Madame Noire Screenshot

The most popular African American website for 2015 wasn't known for its discussions of Black Lives Matter, Donald Trump or killer snowstorms, according to a compilation from the ComScore, Inc., research company.

That distinction goes to Madame Noire, which calls itself "a sophisticated lifestyle publication that gives African-American women the latest in fashion trends, black entertainment news, parenting tips and beauty secrets that are specifically for black women."

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At Journal-isms' request, ComScore provided the number of unique visitors logged by black-oriented sites that included such crowd-pleasers as BET.com, MediaTakeOut.com, WorldStarHipHop.com, The Root and Bossip.com.

Madame Noire had an average of 7,116,000 unique visitors monthly for 2015, followed by 5,928,000 for The Root; 5,720,000 for BET Networks; 4,762,000 for WorldStarHipHop.com; and 4,271,000 for Bossip.com.

"We're very in tune with the type of content Black women want to see and discuss and the issues that matter most to the Black community as a whole," Brande Victorian, the site's managing editor, told Journal-isms by email on Friday.

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Top headlines on the site Friday were "How to Turn Down a Bridesmaid Proposal Without Losing a Friend," "Could You Have Undiagnosed Adult ADHD? It's More Common Than You Think" and "Honestly, Janet Hubert Has a Good Reason to be Bitter . . . And It's Bigger Than the Smiths."

The most popular stories included "Regina Belle Talks New Album, Life After a Brain Tumor and Going Back to College After 30 Years," "John Singleton's Son Launches Go Fund Me to Pay for College . . . Are Parents Obligated to Pay Their Child's Tuition?" and "Women Prefer Nice Guys Over Attractive Jerks, Says Study."

Madame Noire's publisher, Moguldom Brands, also produces Bossip.com, StyleBlazer.com and HipHopWired.com.

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"People who visit our site and follow our social media pages are often very passionate, vocal individuals," Victorian continued, "so in addition to tracking analytics, we also pay attention to anecdotal evidence that supports our content direction and attracts new visitors."

On Aug. 31, the site announced that it was incorporating MommyNoire.com, a standalone parenting site targeting black mothers, and named Kweli Wright, its associate editor as Madame Noire's parenting editor.

Victorian provided this demographic information for the site: Age 18-34: 53 percent; age 21-plus: 94 percent; female, 60 percent; male, 40 percent; household income of $100,000, 32 percent; children, 42 percent; African American, 63 percent.

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Madame Noire ranked second to BET Networks in the previous year's rankings.

This year's rankings, with last year's in parentheses:

1. Madame Noire, 7,116,000 average monthly unique visitors. (2)

2. TheRoot.com, 5,928,000 (4)

3. BET Networks, 5,720,000 (1)

4. World Star Hip-Hop, 4,762,000 (3)

5. Bossip.com, 4,271,000 (5)

6. HelloBeautiful.com, 3,249,000 (4)

7. Essence.com, 2,989,000 (10)

8. HuffPost BlackVoices, 2,680,000 (8)

9. MediaTakeOut.com, 2,188,000 (6)

10. NewsOne.com, 1,773,000 (9)

11. TheGrio.com, 1,645,000 (12)

12. BlackAmericaWeb.com, 1,644,000 (11)

13. AtlantaBlackStar.com, 822,000 (14)

14. TheYBF.com, 720,000 (13)

15. Ebony.com, 482,000 (16)

16. EURWeb.com, 430,000 (17)

17. BlackEnterprise.com, 393,000 (18)

18. Clutch.com, 311,000 (19)

19. BlackPlanet.com, 305,000 (15)

The list does not include all African American-oriented websites.

The Root, which carries Journal-isms, began as a venture of the Washington Post Co. It was bought last year by Univision Communications. The company announced last week, "In 2016, The Root will begin producing television programming in conjunction with FUSION," Univision's joint venture with Walt Disney Co.

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The Wall Street Journal reported in December that Disney and Univision were in talks for Disney to exit Fusion.

Detroit Photog Captures Flint Tragedy for Time Cover

"Detroit Free Press photographer Regina H. Boone didn't recognize the number ringing her cell phone, but she answered the call anyway," the Free Press reported on Thursday. "The unfamiliar number was Time magazine, letting her know that her photo of a 2-year-old child from Flint had been chosen as the image for this week's cover.

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"In Flint, where lead-poisoned water has sparked international outcry, the image of Sincere Smith, his skin covered by severe rashes his mother believes are the result of bathing in the contaminated water, has become a symbol of the city's suffering.

"Here, Boone shares her experience meeting Sincere and photographing the residents of Flint. . . ."

From the interview:

". . . I felt [Reporter Elisha Anderson] and I were given a huge responsibility and maybe a [one-time] chance to really use our instincts as journalists to talk to people and show the various faces from black families to white families, to pets and even the plants being impacted by this contamination issue.

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"It just all felt so incredibly heavy as the day went on and we heard more real stories. I felt like we were doing something intensely historical and important for the community of Flint, and that we were exposing the ugliness of America when it comes to poor, poverty-stricken communities.

"Anyone that knows me knows I am an intense people connector. I love meeting new people and hearing their stories. Documentary-style photography is where I am best. I can immerse myself with someone, and they forget I am there with my camera, and I can make a photograph that just captures their true essence. We don't get to do this style of photography of immersing ourselves as much as we used to in this business. I think I was able to do this in a short period of time by becoming entranced by Sincere's eyes. … That made me feel his pain and that made me truly feel the pain of the entire city through him. . . ."

Boone, a staff photographer at the Free Press since 2003, is the daughter of Raymond H. Boone Sr., the iconic black press publisher who died in 2014 at age 76.

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Charles M. Blow, New York Times: The Poisoning of Flint's Water

Anna Clark, Columbia Journalism Review: How an investigative journalist helped prove a city was being poisoned with its own water (Nov. 3)

Editorial, New York Times: Depraved Indifference Toward Flint

Mark Joyella, TVNewser: Al Jazeera America Returns to Flint One Year After Revealing Water Crisis

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Mark Joyella, TVNewser: MSNBC Reported on Flint Water Crisis in August 2015

Jack Lessenberry, Michigan Radio: Flint situation worse than you think, and clouding out other issues too

Bisi Onile-Ere, Al Jazeera America: Flint water crisis: How Al Jazeera America reported it a year ago today (Jan. 22, 2015)

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Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: The poor of Flint were left under the cover of darkness

Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Did Snyder release all Flint e-mails? Maybe not.

Roger Schneider and Mike Householder, Associated Press: Role race, poverty played in Flint water crisis

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James Warren, Poynter Institute: How the media blew Flint

Matthew Yglesias, Vox.com: It's not just Flint ‚ÄĒ every major American city has hazardous amounts of lead hurting kids

#OscarsSoWhite Morphs Into #JournalismSoWhite

As the board of governors of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences was responding to the #OscarsSoWhite outcry, activist iournalist Jose Antonio Vargas tweeted Friday, "If news media is examining diversity of Hollywood, Silicon Valley, etc, then we must also examine our own industry. #JournalismSoWhite"

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A hashtag was born, and tweeting journalists elaborated on the theme.

In Los Angeles, meanwhile, "In a unanimous vote Thursday night, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences' 51-member board of governors approved a sweeping series of changes designed to diversify its membership, the academy said in a statement Friday," Rebecca Keegan reported for the Los Angeles Times.

"The board committed to doubling the number of women and minority members in the academy by 2020.

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"It also approved a series of changes limiting members' lifetime voting rights. 'Beginning later this year, each new member's voting status will last 10 years, and will be renewed if that new member has been active in motion pictures during that decade,' the academy statement said.

" 'In addition, members will receive lifetime voting rights after three 10-year terms; or if they have won or been nominated for an Academy Award. We will apply these same standards retroactively to current members. In other words, if a current member has not been active in the last 10 years they can still qualify by meeting the other criteria. Those who do not qualify for active status will be moved to emeritus status. Emeritus members do not pay dues but enjoy all the privileges of membership, except voting. This will not affect voting for this year's Oscars.' . . . "

Association of Opinion Journalists: Minority editorial board members at newspapers and television outlets (Dec. 31)

Brooks Barnes, New York Times: Sundance Officially Sidesteps Oscar Controversy, but Its Opening Film Doesn't

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Anita Bennett, theWrap.com: BET Founder Bob Johnson Calls Out Oscars, Black Community Over Diversity Drama 

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: The Oscars and black people.

Sara Boboltz, Huffington Post: What Broadway's 'Hamilton' Can Teach Hollywood About Diversity

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Jake Coyle, Associated Press: Looking for diversity, Hollywood could turn on the TV

Editorial, Chicago Sun-Times: Will Chris Rock do the right thing?

Emil Guillermo, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: Vincent Rodriguez III as the love object of Rachel Bloom? CW's "Crazy Ex- Girlfriend" is my kind of show

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Jackée Harry, HuffPost BlackVoices: Black Work Matters More Than An Oscar

Pam Key, Breitbart.com: Whoopi Grills Reporter Co-host: 'What Do You Know About Black History'?

Allison Keyes, "Marketplace," American Public Media: Black stuntmen and women still fighting

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Susan King, Los Angeles Times: Oscar diversity: It's been 54 years since a Latina took home an Academy Award

Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone: Donald Trump Weighs In on Oscars Boycott 

Juleyka Lantigua-Williams, National Journal: On Being a (Latina) Journalist

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: No Oscars boycott: Why miss the fun?

Pablo Proenza, HuffPost LatinoVoices: A Simple Solution to #OscarsSoWhite

Janell Ross, Washington Post: What Stacey Dash gets very wrong when she calls for ending BET and Black History Month

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Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News Latino: Latino outrage missing from calls for all-white Oscars boycott, many fear for career

Bill Wyman, Columbia Journalism Review: Can we talk about the Oscars intelligently?

Damon Young, The Root: Why Is Stacey Dash So Damn Stupid? An Investigation

Groups Pledge to Use Phones to Record Injustice

"As of today, ten national organizations have committed to ensure that their over 200,000 members will become proficient in the use of a mobile device in order to non-intrusively, respectfully, accurately and lawfully document encounters with law enforcement officers or government officials who appear to be breaking the law, and with election-day trolls who are trying to frighten citizens from exercising their right to vote," Kim L. Keenan, president and CEO of the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, announced on Thursday.

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"Those organizations ‚ÄĒ alphabetically ‚ÄĒ are:

"Black College Communication Association

"International Black Broadcasters Association

"League of United Latin American Citizens

"Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council

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"National Association of Multicultural Digital Entrepreneurs

"National Black Chamber of Commerce

"National Congress of Black Women

"National Newspaper Publishers Association

"National Organization of Black Elected Legislative Women

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"Rainbow PUSH Coalition

"These organizations' over 200,000 committed, well-informed, and well-prepared smartphone-carrying members will stand ready to hit the 'record' button when they witness injustice. Then they will hit the 'send' button to preserve the video for safekeeping.

"Our partner, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA), will serve as a safe repository of the videos and will ensure that over 200 black newspapers have immediate access to them.

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"In this way we will create an overwhelming deterrent to wrongdoing. . . ."

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: When cops are suspects, the rules change 

Patricia Guadalupe, NBC News Latino: Groups to Train Members to Record Police Confrontations, Voter Intimidation

Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Off-duty cops accused of beating brothers

Oklahoman: Former Oklahoma City police officer sentenced to 263 years in prison

Rubén Rosario, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: 'Run them over' was Southern police tactic of the 1960s

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Kate Shepherd and Rachel Cromidas, Chicagoist: Video: Black Journalist Describes Being 'Tossed Around' By Chicago Police During Protests (Jan. 16)

Writers Focus on Trump, Sanders and Obama

The National Review, the prominent conservative newsmagazine, unveiled a special issue Friday denouncing Donald Trump's Republican presidential candidacy.

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Meanwhile, African Americans began speaking more publicly about Sen. Bernie Sanders, D-Vt., Hillary Clinton's chief rival for the Democratic presidential nomination, while others continued to assess President Obama's legacy as he began his final year in office.

Some of the Sanders commentary focused on his opposition to "reparations for slavery" as impractical and divisive.

"For those of us interested in how the left prioritizes its various radicalisms, Sanders’s answer is illuminating," Ta-Nehisi Coates wrote Tuesday in the Atlantic. "The spectacle of a socialist candidate opposing reparations as 'divisive' (there are few political labels more divisive in the minds of Americans than socialist) is only rivaled by the implausibility of Sanders posing as a pragmatist. . . ."

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In the National Review, "More than 20 notable conservative thinkers, including William Kristol, Erick Erickson, and Glenn Beck contributed to Friday's issue of National Review, whose cover loudly displays the words 'Against Trump' . . ., " Mark Abadi reported for Business Insider.

The Republican National Committee withdrew its invitation for the National Review to co-sponsor its Feb. 25 presidential debate because the publication had now taken sides.

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Bernie goes black.

Kyle Cheney, Politico: Carson confidant accuses ex-aides of cozying up to Trump

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Cary Clack, San Antonio Express-News: Accomplishments are what matter

Michael H. Cottman, BlackAmericaWeb.com: Bernie Sanders Has Black Supporters, But Are There Enough To Beat Hillary Clinton?

Chauncey DeVega, Salon.com: White people just don't get it: Bernie Sanders, Ta-Nehisi Coates and the reality of reparations

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Timothy Egan, New York Times: Giving Obama His Due (Jan. 15)

Ryan Grim and Sam Stein, Huffington Post: The GOP Establishment Has Found The One Thing That Can Make Donald Trump Palatable: Ted Cruz

Derrick Jackson, American Prospect: Race and Representation in the Twilight of the Obama Era: Will the eight years of America's first black president lead to more political voice for black citizens ‚ÄĒ or less?

Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed: Has Obama Let Down Historically Black Colleges?

Jamilah Lemieux, Ebony: Sen. Bernie Sanders Speaks to the Issues

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Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News: Message to Palin: Get off the stage if you care about your family 

Askia Muhammad, Washington Informer: Can America Be Great Again?

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Ted Cruz, Donald Trump lead the GOP panic parade

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Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Sarah Palin takes the GOP campaign to a new low

Elise Viebeck, Washington Post: How Killer Mike answered Ta-Nehisi Coates on Bernie Sanders, reparations 

Univision Examines Latinos' Educational Challenges

"Univision News says it will air a special program on the Common Core education standards on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. ET," Jon Lafayette reported Friday for Broadcasting & Cable.

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"The special, entitled, Puente al Futuro (Bridge to the Future)[,] is being produced with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

"The program will explore the educational challenges faced by many Hispanic students and highlight how the Common Core standards adopted in 42 states are affecting their ability to succeed.

"After its on-air broadcast, Puente al Futuro will be available online, along with an extensive report on the topic, in both Spanish and English, at 'La Huella Digital' (The Digital Footprint).

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"Viewers will be able to join the conversation around Puente al Futuro across social media using the hashtag #EducaciónHispanos.

"Univision says the special will have five stories highlighting specific issues:

"Children of migrant workers . . .

"English-language learners . . .

"Access to technology . . .

"College completion . . .

"Math proficiency . . ."

Huffington Post Shuts Down Spanish-Language "Voces"

"Voces, Huffington Post's Spanish-language portal aimed at U.S. Hispanics, is no more," Veronica Villafa√Īe reported Thursday on her Media Moves site. "Launched on May 1, 2012 as a HuffPo rebranded site, previously known as AOL Latino, Voces no longer has a landing page. . . ."

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She also wrote, "The last members of the Voces team in the U.S. were laid off last week in a wave of Huffington Post cuts. Among them: Managing Editor Marinés Arroyo, Senior Editor Hirania Luzardo, and Senior Entertainment Editor Mandy Fridmann.

"The three women had worked on the site since it was AOL Latino. . . ."

Villafa√Īe added, "A request for an explanation as to why Voces was shut down and if any changes were planned for Latino Voices elicited the following one line response from a Huffington Post spokesperson:

" 'We'll be transferring HuffPost Voces to HuffPost Mexico, a new edition we’re preparing to launch that will serve our Spanish speaking audience in Latin America.'

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"Further questions about the issued statement and the fact HuffPo is abandoning Spanish-language content for U.S. audiences went unanswered at the time of this publication.

"The statement seems to stray from Arianna Huffington's Voces 2012 welcome message, which announced "a Spanish-language vertical that will bring the power of HuffPost's blogging platform to the legacy of AOL Latino,' reflecting 'the real experience of Latinos in America,' and revolving around 'community and social engagement.' . . ."

Huffington Post spokeswoman Lena Auerbuch told Journal-isms that she had nothing to add to her statement that "we'll be transferring HuffPost Voces to HuffPost Mexico."

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Native Outlet Tests Tribe's New Press Freedom Act

"Freedom of the press is something most journalists in the United States fiercely protect and demand" (audio), Allison Herrera reported Friday for KOSU-FM in Tulsa, Okla. "It's seen as crucial to keeping those with power in check. But in Indian Country, it gets more complicated.

"There are more than 200 tribal newspapers in the country and only a handful [of tribes] have passed freedom of the press acts. Editors have had stories cut, websites shut down and staff threatened or fired for publishing stories tribal officials don’t approve of.

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"Invisible Nations producer Allison Herrera tells us about one Oklahoma media outlet that only recently signed a freedom of the press act, and how that might affect the lives of both Native and non-native Oklahomans.

"Mvskoke Media's offices are located in a warehouse building behind the One Fire Casino in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. Their newspaper, radio and television show are all produced in-house with a small crew. When I visited, I found Mvskoke Nation News editor Sterling Cosper doing dishes ‚ÄĒ maybe not part of his official job duties but with so few people, he wears many hats.

"Last fall, while covering a tribal council meeting, Cosper heard rumblings about a tribal council member allegedly getting bumped up the federally mandated housing waitlist. If true, it would be highly illegal ‚ÄĒ a hot story for any editor to jump on.

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"But, Cosper took a pause. He and his staff weren't sure if they should pursue the story. The ink was still drying on a bill granting them free press protections, and they were nervous they could lose their jobs if tribal officials didn't like what they read or saw. . . ."

Optimism About Print Publications "Doesn't Feel Right"

"Last October, a McKinsey report declared, 'We believe that many of the people likely to abandon print newspapers and print consumer magazines have already done so ‚Ķ. We believe most of this core audience ‚ÄĒhouseholds that have retained their print subscriptions despite having access to broadband ‚ÄĒ will continue to do so for now, effectively putting a floor on the print markets,' "¬†Richard Tofel, president of ProPublica, wrote Wednesday for medium.com.

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"Wow. Just because of inertia? Is the only medium-term threat to print the fact that most of its current audience will gradually die over the next 30 years? That would be great news, especially because nearly all newspapers still get most of their revenue from print advertising.

"But it doesn't feel right in a world in which even mature adults' media consumption habits seem to be quickly evolving. . . ."

Tofel compared circulation figures for major newspapers from 2013 and 2015 and wrote, "There remain only two print newspapers in the entire country (the Wall Street Journal and New York Times) that sell more than a half million copies per average weekday, only six that sell a quarter of a million copies and probably [correction: not many more than] 22 that sell more than 100,000. . . ."

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He also wrote, "Finally, and to return to the McKinsey report with which we began, if print circulation is much lower than generally believed, what basis is there for confidence the declines are ending and a plateau lies ahead?"

Media Life: Five outsiders who are shaking up newspapers

National Institute for Latino Policy: The Campaign to Save El Diario

Short Takes

"Jason Rezaian, the Washington Post reporter who was among the American citizens freed by Iran last weekend in a prisoner deal, left an American military hospital in Germany on Friday bound for the United States, accompanied by his wife and mother aboard his boss's personal jetliner," Rick Gladstone reported Friday for the New York Times. He also wrote, "Washington Post officials confirmed a CNN report that the newspaper's owner, Jeff Bezos, the Amazon.com founder, had escorted them home in his private jet. . . ."

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CBS News executive Crystal Johns is becoming an agent at Bienstock, UTA's news and broadcast division, The Hollywood Reporter has learned," Rebecca Sun reported Wednesday for the Hollywood Reporter. "Johns' experience recruiting and developing talent as CBS News' director of talent development and diversity, a role she originated, should serve as a logical segue for her new position, where she will represent broadcast news clients in network, cable and major local markets. . . ."

Cara Fitzpatrick, Michael LaForgia, Lisa Gartner, Nathaniel Lash and Connie Humburg of the Tampa Bay Times won first place in the 2015 Philip Meyer Award contest of Investigative Reporters & Editors for "Failure Factories." In it, "The team used statistical analysis and linear regression of data from dozens of records requests to document how steady resegregation of Pinellas County schools left black children to fail at increasingly higher rates than anywhere else in Florida." Second place went to Paul Overberg, Sarah Frostenson, Marisol Bello, Greg Toppo and Jodi Upton of USA Today, whose measurements revealed that "high levels of diversity, once found only in a few Southern states and along the border with Mexico, had bloomed out into large areas of the upper Midwest and the Appalachians, for instance."

"A decade ago, Charles Pugh was living the dream, making a six-figure salary as an anchorman at Fox 2 news in Detroit," Tresa Baldas reported Friday for the Detroit Free Press. "Political stardom came next, as Pugh would become the second-most powerful political figure in Detroit, only after the mayor, when he won the seat of City Council president in 2009 as the top vote-getter in the city. Today, he's a waiter at a soul food restaurant in Harlem. . . ."

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"Former Philadelphia Daily News reporter Regina Medina, laid off in a round of cuts at the paper in November, has started a new job," Veronica Villafa√Īe¬†reported Wednesday for her Media Moves site. "She's now a Disability Investigator with the City Controller's Office. . . ."

Ebony magazine promises "moving, personal essays examining different facets of Black love" in its February issue.

"Adrian Chen has joined The New Yorker as a staff writer," Chris O'Shea reported Friday for FishbowlNY. "Chen previously worked as a freelance writer, contributing to The New York Times, Wired and more."

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The Hollywood Reporter "has named Anna Lisa Raya senior awards editor," Chris O'Shea reported Friday for FishbowlNY. "Raya previously worked for AwardsLine, a Deadline Hollywood publication."

"Carol Jenkins returns to New York television as host of a new City University of New York Television (CUNY TV) series designed to 'put every idea on the table' about what it means to be Black in America in 2016," the university announced. "Ms. Jenkins has a long broadcast history in the New York region as anchor and correspondent on WNBC-TV for nearly 25 years. Ms. Jenkins now hosts BLACK AMERICA, a new series of weekly half-hour conversations premiering Wednesday, February 3 (2016) at 7:30 AM, 1:30 PM, and 8 PM on CUNY TV, with Ford Foundation President Darren Walker as her first guest. Repeats of the series will air Saturdays at 10:30 AM and Sundays at 11:30 PM. . . ."

"In 2015, TV One posted its best Primetime & Total Day performances of All Time among Women 25-54," Tambay A. Obenson reported Tuesday for Shadow and Act. "In addition to this, TV One's record-setting 2015 year in Primetime ranked #2 in the network's history among our remaining key demo targets: P25-54, Women 18-49, P18-49 ," said Brad Siegel, TV One's President. . . ."

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" 'Nobody knows anything,' Oscar-winning screenwriter William Goldman famously wrote of the movie business," Eric Johnson wrote Thursday for Re/code. "BuzzFeed's executive editor of news Shani Hilton has a slight twist on that for the media world: Nobody knows anything for longer than six months. Just a few years out of college, Hilton finds herself in a fascinating role: Managing a staff of more than 100 people producing BuzzFeed's 'real' news. . . ."

"AAJA's governing board voted to approve Mi-Ai Parrish as board representative to UNITY, replacing Tomoko Hosaka," the Asian American Journalists Association announced Wednesday. "Mi-Ai Parrish joined Republic Media as president and publisher of The Arizona Republic and azcentral.com in October 2015. She came to The Republic from The Kansas City Star Media Company, where she was president and publisher of The Kansas City Star and kansascity.com. . . ." 

In Latin America, "The number of youths who neither work nor study ‚ÄĒ better known as 'ninis' in the region ‚ÄĒ grew to 20 million during the past decade,¬†according to a new World Bank study released this week," Andr√©s Oppenheimer wrote Wednesday for the Miami Herald. "The growing numbers of 'ninis' threaten to bring¬†about greater inequality, poverty and crime rates in the near future, it says. . . ."

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Ecuador "already has one of the worst press freedom records in the Americas region," Alexandra Ellerbeck reported Thursday for the Committee to Protect Journalists. "CPJ has documented how restrictive media laws, which led to a US$350,000 fine for El Universal in June, and criminal defamation cases are used against critical outlets. Local media and freedom of speech advocates with whom CPJ spoke said U.S. copyright law is also being used to restrict critical commentary and information. . . ."

"A deadly Taliban attack on a bus carrying employees of Afghanistan's biggest TV station drew widespread condemnation on Thursday, with activists denouncing it as an attack on freedom of speech and the country's young and fragile media sector," Lynne O'Donnell reported for the Associated Press. "A suicide bomber struck the minibus with workers from Tolo TV, owned by the private Moby Group, the country's biggest media organization. At least seven people were killed and 25 were wounded in the explosion" late Wednesday.

"Three Al-Jazeera journalists working in war-ravaged Yemen who went missing this week likely have been kidnapped, the satellite news network says, the latest reporters targeted in the civil war gripping the Arab world's poorest country," Jon Gambrell reported Friday for the Associated Press. "Reporter Hamdi al-Bokari and crew members Abdulaziz al-Sabri and Moneer al-Sabai were last seen Monday night in Taiz, a city in southern Yemen that's been the scene of heavy fighting for months now, the Qatari broadcaster said. . . ."

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"A Moroccan investigative journalist was released from prison Sunday after serving a 10-month sentence for adultery in a case that rights groups described as politically driven," Samia Errazzouki reported for the Associated Press. "Speaking to reporters after his release, Hicham Mansouri described a violent police raid on his apartment in March, followed by police questioning that largely deviated from the charges he faced. . . ."