(Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

CNN and other news outlets were blocked on Friday from attending an off-camera White House press briefing that other reporters were hand-picked to attend, raising alarm among media organizations and First Amendment watchdogs,” Dylan Byers, Sara Murray and Kevin Liptak reported for CNNMoney.


The hand-picking included right-wing news outlets but no journalists of color, Lauren Victoria Burke, who reports for several African American outlets and was denied entry, told Journal-isms.

Those excluded included Adrian Carrasquillo, White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News. Reporters from the Associated Press, Time magazine and USA Today decided in the moment to boycott the briefing because of how it was handled. April Ryan of American Urban Radio Networks, the most prominent African American in the White House press corps, was not present.


“I saw the gaggle in the day ahead schedule and knew something was wrong and focused on doing stories on the governors meeting with the President,” Ryan told Journal-isms by email. “I was working on a story with Governor [Kenneth E.] Mapp of the US Virgin Islands and did not engage with the White House on the gaggle issue.”

Lauren Victoria Burke

The CNNMoney report continued, “The decision struck veteran White House journalists as unprecedented in the modern era, and escalated tensions in the already fraught relationship between the Trump administration and the press.


“The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Politico and BuzzFeed were also among those excluded from the meeting, which was held in White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s office. The meeting, which is known as a gaggle, was held in lieu of the daily televised Q-and-A session in the White House briefing room.

“When reporters from these news organizations tried to enter Spicer’s office for the gaggle, they were told they could not attend because they were not on the list of attendees. . . .”

Burke gave Journal-isms this emailed account:

“ ‘You’re not in the extended pool,’ some woman in a hallway near the lower press office said to me. No one knew what ‘extended pool’ meant. Many reporters went in and added themselves to ‘the list’ an hour before the scheduled gaggle in the lower press office and later learned that ‘if we didn’t e-mail you’ about the gaggle you’re not included. How was anyone to know that? I caught [Bill] Clinton’s last year in office so this is the fourth WH staff I’ve seen. I’ve never seen CNN and NYT cut out of anything.


“There were no reporters of color included in the gaggle. AURN [American Urban Radio Networks] wasn’t selected nor was The Root. The WH lower press office would appear to have enough staff now to operate basic press operations but clearly they’re set to play political games and select orgs that will report favorably on them. One could assume that ‘extended pool’ would include CNN and NYT right?

“They handpicked news orgs who could not possibly be in the ‘extended pool’ (or so one would think) such as OANN [One America News Network], Washington Times and Breitbart. It was a joke. The bottom line would appear to be retribution on CNN for the FBI/Priebus story of last night. Marry this with Trump’s latest attack on the fourth estate today at CPAC and what else are we to conclude?”

On the story about the FBI and Reince Priebus, the White House chief of staff, Brian Naylor reported Friday for NPR, “The White House is admitting that it discussed with the FBI media reports that Trump campaign officials were in contact with Russian intelligence agents and that Chief of Staff Reince Priebus asked the FBI to publicly knock down the story.


“FBI Director James Comey refused. . . .”

CNN’s Jake Tapper reports on the Trump administration’s latest attack on the news media.


The CNNMoney story continued, “In a brief statement defending the move, administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said the White House ‘had the pool there so everyone would be represented and get an update from us today.’

“The White House press pool usually includes representatives from one television outlet, one radio outlet and one print outlet, as well as reporters from a few wire services. In this case, four of the five major television networks — NBC, ABC, CBS and Fox News — were invited and attended the meeting, while only CNN was blocked.

“And while The New York Times was kept out, conservative media organizations Breitbart News, The Washington Times and One America News Network were also allowed in. . . .”


The excluded reporters also included Peter Baker and Glenn Thrush of the New York Times, Noah Bierman of the Los Angeles Times, Sara Murray of CNN, Tara Palmeri of Politico and Cameron Joseph of the Daily News in New York, among others.

The Society of Professional Journalists was among those protesting. It tweeted, “A free press means ALL press, not just those you like. #PressthePrez”

The Society of Professional Journalists weighs in.


Callum Borchers, Washington Post: White House blocks CNN, New York Times from press briefing hours after Trump slams media

Philip Bump, Washington Post: In December, Spicer said barring media access is what a ‘dictatorship’ does. Today, he barred media access.

Adrian Carrasquillo, BuzzFeed: Trump Administration Keeps Major News Orgs Out Of Closed Press Briefing


Francesca Chambers and Jenny Stanton, dailymail.com: ‘Un-American’: CNN anchor Jake Tapper condemns the White House for BANNING news outlets from Sean Spicer’s press briefing

Committee to Protect Journalists: Reporters barred from U.S. press secretary briefing

Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times: Trump Intensifies His Attacks on Journalists and Condemns F.B.I. ‘Leakers’


Hadas Gold, Politico: White House selectively blocks media outlets from briefing with Spicer

Cameron Joseph, Daily News, New York: White House bars Daily News and many other outlets from press briefing after Trump threatens to ‘do something’ about the media

Brooke Seipel, the Hill: CNN responds to being excluded from press briefing: ‘This is unacceptable’


‘I Was a Muslim in Trump’s White House’

Rumana Ahmed (Leah Varjacques/the Atlantic)

In 2011, I was hired, straight out of college, to work at the White House and eventually the National Security Council,” Rumana Ahmed wrote Thursday for the Atlantic.


“My job there was to promote and protect the best of what my country stands for. I am a hijab-wearing Muslim woman — I was the only hijabi in the West Wing — and the Obama administration always made me feel welcome and included.

“Like most of my fellow American Muslims, I spent much of 2016 watching with consternation as Donald Trump vilified our community. Despite this — or because of it — I thought I should try to stay on the NSC staff during the Trump Administration, in order to give the new president and his aides a more nuanced view of Islam, and of America’s Muslim citizens.

“I lasted eight days.

“When Trump issued a ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries and all Syrian refugees, I knew I could no longer stay and work for an administration that saw me and people like me not as fellow citizens, but as a threat. . . .”


Andre Cramblit, Indian Country Media Network: The New Native American Landscape: Trumped Again? (Feb. 18)

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: In the face of hate, humanity can win out

Leonard Pitts Jr., Miami Herald: Fear led us to intern Japanese Americans. Who’s next?


Barry Saunders, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Durham group tries to put Latinos at ease

Lewis Diuguid said, “My parents, in tandem with other African Americans, instilled in every kid they encountered that we had to be twice as good, cleaner than clean and work five times harder to make it in white America. Anything less was just unacceptable.” (stevenyoungblood.blogspot.com.)

Editor Said, ‘Leave That Black Stuff Outside’

Lewis W. Diuguid was selected by the Nieman class of 2017 for the Louis M. Lyons Award for Conscience and Integrity in Journalism in recognition of his commitment to excellence in journalism as well as his work as a newsroom leader and role model for young journalists,” the editors of Nieman Reports wrote Wednesday in introducing a piece headlined, “On Being a Black Journalist.”


“Diuguid, who was also recently named a 2017 Knight Visiting Nieman Fellow, spent nearly 40 years at The Kansas City Star as an editor, columnist, and editorial board member, distinguishing himself as a relentless advocate for newsroom diversity and used his voice to draw attention to social inequities, write about civil rights, and highlight systematic injustices.

“The following essay is adapted from his Lyons Award acceptance speech: . . .

“. . . My dear friend and a co-presenter Dr. Peggy McIntosh of the Wellesley College Centers for Women, who did the groundbreaking work on white privilege, explained to me that the bigoted mindset that women and people of color constantly encounter is because knowledge in this country is always thought to be male and white. Everyone else is forever tested and doubted.


“I’ve had editors in my career tell me: ‘We hired you to be a journalist. Leave that black stuff outside’ when I insisted on better reporting about communities of color. Because I was relentless — just as I was taught by the black community — I prevailed, and the newspaper changed. However, tough economic times keep erasing the advances.

“We have to fight the undoing of us, of others and of our needed progress by supporting those journalists and otherwise voiceless people in the community around us. It is how our journalism constantly gets better.

“These are increasingly challenging times. Without evidence — which is his hallmark — Donald Trump throughout his run for the White House attacked the ethics, integrity, honesty and competence of the news media, and the gullible public has swallowed it as if it all were true.


“The next four years will be all about ethics, integrity, conscience, and honesty among government officials and those in the news media. Our industry — just as things were when I started my career — will be pulled to cut costs and cut corners, bend and break rules, make unholy alliances and compromises, and sell out our integrity and ethics in the interest of expediency, corporate shareholders, and cash.

“The reporting, editing and photo-shooting troops on the ground have to be bigger than that — they will have to be like the people of the black community that raised me. We have to push back. . . .”

Ricardo Bilton, Nieman Lab: The Ida B. Wells Society wants to build a better pipeline to connect news orgs with journalists of color


Editorial, Harvard Crimson, Harvard University: Diverse Applicants for a Diverse Class

Seth J Frantzman, Al Jazeera: Where is diversity in American newsrooms?

Denzel Washington was nominated as best actor for his role in “Fences,” a contender for best picture. The Academy Awards take place on Sunday. (Credit: Paramount Pictures)


The Real Importance of On-Screen Images

The conversation about diversity in Hollywood often centers on fairness,” Sara Boboltz and Kimberly Yam wrote Friday for Huffington Post Latino Voices.

“It’s unfair that just over a quarter of speaking roles went to people of color in 2015’s top movies — that Asians and Latinx nabbed tiny slivers. It’s unfair that women made up less than one-third of protagonists in top movies in 2016. It’s unfair that black, Asian and Latinx actors were completely left out of acting categories in the Academy Awards last year, and the year before that. . . .”


Baboltz and Yam also wrote, “But it’s not just unfair. Even if we don’t stop to think much about the summer blockbuster we watch to sit in a cool theater on a hot day, or the show we turn on while we’re making dinner, entertainment media saturates our lives. And for decades, researchers have worried over the effect those stories have on viewers.

“ ‘We’re pretty confident that, the more TV you watch, the more media you consume, the more likely it is that media ― almost like radiation ― builds up,’ Darnell Hunt, director of the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA, told The Huffington Post. ‘And the accumulated effect is to make you feel that what you’re seeing is somewhat normal.’

“ . . . It can even serve as a proxy for experiences audience members haven’t actually lived, shaping their views on people of color and women ― and shaping the way those people view themselves. . . .”


Lindsey Bahr, Associated Press: The Oscars are less white, but the industry hasn’t changed

Stacy M. Brown, National Newspaper Publishers Association: How the Black Press Played Vital Role in “Hidden Figures”

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Why ‘Moonlight’ resonated as strongly with me as ‘Brokeback Mountain’ did 12 years ago


David Dennis Jr., the Undefeated: A Denzel Washington Loss Will Feel Like a Loss for All of Us

Jessica Diaz-Hurtado, NPR “Code Switch”: Why Storytellers Of Color Ignore Usual Gatekeepers, Take A Chance On The Internet (Feb. 11)

Renée Graham, Boston Globe: Why are Hollywood saviors always white? (Feb. 17)

Latino Rebels: ROOM 28’s Third Oscars Not So Latino Parody: Here Is ARRIVAL

Julianne Malveaux, National Newspaper Publishers Association: We Have to Celebrate This Year’s Black Academy Award Nominees


Soraya Nadia McDonald, the Undefeated: How whiteness distorts the power of romance and nostalgia in ‘La La Land’

Michael Schulman, New Yorker: Shakeup at the Oscars

Kimberly Yam, Huffington Post: Asian And Black Directors Were Barely Represented In Top-Grossing Films, Study Says (Feb. 9)



FAMU Ready for Black Television News Channel

A ribbon cutting has begun the partnership between Florida A&M University and the Black Television News Channel that will bring close to 100 jobs and $30 million in economic stimulus to Tallahassee,” WTXL-TV in Tallahassee, Fla., reported on Friday.


“BTNC is a 24 hour multi-platform news network, and its newest location is inside the ‘School of Journalism and Graphic Communication’. . . .”

The new network plans 50 full- and part-time journalism jobs, Frank Watson, the vice president and general manager, said when the project was announced in 2014.

Tracey Ferguson Named Editor of ‘Entirely NEW’ Jet


Tracey M. Ferguson, founder and editor-in-chief of Jones magazine, which targets the lifestyles of black women, has been named editor-in-chief of a revived Jet magazine, Cheryl Mayberry McKissack, CEO of Ebony Media, confirmed on Friday.

McKissack would not elaborate but told Journal-isms last week, “We are considering repositioning Jet for millennials with a focus on entertainment and having limited newsstand publication ..much more digital content.” After 63 years, the pocket-sized Jet was converted to digital-only in 2014.

The Los Angeles-based Ferguson described herself on Instagram Friday as “Editor in Chief of an entirely NEW Jet ✈️ Magazine (comin’ soon). #gotMILLENNIALS ?”


According to her LinkedIn profile, Ferguson has been founder and editor-in-chief of Jones since May 2005.”Over the past five years, Jones has exploded onto the scene as a defined lifestyle brand,” the magazine says on its website. “The mission of Jones is to serve as the premiere fashion and beauty shopping guide for women of color across multiple mediums and formats. . . .”

Michelle Galván Joins Univision’s ‘Primer Impacto’


After almost two months since Bárbara Bermudo was axed from ‘Primer Impacto,’ Univision has finally named Michelle Galván as her replacement,” Latin Times reported Friday. “Galván will be joining Pamela Silva Conde on Monday, March 13 at 5pm ET/PT.

“Galván comes to ‘Primer Impacto’ from Univision Houston’s television station where she anchored the 5pm and 10pm newscasts and served as Special Segments Reporter since 2012. Prior to joining Univision Houston, Galván presented the international news segment for ‘Primero Noticias,’ a daily morning news program from Mexico’s Televisa Network, and previously served as Anchor on Foro TV, a cable news network also owned by Televisa. . . .”

The story also said, “ ‘Primer Impacto’ made its debut in 1994 and has since maintained its place among Univision’s highest rated programs. It is also recipient of some of the media industry’s most prestigious honors, including dozens of Emmy Awards and an Edward R. Murrow Award.”


Lisa Wilson, Buffalo Sports Editor, Joins Undefeated

Lisa Wilson

ESPN’s The Undefeated just made another impressive hire, and one that also shows some of the diversity challenges the traditional sports media faces,” Andrew Bucholtz reported Thursday for awfulannouncing.com.


“They’ve named Lisa Wilson senior editor for sports, and her hire would be noteworthy in its own right; she’s done plenty of impressive things, especially as the executive sports editor at The Buffalo News since 2011. However, what really stands out in the release is the line that she ‘is the nation’s only black female sports editor at a major metropolitan daily.’

“Whether that’s strictly true appears to depend on how you define ‘major metropolitan.’ Someone else who should probably be discussed here is Jewell Walston, sports editor of The Winston-Salem Journal: Winston-Salem’s population was estimated at 241,218 in 2015, while Buffalo’s was estimated [at] 258,959 in 2013, so there’s not a great deal of difference there.

“As Lori Chase notes, though, the News has a higher circulation, so it may be a circulation-based category. In any case, black female sports editors are unquestionably rare. . . .”


Woodrow Wilson, ranked highly by many white historians, ranked 17th of 19 modern presidents in a study of the black press.

Black Press Judged Presidents Differently

Shortly before he passed away in 2013, my colleague Hanes Walton of the University of Michigan and I began a project with an eye toward” restoring the connection between Black History Month and presidential leadership, Alvin B. Tillery Jr. wrote Tuesday for the Washington Post, “the first systematic rankings of the modern presidents (Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama) based on the evaluations of African American experts. . . .”


Tillery also wrote, “Our study examines the evaluations of presidential leadership that African American editorialists published in 43 black-controlled newspapers between 1900 and 2016. . . .”

The results, compared with opinions of scholars that “until very recently . . . have lacked meaningful ethnic and racial diversity”:

“1. Woodrow Wilson falls precipitously out of the top five

“On average, Wilson is ranked fourth in the survey-based polls conducted between 1996 and 2015. By contrast, he ranks 17th out of the 19 modern presidents in our ranking. His 13-spot downward shift is the single largest move in our ranking.


“But it shouldn’t be a surprise. These real-time evaluations were made by members of the African American press corps — and several studies have documented Wilson’s embrace of white-supremacist positions and implementation of Jim Crow policies.

“2. Warren Harding and Barack Obama move up . . .

“3. On civil rights and race relations, LBJ takes the top spot — and others move down. . . “


The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, Ebony: How Black History Explains Donald Trump

James Clingman, National Newspaper Publishers Association: ‘Production Minus Sales Equals Scrap’

James Clingman, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Making Black History, Pt. 2 — Soul City (Feb. 15)


Harry Colbert Jr., New Pittsburgh Courier: From Freedom’s Journal to the NNPA, Black Press is still relevant

Jonece Starr Dunigan, al.com: Black Magic Project: continuing the legacy of the black community (Feb. 7)

theGrio.com: Atlanta’s first black news anchor Jocelyn Dorsey recalls making history


George M. Johnson, theGrio.com: The erasure of Black History in our classrooms is a crime

Annette Joseph-Gabriel, African American Intellectual History Society: Resisting Racism and Islamophobia: Lessons from Muslim Slave Narratives (Feb. 9)

Yanick Rice Lamb, USA Today: Black History Month: Remembering Gwen Ifill (Feb. 18)


Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Thank you, Ms. Aretha Franklin, for changing my life (Feb. 12)

Gyasi Ross, Indian Country Media Network: Crispus Attucks: A Black and Native Shared Narrative That Changed the World (Feb. 15)

Stephanie Williams, Black Voice News via New America Media: Segregation by the Sea


Short Takes

Philadelphia magazine and the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists have announced the creation of an annual editorial fellowship aimed at fostering greater opportunities for students from diverse backgrounds who are interested in pursuing a journalism career,” the magazine reported Thursday. The magazine faced significant backlash in 2013 with its cover story, “Being White in Philly” and in 2015, PABJ called for editor Tom McGrath to resign. “The magazine and PABJ will jointly select one fellowship recipient each summer. That recipient will be paid a stipend for 10 weeks of work in Philly Mag’s editorial department . . .,” the magazine said.

What’s in a name? A lot, according to a new study from researchers at Ryerson University and the University of Toronto, both in Canada,” Jenny J. Chen reported Thursday for NPR’s “Code Switch.” “The study found that job applicants in Canada with Asian names — names of Indian, Pakistani or Chinese origin — were 28 percent less likely to get called for an interview compared to applicants with Anglo names, even when all the qualifications were the same. . . .”


Jenée Desmond-Harris

Jenée Desmond-Harris, a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University who was a staff writer at vox.com and features editor at TheRoot.com, is joining the New York Times as an op-ed editor, James Dao, who leads the op-ed section, confirmed Friday. “As a staff editor she will be commissioning and editing op-eds for all of our main platforms: the daily page, the Sunday Review, online series and the international edition,” Dao told Journal-isms by email. On social media, Desmond-Harris called the job a “dream come true.”

DuJuan McCoy’s Bayou City Broadcasting has completed the purchase of FOX Television affiliate KADN and NBC affiliate KLAF-LD in Lafayette, La., the National Association of Black Owned Broadcasters said Friday. The stations were purchased from Nexstar Broadcasting Group, Inc. for $40 million. “Today, even though constituting 14% of the total population, African Americans own only 12 full power commercial television stations out of the 1300 full power commercial television stations in the United States,” NABOB said. McCoy and Nexstar announced their intentions last June.


Cindy Y. Rodriguez

I’ve always seen myself as a proud Latina. Now I’m proud to say I’m also a proud indigenous Peruvian woman,” Cindy Y. Rodriguez wrote Friday for NBC News Latino. Rodriguez said she attended the Dakota Access Pipeline protests in North Dakota and was repeatedly asked whether she was Native American. “But here’s the thing — being mistaken for a Native was such an honor. I took it as a compliment. I had never been in a place where most people looked just like me, with my Peruvian-esque signature cheekbones and olive-colored skin. . . . This trip was just the beginning. I promised myself I would go back to Perú this year with the intention of finding my lineage. That way, so if when I’m asked where tribe I am from, I can answer with ease.”

Seattle writer Jody Allard wrote for ozy.com Friday that as a white child growing up among migrant workers who came from Mexico to work in central California’s strawberry fields, she believed that “racism doesn’t exist anymore” and that “affirmative action is punishing white people for being white.” Upon moving to Charleston, S.C., however, she discovered that, “The racism was blatant . . . All those years spent crying reverse racism, I had been racist. . . .”


Nightly broadcast news shows have proven incredibly reluctant to cover the spate of anti-Semitic threats and attacks made since President Donald Trump’s election,” Julie Alderman reported Friday for Media Matters for America. “Cable outlets provided a bit more coverage during prime-time, with Fox News as the exception, clocking just one segment on the topic. . . .”

The Foundation for Progress in Journalism honored three Alabama media luminaries at its second annual Medal of Honor Awards reception on Friday at the Birmingham-Jefferson Convention Complex Concert Hall,” Je’Don Holloway Talley reported Feb.14 for the Birmingham Times. “The ceremony honored the late George E. Curry, journalist; Don Logan, businessman and former publisher; and Rickey Smiley, radio broadcaster and actor/comedian. . . .”

White-knuckle driving


It’s difficult for most African Americans’ knuckles to turn white, so it was noteworthy that Ron Mott, a black journalist, used the term “white-knuckle driving” (video) to describe conditions in the upper Midwest Friday on “NBC Nightly News.” A clever giveaway about which racial groups were on the road and which were not?

Oregon’s new football coach is still upset over a Jan. 16 news report about an early season workout that sent three of his players to the hospital,” Kenny Jacoby reported Thursday for the Daily Emerald at the University of Oregon. “The report resulted in the suspension of strength and conditioning coach Irele Oderinde for one month without pay. Head coach Willie Taggart, whom Oregon hired to replace Mark Helfrich in December, said he is no longer speaking to The Oregonian reporter who broke the story, claiming that the reporter’s characterization of the workouts as ‘grueling’ and ‘akin to military basic training’ were inaccurate, unfair and directly contradicted what Taggart told the reporter before the story was written. . . .”

On C-SPAN2, Book TV, “The parents of the late Trayvon Martin, Sybrina Fulton and Tracy Martin, discuss their son’s life and death and their experience with the judicial system in their book, ‘Rest in Power: The Enduring Life of Trayvon Martin’ on Saturday at 10 p.m. ET, Sunday at 9 p.m. and Monday at midnight,” C-SPAN announced. “They are interviewed by Wesley Lowery, author of ‘They Can’t Kill Us All: Ferguson, Baltimore, and a New Era in America’s Racial Justice Movement,’ and a national reporter covering law enforcement and justice for The Washington Post.” C-SPAN programs are usually posted on cspan.org for later viewing.


C-SPAN3, American History TV, is broadcasting Saturday “an all-day symposium on the past, present, and future of Civil War monuments. Speakers will look at the history of their construction in the north and south, and how public perception – especially of Confederate monuments – has changed. Speakers include Thomas Brown, author of “The Public Art of Civil War Commemoration,” American Civil War Museum CEO Christy Coleman, and James Loewen, author of “Lies Across America: What Our Historic Sites Get Wrong.” The symposium takes place at the Library of Virginia in Richmond.” The broadcast begins at 9:30 a.m. ET.

In Nigeria, “The industrial dispute at Radio Bayelsa, christened Glory FM, took a twist on Thursday as the General Manager flogged four staffers on duty,” the News Agency of Nigeria reported Thursday. “The Radio Bayelsa Chapel of Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, and Radio Television and Theatre Arts Workers Unions, RATTAWU, consequently shut the radio station. . . .” General manager responds.


“An OUTSTANDING outspoken advocate for journalism diversity in coverage, management, ownership, hiring and more! I support Richard Prince and what he does! I hope you will, too!!!”

Mike Woolfolk, news anchor and reporter for WEYI-TV (NBC 25) and WSMH-TV (FOX 66) in Flint, Mich., and a past vice president-broadcast of the National Association of Black Journalists.

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