"Many local television stations across the country carried President Obama's primetime immigration address live Thursday even as major networks said they would stick with regular programming," Jesse Byrnes reported for the Hill, the Capitol Hill newspaper.
"Reports on social media showed that Obama's speech aired live on all or most local television stations in Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Denver, Raleigh and Washington, among other cities.
"Major networks including ABC, CBS and FOX confirmed that Obama's speech would not be aired on their networks, while cable news and Spanish-language networks Univision and Telemundo would. [PBS also carried the speech.]
"A network source told The Hill that the White House did not officially request the prime-time coverage, which falls during the monthlong sweeps period where networks vie for viewers and better ratings.
"A White House official downplayed the fact the networks wouldn't air the speech, telling The Hill that the White House was 'confident' the address would get 'ample attention' from the media.
"Appearing on CNN within hours of Obama's 8 p.m. ET address, senior adviser Dan Pfeiffer suggested that White House officials intentionally scheduled the address because it would not be carried by major networks but covered on other, more popular platforms.
" 'We picked the time and place of this address knowing that it was unlikely the networks would break away from the dramas and comedies they were showing in sweeps week,' Pfeiffer said, adding that they expected most to watch the address on 'their laptops, their smartphones and their tablets.'
"The video of Obama sitting against the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office announcing his prime-time address, posted to Facebook on Wednesday, saw 3.34 million views, more than 53,000 shares and reached more than 16 million users before the actual speech aired, White House spokesman Eric Schultz pointed out on Twitter.
" 'That's how we think about communications — when will people gather and watch something, not just on television, but on their mobile device,' Pfeiffer told CNN.
"However, the White House did show network appreciation for coverage from Univision, whose vice president Borja Echevarría was quick to announce on Twitter that the president's address would be carried live. . . ."
Chris Ariens reported Friday for TVNewser that "Pres. Obama's immigration remarks drew 6.85 million viewers on two Spanish-language U.S. TV networks last night, according to Nielsen overnight time-period data.
"With 5.055 million viewers, Univision saw a +49% increase in viewership from Wednesday's 8pm half hour, while NBCU-owned Telemundo's 1.8 million viewers was a jump of +38% from the night earlier.
"With a 2.1 rating and a 9 share in the A [adult] 18-34 demo, [Univision] was second only to CBS's 'The Big Bang Theory' in the half hour. It was fourth in total viewers, behind CBS, ABC and NBC. . . ."
Telemundo declared the night "the best-performing Telemundo news special in 2014," and in a news release, said there was more to come:
" 'Enfoque con José Díaz-Balart' will air a special live edition from Washington, D.C. on Sunday, November 23 at 12PM/11AM CT with expert analysis and commentary on the presidential action. In addition, José Díaz-Balart will join Chuck Todd on NBC's prestigious news program, 'Meet the Press,' to discuss the latest developments.
"Telemundo's coverage of this historic news event will continue during regular programming and news segments on 'Un Nuevo Día,' 'Al Rojo Vivo con María Celeste,' 'Noticiero Telemundo' and 'Noticiero Telemundo Fin de Semana.' . . ."
Ariens pointed out that local stations that carried the president's speech undermined the big networks' rationale for sticking to their regular programming. "That alone will dent the national ratings, especially for NBC and ABC. (Final numbers will be released Tuesday)," Ariens wrote. "FOX, too, will see an effect as many stations in big markets carried a Shepard Smith-anchored report. . . "
The Obama coverage provided an opportunity for some not usually seen on such broadcasts. Maria Hinojosa of NPR's "Latino USA," for instance, was part of the MSNBC panel of analysts, and Jose Antonio Vargas, the journalist who also became an immigration activist, was a guest on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor."
Jose Ramos said on Fusion, "This is the most important immigration move in almost 50 years — since the change to the immigration law in 1965. President Obama's measure will impact more people than the 1986 amnesty that legalized 3 million people. . . ."
Harry A. Jessell, a veteran chronicler of the television industry at Broadcasting & Cable and now at TVNewsCheck, which he founded in 2006, took the networks to task.
"Good for the TV stations that preempted network programming last night to air President Obama's speech in which he said he would use the power of the office to stop hassling five million undocumented people and allow them to work legally," Jessell wrote Friday. "It was a hell of speech and a hell of move by a president often criticized by even his backers for timidity.
"It made Republicans crazy — 'Sic semper tyrannis!' was heard again in the land — and it pushed immigration reform to the top the agenda for the next Congress.
"Said Obama: 'To those members of Congress who question my authority to make our immigration system work better, or question the wisdom of me acting where Congress has failed, I have one answer: Pass a bill.'
"The lame duck showed no signs of limping.
"Yet, the speech was not important enough for the Big Four networks to bother with. After the president announced his intention to speak for 15 minutes at 8 p.m. ET, the networks said they would not carry it. They would stick with The Big Bang [Theory] (CBS), The Biggest Loser (NBC), Bones (Fox) and Grey's Anatomy (ABC).
"I hate to second guess the networks. Oh, why not? Yes, the networks should have carried the speech, framing it with their star anchors and reporters. I say that knowing that interested viewers had many options for watching the speech on cable. But the networks are either serious news players or they're not. . . ."
Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: AALDEF statement on immigration executive action
Jackie Calmes, New York Times: Some in G.O.P. Fear That Their Hard-Liners Will Alienate Latino Voters
Cristina Costantini, Jorge Rivas and Kristofer Rios, Fusion: Why Did the U.S. Lock Up These Women With Men?
Lisa de Moraes, Deadline Hollywood: Obama’s Speech: East Coast Stations Thumb Nose At Networks and Carry POTUS Speech
J. Freedom du Lac, Washington Post: 'Si se pudo': How two top Spanish-language newspapers covered Obama’s immigration announcement
Editorial, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Obama's lone-wolf immigration actions will fan discord, can't substitute for legislative action
Josh Feldman, Mediaite: O’Reilly to Jose Antonio Vargas: 'You Don't Have an Entitlement to Be Here'
Josh Feldman, Mediaite: Geraldo to Kelly: ‘I Don’t Care’ What Obama Said Before, Immigration Action’s Legal
David Francis, Foreign Policy: Tech Firms Could Be Quiet Winners in Obama's Immigration Overhaul
Juan Gonzalez, Daily News, New York: Obama's immigration actions are bittersweet for some
Harry A. Jessell, TVNewsCheck: Affils Serve Public, Industry By Airing Speech
Jens Manuel Krogstad and Jeffrey S. Passel, Pew Research Center: Obama's expected immigration order: How many would be affected?
Ana Ley and Amber Phillips, Las Vegas Sun: Blog: President Barack Obama's landmark immigration speech in Las Vegas
Bryan Llenas, Fox News Latino: Immigration signing in NV spotlights Latinos, kickstarts Sandoval vs. Reid in 2016
Katherine Mangan, the Chronicle of Higher Education: How Obama's Action on Immigration Will Affect Higher Education
Roland Martin, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Roland Martin & Congresswoman Fudge On Immigration And How It Impacts Black People
Jorge Ramos, Fusion: This is the most important immigration move in almost 50 years
Sean Reyes, Fox News Latino: President's immigration executive order tramples the Constitution
Geraldo Rivera, Fox News Latino: Ya era Hora (About Time) – Part Two
Felix Salmon, Fusion: The 'illegal' index: Which news organizations still use the term 'illegal immigrant'?
Jose Antonio Vargas, Politico Magazine: "For Decades, I Have Cringed Whenever Someone Called Me 'Illegal' "
Justin Vélez-Hagan, Fox News Latino: Opinion: Puerto Ricans will be hurt the most by President Obama's executive action
Veteran photographers Ron Tarver and Ron Cortes, and Vernon Clark, the only black reporter on the Philadelphia Inquirer city desk, are among 21 employees of the Inquirer and Daily News who have applied for a buyout, according to figures supplied Friday by Bill Ross, executive director of the Philadelphia Newspaper Guild.
Ross messaged Journal-isms that "7 employees of the 21 are minorities."
If the buyouts are accepted, as expected, the diversity of the Inquirer staff will be further diminished. "This place is looking more and more like it did in 1962" when Acel Moore broke the color barrier as a copy boy, one staffer said privately.
Stan Wischnowski, vice president, news operations for the Inquirer, Daily News and Philly.com, could not be reached for comment, but Jeff Blumenthal reported Nov. 6 in the Philadelphia Business Journal, "Interstate General Media management will offer buyouts to newsroom employees with 25 or more years of service and non-newsroom Guild employees with 35 years or more of service, according to a memo the Newspaper Guild sent to members Wednesday.
"Guild members in advertising are not eligible. . . . The buyout package, which will not be offered to management, will include 40 weeks of base pay and six months of medical insurance. . . ."
Clark told Journal-isms by email, "This is a good time for me explore other opportunities. I plan to do some teaching and freelance writing. I am keeping my options open." Clark is the last African American reporter on the city desk. After he was reassigned to obituaries in 2013, Temple University's journalism department discouraged students from interning at the city desk.
Tarver told Journal-isms by telephone that his colleagues Cortes, the only Hispanic, and April Saul, the only woman in the photo department, had also applied for the buyout. Their departures would follow that of Akira Suwa, an Asian American photographer who left about a month ago.
Tarver, a 33-year Inquirer veteran, said that he had offers to teach and to write books and that "things just fell in place for me." He plans a trip to Cuba to conduct a photo workshop. He is also a visiting assistant professor in studio art at Swarthmore College. "My plate is full. It was always as if I was working four jobs."
Ross said the Inquirer had extended the deadline for applying for buyouts until Dec. 1.
Susannah Nesmith, Columbia Journalism Review: My take: The end of an era in Tampa: The Tampa Bay Times and Tampa Tribune say goodbye to talented journalists
Rem Rieder, USA Today: Philanthropist determined to save Philly papers
James West, Mother Jones: New York Times Signals More Newsroom Layoffs Are Imminent
"Every so often, as he tries to explain, defend and justify his decision to omit the rape allegations from his biography of Bill Cosby, Mark Whitaker sighs," Lloyd Grove wrote Thursday for the Daily Beast.
" 'Well, look, obviously the story has changed, and I'm going to have to address that in future editions of the book, if not sooner,' Whitaker says, exhaling. 'If it happened, and it was a pattern, it's terrible and really creepy…. I was just having a discussion with my son about this, and psychologically, if it happened… it's sort of compartmentalization.'. . . "
Grove also wrote, "A former editor of Newsweek (years before the newsmag's brief merger with The Daily Beast), Whitaker also seems to have paid a price. Although his book was generally well-received — with maybe a few tut-tuts over his choice to skip the nastier bits — he is clearly discouraged, even anguished, that it has been overtaken by a tsunami of disastrous Cosby-related publicity. . . ."
Madeline Boardman, Us Weekly: The View Panelists Get Heated Over Bill Cosby Controversy: Watch
Charlie Braxton, bknation.org: Open Letter to @BillCosby
Soraya Chemaly, Time: Don Lemon Didn’t Just Victim-Blame – He Perpetuated Multiple Rape Myths
Norm Clarke, Las Vegas Review-Journal: TI says Cosby's show still on, profits charity-bound
Leigh Davenport, HelloBeautiful.com: Nikki Giovanni Been Over Bill Cosby, Said He Wasn’t Sh*t A Long Time Ago
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Help me make a list of celebrities convicted of rape
Mark Ebner, the Daily Beast: I Warned You About Bill Cosby in 2007
Josh Feldman, Mediaite: Cosby Show Producers Weigh In
Ricardo A. Hazell, the Shadow League: DEAR BILL COSBY SUPPORTERS, Where in the hell is your critical thinking and reasoning?
Richard Horgan, FishbowlNY: Reporter Remains 'Livid' About Spiking of 2005 Bill Cosby Expose
Bradford J. Howard, Ebony: The Only One to Blame for a Rape Is a Rapist
HuffPost BlackVoices: Some African-Americans Remain Skeptical Over Bill Cosby Rape Allegations On Social Media
Allen Johnson, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: Cosby's sad descent into infamy
Josh Levin, Slate: Why Does Alleged Sexual Predator R. Kelly Still Have a Career?
Soraya Nadia McDonald, Washington Post: Cleansing popular culture of all things Cosby
Susan Milligan, U.S. News & World Report: Ask the Right Questions About Bill Cosby
Andrea Peyser, New York Post: Cosby should have lost in the 1st case
Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: On Bill Cosby, hard to keep the faith
Matt Sedensky, Associated Press: Florida woman latest to accuse Cosby of forced sex
Blue Telusma, theGrio.com: Camille Cosby, another victim of the controversy?
Rebecca Traister, New Republic: No One Wanted to Talk About Bill Cosby's Alleged Crimes Because He Made White America Feel Good About Race
Ava Turnquest, Associated Press: Cosby takes show to Bahamas amid trouble at home
Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Don Lemon's apology over Cosby rape question: Factually spotty
Matt Wilstein, Mediaite: Glenn Beck: AP 'Raped' Bill Cosby
"As St. Louis anxiously awaits a grand jury decision on whether to indict the officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, city, county and state officials have agreed to consent orders regarding the arrest of journalists to end litigation brought by the ACLU over earlier events in Ferguson," the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported on Friday.
"The city agreed that its officers 'shall not enforce or threaten to enforce any rule, policy, or practice that grants law enforcement officers the authority or discretion to arrest, threaten to arrest, or interfere with any individual, including any member of the media or member of the public photographing or recording in public places unless that person is threatening the safety of others or physically interfering with the ability of law enforcement to perform their duties.' The orders regarding the county police and state highway patrol are similar but without specific reference to local rules.
"Since the last wave of Ferguson protests, media organizations are making sure that reporters covering the Ferguson beat are better prepared this time around. The newspapers of greater St. Louis came together with city police, local media and members of the national media to develop protocol that would ensure their safety and mitigate run-ins with law enforcement. . . ."
Mickey H. Osterreicher, general counsel of the National Press Photographers Association, which filed a declaration in support of the lawsuit, said of the agreement by email, "It is a good start but as I keep saying without proper training and appropriate discipline it is just another piece of paper."
Meanwhile, "The Department of Justice has released new guidance to law enforcement on policing protests," John Eggerton reported Friday for Broadcasting & Cable. "That comes as protestors in Ferguson, Mo., are awaiting the grand jury verdict on the Michael Brown shooting.
"In a YouTube video posted on the DOJ website, attorney general Eric Holder said the guidance was a way to help officers maintain public safety while 'safeguarding constitutional rights.' . . ."
John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable: DOJ Issues New Guidance on Policing Protests
Joe Holleman, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Ferguson protesters in running for Time's Person of the Year
Don Lemon, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Ferguson Grand Jury More Unpredictable Than We Thought
Joanne Ostrow, Denver Post: Cable news nets bracing or rooting for Ferguson violence?
Tracie Powell, alldigitocracy.org: #FergusonSpeaks: Documentary gives voice to frustrated residents
Gyasi Ross, HuffPost BlackVoices: Love Letter to Those Awaiting Justice in Ferguson
Kenya Vaughn, Bridjes O'Neil and Sandra Jordan, St. Louis American: St. Louis Churches Offer Safe Spaces, Clergy Train in 'De-Escalation'
"Migration of Latino families to America is an inspiring story of men, women and children leaving their native countries, often searching for better opportunities and safety for their families. Yet, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's recent poll of Latino families also reveals that a different narrative develops — frustration from racism and discrimination is wearing down Latinos over time in the United States," Barbara Ferrer, chief strategy officer at the foundation, said in an opinion piece released on Friday.
"The newest Latino immigrants are brimming with hope, as they pursue opportunities to better educate their children, improve personal finances and find affordable housing. Meanwhile, those who have travelled a similar path — Latinos with generations of family roots in the U.S., as well as those with more education and higher incomes — are decidedly more [skeptical] and disappointed.
"Clearly, a significant gap exists between the life experiences of Latinos and those of many other immigrants. Historically, immigrants arrive on American shores and the prospects for their life outcomes vastly improve. They may harbor initial fears and anxiety about finding jobs, housing and social services, but as they assimilate into American society, they enjoy the expected immigrant experience of having their quality of life improve for each generation.
"But that narrative is reserved for mostly white immigrants.
"For people of color, and as the survey demonstrated, especially for Latinos, there is a far, far different reality. The longer Latinos are in the U.S., they grow less and less hopeful about their opportunities in this country. . . ."
Sean Flores, HuffPost LatinoVoices: What Really Happens When You're a Light-Skinned Latino (Nov. 13)
W.K. Kellogg Foundation: Poll of Latino families finds optimism despite many obstacles (Nov. 12)
"White Americans are fine with African-Americans. Blacks, however, are a different story," Tom Jacobs reported Nov. 14 for Pacific Standard magazine.
"That's the disturbing implication of a new study, which finds the way a person of color is labeled can impact how he or she is perceived.
"In the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, a research team led by Emory University's Erika Hall argues that 'the racial label "black" evokes a mental representation of a person with lower socioeconomic status than the racial label 'African-American.'
" 'The content embedded in the black stereotype is generally more negative, and less warm and competent, than that in the African-American stereotype,' the researchers write. 'These different associations carry consequences for how whites perceive Americans of African descent who are labeled with either term.' . . ."
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: High-class black people can get treated just like blue-collar black people (Nov. 7)
Gene Demby, NPR "Code Switch": Why We Have So Many Terms For 'People Of Color'
Ricardo A. Hazell, the Shadow League: DEAR CHARLES BARKLEY, The celebration of unintelligence and criminality is not a Black problem. It's an American problem. (Oct. 30)
Nicholas Kristof, New York Times: When Whites Just Don't Get It, Part 4 (Nov. 15)
Omar Tyree, National Newspaper Publishers Association: When does one become 'black enough?' (Nov. 11)
Don Wycliff, Chicago Tribune: What does it take to be black enough? (Nov. 4)
"In 2014, the NAJA Committee for Responsible Journalism released a tip sheet for reporting on Indian Country during the holiday season," the Native American Journalists Association said in a posting Thursday. "This year, the quick guide still aims to educate and inform coverage during Native American Heritage Month and beyond."
The seven points begin with:
"1) Cover the tribes in their respective areas by asking them how they celebrate the holiday, or if they choose not to celebrate it at all.
"2) Write about indigenous food sources for Native Americans in your respective coverage areas. The Indigenous population helped the English settlers at Plymouth Rock survive and avoid famine, in part, by offering guidance and aid in the newcomers' first harvest. While not a Thanksgiving story, a piece from Al Jazeera America offers a comprehensive look at traditional diets of Native peoples and issues surrounding health and food in Indian Country that journalists should read:
"3) With so many Thanksgiving pageants and other activities taking place at schools this time of year, run a story on how educators should take caution when passing out fake headdresses and war paint to students. A strong story could include input from a tribal scholar or cultural leader in the region. The holiday also brings an opportunity for news outlets to discuss the beauty of traditional Native American clothing and art as well as Native contributions to the history of the United States. . . . "
Meanwhile, the New Yorker magazine addressed the debate over the name of the Washington pro football team with a Dec. 1 Thanksgiving cover by artist Bruce McCall.
"This is 2014, and it seems a little late to be dealing with that stuff," McCall said. "It should have been quashed a long time ago. We did everything to the Indians that we could, and it's still going on. It seems crude and callous. Names like the Atlanta Braves come from another time. So, in my cover, I've brought the cultural arrogance of one side back to the sixteen-hundreds and the first Thanksgiving dinner, just to see what would happen."
Megan Finnerty, Arizona Republic: Obama uses Medal of Freedom to support anti-Redskins movement (Nov. 14)
Mario Trujillo, the Hill: FCC member: 'Dismiss' calls to ban 'Redskins' on airwaves
"As the US-led international coalition continues its airstrikes in Iraq and northern Syria in a bid to halt the Jihadi advance, Islamic State is stepping up its persecution of journalists, either threatening to kill them, kidnapping them or mistreating those it is already holding," Reporters Without Borders reported on Friday.
"Islamic State is now holding at least 20 journalists in Mosul (in northern Iraq), the largest city it controls.
"According to the Journalistic Freedoms Observatory (JFO), Islamic State kidnapped nine journalists more than a month ago, six of whom it is still holding and three it released. Then it kidnapped another 14 reporters, cameramen and TV engineers and technicians — most employed by Sama Mosul TV — in Mosul in late October and early November. . . ."
The Guardian, Britain: Murdered journalists: 90% of killers get away with it but who are the victims? (Nov. 3)
In 1998, the estate of Flip Wilson, the comedian perhaps best known for his character Geraldine Jones, created scholarships for African American journalism majors at five universities. Lisa Marie Segarra, writing Friday for Rutgers University, reported that the latest recipient of the $25,000 scholarship at Rutgers is Christopher Etienne, a journalism and media studies and Africana studies major. "To find inspiration for his essay, Etienne went beyond the funny videos to investigate the controversy that surrounded Wilson’s success, which came at a time when civil rights conflicts pervaded the nation," Segarra wrote.
"Black-ish's The Johnsons may be joined by another Black family in primetime next season," Nellie Andreeva reported Friday for Dateline Hollywood. "Fox is developing Jump Start, a single-camera comedy based on Robb Armstrong's long-running comic strip. Co-written by Armstrong and Andrew Orenstein (Malcolm In The Middle), the project, from 20th Century Fox TV and Aaron Kaplan's Kapital Entertainment, follows a Philadelphia cop who finds it harder to 'serve and protect' at home than on the streets. . . ."
Nick Creegan of White Plains, N.Y., a 2012 graduate of the Sports Journalism Institute and a 2013 graduate of SUNY Albany, majoring in communications and journalism, was crowned as the #AOLSportsSearch winner, AOL reported Wednesday. Creegan had to sit through live auditions and win "multiple challenges — both serious and hilarious — over the course of the last three days. . . ."
"Republicans like to talk about impeaching President Obama, but there is a far more deserving candidate for impeachment — Chief Justice John Roberts of the Supreme Court," William Greider wrote Wednesday for the Nation. "While the Republicans in Congress have blocked Democrats from enacting much of substance, the GOP majority in control of the Court has been effectively legislating on its own, following an agenda neatly aligned with their conservative party." Among other abuses, "The justices effectively gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965, even as they allowed state governments to create new obstacles for minority voting. . . ." Headlines over other Greider pieces on the theme are "Justice Sotomayor Speaks Truth to (White) Power" (April 29) and "Thanks to the Roberts Court, Corporations Have More Constitutional Rights Than Actual People" (May 20).
"KPRC 2 weekend morning Courtney Zavala is calling it a career at the Houston NBC affiliate," Mike McGuff wrote Thursday on his television blog. " 'It's time for me to bow out gracefully and go out the way I want to go out instead of them telling me it's time to leave,' Zavala told mikemcguff.com. 'It was not an easy decision, it was several months in the making.' . . ."
"An Alaska television reporter who quit her job with a four-letter tirade during a live newscast after revealing she supported pot legalization is fighting a subpoena from the state panel that enforces election laws," Becky Bohrer reported Wednesday for the Associated Press. "The Alaska Public Offices Commission wants to know whether Charlo Greene used crowdsourcing funds to advocate for a ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. . . ."
"Amid heavy security, Gao Yu, a journalist accused of stealing state secrets, went on trial in Beijing on Friday in a closely watched case analysts said was aimed at silencing a voice that gave the world rare glimpses into internal Communist Party politics," Didi Kirsten Tatlow reported Friday for the New York Times.
"Every time mass protests break out somewhere in Sub-Saharan Africa, the international media is quick to use the term 'African Spring,' however this catchphrase not only carries a near-sighted historical perspective of African protest movements but is also unfit for the context," Mohamed Keita wrote Friday for africasacountry.com. Keita also wrote, "When you consider that spring is rather an alien notion to millions of Africans living between the tropics, using a spring metaphor to describe their efforts at political renewal is inadequate. . . ."