• Coverage Falls to Postings on Social Media
  • Immigrants Held a Special Place With Bourdain
  • Washington Post Breaks Story of Migrant’s Suicide
  • Cortes Fights On Despite Losing Lawsuit
  • What to Know About the Repeal of Net Neutrality
  • Google’s Parent Elevates Attention to Diversity
  • Press and Public Don’t Fully Understand Each Other
  • Oren Dorell, USA Today Reporter, Dies in Crash
  • Short Takes
Some 500 people attended Zachary Stoner’s funeral Saturday on Chicago’s South Side.
Screenshot: Facebook

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Correction: Wednesday, June 13, 2018, 4 p.m. EDT: A previous version of the story contained an item in “Short Takes” that incorrectly stated Darlene Superville of the Associated Press was leaving the White House beat. The item has been removed.

Coverage Falls to Postings on Social Media

The story of the Chicago video blogger whose fatal shooting attracted the attention of the Committee to Protect Journalists last week took another turn Saturday when an associate of the video blogger, or vlogger, was also killed.

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It was the same day that about 500 people attended the standing-room-only funeral of Zachary Stoner, 30, known as ZackTV, who called himself “The Hood CNN.”

The nearly three-hour service, in which young people were said to have been “in and out,” took place Saturday at Gatling’s Chapel at 10133 S. Halsted St. on the city’s South Side.

In a city where the sheer number of homicides has become national news, apparently, neither the service nor the second killing were covered by the city’s mainstream or African American media. (The Chicago Tribune said Monday it had counted 213 people killed this year through Saturday, which is 65 fewer than 2017.)

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Media coverage or not, those who knew Stoner and his friend continued to discuss their killings on social media, with some posting videos.

On June 1, a video on YouTube showed a purported Chicago gang member declaring in graphic street language that Stoner was killed May 30 because the interviews he posted on his popular YouTube channel revealed information that led to the killings of some of his subjects. Stoner had “blood on his hands,” the purported gang member said.

On Sunday, another video announced that an associate of Stoner known as T Streetz Davis had been killed Saturday. Below the video, one viewer commented, “He died bogus just like zack did I honestly think he was trying to get under the car and hide from the shooters but they was on his ass and got him and they popped him in a spot that’s really dark no lighting at all cops and security came out but didn’t see him so his body layed there for hours and was rained on until daylight when they finally found him the day of the funeral.”

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A Facebook user posted an enhanced nighttime street scene, taken from a video made after the killing. He captioned it “TStreetz Davis death site.”

The photo was accompanied by this message: “We are looking for any help we can get as far as details, who was with him the night of?? Did he have a altercation??? Also let’s keep his memory alive post pics you have with Zack, and or your favorite interview... Don’t let his dying be in vain...”

Elsewhere on social media was a video with this chilling message: “These are the people responsible for my cousin Streetz Davis death! He knew something was up so he posted all of them on his snap... his very last snap before he was found dead. . . .”

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Chicago Police spokeswoman Michelle Tannehill confirmed by email Monday that “on 09 JUN 18 at 1:40 am at approx.: 4500 Block of South Champlain, A 30 year old male sustained a gunshot wound to the face, neck and chest. The victim was discovered unresponsive at the above address and was later pronounced on scene.” She added, “We do not have his name.”

As for Stoner, she said, “No updates in this case. And there are no offenders in custody. . . . Detectives are viewing video now and still investigating.” A video taken immediately following the shooting by a neighbor, Aaron Dunlap, shows at least three people running to a third vehicle; one can be heard shouting, “Let’s go!” according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

The committee noted in its report last week that “Killings of journalists in the United States are relatively rare.”

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It also said, “Having referred to himself as ‘the best interviewer in the world’ in his Twitter profile, Stoner went by ZackTV and was a popular vlogger — or video blogger — known for his coverage of hip hop and the realities of life in his community, particularly those of young black men. The Chicago Defender quoted Stoner as saying, ‘A lot of people respect what I do. I’m the “Hood CNN.” ‘ The videographer interviewed notable rappers including Chief Keef and G Count, and had posted more than 1,700 videos to his channel, which had a following of over 176,000 people. Some of his videos were controversial — a few mention conspiracy theories, and others feature young men throwing gang signs and threatening their rivals. . . .”

Under a video Saturday of the burial procession, one woman wrote among the 495 comments, “I feel like the people in Chicago or so used to going to funerals. Making it a party laughing, playing the music, having a good time. It’s like a regular thing now because they go to so many.”

On a video reporting Stoner’s funeral, its creator reported the killing of Davis, Stoner’s “close friend.” Commenters’ speculation underscored that there are more questions than answers about the two deaths.

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“He probably didn’t set him up,” one said of Davis. “He probably knew who did it so they killed him before retaliation.. Or maybe he did set him up!!”

“Dead man tells no tales, so they silenced him because he was doing too much and saying too much and talking to police, so his co defendants would be!,” said another. “made sure the case get closed before it opens , the truth never needs an alibi! If he was innocent he would not need to try prove it on live he would just shut his mouth and let people talk and know inside he is innocent and lay low he wouldn’t feel the need to prove anything so hard,” said a third.

Another said, “you must leave chicago if you want to live.”

“First Zack now his friend T Streets. Chicago is a warzone . . . this summer,” another echoed.

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Chicago Sun-Times: 38 shot — 9 fatally — in weekend gun violence across Chicago

Dustin Gary, gossiponthis.com: Chicago Rapper “T Streetz” Killed: Friend of ZackTV Accused of Setting Up His Murder Reportedly Shot Dead

Annie Sweeney, Chicago Tribune: In hopes of stopping bloodshed, a multimillion-dollar effort is providing jobs, therapy to city’s most violent

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Barack Obama tweeted Friday, “Low plastic stool, cheap but delicious noodles, cold Hanoi beer. This is how I’ll remember Tony. He taught us about food — but more importantly, about its ability to bring us together. To make us a little less afraid of the unknown. We’ll miss him.” Obama and Anthony Bourdain are in Hanoi.
Screenshot: Pete Souza (Instagram)

Immigrants Held a Special Place With Bourdain

By many accounts, Anthony Bourdain had a big heart,Marcela García reported Friday for the Boston Globe. “And he saved a special place in it for the invisible workforce made up of hundreds of thousands of immigrants powering the food industry.

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“In Bourdain, who died in an apparent suicide in France on Friday, Latinx workers had a relentless champion who used his status to advocate on their behalf. The death of the celebrity chef and author, who was 61, is a shocking loss to this voiceless group.

“Bourdain began his famed career as a dishwasher in Provincetown. Perhaps it was his humble beginnings in the business that made him connect to the many struggles faced by immigrants. ‘. . . I walked into restaurants and the person always who’d been there the longest, who took the time to show me how it was done, was always Mexican or Central American,’ he said. Bourdain often called immigrants ‘the backbone of the industry.’

“For more than a decade, the late TV host spoke out loudly about the immeasurable contributions of immigrants and the need for immigration reform. Bourdain was among [Donald] Trump’s fiercest critics when he launched his presidential campaign criminalizing Mexican immigrants. ‘If Mr. Trump deports 11 million people or whatever he’s talking about right now, every restaurant in America would shut down,’ Bourdain said in 2015.

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“Indeed, about one-fifth of the country’s chefs, head cooks, and cooks are undocumented, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. . . .”

Farai Chideya, Columbia Journalism Review: Coverage of Kate Spade’s death reveals need for media diversity

Ed Diokno, AsAmNews: Anthony Bourdain, RIP – He Promoted Asian Cuisines to Western Audiences

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Rachelle Hampton, Slate: “We Know Phonies From a Thousand Miles Away. He Wasn’t One”: Food writer Gustavo Arellano on why Anthony Bourdain meant so much to marginalized communities.

Elizabeth Jensen, NPR: NPR’s Policy On Suicide Reporting Is To ‘Be Judicious’ With Details

Edward Lee, CNN: Chef Edward Lee: Bourdain changed my life

Marek Mazurek and Laney Ruckstuhl, Boston Globe: Mental health professionals fear ‘contagion’ effect

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Phil Yu, Angry Asian Man: How Anthony Bourdain Helped a Flushing Family Food Stall Become a New York Noodle Empire

Marco Antonio Muñoz, seen in a handout photo provided by the Starr County, Texas, Sheriff’s Office, died in custody on May 13 after being separated from his family.
Photo: Starr County Sheriff’s Office

Washington Post Breaks Story of Migrant’s Suicide

“A Honduran father separated from his wife and child suffered a breakdown at a Texas jail and killed himself in a padded cell last month, according to Border Patrol agents and an incident report filed by sheriff’s deputies,” Nick Miroff reported Saturday for the Washington Post.

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“The death of Marco Antonio Muñoz, 39, has not been publicly disclosed by the Department of Homeland Security, and it did not appear in any local news accounts. But according to a copy of a sheriff’s department report obtained by The Washington Post, Muñoz was found on the floor of his cell May 13 in a pool of blood with an item of clothing twisted around his neck.

“Starr County sheriff’s deputies recorded the incident as a ‘suicide in custody.’

“Muñoz’s death occurred not long after the Trump administration began implementing its ‘zero-tolerance’ crackdown on illegal migration, measures that include separating parents from their children and the threat of criminal prosecution for anyone who enters the United States unlawfully.

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“Much of the controversy generated by the approach has centered on its potentially traumatic impact for migrant children, but the government has said little about how it handles parents who become mentally unstable or violent after authorities split up their families. . . .”

Rekha Basu, Des Moines Register: Des Moines DREAMer dies within weeks after being sent back to Mexico’s violence

Beacon Journal/Ohio.com editorial board: Separated at the border

Agnes Constante, NBC Asian America: They came here as refugees. Now the U.S. may be deporting some Vietnamese nationals. (May 23)

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Liz Goodwin, Boston Globe: ‘Children are being used as a tool’ in Trump’s effort to stop border crossings

James Goodman, the Progressive: The Death of a Farmworker

Miriam Jordan, New York Times: ‘It’s Horrendous’: The Heartache of a Migrant Boy Taken From His Father

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Nick Miroff, Washington Post: Honduran father who died in Texas jail was fleeing violence, consul says

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Hateful incidents make Latinos feel unwelcome (May 31)

Andrés Oppenheimer, Miami Herald: U.N. and OAS should look into Trump’s forcible separation of children from their immigrant parents (May 30)

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Albor Ruiz, Al Día, Philadelphia: When he disrespects our heritage, Trump demeans the nation

Kavitha Surana, Pro Publica (with Philadelphia Inquirer): How Racial Profiling Goes Unchecked in Immigration Enforcement

Pete Williams, NBC News: Domestic or gang violence is not grounds for asylum, Sessions rules

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Elly Yu, Reveal, Center for Investigative Reporting: Staff describe Georgia immigrant detention center as ‘ticking bomb’

Francisco Cortes was part of the late Fox News founder Roger Ailes’ first graduating class of network apprentices and rose steadily in the company.
Screenshot: Fox News

Cortes Fights On Despite Losing Lawsuit

Francisco Cortes, a former vice president at Fox News Latino, was no doubt the highest profile Latino journalist caught up in the #MeToo movement.

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Cortes was part of the late Fox News founder Roger Ailes’ first graduating class of network apprentices and rose steadily in the company. Then, in March 2017, the New York Times’ Emily Steel reported that the company had reached a $2.5 million settlement with Fox contributor Tamara Holder to resolve claims that Cortes had forced himself upon her. Cortes was let go.

Fox News Latino was stripped of original content, though Fox maintained the two developments were not related.

Cortes fought back last July with a $48 million lawsuit that alleged that Holder’s statements to the Times destroyed his reputation and irreparably damaged his career opportunities.

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In January, a New York federal judge dismissed the claims in his lawsuit, one by one. But Cortes’ lawyer, J.A. Sanchez-Dorta, told Journal-isms by telephone Monday that the former news executive isn’t giving up. Moreover, his appeal draws Fox personality Sean Hannity into the case.

As Lynx.com reported last month, “An attorney for former Fox News Latino Vice President Francisco Cortes is now pushing an unsubstantiated claim about host Sean Hannity being involved in a sexual harassment settlement involving former network contributor Tamara Holder.

“Cortes was accused of sexually assaulting Holder while an employee at Fox.

“Holder claimed Cortes, along with two other unnamed men, assaulted her in the workplace, but only Cortes was named in the lawsuit.

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“21st Century Fox eventually settled on a $2.5 million payout with the promise of never releasing the name of the other two men involved in the case.

“Now, attorney Sanchez-Dorta is claiming that Sean Hannity is one of the unnamed men in the case, and wants his name made public, arguing his client was used as a scapegoat in the sexual harassment suit.

“However, he’s released no evidence to back the claim. Cortes’ suit was tossed last year, but the case is currently on appeal. . . .”

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Eriq Gardner, writing May 7 in the Hollywood Reporter, called Cortes’ assertions “truly bizarre.” “Appellate briefs aren’t supposed to introduce new facts. They are supposed to argue why an error in legal judgment has been made,” Gardner wrote. “Sanchez-Dorta has been sanctioned in the past for ‘scurrilous statements’ in pleadings, and the allegations he presents are hardly grounded with hard evidence of wrongdoing. . . .”

Fox News responds, “The brief says that its allegations about Sean Hannity are ‘worthy of a Martin Scorsese thriller’ for a reason – they are pure fiction. Mr. Hannity was not a party to Tamara Holder’s settlement agreement with 21CF and did not pay any portion of the settlement. Indeed, Ms. Holder has publicly praised Mr. Hannity as a ‘really, really good man’ who never acted inappropriately with her.”]

What to Know About the Repeal of Net Neutrality

Monday marks the official end of the federal government’s net neutrality rules, the Obama-era regulations that said Internet providers can’t block or slow down websites or prioritize their content over others’,Brian Fung reported Monday for the Washington Post.

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“It’s a turning point for Internet policy and the Web as a whole, as broadband providers will enjoy additional freedom to seek new ways of making money in a rapidly changing market. With the rules coming off the books, how is your Internet experience likely to change? Here’s what you need to know. . . .”

Kim Keenan, Multichannel News: It’s June 11, and the Internet Still Works

David Shepardson, Reuters: U.S. ‘net neutrality’ rules will expire on June 11: FCC (May 10)

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Google’s Parent Elevates Attention to Diversity

For the past year, culture and diversity clashes within Google and its parent company, Alphabet, have dominated headlines,” Richard Nieva reported Wednesday for cnet.com.

“Last summer, a now-infamous memo by fired engineer James Damore roiled the company, highlighting issues of gender and race. And Alphabet, like many other tech giants, has been criticized for not having enough diversity on its board. (Of the 11 members, only two are women.)

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“On Wednesday, those issues were in full view again at Alphabet’s annual meeting with shareholders at its headquarters in Mountain View, California.

“ ‘I can confirm that for every new Alphabet board opening, we will consider a set of candidates that includes both underrepresented people of color and different genders,’ said John Hennessy, chairman of the board.

“The company has actively been looking to fill two independent director roles. One member, Shirley Tilghman, retired in February, and Paul Otellini, the former Intel CEO, died last year.

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“Even Google employees themselves stepped up on Wednesday to challenge management on diversity issues — a rarity for a company’s rank and file in such a public and formal corporate setting. . . .”

Catalina Albeanu, journalism.co.uk: It’s a business imperative’: How the New York Times and Gizmodo tackle gender diversity in the newsroom

Seung Lee and Rex Crum, San Jose Mercury News: Google’s culture wars spill over into shareholders’ meeting

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Press and Public Don’t Fully Understand Each Other

A key factor in the erosion of Americans’ trust of their news media is a failure to communicate — we have a public that doesn’t fully understand how journalists work, and journalism that doesn’t make itself understandable to much of the public,” the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press‑NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, reported Monday.

“This fundamental pattern emerges from a new study by the Media Insight Project. We conducted twin surveys of both the public and journalists, asking each group parallel questions about the public’s understanding of journalistic concepts, the public’s interactions with journalists, and how all of that affects people’s assessment of the news media.

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“The findings released today reveal problems of miscommunication, as well as opportunities. They highlight shared ideals: for example, the public and journalists want the same things from the press — verified facts, supplemented by some background and analysis. But they also reveal dissatisfaction: many Americans think what they see in the news media looks largely like opinion and commentary — not the carefully reported contextualizing they hoped for.

“Moreover, the public is confused by some basic concepts of news. Half do not know what an ‘op‑ed’ is. More than 4 in 10 do not know what the term ‘attribution’ means, and close to 3 in 10 do not know the difference between an ‘editorial’ and a ‘news story.’ . . .”

In addition, few Americans (23 percent) and fewer journalists (14 percent) think the press covers issues around race and ethnicity very accurately.

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Journalists and the public alike also give low accuracy marks to coverage of people with lower incomes, people in rural areas and people in grassroots political movements.

Rowan Moore Gerety, Columbia Journalism Review: Steadying the Miami Herald newsroom, after cuts and a digital reinvention

Shraddha Kakade, storybench.org: How one Pennsylvania station hopes to reinvent local TV news by embedding reporters in communities

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Oren Dorell, USA Today Reporter, Dies in Crash

Oren Dorell

Oren Dorell, a former construction contractor who became a globe-trotting foreign affairs reporter for USA TODAY, died Friday evening in Washington, D.C.,” Sean Rossman reported Saturday for that newspaper. “He was 53.

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“Dorell was hit by a suspected impaired driver while riding his motorcycle. The crash is under investigation. . . .”Leslie Sloan Ansley, who worked with Dorell, wrote Saturday on Facebook, “Most know him as a stellar USA TODAY foreign affairs reporter; others from his short time here in Raleigh, or from his first daily newspaper position at the Akron Beacon Journal.

“I was a senior editor there, in charge of recruiting, training and staff development. I felt I was pretty good at finding diamonds in the rough, and they didn’t come much rougher than Oren. It was the late 1990s and he had more experience working as a carpenter than a journalist, but my dear friend Joyce Ingram at the Virginian-Pilot insisted I take a look at him. So, I did. There was something there. Flew him in. (Joyce wasn’t kidding: Oren did NOT look black. He was Jewish, too.) His clips were only OK, but there was just ...something else. Folks, I never fought harder for anyone to be hired than Oren. He was hired . . .

“He wasn’t off to a great start, but I think we’d all agree he finished well. Over the next few days and weeks, folks will share the most amazing stories about Oren: how many languages he spoke; how he met and married the love of his life, Ginny, a copy editor in Akron, now a lawyer in D.C. and mother of their two amazing sons. . . .”

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In February 2017, Dorell wrote about his late father, Harold Dorell. “ A drill sergeant in the Army in the early 1950s, he protested segregation by refusing to abide by a base rule that black soldiers vacate the officers’ den when officers were present. Then, after a commanding major ordered him out or risk court martial, Harold fired off letters of protest to that officer’s entire chain of command up to the president. He wound up being demoted for lateness and deployed to Korea, where he worked in Seoul as a military detective at the Criminal Investigations Division.

“He later fought for minorities as an independent long-haul trucker in the United States and as a geologist and mine supervisor in Bolivia. In California in the 1960s, he identified with the self-help ideology of the Black Power movement but felt their rejection of his white wife was unacceptably racist. He moved to Israel in 1969 to get his family away from racial strife in America, then moved back in 1976 to become a civil rights officer at the Urban Mass Transportation Administration (now the Federal Transit Administration) in Philadelphia. . . .”

Short Takes

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Ernel Martinez installing the Ed Bradley mural.
Photo: Steve Weinik (Mural Arts Philadelphia)

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Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.

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Journal-isms is originally published on journal-isms.com. Reprinted on The Root by permission.