Mitzi Miller, editor-in-chief of Ebony magazine, announced Friday that she is leaving Johnson Publishing Co. She has been Ebony editor for less than a year, assuming that role after spending more than three years as editor of its sister publication Jet, which ended its print edition.
In an announcement released by a public-relations firm, Miller said she is leaving "to pursue new ventures that include creating stories for television and film. This announcement comes on the heels of the success of With This Ring, the Lifetime movie starring Regina Hall, Jill Scott and Eve, based on the 2006 bestselling book The Vow which she co-authored."
Miller added, "I've always subscribed to the principle of living in the present and remaining open to all of life's opportunities.
"So I believe that now is an exciting time to start a new chapter in my life. It will always be an honor to have been a part of the Johnson Publishing Company legacy. Having served as the editor-in-chief for two of the oldest and most successful African American publications, I take pride in the issues the team was able to explore and expose to the readers. And now, I look forward to continuing to tell our dynamic stories in a new way with my next venture.”
Desiree Rogers, CEO of Johnson Publishing Co., told Journal-isms by email:
"We are excited to support Mitzi's transition. As you know, Mitzi has been out of the office for over 6 weeks. During this time, the management of the magazine has been under the tutelage of the fine editors that we have in house. [A Johnson Publishing news release later Friday said Miller had been on "personal leave."]
"We are currently working on a final transition plan and would expect to have more details soon. Of course, we will look internal first and then proceed from there. There is enormous talent in the marketplace at this time."
She added, "Exciting times here!"
Miller's departure presents only the latest challenge for the Johnson Publishing Co. Two weeks ago, Lynne Marek wrote for Crain's Chicago Business:
"The company's recent decision to sell its historic photo collection is the latest example of downsizing, following the cancellation of Jet magazine's print version, the sale of Johnson's 11-story Michigan Avenue headquarters and the paring of its workforce by a third since 2007. Now it's trying to sublet one of two floors it rented at its new digs, after giving up a third earlier.
"Johnson Publishing Chairman Linda Johnson Rice and CEO Desiree Rogers say they're positioning the 73-year-old publisher for growth, but even a 2011 cash infusion from JPMorgan Chase hasn't prevented reductions. Rogers won't comment on the private company's financial results, but she acknowledges that print advertising revenue for its remaining title, Ebony, fell 8 percent last year over 2013, or only 3 percent if digital is included. She has cut costs and outsourced to buoy the bottom line. . . ."
Miller became editor of Ebony last April after Amy DuBois Barnett stepped down in a move said then to take the staff by surprise. Barnett is now executive editor of theundefeated.com, the forthcoming ESPN site covering the intersection of race and sports and headed by sports columnist Jason Whitlock.
Under Miller, Jet followed closely the case of 17-year-old Jordan Davis, the black Florida teen slain by Michael Dunn, who is white, after Dunn opened fire on a car of unarmed black teenagers during an argument over loud rap music at a gas station. He was sentenced to life without parole in October.
At Ebony, Miller also produced issues with a current-events theme, as well as the usual celebrity and lifestyle features. The December issue was dubbed "The 2014 Power Issue" and subtitled, "United Yet Divided: Why Race [Still] Matters."
Her news release added, "In addition to a successful editorial career spanning almost fifteen years, Miller is a skilled public speaker and bestselling author. She has co-authored five popular books over the past decade: The Vow: A Novel; The Angry Black Woman’s Guide to Life; and the three-title Hotlanta young adult series.
"Last year, she ranked No. 16 on The Root 100's list of most influential African Americans and has been a featured guest on several national television programs, including ABC's Good Morning America, TV One's News One Now with Roland Martin, MSNBC's Melissa Harris-Perry and CNN’s CNN Newsroom. "
"A year-old experiment at MSNBC is coming to an end. As TVNewser first told you earlier today, 'The Reid Report' is being canceled, and we can now confirm that 'Ronan Farrow Daily' is also being shelved. Both [Joy] Reid and Farrow will take on new roles with the network," Chris Ariens reported Thursday for TVNewser.
"At the same time, 'Way Too Early' anchor Thomas Roberts heads back to dayside, as the network returns to a more traditional news day. Farrow and Reid will host their shows next week. Then, beginning March 2, Roberts will anchor from 1-3pmET, preceded by José Díaz-Balart (9-11am), Tamron Hall (11-Noon) and Andrea Mitchell (Noon- 1pm).
"The Farrow and Reid shows were meant to extend MSNBC's progressive point-of-view to the daytime hours, but they got off to a slow start and didn't catch on from there.
"Roberts joined MSNBC in Dec. 2010, after filling in as an anchor for the network. He's been hosting 'Way to Early' and contributing to 'Morning Joe' for the last year.
"An MSNBC spokesperson tells TVNewser the changes will allow for more in depth and original reporting. For Farrow, that means more interviews with business and political leaders, athletes, and celebrities which will run across MSNBC platforms. He'll also be a special correspondent traveling to where news is happening, as he did recently to Dallas covering the Ebola cases, and Paris for the Charlie Hebdo attacks. And he’ll continue to work with the NBC News investigative unit.
"Reid becomes national correspondent for MSNBC on-air and online. She'll also be a dedicated reporter for 'Now This News,' which has a partnership with MSNBC.
"No one is expected to lose a job in the transition. The staffs of both Farrow's and Reid's shows will work on Roberts's 2-hour news show. Others might move to The Bridge, which is MSNBC's integrated content center for covering and delivering straight news coverage across multiple platforms. . . ."
Changes at MSNBC have been expected.
Steven Battaglio wrote Jan. 1 for the Los Angeles Times, "A change is going to come to MSNBC in 2015.
" 'Technology is continuing to drive unprecedented changes across the media landscape — and we all should be taking a hard, honest look at how we need to evolve along with it,' Phil Griffin, president of the NBC-owned cable news channel, wrote in a year-end message sent to employees Monday and reviewed by The Times.
"Griffin noted that it was a tough year for cable news networks — Fox News Channel, CNN and MSNBC are all on track [to] finish 2014 with a lower daily average audience than the previous year. Part of that has to do with the growth of broadband Internet service, which enables more news consumers to find video coverage online and through their mobile devices.
"But Griffin acknowledged that MSNBC's year was especially difficult, as it will finish third behind Fox News and CNN with viewers ages 25 to 54 — the demographic that advertisers target with news programming. Through Dec. 21, MSNBC averaged 169,000 prime-time viewers in the category, down 17% from 2013 and its worst performance since 2005. . . ."
Joy Reid to Host Own Show on MSNBC (Jan. 27, 2014)
"Make sure you tune into the White House Black History Month event today at 4pm ET at www.whitehouse.gov/live," the White House announced Friday. "Details below:
"Washington, DC * 4:00 PM ET – First Lady Michelle Obama will deliver remarks at "Celebrating Women of the Movement," an event honoring Black History Month at the White House. At the event, the First Lady will introduce a panel of intergenerational women who have played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement – both past and present. The panel will be moderated by Vanessa De Luca, Editor-in-Chief of Essence magazine.
"Joining the panel will be Carlotta Walls LaNier, member of the Little Rock Nine; Charlayne Hunter-Gault, activist and journalist; [Sherrilyn] Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; Chanelle Hardy, National Urban League Senior Vice President for Policy and Executive Director of the National Urban League Washington Bureau; Janaye Ingram, National Executive Director of the National Action Network. The First Lady will be introduced by Howard University sophomore, Allyson Carpenter.
"This event will be livestreamed at www.whitehouse.gov/live "
Update: For those who missed it, the event can still be accessed at: <http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2015/02/20/honoring-women-civil-rights-movement-both-past-and-present>.
Taylor Lewis, Essence: 11 Most Powerful Moments from White House's 'Celebrating Women of the Movement' (Feb. 20)
Listen to the Real LBJ, King Talk Voting Rights
"The University of Virginia’s Miller Center has pulled together excerpts from President Lyndon Johnson's secret White House tapes which shed new light on Johnson's relationship with Martin Luther King, Jr. and his support of voting rights legislation," the university announced in a media advisory on Wednesday.
"Audio and transcripts of the excerpts, as well a timeline of events, are featured on a newly created webpage, which can be found at <http://millercenter.org/presidentialclassroom/exhibits/selma>.
"The new analysis comes amid much debate over Johnson's support of voting rights legislation and his relationship with King, as portrayed in the movie 'Selma,' which is up for Best Picture at this Sunday's Academy Awards. It also comes just before the 50th anniversary of the Bloody Sunday march in Selma on March 7.
"Between November 1964 and August 1965, Johnson recorded approximately 70 telephone calls that addressed the voting rights struggle, the Selma-Montgomery events, and the legislation he eventually signed into law as the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
" 'The recordings demonstrate that Johnson considered solutions to voter registration problems to be a signature part of his immediate post-election agenda and his long-term vision for the Democratic Party,' said Kent Germany, a fellow with the Miller Center's Presidential Recordings Program who researched and transcribed the calls.
" 'Important conversations also indicate that he had a relatively congenial relationship on the telephone with King. Both men, seemingly, were eager to find common ground politically and to hear suggestions from each other about voting and the need to appoint black officials to high-level federal positions. Their exchanges are as notable for their strained cheerfulness as for their vagueness. Other LBJ conversations with White House aides and the attorney general, however, offer examples of Johnson’s anxiety about King.
"Calls featured on the website include:
"A July 4, 1964 conversation between Johnson and Press Secretary George Reedy in which Johnson says 'it was very unfortunate' that King was at the signing ceremony for the Civil Rights Act. Audio and a transcript of this call are available here.
"A November 5, 1964 call between Johnson and King, in which King says Johnson's win over Barry Goldwater 'was a great victory for the forces of progress and a defeat for the forces of retrogress.' Audio and a transcript can be found here.
"A call between Johnson and King on July 7, 1965, two days before the House of Representatives vote on voting rights legislation. Concerned about Republican defectors, Johnson tells King, 'We got a few coals on it, and we've got to put some cedar back on it and put a little coal oil on it.' King responds, 'Yeah. Well, I'll get right to work.' Audio and a transcript can be found here. . . ."
Although readers can listen for themselves to the conversations between Johnson and King, Johnson's admirers and detractors will each find something to bolster their case.
In December, Joseph A. Califano Jr. wrote in the Washington Post that the "Selma" movie "falsely portrays President Lyndon B. Johnson as being at odds with Martin Luther King Jr. and even using the FBI to discredit him, as only reluctantly behind the Voting Rights Act of 1965 and as opposed to the Selma march itself," as the Guardian reported. Califano continued, "Contrary to the portrait painted by Selma, Lyndon Johnson and Martin Luther King Jr. were partners in this effort. In fact, Selma was LBJ's idea, he considered the Voting Rights Act his greatest legislative achievement, he viewed King as an essential partner in getting it enacted – and he didn't use the FBI to disparage him."
Ava DuVernay, the director, responded on Twitter, "Notion that Selma was LBJ's idea is jaw dropping and offensive to SNCC, SCLC and black citizens who made it so," referring to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
She later argued in favor of dramatic license, said that she had no intention of making a movie to glorify Johnson, and that what Johnson said in telephone calls was suspect because he knew they were being recorded. Others said the LBJ-King relationship was not the core of the film in any case.
Journal-isms asked Germany why he undertook this project, and he replied by email:
"The years 1964-65 are the high point for American liberalism after World War II, and Johnson and King are two of the giants in its success. In terms of producing long-lasting legislation, maybe no two individuals had a greater impact than them. Their recordings are so rich because they show how liberalism functioned, especially how the most complicated struggles were usually between allies who had to find ways to get along, and not between enemies who thrived on opposing each other. It is easy to take a stand against one’s enemy, but not so easy to take a stand against an ally. These tapes show that delicate way of operating.
"On the 1/15/65 call: It is an example of their careful dialog. They suggested things and painted pictures of what the future might hold if they could hold on long enough. Johnson needed suburban voters outside the South to support aggressive voting rights measures because they could create the pressure on Republican representatives in particular. He wanted King to use his easily amplified voice in the press to show how un-American activities were in Alabama. That vision could be politically powerful.
"Johnson and JFK were not eager for more direct action protest because the potential for violence was likely. LBJ had spent the previous summer trying to manage a series of crises related to civil rights murders in Mississippi and Georgia and knew very well the kinds of pressure that existed for the federal government to intervene with strength and the kinds of damage that could bring. By July, Johnson was crediting King for creating the pressure that made voting rights legislation an overwhelming success on Capitol Hill.
"In January and February, according to his calls, he preferred that pressure to come from highlighting the problems in the press, getting the courts to respond, and getting legislation out of congressional committees controlled by powerful southern segregationists."
Gary May, Daily Beast: The Riot That Sparked the Selma March
A majority of nonwhites think Brian Williams should be allowed to return to anchor "NBC Nightly News," while whites are about evenly split, according to a CNN/ORC International Poll released Wednesday.
The poll comes as the NBC newscast, led by substitute anchor Lester Holt, beat the other two broadcast networks in the first full week of Nielsen ratings data since Williams left the anchor chair on Feb. 7.
Williams departed as controversy built over an erroneous report on his newscast that said he was on a Chinook helicopter that was hit and forced down by enemy fire during the 2003 Iraq invasion. He was placed on six-month suspension.
"NBC news isn't seeing any serious collateral ratings damage from suspending anchor Brian Williams over false statements he made about his Iraq reporting," Stephen Battaglio reported Wednesday for the Los Angeles Times.
"Ratings for the week of Feb. 9-13 showed 'NBC Nightly News' — with Lester Holt sitting in the anchor chair — as the most watched evening newscast, averaging 9.4 million viewers. 'ABC World News Tonight with David Muir' was second with 9 million followed by 'CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley' with 7.6 million.
"NBC's rating is in line with . . . its 2014-15 TV season average of 9.35 million viewers. The network had a lead of 587,000 viewers over ABC during that span. . . ."
Asked in the CNN/ORC International Poll, "Do you think NBC News should or should not allow Brian Williams to return to anchor NBC Nightly News?," 52 percent of respondents said yes, NBC should; 40 percent said no, NBC should not; and 8 percent had no opinion.
Among whites, 48 percent said yes, 44 percent said no and 8 percent had no opinion. Among nonwhites, however, 60 percent said Williams should be allowed to return, while only 33 percent said he should not. Seven percent expressed no opinion.
The pollsters interviewed 1,027 adult Americans from Feb. 12 to 15. "Additional interviews were conducted among African-Americans, and combined with the African-Americans contacted in the initial sample of 1,027 for a total of 309 African-American respondents," the pollsters said. "The margin of sampling error for results based on this sample of African-Americans is plus or minus 5.5 percentage points," Results for all adults had a sampling error of plus or minus 3 points.
Brian Stelter reported for CNN, "The poll results show a generally forgiving attitude among Americans. But the 4 in 10 who say Williams should not be allowed back on 'Nightly News' signifies a serious problem for NBC moving forward."
The survey responses for nonwhites differed somewhat from an online survey Friday by Frank N. Magid Associates, one of the media industry's leading consulting firms.
"We found African American and Hispanic respondents were more likely to feel Williams' suspension from NBC News was appropriate," Jaime Spencer, senior vice president of the Magid firm, told Journal-isms by email. "Hispanics were less likely to feel he should be fired, while African American respondents' opinion on NBC firing him was not significantly different than the overall sample."
"When it comes to regaining credibility, African Americans were more likely to be undecided, while Hispanics were more likely to feel he can regain his credibility.
The Magid survey was conducted with 1,004 Americans ages 18 to 65 (meaning it skewed somewhat younger than the "Nightly News" audience as a whole)," as Stelter noted Monday for cnn.com.
Battaglio wrote for the Los Angeles Times, "While it's hard to draw a conclusion from a single week of ratings data, the figures have to be something of a temporary relief for the news division as Williams' situation has been a public relations nightmare. The anchor's plight even became fodder for comics appearing on Sunday's celebration of the 40th anniversary of 'Saturday Night Live,' which drew a massive audience for NBC.
"NBC News executives expected some fallout — either from fans who were upset Williams was gone, or viewers angry about his breach of journalistic trust.
"Holt is a familiar face to 'Nightly News' viewers. He is weekend anchor for [the] broadcast and has been the regular substitute for Williams in recent years." If Holt is named to succeed Williams, he would be the first African American to serve as permanent, solo Monday-through-Friday anchor on the major broadcast networks.
Stephen Battaglio, Los Angeles Times: Lester Holt seen as heir apparent to Brian Williams at 'Nightly News' (Feb. 12)
David Bauder, Associated Press: Standing In For Brian Williams, Lester Holt Put In Uniquely Awkward Position At NBC
Bill Hutchinson, Daily News, New York: Brian Williams resigns from board of Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation (Feb. 20)
Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Unusual upheaval hit media last week
Brian Stelter, CNN: Some viewers think Brian Williams deserves a shot at redemption
Brian Stelter, CNN: Lester Holt, NBC's marathon man (Feb. 12)
Coates will share once-a-week teaching duties with Martin A. Nisenholtz, a former senior vice president for digital operations at the New York Times Co., Fiedler told Journal-isms by telephone.
in 2013, Nisenholtz, a specialist in adapting print journalism to the digital age, was one of three authors of "Riptide," "an oral history of the epic collision between journalism and digital technology from 1980 to the present" for the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at Harvard University.
"David feels that Ta-Nehisi is something of a protege," Fiedler said. "David took a lot of pride" in Coates' accomplishments. Coates had agreed to be a guest speaker for the class, and the group had been assigned some of Coates' work, the dean said.
Because of the record-setting Boston snowfall, the class met only once this semester, which began Jan. 20. "It's been a shock and an understandable disappointment," the dean said of Carr's sudden passing. Students apply for admission to the class, Fiedler said. "I told them yesterday" that he had asked Coates to teach the class and "that they had an option to move to another elective. Nobody did."
"Michelle Johnson, an associate professor at BU College of Communication and a former editor at the Boston Globe, said Coates and Nisenholtz were 'excellent choices' to fill the position in the interim," Eric Levenson reported for the Globe.
" 'I'm thinking about sitting in on the room,' she said.
"Johnson said Coates in particular will give a 'different voice' to the department.
" 'I'm excited to have another African-American in the department, because I'm the only one,' she said, referring to the College of Communication's Journalism department. 'It's sad that David's not here, but it certainly opens up some interesting opportunities to hear from [these] voices.' . . ."
Coates told Journal-isms by email that it was too early to share any thoughts about teaching the class. "I can talk after the first class next Monday. I'll know a lot more then," he said.
Eileen Murphy, spokeswoman for the New York Times, was asked whether there will there be a successor to or another writer for Carr's "Media Equation" column. She replied similarly, "It's too early to answer that question definitively."
Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: King David (Feb. 19)
Keith J. Kelly, New York Post: Media pals reminisce about David Carr's 'terrible' poker game
Brian Lambert, TC Daily Planet: Remembering David Carr
Eric Levenson, boston.com: Ta-Nehisi Coates Will Take Over David Carr's BU Class for the Semester
Monika Nayak, Daily Free Press, Boston University: BU students, faculty, community remember David Carr (Feb. 19)
Sophia Rosenbaum, New York Post: Lena Dunham, Anthony Bourdain, others mourn David Carr at wake
Catherine Taibi, Huffington Post: David Carr, Late New York Times Columnist, Remembered For Devotion To Journalism And Family
"Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist and undocumented immigrant, is joining forces with the Los Angeles Times to create a new section of the Times web site devoted to race, immigration and multiculturalism," Brian Stelter reported Tuesday for CNN.com.
"The partnership will be called #EmergingUS and, in an unusual arrangement for a newspaper, it will be shared between the Times and Vargas.
"Austin Beutner, the publisher and CEO of the Times, said #EmergingUS is the first of several 'verticals' of news coverage the newspaper will establish in the months to come.
"He cited the New York Times' DealBook section of mergers and acquisitions coverage and Politico's coverage of Washington as two examples of the approach he'd like to take.
"The name of the venture announced on Tuesday can be read two ways: as 'Emerging Us' or 'Emerging U.S.' for the United States.
"Vargas said it is 'a multimedia platform that, through articles, original videos, shareable data and graphics, will focus on the intersection of race, immigration and identity and the complexities of multiculturalism.'
"Race isn't just about white and black, he and Beutner said, and immigration isn't just about the border. The new venture will try to capture those complexities.
"#EmergingUS will exist primarily on the web, but some of the work will eventually appear in the newspaper as well. The venture will produce videos and hold events. . . ."
"Most of us are familiar with the story line in the premiere episodes of reality shows with 'Real Housewives' or 'Wives' in their titles," Tom Conroy reported Wednesday for medialifemagazine.com.
"We're introduced to a group of women that includes at least one incompatible loose cannon. One of the women, for no reason, decides to invite the others for a get-together.
"One or more of the loose cannons then get into a fight with one or more of the other attendees. If there's time left in the hour, two of the attendees meet later in a bar or one of their kitchens to discuss what happened.
"Surprisingly, Oxygen uses that same template in the first episode of its new series 'Preachers of Detroit.' The staged conflict weakens what could have been an interesting documentary series about seven ministers in the African-American church.
"The preachers themselves are all colorful, and the issues they address are important. But viewers will have to pick out the good bits from the usual reality stew. . . ."
"Preachers of Detroit" debuts Friday at 8 p.m. ET.
"When I raised my hand to vote in a classroom at Neshaminy High School nearly 18 months ago, I was unaware of the battle I was about to ignite as editor-in-chief of The Playwickian, my school's newspaper," Gillian McGoldrick, a senior at Neshaminy High School in Langhorne, Pa., wrote Tuesday for Education Week.
"In the fall of 2013, one of my fellow editors began a conversation about our school mascot, which is also the name of every sports team at our school and our school's nickname. This would soon become a national controversy over our use of a racist mascot and a legal battle over the amount of control students have over their publications in public schools.
"This mascot is the 'Redskin.' It has been consistently criticized by a Native American parent within our Pennsylvania school district for its derogatory and hateful connotation. The paper's staff and I came to a consensus that we should listen to what this parent had to say and start a conversation about the future use of the mascot, given how offensive it is to Native Americans. We debated, did our research, and ultimately came to a vote —14-7 — in favor of removing the mascot — and the football team's name — entirely from our newspaper, essentially forming a new policy. Both the majority and the dissenting sides wrote editorials, and we went to press Oct. 23, 2013.
"As the editor-in-chief since 2013, I continue to face reproach for this decision, including the possibility of criminal charges, as well as a lot of social-media bashing by my peers and the parents in my school district. . . ."
McGoldrick also wrote, "A few days after we published the editorials and the student body's reaction had slowly begun to die down (painful though it was), my principal, Robert McGee, sent a directive to our newspaper adviser, Tara Huber. In this directive, he said that our 'new' policy would be put on 'hold,' and that we were not permitted to edit or reject any letters to the editor, advertisements, or articles that featured the mascot. So this policy that we had just formed carefully and precisely was now suddenly reversed.
"Nothing about this directive seemed right. . . ." McGoldrick cited the state code to justify her position.
McGoldrick's article also said, "When we printed the next edition of the newspaper without the image or name of the mascot, it did not go over well. Students ripped the paper up and threw it on the ground in the school hallways. They even threatened to take it home and set it on fire.
"I walked into a homeroom, and as I began to hand out the newspapers, one student crossed her arms and said, 'I'm not touching that.' When you hear this from a peer about something you struggled for more than 10 hours to complete, it is unbelievably discouraging. My fellow students couldn't separate the mascot issue from the rights of the student press. . . ."
"A new report by The Intercept tells the story of the Obama administration's prosecution of former North Korea expert Stephen Kim for violating the Espionage Act," Pacifica Radio's "Democracy Now!" reported Wednesday on its website.
"Kim is one of nine such cases under the Obama administration — twice as many as all previous presidents combined. The former State Department contractor was accused of discussing classified documents on North Korea with Fox News reporter James Rosen. Last year, he was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
"But Kim always maintained his innocence. During the year before he went to prison, he shared his story with The Intercept. Journalist Peter Maass of The Intercept details the prosecution of Kim in a new article out today, 'Destroyed by the Espionage Act: Stephen Kim Spoke to a Reporter. Now He’s in Jail. This is His Story .' . . ."
Hadas Gold, Politico: Risen: Obama administration is greatest enemy of press freedom
"The 50th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday, the Selma to Montgomery March, and the passage of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965 and Dr. Martin Luther King's role in these events is correctly capturing the imagination of Black America," Ron Daniels wrote Monday for the National Newspaper Publishers Association. "However, there is another set of events that should also receive attention of our people. This year also marks the 50th memorial of the assassination of Malcolm X; it is also the year of his 90th birthday.
"It seems odd that very little attention is being devoted to the anniversary dates of the life and legacy of such an extraordinary leader. It is as if Black America is gripped by a case of historical amnesia. But this is not the first time we've suffered from the disorder. . . ."
Meanwhile, C-SPAN announced that it will air on Saturday at 7:10 p.m. ET a 1963 interview with Malcolm on its C-SPAN3 American History network:
"Former Nation of Islam minister Malcolm X was assassinated 50 years ago on February 21, 1965. He sat down for an interview in 1963 as part of a sociology class at the University of California, Berkeley. He discussed race relations in America and the Nation of Islam's opposition to racial integration. The interview was conducted by UC Berkeley professor John Leggett and graduate teaching assistant Herman Blake. We air the program courtesy of UC Berkeley."
Programs are archived on the C-SPAN website, www.c-span.org, after broadcast.
Todd Steven Burroughs, The Root: Malcolm X Speaks of the Soulful, Soothing Power of Jazz (Feb. 20)
Merlene Davis, Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader: CBS Sports documentary on UK's football integration worth watching
Kali Nicole Gross, HuffPost LatinoVoices: Black History Month Is a Time to Reckon With Police Bias Against African-Americans and Latinos (Feb. 12)
PBS "American Masters": August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand (airs Feb. 20)
Donna Rogers, the Chronicle, Winston-Salem, N.C.: Black History becomes personal for me as journalist
The Root: Black Tributes That Aren't in the Hood
Gyasi Ross, Indian Country Today Media Network: Black History Month, Indian-Style: Natives and Black Folks in This Together Since 1492
Tatiana Schlossberg and Annie Correal, New York Times: New York Today: Remembering Malcolm X (Feb. 19)
The Tennessean, Nashville: Black History Month: William A. Reed Jr. was pioneering journalist (Feb. 11)
A North Carolina reader emailed a complaint about a column by Cal Thomas, the editorial page editor, who did not wish to be identified, told colleagues Wednesday. The reader wrote, "I don't see how you can approve publishing this column. Today's 'Obama America's Negro' is racist and an insult to the reader. I know this is not your choice alone. The entire management is responsible. I would like to see the paper shy away from this type of reporting." The headline actually read, "Obama, America's Nero."
"Neil Budde, executive editor of Gannett's Louisville Courier-Journal, tells readers this morning that his journalists have to reapply for new newsroom jobs," Jim Romenesko wrote Wednesday on his media blog. He also wrote, "The word 'younger' appears nine times in the job descriptions and, by my count, 'young' shows up 36 times. . . ."
"Rodney Reed was convicted of the 1996 rape and murder of Stacey Stites, 20, whose body was discovered on the side of a road in Bastrop County," Bob Ray Sanders wrote Wednesday for the Star-Telegram in Fort Worth, Texas. Reed is scheduled for execution March 5. "New evidence from three nationally known forensic pathologists, as well as the original medical examiner in the case, indicates that she was killed several hours before the time of death (around 3:30 a.m.) that was cited at Reed's trial, and that the sexual contact was hours before that. . . Reed's attorney Bryce Benjet said, 'It is medically and scientifically impossible for Mr. Reed to have committed the crime.' . . ." Sanders concluded, "Somehow this execution must be stopped."
Mariel Garza used to [be] the opinion editor for the Los Angeles News Group and, before that, at the Daily News," Kevin Roderick reported Monday for LAObserved. "She also was a columnist for the Daily News. She more recently, since 2014, has been the deputy opinion editor for Dan Morain at the Sacramento Bee. She's coming back to Los Angeles as an editorial writer at the LA Times. . . ."
"In terms of the broader CNN, it seems anchors like Don Lemon and Jake Tapper seem comfortable showing more of themselves and their opinion," Jordan Chariton of TheWrap told Jeff Zucker, president of CNN Worldwide, on Tuesday. "Does that come from you?" Zucker answered, "It doesn't come from me urging them to do it, but it comes from knowledge on their part that we're comfortable with it. I hope I've encouraged an atmosphere [where] they know that is OK, and we're comfortable with it. I think that's made CNN better. I think what Jake did in Paris; what Jake did in calling out folks who didn't vaccinate their children; I think Chris Cuomo's 25-minute, uninterrupted interview with the Chief Judge in Alabama is another example of it. Anderson Cooper's on-air reaction to Bob Simon's death; Wolf Blitzer personalizing his experience in going back to Auschwitz where his grandparents lost their lives — I think that has all made our air more authentic. . . ."
"In an interview with HuffPost Live (video) on Tuesday, Geraldo Rivera shared his thoughts on hip-hop culture, suggesting that it has been more damaging to people of color than racism has been in the last ten years," HuffPost Live said in a news release. "The Fox News contributor also said hip-hop moguls like Russell Simmons are responsible for pushing young minorities too far out of the dominant culture."
"The Detroiter who stunned the world with Olympian walks to his suburban factory job — and stunned himself by attracting gifts of a new car and $350,000 in donations — abruptly moved Tuesday to a location he felt was safer, police said," Bill Laitner wrote Feb. 11 for the Detroit Free Press. Driving James Robertson's decision "was news that last week Detroit police arrested a man charged in the killing of an 86-year-old Detroiter who disappeared in December, three days after the elderly man was said to have won $20,000 in a lottery game, police said. . . ." The Detroit City Council Tuesday honored Robertson with a "Spirit of Detroit" award. Charlie LeDuff filmed Robertson's story for "The Americans with Charlie LeDuff" (video) on YouTube and wrote about it for vice.com.
Dan Roth is 'the most powerful publisher in business publishing, ' " Richard Horgan reported Wednesday for FishbowlNY. "This week, the LinkedIn executive editor has added several more journalists to the power team. Caroline Fairchild, San Francisco-based new economy editor, and Ramya Venugopal, a senior editor who will work from Bengaluru, India, start in May. But already attached to the Empire State Building team here in NYC is Maya Pope-Chappell (pictured), as an editor focused on education and millennial content. She was previously with the Wall Street Journal's Hong Kong bureau. . . ."
Vincent Goodwill, who spent more than four seasons as the Detroit Pistons beat reporter for the Detroit News, has been named Chicago Bulls "Insider" effective immediately, Comcast SportsNet announced on Wednesday.
"No matter what language you read, it's clear A.O. Scott had some problems with Fifty Shades of Grey. ('Mr. Dornan has the bland affect of a model, by which I mean a figure made of balsa wood or Lego.') The movie review from the New York Times film critic is now available in Spanish — one of a handful of stories the paper is now translating on most days," Justin Ellis reported Tuesday for NiemanLab.
BuzzFeed Editor-in-Chief Ben Smith's story of his interview with President Obama last week was translated into French, Spanish, Portuguese and German, Benjamin Mullin reported Wednesday for the Poynter Institute. "The translation effort, which was led by international news coordinator Mariana Marcaletti, represents an 'early test case' in a burgeoning push to adapt BuzzFeed News content for international editions, said Scott Lamb, vice president of international for BuzzFeed. . . ."
"Donna Rogers has been named managing editor of the Winston-Salem Chronicle, the highest position in the newsroom," the black-press weekly announced in a Feb. 12 news release. "She replaces Kevin Walker, who had been with The Chronicle for the past 16 years. He is preparing to pursue his master's degree. . . ." A news release also noted, "Rogers, a South Carolina native, has been with the paper since the end of 2014 as the copy editor. . . ." Story.
Delores Pigsley, chairman of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians in Oregon, denounced The Economist magazine Wednesday over a Jan. 15 article on the Economist website, "Of Slots and Sloth: How Cash from Casinos Makes Native Americans Poorer." She wrote on the Indian Country Today Media Network, "The article relied on generalizations, anecdotes and one 'study' of Northwest Tribes by a private attorney published in a student-run law review. . . . That law review article drew a straight line from casino profits and per capita payments to poverty without identifying any other factors that could contribute to poverty. . . ."
"Sudanese security officers seized the print runs of 14 newspapers on Monday, a government-run media body said, in one of the most sweeping crackdowns on the press in recent years," Agence France-Presse reported on Monday.
"The Charlie Hebdo slaughter in Paris has reverberated into the multireligious ethnic sprawl of Mumbai, where an Urdu newspaper has closed and its editor faces charges and death threats for having reprinted a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammad from the satirical French weekly," Neha Thirani Bagri reported from India Sunday for the New York Times.
"Hearst Magazines International is taking the Cosmo brand to Nigeria. The publisher has launched Cosmopolitan.ng, an English-language site led by Yemisi Odusanya and staffed with local writers," Chris O'Shea reported Tuesday for FishbowlNY.
"Nigeria's Ambassador to the United States, Ade Adefuye, on Tuesday faulted an editorial published by the New York Times on the postponement of the general elections in Nigeria," the News Agency of Nigeria reported on Wednesday. It also said, "The publication had in its editorial said the main reason Nigeria's elections were postponed was to frustrate Muhammadu Buhari, the presidential candidate of the opposition All Progressives Congress. Mr. Adefuye explained that the decision to postpone the election was made by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and not by President Goodluck Jonathan. . . ."