Mitt Romney(Steven M. Falk/Philadelphia Inquirer)

NBC-Wall Street Journal Survey Gives Obama 94%

"A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released on Tuesday shows President Barack Obama holding a four point lead over Republican challenger Mitt Romney," Ned Resnikoff reported for NBC News' "Lean Forward" blog. "But among African Americans, the poll shows an even stronger lead for Obama, as First Read reports:

" 'Looking inside the numbers, Obama continues to lead Romney among key parts of his political base, including African Americans (94 percent to 0 percent), Latinos (by a 2-to-1 margin), voters under 35-years-old (52 percent to 41 percent) and women (51 percent to 41 percent).'


"That's right: according to this poll, Romney has zero percent support among African Americans.

" 'The numbers came from a statistically significant sample of more than 100 African-American voters out of 1,000 total voters in the poll,' NBC News senior political editor Mark Murray told Lean Forward. 'Given the sample size of these African-American respondents, the margin of error is well within the 95 percent-5 percent split with which Obama won this group in 2008.'

"In other words, none of the roughly 110 black respondents to this poll said they would support Romney. The poll should not be taken to mean that Romney has no African American supporters at all. However, at the very most, he has far fewer than Obama."


Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: New Field Poll in California says Asian Americans support the Affordable Care Act

Media Companies Favor Obama With Their Cash

"Wall Street may lean Republican this presidential election cycle, but the New York media world is staunchly Democratic," Amy Chozick reported Wednesday for the New York Times.


"All the major media companies, driven largely by their Hollywood film and television businesses, have made larger contributions to President Obama than to his rival, former Gov. Mitt Romney, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit, nonpartisan Washington-based research group that publishes the Open Secrets Web site.

"The center's numbers represent donations by a company's PAC and any employees who listed that company as their employer.

"Even companies whose news outlets are often perceived as having a conservative bias have given significantly more money to Mr. Obama. Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, for example, has contributed $58,825 to Mr. Obama's campaign, compared with $2,750 to Mr. Romney. The conglomerate, which owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and the 20th Century Fox studios, gave roughly the same amount to Mr. Romney's Republican primary competitors Rick Perry and Ron Paul as it did to Mr. Romney.


"But the choice of Representative Paul Ryan, the conservative congressman from Wisconsin, to be Mr. Romney's running mate, might help win News Corporation dollars. . . ."

High Negatives for Medicare Vouchers, Ryan, Biden

"Paul Ryan's selection to the Republican ticket has put the issue of Medicare squarely on the 2012 campaign agenda," the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press reported Tuesday. "And the latest Pew Research Center survey continues to find the public is aware of a proposal to gradually shift Medicare to a system of vouchers and is, on balance, more opposed than supportive of the idea.


". . . The public offers a relatively negative assessment of Mitt Romney's selection of Ryan as his running mate. Nearly half (46%) say Ryan is an only fair or poor choice, while 28% say he is an excellent or good choice. By comparison, reactions to John Kerry's selection of John Edwards in 2004, and Bill Clinton's selection of Al Gore in 1992, were more positive than negative.

"But public assessments of Ryan's Democratic counterpart are even more negative. Just 27% say Joe Biden has done an excellent or good job as vice president, while 56% say his job performance has been only fair or poor. . . "

Danielle Belton, Lean Forward, NBC News: Joe Biden lives in the Big Tent

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Dark Road to the White House

Adrian Carrasquillo, NBC Latino: Romney goes big with Paul Ryan vice presidential nomination, but how will Latino voters react?


Esther J. Cepeda, Washington Post News Media Services: The Romney gaffe that wasn't

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: Mitt Romney's Southern Strategy Gambit

Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe: Paul Ryan: Red meat in Congress, green jobs at home


Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post News Media Services: Keeping a debate one-sided

O. Ricardo Pimentel, San Antonio Express-News: Romney may lose, but it won't be Ryan's fault

Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Mitt Romney's legal-minimum tax disclosure will make voters wonder


Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The real Medicare question

Mary Sanchez, Kansas City Star: It's time for the American middle class to get wise

E.R. Shipp Named Morgan State Journo-in-Residence

E.R. Shipp, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1996 as a columnist at the Daily News in New York, started work Tuesday as journalist-in-residence for the new Department of Communication Studies  being organized at Morgan State University by DeWayne Wickham, the USA Today columnist who is department chair.


"I will teach in the morning," Shipp told Journal-isms by telephone. "Two entry-level writing classes and one feature writing class. I hope they will be as engaged as I am at 8 o'clock."

Shipp is a former reporter at the New York Times who has been a faculty member at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, former ombudsman at the Washington Post, and from 2005 to 2009, Lawrence Stessin Distinguished Professor in Journalism at Hofstra University.

Since then, she has contributed to a book on the history of her native Rockdale County, Ga., written for, worked on a family history and been "active in my community" of Center Moriches in Long Island, N.Y.


Wickham is to "provide the leadership to enable Morgan to grow and build a world-class communication and journalism program and lead the University toward the realization of a School of Global Communications and Journalism," according to a June 28 announcement from Morgan State President David Wilson.

Among his hires are veteran journalists Jackie Jones and Jerry Bembry.

"The challenge is to work with DeWayne Wickham, the department chair, to create a [strong] journalism program that will be part of a communications school," Shipp said, adding that she will use her connections in journalism to invite others to meet her students. Wickham said Shipp will have the rank of associate professor.


"Journal-isms": Sexy, but Limited Crossover Appeal?

"Earlier this spring, veteran journalist Richard Prince marked the 40th anniversary of . . . landmark efforts against discriminatory practices at the Washington Post with a reunion of the so-called 'Metro Seven,' " Richard Horgan, co-editor of FishbowlLA, wrote Wednesday in a Q-and-A with this columnist for MediaBistro's "So What Do You Do . . ." series.

Along the way, Horgan asked what kind of traffic "Journal-isms" receives.

"It mostly depends on what other reporters and organizations link to it," came the reply, "and, when we talk about the lack of diversity in the media in general, it's also true about the lack of diversity in media columns. In other words, 'Journal-isms' does not get linked to by a lot of the predominantly white news sites. We're not on their radar screen and we're not important to them."


By coincidence, Columbia Journalism Review Tuesday published "Required skimming: media news aggregators not named Romenesko (Only because everyone knows about him already)" by Michael Meyer.

You guessed it. None were listed that primarily address diversity issues.

Meanwhile, FishbowlDC closed the online voting for editor Betsy Rothstein's "Sexiest Media Type in Washington" contest. This columnist came in third, behind two good-looking women, but ahead of the four other men. Does that make him the sexiest male media type in Washington? Stay tuned.


The results were: "CNN's blonde bombshell Brianna Keilar," 30.91 percent; "Washingtonian's classically beautiful Kate Bennett," 20.68 percent; "Maynard Institute's Richard Prince. The Fresh Prince of FishbowlDC," 20 percent; "NBC4 Chief Meteorologist Doug Kammerer. He'll water your petunias anytime," 10.45 percent; "The Atlantic's Justin Smith. International man of mystery," 9.09 percent; "AP's dreamy Steve Peoples," 7.27 percent.

NAHJ Urges Courant to Dump Google Translate

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists told the Hartford Courant this week that readers deserve more than the Google Translate service to render its English-language stories in Spanish for its Spanish-language section, the association said on Wednesday.


"While we applaud the awareness of Latinos in Connecticut - where roughly 13 percent of the population identifies as Hispanic/Latino" NAHJ's officers wrote, ". . . NAHJ would encourage the Courant to look to its sister papers, including El Sentinel at the Orlando Sentinel and the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and Hoy at the Chicago Tribune, to devise a better plan."

A more well-rounded strategy to reach Spanish-speaking readers "could include partnering with Spanish-language media outlets already doing business [in] Connecticut to disseminate Courant content, hiring more Latinos and Spanish-speakers in the newsroom, or creating a Courant product targeting Latinos, and that contains news translated by fluent Spanish-speakers.

"We can help you create that plan, and put you in touch with Latino journalists, educators and media outlets. Our resources and expertise are yours if you want them."


Meanwhile, Sergio Quintana won a runoff election for NAHJ secretary, defeating Chris Ramirez, the association announced on Tuesday. Quintana, a freelance broadcast journalist in San Francisco, received 17 votes in the runoff period, or 55 percent of the vote, while Ramirez, a reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, received 14, or 45 percent.

The election finish Aug. 3 found Quintana and Ramirez each with 124 votes. The board decided to extend the voting period for two weeks. Ramirez, a member of the "HalftimeInNAHJ" slate headed by Russell Contreras, the defeated candidate for NAHJ president, remains a board member representing Region 3, the mid-Atlantic area.

At the first meeting of the new NAHJ board, Ramirez voted to keep the NAHJ's policy barring tweeting from NAHJ board meetings, a policy the new board defeated 6-5, while Quintana said he would have voted to drop it.


Writer Attacked in Ecuador, Raised Free-Speech Issue

"Orlando Gómez Léon, a Colombian journalist based in the Ecuadorean capital of Quito, was attacked and threatened last week after Semana, a Colombian weekly for which he is a correspondent, ran a story contrasting free speech problems in Ecuador with its decision to offer asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange," Reporters Without Borders reported on Wednesday.

". . . Gómez received a call at this home from an unidentified person who said: 'Watch out, you son of a bitch, stop saying bad things about Ecuador.' "


". . . Semana editor Mauricio Sáenz told Reporters Without Borders . . . that the reactions to the article confirmed that, whenever the Ecuadorean government was criticized in a press report, it did everything possible to suppress it."

"While we welcome Ecuador's decision to give asylum to Assange, we must not lose sight of the high degree of internal tension between the Ecuadorean authorities and part of the country's press," Reporters Without Borders said.

"The Ecuadorean government wants to portray itself to the international community as a defender of free speech, but attacks on press freedom and the media in general continue to be frequent in Ecuador. Raids, closures, exorbitant damages awards and prosecutions of opposition journalists are all part of the very difficult day-to-day reality for the media in Ecuador."


Andres Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: Ecuador's crusade for Assange is all about power

Ethiopian Prime Minister Fostered Culture of Secrecy

"Ethiopians awakened this morning to state media reports that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, 57, the country's leader for 21 years, had died late Monday in an overseas hospital of an undisclosed disease," Mohamed Keita reported Tuesday for the Committee to Protect Journalists.


"Within seconds, Ethiopians spread the news on social media; within minutes, international news media were issuing bulletins. Finally, after weeks of government silence and obfuscation over Meles' health, there was clarity for Ethiopians anxious for word about their leader. Still, it was left to unnamed sources to fill in even the basic details. Meles died in a Brussels hospital of liver cancer, these sources told international news organizations, and he had been ill for many months.

"Death of yet another African leader highlights secrecy & lack of transparency when it comes to ailing leaders," CNN's Faith Karimi noted on Twitter, where the hashtag #MelesZenawi was trending globally.

". . . The government's handling of Meles' health situation reflects its culture of secrecy . . . along with its heavy-handed tactics to control news and information. Yet for all its efforts, the government could not control the public's hunger for information. The official secrecy merely fueled rampant public speculation and fears about the country's future.


"The government's tactics are a product of its long-time leader. The paradox of Meles is that he was a formidable politician who nonetheless feared criticism in the Ethiopian press."

Jenée Desmond-Harris, African Reactions to Zenawi's Death

Charlayne Hunter-Gault, Ethiopian Journalist Gets 18 Years in Prison (July 23)


Emily Wax, Washington Post: In D.C.'s Little Ethiopia, a search for answers about Meles's death

Philly Columnist Rallies Readers Over Voter ID

"I'm sure you remember my meltdown in this space last week after a Commonwealth Court judge upheld the state's ill-timed, ill-conceived and downright devious show-me-your-papers voter ID law last week, a political and poisonous disenfranchisement ploy if I ever saw one," Annette John-Hall, columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, wrote Tuesday.


"Believe me, I'm still disgusted. But while a team of lawyers headed by the ACLU battles it out in state Supreme Court, we have to turn our outrage into action.


"It's not just about new voters and the obstacles facing them. Hundreds of

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thousands of voters who cast a ballot in previous elections could find themselves unable to vote now that they have to prove who they are all over again.

"After so many of you flooded my inbox asking what you can do, I got an answer at the headquarters of the Voter ID Coalition, which represents about 150 nonpartisan civic organizations.

". . . Before we go any further, write down this number: 215-848-1283. Make that call if you want to volunteer for any number of tasks the coalition needs."


Annette John-Hall, Philadelphia Inquirer:  Small surprise but much anger in Pa. ruling on voter ID (Aug. 17)

Suevon Lee, Pro Publica: Everything You've Ever Wanted to Know About Voter ID Laws (Aug. 16)

Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Charges that Ohio is engaged in racial voter suppression distract from issues that truly matter (Aug. 14)


Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: The 2012 Presidential Election is literally going to the dogs (Aug. 18)

Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: GOP caught with voter-suppression pants down (Aug. 14)

Short Takes

"In more than six years of spying on Muslim neighborhoods, eavesdropping on conversations and cataloguing mosques, the New York Police Department's secret Demographics Unit never generated a lead or triggered a terrorism investigation, the department acknowledged in court testimony unsealed late Monday," the Associated Press reported. The AP won a Pulitzer Prize for investigative journalism in March for revealing the NYPD's widespread spying on Muslims.

"Politico reporter David Catanese apologized Tuesday night for tweeting in defense of Republican Rep. Todd Akin two days earlier, following the Missouri Congressman's controversial comment about 'legitimate rape'," Michael Calderone reported Tuesday for Huffington Post. "Politico editors removed Catanese on Monday from covering the Senate race in Missouri, a state where he covered politics before moving to Washington. . . . So far, Politico editors have not announced any suspension or further disciplinary action. In June, Politico editors suspended White House reporter Joe Williams for comments made about Mitt Romney on MSNBC and for some inappropriate tweets." Williams later lost his job.


On Aug. 13, "without any notice and in violation of his constitutional rights and state law, Mumia Abu-Jamal was formally sentenced by Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas Judge Pamela Dembe to life imprisonment without parole," according to the imprisoned former journalist's supporters. "The impact of this illegal sentencing is to prevent a possible challenge to the slow death of life imprisonment. All sentences, including 'mandatory' sentences, require a formal proceeding allowing the person to be sentenced the right to be heard and to challenge his sentence."

Univision News announced Wednesday that it has teamed  with YouTube "to provide coverage of the upcoming Democratic and Republican conventions and U.S. Presidential Election via the YouTube Elections Hub. Coverage begins today and runs through Election Day, November 6, and will feature exclusive reporting and analysis from the award-winning Univision News team."

"On Monday night, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Sports Task Force will award the Sam Lacy Pioneer Award — the organization's highest honor — to Texas Rangers' manager Ron Washington for his excellence in sports," the Texas Rangers announced Monday afternoon. The award was to be presented 20 minutes prior to the first pitch of the Baltimore Orioles-Rangers game at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Texas. This game was selected in recognition of Lacy's storied tenure with the Baltimore Afro-American newspaper.


"CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo said goodbye to her producer, Lulu Chiang, who is leaving CNBC after eight years," the TalkingB

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izNews site reported Monday. "Bartiromo said, 'She also pushed me hard to be a better journalist, and I will always be in her debt for that. Her instincts are spot on.' "


"What might be called 'l'affaire Ferguson' erupted on Sunday, when Paul Krugman lit into writer Niall Ferguson for what he deemed to be unforgivable factual errors in Ferguson's cover story for [Newsweek]," Jack Mirkinson reported Tuesday for Huffington Post. "Ferguson then responded to Krugman, saying that he had been telling the truth and nothing but. His response was followed by a whole phalanx of fact-checkers, economists and bloggers who trashed the story and Ferguson's rebuttal, saying that both were filled with distortions and falsehoods about [President] Obama's record."

Oprah Winfrey registered No. 11 on Forbes magazine's latest list of the world's most powerful women.

Funeral services for Artie Williams III, a photographer at KABC-TV in Los Angeles who died Saturday after having what was described as a "medical emergency" while scuba diving, are scheduled for Aug. 28 at 11 a.m. They take place at Grace Baptist Church, 22833 Copper Hill Drive, Santa Clarita, Calif. 91350, colleagues said. The Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and the Los Angeles City Council each paid tribute to Williams on Tuesday, KABC reported.


"ABC is expected to announce in early September that Michael Strahan will take over as the cohost of Live! alongside Kelly Ripa, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation," Ben Grossman reported Tuesday for Broadcasting & Cable. "Even when he assumes the new role, Strahan is expected to remain in his role with Fox NFL Sunday, as first reported by Joe Flint in the Los Angeles Times."

The retirement of Dennis Lien, a reporter for the Pioneer Press in St. Paul, Minn., prompted Pioneer Press columnist Ruben Rosario to recall memorable moments in his own 32-year career. They included time as a rookie New York Daily News reporter in Brooklyn as well as his career at the Pioneer Press.

In Sudan, "The head of the government-controlled Union of Sudanese journalists (USJ), Mohi Al-Din Titawi, announced on Monday that all journalists arrested during a crackdown on weeks of protests in the country have been released," the Sudan Tribune reported. ". . . Meanwhile, a local journalist who was detained for one day during the early weeks of the protests published an article on Monday recounting ghastly details of torture that left him with serious health conditions."


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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education ( Reprinted on The Root by permission.