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Wrong Kind of Shout-Out to Obama

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June 15, 2012

Even Fox News calls reporter's breach disrespectful; a year after disclosure, Vargas makes Time cover; NAHJ hopefuls pledge to forgo personal attacks; shallow coverage of Asian Americans is "stunning"; N.Y. Times videos bring diversity to online op-eds; primer on "marrying politics and the economy"; Marco Rubio makes peace with Univision; media critic names 5 TV dads he learned from (6/15/12)

Even Fox News Calls Reporter's Breach Disrespectful

A Year After Disclosure, Vargas Makes Time Cover

NAHJ Hopefuls Pledge to Forgo Personal Attacks

Shallow Coverage of Asian Americans Is "Stunning"

N.Y. Times Videos Bring Diversity to Online Op-Eds

Primer on "Marrying Politics and the Economy"

A Year After Disclosure, Vargas Makes Time Cover

Time's June 25 issue "In Spring 2010, four undocumented students trekked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington to press passage of the Dream Act, a bill that would offer a path to permanent residency for immigrants who came to the country as minors and achieved certain educational accomplishments," Feifei Sun wrote for the June 25 issue of Time magazine.

"Moved by their courage, Jose Antonio Vargas, a journalist who was part of the Washington Post's Pulitzer Prize winning team for their coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting, revealed that he, too, was an undocumented immigrant in an essay published by the New York Times Magazine last June.

"A year later, Vargas finds that immigration in America has seen little progress, as he writes in this week's TIME cover story [written before Friday's developments]. On the cover, photographed by Gian Paul Lozza, Vargas stands before 35 other undocumented immigrants living across the country. 'They're living in America — but only in the shadows,' Lozza says. 'They're very much in the dark.'

"It was important for TIME's photo editors to show just how many cultures are represented by America’s undocumented immigrants. 'They come from so many different countries, religions and backgrounds,' Lozza says. 'We wanted to bring that diversity to the light. This is not just a problem for Latinos, as we hear about often, but for every culture from around the world.'

"It was a poignant topic for Swiss-born Lozza. 'For me it was fun to see how motivated the kids were, and how much they wanted to learn,' he says. 'They have dreams of being teachers, doctors, lawyer — it was fascinating that they all want to do something for other people.' "

Hugo Balta, left, and Russell  Contreras

NAHJ Hopefuls Pledge to Forgo Personal Attacks

The two candidates for president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists have agreed that "personal attacks have no place in the campaign nor do anonymously produced and posted videos," NAHJ President Michele Salcedo said in a statement posted Thursday on the association's website.

If implemented, the pledge by Hugo Balta and Russell Contreras and their campaign managers would "reset the tone of the NAHJ's election campaign," in Salcedo's words. Balta, a coordinating producer at ESPN, has raised Contreras' history of insulting those whom he believes disagree with him. Through his  campaign manager, Contreras, an Associated Press reporter who is NAHJ vice president for print and chief financial officer, accused Balta of "seeking the seat for ego" and "promoting anonymous attack videos using images of Russell's family." Balta said he supported the videos but denied any participation in making them.

Salcedo wrote that the agreement came during a conference call Wednesday morning.

The candidates agreed to "be civil, ethical and respectful for each other, all candidates, their supporters, NAHJ members in general, NAHJ staff and the organization itself. Contreras and Balta, and their respective managers, Suzanne Gamboa and Vickie Adame, agree that the campaign should focus on the critical issues that NAHJ faces now and in the coming years as it continues the important task of rebuilding."

Among the other points of agreement:

  • "The campaigns will remove any and all anonymously produced videos currently circulating and any new anonymous videos will be denounced by both sides.

  • "Candidates will encourage their supporters who have questions or criticism about the NAHJ board to address the board directly in a civil, ethical and respectful manner and the board will answer them as promptly as possible in kind.

  • "Candidates or their supporters may question in a civil, ethical and respectful manner their opponent's record in serving NAHJ. Criticism is to be constructive and not personal.

  • ". . . No images of an opponent's family or friends will be used in the production of campaign videos. No images of a candidate from Facebook, LinkedIn or any other source from any medium, including NAHJ Web or social media sites, will be used by anyone other than the candidates themselves. Opponent may use a candidate's image provided for the campaign. Any image that is altered with Photoshop or other software or means must be noted as having been altered.

  • "Candidates acknowledge that they respect each other as professionals and fellow members of NAHJ, and as such will not engage in 'tit-for-tat' exchanges."

Meanwhile, Joanna Hernandez, president of Unity Journalists, posted this message on a Unity Facebook page: "Just a reminder about the policy for posting on the UNITY Convention 2012: Las Vegas Facebook page. As you know, discussions need to be civil and respectful. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Also, political campaigning of any kind is not permitted, including content that expresses political ambitions and the use of images endorsing candidates."

Hernandez told Journal-isms Friday by email: "We've received inquiries about general guidelines for posting on UNITY's social media pages, and instead of responding individually, posting on the UNITY Facebook page presented an opportunity to share the policy with everyone.

"This was a reminder of issues we have dealt with in the past but also, because it is election season and there are several contested races, this was a good time to make clear that UNITY, the organization, does not participate in association campaign politics."

Shallow Coverage of Asian Americans Is "Stunning"

"From New York Knicks basketball star Jeremy Lin to Priscilla Chan, wife of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, the mainstream media usually portray Asian-Americans as wealthy, well-educated and foreign," Joshunda Sanders wrote Thursday for the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education.

"The dominant cultural narrative routinely ignores working and middle class Asian-Americans, people of various nationalities who struggle with the same socioeconomic conditions as do other Americans.

"Despite shortcomings, mainstream media are rarely criticized for the way they depict Asian-Americans, even though the lack of depth in the coverage is stunning. In fact, Mee Moua, president and executive director of the Asian American Justice Center (AAJC) in Washington, says simplistic media coverage pictures Asian-Americans as either the model minority or the perpetual foreigner.

"Because of this, she says, 'the true needs and complexity of Asian-Americans are totally missed by mainstream reporters. "American Beats Michelle Kwan" or "The Ultimate Assimilation" are mainstream headlines that underscore my point — the media need to do better.' "

In an "op-doc" on the New York Times website, Tyquan Brehon of Brooklyn, N.Y., says he was stopped by police more than 60 times before age 18. (Video)

N.Y. Times Videos Bring Diversity to Online Op-Eds

The New York Times website is featuring "The Scars of Stop-and-Frisk," a short documentary by freelance contributors Julie Dressner and Edwin Martinez, that speaks in a broader way to the exhortation in this space for creative ways to diversify op-ed content.

The documentary focuses on Tyquan Brehon, a young man in Brooklyn who says he was stopped by police more than 60 times before age 18.

"According to the New York Civil Liberties Union, the NYPD stopped and frisked people 685,724 times in 2011 alone. Our math tells us that just over 1,800 a day," Loop21.com said this week.

"Eighty-seven percent of those searches involved blacks or Latinos, many of them young men."

The Times calls the pieces "Op-Docs." In another short piece posted May 31, "The filmmaker Zina Saro-Wiwa presents an Op-Doc on black women's decision to embrace their naturally kinky hair, rather than use chemical straighteners," the Times says.

In a third, posted May 21, "The filmmaker Peter Nicks goes behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients."

Primer on "Marrying Politics and the Economy"

"Reporters and editors who are on the front lines of covering the intersection of business and politics share their insights regarding the upcoming election, the economic stories it will offer up, and what business journalists should be watching for during the next training call from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers," the TalkingBizNews site reported on Friday.

"It's called 'Marrying Politics and the Economy: Business Coverage in an Election Year,' and it will be held 2 to 3 p.m. Eastern time, Monday, June 18.

"Sign up for the call here. On the day of the call, dial 218-339-2626 and, when prompted, enter the access code 4058935 and you'll be put in to the call. Callers may only listen in to the panelists' discussion, but may submit questions to sabew@sabew.org that will be sent to the moderator for possible inclusion in the hour-long discussion."

Among those on the call is Michael A. Fletcher, national economics correspondent at the Washington Post.

Marco Rubio Makes Peace With Univision

"Senator Marco Rubio appears to have made peace with the giant Spanish television network Univision, a year after a bitter feud over coverage of drug charges against Rubio's brother-in-law," BuzzFeed reported on Thursday.

"A Capitol Hill source noticed Rubio walking the Senate halls today with anchor Jorge Ramos for, a source told BuzzFeed, an interview to promote his memoir. The book, American Son, is due out Tuesday in both English and Spanish, part of high-profile media campaign around the book.

"The Ramos interview will add a touch of intrigue to the roll-out: Univision was badly bruised by the coverage of Rubio, which prompted Republican presidential candidates to drop out of a planned Spanish-language debate, and produced an embarrassing Miami Herald report alleging — based in part on claims from Rubio's office — that Univision had offered to soften the piece in exchange for an interview, something Univision denied."

Media Critic Names 5 TV Dads He Learned From

"Almost everything I know about being a father, I learned from television," media critic Eric Deggans wrote Friday for his Tampa Bay (Fla.) Times blog.

Deggans offered up ". . . a short list of the TV dads who have taught me the most as I struggle to raise four children of my own. My kids have certainly turned out much better than I have any right to expect, so maybe [I] learned a little more than I realized."

His list included James Evans Sr. (John Amos) of "Good Times"; Tom Corbett (Bill Bixby), "The Courtship of Eddie's Father"; Ray Barone (Ray Romano), "Everybody Loves Raymond"; Dan Conner (John Goodman), "Roseanne"; and Cliff Huxtable (Bill Cosby), "The Cosby Show."

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