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Online News Assn. Conference Makes Strides in Diversity

When the Online News Association ended its three-day convention in Chicago on Saturday, 35 percent of the presenters had been people of color, and half were women, according to its organizers. That's the most diversity the ONA — founded in 1999 and the newest kid on the block in terms of journalism organizations — has seen.

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It is significant diversity because this gathering of optimistic risk-takers, geeks, gadget- and news lovers represents the future of the news business.

There are no official figures on attendance by race or gender, but the record 1,800 attendees were also significantly more diverse.

The updated face of ONA was not apparent to all, however. Garry Pierre-Pierre of the multicultural City University of New York, for instance, was not impressed.

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"This is my first conference, but I find this hardly a diverse group," Pierre-Pierre, a black journalist, told Journal-isms amid the bustle at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel & Towers. "A lot of guys who migrate are the same guys who didn't hire us at their legacy publications." Other first-timers said they were likewise unmoved.

However, those who have attended previous ONA conventions could see a difference. At a 2008 gathering in Washington, ONA leaders told Journal-isms that nothing about racial diversity was on the agenda because the organization dealt with technology, which is colorblind.

Current leadership does not see things that way. "I wouldn't say technology is colorblind," Trevor Knoblich, ONA's digital director, told Journal-isms near one of the mezzanine windows overlooking sightseeing boats on the Chicago River.

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According to Knoblich's bio, "Trevor served as Project Director at FrontlineSMS, a 2011 Knight News Challenge winner, where he helped build mobile messaging tools for journalists and media outlets. He also led trainings with media outlets around the world to improve their ability to gather, track and share news with mobile technology."

In those jobs, Knoblich said he discovered that large swaths of cities — populated in large part by people of color — don't have smartphones and that working with local people around the world produces a diversity that becomes "almost inherent." Recalling the richness that resulted, Knoblich said, "We feel confident the same would be true for news."

The increase in diversity took effort and careful planning, according to Knoblich and others.

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The Chicago conference took place a week after the Media Insight Project, an initiative of the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, reported on perceptions of the digital world by blacks and Latinos.

"The two largest minority groups in the United States — African Americans and Hispanics — are in many ways using digital technology for news at similar rates as the American population overall. Yet these Americans do not believe that the growth of web and mobile media has fulfilled the promise of more coverage, and more accurate coverage, of underserved ethnic communities," the project found.

Four years ago, at another ONA convention in Washington, journalists of color who saw the potential of ONA looked at the lack of diversity and said "this is ridiculous," according to Doug Mitchell, who has spent his career recruiting and training diverse groups for broadcasting and entrepreneurship.

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It wasn't just ONA's makeup that disappointed. To the annoyance of female journalists and journalists of color, white-led journalism organizations published lists of who was who in the digital space that invariably included only white men.

The group of journalists of color "basically threw a meetup" and committed to change things, Mitchell said.

The Digital Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists, co-chaired by Benét J. Wilson, an aviation reporter, held a BlogTalkRadio show that November about what they learned at the ONA conference.

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Participating were Dr. Sybril Bennett, associate professor of journalism at Belmont University; Sarah Glover, then staff photographer at the Philadelphia Daily News and president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists; and Mitchell, chair of NABJ's Media Institute, co-director of the Ford Foundation's New U entrepreneurship program and an adjunct instructor at the City College of New York's Graduate School of Journalism.

In 2011, Michelle Johnson, an associate professor of the practice at Boston University's College of Communication, who has coordinated the online student projects at many a journalist convention, co-chaired ONA's convention in Boston. That conference included a diversity keynote, "Race, Gender and Technology: The Third Rail?"

Other activists ran for ONA office, and some won.

Last month, the latest permutation of this activist group announced "The Journalism Diversity Project." Its members — Emma Carew and Sharon Chan, who are Asian American; Robert Hernandez, who is Hispanic; Johnson, Mitchell, Juana Summers and Wilson, African American — wrote on their website:

"In 2011, we pulled together a list of more than 130 digital journalists of color who were both qualified, awesome, and easily findable. Now, in 2014 we're giving the project a new life and making it a more robust resource for job seekers, hiring managers and conference planners.

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"Who makes the list? People of color, committing acts of journalism, and pushing the craft forward in the digital age. It's a broad umbrella, meant to cover storytellers who truly 'get' digital-first and multi-platform journalism, coders and developers, data journalists, UX folks and designers, content strategists, professors who are molding the next generation and more. . . ."

ONA has capitalized on these efforts and used these journalists of color as resources, according to Knoblich. He notes that Hernandez, now a board member, says, "I will find you anyone" — and can. Wilson, now on the board, looked at the panelists for the group's opening keynote on Ferguson, Mo., where a police officer killed 18-year-old black man Michael Brown. Wilson thought that Trymaine Lee, an MSNBC reporter who covered the developments, needed to be on the panel. She didn't know Lee but knew his wife, Gabrielle Maple Lee, so Wilson contacted her, and Lee was added.

"I don't think we had a single panel that was all white men," Knoblich said. The 22 people on the convention's programming committee were given 30 qualities to consider in selecting participants for the more than 100 panels and workshops. These included gender, race, geography and whether participants had previously presented. The lists of panelists were then vetted by a "program review" team including such journalists of color as Fernando Diaz of Hoy Chicago; Robert Hernandez; Victor Hernandez of CNN; Carlos Martínez de la Serna of ONA Spain; Raju Narisetti of News Corp; Summers, now at Politico; and Wilson.

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"Even when you were not staging an explicit session on gender and race," diversity was a factor, Knoblich said. A series of "Lady Leaders Lightning Talks" showed off women in management positions.

"It is harder to be a female" entrepreneur, Lara Setrakian, co-founder of the News Deeply startup, said on the panel "Start Up Your Newsroom: Building Your Culture, Your Team and Your Products," with Melissa Bell of vox.com and Kara Swisher of Re/code. "There are a lot of bad-ass women doing this, and they are under-trumpeted." Setrakian also said women wait longer to proceed until they have the confidence that they are on the right course. She called that a "swagger gap" with men.

There were so many women in view that Mekahlo Medina, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, looking around the mezzanine, estimated that two-thirds of those present were female.

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A panel on inclusion, "Digital Diversity: Successes, Failures & Why It Matters," featured Medina, Danyel Smith, co-founder of the new HRDCVR online magazine; P. Kim Bui, freelance digital editor and ONA board member; and moderator Justin Ellis, an assistant editor of the Nieman Journalism Lab. However, it was outmatched by the competing prospect of having one's picture taken with Cookie Monster from the Muppets of "Sesame Street." Cookie Monster attracted a long line of Muppet fans as the diversity session began with empty seats nearby.

While it was difficult to say something fresh about the need for media diversity and how to achieve it, Medina volunteered that perhaps those journalists of color who have made it to the top haven't moved others up the ladder with them. "Sometimes the blame is on us," Medina said.

The attention to diversity at the convention extended to the composition of the front office, driven by Executive Director Jane McDonnell and its board. In December 2012, Irving W. Washington III, a former program manager for the National Association of Black Journalists, was hired as director of operations, "responsible for directing the overall business operations of the organization, managing the annual conference, and overseeing programmatic objectives for the AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship, MJ Bear Fellowship [for early career digital journalists] and Online Journalism Awards," an announcement said.

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Five journalists of color are among 16 people seeking seven open seats on the ONA board: incumbents Hernandez and Wilson, Bonnie Newman Davis, Greensboro News-Record-Janice Bryant Howroyd endowed professor, North Carolina A&T State University; Luis Gomez, business editor, Investigative News Network; and Jose Zamora, vice president for strategic communications at Univision News.

Although seven seats are open, the announcement says, "One seat may be used to appoint a diversity director, if necessary."

Free convention registration was extended to the presidents of NABJ, NAHJ, the Asian American Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association, and all were said to be present.

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A decision to hold the 2013 convention in Atlanta, the home of CNN, gave diversity another boost. More people came from the NAHJ and NABJ chapters there. "People went to that convention for the first time and were amazed at the things ONA was doing," Wilson told Journal-isms.

Other organizations have been solicited or volunteered in the effort toward inclusion. NBC sponsored a "diversity reception" after asking what it could do to assist the effort. The Knight Foundation subsidized four students representing historically black colleges and universities as the pilot class of HBCU Digital Media Fellows, working on the ONA student online publication. The student publication staff was already becoming more diverse, as were its mentors. "If you look at the students that we selected for newsroom (20 out of more than 100 applications), you'll see what a diverse group we had," Johnson told Journal-isms. "That's no accident. It's the realization of a goal that I had when I became chair."

The Associated Press and Google sponsored the AP-Google Journalism and Technology Scholarship Program, which awarded "$7,500 scholarships for the 2014-15 academic year to two promising undergraduate or graduate students pursuing or planning to pursue degrees at the intersection of journalism, computer science and new media." That two-year program is ending, but ONA said, "We were fortunate to have excess funds to support two more winners for the 2014-15 academic year."

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To a practiced eye, such as that of James R. Bettinger, director of the John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford, which had a majority-minority class for 2012-2013, the diversity at the ONA conference "seems a little more baked in. That should be the goal."

But first-timers such as Pierre-Pierre indicate how much more work is necessary.

Even with the progress on diversity, Mitchell says he sees the need to expand the offerings to include how to create jobs, weaning journalists of color away from having to work for someone else.

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The journalists of color associations have begun to incorporate many of the technology-oriented sessions that ONA offers. But they do not offer it on the scale that ONA does, and they also have other priorities. "It's important that journalists of color come to the convention. Like it or not, this is where our industry is going," Wilson said.

Members of the so-called "legacy" media were not much in evidence, even those based in Chicago.

Past ONA President Jim Brady, in a conversation at the diversity reception, said that in any case, those lines are dropping.

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Soon, he said, everyone will be a digital journalist.

Khorri Atkinson, ONA14 Student Newsroom: Black Press Reinventing as Digital Shifts Continue

Michael Depp, netnewscheck.com: In Social/Mobile, Facebook Holds News Keys

Des Moines Register: Video technology wows online news conference

Kristen Hare, Poynter Institute: Five things about covering Ferguson

Investigative Reporters & Editors: Apply now for the 2015 IRE Knight Scholarship

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Online News Association: Mastering Web Video Content with Latoya Peterson (video)

Victoria Plaut, Scientific American: 3 Myths Plus a Few Best Practices for Achieving Diversity (Sept. 16)

Vivek Wadhwa and Farai Chideya, Fast Company: How Women in Tech Are Changing the Game

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Taylor Walker, ONA14 Student Newsroom: Will Jet's Digital-Only Leap Pay Off?

Benét J. Wilson, alldigitocracy.org: 10 Things done at #ONA14 I'd Love To See At Other Journo Conferences

Benét J. Wilson, alldigitocracy.org: Transforming the route to the top for women journalists

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"Segregation Now" Series Wins Twice at ONA Awards

"Segregation Now: Investigating America's Racial Divide," a series by Nikole Hannah-Jones of ProPublica, won in the Feature category at the Online News Association awards Saturday and tied for the Explanatory Reporting Award.

"Nikole Hannah-Jones of ProPublica has spent the last year investigating the resegregation of the country’s schools, and her collaboration with The Atlantic, 'Segregation Now,' represents one of ProPublica's most ambitious reporting efforts," the investigative news organization explained to readers on April 16.

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"Almost everywhere in the country, Hannah-Jones found, the gains of integration have been eroded. And nowhere has that been more powerfully and disturbingly true than in the South – once home to both the worst of segregation and the greatest triumphs of integration. Freed from the federal oversight that produced integration, [school] districts across the 11 former states of the Confederacy have effectively re-instituted segregation for large numbers of black students, in practical terms if not in law.

" 'Segregation Now' focuses on the Tuscaloosa, Ala., city school district, and its fleeting experience with the challenges and virtues of integration. The story is told through the three generations of one African-American Tuscaloosa family, the Dents. . . ."

Hannah-Jones accepted the award with a declaration about the importance of diversity, which she called a matter of strategy. "We need to report with the same vigor issues of racial justice that we use to report on everything else," she told the crowd.

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ProPublica was a finalist for 13 awards and won five.

The two newest ONA categories, the $7,500 University of Florida Awards in Investigative Data Journalism, were won by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's examination of screening programs for newborns with rare diseases and MPR News for the cover-up of sexual abuse within the Catholic church.

The Knight Award for Public Service, with a $5,000 prize from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, went to The Miami Herald's I-Team investigation into Florida's lack of protection for abused children.

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The Herald series was reported and written by Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch. It was edited by Casey Frank.

In explaining the series, the Herald wrote, "From Nubia Barahona to Jeshiah DeJesus to Emma Morrison, the Miami Herald wanted to know why so many children were dying after the state's troubled child protection system already had been involved with the child's parents.

"Reporters from the Herald's Investigative Reporting Team began by requesting death reviews — written reports detailing both the circumstances of the child's death and the Department of Children & Families' prior history with the deceased child's family — for all child deaths beginning Jan. 1, 2008.

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"The newspaper negotiated the details of what information would be provided from the reports, and filed three lawsuits, two of them successful, in an effort to obtain some records quickly or to seek the restoration of details that had been redacted.

"All of the children whose histories are included in this series died as a result of abuse or neglect, according to DCF's findings, except for a handful of cases that are either technically still pending or were otherwise unavailable. . . ."

List of winners

Holder Seen as the "Race Man" Obama Didn't Want to Be

"From his first days on the job, it was clear that Attorney General Eric Holder was unbound by the racial constraints that his boss, President Obama, operated under," Nia-Malika Henderson wrote for the Washington Post on Thursday, the day that Holder announced he was stepping down as soon as a successor is in place.

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"Just weeks after America saw the inauguration of its first black president, Holder gave what has come to be known as his 'cowards speech' — an address that crystallized the now-outgoing attorney general's place as Obama's man/conscience/inner voice on race . . ."

Henderson also wrote, "Publicly, Obama moved to separate himself from the comments, saying that if he had been advising Holder, 'we would have used different language.' And in discussing race, Obama has often used different language, or even none at all. Holder, who grew up blocks away from Malcolm X, was the dystopic realist.

"Obama, who during his first term discussed race in executive orders and speeches less than any other president since 1961, was mostly hope-and-change, appealing to 'our better angels.' (He rose to fame by declaring there wasn't a white America or a black America.) After Obama stumbled and called out a white police officer for arresting African-American Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates at his home, an All-American beer summit was in order. No hard feelings, right guys?

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"But even with Obama's silence, and in some ways because of it, Holder has always been up to something else — both rhetorically and judicially. He has been Obama's go-to man on race, bolstering the civil rights division, unafraid to point to racial disparities. He moved to reform the 'mandatory minimum' federal sentencing drug laws, which disproportionately impacted minorities. He sued Alabama over voter identification laws, in a case he ultimately lost in the Supreme Court even as he vowed to keep fighting that fight. Holder also made the case that states should repeal laws prohibiting felons from voting, and he spoke out against so-called 'stand your ground' laws after Trayvon Martin's death. As Ferguson, Mo., erupted this summer, it was Holder who met with residents and activists on the ground, recounting his own experiences with racial profiling."

Henderson continued, "For Obama, Holder has been a link to the civil rights community and that tradition of black protest and righteous anger . . ."

For many journalists, Chicago Tribune columnist Clarence Page's assessment has resonance. "I am dismayed but not shocked that what many journalists and civil libertarians see as a war on the press started in Holder's office," Page wrote Monday.

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"He has subpoenaed journalists, their emails and their phone records in a crackdown on their sources. He has started more investigations than any of his predecessors into government officials who disclosed information to reporters.

"The New York Times reporter James Risen, who has refused to reveal his sources about information on Iran, remains under subpoena.

"For actions like these, attorney James Goodale, who argued for the Times in the historic Pentagon Papers case against the Nixon administration before the Supreme Court, described Obama as 'rapidly becoming the worst … president ever' for respecting press freedom on national security matters. . . ."

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John Cassidy, the New Yorker: Why Didn't Eric Holder Go After the Bankers?

Ryan Chittum, Columbia Journalism Review: Going easy on Eric Holder's Wall Street inaction

Ta-Nehisi Coates blog, the Atlantic: Books for the Horde: The New Jim Crow, Chapters 2 and 3

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Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder praised for his stance on civil rights

Editorial, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Eric Holder's very confused legacy

Ariel Edwards-Levy, Huffington Post: Poll Shows Just How Much Republicans Hate Eric Holder

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Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: Eric Holder Was Our Firewall Against GOP Bigotry

indianz.com: Attorney General Eric Holder to step down after six-year tenure

Kevin Mathews, care2.com: 4 Unfulfilled Promises By Exiting Attorney General Eric Holder

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Bill Mears, CNN: Eric Holder's legacy: A competing agenda over security and civil rights

Ethan Nadelmann, Politico: Eric Holder Was Great on Drugs

Michael Scherer, Time: Eric Holder Will Leave a Legacy of Civil Rights Activism

David Uberti, Columbia Journalism Review: Reporters jump the gun on Eric Holder replacement speculation

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Knight Foundation Gives CUNY $1.2 Million for Diversity

"To address the large underrepresentation of minority journalists in newsrooms, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism will launch a diversity initiative that includes an all-expenses-paid, two-month summer internship program for 20 participants and free tuition for five of them to its graduate school," Amy Dunkin reported Thursday for CUNY. "The three-year diversity program is supported by $1.2 million from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

"The CUNY J-School will recruit participants from historically black colleges, Hispanic-serving institutions, CUNY, the State University of New York (SUNY) and the membership base of associations representing underserved populations, such as the National Association of Black Journalists, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Asian American Journalists Association and the Native American Journalists Association.

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"The 20 participants will intern for two months at journalism outlets in New York City, while receiving supplemental instruction from the CUNY J-School's faculty. Knight funding will cover travel expenses, as well as housing and living costs for the two-month period the students are in New York.

"At the end of each summer, five students will be chosen to receive scholarships covering their entire tuition at the CUNY J-School, if they choose to apply and are accepted. They will have two years from the time of their offers to decide if they would like to pursue the graduate school opportunity. . . ."

Dunkin also wrote, "Joanna Hernandez, who has been the director of career services at the CUNY J-School for the past two years, will lead the initiative. Hernandez is the National Association of Hispanic [Journalists'] representative on the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communication (ACEJMC) and a former president of UNITY: Journalists for Diversity. . . ."

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Calif. Media Not Editorializing on Confederate Flag Curb

"California Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill on Thursday that effectively bans state agencies from displaying or selling items bearing the Confederate flag," Andrew Desiderio reported Friday for Mediaite.

"The bill was introduced by an African-American assemblyman who contended that the flag is racist because it symbolizes the American southern states' historical support for slavery. The bill was introduced after the state assemblyman, Isadore Hall [III] , said his mother saw items at the Capitol Gift Shop in the state capital of Sacramento bearing the Confederate flag.

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"The bill passed 66-1, and the lone dissenter was a Republican who argued banning the flag would impede on First Amendment rights to free speech. . . ."

Terry Schanz, Hall's chief of staff, told Journal-isms he was unaware of any editorials in the state on the issue. "Many articles, but I am unaware of any editorials," he said by email.

On NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune in New Orleans, columnist Jarvis DeBerry wrote Monday that he doubted that any such law could be passed in the South. In Louisiana, a 1960 law is still on the books barring desecration of the Confederate flag, even though flag-burning laws are unenforceable.

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"California was never a part of the Confederacy. So it's unclear why paraphernalia related to that doomed government would ever be sold in a gift shop in that state's Capitol," DeBerry wrote. "That's not the case in Louisiana or Tennessee or nine other states that seceded. At least in those capitols' gift shops, Confederate souvenirs might help provide a history of those states. But the Confederacy shouldn't be given more special status than any other enemy of the United States. . . ."

A "Fact Sheet" from Hall's office leaves no doubt where he stands on the flag. "The Confederate Flag is a symbol of racism, exclusion, oppression and violence towards many Americans," it says. "Its symbolism and history is directly linked to the enslavement, torture and murder of millions of Americans through the mid-19th Century. Even today, its public display is designed to instill fear, intimidation and a direct threat of violence towards others. . . ."

MSNBC, Contributor Goldie Taylor Part Company

"MSNBC and contributor Goldie Taylor have parted ways," Jordan Chariton reported Monday for TVNewser. "Taylor, who's been a contributor for several years appearing across daytime and primetime programs, tweeted out the news.

#BREAKING After 4 years, I am leaving MSNBC. I will long appreciate the opportunity afforded me to give voice to the voiceless. +

— Goldie Taylor (@goldietaylor) September 29, 2014

I was not offered a new contract. The only thing constant is change. +

— Goldie Taylor (@goldietaylor) September 29, 2014

Taylor was writing for theGrio.com when she signed with MSNBC in October 2012.

Sports Editors Seek Applications for Management Candidates

"The deadline for applications to the 2014-15 APSE Diversity Fellowship Program has been extended to Oct. 1," Jorge Rojas, Miami Herald sports editor, wrote Sept. 22 for the Associated Press Sports Editors.

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"The program is an in-depth, nine-month course of study for working, mid-career professionals who are interested in pursuing a path as a manager (typically a sports editor, assistant sports editor or sports reporter) in sports journalism. This training program, which prepares Fellows to be candidates for such positions, is underwritten by APSE and its partners, and there is no cost to the Fellows.

"The program for APSE members and member organizations and their employees begins in the fall and concludes with APSE's annual conference in June 2015 in San Diego. Women and minority journalists who have at least three years' professional experience (exceptions may be considered) are eligible to apply. . . ."

Michael A. Anastasi, then president of Associated Press Sports Editors and managing editor of the Salt Lake Tribune, began the fellowship program in 2011 after the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport (TIDES) reported for APSE that in 2010, "97 percent of the sports editors, 85 percent of the assistant sports editors, 86 percent of our columnists, 86 percent of our reporters and 90 percent of our copy editors/designers were white."

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The institute reported last year, "For 2012, the grade for racial hiring practices for APSE newspapers and websites remained at a C+, the same grade issued in the 2010 Study [PDF]. . . ."

Short Takes

T.J. Holmes, who has worked at Black Entertainment Television and substituted at MSNBC since leaving CNN as a weekend anchor at the end of 2011, is doing work for ABC News. "TJ is filling in on the overnight and will likely do reports for GMA when stories break overnight," ABC News spokesman Jeffrey W. Schneider told Journal-isms by email on Tuesday, referring to "Good Morning America." Jawn Murray reported Tuesday on a Holmes voiceover for ABC on Murray's alwaysalist.com site. [Added Sept. 30]

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"The best part of GQ's new and endlessly depressing profile on the George Zimmerman family is when Robert, George's brother, recounts the conditions under which the two of them agreed to an interview with CNN," Eddie Scarry reported Monday for Mediaite. "In short, it involved taking CNN for all hotel minibar bottles money can buy. CNN offered to pay for two Ritz-Carlton hotel rooms in Miami for three nights, plus 'everything' the Zimmermans wanted during their stay, according to Robert. . . ."

Corey Dade, a contributing editor at The Root and secretary of the National Association of Black Journalists who was formerly at NPR and the Wall Street Journal, has joined Burson-Marsteller's Washington, D.C. office as a senior director in the U.S. Public Affairs and Crisis Practice. "He brings his experience as a national journalist on multiple platforms and on-air analyst and commentator to help direct our clients' goals in crisis communications, government relations, issue campaigns, media training and media relations," spokeswoman Catherine Sullivan told Journal-isms Tuesday by email. Dade said that as a public relations person, he plans to step down from his NABJ board position. [Added Sept. 30]

"As our sister site, TVNewser reported, Charlo Greene, the Anchorage reporter who dropped the F-Bomb, and then her job, lit up during an interview with Huffington Post Live today," Kevin Eck reported Thursday for TVSpy. "Greene waited until after she told host Alyona Minkovski she agreed with KTVA news director Bert Rudman who said Greene '“betrayed the basic bedrock of responsible journalism' by reporting on her own business. . . ."

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"Some things, as Donald Hunt discovered, take time," Tom Mahon reported Friday for the Philadelphia Daily News. "Thanks to Hunt's aggressive, 6-year grassroots campaign, the U.S. Postal Service finally will honor the late, great Wilt Chamberlain with a stamp in December. "Hunt, a longtime writer with the Philadelphia Tribune, penned a column in 2008 beseeching the Postal Service to issue a Wilt stamp. He then formed a committee that included a letter-writing campaign in which former NBA commissioner David Stern, and former player/coach greats Al Attles, Jerry West and Pat Riley took part. . . ."  Postal Service video

"On last week's Cashin' In, Fox's Eric Bolling and his panel of guests asked the provocative question of whether it's time to start profiling Muslims to fight back in the War on Terror," Josh Feldman reported Saturday for Mediaite. "Jonathan Hoenig argued, 'The last war this country won, we put Japanese-Americans in internment camps, we dropped nuclear bombs on residential city centers. So, yes, profiling would be at least a good start.' In the ensuing week, Hoenig has received an onslaught of backlash. . . . At the end of today's Cashin’ In, Hoenig took the time to issue a sincere apology for those comments, though he believes they were misinterpreted. . . . "

"Esquire has apologized to ESPN," Mike Hayes reported Monday for BuzzFeed. "Esquire.com posted the following note to the top of its article 'ESPN Has A Problem With Women' and changed the headline to 'On ESPN And Domestic Violence': The original opening sentence of this piece was widely interpreted as saying that ESPN was set to run a special panel, hosted only by men, which would address the specific subject of domestic violence in the NFL. In fact, we believed the pre-game show was to run as normal, with a segment on domestic violence. We apologize for the confusion that the language of our opening statement created and we have been told that ESPN was not planning to cover this topic in such a format and has covered domestic violence on air before with its female commentators. The first sentence and headline have been amended to reflect this change. Additionally, we would like to apologize for saying that ESPN is not in the business of journalism.' . . ."

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"Last week, News 12 Bronx anchor Matt Pieper got caught on a hot mic swearing and saying some pretty questionable things about welfare recipients," Josh Feldman reported Monday for Mediaite. "Well, today he posted a lengthy apology and explained that he was not speaking his own words. Pieper had said some pretty negative things about people on welfare, like that parents need to 'do their fucking jobs and walk their little kids to school on their own, and not rely on everyone else.' In a statement posted to Twitter today, Pieper wanted to make it clear that those were not his own thoughts, he was simply relaying a message someone else asked to give to one of their reporters. Pieper also revealed towards the end of the statement that he's been fired as a result of the controversy surrounding those comments. . . ."

"If you spot any plagiarism in the columns Fareed Zakaria wrote for Newsweek, the news outlet wants you to email them," Andrew Kirell reported Monday for Mediaite. "Zakaria hasn't written a column for Newsweek in four years, and so his work there was overseen by the outlet's previous owners. Since then, the magazine has changed hands twice (and ditched print before going back to it again), leaving the new owners with a large catalog of Zakaria columns that may or may not contain plagiarized bits. . . ."

Lauren Williams, named in June as "lead editor" for vox.com, has been promoted to managing editor, Melissa Bell, Vox Media's co-founder and senior product manager/executive editor at Vox Media, announced in a Sept. 10 tweet. "She's been with us for two months, and earned that title on her second day," Bell wrote. Vox was one of the new media startups criticized earlier in the year for lack of racial diversity. Williams is a black journalist who has worked at The Root and Mother Jones. Vox also hired Jenée Desmond-Harris, an editor at the Root who starts Oct. 1, writing about race, law, and politics.

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"Mark Whitaker, a former editor of Newsweek, has just written Cosby: His Life and Times, a biography of one of the major entertainment and cultural figures during Newsweek's heyday," Michael Wolff wrote Sunday for USA Today. "Whitaker's book is a detailed and compelling portrait, but one that carefully steers clear of the unsettling sexual abuse charges that, for many years, have been part of the Bill Cosby story." Wolff also writes, "Whitaker, naively or stubbornly, doesn't want to tell a story of celebrity abuses and depravity. He clearly does not believe that Cosby is a monster, even if this necessitates stubbornly resisting both a more compelling narrative as well as the bona fides of the new journalism standards. . . ."

"Snap Judgment," an NPR show that describes itself as "storytelling with a beat," is in the midst of a fundraising campaign on Kickstarter. The campaign runs through Oct. 17. As of Monday night, the show had raised $132,455 of its $150,000 goal.

"When filmgoers see Kill The Messenger, opening in a fortnight, they may not know Gary Webb's name," Chris Ip wrote Friday for Columbia Journalism Review. " . . . Even if some filmgoers missed Webb’s 20,000-word 'Dark Alliance' series, which in 1996 blew the lid off the CIA-backed Nicaraguan contras' role in selling cocaine to America, the David and Goliath narrative of a nefarious government security agency bullying a lone truth-teller is sure to resonate with an NSA-conscious, post-Snowden public." Webb was hounded out of the news business and committed suicide. Ip concluded, "Kill The Messenger is a final vindication of sorts. . . ."

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"The names of two Colombian journalists have appeared on a 'hit list' issued by Los Rastrojos , a paramilitary group funded by drug-trafficking, reports the Paris-based press freedom watchdog, Reports Without Borders (RWB)," Roy Greenslade reported in his media blog for Britain's Guardian newspaper. "Leiderman Ortiz Berrio and Edgar Astudillo also received a chilling warning in the leaflet circulated in the city of Montería, capital of the northern department of Córdoba: 'If you continue with your political, pro-union, pacifist, leftist proselytising against our organisation, you will pay the price… Our patience has its limits.' . . ."