Bonnie Clincher Red Elk, a founding member of the Native American Journalists Association "and a true champion for freedom of the press in Indian Country," died Sunday in a nursing home in Wolf Point, Mont., NAJA President Mary Hudetz reported Monday. Red Elk was 63.
Red Elk, a member of the Fort Peck Tribes and a Poplar, Mont., resident, died after "never fully recovering from a stroke she suffered eight months ago, according to NAJA member Rich Peterson, who worked with her at the Fort Peck Journal.
"She was the founding editor of the Journal, a small weekly newspaper out of Poplar launched in 2006. Its founding came after the then-tribal chairman forced her from her editing post at the Fort Peck Tribes' government newspaper, the Wotanin Wowapi.
"At the time of her firing, she had been pressing for answers on spending of tribal money for the elected official's purported personal travel to Florida.
"For her tenacity and unwavering commitment to holding her tribal government accountable, she was honored that same year with NAJA's Wassaja Award, which is given in recognition of journalists' and publications' dedication to continuing to report the news in the face of challenge and even threat.. . ."
- Great Falls (Mont.) Tribune: Montana journalist, Red Elk, dead at 63
"Bankole Thompson, one of the leading voices on racial and political issues in Detroit, has resigned as senior editor of the Michigan Chronicle following a lingering dispute with the controversial publisher, Hiram Jackson,"Steve Neavling reported Thursday for the Motor City Muckracker.
"Until his resignation Wednesday, Thompson was the beloved face of the newspaper, which serves predominately African American readers. He has earned a reputation as an objective, fair and courageous journalist who challenged metro Detroiters to talk openly about race, community and disenfranchisement. He's often a guest on local and national media shows for his perspective on politics, community and equality.
"In a candid letter of resignation, Thompson criticized Jackson for 'questionable business deals' and other scandals that distracted from the newspaper's mission.
"When you and Real Times Media came under heavy media scrutiny because of the Pension Fund deals during the Kwame Kilpatrick era and the corruption investigations, I endured great pains to maintain journalistic integrity, serving as editor of a paper whose parent company borrowed money from the city's Pension Fund," Thompson wrote in the resignation letter.
"It was indeed difficult for me to do my job as editor when the publisher was in the headlines regarding questionable business deals.. . ."
L. Fruge', WCHB Radio: Bankole Thompson resigns as Senior Editor of The Michigan Chronicle
Tom Greenwood, Detroit News: Editor Bankole Thompson Leaving Michigan Chronicle
Bill Shea, Crain's Detroit Business: Bankole Thompson resigns from Michigan Chronicle
- Alan Stamm, Deadline Detroit: Michigan Chronicle Editor to Boss: 'I Endured Great Pains to Maintain ... Integrity'
"It is odd that Samuel J. Battle, the first black officer in the New York Police Department, is not a larger part of our city's lore,"Mosi Secret wrote Friday for the New York Times.
"He was a giant man — 6-foot-3 and nearly 300 pounds — who more than 100 years ago led the integration of the department, then essentially an Irish-American enclave.
"Mr. Battle's arc from humble Southern roots through racist barriers in New York would be a familiar story, like the stories of other black pioneers. But he was largely forgotten until a veteran New York journalist followed a trail that led to a remarkable discovery.
"On a summer day in 2009, Arthur Browne, a broad and thick-handed man himself with closely cut silver hair, was reading his newspaper when he came across an article that surprised him. The city was naming a Harlem intersection after Mr. Battle, whom the article called 'the Jackie Robinson of the N.Y.P.D.' Mr. Browne, who had expertly covered the city in one way or another for 40 years, realized that he had never thought about how the Police Department was first integrated.
"'It struck me as a lapse because there was so much controversy through the years about the Police Department's relationship with the black community, and over the number of African-Americans on the force,' he said recently in his office at The Daily News, where he is now the editorial page editor. 'It just struck me that I never thought about how it all began.' So he started digging. . . ."
- Arthur Browne, Daily News, New York: A history of blacks in NYPD blue: It all started with Samuel Battle (June 11)