‘No One Else Was Gonna Speak Up’: TMZ’s Van Lathan Emerges as an Unexpected Hero

  • Is Kanye West to be Denounced, Scorned or Pitied?
  • NABJ President Invited to Next ‘Nerd Prom’
  • Sports Media Get ‘B’ on Race Hiring; ‘F’ on Gender
  • Ruling: Temptations’ Edwards Died of Meningitis
  • 3 U.S. Blacks, 2 Latinos Among Next Nieman Class
  • Phone Companies Still Gouging Inmates, Families
  • Native Photographers Go Beyond Stereotypes
  • San Diego Paper Defends ‘Caravan’ Seeking Asylum
  • Latino Journalist Could Be Deported Any Day
  • Short Takes
TMZ Journalist Van Lathan
Screenshot: TMZ

Is Kanye West to Be Denounced, Applauded or Pitied? 

This is why it’s important to have diversity on your staff. No one else was gonna speak up. And #Kanye wasn’t going to respect anyone else speaking to him like this.

Thank You @VanLathan #TMZ pic.twitter.com/diCUxJSZhs— Chloe A. Hilliard (@Chloe_Hilliard) May 1, 2018


Van Lathan, a TMZ employee who hosts the podcast, “Van Lathan’s The Red Pill,” told Kanye West he had “morphed into something that’s not real.”

Is Kanye West to be denounced, applauded or pitied?

At least two African American columnists took to Twitter Wednesday to say they lean toward the latter.


Leonard Pitts Jr., the syndicated Miami Herald columnist, reacted to a YouTube video featuring LeVar Burton, the actor who played Kunte Kinte in the “Roots” miniseries. In the video, Burton was asked about West’s statement to TMZ on Tuesday. “When you hear about slavery for 400 years — for 400 years?” West had said. “That sounds like a choice. You was there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all? We’re mentally in prison.”

Burton told his interviewer that West had brain chemistry issues. “Somebody needs to put their arms around him and sit him down for five minutes until his brain chemistry levels out because he is not helping himself,” the actor said. “It’s irresponsible, it’s uneducated, it’s just stupid. . . .”


Thank you, @levarburton!, Pitts replied, retweeting the Burton video. “I’ve been debating writing about @kanyewest’s idiocy, but the thing is, I have more pity for the man than anger. Still, the former [Kunte] Kinte is right — the guy is doing real damage — to himself and also to the nation.”

Rochelle Riley, columnist for the Detroit Free Press, told her followers, “. . . for those imploring me to write about @KanyeWest, I will not.


“Watching someone have a breakdown in real time is worse than watching a car accident. People must stop interviewing West and instead encourage him to get help — or sell albums another way. /3 #Heartbreaking.”

So VP Pence called disgraced (and Trump pardoned) AZ sheriff Arpaio a “champion” of the “rule of law”?!!? That’s sort of like calling Kanye West a “scholar” of “antebellum history.”

— Dan Rather (@DanRather) May 2, 2018

Others were not so forgiving. Suzette Hackney wrote Wednesday in the Indianapolis Star, what “really struck me is the length West will go to get attention. It’s vile. He will say anything, wear anything, tweet anything, do anything —just to be in the public eye. That is narcissism at its finest. . . .”


West had already earned the disgust of Renée Graham of the Boston Globe, who wrote about the hip-hop star last week after he expressed his admiration for President Trump. “Despite what he wants us to believe, Kanye is not a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma,” Graham told readers Friday. “He is a raging egotist, wrapped in narcissism, inside an attention whore. After all, this is a man who married into the Kardashians, who are as much a franchised brand as a family. . . . Kanye is dealing from the bottom of his own deck. . . .”

A surprising consequence of the dust-up has been the attention bestowed on an African American podcast host in the TMZ newsroom who challenged West — providing, in his way, an argument for newsroom diversity.


Lisa Respers France reported Wednesday for CNN, “Van Lathan just became a champion of Kanye West critics and an example, for some, of the need for racial diversity in the workplace.

“Lathan is the African-American TMZ employee who offered a powerful rebuttal after West, during an interview Tuesday on ‘TMZ Live,’ said American slavery was a ‘choice.’


“ ‘Do you feel like I’m thinking free and feeling free,’ West asked those in the newsroom.

“ ‘I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything,’ Lathan said. ‘I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought.’


‘After validating West’s right to offer up an opinion, Lathan noted that there are ‘real-world, real-life consequences behind everything that you just said.’

“ ‘And while you are making music and being an artist and living the life that you’ve earned by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our lives,’ Lathan said. ‘We have to deal with the marginalization that has come from the 400 years of slavery that you said, for our people, was a choice.’


“ ‘Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled and, brother, I am unbelievably hurt by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me, that’s not real,’ Lathan concluded.

“It was the mic drop heard round the social media world.

‘Thank You @VanLathan’

“Comedian Chloe A. Hilliard tweeted: ‘This is why it’s important to have diversity on your staff. No one else was gonna speak up. And #Kanye wasn’t going to respect anyone else speaking to him like this. Thank You @VanLathan #TMZ.’ . . .”


Monique Judge, the Root: Watch: Kanye, Words Matter! (video)

Lisa Respers France, CNN: #IfSlaveryWasAChoice marks bad week for Kanye West

Media Matters for America: Fox & Friends promotes Kanye West saying black people choose to be in a slave mindset (video)


Tina Nguyen, Vanity Fair: “He’s Never Been Happier”: Inside the Red-Pilling of Kanye West

David Swerdlick, Washington Post: Kanye West fell for the worst black Republican sales pitch there is. Here’s why. (April 24)


TMZ Live: Kanye West, The Full Episode (video)

Amy Zimmerman, Daily Beast: Inside Kanye West’s Disturbing On-Air Meltdown: ‘Tell the World You Love Me’


NABJ President Invited to Next ‘Nerd Prom’

The incoming president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, which Saturday night staged its annual dinner with its traditional overwhelmingly white audience, extended an invitation Wednesday to the president of the National Association of Black Journalists to attend the next one.

Olivier Knox (Credit: SiriusXM)

NABJ President Sarah Glover, reacting to Journal-isms’ Tuesday tweet, “Whiteness of White House Media on Display,” messaged her followers, “I reached out to the WHCA, asked if @NABJ could attend the dinner (myself/ED) [executive director] and did not receive a response, neither yay nor nay #Itried.”


Though it attracts about 3,000 people, the dinner, sometimes known as the “nerd prom,” is limited primarily to association members and their guests.

Journal-isms asked incoming president Olivier Knox, Washington correspondent for Sirius XM radio, about the NABJ request, made April 18 to WHCA Executive Director Steven Thomma on behalf of Glover and Executive Director Sharon Toomer.


“Best I can figure out is that Steve tried to find tickets for them and was unsuccessful,” Knox replied by email. “I can assure you that there was no intentional slight of our NABJ colleagues. As the incoming WHCA president, I would warmly welcome the NABJ’s support in any form – tweet, email, good thoughts, public expression of support, and in person. I don’t know what their plans are in late April 2019, but I’d be happy to arrange for them to attend the Correspondents’ Dinner if they are still interested.”

Editorial, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Spike this soiree: D.C. dinner a discrediting embarrassment


Karen K. Ho, Columbia Journalism Review: We did the math on the White House Correspondents Dinner

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: For journalists, dishonesty is not the best policy


Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Can the White House correspondents’ dinner be saved?

Fabiola Santiago, Miami Herald: Yes, Mr. President, there are ‘Hispanics in the room’ all over this country of ours


Sports Media Get ‘B’ on Race Hiring; ‘F’ on Gender

The Rev. Jesse Jackson said, “’Many people do not fully appreciate the value of having ethnically diverse journalists that can . . . help tell the story from a culturally sensitive perspective, and also capture the interests of a wider sports audience.” (Credit: peculiargame.com)

The sports newspaper and digital media earned a “B” in racial hiring practices in the 2018 Associated Press Sports Editors Racial and Gender Report Card, the survey’s director, Richard Lapchick, reported Wednesday for ESPN.

However, Lapchick, who directs The Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sports (TIDES), gave the participating media outlets their fifth consecutive “F” for gender hiring practices.


“Maybe our athletes who are now active on social justice issues can demand the people covering them need to look more like them,” Lapchick wrote. He also repeated his recommendation that “the APSE adopt a Ralph Wiley Rule, named after the late African-American writer. The Wiley Rule would be like the Rooney Rule in the NFL and would call for a diverse pool of candidates, including people of color and women, for each opening of these key positions. . . .”

Lapchick also wrote, “Sports media leaders remain largely white and male. . . . This report shows that 85 percent of the sports editors, 77 percent of the assistant sports editors, 80 percent of the columnists, 82 percent of the reporters and 78 percent of the copy editors/designers were white. The percentages of males in those positions this year are 90, 70, 83, 89, and 80.


“The Rev. Jesse Jackson, civil rights icon and founder of the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition, told me, ‘Many people do not fully appreciate the value of having ethnically diverse journalists that can . . . help tell the story from a culturally sensitive perspective, and also capture the interests of a wider sports audience. In addition, accomplished writers such as Howard Bryant, Shelley Smith, Michael Wilbon, Jemele Hill and David Aldridge can present a picture of sports with a wider lens given both their experiences and their expertise. . . .”

The number of participating media outlets fell to “over 75 newspapers and websites,” compared with “over 100" in 2014.


Nevertheless, the report listed these “noteworthy items”:

“The percentages of African-American men holding the positions of sports editor, assistant sports editor and reporter increased by 2, 3 and 2 percentage points, respectively.


“White male sports editors decreased by 5 percentage points.

“The percentage of women and people of color as assistant sports editors increased most substantially, by 20 and 14 percentage points, respectively.


“Latino men increased in percentage for all categories: specifically, 0.6 percentage points for sports editors, 2 percentage points for assistant sports editors, 0.8 percentage points for columnists, 0.5 percentage points for reporters and 5.5 percentage points for copy editors/designers.

“Asian men as sport editors, assistant sports editors, columnists and reporters increased by 0.8, 3.0, 0.2 and 0.7 percentage points, respectively.


“The percentage of Latinas and Asian women as sports editors, columnists and copy editors/designers increased. These increases for Latinas were 2, 0.4 and 0.6 percentage points for the positions listed above. For Asian women, the increases were 1.3, 0.4 and 0.5 percentage points, respectively.”

Jeff Rosen, APSE president and sports editor of the Oklahoman, challenged fellow sports editors and managers and directors to “broaden every search for job candidates that they make when they’re able to hire for a position,” Lapchick wrote.


Ruling: Temptations’ Edwards Died of Meningitis

Despite allegations that the wife of the late Dennis Edwards of the classic Temptations singing group had attempted to suffocate him, Edwards died Feb. 1 of complications of meningitis, the Cook County (Ill.) Medical Examiner’s Office has ruled.

Dennis Edwards (Credit: Robert Cohen/ St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

“The manner of death is natural,” the office said in a statement Wednesday provided to Journal-isms.


As described in this space in February, the narrative of Edwards’ death became more complicated when the Detroit News and St. Louis Post-Dispatch each received tips that there was more to the story.

Erin Heffernan and Denise Hollinshed reported then in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “Court documents filed by an adult protective services investigator allege that weeks before the singer’s death, Brenda Edwards abused her husband.


“An investigator with the Healthcare Consortium of Illinois filed the protection order request on behalf of Dennis Edwards Jan. 12 in Chicago, where the couple lived together before Edwards’ death” in a Chicago hospital.

“The documents allege that Brenda Edwards had attempted to suffocate the 74-year-old by holding his head facedown on a bed. The investigator also accused Brenda Edwards of taking her husband’s hearing aids from him, according to a petition for an order of protection. The documents say Edwards was ‘bed bound and immobile.’


“Dennis Edwards was removed from the home because of medical issues, according to the Jan. 12 document. . . .”

Meanwhile, Susan Whitall and Oralandar Brand-Williams of the Detroit News were reporting that one of Edwards’ daughters, Issa Pointer-Stewart, who had been appointed the singer’s power of attorney, said she never heard his doctors say he had meningitis and that Chicago police were investigating the death.


Chicago police spokeswoman Laura Amezaga said Wednesday that the death was actually investigated by the Adult Protective Services Program of the Illinois Department on Aging.

That department was unwilling to release its findings.

Michael Dropka, communications director for the department, told Journal-isms by email Wednesday, “To protect the confidentiality of the individuals, Illinois state statute, specifically 5 ILCS 140/7.5 (y), prohibits the Illinois Department on Aging from disclosing information affirming or denying a specific inquiry regarding the Adult Protective Services Program.”


3 U.S. Blacks, 2 Latinos Among Next Nieman Class

The Nieman Foundation made its announcement on Tuesday.

Three black journalists and two Latinos are among 15 Americans chosen for the Nieman journalism fellowships at Harvard University, as indicated by biographical information provided by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism on Tuesday.

The African Americans are:

Tanya Ballard Brown, a digital editor for NPR, who “will focus on comedic journalism — the growing intersection of humor/satire and journalism — and how it can help journalists connect with their audiences and build community.


Anica Butler, an editor at The Boston Globe, [who] will study change management and design thinking to learn how newsroom culture can become more nimble and dynamic. She will also explore how leadership can affect innovation and diversity.

Jonathan Jackson, a co-founder of Blavity, Inc., [who] will study the emergence of black media in the digital age, examining new ways to measure black cultural influence both inside the U.S. and abroad and its effects on the media and advertising landscape.”


The Latinos are:

Juan Arredondo, listed as “Colombia/USA, “a documentary photographer, who plans to study “the impact photography can have on reconciliation in post-conflict societies and how visual storytelling can engage citizens in the aftermath of violence.”As the 2019 Knight Latin American Nieman Fellow, Arredondo’s fellowship is supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.


Laura N. Pérez Sánchez, an investigative reporter and editor from Puerto Rico, [who] will study “corruption in post-disaster efforts, such as those following Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and how journalism can exercise better watchdog practices in reconstruction contexts. For her fieldwork, she will examine Puerto Rico’s ongoing reconstruction and use of relief funds after Hurricane Maria.” She is one of three journalists chosen as the inaugural Abrams Nieman Fellows for Local Investigative Journalism.

The foundation chose 27 traditional fellows for its class of 2019, which includes both American and international fellows. Additionally, the program is hosting nine Knight Visiting Nieman Fellows for shorter periods throughout 2018 to work on research projects designed to advance journalism. They are supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation.


Of the Abrams Nieman Fellows for Local Investigative Journalism, the program said, “After two semesters at Harvard, they will receive funding for up to nine months of fieldwork at home, where they will work on a public service reporting project and participate in specialized journalism education. The fellowships are funded by a generous grant from the Abrams Foundation designed to strengthen local news coverage in underserved communities across the United States.”

In addition, the program is inaugurating the Robert L. Long Nieman Fellowship in partnership with Turkish Philanthropy Funds.


University of Michigan: 2018 Livingston Award Finalists Announced

Phone Companies Still Gouging Inmates, Families

Families that have been forced to choose between buying household essentials and sharing a phone call with a loved one behind bars have long pleaded with the federal government to end price-gouging by the companies that provide phone service for jail and prison inmates,” the New York Times editorialized in October 2015.


The editorial applauded intervention by the Federal Communications Commission. “There’s little doubt that inmates who keep in touch with their families have a better chance of finding places in their communities and staying out of jail once they are released. But before the F.C.C. intervened, a call from behind prison walls could sometimes cost as much as $14 per minute,” the Times said.

Outgoing FCC commissioner Mignon Clyburn said Wednesday, however, that telephone companies have found a way around the FCC’s intervention.


Clyburn said on WBUR-FM’s “Here and Now,” carried by NPR and originating in Boston, “They have seen their rates — particularly when it comes to intrastate rates, those rates that people are charged inside of this state — they’ve seen them go up.

“We made some initial strides, positive strides, with interstates, meaning calls between states. But what happened when we made that commitment to rationalize those rates in between states, what those companies did was shift the costs to that more unregulated infrastructure when it comes to intrastate rates. So what we’re seeing is people are actually paying more to call loved ones inside of the states. And the FCC is silent, is sitting on its hands, and there is no agency that is stepping up to the plate.”


Sam Gustin reported in March for the Verge, “a bipartisan group of US senators introduced a bill that aims to restore federal authority to crack down on what prison reform advocates call the ‘usurious,’ ‘abusive,’ and ‘exploitative’ business practices of a small handful of companies that dominate the $1.2 billion US prison phone industry. . . “

Gustin also wrote, “For years, GTL and Securus have exerted effective monopoly power in many states to charge inmates, families, lawyers, and clergy excessive rates that can result in monthly bills of as much as $500. For a struggling family whose former breadwinner may be locked up, that’s a lot of money just to stay in touch with a loved one. . . .”


Native Photographers Go Beyond Stereotypes

At Nalukataq, an Inupiaq whaling festival in Barrow, Alaska, villagers celebrate a successful whaling season. (Credit: Kiliii Yuyan via New York Times)

When Tailyr Irvine was at the Standing Rock prayer camp in South Dakota she noticed that many of the other photographers there — who had come to photograph protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline — were concentrating on people on horseback or those wearing headdresses,” James Estrin reported Tuesday for the New York Times. “While many of the photographers were well meaning, she said, they relied on overly dramatic visual clichés that gave a distorted view of native people like her.

“ ‘Our traditions are important to me,’ she said. ‘But I’m also authentically Indian when I’m just wearing sweatpants.’


“Ms. Irvine is a member of the Salish and Kootenai tribes who was born and raised on the Flathead Reservation in northwest Montana. While her family followed native traditions, she rarely saw meaningful stories on Native Americans. The photos she saw were usually based on stereotypes that she calls the four D’s — drumming, dancing, drinking and death.

“ ‘You have to go beyond these stories,’ Ms. Irvine, 24, said. ‘They are not, by themselves, an accurate representation of who we are.’


“Ms. Irvine is among 21 indigenous photographers featured on Natives Photograph, a website started by Josué Rivas, an indigenous photographer originally from Mexico, and Daniella Zalcman, the founder of Women Photograph, an organization devoted to increasing opportunities for women and non-binary photographers.

“The Natives Photograph organization, which opens today, also features a database for photo editors seeking to assign indigenous photographers in North America. Its goal is also to offer support for its members, including grants for long-term projects. . . .”


San Diego Paper Defends ‘Caravan’ Seeking Asylum

President Donald Trump’s outraged reaction to some 200 Central American residents who have arrived in Tijuana to seek U.S. asylum after a five-week ‘caravan’ across Mexico clearly plays to his base, whose opposition to both illegal and legal immigration may be their most defining characteristic,” the San Diego Union-Tribune editorialized on Monday. “But his assertion that the caravan reflects lawlessness and anarchy at the border simply isn’t true.


“What’s now unfolding is absolutely within the parameters of U.S. law —and U.S. history. . . .”

The editorial also said, “This callousness about refugees no doubt sits well with the millions of Trump supporters who believe his canard about America having open borders. It’s also likely to please the many people who look at European nations’ struggle to absorb more than 2 million refugees in the wake of the Syrian civil war and who fear that’s what might happen here.


“But those who say the president merely wants to follow the law on asylum seekers — unlike the presidents who came before him — are lying to themselves. To the contrary, residents of violent, gang-dominated areas of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador who believe they have a ‘well-founded fear of persecution’ because they have crossed the wrong people are legally entitled to asylum consideration. Given that so many critics of U.S. immigration policies like to say ‘what part of “illegal” don’t you understand?’ this irony is painful— and ugly.”

Latino Journalist Could Be Deported Any Day

Manuel Duran (Credit: Memphis Notacias)

Latino journalist Manuel Duran could be deported any day,” Zach Crenshaw reported Tuesday for WHBQ-TV in Memphis. “An immigration judge denied his motion to re-open his case late last week.

“Duran was arrested in early April, while covering a protest outside of 201 Poplar. The charges were quickly dropped, but the arrest put him back on the radar of Immigration and [Customs] Enforcement. Duran had a ‘final order for removal’ related to a prior encounter with ICE when he first crossed the border in 2007. . . .”


Duran remains undocumented. David Plazas wrote April 6 and 7 for the Tennessean in Nashville, “He started in Memphis in 2008 on La Voz 1240 radio, where he was co-anchor of a morning radio show and a newscaster on ‘Minuto 60.’

“He was news director and co-anchor at Ambiente 1030 radio station until 2017. Now, he owns Memphis Noticias, a local news source for the Latino community. . . .”


Short Takes

  • “[W[e want to share four ways that managers can build a more inclusive, welcoming workplace,” Katherine Ellis wrote Tuesday for the American Press Institute, updated Wednesday. They are “Acknowledge your own personal bias,” “Understand that both you and your new hire will need to be vulnerable,” “Be intentional in your approach to diversity recruitment” and “If you haven’t thought about inclusion efforts before your employee starts, you’re already behind.”
  • The judge who presided at Bill Cosby’s criminal trial deferred a decision at a hearing on Tuesday about whether to release the names of the jurors who convicted Mr. Cosby of sexual assault last week, saying he had to balance legal precedent with his strong desire to protect their privacy,” Jon Hurdle reported Tuesday for the New York Times. “The names of jurors are typically public in Pennsylvania, and Judge Steven T. O’Neill, who also presided at Mr. Cosby’s first trial last summer, had released names then after that case ended in a mistrial. But Judge O’Neill seemed pained Tuesday at the prospect of releasing the names this time, suggesting that even now, members of the media had figured out their identities and approached them. . . .”
  • To address allegations of bias, Facebook is bringing in two outside advisors — one to conduct a legal audit of its impact on underrepresented communities and communities of color, and another to advise the company on potential bias against conservative voices,” Sara Fischer reported Monday for Axios. “The efforts are happening in response to allegations that the tech giant censors conservative voices and discriminates against minority groups. . . . The civil rights audit will be guided by Laura Murphy, a national civil liberties and civil rights leader. . . .”
  • “Last month, Joe Neff brought us the incredible story of Henry McCollum and Leon Brown, two intellectually disabled brothers who spent 30 years on death row in North Carolina for a murder they didn’t commit,” the Marshall Project reported in a summary of current stories. “The compensation that they received for their wrongful confinement was then promptly siphoned off by the very people charged with their protection. Particularly troubling was the behavior of Florida lawyer Patrick Megaro, who pocketed a third of each brother’s reparations, approved high interest loans, and allowed massive payouts to supposed ‘advocates.’ After our story was published in partnership with the New York Times, the North Carolina State Bar opened an investigation into Megaro. He’s also been removed from McCollum’s case by a court-appointed guardian. A high-powered D.C. law firm has stepped in to represent McCollum for free in forthcoming lawsuits.”
  • The late journalist and African American historian Lerone Bennett Jr. is the subject of a musical composition, “In Memorium: Lerone Bennett, Jr.,” to be performed Aug. 17 and 18 in Atlanta. The occasion is a 90th birthday celebration for T.J. Anderson, composer-in-residence with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. “It’s a tribute that Dad would have so enjoyed and been humbled by because he spent the first 20 years of his life as a professional musician,” his daughter, Joy Bennett, told Journal-isms. The event takes place at the Canterbury Court Retirement Center. Bennett, a longtime executive editor of Ebony magazine, died in February at 89.
  • “For 40 years, the controversial community organizing group ACORN sought to empower marginalized communities,” the PBS documentary series “Independent Lens” announces. “Its critics, though, believed ACORN exemplified everything wrong with liberal ideals, promoting government waste and ineffective activism. These competing perceptions exploded on the national stage in 2009, just as Barack Obama became president. Fueled by a YouTube video made by undercover journalists, ACORN’s very existence would be challenged. Produced and directed by Reuben Atlas and Sam Pollard, ACORN and the Firestorm . . . cuts to the heart of the great political divide. The film premieres on Independent Lens Monday, May 21, 2018, 10:00-11:30 PM (check local listings) on PBS. . . .” Trailer
  • Marcia Davis, articles editor and writer for the Washington Post Magazine, is joining the Marshall Project, the nonprofit news organization founded in 2014 covering the U.S. criminal justice system. Davis “is joining our management team on May 14" as news editor, Editor-in-Chief Bill Keller told Journal-isms Wednesday. “She will be based in Washington. In addition to working with staff writers on the launching and landing of stories, she will have a voice in the running conversation about the direction of our coverage.” Davis had worked at the Post since 1992, with the exception of two years as senior editor of Emerge magazine in 1997-99.
  • Derrick Z. Jackson, a fellow in climate and energy at the Union of Concerned Scientists’ Center for Science and Democracy and former columnist at the Boston Globe, has been appointed associate member representative on the board of the Society of Environmental Journalists. “Jackson’s voice on the board will help SEJ provide journalists with tools to effectively cover environmental justice and address bias and racism in environmental news coverage,” SEJ President Bobby Magill said in a news release.
  • Reporters Without Borders said Wednesday it was “appalled to learn that a Philippine radio journalist died of his injuries on 1 May after being shot several times by a motorcycle gunman the previous day, and calls on the country’s authorities to identify those responsible. “Edmund Sestoso’s voice was very familiar to listeners of DyGB 91.7 FM, a local radio station in Dumaguete City, in Negros Oriental province. . . .” The Philippines as long regarded as one of the world’s most dangerous countries for journalists.
  • The Committee to Protect Journalists said Wednesday it condemned “the recent closure of the East Jerusalem office of the Palestinian Elia Youth Media Foundation by Israeli forces and called on authorities to allow the group to work freely. Israeli internal security forces and police on April 18 taped a Defense Ministry order on the door that declared Elia a terrorist organization. . . . “
  • A Palestinian journalist who died on Wednesday “needed a miracle to save his life” after being shot by Israeli forces and made to wait two days to be transferred out of the Gaza Strip, health officials said,” Amjad Ayman reported April 25 for Middle East Eye. “Ahmad Abu Hussein succumbed to his wounds nearly two weeks after having been shot by Israeli forces while covering the ‘Great March of Return’ in the besieged Gaza Strip. A 24-year-old freelance photographer and correspondent for Al-Shaab radio station, Abu Hussein was shot in the abdomen with an expanding ‘dum-dum’ bullet on 13 April east of the town of Jabaliya in the northern Gaza Strip. . . .”

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