A rejuvenated Ebony magazine is considering reviving its Jet sibling as a newsstand product for millennials. It plans to publish more special single-themed issues for newsstand consumption and is branching out to stage special events as it seeks ways to extend the brand.
Linda Johnson Rice, chairman of Johnson Publishing Co. and daughter of founder John H. Johnson, outlined some of those plans two weeks ago before students at Harvard Business School who used Ebony as a case study in dilemmas facing black businesses. Rice, facing what was described as a “perfect storm” of bad news, sold the company to an African-American-owned Texas firm in 2015 but remains chairman emeritus on the board of the new company.
Steven S. Rogers, Linda Johnson Rice, Harvard Business School: Black Business Leaders & Entrepreneurship
Steve Rogers, a senior lecturer at Harvard Business School who is African American, brought in Rice for his new course, “Black Business Leaders and Entrepreneurship.”
After Rice described the new company’s plans, Rogers told Journal-isms by telephone on Tuesday, “The students stood up and gave her a standing ovation. . . . all of us wanted to make investments.”
Among the plans, confirmed in an email Wednesday from Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, CEO of the renamed Ebony Media:
“We are considering repositioning Jet for millennials with a focus on entertainment and having limited newsstand publication ..much more digital content,” McKissack wrote. After 63 years, the pocket-sized Jet was converted to digital-only in 2014. Little has been heard from it since. The operation would be based in California, Rogers said.
Ebony has launched partnerships with such high-visibility firms as the Apple technology company. “Apple is an advertising client and we partnered with them in 2016 for an Apple/Ebony Black Hollywood Oscar event,” McKissack said. “This event honored the best Black films of 2016.”
Producing special-interest issues that are not so dependent on advertising revenue. In December, Ebony published a commemorative edition on the Obamas that sold for $10.99. McKissack said the company was committed to five additional projects, the second of which will be on newsstands March 14. She said she could not disclose the subject matter.
Adding blue-chip advertisers. “We continue to expand our advertisers which include blue chip accounts as well as adding broadcast to our events,” McKissack said. “For example, we expect to add a broadcast component to our 2017 Power 100 event. We are offering our clients 360 [degree] programs which include print, digital, events and activation. Our participation at SXSW, Power 100 are examples of these offerings.” The latter are references to the huge South by Southwest festival held annually in Austin, Texas, and the “Ebony Power 100" event, held last year in Los Angeles, honoring “the world’s most inspiring African Americans.”
Hosting events at the Super Bowl and the Academy Awards. “We just honored the impact of HBCU’s [historically black colleges and universities] on Pro Football with an event over Super Bowl weekend” in Houston, McKissack said. “We provided a special recognition for Troy Vincent, EVP of football operations for his contributions both on and off the field. We had over 1,500 attendees!”
The Ebony case study was part of a larger effort at Harvard Business School, as Deirdre Fernandes reported Saturday for the Boston Globe.
“From factory working conditions to the cola wars and the sharing economy, the graduate school has over decades published thousands of deep-dive studies into how businesses tackle their toughest challenges — research that’s aimed at teaching MBA candidates what works and how decisions are made.
“Yet as central as these case studies are at Harvard and business schools around the country, they’ve been missing a key element . . . the stories of African-American executives.
“Rogers, who has taught at Harvard for five years, estimates that less than 1 percent of the school’s approximately 10,000 studies features a black executive — even as 9 percent of US firms are now black-owned.
“His goal is to change that, one study at a time.
“. . . Rogers has written 14 new case studies with black executives in the central decision-making role, or, in HBS-speak, as the protagonist. He is using many of these case studies this semester in his own class, ‘Black Business Leaders and Entrepreneurship,’ the first to have such a focus at Harvard. And Rogers is encouraging other professors at the nation’s leading business school to include more diverse voices in their own curriculum. . . .”
All 45 students in the class, originally planned for 21, are black. Rogers said students from other races could benefit.
The case: “Linda [Johnson Rice] became a CEO in 2002,” Rogers said in a podcast.
“By 2015 she was faced with the challenge of where to take this company, and the reason was because the entire industry had collapsed, combined with the fact that the economy was in a recession, the greatest recession since the World War II.
“As a result of that, advertisers were pulling back. Advertisers were putting their money in the internet, advertising on the internet. Then Linda also became aware of the fact that advertisers were paying her a rate that’s significantly less than what they were paying white media companies for the same number of viewers. It was sort of what we call in the black community, she was experiencing the black tax.
“It’s kind of ironic that in 2015 she was experiencing it, the same as her father experienced it 70 years earlier. Linda was faced with this great challenge . . . at a time when media companies are dying, they’re being destroyed, Newsweek was sold for one dollar. All the periodicals, all the media companies were facing this crisis, and Linda was no different. The case focuses on what should Linda, as any brilliant business woman would have to do, what should she do? . . .”
The options were shutting the magazine down, on the theory that news about African Americans can now be found in mainstream publications; keeping the publication but turning it around with more fundraising; retaining Ebony but partnering with other companies who could supply more revenue; or licensing the name to others.
The students decided that the publication, founded in 1945 and a key chronicler of the civil rights movement, had a legacy too valuable to sacrifice. They settled on a combination of options.
Despite competition from mainstream publications, “There is no other periodical that has as its objective the uplift and the happiness of the black community,” Rogers said.
Trump administration communications official Omarosa Manigault added fuel to her war of words with April Ryan, a longtime White House reporter for American Urban Radio Networks by producing a recording of an exchange between the two last week in the White House press office, Dylan Byers reported Tuesday for CNNMoney.
“In separate interviews with CNNMoney, Ryan and Manigault offered contradicting accounts about what had taken place during the confrontation. Most notably, Ryan said Manigault had physically and verbally intimidated her and claimed that the White House had ‘dossiers’ of negative information on her and other journalists. (Ryan also made these claims to the The Washington Post earlier.)
“Manigault accused Ryan of lying and said she had never claimed to have any ‘dossiers.’ She also offered CNNMoney an incomplete and at times inaudible recording of the exchange that had been taped by a White House staffer who began recording once the exchange grew heated.
“ ‘We have a recording of the exchange and she blatantly lied,’ Manigault said.
“Like Manigault, the White House denies keeping any dossiers on reporters. ‘That is absolutely not true,’ White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said during his briefing Tuesday. ‘There are no dossiers being kept.’
“The 4-minute recording Manigault provided to CNNMoney does not include any mention of dossiers, but much of the recording is drowned out by cable television and background chatter and some of the confrontation is clearly not included in the recording.
“Ryan stood by her claim and said Manigault’s remarks about the dossiers was either not included in the recording or edited out.
“The two women were formerly friends. But Ryan said their friendship ended in October when Manigault accused Ryan of being paid by Hillary Clinton’s campaign. That accusation, which Ryan vehemently denies, appears to be based on Manigault’s misreading of an Intercept article about Clinton’s relationship with the press (the article does not state that Ryan is paid by the Clinton campaign). Manigault nevertheless made the allegation again during their confrontation at the White House.
“Both women said the confrontation started in or near Spicer’s office, with Ryan accusing Manigault of telling the press secretary not to call on her in the daily press briefings. . . .”
Among the witnesses were White House press office staffers and a Washington Post reporter, Abby Phillip, Paul Farhi reported Monday in the Post.
Michael H. Cottman, Afro-American: I Don’t Know Omarosa Manigault, But I Do Know April Ryan
Paul Farhi, Washington Post: ‘This is . . . Nixonian’: Reporter was taped by White House in heated exchange
“President Trump has a new opponent: A gusher of leaks from anonymous sources hinting at nefarious collusion with Russia and painting a picture of a White House in crisis,” Brian Stelter reported Wednesday for CNNMoney.
“Trump is questioning the motivations of the leakers and accusing the ‘fake news media’ of ‘going crazy.’ But he’s not refuting the accuracy of the reporting by CNN, The New York Times or The Washington Post.
“With his own gusher of tweets, Trump is trying to reframe the story. ‘The real scandal here is that classified information is illegally given out by “intelligence” like candy. Very un-American!’ he wrote Wednesday.
“He stayed on the topic later in the day at a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
“ ‘From intelligence, papers are being leaked, things are being leaked,’ Trump said. ‘It’s a criminal action, criminal act, and it’s been going on for a long time before me, but now it’s really going on. And people are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton.’
“Newsrooms, for understandable reasons, are focusing on the actual allegations at hand. . . .”
Chris Ariens, TVNewser: Reliable Sources vs. MediaBuzz: Who’s Winning?
Wayne Dawkins, LinkedIn: R.I.P. facts? No, wake now my senses
Editorial, Chicago Sun-Times: Jeff Sessions cannot be trusted to investigate Trump
Lindsey Ellefson, Mediaite: Reporters Claim That Steve Bannon Just Walked by and Insulted Them
Hadas Gold, Politico: At Netanyahu presser, Trump continues trend of calling on conservative outlets
Hadas Gold, Politico: Have TV media had their fill of Kellyanne?
Glenn Greenwald, the Intercept: The Leakers Who Exposed Gen. Flynn’s Lie Committed Serious — and Wholly Justified — Felonies
Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times: White House Grants Press Credentials to a Pro-Trump Blog
Patt Morrison, Los Angeles Times: Patt Morrison asks: Voice of America director Amanda Bennett on government-funded media in age of Trump
Michael Shaw, Columbia Journalism Review: Former White House photographer grabs headlines with Instagram sass
Allan Smith, Business Insider: In internal meeting, Wall Street Journal editor vehemently defends paper’s Trump coverage
Trevor Timm, Columbia Journalism Review: Flynn resignation shows leaks under Trump are working. Keep ‘em coming.
“The number of hate groups operating in the country in 2016 remained at near-historic highs, rising from 892 in 2015 to 917 last year,” according to the latest count by the Southern Poverty Law Center, reported Wednesday. “That’s only about 100 fewer organizations than the 1,018 tallied in 2011, which was the all-time high in some 30 years of SPLC counts.
“And the numbers undoubtedly understate the real level of organized hatred in America. In recent years, growing numbers of right-wing extremists operate mainly in cyberspace until, in some cases, they take action in the real world. Dylann Roof, who was convicted late last year of the racist murder of nine black churchgoers, is an example of that — he had no real-world contact with hate groups before deciding, based on propaganda he read on the Internet, that it was time to start a race war.
“By far the most dramatic change was the enormous leap in anti-Muslim hate groups, from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year — a 197% increase. But that explosion was not unexpected. Anti-Muslim hate has been expanding rapidly for more than two years now, driven by radical Islamist attacks including the June mass murder of 49 people at an Orlando, Fla., gay nightclub, the unrelenting propaganda of a growing circle of well-paid ideologues, and the incendiary rhetoric of [Donald J.] Trump — his threats to ban Muslim immigration, mandate a registry of Muslims in America, and more.
The Muslim-bashing had consequences. Last October, three members of a militia-like group called the Crusaders were arrested and charged with plotting to blow up an apartment complex in Kansas where 120 Somali Muslim immigrants live. The attack was reportedly set for Nov. 9, the day after Election Day. . . .”
Jelani Cobb, New Yorker: The Mistake the Berkeley Protesters Made about Milo Yiannopoulos
David A. Love, theGrio.com: Stephen Miller is Trump’s white supremacist policy adviser
“Supermodel Karlie Kloss tweeted an apology early Wednesday after her latest photo shoot drew accusations of cultural appropriation on social media,” Lakshmi Gandhi reported Wednesday for NBC News Asian America.
“In a multi-page spread titled ‘Spirited Away’ in Vogue’s March 2017 issue, Kloss is styled wearing a glossy black wig and geisha-inspired makeup. Taken throughout Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park, the photo series features Kloss wearing a selection of kimonos, posing with a sumo wrestler, and walking to a Japanese tea house. . . .”
The gaffe wasn’t in just any edition of Vogue.
“For real, Vogue?” Phil Yu wrote Tuesday in his Angry Asian Man blog. “A photo shoot featuring a white model as a geisha? In the so-called ‘diversity’ issue, no less. . . .
“The spread, photographed in Japan by Mikael Jansson and styled by Phyllis Posnick, features Kloss in what is pretty much yellowface, going full geisha in various photos shot around Japan’s Ise-Shima National Park. They’ve got Kloss in thick black hair, pale skin and kimono-like attire, posed in various Japanese-y backgrounds. There’s even a friggin’ sumo wrestler for bonus stereotypical Japanese-ness. . . .”
Vogue representatives did not respond to requests for comment.
Kassy Cho, BuzzFeed: People Are Furious Karlie Kloss Dressed Like A Geisha For Vogue’s Diversity Issue
Randall Yip, AsAmNews: Vogue Diversity Issue Is a Head Scratcher
“Andrea Valdez has been named editor of Wired.com,” Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke reported Wednesday for wwd.com.
“Wired’s new editor in chief Nicholas Thompson poached Valdez from Texas Monthly, where she was, most recently, the editor of that magazine’s web site. Valdez started working at the Austin-based magazine as a fact-checker two days after graduating from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2006.
“An advice column she wrote for the magazine that gave tips on necessary Texan life skills was turned into a book, ‘How to Be a Texan: The Manual,’ last year.
“Thompson said of Valdez: ‘She’s done everything we’d want a web editor to have done: fact-check, edit, assign, manage, coordinate social media and edit a superb web site. She’s also just fun to talk to, and I can’t wait for her to start.’”Thompson won’t have to wait too long — Valdez’s first day at Wired’s San Francisco office is March 13. This hire is the first big appointment by Thompson, who took the over as editor in chief at the Condé Nast tech magazine at the end of January. . . .”
Valdez is Mexican-American, she told Journal-isms.
“We need to talk about the Corporation for Public Broadcasting,” Tristan Ahtone wrote Tuesday for Al Jazeera.
“The Trump administration, in an effort to reduce federal spending by $10.5 trillion over the next 10 years, is considering gutting government agencies, eliminating funding to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities, and privatising the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) — effectively axing government dollars for public television, radio and online services.
“While seemingly trivial — the most visible beneficiaries of CPB funding, NPR and PBS, have said they would be likely to survive without CPB money — the cuts would have significant, negative effects on tribal communities that rely on CPB funding to keep tribal radio stations on the air. . . .”
“We are not by any means, bystanders is this narrative of America,” Larry Spotted Crow Mann wrote Saturday for Indian Country Media Network. “We have survived the intergenerational trauma, lateral violence, and the overall vicissitudes of raising our families in a so called ‘Nation of Immigrants’; whereby its very definition, is the final affront to our lives, sacrifices and very Being on this continent.
“It is the epitome of cognitive dissonance and historical amnesia; cradled in a sort of patriotic schizophrenia. It engenders the breeding [ground] for the Native caricatures, mascots and colonial escapism taking place, even today.
“We should say: We are a Nation of Immigrants, Descendants of Chattel Slavery & First Peoples of this Land. This would compel all Americans to acquaint themselves to the true history and sacrifices of this land that carved out the opportunities they now enjoy.”
Elvia Díaz, La Voz | azcentral.com: Did Trump just threaten Mexico with military action? (Feb. 2)
Media Matters for America: CBS Evening News Reports On Religious Questions Being Asked By Border Patrol As A Result Of Muslim Ban
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Trump and Obama, sitting in a tree, d-e-p-o-r-t-i-n-g
Leif Reigstad, Texas Monthly: More Than One Million Undocumented People Live In Houston and Dallas Combined
Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: Stuck in immigration limbo, Dreamers are losing patience (Feb. 6)
Héctor Tobar, New York Times: We Pity You, President Trump
Betsy Woodruff, Daily Beast: Trump Looks Ready to Outdo ‘Deporter-in-Chief’ Obama
“Parkway Gardens, a historic housing complex that stretches between 63rd and 65th streets on King Drive, is ground zero for Chicago’s violence,” Mary Mitchell wrote Monday for the Chicago Sun-Times.
“The complex had more shootings than any block in the city between June 2011 and June 2014, a Sun-Times analysis found. It is so notorious, the New York Times sent a team of reporters there to try and figure out what was behind the horrendous killings.
“As the first housing cooperative operated and owned by African-Americans, Parkway Gardens was a model for urban development.
“Former first lady Michelle Obama lived in one of the apartments when she was a toddler. . . .
“There have been several senseless killings in or near the complex, including one in which a mother allegedly gave her 13-year-old daughter a switchblade to use in a fight at 64th and King Drive. De’Kayla Dansberry, 15, was stabbed to death in the melee.
“Last year, a stray bullet killed Nykea Aldridge, the 32-year-old cousin of Chicago Bulls star Dwyane Wade, while she was pushing a baby stroller.
“After so much mayhem, you would think the police presence around the complex would be crushing.
“But once again, a stray bullet, allegedly fired by rival gang members near the complex, has shattered a family.
“On Saturday night, 11-year-old Takiya Holmes was one of two girls shot in the head in separate incidents. . . .”
Katherine Rosenberg-Douglas, Jason Meisner and Gregory Pratt wrote Wednesday for the Chicago Tribune, “Takiya was rushed to Comer Children’s Hospital a mile and a half to the north, where she was taken off life support Tuesday morning. . . .”
Dahleen Glanton, Chicago Tribune: In Chicago, we sleep peacefully while our children die
Courtland Milloy, Washington Post: Trump asked what African Americans had to lose. They’re waiting to see the gain.
Joaquin Sapien, ProPublica: The Breakthrough: Reporters Examine Murder Where Cops Struggle to Curb It
“For this week’s cover story, David Muir, Scott Pelley, and Lester Holt sat down last week in New York with Variety senior TV editor Brian Steinberg for a candid conversation about the news business, . . . “ Variety wrote Tuesday, introducing a story by Steinberg.
“When Morgan DeBaun was a student at Washington University in St. Louis during the early Obama years, she and a handful of friends often found themselves at this one lunch table in a campus cafeteria,” Carl Brooks Jr. wrote Wednesday for part of a wired.com series, “The News in Crisis.” . . . “They were among the very few black students at the predominately white university, and the table became a place of both sanctuary and celebration. Over time, other black students would drift into their orbit and join the conversation. It almost felt like gravity — or what DeBaun came to think of as black gravity. That was six years ago, and today DeBaun is the CEO and cofounder of Blavity, a three-year-old media and tech company that’s been described as ‘BuzzFeed for black millennials.’ . . .”
“NBC is mustering its sports outlets, including NBC Sports Network and its Comcast SportsNet RSNs, as well as its NBC-owned TV stations to talk about gender in sports,” John Eggerton reported Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable. “To mark Women’s History Month in March, Tomboy, a one-hour documentary featuring interviews with World Cup Skiing champion Lindsey Vonn and others, will air on all seven of the NBC Sports regional networks, in addition to NBCSN and several O&Os. . . .”
Perry Bacon Jr. joins FiveThirtyEight as a senior political writer,” ESPN announced on Tuesday. “Working alongside the site’s politics team, Bacon will focus on covering the Trump administration and its effects, in Washington and in the country at large. He will be based in Washington, D.C. Bacon joins FiveThirtyEight from NBC News, where he has been a senior political reporter. . . .”
“For years, Mike Pence refused to pardon an innocent man,” Kelly Weill reported Wednesday for the Daily Beast. “But one month after he left office as Indiana’s governor, his successor Eric Holcomb moved to clear Keith Cooper’s name. Keith Cooper of Elkhart, Indiana, has maintained his innocence since he was charged with robbery and attempted murder in 1997. Tried and convicted in a single day, Cooper was sentenced to 40 years in prison for robbery resulting in serious injury. But while Cooper was behind bars, evidence of his innocence grew. . . .”
The fight over the Dakota Access Pipeline “— and the broader issues it represents — is far from over,” Mark Trahant reported for Trahant Reports, republished Monday by indianz.com.
“Omar Butcher, a black man who worked as an associate producer at CNN, says he was passed over several times by less-experienced white employees, Bill Torpy wrote Tuesday for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “But there was one claim in his suit that caught my eye: Butcher says he was discriminated against by co-workers swearing in the newsroom. Butcher says he is a devout Christian and ‘became increasingly troubled by certain of his team members’ frequent use of profane language.’ . . . The charge kind of shocked me in a what-is-this-world-coming-to way. No swearing in the newsroom? What? Will they forbid drinking in taverns next? . . .”
New York PBS station WNET has hired Geraldine Moriba as programming consultant for multi-platform initiatives,” Kevin Eck reported Wednesday for TVSpy. Moriba left CNN, where she was vice president for diversity and inclusion, in December. CNN President Jeff Zucker said then that Moriba would launch Moriba Media, ‘taking her passion for great journalism on the road’. . . .”
“Constance White, the former editor-in-chief of Essence, is landing at Zink in the same role just as the cutting-edge indie fashion site plots a return to print this spring,” Keith J. Kelly reported Tuesday for the New York Post. ‘You have to touch audiences in every area,’ said White, ‘but the cost structures have to come down.’ . . .”
“A journalist who was pulled from duty after describing Venus Williams’ ‘guerrilla’ style of playing while covering the Australian Open last month is now suing ESPN, contending that the sports network ‘bowed to the Twitter universe of haters and those ignorant of tennis who thought [he] used the word “gorilla” to describe Venus Williams that day,’ “ Tim Kenneally reported Tuesday for thewrap.com. “The lawsuit, filed by tennis analyst Doug Adler in Los Angeles Superior Court on Tuesday, also names ESPN senior vice president Mark Gro and vice president Jamie Reynolds as defendants. . . .”
“Sinclair Broadcast Group Wednesday said the firing of a journalist at its Kalamazoo, Mich., station stemmed from repeated violations of company policy — not politics, as has been reported . . .” Diana Marszalek wrote Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable.
The New Haven Independent in Connecticut “has an unusual policy on crime reporting: No names or mugshots of those arrested unless they’re public figures, the arrest is judged to be a public emergency, or its reporters are able to interview the accused directly,” a headline reads above a story in Neiman Lab Tuesday by Shan Wang.
The winner of New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof’s 2017 win-a-trip contest is Aneri Pattani, a senior at Northeastern University and an ace student journalist, Kristof reported on Saturday. “We will probably report together on global poverty issues in West Africa in June, focusing on Liberia, with a separate trip looking at America’s own poverty. . . .” Pattani’s resume lists her as a member of the Asian American Journalists Association and the South Asian Journalists Association.
On Tuesday, Fusion Senior Editor Felix Salmon laid out for Recode’s Dan Frommer seven mistakes made by Fusion, which began as “a joint venture between Disney’s ABC and Univision; today it’s part of Univision’s large portfolio of digital properties that also includes The Onion and the former Gawker Media, now known as the Gizmodo Media Group. . . .”
“Ryan Smith is joining ESPN’s Outside the Lines and E:60,” Chris Ariens reported Tuesday for TVNewser. “Smith, a lawyer by trade, will report feature stories, investigative pieces and provide legal analysis across ESPN programs. . . .”
“Six journalists, including three media owners, have been arrested in the Ivory Coast for ‘spreading false information’ about a mutiny by security forces, their newspapers and the public prosecutor said,” Al Jazeera reported on Sunday, citing news agencies.
“Three men have been arrested in the Dominican Republic after two radio journalists were shot and killed during a Facebook Live broadcast on Tuesday, according to local news reports,” Kimiko de Freytas-Tamura reported Wednesday for the New York Times.
“Seven months into the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, press freedom remains under pressure in the Philippines,” Florence Peschke wrote Friday for the International Press Institute. She also wrote, “Journalists who criticize the president’s policies or cover sensitive topics like drug trafficking or corruption face defamation suits and an online backlash. Duterte’s supporters attack them outright or report their online accounts to social media platforms, demanding the takedown of ‘inappropriate content’. . . . Nevertheless, some journalists say there is reason for hope. . . .”
“Ecuador’s restrictive communications laws have limited investigative journalism to news websites constantly struggling amid precarious economic circumstances, so the takedown of five online media outlets in less than 72 hours following numerous digital attacks represents a troubling development,” the International Press Institute reported on Feb. 9.
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— Ronnie Washines, Yakama Nation Multimedia Program administrator, Seattle Seahawks fan and former president of the Native American Journalists Association.
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Journal-isms is originally published on journal-isms.com. Reprinted on The Root by permission.