Channel: The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education
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Forgot Press Pass at Protest, Editor Arrested

May 24, 2015

71 held in demonstrations after Cleveland cop's acquittal (5/24/15); news outlets want Eric Garner documents; reader comments demonize black bikers, praise whites; Claudia Puig, USA Today film critic, takes buyout; photographer's passion makes every day Memorial Day; website picks its "50 sexiest in national TV news"; editorial page editor: If this is liberal agenda, so be it; Asian Americans urged to reject "Model Minority" hype; Angola drops defamation charges against muckraker (5/22/15)

71 Held in Demonstrations After Cleveland Cop's Acquittal

Editorial Page Editor: If This Is Liberal Agenda, So Be It

"I wrote a light blogpost last month about Mayor Dan Clodfelter proclaiming April 30 'Honesty Day' in Charlotte,"Taylor Batten, editorial page editor of the Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, wrote for last Sunday's print edition. "Honesty Day, it turned out, is observed on that date nationwide.

"I noted a Wikipedia explanation of what it's all about: 'On this day, anyone participating may ask any question they choose and the opposing person should give a truthful and straightforward answer.'

"I invited readers to say what they would ask, and of whom.

"David Fry of Charlotte was among those who responded.

“ 'To: observer editors

“ 'Question? Why do you support such a liberal agenda?

“ 'Remember you’re supposed to answer honestly.'”

"Well, rules are rules, so I suppose you deserve an honest answer for Honesty Day. Here goes:

"We believe that everyone is created equal.

"We believe that children should not bear responsibility for the sins of their parents.

"We believe that prevention is a heck of a lot cheaper than a cure.

"We believe people should not be treated as lesser citizens, with fewer rights, because of whom they love.

"We believe a thriving city, state and nation rests to a great degree in the quality of its public schools, and that every child deserves a dedicated, dynamic teacher, regardless of what ZIP code that child lives in.

"We believe discrimination is wrong in every instance.

"We believe in consistency, so if you are going to drug-test recipients of public assistance, drug-test them all, including the corporate chieftains who are the biggest beneficiaries.

"We believe that police officers should act professionally, under incredibly difficult circumstances, regardless of a suspect's race. . . ."

Among the additional beliefs: "We believe there are peace-loving Muslims" and "We do not believe President Obama was born in Kenya."

Asian Americans Urged to Reject "Model Minority" Hype

Writing Friday for CNN, Jeff Yang, author and columnist for the Wall Street Journal Online, challenged Jerry Hough, the Duke University professor who expressed his disappointment with African Americans and praised Asian Americans as examples of the right kind of people of color.

"There are so many ways that this kind of praise is actually damnation," Yang wrote.

"For a start, it suggests that assimilation and cultural erasure are the only means to succeed in America. It dismisses those who don't succeed in the precise ways that white America defines as success as failures, and blames them for their inadequacy and laziness. And it sets America's striving masses against one another — dividing communities that should by all rights be finding common cause and fighting shared ills.

"The net effect is that in times of unrest, anger is redirected away from an unjust establishment and toward closer and more immediate targets for rage.

"We who grew up experiencing the same kind of language from our parents should be wary of it when we encounter it as adults. The sad thing, though, is that many Asian-Americans — too many — not only accept these false terms as factual, they actually embrace the hype. It's a core rationale fueling the drive by some Asian-Americans to strike down race-based affirmative action, for example. . . ."

Angola Drops Defamation Charges Against Muckraker

"In a surprise development, the defamation charges against journalist Rafael Marques de Morais were dropped Thursday by the Angolan military generals who had brought them,"Kerry A. Dolan wrote Thursday for Forbes.

"Marques had been charged with criminal defamation for writing about human rights abuses in Angola's diamond mining region. He alleged that the murders and torture there had been orchestrated by private security and mining companies owned by Angolan generals. Marques could possibly have faced up to nine years in jail if he had been found guilty. . . ."

Dolan also wrote, "Marques cautioned that the trial proceedings are not officially over. The trial will continue with oral submissions on Monday May 25 and the judge will read the sentence on Thursday May 28.

"Marques, a longtime investigative journalist who has highlighted abuses in his country, had widespread and ongoing support from a broad range of human rights and free speech groups, some of which had expected the court to wrongly convict Marques. So the news came as a positive surprise. . . ."

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