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Journalists Bear Down on Killings by Police

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June 1, 2015

Washington Post counts 385 fatally shot this year; new photo contradicts Fla. police account of shooting; "Wear Orange" honors teen who wanted to be a journalist; new Williams role could mean Holt gets "Nightly News"; Raleigh editor hits xenophobia, hysteria on immigration; local stations called key to public radio diversity; "cultural fit" used to justify hiring the same old, same old; "fall guy" in U.K. scandal gets suspended sentence; vigil planned to honor slain D.C. community reporter (6/1/15)

Washington Post Counts 385 Fatally Shot This Year

New Photo Contradicts Fla. Police Account of Shooting

"Wear Orange" Honors Teen Who Wanted to Be a Journalist

New Williams Role Could Mean Holt Gets "Nightly News"

Raleigh Editor Hits Xenophobia, Hysteria on Immigration

Local Stations Called Key to Public Radio Diversity


"Cultural Fit" Used to Justify Hiring the Same Old, Same Old

"Cultural Fit" Used to Justify Hiring the Same Old, Same Old

"Across cultures and industries, managers strongly prize 'cultural fit'— the idea that the best employees are like-minded,"Lauren A. Rivera wrote Saturday for the New York Times. 'One recent survey found that more than 80 percent of employers worldwide named cultural fit as a top hiring priority.

"When done carefully, selecting new workers this way can make organizations more productive and profitable. But cultural fit has morphed into a far more nebulous and potentially dangerous concept. It has shifted from systematic analysis of who will thrive in a given workplace to snap judgments by managers about who they'd rather hang out with. In the process, fit has become a catchall used to justify hiring people who are similar to decision makers and rejecting people who are not. . . ."

"Fall Guy" in U.K. Scandal Gets Suspended Sentence

"A British tabloid reporter has been handed a suspended 18-month prison sentence over a police bribery case," the Associated Press reported from London on Friday.

"Anthony France, a crime reporter for the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper, The Sun, was accused of cultivating a 'corrupt relationship' with Heathrow Airport counter-terrorism officer Timothy Edwards over four years. Edwards had earlier admitted selling dozens of stories and news tips to the journalist for more than 20,000 pounds ($31,000).

"France, 41, was convicted last week of aiding and abetting Edwards to commit misconduct in a public office.

"Judge Timothy Pontius on Friday handed down the prison sentence, suspended for two years. He said France was 'essentially a decent man of solid integrity.'

"France's trial followed a police investigation into alleged media bribery. The operation was triggered by Britain's phone-hacking media scandal."

In a blog post before the verdict, Colin Randall, who spent 27 years on Britain's Daily Telegraph, called France "a fall guy."

"What I bitterly oppose is the squalid, politically convenient pursuit of foot soldiers doing the bidding of the generals, top brass who then, to their everlasting shame, deserted their troops (not to mention what they did to the civvies, ie the confidential sources)," Randall wrote.

He added, "Repeatedly, juries have refused to convict these employees for doing their jobs. But the law is the law, even when it resembles a lottery or an ass, and poor Anthony France stands convicted of this dredged-up offence.

"What I ask Judge Pontius to apply is a sense of proportion. Anthony France is not a menace to the public. He has not profited from his supposed crime, save to have kept his job. He honestly believed he was acting with at least the tacit blessing of in-house lawyers. . . ."

Roy Greenslade of the Guardian said of Randall's piece, "I do not agree with some of it but he is spot on about France being a scapegoat. It would be iniquitous for him to go to jail."

Vigil Planned to Honor Slain D.C. Community Reporter

The work of slain D.C. reporter Charnice Milton is to be commemorated by a silent vigil on Wednesday night, her newspaper, the Capital Community News, reported on Monday.

Services are pending but expected to be held at the end of the week, Andrew Lightman, managing editor of Capital Community News, told Journal-isms by telephone.

Milton, 27, was shot as she walked on one of Southeast Washington's major streets to transfer buses. She was used as a human shield in an exchange of gunfire by two groups of dirt bike riders, police said. The reporter was returning home after covering the monthly meeting of a community advisory committee.

"Participants in Wednesday's event will gather in concentric circles around copies of the Hill Rag and East of the River newspapers containing Charnice's contributions. They will join hands and stand in silence for 20 minutes to reflect on the meaning of her work," Lightman wrote.

The perpetrator is at large. A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department would say only that the case remains under investigation.

The community news organization has received more than 100 emails, Lightman said. On social media, fellow journalists outside Washington expressed their outrage as well.

On Sunday afternoon, mourners participated in a neighborhood prayer vigil organized by Milton's family, community activist Philip Pannell told Journal-isms by email. "There were clearly way over 100," Pannell said. "People just kept on coming."

In a letter to the editor of the Washington Post posted Monday, economist and columnist Julianne Malveaux said Milton "worked in my office for a few weeks as a fact-checker, and I was impressed by her thoroughness, focus and competence."

She also wrote, "This shooting makes the case for guns to be removed from our streets. Absent the proliferation of guns, Ms. Milton might still be alive. She wanted to tell the story; she didn't want to be the story. She wanted to supplement the stories our mainstream newspapers do not tell. She wanted to shine a light on the invisible communities east of the Anacostia River, the poorest in the District and those too often ignored. . . ." 

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