My subscription to Newsweek Magazine expires next month. I’ve been receiving renewal notices but I threw them in the trash. I decided not to renew my subscription to Newsweek.
I’ve been an avid reader of Newsweek since high school and I’ve been a subscriber since the 1980’s. Use to be a really nice magazine. But something happened last year. They reinvented themselves. The magazine got smaller and instead of news articles there’s mostly opinion pieces in the magazine. Talk about boring. Even the website has changed and not for the better.
It was announced last month that the Washington Post sold Newsweek to businessman Sidney Harman, who made his fortune in audio equipment. He bought the magazine for $1.00. Yeah, that’s right $1.00.
As part of the ownership transition, editor Jon Meacham will step down.
The Washington Post Company announced today that it has signed a contract to sell NEWSWEEK to Sidney Harman, a successful businessman who made his fortune in audio equipment and is a well-known philanthropist.
Harman, 91, the founder and chairman emeritus of Harman International, was one of several bidders for the magazine, according to sources familiar with the process, and the deal was not concluded until today, even as some of the interested parties upped their bids this morning.
It will be interesting to see what changes Mr. Harman makes. But those changes won’t be coming to my mailbox anymore. I might check out Newsweek at the newstand just to see what’s going on. But I wonder if the print edition of Newsweek will even exist a few years from now.
Through all the years I’ve been watching the news I never paid attention to the looks of male news anchors and reporters. To me they just deliver the news. But lately NBC News4, which has been my favorite for years, has been hiring some serious eye candy lately. Two young male reporters have caught eye: Aaron Gilchrist and John Schriffen:
Aaron Gilchrist hails from Richmond, Virginia where he worked for the NBC affiliate WWBT. He graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University. Aaron is a reporter for NBC News4 and he’s also the weekend news anchor with Kimberly Suiters. You can read more about Aaron here.
John Schriffen hails from New York City. Though he graduated from Dartmouth College he also attended Howard University where he worked at The Hilltop student newspaper. John is a general assignment reporter for NBC News4. Check out more about John here. Washington Life Magazine has an interview with John.
News4 reporter John Schriffen is nothing short of passionate when it comes to his career and the world of journalism. Schriffen sits down with us to elaborate on his transition to news and his move to the nation’s capital:
How did you become interested in a career in journalism?
Back in college I had an internship at ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption.” I used to bring my writing samples to Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, the hosts of the show. Tony would always look at me and say “Its good, but it needs to sound more like you.” That’s when I realized I actually have a voice. I graduated from Dartmouth and got my first break on TV as a sports anchor/reporter with News 12 The Bronx. I made my fair share of mistakes and Michael and Tony weren’t around to shield me from my news director, but honestly – it made me tougher. I wasn’t afraid to ask the hard questions. That’s what makes a good reporter. My news director decided to put me on both sports and local news and its then that I realized the thrill of breaking a good story and listening to viewers on the street. As cheesy as this may sound, I love helping people by giving them a voice.
Check out the entire interview here.
The Root has an interesting article about how the mainstream media tends to stick to the same tired themes when it comes to covering black folks
in the news:
Overcoming adversity, committing violent crime, engaging in secret elitism, complaining of real or imagined victimization by The Man, allowing the family unit to disintegrate, and so on—these are the types of Black people stories we’ve come to know and love.
So The Root decided to list the black folks who don’t fall into those categories:
Before anyone pipes up with a reference to The Cosby Show, try to remember that it ended more than 15 years ago. And the Obamas don’t count either—there’s nothing “middle class” about being the President of the United States. So what we’re ultimately left with is a case study in the coverage of extremes. CNN’s Black in America 2 offered a prime example of this in its choices of subjects: They showed the obligatory uplifting story of poor inner-city children being inspired to achieve their dreams, and later shifted gears to offer a peek into the world of the Black elite—mansions and debutante balls for all. Black families that fall squarely in between these two ends of the spectrum remain invisible.
GAY BLACK PEOPLE
Did you hear? Bible-thumping, Obama-loving, and gay-hating blacks put the nail in the coffin of gay marriage in California. Yes sirree, according to coverage of Proposition 8 in several mainstream media outlets, all these black folks are very socially conservative and don’t hold with that same-sex relationship nonsense. Oh, unless they’re closeted gangsters on the down low or something, creeping behind the backs of their wives. Other than that, nope—no healthy, happy, non-dysfunctional gay or lesbian relationships among African-Americans. Move it along folks, nothing to see here.
MISSING PERSONS WHO AREN’T WHITE AND FEMALE
Because only little white girls disappear, apparently. If you’re male, or a person of color—or to be honest, even just a brunette—and you have the misfortune of being kidnapped or otherwise going missing, good luck ever being seen or heard from again.
NON-CHRISTIAN BLACK PEOPLE
To hear the mainstream media tell it, black people are all just a-wavin’ our fans and catchin’ the Holy Ghost in the pews, like extras in a Tyler Perry movie. That’s why any politician who wants the black vote must give adequate attention to The Black Church by showing up at a Christian service or two. There are, of course, Black adherents to other faiths, not to mention (horrors!) Black atheists and agnostics. In fact, a CBS survey found that at least one-third of American Muslims are Black! But as usual, the compulsion to paint Black people as a monolith, combined with a dash of historical nostalgia—(The Civil Rights movement was centered in churches! Their strong faith in Jesus carried them through slavery!)—keeps coverage of Black people and religion safely insulated from such nuance.
EDUCATED, MARRIED BLACK WOMEN
If the constant hysterical repetition of the scary statistics is to be believed, you’re about as likely to run into a happily married, educated Black woman with children as you are to be handed a pot of tax-free gold by a leprechaun riding on the back of a unicorn. The most recent incarnation of the “Black women with degrees are condemned to spinsterhood” article appeared on MSNBC earlier this month. It helpfully explained that “many” Black women with advanced degrees remain unmarried—no specific number, just the ominous “many.” The piece then went on to tell that 38 percent of highly educated Black women born between 1961 to 1970 are childless. The other way to say that statistic, of course, is that 62 percent of those highly educated Black women do have children. But I’m guessing a headline like “A Solid Majority Of Highly Educated Black Women Will Marry and Have Children” just wouldn’t get as many clicks, or be as fun to recycle and reprint several times a year.
AFRICANS WHO ARE NOT POOR, STARVING AND LIVING IN SMALL VILLAGES
Did you know that nearly 40 percent of people on the African continent live in urban areas? That means cities, like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago. No? Of course you didn’t. How could you, when most American news coverage of African countries looks like a bunch of extended “Save the Children” commercials?
BLACK POLICE OFFICERS
No surprise here—the existence of black police officers is simply inconvenient, from a narrative standpoint. How else but by ignoring the existence of minority law enforcement officials could media outlets continue to crank out new spins on the old classic “Black Folks Have Historically Fraught Relationship With The (Racist) Cops” story? Don’t believe me? Take a look at this photo, from the recent racial dust-up surrounding the arrest of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr.
Your eyes are not deceiving you. That is, in fact, a black man wearing a police uniform in the bottom right corner of the photo. But the mainstream media pulled a Beyonce and directed everyone’s attention to the left, to the left, so that they could continue with their regularly scheduled programming.
Maybe someday the mainstream media will catch on and start covering these groups in a meaningful way. But until then, keep an eye out for these characters lurking in the background of the usual stories, hoping to be heard. Because seemingly imaginary people are people too.
While checking out my google alerts I saw an item about a new website aimed at African Americans called TheGrio.com. But as one of the Grio team members states: the site is for anyone and everyone who has an interest in its content.
NBC Universal launched TheGrio which focuses on news and video. The site will gather content from NBC News, its own NBC affiliates and MSNBC. According to the TheGrio.com site:
TheGrio.com is the first video-centric news community site devoted to providing African Americans with stories and perspectives that appeal to them but are underrepresented in existing national news outlets. TheGrio features aggregated and original video packages, news articles, and blogs on topics from breaking news, politics, health, business, and entertainment, which concern its niche audience.
TheGrio is brought to you through the cooperation of NBC News and the production team that brought you the documentary film, Meeting David Wilson.
The goal of TheGrio is to be the news portal that satisfies the desire of African Americans to stay informed and connected with their community. TheGrio’s editorial mandate is to focus on news and events that have a unique interest and/or pronounced impact within the national African Americans audience.
I was reading the Washington Post Express during my lunch break today. One of the sections I love reading is the B.I.O.(By Invitation Only) section which features upcoming weddings and union. I enjoy reading about how different couples met. Well one couple in particular caught my eye. You see they’re both black but he’s a Republican and she’s a Democrat. In the black community if you admit you’re a Republican it’s like you slapped someone’s mama. Check out the article below. Even the title is cool.
I couldn’t help but laugh when I read the part about how they both pushed back away from the table and she was close to showing him the door before the relationship even started. I’m glad to read that they got over their political differences. 🙂
Anyway Jonathan Johnson and La Dale Felton are getting married on June 20 so congrats to the happy couple.
Lots of interesting news on the web.
Segregated proms are still the norm in certain part of the South. The New York Times as an article titled In Georgia, Segregation Endures on Prom Night. It’s sad that despite this being the 21st century, senior proms are still segregated.
A growing number of single black women in Alameda County, California are adopting according to this article, More Single Black Women Adopting, County Says. It’s because of this positive move the county is seeing a drop in the number of children in the foster care system.
National Journal Magazine has an interesting article about GOP dominance in the South, but how they’re losing everywhere else in the country. The article, For GOP, A Southern Exposure, gives some history about the Republican Party from the 1800’s to the present.
According to a survey of federal employees, a strong manager is more important than money. In the article, Money’s Nice, But a Good Boss is Better, the survey states that federal employees prefer strong leadership and straight answers from management more than higher pay and benefits. Also according to the survey the Nuclear Regulatory Commission ranks as the best place to work in the federal government. You can check out the results of the best places to work at the Best Places to Work website.
Job prospects aren’t going so well for Stanford University seniors. According to a Time Magazine article, Even Stanford Grads Are Hurting in the Downturn, the bad economy has hit even the best and brightest students at Stanford University.
Some men just can’t take rejection. According to the AJC (Atlanta Constitution Journal), an Atlanta man was so enraged when two women rejected him, so he decided to go on a shooting spree injuring the two women. According to the article, Rejected man shot two women, the assailant didn’t know the two women but apparently he refused to take no for an answer.
The CW Network cancelled the last remaining black centered shows on it’s network. According to The Feed, Everybody Hates Chris and The Game have been cancelled and the CW is gearing the network more towards young women. From the WB and UPN to the CW, it’s amazing how black centered tv shows have pretty much disappeared from network television after having a pretty good run starting in the 70’s on to the 80’s through early 2000’s. Black folks are pretty much relegated to secondary roles now on network tv.
Darrell Gilyard the former pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church in Jacksonville, Florida has pleaded guilty to molesting a 15-year-old girl and sending lewd text messages to another girl at his former church. According to the article, Former rising star preacher pleads guility to molestation, Darrell Gilyard was arrested in January after a church member found lewd text messages on her daughters cell phone. Gilyard rose to fame during the 1980’s with the support of the Southern Baptist Convention.
Students at HBCU Kentucky State University elected their first white Miss Kentucky State University. Kentucky.com reports in the article, First White Miss KSU is proud to be a Thorobred, Elisabeth Joy Martin, a fifth year senior, received over 300 votes last month to win the title. Even though the school is an HBCU, KSU desegregated in 1954.
Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy isn’t happy about what he’s seeing in the comments section of his column. He thinks some folks act like drunken bums in a barroom brawl. But you know what? It’s not just Courtland’s columns or the Washington Post that have this problem. You see this in quite a number of newspaper sites that allow comments. The comments areas says to report abusive posts but does that help any? I wonder if the Post or any other paper really monitor their comments section.
By Courtland Milloy
Wednesday, May 13, 2009
Who are you people?
You get invited to make comments about my work on The Washington Post Web site, and you turn my online message post into a dart board. You swagger into cyberspace under assumed names and start hurling invectives like drunks in a barroom brawl.
Sorry, but I must ask some of you to go elsewhere.
I wrote a column recently about alleged racial discrimination in the D.C. fire department, then went to see what I hoped would be your enlightened responses. What I found was uva2manassas and ged0368 at each others’ throats. And now I’ve had enough. I’m used to getting impassioned feedback, but this was out of hand.
UVA2: “Instead of stupidly reponding ‘racism’ to every critism, prove blacks aren’t lazy morons by bettering yourself.”
GED: “you are a racist white reneck. White ppl did the slaving on every race.”
Look at that, using broken English like shards of a whiskey bottle to attack each other.
Such uncouth behavior not only discourages thoughtful guests from expressing their views, but it also diminishes my online reader profile. As my colleague David Ignatius noted in his op-ed column Sunday about the future of the newspaper business, newspaper Web sites need to become more profitable if we are to survive. And the more we know about our online readers, the more precisely we can sell their demographics to advertisers.
Sure, I get some intelligent comment, but lately I’m wondering what to make of the growth of an increasingly noxious demographic.
I’ll read the comments in a few articles but most times I don’t bother cause some folks are just plain crazy.
That’s why I’m happy that blogs like WordPress let you have the opportunity to approve comments. I tried the other method of letting folks comment without approval and let’s just say never again. Some folks just don’t know how to respond to a blog post in a civilized manner.