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Posted in News Now, Nonprofits, Trending, Uncategorized

Support 15 of the best nonprofit news sites #NationalNonprofitDay

HANDMADE

There are many nonprofit news sites that are flushing out wrongdoers, revealing scams, and giving a voice to many communities ignored by other media outlets. They count on donations to stay in business. On this National Nonprofit Day, please donate what it would cost you to buy a cup of coffee. Every amount, small or large, does make a difference. Here are 15 of my favorite sites. Check them out.

Centro de Periodismo Investigativo

The Center for Investigative Journalism (CPI) is a non-profit entity created in 2007 by journalist Omaya Sosa Pascual, former president of the Overseas Press Club, and journalist and lawyer Oscar J. Serrano, former president of the Association of Journalists of Puerto Rico. It promotes access to information for the people of Puerto Rico through three channels: investigative journalism, litigation and journalistic training. Donate

ProPublica

ProPublica is an American nonprofit organization based in New York City. It is a nonprofit newsroom that produces investigative journalism in the public interest. Founded in 2007. 501(c)(3).

Center for Investigative Reporting

The Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit news organization based in Emeryville, California, and has conducted investigative journalism since 1977

Honolulu Civil Beat

A news outlet in Hawaii dedicated to public affairs reporting. Its mission is to engage and educate the community on important public issues through in-depth reporting, explanatory and investigative journalism, analysis and commentary.

The Texas Tribune

The Texas Tribune is a nonprofit media organization in Texas. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, it aims to promote civic engagement through original, explanatory journalism and public events.  Donate

Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism is a nonprofit investigative news organization housed at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Donate

The Connecticut News Project, Inc.

In 2009, a small group of Connecticut residents, concerned about the decline in watchdog journalism, formed the Connecticut News Project, Inc. A few months later, after securing start-up funding and hiring some veteran journalists, CNP launched The Connecticut Mirror, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news outlet with a very clear mission: Produce deep reporting on government policies and politics, to become an invaluable resource for anyone who lives, works or cares about Connecticut, and to hold our policymakers accountable for their decisions and actions.

Florida Bulldog

Investigative news is in peril in South Florida. Investigative reporting uncovers injustice, exposes corruption and holds those in public decision-making positions accountable for their actions.

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting

The Midwest Center for Investigative Reporting is an independent, nonprofit newsroom devoted to educating the public about crucial issues in the Midwest with a special focus on agribusiness and related topics such as government programs, environment and energy.

MinnPost

MinnPost is a nonprofit, nonpartisan enterprise whose mission is to provide high-quality journalism for people who care about Minnesota.

The Lens

The Lens aims to engage and empower the residents of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. It provides the information and analysis necessary to advocate for more accountable and just governance.

Chicago Defender

The Chicago Defender is the oldest and most respected African-American newspaper in Chicago. Founded in 1905 by Robert Sengstacke Abbott, the Chicago Defender celebrated its 111th Anniversary in 2016. It was recognized nationally as the second most widely read and best African-American Newspaper by Nielson and Essence Survey 2014.

Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting 

The Kentucky Center for Investigative Reporting is a nonprofit, nonpartisan newsroom based in Louisville, Ky. We produce investigative journalism that affects you, your neighborhood, your Commonwealth. Our mission is to protect society’s most vulnerable citizens, expose wrongdoing in the public and private sectors, increase transparency in government and hold leaders accountable. We promise to dig for the truth without fear or favor, cut through red tape and spark public conversation.

The Intercept

After NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden came forward with revelations of mass surveillance in 2013, journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Jeremy Scahill decided to found a new media organization dedicated to the kind of reporting those disclosures required: fearless, adversarial journalism. They called it The Intercept.

Institute for Nonprofit News

The Institute for Nonprofit News is a non-profit consortium of journalism organizations. The organization promotes nonprofit investigative and public service journalism through its association of member entities.  It was founded in 2009.

 

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Posted in Human Interest

Nixon resigned 44 years ago today; how two Washington Post reporters broke the Watergate scandal, followed the money and never let up

President Richard Nixon resigned forty-four years ago today.

Here is NBC News’ coverage of the resignation.

It took two tenacious reporters with The Washington Post to take down the president. Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward followed the corrupt political trail that started when five men were caught breaking into the Democratic Party headquarters in the Watergate Complex in Washington D.C. in June, 1972.

Here is coverage of the break-in at Watergate.

The two reporters followed ever lead and never let up. At the time, Woodward’s source called “Deep Throat” help guide their investigation.

In October 1972, Nixon was informed that “Deep Throat” was Mark Felt, an associate director at the FBI. Nixon did not know how to deal with Felt.

The president often recorded many of his conversations in the Oval office.  Here is a conversation he had about Felt.

Felt revealed himself as “Deep Throat” at the age of 91.  He gave his exclusive story, “I’m the Guy they called Deep Throat” to Vanity Fair in 2005.

On a talk show one month before Nixon resigned, Woodward and Bernstein discussed how the Nixon administration denied their stories and called their reports “character assassinations” and “shoddy.”

Interesting note, the two reporters were each making $15,000 a year when they started working on the Watergate story.  The TV host revealed their salaries two minutes into this interview.

Bernstein and Woodward uncovered enough information that made it clear that the Committee to Re-elect Nixon was involved in attempts to sabotage the Democrats. Nixon lost much popular support including from those in the Republican party. He denied any wrongdoing and promised to stay in office.

The Senate Watergate Committee was a special committee established to investigate the Watergate scandal. Those hearings started in May, 1973 and were televised.

In the end, forty-eight people, many in the Nixon administration, were convicted of wrongdoing. Nixon resigned to avoid impeachment. Vice President Gerald Ford became president.

Here is how ABC News covered the resignation in August, 1974.

Woodward and Bernstein wrote a book, “All the Presidents Men” which was turned into a movie. Robert Redford played Woodward, and Dustin Hoffman played Bernstein.

In May 1977, Nixon talked to television host, David Frost. He defended his actions and claimed he did not have knowledge of some events.

Forty years after Watergate, Woodward and Bernstein reflected on their work.

Today Woodward and Bernstein’s reporter notes and documents about Watergate are archived at the University of Texas and they continue to investigate political stories including those connected to President Trump.

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Posted in Breaking News, Discrimination, Human Interest

How the Washington Post’s ‘White, and in the minority’ fuels racial divide, and more anger and hate against immigrants and Latinos

Terrence_CoverWS
Screenshot: Washington Post Website

 

It’s nothing new to most of us that President Trump’s rhetoric about immigrants has fueled anger and hate against Latinos and people south of the border. So when I saw a recent story by The Washington Post, I thought when did the media get into the business of creating stories that fuel the same hate and division between the two sides: White people and immigrants.

The Washington Post has some of the best reporters in the country. No doubt about it. But the story by Terrence McCoy took the Post’s journalistic standards to a new low.

“White, and in the minority” is a story about a White couple who currently works in a chicken factory in Pennsylvania. The majority of their coworkers are Dominican and Puerto Rican. If McCoy was out to make the White people appear as victims and outsiders, mission accomplished. If the reporter was out to make immigrants appear like threatening, menacing thugs; once again, mission accomplished.

McCoy’s entire story was framed to put immigrants and Puerto Ricans in a bad light and make readers feel sorry for the young White couple.

“Heaven often feels alienated and frustrated…”

McCoy peppered his story with loaded words and phrases that only create fear among readers, especially those who are White.

“In a country where Whites will lose majority status in about a quarter-century…”

Journalist are taught when you make a statement, you should have attribution. McCoy made this statement, but never said who said “Whites will lose majority status?”

“Seven minutes left: Employees gathered around Heaven, first three, then four, then six.”

This phrase alone made it appear like the immigrants were ganging up on the White female. All they did was show up for work at the same time.

“Studies have shown how some whites, who are dying faster than they’re being born in 26 states…”

Again a statement made with no attribution. Who said this? What study revealed this information?

“Heaven, looking at the floor, heard laughter and jokes exchanged in the rapid Spanish of the Dominican Republic.”

This sentence made it appear like the immigrants were laughing at the young white female. The reporter only perpetuated the stereotype that Spanish-speaking people only speak in Spanish to talk about White people who don’t understand what is being said.

“They feel threatened, even if not directly affected by change…”

McCoy got this statement from a professor at the University of California at Berkeley, but did not bother to ask the professor to speculate how the immigrants feel?

“She felt more alone than she’d ever thought possible.”

Once again, McCoy made it appear the immigrants purposely isolated the woman. Did he share this with the immigrant workers? Do they have any idea she feels “alone?”

“There were days when Venson imagined what might await America. This would be a nation where whites weren’t only a minority, but disadvantaged.”

Another loaded statement that makes it appear like the couple will be stripped away of a good life and should fear minorities.

If the chicken factory was full of immigrants and Puerto Ricans, why didn’t McCoy ask them how they felt being the majority.  Do they know that Heaven and her boyfriend  feel “threatened?”

The couple’s story is important, but so is the point of view of their coworkers.

BACKLASH COMES FROM EVERYWHERE

This story is not sitting well with a lot of people.  Latino Rebels posted “Why The Washington Post’s ‘White, and the minority’ Story is So Damn Dangerous.” The author of the blog said,

McCoy makes us all want to take out the tissues and cry for our two white tragic heroes (seriously, that’s how it reads), but it’s McCoy’s ridiculous depictions of the “foreign” Latino workers (who lack any humanity in any part of the piece) that stand out, while Engle and Heim (even with their racism) come across as these misunderstood figures who need sympathy.

The National Association of Hispanic Journalists issued a statement on Friday morning. NAHJ President Hugo Balta hopes to meet with the Post’s Editor-in-Chief to discuss the issue. The organization’s statement partly read:

The story, ‘White, and in the minority’ published on July 30, does not provide a variety of viewpoints at the center of the topic, but instead leaves readers focused almost entirely on one viewpoint. The national board has discussed the danger this poses and questions the journalism of the story.

McCOY DEFENDS HIS STORY, EDITOR-IN-CHIEF IS STANDING BY REPORTER AND HIS WORK
Despite all the backlash, Terrence McCoy continues to defend his story via Twitter.  He also continues to stick to the narrative about the poor, poor White couple.

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Terrance_2

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A source who contacted Marty Baron, told me the Post’s Editor-in-Chief is standing by the reporter and the story, and even said that the story was approved by an editor who is a person of color.

I’d like to know how many Latinos or immigrants are part of the editorial staff.

As journalists, our job is to inform the public. It is not our job to create a racial divide and peg one group of people against another.  The Washington Post failed the immigrant and Latino community. Let’s hope decision makers at the Post open their minds and look at it from our point of view.

SOURCES

Latino Rebels
NAHJ 

Featured
Posted in Human Interest, Journalist, Reporters in Mexico

Semanario Playa News co-founder is laid to rest in Mexico, Reporters Without Borders says Mexican authorities failed to protect the journalist who was murdered

Playa_journalist_killed
Screenshot: Facebook 

The owner of Semanario Playa News Aquí and Ahora, Rubén Pat Cauich, was laid to rest today in Playa del Carmen. The journalist was shot to death Tuesday outside a bar in Playa Del Carmen in the southern state of Quintana Roo.

Today dozens of family and friends paid their last respects. The journalist’s procession was posted on Facebook.

Wednesday, Playa News shut down while staff members dealt with Pat’s murder.

Semario_PlayNews

Translation of Facebook post:

We appreciate each one of our faithful followers during this time, at this time we have decided as a team to put this project on pause.

Thank you all very much

Pat knew his life was in danger. In June, he told the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) that police in Playa del Carmen had jailed, beat, and threatened him for his work.

They told me to stop publishing articles about a local police chief, and that I knew what would be coming to me if I didn’t.

Pat started the digital news site on Facebook nine months ago with two other journalists. Playa News staff demanded state and federal authorities in Mexico help swiftly solve Pat’s murder and that of reporter, José Guadalupe Chan Dzib.

Chan Dzib was shot to death on June 29 in a bar in Sabán, southeast of Cancún. He also worked for Seminario Play News. One of his last assignments was the murder of a local political leader.

Playa-Murder_Post

Translation:

We demand that the Government of Quintana Roo and the General Prosecutor’s Office of the Quintana Roo investigate and find those responsible for the murder of the journalist and director of the Playa News Weekly, Rubén Pat and reporter, José Guadalupe Chan Dzib of Felipe Carrillo.

Killing journalists does not kill the truth!
Justice for journalists in Quintana Roo.

At the time of Pat’s murder he was under the Federal Mechanism for Protection of Journalists and Human Rights Defenders. Emmanuel Colombié, the head of Reporters Without Borders’ Latina America Desk, said Mexican authorities failed Rubén Pat Cauich.

The Mexican authorities must draw the inevitable conclusion from this terrible event, namely that the Federal Mechanism for Protecting  Journalists failed in its duty to protect Rubén Pat although his situation of vulnerability had been known for a long time.

Cristina Torres Gomez, Mayor of Playa Del Carmen said the reporter had requested protection for his home several months ago. She told Noticias Canal 10 that Pat’s request for protection had not been processed.

Warning the following video has graphic images.

CPJ reports Mexico is one of the most deadly countries in the world for journalists.

SOURCES:
CPJ: Mexican journalist says he was attacked, threatened by police

Reporters Without Borders: Mexican authorities failed to protect journalist murdered in Quintana Roo

 

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Posted in Inspirational, Journalism Conferences, Journalist

15 Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Next Journalism Conference

NAHJ_Panel_julian
EIJ 2017

I’ve been to dozens of journalism conferences. I have lost count. But throughout the years, I have been able to figure out what works and what doesn’t.

I have made many professional connections and developed great friendships from my visits to NAHJ, IRE, RTDNA, EIJ and AEJMC conferences. I have also found 90 percent of my jobs from my networking at those conferences.

Here are my 15 tips to help you get the most out of any journalism conference you plan to attend this summer.

1. Comfy shoes are a must. For you ladies, sure heels make your legs look great, but after a few hours walking the conference floor you’ll beg for comfort. Pack a pair of flats in your bag for later. Men, comfort matters for you too.

2. Get out of the “pack” mentality. We often get into the habit of hanging out in groups.  It’s our comfort zone. Be adventurous and roam on your own. It forces you to meet people. This also includes when you go to the after conference parties and hang-outs. I know a lot of people, because I love to walk around alone and just talk to everyone and anyone.

3. Start a conversation with anyone you see hanging out by themselves. He could be your next boss, or she could have that next opportunity of a lifetime. I say hello to everyone whether I meet people when they get in an elevator with me or walk by me. “Hi! How’s it going?” Is a great way to start a conversation.

NAHJ_Sid_crowd
EIJ 2017

4. GET YOUR HEAD OUT OF YOUR PHONE. Sorry, I had to say that very loud. When you have your head buried in your phone, you miss opportunities to meet people. Also people, including news managers won’t approach you, because you look busy and preoccupied with your phone. Your text and Facebook can wait. Put your phone away, look up and enjoy the view. And please DO NOT take your phone out and start gazing at your Instagram, especially when you’re in conversation with new people and in a group. It’s rude.

5. Look happy and smile. Those two things make people want to get to know you. Sometimes you see people at conferences and they already look tired and miserable. Don’t be that person.

Rebecca_NAHJ2
EIJ 2017

6. Business cards matter. Yes, it may sound old school, but it’s easier to hand someone a business card than a resume. It’s even better if it has a photo of you. There is no way they can forget your face. Also when you collect a card, write a few notes on it to remind you of that person.

7. Invite people to join you. If you see someone alone, who looks like they need someone to hang out with, don’t hesitate to invite them to join you and/or your group. Another great way to get to know people. I do it all the time. Many of those people have become good friends.

8. Find a mentee. I usually leave a conference with more than half a dozen mentees. Remember it’s about paying it forward. There are people who need your expertise and guidance. Be giving with your time.

9. Find a mentor. Some of you may feel that you need someone to guide you in your career. The conferences are a great place to find that person who you feel can help you on your journey. There are many people waiting for the chance to be a mentor. Don’t be afraid to ask. And if they don’t seem interested, move on…there are plenty of others.

10. Plan your conference, and even schedule in your networking time. There will be dozens of panels and workshops. Sit down and write out your day and schedule in your networking time during conference hours. It will help you not miss a beat.

NAHJ_JobFair
EIJ 2017

11. The best time to meet news managers is when they are taking a break from the recruiting booth, walking around the conference hall or getting a cup of coffee. I learned that tip a long time ago. When you get to the job fair, check out who is recruiting at your target company. Make a mental note. If you see them later taking a break, don’t hesitate to approach them.  “Hi there! Aren’t you with ABC News?  I saw you at the booth. I’m Rebecca Aguilar. How’s everything going so far?” Start the conversation. Get to know them. Sometimes they are more relaxed and may invite you back to their booth to continue the conversation. Once again, be the person outside “the pack” standing in line.

12. Make time to put on your sneakers and walk outside and enjoy the fresh air. Sometimes we’re in such conference mode that we forget just to relax and breathe. Yes, conferences can take a toll on you, because networking takes effort and being out late sucks up time to sleep. Get out and relax and get some sunshine. It makes a difference.

13. Act like a professional even at the after-parties.  Do not forget that recruiters and managers go to the after parties and hang out at the hotel bar too.  What I’m saying is don’t do something that can end up “going viral” for the wrong reasons and hurt your reputation.

RA_Frida_500
Smile and look happy!

14. What not to wear. A journalism conference is still a professional setting. What you wear says a lot about you. Don’t kid yourself, it does. Before you leave that hotel room, look in the mirror and ask yourself if you are dressed to meet the Pope, the President and would your parents approve. Give your outfit my “3 P’s” test. Believe me it works.  What I’m saying is leave the mini skirts and muscle shirts in your suitcase.

15. As soon as you return home, don’t forget to send out a few thank you cards. Yes, old school again. Send them to people who made your conference experience very special and who took the time to give you advice.

Most of all enjoy the ride!

Bonus Tip: Start saving for next year’s conference when you get home. It helps to plan ahead. Whether you’re a professional or a student, it’s okay to start saving right away. Put $10 cash in a jar every week. It will add up by the time the next conference rolls around. No need to start a GoFundMe or beg people for a donation. Do it on your own.

Bonus Video. You can pack everything for the conference in a carry-on bag. 

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Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest

Bay Area publisher resigns after public apology for using N-Word and several journalists quit the East Bay Express

east_bay_expressStephen Buel, the publisher of the East Bay Express apologized Friday in the weekly for using the N-word in a meeting with staff members and for taking down stories written by a culture and music reporter.

His apology came with a lot of pledges for change. It didn’t look like he was going to resign. Then today, he did just that, resigned.

WHAT LEAD TO THE RESIGNATION

Buel has been the co-owner of the East Bay Express since 2007. He was also the editor of the weekly for ten years.

In May, reporter Azucena Rasilla was covering the Bottlerock Napa Valley Music Festival .  In a phone conversation this afternoon, Rasilla told me that Buel took down her story about rappers using the N-word during their performances and white people in the audience singing along also using the N-word. Rasilla said she mentioned in her story that she thought it was wrong that white audience members used the N-word when they repeated the lyrics.

In a meeting after Buel took down Rasilla’s story, she said she was shocked when he used the N-word in front of the staff members.  Friday, Rasilla had enough. She quit her job. Here is what she posted on Facebook:

Azucena_Resigns

 

Friday, Buel published  “An Apology and a Pledge.”  He admitted he used the N-word and that he took down stories, because he didn’t agree with them. In his “apology” he said he had plans to make major changes. There was no hint he planned to quit or remove himself as publisher.

Here is part of his apology he wrote in the East Bay Express:

Buel_Facebook
Stephen Buel/ Facebook

The past month has been a traumatic one at the East Bay Express. As the paper’s publisher and onetime editor, I consider furthering our journalistic mission to be my life’s work. Yet as the person most responsible for our current troubles, I now feel a need to directly address our readers.

One night about a month ago, I read some week-old online coverage that did not live up to my editorial standards. So, I took the stories down the next morning and promptly explained my concerns to the author and editors.

One story described white people singing along to live hip-hop songs that contained the N-word. This is a worthy topic for coverage, and I said as much. But while referring to hateful words subsequently reclaimed by the communities they once oppressed, I said a couple of those words aloud. I should not have done so and am extremely sorry that my remark caused others pain.

I also should not have unilaterally taken down the articles. Instead, I should have respected our editorial structure and taken my feedback directly to our editorial management so that the editors and author might have addressed my concerns without permanently removing the pieces from our website. I am sorry for the way I disrespected the writer and editors involved in that coverage. (continue)

Comments left in the comment section, had people demanding Buel’s resignation.

THE PUBLISHER MADE PROMISES WE HAVE HEARD BEFORE 

Stephen Buel disrespected his staff, used a racial slur and apologized.

His apology appeared to be a way to convince himself and his readers that he had “seen the light.”   He made all the same promises we have heard over and over by those in managerial positions who have used racial slurs, apologized, and promised never to do it again.

Promise to increase diversity. Check!

Promise to have newspaper reflect the community. Check!

Promise to create a code of conduct for staff. Check!

Promises to attend “implicit bias training.” Check!

Promise better communication as publisher with editorial staff. Check!

GLAD BUEL SAW THE LIGHT AND RESIGNED 

Stephen Buel is a veteran journalist who should knows better.  Saturday, something convinced him to resign from the newspaper he owns.  He published his resignation. Here it is:

Perhaps now more than ever before, the East Bay needs healthy independent journalism. Because my presence at Telegraph Media has become a threat to that mission — and to the careers of the hard-working people who produce the East Bay ExpressOakland MagazineAlameda MagazineThe East Bay Monthly, and Bay Woof — I am stepping down as publisher of those titles.

Publications such as these depend upon the support of many people and institutions. I urge the advertisers, readers, journalists and community members who have long supported our publications to stand by them now — and not let my indiscretions threaten their survival.

During my 37 years as a journalist, I have worked to advance equality, seek truth, and fight injustice. The thousands of stories I have written or edited express my values far better than any self-righteous summation possibly could today. The cruel caricature I see of myself on social media does not reflect who I am, but I have sadly come to the conclusion that I cannot defend myself without endangering the journalism that is my legacy.

Following a brief transition period, longtime East Bay journalist Robert Gammon will replace me as our company’s publisher.

Buel is old enough to understand that you NEVER use the N-word.  It’s an ugly word. He knew his apology was not good enough and he would sink his own ship if he did not remove himself.

Here is hoping that the changes and improvements that Buel had promised will still happen. There should be better diversity, a code of conduct, and the newspaper staff should reflect the community.

Let’s be honest, Robert Gammon will still work for Buel because he will still own the paper. Gammon has to decide now if he will be Buel’s puppet or a true leader. We must  keep an eye on whether Buel will do things behind scenes. Believe me, I  will be watching.

The new publisher has a big job ahead of him. He needs to show the staff that they are respected and their journalists are trusted for their work.  More than anything, the East Bay Express needs to show the community that it cares about its staff and the people who read it.

Trust, honesty, and ethics do matter.

Earlier today I contacted Buel to get his side of the story. I am still waiting for a response.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE

It takes a brave journalist to create change in the news business. I am very proud of Azucena Rasilla. When her stories were taken down a few months ago, she could have let it go. When Buel used that racial slur, she could have kept quiet. She did not. She spoke up and realized that it was the right thing to do. We should all learn from her courage to create change.

I talked to Rasilla tonight for her reaction to Buel’s resignation. She said, “It’s a step in the right direction, but the ultimate goal should be for Steve to sell. The Express will not truly change until it changes ownership.”

 

Featured
Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest

U.S. Customs harasses Latina CEO and daughter over their different last names

sylvia_Acosta1
Sylvia Acosta 

Sylvia Acosta still can’t believe how she was treated by U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. On Sunday, she and her daughter were on their way home to El Paso after spending a beautiful time in Europe.  During their pit stop at DFW airport, a U.S. Customs agent had a problem with Sylvia and her teenage daughter having different last names. Something he noticed when Sylvia handed him their passports.

That’s when he started giving the YWCA CEO the third degree. She posted her experience on Facebook.

Sylvia_Acosta.jpg

Sylvia didn’t sit there and take it. She let the officer know she got her PhD with the “Acosta” name, but also established her career with it. The agent told her she should have taken her husband’s last name to prove she was her daughter’s mother.

Sylvia and her 15-year-old daughter had been part of a tour group, and she had the group’s paperwork which included the names of all the kids on the trip and the chaperones. The paperwork revealed flight reservations, schedules and names of every person. Each member of the group was also TSA pre-checked.  Sylvia told me on Facebook that the rest of the group got through with no delay.

Sylvia and her daughter are both American citizens. She is the CEO of the YWCA in El Paso de Norte Region with more than 25 years of management experience. She said she did not get the agent’s name. “I was so shocked and taken aback I really did not even think about it.”

A CBP spokesman issued a statement on its treatment of Sylvia and her daughter. In short, agents interrogate people traveling with children, because of the human trafficking issue. Here is what Sylvia added to her Facebook post from CPB.

USCustomsU. S. Customs and Border Protection has reviewed the audio and video of the encounter between a CBP officer and a woman traveling with her daughter, and found that the video does not support the claim as it has been reported. The audio and video prove that there weren’t any inappropriate questions discussed.

On December 23, 2008, President Bush signed the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to combat human trafficking. In instances where the relationship of a minor and accompanying adult can’t be immediately determined, CBP may ask additional questions to determine relationship. This additional questioning could take place in an area away from the general public.

CBP strongly recommends that unless a child is accompanied by both parents, the adult traveling with the child have a note from the child’s other parent (or, in the case of a child traveling with grandparents, uncles or aunts, sisters or brothers, friends, or in groups*, a note signed by both parents).

CBP strives to ensure that t

Sylvia’s Facebook post has gone viral, and she is being embraced with a lot of support from friends and strangers. She put things into perspective with a positive note on her Facebook.

I love the mission statement for the organization I represent —YWCA which is to eliminate racism and empower women, two things I have had to stand up for this week.

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Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest, immigration

How TIME came up with the powerful cover “Welcome to America” with Trump and a crying immigrant child

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Screenshot: Time magazine

Time magazine’s latest cover shows the famous image of young Honduran girl sobbing as President Trump is standing over her. The headline reads, “Welcome to America.”

How did Time Magazine come up with this cover?

Karl Vick, Editor at Large at Time magazine told CNN that they knew they had to use the photograph of the girl , because she is an “iconic image.” Vick added,

We call this a photo illustration obviously, because the President has never met her. They just seemed to go together once you put them both on the cover in that dynamic. It captured a lot and then it was the matter of what you say with it.  ‘Welcome to America’ works.

Getty photographer, Jim Moore, took the photo of the little girl crying as border patrol agents patted down her mother. He told CNN earlier in the week that it was a very emotional shoot for him.

Molly Ball is the national political correspondent at Time magazine. In a story that goes with the cover, she writes about Trump,

He thinks shock is a temporary condition, moral outrage is phony posturing and that the American people can be numbed to just about everything.

Vick also told CNN the cover is aimed at Trump’s leadership,

This episode is the country telling the president what we’re about, and what kind of country we are. It’s a role reversal and it’s really quite striking.

The Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy has resulted in the separation of parents and children who are taken into federal custody after they are caught crossing the border illegally.

Trump signed an executive order reversing his policy after pressure from politicians and the public. Officials say around 2,300 children are in detention facilities. Young children under six-years-old are being kept in facilities called “Tender Age” shelters. There are reports that several immigrant children are being taken to other parts of the country away from the border and their parents.

SOURCES:

TIME magazine story “The Story Behind TIME’s Trump ‘Welcome to America’ Cover”

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Posted in Human Interest, Inspirational, Journalism Education, Journalist

Speak from the heart and you’ll get your message heard

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Photo Courtesy: Alberto Mendoza

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!

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Posted in Breaking News

Death toll rises in Guatemala, organizations reach out to help the survivors of Fuego Volcano

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Photo Courtesy: Conred Guatemala

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

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Map courtesy: 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.

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Posted in Inspirational, Journalist, profile, Women in Journalism

Miami TV co-host decides to remove breast implants, “Back to a B Cup”

JenHerrera_photo
Screenshot: 6 in the Mix

 

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.

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Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest, Trending

TMZ’s Van Lathan’s message to Kanye West taught the world don’t be afraid to tell the powerful, rich, and famous they are wrong

 

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Screenshot: TMZ Youtube

 

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)

Lathan’s reaction:

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.

Source: TMZ YouTube

 

 

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Posted in Human Interest, Inspirational, Journalist

The Greatest of Us: A local TV reporter quits his job to travel the country in search of words of wisdom from total strangers

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Screenshot: YouTube

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.

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Screenshot: The Greatest of Us

 

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.

Enjoy the ride Caleb!

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Posted in Biography, Human Interest

Isn’t 60-years-old the new…

Today I turn 60-years-old. I’m celebrating my six decades of an interesting, crazy, and wonderful life. Rebecca_photo2017_500

No, I am not the kind of woman who hides her age. I’ve earned it and I’ll own it.

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Six-years-old and happy.

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.

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Me in fourth grade.

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.

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Dad with Senator Robert Kennedy in 1968.

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.

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My dad and Cesar Chavez in 1972.

I needed to become a crusader for good change too. Yes, my parents inspired me to become a reporter.

 

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This is me in 1981 a month before I got my first job. Mom and Dad in other photos.

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.

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My career pit stop in San Antonio. Red is my color.

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.

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Sweet! I have won a few Emmy awards

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.

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My beautiful family

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.

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Friends make my life complete. I am blessed to have many friends, and each one of them brings something special to my life. I have to give a shout out to my Latina girlfriends who I have met through my groups on Facebook: Wise Latinas Linked and Latinas in Journalism. Also a shout out to my Latina friends with the Dallas and Fort Worth Chapters of the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas also known as HWNT.

I leave you with this. Be happy. Live your life your way. Surround yourself with good people and ignore the haters.

And ladies, stop hiding your age. People can do the math. Don’t let a number mess with your mind. There is no fountain of youth, but there is fountain of life.

If you see me this year, buy me a cup of coffee or a martini to toast my 60th birthday. Now that would be special.

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Posted in Breaking News, Journalist, News Now

Cox Media Group plans to shutdown Mundo Hispánico, several journalists face losing their jobs

MundoHispanico1

Update 4/27/2018
Cox Media Group posted a statement on the company website about plans to sell Mundo Hispanico. It was posted the day I posted this blog.

—–

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.

cmg

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.

MundoHispanico

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.

I hope a good media company buys Mundo Hispánico, because the digital site has a good following on social media. More than four million followers on Facebook. 

I have contacted CMG for a response. I’ll keep you posted.

If you have any job openings please send them my way.  Let’s help these people out before the possible shutdown.

Other sources:
Cox Media Group

Mundo Hispánico

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Posted in Breaking News, Latino Community

Entravision’s Las Vegas employees let go with little notice, Vegas news will be produced out of El Paso

Sources started telling me early Friday that Entravision Communications was going to have massive layoffs at television stations around the country.

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Screenshot: Juan Juarez Twitter

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.

Sources say Luisa Collins, Vice President of News Social Affairs and Wellness at Entravision Communications flew to Las Vegas to give everyone the bad news. According to an insider, she told the staff in news, radio and sales something about “difficult time and we have to do this.”

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.

 

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.

ENTRAVISION BACKGROUND Entravision_logo

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.

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Posted in Breaking News, Discrimination, women's rights

Big win for mothers, EEOC finds North Texas bar liable for pregnancy discrimination

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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.

NicksSportsGrill

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.

Source: EEOC Press Release

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Posted in Inspirational, News Now, women's rights

Photos of Empowerment of Women and Girls in India and the U.S.

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.

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Screenshot: Images of Empowerment

The photos are available on an online photo database thanks to the partnership between the David and Lucile Packard FoundationGetty Images, a world leader in visual communications, and The Verbatim Agency.

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.

Each photo tells a story. Look at all 300 images. Go to >> Online Data Base

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Screenshot: Images of Empowerment

 

FEEDBACK ON PROJECT

Christopher Cox, Director of Youth Programs for Teen Health Mississippi said,

It is inspiring to hear the stories of these young women and to see them in action by way of the Raise Her Voice collection

Aidan Sullivan, CEO, Verbatim added

The potential of imagery to provoke conversation and drive change is unquestionable.

 

SOURCES

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

To view and download the new Images of Empowerment photos, available under Creative Commons licensing: visit www.imagesofempowerment.org/Bihar for images from the Bihar region of India; visit www.imagesofempowerment.org/UnitedStates for images from Louisiana and Mississippi in the southern United States. To read the photo essay, Raising Her Voice, visit www.packard.org/2018/03/raising-her-voice.

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Posted in Breaking News, Fellowships, Human Interest, Journalist, News Now

You’re fired! The two words that changed my life for the better

Ten years ago today I was fired.

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.

Gathering with Wise Latinas in Dallas

KEEP GOING

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.

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Posted in Breaking News, politics

Shame on NRA’s Dana Loesch who defends organization by claiming the media ‘loves’ to cover mass shootings for ratings

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Dana Loesch at CNN Town Hall/ Screenshot

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

 

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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.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Journalist, Magazine, News Now, Women in Journalism

Forbes will pay all contributors, making changes to contributor network

forbes300Life is changing for contributors at Forbes Magazine. Randall Lane, the magazine’s new chief content officer says all contributors will now get paid.

Yes, they’ve had an army of unpaid contributors.

In a February story in Forbes, Lane explained how Forbes was doing well,

“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.

Resource: Forbes Why Forbes Is Investing Big Money In Its Contributor Network

 

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Posted in Breaking News, immigration, Latino Community, Uncategorized

Politico, immigrants are people not commodities, ‘Get your own immigrant’ story insulting and insensitive

Give two professors time to come up with a ridiculous answer to the U.S. immigration issue, and you’ll get what Politico Magazine has just published.

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Screenshot: Politico

The headline said it all, “What If You Could Get Your Own Immigrant?”

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Eric Posner

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?

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Glen Weyl

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.

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Screenshot: Hounshell Twitter 

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.”

Too late the damage has been done.

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Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest, immigration, Journalism Education

Albuquerque Journal accused of publishing ‘racist’ cartoon about Dreamers, decision also hurt reputable columnists and reporters

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…”

Arrelano_AlbuequequeCartoon
Facebook Screenshot

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_Albuq_Response
Facebook Screenshot

 

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 apologizesAlbuquerque-Journal-logo

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!”

 

 

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Posted in Spot News, weather

There is nothing like being a reporter in the snow

Reporters aren’t afraid of bad weather, not even snow storms. After a while you have to think on how to keep warm and how to make the next “live shot” interesting.

KAYAKING IN A PARKING LOT

Reporter in Charleston got creative with a kayak, rope and the news car. She found a good snow covered parking lot and had some fun.

SERVE UP THE COFFEE PLEASE!

Reporter Tracie Strahan got a nice surprise as she was being pelted with freezing rain and snow on her face. It wasn’t a Starbucks delivery but warm coffee is welcomed.

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Posted in Breaking News, Sexual Harassment, women's rights

TIME’S UP unites women against sexual assault, harassment, and inequality in the workplace, and raises 15 million dollars for legal fund

TimesUp_2018

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”

 

 

TimesUp_DearSisters

 

“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:

1. Know your Rights

2. What to do

3. TIME’s UP Legal Defense Fund 

 

Create change for all women in 2018.

Join TIME’S UP with your voice and financial support. Happy 2018!

 

 

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Posted in Breaking News, Fox News, Journalist, Sexual Harassment, Uncategorized

Geraldo Rivera calls news a “flirty business”, and tweets guidelines on when women should report sexual harassment. No joke.

geraldo
Screenshot: Facebook

Fox News is distancing itself from Geraldo Rivera, one of its high profile correspondents.

Rivera got on Twitter and gave his opinion on the firing of Matt Lauer, sexual harassment and even came up with suggestions on when women should come forward and speak out on being sexually harassed.

Let me warn you, what Rivera has to say is going to make you angry, especially if you are a woman. Believe me, I have steam coming out my ears.

The 70-year-old called Matt Lauer, the fired Today Show anchorman a, “great guy, highly skilled…real gentleman to my family and me.” Lauer has been accused of sexually harassing several women.

I’m not sure what that has to do with sexual harassment.  Rivera went on say, “News is a flirty business…”

Wait is that suppose to justify sexual harassment in the workplace?

Geraldo1

River then gave his definition of sexual harassment, making it sound like some accusers may be taking out some kind of revenge on former bosses or ex-husband or boyfriend.

“Shouldn’t be used to get even w bad bosses or hated ex’s.” tweeted Rivera.

Geraldo2

When women on Twitter suggested an all female morning show Rivera said “unacceptably retro.”

There you go another man telling us what we can and cannot do.

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Things got worse when Rivera decided to tell women when we should come forward if we have been sexually harassed.

He even came up with guidelines.

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Once again he called the news business “flirty.”

As a journalist for more than three decades I am insulted by this comment. I insulted by all of his tweets.

Do we meet people in this business and marry them? Yes, I did. That does not mean I was “flirty.”

Geraldo5

Finally after Rivera was slammed hard on Twitter, he did apologized.

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Rivera made journalists look bad, victimized the victims again, and as a Latina also embarrassed my people.

Fox News didn’t like what he had to say on Twitter. In a statement obtained by Deadline Fox stated:

Geraldo’s tweets do not reflect the views of Fox News or its management. We were troubled by his comments and are addressing them with him.

 

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Posted in Breaking News, Journalist, News management, News reporter

News consultant says a**hole managers poison newsrooms and cost the company money; they must be dealt with

A--hole managers poison a newsroom

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.

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Posted in Breaking News, News Now, Sexual Harassment, Uncategorized

Louis CK admits to sexual misconduct “These stories are true.”

Louis_CK
Screenshot: Facebook

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.

What’s next for CK? Will he go to rehab like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey? To be continued.

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Posted in Breaking News, child sex trafficking, Human Trafficking, Sexual Harassment

Eight Men Arrested in Fort Worth on Federal Child Sex Trafficking Charges

Web

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.

Source: U.S. Justice Department >>U.S. Attorney’s Office, Northern District of Texas

CHILD SEX TRAFFICKING IS MODERN DAY SLAVERY

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.

 

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Posted in Breaking News, Freedom of the Press, Journalist, Uncategorized

Vivian Castleberry: trailblazer for women in journalism, dies at 95

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Archive photo: Vivian Castleberry

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.

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Vivian Castleberry & Anita Marcos, President of Peacemakers. Photo courtesy: Lucy Huffstteter

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.

More sources on Vivian Castleberry

The Portal to Texas History: Oral History Interview with Vivian Castleberry

Castleberry Peace Institute

The Senior Voice

CalBuzz “Oswald’s been Shot”

Dallas Morning News:  Vivian Castleberry

Peacemakers, Inc.

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Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest, Uncategorized

Jimmy Kimmel calls out Republican Senators after the Las Vegas massacre

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Screenshot: Jimmy Kimmel Live!

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?

###

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Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest, Multimedia, Uncategorized

Google tools provide updated information to locate earthquake victims and property destroyed in Mexico

 

Google has created a map that shows where the destroyed and heavily damaged buildings are located in Mexico City after Tuesday’s earthquake. It is constantly being updated.

 

Google has also created a locator site. Visitors can share who they are looking for or information they may have about a victim or survivor of the earthquake.

Google Locator

Google-localizer

 

 

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Posted in Human Interest, Latino Community, Professional Tips

How journalists should cover Hispanic Heritage Month, Sept. 15- Oct. 15

Hispanic_Heritage
Courtesy: Mansfield ISD

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.

Background

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:

  • Hispanic entrepreneurs
  • Studies being done on the Latino c ommunity by a local university or hospital.
  • Hispanic philanthropists
  • 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?
  • Latino artists
  • Hispanic educators
  • 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:

Huffington Post Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month – Library of resources and topics

Facts about U.S. Latinos about Hispanic Heritage Month

Fun facts about Hispanic Heritage Month

Remember as Latinos we want to see our stories all year long. Recognize this important month but don’t stop telling our stories when Hispanic Heritage Month is over.

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Posted in Fellowships, Journalist, Multimedia, Uncategorized

Apply today for Journalism fellowships in Science, Travel, Environment, and Genetics

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.

Application at Fulbright-National Geographic

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.

Follow this to link to application

Good luck!

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Posted in Breaking News, Inspirational, Professional Tips

Good tips on what you can take away from the James Comey hearing

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Screenshot: C-SPAN3

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.

The rest of the tips at LinkedIn: Take Away 

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Posted in Fellowships, Human Interest, News Now, politics

President Trump will visit Western Wall in Jerusalem, but Prime Minister Netanyahu can’t come along

 

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The Western Wall: Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

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. 

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Men and women pray separately at the Western Wall/Photo by Rebecca Aguilar

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.

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Each year a millions of Jews visit the Western Wall/ photo by Rebecca Aguilar

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.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in Breaking News, News Now, Social Media, Twitter

USA Today takes down tweet comparing United Passenger to Rosa Parks after backlash

The USA Today tweet got my attention. It read “Is United Airlines passenger Dr. Dao an “Asian version of Rosa Parks?”

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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.”

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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. 

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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:”

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As I say over and over “Think before you tweet.”

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Posted in Breaking News, Uncategorized

The United Airlines PR nightmare that could have been avoided

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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?

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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.

It’s a start.

Sources: New York Times, CNBC,

 

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Posted in Breaking News, Cesar Chavez, Human Interest, immigration, Latino Community

Dallas Mega Marchers show commitment to unity and push for immigration reform

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Photo courtesy: DPD

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.

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Photos by Rebecca Aguilar 

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.

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Posted in boycotts, Cesar Chavez, Human Interest, migrant workers

Three reasons why you should go the Dallas Mega March 2017

megamarch_2017Who 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!

https://www.megamarch2017.com/

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Posted in Uncategorized

“Dropping the Mic” a tell-all book about the toxic side of local TV News

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Photo courtesy: Joangel Concepcion 

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.

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Joangel in Rochester

“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.

You can pre-order Dropping the Mic from Amazon. It officially comes out on March 31.

 

 

 

 

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Posted in First Amendment, Freedom of the Press, News Now

CNN, NY Times, LA Times, Politico and BuzzFeed News blocked from White House Briefing

Donald Trump is abusing his power again.

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?

 

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.

#NotTheEnemy

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Posted in Journalist, News Now

Fort Worth Star-Telegram wants to improve trust in journalism and reaches out to readers for help

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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.

 

 

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Posted in Inspirational, News Now

A fallen soldier comes home and the emotional moment his wife put her hand on his coffin

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.”

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2F100002017935173%2Fvideos%2F1203335663077020%2F&show_text=1&width=560

Thank you to all the men and women who have sacrificed their lives for our freedom, and their families too. You can’t help but cry for this woman and her family.

More on Shawn Thomas death and service to country at Yahoo News.a

Grieving Army Widow Meets Her Husband’s Coffin on Airport Tarmac, Leaving Plane Passengers in Tears 

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Posted in Fellowships, Journalist

2017 Journalism Fellowships: Politics, Education, Media, World Issues, Public Service, Environment, and Investigative

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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.

Good luck!

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

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Posted in Journalist, News Now

Stop using term ‘White Hispanic’ we come in different shades, enough said

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:

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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.

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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.

Learn from Tariq Nasheed’s mistake.

Hispanics are Hispanics.

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Posted in Journalist, News Now, Uncategorized

2016’s Best National TV Journalists: Jake Tapper, Gretchen Carlson, Tom Llamas, Jim Acosta

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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.

 

 

Who will be the best in 2017? Stay tuned.

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Posted in Journalist, politics, TV News

How TV journalists were played by Trump and failed journalism and the public

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TV journalists meet with Trump

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.

//www.washingtonpost.com/video/c/embed/cd8a7f32-b0da-11e6-bc2d-19b3d759cfe7