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Disinvited Over Fear of Ebola

October 16, 2014

J-dean says any decision would leave someone upset (10/16/14); CNN layoffs reach journalists of color; . . . MSNBC says it is keeping promises to Hispanics; journalists robbed, news vehicle stolen at prayer vigil; NPR to pull back on use of Washington NFL team name; Nancy Snyderman apologizes for violating Ebola quarantine; new BuzzFeed publisher Dao Nguyen to refashion role; Time revisits "model minority" stereotype; Boston Herald opinion editor asks forgiveness for cartoon; diversity lament from Britain sounds familiar (10/15/14)


J-Dean Says Any Decision Would Leave Someone Upset

A sick child, Cynthia, waits outside Redemption Hospital in Monrovia, Liberia, f

Time Revisits "Model Minority" Stereotype

"Although it was not the first to do so, Time's cover story in 1987 titled The Asian American Whiz Kids is often cited as an example of media coverage perpetuating the model minority myth,'Randall Yip wrote Wednesday for his AsAmNews.

"Now 27 years later, Time has updated its story talking to some of the same people it talked to in 1987. [Its] conclusion:

"'The lack of Asian leadership in tech sheds light on a larger issue: Asians are excluded from the idea of diversity.'

"The most recent example can be found in the diversity reports released by Silicon Valley's largest tech firms. . . ." Time pointed out, "Very little was said of the discrepancy between the high percentage of Asian tech employees and the disproportionately low percentage of Asian leaders. . . ."

Jack Linshi wrote in the Time story, headlined, "The Real Problem When It Comes to Diversity and Asian-Americans":

"The belief in a blanket Asian-American culture is so thick that it has resulted in confusion when Asian-Americans deviate from the model minority myth. Today, diversity is more visible than ever: There is the commanding John Cho, and there is the awkward William Hung; the funny Mindy Kaling and the serious Indra Nooyi; the talkative local launderer and the mum evil villain; the whitewashed American-born Chinese and the perpetual foreigner.

"And yet those who display that diversity are often perceived as exceptions. The rule is the single framework — the model minority myth — that persists as the dominant stereotype for the whole race, especially in the tech sector. . . ."

Boston Herald Opinion Editor Asks Forgiveness for Cartoon

"For two weeks I have remained silent,"Rachelle G. Cohen, editorial page editor of the Boston Herald, wrote on Wednesday. "And that was just plain dumb. Oh, not THE dumbest thing — not by a long shot. The dumbest thing I've ever done was without a second thought to give my approval to a cartoon — we all know which one — that has proven hurtful to so many people — people I care about. It has also proven hurtful to an institution I love and to colleagues who are blameless.

"And that, in the end, is what forces me to break this utterly uncharacteristic silence of mine. . . ."

As CBS News reported on Oct. 1, "The cartoon shows the president brushing his teeth in a White House bathroom with a surprised look on his face as a white man sits in the bathtub behind him, asking [President] Obama, 'Have you tried the new watermelon flavored toothpaste?' The caption reads, 'White House Invader Got Farther Than Originally Thought. '"

Cohen wrote Wednesday, "it's my job as an editor to see around corners, to look at all the possible meanings and nuances of words and of images. It's my job and two weeks ago I failed at it miserably. And that's all on me and this is why. . . ."

She also wrote, "Yes, a final page proof does go up to the 6th floor where a desk editor will read the editorials, make sure we haven't made some obvious error of fact and in the event a topic has been overtaken by breaking news events will pick up the phone and advise me that we need an update. On the night in question — the night the cartoon appeared on a page proof, the proof was not left in the proper bin. No senior news editor ever saw it.

"And every evening the publisher gets a copy of the editorials sent to his email — not the images — only the words.

"So there you have it. The remarkably simple way in which bad stuff can happen. . . ."

Diversity Lament From Britain Sounds Familiar

"This is an article I swore I would never write,"Nesrine Malik wrote Tuesday for Britain's Guardian newspaper. "First, as a protest against the minority media ghetto where minority writers are limited to writing about minority issues and gripes, second, because it just looks like sour grapes, and finally, because this kind of journalism about journalism can edge into the self-indulgent. But two lists published in close succession have made me break my vow.

"So bear with what may seem like media navel-gazing and look at what these two lists tell us. The first, the 2014 list of nominees for the Comment Awards, has not a single columnist of colour; the second, the list of judges for the British Journalism Awards, not a single black or minority ethnic (BME) judge and only three women out of 18 on the panel. After I tweeted about the latter, Press Gazette got in touch and said there was still 'work to do,' and added one male non-white judge and two women to its panel. . . ."

Malik also wrote, "Protest against this, however, and you are met with cries of tokenism and horror at positive discrimination. Sometimes the blame is shifted onto the excluded for being paranoid or not proactive enough. The comment awards curator Julia Hobsbawm defended the all-white shortlist by saying that people who feel underrepresented should just 'phone me up and ask to be a judge ... Don't put a barrier where there isn't one. That's a mindset.' The selection of the all-white shortlist was 'democratic'.

"To me this is proof that there is still a fundamental misunderstanding of how networks can be hermetic and self-perpetuating without being actively racist, sexist or classist. . . ."

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