The city of Charleston held a prayer vigil Friday night in honor of the nine shooting victims killed at Emanuel AME Church
WCSC-TV Screenshot

Post and Courier Has Less Diversity Than 15 Years Ago

The massacre that killed nine worshippers at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, S.C., Wednesday left news organizations with a wealth of decisions.


Do they call the suspect a "terrorist"? Do they deploy reporters to the scene? How much coverage does it warrant? How big an issue is the Confederate battle flag flying on the South Carolina Capitol grounds? How deeply should they delve into the history of the church?

Should the attack be treated as an assault on black people or on religion, or both? How much is this a story about access to guns? How are the politicians, local and national, reacting?

Not to mention the immediate news. "Dylann Storm Roof stood up during a Bible study Wednesday at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, pulled a .45-caliber pistol from a fanny pack and shot nine people several times, according to arrested affidavits released Friday," Andrew Knapp and Christina Elmore reported Friday morning for the Post and Courier in Charleston.


"The details emerged as family members of the nine victims faced Roof, 21, through closed-circuit television during a bond hearing. Roof stood, stared ahead and blinked occasionally as the victims' loved ones cried. Some of them said they had forgiven him. . . ."

In Charleston, this was foremost a local story. And for some, it was personal. "My father is an AME minister. My grandfather served as Bishop of the 7th Episcopal District and knew Rev. Pinckney very well. I was there the night of the shooting and covered the very first press conference police held," Valencia Wicker, a reporter and weekend anchor for WICV-TV, the ABC affiliate, told Journal-isms by email. She was referring to the Rev. Clementa Pinckney, the church pastor and a well-liked state legislator.

"I was called back in to cover the shooting after I worked a full shift that day. Was only given an intersection. Drove up to find a massive scene of blue lights, officers and EMS. Later found out the shooting was IN the church and the pastor, along with thee ministers, was killed. I've never cried at a press conference…. Until now."


Wicker is president of the Lowcountry Association of Black Journalists. She named other members who were covering the shooting or its aftermath: Elmore of the Post and CourierRaphael James, anchor and reporter at WCSC-TV, the CBS affiliate; and Octavia Mitchell, an anchor at WCBD-TV, the NBC affiliate. The coverage prompted a look at how representative the Charleston media are of their community.

The U.S. Census reported that in 2013, Charleston County, which includes the city of Charleston, was 29 percent African American.

In 2000, the Post and Courier, Charleston's major newspaper, reported a newsroom that was 12.3 percent journalists of color. That fell to 8.3 percent in 2007, according to figures the paper reported to the American Society of News Editors. In the most recent survey, for 2014, the paper reported 5.6 percent.


Neither Mitch Pugh, the executive editor, or Rick Nelson, the managing editor, responded Friday to requests for comment.

Herb Frazier, an African American reporter and columnist who left his hometown paper in 2006, told Journal-isms that the paper does not emphasize diversity as it once did.

"I had a great career at The Post and Courier," Frazier messaged. "I covered challenging stories around the country and the world. I cherish my memories of being a member of the P&C staff.


"The newspaper had a priority to not only hire black journalists but also to support a scholarship program to train young minority journalists at the College of Journalism at the University of South Carolina. The recession, a changing newspaper business model, coupled with a decline in the number of reporters in the newsroom, has clearly changed that emphasis. I left the newsroom in July 2006. Since then the number of jobs in the industry has declined, making it harder for newspapers to recruit and keep journalists of color.

"I hope that one day the percentage of black reporters at the paper will increase to reflect the percentage of African-Americans who live in Charleston."

He added, "Fewer jobs means fewer opportunities to hire, I guess."

Diverse or not, the Post and Courier has a mission to fulfill. It won the Pulitzer Prize for public service this year for "Till Death Do Us Part," "a riveting series that probed why South Carolina is among the deadliest states in the union for women and put the issue of what to do about it on the state’s agenda," the judges said.


However, "just days before the P&C published the series' first installment in August," Natalie Caula Hauff, one of the reporters on the story, left the paper to become a media relations coordinator for Charleston County government, as Corey Hutchins reported in April for the Columbia Journalism Review. Hauff said she found the newsroom job too demanding, although she still freelances for the paper.

In April, the paper found itself reporting on a major racially charged police shooting, when white former police officer Michael Slager of North Charleston fatally shot Walter Scott, a black man, in the back during an April 4 traffic stop. It became worldwide news when a bystander captured the shooting on video.

During its coverage of the church-shooting story, the Post and Courier made news itself. On Thursday, it "apologized for a front-page sticky note that advertised for a gun shop," Benjamin Mullin reported for the Poynter Institute.


" 'The front-page sticky note that was attached to some home delivery newspapers on the same day as this tragedy is a deeply regrettable coincidence,' the paper said in response to a reader complaint on Facebook. 'We apologize to those who were offended.' . . ."

Also, on Friday, the paper's Allison Prang and Jason Emory Parker reported, "The Post and Courier's website experienced an attack of unknown origin Friday morning, causing it to stop working for a period of time. . . ."

Still, as James West wrote Friday in Mother Jones, "From Boston to Ferguson, Baltimore, and Charleston, one thing has become crystal clear: To get real reporting—and to get it fast—you've got to switch off cable and go local. It's here you'll find the scoops, the sense of place, the authentic compassion; it's here you can avoid the predictable blather from a candidate, or pundit, or hack filling airtime. . . ."


As the city's major daily, it fell to the Post and Courier to express a city's grief.

"Charleston has suffered considerable tragedy in its 345-year history, including war, fire, storm and earthquake," its Thursday editorial began. "But in terms of shocking inhumanity, the atrocity that occurred Wednesday night in a place of worship on Calhoun Street transcended those past horrors.

"That's because our Holy City was defiled by this horrendous pairing of words — 'church massacre.' . . ."


The editorial also said, "The Second Amendment guarantees 'the right to keep and bear arms.' But that assurance, written in the 18th century, should be reasonably and practically interpreted in light of 21st century realities — including the grimly familiar prevalence of U.S. gun violence. . . ."

The editorial concluded, ”As Mayor [Joseph P.] Riley [Jr.] put it Thursday: 'We are all in this together.'

"And together, Charleston must — and will — rise above this tragedy, too."

. . . "I Have Similar Experiences to Many in the Church"

"I was on the scene reporting live the night that it happened," Raphael James, anchor and reporter at WCSC-TV, the CBS affiliate in Charleston, S.C., told Journal-isms Friday by email, referring to the shooting that left nine dead.


"Since then I have been reporting live downtown on the community reaction, and using social media (twitter, facebook, periscope) to inform and foster discussion.

"Did it make any difference that I was black? Could a white reporter have done the same stories?

"I think white reporters could and DID do the same stories. Because I am black I think I have similar shared experiences to many of the members of that church. Because I am black I think some people may have been more willing to open up to me than someone else, perhaps.


"But I think what helped me out on the scene and gave me an advantage in covering this story wasn't my skin color alone, but the fact that the people knew me. Over and over again, they came up to me and just started talking (all races). We shared hugs, we shared a moment. Many of them knew me from watching the news, yes, but others recognized me from my participation in community events. . . . My visibility on our station and community involvement helped me more than anything.

"I would like to see more black journalists for sure. But again, a black journalist who isn't going to be involved in the community or respect the community, in my opinion, is of no special value to the community."

. . . N.Y. Times Is Fine With Calling Shootings "Terrorism"

As critics accused the news media of a racial double standard in their use of the word "terrorist," the standards editor of the New York Times told Journal-isms Friday that it would be accurate to apply the term to the white assailant in Charleston.


In an email to Journal-isms, Philip B. Corbett, the Times' associate managing editor for standards, said "I think it's an accurate description and could certainly be used. But unlike the federal government, we don't have an 'official' definition of terrorism. And of course other descriptions are also accurate — hate crime, racist attack, massacre. I would generally steer away from imposing just one approved label. In many cases it may be best just to describe the specifics."

Rick Gladstone wrote Thursday for the Times, "The massacre of nine African-Americans in Charleston has been classified as a possible hate crime, apparently carried out by a 21-year-old white man who once wore an apartheid badge and other symbols of white supremacy. But many civil rights advocates are asking why the attack has not officially been called terrorism.

"Against the backdrop of rising worries about violent Muslim extremism in the United States, advocates see hypocrisy in the way the attack and the man under arrest in the shooting have been described by law enforcement officials and the news media.


"Assaults like the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013 and the attack on an anti-Islamic gathering in Garland, Tex., last month have been widely portrayed as acts of terrorism carried out by Islamic extremists. Critics say, however, that assaults against African-Americans and Muslim Americans are rarely if ever called terrorism.

"Moreover, they argue, assailants who are white are far less likely to be described by the authorities as terrorists. . . ."

The issue has been debated previously. A year ago this month, Paul Farhi wrote in the Washington Post, "News organizations, including The Post, say they are reluctant to call anyone a terrorist unless officials do so first.


" 'In general, we shy away from independently labeling people as terrorists and would factually note if someone has been listed or labeled as such by someone else, such as the FBI or another government entity,' said AP spokesman Paul Colford in an e-mail.

"He said, however, that there are some 'clear' cases in which the words apply: the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001; bombings in Bali, London and Madrid; and the assault on a Nairobi shopping mall last year by the militant group al-Shabab. But in incidents such as the shootings in Las Vegas, the news service relies on the FBI or other agencies for such terminology.

"The Reuters news service has a similar policy. Its stylebook advises reporters to use the terms 'terrorism' and 'terrorist' only when attributing them to a specific source. 'Aim for a dispassionate use of language so that individuals, organisations and governments can make their own judgment on the basis of facts,' it says. 'Seek to use more specific terms like "bomber" or "bombing" . . .  "gunman" or "gunmen," etc. ' . . ."


Since then, use of the word "thug" has been added to the debate. "U.S. media practice a different policy when covering crimes involving African Americans and Muslims," Anthea Butler wrote in the Post on Thursday. "As suspects, they are quickly characterized as terrorists and thugs (if not always explicitly using the terms), motivated by evil intent instead of external injustices. . . ." 

Arthur Chu, Salon: It's not about mental illness: The big lie that always follows mass shootings by white males

Ariella Cohen, Next City: When Does Street Violence Become Domestic Terrorism? (May 13, 2013)


Julia Craven, HuffPost BlackVoices: Racism Is Not A Mental Illness

Editorial, Daily News, New York: Charleston mass murderer Dylann Roof is a homegrown American terrorist

Editorial, Southern Illinoisan: Voice of The Southern: Terrorists, guns and mass-shootings


Charles D. Ellison, The Root: Let's Call Charleston Shooting What It Was: A Terrorist Attack

Elizabeth Jensen, NPR: Should NPR Be Calling The Attack In Charleston 'Terrorism'?

Ryan J. Reilly, Huffington Post: DOJ Looking At This Crime From All Angles, Including Terrorism


Randall Yip, AsAmNews: Why Isn't The Chapel Massacre in Charleston Being Called a Terrorist Act?

. . . Does Focusing on Suspect Detract From the Victims?

"On Friday, the country continued to mourn the dead from the racially motivated massacre at a black Charleston, South Carolina, church Wednesday night. Coverage began with a manhunt for the killer, then transitioned into prayer vigils and calls for healing," Jon Levine wrote Friday for


"Americans, however, awoke to starkly competing media narratives Friday morning from newspapers around the country as editors and news directors struggled with how best to frame a senseless tragedy.

"One paper that knocked it out of the park was Charleston's own Post and Courier, whose cover perfectly captured what everyone should really be talking about.

"The powerful front page featured all nine victims prominently just below the masthead and accurately captured the grief of the community. Most telling of all, the gunman was nowhere to be found.


"While the dignified Post and Courier approach may seem obvious, many other papers around the country felt the true focus of the story should center on other things.

"Focusing on the gunman isn't necessarily wrong. As the man who is accused of committing the massacre, he will always be a central part of the story. His story and motives, however, will be given a full airing when he is brought to trial. If the recent experience of the Boston bomber is any guide, it will likely be extended and painful. The shooter's constitutionally protected right ensures America will have to relive this terrible week down the road.

"There won't be another moment, however, for people like Cynthia Hurd, a 54-year-old Charleston library employee, or Tywanza Sanders, a 26-year-old recent college graduate, or Ethel Lee Lance, a 70-year-old grandmother. On a national scale, they and the six other lives ended on Wednesday night have only the present to be remembered. When the massacre does ultimately fade from headlines, so too will their stories.


"Their names: Ethel Lance, Susie Jackson, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Cynthia Hurd, Rev. Clementa Pinckney, Tywanza Sanders, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Myra Thompson, Rev. Daniel Simmons Sr."

Lalo Alcaraz, White wing terrorist Dylann Roof didn't start the fire (toon)

Wayne Bennett, the Field Negro: Made in America.

Jamelle Bouie, Slate: The Deadly History of "They're Raping Our Women"

James E. Causey, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Shooting was based on hate, not Obama


Jonathan Chait, New York magazine: Why Can't Republicans Admit Dylann Roof Was Racist?

Kat Chow, NPR "Code Switch": Denmark Vesey And The History Of Charleston's 'Mother Emanuel' Church

Jelani Cobb, New Yorker: Murders in Charleston

Jarvis DeBerry, | the Times-Picayune: The Charleston church shooting and the stubborn refusal to see racism


Jarvis DeBerry, | the Times-Picayune: The Charleston church shooting seems like a return to the past

Editorial, Charlotte Observer: Now, with Charleston, we mourn again

Editorial, Citizen-Times,  Asheville, N.C.: Will we try to ensure there's no next time?


Editorial, Dallas Morning News: We cannot be numb to Charleston massacre

Editorial, Kansas City Star: There is no greater coward than the shooter who opened fire in a Charleston church

Editorial, News & Observer, Raleigh, N.C.: Charleston attack should provoke debate about causes of US mass shootings


Editorial, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: Atrocity in a church

Editorial, News Times, Danbury, Conn. (serving Newtown, where six educators and 20 children were fatally shot in 2012): Stopping the culture of violence

Editorial, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Emanuel's tragedy: Another gun rampage, this one during prayer


Editorial, Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch: Mass shooting at church is unspeakably evil

Editorial, San Francisco Chronicle: Charleston, S.C., shooting evokes dark side of U.S. history

Michael A. Fletcher and Janell Ross, Washington Post: Attack evokes dark days from the nation's past


Henry Louis Gates Jr., New York Times: If Clementa Pinckney Had Lived

Steven Gray, Take Part: The Charleston Church Shooting: Another Astonishing Assault on Black Lives

Roy Greenslade, the Guardian: Why did some British papers underplay the Charleston shooting?


Ryan Grim and Amanda Terkel, Huffington Post: Fox News Twists Itself In Knots To Find An Explanation Other Than Racism For Charleston Shooting

Emil Guillermo blog, Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund: Rachel Dolezal, Dylann Roof, and Father's Day (June 20)

Rick Horowitz, Huffington Post: Grappling With Charleston: Are We Hardwired to Hate? (June 20) (video)


Christopher Ingraham, Washington Post: The ugly truth about hate crimes — in 5 charts and maps

Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News: Don’t excuse Dylann Roof — it's mass murder

Jim Mitchell, Dallas Morning News: Emanuel AME is more than a church to Black America


Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Gun massacre in Charleston offends us all

Latoya Peterson, Fusion: The 9 heartbreaks of the Charleston shooting

David Remnick, New Yorker: Charleston and the Age of Obama

Richmond (Va.) Post-Dispatch: Charleston shooting leaves Richmond faith community reeling, on guard (package)


Rochelle Riley, Detroit Free Press: Charleston shooting could be defining civil rights moment

Eugene Robinson, Washington Post: After Charleston, will America finally do something about guns?

Max Ufberg and Gerald Horne, Pacific Standard: An Honest, Stream-of-Consciousness Conversation About Race


Libby Watson, Media Matters for America: Fox's Scramble To Make The Charleston Shooting About Religion, Not Race

Armstrong Williams, A Call to Courage in the Hour of Evil

Baynard Woods, Washington Post: Only white people can save themselves from racism and white supremacism


. . . Confederate Flag Under Attack After Massacre, Ruling

The Confederate battle flag returned to the news this week when the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld Texas' refusal to issue a license plate bearing the battle flag, and Wednesday's massacre at a black chuch in Charleston, S.C., called attention to the symbol, which was depicted on the suspect's license plate.

Many linked the racism expressed by the suspect, Dylann Roof, and the battle flag that flies on the South Carolina state Capitol grounds.


"The court said in a 5-4 ruling that Texas can limit the content of license plates because they are state property and not the equivalent of bumper stickers," Mark Sherman reported Thursday for the Associated Press.

"The Sons of Confederate Veterans had sought a Texas plate bearing its logo with the battle flag. A state board rejected it over concerns that the license plate would offend many Texans.. . ."

In a break from his white conservative colleagues, Justice Clarence Thomas voted with the majority.


The ruling represents a victory for Texas' major newspapers. As reported on March 23, the Dallas Morning News, Houston Chronicle, Austin American-Statesman, San Antonio Express-News, Waco Tribune and Fort Worth Star-Telegram all supported the state's decision to keep the flag off the plates.

The Washington Post has reported that at least nine other states offer Sons of Confederate Veterans license plates: Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia. Lower courts ruled that the states had no choice but to accept them on free-speech grounds. State legislatures now have the authority to refuse those requests.

In his Atlantic blog Thursday, Ta-Nehisi Coates laid out the objection to the flag.


"Last night, Dylann Roof walked into a Charleston church, sat for an hour, and then killed nine people. Roof's crime cannot be divorced from the ideology of white supremacy which long animated his state nor from its potent symbol — the Confederate flag.

"Visitors to Charleston have long been treated to South Carolina’s attempt to clean its history and depict its secession as something other than a war to guarantee the enslavement of the majority of its residents. This notion is belied by any serious interrogation of the Civil War and the primary documents of its instigators. . . ."

Josh Feldman, Mediaite: Chris Hayes Confronts Mark Sanford About Confederate Flag: Flying 'Symbol of Tyranny'


Alex Griswold, Mediaite: Blaming a Flag for Mass Murder Is Silly

Alex Griswold, Mediaite: Rick Perry: We Need To Have 'Good Conversation' About Taking Down Confederate Flag

Derrick Z. Jackson, Boston Globe: Thomas the surprise swing vote on Confederate license plates


Justin Wm. Moyer, Washington Post: Why South Carolina's Confederate flag isn't at half-staff after church shooting

Jon Queally, Common Dreams: As nation mourns racist murders, flag of hate still flies over South Carolina

Matt Wilstein, Mediaite: Lindsey Graham Defends Confederate Flag: 'Part of Who We Are'


It's Official: Lester Holt Becomes "Nightly News" Anchor

"Lester Holt never wanted to become the anchor of 'NBC Nightly News' this way," Brian Stelter reported Thursday for

"But through Brian Williams' lapses in judgment, and subsequent punishment, Holt has been promoted to one of the most prestigious jobs in television news.


"NBC confirmed on Thursday what has been apparent for several weeks: Holt is being upgraded from substitute anchor to permanent anchor of the 'Nightly News.'

"Holt is on a long-scheduled vacation this week — his first significant time off since Williams was suspended in February. So [he] tweeted shortly after NBC made his promotion official: 'Promised my family I wouldn't think about work during vacation. Just got the ok to break that promise. Excited and grateful for new role.'

"In a few days, Holt's name will be added to the 'Nightly News' logo.

"The anchor has been filling in for Williams without the benefit of much promotion, but that will change soon: a robust marketing campaign will start next week.


"Thursday's announcement makes Holt the first African-American solo anchor of a weekday network nightly newscast. . . ." Stelter went on to quote this columnist, who said of the appointment, "It's about time! . . ."

NBC announced Thursday that "Williams, who was an anchor at MSNBC from 1996 to 2004, will now join MSNBC as anchor of breaking news and special reports. He will work with Mark Lukasiewicz, SVP of Special Reports for NBCU News Group, who will help lead a team to strengthen MSNBC's daytime coverage by further leveraging NBC News' expertise in breaking news. In addition, Williams will serve as a breaking news anchor for NBC News live special reports when Holt is not available. He will begin the new role in mid-August. . . ."

Mark Kornblau, a spokesman for NBC News, told Journal-isms by telephone that Holt would not have the "managing editor" title that Williams carried. "One of the lessons learned is that giving one person the title of managing editor too puts too much control in that person," Kornblau said. He added by email, "We are dropping the title of managing editor from Nightly News. There will be no managing editor. There will be, as always, an Executive Producer."


Russ Mitchell, a black journalist who like Holt was a weekend anchor and substitute weeknight anchor, but for CBS, tweeted from his current job as managing editor evening news and lead anchor of the 6 p.m. and 11 p.m. news at WKYC-TV in Cleveland. "For several reasons, many of us thought this day would never come..but it's here. Congrats @LesterHoltNBC..a great guy & great journalist."

The National Association of Black Journalists also applauded the appointment. In a news release, NABJ Vice President-Broadcast Dedrick Russell noted its historic significance.

"It is thrilling to see that an African-American will for the first time in television history be the solo anchor of an network evening newscast," Russell said. "Lester's presence will surely inspire the next generation of young journalists to make a commitment to the craft and aim to tell honest, creative, and compelling stories which illuminate the diverse world around them."


David Bauder, Associated Press: Williams' Rehabilitation Efforts Begin Today

Eric Deggans, NPR: 4 Ways NBC Might Rehabilitate Brian Williams' Image

Hadas Gold, Politico: In first interview, Brian Williams blames ego

Lloyd Grove, Daily Beast: How Lester Holt Dethroned Brian Williams: NBC'S Messy Changing of The Guard


Margaret Hartmann, New York: Brian Williams Is Doing a Full Apology Tour

John Koblin and Emily Steel, New York Times: Brian Williams Gets New Role at Lower Salary

Jonathan Mahler, New York Times: In Brian Williams Decision, NBC Clings to the Past


Emily Steel, New York Times: Brian Williams Says Fabrications Came From 'Bad Urge Inside of Me'

Brian Stelter, Brian Williams given chance to 'earn back everyone's trust'

Hispanic Groups Cut Ties With N.Y. Daily News Over Photo

"Organizers of the National Puerto Rican Day parade have severed all marketing and advertising ties with the New York Daily News after the tabloid refused to apologize for running a photo of two scantily clad women in Times Square holding a Puerto Rican flags with the words 'Borricua' and 'Pto Rico' painted on their behinds," Fox News Latino reported Friday.


" 'The publication of a photo, featuring two topless women wearing G-Strings with Puerto Rico-related slogans painted on their bodies, and an erroneous claim by the newspaper that the image was taken at the Parade on Fifth Avenue has caused major outrage across the Puerto Rican community and beyond,' Lorraine Cortés-Vazquez, the board director of the National Puerto Rican Day Parade Inc., wrote in a letter to the Daily News.

"The photo, which ran in the newspaper on Monday, shows the women — one of whom is Colombian, the other Venezuelan — walking through Times Square, which was not on the parade route. The photo was accompanied by the headline 'Rear View on Parade.'

"In light of the New York Daily News’ refusal to apologize for the photo, the parade's organizers have told the paper to cease using the parade's name or logotype to promote their Spanish-language site VIVA or any other publications as well in marketing and community outreach. . . ."


Mekahlo Medina, president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, told members via the NAHJ website, "We are starting the #BastaNYDN hashtag. Let the Daily News know that respecting our culture, our ethnicity and good journalism is [a] must if they want Latinos to consume their content. Let them know that you not only want an apology, but you want more Latinos in the editorial decision making roles so this doesn't happen again."

Rich Villar, one of the organizers, told Journal-isms by email, "I worked for Sofrito For Your Soul, the organization charged with running the social media end of the parade. We worked our asses off all that weekend, so when this news hit, and it went against literally everything we saw on that parade route, we went full bore to call them out. . . ."

[Update: the Daily News responded with an editorial on Saturday.

[Medina messaged Journal-isms, "The NYDN once again did not apologize for the mistake.


["In October 2014, they redrew the cartoon that offensive to Latino readers. They never apologized.

["Beyond an apology, the NYDN needs to commit to hiring more Latino editors to combat these mistakes. Not having Latinos in key decision making roles will simply allow for other incidents like these to happen again."

[Villar replied on Sunday, "The wire service in question was not identified. A reasonable explanation on its face.


["Nowhere did they indicate the corrective action they would take to ensure that NO EDITOR at the Daily News would ever again portray an entire community by using a gratuitous shot a pair of faceless women with their clothes off, no matter the source.

["It takes a certain misguided notion on the part of an editor to believe that the photo in question would be appropriate to serve as the LEAD ITEM in their coverage. (They're not the only ones out there, to be clear.) When the Daily News addresses THAT attitude, and takes systemic steps to change it, I'll celebrate. Until then, they have work to do."]

[Updated June 21]

Toronto Police to Reinstate Past Policy on Stopping Citizens

"The Toronto Police Services Board took a province-wide lead on carding reform Thursday by resurrecting a progressive policy that many in the community regarded as an important step forward in eliminating arbitrary stops of citizens and storing of their details in a police database," Patty Winsa and Jim Rankin reported Thursday for the Toronto Star.


As reported Wednesday, demands to change the policy escalated after black journalist Desmond Cole described being stopped more than 50 times in a piece for Toronto Life magazine.

"No, it is not an outright end to a practice many see as offensive and illegal," Winsa and Rankin continued. "Some left a police board meeting at a packed auditorium at police headquarters feeling deeply disappointed.

" 'I feel blindsided,' said Bev Salmon, one of more than a dozen speakers to address the civilian board. 'We came here with the hope that carding would be ended.'


"But Saunders signalled during and after the meeting — which also saw the resignation of long-term chair Alok Mukherjee — that he is willing to follow the wishes of the civilian oversight board on the issue.

"And, that is something.

"The board passed the progressive policy — and rescinded watered-down rules written by former chief Bill Blair — ahead of promised province-wide carding reforms, which are due in the fall. . . ."


Desmond Cole, Torontoist: Black people have successfully demanded change from our politicians and police

Short Takes

"Joseph Sledge was convicted of a double murder in Bladen County, N.C., and spent 37 years in prison," TVNewsCheck reported Thursday. "Then, new evidence proved he couldn't have been the killer. A new documentary from WRAL Raleigh, N.C. (DMA 25), An Obvious Suspect, examines the Sledge case and how he is adjusting to life now. The documentary, hosted by WRAL anchor Gerald Owens, premieres Tuesday, June 23, at 7 p.m. . . ."


"The Univision Network will air a gripping documentary that uncovers stories of sexual abuse secretly taking place after business hours in office buildings and malls across the United States," the network announced Friday. "The alleged victims are mostly immigrant women, many of them undocumented, who never expected that a simple janitorial job would put them at risk of sexual exploitation and humiliation by their co-workers and supervisors. . . ." "Rape on the Night Shift / Violación de un Sueño: Jornada Nocturna," airing Saturday at 7 p.m. ET/PT (6 p.m. Central), is the product of a collaboration with PBS' "Frontline," the Investigative Reporting Program at UC Berkeley, Reveal from the Center for Investigative Reporting and KQED public radio in San Francisco.

"Laura Marquez, who was a reporter at San Francisco ABC-owned station KGO, has died," Kevin Eck reported Thursday for TVSpy. "Marquez worked at KGO from 1989 until she left to work at ABC as a correspondent in 2003. She left ABC in 2011. 'Laura had battled breast cancer for the past 16 years,' wrote a friend in a note obtained by TVSpy. 'Her attitude and spirit impressed her doctors and her zest for life kept her living beyond expectations.' . . ."

"Gun enthusiasts have plenty of options for industry news and firearms reviews," Michael Calderone reported Friday for the Huffington Post. "And the National Rifle Association boasts its own media arm to amplify any perceived threats against Second Amendment. What's missing in the gun-media landscape, say founders of The Trace, is a news outlet devoted to the prevention of violence. . . ." James Burnett, who left The New Republic a few months ago following a staff exodus, is editorial director. The site is debuted with coverage of the Charleston shootings. The lead article is "Guns Are Now the Weapon of Choice for Violent White Supremacists."


"It has been a momentous 24 hours in the fight to end the R-word racial slur," Joel Barkin reported Wednesday for Indian Country Today Media Network. "Landmark legislation restricting the term's use in schools advanced in California today, and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan called upon the Washington NFL team to change its offensive name. This morning, the California Senate Education committee approved historic legislation that would eliminate the dictionary-defined racial slur as a mascot for all public schools statewide. . . ."

On C-SPAN's "Q&A" Sunday at 8 p.m. and 11 p.m., and Monday at 6 a.m. Eastern time, "Author Stephen Puleo talks about his book 'The Caning: The Assault That Drove America to Civil War.' On May 22, 1856, ardent pro-slavery Congressman Preston Brooks of South Carolina . . . strode into the US Senate chamber and began beating renowned anti-slavery Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts . . . with a gold-topped walking cane two days after Sumner had given his famous 'Crime Against Kansas' speech. . . .," the network said in a release.

Maziar Bahar, an Iranian journalist tortured and imprisoned in Tehran's notorious Evin prison for 118 days before his release, "has launched Journalism is not a Crime, an initiative that aims to document the history of human rights abuses against journalists since the modern Iranian state was created in 1905," Patrick Greenfield reported Thursday for Britain's Guardian newspaper. "The advocacy group also provides legal and psychological assistance to journalists targeted by the state. . . ."


Etienne Besabesa Mivumbi, a Rwandan journalist arrested and charged with "spying" in neighboring Burundi this month, has been released and has returned home, Kigali's media commission said Friday, Agence France-Presse reported. The agency also said, "Several journalists who have been covering Burundi's crisis, which has seen weeks of street demonstrations, a violent police crackdown and a failed coup attempt by a section of the army, have complained of being subjected to threats — including death threats — by members of the police or other branches of the security forces. . . ."

"There are about 2.5 million black fathers living with their children and about 1.7 million living apart from them," Josh Levs points out in his new book, "All In," the New York Times' Charles M. Blow noted in a June 8 column headlined, "Black Dads Are Doing Best of All."