Media

A History of U.S. Media Segregation

James McGrath Morris

Missing among the many reasons given for the enormous and unchanging racial divide regarding the fairness of the American judicial system is the legacy of the long history of media segregation. During America’s Jim Crow years not only did African Americans maintain lives apart from white America but so did their media. “To most white Americans the black press was a voice unheard, its existence unknown or ignored,” explained Enoch P. Waters, an editor at the Chicago Defender.

Covering the Sidney Siege: Media Should Think First, Broadcast Later

Sandip Roy

It’s only the little caption on the upper right-hand corner that indicates that what we are seeing is not what is actually happening. Recorded earlier it says almost unobtrusively. What is likely going on? We just don’t know, says the CNN anchor. A security expert Michael Roach replies “The police want to manage the situation and not have it be controlled by the media.” 24x7 television has led us to believe we can get a ringside view into any crisis happening around the world. 

Ben Bradlee, Fabled ‘Washington Post’ Editor, Dies at 93

Richard Prince

Bradlee, who first came to the Post as a reporter in 1948, was describing his return to the newspaper in 1965 as deputy managing editor for national and international affairs. Fast forward to 1971, when Bradlee was executive editor. Jeff Himmelman, who had access to Bradlee's papers for his 2012 book, Yours in Truth: A Personal Portrait of Ben Bradlee, wrote this passage: "Every year, starting in 1969, Ben invited the top editors at the Post to a retreat at his country house on the Cacapon River in West Virginia. They called it, with some irony, 'Pugwash,' after the nuclear disarmament conferences started by Bertrand Russell in the fifties. 

For Freelance Journalists, Growing Opportunity and Risk

Andrew Lam

Freelancers who find themselves in trouble depend on the kindness of the organizations that buy their work. In Foley’s case, GlobalPost claimed it spent millions in an attempt to rescue him, including hiring a security firm and investigating his whereabouts.But in general, a freelancer is more vulnerable, often traveling without bodyguards and contingency plans. There’s a viral photo of Foley carrying his camera and sound recorder and other equipment that reminds viewers of how freelancers need to take advantage of the full multimedia spectrum – reporting, photojournalism, sound recording – in order to make a living. 

Journalist Jose Antonio Vargas Applies for Deferred Action

Mico Letargo

Pulitzer Prize-winning Filipino American journalist Jose Antonio Vargas, who is arguably the most visible undocumented immigrant in America right now, has joined 10 other fellow undocumented immigrants in applying for temporary relief from deportation proceedings under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The 11 people applied for DACA as part of the “1 of 11 Million” campaign launched on Wednesday, August 20, at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. 

Gauging the Real Effects of Media

Marty Kaplan

There wouldn’t be an advertising industry if people weren’t susceptible to messages.  POM Wonderful wouldn’t rent billboards promising (falsely) to prevent prostate cancer, the fossil fuel industry wouldn’t spend millions on spots claiming (falsely) to produce clean energy, candidates wouldn’t fork over billions of dollars to local TV stations for (pants-on-fire) political ads if all their money could buy were some wispy correlation.

 

Whatever Happened to Latino Media?

Alfredo Estrada

They’re folding like cheap card tables. Since the beginning of the year, we’ve seen the demise of NBCLatino.com, an English-language website for Latinos, as well as CNN Latino, Time Warner’s year-long effort to create programming for the U.S. Hispanic market. Now come rumors that Poder, Televisa’s magazine providing “Intelligence for the Business Elite,” may cease publication. Hold on, amigo. Isn’t the Latino market growing in demographic leaps and bounds? Don’t we have a zillion dollars in purchasing power? Didn’t we decide the election? One would think that Latino media should be thriving. 

The New and (White) Face of Journalism Start-Ups

Charles D. Ellison

Diversity has always been—and for a number of reasons still is—the china-crashing elephant in the room that few really want to talk about or address. Lack of black people in the mainstream newsroom is an ongoing phenomenon that most—if not all—outlets seem unwilling to fix. Even worse is the lack of black leadership in the newsroom. But the fact remains that most demographic segments, regardless of background, still rush to bigged-up brand-name institutions as their most reliable sources for news. That won’t and shouldn’t change if you’re a rapacious consumer of information. As a result, people of color should hold these vaunted publications’ collective feet to the fire.

 

Chevron Joins the Publishing World

Sukey Lewis and Asha Dumonthier

This sprawling city east of San Francisco is home to Chevron’s oil refinery, which has made it a battleground between the company’s business interests and environmental activists who are calling for checks on air quality and safety. Now, as part of the company’s latest effort to rehabilitate its image in the city, Chevron is launching its own community news site. Chevron spokesperson Melissa Ritchie said that Chevron wanted to start the site because, “We want to make sure there’s a way to have a conversation with Richmond.”

Where Have You Gone, David Brinkley?

Dave Helfert

Media reporters and experts cover, weigh and analyze each day’s events, and that’s appropriate.  But many of them use the day’s events to issue pronouncements about the future, picking winners and losers in an off-year election 11 months away or deciding who’s ahead in a presidential race three years from now.  It’s like a movie critic reviewing an entire two-hour film after looking at one frame. Some of this is intrinsic to modern journalism. News is what’s happening right now, or just happened, or is about to happen.  

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