Campaign volunteers wait to hand out materials to voters on Nov. 4, 2014, at Cotswold School in Charlotte, N.C. 
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"Vast Gulf" in Finances Between Voters, Nonvoters

"With just four days before the midterm elections, the spotlight understandably is focused on the estimated 40% of voting age adults who are expected to show up at the polls next Tuesday," the Pew Research Center reported on Friday. "There has been less attention on the much larger share who most probably will not.

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"As in past elections, nonvoters — those who are either not registered to vote or are considered unlikely to vote in the upcoming midterms — are very different demographically from likely voters:

"They’re younger. Roughly a third (34%) of nonvoters are younger than 30 and most (70%) are under 50; among likely voters, just 10% are younger than 30 and only 39% are under 50.

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"They’re more racially and ethnically diverse. Fully 43% of those who are not likely to cast ballots Tuesday are Hispanic, African American or other racial and ethnic minorities, roughly double the percentage among likely voters (22%).

"They’re less affluent and less educated. Nearly half of nonvoters (46%) have family incomes less than $30,000, compared with 19% of likely voters. Most nonvoters (54%) have not attended college; 72% of likely voters have completed at least some college.

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"These demographic differences are not new; similar gaps were seen between the likely electorate and nonvoters in 2012 and 2010. Yet this new analysis, based on an October national telephone survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press and a September wave of the American Trends Panel, underscores the vast gulf in financial well-being between voters and nonvoters. . . ."

On The Root Monday, Danielle C. Belton offered one explanation.

"The reason politicians ignore so many of the working poor is that they don't vote," Belton wrote. "And the reason so many of the working poor don't vote is that certain politicians have made sure it's as inconvenient as possible for them. Because if they make voting more egalitarian, and simpler, they'd suddenly have more citizens to answer to — citizens who want different things and can't be ignored.

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"A nonvoter doesn't have to be a nonvoter. He or she might not even want to be a nonvoter. But if the nonvoter doesn't vote, how do you get politicians to care about those who aren't even in the game?"

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: The South and black folks, and some "blackish" white people.

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Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Blacks, Obama and the Election

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Across the South, polls show Republicans ahead before Tuesday's elections

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Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star: Candidates supplying little substantive information to voters

John Eggerton, Broadcasting & Cable: Campaign Coverage: Voters Are Phoning It In

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Charles D. Ellison, The Root: Midterm Elections: What Do Black Women Want? (Oct. 28)

Joshua Field, Charles Posner and Anna Chu, Center for American Progress: Uncounted Votes: The Racially Discriminatory Effects of Provisional Ballots

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Allen Johnson, Greensboro (N.C.) News & Record: Confessions of a late early vote

Mark Joyella, TVNewser: Candidate Won't Talk to Fox, Demanded John Roberts Be Cut as Debate Moderator

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Eugene Kane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Why I'm worried about black turnout in Milwaukee on Tuesday

Colbert I. King, Washington Post: Think about D.C. home rule before voting

Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Church, politics are old companions

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Hey, life isn't fair

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Our politicians are flunking the vision test

Reporter Jonathan Hicks Dies at 58, "True Renaissance Man"

"Jonathan P. Hicks, who covered big business and all levels of New York politics, including the campaigns of three New York City mayors, over 24 years as a reporter for The New York Times, died on Monday at his home in Brooklyn," Daniel E. Slotnik reported for the Times. "He was 58.

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"The cause was pancreatic cancer, his wife, Christy DeBoe Hicks, said.

"After leaving The Times in 2009, Mr. Hicks was a research fellow at a public policy institute, a columnist for The New York Amsterdam News and a co-founder of a scholarship for aspiring Liberian journalists.

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"Mr. Hicks, whose father, John H. Hicks, was the first black reporter at The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, joined The Times in 1985, assigned to the business news staff after stints at The Plain Dealer of Cleveland and The Arizona Daily Star. One of his first front-page articles, about black professionals leaving stable corporate jobs, ran on Nov. 29 that year. . . ."

Word of the passing of Hicks, a 1980 graduate of the Maynard Institute's Summer Program for Minority Journalists, spread quickly Monday among members of Hicks' fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi. One fellow Kappa, Brett Pulley, dean of the Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, wrote to Facebook colleagues:

"When he and I were both covering politics at the New York Times, his insight and his endless list of contacts helped me with many stories. As for our fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi, there have been more than 150,000 members initiated since 1911, yet it's a pretty safe bet that no single brother personally knew more members than did Jonathan. He loved the fraternity, and he epitomized brotherhood and the respect and love that we as black men should have for each other. The thing about this man is that he not only knew people, but he cultivated friendships, imparted wisdom and left an indelible impression wherever he went."

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Pulley continued, "A true Renaissance man, Jonathan had a voice like an angel. If you were never fortunate enough to hear him sing, please do yourself a favor and find some recordings. I will listen to mine tonight. Jonathan had an unrelentingly smart and sly sense of humor. He could share a joke simply with a facial expression — never uttering a single word. When his friend, the filmmaker Reginald Hudlin needed someone to do just that in the Eddie Murphy film 'Boomerang,' it was Jonathan who he tapped to play the role of butler to Eartha Kitt's rich and seductive Lady Eloise. Jonathan did it with aplomb. . ." [Full text]

Slotnik noted in the Times, "After leaving The Times, Mr. Hicks became a senior fellow at the DuBois Bunche Center for Public Policy at Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn, a part of the City University. He began writing a weekly column for The New York Amsterdam News and in 2011 became a senior correspondent for BET.com, Black Entertainment Television's website.

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Slotnik also wrote, "In 2010 he and his wife created the J. P. Hicks Family Mass Communication Scholarship, which helps finance studies at the University of Liberia for aspiring Liberian journalists. . . ."

Patrice Peck, bet.com: Jonathan P. Hicks Dies at 58

pruitthicks.com: Jonathan P. Hicks

Biographer Whitaker Stands Firm in Cosby Controversy

"Bill Cosby is best remembered for The Cosby Show, Fat Albert and Jell-O pudding pops — not sexual assault," Maureen Shaw wrote on Friday for mic.com. "But comedian Hannibal Buress jogged our collective memory late last week with a routine that candidly addressed Cosby's history as an accused rapist.

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"Cosby, now 77, is but one of several male celebrities who have been accused of sexual abuse and gone on to have long and generally unaffected careers. Like his unenviable cohorts, Cosby has enjoyed a lengthy career, even after more than a dozen women came forward with rape allegations over the years. . . ."

"The man once known as 'America's Dad' is too radioactive for daytime television," Soraya Nadia McDonald added Friday for the Washington Post.

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"Bill Cosby, who was scheduled to appear as a guest on 'The Queen Latifah Show' to promote his new comedy tour, is no longer going to be on the show. . . ."

The renewed attention has raised questions about "Cosby: His Life and Times," the new biography by Mark Whitaker, former editor of Newsweek. "I thought Mark Whitaker's reasons for not dealing with the allegations were pretty lame," one Facebook writer said on Sunday. "The book is a whitewash," said another.

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Whitaker told Journal-isms by email on Monday, "For the moment, I think I've said enough about my standards for what to include and not include in the Cosby biography in my interviews with HuffPostLive and NPR and my BookTV talk at the St. Louis Library. . . ."

At the St. Louis Library on Sept. 29, in a talk archived by C-SPAN [video], an audience member said, "One of the criticisms of your book has been that you did not delve into the dark side of Cosby."

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Whitaker replied, "First of all, I never intended this book to be a steamy tell-all. It was not the kind of book. I really want to focus mostly on Cosby's impact of legacies as an entertainer but also as a social figure, as I said earlier.

"I also knew that he was not going to talk to me, although even when I got access about his private life and that anything I reported in the book about his private life, including about [Cosby's slain son] Ennis and other matters, I was going to have [to] independently report. And it was very important to me that anything I reported in this book about that, about anything else too, but particularly about his private life, were things that I have been able to independently confirm.

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"So I do get into his history of infidelity, but [as] probably a lot of people remember, there was a young lady who came forward about exactly the time that Ennis was murdered claiming that she was Cosby's out of wedlock daughter and I tell the story of the relationship. Cosby always denied that but he did have a relationship with the girl's mother and I described that detail and how it happened and so forth and couple of other cases that I was able to independently confirm.

"There are other stories and allegations about Cosby's relations with women and behavior that have circulated but that ultimately I felt I couldn't independently confirm. There were no definitive court findings, either nothing into the criminal justice system or there were no independent witnesses and I knew that this was going to be talked about when my book came out but I didn't want to be in a position where I repeated allegations that I couldn't independently confirm."

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Whitaker said "that just didn't meet my standard journalistically in writing a biography that's going to be on bookshelves [I] hope for many years. . . . if you'll read the book you'll see that Cosby has clearly not always been a saint. I talk a lot about a lot of not just his personal indiscretions but how tough he can be with people, sometimes   violent with people, so I would ask anybody to read the book before they judge just how objective it is. . . "

Christopher Arnott, New Haven Theater Jerk blog: Theater Book: Cosby — His Life and Times

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Gregory D. Clay, gdclay.com: The Book on Cosby

Brittney Cooper, Salon: We must abandon Bill Cosby: A broken trust with women, black America

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Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: 'The Cosby Show' fantasy has consistently competed with reality (Sept. 23)

Jason Zinoman, New York Times: A Comedy Moment in New York

Ferguson No-Fly Zone Was Aimed at Media, AP Reports

"The U.S. government agreed to a police request to restrict more than 37 square miles of airspace surrounding Ferguson, Missouri, for 12 days in August for safety, but audio recordings show that local authorities privately acknowledged the purpose was to keep away news helicopters during violent street protests," Jack Gillum and Joan Lowy reported Sunday for the Associated Press.

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"On Aug. 12, the morning after the Federal Aviation Administration imposed the first flight restriction, FAA air traffic managers struggled to redefine the flight ban to let commercial flights operate at nearby Lambert-St. Louis International Airport and police helicopters fly through the area — but ban others.

" 'They finally admitted it really was to keep the media out,' said one FAA manager about the St. Louis County Police in a series of recorded telephone conversations obtained by The Associated Press. 'But they were a little concerned of, obviously, anything else that could be going on.'

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"At another point, a manager at the FAA's Kansas City center said police 'did not care if you ran commercial traffic through this TFR (temporary flight restriction) all day long. They didn't want media in there.'

"FAA procedures for defining a no-fly area did not have an option that would accommodate that.

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" 'There is really … no option for a TFR that says, you know, 'OK, everybody but the media is OK,' he said. The managers then worked out wording they felt would keep news helicopters out of the controlled zone but not impede other air traffic. . . ."

On Tuesday, Jack Gillum reported for the AP, "The White House said Monday a no-fly zone the U.S. government imposed over Ferguson, Missouri, for nearly two weeks in August should not have restricted helicopters for news organizations that wanted to operate in the area to cover violent protests there. . . ." [Updated Nov. 4]

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Christine Byers, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: St. Louis County police: Ferguson no-fly zone was for safety, not to keep media away

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Ferguson authorities prevented media from getting a bird's-eye view of protests

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Editorial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: The no-media-fly zone cover-up threatens trust in police 

Radio Television Digital News Association: RTDNA criticizes FAA's actions in Ferguson

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Rebecca Rivas, St. Louis American: Ferguson activists protest St. Louis Post-Dispatch coverage

Lindsay Toler, Riverfront Times: 'South Park' Uses Ferguson-Inspired Plot in Episode on Drones, The Fappening

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FCC Approves Transfer of  TV Station to Black Firm

"The FCC has approved the license transfer of Grant Company stations to Nexstar Broadcasting and Marshall Broadcasting," Kevin Eck reported Monday for TVSpy.  Nexstar is selling one of the stations, KLJB-TV in Davenport, Iowa, to the black-owned Marshall Broadcasting Co.

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In all, Pluria Marshall Jr., the principal of Marshall Broadcasting, is buying three stations from Nexstar in a deal that will dramatically increase the tiny number of full-powered African American-owned commercial television stations.

"We are looking forward to closing the two other stations," Marshall told Journal-isms by email.  "Our plan is to grow the group and create meaningful programming." 

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In its approval, the FCC altered the proposed "joint sales agreement," or JSA, between Nexstar and Marshall. Such an agreement is between two stations in the same market in which one station is authorized to sell advertising time on the other.

In March, the FCC voted "to bar companies from controlling two or more TV stations in the same local market by using a single advertising sales staff," but added language designed to encourage waivers for JSAs that encourage diversity in media ownership. "FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler argued broadcasters use joint sales agreements to get around the FCC's limit on owning more than one full-power TV station in the same local market," the Wall Street Journal's Gautham Nagesh wrote at the time. 

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In its approval of the Nexstar-Marshall deal, the FCC limited the amount of advertising sales that Marshall could receive from Nexstar to 15 percent, smaller than originally planed, Marshall said by email.

"The FCC wants to make the sidecar [Marshall] more functional, in my opinion," Marshall said.  "By reducing the Joint Sales Agreement, JSA, to 15%, MBG, as the sidecar owner has to sell the bulk of the ad time, 85%. MBG is in the business of running its own operations.  This works out great for MBG."

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Eck continued, "Nexstar bought Grant's seven stations for $87.5 million in 2013. Marshall Broadcasting (MBG) is a minority owned station group with Nexstar's financial backing. 

" 'We are pleased to announce approval of an accretive transaction to benefit Nexstar shareholders,' Perry A. Sook, chairman, president and CEO of Nexstar said in a statement. 'As a result of this approval, Nexstar will lead the industry in incubating a new, minority-controlled entrant to broadcasting and bringing additional news, information and specialized programming to markets where MBG will operate.'

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"The stations involved are CW and FOX affiliate WFXR-WWCW in Roanoke and Lynchburg, Va., FOX affiliate WZDX in Huntsville, Ala., CW affiliate KGCW and FOX affiliate KLJB in Quad Cities, and FOX affiliates WLAX-WEUX in [La Crosse, Wis.] . . ."

Nexstar Broadcasting and Marshall Broadcasting Announce FCC Approval of License Transfers Associated with Grant Company, Inc. Acquisition (release)

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Nexstar Offers to Sell 3 Fox Outlets to Entrepreneur (June 6)

Lilly Workneh Named Latest Editor of HuffPost BlackVoices

Lilly Workneh, lifestyle editor at theGrio.com, has been hired as the latest editor of HuffPost Black Voices, Huffington Post spokeswoman Lena Auerbuch told Journal-isms on Monday.

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Workneh's biography describes her as "a May 2012 graduate of the University of Georgia where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication and a Bachelor of Science degree from the College of Family and Consumer Sciences."

It also says, "As a multimedia journalist who has covered everything from fashion week to political protests, Lilly has the ability to discover gripping stories and convey them through compelling content. She has had the fortune of working in a number of different editorial capacities for various media organizations including People magazine, [InStyle] Magazine, NBC, MSNBC, theGrio.com, People.com and CNN.com. . . ."

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HuffPost BlackVoices recorded 37,341,000 U.S. unique visitors in 2013, according to the comScore, Inc., research company, outranking such sites as MediaTakeOut.com, Bossip.com, MadameNoire.com, The Grio and The Root.

Workneh is to lead a site that has undergone significant turnover since coming under Huffington Post control three years ago.

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It launched with Christina Norman, the ousted CEO of Oprah Winfrey's OWN cable channel as executive editor. Also in 2011, Rebecca Carroll rose from culture editor to managing editor, making significant changes in content. However, Carroll was replaced by Gene Demby, who was named editor, the first to hold the "editor" title. In February 2012, Miguel Ferrer, managing editor of HuffPost LatinoVoices, also became managing editor of HuffPost BlackVoices. Demby stepped down to become political editor and later left the site.

Danielle Cadet was named editor in November 2012 and stepped down on Sept. 1. Workneh succeeds Cadet.

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When Is It Right to Exploit Other Cultures to Create Fashion?

"The Washington Redskins' paraphernalia, in its traditional burgundy, gold and white, bears the profile of what is intended to be a Native American man," Robin Givhan, fashion critic of the Washington Post, reported Monday.

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"His complexion reflects the team's moniker, and his broad forehead slopes to an aquiline nose. His long black hair is braided and topped with a headdress adorned with two feathers.

"However one feels about the name of Washington's football team and whether it should be changed, that image also serves as fodder for the complicated argument over whether a group of people is having its cultural identity exploited, absorbed into the mainstream and sapped of its original meaning — although not necessarily left meaningless.

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"This debate became particularly heated Sunday when the Redskins lost to the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium on the campus of the University of Minnesota. The location provided rich context. Minnesota has one of the country's largest concentrations of Native Americans, with more than 70,000 living in the state. The university is home to the country's oldest academic department devoted to American Indian studies. . . ."

Givhan also wrote, "Some academics argue that the disrespect comes not from the work but from the uneven power dynamic.

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"It's those with clout — access to money, media and social currency — who so often are the ones doing the borrowing or stealing from those less affluent. After all, the fashion industry has found inspiration in the distinctive red clothing and beadwork of Masai herdsmen. It has been mesmerized by the indigo garb of North Africa's nomadic Tuaregs. Designer creativity has been sparked by Southern California's cholos, Alaska's Eskimo population, Harlem's street peddlers and even the homeless. All these have been examples of the creative class using the aesthetics of the less powerful to inform its endeavors.

"Most of those groups lacked access to the means of protest, but Native Americans do not. They have picketed. They have filed lawsuits. And Sunday in Minnesota, thousands of Native Americans resoundingly declared: 'Who are we? Not your mascots!' To some degree, the very act of objecting — of raising one’s voice in dissent — is a sign of authority.

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"And when there has been vocal outrage over cultural appropriation, critics often focus on context. A sacred object or sentimental curio should not be absorbed into an industry enamored with surface image, engaged in consumerism and focused on extravagance. The culture of a group that has suffered so much in its history should be set aside and protected. . . ."

Associated Press: Burrito Chain 'Illegal Pete's' Urged To Change Name (Oct. 23)

Nadia Dawisha, HuffPost LatinoVoices: Halloween: The Season for Culturally-Insensitive Fashion

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Kevin Eck, TVSpy: Group Fights KTTV License Renewal Over Use of Word 'Redskins' 

"African Migrants in Russia Describe 'Hell on Earth'"

"First they spat angry words at Remy Bazie," Ann M. Simmons reported Sunday from Moscow for the Los Angeles Times. "Then they struck him in the face with an iron bar, knocking him unconscious.

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"The men who jumped the Ivory Coast migrant at a crowded Moscow train station last November did not rob him. But they damaged his jaw to the degree that doctors had to install a metal plate to hold it in place. It took Bazie four months to raise the $3,600 to undergo surgery.

" 'Most of the time I'm harassed, but this was the worst experience,' Bazie, 28, said recently as he sat at a parish community center in Moscow where African migrants often seek refuge.

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"His story is not uncommon, Russian civil and human rights leaders say. African migrants face widespread hostility and racism that usually go unpunished.

"According to the SOVA Center for Information and Analysis, a Moscow-based advocacy group and think tank, 177 acts of violence against blacks have been reported in Russia since 2010. . . ."

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Simmons worked from 1991 to 1994 as a reporter in Time magazine's Moscow bureau after having been a student in the country and had been seeking a way to return to reporting from Russia. "It is not OK that there is a lack of journalists of color, and particularly black journalists, covering the current crisis in Russia and Ukraine," Simmons told Journal-isms in March.

The story's tagline reads, "This report was funded by a grant from the International Center for Journalists."

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Short Takes

"The Telemundo Station Group is today debuting a new half-hour early evening newscast to provide viewers with an additional 150 minutes each week local breaking news coverage and up-to-the-minute weather reports in their respective markets. The new local half-hour news programs will launch in 14 markets at 5:30 PM EST / PST and 4:30 PM CST / MST," NBCUniversal, the parent company, announced on Monday. The upgrade also includes "hiring 160 new employees across all 17 stations, primarily in the news departments, to support news and programming expansions. The new hires include reporters, producers and photographers . . ."

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"Former New York Times Executive Editor Jill Abramson shed light this weekend on her plans with Steven Brill to grow a start up," Kelly McBride reported Monday for the Poynter Institute. "Writers will be paid advances around $100,000 to produce stories that will be longer than long magazine articles but shorter than books, she said. There will be 'one perfect whale of a story' each month and it will be available by subscription. . . . "

"UNITY: Journalists for Diversity has launched the fifth annual New U start-up competition, funded by the Ford Foundation. This year, seven journalism media start-ups will compete for two $20,000 seed grants," Benét J. Wilson wrote Monday for alldigitocracy.org. This year’s competitors are Go Baller, FierceforBlackWomen.com, InSight Initiative Media Group, INVSTG8.NET, kweliTV, MyMobileLyfe and Storiography. Voters can choose two of the projects.

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"Several hundred Egyptian journalists have rejected a recent policy declaration by newspaper editors pledging near-blind support to the state and banning criticism of the police, army and judiciary in their publications, arguing that the move was designed to create a one-voiced media," Hamza Hendawi reported Sunday for the Associated Press. "In a statement posted Sunday on social media networks, the journalists said fighting terrorism was both a duty and an honor but has nothing to do with the 'voluntary surrender' of the freedom of expression as outlined in the editors' Oct. 26 declaration. . . ."

"Asian Americans and Latinos have had a long history of working together," Randall Yip reported Saturday for his As Am News. "From the Delano Grape Strike in 1965 to the present day with Asian Americans and Latinos joining together to fight for immigration reform, the collaboration between the Asian American and Latino communities has been a long one. The NPR program Latino USA devoted an entire one hour program [audio] to this topic in collaboration with the Asian American magazine Hyphen. . . ." 

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"Launched by ESPN in 2011 as a show 'developed for the fan craving statistics, whether it is the traditional box score or in-depth fantasy analysis,' 'Numbers Never Lie' will get a makeover more in line with its current incarnation's philosophy. ESPN announced it will be rebrand Michael Smith and Jemele Hill's one-hour show as 'His and Hers,' ESPN Media Zone reported Wednesday.

"New York City first lady Chirlane McCray took to her personal Tumblr page to attack a front-page story in the New York Post on Sunday, insisting the article 'simply wasn't true' and demanding New York City's newsrooms become more diverse," Sally Goldenberg reported Monday for capitalnewyork.com. "McCray, who did not appear alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio and police commissioner Bill Bratton at a press conference admonishing the Post article, entitled her Tumblr account 'WANTED: TRUTH IN JOURNALISM.' . . ."

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"Azmat Khan will be an investigative reporter at BuzzFeed," Benjamin Mullin reported Friday for the Poynter Institute. "She's a senior digital producer at Al Jazeera America."

The International Press Institute Friday "expressed deep concern over a recorded phone call in which a person identified as the attorney general of Guyana appeared to suggest that staff members of the daily Kaieteur News risked deadly reprisal if the paper continued its critical reporting. . . ."

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"Muslim journalist Rula Jebreal pushed back at Bill Maher's negative view of Islam on Real Time on Friday, accusing him of sounding like al-Qaeda mouthpieces," Arturo Garcia reported Saturday for Raw Story. " 'You are actually doing the work for them,' she told Maher. '[Osama] bin Laden used to say, "This is not a war on terror, this is a war on Islam." My father was Muslim; he was Sufi. You don't even know the difference between Sufi, Sunni, Shi'a, Mahdavi.' . . ." 

"It appears that someone in the liberal bastion of Santa Cruz doesn't like the overtly conservative Fox News — imagine that! — or anyone dressing up like a Fox News reporter on Halloween, for that matter," Julia Prodis Sulek reported Saturday for the San Jose Mercury News. "At downtown Santa Cruz's annual parade on Friday night, police said, 29-year-old Sean Kory said 'I hate Fox News' before grabbing the victim's microphone prop. The dreadlocked Kory then made an obscene gesture with it before attacking the victim with an aluminum tennis racket, police said. . . ."