The longer the crisis in Baltimore continues, the more criticism seems to be aimed at the media. Ironically, many of the barbs are lodged in . . . the media.
"Media's Biased and Dehumanizing Coverage of Baltimore Fails to Tell the City's Real Story," read the headline over a piece on The Root Friday by Rashad Robinson, executive director of colorofchange.org.
That media! Oh, wait, The Root, too, is part of the media. Does the author believe that he also is failing to tell the real story?
On TV One's "News One Now" on Friday, panelists discussing Baltimore took turns disparaging "the corporate media." "We cannot allow corporate media to change the conversation," Joia Jefferson-Nuri said. Never mind that TV One is owned by Radio One, Inc., a corporation.
Progressive journalists on Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now!" deride "the corporate media," then cite reports in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal as authoritative sources.
On social media, Michelle Alexander, author of the highly regarded 2010 book "The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness," posted a video with this comment, "During the past few days, the mainstream media has (a) either ignored the fact that the Crips and Bloods in Baltimore entered a truce so they could march united in their demands for justice for [Freddie] Gray or (b) has repeated the sensational claims of law enforcement that the truce merely reflects some grand conspiracy to kill cops.
"Listen to these gang members explain why they stand for peace and want to be a positive force for change in their communities. These are the young men that we, as a nation, are so quick to demonize and to destroy. More truth is spoken — and more courage demonstrated — in this short interview than in nearly all the political speeches and media punditry I've heard in recent months [video].
The clip was from WBAL-TV in Baltimore, owned by Hearst Stations, Inc., part of "the media," in fact, the "corporate media."
The entry for "media" in the Associated Press Stylebook, the most widely used such guide in American newsrooms, advises, "In the sense of mass communication, such as magazines, newspapers, the news services, radio, television and online, the word is plural: The news media are resisting attempts to limit their freedom."
The idea of "media" as plural has received considerable pushback in recent years. But the plural nature of the media has rarely been as evident as during coverage of the aftermath of the death in police custody of Baltimore's Freddie Gray.
While some television coverage was guilty of sensationalizing Monday night's violence, contrasting coverage on Friday showed jubilant Baltimoreans celebrating the announcement that the six Baltimore police officers involved in Gray's arrest have been charged criminally.
And as some hosts and reporters demonstrated their ignorance on cable news channels, others were having thoughtful conversations on public broadcasting and on op-ed pages.
The Washington Post reported on Wednesday night that an unnamed prisoner in the van with Gray told investigators that Gray was "intentionally trying to injure himself." But the story quickly unraveled — on Thursday, WJZ-TV in Baltimore interviewed the prisoner, Donta Allen, who said he never told police that Gray was intentionally trying to hurt himself. (On the Huffington Post on Friday, Ryan Grim wrote how the Post could have spared itself in a piece headlined, "How The Media Can Stop Embarrassing Themselves At The Hands Of Police.")
The news media can be self-correcting. But it must be acknowledged that they aren't always. And some gaffes are more memorable than any correction.
On Wednesday, members of the Zeta Phi Beta were filmed sitting in Baltimore's Town Hall discussing reformation of local laws on police brutality for a segment on CNN. Anchor Erin Burnett said: "You've got the gang members there and about 500 people — it will be contentious and it will be angry." After sorority members took offense, Burnett told viewers on Thursday, "We're sorry if anyone got the impression that we were calling that sorority, gang members. That wasn't our intention."
In another case, Zach Frydenlund reported Thursday for complex.com, "Baltimore native Kevin Liles marched with fellow protestors, including Carmelo Anthony, through the streets of the city today in response to the death of Freddie Gray in police custody. During the march, CNN reporter Brian Todd approached Liles for an interview, but before they could get any further, the reporter refused to believe that Liles wasn't actually Russell Simmons. . . ."
NPR on Thursday aired a story headlined, "Baltimore Unrest Reveals Tensions Between African-Americans And Asians." Jeff Yang wrote on CNN.com on Friday, "it's time to call this persistent meme what it is: A misleading, hyperbolic and dangerous distraction, one that shifts blame away from the real issues. . . ."
Matt Wilstein of Mediaite wrote Wednesday about a CNN promo. "In less than 30 seconds, CNN managed to show its viewers every horrible thing that has happened in Baltimore over the last 48 hours in the style of an epic movie trailer before finally landing on the network's slogan: "Go there."
Washington Post media critic Erik Wemple appeared Thursday on "Huff Post Live." "Wemple sees no journalistic value in reporters like MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell turning to 'Wire' cast members for testimony," Emily Tess Katz reported for the Huffington Post. .
" 'Interviewing cast members of "The Wire" — it doesn't advance anything,' he said. 'Those people don't know Baltimore the way those folks who've lived through this do.'
"In contrast, the journalist was quick to praise the Baltimore Sun for its investigative piece on the tension surrounding citizens and the Baltimore police, published this past September. . . ."
On Friday, Media Matters for America published excerpts of an email exchange with Kwame Rose, a Baltimore resident who confronted Fox News' Geraldo Rivera. "Rivera later used his platform on Fox News to bash Rose as a 'vandal,' 'annoying,' and an 'obstructionist' on-air. He accused Rose of displaying 'exactly that kind of youthful anarchy that led to the destruction and pain in that community.' "
Rose described for Media Matters his own encounter with "the media." His unintended point might have been that, sadly, when it comes to journalists, the actions of a few reflect on the many, all of whom are "the media."
" 'I have been out protesting for almost two weeks now without being on one camera,' Rose explained," Media Matters' Brian Powell and Libby Watson reported. " 'After Monday night when the media started pouring in, I sat at work and watched how the media basically forced people to believe that Baltimore was some Third World city. I just wanted to set the record straight and let it be known that this generation refuses to be misinterpreted. . . ."
" 'I sat and watched the media set up their camps in front of boarded up homes … while we were cleaning up the streets as one community. The cameras weren't rolling, nobody cared. Outside agitators such as Fox News came onto the scene trying to exploit the situation. I don't care about the people watching Fox News, but I will not let you report lies about the people of this city.' . . ."
In the exchange, news reports about the cleanup went unrecognized.
Rafael Alvarez, USA Today: Baltimore is broken, but it's home: Column
Baltimore Sun: National and local reaction to charges in Freddie Gray case
Karen Grigsby Bates, NPR "Code Switch": Is It An 'Uprising' Or A 'Riot'? Depends On Who's Watching
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: The revolution is brought to you by cable news.
Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: A message to her white friends.
Kira Brekke, HuffPost BlackVoices: Why We Must Not Forget Black Women Are Victims Of Police Brutality, Too
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: The Clock Didn't Start With the Riots
copyediting.com: Linguistics Plays a Role in Baltimore Coverage
Ellis Cose, USA Today: Baltimore cries out for end to denial
Mary C. Curtis, NPR "Code Switch": Beyond The Headlines, There's Much More To West Baltimore
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: New Orleans and Baltimore after Katrina and Freddie Gray
Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Young Baltimore protesters have to know of police violence
Andrew Desiderio, Mediate: Man Who Filmed Freddie Gray Video Reportedly Arrested in Baltimore
Editorial, Baltimore Sun: A step toward justice for Freddie Gray
Josh Feldman, Mediaite: Angry CNN Reporter Goes Off On Baltimore Cop: 'Are We Under Martial Law?'
Manny Fernandez, New York Times: Freddie Gray's Injury and the Police 'Rough Ride'
LZ Granderson, CNN: Baltimore rage is shocking? Get real
Zach Frydenlund, complex.com: This CNN Reporter Refused To Believe Kevin Liles Wasn't Russell Simmons
Sherrilyn Ifill, cnn.com: The crisis in confidence in our police
Adam Johnson, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Media's Baltimore 'Teen Purge' Narrative Falling Apart
Emily Tess Katz, Huffington Post: Erik Wemple Slams National Media's 'Awful, Awful' Baltimore Coverage
Meghan McCorkell, WJZ-TV, Baltimore: Social Media Plays Major Role In Freddie Gray Protests
Jim Morin cartoon, Miami Herald: "We Have a Chokehold on Your Dream"
Benjamin Mullin, Poynter Institute: Heavyweight news outlets demand Freddie Gray report
Donna M. Owens, Essence: How Baltimore Residents Are Pushing Forward
Stacey Patton, Washington Post: Why is America celebrating the beating of a black child?: A mom's violence won't keep her son safe.
Brian Powell and Libby Watson, Media Matters for America: Baltimore's Kwame Rose Responds To Geraldo's Personal Attacks, Talks About Media And Freddie Gray
Franchesca Ramsey, Upworthy: He shows how the news talks about black people by talking about white people instead.
Rashad Robinson, The Root: Media's Biased and Dehumanizing Coverage of Baltimore Fails to Tell the City’s Real Story
Akiba Solomon, Colorlines: Thugs. Students. Rioters. Fans: Media's Subtle Racism in Unrest Coverage
Goldie Taylor, HuffPost BlackVoices: We Celebrated That Mother in Baltimore. Now, Are We Willing to Face Our Own Hypocrisy?
Tom Taylor, Tom Taylor Now: Talking about Baltimore is fraught with peril — a Pittsburgh jock is suspended for a post.
Libby Watson, Media Matters for America: Baltimore Reporter Disputes Details Of Leaked Police Department Report On Freddie Gray's Arrest
Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Baltimore Sun has 60-plus journalists on Freddie Gray story
Yohuru Williams, HuffPost BlackVoices: You're Nobody 'Till Somebody Kills You: Baltimore, Freddie Gray and the Problem of History
Matt Wilstein, Mediaite: CNN Goes There with Epically Incendiary Baltimore Riots Promo
Jeff Yang, CNN.com: Black-Asian tensions: Not the cause of Baltimore
David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun: FOP claims conflicts of interest in Freddie Gray coverage
David Zurawik, Baltimore Sun: Marilyn Mosby shows how you use TV to inform
"Judging by how it's portrayed in the media, it looks black," Joe Pinsker reported Tuesday for the Atlantic.
"That's the conclusion of a new study by Bas W. van Doorn, a professor of political science at the College of Wooster, in Ohio, which examined 474 stories about poverty published in Time, Newsweek, and U.S. News [&] World Report between 1992 and 2010.
"In the images that ran alongside those stories in print, black people were overrepresented, appearing in a little more than half of the images, even though they made up only a quarter of people below the poverty line during that time span. Hispanic people, who account for 23 percent of America's poor, were significantly under-represented in the images, appearing in 13.7 percent of them.
"Those discrepancies are striking, and, as van Doorn points out, sadly predictable, neatly mirroring the stereotypes of Americans more generally. In 1991, a survey found that Americans' median guess at how many of the country's poor people were black was 50 percent, though at the time the actual figure was 29 percent. Ten years later, another poll found that 41 percent of respondents overestimated the percentage by at least a factor of two. (In 2013, 23.5 percent of America's poor were black.)
"But it's not just that poor people are imagined to be black — they're also commonly thought of as lazy. . . ."
"On April 29, Jon Butler, president of the Organization of American Historians (OAH), announced that the executive board voted unanimously to pass a resolution supporting the removal of the Washington team name, effective immediately," Christina Rose reported Friday for the Indian Country Today Media Network.
"The resolution was organized by James W. Loewen, member and lecturer at OAH and author of the books, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your High School History Textbook Got Wrong and Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong.
" 'This makes it official: the nation's primary group of historians of the United States has spoken and has done so overwhelmingly,' he told ICTMN in an email. 'The previous vote of the membership, taken on April 18, 2015, was by a margin greater than 90%, while the Board's action was unanimous.'
"Butler, who taught at Yale University for 27 years, said the OAH decided to act on the resolution because 'We are a historical organization and our members are overwhelmingly teachers. We want to act in a thoughtful way.'
"Former OAH executive director Lee Formwalt, author of Looking Back, Moving Forward, said he was not surprised by the passing of the resolution.
" 'The members are in the business of examining the past and usually know what the problems were,' he said. 'They tend to be in favor of change of those problems. We don't want to go back to the good old days because they weren't good. I think that race has been a significant issue in America and is our original sin. It doesn't surprise me it occupies the minds of a lot of historians.' . . ."
Rose listed 10 historic reasons for the OAH resolution. The third reads, "3. Most sports teams that use Native American mascots, symbols, and names, were conceived between 1890 and 1940 when it was believed that Natives were a dying race.
"Appropriation of Native names and cultures occurred during this time and included the Washington team and the 'Improved Order of Red Men,' a men's organization that did not allow American Indians to be members. Eugenics, or the sterilization of Native women, also began during those years. 'The appropriation of Native mascots and names reflects the intense racism of that era,' the resolution states."
Bryan Monroe, who helped lead the team from the Sun Herald of Biloxi and Gulfport, Miss., that won the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for Hurricane Katrina coverage and most recently was editor of CNNPolitics.com, has been appointed Verizon Chair professor at Temple University's School of Media and Communication, the school announced on Thursday. Monroe joins the faculty in June.
"Monroe led political coverage on digital at CNN and has served in a variety of leadership positions in digital, broadcast and print media. He is also a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists," the announcement said.
It added, "Monroe will be an interdisciplinary resource to students throughout the school. He will teach undergraduate and graduate seminars in the Media Studies and Production Department as well as in the Department of Journalism. Additionally, he will produce symposia on current issues in journalism and communication. . . ."
Monroe and two other black journalists left CNNPolitics.com last summer as a new executive reorganized the CNN.com political unit. Nia-Malika Henderson, a black journalist who worked at the Washington Post, would start April 6 as a national political reporter "focusing on identity politics," Rachel Smolkin, executive editor of CNN Politics, told staffers in March.
The East Coast memorial service for Dori J. Maynard, to be held at the Newseum in Washington on Monday, is to be livestreamed starting at 6:30 p.m. ET on the website of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. The Web address is http://mije.org/dori-maynards-dc-memorial-webcast.
Maynard, the president of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, died on Feb. 24 after battling lung cancer. The service is planned for the Newseum's Knight Conference Center on what would have been Maynard's 57th birthday.
Among the scheduled speakers are:
Virgil Smith, Gannett Co. vice president-diversity, and Latoya Peterson, deputy editor, Voices at Fusion. emcees; Martin Reynolds, senior editor for community engagement and training, Bay Area News Group, and Maynard Institute board member; Errin Whack, vice president-print, National Association of Black Journalists; Doris Truong, Washington Post multiplatform editor, former president, Asian American Journalists Association, and MIJE grad.
Donald E. Graham, CEO of Graham Holdings, former CEO, Washington Post Co.; Marisa Porto, vice president, content, Daily Press Media/Tribune Co., MIJE grad; Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Nolan McCaskill, reporting fellow at Politico; Geneva Overholser, former director, USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.
Shawn Dove, CEO, Campaign for Black Male Achievement; Mark Trahant, board chairman, Maynard Institute, and Atwood Chair of Journalism at the University of Alaska, Anchorage; Mia Navarro, MIJE graduate; Kevin Merida, managing editor, Washington Post and MIJE graduate; Earl Caldwell, professor and writer-in-residence at Hampton University's Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications and co-founder of the Maynard Institute; and David Maynard,
"It's easy for mainstream media to sensationalize grim aspects of life on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, said Russell Contreras, an Albuquerque-based Associated Press reporter who's also president of UNITY, a national nonprofit that advocates for fair and accurate media coverage of diverse populations," Margaret Wright reported Wednesday for the New Mexican in Santa Fe.
"Pine Ridge is the second-largest reservation in the United States and the most poverty-stricken. Its death rate exceeds that of the rest of the country by 300 percent.
"Nuanced voices of the Oglala Lakota people themselves are often muffled by superficial coverage of the community by outsiders, Contreras said. That's why he and other UNITY journalists, several from the Southwest, are traveling across the country this weekend to collaborate with tribal members eager to broadcast their own experiences to a wider audience.
"Among them are 57 children still recovering from an incident during a field trip Jan. 27. A story in Indian Country Today said the kids and their chaperones from the American Horse School in Allen, S.D., were attending a minor-league hockey game in Rapid City when people in the crowd sprayed them with beer and shouted racial slurs. . . ."
"The concept is so unusual as to be almost radical: The leading late TV newscast on the leading news station in Washington will be anchored by two white people," Paul Farhi reported Thursday for the Washington Post.
"At the end of May, the legendary Jim Vance will step down from the 11 p.m. newscast on WRC (Channel 4), 43 years after he started (he'll continue at 6 p.m.). His late-night replacement, Jim Handly, will team with Doreen Gentzler, Vance's longtime co-pilot at 6 and 11.
"Anchor changes are usually ho-hum affairs, particularly in an age when audiences are deserting TV news for smartphones and other digital alternatives. But the Gentzler-Handly pairing is significant because it runs counter to an unspoken, if more or less rigidly observed, commandment in the TV news business, to wit: In a racially mixed region such as Washington, thou shalt have a mixed anchor 'team.' . . ."
Farhi also wrote, "So Gentzler and Handly qualify as something of an odd, or at least relatively uncommon, TV news couple in Washington.
"The pairing may reflect a time when some of the old assumptions about local news anchors are fading, said Craig M. Allen, an associate professor at Arizona State's Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
"As news audiences have eroded, he said, anchors have become less important as the face of their stations. . . ."
"When you think of serial killers, names like John Wayne Gacy and Jeffery Dahmer are usually the first to pop into people's heads," Yesha Callahan wrote Monday for The Root. But on Monday night, an HBO documentary attempts to add another name to that list: Lonnie Franklin Jr.
"Most have probably never heard of Franklin, but he is the subject of the HBO documentary Tales of the Grim Sleeper, which alleges that for over 25 years, Franklin was involved in over 100 slayings of black women in the area of South Central Los Angeles. The Los Angeles Police Department turned a blind eye to these killings, according to the documentary, even though the evidence was alarming: from eyewitnesses to sketches and even a description of Franklin's car.
"If it was not for the due diligence of neighborhood activists Margaret Prescod and Nana Gyamfi of the Black Coalition Fighting Back Serial Murders, Franklin would probably still be on the streets. Instead, Franklin was arrested in July 2010 and is finally headed to court this summer.
"Tales of the Grim Sleeper's director Nick Broomfield took to the streets of South Central and interviewed those who knew Franklin best. . . ."
The documentary is available on HBO NOW and is screening on HBO throughout May.
Bossip.com, one of the top five black-oriented websites for 2014 in a Journal-isms count of unique visitors recorded by the comScore, Inc., research company, is adding podcasts to its menu and established a breaking news unit headed by Jennifer H. Cunningham, formerly of the Daily News in New York.
"I’m now Bossip's Exclusive Content Manager, overseeing all of Bossip’s exclusive stories and video," Cunningham messaged Journal-isms on Friday. "I do a lot of writing, reporting and editing, and I also work with freelancers. I've been here since the beginning of the year." She added that on Wednesday, "I broke the story that a Manhattan Divorce judge slapped [hip-hop mogul] Damon Dash with a warrant for the $340K he owes ex-wife Rachel Roy in back child support, school and camp fees and two foreclosed apartments. . . ."
The podcast, "Bossip Presents: Don't Be Scared," will feature celebrity interviews, according to a news release.
Bossip has also launched "BossipTV"; shot a seven-episode television show, "The Office," a satirical comedy, on its YouTube channel; and unveiled a new mobile site.
"The 22 award-winning entries for the annual Overseas Press Club Awards depict a world in which entire nations and millions of people have been torn apart by newly intensified forces of nationalism, extremism, disease and environmental degradation," the club announced on Friday. "Al Jazeera America, Los Angeles Times and The New York Times won multiple awards.
"While Middle East conflicts generated the most stories submitted for the awards this year, others covered how Western ideals of democracy and human rights are increasingly put to the test by Russian aggression and Chinese ambition. Awards were also given to stories covering nations that once hoped to make the next leap of economic development, which are now mired in conflicts over resources and workers.
" 'There has been a lot of tragic foreign news over the past year — from Ebola to Ukraine to the Central African Republic to ISIS — including the tragedy of murdered journalists, like James Foley," says Marcus Mabry, president of the Overseas Press Club of America and editor at large of The New York Times. "But these awards tell us that despite mortal dangers, foreign correspondence – and foreign correspondents – are more vibrant than ever. And no one can stop a free and courageous press!' . . . "
Catalina Camia, national political correspondent at USA Today and the anchor of its OnPolitics blog, is joining CQ Roll Call later this month to lead the Money and Influence team, Steve Komarow, vice president and news director of CQ Roll Call, announced to staffers on Friday. Camia, a former national president of the Asian American Journalists Association and president of Unity in 1999, was USA Today's assignment editor during the 2006, 2008 and 2010 election cycles.
Keith Reed, treasurer of the National Association of Black Journalists, is joining the staff of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed next week as deputy press secretary, Press Secretary Jenna Garland told Journal-isms. Reed, who has been a sports analyst for CNN, senior editor and contributor to the Shadow League and contributor to ebony.com since leaving ESPN The Magazine at the end of 2013, messaged that he would serve out his term as NABJ treasurer. Elections take place this summer.
L.C. Chandler Jr., weekend sports anchor and reporter at WALB-TV in Albany, Ga., died at home in his sleep after a history of seizures, family members said. He was 23. Chandler, of Dallas, was a 2014 graduate of the University of Missouri, aspired to work at ESPN and "had a heck of a Barack Obama impression," his brother, Langston, told Journal-isms by telephone on Friday. A wake and a funeral are scheduled for Tuesday at the Lincoln Memorial Funeral Home and Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas, respectively. Friends raised $6,102 for a memorial fund on GoFundMe.com, surpassing their goal of $5,000.
Kristen Go, an editor at the San Francisco Chronicle since 2008, has been named to the newly created position of managing editor, digital, where she will run the media company's growing online and visual operations, John Wildermuth reported for the Chronicle on April 24.
Rebecca Landsberry, communications and membership manager at the Native American Journalists Association since 2013, has been named interim executive director, NAJA President Mary Hudetz told members on Friday. Pamala Silas, executive director for the last two years, is joining the National Indian Housing Council in Washington.
"To actively engage and better serve the 3.3 million Latinos that live and work in Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties, Freedom News Group is reintroducing its weekly Spanish-language UNIDOS newspaper as two distinctly local editions — La Prensa and Excélsior — starting today," the news group announced on Friday.
"TV One's News One Now . . . will broadcast its first-ever town hall meeting, 'State of Emergency: Baltimore and Beyond A News One Now Town Hall Meeting,' exploring Black America and law enforcement on Tuesday, May 5, 9-11 p.m. ET, with an encore from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. ET," the network announced on Thursday.
"On Thursday, Lucky editor-in-chief Eva Chen confirmed that she was leaving the magazine," Stephanie Chan reported for the Hollywood Reporter. Chan also wrote, "The announcement comes shortly after WWD reported that Chen would be leaving Lucky Group, as the magazine purportedly plans to close its print edition and go all-digital, and that several investors in Silicon Valley reportedly are interested in acquiring the company. . . ."
In Louisville, Ky., "WAVE-TV anchor Dawne Gee is suing Baptist Health Louisville, saying she received 'negligent' treatment in May 2014," Louisville Business First reported on Friday. "Gee says in the lawsuit that she went to the hospital on May 20 with severe pain in her leg, but the hospital didn't have the equipment or employees necessary to perform tests to determine if she had a "potentially life threatening condition, a blood clot,' WDRB-TV reports. . . ."
Referring to Libya, Reporters Without Borders said Thursday it was "extremely disturbed by the Tobruk-based government's announcement yesterday that seven journalists who disappeared months ago — four Libyans, two Tunisians and an Egyptian — have been murdered by members of armed groups. . . . The four Libyan journalists — Khaled Al-Subhi, Younis Al-Mabrouk, Abdussalam Al-Maghrebi and Youssef Al-Qamoudi — and Egyptian cameraman Mohamed Galal" all worked for Libya's Barqa TV. They went missing in August. The two Tunisians, Sofiane Chourabi and Nadhir Ktari, worked for Tunisia's First TV. They went missing in September.
Reporters Without Borders on Thursday urged Vietnamese police "to stop harassing the independent journalist Pham Chi Dung and his family", whose Ho Chi Minh City home was surrounded today by police officers. The authorities have gone out of their way to gag independent journalists and bloggers today, which the Communist Party is celebrating as the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War and its victory over the United States. . . ."