Journalists Concerned About What Will Become of the New York Times’ Race Beat

Traffic moves past the New York Times building in New York City Oct. 1, 2014. 
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News Outlets Split on Best Ways to Cover the Topic

With the New York Times moving Tanzina Vega, the paper's sole reporter on a national race and ethnicity beat, to cover the Bronx courthouse, a larger question is at play, Chris Ip wrote Wednesday for Columbia Journalism Review.

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"What happens to her national race and ethnicity beat — one of the few at a major news organization, alongside the AP and NPR — at a time when race issues have reached fever pitch, ranging from the police killings of unarmed black men like Eric Garner and Michael Brown, to controversy over the lack of diversity in this year’s Oscar nominations. The Times' coverage not only leads the news agenda in the US but gives credibility to the country's struggles with race in an age that some commentators still insist is 'post-racial.'

"When asked whether the race and ethnicity beat was being dropped, and if so, why, Dean Baquet, the Times' first African American executive editor, said via a spokeswoman that he wouldn't discuss coverage. 'Suffice it to say we believe race is a big story and we will cover it aggressively,' read his statement. National Editor Alison Mitchell did not reply to an emailed enquiry. Vega declined to comment but has retweeted several reactions to the move, including criticisms. . . ."

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Ip also wrote, "The debate about whether to have a race beat in the newsroom goes back decades. At heart is whether reporters in every beat should cultivate an awareness of race stories versus having reporters dedicated to spotting the newsroom's racial blind spots.

"Yet in practice, said multiple reporters, when minority communities are not given particular focus, their stories frequently fall by the wayside. Additionally, fear that any racial faux-pas can immediately bring condemnation from social media critics may compound the reluctance of some reporters to chase controversial leads," Ip continued, including comments from this columnist.

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Media organizations have varying approaches to covering racial issues.

The Associated Press named veteran AP journalist Sonya Ross, a former White House correspondent, as race and ethnicity editor in 2010. However, Jesse Washington, who in 2008 was selected from among 449 applicants to become the wire service's national writer on race and ethnicity, left the news organization for the black-oriented ESPN site-to-be headed by sports columnist Jason Whitlock.

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"While Jesse Washington’s position remains open at present, it should be noted that Jesse Holland in Washington has been doing strong work on race and minority stories in the last year under the guidance of AP Race and Ethnicity Editor Sonya Ross," AP spokesman Paul Colford messaged Journal-isms on Wednesday. "We've also expanded the number of AP journalists we've involved in these issues on an as-needed basis." He did not respond when asked whether Washington's slot would be filled.

Nancy Sullivan, spokeswoman for the Los Angeles Times, told Journal-isms, "As I'm sure you're aware, Southern California is home to a unique demographic mix and Los Angeles is known for its polyglot multicultural character. The area is home to black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American populations and ethnic enclaves like Chinatown, Little Ethiopia, Koreatown, etc. The LA Times devotes substantial staff time and talent to reporting on the area's many ethnic and racial communities.

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"Anh Do focuses on Vietnamese, Cambodian and other Asian communities in Orange County. Esmeralda Bermudez reports extensively on Latino communities. So do Kate Linthicum and Cindy Carcamo, who also report on immigrants and immigration policy. Those names are all metro reporters. In addition, Nigel Duara, a national correspondent in [Tucson], Ariz., reports on national immigration issues and the U.S.-Mexico border."

In 2012, NPR received a $1.5 million, two-year grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting "to launch a major journalism initiative to deepen coverage of race, ethnicity and culture." The network received more than 1,300 applications for four positions on the race-relations reporting team whose work appears on the NPR blog "Code Switch."

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The Washington Post, by contrast, continues to cover racial topics but no longer has a national reporter dedicated to the subject. "We don't currently have anyone on that beat now, per se," spokeswoman Kris Coratti said by email, "but a number of reporters write about race as part of their beats, including Nia-Malika Henderson on the Fix, Wes Lowery in covering Ferguson, its aftermath and now delving into police-community issues. Sandhya Somashekhar has a relatively new beat covering social movements. And others on staff often write about race, including DeNeen Brown on Local and Soraya McDonald on Morning Mix." 

At the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Mila Koumpilova, herself an immigrant from Bulgaria, reports on immigration and Minnesota's immigrant communities, Duchesne Drew, managing editor for operations, told Journal-isms.

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The Asian American Journalists Association was awarded a $200,000 grant from the Ford Foundation to launch "Diverse and Inclusive: News of the Heartland," "a project in partnership with University of Nebraska, Lincoln to address the lack of news coverage of minorities and LGBT communities in Nebraska. AAJA will work jointly with the National Lesbian [&] Gay Journalists Association." News outlets in the region publish the project's work, written by reporter Bobby Caina Calvan.

In Detroit, where the suburb of Dearborn contains the nation's largest concentration of Muslims and Arab Americans, reporter Niraj Warikoo is assigned to Arab Americans as a beat, Paul Anger, Free Press editor and publisher, messaged Journal-isms. "He also covers the city of Dearborn and covers the Jewish Community as well. We've felt that the Middle Eastern communities need someone watching them who can balance the coverage and find stories where they come together locally in common cause."

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Anger disclosed that "the Free Press is looking into a beat that would more closely focus on issues of disparities in the community. . . . On disparity, I mean disparities of any kind related to race, age, ethnicity, religion — could be related to police response or health outcomes, all manner of measures where there is a disparity that could add up to discrimination."

The NPR project is continuing despite the expiration of the grant and the departure of its leader, Matt Thompson, for the Atlantic, NPR spokeswoman Isabel Lara explained in a message to Journal-isms on Thursday:

"After the launch of Code Switch, Matt's plan was always to transition that team to a slate of full-time editors while he shifted his attention to the launch of new verticals. He launched NPRed, our education vertical and Goats and Soda, our vertical on global health and development. His position was unique, self-created and a match for his specific interests and talents. It will not be filled directly. But the teams he launched, are all fully staffed including Code Switch.

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"In December Code Switch hired a high profile senior digital editor, Tasneem Raja, to continue to expand its profile. And Code Switch is currently hiring a reporter. The five-person Code Switch team, along with Michel Martin's team, now make up NPR's Identity and Culture Unit.

"The full unit is led by Executive Editor, Carline Watson, Senior Editor, Alicia Montgomery and Senior Digital Editor Tasneem Raja. As a new Initiative, the entire unit reports up to Lynette Clemetson, who was named NPR's Senior Director of Strategy and Content Initiatives (this was announced yesterday!)

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"Code Switch, which won the ONA 2014 award for best Online Commentary , secured multiyear funding after its initial launch grant and is now part of NPR's base operations. Code Switch and the full 11-person Identity and Culture Unit (perhaps the largest team within a major news organization dedicated to the coverage of race, ethnicity and culture) is valued and well supported within NPR and continues to attract additional support." [Updated Jan. 29]

Tracie Powell, Columbia Journalism Review: In the rise of race beats, echoes of history (July 15)

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Black Journalist Joining Editor's Ranks at The Nation

Kai Wright, editorial director and editor-at-large at Colorlines, on Wednesday was named features editor of the Nation, the country's oldest weekly magazine of politics and culture.

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The Nation, like the other national political journals, has been known among journalists of color for its failure to hire African Americans as editors.

A Nation news release said, "In his new role, Wright will edit a wide range of features, investigations, and editorials, help cultivate new talent, and develop new digital ventures. His career has focused on issues of race and racial justice, inequality, labor, health, and sexuality, and the magazine looks forward to ramping up its coverage in those areas and more. Wright begins March 2, 2015."

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It quoted Katrina vanden Heuvel, Nation editor and publisher: "Kai is an extraordinary writer and editor whose work is dedicated to exposing injustice, as well as to exploring the human capacity for resilience, hope and joy. I can't wait to read the pieces he will commission, and those he'll write himself."

In a 2006 article for the New York Observer headlined, "Vanilla Ceiling: Magazines Still Shades Of White," Lizzy Ratner wrote, "the non-glossy Nation lists eight people of color among its 99 writers, editors, editorial-board members and Nation Institute fellows.

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"The Nation's publisher and editor, Katrina vanden Heuvel, acknowledged that the veteran weekly 'need[s] to do a better job in this area.' But, she said, masthead statistics were only part of the magazine's diversity story.

" 'We are always out looking for more diversity in terms of our writers, in terms of our editors,' she said, citing efforts to recruit more minority freelance journalists as well as a recently created Nation Institute fellowship for writers of color and a new conversation series between mystery writer Walter Mosely and other minority writers and activists. . . ." (Coincidentally Ratner is now working for the Nation, and on Thursday vanden Heuvel announced that she will rise from contributing editor to senior editor.)

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Spokeswoman Caitlin Graf told Journal-isms, "Our Executive Editor, Richard Kim, is a person of color and has been an assigning editor here since 2007. Liliana Segura was also an assigning editor here for several years. There may have been others before that, but I'd have to check on anything further.

"We have had previous African Americans on editorial staff, but to the best of my knowledge — after a cursory review — Kai will be the first assigning editor."

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The Nation release quoted Wright, who has also written on gay issues: "For the past 150 years, The Nation has stood for a basic value: our country must make real the promise of its founding documents. The magazine's editors and writers have born witness to great crimes, hosted dialogues about radical solutions, and spoken truth to power . . . I owe the rights and liberties I have today to many of the people who contributed to that essential conversation, and I'm humbled by the chance to help guide the next 150 years of this work."

It said Wright transformed Colorlines "from a bimonthly print journal to a daily digital destination reaching one million readers a month. Most recently, he completed a special multimedia series there, examining inequality in the lives of black men, a subject he has also written perceptively about in our own pages. Indeed, Kai's ties to The Nation run deep, having first written for the magazine in 2006. He is also a reporting fellow at the Investigative Fund at the Nation Institute.

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"Prior to Colorlines, Kai was senior writer at The Root, senior editor at City Limits, a copy editor at the New York Daily News, and a news reporter at The Washington Blade. He is the author of two books, the award-winning Drifting Toward Love: Black, Brown, Gay and Coming of Age on the Streets of New York and Soldiers of Freedom: An Illustrated History of African Americans in the Armed Forces. He is also the editor of Soldiers of Freedom: An Illustrated History of African Americans in the Armed Forces. . . ." [Updated Jan. 29]

Chris O'Shea, FishbowlNY: Voice Media Group to Explore Sale of Papers 

Gary Younge, the Nation: The Unbearable Whiteness of the American Left (May 12)

Columnist Challenges Charles Blow on Omission

"Charles Blow is furious as any parent in his situation would be," Tammerlin Drummond wrote Wednesday for the Oakland Tribune. "But Blow is not just any parent. He is an op-ed columnist at The New York Times.

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"So last Saturday, when Blow's son, an African-American undergrad at Yale, called to tell him a campus police officer had stopped him and held him at gunpoint as he was leaving the library, Blow sent out a series of tweets to his 124,000 Twitter followers, using the hashtags #RacialBattleFatigue #ICantBreathe and #BlackLivesMatter. One read: 'this is exactly why I have NO PATIENCE for ppl trying to convince me that the fear these young blk men feel isn't real.'

"Blow then penned a column headlined 'Library Visit, Then Held at Gunpoint,' which has generated tons of reaction on social media and national news coverage. (You can read it here: http://nyti.ms/15R8Tmb.)

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"Yet Blow omitted one key fact. The Yale cop who stopped his son was also African-American.

"When this was pointed out, Blow again took to Twitter to defend his failure to state the officer's race. His said he hadn't mentioned the race of the police officers who shot Michael Brown in Ferguson, Eric Garner in Staten Island or Tamir Rice in Cleveland, either. But in those cases, he didn't have to. The details of those stories had already been given saturation news coverage. Blow called criticism of his omission 'asinine' and tweeted, 'this isn't about individuals on the trigger end of the guns but the culture and how that culture interacts with communities of color.' . . ."

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Drummond also wrote, "Blow left out information that adds nuance to the narrative around racial profiling by demonstrating that African-American police officers and other nonwhite law enforcement officers have also been guilty of overly aggressive policing in encounters with African-Americans. It's not just an issue of white officers vs. blacks.

"Contrary to the nonsense that right-wingers are spouting, the fact that the officer who detained Blow's son was also African-American does not in any way diminish the seriousness of the encounter. It doesn't erase the fact that this young man was placed in a life-threatening situation. Nor does it mitigate the trauma inflicted on him and his family. If a police officer points a gun at you, you're not going to be less terrified because you and he are the same race. . . .

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Drummond later added, "Yet by leaving out the fact that the cop was black, Blow opened himself up to charges of 'race-baiting' by racism deniers of all ilks who refuse to recognize that racial profiling by police officers is a systemic national problem. . . "

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: "Fitting the description" at Yale.

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Reducing Our Obscene Level of Child Poverty

Yume Hoshijima, Yale Daily News: Don't jump to conclusions

Micah Jones, Yale Daily News: Is Yale Ferguson?

Islamic State Releases Message from Japanese Journalist

"The Islamic State group released a message late Wednesday purportedly by Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, extending the deadline for Jordan's release of an Iraqi would-be hotel bomber linked to al-Qaida," Karin Laub and Mohammed Daraghmeh reported Wednesday for the Associated Press. 

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"The message, read by a voice claiming to be Japanese hostage Kenji Goto, was released online after Jordan offered a precedent-setting prisoner swap to the Islamic State group, desperately seeking to save a Jordanian air force pilot the militants purportedly threatened to kill, along with Goto.

"The recording, in English, says the Jordanians must present Sajida al-Rishawi at the Turkish border by sunset Thursday, or Jordanian pilot Mu'as al-Kasaseabeh will be killed.

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"The Associated Press could not independently verify the contents of the recording which was distributed on Twitter by IS-affiliated accounts. . . "

The militants reportedly have killed Japanese hostage Haruna Yukawa. Goto, a freelance journalist, was captured in October in Syria, apparently while trying to rescue Yukawa, 42, who was taken hostage last summer.

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Laub and Daraghmeh reported earlier, "In Tokyo, Goto's mother, Junko Ishido, appealed publicly to Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. 'Please save Kenji's life,' Ishido said, begging Abe to work with the Jordanian government until the very end to try to save Goto.

" 'Kenji has only a little time left,' she said in a plea read to reporters. Ishido said both Abe and Japan's main government spokesman had declined to meet with her. . . ."

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ABC News: Kenji Goto's Friend Fears for Life of Japanese ISIS Hostage (video)

Tetsushi Kajimoto and Kiyoshi Takenaka, Reuters: Japan vows to work with Jordan to secure hostage release

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Julian Robinson, Simon Tomlinson and Corey Charlton, Daily Mail: 'If we are not exchanged at the Turkish border at sunset the pilot will die': Audio recording claiming to be from Japanese hostage issues new prisoner swap deadline — as Jordanian's wife faces agonising wait

Henry Tricks, Committee to Protect Journalists: Kenji Goto's reporting is voice of humanity in times of atrocity

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Al Jazeera Said to Tell Staff to Avoid Words Like "Terrorist"

"In an email reportedly obtained by the National Review, Al Jazeera English executive Carlos van Meek instructed staff to avoid the words 'jihad,' 'terrorist,' 'militant' and 'Islamic,' " Evan McMurry reported Wednesday for Mediaite.

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" 'All: We manage our words carefully around here,' NRO quoted van Meek as writing. 'So I'd like to bring to your attention some key words that have a tendency of tripping us up.' 

"Van Meek told the DC and New York-based staff to avoid terms like 'militants' and 'terrorists.' 'One person’s terrorist is another person's freedom fighter,' he wrote. 'Avoid characterizing people. Often their actions do the work for the viewer.'

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"Van Meek went on to describe the term 'Islamist' as 'a simplistic label.' However: 'Naturally many of our guests will use the word Islamist in the course of their answers. It is absolutely fine to include these answers in our output,' van Meek wrote. 'There is no blanket ban on the word.'

" 'Jihad,' on the other hand, seemed more explicitly forbidden. . . ."

Sebnem Arsu and Mark Scott, New York Times: Facebook Is Said to Block Pages Critical of Muhammad to Avoid Shutdown in Turkey

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Gary Younge, the Nation: Paris Attacks Will Bolster the Right-Wing Front National

The Whiteness of the “Public Radio Voice”

"Last summer, I produced my first public radio piece as part of a week-long intensive radio workshop run by Transom," Chenjerai Kumanyika, an assistant professor of popular culture at Clemson University, wrote last week for Transom.org, "a showcase and website for new public radio." The essay was republished Tuesday by BuzzFeed.

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"While writing my script, I was suddenly gripped with a deep fear about my ability to narrate my piece. As I read the script back to myself while editing, I realized that as I was speaking aloud I was also imagining someone else's voice saying my piece. The voice I was hearing and gradually beginning to imitate was something in between the voice of 99% Invisible host Roman Mars and Serial host Sarah Koenig.

"Those two very different voices have many complex and wonderful qualities and I'm a fan of those shows. They also sound like white people. My natural voice — the voice that I use when I am most comfortable — doesn't sound like that. Thinking about this, I suddenly became self-conscious about the way that I instinctively alter my voice and way of speaking in certain conversational contexts, and I realized that I didn't want to do that for my first public radio-style piece.

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"Of course, I'm not alone in facing this challenge. Journalists of various ethnicities, genders and other identity categories intentionally or unintentionally internalize and 'code-switch' to be consistent with culturally dominant 'white' styles of speech and narration.

"As I wrote my script for the Transom workshop piece, I was struggling to imagine how my own voice would sound speaking those words. This is partially because I am an African-American male, a professor, and hip-hop artist whose voice has been shaped by black, cultural patterns of speech and oratory.

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"I could easily imagine my more natural voice as an interviewee or as the host of a news-style podcast about 'African-American issues,' or even a sports or hip-hop podcast. Despite the sad and inexplicable disappearance of NPR shows like Tell Me More, I can find many examples of African-American hosts — like Tavis Smiley, John Hanson, Roland Martin, Bomani Jones, Freddie Coleman and Reggie Osse (Combat Jack) — of both of those kinds of media. But in my mind's ear, it was harder to hear my voice, that is to say my type of voice, as the narrator of the specific kind of narrative, non-fiction radio piece that I was making."

Listing some of his favorite shows, Kumanyika also wrote,"In short, very few of these hosts speak the way that I speak. This is one reason that some of my black and brown friends refuse to listen to some of my favorite radio shows and podcast episodes despite my most impassioned evangelical efforts. . . ."

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Duchesne Drew, a Star Tribune M.E., Leaving for Foundation

"Duchesne Drew, a longtime leader at the Star Tribune and in the Twin Cities journalism community, is leaving the Minneapolis newspaper to join the Bush Foundation as community network vice president, Dirk DeYoung reported for the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.

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"Drew will lead the foundation's leadership programs, community innovation and communications teams and oversee an effort to build stronger leadership networks across Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and 23 Native American nations in the region, according to a new release.

" 'We are excited to have Duchesne help us make sure all our investments in organizations and people have an impact greater than the sum of their parts,' Bush Foundation President Jennifer Ford Reedy said in the statement.

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"Drew has been the Star Tribune's managing editor for operations since 2009, leading several teams in the newsroom including copy editors, features and training and recruitment. He's also served as business editor and assistant managing editor for local news. He joined the paper in 1993.

"He's also been heavily involved in professional communities. He's president of the Minnesota chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists and is chairman of [the] advisory board to ThreeSixty, a St. Paul-based program that trains teens in the practice of journalism. He's also served on the board of the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. . . ."

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"Empire" Becomes First Black Drama Hit on Broadcast TV

"Just three weeks into its run, Fox's new drama 'Empire' has been extremely impressive," Diego Vasquez reported Wednesday for medialifemagazine.com.

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"The 9 p.m. Wednesday program has surpassed 'How to Get Away with Murder' as the season’s No. 1 show. Heck, it's the No. 1 program on all of broadcast among 18-49s.

"And it's the first No. 1 drama in 21 years to see ratings gains from its second to its third week.

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"But perhaps the most significant thing about 'Empire' is its cast. It's the first African-American drama to become a hit on broadcast.

"While there have been successful black comedies, such as 'The Cosby Show' and 'Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,' there has never been a hit drama with largely black leads. . . ."

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Mary Mitchell, writing Monday in the Chicago Sun-Times, was not impressed.

"The support for 'Empire' and shows like it reflect how desperate black viewers are for TV programming starring blacks," Mitchell wrote.

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"Network producers certainly ought to take notice of that.

"Still, I can't ignore that 'Empire' is a modern 'blaxploitation' movie, or that it portrays the African-American family at its worst.

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"Maybe the show will surprise me later on.

"But the best I can say about it now is that a lot of talented black actors are finally getting paid."

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Short Takes

"I expressed my belief last week that Chris Kyle, the Navy SEAL sniper who has more confirmed kills than anybody else in the U.S. military, was lying when he told multiple reporters that he was sent into New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina to kill looters," Jarvis de Berry wrote Wednesday for the Times-Picayune and NOLA.com. "As I explained to one irate caller, lots of people told lies about New Orleans and its people after that storm, and I've done my best to challenge their stories. . . ." The Times-Picayune has, too, he said.

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Marcia Lythcott was named to the newly created position of commentary editor and will be listed on the paper's masthead, Robert Channick reported Wednesday for the Chicago Tribune. Lythcott, 60, is Commentary page editor and joined the Tribune in 1982, according to her biography on the HistoryMakers site. Margaret Holt, the standards editor who is also elevated to the masthead, is  Tuscarora and a representative of the Native American Journalists Association on the board of Unity: Journalists for Diversity. 

"CNN's momentum is showing," Ed Bark wrote Wednesday for his Dallas/Fort Worth television blog. "The venerable all-news network's substantial ratings gains in January have punched staggering MSNBC deeper into third place while Fox News Channel at last may be feeling a little heat. And after year upon year of ratings declines or stagnation, it likely matters not to CNN why you're watching. The network's now patented overkill coverage of 'Breaking' stories, most recently the heavy snowstorms hitting the Eastern seaboard, has drawn ridicule from many quarters," as have comments by "loose cannon" Don Lemon, Bark wrote. "CNN even threatens to replace Fox News Channel as Jon Stewart's favorite punching bag. But if you're tuning in, who cares? CNN will take your laughter or disdain to the bank. . . ."

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"DJs at Univision's WXNY-FM in New York City illegally aired the emergency alert system tone several times in a comedy sketch, but the FCC isn't laughing… and neither is Univision," Veronica Villafañe wrote for her Media Moves site. She also wrote, "As part of a settlement resolving the complaint, Univision Local Media, Inc. has to pay a $20,000 fine and implement a three-year compliance and reporting plan for WXNY as well as all of Univision’s radio stations across the country. . . . "

The New York Knicks have placed strict restrictions on interactions with the media, Christopher Massie reported Wednesday for Columbia Journalism Review. "Though some people already established in the NBA, like current star Carmelo Anthony and former head coach Larry Brown, have managed to conduct honest relationships with the press regardless, for the most part, the team’s public relations staff closely monitor players and coaches while they talk to reporters, cutting media sessions short, being stingy in granting one-on-one interviews, and creating an atmosphere in which it is exceedingly difficult to forge the personal relationships that comprise the foundation of much good sports journalism. . . ."

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"ESPN is bringing some young, fresh faces to its 'SportsCenter' team," Debbie Emery reported Tuesday for TheWrap. "Will Reeve, son of late 'Superman' star Christopher Reeve, comedian Reese Waters and social media correspondent Sarina Morales are joining the network's team in Bristol, Connecticut, and intend to tap into the digital landscape to reach the millennial generation. . . . " 

A group of Los Angeles theater leaders announced an aggressive plan to diversify Southern California theater companies, the productions they present and the audiences they draw, David Ng of the Los Angeles Times and Rafu Shimpo, the Los Angeles Japanese Daily News, reported. "Tim Dang, producing artistic director of East West Players, has written an initiative that calls for at least 51% of those employed by Southern California theater companies by 2019 to be people of color, women or those younger than 35," Ng reported.

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Fred Korematsu Day, Jan. 30, "honors the life and legacy of Japanese American civil rights hero Fred Korematsu, who, at 23-years-old, stood up against racism and discrimination and refused to be injustly incarcerated by the United States government during World War II," Phil Yu of the Angry Asian Man blog wrote on Monday. "It's the first day in U.S. history named after an Asian American." Yu also wrote, "Our friends at 18 Million Rising are leading the charge to request that Google dedicate Friday's 'Doodle' to Fred Korematsu. . . ."

"Tanzania has suspended the publication of a major regional newspaper, the East African, with diplomats voicing concern at a possible crackdown on press freedom ahead of elections in October," Agence France-Presse reported Tuesday. "The Nairobi-based weekly, part of the influential regional Nation Media Group, has been sold in Tanzania for 20 years, but earlier this month the government ordered its printing and publication be stopped as it was not officially registered. . . ."

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"The International Press Institute (IPI) today urged authorities in South Sudan to apprehend those behind an ambush attack last weekend on the two-car convoy of a local official that left five local journalists dead," IPI contributor Siobhan Hagan reported Wednesday.

Steven Gray, who has worked for the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and Time, has joined Participant Media, "a global entertainment company founded in 2004 by Jeff Skoll to focus on feature film, television, publishing and digital content that inspires social change." Gray is editorial director, news & social justice for TakePart in the New York office. "He will lead the News & Social Justice editorial team covering human rights, legal affairs/criminal justice reform, poverty/income inequality, LGBT issues, and race," according to a staff announcement.

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Lincoln Lopez was named Univision Communications' vice president and general manager of social media, the company announced Wednesday. "Lopez will work with leadership across the company to direct a fully integrated social media strategy that helps audiences engage and interact with Univision’s content across multiple media platforms. . . ."

A memorial service for Jim Moss, retired publisher of the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y., who died at 72 last week, is scheduled for 2 p.m Saturday at Safe Harbors, 111 Broadway, Newburgh. N.Y., Shawn Annarelli wrote Tuesday for the Centre Daily Times in State College, Pa. Moss had been publisher of that newspaper.

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