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NABJ Panel: For Now, Stay Out of Unity

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June 20, 2012

Juan Gonzalez, an originator of coalition idea, agrees; Gonzalez on Unity: "Sometimes it is best to part"; hotel computer glitch makes for long check-in wait; Biden outlines campaign focus on middle class; Unity offers discount to those recently laid off; Asians pass Latinos as largest group of new immigrants; firefighters protest "racist" cartoon on newspaper layoffs (6/20/12)

Juan Gonzalez, an Originator of Coalition Idea, Agrees

Gonzalez on Unity: "Sometimes It Is Best to Part"

Hotel Computer Glitch Makes for Long Check-In Wait

Biden Outlines Campaign Focus on Middle Class

Unity Offers Discount to Those Recently Laid Off

Asians Pass Latinos as Largest Group of New Immigrants

Firefighters Protest "Racist" Cartoon on Newspaper Layoffs

Biden Outlines Campaign Focus on Middle Class

Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. laid out the Obama administration's case for re-election Wednesday before the National Association of Black Journalists, saying of Mitt Romney and the Republican congressional leadership, "I don't think they understand what's happening to ordinary people."

Noting that he was in New Orleans, home of James Carville, the "ragin' Cajun" Democratic strategist who famously said during Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign, "It's the economy, stupid," Biden said, "This is about more than the economy, it's about who we are."

He defined "middle class" as "a way of life. It's a point of view, it's a value system." Biden quoted his father as telling him, "Joey, a job is about more than a paycheck. It's about your dignity, your self-respect, your sense of self, your sense of community."

He contrasted those views with those of Republicans, whom he said had presented a "straight up, they're saying what they mean" approach this year. "No more compassionate conservatives."

Biden left without taking questions, a condition imposed by the White House, according to NABJ Executive Director Maurice Foster. Some journalists said NABJ should not have capitulated. "It was stupid," Kevin Merida, national editor at the Washington Post, told Journal-isms. "We're journalists."

Seated in the audience with his son and former wife, Tracy Martin, father of slain Florida teenager Trayvon Martin and a Democrat, told Journal-isms he approved of Biden's speech, singling out "the part about 'Romney is not from his neighborhood and he doesn't understand our neighborhood' " and agreeing that "Who doesn't want their kids going to college?" The Martins are scheduled for an NABJ panel Thursday.

Gene Demby of the Huffington Post filed this account of Biden's speech.

Romney declined an NABJ invitation, but his campaign announced that the candidate would address the NAACP convention in Houston, which runs July 7-12.

Unity Offers Discount to Those Recently Laid Off

"To offer further assistance to journalists who have been laid off, UNITY Journalists is offering a special discounted rate to people whose jobs have been lost during newsroom reorganizations since Jan. 1, 2012," the Unity alliance announced.

"The special registration rate for Recently Unemployed Journalists is $325, pending confirmation of the registrant's unemployment status. If you are interested in registering for UNITY at this price, you have until Friday, June 29, to submit your registration form."

The Unity pre-registration rate through June 29 is $400 for members of the Asian, Hispanic, Native American or lesbian and gay journalists associations, and $600 for non-members.

The Unity convention is scheduled for Aug. 1-4 in Las Vegas.

Asians Pass Latinos as Largest Group of New Immigrants

"Asian Americans are the highest-income, best-educated and fastest-growing racial group in the United States," the Pew Research Center reported on Tuesday.

"They are more satisfied than the general public with their lives, finances and the direction of the country, and they place more value than other Americans do on marriage, parenthood, hard work and career success, according to a comprehensive new nationwide survey by the Pew Research Center.

". . . Asians recently passed Hispanics as the largest group of new immigrants to the United States. The educational credentials of these recent arrivals are striking. More than six-in-ten (61%) adults ages 25 to 64 who have come from Asia in recent years have at least a bachelor’s degree. This is double the share among recent non-Asian arrivals, and almost surely makes the recent Asian arrivals the most highly educated cohort of immigrants in U.S. history."

In a statement from the Asian American Journalists Association Wednesday, AAJA National President Doris Truong said, "Pew's research reinforces the importance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as a segment our society that newsrooms need to pay attention to. It was disappointing to see a lack of diverse perspectives — especially from major news networks — in covering this story. AAJA is well positioned to help hiring managers find talented journalists who can connect with increasingly diverse communities."

Firefighters union president called the cartoon

Firefighters Protest "Racist" Cartoon on Newspaper Layoffs

Harold Schaitberger, general president of the International Association of Fire Fighters,  branded as "racist" a cartoon in the Pensacola (Fla.) News Journal on the massive layoffs last week at newspapers owned in Alabama by Advance Publications.

Cartoonist Andy Marlette referenced the civil rights movement in Birmingham, Ala., in 1963, when young black protesters were blasted with fire hoses at the order of Eugene "Bull" Connor, commissioner of public safety.

In the cartoon, one white firefighter says to another, "Don't worry, since they laid off all the journalists in Alabama we can get away with this kind of stuff again."

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