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"We Didn't Want All White Guys or All White Women"

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October 17, 2012

Debate's inclusion of broader issues was intentional; filmmaker finds Puerto Rican "Obama" in the Bronx; Smiley irate at cancellation by Chicago Public Radio; Unity seeks consensus on acceptable name; Jeremy Lin makes cover of GQ: Is it a first?; Univision cuts a dozen from sports department; journalists strike in birthplace of Arab Spring; Native American fashion magazine debuts online (10/17/12)

Debate's Inclusion of Broader Issues Was Intentional

Filmmaker Finds Puerto Rican "Obama" in the Bronx

Smiley Irate at Cancellation by Chicago Public Radio

Unity Seeks Consensus on Acceptable Name

Jeremy Lin Makes Cover of GQ: Is It a First?

Univision Cuts a Dozen From Sports Department

Journalists Strike in Birthplace of Arab Spring

In New York, Louis Ortiz of the Bronx, formerly unemployed, is capitalizing on his resemblance to President Obama. He appears here next to Spider-Man. (Video)

Filmmaker Finds Puerto Rican "Obama" in the Bronx

"What if one day you looked in the mirror and saw the most powerful man in the world staring back at you?" Ryan Murdock asked Monday on the New York Times website. "In this Op-Doc video, we meet Louis Ortiz, an unemployed Puerto Rican man from the Bronx, whose life turned upside down when he discovered his uncanny resemblance to President Obama.

"The first time I talked to Mr. Ortiz on the phone he said, 'I'm so glad you called. I've been living in the Twilight Zone for the past three years.' That was the spring of 2011. In the week between that call and when we met in person, Osama bin Laden was killed. When I went to the Bronx to meet Mr. Ortiz, people were high-fiving and congratulating him. I knew instantly I had to drop everything else and follow him around.

"Mr. Ortiz is a walking, talking image of Barack Obama.

". . . This video is adapted from [Murdock's] forthcoming documentary 'The Audacity of Louis Ortiz' and a recent episode of 'This American Life.' "

In April, Murdock announced he had raised $27,013 on the Kickstarter website in less than four weeks to film the documentary.

Smiley Irate at Cancellation by Chicago Public Radio

"Just when you thought radio had lost the power to provoke strong passions, Tavis Smiley is stepping up and taking on Chicago's public radio establishment," Robert Feder reported Tuesday on his Chicago Media blog for Time Out Chicago.

"In a blistering attack on WBEZ-FM (91.5) Monday, the PBS host and bestselling author disputed the reasons given for canceling the weekly radio talk show he co-hosts with Dr. Cornel West, the Princeton University professor. 'One could argue that it is easier for an African American to be president of the United States than it is to host a primetime radio program on Chicago Public Radio,' Smiley declared.

"It all started here last week with news that WBEZ had dropped Smiley & West from its lineup. The show, distributed by Public Radio International, had been airing at noon Sundays until late last month.

"Chicago Public Media officials explained the decision by citing audience erosion (noting a decline in weekly listenership from 37,900 to 13,200) and expressing concerns about the program’s fairness and balance. 'The show had developed much more of an "advocacy" identity, which is inconsistent with our approach on WBEZ,' a spokesman said. . . .

Unity Seeks Consensus on Acceptable Name

"Dear members of AAJA, NAHJ, NAJA and NLGJA," begins the notice on the Unity: Journalists website, posted on Tuesday and referring to the Asian American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the Native American Journalists Association and the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association.

"The UNITY Journalists Board of Directors agreed last week to create a UNITY Name Task Force to find a name that both reflects our new mission statement and includes input from our alliance members.

"As part of this process, we invite you to submit your suggestions for UNITY's name to the email account UNITYname@gmail.com.

"We will accept nominations to this account through Sunday, November 11th.

"Janet Cho has been appointed to lead a task force that will gather all the suggestions and select five finalists.

"These will then be put up for a vote among the members of AAJA, NAHJ, NAJA and NLGJA."

Cho, a business reporter at the Plain Dealer of Cleveland and member of the Unity board, appealed to members of the National Association of Black Journalists, which pulled out of Unity last year citing financial and governance issues. Unity members say they want NABJ to return, but its name change from "Unity: Journalists of Color" to "Unity Journalists" has put off many NABJ members.

"We are listening, NABJ! Please consider sending us your ideas for what the UNITY alliance should be called, to UNITYname@gmail.com," Cho wrote on NABJ's Facebook page.

Jeremy Lin Makes Cover of GQ: Is It a First?

When was the last time an Asian American man graced the cover of GQ?On newsstands Oct. 23

"Jeremy Lin is getting ready to hit the courts!" Jason Brooks wrote Wednesday for Global Grind.

"With the new NBA season starting on October 30th, the 24-year-old NBA star has a little bit of time left on his hands before it really begins to get serious.

"After a personally successful season as a member of the New York Knicks, the 6ft 3 in point-guard has made the move to the Houston Rockets. While Lin knows what this may mean for his fanbase, he tried to explain his point of view during the latest interview with GQ.

"Jeremy looked sporty in a Calvin Klein suit with Nike Blazers for the cover, shot by Paola Kudacki."

Is Lin the first Asian American man in GQ's most coveted space?

GQ spokesman Corey Wilson told Journal-isms Wednesday that he did not know.

Univision Cuts a Dozen From Sports Department

"Univision veteran Art Izquierdo, who worked for the network 28 years, is among about a dozen staffers quietly eliminated from the sports department," Veronica Villafañe reported Tuesday for Media Moves. "The layoffs took place Sept. 27, as part of a 'reorganization.' Univision officials would not comment, but just recently confirmed some of the layoffs.

". . . Insiders say the elimination of the long-running sports team is part of an effort to relegate more authority to the network's Televisa partners and that it's very possible a portion of Univision's sports production will be moved to Mexico."

Hundreds of journalists demonstrated in Tunis, Tunisia, in front of the headquar

Journalists Strike in Birthplace of Arab Spring

Journalists in Tunisia, which ignited the Arab Spring when a frustrated fruit-seller set himself afire in 2010, staged their first nationwide strike on Wednesday "after months of rising tensions with the government, led by the Islamist party Ennahda, which is accused of restricting press freedom," Rabii Kalboussi wrote Wednesday for the Swedish-based yourmiddleeast.com.

" 'Freedom of press and expression is not only for journalists but for all the people of Tunisia,' said the National Union of Tunisian Journalists (SNJT) in a statement.

"Hundreds of journalists demonstrated in Tunis in front of the SNJT headquarters, chanting slogans such as 'free press, independent journalists.'

"The 1,200-member journalists' union called for the protest; the first-ever general strike for media professionals to be staged in Tunisia."

Dahlia El Zein wrote last month for the Committee to Protect Journalists, ". . . Many journalists believed that media freedoms, which were virtually nonexistent under former President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali, would grow after his ouster. During the aftermath of the December 2010 uprising, an independent press blossomed and special commissions were set up to reform the media sector. But since the elected government took office nine months ago, the tide has slowly reversed."

The first issue of Native Max, a quarterly, features Mariah Watchman, a member o

Native American Fashion Magazine Debuts Online

"Growing up on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation, Kelly Holmes spent hours thumbing through the latest issues of Seventeen or Vogue," Kristi Eaton wrote from Sioux Falls, S.D., Tuesday for the Associated Press. "She noticed the models didn't look anything like her and the stories had little to do with her experiences in the vast, sparsely populated area hundreds of miles from any high-end retailer.

"So Holmes, a member of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, set out to create her own fashion magazine geared toward Native American men and women and non-Native Americans who want to learn about the culture.

"Native Max focuses on indigenous people, places and cultures with the same sleek photography found in fashion magazines but without the stereotypical headdresses and tomahawks sometimes seen in the mainstream media. The premiere issue, which is online only, features interviews with Native American artists, musicians, designers and models, as well as sections on health, beauty and sports.

" 'There's really no magazine, a Native-owned and operated, Native-designed magazine. There's nothing like this magazine out there. The ones that do have stuff focused on younger people, they're really vulgar and very revealing,' said Holmes, 21, who now lives in Denver."

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