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Missing in Campaigns, Media: the Poor

September 7, 2012

Poverty issue "nearly invisible" in election coverage; in big papers, Latinos author only 1/2 of 1% of big-paper op-eds; pundits mixed on Obama's convention speech; BET's Lee says GOP "pandered" to blacks, women; Bill Clinton's role seen as shoring up whites; at key points, Spanish networks aired novelas; Jeremy Lin stars in impromptu "60 Minutes" short; coverage of Native Americans steeped in stereotypes (9/7/12)

Poverty Issue "Nearly Invisible" in Election Coverage

Latinos Author Only 1/2 of 1% of Big-Paper Op-Eds

Pundits Mixed on Obama's Convention Speech

BET's Lee Says GOP "Pandered" to Blacks, Women

Bill Clinton's Role Seen as Shoring Up Whites

At Key Points, Spanish Networks Aired Novelas

Jeremy Lin Stars in Impromptu "60 Minutes" Short

Jose Lopez, right, a New York Times photo editor, works with Josh Morgan, a stud

Latinos Author Only 1/2 of 1% of Big-Paper Op-Eds

"Since 1990, the Latino population in the United States has more than doubled to 16 percent, but English-language U.S. news media outlets are simply not keeping up," Julie Hollar wrote for the September edition of Extra!, a publication of Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting. "While people of color and women have always been underrepresented in U.S. media, Latinos consistently stand out — in the coverage as well as inside the newsroom — for their exceptionally paltry numbers relative to their population size.

"In Extra!'s recent study of the opinion pages of the New York Times, Washington Post and Wall Street Journal (4/12), Latinos were granted less than half a percent of the op-ed bylines over the two-month study period — writing two columns in the Times, one in the Wall Street Journal, and none in the Post. None of these papers has a Latino among their staff columnists.

"In more than a year of political book interviews on [C-SPAN's] After Words and reviews in the New York Times Book Review (Extra!, 8/10), not a single U.S. Latino appeared among the 432 authors, reviewers and interviewers.

". . . Even when the coverage directly involves and impacts Latinos, their voices are scarce. In a year's worth of cable coverage of Arizona Sheriff Joe Arpaio — who was recently sued by the Justice Department for unlawful discrimination against Latinos — those actually targeted by his policies were included in the conversation only two out of 21 times (Extra!, 6/09)."

". . . As companies like Fox and NBC begin to target Latino audiences with special channels and websites (see 'Latinos in New Media,' Extra!, 9/12), will those audiences feel better served, or just ghettoized and exploited? And will that provide just one more excuse for those outlets to continue to marginalize Latino sources and reporters in their other news? . . ."

President Obama and members of his family after he accepted the Democ

Pundits Mixed on Obama's Convention Speech

"Pundits had a mixed reaction to President Obama's speech at the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night," Katherine Fung reported Friday for the Huffington Post. "Overall, the rapturous reception given to Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton was left at the media doorstep.

"Most agreed that, rhetorically, Obama delivered a solid speech, saying that it was typical of the president's strong oratorical skills. Not surprisingly, MSNBC was home to some of the most glowing commentary. Chris Matthews remarked that Obama 'did it again' and delivered 'a home run speech.' Al Sharpton said the address was 'epic,' and speculated that 'Barack Obama won the election tonight.' Rachel Maddow called it a 'big, big speech.'

". . . At CNN, former Bush press secretary Ari Fleischer labeled the address a 'hit and a miss.' He criticized Obama for giving what he said was the 'same old... same speech' that he said contained 'many of the promises' from four years ago. . . ."

Meanwhile, the president's speech "fueled a outpouring of tweets," Cory Bergman wrote Thursday for lostremote.com. "Twitter called it a 'record political moment,' adding that Obama's next two biggest spikes (43,646 and 39,002) surpassed Romney's peak at 14,239," referring to Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate. "In all, 9 million tweets about the DNC this week were sent by the conclusion of the president's speech."

BET's Lee Says GOP "Pandered" to Blacks, Women

Debra Lee"The Republican Party may have featured women like Ann Romney and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice in prime slots at its convention in Tampa last week, but that was just 'pandering' and 'disingenuous,' according to Debra L. Lee, chairwoman and CEO of BET Networks," Katie Glueck reported from Charlotte, N.C., Thursday for Politico.

" 'They're pandering,' she said on a POLITICO LIVE show filmed here. 'That's the word that comes to mind.'

" 'I thought some of what went on at the RNC was very disingenuous,' she added. 'Ann Romney has to [give a] shout-out to women? We're over 50 percent of the population. We need a shout-out? It was the craziest-looking thing.'

"Lee said it was 'nice' that Rice sat next to Mitt Romney at the GOP convention, 'but does the RNC really embrace African-Americans, really embrace women?' "

Bill Clinton's Role Seen as Shoring Up Whites

"Wednesday night, reporter John Frank tweeted that North Carolina delegates to the Democratic National Convention were sharing high-fives after former President Bill Clinton's epic 45-minute address," Chris Kromm wrote Thursday for the Institute for Southern Studies.

"No surprise there: Clinton's tour-de-force was a huge hit with Democrats of all flavors in Charlotte and nationally.

"But the speech also had a specific goal: to help sell President Obama and the Democratic brand to whites — including Southern whites — who have been an increasingly challenging demographic for the party.

"A pre-convention Gallup poll found Bill Clinton has a 63 percent approval rating among whites, compared to just 43 percent for Barack Obama. And as Richard Harpootlian, a Democrat from South Carolina told the Associated Press, '[Clinton] resonates with Southern white folks dramatically . . .' "

Michael Oreskes wrote Wednesday for the Associated Press: "The numbers tell a story. President Obama was viewed favorably by 43 percent of white men in an AP-GfK poll last month. It is a key reason this race is so close. Overall, [Mitt] Romney beat Obama 54 to 39 percent among white voters in that poll." As for Clinton, "12 years out of office, he is viewed favorably by 63 percent of white men, according to a Gallup Poll in July."

At Key Points, Spanish Networks Aired Novelas

A Journal-isms reader messaged Wednesday, "Would love to see you write and ask why the largest Spanish-language networks in the country, time after time, continue to take Spanish-speaking viewers for granted. Tonight the first undocumented immigrant to speak in a political convention took the stage... Last night the first Latino to address a DNC.... but you wouldn't know if you are watching Univision or Telemundo playing novelas instead... Yet complaining anchors like Jorge Ramos are asking for a Presidential debate and Latino journalist inclusion?

Journal-isms posed the question to Univision and Telemundo on Thursday.

Monica Talan, a Univision spokeswoman replied by email, "We have offered comprehensive coverage, here is a link to the release with our plans, which included airing both acceptance speeches.

Alfredo Richard, a spokesman for Telemundo, said by email, "All I can tell you is we have been covering and reporting from both the RNC and DNC on the ground every day. Jose Diaz Balart and the Telemundo News team, working closely with NBC News, [have] been covering in detail all aspects of the conventions throughout the whole day starting with our morning show Un Nuevo Dia, our news magazine Al Rojo Vivo and broadcasting our Noticiero directly from Tampa and Charlotte. In addition, tonight, just like with [GOP candidate Mitt] Romney, we're presenting a recap and highlights of the speech at 11:30pm ET and mun2, our young Latinos cable network, carried both acceptance speeches."

Isabel Bucarama spokeswoman for CNN en Español, said her network did broadcast the Republican and Democratic convention speeches with simultaneous translations.

Jeremy Lin Stars in Impromptu "60 Minutes" Short

Jeremy Lin, 'the big get' for the Houston Rockets in the offseason after a contract dispute forced him to leave the New York Knicks, was in Taiwan for a four-day summer camp. The point guard trained more than 100 young basketballers. "While in Taipei reporting a 60 Minutes story on Houston Rockets point guard Jeremy Lin, CBS producer Pete Radovich found himself with some downtime and an idea for a short film," the CBS "60 Minutes Overtime" staff wrote on Thursday, posting a video.

"So Pete teamed up with Lin and Golden State [Warriors] forward David Lee to make this flick. It's about Lin and Lee making a late-night escape from the press and paparazzi, in pursuit of a real-life pick-up ball game on Taipei's Xingsheng courts.

"The first part of the film is scripted and acted as Lin, going stir-crazy in his hotel room, dons a disguise to sneak by the press camped out in the hotel lobby. As the pro players head to the local courts, the action is real. There's no script here, just five cameras lying in wait, not visible to any of the Xingsheng players, who are still unaware of the surprise guests headed their way.

". . . Our 60 Minutes profile on Jeremy Lin will air later this fall. Charlie Rose is the correspondent and Pete Radovich, creative director of CBS Sports, is the producer."

Coverage of Native Americans Steeped in Stereotypes

"Other than stories about poverty and crime on reservations, mainstream media coverage of Native Americans and issues they confront is often steeped in stereotypes that portray Indians as lawless and living in the distant past," Joshunda Sanders wrote Aug. 30 for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

"While large media outlets such as The New York Times and The Associated Press sometimes have the resources to research and produce comprehensive stories, Native Americans must rely largely on tribal newspapers and alternative outlets for content about themselves and their communities.

"Mary Hudetz, a member of the Crow Tribe of Montana, an AP editor in Phoenix and a board member of the Native American Journalists Association, says lack of time and resources at media outlets contribute to fewer stories about Natives. In particular, she cites lack of reporting on how health care reform will impact them and lack of reporting in general, particularly in Indian Country and on reservations.

"Moreover, Hudetz says, the mainstream media largely handle tribal governments gently, in part because the open-government laws that allow reporters to hold entities accountable don't apply to sovereign tribal governments. . . . "

Columnist Delilah Beasley died in 1934.

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