Journalism Educators Back NABJ, NAHJ on McGowan
Wednesday, August 14, 2002
Journalism Educators Back NABJ, NAHJ on McGowan
Journalism educators meeting in Miami Beach last week passed a resolution denouncing the National Press Club's award to the book "Coloring the News: How The Crusade for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism."
At the convention attended by 1,986 of its 3,400 members, the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communications called for the Press Club to join them in a discussion of "the realities of news industry diversity" -- without the presence of "Coloring" author William McGowan.
"We are with our sister organizations," the National Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, said the resolution's author, Sharon Bramlett-Solomon of Arizona State University, who heads the group's Commission on the Status of Minorities. She said many members of AEJMC were also members of NABJ or NAHJ.
The National Press Club is preparing for a debate between McGowan and representatives of the journalist organizations of color this fall, as requested by NAHJ President Juan Gonzalez after NABJ urged the Press Club to reconsider its award to McGowan.
The text of the AEJMC resolution (changes made on the floor might mean some minor word changes):
Whereas, the National Press Club has awarded William McGowan's book ("Coloring the News: How the Crusade for Diversity Has Corrupted American Journalism") a coveted prize for media criticism.
Whereas, the NABJ and NAHJ have sent letters to the National Press Club criticizing the book award and condemning the press club for holding up McGowan's book as one of this year's best efforts.
Whereas, various CSM [Commission on the Status of Minorities] members have read the book and agree with the NAHJ and NABJ condemnation based on the fact McGowan's work represents fiction and specious arguments rather than fact, and duly undermines the diversity efforts of the American journalism industry, AEJMC and others who promote inclusiveness rather than segregation in U.S. journalism
Whereas, McGowan's commentary is based not on truth, proven facts or credible research, but instead on lies such as "diversity has crippled American journalism" and that diversity has caused a decline in the quality of American journalism
Whereas, the AEJMC, media scholars and the news industry have documented that there is not much diversity in the first place (12 percent newsroom diversity with the minority population at 31 percent; 45 percent of U.S. daily newspapers employ no minorities)
Whereas, it is noted that newsrooms leading in diversity are also those that continue to receive prestigious journalism prizes, and thus must be doing something right.
Therefore, the CSM asks the AEJMC president to write a letter joining the NABJ and NAHJ in calling the National Press Club honor of McGowan's book disturbing and ill-advised. The CSM also asks that AEJMC and the National Press Club participate in a forum to discuss the realities of news-industry diversity.
The appointment of Carolyn Curiel as an editorial writer for the New York Times was announced Monday by Gail Collins, editor of the editorial page. Curiel, a former United States ambassador to Belize and a speechwriter for President Bill Clinton, has served as a visiting fellow on the Times' editorial board this summer.
A graduate of Purdue University, Curiel, 48, has served most recently as a senior fellow at the Pew Hispanic Center. Before working at the White House, she was a producer-writer for the ABC News program "Nightline." From 1987 to 1992, she worked at the Times as an editor with the Week in Review and the foreign and national desks. She has also worked for the Washington Post and United Press International.
The Alpha Sigma Omega Latina Sorority, Inc. Web site said Curiel, born to Mexican-American parents in Indiana, was "closer to President Clinton than perhaps any other Hispanic in his administration." One of her most famous speeches on affirmative action was delivered in 1995. In it, President Clinton coined the phrase, "Mend it, but don't end it," and remarked afterward, "It may be that the one she wrote today will go down as one of the two or three most important speeches I have ever delivered."
Anchor Gina Redmond of Pittsburgh's WPXI-TV is expected to return to her job Wednesday night, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports, after being taken off the air Monday. She was accused of slapping a former colleague, WTAE producer Roberta Petterson, at a party over the weekend.
"We've concluded our preliminary consideration of the issues surrounding this matter and believe it's one for the courts to address," said WPXI news director Pat Maday in a prepared statement. "While this moves through the legal system, Gina will continue in her duties. We're concerned for both Gina and Roberta and hope this comes to a proper and positive resolution."
The Tribune-Review reported Tuesday that Redmond had obtained an emergency protection-from-abuse order against Petterson from Pittsburgh night court early Sunday, after the incident. That order expired Monday.
Julius Hunter, St. Louis television's senior anchor, plans to leave KMOV-TV, the city's CBS affiliate, to become the school's first-ever vice president of community affairs, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Some observers speculated that Hunter, a sometimes controversial figure throughout his tenure at KMOV, had quit because of bad blood with others in the newsroom, or that he had been forced out because of recent on-air remarks that raised eyebrows in St. Louis.
But KMOV General Manager Allan Cohen dismissed the speculation. Instead, he said, Hunter first raised the idea of moving on during a friendly lunch in April. A longtime member and supporter of the St. Louis chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, Hunter had been an anchor with the station since 1974.
The Web site www.buzzflash.com regularly features editorial cartoons that show, for example, Securities and Exchange Commission Chairman Harvey Pitt jumping into bed for a ménage à trois with Big Bidness executives, one of them a shapely topless female. Or another cartoon showing Pitt battling with his conscience as Ken Lay of Enron lures him into an orgy, the salacious sounds of which come pouring through a closed door, reports the Houston Press.
What's slightly surprising is who the editorial cartoonist is: Eric Harrison, the movie critic for the Houston Chronicle.
Harrison, it turns out, has a lively second career as a decidedly lefty, few-holds-barred Herblock-in-the-making. He has his own Web site, www.synergisms.com, featuring an archive of his work. It's not exactly subtle stuff -- one shows a monkey-eared George W. Bush giggling stupidly at the funny pages while a secret report on Al Qaeda's plans sits unread on his desk.
"I actually started out planning to be either a movie critic or a cartoonist," Harrison says. Both careers got put largely on hold as he spent 17 years as a straight-news reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the Philadelphia Inquirer and the Los Angeles Times.
From 1996: Harrison is one of the few African American editorial cartoonists
Earvin "Magic" Johnson will be in the NBA analyst studio this fall on TNT, MediaWeek reports.
Though he will not be present for every game TNT airs, Johnson is set to make regular appearances during the network's "Inside the NBA" on Thursday nights. And though details are to be determined, a statement said that he will participate in other Turner Sports programming.
The Rev. Jesse Lee Peterson and Michael Eric Dyson, professor of Afro-American studies at the University of Pennsylvania, continue the debate they began at the National Association of Black Journalists convention on Fox's "Hannity & Colmes" show on Tuesday.
They discussed allegations by Peterson, founder of the Los Angeles-based Brotherhood Organization: A New Destiny, that he was booed, jeered and called a white man's boy at the NABJ gathering.
At 27 years of age, the National Association of Black Journalists is undergoing a midlife crisis, begins the story by Mark Fitzgerald in Editor & Publisher. "Its heady early days of idealistic struggle are long in the past. Also receding into memory are the years when corporations wooed black journalists with receptions and sponsorships at crowded conventions -- and political figures from Louis Farrakhan to then-candidate Bill Clinton made their cases.
"Here at this year's convention, which ended Aug. 4, there were no keynote speakers, and the most prominent figure was Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe."
Richard Prince's Journal-isms originates from Washington and is published Monday, Wednesday and Friday. It began in print before most of us knew what the Internet was, and it would like to be referred to as a "column." For newcomers: The words in blue (on most computers) are links leading to more information. The Web site BugMeNot.com provides passwords and user names to some registration-only news sites. Any views expressed in the column are those of the person or organization quoted and not those of any other entity.
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