Kate O'Brian, president of Al Jazeera America, is the 2015 winner of the Robert G. McGruder Distinguished Guest Lecture and Award for Diversity, Kent State University's School of Journalism and Mass Communication announced last week. The award recognizes media professionals who encourage diversity in the field of journalism.
Last year, the network was awarded the Best Practices Award by the National Association of Black Journalists, "presented to a news organization for exemplary work in covering issues of great significance to the black community or the African Diaspora and/or for its efforts in increasing diversity among its newsroom staff and management." However, Al Jazeera has attracted journalists from a variety of ethnic groups.
Kent State plans to honor O’Brian at an awards luncheon and lecture on April 1. In addition, "Lillian Pyles, one of the most familiar and respected names in the Cleveland casting industry with film credits such as 'Spider Man III,''Antwone Fisher' and 'The Soloist,' will be recognized at the annual McGruder luncheon as the 2015 Diversity in Media Distinguished Leadership Award winner," the announcement said.
McGruder, a 1963 graduate of Kent State and a diversity champion, died of cancer in April 2002. He was the first black editor of the Daily Kent Stater, the first black reporter at the Plain Dealer in Cleveland, the first black president of the Associated Press Managing Editors group and the first black executive editor of the Detroit Free Press.
Meanwhile, "Al Jazeera America announced Wednesday it is upping the amount of hours it will air live news programming starting March 30,"Luke McCord reported Wednesday for Broadcasting & Cable.
"The news network, which launched in August 2013, will air live news every weekday from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. ET, adding an additional two hours of morning news. Al Jazeera America is bumping up its midday news coverage by another hour. The live news block will preview stories that will air later in the day on Al Jazeera's primetime shows. Al Jazeera America will soon update its programming in the evening."
[On Thursday, the American Society of News Editors announced that Sari Horwitz of the Washington Post won its Award for Distinguished Writing on Diversity, "which recognizes writing that helps a community understand and better appreciate its racial, ethnic and religious diversity."
[The judges said, "Exceptionally reported and beautifully written, reporter Sari Horwitz's look into the high rates of domestic violence, assault and other crimes against Native Americans revealed a government-made problem that was long past time to address. . . ."] [Updated March 26].
"Roland Martin, the former CNN contributor who now serves as managing editor and host of TV One's 'NewsOne Now,' knows his upstart cable channel has nowhere near the name recognition of the networks he calls the 'big dogs'— Fox News and CNN. But now, for one night at least, he can claim to have beaten the big dogs where it counts: in the ratings,"Mark Joyella reported Tuesday for TVNewser.
"On Sunday night, Martin hosted the first-ever 'NewsOne Now' primetime special, 'Mo'Nique Uncensored,' which featured Martin's one-on-one interview with the actor. In the key demo, the 10 p.m. special beat CNN's 'The Wonder List' and Fox News''Stossel,' and did so with far less cable penetration. Available in just over 58 million homes, TV One is far harder to find than FNC or CNN, which are in nearly 100 million homes . . ."
The interview is to re-air on Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern time.
A year-long investigation into forced labor and trafficking in Southeast Asia's fishing industry led an Associated Press team to Benjina, a small town that straddles two islands in the far reaches of eastern Indonesia," the Associated Press reported Tuesday.
"There journalists interviewed more than 40 current and former slaves, many of whom said they had been forced to work on boats overseen by Thai captains under extremely brutal conditions. They were paid little or nothing at all, and some were out to sea for months or years at a time.
"The AP also found a locked cell with eight slaves inside, and handed a video camera to a dockworker, himself a former slave, to take close-up footage. Under the cover of darkness, the AP team used a small wooden boat to approach a trawler with slaves who yelled to them, pleading for help to go home.
"Reporters were led to a jungle-covered graveyard that held the bodies of slaves, according to villagers and nonprofit officials. They interviewed three men who said they had escaped into the island's jungle interior, and also spent a night sleeping in the forest on an adjacent island with other runaway slaves from Benjina. . . ."