- RTDNA Blasts ‘Possible “Fake News”’
- Trump Launches Personal Attack on Mika Brzezinski
- Eric Trump Joins His Father’s War on Media
- Russell Named Editor of Commercial Appeal
- Memphis Paper Explores Runaway Gun Violence
- Critic Says Enough With Nude Pregnant Covers
- Black Lives Matter Said to Be Losing Traction
- Chicago Papers React to Cops’ Indictment
- Tips on Covering Marginalized Communities
- Short Takes
RTDNA Blasts ‘Possible “Fake News”’
“The RTDNA Voice of the First Amendment Task Force asserted today that White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders crossed an ethical line Tuesday when she urged Americans to view a video published by the controversial group Project Veritas that shows a CNN producer criticizing the network’s coverage of possible collusion between President Trump’s supporters and Russia,” the Radio Television Digital News Association said Wednesday.
“Sanders, who urged Americans to watch the video during Tuesday’s White House press briefing, acknowledged that she didn’t know whether the it was ‘accurate or not.’ But she cited it as evidence that news organizations are knowingly engaged in reporting ‘fake news’ about the President and his administration. . . .”
Moreover, Brian Stelter reported later Wednesday in his “Reliable Sources” newsletter, “The president posted James O’Keefe’s anti-CNN videos on his official [@realdonaldtrump] Instagram page, promoting the videos to millions of followers.”
“Trump allies in the media continued to attack. O’Keefe’s videos were a top story again on Fox News, with Tucker Carlson at 8pm, ‘The Five’ at 9pm, and Sean Hannity at 10pm all leading with it . . . .”
RTDNA also wrote, “ ‘This White House consistently questions the truthfulness of responsible journalism it doesn’t like. We get that. We don’t like it, but we get it. What we have trouble grasping is why an official spokesperson for the President of the United States would promote a video, the veracity of which she admits she can’t verify,’ said Dan Shelley, RTDNA Incoming Executive Director, who spearheads the task force.
“ ‘Sarah Huckabee Sanders crossed an ethical line by decrying ‘fake news’ in one breath, and then spreading possible ‘fake news’ herself in the next. This has gone beyond the incredible to the absurd,’ Shelley added.
“Project Veritas and its founder, filmmaker James O’Keefe, have been widely discredited in the past for using clandestine video and deceptive editing to portray journalists and others in a negative light. . . .”
One such video circulated in 2009, as Paul Farhi recalled last October for the Washington Post. O’Keefe “and an associate posed as a pimp and prostitute to infiltrate ACORN, a community social-services agency. The resulting video showed ACORN members offering the pair advice on how to set up a brothel. It also showed outtakes of O’Keefe and his partner dressed in the flamboyant attire of street hustlers, suggesting they had appeared that way when they spoke to the officials. In fact, the footage of the pair in costume was spliced into the video after the ACORN meetings, a fact the video didn’t mention.
“Congress subsequently defunded ACORN, leading to its demise. O’Keefe was later sued by one of his subjects, who claimed his privacy had been invaded by the surreptitious filming; O’Keefe settled the matter for $100,000, admitting no guilt. . . .”
On Friday, David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson of the New York Times “catalogued nearly every outright lie he has told publicly since taking the oath of office,” referring to Trump.
On Tuesday, the Post’s David A. Fahrenthold reported that a framed copy of Time magazine with Trump on the cover “displayed in at least five of President Trump’s clubs, from South Florida to Scotland,” is a fake.
Time is asking that the fake covers be taken down, Kalhan Rosenblatt reported Wednesday for NBC News.
An NBC spokesman responds.
Trump Launches Personal Attack on Mika Brzezinski
“In a tweet that was immediately condemned by critics as sexist, President Trump launched a highly personal and graphic attack on MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski’s appearance on Thursday,” Christina Prignano reported for the Boston Globe.
“Trump claimed that he didn’t watch their morning show, ‘Morning Joe,’ but heard its hosts were critical of him. He said the pair had spent time at Trump’s private club, Mar-a-Lago, at the end of the year and then claimed the host was ‘bleeding badly from a face-lift.’ . . .”
Republican senators Ben Sasse of Nebraska and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., as well as an NBC spokesman called the tweet beneath the dignity of the office, but White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders defended Trump, saying, “This a president who fights fire with fire.”
Eric Trump Joins His Father’s War on Media
“Eric Trump bashed CNN’s Jim Acosta Wednesday after the reporter tweeted criticism of the White House for only taking questions from conservatives in the briefing room,” Josh Delk reported for the Hill.
“ ‘Does this feel like America? Where the White House takes q’s from conservatives, then openly thrashes the news media in the briefing room,’ Acosta asked in a Wednesday tweet.
“Eric Trump, one of President Trump’s sons, fired back, quoting Acosta’s tweet and adding, ‘Does it feel like America where one of the networks (@CNN) gives debate questions to their preferred candidate ahead of time?’ ”
“Trump’s message was a reference to a campaign dustup over the fact former CNN contributor and Democratic operative Donna Brazile used her position to forward questions to Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s team ahead of a televised town hall event,” a characterization Brazile has categorically denied.
As Paul Farhi reported Monday in the Washington Post, “The Trump White House has imposed some of the most draconian restrictions on the news media in recent memory, from banning TV cameras during its daily briefings to cutting back the length and frequency of its sessions with reporters. The State Department and Pentagon have made similar cutbacks. . . .”
Mark Z. Barabak, Los Angeles Times: Trump succeeds where Obama failed – spawning a new wave of liberal activism
David Bauder, Associated Press: Friction Growing Between WH Media Strategy and Correspondents
John Bowden, the Hill: Reporter who clashed with Sanders during press briefing: It was a ‘long time coming’
Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News: Democracy dies in darkness, so please turn on the freakin’ camera lights!
Colin Daileda, Mashable: Sean Spicer tries to defend camera ban, and why are we even paying this guy
Editorial, Miami Herald: In going after Comey, Sessions and now Mueller, Trump looks like he has something to hide
Josh Feldman, Mediaite: Former Bush, Clinton WH Press Secretaries: ‘We Support No Live TV Coverage’ of Briefings
Michael M. Grynbaum, New York Times: A Costly Retraction for CNN and an Opening for Trump
Ruben Navarrette Jr., Washington Post Writers Group: It’s getting harder to tell the journalists from the performers
Abby Phillip, Washington Post: White House spokeswoman unloads on media over CNN retraction
Alicia Shepard, USA Today: CNN needs to slow down after Russia story resignations and retraction
Richard Wike, Bruce Stokes, Jacob Poushter and Janell Fetterolf, Pew Research Center: U.S. Image Suffers as Publics Around World Question Trump’s Leadership
Commercial Appeal, Memphis
Russell Named Editor of Commercial Appeal
“Major Garrett recalls how he and Mark Russell — college roommates embarking on careers in journalism — interviewed on the same day, almost back-to-back, for a coveted position with the Wall Street Journal,” Tom Charlier reported Wednesday for the USA Today Network - Tennessee.
“Returning to their room after the on-campus interview at the University of Missouri, Garrett was confident of his chances while Russell was anything but. ‘I totally bombed that interview,’ he told Garrett.
“But when two letters arrived from the prestigious newspaper, it was Russell who landed the job while Garrett opened another of the 67 rejection notices he would collect. Instead of being content with his own success, however, ‘Mark never stopped being my advocate, never stopped cheering me on,’ recalls Garrett, now 54 and chief White House correspondent for CBS.
“On Wednesday, some 33 years later, it was Garrett’s turn to cheer as his good friend and former roommate was named executive editor of The Commercial Appeal.
“Russell, also 54, has been serving as interim executive editor and head of opinion/engagement for the USA TODAY NETWORK - Tennessee. He replaces former editor Louis Graham, who left last month to become executive director of content strategies at ALSAC, the fundraising and awareness organization of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“Russell becomes the first African-American to lead The Commercial Appeal — no small footnote for a 176-year-old newspaper that was long known for reflecting Old South attitudes toward race but now serves a city nearly 63 percent black. . . .”
Memphis Paper Explores Runaway Gun Violence
“It’s not the annual Forbes list to make. Yet, year after year, there sits Memphis near the top of those damning lists of America’s most dangerous cities,” the Commercial Appeal editorialized over the weekend.
“It’s our Scarlet Letter. Our moment to deflect and drag out that tattered refrain about bad science: some cities don’t even report their numbers, we say. Or they underreport.
“The rankings are, in fact, dubious: there is so little consistency in how crime data is gathered and reported by cities across the U.S. the rankings are nothing but estimates.
“But it’s largely irrelevant whether Memphis is the nation’s most dangerous city, or its 10th most dangerous, because 7,000 people have been murdered on her streets since 1960.
“The Commercial Appeal launches a special explanatory series today on these pages — ‘Wounded City’ — not to defame the city or unnecessarily spread fear but to aim a hot light on the massive challenge we face as a community. Somehow, perversely, we seem to accept our runaway gun violence as normal.
“How many times have you heard these three words to explain the carnage?
“ ‘It’s Just Memphis.’ . . .”
Critic Says Enough With Nude Pregnant Covers
“Serena Williams is pregnant. In case anyone hadn’t heard the news, or had missed the breathless tale of how Williams won the Australian Open during the early weeks of her pregnancy, the fact is made plain on the August cover of Vanity Fair, which features the tennis champion in the buff,” fashion critic Robin Givhan wrote Tuesday for the Washington Post.
“One hand cups her breasts and the other is positioned in the small of her back. The body posture suggests confidence, but it also captures a hint of nonchalant impatience. Come on, take the picture! Williams is wearing a waist chain, a flesh-colored thong and a single twinkling stud in her ear. That’s it.
“The photograph, by Annie Leibovitz, is lovingly lit, elegantly framed and deeply admiring of its subject. Congratulations, Serena! And to your fiancé, Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, too.
“But really, it would have been fine to skip this strange celebrity ritual, this complicated stew of personal indulgence, brand tending and sociopolitical me-too-ism. Yes, pregnancy is beautiful and powerful and worthy of celebration. You are womanly. You are phenomenal. God bless. But it has become virtually impossible for a celebrity to go through a pregnancy without getting naked for the cameras, her fans and — presumably — herself. . . .”
Buzz Bissinger, Vanity Fair: Cover Story: Serena Williams’s Love Match
Jamie Feldman, HuffPost: Serena Williams Is Topless, Pregnant And Fierce On The Cover Of Vanity Fair
Carron J. Phillips, Daily News, New York: John McEnroe’s ‘No. 700' remark just latest example of the misogyny Serena Williams continues to deal with
Black Lives Matter Said to Be Losing Traction
“Black Lives Matter is still here,” Darren Sands reported Wednesday for BuzzFeed. “Its groups are still organizing. But Black Lives Matter is on the verge of losing the traction and momentum that sparked a national shift on criminal justice policy. . . .”
Sands also wrote that “many of the movement’s young activists — some of whom had never organized before joining — lack experience in dealing with the realities and challenges of a national effort, and the tricky alliances and factions involved in many political movements. Some have also come up against the hard reality of full-time activism and don’t know what to do: . . . “
Chicago Papers React to Cops’ Indictment
“Don’t lie,” the Chicago Sun-Times editorialized on Tuesday. “If you do, you could be prosecuted and go to jail. That has long applied to the general public in police investigations. Cops cannot be exempt.
“Tuesday, a grand jury and Special Prosecutor Patricia Brown Holmes delivered a message to Chicago Police officers about their obligation to come clean when fellow cops go astray or rogue.
“It came via a damning indictment of three current or former cops involved in the investigation of the 2014 shooting death of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by then-Chicago Police Officer Jason Van Dyke. Detective David March and Patrol Officers Joseph Walsh and Thomas Gaffney were each charged with conspiracy, official misconduct, and obstruction of justice for allegedly engaging in a cover-up to protect Van Dyke, who faces murder charges.
“We are not making a judgment against the officers. That is up to the courts. We know, however, that reforms in the Chicago Police Department are long overdue.
“The indictment alleges that March lied when he wrote in a case incident report that ‘McDonald committed aggravated assaults against the three officers, finally forcing’ Van Dyke, ‘in defense of his life, to shoot and kill McDonald.’
“Police video contradicts this depiction . . .”
The Chicago Tribune editorialized Tuesday, “Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to believe Chicago can put this all behind it without the federal consent decree that he had pledged to sign. He says a memorandum of agreement, without court oversight, can get the job done. . . .”
The Tribune concluded, “No, it isn’t. That is something the mayor has to swallow hard and accept. If he wants to someday live in that city, he’ll follow through on his promise and get that consent decree.”
Gabrielle Banks, Houston Chronicle: Perjury charge dropped against Texas trooper who stopped Sandra Bland
Ben Conarck, Florida Times-Union: Video shows Jacksonville cop threatening young black man with jail after jaywalking
Jarvis DeBerry, nola.com | Times-Picayune: Training civilians is not the way to reduce bad police shootings
Editorial, Dallas Morning News: When police officers show lack of self-control at home, it can predict use of deadly force at work
Renée Graham, Boston Globe: Rebuilding trust in law enforcement starts with the police
Renée Graham, Boston Globe: Why are we so slow to call hate crimes for what they are?
Janine Jackson, Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting: ‘All the Police Have to Do Is Utter Those Five Magic Words’
Angela Kamoske, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.: Letters: ‘This shouldn’t have happened,’ cop says of Castile shooting
Shaun King, Daily News, New York: America needs fewer cops, fewer laws and drastically fewer arrests and convictions
Jerry Large, Seattle Times: Charleena Lyles death by police adds to a list that should shame us (June 22)
Errol Louis, Daily News, New York: At work and in grave danger: We must combat the national scourge of on-the-job violence
Tips on Covering Marginalized Communities
Reporting from the Investigative Reporters & Editors conference in Phoenix, Francisco Vara-Orta of Education Week wrote Saturday that “Friday’s ‘Sourcing people of color: Going beyond the community leader’ panel, moderated by Manny Garcia of the USA TODAY Network, Diego Santiago of Telemundo, Maria Polletta of The Arizona Republic, and Warren Trent of KTVK/KPHO-TV offered a variety of helpful tips for journalists wanting to improve how they cover historically marginalized communities.
“Below are some of their suggestions:
“Work to build trust. . . .
“Speak up. . . .
“Show up. . . .
“Get comfortable with criticism. . . .
“Don’t assume. . . .”
Meanwhile, “IRE members elected six directors to the IRE board on Saturday evening at the organization’s annual conference in Phoenix,” Doug Haddix reported for the organization.
“The newly elected members are: Matt Apuzzo, The New York Times; Ziva Branstetter, Reveal from The Center for Investigative Reporting; Matt Goldberg, KNBC-TV; T. Christian Miller, ProPublica; Steven Rich, The Washington Post; and Cheryl W. Thompson, The Washington Post and George Washington University.
“The board then selected members of the executive committee. They are: Matt Goldberg, president; Cheryl W. Thompson, vice president; Ellen Gabler, secretary; Andrew Donohue, treasurer, and Lee Zurik. . . .”
Thompson told Journal-isms by email, “More than 1,600 investigative journalists and students from 25 countries attended the four-day conference at the Marriott Desert Ridge Resort in Phoenix. Speakers included Marc Lacey, National Editor with the New York Times; Walter ‘Robby’ Robinson, former editor of the Boston Globe’s Spotlight team; and Manny Garcia, executive editor of the USA Today Network.
“Dozens of journalists offered tips on everything from how to investigate hospitals to how to make your investigation go viral.
“Awards for the best investigative work were handed out at a Saturday luncheon. Winners included the Chicago Tribune for stories that uncovered a system allowing many of the state’s most vulnerable to be mistreated; and the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists for ‘The Panama Papers.’ “
Also attending the conference was Lex Haris, CNN’s investigations editor, Paul Farhi reported Tuesday for the Washington Post. “In hindsight, his timing was terrible.
“While Haris was away, his group published a story on CNN.com that reported — citing a single anonymous source — that Senate investigators were looking into a meeting between a member of President Trump’s transition team, Wall Street financier Anthony Scaramucci, and an executive of a Russian investment fund before Trump took office. The story seemed to advance the narrative of ties between Trump campaign officials and people close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“One problem: When challenged on the particulars of the story, CNN acknowledged that it couldn’t stand by it. It retracted it and apologized to Scaramucci on Saturday. On Monday, Haris and the editor and reporter of the piece, Eric Lichtblau and Thomas Frank, resigned from CNN. . . .”
Emily Hopkins, Investigative Reporters & Editors: Tips for digging into prisons and jails
Jessie Opoien, Capital Times, Madison, Wis.: Cap Times panel discusses importance of political, racial diversity in news coverage (June 21)
Ashley Sutherland, Arizona State University for Investigative Reporters & Editors: What to do when mental health and criminal justice collide
“Journal-isms” is seeking a copy editor to succeed Bill Elsen, who is moving on at the end of June. Competitive rates. Those interested should contact Richard Prince at princeeditor (at) yahoo.com.
“TV’s first African-American Bachelorette star, Rachel Lindsay, has sparked a 72% jump in black viewership for ABC’s summer reality series,” Gary Levin reported Wednesday for USA Today. “But through the first three episodes, the show’s white audience is down 19%. That falloff mirrors a general decline in ratings for summer reality shows. But it also illustrates an increasing fragmentation among viewers of different races and ethnicities. . . .”
“New York Times copy editors facing staff cuts or new jobs in a re-imagined editing system sent a letter to the newspaper’s two top editors Wednesday protesting the oncoming changes,” Benjamin Mullin reported Wednesday for the Poynter Institute. Mullin quoted from the letter: “. . . ‘Cutting us down to 50 to 55 editors from more than 100, and expecting the same level of quality in the report, is dumbfoundingly unrealistic. Work with us on a new number.’ . . .”
After 12 years at the Hampton University Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications, Wayne Dawkins is joining Morgan State University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication in August as a tenure track associate professor in the Department of Multimedia Journalism. “He has extensive experience as a professional journalist and an impressive resume as a journalism educator,” Dean DeWayne Wickham told Journal-isms Monday by email. “Wayne has been a newspaper reporter, editorial writer and online editor. As an academic, his second peer-reviewed book will be published later this year. Separately, these are impressive credentials for a journalism school faculty member. Together, they make Wayne a great addition” to the school.
The Investigative Fund, a project of the Nation Institute, Thursday announced “the 2017 winners of the Ida B. Wells Fellowship, whose goal is to promote diversity in journalism by helping to create a pipeline of investigative reporters of color.” Selected were Naveena Sadasivam of the Texas Observer; New York multimedia freelancer Justine Calma; Emmanuel Felton of the Hechinger Report; and Juliana Schatz, a Colombian-American documentary director and producer.
“Longtime CBS sportscaster James Brown may look a little different to you when you see him on the air for NFL games this fall,” Charles Curtis reported Wednesday for msn.com. “The NFL Today host lost 74 pounds and now looks completely different. . . .”
“Blacks have long been less supportive of same-sex marriage when compared with whites, but the share of African Americans who favor same-sex marriage has risen 12 percentage points since 2015, from 39% to 51%,” the Pew Research Center reported Monday. It also wrote, “Six-in-ten or more whites (64%) and Hispanics (60%) say they favor allowing same-sex couples to be married legally. In 2007, just 38% of whites and 37% of Hispanics supported same-sex marriage. . . .”
East St. Louis, Ill., is commemorating riots that took place 100 years ago that helped shape the way the city is today, Doug Moore reported Wednesday for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “[A]fter two plainclothes detectives were killed by black militiamen, thousands of blacks were driven out of their homes, beaten, burned and shot. At least 7,000 blacks fled across the MacArthur and Eads bridges. But mobs soon blocked the bridges to prevent others from escaping. Total casualties are unknown. News accounts at the time say as many as 250 blacks died, but authorities gave the official casualty count as nine white men and 39 black people. . . .”
“ABC and a South Dakota meat producer announced a settlement Wednesday in a $1.9 billion lawsuit against the American network over its reports on a lean, finely textured beef product that critics dubbed ‘pink slime,’ ” the Associated Press reported. Beef Products Inc. filed a defamation lawsuit against ABC and reporter Jim Avila in September 2012.
“While Facebook was credited during the 2010-2011 ‘Arab Spring’ with facilitating uprisings against authoritarian regimes,” a trove of internal documents reviewed by ProPublica suggests that, “at least in some instances, the company’s hate-speech rules tend to favor elites and governments over grassroots activists and racial minorities,” Julia Angwin and Hannes Grassegger reported Wednesday for ProPublica. “In so doing, they serve the business interests of the global company, which relies on national governments not to block its service to their citizens. . . .”
“All eyes are on Tupac Shakur’s big-screen biopic, but many don’t like what they see,” Patrick Ryan reported Monday for USA Today. “All Eyez on Me has earned $38.6 million at the box office in two weekends, but has been slammed by a wave of criticism from many who knew the slain rapper . . . On Friday, writer Kevin Powell filed a lawsuit in New York federal court against Lionsgate, Morgan Creek Productions and others, alleging that significant portions of the film are pulled from interviews he did with Shakur for Vibe magazine in the 1990s. . . .”
“Every ethnic and racial group grew between 2015 and 2016, but the number of whites increased at the slowest rate — less than one hundredth of 1 percent or 5,000 people,” the U.S. Census Bureau estimated Thursday, the Associated Press reported. “That’s a fraction of the rates of growth for non-white Hispanics, Asians and people who said they are multi-racial, according to the government’s annual estimates of population. . . .”
“Latina Media, the 21-year-old publication aimed at Hispanic women, is apparently experiencing a cash crunch as the staff has not received pay in nearly a month and the acting president has resigned,” Keith J. Kelly reported Tuesday for the New York Post. “Since 2000, the company’s owner has been private equity firm Solera Capital. . . .”
“Last week, I decided to tackle the problem of Hispanic exclusion in American newsrooms by blogging about it here in HuffPost,” Pablo Manriquez wrote May 30 for HuffPost. “Within hours, Wikipedia was sandboxing. . . .We now see four major U.S. newsrooms indexing low double-digits Latinas employed across their many newsrooms. These newsrooms are as follows: Fox News (15), CNN (14), New York Times (13), New York Post (13). . . .” The Washington Post registered 7.
“La Prensa Publisher Nina Durán announced Sunday morning on Facebook, that her father, Florentino ‘Tino’ Durán, a San Antonio icon and the family-owned bilingual newspaper’s longtime owner, CEO and publisher had died,” Tricia Schwennesen reported Monday for the San Antonio Business Journal. “He was 82. . . .” “My story is just one of many where the Durans opened their minds, hearts and wallets to aspiring journalists with a deep understanding that we often have to grow our own within historically marginalized communities,” Francisco Vara-Orta, former president of the San Antonio Association of Hispanic Journalists, wrote in a tribute. Comments section of Journal-isms.com.
“Myanmar’s military on Monday detained seven people, including three journalists, who observed the destruction of illegal drugs by an ethnic rebel group fighting the government,” the Associated Press reported on Monday. The story also said, “Although the government lifted most censorship rules when elected civilian rule replaced a military-backed regime last year, the authorities have been hostile to the media. Recently, two journalists for an independent newspaper in Yangon were arrested for writing news criticizing local authorities’ activities . . . “
“The body of a missing Mexican reporter has been found in the western state of Michoacán, bringing to seven the number of journalists murdered in the country this year,” David Agren reported Monday for the Guardian. “Salvador Adame, director of the local television station 6TV, was abducted 18 May in the city of Nueva Italia, some 400km west of Mexico City in a region known as Tierra Caliente, or the Hot Lands. . . .”
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