Posted in Human Interest, Inspirational, News management, Uncategorized

National Boss Day: What does it take to be a good boss?

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What does it take to be good boss? Ask yourself that question. How would you like to be treated?

On National Boss Day, I think about the good bosses I have had in the past. I’ve had great managers, but also my share of bully bosses.

The good boss will make you better at your job. They know your strengths and weaknesses. They realize that each employee brings their unique talent to the workplace.

LiveChat shared this list of “Signs of a Great Leader: How to be a Good Boss.” How does your current boss rate?

  1. Build a bond of trust.
  2. Praise your employees.
  3. Inspire your employees.
  4. Let your employees be themselves.
  5. Value feedback.

The bully boss is insecure and lacks confidence. They hide behind bully tactics and other bully managers to rule a workplace. They teach bad habits to managers who are lower in the company food chain. As someone who has worked mostly in newsrooms, it happens there too.  And don’t get me started on the enablers of bully bosses. That is a future blog.

Former news director, Kevin Benz talked at the 2018 Excellence in Journalism conference about bad bosses. In his “No More Assholes Part 2: The coward’s guide to conflict in the newsroom,” Benz reminded journalists that there is no room in a newsroom for an asshole boss. In my opinion, asshole managers don’t belong anywhere.

I’ll be sharing more of Kevin Benz’s tips on good and bad management in the future. He tells it like it is.

On this National Boss Day let us celebrate those who are doing it right. Give them a pat on the back. Give them a shout out on your social media, even those from your past.

Remember you are a success today because of those good bosses.

 

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Posted in Human Interest, Inspirational, Journalist, Motivation

Start seeing your worth

Sometimes in the news business we have bosses who can’t even say “good job.” Sometimes we work in newsrooms where there is no manager to motivate or inspire us.

We get beat up more often than given a pat on the back. This probably happens in many other professions. My advice is to seek out the motivators and surround yourself with them. Often they don’t have a title. They are just good people.

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Create your own circle of empowerment.

They will hold you up when your bosses don’t ever lift you up. Believe me, I have a strong circle of motivators and that is why I am still standing today after more than three decades as a journalist.

 

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.

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

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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

Terrance_3Terrence_4Terrence_5

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 

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

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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

 

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:

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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.”

 

Posted in Breaking News, Human Interest

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

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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.

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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.