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How a "Black" White Woman Became a Story

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June 12, 2015

Pacific Northwest outlets made public record requests; Whitlock ousted as editor before his site debuts; at issue: News diversity issues in age of Obama; 61% of mixed-race people don't say "multiracial"; Mirror Awards reflect an industry out of step on diversity; Boodhoo out as Chicago Public Media cancels show; Lyons laid Off from SunSentinel editorial page; APME awards emphasize community engagement; in death, Tamir Rice could be Man of the Year (6/12/15)

Updated June 13

Pacific Northwest Outlets Made Public Record Requests

Whitlock Ousted as Editor Before His Site Debuts

At Issue: News Diversity Issues in Age of Obama

61% of Mixed-Race People Don't Say "Multiracial"

Mirror Awards Reflect an Industry Out of Step on Diversity

APME Awards Emphasize Community Engagement

"The Miami Herald, The Wall Street Journal and USA Today were among the news organizations that won top honors in the annual Associated Press Media Editors' Journalism Excellence Awards,"Angie Muhs reported for the organization on Wednesday.

Muhs also wrote, "In the new Community Engagement category, the Seattle Times was recognized in the large circulation entries, for its Education Lab, which used guest columns, live chats, public forums and other engagement forms to create a dialogue with the community about fixing public schools. The Alabama Media Group was a joint winner in that category for bringing together a range of voices to address the long history of problems in the state's prison system.

"The Sarasota (Florida) Herald-Tribune was cited in the small circulation category for 'Newtown 100: A Legacy of Struggle and Triumph,' a series on an African-American community and its rich history, voices, successes and struggles.

"The broadcast winner in the Community Engagement category was Vermont Public Radio for its efforts to reach out to the public and let them tell how they had been affected by the state's heroin problem.

In addition, "The Los Angeles Times won the large circulation category in the International Perspective Awards for its 'Product of Mexico,' the story of poorly paid and badly treated migrant workers who harvest the produce for America's tables.

The article also said, "The Miami Herald won the 45th Annual Public Service Award in the large circulation category for 'Innocents Lost,' its investigation of child deaths because of abuse or neglect after Florida changed its policy and reduced the number of children in state care. The Herald also won the Best of Show award, sponsored by the APME Foundation, which carries a $1,500 prize. . . ."

In Death, Tamir Rice Could Be Man of the Year

"Tamir Rice is Cleveland's Man of the Year," Plain Dealer columnist Phillip Morris wrote on Friday.

"But let's not rush to rename a street in his honor. We still don't understand fully his emerging legacy.

"I recognize that many will find such a characterization of Tamir to be preposterous. Tamir was, after all, a boy. Furthermore, legions have concluded that Tamir, 12, was an emerging thug whose actions precipitated his own death. But let's pause for a moment to hear other voices. There's more to Tamir than meets the eye. Perhaps, we should listen. And, if we choose, learn.

"On Thursday, Cleveland Municipal Judge Ronald B. Adrine released his highly controversial, non-binding opinion that two police officers should be charged in the death of Tamir. About the same time, four black boys between the ages of 12 and 15 from the hardscrabble Hough neighborhood offered their own useful opinions of the case.

"The mere mention of Tamir's name made them reflective. I could see discomfort in their eyes as they discussed his untimely death. They repeatedly have seen the killing from last November on video. They each expressed extreme sadness for Tamir's mother.

"But here's what might surprise many:

"The boys — U'Asi Wright, 15, Brandon Hill, 13, Marco Hopper, 13, and Charles Poindexter, 12 — also expressed varying degrees of empathy for the police officers involved in the killing. They all had a surprisingly non-hostile view of the officers who responded to the 911 call that ended with Tamir dying on a playground. . . ."

Morris concluded, "In death, he has this nation talking about things that truly are important. His fate has mobilized many to commit themselves to making Cleveland a better place. If we listen closely, Tamir actually is capable of teaching this community a crucial lesson: All lives matter."

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