Category Archives: Freedom of the Press

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

Castleberry

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.

peacemakers

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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Jon Stewart to the press: Stop whining, get your groove back and kick him to the curb

There’s nothing like getting a reality check from Jon Stewart. The former host of The Daily Show popped up from under the desk Monday night on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert.

And as usual he didn’t hold back. This time he zeroed in on Donald Trump and the press. Roll the video…

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

A win for journalism, North Dakota judge throws out ‘riot’ charge against Amy Goodman

amygoodmanA win for journalism and freedom of the press today in North Dakota!

A ‘riot’ charge has been dropped against veteran journalist Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! The State’s attorney’s office hit Goodman with that charge on Friday after dropping trespassing charges for her coverage of the thousands of Native American’s protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

Today, the North Dakota District judge found no validity in the charge. Goodman said on DemocracyNow.org “This is a complete vindication of my right as a journalist to cover the attack on the protesters, and of the public’s right to know what is happening with the Dakota Access pipeline.”

Democracy Now! plans to continue covering the story. Read more at Democracy Now! 

IN MY OPINION

Freedom of the press is alive and well thanks to North Dakota District Judge John Grinsteiner who made the right decision, but State’s Attorney Ladd R Erickson needs to learn you cannot abuse your legal power to silence the media when we seek the truth.

Thanks for your coverage and bravery Amy Goodman.

Stand in support of journalist Amy Goodman who will turn herself in to North Dakota authorities

amygoodmanCovering protests is part of the job for any journalist. And that is what Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! was doing over Labor Day weekend. On Monday she will turn herself into authorities in North Dakota where she is wanted on riot charges. Prosecutors dropped the criminal trespassing charge on Friday.

Democracy Now! has been one of the few news outlets that has been covering the protests going on for months by thousands of Native Americans against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Here’s more from Goodman on going back to face charges.

As The Nation has reported:

The $3.8 billion oil pipeline is slated to carry barrel after barrel of Bakken crude through sacred sites and burial grounds of the Standing Rock Sioux tribe, and tribe members fear it could pollute the Missouri River, the source not only of their water but of millions of others’, should the pipe ever rupture.

AMY GOODMAN ON THE FRONTLINES

Again Goodman was doing her job. Now prosecutors in North Dakota are abusing their legal power. These intimidation ploys are their way to silence the media.

I agree with Amy Goodman that actions against her are an attack against the First Amendment, freedom of the press, and the public’s right to the truth.

Watch Goodman’s coverage. She identified herself as a journalist and did nothing wrong but follow the protest.

SUPPORT AMY GOODMAN

I stand with Amy Goodman. I hope journalism organizations will show their support. I’m a member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

Today it is Amy Goodman facing jail time for doing her job in covering a protest. Who will be the next reporter facing charges for covering the news?

Amy, I got your back!