Media Document Failings in Puerto Rico

  • Data Show How Long Crisis Wasn’t Given Its Due
  • Like Air Force Academy, Writers Confront Racism
  • Kaepernick Left Off Cover Homage to His Movement
  • Russia-Linked Tweets, Postings Exploited Race
  • Hugh Hefner Left Mark on Civil Rights Era
  • Fox Business Network President Shuns ‘Politics’
  • St. Louis Paper Backs Outside Probe of Police
  • Reggie Lavong, Philly Station Owner, Dies at 84
  • Imminent Mom Keeps Composure on Anchor Desk
  • Short Takes

Data Show How Long Crisis Wasn’t Given Its Due

“CNN and CBS News continue to provide the most robust coverage of the continuing crisis in Puerto Rico, where Hurricane Maria made landfall 9 days ago,” Chris Ariens reported Friday for TVNewser.

“CNN, and its channels CNNI and CNN en Espanol, [have] 8 reporters on the island: Leyla Santiago, Bill Weir, Ivan Watson, Boris Sanchez, Bryn Gingras, Rafael Romo, Maria Santana, and Dr. Sanjay Gupta who, while reporting on the health crisis for some, helped transport a sick patient.

“ ‘I’m a doctor, we can take the patient. Time is of essence. We can do that.’

“CBS News’s David Begnaud has been reporting from one of the hardest hit towns, Aguadilla, where relief supplies are just beginning to arrive. Omar Villafranca is reporting with the U.S. Marines and Dr. Jon Lapook is reporting on the urgent health care needs.”

The Puerto Rico crisis continued to lead national newscasts and received considerable coverage in print and online, but new reports documented how long the crisis failed to receive its due in the media and elsewhere.

“Data from Media Cloud, a database that collects news published on the internet every day, [show] that the devastation in Puerto Rico is getting comparatively little attention,” Dhrumil Mehta reported Thursday for fivethirtyeight.com.

“TV news coverage reveals a similar trend. Data we collected from the TV News Archive [show] that people on TV news shows spoke significantly fewer sentences about Hurricane Maria than about Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. The spike in conversation about Puerto Rico right as the hurricane hit was also much smaller than the spike in mentions of Texas and Florida on television as each of those states was hit by a hurricane. . . .”

In the Washington Post, Aaron C. Davis, Dan Lamothe and Ed O’Keefe reported Thursday, “After an earthquake shattered Haiti’s capital on Jan. 12, 2010, the U.S. military mobilized as if it were going to war.

“Before dawn the next morning, an Army unit was airborne, on its way to seize control of the main airport in Port-au-Prince. Within two days, the Pentagon had 8,000 American troops en route. Within two weeks, 33 U.S. military ships and 22,000 troops had arrived. More than 300 military helicopters buzzed overhead, delivering millions of pounds of food and water.

“No two disasters are alike. Each delivers customized violence that cannot be fully anticipated. But as criticism of the federal government’s initial response to the crisis in Puerto Rico continued to mount Thursday, the mission to Haiti — an island nation several hundred miles from the U.S. mainland — stands as an example of how quickly relief efforts can be mobilized. . . .”

Retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, right, and Michelle Miller (CBS News)

President Trump’s praise for his administration’s response to the disaster was also undercut by media coverage given Puerto Ricans on the ground who strongly disagreed.

“The slow pace of the federal response to Hurricane Maria — and the upbeat portrayal of the response by federal officials, including President Trump — threatened this week to become an embarrassment and political liability for the administration as it scrambled to confront a natural disaster that has overwhelmed this island, and presented breathtaking logistical challenges,” Richard Fausset, Michael D. Shear, Ron Nixon and Frances Robles reported Friday for the New York Times.

“ . . . But the disconnect between what officials in Washington were saying and the situation on the ground in Puerto Rico was captured on live television by the response of the mayor of San Juan when she was played a clip of the Homeland Security secretary, Elaine Duke, saying that she was ‘very satisfied’ with the government’s response. Ms. Duke called it ‘a good news story in terms of our ability to reach people and the limited number of deaths that have taken place.’

“The retort from Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz: ‘This is, damn it, this is not a good news story. This is a “people are dying” story. This is a “life or death” story. This is “there’s a truckload of stuff that cannot be taken to people” story. This is a story of a devastation that continues to worsen.’ . . . ”

On the “CBS Evening News” Friday, Michelle Miller spoke with retired Lt. Gen. Russel Honore, who led relief efforts in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina.

“He calls Mr. Trump’s response slow and small,” Miller reported.

To some, the administration response was symptomatic. “Puerto Rico has been failed by its own government, by the overlords in Washington, by the vulture fund managers all too happy to prop up its finances with bond issues that could never be repaid,” Michael Sean Winters wrote Wednesday for BuzzFeed. “Now, Mother Nature has dealt it a harsh and crushing blow. In the next few days and weeks, the situation could become worse: Desperate people often turn to desperate measures.”

David Dayen, the Intercept: Puerto Rico Rejects Loan Offers, Accusing Hedge Funds of Trying to Profit Off Hurricanes

Editorial, Richmond Times-Dispatch: Is Trump ignoring Puerto Rico? Don’t be ridiculous.

Pablo Guzmán, NBC News Latino: Anger Is Overflowing On Puerto Rico’s Crisis

Karen K. Ho, Columbia Journalism Review: As crisis unfolds in Puerto Rico, journalists help connect families

Latino Rebels: The Cruelest Storm: A Statement for Puerto Rico

Multichannel News: WAPA America Opens Feed for Puerto Rico Coverage

Emily M. Reigart, Radio magazine: Nine Radio Stations Still Off the Air in Puerto Rico

Emily M. Reigart, Radio World: SBE, NAB Call on Members to Aid Puerto Rican Broadcasters

Albor Ruiz, Al Día, Philadelphia: Trump in No Hurry to Help Puerto Rico

Julio Ricardo Varela, Washington Post: Puerto Rico is being treated like a colony after Hurricane Maria

“Former fire chief Paul Smith wants everyone to know the Facebook post that got him fired from his gig at the Muse Volunteer Fire Department in Cecil Township was not the result of racial malice or bigotry,” columnist Tony Norman wrote in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Like Air Force Academy, Writers Confront Racism

The story from Colorado Springs, Colo., deservedly received plaudits and national attention Friday:

“The head of the Air Force Academy stood all his 4,000 cadets at attention Thursday to deliver a message on racial slurs found written on message boards at the academy’s preparatory school,” Tom Roeder wrote Friday for the Gazette in Colorado Springs.

“Chins in and chests out, the cadets were flanked by 1,500 officers, sergeants, athletic coaches and civilian professors inside cavernous Mitchell Hall.

“Lt. Gen. Jay Silveria told them to take out their smartphones and record his words.

“ ‘If you can’t treat someone with dignity and respect, then get out,’ he said.

“Silveria spoke as investigators interviewed cadet candidates at the prep school, where five black students woke up Tuesday to find ‘Go Home’ followed by the epithet scrawled on message boards outside their rooms. . . .”

Anchor Anthony Mason announced on the “CBS Evening News” that the network had posted the text of Silveria’s remarks on its website. On “NBC Nightly News,” Peter Alexander called it “a powerful lesson in leadership.”

Journalists elsewhere were also dealing with expressions of racism.

“As a parent of two kids who attend Richardson grade schools, I was taken aback by the racist memes that, according to RISD officials, were crafted and circulated on social media by two students from J.J. Pearce High School,” James Ragland wrote Friday in the Dallas Morning News.

“The memes, which surfaced in the days leading up to a Thursday night football game between the rivals, depicted images of a burning cross with Richardson High’s emblem in flames and hooded KKK terrorists parading Pearce’s Mustang logo.

“Oh, it gets worse.

“There’s another picture of a whip-wielding overlord (with the Pearce logo) whipping a slave (his face covered with a Richardson High banner). . . .”

Ragland called it “a crude reminder that hatred and intolerance still exist at every level of our society. I say this not because I am unable to consider that this may have been no more than a couple of naïve or warped teenagers taking a rivalry too far.

“I say it because black and Hispanic students who’ve attended Pearce say they’ve encountered bigotry before. . . .”

In Pittsburgh, meanwhile, Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman wrote,” Former fire chief Paul Smith wants everyone to know the Facebook post that got him fired from his gig at the Muse Volunteer Fire Department in Cecil Township was not the result of racial malice or bigotry.”

Norman also wrote, “Being the very patriotic American that he is, Mr. Smith composed the following Facebook message out of a sense of duty to his country and posted it: ‘[Steelers’ Coach Mike Tomlin] just added himself to the list of no good [racist slur beginning with ‘n’]. Yes I said it.’ . . .”

Smith attacked the coach for having his team remain in the locker room during the national anthem.

Norman continued, “Now just because Paul Smith used the worst racial slur in America against a black coach doesn’t make him racist by Western Pennsylvania standards. It does make him race-ish, though. To be race-ish is to lack even the courage of one’s convictions when confronted about racism.

‘What, me?’ the race-ish person says. ‘I’m not racist. I grew up with those people. You can be black, white, red, yellow or purple. I don’t care. I don’t see race.’ . . .”

In Michigan, Detroit Free Press columnist Rochelle Riley wrote Friday, “The meme on Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue’s Facebook page said: ‘Dear NFL: We will not support millionaire ingrates who hate America and disrespect our Armed Forces and Veterans. Who wins a football game has ZERO impact on our lives. Who fights for and defends our nation has EVERY impact on our lives. We stand with the Heroes, not a bunch of rich, entitled, arrogant, ungrateful, anti-American degenerates. Signed, We the People.”

Riley also wrote, “Etue, whose department has been besieged by complaints of racial discrimination and who just had an officer Tase a young black teenager while chasing his ATV, causing his death, doesn’t get it. Here’s what she doesn’t understand, what that Pennsylvania fire chief doesn’t understand and what Trump doesn’t understand: When you become a public servant, you can no longer be a public racist. . . . “

Jonathan Capehart, Washington Post: Too bad Trump can’t emulate the military when it comes to matters of race

Where is Colin Kaepernick?

Kaepernick Left Off Cover Homage to His Movement

“Sports Illustrated has taken heat for its latest cover, which features a series of sports figures linking arms — including a front row depicting Stephen Curry positioned between LeBron James and Roger Goodell,” Tim Bontemps wrote Wednesday for the Washington Post.

“Count Curry among those unhappy with the way he was depicted and the decision to leave Colin Kaepernick off it altogether. . . .”

Bontemps also wrote, “In a video posted on Sports Illustrated’s website, executive editor Stephen Cannella, who said the message the cover was trying to get across was that the enduring symbol of the weekend was unity among athletes of all sports, tried to defend the publication’s decision to leave Kaepernick off the cover by essentially saying everyone knew he was there — at least in spirit. . . .”

Charles M. Blow, New York Times: ‘The Flag Is Drenched With Our Blood’

Jerry Brewer, Washington Post: The NFL beat Trump. Soundly.

Editorial, News & Record, Greensboro, N.C.: Whose free speech?

John Fountain, Chicago Sun-Times: What the anthem means when you take a knee

David French, National Review: I Understand Why They Knelt

Earl Ofari Hutchinson, Huffington Post: Why I Call on Time Magazine to Name Kaepernick the 2017 Person of the Year

Jasmine C. Lee and Haeyoun Park, New York Times: Why N.F.L. Players Started Taking a Knee During the Anthem: What happened in 15 recent cases in which blacks were killed by the police or died in police custody

Kelly McCarthy, ABC News: NFL player Delanie Walker says he received death threats over national anthem comments

Mary Mitchell, Chicago Sun-Times: Black cops take a knee in solidarity with activist community

Jason Reid, the Undefeated: Don’t lose track of the issues Colin Kaepernick risked his career to illuminate

Connie Schultz, Creators Syndicate: The Vietnam War, Donald Trump and Racism 101

State Sen. Coleman Young II, Detroit Free Press: What can black Americans protest?

Russia-Linked Tweets, Postings Exploited Race

“A social media campaign calling itself ‘Blacktivist’ and linked to the Russian government used both Facebook and Twitter in an apparent attempt to amplify racial tensions during the U.S. presidential election, two sources with knowledge of the matter told CNN,” Donie O’Sullivan and Dylan Byers reported Thursday for CNNMoney. “The Twitter account has been handed over to Congress; the Facebook account is expected to be handed over in the coming days.

“Both Blacktivist accounts, each of which used the handle Blacktivists, regularly shared content intended to stoke outrage. ‘Black people should wake up as soon as possible,’ one post on the Twitter account read. ‘Black families are divided and destroyed by mass incarceration and death of black men,’ another read. The accounts also posted videos of police violence against African Americans.

“The Blacktivist accounts provide further evidence that Russian-linked social media accounts saw racial tensions as something to be exploited in order to achieve the broader Russian goal of dividing Americans and creating chaos in U.S. politics during a campaign in which race repeatedly became an issue. . . .”

Erik Wemple, Washington Post: On ‘Fox & Friends,’ Jeanine Pirro slanders Black Lives Matter’s DeRay Mckesson

Comedian Dick Gregory roasts Hugh Hefner at the New York Friars Club shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack. (video)

Hugh Hefner Left Mark on Civil Rights Era

“The death of Playboy founder Hugh Hefner is sure to draw strong reactions,” Keli Goff wrote Thursday for the Daily Beast. “Hefner’s most vocal critics have included high-profile feminists who despised how his Playboy empire celebrated women as sex objects.

“But Hugh Hefner also played a far less known but still integral role in the quest for equality, using Playboy as a powerful weapon in our nation’s culture wars.

“At a time when debate rages regarding the role celebrities — particularly white ones — should play in bridging our nation’s racial divide, Hefner’s surprising civil-rights legacy looms large.

“Hefner opened his far-reaching media platform to black activists and entertainers long before other mainstream outlets did. He also opened his wallet to fund civil-rights causes.

April 1971 issue

“Comedian Dick Gregory revealed in an interview that Hefner provided $25,000 toward a reward that Gregory later credited with helping break one of the civil-rights movement’s most notorious cases: the murder of three young civil-rights workers in Meridian, Mississippi.

“Hefner was also an avid supporter of Martin Luther King Jr. and would go on to serve as a significant funder of the Rainbow PUSH coalition helmed by King acolyte Jesse Jackson. (Hefner donated to a number of progressive and legal causes throughout his life, including funding America’s very first rape kit, via his charitable foundation.)

“Though many may hear the name Playboy and think of centerfolds (or, let’s be honest, breasts), those of us who are writers, particularly writers of color, think of names like Alex Haley. Long before Roots made Haley a literary superstar, he conducted the very first interview for Playboy magazine with musician Miles Davis.

“In the interview, Davis discussed his thoughts on racial inequality, setting the tone for what would become a staple of the magazine: serious people giving serious interviews, on serious subjects, including many prominent people of color. Those people included everyone from athlete and activist Muhammad Ali to Sammy Davis Jr., and Dr. King, who granted the longest print interview of his career to Haley for Playboy. The extraordinary interview from January 1965 — given shortly after King received the Nobel Peace Prize — was republished by The Daily Beast three years ago.

“Hefner’s son, Cooper, even said the last article ever written by King was published in the magazine.

“Haley also interviewed Malcolm X for Playboy in 1963, a precursor to ultimately ghostwriting the groundbreaking, bestselling The Autobiography of Malcolm X.

“The platform Hefner provided black writers, leaders, and entertainers in print was indicative of his understanding that you can reach more people, and transform more minds, through culture than just about any other vehicle. . . .”

Hefner died Sept. 27 of natural causes at his home, the Playboy Mansion, in Los Angeles, according to Playboy Enterprises. He was 91.

Askia Muhammad, Final Call: A Proper Sendoff And Fitting Farewell To ‘Baba’ Dick Gregory (Sept. 19)

Barbara Reynolds, Richmond (Va.) Free Press: Dick Gregory: What is seen and unseen

Fox Business Network President Shuns ‘Politics’

Brian Jones

Brian Jones, who has been the president of Fox Business Network since May following the exit of Roger Ailes deputy Bill Shine, didn’t take the usual route to the top,” Marisa Guthrie wrote Thursday for the Hollywood Reporter.

“He dropped out of the University of Tulsa to work so he could send money to his single mother and younger brother in East Baltimore, Maryland. His first job was at KTLU in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and he came up through local news before joining Fox News in 1995 in the business development unit.

“When FBN launched 10 years ago, it was easily dismissed as an also-ran to market leader CNBC. But the network has ridden a wave of economic populism (and luring former CNBC anchor Maria Bartiromo) to four consecutive quarters as the No. 1 business news network. . . .”

In a Question-and-Answer session that followed, Guthrie asked Jones, “Is it harder to be a black Republican in the era of Donald Trump and white nationalism?”Jones replied, “But again I see myself as the champion of the people [at the network]. If I were involved in [politics], then maybe that would be an appropriate question. But right now I have two focuses, one about a mile and a third from here in my home and the other on this floor. And that’s really all I’m focused on.”

St. Louis Paper Backs Outside Probe of Police

“It’s only logical to ask an outside investigator to review allegations that St. Louis police used excessive force to quell protests after the Sept. 15 Jason Stockley verdict,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorialized Thursday.

Stockly, a white former police officer, was acquitted Sept. 15 in the 2011 shooting death of black driver Anthony Lamar Smith, prompting continual demonstrations since.

“Since the police command is reluctant to acknowledge wrongdoing — despite compelling video evidence depicting it — the only way to hold wayward officers to account is by taking the probe outside,” the editorial continued.

“Mayor Lyda Krewson and interim Police Chief Lawrence O’Toole made the right call to ask the U.S. attorney’s office to launch an independent probe. Such an investigation requires someone with clear authority and integrity to interview participants, review recordings, issue subpoenas and gather all necessary evidence to determine whether procedures were violated and laws were broken.

“There are reasonable concerns that the Justice Department can’t be trusted to conduct a balanced inquiry, given Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ pronouncements in favor of vacating Obama-era consent decrees aimed at curbing abusive practices by local police and courts. Major reforms in Ferguson resulted from that federal intervention. . . .”

Terry Gilbert, Jacqueline Greene and Sarah Gelsomino, Plain Dealer, Cleveland: Why grand juries so rarely indict in police shootings

Paul Greeley, TVNewsCheck: WJZY Hosts Discussion A Year After Charlotte Riots

Reggie Lavong, Philly Station Owner, Dies at 84

Reginald Nelson Lavong, 84, a radio broadcasting pioneer and station owner, 84, died Sept. 19.,” Nick Vadala reported Friday for philly.com.

Reggie Lavong (Courtesy Lavong family)

“Mr. Lavong was an on-air personality who went on to own WHAT-AM (1340) and was one of the first black men to be part owner of a television station. His deep love of music led him to work in the music industry before he eventually returned to radio in Philadelphia.

“Affectionately and professionally known as ‘Reggie,’ Mr. Lavong was born in Gainesville, Fla. in 1933. . . .”

Vadala also wrote, “Mr. Lavong worked at radio stations geared to black audiences throughout his career, including ones in Norfolk, Va.; Wilmington; Chicago; and New York. ‘One of the big things he talked about was his flexibility,’ Daryl Lavong said of his father’s career. ‘He did jazz and R&B, but he also did country. He did all different genres because he could adjust his voice and style to fit whatever he needed it to.’

“In 1964, Mr. Lavong partnered with fellow radio personality Georgie Woods to become part owners of WPHL-17 (along with Aaron Katz and Leonard Stevens), making them the first two African-American men in the United States to co-own a TV station. . . .

“Around that time, Mr. Lavong became involved in the civil rights movement, and worked with leaders such as the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Malcolm X, who the Lavong family lived near when Mr. Lavong worked at New York-area radio stations. Mr. Lavong also produced his own music that complemented the civil rights movement’s message with ‘Skin Deep,’ a spoken-word track backed by the Shiloh Pentecostal Choir.

“ ‘Yes I’m black/God made me this way/And beneath this skin of mine/I’m as good as any man/No matter what they say,’ Mr. Lavong says on the track. Daryl called the project Mr. Lavong’s way of ‘using his talents to say something.’

“In 1969, he moved his family to California to pursue a position at Capitol Records, serving as the company’s first African-American executive. . . .”

Neil Genzlinger, New York Times: Reggie Lavong, Smooth-Voiced D.J., Dies at 84

Natalie Pasquarella, 35, third from left, joined her co-hosts during the 11 p.m. news when she let out a quick giggle and waited for the newscast to end before telling anyone her water broke. (NBC)

Imminent Mom Keeps Composure on Anchor Desk

“She gave new meaning to the term live birth,” Nicole Bitette reported Friday for the Daily News in New York.

“An NBC News 4 New York anchor welcomed a baby boy after her water broke during a live news broadcast on Tuesday night.

Natalie Pasquarella, 35, joined her co-hosts during the 11 p.m. news when she let out a quick giggle and waited for the newscast to end before telling anyone her water broke, NBC News 4 reported.”

Bitette also wrote, “Pasquarella welcomed a baby boy on Wednesday — nearly 13 hours after News 4 New York’s executive producer and fellow people at 30 Rockefeller Plaza helped her get to the hospital. . . . The little boy, Jamin James Pastore, weighed in at 5 pounds and 6 ounces.”

Short Takes

“So far this year, according to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, of which RTDNA’s Voice of the First Amendment Task Force is a founding partner, at least 23 journalists have been arrested merely for trying to do their jobs,” Dan Shelley, executive director of the Radio Television Digital News Association, wrote on Friday. “More troubling, criminal charges are still pending for more than half of those journalists; at least 12, to be precise. . . . Particularly disturbing is the fact that two of the 12 reporters still facing criminal charges are accused of felonies and, if convicted, could each spend decades in prison. . . .”

With the country once again divided over issues of race amid a national uproar over football players, patriotism and free speech, CBS News special correspondent James Brown anchored a ‘48 Hours’ special: ‘O.J. Simpson: Endgame,’ a one-hour broadcast Saturday at 9/8c, on the eve of Simpson’s release from a Nevada prison after serving nine years on armed robbery charges.

Marcellus Alexander

The National Association of Broadcasters said Friday that Marcellus Alexander, executive vice president of NAB Television, will relinquish his day-to-day role as head of the NAB Television Department on Dec. 31 while remaining president of the NAB Education Foundation. “Alexander has also been retained to serve as senior adviser to the NAB Television Department and TV Board through the end of 2018, according to NAB President-CEO Gordon Smith,” Mark K. Miller reported for TVNewsCheck.

A series of complaints made public by federal investigators in New York on Tuesday “depict a thriving black market for teenage athletes, one in which coaches, agents, financial advisers and shoe company employees trade on the trust of players and exploit their inability to be openly compensated because of N.C.A.A. amateurism rules,” Marc Tracy reported Tuesday for the New York Times. Writing for al.com Friday, Roy S. Johnson named five of the 10 and said, “I’m incensed because the five men I mentioned are African-American — African-American men who were apparently eager enablers in a tainted (some say corrupt) system that exploits African-American young men and their families. . . . All for a few thousand dollars.”

“Immigration experts say that black immigrants face more discrimination and scrutiny than other migrant groups,” Teresa Wiltz reported Wednesday for the Stateline project of the Pew Charitable Trusts. “Many of the challenges they face intersect with the challenges of native-born African-Americans, from housing discrimination to disproportionate representation in the criminal justice system. . . . In the intensifying immigration debate, the face of the immigrant tends to be Latino, specifically, Mexican. . . . Black immigrants, particularly those from African countries, are more likely to be highly educated and to be married. They’re also likely to be poor, even though many of them work long hours. . . .”

“ ‘First Edition’ host Sean Yoes resigned from Morgan State University radio station WEAA-FM at the end of his show Friday night,” David Zurawik reported Sept. 23 for the Baltimore Sun. “Both Yoes and DeWayne Wickham, dean of the School of Global Journalism & Communication at Morgan State, confirmed Saturday that the talk show host was no longer with the campus radio station. But they disagreed on the reasons for Yoes’ departure. Wickham characterized Yoes leaving as the result of a disagreement over the editing of audio clips that aired on his show this week. The clips involved the use of the n-word in audio related to a Ta-Nehisi Coates . . . article from the Atlantic magazine.” Yoes, who is Baltimore editor of The Afro newspaper, “said Saturday that the ‘n-bomb’ did air several times in audio excerpts on his show, but that it was not intentional.” He said he resigned because of “profound differences with the direction of WEAA right now.”

ESPN announced Thursday that “former NBA Finals M.V.P. Paul Pierce has joined the company as an NBA studio analyst. The 10-time NBA All-Star will regularly appear on NBA Countdown and The Jump throughout the regular season and the NBA Playoffs. Pierce has contributed to ESPN’s NBA Finals pregame and halftime coverage each of the past two seasons. . . .”

Marcus Moore is joining ABC News as Dallas-based correspondent,” Chris Ariens reported Thursday for TVNewser. “Moore joins from ABC’s Dallas affiliate WFAA, where he is an anchor and reporter. He has also traveled internationally for stories including from the middle east covering the Syrian refugee crisis, and from Chile on the rescue of 33 trapped miners in 2010. . . . Moore, who is fluent in Spanish and Russian, joins ABC News Oct. 9. . . . “

“In 2017, the overall workforce of people of color increased from 39 percent to 40 percent, [PDF] while the percentage of women remained constant at 34 percent,” according to a survey of cable and communications companies released Friday by the National Association for Multi-Ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC) and Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) . “Executives at the senior ranks (senior level official and managers) rose from 16 percent to 23 percent for people of color and 32 percent to 38 percent for women. . . .”

Buffalo’s Columbus statue, in Columbus Park

“While they may differ in the details, historians and scholars are widely agreed that Columbus was an incredibly brutal and rapacious colonizer, who instituted policies of slavery and genocide,” Brandon Absher, an assistant professor of philosophy and coordinator of the Radical Philosophy Association at D’Youville College, wrote Sept. 19 in the Buffalo News. Absher has started an online petition to remove a statue of Columbus. “So widely acknowledged is this fact that the slaughter of the Taino people who were raped, murdered and enslaved by Columbus is listed by the Yale Genocide Studies Program as a case study on its website. The lands Columbus ‘discovered’ were already inhabited, and he had no idea where he was. . . .”

“An associate professor of journalism at New York University said he was denied the security clearance he needed to teach at NYU’s campus in Abu Dhabi because, he believes, of his identity as a Shiite Muslim,” Elizabeth Redden reported Wednesday for Inside Higher Ed. “The university acknowledged that two of its faculty members were recently denied visas to teach at the Abu Dhabi campus but disagreed with the conclusions drawn by the professor and said the campus has students and staff from a wide array of countries and faiths, ‘including those identifying as Shia.’ In an op-ed in The New York Times, Mohamad Bazzi, a U.S. citizen originally from Lebanon, wrote that United Arab Emirates officials did not give a reason for denying him a security clearance, but he believes the likely reason has to do with his religion. . . .”

Joyce Tang

Joyce Tang, managing editor of Splinter (formerly known as Fusion) has been named deputy managing editor for Gizmodo Media Group, the Fusion Media Group announced Monday. “In this role she will join the editorial executive team that oversees editorial operations for Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Splinter, and The Root, some of the web’s most original media brands. . . . In addition, Splinter Editor-in-Chief Dodai Stewart announced that Aleksander Chan has been promoted and will succeed Joyce as the site’s Managing Editor. . .”

“Today commences National Newspaper Week, and some of the jaded souls who populate the nation’s newsrooms — along with a fair number of readers, no doubt — might be tempted to roll their eyes,” the Richmond (Va.) Times-Dispatch editorialized on Friday. “ . . . the newspaper is a buffet, not merely an entree, it offers . . . The rich parade of everyday life, from the sublime to the ridiculous and everything in between. The roar of humanity, in other words, taken down in dictation and reported as quickly as possible. For most of us, it’s a labor of love. We only hope you find something in it that you like, too.”

“On Sunday night, police officers in Kerala’s Varkala town allegedly assaulted journalist Sajeev Gopalan and stripped him in front of his wife and 15-year-old daughter,” New Delhi’s Hindustan Times editorialized on Thursday. “Gopalan, 49, says he was targeted because of a story that he had done against the police a few months ago. The case is another reminder of the challenging conditions in which many journalists in the vernacular media work. This month itself has seen a spate of such attacks. . . . According to international non-profit Committee to Protect Journalists, not a single journalist’s murder in India had been solved over the past decade. . . .”


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