for LGBTQ rights. . . .”

John Archibald, Roy Moore defense: Unbuckling the Bible Belt

Jarvis DeBerry, | Times-Picayune: What’s more surprising? Men who sexually harass or men who don’t?


Editorial, Charlotte (N.C.) Observer: It’s not just Hollywood; the media has a sex harassment problem, too (Nov. 3)

Editorial, Miami Herald: We can’t ignore sexual-abuse victims just because they’re not famous


Maria Elena Fernandez, CBS Diversity Comedy Showcase Has Been a Racist, Sexist, Homophobic Mess for Years, Participants Say

Cristina López G. and Brendan Karet, Media Matters for America: Hannity turns to white supremacists to help him spite Keurig for pulling ads from his show


Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Tougher sanctions needed to curb detainees’ indecent acts

Soledad O’Brien, HuffPost: We Must Challenge The Systemic Hurdles All Latina Women Face (Nov. 2)


Alysia Santo, Marshall Project: The Unique Sexual Harassment Problem Female Prison Workers Face

Brian Stelter, CNNMoney: Local journalists wrestle with Roy Moore coverage following sexual misconduct allegations


Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Keurig CEO: Tweet regarding ‘Hannity’ created an ‘unacceptable situation’

Lupita Nyong’o Says Don’t Edit Her Hair

A word to the wise: Don’t touch Lupita Nyong’o’s hair,” Jamie Feldman wrote Friday for HuffPost BlackVoices. “Or anyone else’s.


“The Academy Award-winning actress is not too pleased with the U.K. [edition] of Graziaafter the magazine edited out and smoothed parts of her hair for its November 2017 cover, saying she never would have participated in a shoot that erased her natural hair texture.

“Nyong’o shared side-by-side before and after photos on Instagram, writing that ‘there is still a very long way to go to combat the unconscious prejudice against black women’s complexion, hair style and texture.’ . . .”


Calle to Manage LA Weekly Under New Owners

Brian Calle

The financial backers of Semanal Media — the fledgling company buying LA Weekly from Voice Media Group — are still largely a mystery,” Lauren Raab reported Thursday for the Los Angeles Times. “But they have selected someone to manage the paper’s operations: Brian Calle, who on Thursday laid out an ambitious vision for the alternative newsweekly as the hub of the city’s culture.

“Calle comes to the role from Southern California News Group, where he has served as opinion editor for the Orange County Register and 10 other daily newspapers. While running the Register’s historically libertarian editorial page, he described himself as a ‘free-market enthusiast.’ But he said Thursday that the new ownership and management would not change LA Weekly’s editorial bent. . . .”


In 2013, when Calle was at the Orange County Register and was one of only five Hispanic editorial page editors of major metro newspapers, he told the Association of Opinion Editors, “For me, and my road to my position, I’ve been embraced every step of the way.

“Most people do not realize I am Hispanic until we get into a discussion about my last name or I tell a story about myself so I did not endure any bumps and when people find out that I have some Latin roots they tend to get more excited and intrigued, if anything.”


The ‘Other Side’ of Maryland’s HBCU Funding Fight

Rejecting proposals by a civil rights group and Maryland higher education officials to boost diversity at the state’s historically black colleges, a federal judge said she will appoint an official to craft an alternative plan,” Ian Duncan and Talia Richman reported Thursday for the Baltimore Sun.


“In a ruling issued Wednesday, Judge Catherine C. Blake said she wouldn’t require so-called ‘traditionally white’ schools to close academic programs and transfer them to historically black colleges — the most controversial aspect of the case.

“Her decision comes more than a decade into a lawsuit about whether historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, were denied the chance to attract students of other races because academic programs offered at the HBCUs were copied and offered by traditionally white schools.


“Blake ruled in 2013 that the state’s actions fostered segregation in the public higher education system even after legal segregation ended.

“Coming up with a solution has proven difficult, however, and the judge wrote that ‘neither party’s remedy, as currently proposed, is practicable, educationally sound, and sufficient to address the segregative harms of program duplication.’ . . . ”


Asked about the implications for Morgan State’s School of Global Journalism & Communication, Dean DeWayne Wickham said by email, “at this point (with the issue of remedies still up in the air) I’m focusing on trying to get Baltimore area foundations to give us some support. I struck out with the Abell Foundation, which gave the University of Maryland’s journalism school $500,000 to create a Baltimore Reporting Professorship (even though the U of Md. is in College Park, Md.) but turned us down when we asked the foundation for support.

“That’s the other side of the funding issue: a Baltimore-based foundation funds the U. of Md’s journalism program’s Baltimore Reporting Project, but won’t fund the effort of Morgan’s journalism program to train future black journalists.”


Wickham added, “According to Diverse Issues in Higher Education, Morgan is the nation’s 8th leading producer of blacks with degrees in journalism and communication; the University of Maryland ranks 30th. College Park has a very good journalism program, but I don’t understand why a Baltimore-based foundation, which claims to have a great interest in fixing what’s broke in Maryland’s largest city, won’t support us — especially with the 50th anniversary of the Kerner Commission Report just a few months away.”

The Abell Foundation was seeking more information in order to respond.

A 1980 photo shows Gordon Sakamoto at work in the UPI bureau in Honolulu . (Sakamoto Family)

Gordon Sakamoto, Wire Service Reporter, Dies at 82

Gordon Sakamoto, one of the first Asian-Americans hired to work in a U.S. bureau of an international news service, died Wednesday at 82,” the Associated Press reported Thursday.


“Sakamoto, a former Hawaii bureau chief for The Associated Press, started his journalism career with United Press International in Honolulu in 1960. He retired in 2001 after overseeing operations in Hawaii and the Central Pacific for AP.

“He died in his Honolulu home after heart failure and a long battle with chronic kidney disease, his son Kyle Sakamoto said.


“Honolulu-born Sakamoto worked for UPI for 27 years in San Francisco and Hawaii. He joined the AP in 1993 after working five years as a marketing specialist for the state of Hawaii.

“The AP named him chief of bureau in Honolulu on Jan. 1, 1994. The next day, he was kicked off the island of Lanai while trying to cover billionaire computer-software mogul Bill Gates’ ultra-secretive wedding. It was one of the adventures in reporting he often reminisced about. . . .”


The AP also wrote, “’He taught me a lot about journalism, about life, about family and to be a better person,’ said Jaymes Song, a former Honolulu Star-Bulletin reporter Sakamoto hired to work with him at the AP.

“Song recalled Sakamoto helping a cash-strapped student at the Asian American Journalists Convention in New York City in 2001.


“ ‘Gordon gave him money out of his own pocket — a complete stranger,’ Song said. ‘He brought the guy with us to a Yankees game. That’s the kind of guy he was. He took care of people, and he cared about people. That’s what made him a great news leader and person.’

“Sakamoto was a pioneer as an Asian-American in journalism.

“ ‘He was a manager in an industry where there were little-to-no minorities in management,’ Song said, noting that Sakamoto graduated from Missouri Valley College.


“That wasn’t something Sakamoto talked about or bragged about, but it made him a leader who was sensitive to differences in culture and values, said Song, who later led the Hawaii bureau as an administrative correspondent. Song and Sakamoto remained close even after Sakamoto retired and after Song left journalism for a career in real estate. . . .”

Leonise Greig-Powell was living in a destroyed complex until the Virgin Islands Daily News wrote about her plight. Then the government moved her. (Virgin Islands Daily News)

Short Takes

  • “The rest of the world watched as Hurricanes Irma and Maria — both category 5 storms — slammed into the Virgin Islands, leaving devastation in their wake,” Jessica Huseman reported Friday for the Poynter Institute and ProPublica. “Most of the news coverage came from journalists who flew in, and had the luxury of returning home. Reporters and editors with the Virgin Islands Daily News covered a disaster happening to them. One editor lost his house. Another lost his car. A circulation employee died from injuries he sustained during Hurricane Maria. Still, The Virgin Islands Daily News pressed on. . . . .”
  • Staff shortages in North Carolina’s prisons have climbed to dangerous levels over the past two years, despite state efforts to attract more officers, an Observer analysis found,” Ames Alexander and Gavin Off reported Nov. 7 for the Charlotte Observer. They also wrote, “Better staffing might have saved the lives of the five prison employees who died in attacks this year at two Eastern North Carolina prisons, experts and officers told the Observer. . . .” The News and Observer in Raleigh editorialized Sunday, “There’s really no choice here. Either staffing at prisons is improved through more investment, or another catastrophe is coming. The situation is like volatile chemicals mixed together in a lab; something is going to blow. . . .”
Tanzina Vega
Donald Hunt (Philadelphia Tribune)

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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.


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