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How Katrina Changed Journalists' Values

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August 28, 2015

Ten years ago, people wandered along Interstate 10 near the Superdome to escapeNews director: "New level of expectation for myself . . ."; "We can probably screen more," G.M. at WDBJ-TV says; Egypt sentences Al Jazeera journalists to three years; "anchor babies" number thousands, not millions; Twitter sets 11% goal for "underrepresented minorities"; Oklahoma J-school presses diversity after racist video; U. of Texas gets OK to move Jefferson Davis statue; Mass communications student slain at Savannah State; Dallas Weekly passes torch to become "DW,""like a GQ"; Liberian journalists protest public floggings of reporters (8/28/15)

News Director: "New Level of Expectation for Myself . . ."

"We Can Probably Screen More," G.M. at WDBJ-TV Says

Mass Communications Student Slain at Savannah State

Christopher Starks

In the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Christopher Starks, a junior at Savannah State University who was shot and killed Thursday during an altercation at the student union building, was identified as an "aspiring rapper from DeKalb County."

But to Wanda Lloyd, who chairs the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications, Starks was a mass communications major.

"As a transfer student from Appalachian State University  [he] had only taken a few courses in the Department of Journalism and Mass Communications (JMC) so far. But JMC fellow students knew him well," Lloyd wrote Friday on SSUMassCommToday, a department website.

"On Friday, JMC faculty members' planned lectures and quizzes were set aside to make way for students to express themselves about what happened the night before. For students who are understandably grieving, the focus Friday was on the victim as a person, and the fact that in some cases, students understand that violence and carrying weapons is normal for their generation of college students. . . ."

At a vigil on campus Friday, Savannah State University President Cheryl Dozier told students, "You are here so that you can be those future leaders... and Mr. Starks was here for the same reason," Dash Coleman reported for the Savannah Morning News.

"We thank you for all that you have done (Thursday) evening and continue to do to ensure that this isn't what Savannah State is about, that this should not have happened here, and that we don't want anything like this to ever happen here again."

Dallas Weekly Passes Torch to Become "DW,""Like a GQ"

Patrick Washington

The baton has been passed to the next generation at the Dallas Weekly, a 15,000-circulation African American newspaper, Peter Simek reported for the September issue of D Magazine.

After his father, James Washington, gave him permission to the run the paper, Patrick Washington, the 32-year-old vice president, "let go of some of the paper's older staff and replaced them with friends and family. His best friend, Lewis Flanagan, is a photographer and writes about sports; his sister runs the business office. Then he let his frenetic energy run wild. 'We changed it from Dallas Weekly to DW, sort of like a GQ,' Washington says.

"He has redesigned the paper and expanded its social media presence. Its YouTube channel features interviews with people like Eddie Bernice Johnson and T.D. Jakes, and Washington has dreamed up plans for a future expansion into other media, including radio and film. His hope is that digital media can help bring the ideas expressed in the paper out of the barbershops and in front of the broader Dallas community.

"'I don't look at it as a paper,' he says. 'My father, his whole career he looked at it as his paper. My company will be a media company, not a newspaper.' . . ."

Liberian Journalists Protest Public Floggings of Reporters

"The Press Union of Liberia (PUL) has detested the increasing instances of state security forces flogging journalists in the discharge of its duties as a calculated plan to intimidate and harass the independent media, and deter them from reporting occurrences in our society," Front Page Africa reported Wednesday from Monrovia.

"The Press Union of Liberia says no serious government which believes in the rule of law would countenance any spur of the minute and barbaric response like public flogging and assault for anyone, least to mention a journalist — regardless of the alleged offense committed.

"The PUL's statement comes in the wake of repeated, unsubstantiated and ruthless beating of journalists by police officers at various scenes around the country. The Press Union of Liberia protested 2 instances within the last one week, where journalists were harassed and assaulted as they carried out their work.

"In the first instance, Journalists Leila Gbati of the Women Voices Newspaper and Alloycious David of The News Newspapers were ruthlessly beaten on Tuesday, 19 August 2015 by Police Support Unit officers, as they reported an event where private schools' teachers converged at the Foreign Ministry to draw President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf's attention to delays in the payments of their Ebola Hardship benefits.

"At this public gathering, reporter Leila Gbati was whipped while photographing scenes of the teachers' protest . . ."

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