In True Color: A Panel Discussion of Race, Media and Responsible Coverage, Thursday, April 12

We’re thrilled to announce “In True Color: A Panel Discussion of Race, Media, and Responsible Coverage,” to be held at WGBH Satellite Studio and Newsfeed Cafe in Boston Public Library (700 Boylston St, Boston, MA 02116 website) on Thursday, April 12 at 6 p.m.

The Asian American Journalists Association’s New England chapter and its partners, the Boston Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists New England, want to spark a deeper conversation about race in Boston media, and how we as an industry can proactively improve our coverage.

The panel will bring together esteemed guests: NBC Sports Boston Senior Vice President & General Manager Princell Hair; WBUR Executive Director of News Content Richard Chacón; Boston Globe Columnist Shirley Leung; and WEEI/Entercom Executive Mark Hannon. This event will be moderated by WGBH TV & radio host/commentator Callie Crossley.

Space is limited and RSVPs are encouraged. Please email Young-Jin Kim, AAJA NE Secretary at yj.magnet@gmail.com.

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Journalists, Executives Discuss #RaceInMedia at BPL Panel

From left, Princell Hair, NBC Sports Boston senior vice president and general manager; Shirley Leung, Boston Globe columnist; Richard Chacón, WBUR executive director of news content; Mark Hannon WEEI/Entercom Boston senior vice president/ market manager; and Callie Crossley, WGBH TV & radio host/commentator, participate in the “In True Color” panel discussion at the downtown Boston Public Library on April 12.

 

By Natasha Ishak

BOSTON — Media organizations must increase workplace diversity and take other measures to prevent racism from compromising news coverage, media executives and journalists said during a panel at the downtown Boston Public Library earlier this month.

The April 12 event organized by the Asian American Journalists Association — in partnership with the Boston Association of Black Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists New England — examined how Boston media could better represent minorities.

“The work to improve and make progress is really done day to day, hour by hour, hire by hire,” said Princell Hair, senior vice president and general manager of NBC Sports Boston.

The panel came after WEEI sports radio station host Christian Fauria used a racist Asian accent to mock high-profile sports agent Don Yee, who represents New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, during a broadcast in February.

Fauria, who apologized, was suspended for five days following the incident and the radio station shut down its on-air programming so employees could participate in mandatory sensitivity training.

WEEI Boston Senior Vice President and Market Manager Mark Hannon, who participated in the panel, called Fauria’s behavior “ignorant” and “deplorable.”  

“We’re an entertainment medium, we’re not a journalistic enterprise,” he said. “But that doesn’t suggest that we don’t have boundaries.”

Hannon added: “Ratings are important. Revenues follow ratings. We’re in the business of those two things. But we can’t do that at the cost of what is right.”

Boston Globe columnist Shirley Leung said the WEEI incident showed the importance of holding the media accountable for its coverage of minorities.

The incident “sends this message that we are foreign. That Asian Americans, by the way we look — no matter if we were born here — will never be accepted,” she said.

Leung said diversity in the newsroom helps organizations deepen their coverage of minority communities.

“We only cover them when bad things happen. We only go to Mattapan when there’s a crime, and so the rest of the world — and Boston — thinks that Mattapan is crime-ridden. But Mattapan is more than just crime and homicides,” Leung said, referring to a Boston neighborhood with a vibrant Caribbean and African immigrant population.

Richard Chacón, executive director of news content at WBUR, believes reporters  can prevent incidents of racism in their coverage by getting out of their comfort zones.

“I think we just need to be more mindful that we get out of that bubble more often,” he said. “It’s only in doing that that we’re really going to expose ourselves to the things that we don’t know.”

He added that media organizations have a responsibility to contribute to the dialogue on race issues, because “all of us are part of the public conversation.”

For journalists of color, contributing to the public conversation on race also sometimes means working two jobs at once, said WBUR host Callie Crossley, who moderated the panel that evening.

“You’re going to work the job where you’re reporting whatever you’re reporting, and then you’re going to work the one where you got to be watching about these kinds of things because everybody doesn’t see it,” she said, referring to the WEEI incident.

Organizations like the Asian American Journalists Association play an important role in this regard, added Hair, of NBC.

“I think those organizations are where the conversation keeps going,” he said.”They’re the ones charged with coming up with solutions once these people are held accountable.”

___

A livestream recording of the one-hour panel at WGBH’s satellite station at the Boston Public Library can be found on the WGBH News Facebook page

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Veteran Journalist Highlights Importance of Diversity in Media

Callie Crossley, host of “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley”

 

Callie Crossley to Host Panel on Race, Media at Boston Public Library  

By Claire Tran

Earlier in her journalism career, Callie Crossley made what she thought was a commonsense decision while covering a story about nutrition: to interview a black family.

But she was stunned by the reactions of her colleagues, who were white. One expressed surprise that her interviewees were black. Another asked Crossley if she was related to the family.

For Crossley, now host of WGBH’s “Under the Radar with Callie Crossley,” this underscored the need for news organizations to accurately reflect the diversity of their communities.

“When I’m doing a story, I am not going to the same group of folks as often my colleagues are,” she said. “Why would every one of those voices be white? That makes no sense to me.”

Such issues will be highlighted on April 12 when Crossley hosts “In True Color: A Panel Discussion of Race, Media and Responsible Coverage” organized by the Asian American Journalists Association New England Chapter in partnership with the Boston Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists New England.

The event comes in the wake of an incident at WEEI, in which radio host Christian Fauria used a racist Asian accent to imitate high-profile sports agent Don Yee. Multiple companies, such as Citizens Bank, pulled advertisements from the station. Fauria, who apologized, was suspended for five days and employees participated in mandatory sensitivity training.

Hosted at Boston Public Library, the panel will feature Princell Hair, NBC Sports Boston Senior Vice President and General Manager; Richard Chacón, WBUR Executive Director of News Content; Shirley Leung, Boston Globe Columnist; and Mark Hannon, WEEI/Entercom Boston Senior Vice President and Market Manager.

Crossley says she will foster a discussion about fair representation and how to prevent racially insensitive incidents in media.

“If we’re about truth and we’re about making sure people get correct information, then all the voices should be at the table,” she said. “There’s one truth, but there are many perspectives on the truth.”

For Crossley, who produced the award-winning 1987 documentary series “Eyes on the Prize,” the pursuit of diversity has long been an uphill battle.

Early in her career, she often felt pigeonholed into covering certain stories. She was frequently tapped as the main reporter on race issues, yet too often she wasn’t assigned to stories that she felt needed the perspective of a journalist of color.

Although she has had success in the industry, she’s well aware of the impact of race on her career.

“Had I not been a black person, I would have gone faster and farther,” said Crossley. “I’ve done pretty well, but I can look back at various turns and know if I had the exact same opportunities as some folks that I work with, it would have been a different thing.”

She recalls a time when a co-worker complained that because he was not a person of color, he was not getting certain job offers. Crossley responded by noting that she was the only reporter of color at the company.

“Let’s look around the newsroom. There were 14 reporters at this particular station. There’s only one of me,” said Crossley. “You had 13 chances and I had one. Case closed.”

Crossley, who often guest lectures at colleges, advises young reporters to call out their own news organizations for using racial stereotypes or lacking diversity in coverage. She says the onus of journalists is to prioritize facts.

“It’s not about how many clicks you get or even about how many awards you get,” said Crossley. “It’s really about telling the stories of your communities correctly and accurately.”

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APPLY NOW! Radio Reporting for Mid-Career Journalists in Hartford

Detail on wnpr.org

Connecticut Public Radio (WNPR) is offering a free, two-day intensive introduction to public radio journalism for experienced professionals who might be interested in learning more about our branch of the news industry. Space is limited, so we’ll be asking interested journalists to apply. (The workshop itself is free. Attendees are responsible for their own travel and accommodations.) All journalists are welcome, and we especially hope to see applications from journalists of color.

To apply, please submit an application form by April 4, 2018.

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News and editorial opportunities at WBUR, Boston’s NPR News Station

Boston’s NPR News Station, WBUR, 90.9 FM (online at wbur.org) has many news/editorial opportunities available, and they would like to attract a diverse group of candidates.

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    Lunar New Year 2018 Dim Sum: Sun. Feb 25

    Join AAJA New England to ring in the Lunar New Year!

    Empire Garden Restaurant
    690 Washington St, Boston, MA 02111
    Sunday, Feb. 25. Meet at the entrance at 10:45 a.m., get seated at 11 a.m.
    Free for members, $10-15 for non-members, everyone is welcome!

    RSVP here

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    Statement of response regarding the recent WEEI segment

    Link to AAJA National’s offiial website for the statement

    The Asian American Journalists Association’s MediaWatch, New England chapter, and Sports Task Force condemn the recent segment on WEEI’s “Ordway, Merloni & Fauria” in which hosts perpetuated harmful, inaccurate and insensitive stereotypes about Asian Americans. We are heartened to learn Christian Fauria personally apologized to sports agent Don Yee for his racist portrayal of Yee. We commend WEEI for quickly responding to criticism, but we call for management to take steps to ensure that racial stereotyping will never be broadcast on its airwaves and that the station’s on-air personalities have a true understanding of why the segment was so offensive.

    For background:

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    “Confronting Racism as Journalists” at UConn, Feb. 8

    Feb. 8: “Confronting Racism as Journalists” at University of Connecticut

    https://www.facebook.com/events/339772666506854/
    Confronting Racism as Journalists
    Please join us as we host a timely panel discussion about what responsibility the news media has to confront racism. When should journalists call something racist?

    The panelists are:

    Helen Ubinas, an award-winning columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Daily News and philly.com. She previously wrote for Hartford Courant as the newspaper’s first Latina news columnist.

    Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, an essayist for NBC Asian America and contributor to PRI Public Radio International. She is a well traveled speaker and educator on issues of diversity, race, culture and the arts.

    Kevin B Blackistone, a columnist for the Washington Post, commentator on ESPN’s ‘Around the Horn,’ and a professor of the practice at Philip Merrill College of Journalism – UMD

    The moderator is Marie Shanahan, UConn Assistant Professor of Journalism.

    The event is free and open to the public. It will be held in the Wilbur Cross building, North Reading Room starting at 5 p.m.
    Directions: https://maps.uconn.edu/m/info/WCB

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    Please Renew Your Membership (or Join)

    Renew Your Membership (or Join) Today!

    Thank you!

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    Apply for 2018 Voices program today!

    The 2018 Voices program will take place August 5-11, 2018 during the week of the 2018 AAJA National Convention in Houston, TX.

    LEARN MORE

    AAJA Voices is a summer-long journalism training fellowship for undergraduate and graduate students. Now in its 28th year, Voices provides aspiring journalists with career-ready skills to succeed in the continually-evolving media landscape and mid-career journalists management opportunities. By nurturing relationships between students and professional volunteers, Voices also gives students the opportunity to tap into mentors’ networks and begin their own long-lasting relationships.

    APPLY FOR VOICES 2018 TODAY

    NO LONGER A STUDENT BUT STILL WANT TO BE A PART OF VOICES? APPLY TO BE A FACULTY MEMBER.

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