Media Scolded for Covering Africa With Few, if Any, African Voices

Annonciate Haberisoni, wife of Burundi’s main political opponent Agathon Rwasa, talks to reporters at a hospital March 15, 2015, after she was hurt in what she believes was a politically motivated attack by gunmen inside a hair salon ahead of the country’s presidential elections in June. 
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150 Protest "60 Minutes" Pieces With No Blacks in View

Howard W. French, former New York Times correspondent covering West and Central Africa, author of two books on Africa and  an associate professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, had already complained.

"There's a large literature of what's meant by Africa w/out Africans," French tweeted last Nov. 9. "Common examples come from journalism that quotes just diplomats + aid workers + foreign experts of one kind of another. Usually, they'll throw in a quote from a taxi driver or an anonymous market worker to cover their, you know…

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"Tonight's example came from Lara Logan, of @60Minutes. She, being from South Africa, was the only African who spoke. I'd started to write tweets complaining 3-4 minutes in, but held fire, almost praying I was wrong, but the piece proceeded to the end with no African voices. They were screen extras."

A March 15 piece triggered more, French told Journal-isms. "60 Minutes" ran a piece about Damian Aspinall, a multimillionaire who owns a chain of casinos in England and is trying to send zoo-born gorillas to Africa."The piece followed Aspinall to Gabon, showing no one who actually lived in Gabon."

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French circulated a letter of protest, and quickly gathered more than 150 academics, journalists and other like-minded people as signatories. It is addressed to "60 Minutes" producer Jeff Fager and reads:

"We, the undersigned, are writing to express our grave concern about the frequent and recurring misrepresentation of the African continent by 60 Minutes.

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"In a series of recent segments from the continent, 60 Minutes has managed, quite extraordinarily, to render people of black African ancestry voiceless and all but invisible.

"Two of these segments were remarkably similar in their basic subject matter, featuring white people who have made it their mission to rescue African wildlife. In one case these were lions, and in another, apes. People of black African descent make no substantial appearance in either of these reports, and no sense whatsoever is given of the countries visited, South Africa and Gabon.

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"The third notable recent segment was a visit by your correspondent Lara Logan to Liberia to cover the Ebola epidemic in that country. In that broadcast, Africans were reduced to the role of silent victims. They constituted what might be called a scenery of misery: people whose thoughts, experiences and actions were treated as if totally without interest. Liberians were shown within easy speaking range of Logan, including some Liberians whom she spoke about, and yet not a single Liberian was quoted in any capacity.

"Liberians not only died from Ebola, but many of them contributed bravely to the fight against the disease, including doctors, nurses and other caregivers, some of whom gave their lives in this effort. Despite this, the only people heard from on the air were white foreigners who had come to Liberia to contribute to the fight against the disease.

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"Taken together, this anachronistic style of coverage reproduces, in condensed form, many of the worst habits of modern American journalism on the subject of Africa. To be clear, this means that Africa only warrants the public's attention when there is disaster or human tragedy on an immense scale, when Westerners can be elevated to the role of central characters, or when it is a matter of that perennial favorite, wildlife. As a corollary, Africans themselves are typically limited to the role of passive victims, or occasionally brutal or corrupt villains and incompetents; they are not otherwise shown to have any agency or even the normal range of human thoughts and emotions. Such a skewed perspective not only disserves Africa, it also badly disserves the news viewing and news reading public.

"We have taken the initiative of writing to you because we are mindful of the reach of 60 Minutes, and of the important role that your program has long played in informing the public. We are equally mindful that American views of Africa, a continent of 1.1 billion people, which is experiencing rapid change on an immense scale, are badly misinformed by much of the mainstream media. The great diversity of African experience, the challenges and triumphs of African peoples, and above all, the voices and thoughts of Africans themselves are chronically and woefully underrepresented.

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"Over the coming decades, Africa will become the backdrop of some of the most significant developments on the planet, from unprecedented population growth, urbanization and economic change to, potentially, the wholesale reconfiguration of states. We would like see to 60 Minutes rethink its approach to Africa, and rise to the challenge of covering topics like these, and many more, that go well beyond the bailiwick of the staid and stereotypical recent examples cited above. In doing so, 60 Minutes will have much to gain, as will the viewing public."

Journalists or former journalists on the list include Leon Dash, Swanlund/Center for Advanced Study Professor of Journalism, African-American Studies and director, Center for Advanced Study, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Mohamed Keita, freelance journalist in New York, former Africa advocacy coordinator of the Committee to Protect Journalists; Mary Ratcliff, editor, San Francisco Bay View; Dele Olojede, Nigerian journalist and winner of the 2005 Pulitzer PRize for international reporting while at Newsday;  Garry Pierre Pierre, executive director of the Community Reporting Alliance, New York, and publisher of the Haitian Times; Siddhartha Mitter, freelance journalist; Lonnie Isabel, coordinator, international academic initiatives, Graduate School of Journalism, City University of New York;; John Woodford, journalist; Michel Marriott, journalist and author; Dayo Olopade, journalist and author; and Kofi Ogbujiagba, journalist, Madison, Wis.

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A "60 Minutes" spokesman replied by email to reporters, "60 Minutes is proud of its coverage of Africa and has received considerable recognition for it. We have reached out to Mr. French to invite him to discuss this further and we look forward to meeting with him."

French messaged Journal-isms Wednesday evening, "I have not heard from them and question whether in fact they have made any attempt to reach me."

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Matthew Boyle, breitbart.com: 60 Minutes Correspondent Lara Logan Back in Hospital Over 2011 Arab Spring Sexual Assault

Dylan Byers, Politico: '60 Minutes' under fire for Africa coverage

Rebecca Leung, "60 Minutes": The Garden Of Eden: Christiane Amanpour Visits Wild Gorillas In Gabon (2004)

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Hands Up! Read This! (Dec. 15, 2014)

10 for Fall Reading (Sept. 2, 2004)

Vietnam's Most Publicized Atrocity Had Racial Dimension

Seymour M. Hersh won a Pulitzer Prize for international reporting in 1970 "for his exclusive disclosure of the Vietnam War tragedy at the hamlet of My Lai." There, on March 16, 1968, dozens of women, children and old people were gunned down by young American soldiers of Charlie Company of the Americal Division's 11th Brigade. The slaughter and the cover-up represented one of the lowest points in modern American military history.

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Hersh reported on the massacre for Dispatch News Service by interviewing nearly 50 members of Charlie Company in the United States. Now, 47 years later, the reporter has gone to My Lai. He produced "The Scene of the Crime" for the March 30 issue of the New Yorker magazine and, in discussing the piece Wednesday on Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now!," reminded listeners of the war's racial component.

"[Lt. William L.] Calley's company, Calley had a platoon. There were three platoons that went in — they rounded up people and put them in a ditch," Hersh said. "And Meadlo was ordered by Calley. He was among one or two or three boys who did a lot of shooting. There was a distinction by the white boys, country boys like Paul Meadlo, and the African-Americans and Hispanics who made up about 40 percent of the company. In my interviews I found that distinction.

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"Most of the African Americans and Hispanics, that was Whitey's war. The whole thing was Whitey's war for them. They did shoot because they were afraid that their white colleagues might shoot at them if they weren't participating, but, they shot high. One guy even shot himself in the foot to get out of there. I mean we had that going on too, above and beyond the normal stuff. . . ."

Hersh told Journal-isms by telephone Wednesday that it would be a mistake to oversimplify the racial dynamics. While "most of the Hispanics and blacks put on black arm bands" before going on patrol the morning after the atrocities, at least black sergeant was an active participant in the  killings.

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There were no Asian American troops in the unit, but there were translators "who didn't like what they saw but were afraid they'd be killed, too." They remained silent," Hersh said.

From World War II until the late 1990s, when U.S. troops participated in action in Sarajevo, the United States never went to war against white people, Hersh said. This was a war in which Vietnamese were dehumanized.

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It was also an era, Hersh reminded, when Muhammad Ali issued his famous declaration, "No Viet Cong ever called me n—-r."

YouTube: Muhammad Ali on "Like It Is,"  WABC-TV, New York (video)

Time to Blow Up the Journalist of Color Associations?

In honor of the late Dori Maynard of the Maynard Institute, the March 5, 2015, #wjchat TweetChat was about media diversity," Benét J. Wilson wrote Tuesday for alldigitocracy.org.

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"Chatters discussed everything from continuing Dori's legacy to what diversity in a newsroom looks like. But one tweet stood out to me: 'I'm going to take the unpopular stance & say it's time to blow up the existing journo-color groups. They aren't working.' So AllDigitocracy decided to reach out to members of journalism organizations of color to see if this is true and what these groups can do to promote diversity more effectively.

"Allison Davis is a digital pioneer and one of the original founders of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), an organization that is celebrating 40 years this year. She strongly disagreed with the tweet, saying that organizations for journalists of color are needed now more than ever. . . ."

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Others interviewed were Sonya Ross, an editor for the Associated Press; Sree Sreenivasan, co-founder of the South Asian Journalists Association; Athima Chansanchai, past board member and local leader at the Asian American Journalists Association; Hugo Balta, immediate past president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; and Deb Krol, a member of the Native American Journalists Association.

Writer: Diversity Pendulum "Might Have Swung Too Far"

If Nellie Andreeva meant to be provocative in addressing the explosion in network television shows featuring people of color this season, she succeeded.

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"There was a noticeable shift toward minority castings last season, with more parts opening up to ethnic actors, a casting term used for non-Caucasian thesps," Andreeva wrote Tuesday for Deadline Hollywood. "It was a concerted effort, with more than one [instance] where a family member role was rewritten as adopted to make them ethnic. Then, following the success of freshman series How To Get Away With Murder, Black-ish, Fresh Off The Boat, Jane the Virgin and especially Empire, which launched to huge ratings at the kickoff of pilot casting season, ethnic castings exploded this season.

"The change is welcomed by talent agents who no longer have to call casting directors and ask them if they would possibly consider an ethnic actor for a part, knowing they would most likely be rejected. 'I feel that the tide has turned,' one agent said. 'I can pitch any actor for any role, and I think that's good.'

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"But, as is the case with any sea change, the pendulum might have swung a bit too far in the opposite direction. Instead of opening the field for actors of any race to compete for any role in a color-blind manner, there has been a significant number of parts designated as ethnic this year, making them off-limits for Caucasian actors, some agents signal. . . ."

Reaction was negative. "Shame on Deadline for giving a platform to the prejudices of a few Hollywood agents who, under the cloak of anonymity, revealed themselves to be among the entertainment industry gatekeepers reluctant to change their unfair and exclusionary practices and make way for progress," American Indians in Film and Television, Asian Pacific American Media Coalition, NAACP Hollywood Bureau and National Hispanic Media Coalition said in a joint statement.

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There was more:

"Television powerhouse producer Shonda Rhimes blasted an article posted on Deadline Tuesday, saying television casting has become too ethnically diverse this season, calling the piece by Nellie Andreeva 'ignorant, ' " Debbie Emery wrote Tuesday for TheWrap.

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At Vulture.com on Wednesday, Dee Lockett listed "The 13 Most Ignorant Quotes From That Awful Deadline Article."

Blogger Luvvie Ajayi titled her Wednesday entry, "Dear Nellie Andreeva and Deadline, About Your Piece on Too Much 'Ethnic Casting' on TV"

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Blogger Damon Young, editor-in-chief of verysmartbrothas.com, wrote Wednesday, "Someone Please Tell the People at Deadline.com That White Folks Gonna Be Alright."

Meanwhile, John Ridley, creator of the new ABC series "American Crime," told Terry Gross on NPR's "Fresh Air" Tuesday that his series has "easily one of the most reflective writing staffs probably working in Hollywood.

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"And I say reflective versus diverse," Ridley continued. "A lot of people like to use the word diversity. I think diversity is something we tried to achieve in the '70s. Right now, organizations need to be in reality, not in diversity. . . ."

EURweb.com: Terrence Howard Lets His White Friends Use the 'N-Word' Around Him

Toni Fitzgerald, medialifemagazine.com: A last hurrah for mega-hit 'Empire': Fox drama lifts the network to first place with two-hour finale

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Arturo R. García, Racialicious: An Empty Panel: On The Nightly Show's Diversity in Comics Discussion

Wesley Morris, Grantland: Kingdom Came: Notes on 'Empire' and the State of Black Television Drama

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Coalition of 39 Groups Wants Latinos on Sunday Talk Shows

A report this month by a Media Matters for America initiative to combat distortions and stereotypes of Hispanics in the media prompted a coalition of 39 Latino organizations to write to the heads of the nation's major English-language broadcasters.

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The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda called on the broadcasters Wednesday to take action to increase the number of Hispanic guests on their Sunday morning talk shows and to diversify the subject matter they are invited to discuss. They cited the March 2 Media Matters report that found Latino voices are rarely included in Sunday news shows and when they are, are mostly confined to a single topic.

The coalition "offered to work with the networks to improve their Latino representation, and reminded the network executives of the work of the National Hispanic Media Coalition to identify and train a number of Latino experts in various fields who could serve as guests on their shows," the group said.

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Constanza Gallardo, alldigitocracy.org: Powerful Latina journalists reflect on the past & future of Hispanics in media 

Video Journalist Arrested in Ferguson Wants a Trial

"A video journalist arrested while covering the unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, after Michael Brown was fatally shot last summer plans to fight the charges at trial," Jim Salter and Alan Scher Zagier reported Tuesday for the Associated Press.

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"St. Louis-based videographer Mary Moore said she wants her reputation, and her criminal record, cleared. Moore was among 13 people taken into custody during a demonstration outside Ferguson police headquarters in early October, and was charged with municipal violations.

"Protests have continued since Brown, who was black and unarmed, was shot and killed Aug. 9 by then-Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. Moore is one of an estimated two dozen journalists from around the world and among the hundreds of people who've been arrested in Ferguson.

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"Moore, whose videos have been used by The Associated Press, TV networks and other news organizations, is among the few journalists to actually go to court. She was charged with failure to comply, failure to disperse and resisting arrest. She said she was not part of the protest, but was simply documenting it on video.

"Ferguson's city attorney said Tuesday that Moore was 'was participating in the protest and attempted to interfere … by locking arms with other protesters.'

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" 'There was no resisting,' Moore said Monday in a phone interview. 'I'm not an idiot.' . . ."

Kristen Hare, Poynter Institute: In St. Louis, a new podcast looks at issues around race, but 'it's not the Ferguson show'

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Journalists Urged to Dig Deeper on Athletes' Poor Academics

"March Madness, the annual NCAA Division I basketball tournament, has been as chaotic as usual so far, with obscure underdogs eliminating top teams and numerous games decided in the final seconds," Christopher Massie wrote Tuesday for Columbia Journalism Review. "But at least one thing is different this year: More people are questioning whether it's right that the players at the center of the extravaganza, which generates over a billion dollars in advertising revenue, are unpaid.

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"The NCAA justifies not paying its players by arguing that they are 'student-athletes,' compensated via their education. However, as John Oliver described on March 15 in a 20-minute segment of 'Last Week Tonight,' Division I athletes often learn little in school, where they are encouraged to enroll in courses that are not taken seriously."

Massie also wrote that, "the solution is not for journalists to attempt to reveal the tension between college sports and academics by investigating individual athletes for academic fraud, seeking to expose players with bad GPAs, or embarrassing them by revealing the ignorance that a sound education would rectify.

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"The ideal alternative would be more reporting on the conditions that cause people to neglect education in favor of basketball, from the cultural emphasis on sports to the draw of becoming a millionaire in the NBA to, most importantly, the vast revenue streams athletes generate for universities and the NCAA. News organizations should devote resources to that kind of reporting, but it is outside the purview of most sports journalism. . . ."

Meanwhile, columnist Derrick Z. Jackson of the Boston Globe, who has followed college football and basketball graduation rates for 19 and 18 years, respectively, wrote Tuesday that if the 68 teams in the NCAA’s men’s basketball tournament were seeded by graduation rates, the Wisconsin Badgers would be a bottom seed.

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"They have the lowest Graduation Success Rate for black men . . . and the third-lowest overall at 40 percent. They were one of 16 teams that should be disqualified for historically graduating less than 50 percent of either black or white players or having an overall rate under 50 percent. . . ."

J.R. Gamble, the Shadow League: Sweet 16 Media Mic Check: Clark Kellogg

J.R. Gamble, the Shadow League: March Madness Media Mic Check: Greg Gumbel

Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: March Madness is a useful form of social currency

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Al Jazeera America Leader Wins McGruder Diversity Award

Kate O'Brian, president of Al Jazeera America, is the 2015 winner of the Robert G. McGruderDistinguished Guest Lecture and Award for Diversity, Kent State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication announced last week. The award recognizes media professionals who encourage diversity in the field of journalism.

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Last year, the network was awarded the Best Practices Award by the National Association of Black Journalists, "presented to a news organization for exemplary work in covering issues of great significance to the black community or the African Diaspora and/or for its efforts in increasing diversity among its newsroom staff and management." However, Al Jazeera has attracted journalists from a variety of ethnic groups.

Kent State plans to honor O’Brian at an awards luncheon and lecture on April 1. In addition, "Lillian Pyles, one of the most familiar and respected names in the Cleveland casting industry with film credits such as 'Spider Man III,' 'Antwone Fisher' and 'The Soloist,' will be recognized at the annual McGruder luncheon as the 2015 Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award winner," the announcement said.

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McGruder, a 1963 graduate of Kent State and a diversity champion, died of cancer in April 2002. He was the first black editor of the Daily Kent Stater, the first black reporter at the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, the first black president of the Associated Press Managing Editors group and the first black executive editor of the Detroit Free Press.

Meanwhile, "Al Jazeera America announced Wednesday it is upping the amount of hours it will air live news programming starting March 30," Luke McCord reported Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable.

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"The news network, which launched in August 2013, will air live news every weekday from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET, adding an additional two hours of morning news. Al Jazeera America is bumping up its midday news coverage by another hour. The live news block will preview stories that will air later in the day on Al Jazeera's primetime shows. Al Jazeera America will soon update its programming in the evening."

[On Thursday, the American Society of News Editors announced that Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post won its Award for Distinguished Writing on Diversity, "which recognizes writing that helps a community understand and better appreciate its racial, ethnic and religious diversity."

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[The judges said, "Exceptionally reported and beautifully written, reporter Sari Horwitz's look into the high rates of domestic violence, assault and other crimes against Native Americans revealed a government-made problem that was long past time to address. . . ."] [Updated March 26].

Roland Martin Special Beats CNN and Fox News

"Roland Martin, the former CNN contributor who now serves as managing editor and host of TV One's 'NewsOne Now,' knows his upstart cable channel has nowhere near the name recognition of the networks he calls the 'big dogs' — Fox News and CNN. But now, for one night at least, he can claim to have beaten the big dogs where it counts: in the ratings," Mark Joyella reported Tuesday for TVNewser.

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"On Sunday night, Martin hosted the first-ever 'NewsOne Now' primetime special, 'Mo'Nique Uncensored,' which featured Martin's one-on-one interview with the actor. In the key demo, the 10 p.m. special beat CNN's 'The Wonder List' and Fox News' 'Stossel,' and did so with far less cable penetration. Available in just over 58 million homes, TV One is far harder to find than FNC or CNN, which are in nearly 100 million homes . . ."

The interview is to re-air on Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern time.

AP Team Finds Slavery in Asian Fishing Industry

A year-long investigation into forced labor and trafficking in Southeast Asia's fishing industry led an Associated Press team to Benjina, a small town that straddles two islands in the far reaches of eastern Indonesia," the Associated Press reported Tuesday.

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"There journalists interviewed more than 40 current and former slaves, many of whom said they had been forced to work on boats overseen by Thai captains under extremely brutal conditions. They were paid little or nothing at all, and some were out to sea for months or years at a time.

"The AP also found a locked cell with eight slaves inside, and handed a video camera to a dockworker, himself a former slave, to take close-up footage. Under the cover of darkness, the AP team used a small wooden boat to approach a trawler with slaves who yelled to them, pleading for help to go home.

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"Reporters were led to a jungle-covered graveyard that held the bodies of slaves, according to villagers and nonprofit officials. They interviewed three men who said they had escaped into the island's jungle interior, and also spent a night sleeping in the forest on an adjacent island with other runaway slaves from Benjina. . . ."

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Short Takes

Della de Lafuente, who reported for the Chicago Sun-Times, the Arizona Republic, Crain Communications, the San Antonio Light, Latina magazine, Working Mother and Adweek before joining the Adrenalina ad agency, died Friday at 51, Maureen O'Donnell reported Tuesday for the Sun-Times. She had suffered two strokes. On Twitter, she described herself as "Texas firebrand who lives to explore and share insights on art, culture, life and style in the city," referring to New York.

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"We're big fans of Bomani Jones, so it's exciting to hear that he's getting his own national radio show. Jones will host The Right Time with Bomani Jones weekdays at 9 pm. The program will be available via ESPN Radio," Chris O'Shea wrote Wednesday for TVNewser. O'Shea also wrote, "Jones' show is part of a new weekday lineup for ESPN Radio. The Sedano Show, hosted by Jorge Sedano, kicks things off at 7 pm. It is followed by The Right Time, with The Freddie Coleman Show — hosted by Freddie Coleman — wrapping things up at 11."

In a scathing letter by his lawyer Marty Singer obtained by TMZ, former TV host Rodner Figueroa claimed he was standing up for Latinos and fighting to get them unionized, but Univision used his remarks on "El Gordo y la Flaca" this month as a convenient way to get rid of him, Fox News Latino reported on Tuesday. "Figueroa was fired earlier this month from Univision after nearly two decades working at the network because he said a picture of a make-up artist who transformed himself as Michelle Obama looked like someone from the cast of 'Planet of the Apes.' . . ."

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As the number of professional reporters in statehouses plummets, hundreds of student journalists across the country "provide coverage of state legislatures and agencies to readers, listeners and viewers," Anna Schiffbauer reported Tuesday for the Student Press Law Center. "In four states, student journalists outnumber journalists from professional outlets assigned to the statehouse full-time, where they ensure citizens have access to information about how the state spends their tax dollars and decisions on education, criminal justice and safety regulations. . . ."

"Nothing was more startling than when a cardiologist looked me directly in the eyes and said matter-of-factly: 'It looks like you had a heart attack,' " George E. Curry wrote Monday in his column for the National Newspaper Publishers Association. "I was dumbfounded. When? Where? How much damage was done? Why didn't I know it?" Curry concluded, "At the urging of 'Uncle Mike' Fauvelle of Setauket, N.Y., I am writing about my second close call with death, hoping that it, too, will prompt you to not only pay closer attention to your health, but be aware of the small signs of trouble and do something about it immediately if you sense something is awry."

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"The Oglala Sioux Tribal Council has approved a resolution banning all businesses on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation from selling the Rapid City Journal after the newspaper published a headline the tribe found objectionable," the Associated Press reported Tuesday. "Tribal spokesman Kevin Steele told KCSR-AM that the ban will stay in effect until the newspaper apologizes for a headline that questioned whether a group of Native American students stood for the pledge of allegiance at a Rapid City Rush hockey game. . . ."

The International Center for Journalists is entering the second year of a four-year training program that is "creating a cadre of investigative reporters using digital tools to cover issues such as corruption, drug and human trafficking, gang violence and environmental degradation," Luis Botello wrote Friday for the group. "Funded by the State Department and USAID, the program also matches reporters to work across borders on multinational stories in Latin America, a region where self-censorship and threats against journalists are common. . . ." Botello listed some of the program's successes.

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"A new Washington-area sports talk radio show will finally make its debut Monday, two weeks after it was abruptly shelved in a move that prompted accusations that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder, who also owns the radio station, was seeking to kill the program to silence a prominent media critic of his team," Will Hobson and Paul Farhi reported for the Washington Post on Tuesday. The show is to be co-hosted by former Washington Post columnist Jason Reid and veteran radio and TV personality Chris Paul. "And in a bizarre and unexplained subplot, someone made prank calls to WTEM this month claiming to be the president of ESPN — one of the most powerful sports media figures in the country — and demanding the show's cancellation, and nearly succeeded. . . ."

"#RaceTogether turns out to be like some phony white nostalgia capable of 'Mad Men's' Don Draper, who still insists on seeing the world in black and whiter," Emil Guillermo wrote Tuesday of the Starbucks-USA Today race initiative. He wrote of the USA Today #RaceTogether supplement, "By page 4, the first faces of real people appear. Of six people pictured, there's two Latinos, three African Americans, 1 white male. I know quotas are illegal. But not in news stories. Where's the Asian American? Native American? . . ."

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Through his television stations, which Armstrong Williams purchased from Sinclair Broadcasting, he has provided Dr. Ben Carson "with a regular platform on 150 or so other Sinclair stations. While those appearances aren't as prominent as Carson's work for Fox News (where Carson was, until late last year, a paid contributor), they allow him to often reach more viewers," Jason Zengerle wrote Wednesday for GQ. The conservative commentator and "Svengali," Williams is Carson's business manager, "has also plugged Carson into the mainstream media. . . ."

A spokeswoman for New York's WNBC-TV messaged Journal-isms Wednesday, responding to a report from Media Matters for America that said four major broadcast television stations in New York have continued to give disproportionate coverage to crime stories involving African-American suspects. "WNBC is committed to delivering fair and accurate news to our viewers that reflects the vast diversity of the communities we serve. Our experienced journalists are charged with making informed and balanced editorial decisions every day about our news coverage. We always welcome input and look forward to a continued dialogue about this important topic moving forward," the statement said.

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"Thai junta leader Prayuth Chan-ocha lashed out at journalists on Wednesday, saying he would 'probably just execute' those who did 'not report the truth', in the latest outburst aimed at Thailand's media," Pracha Hariraksapitak reported and Amy Sawitta Lefevre wrote for Reuters on Wednesday. "Last month Prayuth said he had the power to shut down news outlets. On Wednesday, he took an even harsher line. . . "

In Algeria, "Last week saw another attempt by the president's office to intimidate the opposition media, exacerbating what has been a difficult climate for the Algerian press since President Abdelaziz Bouteflika's reelection in April 2014," Reporters Without Borders reported on Wednesday. "Speaking on behalf of Bouteflika, who is ailing, presidential adviser Benamar Zerhouni said: 'I note that pseudo-politicians, supported by a press that has no thought for professional ethics, seek day and night to scare and demoralize this people and undermine its confidence in the present and future, a people that has not and will not give any credence to their nonsense. . . ."

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