Harrowing Sexual Assaults in Cairo

Media Warned of Repeated Attacks on Female Journalists

"Two female foreign journalists on Thursday described harrowing sexual assaults carried out by crowds or police as they tried to cover demonstrations in Cairo's Tahrir Square," Agence France-Presse reported.

The situation alarmed other journalists. Hannah Allam, Cairo bureau chief of the McClatchy Co., tweeted Friday, "Saddens me that in 9yrs of war reporting, most personal violence I've experienced as a journo was here in #Egypt, where I am a dual citizen."


The French branch of Reporters Without Borders, the press-freedom organization, was forced to retract a statement saying, "For the time being [media should] stop sending female journalists to cover the situation in Egypt. It is unfortunate that we have come to this but, given the violence of these assaults, there is no other solution," Britain's Guardian newspaper reported.

However, the international organization did say, "It is more dangerous for a woman than a man to cover the demonstrations in Tahrir Square. That is the reality and the media must face it. It is the first time that there have been repeated sexual assaults against women reporters in the same place. The media must keep this in mind when sending staff there and must take special safety measures."


Allam tweeted to Journal-isms Friday she had "no problems today but didn't stay as long as usual. Others reported harassment both in Tahrir& at rival demo for military."

Agence France-Presse continued, "Egyptian-American journalist Mona Eltahawy said she was sexually assaulted by police during hours under detention after taking part in protests on the sprawling square that has become a landmark of the Arab Spring.


" 'Besides beating me, the dogs of (central security forces) subjected me to the worst sexual assault ever,' Eltahawy said on her Twitter account.

" '5 or 6 surrounded me, groped and prodded my breasts, grabbed my genital area and I lost count how many hands tried to get into my trousers,' " she said.


" 'My left arm and right hand are broken (according) to xrays,' she said, posting pictures of herself in casts.

"Earlier Eltahawy, an award-winning journalist and public speaker on Arab and Muslim issues based in New York, tweeted that she had been released after having been beaten and arrested in the interior ministry building.


"Later, a French journalist working for public television channel France 3, said she had been violently beaten and sexually assaulted while covering the protests.

"Caroline Sinz told AFP that she and her cameraman, Salah Agrabi, had been confronted in a road leading from Tahrir to the interior ministry, the scene of days of deadly clashes between police and protesters demanding democratic change.


" 'We were filming in Mohammed Mahmud street when we were mobbed by young people who were about 14 or 15," said Sinz.

"The journalist and her cameraman were then dragged by a group of men towards Tahrir Square where they became separated, she said.


" 'We were then assaulted by a crowd of men. I was beaten by a group of youngsters and adults who tore my clothes' and then molested her in a way that 'would be considered rape,' she said."

Since CBS News disclosed in February that correspondent Lara Logan was brutally beaten and sexually assaulted near Tahrir the same day President Hosni Mubarak fell from power, more journalists have been speaking out about the sexual assault issue.


When she returned to the United States, Logan said she was molested for more than 40 minutes by 200 or 300 men.

Hannah Allam and Mohannad Sabry, McClatchy Newspapers: Egypt’s ruling generals: Elections will go on despite violence


Committee to Protect Journalists: Egypt detains journalist, assaults another 

Tom Wicker of N.Y. Times Dies at 85, Was Attica Mediator

"Tom Wicker, one of postwar America’s most distinguished journalists, who wrote 20 books, covered the assassination of President John F. Kennedy for The New York Times and became the paper’s Washington bureau chief and an iconoclastic political columnist for 25 years, died on Friday at his home near Rochester, Vt. He was 85," Robert D. McFadden wrote Friday for the Times.


". . . Mr. Wicker brought a hard-hitting Southern liberal/civil libertarian’s perspective to his column, 'In the Nation,' which appeared on the editorial page and then on the Op-Ed Page two or three times a week from 1966 until his retirement in 1991. It was also syndicated to scores of newspapers."

Roger Wilkins, the historian, civil rights activist and former Washington Post and New York Times editorial writer, described Wicker in his memoir, "A Man's Life: An Autobiography," as "a fiery red-headed liberal from North Carolina, whose columns in the late sixties and early seventies blazed with indignation at the outrages and the injustices in American society." Wilkins and Wicker briefly shared a New York townhouse.


Wicker was also a founder of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, created in 1970 in response to the case of then-New York Times reporter Earl Caldwell, the Maynard Institute co-founder whose U.S. Supreme Court case galvanized journalists and First Amendment advocates across the country in 1972.

But, McFadden noted, ". . . His most notable involvement took place during the uprising by 1,300 inmates who seized 38 guards and workers at the Attica prison in upstate New York in September 1971. Having written a sympathetic column on the death of the black militant George Jackson at San Quentin, Mr. Wicker was asked by Attica’s rebels to join a group of outsiders to inspect prison conditions and monitor negotiations between inmates and officials. The radical lawyer William M. Kunstler and Bobby Seale, chairman of the Black Panther Party, also went in, and the observers took on the role of mediators.


"Talks broke down over inmate demands for amnesty and the ouster of Russell G. Oswald, the state corrections commissioner. Gov. Nelson A. Rockefeller rejected appeals by the observers to go to Attica, and after a four-day standoff, troopers and guards stormed the prison. Ten hostages and 29 inmates were killed by the authorities’ gunfire in what witnesses called a turkey shoot; three inmates were killed by other convicts, who also beat a guard to death. Afterward, many prisoners were beaten and abused in reprisals.

"Mr. Wicker wrote a book about the uprising, 'A Time to Die' (1975). Most critics hailed it as his best book, although some chided him for sympathizing with the inmates. 'Attica,' a television movie starring Morgan Freeman as a jailhouse lawyer and George Grizzard as Mr. Wicker, was made by ABC in 1980." One of his novels, "Easter Lilly” (1998), was about a black woman tried for the murder of a white jail guard in the South.


AAJA Secures WCCO Response on Duck Story Snafu

WCCO, the CBS-owned station in Minneapolis, Wednesday issued an "editor's note" about its Oct. 31 story falsely reporting that a meat market in New York's Chinatown sold dog meat.


The editor's note followed a meeting between station representatives and the Minnesota chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association.

Although the editor's note failed to satisfy some members of AAJA who responded on Facebook, Thomas Lee, the association's incoming vice president for print, replied to the members that "WCCO, and by extension CBS, agreed to something that the station was either unwilling or unable to do: provide an on the record note that corrected the chief factual error contained in the story."


The editor's note said: "On Oct. 31, WCCO aired a story during our 10 p.m. news about a dog breeder who was found to have sold nearly 1,400 dogs after her USDA license to sell was terminated in August 2010.

"While investigating where those dogs ended up, we discovered an address where, on 12 separate occasions over a period of approximately a year, a total of 168 dogs were shipped. At that address in New York, we found two business establishments including a market. During our visit we found no evidence of the dogs.


"When we called the market, the person we spoke to said he didn’t speak English but then gave an interview in English. We asked him if the market sold dogs, and we believed he answered in the affirmative. We now believe he said duck."

Tom Horgen and Emma Carew Grovum, AAJA Minnesota co-presidents, and Lee said in a statement, "We applaud WCCO for responding to AAJA's concerns and look forward to strengthening a trusted, long-term partnership between our two organizations."


Lee, a retail reporter at the Star Tribune, told skeptical AAJA members:

"I can certainly appreciate how AAJA members feel about the situation. But I'd like to make several points:

"1. AAJA National has already engaged CBS corporate, which resulted in the meeting with WCCO. A top CBS executive was present at the meeting.


"2. WCCO, and by extension CBS, agreed to something that the station was either unwilling or unable to do: provide an on the record note that corrected the chief factual error contained in the story.

"3. Stations rarely do on the air corrections.

"4. AAJA Minnesota and WCCO are currently working on ways to provide training and resources to the station's journalists and managers on how to cover Asian/Asian American communities and vet future stories.


"5. AAJA Minnesota is satisfied with WCCO's response. The chapter will continue to constructively engage WCCO and work hard to prevent these types of errors from happening again."

On Nov. 15, AAJA wrote to Josie Thomas, senior vice president and chief diversity officer for CBS Corp., noting, "Our Minnesota chapter requested an explanation Nov. 8 and has yet to hear from the station. We seek a full accounting of what transpired and want assurances that WCCO — as part of the CBS Television Network — will address concerns that it failed its journalistic and community responsibilities."


The Minnesota Pro Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists supported the AAJA position.

Change.org petition: WCCO: Admit their errors and stop irresponsible journalism.


Editorial Tells Workers to Stop Whining About Black Friday

Retail workers complaining about early hours to accommodate Black Friday shoppers received a stern rebuke from the editorial board of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, which advised them this week, "stop whining about having to work holiday hours. Be grateful to have a job."


The editorial, which ran Wednesday, was "one of the most read we've had in a long, long time," Scott Gillespie, editorial page editor, told Journal-isms by telephone. He said the editorial generated about 40 letters, "all in opposition to the editorial position we took."

As the Associated Press reported Friday, "Some stores had hundreds of shoppers rushing in when they opened their doors at midnight  — several hours earlier than they normally do on the most anticipated shopping day of the year. A few that opened on Thanksgiving Day even were filled with big crowds."


Late last month, Target worker Anthony Hardwick’s supervisor "told him he would be needed at 11 p.m. Thanksgiving night in order for Target to open its doors at midnight for Black Friday, which the discount retailer was doing for the first time this year," as James B. Stewart reported Friday for the New York Times.

". . . Mr. Hardwick turned to the Internet and discovered the Web site Change.org, best known for a recent online petition to get banks to roll back debit card fees. . . . He asked the Web site’s visitors to join him in calling for Target retail stores to restore the 5 a.m. opening time on Black Friday." The petition garnered more than 190,000 signatures, columnist Mary Mitchell wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times.


The Star Tribune is based in Target's home town, but Gillespie said that had nothing to do with the paper's editorial position. However, he said he did wonder whether the board was influenced by the fact that newspaper workers, too, often have to work on holidays. Gillespie said the editorial board did not discuss the issue in advance with the Star Tribune's editor, publisher or chairman.

"Two words for Anthony Hardwick: Buck up," the editorial declared.

". . . Hardwick’s intentions are good, but when nearly 14 million Americans are unemployed, complaining about work hours is grossly self-indulgent.


"Many unemployed workers would love a steady paycheck to stave off a home foreclosure or, in the most desperate cases, to cover the cost of Thanksgiving dinner."

The Sun-Times' Mitchell weighed in on Hardwick's side. ". . . retail workers are people too. Just because they have to take a job in which they work long hours for low wages doesn’t mean the holiday means less to them than the people who work in corporate," she wrote for Thursday's editions.


". . . unfortunately, there are people who would rather work than spend time with family. They are likely the people who were in a position to decide that Thanksgiving isn’t so special after all.

"If you know someone like that, get them tickets to 'A Christmas Carol' at the Goodman Theatre.


"Because when the suits can convince us that shopping is a Thanksgiving tradition, we’ve forgotten the spirit of the celebration.

"Once that happens, 'bah humbug' is right around the corner."

Michael Kinsley and Stacey Shick, Bloomberg News: Black Friday 2011 Turns Freaky for Economists, Politicians


Annie Leonard and Rick Ridgeway, Los Angeles Times: Stuffing ourselves on Black Friday

Cheryl Truman, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader: Black Friday makes us shallow

Columnist Backs Publisher's Occupy Hosting as Free Speech

Raymond H. Boone, the editor and publisher of the Richmond (Va.) Free Press who is hosting Occupy Richmond protesters on his front lawn, won support Friday from Michael Paul Williams, a black columnist in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.


Williams described the Thanksgiving dinner the Boones served to the protesters.

"On a sun-splashed fall day in this pastoral setting, the holiday spread reflected the alliance of a septuagenarian African-American newspaper editor and a youth-driven movement that, nationally and locally, has struggled to attract black participants," Williams wrote.


". . . The city has served a citation to Boone for alleged zoning violations, which makes you wonder what the response would be if these were Cub Scouts in tents on the Boone property instead of protesters. Occupy Richmond has camped out for 10 days on Boone's spacious front lawn at the end of Beddington Road in South Richmond. Clearly, where Mayor Dwight C. Jones is concerned, this is too close to home.

". . . Now, Jones is saying no to free speech in spaces public and private. He shouldn't be able to have it both ways. You don't have to agree with Occupy Richmond to fear that the mayor is putting a squeeze on the First Amendment."


Associated Press: Let Journalists Work, City Police Are Ordered

Editorial, New York Times: Police and the Press [Nov. 26]

Gianna Palmer, McClatchy Newspapers: NYPD raid on Occupy's Zuccotti Park camp destroyed thousands of books


John W. Fountain, Chicago Sun-Times: Sizing up Occupying nephew on Thanksgiving

Annette John-Hall, Philadelphia Inquirer: Occupy Phila. offers a peace sign

Michael Martz, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Occupy Richmond: Driveway sparks conflict


Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Police brutality hits the spotlight, again

Harrisburg Editor Faults N.Y. Times on Penn State Story

David Newhouse, editor of the Patriot-News in Harrisburg, Pa., has taken the New York Times and other news outlets to task in the Penn State child sex abuse scandal, saying they have run so many details about the alleged victims that they all but identify the young men.


". . . The Sandusky child sex abuse story has showed the difference between truly protecting the identity of a victim and the fiction of protecting the identity of a victim," Newhouse wrote Wednesday. His reference was to former Nittany Lions assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, who is charged with sexually assaulting eight young men over an 11-year span.

"In Wednesday's story in The New York Times, for example, a profile entitled 'For a Reported Penn State Victim, a Search for Trust,' reporters Nate Schweber and Jo Becker write a profile so detailed that, even though they do not name him, googling certain information in the profile results in the young man's name within seconds. The Patriot-News has learned that other news organizations, which did not have the young man's name, have already done so.


"Although the Times story has been all over the web, and of course the Times web site draws a huge amount of traffic on its own, we decline to link to it here.

". . . You could call the anonymity maintained in the story a polite fiction, but there is nothing polite about it.


"To be clear, the Times story is not alone. It is just the latest and most prominent example so far of such reporting."

Asked to respond, New York Times spokeswoman Eileen Murphy told Journal-isms by email, "We had extensive discussions about the story before it was published. We believe it was careful and sensitive and gave some important insight into the victim's ordeal. By not publishing his name, we hoped to preserve some privacy for him in the wider world, despite the fact that his identity is already widely known in the college community."


Lewis W. Diuguid, Kansas City Star: Damage from childhood sexual abuse can last a lifetime

Robin Quivers, Huffington Post: I Didn't Tell!

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Patriot-News to NYT: We’re holier than thou!

Democratic Pollsters Want Clinton to Replace Obama

"Reviving an idea they floated last year with an op-ed urging President Obama not to seek a second term, pollsters Patrick H. Caddell and Douglas E. Schoen are out Monday with a new op-ed drafting Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to be the Democrats' 2012 nominee," Kim Geiger wrote Monday in the Los Angeles Times.


"Obama should 'abandon his candidacy for reelection in favor of a clear alternative,' Caddell and Schoen wrote in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, because 'the kind of campaign required for the president’s political survival would make it almost impossible for him to govern — not only during the campaign, but throughout a second term.'

" 'Never before has there been such an obvious potential successor — one who has been a loyal and effective member of the president’s administration, who has the stature to take on the office, and who is the only leader capable of uniting the country around a bipartisan economic and foreign policy,' they wrote of Clinton.


"The two pollsters have worked for a number of high-profile Democrats — Caddell for George McGovern, Jimmy Carter and Joe Biden, and Schoen for President Bill Clinton and for Hillary Clinton in 2008. But they are also known for taking positions that are at odds with the Democratic Party.

". . . Hillary Clinton has repeatedly said that she has no ambitions to run again for president. She has brushed aside talk of replacing Joe Biden as the vice presidential nominee on the Democrats' ticket."


Meanwhile, "With families traveling for the holidays, CNN’s GOP national security debate Tuesday night posted some of the lowest ratings of the campaign season of the campaign season — but it’s still not all bad news for CNN. " Lucas Shaw wrote Wednesday for theWrap.com.

"A total of 3.599 million viewers tuned in to watch Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney's war of words over immigration policy, 1.041 million of which were in the adults 25-54 demo. That total is almost two million viewers below the figure for CNN’s last debate, its Western Republican Debate on Oct. 18."


George E. Curry, National Newspaper Publishers Association: No Super committee Deal is the Best Deal

Richard Fausset, Los Angeles Times: At Morehouse College, the Herman Cain question is a live wire


Gregory Kane, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Who's Afraid of Herman Cain? Not Obama

Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Super Committee: From Super Heroes to a Super-headache


Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Everything’s coming up Newt

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: How to cut a deal

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: If they only had a brain

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Romney still waiting for the GOP love

Mark Trahant, Indianz.com: Supercommittee again shows failure to govern

Marisa Treviño, Latina Lista blog: Could immigration be the issue that weeds out the GOP presidential pack?


Jack White, theRoot.com: Racial Politics Did In the Super Committee

Vanessa Williams, Washington Post: Cain’s assertion that he could win over black voters is dismissed by analysts


Southeastern Black Papers Pledge to Address AIDS Crisis

"Saying that 'we have been silent for too long,' a group of African-American newspaper publishers [has] enlisted the support of Black colleges and churches as they prepare to wage a war against HIV/AIDS using their own media outlets to inform readers, advocate for prevention, and hopefully save lives," B. Denise Hawkins wrote Monday for Diverse: Issues in Higher Education.


"By next January, the publishers of more than 50 Black newspapers, most of them weeklies, in Georgia, Tennessee, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Mississippi say they plan to start regularly carrying advertising, running columns, publishing news stories, and posting video on their official websites that address the AIDS crisis and what their readers can do to protect themselves against the disease.

"The region these papers represent — the southeast — is where more than 41 percent of those living with AIDS in the United States reside and where the highest number of new AIDS cases is reported, a 2010 report from the Southern AIDS Coalition found.


"Meharry Medical College, NIMHD/Health Disparities Research Center in Nashville, Tenn., was the co-sponsor of the annual meeting of publishers and owners, representing the southeast region of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA)."

Christopher Ma Dies, New Media Pioneer at Washington Post

"Christopher Ma, a veteran journalist and innovative new-media pioneer who was senior vice president for development of The Washington Post Co., died Nov. 23 at a hospital in New York City. He was 61," Emily Langer wrote Thursday for the Washington Post.


"He had a heart attack, said his wife, Nathalie Gilfoyle.

"Over the past 14 years, Mr. Ma played a pivotal role in taking The Post’s family of products beyond those of a traditional newspaper. He pushed the company to launch Express, a daily tabloid designed for commuters that became profitable, and guided the purchase and business-side operations of El Tiempo Latino, a Spanish-language weekly that The Post acquired in 2004.


"Mr. Ma spearheaded whorunsgov.com, an online resource with profiles of lawmakers, lobbyists, military leaders and other Washington figures. Other online projects he shepherded included a collaboration with OnGo.com, a news aggregation site.

" 'Chris was a man of impressive journalism and business achievements, but he was also . . . much more important to people than that,' said Washington Post Chairman Donald E. Graham. 'He was wise, generous, kind and patient.'


". . . Christopher Yi-Wen Ma was born March 20, 1950, in Columbus, Ohio. His parents immigrated to the United States from China."

Dan Rather Tells Reporters, "Buck the Current System"

On Tuesday, "the Committee to Protect Journalists held its annual gala at the Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York City," Alex Weprin reported Wednesday for TVNewser.


"The bulk of the event was to honor journalists who risked their lives to cover the news, and along the way a few well-known faces showed up. In addition to the international award recipients, Mansoor al-Jamri of Bahrain, Javier Valdez Cardenas of Mexico, Umar Cheema of Pakistan and Natalya Radina of Belarus, former 'CBS Evening News' anchor Dan Rather accepted a lifetime achievement award, while Comcast CEO Brian Roberts accepted his first public award since his cable company acquired NBCUniversal.

"In his speech, Rather set his sights squarely on corporate media — of which Roberts is clearly a part — and sent a message to journalists to not forget their heritage. He was introduced by First Amendment lawyer James Goodale, who began by defending Rather’s report on former President George W. Bush's military service. 'All the facts in that particular program were substantially correct,' Goodale said. 'He was correct.'


"Questions surrounding that report led to Rather’s departure from CBS News.

“ 'As you know, we are living in an age when big money owns everything…including the news,' Rather said. 'That cash bought a lot of silence for a long time. Enough time for unchecked power to get this country tangled into messes all around the world. We all know that money talks. But, so do the people…


" 'Tonight, if I can convince you of anything, it is to buck the current system,' Rather added. 'Remember anew that you are a public servant and your business is protecting the public from harm. Even if those doing harm also pay your salary.' "

Rather made a similar point last month at the Washington dedication of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial. The "corporatization, politicalization and trivialization of the news" is worse today than when King faced it 50 years ago, Rather said then.


Dan Rather Award Acceptance Speech

Kristin Jones, Committee to Protect Journalists: Awardees to their colleagues: Buck the system


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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (www.mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.

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