As the news media began to commemorate the first anniversary of the fatal police shooting in Ferguson, Mo., that reverberated around the nation, St. Louis County police "agreed as part of two federal court settlements not to seek charges against a pair of journalists who were arrested for allegedly failing to follow officers' orders during the Ferguson protests," Jennifer S. Mann reported Monday for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
"The department will also help to remove the arrests from the men's records, the American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri announced Monday. One of the men, Gerald D. 'Trey' Yingst III, of News2Share.com, also will get a lump sum payment of $8,500 as part of his settlement.
"The ACLU sued the police in federal court in St. Louis on behalf of Yingst and a Turkish reporter, Bilgin Sasmaz, late last year. . . . Yingst had been among several journalists who complained of mistreatment by police. . . ."
Yingst said in a statement, "With a portion of that money, I plan to pay my attorneys and travel costs. I will be donating the remainder of the settlement to a scholarship fund for high school students from Ferguson looking to study journalism in college. . . ."
The Post-Dispatch began what it plans as a week of commemorative coverage with a Sunday story headlined "Ferguson, one year later: From a city to a symbol" by Kevin McDermott.
"Before last summer, Ferguson, Mo., was just one more patch in the crowded quilt of towns that make up St. Louis County — a mixed-race, working-class community of about 21,000 people on six square miles of unremarkable urban landscape northwest of St. Louis," McDermott wrote.
"Today, to America and to the world, the word 'Ferguson' means far more than that. The fury that ripped through the small city in the summer and fall of 2014 inaugurated a national debate about police tactics against African-Americans that continues a year later. Ferguson now dwells on an exclusive list of locales — Little Rock, Selma, Watts — that have lent their names to key chapters in the sprawling tale of race in America.
"The story of how Ferguson went from a city to a symbol began with a midday confrontation between two people on a street. Exactly what happened between Michael Brown Jr. and Darren Wilson one year ago Aug. 9 may be forever controversial. What resulted — an unarmed black man lying dead at the feet of a white police officer — provided a blueprint for outrage in other police-related deaths of unarmed black males in New York, Cleveland, Baltimore and South Carolina.
"The Ferguson riots came in two waves: in August 2014, immediately after the fatal shooting of Brown, an 18-year-old African-American Ferguson resident, by Wilson, a 28-year-old white Ferguson police officer; and again in late November, after a grand jury declined to criminally charge Wilson in Brown’s death.
"All told, it resulted in a dozen nights of violence, dozens of injuries, hundreds of arrests and millions of dollars in property damage. Perhaps miraculously, there were no additional deaths.
"By the time it was over, it had added a twist to America’s intractable discussion about race, with a new focus on police militarization. It revealed how cities use traffic fines and court policies as mallets against their most vulnerable citizens. It underlined the idea that a police force should reflect the cultural makeup of its community, and drove home the reality of how often it doesn't. . . ."
Jean Buchanan, Post-Dispatch assistant managing editor for projects, told Journal-isms by email that "today we began rolling out updates, which will run throughout the week and finish up with a big multimedia package and print package Sunday."
A coalition of St. Louis organizations has announced a series of events for Ferguson Commemoration Weekend, Aug. 7-10, which includes the Aug. 9 anniversary of the killing of Brown, the St. Louis American reported Thursday.
The Rev. Al Sharpton is returning to the area Saturday for an afternoon concert and community forum, then will take part a "unity march and vigil" on Sunday, Brad Choat of KMOX radio reported Monday, quoting Carlton Lee, Ferguson chapter president for Sharpton’s National Action Network.
In other commemorative coverage, David A. Lieb of the Associated Press reported that since Wilson's shooting of Brown, "legislators in almost every state have proposed changes to the way police interact with the public.
"The result: Twenty-four states have passed at least 40 new measures addressing such things as officer-worn cameras, training about racial bias, independent investigations when police use force and new limits on the flow of surplus military equipment to local law enforcement agencies, according to an analysis by The Associated Press.
"Despite all that action, far more proposals have stalled or failed, the AP review found. And few states have done anything to change their laws on when police are justified to use deadly force. . . ."
In addition, the New Yorker Monday published "The Cop" by Jake Halpern, the first extensive interview with Wilson. Writing about the New Yorker piece for Gawker, Jay Hathaway summarized Wilson's comments under the headline, "Darren Wilson Is Racist, As It Turns Out."
Matt Apuzzo, New York Times: Training Officers to Shoot First, and He Will Answer Questions Later
Stephen Deere, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Ferguson protest organizer calls on police to exercise restraint this weekend
Jake Halperin with Audie Cornish, NPR: Darren Wilson, An Uneasy New Dad In Virtual Hiding
Mary Delach Leonard, St. Louis Public Radio: Ferguson's yesterdays offer clues to the troubled city of today
Jennifer Meckles, KSDK-TV, St. Louis: Ferguson preps for anniversary of Michael Brown's death
Michelle Miller, CBS News: Ferguson's interim top cop calls himself "consensus builder"
St. Louis American: Ferguson Commemoration Weekend set for August 7-10
Jim Salter, Associated Press: Year Later, AP Reporter Recalls Origins of Ferguson Movement
"New Orleans NBC affiliate WDSU-TV will launch its Katrina anniversary coverage in newscasts Monday evening (Aug. 3), the station announced Friday," Dave Walker reported Monday for NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune.
"A series of two- to three-minute stories will air during the 5 and 6 p.m. weekday newscasts (with some repeats during morning newscasts) throughout the month, leading up to a week of half-hour specials beginning Aug. 24 at 6:30 p.m., and then a one-hour special, 'Chronicle: Children of Katrina,' Aug. 29 at 6 p.m. . . ."
The coverage is branded "Katrina: 10 Years Forward," and it "also will have a WDSU.com component for reruns of the anniversary stories, extended interviews, and archival streams of the station's coverage of the storm and its aftermath," Walker reported.
The storm first formed Aug. 23, 2005, over the Bahamas. "By Aug. 28, it was a Category 5 hurricane with winds at 175 mph," as WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., recalled. "On Aug. 29, the storm made landfall at the border between Louisiana and Mississippi as a Category 3 hurricane with 130 mph winds. . . ."
In one anniversary piece, Paul Singer reported July 28 for USA Today, "The storm is long gone, but Hurricane Katrina is still a disaster in Louisiana."
"Katrina made landfall 10 years ago, killing more than 1,800 people along the Gulf Coast and leaving about 80% of New Orleans underwater. The federal government has spent tens of billions of dollars rebuilding communities along the Gulf, but the task is far from over. Louisiana is still uncovering hurricane-related damages that will take years and hundreds of millions of dollars to repair. . . ."
As part of a continuing NPR series, "Hurricane Katrina: 10 Years of Recovery and Reflection," Greg Allen reported on Monday on the Lower 9th Ward of New Orleans:
"One of the first things you notice is the many empty lots, several on every street. Instead of houses, they now hold weeds and tall grass.
"After Katrina, only about 37 percent of households returned to this once-vibrant neighborhood, which had a population of about 14,000 in 2000. . . ."
NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune editorialized Sunday about a July report from Save the Children:
"The trauma of Katrina and the levee breaches — lost loved ones, displaced families, flood-ravaged homes, months or even years without stability — lingers for many people who went through the 2005 disaster. But the effect on children was especially devastating: 5,000 were reported missing; 300,000 had to enroll in new schools. . . . It is shameful that children who went through [Hurricane] Sandy [in 2012] are suffering from the same lack of services that children in Katrina did. . . ."
Still, there are uplifting stories. On Saturday, John Pope of NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune wrote about Christian Stewart, who had been born nearly three months prematurely at New Orleans' Memorial Medical Center on July 19, 2005, weighing only 1 pound, 6 ounces.
"On Aug. 30, the day after Hurricane Katrina struck, when floodwaters surrounded the hospital," Dr. Juan Gershanik, a New Orleans pediatrician who specializes in the problems of newborns, "not only helped get Christian and 15 other infants out of the hospital's intensive care unit but also cradled Christian on the helicopter flight to Baton Rouge, squeezing oxygen into the child's underdeveloped lungs to keep him alive.
"Christian, who lives in northwest Houston, came calling on Gershanik at the doctor's Uptown home, along with several family members, on Saturday morning (Aug. 1, 2015) for a belated birthday celebration. . . ."
Joel Anderson, BuzzFeed: "It Ain't the Police Who Was Helping Us": How a Small-Time Drug Dealer Rescued Dozens During Katrina
Bryan Borzykowski, Forbes: 10 Years Later, Lessons We Learned From Katrina
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Almost 10 years after Katrina, Michael Brown's still out to lunch (June 1)
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Hurricane Katrina illustrated that children fare worse in disasters (July 21)
Brian Flood, TVNewser: It's Been 10 Years Since Hurricane Katrina, So Expect a Ton of Specials (July 20)
Corinne Grinapol, FishbowlDC: The Atlantic to Host Forum on 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (July 22)
Jesse Hardman, New Orleans Public Radio: Katrina: The Debris // Mental Health
Pam Louwagie, Star Tribune, Minneapolis: New Orleans back with old magic 10 years after Katrina
NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Hurricane Katrina (dedicated Web page)
Sun Herald, Biloxi-Gulfport, Miss.: Before, After & Now revisits Hurricane Katrina's wrath
worldchannel.org: The 10th Anniversary of Hurricane Katrina (documentaries)
WRAL-TV, Raleigh, N.C.: A look back at Katrina: Could it happen here?
"Legal principles can be complicated, but in most courts, until eight months ago, there was a pretty simple one: Ignorance of the law is no excuse," Ken Armstrong reported Monday for the Marshall Project.
"Then came Heien v. North Carolina, decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in December. Now the principle is: Ignorance of the law is no excuse — unless you're the cop enforcing the law, in which case it is, or at least can be, depending upon whether your ignorance is reasonable or not, to be determined upon later review.
"At a time when tension between police and citizenry was already at a pitch — the opinion came down three weeks after the no-indictment announcement regarding Michael Brown’s death in Ferguson, Mo. — the court's ruling provided police with even greater leeway in how they conduct stops and subject people to questioning and searches.
"The law already allowed police to make stops on pretext — that is, to pull someone over for some minor infraction in order to investigate more serious wrongdoing. The law already set conditions under which police, in making stops, could be wrong about the facts. Now, with the Heien decision, police could also be wrong about the law.
"In the eight months since, courts in at least a dozen states have excused mistakes made by police who initiated stops based on a misunderstanding of what is legal and what is not, according to a canvass of court rulings. . . ."
Associated Press: Coroner: Ohio motorist shot by officer had fragrance bottle
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Sandra Bland and Samuel DuBose talked back to police — and died
Editorial, Cincinnati Enquirer: Convincing case for bodycams
Editorial, Cincinnati Enquirer: Another child caught in crossfire
Danny Funt, Columbia Journalism Review: Marshall Project stakes out high ground on journalism’s slippery slope (July 27)
Ricardo A. Hazell, the Shadow League: A White Officer Overreacts, Another Black Man Dies and American Really Doesn't Give a (Expletive)
Tom Isler, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: Legal fight for Eric Garner grand jury records continues as appellate court denies disclosure
Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer: A 'chicken-crap' traffic stop in Cincinnati and a funeral
Lonnae O'Neal, Washington Post: I was pulled over last month. It didn’t go well.
Stacey Patton, damemagazine.com: Yes, I'm An Angry Black Woman!
Alexandra Steigrad, wwd.com: Bill Keller Discusses The Marshall Project's Nonprofit Journalism
Broadcast producer Maria Martin, columnist and professor Miguel Pérez and reporter Frances Robles have been selected for the Hall of Fame of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the association announced on Monday.
"Created in 2000, NAHJ's Hall of Fame award honors journalists whose efforts either nationally or locally resulted in a greater number of Latinos entering the journalism profession or have helped to improve news coverage of the nation's Latino community," the announcement said.
"Maria Martin has participated in a number of 'firsts' throughout her career: working at the first Latino owned-and-operated radio station; creating the first statewide radio newsmagazine for Latinos in California, and later as a driving force behind 'Latino USA,' the news and cultural affairs program now in its 23rd year on NPR.
"Martin also worked to increase the number of Latinos and other non-whites in public radio as a founding member and vice-chair of the News Division's Affirmative Action Task Force.
"Miguel Pérez's career spans more than three decades and includes covering issues of concern to the Latino community as a reporter at major daily newspapers, a political analyst at television and radio stations and as a journalism professor and chair of the Journalism, Communications and Theater Department at Lehman College.
"In addition to expanding the resources and program offerings at Lehman, Pérez also helps train future journalists and encourages them to be inclusive in their coverage.
"Frances Robles is a correspondent for the New York Times who specializes in social justice issues. During her career, she has shined light on stories as varied as police misconduct, natural disasters, the border crisis and worked abroad in Cuba, Nicaragua and Colombia to cover regime changes and civil war.
"She has been a member of two Pulitzer-prize winning teams and her investigative reporting of a now-disgraced NY police detective led to murder convictions being overturned for six men. She was honored with a George Polk award for this work. . . ."
"Mexico City's mayor said Monday that no expense will be spared and no line of investigation ignored in the hunt for the killers of four women and a photojournalist, who had fled the state where he worked fearing for his safety," Katherine Corcoran and Alberto Arce reported Monday for the Associated Press.
"The United Nations High Commission on Human Rights condemned the killings, saying that the bodies had signs of torture and sexual violence and that the climate of impunity 'is one of the obstacles to practicing freedom of expression in Mexico.'
" 'We are all outraged by this crime,' Mayor Miguel Angel Mancera said at a news conference. 'There will be no impunity in this matter. No line of investigation will be discarded.'
"Journalist protection groups have expressed fears that authorities won't consider the killing of Ruben Espinosa, 31, as being related to his work, even though colleagues say he had fled his work in Veracruz state out of fear."
They also reported, "Prosecutor Rodolfo Rios Garza said Sunday that authorities were following protocols for crimes against journalists and crimes against women as well as looking at robbery as a possible motive in the case.
"But when dealing with slayings of journalists, authorities in Mexico historically have been quick to discard their work as a motive, though the country is the most dangerous in Latin America for reporters. Some 90 percent of journalist murders in Mexico since 1992 have gone unpunished, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. . . ."
Associated Press: Mexican photojournalist found dead was likely tortured, activists say
Azam Ahmed and Paulina Villegas, New York Times: Huge Mexico City Rally Over Killing of Journalist
Deborah Bonello, Los Angeles Times: For reporters in Mexico, journalist's death underscores job's growing danger
Whitney Eulich, Christian Science Monitor: Mexico City: Why didn't slain journalist Ruben Espinosa seek protection?
"Robin Smith, former KMOV (Channel 4) reporter and anchor, plans to run for Missouri Secretary of State," the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday.
"Smith made the announcement in a press release Sunday.
" 'What Missouri needs now, more than ever, is a public servant who checks their politics at the door,' she said in the release. 'That has been my life's work and my training. I look forward to giving Missourians straightforward, professional service as their Secretary of State.'
"Smith, who plans to run as a Democrat, said she will file organizational campaign documents with the state this week.
"Smith, a 40-year broadcast veteran before her retirement on July 31, graduated from Northwest High School and Lindenwood University, and later earned an additional degree from St. Louis University.
"Smith married former college hoops star Isaac 'Bud' Stallworth in 2013. . . ."
Sandra Jordan, St. Louis American: Robin Smith of KMOV 4 retires after 42 years in broadcast journalism
Jacob Kirn, St. Louis Business Journal: Former TV anchor Robin Smith voices opposition to voter ID push
"It's not about racism. It's about tradition, pride, honor, respect," Paul Farhi wrote Friday for the Washington Post's Sunday print edition.
"A defense of the Confederate flag? Well, yes, all of that's been said in support of the banner many oppose as a symbol of white supremacy and racial oppression. But the same lofty ideals have also been invoked to justify the name of Washington's pro football team, the Redskins.
"Defenders of the name, most prominently team owner Dan Snyder, have (unwittingly, it seems) used many of the same arguments, and even some of the same words, as Confederate flag supporters. With the flag no longer flying at the South Carolina statehouse and the Redskins starting their preparations for a new season, here's a side-by-side comparison.
"[Quiz: Are they defending the flag, or the team name?]
"It's about history
" 'It’s history. They’re trying to take this flag away. They're basically trying to change the history and abolish it and get rid of it.' Flag supporter Brian Nielsen of Minnesota, quoted in The Washington Post, July 6.
" 'What I would encourage you to do and everyone else to do is just look at the history, understand where the name came from, understand what it means.' Dan Snyder, ESPN interview, Sept. 2, 2014. . . ."
James Karst, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Our Times: Robert E. Lee and the slaves of Arlington House
Tim Lacy, Society for U.S. Intellectual History: Removing Confederate Monuments: History Cleansing or Correction?
Brian Lyman, Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser: Senate committee OKs marriage, gun and monument bills
Dan McKay, Albuquerque (N.M.) Journal: Mayor strikes Confederate flag in Old Town
Doyle Rader, D Magazine: Let's Turn Our Confederate Monuments Into Collaborative Art Spaces
James Ragland, Dallas Morning News: Midland Lee alum no longer proud of school's rebel mascot
Mark Scolfore and Jeffrey Collins, Associated Press: Confederate flag remains dear to some
Eric Stern, Salon: What to do with the Rockies' only Confederate memorial?
Bill Turque, Washington Post: Montgomery boxes Confederate statue to protect it from vandalism
Michael Paul Williams, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Time to reconsider Ashe Boulevard (July 13)
Tiffany Ujiiye, Pacific Citizen, Japanese American Citizen League: Civil War Retold and Remembered (July 20)
CNN spokeswomen still have not responded to Journal-isms' queries about why CNN juxtaposed an image of Cincinnati murder suspect Ray Tensing in front of a flag with a police mugshot of shooting victim Samuel DuBose, but Erik Wemple of the Washington Post quoted a network source Friday as saying, "CNN swapped that image once we had access to other pictures." Wemple added, "We asked whether there would be any merit in omitting a photo of the victim until a suitable one could be located. Bias alert: We think there is. We’re awaiting a response on that front."
"Former Channel 4 anchor and reporter Cynthia Williams has passed away, Nashville's WSMV-TV, Channel 4, reported on Monday. "Police say it appears she died in her sleep Saturday night while staying at a friend's house in Nashville. Williams was longtime presence at Channel 4, becoming a favorite with viewers. She left Channel 4 a couple of years ago, shortly after being diagnosed with thyroid cancer, which was a battle she was still fighting. Williams was 57 years old."
Anna Velasquez, reporter at KOAT-TV in Albuquerque, N.M., has been hired as news director of KLEW-TV in Lewiston, Idaho, general managerDan Stellman confirmed on Monday. Velasquez is a former anchor and reporter at KLEW-TV, according to her KOAT bio. "After graduating from the University of Washington, Anna began her broadcasting career at KIMA-TV in Yakima, WA. She then anchored and reported at KLEW-TV in Lewiston, ID. Anna was part of an Emmy-award winning team at KIRO-TV in Seattle, WA. The group reported live from the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Abraham Lincoln. Anna told the stories of sailors — who they were and how they protected our country while at sea. In 2008, she assumed weekend anchor duties at KGET-TV in Bakersfield, CA. From there it was an easy decision to come to KOAT, since Anna's family had recently moved to Albuquerque. . . ."
After meeting with black media professionals, including officials from the Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists, the Charlotte Broadcast Hall of Fame has its first black inductee, Herbert L. White reported Saturday for the Charlotte (N.C.) Post. "Retired WGIV radio personality Hattie Leeper was added to the inaugural class a week after the nominating committee was criticized for excluding black broadcasters. Leeper, who was a major figure in black radio in the 1950s and ‘60s, was the station’s first woman to host her own show. . . ."
The Chicago Bears "insist their ridiculous, unenforceable new rules for the media's coverage of training camp are just like those of other NFL teams. Even if true, that doesn't make them any less dumb," Dan Bernstein, columnist for WBBM radio in Chicago, wrote Friday. "Credentialed reporters . . . have now been told not to report. They can't tell anyone what they see on the field, nor can they approach players or coaches at the conclusion of practice without having submitted a request for approval 24 hours prior. . . ."
"It's long past time for Indian Country to have a say in how the government of the United States runs," Mark Trahant wrote Monday for indianz.com. "Why? Because this country cannot be the democracy it purports to be as long as indigenous people do not have a real voice in the political conversation. So what would be fair? How many American Indians and Alaska Native representatives should be in Congress? . . .Tribal nations with large populations should have a Delegate. And perhaps smaller tribes could band together by region or language and have a regional commissioner who would act as a Delegate. If population is the criteria, and perhaps it should be, the total ought to be seven. . . ."
American Journalism Review is ending publication, Lucy Dalglish, dean of the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, announced Monday. "Over many decades, American Journalism Review has been an incredible value both to the college and to American journalists," Dalglish said. "Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the resources needed to keep AJR the vibrant, innovative online publication it deserves to be." She said the AJR website and its archives will remain available online.
In Bentonville, Ark., "Benton County Sheriff Kelley Cradduck threatened Friday to arrest Tracy Neal, a Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reporter, if Neal entered a news conference, but then relented and let him in," Doug Thompson reported Saturday for the Democrat-Gazette. Thompson also wrote, "Neal said he was told about the news conference when he arrived for his appointment by someone who thought he had arrived early. He noticed television station vehicles in the parking lot after his appointment with the sheriff. He asked Cradduck if something was happening, and Cradduck replied there was a news conference scheduled. Neal said he would stay for that. Cradduck objected, saying it was just for television stations, according to accounts by both. . . ."
"What do we think about inequality? Well — all things being unequal — it kind of depends on who we are," Vanity Fair reported for its September issue, citing the latest 60 Minutes/Vanity Fair Poll. "That line from the Declaration of Independence about how 'all men are created equal'? It rings true for most Americans but for a higher percentage of whites (78) than blacks (66). . . ."
The International Reporting Project is conducting a group reporting trip focusing on health and development issues in Ecuador on Oct. 18-29. The application deadline is Aug. 7. The IRP says it will purchase the fellows' round-trip air tickets to Ecuador and pay for visas, hotel costs, local transportation and several meals. The trip is open to "innovative journalists, bloggers, influential social media practitioners, and other media professionals. Unfortunately, this trip is not open to students. . . . Participants will be expected to post frequent stories — such as articles, blog posts, infographics, interactive stories, slideshows, social media posts, video and audio clips – before, during and after the trip. . . ."
Referring to Burundi, Reporters Without Borders said Monday it "condemns the severe beating that Esdras Ndikumana, a respected journalist working for Radio France Internationale and Agence France-Presse, received from members of the security forces yesterday in Bujumbura, and urges the authorities to protect journalists who are trying to do their job." It added that Ndikumana "was taking photos of the site of Gen. Adolphe Nshimirimana's death in a shooting attack earlier yesterday when members of the government security forces arrested him. According to our sources, several parliamentarians and government representatives were present, but none of them intervened. Ndikumana was thrown into the back of a truck, where he was given an initial beating. Then he was taken to the headquarters of the National Intelligence Service, where he was forced to the ground and every part of his body was beaten. After two hours of this torture, his assailants took his personal effects and let him go, saying he was an 'enemy journalist' and should consider himself 'lucky to be still alive.' . . ."