NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell (foreground) walks the sidelines prior to the game between the Seattle Seahawks and the Green Bay Packers at CenturyLink Field on Sept. 4, 2014.
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Does TMZ Deserve Kudos After Rice Suspension?

Debate Over Who Was Gutless and Who Unethical

"Running back Ray Rice was cut by the Baltimore Ravens Monday and suspended indefinitely by the NFL after TMZ Sports released a video of him hitting his then-fiancee (now wife) Janay Palmer in February," as Jonathan Kuperberg reported for Broadcasting & Cable. In addition to raising questions about domestic violence and the NFL's tardiness in acting decisively, Monday's actions sparked commentary contrasting TMZ with its more traditional counterparts.

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"When the first video of Ray Rice dragging his then-fiancee off a casino elevator like a slab of meat appeared, I thought, 'God bless TMZ,' " television critic David Zurawik wrote for the Baltimore Sun.

"With TMZ's release of video today showing him punching Janay Palmer twice and knocking her to the floor, I say, God bless TMZ again and again.

"You can read what I wrote in February here under the headline: 'Ray Rice and how TMZ counters the great American hype machine.' "

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Zurawik did not stop there, adding Monday, "TMZ did the job the mainstream sports media failed to do in showing us the ugliness of this incident. And don't talk to me about paying for video. Everybody does it in one form or another today, from the networks to the cable channels to the biggest mainstream web outlets in the world.

"I wonder how all the fine Baltimore fans who gave Rice a standing ovation when he ran on the field at M&T Bank Stadium before an exhibition game against the San Francisco 49ers last month are now feeling about their actions in the wake of this video?

"I wonder how all the local hosts on sports radio and newscasters on local TV affiliates who swallowed the Ravens shameless spin all summer and reproduced it on their shows are feeling today. Was it worth it to compromise yourselves this way so as to not have Ravens management glaring at you when you came over to cover the team?

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"I wonder how Ravens management is feeling today. I wonder if there is anyone in that organization who tried to minimize or bury what Rice did who can now look the women in his or her life in the eye and not feel a need to apologize. And this goes from Steve Bisciotti, Ozzie Newsome and John Harbaugh on down.

"Forget Roger Goodell. He's pathetic. The national media did to him what we didn't do here in Baltimore: Publicly shame him for the joke two-game suspension he levied against Rice. If Goodell has any shame, it's time for him to think about an exit strategy.

"There is a ton of sociology packed into what happened on that elevator. Domestic violence, women's rights, gender and power are at the top of the list. That's not my beat.

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"But the way in which the media contribute to our slavish worship and adolescent emulation of the men who play and run professional football is my concern as a media critic. So is the role media can play in public shaming.

"I think members of the local media need to all look in the mirror today and do a gut check on how they reported and analyzed the Rice story. Really, if you have any integrity, you need to do it — especially if your station or you are somehow financially connected to the Ravens. . . ."

It was just in April that TMZ broke the story of the racist rant by Donald Sterling that led to the NBA forcing him to give up ownership of the Los Angeles Clippers. TMZ posted an audiotape then showing Sterling urging his now-former girlfriend not to bring black people to the games, not to be seen with blacks and not to post pictures of herself with such African Americans as Magic Johnson.

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Yet despite these coups, few in the mainstream media are rushing to embrace TMZ's newsgathering tactics.

The Sports Task Force of the National Association of Black Journalists held a panel at its recent convention that asked, "It is no longer enough to just cover your beat. Sports stars are pop culture celebrities and, in a few cases, pop culture superstars. What are the lines by which we define the new normal? How does a site such as TMZ Sports change perspective on what it means to cover athletes off the court?"

The task force might have added, who are TMZ's most ardent fans? In December, TMZ posted a video in which hip-hop entrepreneur Suge Knight said he liked the N-word better than "African American," and in early results from its informal online poll, the website's viewers agreed with Knight.

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Kim Kardashian called out TMZ for being racist against her and Kanye West as an interracial couple," recalled student journalists at Mount San Antonio College in Walnut, Calif. They added, "In 2012, TMZ interviewed the Mexican rock group Mana and asked them a racist question, 'American rock bands get underwear thrown at them; do you get underwear thrown at you or Tapatio packets?' . . ."

Media critic Howard Kurtz wrote after the Sterling exclusive, "I'm not always a fan of TMZ's methods. The site makes a practice of checkbook journalism. If it paid for this tape, as it has for other scoops, that's unethical. But it has caused such an explosion — an NBA investigation, denunciation by Magic, Michael Jordan, LeBron James and others, the withdrawal of a planned NAACP award — that few are likely to care. And I admire the news-slash-gossip machine that Harvey Levin has built."

Levin, TMZ founder, has not disclosed how TMZ obtained the Rice elevator tape. But in a 2013 story in Broadcasting & Cable, members of Levin's team say they simply work harder.

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" 'When everyone else stops at making 10 phone calls, we make 100,' says executive producer Evan Rosenblum. 'We just keep digging and digging.'

"As for the common accusation that TMZ pays for tips, 'I have no problem paying for tips,' shrugs Levin, 'but we hardly do it at all. If someone calls and says, 'I have gone through court files in a certain city and there's a big lawsuit in which you'd be interested,' I don’t mind paying them for their work. But we have to verify every story that we do.

" 'We absolutely will not pay for interviews, however,' he continues. 'When you pay for an interview, you are telling someone to goose it, to say something salacious, even if what they are saying is not true. A lot of traditional network news operations will pay someone $100,000 for things like a picture or a photo album, but what they are really paying for is an interview. When you do that, how do you know what's coming out of their mouth is true?' . . . ”

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The Baltimore Sun editorialized Monday that despite the TMZ scoop in the Rice case, it shouldn't have taken TMZ to get Rice out of the game.

The Sun editorial began, "What did the Ravens see and when did they see it?" Those are the central questions now that they have released Ray Rice from his contract hours after a video showing the 206-pound running back punching then-fiancée, now wife, Janay Palmer with his left fist so forcefully that it knocked her off her feet, into the handrail at the side of the elevator they were riding, and then to the floor.

"Had team officials seen that video before Monday morning? An NFL official said the league had not seen it before Commissioner Roger Goodell handed down a laughable two-game suspension against Mr. Rice, though it is hard to believe that the website tmz.com was able to get the footage and the NFL was not. The Ravens, so far, aren't saying. But the answer is important, not because it will tell us how just was the Ravens' reaction but how cynical it was.

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"The video does not provide us with any new facts about this incident. . . . Yet until today, the league, the Ravens and many fans were willing to suspend their good judgment about what we must have known intuitively to be true. . . ."

Associated Press: Fox Hosts' Banter About Rice Video Draws Criticism

Chris Chase, USA Today: TMZ's Ray Rice video forced the NFL and Ravens to finally make the right decision 

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Roy Peter Clark, Poynter Institute: The new Ray Rice video reminds us that seeing is more than believing

Mary C. Curtis, Washington Post: Violence – and nonchalance – in shocking Ray Rice video 

Daily Kos: Alabama federal judge gets slap on the wrist in wife-beating case

ESPN.com news services: Wife defends Ray Rice, slams media (Sept. 9)

Kristen Hare, Poynter Institute: 5 resources for journalists covering domestic violence

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Melissa Jeltsen, Huffington Post: Horrific Footage Of Ray Rice Punching Then-Fiancée Released

Allen Johnson, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: Upon further review …. NFL finally gets Ray Rice call right

Jonathan Kuperberg, Broadcasting & Cable: Ravens' Ray Rice Cut, Suspended After TMZ Releases Video of Him Hitting His Then-Fiance

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Howard Kurtz, FoxNews.com TMZ slam-dunks Clippers owner: Gossip site exposed racist rant (April 28)

Gina McCauley (The Blogmother), What About Our Daughters: You Don't Need to Know Why Janay Palmer Rice Stayed: Compassion and Perfection 

Chris O'Shea, FishbowlNY: Chris Brown Gives Billboard Understatement of The Year

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Carl Steward, San Jose Mercury News: 49ers' Harbaugh: Rice news doesn't alter stance on McDonald

TMZ: We Never Saw Ray Rice Video … Until Today 

DeWayne Wickham, USA Today: NFL fumbles on domestic abuse (Sept. 2)

Huffington Post M.E. Leaves Amid Harassment Investigation

"In May, The Huffington Post announced that 29-year-old managing editor Jimmy Soni would step down to focus on launching the progressive website’s India edition in New Delhi," J.K. Trotter wrote Thursday for gawker.com. "As of last month, however, he was no longer employed by the company. What happened?

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"A Huffington Post spokesperson recently told Capital New York that Soni had left the site to write a book about the mathematician Claude Shannon and consult for his former employer on the side. But two current HuffPost staffers and six former ones tell us a very different story: Prior to his sudden departure, Soni found himself under investigation by lawyers from HuffPost's corporate parent AOL for sexually harassing young female employees.

"Rumors concerning Soni's behavior toward staffers have been traded among media circles since he came onboard the site in early 2012. His impressive résumé — Duke, McKinsey, a stint as Arianna Huffington's 'chief of staff' — only accelerated their spread.

"Those rumors gained new traction when, in April of this year, AOL lawyers began arranging interviews with employees in New York City, according to several staffers with knowledge of the inquiry. The topic of discussion: Whether they had seen Soni display inappropriate and sometimes harassing behavior toward certain female staffers. . . ."

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Soni could not be reached for comment. Huffington Post spokeswoman Lena Auerbuch told Journal-isms by email, "As a matter of policy, we do not discuss personnel matters."

Pam Oliver Says Age Might Have Been Factor in Her Removal

In a first-person essay co-written with Essence Magazine, Fox Sports broadcaster Pam Oliver said she knew her standing as the network's top NFL sideline reporter was at risk when management brought in Erin Andrews from ESPN two years ago," Richard Deitsch wrote Thursday for Sports Illustrated.

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" 'Even before my bosses told me what was going on, there had been rumblings that my days as a sideline reporter were coming to an end,' Oliver wrote in an essay with Jeannine Amber. 'Two years earlier, Fox Sports had hired Erin Andrews, a high-profile sideline reporter from ESPN, and I knew they hadn't brought her on just to be a benchwarmer. Colleagues, and even coaches and players, would come up to me and say things like, 'Boy, you’re handling this well. You're really a class act.' But I let the rumors roll off my back. Without official confirmation about a change in my position, I decided I was going to do my work like I always had. Still, I was humiliated.'

"In July SI.com broke the news that Oliver was moving to the network's No. 2 team (with Kevin Burkhardt and John Lynch) for her 20th NFL broadcasting season. As SI reported, last April, Fox Sports executives traveled to Atlanta, where Oliver is based, to tell her in person that she would no longer hold the job that has been her professional life for two decades. Oliver said that while she respected Fox Sports president Eric Shanks and executive vice president of production John Entz delivering the news in person, she was stunned when they initially informed her that not only was she being removed from Fox's No. 1 NFL team, but also that she was being taken off the NFL sidelines completely in 2014. . . ."

Deitsch also wrote, "While Oliver said she did not think her demotion was race-based, she did tell Essence and SI.com that age might have been a factor. She turned 53 last March. 'The business is very demographic-oriented,' Oliver wrote. . . ."

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AP Finds Gap Between Latino Communities, Number of Latino Cops

"The killing of an unarmed black 18-year-old by an officer in a nearly all-white police department in suburban St. Louis refocused the country on the racial balance between police forces and the communities they protect," Eileen Sullivan and Jack Gillum reported Sunday for the Associated Press.

"But an analysis by The Associated Press found that the racial gap between black police officers and the communities where they work has narrowed over the last generation, particularly in departments that once were the least diverse.

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"A much larger disparity, however, is now seen in the low number of Hispanic officers in police departments. In Waco, Texas, for example, the community is more than 30 percent Hispanic, but the police department of 231 full-time sworn officers has only 27 Hispanics.

"Across the United States, there are police departments that still look like Ferguson, Missouri, a largely white police force protecting a mostly black community. . . ."

The story also said, "The AP compared Census Bureau data about a community's racial and ethnic makeup with staffing surveys by the Justice Department for more than 1,400 police departments from 1987 and 2007, the most recent year for which the data are available. The AP then analyzed how different a department's racial makeup was from the population it served.

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"The AP found that since 1987, black representation on police forces has improved, such as in New Orleans and in East Orange and Plainfield, New Jersey.

"At least 49 departments had a majority Hispanic population, yet more than half of the police department was white. That's nearly five times as many departments than in 1987, when the largest disparities disproportionately involved black police officers and residents. . . ."

Michael Arceneaux, Ebony: Media Outlets Construct Mike Brown's (Thug) Life After Death

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Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: "I wish someone would pull a Ferguson on them and take them out."

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Crime, Bias and Statistics

Howard Bryant, ESPN: Divided They Stand: In the fallout from Ferguson, athletes can help America see itself (Aug. 6)

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Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: New body cameras, same ol' New Orleans Police Department

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Would a police officer who hates black people stand out?

Gene Demby, NPR "Code Switch": What Does It Mean To Prevent 'The Next Michael Brown'?

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Tammerlin Drummond, Oakland Tribune: Video shows police not behaving badly

Editorial, St. Louis American: Criminal and social justice in Ferguson

Tim Giago, Native Sun News: Where are the Native Americans on the Rapid City Police Department?

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Nicholas Kristof, New York Times: When Whites Just Don't Get It (Aug. 30)

Nicholas Kristof, New York Times: When Whites Just Don't Get It, Part 2

Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Emanuel’s lack of outrage on Police Cmdr. Evans’ case highlights gap: Mary Mitchell

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Ruben Rosario, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Chris Lollie recognized the racial bias that exists all around us 

Dr. Boyce Watkins, EURweb.com: Record Labels Should be Sued for Promoting Black Male Genocide (Watch)

Why Blacks Are Still Obama's Most Faithful Supporters

"Our president was in town on Labor Day," Eugene Kane wrote for Sunday's print edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. "As usual, his most faithful supporters were excited to see him.

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"I said 'our president' because he's the guy who was elected twice to the White House, handily winning Wisconsin both times. For much of America, an official visit from the sitting U.S. president always has been considered something special whether you voted for him or not.

"These days, with this particular president, though, nothing seems typical.

"Some Republicans in Wisconsin took the opportunity to suggest Barack Obama's appearance was purely political in nature while also suggesting Democratic candidate for governor Mary Burke was deliberately avoiding being seen in public with him because of his low approval ratings.

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"(Reportedly, Obama will return to the state and campaign with Burke sometime before November.)

"In Wisconsin, Obama's approval rating as president (48%) dipped below 50% for the first time during his term in office. But that kind of poll likely didn't reflect the feelings of the largest and most passionate segment of his constituency, the one group that likely will never view him in a negative light regardless what he does the remainder of his term.

"I'm talking about the African-American voters who approve of Obama's performance in office and, due to his unique role in their lives, probably always will.

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"Contrary to what some conservatives — both white and black — say derisively about Obama's widespread support from black voters, it's not about seeing him as a savior or a magician who can improve their lives with a simple wave of his hand. The main problems facing the black community — unemployment, crime, dysfunctional families, lack of economic opportunity — remain the same after Obama took office, often to the same degree of seriousness.

"The difference: This time the guy in charge was one of 'us.' . . ."

Kane also wrote, "When it's time to celebrate the first female president or the first Hispanic-American, Asian-American or first openly gay president, I suspect more people will 'get' what's so special about Obama for black folks. . . ."

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James E. Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Fast-food workers want $15 an hour? Let's start with $10.10

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: Just How is Obama’s Foreign Policy a Failure?

Tony Norman, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Islamic State puts a pacifist in a tough place (Aug. 26)

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James Ragland, Dallas Morning News: Calls to boost minimum wage food for thought

James Ragland, Dallas Morning News: Minimum wage boost isn’t a ticket out of poverty, but it's a start (Sept. 2)

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: Our challenge with fundamentalist Islam

La Opinión Blasts Obama Delay on Immigration

"President Obama's decision to put off any executive action on immigration until after the November elections, write editors of La Opinión, reflects a victory by nativist Republicans in politicizing the immigration debate and shows that in Washington, undocumented immigrants are seen as expendable," New America Media reported in an editor's note on Sunday.

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"At this point, editors write, it is hard to believe that there will be any executive action after the election."

The La Opinión editorial begins, "In the end, it is another promise followed by disappointment that will cost about 70,000 deportations, and that is in the best of cases. That's if the new deadline is met for President Obama to take executive action on immigration to ease deportations after the legislative elections.

"The rationale for the new delay is explained as an action to prevent politicizing the issue prior to the November elections. Unfortunately, it is too late to fulfill that objective.

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"The decision's delay by the White House is already a Republican victory in politicizing the immigration issue. The Democratic president who last June assured the public that by the end of the summer he would adopt 'recommendations without further delay' in what would be an executive order on immigration, yesterday announced through anonymous sources that there would be yet another delay.

"It is hard to say which is worse: the delay or the way it was announced. . . ."

La Opinión is based in Los Angeles.

John Paul Brammer, HuffPost LatinoVoice: Wheels: How We Teach Latino Inferiority in Schools

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Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: President Obama's immigration delay

Jeffrey S. Passel, D'Vera Cohn, Jens Manuel Krogstad and Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, Pew Research Center: As Growth Stalls, Unauthorized Immigrant Population Becomes More Settled

Hansi Lo Wang, NPR "Code Switch": To Model Manhood, Immigrant Dads Draw From Two Worlds (Sept. 1)

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Days, New Haven Register Honored for Diversity Leadership

"Michael Days, editor of the Philadelphia Daily News, and the New Haven Register are the recipients of the 13th annual Robert G. McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership, awarded by the Associated Press Media Editors in partnership with the American Society of News Editors and other journalism organizations," APME announced on Wednesday.

"The McGruder Award for Diversity Leadership is given annually to individuals, news organizations or teams of journalists who embody the spirit of McGruder, a former executive editor of the Detroit Free Press, managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland and a graduate of Kent State University. McGruder died of cancer in April 2002. A past president of APME and a former member of the board of directors of ASNE, McGruder was a relentless diversity champion. The awards will be presented Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2014, at the annual awards luncheon of the ASNE-APME conference at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago.

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"This year, the 13th annual McGruder awards were sponsored by the APME Foundation, ASNE, The Plain Dealer and Kent State University. Supporters include the Detroit Free Press, the Chips Quinn Scholars program of the Newseum Institute and Annette McGruder. The honorees will each receive $2,500 and a leadership trophy at the awards luncheon.

"Days and the New Haven Register are being honored for their commitment to diversity in news content and in newsroom recruiting and staff development.

" 'This year's McGruder recipients have diligently and relentlessly made diversity a key priority in their newsrooms even as so many other urgent priorities pull for attention,' said APME President Debra Adams Simmons. 'We are proud to honor their work. Each of these news organizations faced considerable challenges during the past year, yet they held true to diversity as a core value. When we look at news developments around the nation and world, in Ferguson, Missouri, and in Israel, there is no question that diverse voices make us stronger and make us better.'

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"In the nominating letter for Days, his colleagues wrote: 'These days, when covering basic news is a challenge, a commitment to diversity might be considered by some as a luxury, a fashionable trend we all pursued in better times. At the Daily News, diversity has never gone out of fashion.

" 'It is deeply embedded in our DNA, and Michael ensures that it remains critical and relevant,' the nomination said. 'Under Michael, the Daily News has become what may be one of the most diverse newsrooms in the industry, and both our day-to-day coverage and our daily discussions bear this out.' . . ."

Donte Stallworth Explains Interest in National Security

"Donte Stallworth, the former NFL player hired to a fellowship at the Huffington Post, says that journalists Jeremy Scahill and Glenn Greenwald 'catapulted' his interest in national security reporting," Erik Wemple wrote Thursday for the Washington Post.

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" 'I befriended Glenn, and we've been pretty close for a year now and same thing with Jeremy Scahill.' Last year, Stallworth, whose playing career spanned 11 years with teams such as the New Orleans Saints and the Cleveland Browns, last year co-hosted the Miami premiere of Scahill’s film 'Dirty Wars.'

"Now Stallworth will be working the beat for the Huffington Post, though he's not sure what topics he'll focus on. 'As I start to do some projects and start working with the guys and gals over there at Huffington Post, then we’ll get down to some specifics,' he says.

"As for Stallworth's experience in writing stories, he cited two pieces that he'd done for the lefty website Think Progress — one on Michael Sam and NFL 'distractions' and another on Robert Griffin III. According to Stallworth, that’s the extent of his published archive.

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"But that doesn’t include Twitter, of course, a platform on which Stallworth has been prolific — perhaps too prolific. . . ."

Short Takes

"Starting with Sunday’s newspaper, The Observer will generally avoid references to the Redskins nickname for Washington's NFL team," Michael Persinger wrote Saturday for the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer. "Exceptions will include stories that address the controversy. . . ."

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Benét J. Wilson, a board member for the Online News Association and vice chair, education, for the National Association of Black Journalists Digital Journalism Task Force, has compiled seven tips for preparing for a layoff — just in case. They are: Have a resume and online portfolio ready; save your contacts outside of your employers' email system; make copies of your files and stories; create/update your LinkedIn profile; clean your desk; don't be afraid to use social media; and think outside the box.

Among changes in the new Code of Ethics approved Saturday by the Society of Professional Journalists is "a harder line against paying for interviews compared the the previous code," Al Tompkins reported Saturday for the Poynter Institute. "The previous code said, journalists should 'avoid bidding for news.' The new code says 'do not pay for access to news. Identify content provided by outside sources, whether paid or not.' . . . " SPJ also honored Michele Norris, NPR host and special correspondent, as a Fellow of the Society. "It is the highest honor given by the Society and is awarded for extraordinary contribution to the profession," SPJ said.

Pablo Martinez has compiled a list of "40 Top Latinos in American Media" for the Huffington Post. "The World Cup was no doubt a huge career catalyst for a millennial generation of Latino media talent," Martinez observed. Categories on his list include executives, editors, on-air talent, producers, reporters and bloggers, photojournalists, data visualization, software engineering, advocacy, and public affairs and marketing.

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The National Association of Hispanic Journalists named Francisco Cortés, who in October of 2010 launched FoxNewsLatino.com, as its interim financial officer, online officer Rebecca Aguilar announced Saturday on Facebook. Cortés accepted an NAHJ Media Award on behalf of Fox News Latino at NAHJ's August convention in a move denounced by NAHJ co-founder Charles Ericksen as a farce. No one had sought the financial officer's position in the recent elections.

In a video, Missouri School of Journalism professors Earnest Perry, Jim Flink and Amy Simons discuss the Journalism Diversity Project, "designed to make it easy for hiring managers and event organizers to find qualified experts who are journalists of color," Austin Federa reported for Mid-Missouri Public Radio.

"After almost 35 years at NPR, Ellen McDonnell, the network's executive editor for news programming, is stepping down," Eyder Peralta reported Thursday for NPR. The opening gives the network the opportunity to name a journalist of color to news management. NPR's Chief Content Officer Kinsey Wilson wrote, "We will take a wide view of how best to match talent to the organization's needs."

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Proposed documentaries on Vietnamese and the nail industry, on Ben Fong-Torres, pop music journalist, author and broadcaster, and on Tyrus Wong, a 103-year-old WPA artist, pioneering modernist painter and Hollywood illustrator, were among seven projects selected to receive production or acquisition funding totaling $147,000, the Center for Asian American Media announced, Ed Moy reported Wednesday for examiner.com.

Without benefit of a news obituary in the Washington Post or the Washington Times, a full house of 350 to 400 people filled the Franciscan Monastery in Washington Saturday for a funeral Mass for Gerard Everette "Jerry" Phillips, a D.C. broadcaster for more than 50 years who died Aug. 29 at 75 after battling multiple myeloma. Phillips served on several community boards and had received more than 125 community and professional awards, according to an obituary prepared by the monastery. Tributes from Mayor Vincent Gray and from WRC-TV and WHUR-FM, where Phillips had worked, were read during the service. Past and present media figures in attendance included Askia Muhammad, Bill Reed, Jeanne Saddler, Tom Sherwood, Kojo Nnamdi, Claude Matthews, Adrienne Washington, Tommi Childs, Joe Madison, Malcolm Beech, Denise Rolark Barnes and this columnist. Independent D.C. mayoral candidate Carol Schwartz gave one attendee a campaign bauble, saying that Phillips would have wanted her to do so. 

"Viacom's BET Networks has tapped Kay Madati, previously head of entertainment and media on Facebook's global marketing solutions team, to be its chief digital officer," Todd Spangler reported Monday for Variety. "Madati reports to BET chairman and CEO Debra L. Lee and will be based in Los Angeles. He will lead BET's teams responsible for all aspects of digital, social and mobile strategy and oversee operations, content creation, technology and product development across the suite of the cable programmer's digital platforms. . . ."

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"Award-winning reporter Robert Lopez is saying good-bye to the Los Angeles Times after a 22 year career at the paper," Veronica Villafañe reported Wednesday for her Media Moves column. "His last day is tomorrow, September 4. Robert has accepted a job as Director of Communications for California State University Los Angeles. He starts the new gig September 15. . . ."

"Veteran Los Angeles political aide and journalist Peter Hong has joined California State University, Los Angeles as Director of Strategic Initiatives and Deputy Chief of Staff in the University President's office," the university announced on Wednesday. The announcement also said, "Hong was a reporter at the Los Angeles Times for 15 years. He wrote news, feature and investigative stories on higher education, economics, politics and Southern California culture. He also covered the war in Iraq. Prior to the Times, he worked for the Washington Post, BusinessWeek Magazine and the ABC News Washington bureau. . . ."

"What appears to be a mass anchor exodus from San Antonio’s Sinclair-owned stations WOAI-TV and KABB-TV continues … in full force," Jeanne Jakle reported Thursday for the San Antonio Express-News. "The latest to depart is a very familiar face to local TV viewers, a KABB veteran of 20 years and the only Hispanic anchorman on a main English-language newscast here. Michael Valdes, the 9 p.m. news's chief anchorman, has been KABB's constant; he's survived at least five co-anchor changes. . . . "

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"Al Jazeera Arabic, the sister channel of Al Jazeera English, has retracted an article from its website which suggested the beheading of two US journalists by the Islamic State group had been staged," the network announced Sunday. "Al Jazeera Arabic's managing director, Yasser Abu Hilalah, said in a statement on Saturday that the article was misleading. . . ."

The Committee to Protect Journalists joined 78 human rights and press freedom organizations "in calling on the Syrian government to immediately and unconditionally release three imprisoned members of the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression," Jason Stern reported Friday for CPJ. "The center's director, Mazen Darwish, has been imprisoned since 2012 along with his colleagues Hussein Ghrer and Hani al-Zitani. . . ."

"Facebook announced that it reached the 100 million monthly-active-user mark in Africa in June, adding that more than 80 percent of those users are accessing the social network via mobile devices," David Cohen reported Monday for allfacebook.com.

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Journal-isms is published on the site of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (mije.org). Reprinted on The Root by permission.