Ten years ago, people wandered along Interstate 10 near the New Orleans Superdome to escape Hurricane Katrina. Amid dire predictions, authorities decided to try to empty the city and move residents from the Superdome to shelters in Dallas and Houston in a two-day caravan of buses.
Irwin Thompson/Dallas Morning News

News Director: "New Level of Expectation for Myself . . ."

Just after midnight on the Gulf Coast 10 years ago on Friday, Hurricane Katrina reached Category 4 intensity with 145 mph winds. New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin declared a mandatory evacuation order for the parish of Orleans.


More than 1,800 people died after the hurricane reached Category 5, made landfall, and the levees broke. More than 1 million Louisiana residents were displaced, with about one-third not returning, according to the American Community Survey. The devastation extended to the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.

Journal-isms asked several journalists of color, male and female, to tell readers in 50 words or less how their lives are different today because of Hurricane Katrina. These five responded:

Trymaine Lee, national reporter, MSNBC

"Katrina put my life and career in particular focus. To witness the pain but also the resilience of the people of New Orleans has been inspiring and affirming. Ever since, I've aimed my lens at inequality but also [at] the hopes and strivings of the most vulnerable among us."


Lee was a reporter for the Times-Picayune in New Orleans during the hurricane.

Bryan Monroe, Verizon chair professor, Temple University

"Ten years ago Saturday, I was arriving at the Biloxi Sun Herald on the day Hurricane Katrina devastated South Mississippi. For the next two weeks, I would help lead a team of journalists that would work 18-hour days, sleep on the floor of the newsroom and produce some of the most compelling journalism I had seen in my life.


"A year after Katrina, we were honored with the 2006 Pulitzer Prize for our coverage. Then, the company I worked for, Knight Ridder, was no more, sold to McClatchy.

"I moved on to run Ebony and Jet in Chicago as Editorial Director of both magazines for three years. Then I headed to DC to become Editor of CNN Politics digital.

"Today, I am the new Verizon Chair and Professor at Temple University. But the memories of Katrina — connecting readers with their neighbors, showing the truth and the tragedy to the rest of the world, and dining on Pop-Tarts and hot dogs — will always be with me."


Irwin Thompson, deputy director of photography, Dallas Morning News

"Because of Hurricane Katrina, I'm thankful that I no longer take anything for granted. Our way of living is so fragile … from life itself to just being able to access electricity, gas or ice. Look around — our society functions only because of the minimum-wage workers. Without them, it comes to a screeching halt. Be nice and courteous to your fellow Americans who are serving you. Things out of your control can place you in the exact same role."

Thompson was part of a photo team from the Dallas Morning News that won a Pulitzer Prize for its Katrina coverage.


Anzio Williams, vice president of news, WCAU-TV, Philadelphia

"Because of Katrina I have a new level of expectation for myself and others in positions of leadership and authority. I am more aware of how local communities depend on their favorite television meteorologists in life and death situations. I am still learning to communicate with family and loved ones about my safety and personal situation during emergencies. As they say on the plane, I put my oxygen on first then help others."

Williams was news director of WDSU-TV in New Orleans during the storm.

Freddie Willis, freelance sportswriter, Houston

"I guess the one thing that is different today because of Katrina, is except for college I've lived in New Orleans all my life and when the events happened the way they did asking people for help was strange to me….when everything you had was gone and eventually moving to another city I learned that people out there didn't look at me as being displaced from a storm, they looked at me as person who needed help and that there were people [who] said yes….."


Willis was on the job as a copy editor at the Times-Picayune the night that Katrina made landfall. He was also president of the New Orleans Association of Black Journalists.

Apart from these remembrances, syndicated radio host Tom Joyner wrote "Hurricane Katrina, A Personal Memoir" Friday on BlackAmericaWeb.com.

Joyner recalled, "In just two weeks we raised more than a million dollars and it all went toward helping families who' opened up their homes. Our partners at Allstate pitched in and said they'd match every dollar donated up to $250,000. Other major contributors included Bishop T.D. Jakes, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr. and of course we got lots and lots of donations from our listeners and BlackAmericaWeb.com. subscribers.


"This kind of grassroots effort is a reminder that we all can do something to help. When we see a huge problem facing our community, our country or the world, we often throw up our hands because we don't think we can contribute enough to make a difference. A lot of times we can't, not by ourselves of course. But when we put our efforts together, that's when we can move mountains. . ."

Joyner also wrote that he was traveling with other personalities from his show, including Jedda Jones, who plays "Ms. Dupre" and who lived with her family in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward. She had no way of getting home, so Joyner invited her to stay with his father in Dallas.

"We asked Jedda what she wanted people to know that they may not have learned from watching the news coverage," Joyner wrote. "She said she wishes more emphasis had been put on the value of people's lives and less on the crime and looting that took place after the storm. For the media, that became a bigger story.


" 'They made it look like the people who stayed in New Orleans were all poor, uneducated and hopeless and that isn't true,' she explained, 'And even it if were, does that make the lives of these people worth less than anyone else's?' . . ."

The media also came in for criticism on "HuffPost Live" on Monday and from Rick Sanchez, a former CNN anchor who had covered Katrina and later was fired over comments he made about Jon Stewart.

Rahel Gebreyes, editor of HuffPost Live, wrote, " It was appalling,' Lilly Workneh, HuffPost's Black Voices Senior Editor, told HuffPost Live on Monday. 'It was a tale of two cities, there was a very different narrative, a black Katrina narrative that was resounding and that was appalling to see played out in the media.' "


Workneh repeated what became an oft-repeated meme, more metaphor than fact. "She noted a few controversial photos and their captions, one which said that a white survivor was 'finding' food while another assumed a black survivor, on the same quest, was 'looting' a store — even though the images looked nearly identical."

In fact, as Journal-isms reported at the time, that was an apples and oranges comparison. The photos were taken by different photographers working for different news services, each with its own standards of what could be called "looting" and what "finding."

"[Jesus], I don't [believe] how much crap I'm getting from this," Chris Graythen, Getty Images photographer and photo editor, wrote then, irked that he had to spend time defending himself at a time when "I have not seen my wife in 5 days, and my parents and grand parents HAVE LOST THIER HOMES. As of right now, we have almost NOTHING.


". . . I wrote the caption about the two people who 'found' the items. I believed in my opinion, that they did simply find them, and not 'looted' them in the definition of the word. The people were swimming in chest deep water, and there were other people in the water, both white and black. I looked for the best picture. there were a million items floating in the water — we were right near a grocery store that had 5+ feet of water in it. it had no doors. the water was moving, and the stuff was floating away. These people were not ducking into a store and busting down windows to get electronics. . . ."

Meanwhile, Sanchez tweeted, "Watching CNN and others brag about their Katrina coverage. I was there. Two words, they sucked. They covered Americans like the enemy."

Sanchez explained to Journal-isms by telephone that if electronic journalists were honest, particularly on cable news, they would acknowledge that the lack of people of color in boardrooms and decision-making positions caused the coverage to be skewed.


"I was one of the people acting in a quasi-humanitarian way as a journalist," he recalled. "Suddenly the story was about thugs and robbery and looting." The crisis began to be covered like a war. The reporters "came in wearing flak jackets. The message it sent to me was 'you do not understand this community.' "

Dallas Morning News: A flood of memories (photos) (Aug. 21) 

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Why those who stayed stayed and why they might now want to leave


Lewis Diuguid, Kansas City Star: New Orleans 10 years after Katrina continues to rebound

Paul Farhi, Washington Post: In New Orleans, a journalistic experiment with unclear results

Sam Fulwood III, Kulsum Ebrahim and Andrew Satter, Center for American Progress: The Legacy of Katrina (video)


Adam Johnson, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: Katrina's 'Golden Opportunity': 10 Years of Corporate Media Celebrating Disaster

Katie Hawkins-Gaar, Poynter Institute: Searching for a news anniversary angle? Look to your audience

Chris Kromm, Institute for Southern Studies: Remembering Katrina as a human rights disaster


Jennifer Larino, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Black leaders: Katrina recovery didn't lift African-American businesses

Bryan Llenas, Fox News Latino: 10 years after Katrina: Day laborers seek acceptance, hope for better future

David A. Love, theGrio.com: Post-Katrina, blacks are left out of recovery programs


Kirsten West Savali, The Root: Follow the Money: How New Orleans' Charter School System Influences Both Economic Development and Injustice

Jeremy Stahl, Slate: "This Is Not Going Well": NBC Producers Look Back on the Concert for Katrina’s Kanye Moment

Maxwell Strachan, Huffington Post: The Definitive History Of 'George Bush Doesn't Care About Black People'


"We Can Probably Screen More," G.M. at WDBJ-TV Says

"It is a nightmare for any employer: what to do with a volatile, constantly aggrieved worker who has had angry, even frightening confrontations with fellow workers — yet has committed no crime," Erik Eckholm and Richard A. Oppel Jr. wrote Thursday for the New York Times.

They were discussing the on-air slayings of two reporters at WDBJ-TV in Roanoke, Va., by Vester Lee Flanagan II, a former reporter at the station who later killed himself.


"Because he had no convictions and had not been adjudicated mentally ill, Mr. Flanagan was able to legally purchase from a licensed dealer the Glock 19 handgun used in the killings after passing a background check in June, federal officials said.

"At a news conference on Thursday, the station manager of WDBJ was asked if there was anything more the station could have done to protect its workers. 'We can probably screen more,' the manager, Jeff Marks, said, though he went on to speak about how difficult it is to get an honest reference from a former employer.

"Finally, he said, 'I don't know the answer to that question, nor do I think I'm likely to come up with it in the first day' after the shooting.


"Such violent events cannot be predicted, but there are things a company can do to reduce the risk of them occurring, according to labor scholars, psychologists and consultants in workplace safety.

"Suggestions include forming teams to monitor and provide help to workers who seem to be boiling over with bitterness and, if firing is necessary, doing so in a way to preserve the worker's dignity as much as possible, said J. Reid Meloy, a psychologist and consultant on workplace risk. . . ."

In the "Comments" section of "Journal-isms" on Thursday, Tom Jacobs, a former news director who is also a black journalist, asked what news managers had done to help Flanagan with his issues as he went from newsroom to newsroom.


Journal-isms posed the question to current news directors, but they did not respond to inquiries. One said privately that managers were ordered by their bosses not to discuss the case.

However, Ken Jobe, who left last December as news director at Cox-owned Memphis FOX affiliate WHBQ and in February became press secretary for the Tennessee House Democrats, offered his observations.

"Tom is an experienced news manager who, like myself, would have tried to do anything to get help for an employee in need," Jobe said by email.


"The news business is one of the more stressful businesses out there. It starts out with low pay, awful hours, unattractive cities and walking into sometimes dangerous situations. It's also very hard on the social life of people in newsrooms for the reasons mentioned above. You add a shared interest in television journalism and that is why you see so many newsroom relationships as a manager.

"I find it an interesting aside that the sad victims of this tragedy both had newsroom-based, romantic relationships. That makes running a newsroom even more difficult. I find that newsroom management, in smaller markets in particular, sometimes includes as much counseling as teaching. It's a high-pressure job full of people who spend a lot of time together.

"Add to that the fact that newsrooms are having to do more with less and it's easy to see how sometimes managers take the easy way out and shuffle a troubled employee out the door or into EAP [employee assistance programs] and not have the ability to actually deal with all of the issues.


"That's how I think he was able to go from newsroom to newsroom without getting any REAL help whatsoever. To be fair, he may have been beyond a manager's capacity to help. It's not like I haven't been there either, but the sometimes overwhelming job pressures can force managers to sometimes try to force out those who actually can be helped.

"The lack of African American managers is probably too big to tackle here, and to be honest, no one may have been able to help this young man, black or white. But the good managers have to keep trying. We'll never be the same after this senseless tragedy, but it would make us all feel a little better if we knew that there actually were people out there who are trying to keep this from happening again."

Chris Ariens, TV Spy: Did WDBJ Killer Create This Blog Targeting a Talent Agent?


Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Vester the coward.

Gurman Bhatia, Poynter Institute: Here's who is and isn't redacting the explicit NY Daily News front

Keith Boykin, bet.com: Vester Flanagan, Black Gay Men and When Violence Repeats

Editorial, Daily News, New York: Myths and realities of American gun violence: As we struggle to make sense of Vester Flanagan's crimes, we must separate the true triggers from the false ones


David Edwards, Raw Story: "He shot three white people": Fox host can't understand why journalists' shooting isn’t a 'hate crime'

Emil Guillermo, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: The silencing of Roanoke journalists by bullets, Jorge Ramos by Donald Trump

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, syndicated: A Hate Crime is a Hate Crime No Matter the Color of the Perpetrator


John Koblin, New York Times: Outrage Over Images of TV Shooting on Newspaper Front Pages

Cynthia Littleton, Variety: A Broadcaster's Broadcaster: WDBJ Owner Known for Commitment to Local News

Carlos Maza, Media Matters for America: CNN's Bizarrely Homophobic Coverage Of The Virginia Shooter


Media Matters for America staff: Rush Limbaugh Blames Diversity Initiatives For Virginia Journalists' Deaths (video)

Benjamin Mullin, Poynter Institute: NPPA: Forcing BBC to delete Virginia shooting images was 'unlawful'

Benjamin Mullin, Poynter Institute: New York Daily News resumes gun control crusade


Alan Suderman and Adam Geller, Associated Press: Gunman in TV Killings Remembered As 'Professional Victim'

Zeynep Tufekci, New York Times: The Virginia Shooter Wanted Fame. Let's Not Give It to Him.

WDBJ-TV, Roanoke, Va.: Franklin County investigators release new information about Wednesday's shooting


WDBJ-TV, Roanoke, Va.: Statement about Vester Flanagan's employment history at WDBJ7

Egypt Sentences Al Jazeera Journalists to Three Years

"A court in Egypt has sentenced three Al Jazeera journalists to three years in jail after finding them guilty of 'aiding a terrorist organization,' " Al Jazeera America reported on Saturday.


"Egyptian Baher Mohamed, Canadian Mohamed Fahmy and Australian Peter Greste were all handed three-year jail sentences when the court in Cairo delivered the verdict on Saturday, sparking worldwide condemnation of the decision.

"Mohamed was sentenced to an additional six months for possession of a spent bullet casing.

"Judge Hassan Farid, in his ruling, said he sentenced the men to prison because they had not registered with the country's journalist syndicate. . . ."


The report also said, "Greste has already been deported to his native Australia under a law allowing the transfer of foreigners on trial to their home countries, but he was retried in absentia.

"Fahmy and Mohamed were on bail ahead of the verdict after spending more than 400 days in detention.

"Fahmy renounced his Egyptian nationality hoping he too would be deported.

"The three men have received support from governments, media organizations and rights groups from around the world. . . ." [Added Aug. 29]


Committee to Protect Journalists: CPJ condemns conviction, sentence in Egypt's retrial of Al-Jazeera journalists

"Anchor Babies" Number Thousands, Not Millions

"With all the talk about anchor babies, you might think they are overrunning the country," Randall Yip wrote Thursday for AsAmNews.


"AAPI Data has released figures from various government reports and news sources about the number of anchor babies in the country.

"Anchor babies are also referred to as birth tourists because their parents come to the U.S. to have their baby, then return to China.

"According to statistics compiled from the Center for Immigration Studies, the number of birth [tourists] from around the world number 36,000 a year. To put that in perspective, there were 4 million babies born in the United States in 2014 and there are more than 321 million people living in this country.


"20,000 of the birth tourists are believed to be from China. That's slightly less than 1 percent of the 2.2 million Chinese tourists who come to the United States annually and spend $24 billion each year. . . ."

Meanwhile, "Republican presidential candidate Carly Fiorina on Thursday reiterated claims made by her rival Jeb Bush that Asian women sometime come to the U.S. for the purpose of having babies, which then provide them with the rewards of American citizenship, health care and education," Adam Howard reported Thursday for MSNBC.

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: Enough Is Enough

Juan Castillo, NBC News Latino: What We Should Really Take Away From Trump-Ramos Dust-Up


Lee A. Daniels, National Newspaper Publishers Association: Trump Favors Constructing a Police State

Fox News Latino: In op-ed, Jorge Ramos says it was his journalistic duty to confront Donald Trump

J.R. Gamble, the Shadow League: Curt Schilling Is an Official Member of Donald Trump's Divisive Political Army


Media Matters for America: Fox & Friends Distinguishes Itself From Jorge Ramos Who Is "Advocating For A Certain Point Of View" And "Not A Reporter"

Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: Don't mess with citizenship

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: The GOP's denial won’t defeat Trump

Rick Sanchez, Fox News Latino: Jorge Ramos made himself the setup man for Donald Trump, failed us


Michael Scherer, Time: Univision's Jorge Ramos: Reporters Need to Get Tougher on Donald Trump

Jack Shafer, Politico Magazine: Trump Meets His Match in Jorge Ramos

Twitter Sets 11% Goal for "Underrepresented Minorities"

"We want the makeup of our company to reflect the vast range of people who use Twitter," Janet Van Huysse, vice president, diversity and inclusion, wrote Friday.


"Doing so will help us build a product to better serve people around the world. While we've already been working [toward] internal diversity goals at different levels of the company, I'm very pleased to report that we are now setting company-wide diversity goals — and we're sharing them publicly. . . ."

The goals include, in the United States, to "increase underrepresented minorities overall to 11%," "increase underrepresented minorities in tech roles to 9%" and "increase underrepresented minorities in leadership roles to 6%."

Among Twitter's outreach measures, Van Huysse said, were "Actively recruiting at colleges and universities for underrepresented talent. Specifically, we'll be on campus at a number of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Hispanic-Serving Institutions this fall. We're also meeting with student groups representing women, Hispanics, and African-Americans at a larger group of campuses. To see which schools we'll visit this fall, follow @TwitterU. You can also apply for an open position at t.co/university.


"Refining our recruiting and hiring practices to attract more diverse candidates. For example, we're using Textio to ensure our job descriptions appeal to a broad range of applicants, increasing the diversity of interview panels, and posting openings where more underrepresented candidates will see them. . . ."

Oklahoma J-School Presses Diversity After Racist Video

In March, a video of members of the University of Oklahoma chapter of Sigma Alpha Epsilon singing a racist song ignited a national furor. David Boren, president of the University of Oklahoma, moved to punish members and pledged to hire a vice president to oversee diversity and inclusion efforts on campus.


The OU Daily, the student newspaper, reported Friday that the efforts also include the Gaylord College of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Daisy Creager reported, "A couple of months into Ed Kelley’s appointment as interim dean of the college has already experienced major changes.

"Kelley, who served as the director of experiential learning for Gaylord from May 26-July 15, has laid off several staff members and reappointed another position within a week of being appointed dean.


Creager also wrote, " '(Diversity) is not just one of my goals but the goal of everyone at Gaylord College,' Kelley said. '(We are) really doubling down and working really hard to diversify our student body and then in turn diversify our faculty and diversify our staff.'

"Kelley said he is working with Dorion Billups, the coordinator of community inclusivity, and the OU Office of Admissions and Recruitment to recruit more minorities and students of lower socioeconomic status.

"Billups said they are planning to have a stronger recruiting presence in high schools.


" 'I've met with Dean Kelley on a number of occasions to talk about diversity, and it's truly something he's passionate about. It's evident,' Billups said."

The campus has introduced mandatory diversity classes, Bryce McElhaney reported for OU Daily on Thursday.

In the fraternity video, students sang "There will never be a nigger at SAE" to the tune of "If You're Happy and You Know It" while dressed in formal attire and riding a bus. "You can hang him from a tree, but he'll never sign with me. There will never be a nigger at SAE," the ditty continued.


Jake New reported in March for Inside Higher Ed, "Today, about 5 percent of Oklahoma's students are black. It's a low number, but not worse than most institutions in states with small black populations — less than 8 percent of Oklahoma's population is black.

"What concerns some current and former university employees is how the number has remained largely stagnant for a decade, following large gains made in the 1990s and early 2000s. (Also of concern is the dwindling number of Native Americans, which account for 4 percent of students, but 9 percent of the state's population.) . . ."

U. of Texas Gets OK to Move Jefferson Davis Statue

"A judge on Thursday cleared the way for the University of Texas to move a statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis away from the main area of campus, despite objections from a Southern heritage group that called uprooting the monument a 'cultural atrocity' and compared it to the Islamic State destroying ancient artifacts in the Middle East," Jim Vertuno reported Thursday for the Associated Press. 


"Civil rights activists say the nearly century-old bronze likeness of Davis highlights the university's racist past and the statue had been targeted by vandals. New school President Greg Fenves recently ordered it moved to a campus museum, but allowed other Confederate symbols to remain.

"The Sons of Confederate Veterans, which earlier this year lost a U.S. Supreme Court decision over rejected Confederate license plates, had sued to prevent moving Davis' statue.

"But state District Judge Karin Crump said state law allows the school to determine where to place statuary on its campus. And she noted the original will of benefactor George Littlefield, who commissioned the statue of Davis and others, stated that it be placed in a position of prominence.


"Texas will move Davis to the campus Briscoe Center history museum, which also houses one of the nation's largest archives on slavery. . . ."

Bonnie Bolden, News-Star, Monroe, La.: Flags will be at West Monroe games — just not flying

Charles Philip Brinkman, Alexandria (Va.) Times: Public Confederate Memorials Imply Government Approval (Aug. 3)


Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Religious leaders speak out against Confederate monuments (Aug. 20)

Jarvis DeBerry, NOLA.com | the Times-Picayune: Memphis is the latest to vote against a Confederate symbol (Aug. 19)

Taylor Pittman, Huffington Post: How The Confederate Flag Became An Argentinian Clothing Brand's Logo (Aug. 12)


Mass Communications Student Slain at Savannah State

In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Christopher Starks, a junior at Savannah State University who was shot and killed Thursday during an altercation at the student union building, was identified as a "former football standout" and a rapper who went by the name "Booley Boo."

But to Wanda Lloyd, who chairs the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Starks was a mass communications major.


"As a transfer student from Appalachian State University [he] had only taken a few courses in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) so far. But JMC fellow students knew him well," Lloyd wrote Friday on SSUMassCommToday, a department website.

"On Friday, JMC faculty members' planned lectures and quizzes were set aside to make way for students to express themselves about what happened the night before. For students who are understandably grieving, the focus Friday was on the victim as a person, and the fact that in some cases, students understand that violence and carrying weapons is normal for their generation of college students. . . ."

At a vigil on campus Friday, Savannah State University President Cheryl Dozier told students, "You are here so that you can be those future leaders… and Mr. Starks was here for the same reason," Dash Coleman reported for the Savannah Morning News.


"We thank you for all that you have done (Thursday) evening and continue to do to ensure that this isn't what Savannah State is about, that this should not have happened here, and that we don't want anything like this to ever happen here again. . . ."

Dallas Weekly Passes Torch to Become "DW," "Like a GQ"

The baton has been passed to the next generation at the Dallas Weekly, a 15,000-circulation African American newspaper, Peter Simek reported for the September issue of D Magazine.


After his father, James Washington, gave him permission to the run the paper, Patrick Washington, the 32-year-old vice president, "let go of some of the paper's older staff and replaced them with friends and family. His best friend, Lewis Flanagan, is a photographer and writes about sports; his sister runs the business office. Then he let his frenetic energy run wild. 'We changed it from Dallas Weekly to DW, sort of like a GQ,' Washington says.

"He has redesigned the paper and expanded its social media presence. Its YouTube channel features interviews with people like Eddie Bernice Johnson and T.D. Jakes, and Washington has dreamed up plans for a future expansion into other media, including radio and film. His hope is that digital media can help bring the ideas expressed in the paper out of the barbershops and in front of the broader Dallas community.

" 'I don't look at it as a paper,' he says. 'My father, his whole career he looked at it as his paper. My company will be a media company, not a newspaper.' . . ."


Liberian Journalists Protest Public Floggings of Reporters

"The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has detested the increasing instances of state security forces flogging journalists in the discharge of its duties as a calculated plan to intimidate and harass the independent media, and deter them from reporting occurrences in our society," Front Page Africa reported Wednesday from Monrovia.

"The Press Union of Liberia says no serious government which believes in the rule of law would countenance any spur of the minute and barbaric response like public flogging and assault for anyone, least to mention a journalist — regardless of the alleged offense committed.


"The PUL's statement comes in the wake of repeated, unsubstantiated and ruthless beating of journalists by police officers at various scenes around the country. The Press Union of Liberia protested 2 instances within the last one week, where journalists were harassed and assaulted as they carried out their work.

"In the first instance, Journalists Leila Gbati of the Women Voices Newspaper and Alloycious David of The News Newspapers were ruthlessly beaten on Tuesday, 19 August 2015 by Police Support Unit officers, as they reported an event where private schools' teachers converged at the Foreign Ministry to draw President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's attention to delays in the payments of their Ebola Hardship benefits.

"At this public gathering, reporter Leila Gbati was whipped while photographing scenes of the teachers' protest . . ."


Short Takes

"Comcast Cable is now accepting proposals for two substantially Hispanic American owned, independent English-language networks to launch by January 28, 2017," Veronica Villafañe reported Thursday for her Media Moves site. "Criteria for selecting the two networks include: the content of the network; whether the network is fully financed; whether the network's ownership and/or management group(s) are well established, have relevant experience, and are substantially owned by Hispanic Americans; whether the network is already launched and has existing MVPD distribution; price; and whether the network and its potential carriage provide value to Comcast and its customers. . . ."

Gannett Co. Inc. is offering another early retirement package to employees 55 and older, Jim Romenesko reported Thursday on his media blog, publishing a memo from Gannett CEO Bob Dickey. " 'Two weeks pay per year for 25+ years, capped at one year. 1.5 weeks pay per year for all others being offered," writes a Gannett employee who is eligible for the deal,' " Romenesko reported.


In Washington, "Derek McGinty is leaving his anchor position at WUSA9 effective September 4th," Bill Lord, general manager and news director wrote to staffers at the Tegna, Inc.-owned CBS affiliate this week. "Derek has been a mainstay on our airwaves for a dozen years and has been a great friend to everyone here on our staff. He is an exceptional broadcast professional and a just plain nice guy. . . . He has agreed to stay on as a freelance host of Capital Download for the coming year." McGinty has been an anchor at the station for 12 years, and has worked at HBO's "Real Sports" and for ABC News, as well as hosting a talk show on WAMU-FM, the NPR affiliate, for six years.

Lionel Moise, a Haitian-American who grew up in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., will join Erin Kennedy as morning news co-anchor on WBBM-TV in Chicago [accessible via search engine] starting Sept. 21, Robert Feder reported Wednesday for robertfeder.com. Moise has been at WLTX-TV in Columbia, S.C.

Elliott Francis, host of the afternoon drive shift at WAMU-FM, the NPR News affiliate in Washington, is leaving the station, program director Lettie Holman announced to the staff on Friday. The station decided not to renew his contract. "Elliott began his career at WAMU as a part-time reporter in 2009. He was made full-time in 2010 as a reporter and weekend afternoon anchor. He became host of our local presentation of All Things Considered in 2014," Holman wrote of the station's sole African American anchor. Francis was a news anchor and reporter at WJLA-TV, the ABC affiliate, from 2002 to 2007, according to his LinkedIn profile. Meanwhile, WNYC-FM, New York Public Radio, announced Monday that Jami Floyd, who has held roles on ABC, CBS, and Court TV, is WNYC’s new local host of "All Things Considered."


Reporters Without Borders said Friday it was "alarmed to learn that Paulo Machava, the well-known editor of the online Diario de Noticias newspaper, was gunned down on a Maputo street today against a backdrop of tension for media personnel in Mozambique. . . ."

The Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday that it "condemns an arson attack on the independent Radio Manegmoogo in Burkina Faso on Monday and calls on authorities to identify and prosecute the perpetrators. The attack comes in the run-up to elections scheduled in October in a country that spent almost three decades under the authoritarian rule of recently ousted President Blaise Compaore, according to news reports. . . ."