"The world's spotlight has been on Charleston for the past few weeks in the wake of the massacre at the Emanuel AME Church," the Rev. Joseph A. Darby, an elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, wrote Thursday in the Post and Courier in Charleston, S.C.
"The aftermath of that horrific event has included the encouraging sight of a community, state and nation coming together to pray and offer support — both emotional and financial — for the nine families struggling to recover and for the church as well; the gracious gesture of forgiveness of the alleged murderer by the families of the slain; and the stunningly swift and long-overdue removal of the Confederate flag from the grounds of the Statehouse in Columbia.
"Now that the news cameras have been packed away and the 24-hour news cycle has moved on to other stories, the discussion has begun of how best to remember the Emanuel Nine, with a monument being one of leading possibilities.
"A monument would be a fitting remembrance, since symbols are important. The Confederate flag debate and the apoplectic, unreasonable and shrilly expressed fear by some that all monuments to Confederate history will now be obliterated are reminders of that. Any monument to the Emanuel Nine, however, should be designed and placed with the utmost care.
"It should not be located in Marion Square. The optics of John C. Calhoun— a vigorous defender of slavery whose political actions laid the foundation for the Civil War — looking down at a memorial to those killed by one of his bigoted cultural heirs would be insulting and repugnant.
"It should, however, reflect the loss of nine clergy and laity of the African Methodist Episcopal Church in the broader context of the historically black church, for that context is one of victory rather than victimization. . . ."
Meanwhile, in North Carolina, "Efforts to remove public monuments, including Confederacy-related memorials, will now require legislative approval,"Matthew Burns reported Thursday for WRAL-TV in Raleigh.
"Gov. Pat McCrory on Thursday signed into law the Historic Artifact Management and Patriotism Act, just two days after the House approved the measure amid heated debate over the idea of protecting Confederate monuments in the wake of a mass shooting in Charleston, S.C., for which a self-professed white supremacist has been charged. . . ."
- Editorial, Charlotte (N.C.) Observer: Who should decide our monuments' fate?
- Brent Staples, New York Times: Confederate Memorials as Instruments of Racial Terror
"Recently, NPR Visuals announced that they would allow applicants to resend cover letters for their fall internship positions,"Gurman Bhatia reported Thursday for the Poynter Institute. "They felt that their hiring process had not been a level playing field for everyone.
"The issue of diversity has been a topic of constant discussion within the journalism community. While BuzzFeed has tried to come up with an investigative fellowship for mid-career journalists of color, ProPublica launched an Emerging Reporters Program for student journalists of color.
Why allow applicants to resend cover letters? "'I throw off every other cover letter that ledes with how much they love NPR. Or "I grew up listening to NPR in the backseat of a car' ." That is such a boring way to start a letter,' a manager joked while looking at intern applications at NPR."
Bhatia spoke with Brian Boyer, editor of the combined code, design, video and photo team within NPR.
"In an effort to help everyone prepare better, his team outlined the entire hiring process in a blog post," Bhatia continued. "Part of it also includes how they would send a list of potential questions before the actual interview takes place."
She quoted Boyer: "Everyone on the Visuals team wants to open our field to the best people out there, but the process doesn't always work that way. So we’re trying to make the job application process more accessible."
Bhatia concluded, "A typical fall internship cycle at NPR consists of 50 people, and nearly half of them end up in news and programming departments. . . .
"'In Visuals, we try to approach everything with a scientific method. What's the hypothesis? The hypothesis is that if we attempt to eliminate aspects of privilege in hiring, then we will find a more racially, demographically, socio-economically diverse applicant pool. So, now we are running an experiment. And if it works, we'll work with it and tweak it and try it,' said Boyer. 'We'll know once the results are in.' . . ."