Pope Champions Diversity

Pope Francis with a student at Our Lady Queen of Angels School Friday in New York City's East Harlem community
Craig Ruttle/pool

Union at Philly's WCAU Pegs Walkout to Pontiff's Arrival

In line with the crowds that have greeted Pope Francis on his first visit to the United States, the pontiff Friday endorsed what reporters called "a theology of diversity" as he spent the day among throngs in New York, a majority-minority city with diversity as a hallmark.

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"Together we are called to say 'no' to every attempt to impose uniformity and 'yes' to a diversity accepted and reconciled," the pontiff said, Marc Santora and Sharon Otterman reported for the New York Times.

Meanwhile, in the pope's next scheduled stop, Philadelphia, "About 65 videographers and technicians at NBC10 walked off their jobs late yesterday afternoon, using the timing of tomorrow's visit to the city by Pope Francis to try to get the station back to the table to pound out an agreement," Regina Medina reported for the Philadelphia Daily News.

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"Some members of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 98, which represents the striking workers, were inside the Convention Center covering the World Meeting of Families conference when they walked off the job shortly after 4 p.m., union sources told the Daily News. . . ."

In a statement, a station spokesman told Journal-isms, "While it is unfortunate that IBEW Local 98 has decided to engage in a job action, we remain committed to ensuring that our viewers have full access to all of our local news and information without interruption. We remain steadfast in our commitment to achieve a mutual resolution of our outstanding issues."

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The pope's statement about diversity came on a day in which he captivated the nation's largest city.

"Living in a big city is not always easy," he told about 20,000 people who filled Madison Square Garden, Santora and Otterman reported in an early account on the Times website.

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" 'In big cities, beneath the roar of traffic, beneath the rapid pace of change, so many faces pass by unnoticed because they have no right to be there, no right to be part of the city. They are the foreigners, the children who go without schooling, those deprived of medical insurance, the homeless, the forgotten elderly.'

"He called on New Yorkers to help bring those people out of the shadows and into the light. 'Knowing that Jesus still walks our streets, that he is part of the lives of his people, that he is involved with us in one vast history of salvation, fills us with hope,' Francis said. 'A hope which makes us see, even in the midst of smog, the presence of God as he continues to walk the streets of our city.'

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"Earlier in the day, in a city marked by extremes of haves and have-nots, Francis denounced 'exclusion and inequality' and condemned a 'quietly growing culture of waste.' He also proclaimed a theology of diversity, a dynamic that has helped fuel New York’s success, but his words cut against the current political climate in which the debate about immigration and migration often has a harsh and unforgiving tone.

"Visiting with students and immigrant day laborers in East Harlem, the pope matched the crowd's enthusiasm as he talked about the challenge and exhilaration that can come with learning a new language and adopting to a new culture.

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"At the World Trade Center, standing alone and taking in the vast void where thousands of people lost their lives in the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in 2001, Pope Francis lamented 'a mind-set which knows only violence, hatred and revenge' and warned against the kind of 'rigid uniformity' of belief that leads to fanaticism.

"His words were calibrated, but his message was clear. . . ."

Kevin Eck, TV Spy: How Philadelphia Stations Plan to Cover 'Pope Tour 2015'

Editorial, La Opinión: The Immigrants' Pope

Editorial, Philadelphia Daily News: PONTIFICAL PSA

Editorial, Washington Informer: Pope's Message of Inclusion, Climate Control Confounds GOP

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David Gonzalez, New York Times "Lens" blog: In the Bronx, Photographing a Church for the Poor

David Gonzalez and Ángel Franco (photographer), New York Times: In the Bronx, 'Poor Church' Is More Than a Papal Phrase

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Leonard Greene, Daily News, New York: British anchor slammed for describing Obama as 'smiling like a split watermelon' when meeting Pope Francis

Emil Guillermo, nbcnews.com: Burmese-American Catholics Broaden U.S. Catholic Church

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Harold Jackson, Philadelphia Inquirer: Pope Francis' views have ties to liberation theology

Jonathan Marcantoni, Latino Rebels: The Diversity Problem: Interview with Linda Nieves-Powell, author of 'Yo Soy Latina'

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Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Where does Pope Francis get his crazy ideas?

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Pope Francis's optimistic and embracing message to Congress

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Desire Thompson, Chicago Defender: Did A Reporter Just Ask Pope Francis & President Obama About "The Negroes?"

"History Will Not Treat This Congress or Boehner Kindly"

"House Speaker John Boehner will retire from Congress at the end of October," Jim Mitchell wrote Friday for the Dallas Morning News.

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"The official statement is that he didn't want to put the party through a leadership struggle, but I have to think that there comes a time when gridlocked battles over the same issues would make anyone in leadership wonder whether the day-to-day rigors are worth it.

"A leadership battle was on the horizon, and Boehner didn't appear to be on the winning side. He didn't want another government shutdown, this time over Planned Parenthood funding. Odds are he would have lost that leadership struggle, and without rank, just being another guy in a gridlocked Congress would have rendered him totally irrelevant.

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"The man led the largest GOP majority in the House since the late 1920s, and was the third-highest ranking member of government since 2011. Yet, infighting got the party squat. When you can't make a deal with the White House, or herd enough ants to take advantage of a majority, then what is left?

"History will not treat this Congress or Boehner kindly. . . ."

James E. Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Who are you really defunding?

Joe Davidson, Washington Post: In a government shutdown, these people will never get paid — and can least afford it

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New Urban News Service Signs 200th Member

Urban News Service, a four-month-old content provider for the black press whose staff includes veterans of the mainstream media, signed up its 200th newspaper last week, according to co-founder Andre Johnson, who also heads the Washington-based ProImage Communications, LLC, public relations firm.

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"Our mission is to empower the black community through quality journalism," the news service's website says. Recent stories include "Rights Activist Launched 100-Mile Walk For Peace," "Rare Journey to Israel Changes NFL Hall of Famer's Life" and "Former NFL Warrick Dunn Honors His Murdered Mom By Helping Other Single Moms."

The company lists as its management team Niger Innis, national spokesperson for the Congress of Racial Equality; Joe Louis Ruffin Jr., a management consultant; Eric K. Easter, a veteran of political media and campaign consulting and CEO of BLQBOX, a start-up streaming network; and Johnson.

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Its reporters include Kevin P. Chavous, a school-choice advocate and former member of the District of Columbia school board; Curtis Bunn, a veteran sports writer at daily newspapers; Michael H. Cottman, who writes for BlackAmericaWeb.com; television veteran Del Walters; Taylor Gordon of Atlanta Blackstar; Clem Richardson, whose employers have included the Daily News in New York; Nick Chiles, formerly of New York Newsday and the Star-Ledger in Newark, N.J.; and Yolanda Woodlee, a former Washington Post reporter.

The service is a black-oriented spinoff of the American Media Institute, which provides outlets with investigative news stories for $1 a year and, like the institute, is funded by donations, Johnson told Journal-isms.

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Although 200 publications are listed as subscribers, random inquiries showed that not all are using the service.

"We have [run] a piece or two, and I have another piece in the can waiting for a space," Chris King of the St. Louis American said by email. "There are parts of our paper that are harder to fill on some weeks, and at those times I review what they have sent looking for something relevant.

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"I appreciate having another resource at such times — we have many. I admit I don't know much about their service and have not communicated with anyone there. Their copy just started showing up, and I try to look at anything I get in good faith to see if our readers will benefit from it."

However, Michael Patterson, managing editor of Frost Illustrated in Fort Wayne, Ind., messaged, "I love the service! We actually haven't reprinted much because i guess i was thinking the reprint permission was for the one specific piece. I would love to print more. . . ."

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Kenneth D. Miller, named editor of the Call and Post in Cleveland in June, said by telephone, "We've not used them to the extent that I would like," but said he saw "good content, well-written articles and content that is relevant to the African American community at large."

Joint Center Think Tank Says It Has Bounced Back

The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a go-to resource for reporters as America's foremost think tank for black political and economic research, has bounced back from financial problems that saw its political arm gutted and an interim president working for free, Spencer Overton, president of the center, said in an emailed message to supporters on Thursday.

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"Two years ago, the Joint Center faced significant challenges that threatened the future of the organization," Overton, a law professor at George Washington University Law School, wrote.

"Today, due to the hard work, patience, and support of many, I am happy to announce that we confronted and completely resolved these challenges. The Joint Center now has a stable foundation, a growing and committed team, and a bright future.

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"Moving forward, the Joint Center will use roundtables, research reports, and social media to provide elected officials with ideas, solutions, and best practices that have a positive impact on communities of color. . . ."

David Bositis, center's senior research associate and the scholar on black politics most often contacted by reporters, is no longer with the center, however.

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Reached by email in Lima, Peru, Bositis said, "I am doing much of the same things I did at the Joint Center. Collecting data, election analysis, advising on voting rights and political party issues (for people like [Alabama Democratic leader] Joe Reed), helping students and professors with information and advice — and por supuesto talking to reporters."

Bositis noted that while Overton is still a full-time law professor, longtime Joint Center leader Eddie N. Williams and his successors were full-time presidents and that the center had 35 full-time employees when he started there in 1990.

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[Overton responded early Sunday, "I have great respect for the work of former Joint Center President Eddie Williams and the many others who contributed to the rich legacy of the Joint Center, which makes me especially thankful that we resolved the challenges that threatened the future of the Joint Center two years ago. The Joint Center does have full-time employees and office space.

["Two things, however, are most important. First, we have resolved the Joint Center's past challenges and we have a strong foundation — focused on responsible fiscal management and a modern operational platform. Second, the Joint Center has recently produced high-quality work, and will produce more high-quality work moving forward. . . ." Full response in the Comments section.] [Updated Sept. 27]

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Native Americans Most Likely to Be Killed by Police

"A common question on the lips of Native Americans today is: why isn't mainstream media reporting on the onslaught of police brutality in Indian country?" Simon Moya-Smith wrote Sept. 18 for the Indian Country Today Media Network.

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"It's a fair question, given that Native Americans are killed by authorities at a higher rate than any of the other racial groups in the country.

"The answer to this question is rooted in history, and, likewise, it is answered with a question: at what point in time did Native American lives BEGIN to matter to the European [conquerors] and, later, their descendants? . . ."

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According to a 2014 report from the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice, "The racial group most likely to be killed by law enforcement is Native Americans, followed by African Americans, Latinos, Whites, and Asian Americans.

"Native Americans, 0.8 percent of the population, comprise 1.9 percent of police killings. African Americans, 13 percent of the population, are victims in 26 percent of police shootings. Law enforcement kills African Americans at 2.8 times the rate of white non-Latinos, and 4.3 times the rate of Asians.

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"Latinos are victimized by police killings at a level 30 percent above average and 1.9 times the rate of White, non-Latinos. . . ."

Jean Marbella, Kevin Rector and Alison Knezevich, Baltimore Sun: Balto. Co. police release video to defend officer who killed unarmed suspect

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Laurence Butet-Roch, the New Yorker: The Bitter Legacy of Canada's Forced-Assimilation Boarding Schools

Ta-Nehisi Coates, the Atlantic: Moynihan, Mass Incarceration, and Responsibility

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Conor Friedersdorf, the Atlantic: Will Black Lives Matter Be a Movement That Persuades?: Shutting down a college newspaper is no way to persuade critics.

Phillip Morris, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Murdered September babies are Cleveland's latest tragic wake-up call

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James Ragland, Dallas Morning News: A memorial for police shooting victim Santos Rodriguez is long overdue

ONA Gets $828,000 for Digital Training in 20 Cities

The Online News Association announced Thursday that it will "expand its program connecting and training journalists in communities across the United States with [an] $828,000 grant from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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"Knight support will significantly help build on the success of ONA Local groups, which bring together journalists, technologists and educators, providing them with digital training and peer-to-peer learning. ONA will bring more resources to its 50 current local groups and create groups in 20 new communities, and develop partnerships with leading journalism and tech organizations.

" 'To accelerate the digital transformation of local news, we need to support people at both traditional news organizations, online news sites and digital upstarts who are committed to innovation and embracing new ways to inform and engage people,' said Jennifer Preston, Knight Foundation vice president for journalism. 'By expanding ONA's work we hope to expand digital journalism training opportunities, support emerging leaders and strengthen the network of people working to advance the practice of journalism. . . ."

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ONA is meeting in Los Angeles for its 15th annual convention.

Bob Liff, Huffington Post: A Horrible Week for Newspapers

Eric Ortiz, getevrybit.com: Finding New Revenue Streams for Journalism Focus of ONA15 Conference in Los Angeles

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Gretchen Parker, USC Annenberg: Meet Robert Hernandez, the 'mad scientist of journalism' (July 31)

35 Journalists, "HistoryMakers," Join Outreach to Schools

About 35 journalists were among hundreds of black achievers who visited schools Friday on behalf of The HistoryMakers, a Chicago-based nonprofit that records and catalogs oral histories of African Americans.

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A news release issued before the event begins, "When Julieanna Richardson, Founder & Executive Director HistoryMakers, learned that 110 of the roughly 200 students enrolled this year at Paul Robeson High School in Chicago’s Englewood community were homeless young girls, tears came to her eyes.

" 'My heart sank,' said Richardson. The HistoryMakers is trying to do its part with the 6th Annual Back to School With The HistoryMakers program on Friday September 25th in 67 cities in 32 states throughout the nation. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, national program chair, has been supportive of the program since its inception.

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"This year he will travel to Chicago for the first time to attend the program at Paul Robeson High School. Joining him at the school will be Robeson graduate and former advertising company founder Tom Burrell and news anchor Cheryl Burton. Julieanna Richardson and CEO of Chicago Public Schools Forrest Claypool will also be in attendance.

"Of the visits by HistoryMakers, Duncan said, 'This type of work is so badly needed today.' 'So many students here in Chicago and across the nation have incredibly difficult challenges outside of the classroom,' he added. It is those challenges, like homelessness and the seemingly endless threats of violence, that Richardson wants the HistoryMakers to address directly in addition to sharing their own life journeys.

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"They will also relate how pursuing an education, living a life of meaning, hard work and purpose is possible, and they will encourage the students to commit to their education. 'So many of these young people don't have the benefit of repeatedly hearing and absorbing the lessons and wisdom those life stories provide,' said Richardson.

"When the HistoryMakers share their stories, they are essentially partaking in an oral tradition that taught generations dignity in the face of slavery, institutional racism and countless other barriers. . . ."

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According to The HistoryMakers, these journalists participated:

Vernon Smith, Atlanta; Wayne Dawkins, Hampton, Va.; Kojo Nnamdi, Washington; Condace Pressley, Atlanta; Charles Homer Thomas, Chicago.

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Cheryl Annette Burton, Chicago; Darryl W. Dennard, Chicago; W. Randall Pinkston, East Orange, N.J.; Roz Abrams, New York; Leon Bibb, Cleveland.

John Edward Davis, Chicago; Harry D. Boomer, Cleveland; Debrah Lynn Turner Bell, New York; Grayson Mitchell, Chicago; Gale Horton Gay, Atlanta.

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Sonya Ross, Washington; Bea Hines, Miami; Steen Miles, Atlanta; Ernie Suggs, Atlanta; E.R. Shipp, Baltimore.

Nathan McCall, Atlanta; Richard Prince, Washington; Renee Poussaint, Washington; A. Peter Bailey, Atlanta; George B. Davis, Washington.

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Yanick Rice Lamb, Washington; Marcia Ann Gillespie, New York; Corynne Corbett, New York; Salim Muwakkil, Chicago; Joe Boyce, Atlanta.

Luther Keith, Detroit; William Moore, San Francisco; Bob Butler, Oakland; Sam Ford, Washington; Renee Ferguson, Chicago.

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Herb Boyd, New York Amsterdam News: HistoryMakers back in town and 'back to school'

Charlene Cristobal, WCTV-TV, Tallahassee, Fla.: African American History Makers Comes to Griffin Middle School

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Katie Husband, Time Warner Cable, Guilford County, N.C.: The HistoryMakers Visit the STARSS Students

Wendell Hutson, Chicago City Hall Examiner: History makers honored at Paul Robeson High School

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Doug Livingston, Akron Beacon Journal: Akron female leaders share stories of race, struggles with eager students

Adrianne Richardson, Miami Herald: HistoryMakers Bea Hines, Dorothy Fields visit Brownsville Middle to encourage students

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Brittany Shammas, South Florida SunSentinel: Designer goes back to school to share success story (accessible via search engine)

Rhema Thompson, Florida Times-Union: Jacksonville's 'HistoryMakers' inspire students as part of national education effort

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Benjamin Wood, Salt Lake Tribune: Elementary students discuss crime and punishment with Utah's first black female judge

21 Stereotypes Latino Men Are Tired of Hearing

"Over the past few weeks, we've reached out to you, the men of our community, to find out what stereotypes Latino men are sick and tired of hearing," Kyli Sing wrote Wednesday for HuffPost LatinoVoices. "Below are 21 responses that range from the obvious to HEAR THAT, TRUMP?!

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"Let's bash the stereotypes!

"1. 'Latinos are bad or absent dads. The majority are present, hard-working and tender with their children.'

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"2. . . . A Latino man wants to hug his children every day, kiss his wife and live a good life. A Latino man is no different than any other man of any ethnicity."

"3. 'That we're uneducated.' . . ."

Latino Rebels: Gaspar Yanga: The First Liberator of the Americas

Tanisha Love Ramirez, HuffPost LatinoVoices: Proof Latinos Care About Much More Than Just Immigration (Sept. 18)

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Ecuador's Leader Spent Millions to Remove Critical Info From Web

"The president of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, used millions of dollars from his country’s intelligence budget to hire a foreign company to remove a documentary and other information critical of him or his wife from the internet, leaked documents show," James Ball and Paul Hamilos reported Thursday for BuzzFeed.

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"The records, seen by BuzzFeed News, show that at least one contract, for just under $4.7 million, was signed with a Mexican company that then successfully removed material from YouTube, Facebook, Vimeo, and Dailymotion.

"Videos removed by the company, which filed weekly reports on successful deletions, included a critical documentary by filmmaker Santiago Villa, an electoral broadcast from a rival accusing Correa of behaving like a dictator, a video from a former aide to Correa's wife alleging persecution, and a report of a jailbreak from Ecuador's highest-security prison.

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"The new information adds to mounting international concern about censorship and press freedom under Correa. It also raises questions as to whether the Ecuadorian intelligence agency's use of contractors to monitor and remove criticisms violates free expression and privacy protections in the country's constitution. . . ."

Associated Press: Ecuador's government cancels widely criticized plan to shut down independent press watchdog

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Short Takes

The International Press Institute joined in honoring Belgian photographer Patricia Willocq as the winner of the 2015 Alfred Fried Photography Award for peace photography, IPI said Tuesday. "Willocq was honoured for her photo series 'Look at me, I am beautiful,' which shows scenes of happiness in which women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo who suffered sexual violence — and the children they subsequently bore — have flourished with the support and protection of their community. . . ."

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"A new survey of more than 1,000 photojournalists worldwide paints a bleak picture of a profession beset by financial hardship, lack of gender diversity, scarcity of job opportunities and major technological upheaval," Benjamin Mullin reported Thursday for the Poynter Institute. "The study, released Wednesday by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism and the World Press Photo Foundation, solicited information related to pay, job satisfaction, education and training from more than 1,500 photojournalists from 100 countries and territories. . . ."

"As Chinese President Xi Jinping continues a week-long official visit to the United States that began on 22 September, Reporters Without Borders condemns China's policy of exporting its information control and censorship model to the four corners of the world," the press freedom group said on Thursday. It also said, "By infiltrating the emerging media and information world order by economic means — purchasing shares in media organizations or forming partnerships — China establishes a presence and legitimacy that will later allow it to filter sensitive information and criticism about itself, its leaders and the party much more effectively. . . ."

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Washington Post columnist Eugene Robinson and his wife, Avis, were listed as guests at the White House state dinner [PDF] Friday for Chinese President Xi Jinping. Also among the guests were Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal and CNN anchor Jake Tapper.

Univision News announced Thursday that it was presenting "the definitive biography of one of the most popular Hispanic entertainers of all time: Mario Kreutzberger, better known as 'Don Francisco.' Produced by Univision News' award-winning Documentary Unit, 'El Último Gigante' (The Last Giant) brings viewers the most in-depth, vivid profile ever made of the man behind the world’s longest running variety show, 'Sábado Gigante,' which recently bid goodbye to its loyal audience after 53 successful years on the air. . . ." The program airs Saturday at 8:55 p.m. ET/PT, 7:55 p.m. CT.

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"Beginning today, WNYC has a new podcast for fans who just can't get enough Cookie," the New York public radio station announced Friday. " 'Empire Afterparty' — a companion podcast to Fox's runaway hit 'Empire' — goes beyond the typical recap show. Each week, author and columnist Jozen Cummings will convene a roster of lively guests to offer a no-holds-barred breakdown of the show's fashion, music, and escalating drama. The debut episode features New York Times Contributing Pop Music Critic Jon Caramanica, Ebony Online Senior Editor Jamilah Lemieux, and '30 Rock' Actor/Comedian Kevin Brown, and was taped before a live audience at WNYC’s events venue, The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space. . . ." Listen.

"Comedy Central is giving Trevor Noah the biggest platform possible when he makes his Daily Show hosting debut on Monday: Parent company Viacom will simulcast his first episode across all its major networks," Jason Lynch reported Friday for adweek.com. "The show will air simultaneously on Comedy Central, MTV, VH1, Spike, BET, Nick at Nite, MTV2, CMT, TV Land, Centric, Logo, MTVU and VH1 Classic, among others. . . ."

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The Huffington Post is asking readers whether they want to underwrite a second year in Ferguson, Mo., for reporter Mariah Stewart. "Send a message to Ferguson that the world's still watching. Back this project and keep Mariah reporting in Ferguson for another year. . . . This project will only be funded if $40,000 is raised by Oct 25, 08:01AM GMT. At $40,000 The Huffington Post can provide sustainable reporting you won't get anywhere else. . . ."

Sidmel Estes, the Atlanta television producer and former president of the National Association of Black Journalists, "has returned to the hospital today [donation page]," Ce Cole Dillon, organizer of a fundraising drive to help pay medical expenses, wrote Friday. "She has a serious wound on her leg that is part of this ongoing crisis. Today the wound was graded as level iv meaning that it is nearly down to the bone. This is a very, very serious change in her condition. As we learn more about her status we will update you all. Your prayers, good wishes and thoughts are very much appreciated. Also please help us spread the word on this campaign so that we can help her return to her life of good works and good health. . . ."

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"Larry Ridley, sports anchor at WESH-Channel 2, is moving on," Hal Boedeker reported Thursday for the Orlando Sentinel. "In a memo to the staff, WESH General Manager Jim Carter on Thursday announced that Ridley’s last day would be Oct. 4." Boedeker also wrote, "The sportscaster may be best remembered during his time in Orlando for appearing in a TV commercial for Bud Light. . . ."

"Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong, the wealthiest person in Los Angeles, is considering making an offer to buy the Los Angeles Times, according to a source familiar with the situation who declined to speak on the record," Omar Shamout reported Tuesday for the Los Angeles Business Journal. " 'It isn't that far along, but he is seriously considering it now,' said the source, who said Soon-Shiong previously considered buying the paper a few years ago. . . ."

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