Archive for April, 2009

A WORD Special Project

Monday, April 13th, 2009

Six days. One-hundred-sixty writers.

It’s spring break but several of the WORD’s best writers were emailed to see if any were interested in covering the event. So far, Hannah M. Levine, who writes for the WORD and is the Arts & Entertainment Editor for the Envoy and blogs at Hannahmiet.blogspot.com, has accepted. She wants to cover the PEN cabaret.   

Media Matters for America Says It Has Proof That Fox News Is the Slumdog of America News Media

Saturday, April 11th, 2009

This week, Media Matters for America released a new report that it says documents Fox New promoting anti-Obama “tea party” protests across the country for April 15.

It reports that Fox News has frequently aired segments encouraging viewers to get involved with tea-party protests, which the news network has often described as primarily a response to President Obama’s fiscal policies.

Sharp Decline in Black Incarceration For Drug Offenses

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

This was an embargoed heads-up sent to me by WORD Senior Writer/Producer Kisha Allison: From The Sentencing Project – 

 WASHINGTON, DC- For the first time in 25 years, since the inception of the “war on drugs,” the number of African Americans incarcerated in state prisons for drug offenses has declined substantially, according to a study released today by The Sentencing Project. It finds a 21.6 percent drop in the number of blacks incarcerated for a drug offense, a decline of 31,000 people during the period 1999-2005.

 The study, The Changing Racial Dynamics of the War on Drugs, also documents a corresponding rise in the number of whites in state prison for a drug offense, an increase of 42.6% during this time frame, or more than 21,000 people. The number of Latinos incarcerated for state drug offenses was virtually unchanged.

“The unparalleled growth in the U.S. prison population is directly related to policies that prioritized enforcement and harsh punishments for low-level drug offenses,” said Marc Mauer, Executive Director of The Sentencing Project and author of today’s study. “This domestic ‘war on drugs’ was fought on the doorsteps of African American communities, but its disparate impact on these communities may finally be waning.” 

More later, depending on what Allison wants to do.

Comeuppance

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

For all those who wrote the President and the Secretary of State about Lori Berenson’s fate, check this out.

Cop Encounters Can Give Me the Creeps …

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

… It’s the Gun-Thing.

An email to my Advanced Reporting class after a tour at State Supreme Court Civil Division, 60 Centre Street, Tuesday, March 30 — The Deputy Clerk of the Court for years has been introducing my advanced classes to use of the court’s public records. The tours, depending on circumstances, last from 30-45 minutes and many students have benefitted from the tour: Some have been acknowledge for very good work in their internship positions because of their knowledge, others have come across really good stories. The end result, I like to believe, is that they understand the importance of supplementing their reporting skills with research techniques and knowledge, like how to use public records.

I recall how one student, good but not one of the best and not especially interested in journalism, lit up like a firecracker when he learned that he could do background research on Hunter. He used information from a civil suit to confront a former Hunter President about asbestos in the College’s dorms on the lower east side. This happened several years ago. There was no asbestos – the College had done an investigation, according to records – but his confronting the President made for a good story in an Hunter student news publication at at time that students were concerned about what they breathing.

So:

Students,

I’m writing this because I might have pushed everyone’s P-Button at 60 Centre Street, Tuesday, March 29 [sic], and want to make a clarification about a comment I made after the tour ended at Manhattan State Supreme Court Civil Branch. I said the group had been shadowed by an armed security guard … 

(more…)

Saving Lori Berenson – Call President Obama and Write to Secretary of State Clinton

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

From Mark and Rhoda Berenson – Now that President Obama has settled into office, it is time for us to put a concerted effort into enlisting his help in securing Loris release.

Wrongfully imprisoned in Peruvian hellholes, Lori has now served 13 years and five months of her 20-year sentence. She has been a model prisoner, and she is eligible for conditional liberty in November, 2010. However, given the precarious nature of her health and the forthcoming birth of her baby, we will be urging President Obama and Secretary of State Clinton to secure Lori’s immediate release.

File Photo: Lori in a Lima Courtroom, March 22, 2001

File Photo: Lori in a Lima Courtroom, March 22, 2001

(more…)

The WORD’s Eunji Jang Is Now a New America Media Intern in New York

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Wednesday, April 1 Email from Anthony Advincula to His New America Media Compadres 

Dear all,

I just want to introduce to everyone our new intern, Eunji Jang, in
the New York office. She will start next week to help us with the
national ethnic media awards outreach, the U.S. Census 2010 news
briefings as well as she will contribute to our Web site. Eunji will
also monitor the news in Korean media across the East Coast.
 (more…)