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Philly Magazine, Under Fire, Plans Diversity

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October 7, 2015

Latest flap follows cover that omitted blacks; Writers Guild pledges to monitor diversity at HuffPost; Cosmo crowns Kardashians the new first family; Sidmel Estes fund turns attention to funeral, sons; Washington Post's Merida said to be sought by ESPN; C-SPAN to cover "Justice or Else" march live; mistreatment of intellectually disabled spotlighted; embedded reporters see other side of the blue wall; Scotsman explores ties with slavery in Jamaica (10/7/15)

Latest Flap Follows Cover That Omitted Blacks

Writers Guild Pledges to Monitor Diversity at HuffPost

Cosmo Crowns Kardashians the New First Family

Sidmel Estes Fund Turns Attention to Funeral, Sons

Washington Post's Merida Said to Be Sought by ESPN

Publisher in Roseburg, Ore., Says Obama Isn't Welcome

C-SPAN to Cover "Justice or Else" March Live

Mistreatment of Intellectually Disabled Spotlighted

"A ProPublica story that uncovered the shocking ways children with intellectual disabilities are physically disciplined in schools across the country has won top honors in the 2015 Katherine Schneider Journalism Award for Excellence in Reporting on Disability, the National Center on Disability and Journalism announced on Wednesday.

"The contest, the only one devoted exclusively to disability reporting, is administered by the National Center on Disability and Journalism at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. It was created in 2013 under a grant from Schneider, a retired clinical psychologist who has been blind since birth and who also supports the national Schneider Family Book Awards.

"This year's second-place award went to the Hartford Courant for a story that profiled a mother and her son, who has autism. Judges awarded third place to North Carolina Public Radio, WUNC-FM, for a multimedia piece examining the fallout of a state-sponsored eugenics program . . . ."

"ProPublica reporter Heather Vogell's first-place story, 'Violent and Legal: The Shocking Ways School Kids are Being Pinned Down, Isolated Against Their Will,' profiled Carson Luke, a young boy with autism, who sustained broken bones after educators grabbed him and tried to force him into a 'scream room.' The story underscored the common practice of educators secluding and physically restraining uncooperative school children, sometimes with straps, handcuffs, bungee cords or even duct tape, documenting hundreds of thousands of cases a year. . . ."

Embedded Reporters See Other Side of Police Blue Wall

"As news organizations play catch up, the police embed, sometimes known as a 'ride-along,' has resurfaced in recent months as an immersive, if problematic, reporting tool: Put a photographer in a squad car for a few days or spend a day walking with a beat cop and see what happens,"Nina Berman wrote Tuesday for Columbia Journalism Review.

Berman also wrote, "Time had a lot at stake with its August 24 cover story, 'What it’s like to be a cop in America,' set in Philadelphia's 19th police district. Freelance photographer Natalie Keyssar was assigned to spend five 12-hour days riding in the back seat of squad cars on patrol in the West Philadelphia neighborhood. . . ."

She continued later, "The better, more investigative pictures focus squarely on street interactions, where we see the power dynamics of a police stop, and the politics of those interactions through the body language and expressions of both police and civilians. Keyssar wore a bulletproof vest and, by her own admission, was 'inherently perceived as part of the police' by neighborhood residents.

"She used that perceived alliance to her benefit. 'What was amazing about being on the other side of the blue wall is you get to see how people look at the police, and I was very interested in these passing faces, flickers of fear, complexity on the faces of the children. That was one of the big things I was thinking about on this assignment,' she told CJR.

"Time published several of those flickering faces in an online slide show, though none appeared in the print edition. These images show the police as a kind of occupying power, closed off in their vehicles, completely separated from those outside. What we see is the gaze of residents as police power passes in front of their eyes, and this is extraordinary. . . ."

Scotsman Explores Ties With Slavery in Jamaica

"Growing up in Scotland, Stephen McLaren was drawn to a land on the other side of the Atlantic, a garden paradise he discovered years later had landscapes that reminded him of home,"Fayemi Shakur wrote Wednesday for the New York Times "Lens" blog.

" . . . While the sun-soaked island may seem to be the polar opposite of Scotland, he would learn that it had a shared — and disturbing — heritage with his homeland, dating to an era when Scottish plantation owners built their fortunes on slave labor. . . ."

Shakur also wrote, "When Anne Lyden, photography director of the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, asked Document Scotland, a collective that includes Mr. McLaren, to produce a series of works in response to the aftermath of the Scottish independence referendum, he decided to explore that history. Produced over two months,'A Sweet Forgetting'revives a forgotten aspect of his country's past. . . ."

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