- Robert Moore Investigated in Harassment Claims
- Jemele Hill Leaving ‘SportsCenter’ for Undefeated
- NABJ Turns Down Facebook Scholarship Project
- HUD Official Sorry for Calling Ryan ‘Miss Piggy’
- NPR Host Touts Alternative to CNN Shout Matches
- Short Takes
Robert Moore Investigated in Harassment Claims
HuffPost said Friday it had spoken to more than 20 current and former employees of the Daily News in New York and concluded, in the words of the headline, that Head of News Robert Moore, accused of harassment, “Fostered A Culture Of Silence” and “told staffers he would get rid of people who complained about his behavior, sources said.”
“ ‘He’s an incredibly vengeful guy,’ said one of them,” Andy Campbell and Maxwell Strachan reported. “The sources described a wide spectrum of inappropriate and threatening behavior — both in public and in private — by a man who abused his position of power inside the Daily News’ ‘frathouse’ atmosphere in a way that kept many employees quiet. Moore and Tronc,” the former Tribune Co. that now owns the News, “both did not respond to requests for comment for this article. . . .”
Campbell and Strachan also wrote that earlier this week, Tronc “launched an investigation into Moore after NPR asked the company about a sexual harassment complaint lodged against him in December, soon after he reportedly interviewed to become the newspaper’s new editor-in-chief.
“For many people who’ve worked with Moore, the surprise wasn’t that he had come under investigation, but that it had taken so long.
“ ‘Everyone knew about this — like, everyone,’ said the first staffer.
Moore, they wrote, “has been heard on more than one occasion offering a piece of advice to those around him: Don’t go to human resources to complain about me, or you’re out of here.
“ ‘I heard that with my own ears,’ said a former female staffer. ‘It was like his motto.’
“This wasn’t bluster. This was a tactic. A second former staffer said Moore for years would brag openly about punishing or firing employees who complained about him — specifically as a warning to other would-be complainants. The message was well understood, and it reverberated around the newsroom. New York Daily News employees warned one another not to get on Moore’s ‘bad side,’ said a third former staffer.”
The reporters continued, “ . . . In the office, he had a habit of calling employees over to show them photos of women he’d slept with, according to multiple former staffers. ‘When it came to his sexual harassment, it often consisted of him bragging about his sexual exploits,’ one staffer said. . . . “
In September 2016, Moore received the annual Trailblazer Award from the New York Association of Black Journalists.
“This award is important to me personally because I try to be a mentor to young journalists I work with and compete against every day,” Moore told the crowd, according to a report from Leonard Greene and Denis Slattery in the News.
Last year, he accepted the 2017 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service on behalf of the News along with Sarah Ryley, formerly of the News, and Eric Umansky of ProPublica, for uncovering, primarily through Ryley’s work, widespread abuse of eviction rules by the police to oust hundreds of people, most of them poor people of color. The News and ProPublica jointly published the story.
Jemele Hill Leaving ‘SportsCenter’ for Undefeated
“ESPN SportsCenter anchor Jemele Hill is leaving the 6:00 p.m. SC6 edition of SportsCenter to join the staff of The Undefeated, the ESPN microsite that fuses sports, race and culture, as well as other additional assignments,” Richard Deitsch reported Friday for Sports Illustrated. “Multiple sources confirmed that Hill asked management for the switch. She is expected to depart SC6 the first week of February. Hill has three years remaining on her ESPN deal. . . .”
Hill confirmed the news on Twitter:
Deitsch continued, “As this column wrote in October when it predicted Hill’s tenure as the co-host of the 6 p.m. ET edition of SportsCenter would end, Hill’s departure from SportsCenter will not be a shock to those in Bristol. ESPN management clearly has limits to the speech it will allow from front-facing talent on social media, particularly those representing the SportsCenter brand, and Hill likely did not feel her show had management’s unwavering support given the events of 2017.
“As I wrote then, the SportsCenter that Hill and co-host Michael Smith envisioned — one that included the elements that made their chemistry honest and unique on the ESPN2 show His and Hers and their co-hosted podcasts — had slowly been chopped away at by the addition of segments you see on traditional SportsCenter shows. Those included interviews with reporters in the field and blocks that feature the kind of short, bite-sized takes viewers get on shows such as Around The Horn. Multiple people told me in October that there was an effort to bring in ESPN talent as guests with opinions contrary to the hosts. That also comes with change in the executive branch on those overseeing SportsCenter. . . .”
NABJ Turns Down Facebook Scholarship Project
The National Association of Black Journalists has declined to join a new Facebook Journalism Project Scholarship program that announced Friday it would begin with 100 individual awards for students who aspire to pursue a career in news and media.
“It was a business-based decision,” Sharon Toomer, NABJ executive director, told Journal-isms by email on Friday.
“. . . Staff resources involved in administering the five-year scholarship program, which would not be equitably covered or offset by Facebook, did not make good business sense.
“Still, NABJ and Facebook align on our shared interest in strengthening the pipeline of diversity in journalism.
“We look forward to our continued partnership at our 2018 Convention and Career Fair in Detroit, and in programming throughout the year, as NABJ is the largest member organization committed to diversity, inclusion and equity in journalism and media.”
According to Friday’s Facebook announcement, “Under this scholarship grant, each organization will receive $250,000 in total to award $50,000 across five years; and five awards of $10,000 will be granted to applicants per year.
“To be eligible to receive the scholarship, applicants must be enrolled juniors, seniors, or graduate students at an accredited university in the United States pursuing a degree in digital media/journalism/communications with a commitment to storytelling as demonstrated by completed coursework, clips/work samples and a letter of recommendation from professor or internship supervisor familiar with their work and attesting to career commitment. . . . “
HUD Official Sorry for Calling Ryan ‘Miss Piggy’
“A Trump administration official has apologized to Baltimore County resident and journalist April Ryan for comparing her to the plump pink Muppet Miss Piggy,” Mary Carole McCauley reported Thursday for the Baltimore Sun.
“ ‘I deleted my last tweet by choice,’ Lynne Patton wrote on her personal Twitter account.
“ ‘No one from this Administration contacted me. It was beneath me & I apologize to @AprilDRyan. My parents raised me to respect others & I regret my response. I apologize to them, @SecretaryCarson & the Trump family. They deserved better.’
“Patton is administrator of Region II of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which oversees New York and New Jersey. . . .”
“Armstrong Williams, a close friend of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, says Carson is ‘deeply disappointed’ by Patton’s remarks,” Caitlin Yilek reported Thursday for the Washington Examiner.
“Williams said Carson has tried reaching out to Ryan to offer his apologies for Lynne Patton’s derogatory tweet. . . .”
McCauley also wrote, “According to CNN, the deleted Tweet read: ‘I hear #MissPiggys still on a rampage. Gee, I must’ve struck a nerve, @AprilDRyan! #BankruptBlogger.’
“It seems to have been just the latest in an escalating war of words between the two prominent women. The salvo appears to have begun after Ryan reacted to reports Monday that a Michigan man had been arrested for making nearly two dozen threatening phone calls earlier this month to CNN’s Atlanta headquarters. Brandon Griesemer of Novi, Michigan allegedly said: ‘Fake news. I’m coming to gun you all down.’
“On Tuesday, Ryan tweeted, ‘Words create the atmosphere for this foolishness,’ an oblique reference to those who blame the threat in part on the Trump administration’s inflammatory rhetoric against the press. . . .”
NPR Host Touts Alternative to CNN Shout Matches
You might like listening to people talk over one another on CNN and other cable networks, but Joshua Johnson, host of NPR’s “1A,” successor to “The Diane Rehm Show,” is here to say it doesn’t have to be that way. You can listen to him and to the rest of NPR.
Sam Sanders, host of an NPR podcast after being part of a political reporting unit at NPR, says to those who worried about how his leaving the unit affects its diversity, “I have no hiring and firing power, it’s not my problem. Nobody would ever expect a young, up-and-coming white journalist to not take the next step in their career because of someone else’s diversity issues.”
As for this month’s departure of the much-praised Robert Siegel, who co-hosted “All Things Considered” for 30 years, Sanders wonders whether having the same person in one job for that length of time was such a good idea; whether it might not have been better to have Siegel rotate among different jobs.
Sanders and Johnson, who commemorated his show’s first anniversary this month, were guests Tuesday at the January Journal-isms Roundtable, watchable via Periscope, thanks to Janice Temple. (Sanders starts at 21:35; Johnson at 41:48). They also advocated for the next generation of journalists taking more control of their careers.
The CNN programming strategy came up in a question from Hazel Trice Edney of the TriceEdneyWire.
“Having worked in television, I assure you, nothing on television is by accident,” Johnson said. “They haven’t lost control of anything. They gave it up. They decided that that was the way to keep people watching. The reality is, they’ve lost the acuity, and the skill, for telling stories about our democracy in a way that doesn’t resemble a WWE [World Wrestling Entertainment] match. That’s all they know.
“Abraham Maslow once said, ‘When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything around you starts to look like a nail.’
“The sad thing about cable news is that that’s what they seem to want. It makes them a lot of money and hey, don’t hate the player. But I don’t play that in my house. You don’t come in my house and disrespect my guests. It’s just like — I invited you; I invited them. And the same door that brought you in — (pause) — you know what I’m saying?
“So that’s their choice. They have made that decision to allow that to happen. I think that is damnable.
“Les Moonves, who is the chairman and CEO of CBS Corporation, before the election, said, ‘Donald Trump may be bad for America but he’s great for CBS.’
“And I can’t really quarrel with that, because he was telling the truth! It doesn’t work for us because it’s not part of our ethos. But here’s the thing: I don’t mind that, because a) I ain’t got no control over CNN. I don’t like what’s on CNN, click! Turn on something else. And b) The presence of programs like that gives me something to be an alternative to. . . .”
Johnson also said, “So most of my job is not really speech. It’s preach. The vast majority of my job is shouting to the nation, ‘It doesn’t have to be this way. We have built you something better. Built it since 1971. Where have you been? Stop whining that this is all there is.
“I’m here to tell you, your friends and neighbors have built a network of a thousand community stations that support this institution called NPR, and we on many different levels are here, waiting for you, just for you to come over and see what we have.
“So check it out, you don’t have to shut off CNN forever, but turn on something else sometimes. And then, when you turn to CNN, that will be the day that you say, ‘what have I been putting in my brain?’ . . . “
Elizabeth Jensen, NPR: NPR’s Staff Diversity Numbers, 2017
- “Welcome to HBCU Journeys, a special edition podcast series brought to you by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,” the newspaper announced on Friday, referring to historically black colleges and universities. “In this ten-part series, our team of reporters Rosalind Bentley, Eric Stirgus and Ernie Suggs dig into the heart of what makes an HBCU experience so unique through candid interviews with graduates and students whose lives were changed by those historic schools. You can listen to the episodes below, or go to the Apple Podcast store to hear the entire series.” Suggs, who is coordinating the series, said by email that the podcasts are an “asset that is going with a huge HBCU series that drops in the AJC on March 31.”
- “On this week’s Code Switch podcast episode, we spoke with NPR’s standards and practices editor Mark Memmott about when it’s appropriate to call something racist,” Leah Donnella wrote Friday for NPR’s “Code Switch.” “We also interviewed Phillip Atiba Goff, who helps police departments across the country confront racism. You can listen to their takes here. (audio) And then we started to get your takes. . . .”
- “Investigation Discovery honcho Henry Schleiff celebrated the 10th anniversary of the network on Wednesday by ringing the opening bell at NASDAQ with ID stars Paula Zahn, Chris Hansen and Tamron Hall,” Carlos Greer reported Wednesday for Page Six. “He also took the opportunity to surprise the former ‘Today’ co-host Hall with the announcement of her new deal at ID. Hall hosted ‘Deadline Crime’ for the network from 2013 till 2017, when her contract ended. A spokesperson for Investigation Discovery told Page Six: ‘It’s a new deal and the show will be in the same vein as ‘Deadline Crime.’ . . . The show will start filming this year for an air-date in 2019.”
- Ann Curry told Michael Malone of Broadcasting & Cable that the bulk of her favorite reporters are at the newspapers, Malone wrote Monday. The former “Today” co-host, promoting her new PBS series “We’ll Meet Again, “ said, “A lot of the ground-breaking, revelatory journalism seems to still be coming from the newspaper press. Fundamentally, they’ve just been at it longer, and get more space and more time to do their stories.”
- In an interview for the March issue of InStyle, the beauty and fashion magazine, Oprah Winfrey was asked how she felt about the prospect of what would have been a historic campaign to put a black woman in the White House, Niraj Chokshi reported Thursday for the New York Times. “The interview was conducted three weeks before her speech at the Golden Globes, InStyle confirmed Thursday. “ ‘I’ve always felt very secure and confident with myself in knowing what I could do and what I could not,’ she said. ‘And so it’s not something that interests me. I don’t have the DNA for it.’ . . .”
- “Kimi Yoshino, the business editor of the Los Angeles Times, has been suspended for two days, according to multiple reports,” Chris Roush reported Thursday for Talking Biz News. “No cause known,” NPR’s David Folkenflik tweeted Wednesday.
- The Daily News in New York editorialized Friday that journalist Askia Muhammad should not have suppressed the 2005 photo he took of then-Sen. Barack Obama and Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan. “Guilt by association is odious, especially when it comes with an extra layer of racism,” the News said. “But this image was newsworthy. It was taken by a journalist. It should have seen the light of day.” Dave Itzkoff, a culture reporter for the New York Times, tweeted Thursday that while CNN and MSNBC were reporting that President Trump tried to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, Fox News was reporting, “Here’s a photo of Obama and Farrakhan from 2005.” Talking Points Memo.
- Brent W. Jones (pictured below) the head of standards and practices for Gannett’s USA Today Network, is joining the Wall Street Journal on Feb. 5 as assistant managing editor, training and outreach, according to a memo Tuesday from Journal managing editor Karen Pensiero. Chris Roush quoted the memo in Talking Biz News.
- “Brent will build on our current training offerings and focus on the creation and implementation of a broad, long-term strategy for all newsroom training initiatives, our participation in journalism conferences and fellowships, and the curriculum and oversight of our internship program after interns have been selected,” Pensiero wrote. “Brent will also work to ensure that our training and outreach initiatives support our focus of being a welcoming, inclusive and diverse newsroom. . . .”
- Seung Min Kim is joining the Washington Post from Politico, “where she has distinguished herself as one of Capitol Hill’s most intrepid and well-sourced reporters,” Post editors announced Thursday. “She will take on a newly created position: a White House correspondent based primarily on Capitol Hill. In that role, she will focus on the relationship between President Trump and Congress. . . .”
- The investigative team of Carol Marbin Miller and Audra D.S. Burch of the Miami Herald are co-winners of the 13th annual John Jay College/Harry Frank Guggenheim Awards for Excellence in Criminal Justice Reporting. They won for their multi-part series “Fight Club,” a six-part investigation of conditions in Florida’s juvenile justice detention centers, thecrimereport.org reported on Wednesday. Spencer Woodman of the Chicago Reader and the Investigative Fund also won in the category for Woodman’s investigation of Chicago’s Cook County Jail. Burch joined the New York Times as a roving correspondent last year.
- The Miami Herald editorial board Tuesday (updated Wednesday) denounced as spiteful a decision by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus to reject Miami Republican Carlos Curbelo’s application to join the group, then to back Debbie Mucarsel-Powell, the Democratic challenger who wants to unseat Curbelo in November.
- The Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch editorialized Wednesday in favor of replacing a statue of Jefferson Davis on the city’s Monument Avenue with one of the Rev. Wyatt Tee Walker. Walker, executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference and key civil rights strategist, died Tuesday at 88. “For his civil-rights work, Walker was jailed 17 times — during an era when justice for black men was a cruel joke and those who said so in public risked their lives,” the editorial said. Among Walker’s so-called crimes: using the whites-only entrance to the Petersburg public library. . . . “
- “The NAACP is suing the Trump administration, accusing Homeland Security of discriminating against Haiti’s mostly black nationals in violation of the Constitution’s equal protection guarantee . . . “ Roque Planas reported Thursday for HuffPost Latino Voices. “The complaint, filed by one of the country’s most prestigious civil rights groups, also cites a December New York Times report that Trump said Haitians ‘all have AIDS.’ . . . “
- Roland Martin and the entertainer Mo’Nique exchanged Tweets after Mo’Nique responded Friday to a complimentary tweet from Martin by writing, “Brother Roland please listen we getting ready to do press. I appreciate your fight, however where is your fight for EQUALITY when it comes to your sisters. Let’s talk brother.” Martin replied Friday, “Mo’Nique, the fact that you are even asking the question about what I have done to fight for equality and sisters shows you don’t know. I don’t talk about it. I DO IT. Have done it my whole career. I don’t need to talk. I put in the work.”
- The Houston Chronicle has no columnist of color outside of Jerome Solomon on sports, but Joy Sewing, senior reporter and editor, wrote an opinion piece Thursday after being moved by author and spiritual leader Marianne Williamson’s apology to African Americans while in Houston. “I could not stop crying,” Sewing wrote. “I opened my eyes to see everyone around me — white, black, Asian like my friend, Sydney Dao, who is Vietnamese — crying, too. I nearly collapsed to floor from the emotional weight I was feeling. . . .” A column on the same subject by white writer Erica Grieder provided a contrast in tone and substance.
- “In an era when the news media has come under assault, and the legitimacy of news organizations continue to face questioning, journalism is alive today because of the outstanding contributions of journalists like Walter Middlebrook,” Bankole Thompson wrote Wednesday for the Detroit News. Middlebrook, an assistant managing editor, is taking a buyout. Thompson also wrote, “As he was assigned to edit my columns, Middlebrook and I would talk regularly on a wide range of issues. When he and I would meet he would make his observations in a way that wouldn’t question or undermine my right to express my viewpoints. I came to see him as someone with a discerning and inspiring disposition, who does not force his opinion on others despite his own strong convictions. . . .”
- Video journalist Manuel Valdes of Seattle is among those assigned to the Associated Press’ new reporting team covering issues related to the legalization of marijuana. Deputy Managing Editor for U.S. News Noreen Gillespie announced, Lauren Easton reported for the AP. The team is led by California News Editor Frank Baker.
- “Delivering an unusual public rebuke, former Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico resigned Wednesday from a Myanmar advisory board on the Rohingya crisis, calling it a pro-government ‘cheerleading squad’ and chastising the country’s civilian leader, Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, whom he has long considered a friend,” Hannah Beech and Rick Gladstone reported Wednesday for the New York Times. They also wrote, “Mr. Richardson said that Ms. Aung San Suu Kyi had ‘exploded’ at him when he raised the detention of two Reuters journalists, U Wa Lone and U Kyaw Soe Oo, who are facing up to 14 years in prison under the country’s Official Secrets Act after they began investigating a mass grave of Rohingya. . . .”
- “The Brazilian Association of Investigative Journalism (Abraji) announced on Jan. 24 that members of the organization will investigate the murder of radio journalist Jefferson Pureza Lopes, who was shot dead on Jan. 17 in the city of Edealina, in the state of Goiás,” Carolina de Assis reported Thursday for the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas.
- “Authorities in the Democratic Republic of Congo should investigate and bring to justice those responsible for the harassment and detention of Willy Akonda, a reporter with the privately owned ACTUALITE.CD news outlet,” the Committee to Protect Journalists said Thursday. “Agents from the Congolese military intelligence services (DEMIAP) on January 23 detained Akonda for nine hours, and accused him of taking photographs that ‘compromised’ President Joseph Kabila, the journalist told CPJ. . . .”
- In Uganda, “President [Yoweri] Museveni has pardoned Red Pepper directors and its senior editors and agreed to reopen the company after two months of police siege,” Emmanuel Ainebyoona reported Wednesday for the Daily Monitor. In a summary, the newspaper said, “Eight Red Pepper journalists were charged with publication of a news story prejudicial to national security and publication of a story that defamed President Museveni, his brother Gen Salim Saleh and Security Minister Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde.”
- “Three Johannesburg Metro Police Department constables were arrested on Thursday in connection with the murder of journalist and fixer Godknows Nare, the Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) said,” Jenni Evans reported Thursday for News24 in South Africa. “The trio appeared in court on charges of murder, assault, and defeating the ends of justice,” Nation Nyoka reported Friday for News24.
Richard Prince’s Journal-isms originates from Washington. It began in print before most of us knew what the internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a “column.” Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
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Journal-isms is originally published on journal-isms.com. Reprinted on The Root by permission.