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In Detroit Market, More Blacks Watch Than Whites

"Though public television has long labored under the onus that its audience largely consists of older, upscale white viewers, our recent study of cumulative viewing of local stations demonstrates that this criticism is not warranted," David LeRoy, Judith LeRoy and Craig Reed reported Monday for


"The 2015 study, Know and Grow, was funded by CPB and powered by new Nielsen software that allowed us to look at how viewers in 56 metered markets watch television on a daily basis. It revealed a very diverse audience for PTV stations in those markets, both in terms of age of the viewers and their ethnicity. In one community, minority viewers watch more public television than do whites. . . ."

The team also wrote, "The findings on cumulative viewing by minority audiences have proven valuable to PTV executives at local stations, some of whom have used them to make the case for funding from community partners. "In Las Vegas, Tom Axtell has observed dramatic demographic shifts in the market since he joined Vegas PBS as general manager in 1994. At that time the public school population was 67 percent white, 12 percent black and 12 percent Hispanic. Today Caucasians are 30 percent of the school population, Hispanics are 44 percent and African-Americans remain at 12 percent. In running a station that’s licensed to the Clark County School District, Axtell and his leadership team are attuned to the challenges faced by local educators, including language barriers and low graduation rates among the student population."

The authors explained that "Cume is a primary metric in audience research. In television, it measures how many different households or people tune in within a specific time period, such as a week or month."


They continued, "When our report on the ethnic cumes measured by the Know and Grow study arrived at Vegas PBS, Axtell shared them with the manager of Mariano’s supermarkets, which serve the Hispanic community.

"The conversations that followed secured $25,000 in underwriting for Vegas PBS and a partnership to sponsor Back-to-School Backpack Fairs in several low-income neighborhoods. The events were hugely successful, giving away 4,000 backpacks filled with school supplies and other goodies, including information about children’s programming and educational apps available from Vegas PBS.

“ 'I see our mission as leveraging national programming to meet community needs,' Axtell said. 'Active outreach is critical, of course, but so is quantifiable information about viewing that demonstrates to partners that the station is reaching the target audience. This new data does that.'


"Detroit Public Television President Rich Homberg is especially proud of what [the Know] and Grow data have confirmed about the station’s strong relationships with minority communities. DPTV’s reach to African-American households and its black viewership exceeds that of white audiences — a unique finding in the study. The station also attracts a high level of kids’ viewing, and children’s programming is one of the most popular genres for DPTV’s African-American audience.

“ 'When we saw these cume estimates for black households — as well as the kids’ numbers — we were elated,” said Stephen Danowski, director of business development. The station’s underwriting team wove the findings into several programming packages that celebrate diversity, including such PBS series as Ken Burns’s Jackie Robinson and Finding Your Roots, locally produced specials and series, and sponsorship opportunities tied to local engagement. . . ."

"Additional Know and Grow data about DPTV viewing disprove the criticism that public TV is elitist. Viewers with a high school education, or less, sample DPTV’s primary and multicast channels more often than viewers from any other educational category — including those who hold doctorates.


“ 'We are one of the most diverse markets in the country,' Homberg said. 'Many are surprised to learn that we not only have a large black community, we have a significant Arab community. We also have an emerging Latino audience — and it is different than that of Miami, San Antonio or Chicago.' . . .”

Asian Americans, Latinos Weigh In on Oscars

"Host Chris Rock made sure Sunday's Oscars were about as black as they could be, given that no black people had been nominated in any high-profile categories," Eric Deggans asserted Monday for NPR.


"Of course, Rock brought the pain, as he always does, in a razor-sharp monologue skewering sensibilities on all sides of the #OscarsSoWhite debate," Deggans continued on the air and for the NPR "Code Switch" blog. "And his comedy bits throughout the show kept up a steady drumbeat, reminding audiences in the hall and at home just who had been left behind.

"That meant two Suge Knight jokes, featuring the actor who played him in Straight Outta Compton. And a bit where Rock's daughters joined a cadre of black Girl Scouts running into the audience to sell $65,000 worth of cookies. There was a man-on-the-street segment featuring mostly black filmgoers at a theater in Compton, Calif., who hadn't heard of most of the white-centered movies considered major contenders. And Rock gave a shout out to #BlackLivesMatter at the show's end, jokingly inviting the Oscars audience to the BET Awards as Public Enemy's Fight the Power played over the closing credits.

"It was overall a virtuoso performance, a constant statement balancing the tony, liberal-tinged self-congratulation of a typical Oscars ceremony with the different world people of color — even those who go to see films regularly — inhabit beyond the bubble of Hollywood's film elite.


"But by emphasizing black exclusion so heavily, Rock's comedy also overlooked the way other ethnic and racial minorities were excluded from Oscar nominations and significant roles in high-quality films.

"A recent study shows that nonwhite Hispanics are by far the most underrepresented characters of color in film and television, while women and gay people also face significant marginalization. Still, most of the comedy about exclusion Sunday reduced the idea of diversity to a black-and-white issue — something that felt, ironically, a little exclusionary itself. . . ."

Asian American and Latino writers agreed, but they weren't the only critics.

The Daily News in New York devoted its front page to a critique by columnist Shaun King with the headline, "CHRIS WENT TOO FAR. King: Rock Was in Impossible Spot, but lynching jokes were appalling.


"Now the thing is, why are we protesting," Rock said in his opening monologue. "The big question, Why this Oscars, why this Oscars? It’s the 88th Academy Awards. The 88th Academy Awards. Which means this whole no black nominees thing has happened at least 71 other times. Okay, you gotta figure that it happened in the '50s, in the '60s.

"You know, in the '60s, one of those years Sidney [Poitier] didn’t put out a movie. I’m sure there were no black nominees those years. Say '62, '63. And black people did not protest. Why? Because we had real things to protest at the time. You know. We had real things to protest. We were too busy being raped and lynched to care about who won for best cinematographer. When you’re grandmother’s swinging from a tree, it’s really hard to care about best documentary foreign short. . . ."

On Facebook, novelist and poet Ishmael Reed, author of "The Complete Muhammad Ali," and editor of Konch magazine, also objected. "the media are praising chris rock because he gave jim crow hollywood a pass," Reed wrote. "he got them to laugh at those who are protesting their lack of diversity. he ignorantly mentioned that this is the first protest by blacks against hollywood in 88 years, when blacks have been protesting against the stereotypes against blacks since at least 1912.he should read marcus garvey's condemnation of the kind of roles assigned to paul robeson by hollywood. they even had the great abbey lincoln play a maid. he should read our anthology, black hollywood unchained."


Lewis Beale, CNN: Oscars 2016's lack of Hispanics, Asians shows that Hollywood doesn't get it

Yesha Callahan, The Root: The Hits and Misses of Chris Rock as Host of the Oscars

Jon Caramanica, New York Times: ‘Fight the Power’ Roars Back to Relevance at the Oscars


Jessica Contrera, Washington Post: If the Oscars were all about diversity, why the crude Asian joke?

Ed Diokno, AsAmNews: Asians insulted; Chris Rock went one joke too many at the Oscars telecast

Will Evans, Center for Investigative Reporting: Oscars showcase Hollywood’s ‘epidemic of invisibility’


Emil Guillermo, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: #OscarsSoWhite? Oscars so long, dull, and out of focus

Kristen Hare, Poynter Institute: How news outlets are covering diversity at the Oscars leading up to Hollywood’s big night

Indian Country Today Media Network: DiCaprio, The Revenant Take Home The Oscar, Indigenous People Get Shout-Out (& Full Oscars List)


Shaun King, Daily News, New York: Chris Rock Oscars opener dropped the ball and lynching jokes went over the line no matter how tough a spot it was

Gary Levin, USA Today: Oscar ratings drop 8% amid diversity push, awards fatigue

David A. Love, Chris Rock called out racism but belittled #OscarsSoWhite protesters


Jason Lynch, How Chris Rock Turned Girl Scout Cookies Into the Oscars' Biggest Brand Winner

Mariecar Mendoza, Asians not spared by Chris Rock at Oscars

James Poniewozik, New York Times: Review: With Chris Rock, the Oscars Find a Lucky Pairing of Host and Subject


James Ragland, Dallas Morning News: Hooray for Hollywood — for once again raising the curtains on racism

Rick Sanchez, Fox News Latino: Oscar's skits flop trying to appease African-Americans – ignoring rest

Vincent Schilling, Indian Country Today Media Network: 10 Native Actors and Films That Should Have ‘Snagged’ the Oscar


Michael Schulman, New Yorker: Chris Rock’s Oscars

R. Thomas Umstead, Multichannel News: TV Must Tackle Diversity, Too



Journalists Hail “Best Picture” Oscar to “Spotlight”

Journalists and journalism groups applauded the awarding of the Academy Award for best picture Sunday to the creators of "Spotlight," the movie about a team of Boston Globe journalists who uncovered the magnitude of the Catholic Church clergy sex abuse scandal in the Boston Archdiocese. "We would not be here today without the heroic efforts of our reporters," said producer Blye Pagon Faust in her acceptance speech. "Not only did they affect global change, but they absolutely show us the necessity for investigative journalism."

After the win, "advocates for victims of clergy sexual abuse are renewing their call for local Catholic bishops to release the names of accused priests," KCBS-TV in Oakland, Calif., reported. "Tim Lennon of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) said there’s no reason the Archdiocese of San Francisco, the Diocese of Oakland and the Diocese of San Jose should not release the names of those accused. . . ."


The Vatican newspaper said "Spotlight" is not anti-Catholic, Carol Glatz reported Monday for Catholic News Service.

" 'It is not an anti-Catholic movie, as has been written, because the film succeeds in giving voice to the alarm and deep pain' experienced by the Catholic faithful when a team of investigative newspaper reporters in Boston revealed the scandal of clerical abuse, said the article published Feb. 29 in L'Osservatore Romano.

"The paper said it was also a 'positive sign' when Michael Sugar, the movie's producer, said he hoped the film would 'resonate all the way to the Vatican.' . . ."


Kristin Hare reported for the Poynter Institute, "Monday's edition of The Boston Globe features a front-page image celebrating the actors who won the Best Picture Academy Award for 'Spotlight.' On A3, the newspaper recognized everyone involved with the film — and the journalists who worked on the Pulitzer-winning investigation — with a full-page thank-you. . . ."

The Center for Investigative Reporting, like many media outlets, had already reported extensively on the film. "We’re going to take you behind the scenes of that investigation, look at the legacy of the groundbreaking story and see how other journalists went on to expose more crimes by Catholic priests around the world," the center said in a multimedia presentation posted on Feb. 20.

"First up, we tell you what happened after the 'Spotlight' movie ended and how The Boston Globe continued to expose cover-ups in the Catholic Church.


"In the second segment, Minnesota Public Radio exposes a priest abuse scandal in the Twin Cities, more than a decade after The Globe’s original investigation. Reporter Madeleine Baran spent two years looking into the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis and uncovered how the church had been making secret payments to known abusers while continuing to conceal clergy sexual abuse from the public.

"And finally, GlobalPost reporter Will Carless takes us to Latin America on the trail of priests who fled the U.S. after being accused of sexually abusing children. . . ."

NABJ Sees “Significant Void” With Harris-Perry Exit

The National Association of Black Journalists expressed disappointment Monday "in the demise of the Melissa Harris-Perry Show. It is truly unfortunate because a significant void now exists for all audiences. There are so few black journalists and voices that serve as hosts, reporters and pundits on network news programs," the association said in a news release.


The release quoted Harris-Perry saying by telephone Monday, "I am not a journalist and I did not come to the show from a traditional background but NABJ — both as individual journalists and as an organization — was consistently supportive of my work over the years.

"Of course I am very sad to lose this platform. I loved this show! But in truth, any number of excellent journalists could host a valuable two-hour show on weekend mornings. I hope that someone will get a chance to do so in my absence. What I think was most valuable about the MHP Show was not me as a host, it was the diversity of our guests. We were careful and conscious and purposeful about who we invited to the table. No other political talk show could match us in that category.

"That is what is lost here. Not me. The show. The absence of these voices will be a tremendous loss."


Paul Farhi wrote Monday for the Washington Post, "MSNBC spent about six years building itself into a different kind of cable-news network, with a diverse cast of hosts, anchors and contributors. It has taken a matter of months for people to call that image into question.

"The network on Saturday dropped host Melissa Harris-Perry after she walked off her program to protest a series of preemptions because of campaign coverage. Harris-Perry, an African American intellectual, effectively sealed her fate by issuing an email to her colleagues that implied the network had mistreated her because of her race.

"Although MSNBC expressed shock and denied the allegation, its makeover from a network featuring liberal talk shows to one focused on breaking news has led to diminished roles for a number of nonwhite personalities. . . ."


Monica Akhtar, Washington Post: Inside the feud between MSNBC and Melissa Harris-Perry (video)

Evette Dionne, What Melissa Harris-Perry's Show Meant To Me As A Black Woman In Media

Michael P. Jeffries, Boston Globe: Melissa Harris-Perry too singular a TV voice to lose


Allen Johnson, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: Harris-Perry's dismissal could be a blessing

Reid Nakamura, Ava DuVernay Hints MSNBC Bumped Interview Due to Melissa Harris-Perry Shoutout

Brandi Thompson Summers, MSNBC is tone-deaf for “silencing” Melissa Harris-Perry


Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Melissa Harris-Perry was a rare voice of substance on cable news

Sherri Williams, Melissa Harris-Perry took the walk that many wish they could (March 1)

Damon Young, Why You Need to Care About What's Happening to Melissa Harris-Perry


Dave Zirin, the Nation: Thank You, Melissa Harris-Perry

Agent Throws Photog to Ground at Trump Rally

"The U.S. Secret Service and local law enforcement briefly detained a photographer on assignment for TIME at a Donald Trump rally at Radford University in Virginia Monday, following a scuffle that saw the photographer thrown to the ground in a choke hold," Time magazine reported.


"Chris Morris, a veteran White House photographer working on the campaign for TIME, stepped out of the press pen to photograph a Black Lives Matter protest that interrupted the speech. A video shows that Morris swore at a Secret Service agent who tried to move Morris back into the pen. A separate video of the event shows that the agent then grabbed Morris’ neck with both hands and threw him into a table and onto the ground. . . .

"Video also shows that once on the ground, Morris kicked at the agent who was trying to restrain him. Later, Morris briefly put his hand on the agent’s neck. After the exchange, Morris said that he did so in order to demonstrate the choke hold he had just experienced.

"TIME has contacted the U.S. Secret Service to express concerns about the level and nature of the agent’s response. Morris has also expressed remorse for his part in escalating the confrontation. A TIME spokesperson said, 'We are relieved that Chris is feeling OK, and we expect him to be back at work soon.'


"Unlike other presidential campaigns, which generally allow reporters and photographers to move around at events, Trump has a strict policy requiring reporters and cameramen to stay inside a gated area, which the candidate often singles out for ridicule during his speeches. The entrance to the penned area is generally monitored by the Secret Service detail, which also screens attendees at his events and personally protects the candidate. . . ."

In a message included in an email to followers of CNN's "Reliable Sources," Dylan Byers of wrote, "While Trump is not responsible for the Secret Service officer's behavior, it should be noted that an altercation like this is not a surprising result given the mounting animosity that Trump and his supporters are directing toward the traveling press and the mainstream media in general. Trump's anti-media rhetoric turns his rallies into powder kegs, and today there was a spark."

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton appeared Tuesday on the syndicated "Tom Joyner Morning Show," participating in a roundtable with Roland Martin, Al Sharpton, Don Lemon and Jacque Reid, along with show hosts Joyner, J. Anthony Brown and Sybil Wilkes. [updated March 1.]


Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Disavowing Duke.

Marcus Brauchli, Washington Post: What I learned as Donald Trump’s media ‘psychologist’

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Hillary Clinton on ‘superpredator’ remarks: ‘I shouldn’t have used those words’


Charles M. Blow, New York Times: ‘I’m Not a Super Predator’

David Chavern, Newspaper Association of America: The Donald Doesn't Understand Libel Law … Which Surprises No One

J.D. Durkin, Mediaite: CNN Guest Destroys Katrina Pierson: Maybe She’s ‘One of the Blacks’ Trump Pays to Clean Up His Mess


Lloyd Green, Daily Beast: In Defense of the Crime Bill

Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News: After David Duke ‘endorsement,’ should we believe Trump then, now or never?

Jim Naureckas, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Why Did It Take an Activist to Bring ‘Superpredators’ Into the Campaign?


Ruben Navarrette Jr., USA Today: Rubio-Cruz duel hurts Latinos

Leonard Pitts, Jr., Miami Herald: Carson doesn’t get what ‘black’ means

Rem Rieder, USA Today: Trump's libel comments way off base

Ben Smith, BuzzFeed: Donald Trump Secretly Told The New York Times What He Really Thinks About Immigration


Lili Gil Valletta, Fox News Latino: What Trump’s victory in Nevada tell us about the Hispanic vote

FCC Asks 280 Stations to Show EEO Compliance

"The FCC today issued a Public Notice announcing its first EEO audit for 2016," David Oxenford reported Thursday for Broadcast Law Blog.


"Letters to about 280 radio and television stations went out on February 24 asking for evidence of their compliance with the FCC’s EEO rules. In today’s notice, the FCC released the form audit letter and list of stations that will be audited. Responses from the audited stations are due to be filed at the FCC by April 11. Licensees should carefully review this list of affected stations which was released with the Public Notice to see if any of their stations have been selected for the audit. . . ."

According to a question-and-answer page on the FCC's website, "Anyone with knowledge of any violation of the FCC's EEO rules committed by a licensee of a broadcast station or an MVPD [multichannel video programming distributor] unit may notify the FCC EEO staff of the alleged violation at any time.

"Complainants should keep in mind, however, that anyone filing such a complaint should include as much specific information and supporting evidence as possible in order for the EEO staff to investigate properly. Also, because of limits imposed on the Commission by statutes of limitations on violations, it is best to file such a complaint as soon as possible after a violation occurs. . . ."


David Honig, founder of the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council, said civil rights groups have criticized the FCC's EEO audits as not strong enough. "The audits are a routine enforcement step the FCC has taken for nearly 15 years to be sure broadcasters recruit widely for job openings. The FCC audits 5% of licensees every year, and it issues forfeitures where it finds that recruitment has been largely 'word of mouth,' he told Journal-isms by email.

"MMTC and all of the major civil rights organizations have long been critical of the audit program because it doesn’t ferret out intentional discrimination. The law is very clear that an employer that recruits primarily by word of mouth from a homogeneous staff is intentionally discriminating because, in this scenario, the method of recruitment will replicate the staff composition across generations.

"An employer that recruits mostly by word of mouth from a heterogeneous staff might not be not be behaving in the most businesslike way, but it is not discriminating and it should not be sanctioned. The FCC still sanctions such licensees, however. An employer with a homogeneous staff that recruits broadly should not be sanctioned either (and it is not) because we want homogeneous employers to recruit broadly and thus become heterogeneous.


"Since 2002, the FCC has considered whether to reinstate its former requirement that broadcasters provide an annual snapshot of their staff composition. At a minimum, the FCC should examine this data for broadcasters that recruit primarily by word of mouth to find out if they are discriminating. It’s been 16 years and we’re still awaiting a ruling."

Lawsuit Filed Over Political Scuffle at Gospel Station

In Dallas, "A campaign volunteer for Dwaine Caraway filed a lawsuit Monday accusing Caraway’s political rival, Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price, of lifting him 'off the floor' by his throat during a scuffle at a gospel radio station" last week, Naomi Martin reported for the Dallas Morning News.


The scuffle prompted an editorial by the Morning News and blogs by three black columnists and bloggers at the news organization. A blog by Leona Allen was headlined, "Why so many black folks were personally embarrassed by the shameful Price vs. Caraway spectacle."

Martin's report continued, "The volunteer, George Nash, 28, says in his lawsuit that he was trying to 'act as a barrier' between the two candidates. Price 'yanked' Nash by his left arm, shouted curse words at him and then grabbed him by his throat and 'lifted him off the floor, causing him injury,' the suit says.

"Reached by phone, Price, who is facing federal corruption charges, said he couldn’t comment because he hadn’t seen the suit.


“ 'Nobody’s given me a case number,' Price said. 'I find that peculiar.'

"The lawsuit comes a day before Caraway’s bid to unseat Price in a primary election Tuesday and a week after the Feb. 22 tussle during a political debate" at KHVN Heaven 97. "The candidates are running to represent District 3 which includes southern Dallas County. . . ."

Leona Allen, Dallas Morning News: Why so many black folks were personally embarrassed by the shameful Price vs. Caraway spectacle


Editorial, Dallas Morning News: Bad timing for Caraway's long-simmering feud with Price to boil over

Naomi Martin, Dallas Morning News: Watch: Dwaine Caraway, John Wiley Price get into fight at gospel station over bitter personal dispute (Feb. 22)

Naomi Martin, Dallas Morning News: John Wiley Price letter: ‘Thespian’ Dwaine Caraway staged fight at gospel radio station


Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News: John Wiley Price’s apology rings hollow

James Ragland, Dallas Morning News: Lord, have mercy, Price and Caraway ought to be ashamed of themselves

Sudanese Journalist Compared to Amanpour

"CNN’s Nima Elbagir may not be a household name for most British television viewers, but the Sudanese journalist is making such an impact internationally with her fearless reports from Africa and the Middle East that she is being compared with the network’s veteran Christiane Amanpour, who shot to fame with her Balkans coverage in the 1980s," Maggie Brown reported Saturday for Britain's Guardian newspaper.


"Elbagir won an award for specialist reporting from the Royal Television Society and only narrowly missed television journalist of the year.

"Her winning coverage was headed by a six-month investigation into people-smuggling from the Nile delta in fishing boats to Rome; undercover reporting of children for sale in Nigeria — she was offered two for $500; and an encounter with a mother and daughter who practise female genital mutilation.

“ 'She was the winner who gave me most pause for thought,' said the awards chair, Stewart Purvis, a former chief executive of ITN. . . ."


Short Takes

Fort Wayne, Ind., police have ruled out speculation that the deaths of three men found shot to death “execution-style” were motivated by hate, Zach Bernard reported Monday for Northwest Indiana Public Radio. The deaths of Muhannad Tairab, Adam Mekki and Mohamedtaha Omar, whose families had migrated to Indiana from Africa, drew national attention because two of the victims were Muslim and the third Christian. Max Fisher asked readers of Saturday to imagine that three Christian youths "turned up mysteriously executed a few blocks from Indiana Tech. Ask yourself whether it would be treated as major news, if only for the possibility of its connection to that wave of violence, or whether it would be largely ignored, as the murders of Tairab, Mekki, and Omar have been."

Unity: Journalists for Diversity "will kick off 2016 in Phoenix on April 28 and April 29," the group announced Monday. "UNITY will hold a town hall meeting on immigration in Phoenix followed by a media regional summit at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. The media summit will cover issues around immigration, the 2016 presidential election, LGBT refugees, the Native American vote and the environment. . . ."

Advertisement is teaming with kweliTV to give black filmmakers a showcase for 8- to 20-minute films focusing on the black experience, Audrina Bigos reported Sunday for WBBM-TV in Chicago. “This platform is like the black Netflix,” student filmmaker Terry Haynes said. "The winner of the competition will have their work covered by and get a 12-month streaming deal with kweliTV," Bigos wrote.

Cassandra Hsiao, a student last summer at JCamp, a six-day intensive, multicultural journalism training for high school students sponsored by the Asian American Journalists Association, wrote about her mentor, MSNBC anchor Richard Lui. "His real last name is Wong," Hsiao wrote on a page produced by the Orange County School of the Arts in the Feb. 22 edition of the Los Angeles Times. "This is because his grandfather was an illegal immigrant, or 'paper son,' who bought fake papers in order to avoid the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, one of the most significant immigrant restrictions in American history. The discovery of his descent from an illegal immigrant prompted Lui to delve deeper into his family’s history and the wider perspective of his culture as a whole. . . ."

In the second of a two-part series of African-American History Month articles on military veterans who founded the National Association of Black Journalists, Arthur Mondale discussed Paul Delaney, Paul Brock and Les Payne Feb. 18 for the U.S. Defense Video & Imagery Distribution System. Their service in the military helped shield them from discriminatory hiring practices that plagued their civilian counterparts in the U.S. media industry, Mondale wrote.