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Pearlie M Strother-Adams <[log in to unmask]>
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Pearlie M Strother-Adams <[log in to unmask]>
Fri, 23 Jul 2010 12:25:35 -0500
text/plain (165 lines)
Thanks, Carolyn.
You are spot on. I watched CNN's Anderson Cooper ask Mrs. Sherrod yesterday if she felt she should get an apology from the character that deliberately edited the tape and smeared her.  Mrs. Sherrod was very direct. She called the guy what he is "a racist." Media people are not prepared for this kind of honesty. They follow a script, which is geared towards making the country look clean.  People like Sherrod and Atty. Rose Sanders,Selma, Alabama, activist and civil rights attorney who spoke out on CNN when the story broke on Sherrod's behalf, work at the grass roots level and, indeed, call the situation exactly what it is.  Sanders works tirelessly in Selma with her activist husband Hank Sanders, and both also worked with the late Atty. Chestnutt who brought litigation against the federal government on behalf of  black farmers  in Alabama who were denied loans.  I was happy to see Sherrod stand bold as she talked on CNN and proclaimed that she is a fighter. Given what happened to ACORN at the hands of this same man, I agree with Sherrod, she should consider taking legal action. After all this man did slander her in the worst way. He defamed her character and set a stain upon her that caused her to lose her job as well as caused her great mental and possible physical pain.  An apology (which is what the media seems to be bent on) is simply not enough and part of media's call for an apology has to do with the fact that some get an easy pass from the media when they commit a breach.  
----- Original Message -----
From: "Carolyn Nielsen" <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask]
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2010 11:35:11 AM
Subject: FW: Diversity at Work - Use Authentic Experiences to Talk about Race, not Formulas and Stereotypes

Poynter on Sherrod (and tea party).

Carolyn Nielsen
Assistant Professor
Western Washington University
Department of Journalism
(360) 650-3244
[log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
NOTE: I usually respond more quickly to e-mails than to phone calls.

From: Poynter Institute [[log in to unmask]]
Sent: Friday, July 23, 2010 8:33 AM
To: Carolyn Nielsen
Subject: Diversity at Work - Use Authentic Experiences to Talk about Race, not Formulas and Stereotypes

  [] <>

Diversity at Work<>
Home<> > Ethics & Diversity<> > Diversity at Work<>
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Latoya Peterson
Fresh ways to encourage & enhance journalistic storytelling from different perspectives.
Use Authentic Experiences to Talk about Race, not Formulas and Stereotypes
Posted by Latoya Peterson<> 11:24 AM Jul. 23, 2010
Watching and reading news reports about race in America is a depressing endeavor. Just this week, race has dominated the headlines, from racism in the ranks of the tea party<> to USDA's Shirley Sherrod being dragged through the mud<> based on an edited video being posted on a prominent conservative blog.

Why is the press corps so bad at covering racial issues? Regardless of the circumstance, the players, and the nature of the problem, most stories about race follow the same format, almost to the letter. A journalist describes the issue at hand and poses the question, "Is this racist?" The reporter then interviews the principals or talks to a pundit (rarely is an expert tapped), presents both arguments, and ends the piece.

This is indicative of a much larger problem. Since race is such a polarized issue in the United States, reporters and pundits often avoid the messier threads, preferring a tighter, "neutral" story flow over our messy reality.

And even if an outlet chooses to tackle race without hiding behind the he-said-she-said formula, the subject is often treated in the most sensationalist way possible.

For example, take a recent Time magazine piece by Joel Stein called "My Own Private India<,9171,1999416,00.html>." ...

Read on to see how the Fourth and Fifth Estates fall flat when writing about race.
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