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Media "Negative" on Black, Arab, Latino Boys

June 5, 2015

ASNE offers "community-based engagement" as remedy; journalists meet to discuss lack of access to Clinton; Baltimore's Mosby wants autopsy report kept under wraps; grand juror in Ferguson case presses court on going public; mourners honor slain reporter as killer remains at large; study: women generate 37.3% of news to men's 62.1%; Al Jazeera spotlights unsafe water in Black Belt; Maynard helps train storytellers on community, politics; a dissent on Univision acquisition of The Root; Boston Herald hires Zuri Berry as deputy M.E. (6/5/15)

Updated June 6

Maynard Helps Train Storytellers on Community, Politics

"Politico announced its summer class of student journalists attending the institute it runs with American University and the Maynard Institute,"Corinne Grinapol reported Thursday for Politico.

"The program, launched last summer, will bring 12 undergraduate students to Washington for an 8-day politics- and policy-focused journalism training program that begins tomorrow. Students will work on their skills in digital journalism, enterprise reporting, ethics and cartooning, among other topics, and will have the chance to report for Politico.

"This year's class emphasizes a diversity of personal, regional and educational backgrounds . . ."

Meanwhile, "We're recruiting for the next group of community storytellers,"Brenda Payton wrote Thursday for newspapers of the Bay Area News Group, describing the Oakland Voices project. Oakland Voices operates in partnership with the newspaper group and the Maynard Institute.

"In the nine-month program, 10 correspondents receive training in basic journalism skills, including writing, interviewing, photography and video. They write a minimum of one story a month, preferably two, put together photo essays and tweet news from events. The articles are posted on the website oaklandvoices.us and are frequently printed in the Oakland Tribune and posted on the Tribune's website. If that's not enough, each correspondent receives a $1,000 stipend. . . ."

Payton, who coordinates the program, also wrote, "As a journalist for more than 40 years, I've long believed that residents have a better understanding of their neighborhoods than what we see in the mainstream press, particularly when it comes to communities of color. The 2014 Oakland Voices correspondents confirmed that belief and then some.

"In addition, the diversity of the group led to interesting discussions about gentrification, the media's preoccupation with the violent few at huge, peaceful protests, as well as fascinating stories about growing up in Oakland and the history of the city's neighborhoods. . . ."

A Dissent on Univision Acquisition of The Root

"Two weeks ago Spanish-language television giant Univision announced its acquisition of TheRoot.com, one of the top African American news websites,"Jillian Báez wrote Wednesday for alldigitocracy.org.

"Coverage of the merger was quite celebratory and echoed co-founder Henry Louis Gates' statement that 'This bold new partnership between Univision and [The Root] underscores the ties that have long bound people of color together throughout the Western Hemisphere and is a sign of even greater levels of communication, collaboration and exchange between these culturally vital groups of people.'

"But while Gates is obviously optimistic about the venture, I'm a little skeptical. Univision has some issues that no one has talked about that might impact things. For one thing, [its] digital presence, Fusion, is struggling to get traffic to its own website. Secondly, the parent company's history as a serial consolidator and nasty habit of broadcasting racist content makes me cautious about this venture. . . ."

The article states incorrectly that Univision acquired Bounce TV. Rather, Univision and Bounce TV have a distribution agreement. Univision spokesman Jose Zamora, who confirmed the arrangement, said the network would have no further comment.

Boston Herald Hires Zuri Berry as Deputy M.E.

Eight months after the Boston Herald angered community leaders over a cartoon some considered racist, the tabloid has hired Zuri Berry, a black journalist, as deputy managing editor for news and multimedia.

"Zuri has built a career in steering news organizations through the challenges of new media platforms to extend their reach and reader engagement," Herald Editor-in-Chief Joe Sciacca said Thursday in a staff-written story.

"'Smart, energized and committed to journalism, he has a strong appreciation for the collaboration needed to make a multimedia newsroom work,' Sciacca said.

"In his newsroom leadership role, Berry will focus on expanding and enhancing the Herald's integrated print and Web reporting initiatives, radio and video. . . ."

Berry arrives from WFXT-TV in Boston, where he served as manager of Web content, supervising digital staff on news projects. Previously, he worked at the Boston Globe's Boston.com as a content producer and writer, spearheading sports coverage.

The Herald met with the Boston chapter of the NAACP after the cartoon controversy. Chapter President Michael Curry told Journal-isms by email Friday, "That meeting led to more frequent conversations with the Herald leadership, who expressed an interest in identifying candidates of color for openings in order to broaden their pool of applicants.

"The Boston NAACP, and likely others, responded by offering super-talented journalists of color from across the nation, who would make good additions to the Herald staff. I'm hopeful that Zuri is just the first of many to come..."

Sciacca did not respond to a request for comment. Gary Washburn, president of the Boston Association of Black Journalists, said the Herald did not approach him about a candidate.

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