I have something to share. How I turned something unexpected into a fantastic experience. I was invited to speak at the Latino Media Summit in New York City over the weekend. One of the best conferences I have been to in my career. More on that in a future blog.
I thought I was going to be on a panel with others, but Friday morning, an hour before the panel, I learned I would have to speak for 10 minutes alone. Say what? Yes they had told us weeks in advance, but I messed up. All the other speakers had fantastic, informative slide shows.
When I hit the stage, I said, “God give me the words, in Spanish too.” I had written down a few notes, but honestly I spoke from the heart. Not to brag, but it was one of the best presentations I have ever done in my life. I laughed, I teared up, and I shared. I talked about creating change as individuals, making a difference, and not being selfish with your time and knowledge. To be authentic.
So remember, speak from the heart when you have to, and it will be ok. Again thank you to Graciela Mochkofsky and her team for inviting me to the summit at CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. A blog is coming soon on the Summit. Go out and inspire!
Organizations around the world are making efforts to help the victims of the volcano eruption in Guatemala. Several fundraisers have been set up. There are also several grassroots efforts.
Dina Potter of Alexandria, Virginia is working with the Shriners of Guatemala to raise money for those in need. The HR consultant has set up a GoFundMe account to raise $30,000. Here is what she posted:
My name is Dina Potter, I was born in Guatemala & now live in Alexandria, VA. It breaks my heart to see the devastation that the Fire Volcano’s eruption has caused, and the limited resources the country has available for rescue efforts. I was leery of donating to organizations that: 1) I didn’t recognize or 2) could be pocketing the money. That is why I have joined forces with Monica Corzo (a trusted friend) & Miguel Angel Valdez, President of Guatemala’s Shriners Club (FB page: @Guatemala Shriners Club No.1) They are boots on the ground in Guatemala, helping coordinate efforts & are also fundraising. Shriners Hospital in the US is a trusted and reputable non-profit organization, that depends on donations to be able to provide medical care to children in the US. Guatemala Shriners Club No.1 in coordination with Shriner’s International, have activated the protocol for humanitarian aid to be able to provide dire medical attention to children under 18 years of age, who have suffered critical injuries or are burn victims due to this natural disaster.
Dina says the $30,000 raised will be used in the follow areas:
1. Guatemala Shriners Club will take part in aid to the children affected due to the devastation caused by the Fire Volcano.
2. A team of medical specialists from Shriners Hospitals for Children (USA), is in Guatemala to evaluate & deliver medical interventions to children who need urgent medical attention due to life-threatening injuries sustained by this natural disaster.
3. We need your help to be able to move the children in air ambulances. Each air ambulance costs $1000/km, so one trip is @$15,000-$20,000.
ACTION AGAINST HUNGER
Action Against Hunger is also in Guatemala helping the survivors. The organization’s teams work in nearly 50 countries worldwide to carry out innovative, lifesaving programs in nutrition, food security, water, sanitation and hygiene. Teams are now in Guatemala. Here is what it has posted on its website.
On Sunday 3rd June, the Fuego volcano or ‘Fire Volcano’ began its second eruption of the year with strong explosions creating ash columns which have risen 6,000 meters above sea level. 3,265 people have been displaced and at-least 700 people are missing. The main area affected by this eruption is the Department of Escuintla, a region where our teams have been implementing a disaster preparedness project, with a specific focus on floods since 2016. Our teams on the ground are working hard to undertake a needs assessment before launching our response to the volcanic eruption. Reaching the areas most affected and to ensure communities have access to clean water and shelter is our top priority.
Miguel Ángel García is the Country Director of Action Against Hunger in Central America-Guatemala and Nicaragua. He described what has experienced on the ground.
The atmosphere is practically unbreathable. Within two to three days, access to clean water and basic sanitation will be a vital humanitarian need for more than 3,200 displaced people living in temporary shelters provided by local authorities.
There are still many people who have not been accounted for and rescue workers are having a difficult time getting to those who are buried under the volcanic ash.
Jen Herrera says “I feel amazing you guys” as she fights back tears. She posted a video on YouTube letting the public know how she is doing since removing her breast implants in November.
Herrera is the co-host of “6 in the Mix,” a daily lifestyle show in Miami.
Five years ago, Herrera was diagnosed with a rare auto-immune disease. She underwent treatment and decided to go the holistic route. She even left her television career for a while.
She says she was never diagnosed with a breast implant illness, but she had similar symptoms related to that illness. Her research on breast implants lead her to the decision to remove them. Herrera calls this journey “Back to a B Cup.”
Follow Herrera’s journey. She starts from the beginning when she decided at 18-years-old to get her implants. More on her website>> Back to a B Cup
Kudos to Herrera for sharing her story and I’m glad she’s feeling healthy again.
TMZ producer Van Lathan has taught the world especially people of color to speak up.
BE UNAFRAID to take on people who have power, fame and money when they are wrong, even Kanye West.
Lathan was not going to allow the Grammy winner to walk out of the TMZ newsroom Tuesday without telling him he was wrong for saying 400 years of slavery was a choice.
West had shouted in the TMZ newsroom “Do you feel that I’m being free, and I’m thinking free?” It looked like most people were stunned, and not sure what to say or respond.
That’s when Lathan had enough. (Video 1:46)
I actually don’t think you’re thinking anything. I think what you’re doing right now is actually the absence of thought, and the reason why I feel like that is because Kanye you are entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to believe whatever you want, but there is fact and real world, real life consequence behind everything that you just said. While you are making music, and being an artist, and living the life that you earned, by being a genius, the rest of us in society have to deal with these threats to our live.
We have to deal with the marginalization that’s come from the 400 years of slavery that you said for our people was a choice. Frankly, I’m disappointed, I’m appalled and brother, I’m unbelievably hurt, by the fact that you have morphed into something, to me that is not real.
Kanye West apologized to Lathan who told him “You have to be responsible…”
IF SOMEONE IS WRONG, SAY SO
Shout out to TMZ and Lathan, because this is why diversity in the newsroom is important. Here is an African-American producer who was not afraid to take on one of the most famous and powerful African-American entertainers in the world.
I’m like Lathan, there is no way I would have allowed West to walk out that newsroom without telling him he was wrong in what he said.
Too many people today are afraid to speak up. They are afraid to tell a person they are wrong, because they fear someone will get angry. They fear being criticized or judged. They fear not being liked and many are afraid to lose their jobs.
Don’t let all that stuff mess with your mind when you can correct a wrong.
I don’t think Lathan had one ounce of fear when he confronted West, and look who we are talking about today.
My message to all of you:
The next time you hear someone say or do something that is WRONG, say something, do something, because silence does not make the world better.
How many times have you thought of getting in your car and just driving? How many times have you thought of leaving your job and grabbing life by the you-know-what?
Well Caleb Himes is not one to just think it. He is doing it.
He recently quit his job as a reporter at KOB-TV in Albuquerque, New Mexico. He plans to travel across the country. Caleb admits he’s a bit nervous and scared, but nothing is stopping him now.
He’s on the road with his two dogs and towing along an Airstream travel trailer. After ten years of reporting stories about a lot of bad people, Caleb is now determined to find the good people in this world. He is out to get words of wisdom from strangers, advice he hopes will help other people.
Here’s another beautiful part about Caleb’s adventure, he’s doing all the work on his own videos. He is shooting, editing and writing the stories. He is a super one-man-band. There is no big production team, just Caleb, his computer, a few cameras and his creativity.
My hope is Netflix, CNN, Amazon or some other big media company buys Caleb’s show “The Greatest of Us” and shows it to the world.
Don’t forget to subscribe to Caleb’s YouTube channel. If you can’t travel the country, he can bring his journey to a computer, tablet or smart phone near you.
Today I turn 60-years-old. I’m celebrating my six decades of an interesting, crazy, and wonderful life.
No, I am not the kind of woman who hides her age. I’ve earned it and I’ll own it.
Dang! Six decades have past and I still remember being six-years-old. I was the middle kid in a family of five children. When you’re the middle child you learn to speak up to get noticed. I’ve never had a problem in that department.
A grew up a happy kid in a small “all-American” town. I will always be grateful that my parents settled in Napoleon, Ohio when they came here from Mexico. It is a town that continues to be full of good people.
I am a fighter for the people, because it rubbed off on me from my parents.
When they were not working, they were fighting for the civil rights of people of color and women. Whether it was getting better pay at General Motors or improving working conditions for migrant workers, my parents were crusaders for good change.
I needed to become a crusader for good change too. Yes, my parents inspired me to become a reporter.
After graduating from high school and college, I got my first job in Toledo, Ohio in 1981. I knew nothing about television news, but a news director named Paul Rae took a chance on me. Years later, I got to tell him before he passed away that he changed my life.
My career has taken me to Toledo, Chicago, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Dallas. It’s been a fun ride, with a few bumps in the road, but nothing I could not survive.
If you see all my photos, I am always smiling. I think because I learned a long time ago to be fearless and to speak up when I know something is wrong. I have never feared bully bosses, losing a job or even people who judge me.
God does have a plan.
I have faced racism and sexism head on, and will continue fighting for equality inside and outside the newsroom. It’s in my blood.
I am a success today because of my family. A great husband, John Boos who was willing to follow me where ever I landed as a reporter. It has also been wonderful being a mother. Our son Alex is now a senior in college.
Sources with Mundo Hispánico say they need to start looking for jobs, because the digital site faces a shutdown. They got the bad news in an email Monday morning from the President of the Cox Media Group (CMG) which owns Mundo Hispánico.
The announcement came from Kim Guthrie, President of Cox Media Group. Her email partly reads…
CMG is focused on overcoming the disruption in our industry and competing to win in the markets we serve. To achieve that, we are focusing our resources on businesses that have clear paths to profitability and long-term growth.
She goes on to say…
…After careful consideration, we’ve decided to sell or sunset both the Mundo Hispanico and Southern Kitchen businesses.
Her email mentioned CMG is looking for the right buyers.
…we will work to find the right owners for Mundo Hispanico and Southern Kitchen. If we are unable to find a buyer, we plan to close Southern Kitchen and the national Vertical portion of Mundo Hispanico by the end of the quarter.
You can read the rest of the email provided to me from a few sources.
Reporters in Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, San Antonio, Los Angeles, Orlando, and one in North Carolina are expected to lose their jobs. There are also other journalists at the headquarters in Atlanta who will also be shown the door.
According to a source, the national correspondents for the digital site could be out of work by the end of June and the ones in Atlanta may get a few more months on the job.
Sources started telling me early Friday that Entravision Communications was going to have massive layoffs at television stations around the country.
It happened at the Univision station in Las Vegas which is owned by Entravision.
Reporter Juan Juarez confirmed it in his goodbye video he shared on Twitter. Here are parts of his video translated from Spanish to English.
Hi friends on Facebook and all my social media platforms. I wanted to share in person and on this video that they just let us go. Entravision Communications, the station in Las Vegas decided to let go of just about everyone including me, and many of my colleagues. Now they’re going to do the produce our local news from El Paso. I just wanted to say thank you, thank you because I know many people trusted me in the past two-and-half years while I worked at Entravision Las Vegas.
You opened your hearts in front of the camera that I carried in the heat and in the cold, it didn’t matter, and many people trusted in me. You supported me and you opened your hearts and homes to share many of your stories.
…This is not easy, because it’s a hard situation. There have been many tears and feelings now that this corporation make these kind of decision, and don’t take you into consideration. The truth is they do it suddenly without letting you know. We can only push forward…
Juarez was one of the many reporters who covered the Las Vegas Massacre in October 2017. He had grown very fond of Las Vegas and the people he served. Unfortunately he says the loyalty and commitment meant nothing to Entravision.
Thank you to all the viewers who share your stories with me and my co-workers. We leave knowing we did great work, we dedicated ourselves to the community, and unfortunately this did not matter to Entravision Communications.
Mensaje de despedida de Univision Las Vegas. ENTRAVISION COMMUNICATIONS Cierra el canal local de LAS VEGAS y envían operaciones a El Paso Texas. GRACIAS A TODOS QUIENES CONFIARON EN MI Y COMPARTIERON SUS HISTORIAS 🙏🏼❤️ Somos fuertes y Dios Sabe El Destino. pic.twitter.com/c8q3cXZbbh
A total of 13 people from news were shown the door. They included a technical director, editor, three MMJ’s, a female anchor and two engineers. Two photographers and two male anchors remain and may gather news for the El Paso news production.
Reporter Jasmina Gonzalez fought back tears in her goodbye video she also posted on Twitter. Here’s part of it translated from Spanish to English.
I will no longer be working for Univision, but I want to tell you that I take a little piece of all your hearts, they are right here with me. Thank you for your trust. Thank you for your support, for opening the doors to your homes, for always being there for us. I want to say I appreciate it from the bottom of my heart.
No es un adiós si no un hasta pronto. Muchas muchas gracias por su confianza, por abrirme las puertas de su hogar. Me duele que se haya tomado esta decisión por parte de Entravision, pero es una decisión que tengo que respetar. Nos vamos con la frente bien en alto. pic.twitter.com/O5242511oB
I have contacted Collins via Facebook to find out why the company made this decision, and how many other employees at other Entravision stations face termination. Will this save Entravision millions of dollars? Stay tuned.
According to Entravision’s website:
Entravision Communications Corporation is a diversified Spanish-language media company utilizing a combination of television, radio and digital operations to reach Latino consumers across the United States, as well as the border markets of Mexico. Entravision is the largest affiliate group of both the top-ranked Univision television network and Univision’s UniMas network, with television stations in 20 of the nation’s top 50 Latino markets. The company owns and/or operates 58 primary television stations and also operates one of the nation’s largest groups of primarily Spanish-language radio stations, consisting of 49 owned and operated radio stations. Additionally, Entravision has a variety of cross-platform digital content and sales offerings designed to capitalize on the company’s leadership position within the Latino broadcasting community. Entravision shares of Class A Common Stock are traded on The New York Stock Exchange under the symbol: EVC.
If the company is having money problems, it is not showing at the top. According to Salary.Com. CEO Walter F. Ulloa at Entravision Communications, made $4,751,204 in total compensation. More information on Salary.Com 2016 Report.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has settled a pregnancy discrimination lawsuit against Off the Air, II, Inc., which does business as Nick’s Sports Grill, a sports bar in Rowlett, Texas.
The EEOC says Off the Air will pay $24,000 to a former female bartender.
An EEOC investigation revealed Taylor King was forced to leave her job after she changed the bar’s mandatory wardrobe to something different. Nick’s requires female bartenders and waitresses to wear hot pants and tight tops. King who was pregnant decided to change her wardrobe to something more comfortable. She replaced her hot pants with Capri pants, and wore loser tops.
The EEOC says a General Manager told King the owner would not like what she was wearing and that’s when she was asked to leave. King filed a complaint with the EEOC.
The lawsuit settlement also requires the bar owners to:
Pay a $24,000 financial settlement to King.
Prohibit future discrimination and retaliation for complaining about it.
Disseminate specific parts of its employee handbook to all employees.
Provide annual training on pregnancy and other forms of discrimination.
Report all complaints of discrimination to the EEOC as agreed as part of three-year settlement.
Impose discipline up to termination on any manager who discriminates based on sex or permits such conduct to occur under his or her supervision.
Post a notice on employee bulletin boards about the decree, explaining procedures for reporting discrimination.
EEOC Trial Attorney Toby Wosk Costas says…
Even bars and clubs with provocative uniforms cannot discriminate by using the dress code requirement to oust a pregnant employee…When the short, tight outfit no longer worked, Taylor King no longer had a job. She could have continued to work at Nick’s had she not become pregnant. Under civil rights laws, that’s pregnancy discrimination, which is a form of discrimination based on sex.
Taylor King, the former bartender had the last word.
Just because you look different as a pregnant woman, it doesn’t mean you can’t do your job. I want people to know that if you feel you are being discriminated against, you should do something about it.
MY OPINION, YES I HAVE ONE
Taylor King is a brave woman. Now her bravery has changed the way pregnant employees are treated at bars and restaurants where they are required to wear sexy clothes on the job.
Her discrimination lawsuit should also teach male bosses to have more compassion for pregnant women, and realize they want to work.
Also kudos to the EEOC that is always fighting to rid the world of discrimination.
IF YOU ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED, FILE A COMPLAINT
If you believe that you have been discriminated against at work because of your race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity, and sexual orientation), national origin, age (40 or older), disability or genetic information, you can file a Charge of Discrimination. A charge of discrimination is a signed statement asserting that an employer, union or labor organization engaged in employment discrimination. It requests EEOC to take remedial action. >>Filed a Complaint.
One photo can tell you the strength of a woman. Can you imagine what 300 can do?
More than 300 high-quality photos are being shared with the public. The images are of women and girls in two regions of the world: Bihar, India and Louisiana and Mississippi in the United States. It’s a positive look into their lives and what they are doing in their communities.
The collection gives a positive look into the lives of women and girls who are located in different parts of the world. What they have in common are their leadership qualities. They are in decision-making roles, accessing and providing quality reproductive health care and are actively involved in their communities.
All the photos were taken by two world-renowned women photographers, Nina Robinson and Paula Bronstein.
After almost fourteen years at KDFW-TV in Dallas, I was let go.
But guess what? I wasn’t devastated, hurt, sad or even afraid about my future. I didn’t think the world had ended.
The Fox station took my job, but not my talent, years of experience, many awards and my circle of trusted friends.
I knew I was going to be OK.
THE ENDLESS POSSIBILITIES
If you ever get fired, remember you’ll be fine. Don’t blame yourself. I sure didn’t.
Don’t be embarrassed to tell people. It’s part of life.
Don’t be afraid to be judged. I never worried about what people thought of me losing my job.
Surround yourself with positive people you trust.
Stay positive and set goals.
Get out there and share your talent.
IT’S A NEW BEGINNING FOR SOMETHING BETTER
Getting fired was the best thing that ever happened to me. The opportunities I found and created have been endless.
I decided on four main goals: mentor, volunteer, consult and lead. Those goals have led me to jobs, opportunities and a paycheck. Here is some of what I have accomplished so far in ten years:
-I’m a successful freelance reporter/writer/producer. AARP was my first client.
-Served as Vice President of Online for the National Association of Hispanic Journalists better known as NAHJ. Volunteer position for four years. I sat on board for a total of six years.
-Currently serve as Vice President for the Society of Professional Journalists, Fort Worth Chapter
-Founder of Wise Latinas Linked, the largest Latina networking group on Facebook and LinkedIn with combined membership of 10,000 women.
-Founder of Latinas in Journalism, the largest Latina journalism group of 1,800 women on Facebook.
-Public speaker on Latina and journalism issues. My favorite is “Surviving the Unexpected.”
-I’m a media and diversity watchdog. I fight for the rights of all journalists and push for more diversity in newsrooms across the country.
-Learned how to build websites from scratch.
-Learned how to code. Yes I know CSS and HTML.
-Continue to mentor girls in high school.
-Continue to mentor dozens of journalists at different levels in their careers.
-Served as social media manager for three years for NAHJ while VP of Online.
-Social media columnist for Latina Style magazine, a national publication.
-Social media consultant for nonprofits.
-Video producer for nonprofits. Thanks Rafael McDonnell for my first job.
-Offered $10,000 scholarship to get my Masters in Journalism at the University of North Texas. I am in my first year.
-Traveled to Israel on a journalism fellowship with Fuente Latina, a nonprofit news site.
-Serve currently and in the past as moderator and panelist on numerous journalism and social media panels around the country.
-Nominated in 2015 for Lone Star Emmy for “Best TV Commentator.”
-News consultant. Thanks Charlie Haldeman for my first gig teaching reporters how to report.
-Awarded two national awards for “Social Networking Leader” in 2011 and 2013 by Latinos in Social Media also known as LATISM.
I keep thinking how much I would have missed in life, stuck in the same newsroom, covering another crime or telling viewers as I stood on the side of the road “It’s cold out here.”
Don’t get me wrong, TV news is important, but sometimes you need a shove out the door to find something better. Today I continue helping people and telling stories.
More importantly, I also got to see my son grow up and go to college. I don’t know how many journalists have missed seeing their kids grow up. I’m lucky my son and I have great memories of me picking him up from junior high and going to McDonalds to talk.
I may not make the six-figure salary I earned during my TV days in Dallas, but then I was never motivated by money. My experiences as a TV reporter and a fired reporter have been priceless.
Thank you to John Boos, the best husband in the world. Thank you to some of my former coworkers like Saul Garza, Todd Eastman, and many others who stood by my side. Thank you to Rafael Olmeda who was president of NAHJ at the time and defended me. Thanks to many NAHJ members and a gazillion friends and fans who have been my support system since my firing. You helped me survive. Gracias!
Freedom feels good! Happy Anniversary to me.
FYI if you want the back story on why I was fired, go to Unclebarky.com. It’s was unfair, but I’m still standing.
Dana Loesch, the NRA’s spokeswoman is paid big bucks by the organization to defend it. I understand that it is her job to “spin” information and protect the image of the National Rifle Association.
Once again Loesch did her job by moving the focus of the Parkland, Florida school massacre and the gun control issue from the NRA to the media. This time Loesch said the media “loves” mass shootings for ratings.
It’s called spin. Her spin.
I have covered too many murders in my 36 years as a reporter that I have lost count. They are the most difficult assignments to cover. I have only been to one mass shooting, but a death is a death.
I have shed tears on assignment, because it hurts to see people hurt. On the other hand I know that I have a job where I can help people understand, cope, and sometimes solve murders. I have never covered a murder for ratings. In fact, television viewers have often told me they turn the channel, because they are tired of hearing “bad news.”
Now please listen Anastasiya Bolton. She’s a crime and justice reporter in Denver. She has a strong and powerful message to the NRA. “I’m an expert in mass shootings. I’m a journalists in a war zone here at home.” >> Commentary: I’m an expert in mass shootings
Let’s be honest, Dana Loesch found her way to get more TV time and ratings by making a malicious statement. As journalists we can take it. She won’t be the first “talking head” to attack us for our work and definitely not the last.
“60 million people visited Forbes.com in December, according to ComScore; 9.115 million people read the print edition of The Forbes 400 issue, according to GfK AdMeasure.”
Forbes is not only changing how its contributors are paid, but it’s also making changes to its contributor network. It launched the network seven years ago and has more than a thousand contributors. Here are more details:
Every contributor will be on a paid contract.
Standard pay rate will not change from current scale.
Larger, monthly $500 guarantee for those who post regularly.
$250 guarantee to those who post less regularly.
Top contributors will have access to top agent David Granger, who can help transform posts into book or movie deal.
Lane is hoping the contributors will have better success at Forbes.
“..we hope each contributor does far better. Many already do: In 2017, more than 100 earned well into five figures, including five that topped the $200,000 threshold.”
Expect to see more investigative stories in Forbes. Full-time reporters will get more time to do “deep-dive journalism.” Lane says they have had success breaking big investigative stories.
“Forbes journalists revealed how the president took money from a kids’ cancer charity and how the secretary of commerce was a serial fibber; we did in-depth profiles of every Trump foreign partner…”
Lane has big plans for Forbes.
It’s good to know that journalism is thriving and journalists are finding a place to do their finest work.
Eric Posner, a Chicago law professor and Glen Weyl, a Yale professor think immigrants should be matched with Americans who need cheap labor. Their idea is to have an international website where Americans can find an immigrant they can sponsor in exchange the immigrant can live in a basement and get paid $5 dollars an hour for work.
Can we say indentured servitude?
I am a fan of many reporters who work for Politico, but it is shocking that this article got by several gatekeepers at the magazine.
Do you really think immigrants should be treated basically like slaves? Do you really think they should live in a basement?
Sure, some could say an immigrant can turn down the job, but still…live in basement? That’s how these professors think we should treat newcomers. How heartless!
Shame on Posner and Weyl who proved they think immigrants are commodities. Why not use your knowledge on “an idea” that can help immigrants live a decent life in the United States and be treated with respect?
Also shame on Blake Hounshell, Politico Magazine’s editor-in-chief who gave these guys a platform to insult the immigrant community. He also tweeted the story early because he was proud of it.
This is why more people of color are needed in managerial positions in newsrooms. I would love to know how many editors are Hispanic at Politico Magazine. If I was an editor at Politico this story would have been tossed out.
As the daughter of immigrants, I can’t imagine my parents shoved in a basement and paid five bucks an hour to feed their kids. As a journalist, I am ashamed that an editor would look at this story and not realize it only encourages people to look at immigrants as property not as people.
No matter how you feel about immigrants, whether here legally or not, they still deserve respect.
As I was writing this blog, Politico changed the headline. They are getting backlash on social media for the story and the headline. Now it reads “Sponsor an Immigrant Yourself.”
The Albuquerque Journal is feeling the public’s hate. Many are threatening a protest in front of the newspaper’s building and readers are cancelling their subscriptions.
Wednesday, the newspaper published a cartoon that many are calling “racist.” The Executive Director of the New Mexico LULAC Council said on Facebook “The comic portrays three youths dressed as thugs and terrorists and the caption reads ‘Now, Honey…I believe they prefer to be called ‘DREAMERS’…or future Democrats…”
The newspaper has been bombarded with hate emails, social media posts and more. Unfortunately also hurt by the publishing of this syndicated cartoon are the good reporters and columnists at the paper.
One of them is columnist, Joline Gutierrez Krueger. She had nothing to do with management’s decision to put the controversial cartoon in the Journal, but she is also being attacked for it. Here is what she shared on Facebook:
Joline told me “This has been probably the roughest time I have ever dealt with, and I get criticism all the time.”
As I was writing this blog, Karen Moses, the editor-in-chief of the Journal issued an apology.
Political cartoons are often satire and poke at more than one point of view. I do not presume to know what cartoonist Sean Delonas was trying to convey in his cartoon that was published in Wednesday’s Albuquerque Journal. But on one level it appeared to us to be poking at President Trump’s rhetoric by portraying a quaking Republican couple who were painting Dreamers with a broad, totally false, brush.
Obviously, that was not the message received by many readers. Instead, many saw an extremely objectionable cartoon and thought that was the position of the Journal. It is not.
In hindsight, instead of generating debate, this cartoon only inflamed emotions. This was not the intent, and for that, the Journal apologizes
In my opinion, Ms. Moses needs to apologize to her staff, especially the reporters and columnists who are out on the streets dealing with people face-to-face.
One more thing. I’m not sure how many Latinos work at the Albuquerque Journal, but next time ask one of them if a cartoon like this would be perceived as “racist.” I know if I was in that newsroom I would have said “Don’t publish it!”
It feels good to see women unite on different fronts. Now we start 2018 with a new movement called TIME’S UP. More than 300 women, many well-known, united to start this mission. The TIME’S UP website explains the why:
The clock has run out on sexual assault, harassment and inequality in the workplace. It’s time to do something about it.
This isn’t just women of Hollywood. This movement is involving women from all backgrounds and workplaces, from actresses to female farm workers.
TIME’S UP is a unified call for change from women in entertainment for women everywhere. From movie sets to farm fields to boardrooms alike, we envision nationwide leadership that reflects the world in which we live.
TIME’S UP is also creating a fund to help women fight back legally. Here’s a link to the TIME’s UP Legal Defense Fund. >>Fund. The goal is 15 million dollars.
Powered by women, TIME’S UP addresses the systemic inequality and injustice in the workplace that have kept underrepresented groups from reaching their full potential. We partner with leading advocates for equality and safety to improve laws, employment agreements, and corporate policies; help change the face of corporate boardrooms and the C-suite; and enable more women and men to access our legal system to hold wrongdoers accountable
LETTER TO “DEAR SISTERS”
“Dear Sisters” is the organizer’s message and goals. They also gave credit to the women who work the farm fields.
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas’ members are Latina farm workers. They wrote a letter of solidarity in November to Hollywood men and women who had step forward to expose the sexual harassment they had experienced. Here is part of their letter published in Time magazine:
We wish that we could say we’re shocked to learn that this is such a pervasive problem in your industry. Sadly, we’re not surprised because it’s a reality we know far too well. Countless farmworker women across our country suffer in silence because of the widespread sexual harassment and assault that they face at work.
TIME’S UP WEBSITE RESOURCES CAN HELP YOU NOW
Check out the website TIME’S UP has put together. It has many resources and facts:
If you ever get the chance to sit in on Kevin Benz’ session “No more A**holes in the Newsroom” you will quickly learn these type of managers poison a newsroom, cost the company money and force good workers to leave.
Benz is a former news director with many years of experience in management. Today as a news consultant he teaches managers how to be productive leaders. He’s also the former chair of RTDNA.
I attended his session at Excellence in Journalism conference in 2016. “We can’t expect things to change if we don’t get help changing it” Benz told a packed room. His session was based on a book called, “The No A**hole Rule.”
Part of it included a test, “Are you an A**hole?”
Benz reminded managers “You’ve got to remember the power of the words you use with people.”
Benz says the number one reason people leave newsrooms is because of their immediate supervisors and it has nothing to do with pay or job location. He also urges news directors to watch the relationship between managers and other employees.
Louis CK is now admitting to sexual misconduct after The New York Times talked to five women who say he masturbated or asked to masturbate in front of them. The Times asked CK for a comment before the story was published but he did not respond.
How things changed in less than 24 hours.
Today he released a statement with words of “remorse” and “regret.”
Finally, CK stopped denying the rumors.
CK told Vulture magazine in 2016 “No. I don’t care about that. That’s nothing to me. That’s not real.” after Gawker published a story about him in May 2015 about rumors he pleasured himself in front of women.
Louis CK statement:
I want to address the stories told to the New York Times by five women named Abby, Rebecca, Dana, Julia who felt able to name themselves and one who did not.
These stories are true.
At the time, I said to myself that what I did was okay because I never showed a woman my dick without asking first, which is also true. But what I learned later in life, too late, is that when you have power over another person, asking them to look at your dick isn’t a question. It’s a predicament for them. The power I had over these women is that they admired me. And I wielded that power irresponsibly.
I have been remorseful of my actions. And I’ve tried to learn from them. And run from them. Now I’m aware of the extent of the impact of my actions. I learned yesterday the extent to which I left these women who admired me feeling badly about themselves and cautious around other men who would never have put them in that position.
I also took advantage of the fact that I was widely admired in my and their community, which disabled them from sharing their story and brought hardship to them when they tried because people who look up to me didn’t want to hear it.
I didn’t think that I was doing any of that because my position allowed me not to think about it. There is nothing about this that I forgive myself for. And I have to reconcile it with who I am. Which is nothing compared to the task I left them with. I wish I had reacted to their admiration of me by being a good example to them as a man and given them some guidance as a comedian, including because I admired their work.
The hardest regret to live with is what you’ve done to hurt someone else. And I can hardly wrap my head around the scope of hurt I brought on them. I’d be remiss to exclude the hurt that I’ve brought on people who I work with and have worked with who’s [sic] professional and personal lives have been impacted by all of this, including projects currently in production: the cast and crew of ‘Better Things,’ ‘Baskets,’ ‘The Cops,’ ‘One Mississippi,’ and ‘I Love You Daddy.’
I deeply regret that this has brought negative attention to my manager Dave Becky who only tried to mediate a situation that I caused. I’ve brought anguish and hardship to the people at FX who have given me so much The Orchard who took a chance on my movie and every other entity that has bet on me through the years.
I’ve brought pain to my family, my friends, my children and their mother.
I have spent my long and lucky career talking and saying anything I want. I will now step back and take a long time to listen.
Thank you for reading.”
DUMPED, CANCELLED, REMOVED
Louis CK is finding that his sexual misconduct has consequences.
Eight men are in federal custody on charges of sex trafficking of children. They were arrested following an investigation by the Fort Worth Police Department’s VICE Unit. The men went before a federal judge in Fort Worth on Tuesday and were officially charged and remain behind bars.
Pierre Lagrone, aka “P” or “Pedro,” 33
Robert Roseberry, aka “King Rose,” 29
Herman Sanders, aka “Pooh,” 29
Reginald Smith, aka “Green Light,” 28
Demarcus Davis, aka “Zigg,” 25
Kentrell Davis, aka “Zeal,” 24
Cederrick Clarkson, aka “Ced” or “Spazz,” 25
Terroderick Watts, aka “Silk,” 27
According to an affidavit in March of 2017, the Fort Worth Police Department’s VICE Unit conducted a recovery operation in response to a lead sent from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in reference to a suspected victim of Child Sex Trafficking.
Fort Worth police found a Backpage.com ad containing photographs of a minor female, Jane Doe 1, that advertised commercial sex acts. As a result of the operation, Jane Doe 1 was recovered. Additionally, two other minor females were also found in a closet located in Jane Doe 1’s hotel room at the time she was recovered.
The three females, and others, were victims of a child sex trafficking organization. Investigators say Lagrone, Roseberry, Sanders, Smith, D. Davis, K. Davis, Clarkson and Watts were members of that organization and recruited, advertised and sold several women, both adults and underage for the purpose of sex.
The suspects worked together as an organization by using some of the same underage and adult female victims to engage in sex acts, often working out of the same hotels. They transported female victims for the purpose of commercial sex acts, utilizing and sharing cellphones that were used to post ads for commercial sex on Backpage.com,
They also took pictures of the girls and women either nude or in their underwear and posted them as Backpage.com ads . The defendants were also frequently violent if the females angered them or did not follow their directions.
If convicted, the men face life in a federal prison and a $250,000 fine.
Backpage.com is where many child sex traffickers do their business according to this mother called Nacole. She says her teenage daughter became a sex slave and ended up “in the hands of a very evil man.” He posted her daughter’s photo also on backpage.com. Listen to this very emotional story.
95-year-old Vivian Castleberry passed away Tuesday morning at her daughter’s home in Georgia. The former newspaper editor will always be remembered as the woman who opened doors for females in journalism starting in the 1950’s.
Journalism was always in her blood. She was determined to have a career at a time when most women stayed home to take care of their families.
Castleberry was a journalist at her high school in East Texas. She went to Southern Methodist University (SMU) where she joined the newspaper. There she started as a writer and eventually moved up to feature editor and then to assistant editor.
From 1956 to 1984, Castleberry held the position of women’s editor for the Dallas Times Herald’s Living section. She was known for being objective and exposing cultural taboos and didn’t let resistance from other editors at the Times Herald stop her.
She was one of the first reporters who wrote about topics like domestic violence, inequality at work, and child abuse. Castleberry also became the first woman elected to the newspaper’s editorial board. She won numerous awards for her work.
The JFK Assassination
Castleberrry covered many interesting stories during her career. She was working the day President John F. Kennedy visited Dallas on November 22, 1963. She got first hand information of Kennedy’s assassination from her cousin who was standing next to Abe Zapruder. He was the photographer who took what has become the most important film documentation of Kennedy’s assassination. Castleberry said her cousin was Zapruder’s assistant but was never interviewed by the Warren Commission which looked into the case.
The many stages of Vivian Castleberry
Castleberry was one of the first women to show that a mother can work and raise her children. She and her husband had five children, and Castleberry kept on working.
She wrote four books: Daughters of Dallas, The Texas Tornado, Sarah the Bridge Builder, and Seeds of Success. In 1984, Castleberry was inducted into the Texas Woman’s Hall of Fame.
Castleberry also founded Peacemakers Incorporated. In 1988, she served as Chairwoman of Peacemakers’ First International Women’s Peace Conference, which was attended by over 2,000 women from 57 countries.
In 2010, the University of North Texas established the Castleberry Peace Institute. Today it offers cutting-edge research and educational programs on the causes of war and peace.
Vivian Castleberry will always be known as a true Texas Trailblazer.
Once again it takes Jimmy Kimmel to make us sit back and think about gun violence, the politics behind gun control and the senseless murders of innocent people.
Kimmel has become the voice of reason on late night talk shows. A few weeks ago taking on Republican lawmakers on a health care bill that he believed was not good for Americans. It appeared his influence had an impact. The Graham-Cassidy bill died when Republicans decided not to vote on it because they they didn’t have enough committed votes.
Monday night Kimmel opened his monologue choking back tears as he reminded us about the deaths, injured and wounded left behind in Las Vegas by one gunman.
Here is a transcript of Kimmel’s powerful and emotional message:
“No way to know why a human being would do something like this to other human beings”
As you know, at least 59 people are dead, hundreds of people are wounded in what they’re saying is the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history coming about a year and a half after the previous deadliest mass shooting in modern American history in Orlando when 49 people lost their lives. And of course we pray for the victims and for their families and friends and we wonder why, even though there’s probably no way to know why a human being would do something like this to other human beings who are at a concert, having fun and listening to music. Jason Aldean was on stage, Luke Combs who was here with us tonight, he played the show, too. And obviously no one could have ever expected that something terrible would happen, but it did.
“…we have children without parents and fathers without sons…”
A very sick person smuggled 17 guns into his hotel room and smashed out the windows, started firing indiscriminately from the 32nd floor into a crowd of 22,000 people across the street. And as a result of that, this morning, we have children without parents and fathers without sons, mothers without daughters. We lost two police officers. We lost a nurse from Tennessee. A special ed teacher from a school here in Manhattan Beach.
It’s the kind of thing that makes you want to throw up or give up, it’s too much to even process. All these devastated families who now have to live with this pain forever, because one person with a violent and insane voice in his head managed to stockpile a collection of high-powered rifles and use them to shoot people. The guy was an accountant, he has no criminal record. His brother who lives in Florida seems totally shocked, genuinely dumbfounded, he said he saw no sign of any of this. The owner of the store that sold the killer some of the rifles said he passed the government-mandated background check when he was in the store. He wasn’t on any watchlist. He didn’t seem to have been a religious or political extremist. Came out of nowhere.
“Of course there’s something we can do about it”
Because of that, because there weren’t any of the usual signs, I’ve been reading comments from people who say, “This is terrible, but there’s nothing we can do about it.” But I disagree with that intensely. Because of course there’s something we can do about it, there’s a lot of things we can do about it. But we don’t, which is interesting. Because when someone with a beard attacks us, we tap phones, we invoke travel bans, we build walls, we take every possible precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. But when an American buys a gun and kills other Americans, then there’s nothing we can about that.
The Second Amendment, I guess, our forefathers wanted us to have AK-47s is the argument, I assume. Orlando, Newtown, Aurora, San Bernardino, every one of these shootings the murderer used automatic or semi-automatic rifles, which are not weapons you use for self-defense. They’re weapons designed to kill large numbers of people in the shortest possible amount of time. And this guy, reportedly he had 10 of them in his room, apparently legally. At least some of them were there legally. Why is that allowed? I don’t know why our so-called leaders continue to allow this to happen. Or better question, why do we continue to let them allow it to happen?
“…we’ll move on to the next thing, and then it will happen again and again”
Five people got shot in Lawrence, Kansas, last night, three of them died, it didn’t even make a blip because it’s just a regular part of our lives now. And you know what will happen, we’ll pray for Las Vegas. Some of us will get motivated, some of us won’t get motivated. The bills will be written, they’ll be watered down, they’ll fail. The NRA will smother it all with money and over time we’ll get distracted. We’ll move on to the next thing and then it will happen again and again.
Last night, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said this is not the time… actually it was today, this morning, she said it was not the time for political debate. I don’t know, we have 59 innocent people dead, it wasn’t their time either. So I think now is the time for political debate.
“lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because NRA has their balls in a money clip”
President Trump is visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday, he spoke this morning, said he’s praying for those who lost their lives. In February, he also signed a bill that made it easier for people with severe mental illness to buy guns legally. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, a number of other lawmakers who won’t do anything about this because the NRA has their balls in a money clip, also sent their thoughts and their prayers today, which is good. They should be praying. They should be praying for God to forgive them for letting the gun lobby run this country, because it’s so crazy.
“These are the faces of the senators…voted against a bill that would have closed those loopholes”
Right now, there are loopholes in the law that let people avoid background checks if they buy a gun privately from another party, if they buy a gun online or at a gun show. So I want to show you something. These are the faces of the senators who, days after the shooting in Orlando, voted against a bill that would have closed those loopholes. These are the 56 senators who didn’t want to do anything about that.
“So with all due respect, your (Senators) thoughts and prayers are insufficient”
Ninety percent of Democrats, I’m not talking about politicians here, I’m talking about people and 77 percent of Republicans support background checks at gun shows. Eighty-nine percent of Democrats and Republicans are in favor of restricting gun ownership for the mentally ill. But not this gang! They voted against both of those things. So with all due respect, your thoughts and your prayers are insufficient.
By the way, the House of Representatives is voting on a piece of legislation this week. It’s a bill to legalize the sale of silencers for guns, this is what they’re working on. We have a major problem with gun violence in this country, and I guess they don’t care. If I’m wrong on that, fine, do something about it. Cause I’m sick of it.
“It feels like someone has opened a window into hell”
I want this to be a comedy show. I hate talking about stuff like this. I just want to laugh about things every night, but that it seems to becoming increasingly difficult lately. It feels like someone has opened a window into hell. And what I’m talking about tonight isn’t about gun control, it’s about common sense. Common sense says no good will ever come from allowing a person to have weapons that can take down 527 Americans at a concert. Common sense says you don’t let those who suffer from mental illness buy guns.
In June of last year, the NRA fought to make sure people on the no-fly list can buy guns. They aren’t allowed to get on a plane; they’re allowed to own a very dangerous gun. Who thinks that makes sense?! Them, I guess, the people who voted with the NRA. Maybe I’m nuts, but I would like to think we could put politics aside and agree that no American citizen needs an M-16 or 10 of them. And maybe that way, we don’t do this again. And that seems very reasonable to me.
You know, in 1980 we had a big fire at the MGM in Las Vegas. It was horrible, 85 people died, you could see the fire. I was 13 years old, I’ll never forget it. A man jumped out the window, it was a terrible thing to see. Then a few months later there was another fire at the Hilton and five people died. So you know what they did? They changed the laws. They made major changes to the fire safety codes and it hasn’t happened again. Why would we approach this differently? It’s a public safety issue, and something needs to be done already.
“Tell your congress people to do something”
So tell your congress people to do something. It’s not enough to send your love and prayers. We do, we send our love and support and whatever else is needed to Las Vegas, and to the families from all over the country and Canada who had the worst night of their lives last night.
Vegas is a funny town, it’s easy to forget people live there, but they do. Lots of good people. These people showed in droves today to donate blood, because it’s the only thing they could do, and so they did it. But there is more that we could do, and we need to do it.
“Don’t forget them”
Thank God for the police in Las Vegas, who risked their lives trying to locate the man with the gun. Thank God for the doctors and nurses and firefighters and paramedics who rose to the occasion, as they always seem to do when we need them to. And the concertgoers themselves who helped each other, who threw their bodies on top of each other, who drove their private cars full of people who were bleeding to the hospital. Don’t forget them.
“…don’t forget what’s going on in Puerto Rico…”
And don’t forget what’s going on in Puerto Rico, either. Just because they’re not the lead story today, they still need help. And if you want to help either one a good way to do that is to give to the American Red Cross … and we send all our love to our family and friends in Las Vegas and everyone affected by this terrible event.
I’m sorry for getting emotional, I’m not great with this kind of thing. But I just think it’s important, you know?
Hispanic Heritage Month starts today, September 15 and runs until October 15. It celebrates Hispanics in the U.S. It recognizes not only the Latino culture and history but also our contributions.
Congress started Hispanic Heritage Week in 1968, and it was expanded to a month in 1988. The celebration coincides with the national independence days of several Latin American countries: Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica celebrate on September 15. Mexico celebrates its independence on Sept. 16 and Belize on Sept. 21.
Topics to cover on Hispanic Heritage Month
OK for the record, Hispanic Heritage Month IS NOT about margaritas and tacos. Don’t be cliché.
Hispanic Heritage Month is about shining a light on good people and projects that profile the Latino community. Do more than one story. Produce a series of profiles or stories that run every other day or week. Here are some suggestions:
Studies being done on the Latino c ommunity by a local university or hospital.
Latino community projects that are aimed helping children, immigrants and the community as a whole.
The rise of bilingual schools and immersion schools. Who is learning Spanish as adults and children and why?
The story behind the leader: profile Latino community, church and political leaders. What in their background made them the person they are today?
The economy and Hispanic spending power
Political power and the Latino vote
Turn to resources to give you ideas
If the suggestions I have given you still don’t spark an idea for a few stories for Hispanic Heritage Month, here are some resources that can help:
Here are three fellowships that can help you pursue a project that you feel needs to be published. The University of Virginia is offering a$7,500 fellowship for stories that look into genetics and behavior.
Travel to three different countries and write global issues. The Fulbright-National Geographic fellowship could be your ticket to the world.
If your goal is to research a science or environmental story, the Alice Patterson Fellowship may have the funds you need to get that project done.
GENETIC AND BEHAVIOR JOURNALISM FELLOWSHIPS Deadline: Sept. 15, 2017
The Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia is offering five $7,500 Genetics and Behavior Journalism Fellowships for early and mid-career journalists. The fellowship supports ambitious, long-form stories on the broad theme of genetics and behavior. The fellowship was established by Eric Turkheimer, Hugh Scott Hamilton Professor, Department of Psychology at the University of Virginia, and Jonathan Weiner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Beak of the Finch and Maxwell M. Geffen Professor of Medical and Scientific Journalism at Columbia Journalism School. For more application and more information: Fellowship
THE FULBRIGHT-NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC STORYTELLING FELLOWSHIP Deadline: October 6, 2017
The Fulbright-National Geographic Storytelling Fellowship, a part of the Fulbright U.S. Student Program, provides opportunities for U.S. citizens to take part in an academic year of overseas travel and storytelling in one, two, or three countries on a globally significant theme. This Fellowship is possible through a partnership between the U.S. Department of State and the National Geographic Society. Storytellers publish stories on the Fulbright-National Geographic Stories blog.
THE ALICIA PATTERSON FELLOWSHIP Deadline: October 1, 2017
Area of expertise: Fellow specializing in either science or environmental journalism
The Alicia Patterson Foundation will give support for journalists engaged in rigorous, probing, spirited, independent and skeptical work that will benefit the public. The foundation will support journalism and will foster a community of journalists engaged in truthfully informing the public.
Visit AliciaPatterson.org for more information.
My father taught me at an early age to write down everything: the good, bad and ugly. As I watched James Comey testify in front of the Senate Intelligence Committee, I realized the former FBI director was teaching us the importance of documentation on the job. Good notes can never hurt. These are tips I share with everyone I mentor:
Keep notes when a manager pulls you in the office for “a talk”. Take notes during the meeting or immediately afterwards. Write down what you talked about, who was present, date and time.
Good documentation should include a follow-up email to the manager “Review what we talked about today.” Always follow up with an email.
Keep detailed notes on any observation you make at work especially if does not seem right or a coworker is the target: Date, time, witnesses etc.
Documentation will come in handy for your annual evaluation. Some managers tend to forget the good but over emphasize the bad.
When you visit the Western Wall in Jerusalem, you can see up close why it is considered the holiest place for prayer by the Jewish people. I was there last week during a journalism fellowship with Fuenta Latina, a nonprofit that educates reporters about Israel today.
Every year, millions of Jews from all over the world visit the wall to pray. Tourists who are non-Jews also visit the wall to pay their respects. Men and women pray in separate sections.
Next week when President Donald Trump goes to Israel he will make a stop at the Western Wall. He will be the first U.S. sitting President to do so. Other presidents have visited the sacred wall but as private citizens.
People in Jerusalem I talked to are curious to learn more about the billionaire turn reality star turn U.S. President. From hotel clerks to taxi drivers they told me they look forward to Trump’s visit to Israel. but wonder if he will create more chaos than peace.
Trump is already getting bad press in Israel because it appears he has snubbed Israel’s Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu. Israeli TV Channel 2 is reporting that Trump’s delegation has not only turned down Netanyahu’s request to go with Trump to the wall but also someone from the delegation insulted Israeli officials claiming the wall was not Israeli Territory.
Tuesday National Security Adviser, General H.R. McMaster at a White House briefing confirmed “No Israeli leaders will join President Trump at the Western Wall.” McMaster would not confirm or deny whether Trump believed the Western Wall was not Israeli territory when asked by reporters.
The wall is the only remains of the Second Temple of Jerusalem that was destroyed by the Romans in 70 CE. Israelis seized the Western Wall in the Old City from the Jordanians, along with East Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war, and it is not officially recognized internationally as Israeli territory.
Rebecca Aguilar is an award-winning freelance reporter with 35 years experience. She was part of the May 2017 Fuenta Latina Fellowship to Israel.
The USA Today tweet got my attention. It read “Is United Airlines passenger Dr. Dao an “Asian version of Rosa Parks?”
As a reporter, I knew they were quoting someone who made that statement. My relatives who are not journalists thought USA Today was making the comparison between Dr. Dao and civil rights activist Rosa Parks.
It appears they were not the only ones, because USA Today immediately faced backlash on Twitter. One tweet read “Point out the lady or gentleman who gave the thumbs up on this article.” Another tweet posted “Congratulations, this by far, the most ignorant headline of the week.”
USA TODAY HEADLINE TOLD THE STORY, TWEET WAS UNCLEAR
The USA TODAY headline on its website read “United passenger’s lawyer says he’s gotten emails comparing client to Rosa Parks.” Now that should have been the tweet.
USA Today chose not to use the same headline that was on their website, a decision that does not make sense. It could have been shortened, made the story crystal clear and avoided criticism.
AVOID WHAT MAY APPEAR TO BE CLICK-BAIT TWEETS
Today we want everyone to click into our stories because competition is tough. And I know that writing interesting and sometimes bizarre headlines can attract readers.
Let us not forget that many people make up their minds and quickly over one tweet without ever clicking into the story. That’s why it is important to be clear and informative in 140 characters.
A reader will give you one chance and you can blow it in one tweet.
USA Today corrected its mistake. As I was writing this blog, I noticed it took down the original tweet and replaced it with a new tweet that makes more sense ” United passenger’s lawyer says he’s gotten emails comparing his client to Rosa Parks:”
United Airlines has made a lot of mistakes and now it finds itself in a big PR nightmare. The proof ended up on a video that went viral and passengers left in shock.
HOW IT STARTED
United had an overbooked flight from Chicago to Louisville on Sunday. Why do airlines oversell flights?
United needed four seats for four employees who were flying on standby. How come they get priority over passengers who already dished out money for a ticket?
United offered up to 800 dollars in travel vouchers to passengers if someone would give up their seat. No takers. Why didn’t the airline offer more money? Everyone has a price.
United decided to randomly pick passengers off the flight when no one gave up their seat. Three passengers were apparently fine with it but one man was not. He said he was a doctor who insisted he had to go home. How did the airline randomly pick passengers?
When the man would not leave, the airline called in airport officers who forcibly dragged the man out of his seat. It was a violent scene. The passenger hit his face on an arm rest and started bleeding. Why were the officers rough with him?
While some passengers were recording video on their phones, others were left in shock and in tears. Who is going to help the passengers now dealing with their own trauma?
Audra Bridges caught everything on video.
UNITED’S CEO RELEASES STATEMENT THAT MADE THINGS WORSE
Problems continued when United’s CEO Oscar Munoz came out with a statement that sounded like a pity party for the airline. He called the situation an “upsetting event” for United. Did he hear the passenger’s outcry as they dragged the man down the aisle? Did he see the passenger’s bloody face? Now that’s upsetting.
The CEO apologized for “having to re-accommodate” customers.” Dragging a man in an airplane is the CEO’s version of re-accommodate?
CNN reported Monday that one of the officers has been placed on suspension. Why weren’t all the officers put on leave?
United’s CEO says the matter is being reviewed. Too late, the damage is done.
My advice to CEO Oscar Munoz is get a better PR team and find the doctor, apologize in person and offer him and his family flights for LIFE.
The Dallas Mega March did not draw the 100-thousand people that organizers expected, but the ones who did show up were just as passionate as the ones in 2006. That’s when 500,000 marchers took to the streets of Dallas.
Ashley of Sherman, Texas was at the rally in front of Dallas City Hall with a sign that read “Got White Privilege?” She thought it was important to take her little boy to the Mega March on Sunday, because she said it was history.
Thousands at the rally waved signs, some read “Will trade racists for refugees” and “Keep hope alive.” Dallas police estimated around 32-hundred people marched on Sunday.
I did a Facebook Live while I was there and walked through the crowd. People of different backgrounds, ages, and religions were there to show their support.
Who is going to the Dallas Mega March 2017 tomorrow? I’ll be there. I reported on the last Mega March in March 2006. More than 500,000 people showed up to march.
Here are my three reasons why you should be this march:
1) For journalists and student journalists you know it’s a story.
2) If you care about immigration and unity you should be there.
3) If you’ve never experienced being in a march, go and be inspired by people who believe in a cause. Take your kids. My parents took us to marches and protests when we were children. I think those experiences as a child made me the strong, outspoken woman I am today.
The march starts at 2 p.m. in front of the Guadalupe Cathedral at 2215 Ross Avenue. Go early to find parking or take DART and walk over or arrange a ride to drop you off near the cathedral and pick you up at City Hall where the march will end.
If you plan to go wear sneakers and comfortable clothing. March organizers want you to wear red, white and blue t-shirts and bring an American flag. A backpack comes in handy for water, snacks, phone, sun block and a camera if you take one. Keep hydrated but remember finding a bathroom or port-a-potty may be a challenge. Good luck!
Go to the Mega March website for more information and the list of speakers. Please share. See you there!
Joangel Concepcion had big dreams of living a very successful life as a television reporter after she graduated from Temple University. Fast forward to today and she is an author with her first book “Dropping the Mic.”
In the tell-all book, Joangel talks about making sacrifices, dealing with toxic people in and outside of local television newsrooms and the emotional journey along the way. She is brutally honest about pit stops in TV markets in Brownsville/McAllen, Rochester and Dallas. She has changed the names of some of her former coworkers in the book, because her goal was to share her experiences not to “out” people.
“Dropping the Mic” opens your eyes to what life in television news can be if you land in the wrong place or if the newsroom is not the right fit for you. Joangel walked away from journalism after four and a half years into her career. Her experiences are a wake up call that changes are needed inside TV newsrooms around the country or we’ will continue to lose good people.
Full disclosure, I contacted Joangel in 2014 when I learned she took a job at the same television station where I had once worked in Dallas. We immediately became friends and I was honored that she asked me to read a draft of her book. I am mentioned in it.
Joangel is funny, smart and she was a very good reporter. I am saddened that we lost another woman and Latina in TV news. I hope her book will inspire those getting into the business to keep their eyes wide open and be prepared for a roller coaster ride in television news.
Trump staff blocked CNN, New York Times, LA Times, BuzzFeed News and Politico from White House briefing today. These news outlets have been breaking big stories involving the President and he doesn’t like it.
According to the New York Times reporters from the Associated Press and Time magazine who were allowed into the briefing but decided not to attend in protest. The off-camera briefing took place in Sean Spicer’s office.
Fox News anchor Brett Baier also gave his opinion on Twitter. He recalled when Obama administration attacked and attempted to ban Fox News from briefings. Guess who stood up for them?
Some at CNN & NYT stood w/FOX News when the Obama admin attacked us & tried 2 exclude us-a WH gaggle should be open to all credentialed orgs https://t.co/8Vjcs0KCPR
Ari Fleischer, former White House Press Secretary talked to CNN about the press being banned “Press secretaries should meet with all press because it is unwise and counterproductive to do. Your relationship and obligation is to all media.” Fleischer believes the block was not a threat to the First Amendment.
STAND TOGETHER PRESS
We should be speaking up as journalists and go straight to them on Twitter: Trump, Spicer and Preibus. Also journalism organizations should be very vocal on this issue and stop this from happening again.
We have a job to do, and should not be bullied, intimidated or blocked from getting to the truth.
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram is doing something every news outlet should be doing today. The newspaper is reaching out to readers via a survey to get their advice and gain their trust again.
“Your participation will help your local journalists and the journalism industry serve you better. With that in mind, would you be willing to meet with one of our journalists for one hour, at a place and time convenient for you, to discuss this further?” – FW Star-Telegram
We’ve all seen the studies that show that the majority of the public does not trust the press and it doesn’t help that President Trump calls us “fake news.” The Star-Telegram is making the right move. Check out the survey.
Today we need to know what readers, viewers, and listeners want and not what we believe they want.
Lisa West Williams was on a flight home with Shawn Thomas. Passengers were asked to wait as the Green Beret’s flag-draped coffin was taken out of the airplane at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Williams caught the rest on video including Thomas’ widow in an emotional moment.
Williams posted the video on her Facebook page “It was an honor to fly home with this PATRIOT! God bless his wife and family. There was not a dry eye around me.”
Open a door to a new experience with a journalism fellowship. Free education in most cases. Here is a list of 16 journalism fellowships that give you an experience in everything from politics and media to immigration issues. Check these out and also share them.
American Press Institute Fellowship Deadline January 16, 2017
The American Press Institute offers a paid summer fellowship for college students or recent graduates to conduct research and publish insights that advance innovation and sustainability in journalism. Application
Jefferson Fellowships Deadline Jan. 26, 2017
The Jefferson Fellowships offer print and broadcast journalists from the United States, Asia and the Pacific Islands the unique opportunity to gain on-the-ground perspectives and build international networks to enhance their reporting through an intensive one-week education and dialogue seminar at the East-West Center in Honolulu followed by two weeks of study tour travel in the Asia Pacific-U.S. region.>>Application
The O’Brien Fellowship in Public Service Journalism
Deadline January 27, 2017
This is a reporting fellowship. O’Brien Fellows will return to their newsrooms after an academic year with a world-class project and a paid Marquette student intern for summer 2017.>>Application
Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellowship in Journalism Innovation Deadline: January 31, 2017
The Nieman-Berkman Klein Fellowship in Journalism Innovation brings individuals to Harvard University to work on a specific course of research or a specific project relating to journalism innovation. The fellowship is a collaboration between the Nieman Foundation for Journalism and the Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. For more information > Nieman ‘How to Apply’
The Thomson Reuters Foundation Fellowship Deadline January 31, 2017
The Thomson Reuters Foundation Fellowship offers an opportunity for experienced journalists wishing to undertake research projects on a variety of subjects. Application
Hearst Journalism Fellowship Deadline: Friday of the second full week in January (according to website)
The Fellowship is a two-year program focusing on multimedia journalism. It consists of two 12-month rotations at Hearst’s top metro papers. More: Application Instructions
The Spencer Fellowship for Education Deadline February 1, 2017
The Spencer Fellowship for Education Reporting is open to journalists, educators and education policy researchers who want to develop an ambitious, long-form journalism project to advance the understanding of education. Four fellows will be selected for this highly competitive program, which combines coursework in residence at Columbia Journalism School and Teachers College, and hands-on advising from education writing experts. Application
Joan Shorenstein Fellowship Deadline Feb. 1, 2017
The mission of the Joan Shorenstein Fellowship Program is to advance research in the field of media, politics and public policy; facilitate a dialogue among journalists, scholars, policymakers and students; provide an opportunity for reflection; and create a vibrant and long-lasting community of scholars and practitioners. Must be a full-time journalist, politician, scholar or policymaker currently active in the field. Application
Knight-Wallace Fellowships Deadline February 1, 2017
A Knight-Wallace Fellowship recognizes exceptional journalists for their work, leadership and potential with a unique opportunity: an academic year of study, developing new perspectives and networks, and achieving both professional and personal growth at the University of Michigan, one of the world’s finest universities. Application
MetCalf Institute Fellowship for Marine and Environmental Reporting Deadline February 6, 2017
Journalists from all media who want to improve their skills in environmental reporting can apply for a weeklong workshop in Rhode Island. The Metcalf Institute is accepting applications for the Annual Science Immersion Workshop for journalists. The workshop will take place at the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography on June 4 to 9, 2017. Application
Fund for Investigative Journalism
Deadline Feb. 6, 2017
The Fund encourages proposals written for ethnic media and submitted by journalists of color. Grants average $5,000 and cover out-of-pocket expenses such as travel, document collection, and equipment rental. The Fund also considers requests for small stipends Application
Sylvia Rowe Fellowship Deadline February 8, 2017
Good for Graduate students interested in nutrition and journalism. IFIC Foundation now accepting applications for 2017 Sylvia Rowe Fellowship for Nutrition, Food Safety Communicators. Application
The Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship
Deadline Feb. 13, 2017
Working journalists with less than 10 years of professional experience in print or online journalism are eligible to apply for the Robert Novak Journalism Fellowship Program. Applicants propose a one-year writing project on a topic of their choosing, focusing on journalism supportive of American culture and a free society. In addition, the program awards separate fellowships on the environment, on free enterprise and on law enforcement. Application
Loyola Law School Fellowships for Journalists Deadline Feb. 15, 2017
Loyola Law School is offering 35 professional journalists fellowships. The challenge of reporting on the legal system without a law degree is daunting. To help support journalists who cover the courts on national, regional or local levels, the Civil Justice Program at Loyola Law School, Los Angeles, has developed the journalist law program consisting of a four-day intensive seminar on the legal system. Lectures, lodging and most meals are covered by the program. Application
IRE Freelance Fellowship Deadline April 3, 2017
Awards of $1,000 or more are available to assist in conducting investigative projects. Application
IRE Diversity Fellowship Deadline April 23, 2017
These fellowships are aimed at increasing the diversity of IRE’s membership. Application
Let’s stop the use of the term “White Hispanic” especially if you are a journalist. We as Hispanics do not use that label. We come in different shades but that’s about it.
On the day of the deadly shooting in Fort Lauderdale, Tariq Nasheed went on Twitter and used the term “White Hispanic” to describe the suspect. The self-proclaimed “Anti-racism strategist” tweeted:
Yes, I heard the term used during the George Zimmerman case, but again that does not make the term acceptable including in news report or social media posts.
People on Twitter slapped Nasheed with harsh criticism for using that term. He found no problem using “White Hispanic” because the government uses it.
Nasheed has yet to respond to my tweets. I’m waiting.
Take it from me, as a person who has been a Hispanic for more than 50 years. We don’t use that term and we don’t divide our people. And as veteran journalist, we know better as reporters not to use government terms when telling a story.
Brave, bold, fearless and fair is how I would describe the four national TV news anchors and correspondents I have chosen as my best for 2016. As journalists we should all want to model after the work done by Jake Tapper, Gretchen Carlson, Tom Llamas and Jim Acosta. In a business that is challenged by fake news and “wannabe news celebrities” these four journalists are the real “truth seekers.”
JAKE TAPPER: THE BEST TV NEWS INTERVIEWER, SPIN NOT ALLOWED
If you want to learn how to be a great interviewer, all you have to do is watch Jake Tapper every day on CNN.
He uses solid facts to push for the truth and doesn’t allow anyone to add spin to an answer. Whether he is talking to a politician or someone who happens to be where news is breaking, Jake digs deep and peels off the layers.
Thanks Jake for teaching journalists how to do an interview with determination and class.
GRETCHEN CARLSON: THE WOMAN WHO EXPOSED SEXUAL HARASSMENT IN TV NEWS
Gretchen Carlson changed life for women in TV news.
In 2016, she exposed sexual harassment in the newsroom and on the way took down one of the most powerful men in the business AKA Roger Ailes. He had all the power to do what he wanted when he ran Fox News and he did just that. Under his rule, women had to be beautiful, wear body hugging dresses, shorten the hems and show lots of leg when on-air.
But when Ailes’ power turned to sexual harassment, Gretchen skillfully planned how to expose him. She filed a lawsuit. Her former co-workers at Fox News, including several women turned on her. Shame on them! Not even current Fox princess, Meygan Kelly had the courage to speak up until she had to especially when it was time to promote her book.
Eventually Ailes was shown the door with a 40 million dollar paycheck, and Gretchen settled too. Thank you Gretchen for giving women in news the courage to stand up, speak up in our newsrooms even if it means losing a job. We do matter more!
TAKING CHARGE ON THE DONALD TRUMP CAMPAIGN TRAIL: JIM ACOSTA AND TOM LLAMAS
Jim Acosta of CNN and Tom Llamas of ABC News lived out of suitcases during the 2016 presidential campaign covering Donald Trump’s every move. They were unstoppable as they pursued the facts even when Trump and his supporters aimed their angry, ugly words and actions at them.
To become a good reporter you have to be fearless when seeking the truth. Well Jim and Tom proved they don’t get angry or even, they just get the job done.
Jim and Tom are also two of the few Latinos covering the political beat on a national level. They are role models to many Latino/Latina journalists coming up the ranks.
Tom and Jim thank you for showing us journalists to push forward when a wall of angry words hit you right in the face from all angles.
A good journalist does not allow anyone to set the ground rules for an interview or meeting. And we do our best to avoid “off-the-record” conversations.
Our job as reporters is to get the facts and share them with the public. You can’t do that if you agree to go “off-the-record” which means you can’t share anything you talked about during that discussion.
TRUMP HAD HIS WAY WITH TV JOURNALISTS
On Monday, President-elect Donald Trump had his way with some of the best TV journalists and their bosses. They were suckered into a meeting where they became his punching bags.
I watched on a live feed as CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and Erin Burnett, NBC’s Lester Holt, CBS’s Gayle King, Charlie Rose, Norah O’Donnell, ABC’s George Stephanopoulos arrived to Trump Tower. According to the New York Post the meeting turned into a Trump tirade. He was finally facing the people he called “scum and liars” on the campaign trail. He took the opportunity on his turf to let them know what he thought of them and according to sources it was ugly.
I am disappointed they agreed to have an “off-the-record” meeting with the President-elect. What were they thinking? What happened to digging for the truth, standing up for journalism, and not taking his abuse anymore.
All these high-profile TV news anchors, reporters and managers missed a big opportunity to stand together as journalists and tell Mr. Trump that we won’t be humiliated, berated, intimidated, or bullied for doing our jobs. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe one of the TV anchors or reporters was brave enough to speak up for journalists in that meeting, but I guess we’ll never know since it was “off the record.”
Donald Trump played the media. Here’s hoping those high-profile TV news anchors and reporters don’t get suckered by him again in the future.
MORE ON TV JOURNALISTS AND TRUMP
Here’s a video worth watching.
Washington Post media columnists Erik Wemple and Margaret Sullivan talk about the meeting between the TV journalists and Trump, and how the broadcasters and their bosses should have known better.
Gabriel Abaroa the president and CEO of the Latin Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences told reporters that presenters, nominees and winners were never discouraged to talk about their political stand at the Latin Grammy Awards on Thursday.
But the same didn’t go for the media.
Gaby Natale the creator and host of SuperLatina was covering the event. She posted on Facebook that Grammy organizers told the press not to ask the celebrities any questions about politics.
After the awards, she and other entertainment reporters wanted answers from the president of the Academy.
He said the nominees and presenters always do what they want when they perform, say what they want during their acceptance speeches and that type of freedom has never changed. Albaroa admitted he was concerned the Latin Grammys would be perceived as political that could have financial ramifications.
Here’s Gaby’s video:
I’ve translated some of Abaroas statements:
(:30) “We try to concentrate on the music and what happened today. And if you believe the Academy should take a position politically over a topic, we’ll think about it, consult about it, and talk about….”
(1:39) “We did not talk with any artist or told them what they should or shouldn’t say during their acceptance (speech). We’ve never done that and never will”
(2:32) “If we establish ourselves as a political platform, we can do it in the country that we live in… but remember we are international. ”
(3:07) “When we are here (press room) we are trying to help them focus on the music and the awards…”
Whether covering a political race or a red carpet event, as reporters we should never be told how to do our job. Thank you Gaby Natale for speaking up on this issue.
Latinos may have been the big voting block in the 2016 Presidential elections but apparently the folks at the Latin Grammy Awards didn’t want the media to ask any questions about politics to the winners or nominees.
EN SHOCK. En la sala de prensa @latingrammy nos pidieron a todos los miembros de medios de comunicación q no hagamos preguntas de politica. Que error buscar silenciar temas que importan tanto #latingrammy
IN SHOCK In the #LatinGrammy press room they have just asked all members of the media NOT to ask questions related to politics. What a mistake to silence the topics that are so important for Latinos right now.
The media should not be silenced. We have the right to ask anyone including celebrities questions about any topic. And guess what? Everyone has an opinion on the recent election of President-elect Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton’s loss.
Here’s hoping someone in the press let the nominees and winners know they have been told not to do their jobs, ask the questions they want about politics. Here’s to hoping the celebrities, entertainers, and Latin Grammy nominees and winners speak out and complain too.
Stand up for the media. We have to do our jobs even at the Latin Grammy Awards.
Before her appearance, Gwen wanted to meet with groups such as the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) and the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). When I heard she was coming, I knew I had to attend.
During the meeting, she answered our questions, talked about her journey, gave us some great tips and about having more diversity in the newsroom.
Gwen was a class act. She was kind enough to take photos with everyone that day. She took her time to talk to all of us about any questions we had.
To me, she was one of the nicest people I have ever met.
LESSONS FROM GWEN
As a woman of color, Gwen taught me not be afraid to ask the tough questions. She was also not afraid to be her unapologetic self in the society where women, especially Black and Latina women, are undermined and ignored in their contributions .
Even with her success, I loved how she was still humble and down to earth. She never forgot her New York roots.
While she may no longer be with us, her spirit lives on through our interventions in creating more stories about us in a medium that still undermines our contributions in journalism.
Stephanie Guzman is a digital producer at KMTV, the CBS affiliate in Omaha, NE. She’s also a 2015 graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Communications at Arizona State University, and a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.
I admire good journalists. I admired Gwen Ifill for everything she had accomplished in the world of journalism. I met her once at a journalism conference. She was surrounded by many journalists, all of them fans of hers. When I heard of her passing on Monday, I remembered three of my favorite Gwen quotes. Rest in peace Gwen.
We start our day with President-elect Donald Trump. For those who supported him. Congratulations. For those who did not, wipe off those tears and remember your rights as Americans still exist.
But this is now a very divided country. We know that. It will be Trump’s job to figure out a way to bring all Americans together. As people of color there is a fear. Do we regress to what we had in the 1950’s or will Donald Trump figure out a way to unite us?
As women we also have our fears. Do we lose our rights to stand on an equal platform or do men feel a win for Trump means a pass to grope us when they want? Yes, that’s a valid concern after hearing the Access Hollywood tape.
LET FEAR FUEL YOUR PASSION TO DO THE RIGHT THING
But now is not the time to allow fear to hold you back. Use that fear to fuel your passion to do what is right for this country. One man, one political party, one election does not take away our voice, our strength, our power as Americans.
It hasn’t been easy for journalists either, but we still have a job to do. Learn from the journalists who covered the Trump campaign. Often they endured verbal attacks from Trump and his supporters but kept pushing forward, seeking the facts. We need to continue asking the tough questions of our President-elect as we have done with past individuals voted into office.
Donald Trump has four years to prove himself and keep those promises he made to his supporters. The clock starts now.
In the world of TV news, producers are always trying to come up with creative ways to keep the audience interested. Someone at WFMY-TV in Greensboro, NC thought talking about the polls, and having the news anchor hold a pair of handcuffs would be a great idea.
Well today WFMY-TV continues to feel the backlash of that creative moment that didn’t sit well with Hillary Clinton supporters.
As FTV Live reported Morgan Hightower was reading a story on the political race between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump when she grabbed a pair of handcuffs. As she starts talking about Clinton, the viewer suddenly saw a tight shot of those cuffs.
The news anchor Morgan Hightower explained it like this on Facebook.
“Last week, our newscast aired a brief story on the deadlock closeness of the Presidential polls in North Carolina using handcuffs as a prop. We commonly use props and visual comparisons in storytelling. In response to a Huffington Post article about our report, it appears social media has separated the words of our story from our pictures and the storytelling intent.
Our story was not about – and made no reference to – any investigation, criminality or possible prosecution of either Presidential candidate. It was a story about the neck and neck closeness of the candidates in current polling – the prop meant to denote the discomfort of these bitter rivals locked side by side in the polls. We should have better explained, more so, used a better prop. We regret the confusion. “
DUMP THE PROPS, REPORT THE NEWS
Our job is to report the news, not to be actors and actresses with props. In the race to be creative, don’t get lost in doing something that can backfire.
If you’re a producer, anchor or reporter run your idea by several people before you go live. Get feedback from different people.
If I was in that planning meeting I would have said “It’s not going to work. Haven’t you heard Trump supporters chant ‘lock her up?'”
The WFMY segment was an epic fail but the rest of us can learn from it.
Social media is part of our lives and for many of us it is part of lives at work. Can you afford not to be on social media?
These 2016 infographics by Global Media Insight give you an update on who is using what, which platform rules, and how males and females have their favorites. It is smart to be on one or many social media platforms if you run your own business, operate a nonprofit or want to build your personal brand and reputation. Check out these statistics.
Now after looking at all the people using social media can you afford not to be on one or all of these platforms?
A win for journalism and freedom of the press today in North Dakota!
A ‘riot’ charge has been dropped against veteran journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! The State’s attorney’s office hit Goodman with that charge on Friday after dropping trespassing charges for her coverage of the thousands of Native American’s protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Today, the North Dakota District judge found no validity in the charge. Goodman said on DemocracyNow.org “This is a complete vindication of my right as a journalist to cover the attack on the protesters, and of the public’s right to know what is happening with the Dakota Access pipeline.”
Freedom of the press is alive and well thanks to North Dakota District Judge John Grinsteiner who made the right decision, but State’s Attorney Ladd R Erickson needs to learn you cannot abuse your legal power to silence the media when we seek the truth.
Bishop Daniel Flores and Bishop Joe Vásquez of Texas are telling the world even on Twitter they are against the Trump administration’s move to separate undocumented parents and their children at the border.
Separating immigrant parents and children as a supposed deterrent to immigration is a cruel and reprehensible policy. Children are not instruments of deterrence, they are children. A government that thinks any means is suitable to achieve an end cannot secure justice for anyone.
The Trump administration denied for months that there was no formal policy separating families at the border. Their story fell apart and finally they had to come clean that they were separating parents from their children as a deterrent to keep other immigrants from coming to the U.S. illegally.
Read a good background piece by Jonathon Blitzer in The New Yorker. In “How the Trump Administration Got Comfortable Separating Immigrant Kids from Their Parents,” Blitzer writes:
On April 6th, Jeff Sessions and Kirstjen Nielsen, the head of Homeland Security, announced a zero-tolerance policy for immigrants at the border. Anyone who didn’t cross the U.S. border at an official port of entry would be criminally prosecuted, even if they were seeking asylum, and those travelling with their children would be separated from them. The policy was now official, and the Administration acknowledged its rationale: it was separating families to discourage others from travelling to the United States illegally
Before the Trump administration, immigrants entering illegally as families were rarely prosecuted, said Sarah Pierce, an associate policy analyst of the U.S. Immigration Program at the Migration Policy Institute. Instead, immigrants were held in family detention centers until they were sent to appear before an immigration court or deported.
Bishop Joe Vásquez, the Chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration, issued a statement on June 1:
Forcibly separating children from their mothers and fathers is ineffective to the goals of deterrence and safety and contrary to our Catholic values. Family unity is a cornerstone of our American immigration system and a foundational element of Catholic teaching. ‘Children are a gift from the Lord, the fruit of the womb, a reward.’ (Psalm 127:3) Children are not instruments of deterrence but a blessing from God.
Rupturing the bond between parent and child causes scientifically proven trauma that often leads to irreparable emotional scarring. Accordingly, children should always be placed in the least restrictive setting: a safe, family environment, ideally with their own families.
My brother bishops and I understand the need for the security of our borders and country, but separating arriving families at the U.S./Mexico border does not allay security concerns. Children and families will continue to take the enormous risks of migration—including family separation—because the root causes of migration from the Northern Triangle remain: community or state-sanctioned violence, gang recruitment, poverty, and a lack of educational opportunity. Any policies should address these factors first as we seek to repair our broken immigration system.
The New Yorker reports that according to the Department of Homeland Security, 658 children were separated from their parents between May 6th and May 19th.
Other stories of interest:
Houston Chronicle: Immigrant Families Separated at Border Struggle to Find Each Other