Donald Trump
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Latinos See Invitation as "A Big '[Expletive] You' "

Latino groups are voicing outrage at NBC for asking Donald Trump to host "Saturday Night Live" on Nov. 7, saying that if he had insulted other groups as he has Mexicans, no such invitation would be extended.

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"What if all of the Latino cast members all walked off the job at 'Saturday Night Live'? Oh wait, you don't have any Latino cast members," Rep. Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Ill., said Wednesday on the House floor, Cristina Marcos reported for the Hill.

Esther J. Cepeda, a syndicated columnist with the Washington Post Writers Group, wrote Wednesday, "Whether Trump reprises his hateful rhetoric on the comedy show or harmlessly buffoons his egomaniacal persona in an effort to burnish his 'straight-talking' brand matters little. What's at issue is that unless 'SNL' disinvites him, it is effectively giving a stamp of approval to his hateful views . . . ."

Cepeda also wrote, "If 'SNL' and NBC choose to continue their plan to have Trump host SNL we should see the gesture for what it is: A big '[expletive] you' to the overwhelming majority of a 55 million-strong community who have clearly articulated their disgust with The Donald."

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NBC's decision to invite the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination had already raised fairness questions.

"You might be wondering, like we did, if the government’s 'equal time' rule means Ben Carson, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz and the rest of the Republican presidential field will each get a shot at hosting the show," Katie Sanders wrote Wednesday for PunditFact, part of the PolitiFact fact-checking operation run by the Tampa Bay Times.

"The answer, PunditFact found, is no. But candidates could score some free air time in certain markets if they ask for it. . . ."

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NBC has steadfastly refused to comment on the furor.

Jeremy Diamond recalled Monday for CNN, "Trump this summer called undocumented Mexican immigrants 'rapists' and 'killers' as he launched his presidential bid, quickly drawing a mixture of ire and support as he pushed on with his presidential campaign.

" 'These groups are out for themselves,' Trump said Monday morning on Fox News, before adding that he is 'leading in the polls with Hispanics' and has 'thousands of Hispanics who work for me.'

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On the House floor, Gutiérrez wondered if "Saturday Night Live" would give Trump airtime if he had targeted other minority groups, Marcos reported for the Hill.

"If Donald Trump had said gays and lesbians were murderers and raping Americans, would he get to host the show? It is every bit as much a fiction and a lie," Gutiérrez said.

" ' Donald Trump has said some pretty awful things about women individually and collectively. But what if he said most women were criminals? Would the writers be thinking up sketches for Trump if he had slandered an entire gender rather than an entire ethnic group?' . . ."

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Cepeda added, "A MoveOn.org petition sponsored by the immigration reform group America's Voice is asking NBC to dump Trump. . . .

"The National Council of La Raza's Janet Murguia called 'SNL's' Trump invitation a 'slap in the face' to the Latino community, but that's not quite right.

"A slap in the face could be seen as a passionate outburst — an intimate gesture implying an affront within a relationship.

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" 'SNL's' paltriness in the Hispanic ensemble member department — two Latino males in 40 years — and a complete dismissal of Hispanics' complaints over an offensive 2014 skit featuring a white comedienne portraying a ditzy, overly accented Latina sexpot tell you all you need to know about 'SNL's' relationship with Hispanic audiences. . . ."

Associated Press: Hispanic Coalition Wants Donald Trump Off 'Saturday Night Live'

Hadas Gold, Politico: Trump, Carson to be center stage once again at CNBC debate

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Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas Morning News: Ted Cruz keeping enemy close, subtly drawing distinctions with Trump

Traci G. Lee, NBC Asian America: Ken Jeong, George Takei Among Celeb Suggestions for SNL Host Over Trump

John Nolte, breitbart.com: 'Scammers': Trump Mocks Hispanic Group Pushing 'Saturday Night Live' Blacklist

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Gyasi Ross, Indian Country Today Media Network: What a Trump Presidency Would Mean For Native People (Yeah, It's As Crazy As You'd Expect)

Rick Sanchez, Fox News Latino: Trump and Cruz are BFF's now, but for how long?

Black Lives Matter Gets OK for Candidate "Town Hall"

"The Democratic National Committee on Wednesday gave its blessing to two of the most prominent activist groups associated with the Black Lives Matter protest movement — the #BlackLivesMatter network and Campaign Zero — to host a presidential town hall focused on issues of racial justice, but stood firm in its stance that there will be no additional debates on the 2016 campaign schedule," Wesley Lowery reported Wednesday for the Washington Post.

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"In letters addressed to leaders of the #BlackLivesMatter network and prominent activist DeRay Mckesson, the DNC invited the activist groups to coordinate and host a presidential town hall similar to those currently being planned by some state-level Democratic parties and some liberal groups including MoveOn.org. . . ."

Lowery also wrote, "The letters come one day after organizers with the #BlackLivesMatter network — an activist collective with the same name often applied to the broader protest movement — called on the DNC to sanction an additional debate themed around issues of racial justice, which was only referenced once during the CNN presidential debate in Las Vegas earlier this month.

"In an interview on Wednesday, Black Lives Matter organizer Elle Hearns said the umbrella group had yet to decide if it would proceed with an attempt to host a town hall, and said that she was still personally disappointed that the DNC will not sanction an additional debate. . . ."

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If such a forum took place, it would not be a DNC-sponsored event, and Black Lives Matter would have to negotiate any arrangements for television coverage, a party official told Journal-isms.

Charles D. Ellison, The Root: Why Most Black Voters Still Aren't Feeling Bernie Sanders

Jayne Fagan. MoveOn.org: MoveOn to Host Democratic Presidential Candidate Forum in November

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Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe: Memo to Hillary Clinton: What's not to like about Denmark?

Clarence Page, Chicago Tribune: Jim Webb's 'culture' war

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Who's to blame for terrorism? Terrorists.

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: Joe Biden's decision: Media fail spectacularly

Sarah Wheaton, Politico: Gun control groups forging alliance with Black Lives Matter

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The Root to Produce Content for Fusion Cable Network

The Root, the African American-targeted news site bought by owners of the Spanish-language Univision television network in May, is branching into cable television, the parties announced on Wednesday.

The vehicle will be the Fusion cable network, co-owned by Univision and Disney/ABC. Donna Byrd, publisher of The Root, told Journal-isms that while plans are still preliminary for the 2016 launch, it was "highly likely" that the Root's television presence would include news.

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"We see this as a tremendous opportunity for FUSION to provide The Root, a brand known for creating gripping digital content, with a platform to reach a new audience on TV," Isaac Lee, Fusion CEO, said in a news release. "Bringing their editorial voice to our viewers underscores the importance of serving audiences with content that reflects the interests and passions of a young, multicultural generation."

When the Root was sold to Univision by Graham Holdings, formerly the Washington Post Co., Byrd told Journal-isms, "Everyone's looking for how we can grow our business, and they're looking to do the same thing." For TheRoot, ownership by Univision means access to Univision's television, radio, video and digital production facilities. . . ."

On Wednesday, Byrd said by telephone that lifestyle, health, travel and food stories would be among the Root's contributions, as well as televising the "Root 100" gala, based on the site's listing of 100 African Americans, ages 25 to 45, "who are responsible for the year's most significant moments, movements and ideas."

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Awards programs are consistently among the highest-rated on television.

"The Fusion team has produced dynamic content that addresses the issues that matter to America's diverse population in an informative and entertaining way," Henry Louis Gates Jr., chairman of The Root and director of the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, told Elizabeth Wagmeister, writing Wednesday in Variety. "I am thrilled to be partnering with Fusion to give The Root an opportunity to broaden its reach beyond a highly engaged digital audience and to provide our community with more access to content that is relevant for their advancement."

Referring to Univision, Byrd told Journal-isms, "It's been a great relationship to date." Asked about delays in paying writers as the operation transitions to new owners, she said, "We're having our growing pains internally" and that The Root has always had a reputation for paying promptly. 

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Journal-isms also appears on The Root.

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Kevin Merida to Lead ESPN's "The Undefeated"

"ESPN on Monday named Kevin Merida, a managing editor at The Washington Post, as editor in chief of The Undefeated, the network's two-year-old digital project about the intersection of sports and race," Richard Sandomir reported Monday for the New York Times.

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"His hiring appears to increase the likelihood that the long-delayed site will actually get off the ground. . . . "

Reaction in the sports media world was positive.

Richard Deitsch wrote Monday for Sports Illustrated:

"Merida has a very difficult job ahead of him, but he will be aided by a number of things [scroll down]:

"a. ESPN president John Skipper has repeatedly put into the public marketplace that he is behind The Undefeated. He does not want the public embarrassment of the site never launching.

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"b. Staffers who did not want to work for previous management are likely to reach out to Merida. On Monday you saw a ton of ESPN-ers offers congratulations, including high-profile African-American staffers such as Jemele Hill.

"c. Money. ESPN has a lot of it and good money can overcome bad money when it comes to hires.

"d. Plenty of people in the business want The Undefeated to succeed (including yours truly) because the sports media needs outlets where young writers, and particularly young writers of color, are given opportunity and resources to pursue important stories.

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"e. Talent. Merida will have many talented people, especially in positions that are not front-facing, reaching out to him.

"f. Himself. His resume as a newsroom leader is impressive and the people who publicly proclaimed their respect for him on Monday was equally impressive. . . ."

Sandomir continued in the Times, "ESPN created The Undefeated in 2013, but it has never advanced beyond a webpage with links to 19 articles. The site's failure to get underway has been attributed to its founding editor in chief, Jason Whitlock, a columnist without executive experience. Mr. Whitlock was dismissed from his position in June after internal turmoil, much of which was written about in the website Deadspin.

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"Now, Mr. Merida, the first African-American to be a managing editor at The Post, is seeking to succeed where Mr. Whitlock could not. On Twitter, Mr. Merida wrote: 'Incredible talent already @espn #TheUndefeated, and more will be coming. Looking forward.'

"In a statement, he said the site would 'become a home for innovative storytelling, new voices and the exploration of athletes and ideas by writers you'll want to read.' Later, in an email message, he said he had left The Post after more than two decades there 'for the challenge and adventure of trying something new at this stage of my career, and to tap into the creative side of my brain in new ways. And because I believe we can create something special with The Undefeated that doesn’t currently exist now.'

"He said ESPN had not determined a start date yet. . . ."

Matt Yoder added for awfulannouncing.com on Monday, "After being named Editorial Director, Leon Carter had been serving in an interim capacity for The Undefeated as Editor-in-Chief until a new hire was made. Carter will stay on with ESPN as the network says he'll help with the transition and have 'additional management responsibilities within ESPN.' . . ."

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At the Post, Merida "empowered a lot of people" and helped diversify the staff, Michael Fletcher, an African American business reporter who was Merida's college roommate, told Journal-isms by telephone. "A lot of reporters felt listened to, acknowledged, noticed," Fletcher said.

Journal-isms asked Martin Baron, executive editor of the Post, about the prospects for another journalist of color to rise to top newsroom management at the Post.

"I'm evaluating next steps. That's all I have to say at this stage," Baron replied by email.

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In his announcement to the staff, Baron said, "Over the past several weeks, so many of you, having heard that Kevin Merida was considering a job at another news organization, have urged him to stay. Insisted he stay, in fact. I've been doing the same.

"I'm sad to report that Kevin is leaving us all profoundly disappointed. He has accepted a job as senior vice president at ESPN and editor-in-chief of The Undefeated, a digital site that will explore the intersection of sports, race, and culture.

"I expect there is not a person in our newsroom, or in our entire organization, who is not heartbroken over this decision, even as we wish Kevin the very best in his new position and know that he will perform brilliantly.

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"I feel a particular loss. My first appointment after joining this amazing newsroom – about a month after my arrival — was to name Kevin managing editor. He has been a treasured colleague, partner, and friend. . . ."

Merida, 58, also tweeted, "I am thrilled to be joining @espn, and to have the chance to build something special with #TheUndefeated. Something magical. Our ambition."

Greg Howard of Deadspin broke the news of ESPN's talks with Merida on Oct. 6 when he added parenthetically in discussing Whitlock, "(Multiple sources have told Deadspin that one man Skipper is pursuing for the role is Kevin Merida, managing editor of The Washington Post. Merida is interested; he met with Skipper in Los Angeles last month, and according to a source, he's been quietly asking if some of his favorite Post employees would be open to following him to ESPN.) . . ."

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There was no word on whether Merida had persuaded others from the Post to join him. The ESPN announcement said Merida would remain in Washington, although the staff of the Undefeated was based in Los Angeles and ESPN's headquarters remains in Bristol, Conn. 

Paul Farhi, Washington Post:  Post managing editor Kevin Merida to run ESPN's the Undefeated

Mac Nwulu, ESPN Media Zone: Kevin Merida Named Editor-in-Chief for "The Undefeated" – ESPN Site on Sports, Race and Culture

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FCC OK's Armstrong Williams' Purchase of 2 More Stations

Armstrong Williams, the conservative commentator, entrepreneur and longtime business manager for Dr. Ben Carson, Republican presidential candidate, has won approval from the Federal Communications Commission to buy two more television stations.

The purchase of KVMY-TV in Las Vegas and WLYH-TV in Lancaster, Pa., serving Harrisburg, the state capital, cements Williams' status as the African American owning the largest number of U.S. television stations, he told Journal-isms. Approval of KVMY, an ABC affiliate, came Oct. 13 and of CW-affiliate WLYH on Friday.

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Williams also owns WWMB-TV in Myrtle Beach, S.C.; WEYI-TV in Flint, Mich.; WMMP-TV in Charleston, S.C.; WJSU-TV in Anniston, Ala.; and WCFT-TV  in Tuscaloosa, Ala. Williams bought his first two stations in partnership with Sinclair Broadcasting Co., and paid $550,000 for the two latest stations, he said. They are owned solely by Williams' Howard Stirk Holdings.

Dave Seyler of Radio + Television Business Report reported in February that as with earlier deals involving Howard Stirk Holdings, "the parties are selling Armstrong’s status as a member of a minority group in presenting the deals to the FCC. [accessible via search engine]

"They discussed actions when taking over a station:

"1. increased the public affairs and local programming by adding local public affairs program(s) during prime time.

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"2. increased the coverage of local events, people and leaders through guests on local public affairs programs.

"3. produced and aired public affairs shows hosted by Mr. Williams and covering current issues such as: Right to Work, Small Business & Economic Development and Reducing Crime.

"4. held and hosted town hall meetings televised in prime time. These town halls will cover topics of local interest (previous town hall meetings Mr. Williams has hosted include: health care, domestic violence, immigration, and gun violence).

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"5. obtained programs of particular interest and enjoyment to minority communities, such as The Steve Harvey Show and Queen Latifah.

"6. sought to advance minority employment and is implementing an internship program targeted at minority students interested in the technical side of the television business."

Howard U. Considers Selling TV Station in FCC Auction

"Howard University President Wayne A.I. Frederick is considering auctioning WHUT — the university's public television station, and for 35 years the only black-owned public television station in the United States — to the Federal Communications Commission for anywhere between an estimated $100 million and $500 million, according to a universitywide memorandum released Friday," Todd Steven Burroughs reported Monday for The Root.

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"The channel’s broadcast spectrum, containing both Channel 32 and its currently unused digital channel, Channel 32-2, would be submitted to an 'incentive auction' that the FCC would have in March. The federal agency wants to sell the spectrum gained at the FCC auction to wireless companies that, according to the memo obtained by The Root on Sunday, 'need more spectrum to accommodate the increased use of wireless services.'

"If Howard applies by the filing deadline, Dec. 18, and the FCC accepts, the move could net Howard, which has seen significant cutbacks in staff in recent years, hundreds of millions of dollars in needed funds.

"But it would also deprive Washington, D.C. — a large and historic black community that has become increasingly gentrified in the last decade — of an important black-owned platform for documentary and local public-affairs programming targeted to blacks, as well as a significant opportunity for the university's students in its School of Communications to learn television production. . . ."

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"Tomorrow, Thursday, October 22, President Obama will join Bill Keller, Editor-in-Chief of The Marshall Project, for a conversation on criminal justice reform with two law enforcement leaders," the White House announced Wednesday. "The focus of the discussion will be how to make America’s law enforcement and correctional practices more just and effective. Obama, Marshall Project to Discuss Criminal Justice

"The event is part of the President's effort to meet with Americans who are working to improve the criminal justice system, from law enforcement officials working to lower the crime and incarceration rates, to former prisoners who are earning their second chance. In addition, on Tuesday, October 27th, the President will address the International Association of Chiefs of Police at the 122nd Annual IACP Conference and Exposition in Chicago, Illinois. . . ."

The panel discussion is to be live streamed at 2:15 p.m. ET at www.whitehouse.gov/live. The Marshall Project, named for the late Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, launched last November and is devoted to criminal justice issues.

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Meanwhile, in Florida, the Palm Beach Post editorialized Wednesday against "gun extremists" in the wake of the fatal police shooting of Corey Jones, 31, a popular church drummer who was stranded off an exit ramp of Interstate 95. Jones, who was black, was shot by plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens Police Officer Nouman Raja.

"What's equally tragic, however, is how some legislators in Tallahassee are doubling down on policies that are transforming Florida into the vigilante state," the newspaper editorialized. "The new state motto might as well be, 'Shoot first, ask questions later,' or 'The Gunshine State.'  . . .

"This may well turn out to be a case of fears trumping good sense — a plain-clothes police officer in an unmarked car terrifying a stranded motorist, with horrific results. It may be that there is no bad guy here.

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"But there are bad laws.

"When it comes to gun laws, there has been a slow erosion of common sense in Florida, accompanied by an erosion of civility and safety, particularly in urban areas.

" 'Stand your ground' granted immunity from prosecution in the case of fear of bodily harm in 2005, a huge leap from a self-defense claim.

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"Local communities, since 2011, have lost the right to opt out of state gun laws or pass other gun restrictions. . . . Will anyone stand up to the gun extremists? . . ."

. . . Why So Much Indian-on-Indian Violence?

While some bemoan so-called "black-on-black crime," an editorial from Indian Country gives credence to arguments that crime takes place among people in close proximity, whatever their race.

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"Because we are an American Indian publication our staff is often asked, it seems more and more frequently, 'Why is there so much crime and killing in the Indian community?' " Tim Giago, editor emeritus of Native Sun News, wrote for that publication last week.

"We suppose more frequently because that appears to be the reality right now. Every time we turn on the television news or read a local newspaper there seems to be an episode of an Indian killing an Indian or an Indian charged an armed robbery or spousal or child abuse. How do we answer that question?"

Giago also wrote, "We at Native Sun News have advertised for employees and why we get so few applicants for those jobs when unemployment is rampant in our communities also puzzles us. We are an Indian owned business and the last time we advertised a job for a correspondent on Pine Ridge or Rosebud we got zero applicants.

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"Have many of our people become so dependent on welfare or government assistance that they are no longer looking for jobs?

"We are killing each other at an unprecedented rate. We are robbing businesses on and off of the reservation, and the suicide rate among our teens and young people continues to grow. . . .

"There is something dreadfully wrong in the Indian community. It is manifesting itself in acts of violence and murder. Have we fallen so far away from our culture, our traditions and our spirituality that we have become numb to these acts of crime and abuse? . . ."

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Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Your access to a police officer's disciplinary record depends on where you live

Editorial, Florida Times-Union: Only massive reform will fix Florida's 
failing prison system

Editorial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Missouri accidentally made the case for gun background checks

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Marisa Franco, Fox News Latino: Are criminal justice reforms and immigration policy at odds?

Falyn Freyman, Broward Palm Beach New Times: #JUSTICE4COREY: Drummer Corey Jones Shot by Plainclothes Cop in Unmarked Car

Madison J. Gray, ebony.com: Policeman's Death Shouldn’t Shore Up Support for Lethal Tactics

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Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Mistrust of cops hurts communities

Phillip Morris, Cleveland Plain Dealer: Church boys, children and murder

Leonard Pitts, Jr. Miami Herald: We need better plan to probe police shootings (Oct. 3)

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Glenn Reedus, CounterPunch: Black in Blue: the Troubled Legacy of Chicago’s Black Cops

Adam Sacasa and Kate Jacobson, South Florida SunSentinel: Corey Jones police shooting: Slain man's family lawyer says Jones only 'needed helping hand' from officer

Scott Shackford, Reason: The Strange Police Killing of Corey Jones

Tonyaa Weathersbee, Florida Times-Union: Prisons are a tool for 
gerrymandering congressional districts (Sept. 30)

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Armstrong Williams, The Root: Gun Control and the Disarming of the Black Community (Oct. 15)

BuzzFeed's Nonwhite Staff Rises from 25% to 31% in Year

"BuzzFeed posted new internal statistics Tuesday on its racial and gender diversity, celebrating that the company has hired on more women and made significant gains in bringing on more nonwhite staffers over the course of the last year," Brendan James reported Tuesday for International Business Times.

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" 'Transparency of diversity numbers is becoming more common among tech companies, an encouraging trend, and we are happy to be among the companies publicly disclosing these numbers,' founder and CEO Jonah Peretti said in a statement accompanying the figures.

"The gains on BuzzFeed's US editorial side are significant: Since last year, the newsroom has gone from 74 percent white down to nearly 68 percent white after the company hired on more black, Asian and biracial staffers. The only decline was among Hispanic employees. The editorial side also saw women, already a majority of staffers globally, go from 52 percent of the newsroom to 58 percent.

"The diversification was companywide: Including its business and administrative sides, the size of the company's nonwhite staff has gone from 25 percent of employees to 31 percent.

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"An International Business Times investigation of diversity in new media earlier this year showed that, based off its 2014 numbers, BuzzFeed already had a leg up on other digital newsrooms as well as national legacy publications such as the New York Times, USA Today and Newsday, according to the 2015 census taken by the American Society of News Editors.

"But at that point, BuzzFeed still lagged behind the Washington Post, far and ahead the most diverse of any publication with a nonwhite contingent of 31 percent.

"BuzzFeed can now claim to have caught up to WaPo, with nonwhite staff making up 32 percent of its newsroom. . . ."

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BuzzFeed was honored this year for its diversity efforts by the National Association of Black Journalists and last year by the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Meredith D. Clark, Poynter Institute: News organizations should use social media to identify diverse voices

Malcolm-Jamal Warner Disappointed in Ebony Cover

"Ebony's November cover, which depicts a shattered image of the iconic Huxtable family from 'The Cosby Show,' unleashed a wave of controversy when it debuted earlier this month," Rahel Gebreyes, editor of HuffPost Live, wrote on Tuesday. "While some applauded Ebony for taking a brave stance on tackling the rape allegations against Bill Cosby and its impact on the show's legacy, Malcolm-Jamal Warner is not among those outspoken supporters.

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"Warner, who stopped by HuffPost Live on Tuesday to discuss his new album 'Selfless,' said he was disappointed by the provocative cover. The actor said he was sad to see Ebony, 'one of the voices of the black community,' take down the esteemed Huxtable clan.

" '[The cover is] contributing to the stereotypical image that society has of the broken black family and the shattered black family,' Warner told host Caroline Modarressy-Tehrani. 'And to take something that … for 20 [or] 30 years has been what we have held up as the black family that we all want to aspire to, in terms of the love that we don't see when we see black families in the media — to take that image and to shatter it, it's disappointing to a lot of us.' "

Warner played Cosby's son Theo.

Jenice Armstrong, Philadelphia Daily News: Ebony magazine's 'Cosby Show' cover rattles readers

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Gregory Clay, insidesources.com: What's Wrong With That Ebony Magazine 'Cosby Show' Cover?

Deborah Douglas and Naomi Reed, Chicago Reader: Real talk: Ebony's controversial Cosby Show cover is just what Dr. Huxtable ordered

Brandon Griggs, CNN: 'Cosby Show' actor: Show's legacy is 'tarnished' (Oct. 9)

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: Cosby, Not Ebony Magazine, Fanned Stereotypes of the Black Family

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theGrio.com: Cosby replaces longtime lawyer amid growing sex abuse scandal

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Louie Robinson Dies at 88, Spent 30 Years at Ebony

"People trusted Louie Robinson," Maureen O'Donnell reported Saturday for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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"When actor Sidney Poitier and tennis great Arthur Ashe wanted to write books, they sought Mr. Robinson's help. 'Never in my life have I known a better man,' Poitier said.

"When Elvis Presley was rumored to have uttered a racist remark, Jet magazine sent Mr. Robinson to see him on the set of 'Jailhouse Rock.' He got him to open up, investigated and deemed the chatter false — a finding cited nearly half a century later by the rumor-debunking website Snopes.com.

"During a 30-year career with Ebony, Jet and Negro Digest magazines, Mr. Robinson wrote about the Watts riots and trailblazing African-American engineers, surgeons, sports figures, pilots and politicians.

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"The stars he profiled respected him for his focus on facts instead of gossip. Sammy Davis Jr. told him that when he was selling out shows in Las Vegas, his Caucasian valet had to place his bets. The entertainer became godfather to Mr. Robinson's daughter, broadcast anchor Robin Robinson, now of Chicago's WBBM NewsRadio.

"Mr. Robinson, 88, died of heart failure Oct. 2 at Northwestern Memorial Hospital. . . ."

Short Takes

"One week after announcing major layoffs, Twitter is hiring New York Times editor at large Marcus Mabry to help develop editorial direction for its new Moments section," Ruth Reader reported Tuesday for Venture Beat. "Moments, formerly known as Project Lightning, is a curated feed of news and conversations happening on the Twitter platform. The big goal is to attract new users, which has been a major challenge for the company." Mark S. Luckie, another black journalist, inaugurated the Twitter position of creative content manager for journalism, but left in May. [Added Oct. 20]

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Ivette Davila-Richards, vice president for broadcast of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, can remain in her position, the NAHJ board decided during a Monday conference-call meeting. Davila-Richards was elected while associate producer at CBS News in New York, but became broadcast relations and marketing team member in the Marketing Department. "The board voted 11-0 to accept the position under regular membership," NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina messaged Journal-isms.

New York Public Radio, which includes WNYC, WQXR, the Jerome L. Greene Performance Space and New Jersey Public Radio, has appointed Brenda Williams-Butts to the newly created role of vice president, recruitment, diversity and inclusion, WNYC announced on Tuesday.

"ESPN has started the process of laying off nearly 300 staffers as the company evaluates its 'continued strategic evolution' in a changing TV landscape," Cynthia Littleton reported Wednesday for Variety. "ESPN chief John Skipper told employees in a memo that the Disney-owned sports powerhouse was implementing a reorganization designed to 'ensure we’re in position to make the most of new opportunities to build the future of ESPN.' . . ."

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The "Jackson State athletic department has not allowed media access to football players or assistant coaches for the third consecutive week, prompting The Clarion-Ledger to cease day-to-day beat coverage of Jackson State athletics until the situation can be resolved," Antonio Morales reported Monday for the Clarion-Ledger in Jackson, Miss. " 'This kind of restriction keeps a reporter from properly doing his or her job,' Sports Editor David Bean said. 'Our hope is that this situation will be rectified promptly, and we are able to continue covering the Jackson State football team as it should be covered.' . . ."

In Kansas, "Sedgwick County Commission Chairman Richard Ranzau said he refused to answer questions from a local bilingual television reporter— but agreed to speak with a reporter from the English-language side of the same news operation — because he thinks the Spanish-born reporter is an advocate for illegal immigrants," Dion Lefler reported Wednesday for the Wichita Eagle. "In reply, station management said they felt Ranzau had defamed their reporter, Beatriz Parres, who covers news for both Spanish-language KDCU and English-language KWCH. . . ."

Alfred Liggins, "The Radio One President and CEO was inducted into the Broadcasting and Cable Hall of Fame this week at a ceremony at New York City's Waldorf Astoria," RadioInk reported Monday. "It was the first time a mother and a son have been inducted into the B&C Hall of Fame. Ten years ago Catherine Liggins Hughes was recognized with the same honor. Radio One celebrated its 35th anniversary in early October."

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"Nick Kristof's column reframing Asian Americans as the 'model minority' caused quite a stir last week," Emil Guillermo wrote Sunday for the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. "And the New York Times op-ed star's response published on Facebook probably won't win over his many critics. . . ."

"AL.com sports reporter Natalie Pierre Williams suffered severe burns as a result of a car fire she started, Hoover police announced today," Jeremy Gray reported Wednesday for al.com. "Williams remains in UAB hospital, where she is being treated for burns over 75 percent of her body and has undergone multiple surgeries. Over the past few weeks, Williams has been alert and talking to friends and family, according to Michelle Holmes, vice-president of content for Alabama Media Group. . . . Williams has been a patient at UAB Hospital since Sept. 8 — her 26th birthday — when Hoover police were dispatched at 2:34 a.m. to a wreck at The Park at Galleria apartments. A passerby called 911 after seeing flames coming from a car. . . ."

"It's been a busy few months for Mark Luckie," Marissa Evans reported Wednesday for the Poynter Institute, introducing a question-and-answer with Luckie. "In May he announced that he was leaving his post as Twitter's manager of journalism and news to finish writing his book 'DO U.' and to figure out what's next. Earlier this month, he launched Today In #BlackTwitter, a news digest meant to give readers a depiction of what the online community is tweeting and reading about. . . ."

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Askia Muhammad, a columnist for the Washington Informer, wrote Oct. 14 that Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan and the Rev. Jesse Jackson and he were all born to single mothers who defied social stigmas and carried their babies to term. "The most touching story I know about this was told by Minister Louis Farrakhan during his address to the Justice or Else 20th anniversary commemoration of the Million Man March," Muhammad wrote.

"The tough decision that Howard University faces — whether to keep or sell its license to valuable TV spectrum for potentially hundreds of millions of dollars — is the best thing that could happen to the school," Eric Easter wrote Wednesday for The Root. "Not just because of the money, but because making that decision forces Howard to take its underutilized assets seriously and consider its role in the future of global media as the world's revered HBCU," or historically black college or university. . . ."

"Listeners to NPR stations are aging faster than the overall radio audience and listening less to the network's most popular radio programs, according to new data shared by the network," Tyler Falk reported Friday for Current.org.

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Hispanics, Asian Americans and blacks are much more likely to be heavy users of television and streaming devices than whites, according to a June study from Horowitz Research, but whites outpace blacks and Hispanics in reading books, Lee Rainie and Andrew Perrin reported Monday for the Pew Research Center. Seventy-six percent of non-Hispanic white adults reported reading at least one book in whole or in part in the previous 12 months. For blacks, the figure was 66 percent; it was 59 percent for Hispanics.

"Usually they deliver the news, but today BusinessWire is the news," Chris Ariens reported Friday for TV Newser. "The company that makes its money by delivering corporate press releases, launched its first-ever web series today called BizWireTV. What's interesting is who's behind it: Today show weatherman Al Roker's production company Al Roker Entertainment is producing the twice-weekly show. . . ."

"Photographer Matt Black was honored with the W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan," Brian Flood reported Friday for TVNewser. "Black received the award, which is worth $30,000, for his work on MSNBC's Geography of Poverty series. MSNBC's Geography of Poverty series examines forgotten America through Black's photos and reports from MSNBC national reporter Trymaine Lee. . . ."

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"Journalist Nikole Hannah-Joneswho won national recognition in 2015 for her work at ProPublica exploring segregation in America's schools, offered important insights on how she approaches and investigates issues of racial injustice during a talk she gave at Harvard's Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy. She also shared her thoughts on newsroom diversity and the media' broader coverage of racial issues," Nilagia McCoy reported for the center on Oct. 15. "Rather than reporting on the 'racist of the week' — simply pointing out that a disparity exists, or covering a breaking news incident — Hannah-Jones said her work takes a deeper dive than most reporting, investigating how 'inequality is explicitly and intentionally maintained through social policy.' . . . "

A Nigerian journalist working for the privately owned Daily Trust newspaper was released Monday after being arrested in neighboring Niger. "Lawan Adamu was investigating the story of migration of Africans to Europe through Niger's town of Agadez when he was detained by local officials on Saturday, the paper's editor, Mannir Dan Ali, told the BBC Hausa service," the BBC reported [scroll down to 9:01 a.m.]. Adamu was deported to Nigeria on Monday, Jaafar Jaafar reported for Nigeria's Premium Trust. The BBC added, "Agadez, a gateway between west and north Africa, is being considered as a major transit point for thousands of African migrants who are transported across the Sahara Desert to Libya for onward journey to Europe through the Mediterranean. . ."