The new host of NPR’s “Weekend Edition Sunday” as of March, Ayesha Rascoe set out to become a journalist at an early age. Her first writing experience was as a columnist for the teen section of her hometown newspaper, the Durham Herald-Sun.
The News & Observer in Raleigh, North Carolina, partnered with white supremacists to intimidate black voters in the 1890s yet remains a respected newspaper today, writer Alexandria Neason noted in a story last year. “Americans have short memories; we don’t like to be reminded of our many sins, so instead we prop up lofty narratives of progress and unity that obscure the violence enacted along the way,” Neason wrote for the Columbia Journalism Review.
August 23rd, 2021 • Featured, Quill Archives, Diversity, People and Places
Ms. Mayhem: A self-funded news website takes pride in reporting on the intersection of race, class, gender, ability and sexual orientation
Late one night in December 2017, Madison Lauterbach was having trouble falling asleep in the Sydney, Australia, hostel where she was staying over Christmas break. In between journalism school semesters at Metropolitan State University of Denver and getting ready to start her first journalism internship, she had an epiphany.
A goal of American newspaper editors to achieve newsroom diversity that matched the racial and ethnic diversity of the country was considered so ambitious they set the deadline more than two decades out. Twenty years after the deadline, the goal still hasn’t been met, but the urgent need to do so remains, highlighted by the recent Atlanta-area killings of eight people, six of them women of Asian descent.
January 6th, 2021 • Featured, Quill Archives, Bookshelf
Bookshelf: Conversation with Koa Beck and “White Feminism”
In her new book “White Feminism: From the Suffragettes to Influencers and Who They Leave Behind” (Atria Books), Koa Beck draws from her experiences in personal, academic and professional life to highlight the subtle way in which white feminists can claim oppression by the patriarchy while also oppressing women of color and non-binary people.
There’s no question that the arts criticism world is primarily a white world, with few BIPOC (Black, Indiginous and people of color) voices in the mix. Frustrated by that fact, Jose Solís, co-founder and co-host of the Token Theatre Friends podcast, decided to take matters into his own hands by creating the BIPOC Critics Lab, meeting for 10 weeks via Zoom with eight future critics from around the country.
Three decades ago, Katherine Ann Rowlands started her career in journalism as an intern at Bay City News Service. Now, she’s the owner of the 24/7 news service that covers the greater San Francisco Bay Area. BCN, founded in 1979 with eight offices around the region, provides news feeds to about 100 clients, including TV, radio, digital and print newsrooms.
Jacqueline Thomas, an award-winning writer and editor, was once Washington bureau chief for The Detroit News. She’s appalled by the rhetoric against journalists coming from The White House these days and wants journalists to push back. “When I was a Washington bureau chief, I never had to deal with this many attacks from the White House,” Thomas said.
September 12th, 2018 • Quill Blog, Ten With...
Ten with New York Times Bureau Chief Manny Fernandez
Manny Fernandez, Houston bureau chief for The New York Times, was the editor of his Fresno, California, school newspaper, The Viking Times, in eighth grade. Since then, journalism has been not just a career but a calling. His first full-time job was with the San Francisco Chronicle, where in 1998 he spent months with a group of young homeless people for a series called “Nobody’s Child.”
“May you live in interesting times …” The quote has been attributed to various sources, and rightfully so, being that it has been used by many to describe different time periods. Along with its true author, the original meaning of this quote has been lost to time, but can aptly describe today’s media climate.
“It was 40 years ago.” “Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus.” “There’s nothing wrong with a 30-year-old single male asking a 19-year-old, a 17-year-old, or a 16-year-old out on a date.”
March 19th, 2018 • Featured
How newsroom culture is being re-evaluated following #MeToo
After The New York Times and The New Yorker’s groundbreaking exposés of disgraced Hollywood mogul and serial sexual abuser Harvey Weinstein, it wasn’t long before women in journalism began raising their hands to say, “Me too.” Powerful media figures such as MSNBC’s Mark Halperin, NPR’s Michael Oreskes and Leon Wieseltier, a former editor at The New Republic, were ousted from their jobs after women propelled by the “Weinstein effect” came forward with incriminating allegations of sexual harassment and assault.
Next Thursday, International Women’s Day is observed – the day where women’s contributions to society, including in journalism, are celebrated. Much of the conversation has been on the role of women in journalism in light of the #MeToo movement on social media and the sexual harassment allegations against prominent male media figures, including Mark Halperin, Charlie Rose, Michael Oreskes, Garrison Keillor, Harvey Weinstein, and most recently, Tom Ashbrook.
I grew up without a tv at home. Instead, I read newspapers and I created scrapbooks full of articles. My interests were broad: royal families, wars, and American elections. The scrapbooks piled up, barely being touched because there was always new news. Ever since I was young, I wanted to be a foreign correspondent.
One of the biggest questions that journalism has faced over the course of the past year is how to maintain trust, in an era where the criticism “fake news” has become a norm. It is a conversation that is likely to continue over the course of the next year, as journalists and news organizations try to maintain trust with audiences.
“Seek truth and report it.” What a challenge those five words have proved to be. Figures in government at all levels are making it harder to find, let alone report, the truth. And elected officials have found it easy to scream “Fake news!”
November 2nd, 2017 • Quill Archives
Students and live news: Tips to avoiding kryptonite
Social media has changed not only the face of journalism. It has changed the entire standard for what is news and, in particular, what is considered “breaking news.” With a 24-hour news hole to fill, 365 days a year, even professional reporters have been tripped up while trying to beat the next 24-hour news cycler to the punch.
When the Center for Media & Social Impact asked Sundance filmmaker Laura Poitras if she was a filmmaker, a journalist or both, she responded, “It’s journalism plus.” The director of the Edward Snowden documentary “Citizenfour” is a self-professed visual journalist. In an ever-changing media landscape, introducing journalism students to the basics of documentary filmmaking can be a rewarding and beneficial process.
Everyone has a story. When I became a journalist, I put much of my story behind me: I had come out as transgender in 2000, at age 16. I had worked as a baker, a barista, a busker and a sex-toy salesperson.
April 13th, 2017 • Featured
Time to Abandon the Aversion to Immersion Journalism?
The email came in shortly after 1 a.m. on a Tuesday during spring break. “Dr. Cox,” it read, “I have a couple questions.” It was the first semester of my new experimental class, “Participatory Journalism,” and we were facing our first real ethics test.
Nothing in Tara Gatewood’s career went according to plan. If it had, she says, she would be a photographer somewhere doing “amazing shoots.” Her interest in journalism — and course of study — started with photography at Montgomery College in Maryland, having moved from her home in the Isleta Pueblo tribal community in New Mexico.
Wow! My first column as president of the Society of Professional Journalists. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous and a lot excited. But mostly I am grateful and honored to serve you and have an opportunity to be a representative voice for journalists.
For George Daniels, journalism is about the people you meet along the way. Looking back, he recalls the names of several mentors who helped him develop from high school on to college and in his career. Those five mentors he considers instrumental, saying they shaped his career in broadcast journalism and journalism/mass communication as a professor.
One of the first workshops I gave as a new professor was to introduce journalists to a few tools and applications I found on the web that they could use when producing a multimedia story. Six and a half years later, that small workshop has morphed into a side project that has a collection of more than 100 types of tech and tools to help journalists be more digital.
Last fall, college journalists across the country reported about diversity issues on campus, sometimes involving classmates raising awareness of racism, discrimination and threats. These issues came to our campus at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Wash., with an unprecedented action: The administration canceled classes for one day, concerned about threats on social media toward students of color.
As founder and editor of All Digitocracy, Tracie Powell keeps a close eye on media and its impact on diverse communities. Powell has not only reported and edited for more than a decade, she also has master’s degree in law and served as a legal clerk for the U.S.
Malia Zimmerman boarded the plane to American Samoa knowing this island visit would be anything but a vacation. The Hawaii-based reporter had been recruited by a former head of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for a life-threatening mission: investigate slave labor at a garment factory in an area plagued by government corruption, police misconduct and federal government neglect.
As EIJ15 draws closer, I am reflecting on the year behind me. It sounds more like lyrics to a Billy Joel song than a year as SPJ president: FBI, Ferguson, Charlie Hebdo, ISIS, the U.S. Forest Service, Brian Williams, Rolling Stone, Hillary Clinton and Indiana’s RFRA.
Among the many problems facing journalism today is the great divide developing between newsrooms and the communities they serve. It is fairly certain that a growing number of newsrooms and their managers are not and will not be prepared to deal with America’s changing landscape.
As vice chair of the SPJ Ethics Committee, I get a lot of questions from journalism students who want feedback for their assignments. “How would you define ’ethical journalism’?” “Have you ever been in an ethical situation?” I recently got this one: “How can journalists avoid running into ethical problems?”
Note: This remembrance, by longtime friend and fellow SPJ member Sally Lehrman, first appeared on the website of The Maynard Institute. Dori Maynard was a board member of SPJ’s associated Sigma Delta Chi Foundation and was named a Fellow of the Society in 2001.
Racism is a hard truth in American society. It is our inheritance, built into America’s history of slavery, lynching, and unequal treatment in law enforcement. And it is our present, through the unspoken, unacknowledged biases we may abhor but unconsciously still carry with us.