A Gallup poll released Tuesday shows that Americans' satisfaction with how blacks are treated in the U.S. has dropped to an all-time low," Scott Sutton reported Tuesday for the Chicago Sun-Times.
The next day, Jesse J. Holland reported for the Associated Press that "A majority of blacks in the United States — more than 3 out of 5 — say they or a family member have personal experience with being treated unfairly by the police, and their race is the reason."
"Half of African-American respondents, including 6 in 10 black men, said they personally had been treated unfairly by police because of their race, compared with 3 percent of whites. Another 15 percent said they knew of a family member who had been treated unfairly by the police because of their race.
"This information, from a survey conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, comes as the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, approaches its first anniversary and the nation continues to grapple with police-related deaths of black Americans.
"White Americans who live in more diverse communities — where census data show at least 25 percent of the population is non-white — were more likely than other whites to say police in their communities mistreat minorities, 58 percent to 42 percent. And they're more likely to see the police as too quick to use deadly force, 42 percent to 29 percent. . . ."
The Gallup results are "based on Gallup's 2015 Minority Rights and Relations poll conducted last month and [show] that just 49 percent of American adults are satisfied with the way the U.S. treats its black population, down from 62 percent two years ago," Sutton wrote in the Sun-Times.
"Just 33 percent of African-Americans said they were satisfied with how they were being treated, while 44 percent of Hispanics said they were satisfied with the treatment of blacks in America.
"Whites were the group most likely to say they were satisfied with how blacks were being treated, with 53 percent saying they were OK with the treatment of blacks in America. . . ."
Sutton also wrote, "However, sentiment about the treatment of blacks does not necessarily translate to sentiment about the treatment of other minority groups in the U.S.
"The poll shows that 58 percent of Hispanics are satisfied with the way groups are treated, which is the same number they polled at in 2013. Asians, immigrants, Arabs, and women all showed slight drops in satisfaction with how groups are treated, but none more than 4 percent (which was for women).
"Gallup concludes that because of more media attention on high-profile incidents of white police officers killing unarmed black suspects the nation's opinion on how blacks are treated is trending downward. . . ."
Michael Eric Dyson, New York Times: President Obama's Racial Renaissance
Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Stop keeping score where killing is concerned
Janell Ross, Washington Post: Are race relations really worse under President Obama?
The latest diversity census from the American Society of News Editors — showing that the percentage of journalists of color in newspaper and online newsrooms declined from 13.34 percent to 12.76 percent — has diversity advocates pointing to problems ranging from lack of transparency by news outlets to a diversity gap between small newsrooms and large ones.
In an interview with Rebecca McCray of takepart.com, this columnist advanced the idea that indifference and inattention should also be cited as villains. "It's important to get people of color in the newsroom, but it's everyone's job to cover those communities. You don't have to be part of that ethnic group to do a good job. It's more about caring and paying attention."
Writing Tuesday on LinkedIn, Joe Grimm, visiting editor in residence at the Michigan State University School of Journalism and longtime recruiter, said, "Newsrooms must be more transparent about their staffing diversity. A lack of reporting about how they are doing hides a worsening problem."
The ASNE report, Grimm wrote, "says that the number of newsrooms even responding to the survey is down to 43.8 percent. According to the report, 'This level of participation is lower than the past three years' at about 71 percent and is attributed to a combination of factors.' . . .
"With fewer than half of newsrooms reporting, the association projects data for non-responding newspapers in the same circulation range. While structural change is one reason newsrooms might not report, poor performance on diversity might be another. We would be foolish to think that non-reporting newspapers are more diverse than the ones that do report. . . ."
At the Pew Research Center, Michael Barthel noted Tuesday that "Smaller daily newspapers are also less likely to hire minorities for their first job as a full-time professional journalist. At newspapers with circulations of 500,000 or more, 43% of those hired for their first professional journalism job are minorities. At those with circulations of 5,000 or less, however, only 12% of first-time hires are minorities.
Barthel also wrote, "The pattern in small versus large newsrooms also holds true for the local TV industry (though minority employment is higher there than for newspapers). Minorities make up 29% of the workforce in the top 25 markets, but 14% in the smallest markets. When it comes to the leadership position of news director, there is rough parity in the top markets: Minority employees make up 29% of the workforce and 26% of the news directors, a 3-percentage-point gap.
"But outside these largest markets, TV newsrooms are considerably more likely to employ minorities than they are to have a non-white news director. For markets ranked 26-50, minorities make up 25% of the workforce but only 13% of news directors. (At newspapers, 10% of supervisors are minorities, but ASNE did not break this out by circulation category.) . . ."
Bob Butler, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, told McCray of takepart.com, "For decades, we’ve been hearing people say they can't find qualified [non-white] applicants. If you can't find them, train your own. Develop your bench."
Butler added, "Media companies should invest in programs that develop minority talent early on to help non-white journalists develop the [skill sets] they seek, Butler said. By not seeking and training minority journalists, television and newspaper outlets risk missing out on stories that matter, and may produce homogenous news that doesn't accurately illustrate the communities they seek to document and inform. . . ."
Ashley Balcerzak, LinkedIn: The media industry still lacks diversity: Here's why this is a problem
Monique Phillips, the Ryersonian, Ryerson University, Canada: The 'black sheep' of the newsroom (March 3)
Ryersonian, Ryerson University, Canada: Best step forward: The complexities of covering race-based issues in the media (April 8)
"Some relationships aren't meant to last," Betsy Rothstein wrote Wednesday for the Mirror blog of the Daily Caller.
"Last year, CNN blasted National Association of Black Journalists President Bob Butler for saying the network was pulling out of financially supporting their convention. At the time, Butler complained mercilessly that the network had treated black journalists shabbily.
" 'I know CNN is going through layoffs, but the departure of so many African Americans is worrisome,' Butler wrote in a release at the time. Some members even ridiculed Jeff Zucker's handling of minorities at the network.
"CNN sat on the fence. Even though a CNN employee had informed Butler the network would not help finance the NABJ convention, a spokesperson declared that the network powers that be had not made up their minds. 'Consider your request denied,' Butler said he was told by someone at CNN whom he wouldn't name.
"Well, Butler was right.
"CNN will not be recruiting at the NABJ conference this year in Minneapolis, The Mirror has learned. But just like last year, the network is insisting this isn't true.
"When The Mirror reached out to CNN and asked about the claim that the network will not be recruiting at this year's convention, a spokesperson said, 'Not sure where that info came from, but it's simply untrue. I don't know all the details, but I do know we are recruiting there and sending a number of people including Christal [Jones].'
"Jones is a CNN publicist based in Atlanta with no hiring authority to bring on new talent.
"When I followed up with more questions — for instance, will CNN help finance the convention? — I received no response.
"The Mirror was, however, able to learn more about the situation from NABJ.
" 'We have no record of CNN being a corporate partner for NABJ this year,' Butler told The Mirror Wednesday by phone. 'There is no recruiting booth. We had a promotional sale for registrations for about $200 and I believe CNN bought about 10 of those registrations. So some of their employees are coming, but as far as them supporting NABJ as a corporate partner, that is not the case.'
"Even more eye-popping: With Butler's time as president nearly up, a CNN employee is running for NABJ president. That candidate would be Mira Lowe, wife of former NABJ President Herb Lowe. She's the senior features editor of CNN Digital. . . ."
In a debate between the two NABJ presidential candidates on Tuesday, Sarah J. Glover, social media editor for NBC Owned Television Stations, said "having the support of your employer" was among the reasons that she should be elected.
Both candidates said that NABJ finances were among their concerns, with Lowe remarking that "NABJ is known for slapping people in the face and sticking them up for money."
Stuart Scott, the popular ESPN anchor who died of cancer in January, will join the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame after all, the NABJ board of directors voted on Tuesday.
After NABJ announced 11 inductees for its Hall of Fame last month, sports commentator Stephen A. Smith took to the airwaves for an indignant and lengthy denunciation of NABJ for rejecting Scott's nomination.
But NABJ President Bob Butler and Maureen Bunyan, an NABJ co-founder who chaired the Hall of Fame Committee, told Journal-isms that Smith had his facts wrong.
"Stuart Scott was NOT…was NOT nominated to the Hall of Fame," Bunyan wrote by email then.
Lee Ivory, the NABJ secretary, told Journal-isms by telephone Wednesday of the reasons for the board's action. "The thinking was that there was no nomination. Somebody did send in a nomination but it was after the deadline and incomplete. This is one way of making things right. [The conversation] lasted all of one minute. Everybody was like, 'It's the right thing to do.' "
Ivory said the board also appointed Greg Morrison, assignment editor for the affiliate content center at CNN, to serve as acting treasurer this week. Morrison is running unopposed for the post.
Treasurer Keith Reed joined the staff of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed in May as deputy press secretary and said then he would serve out his term as NABJ treasurer, insisting that he was not required to step down. Reed never formally resigned but was not expected to be present to discuss the organization's finances at its business meeting Friday, Ivory said.
As of Monday, 1,640 had registered to attend the convention at the Minnesota Convention Center in Minneapolis, NABJ spokeswoman Aprill Turner told Journal-isms. That includes sponsors and guests as well as NABJ members.
Wayne Dawkins, Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder: Black journalism conference kicks off in Mpls — a remarkable 40 year milestone
DeWayne Wickham, columnist for USA Today since 1985, told readers on Tuesday that he was stepping down from his pundit's perch at "the nation's newspaper."
"There is no good way to do this. No easy way to leave this influential space I have occupied for three decades. But the time has come for me to step aside and begin a new chapter in my life," Wickham wrote.
"I first thought of moving on the night in November 2008 when Barack Obama became this nation's first black president. Covering his campaign, I thought, was the pinnacle of my journalism career. I had a front-row seat throughout that contest. Obama called me at critical stages in his White House run, like after the 'race' speech he gave in Philadelphia and the primary victory in South Carolina that catapulted him toward the nomination.
"But I decided — and my editors agreed — that I should hang around to witness and report on the presidency of America's first black chief executive. . . ."
Wickham, 69, is dean of Morgan State University's School of Global Journalism and Communication, a former president of the National Association of Black Journalists and a co-founder of the Trotter Group of African American columnists. He had worked for the Baltimore Sun and later in television when at the 1985 NABJ convention, Gannett Co. editor Monte Trammer recommended Wickham to fill a columnist slot vacated by Jay Harris, who went on to become chairman and publisher of the San Jose Mercury News.
"USA TODAY has let me bring a different voice to its op-ed pages and expand the art of analytical commentary beyond the narrow bandwidth that moved the Kerner Commission to complain in 1968, 'The media report and write from the standpoint of a white man's world,' " he told readers.
"For that, and the patience my editors have shown me, I will be eternally grateful. I am also thankful for both the readers who were reassured by my views and those who found fault. The feedback helped shape my voice — a voice I hope history will, after due consideration, exonerate."
"In his first sweeps month as Nightly News anchor Lester Holt gave the NBC broadcast its biggest July audience in 10 years, and its best in the A25-54 demo since 2013," Chris Ariens reported Tuesday for TVNewser.
"Holt officially took over the show six weeks ago, but has been anchoring since February when Brian Williams stepped aside from the show. . . ."
Brian Flood, TVNewser: Lester Holt's Live Lunch Break: 'We Don’t Call it the Murder Show. We Call it Dateline'
"In Allure’s August issue, there's a brief (hopefully!) moment of stupidity titled 'You (Yes, You) Can Have An Afro,' Chris O'Shea reported Tuesday for FishbowlNY.
'It's a piece that explains how white women can have an afro, totally missing the point that white women cannot have an afro. In a statement to BuzzFeed, Allure attempted to defend the article.
" 'The Afro has a rich cultural and aesthetic history. In this story, we show women using different hairstyles as an individual expressions [sic] of style. Using beauty and hair as a form of self-expression is a mirror of what's happening in our country today. The creativity is limitless — and pretty wonderful.'
"We now turn to Jezebel's Kara Brown, who had the perfect rebuttal . . ."
Zeba Blay, HuffPost BlackVoices: It's A Slap In The Face When White Women Wear Black Hairstyles
Erin Logan, blavity.com: An Open Letter to Allure Magazine and Why Hair Isn't "Just Hair" for Black Women"
"Imagine a US senator publicly calling the Chinese 'evil people,' " Ben Norton wrote Monday for Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting.
"Imagine a governor saying African leaders are 'animals.' Imagine a presidential candidate claiming Latinos are 'liars.' In each of these cases, the media would rightfully explode, condemning the politicians for their overt racism.
"A notable exception to this, however, exists in the US political system and media establishment: When politicians make ludicrous claims about Iranians, when Republicans deploy orientalist myths about purportedly bloodthirsty Persians in order to sabotage their own government's attempts at diplomacy, the media largely sit on their hands.
"In a July 29 meeting of the Senate Armed Services Committee (SASC), Sen. Thom Tillis (R-NC) claimed Iranians 'are evil people. They're dangerous.'
"The media completely ignored the extreme statement. A Google search shows it was mentioned in a Military.com article (7/29/15) and a piece on the little-known Rapid News Network that seems to have been subsequently taken down. That is it. That was the extent of its coverage. . . ."
"Under attack, paid Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone is defending his attacks against commentators Roland Martin and Ana Navarro as 'quota hires,' " Eric Hananoki wrote Wednesday for Media Matters for America. "Stone fired off a series of tweets claiming, among other things, that 'If u have and heard Ana [Navarro] and Roland Martin they are so dumb and unqualified that one can reach no other conclusion.'
"Martin strongly criticized Stone and called for Trump to fire him. Navarro retweeted Martin stating that 'Stone can't cite facts. He can't bring anything up. He just slurs me & @ananavarro.'
"Fox News personality Geraldo Rivera also called on Trump to dump Stone, tweeting that Martin and Navarro 'have twice the intellect and integrity of @RogerStone. @realDonaldTrump doesn't need thugs like him.' . . ." Stone then belittled Rivera.
Errol Louis, Daily News, New York: Donald Trump is not a clown: Signs say he actually wants to win — and his books reveal real policy ideas
Ken Meyer, Mediaite: Roland Martin Fires Back At Trump Adviser Who Called Him a 'Quota Hire'
"Attorneys for political prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal filed an amended lawsuit today in the Middle District of Pennsylvania federal court to challenge prison medical staff's denial of necessary medical treatment — denial that nearly killed Abu-Jamal earlier this year," the Abolitionist Law Center reported Monday. Abu-Jamal was convicted in the 1981 killing of a Philadelphia policeman. The center also said, "Despite the undeniable medical evidence that he is in need of treatment for his Hepatitis C, prison medical staff are refusing to provide any. . . ."
Keith A. Owens told readers Wednesday what he said to friends last month: That he has been named senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle. "The future of the Michigan Chronicle will always include community uplift, with an expanded definition of both 'community' and 'uplift.' The future of the Michigan Chronicle is not only as the Black community newspaper of Detroit, but as Detroit's community newspaper, Owens wrote. "See the difference? And also by the way, in keeping with where the future is headed, expect to see the Chronicle shed the terms 'weekly' and 'paper' as it continues to shift direction toward a more timely digital-first news and information delivery service. . . ."
"Nick Valencia is staying with CNN for another two years," Veronica Villafañe reported Monday for her Media Moves site. "His new contract includes a title change from reporter/producer to correspondent. He'll continue to be based in Atlanta. . . ."
On the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, BET Networks will premiere "Katrina 10 Years Later: Through Hell in High Water," a news special that follows a diverse group of people who survived Katrina, BET announced Wednesday. Hosted by BET correspondent Jeff Johnson and featuring actor Wendell Pierce, the special debuts Aug. 26 at 8 p.m. ET and PT.
"ProPublica announced today that Cynthia Gordy has been appointed as ProPublica’s marketing director, a new position," the investigative website reported on Wednesday. In 2009, Gordy was the National Association of Black Journalists' Emerging Journalist of the Year. "Gordy will take charge of devising new methods for enhancing the award-winning newsroom's brand and help shape a range of its outward-facing activities," the announcement said. "She will work closely with newly-promoted public relations director Minhee Cho, and both she and Cho will report to president Richard Tofel. . . ."