Editor in chief’s note
‘The journalism community deserves diversity, but why aren’t we getting it?” asked Farai Chideya, moderator of CJR’s April 3 panel about race, class, and social mobility at the Newseum in Washington, DC. Many thanks to the ACLU for supporting the event, and to Farai and her fellow panelists Raquel Cepeda, Gene Policinski, Richard Prince, and Jeff Yang for their insights and good humor. As Yang joked mordantly, “Journalism-Americans are soon far more likely to be extinct than any of the other minorities we’ve talked about.” If you missed the livestream, you can still catch the conversation, thanks to C-SPAN.
The next item of gratitude is bittersweet: CJR’s vice chairman, Peter Osnos, has announced that he’s stepping down, having helped us recruit his successor, David Kellogg. Peter has been a staunch champion of CJR, eager to brainstorm any problem, ever willing to make introductions, and always first with congratulations on any minor victory. We so appreciate your support, Peter!
Can’t say enough good things about your intelligent, insightful roundtable discussion on race and class (“Fair Share,” a conversation hosted by Farai Chideya, CJR, March/April). I hope it will spark many more discussions in newsrooms (and exec suites) across the country. Kudos to CJR for making it the cover story and then giving it so much room to roam.
In our March/April cover story “Fair share,” we quoted the Lexington Herald-Leader: “It has come to the editor’s attention that the Herald-Leader neglected to cover the civil rights movement. We regret the omission.” While we took the comment at face value, the editor in question, John Carroll, actually intended it as a rueful preface to a serious examination of his paper’s lapses in civil rights coverage. We apologize for the missing context.
Re: “Aspiring Line” by Eric Alterman (CJR, March/April). William F. Buckley always seemed creepy to me. . . . But then I’m one of those lefty liberals, so what do I know? Seriously, this was fun—an honest recollection, so well written, and I could understand every word. (Can’t say the same about Buckley, which, I suspect, is how he liked it.)
Drummond Island, MI
Edward Ericson Jr.
How many times will Eric Alterman stick his face into the same fan? Now we know!
Safe at home?
Thanks, Clay Shirky, for your article (“Dark Shadows,” CJR, March/April). Homicide Watch could provide further service to the community by integrating a public-health approach to the data, and dividing it into different types of violence: child, youth, family, stranger, police . . . In most communities, the No. 1 type of assault is domestic violence, which requires a different approach to reducing the incidence and helping the victims than, say, gang violence. Identifying the weapon can be useful, too. Highlighting organizations and people in the community who are working to reduce and prevent violence would also help . . . instead of living with the idea that there’s nothing to be done about it, or that it’s only a police and criminal-justice problem.
Jane Ellen Stevens
No holds barred
James Ridgeway’s “Fortresses of Solitude” (CJR, March/April) is a fantastic and necessary piece of journalism—and a call to action, though that’s language that will make a lot of journalists uncomfortable. I also read a great post at Solitary Watch summarizing the specific media-access regulations at various prisons, and there’s inconsistency across the country—which puts reporters at a disadvantage. It’s clear that some mass action is needed to push a large-scale precedent on this issue, like the ACLU’s mass FOIA campaign that made public thousands and thousands of pages about American torture abroad.
Jina Moore (CJR contributor)
Comment posted on CJR.org.