Watchdog Blog

Archive for the 'Race' Category

Mary C. Curtis: Museums Take up Civil Rights, Immigration Issues and Their History

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Do the issues of civil rights and immigration intersect? According to the mission of the Civil Rights Sites of Conscience Network, they do. The group of museums from the Southeast recently met over four days in Charlotte. Emily Zimmern, president and CEO of the host Levine Museum of the New South, lamented [...]

Mary C. Curtis: An American Perspective on the Royal Wedding

We may have bested them in the Revolutionary War, but are we more like the English than we care to admit? It was a bit of a shock to be greeted by wall-to-wall breathless coverage of William and Kate when I flipped on my TV Friday morning, though the build-up should have prepared me. I [...]

Bob Giles: Linking Journalists in the U.S. and South Africa

This column first appeared in the Spring 2011 edition of Nieman Reports. Fifty years ago, two journalists from South Africa were in the final weeks of their Nieman fellowship year. The two—Aubrey Sussens, the white editor of The Rand Daily Mail, and Lewis Nkosi, from a young generation of black writers giving voice to the [...]

Herb Strentz: Des Moines Fair Coverage, Part 2

Cleaning up in the wake of the 2010 Iowa State Fair will be daunting this year. In addition to the mess left by nearly 1 million visitors and thousands of farm animals, we have a continuing saga of news coverage that told of possible racial assaults and then, in Saturday Night Live fashion, appears to [...]

Herb Strentz: On ‘Beat Whitey Night’ in Des Moines

(Editor’s note: The incidents described here have become part of a developing story, as this Google link shows.) The Des Moines Register’s reluctance to identify criminal suspects or victims by race has turned into an outright refusal to do so. The closing night of the Iowa State Fair was marked by an observance not exactly [...]

Gilbert Cranberg: No Pulitzer for this Rape Coverage

(Written with Herb Strentz) The Des Moines Register in 1991 won the Pulitzer Prize for public service for exemplary coverage of a rape, coverage that set a high standard for sensitivity and responsibility. On June 16 of this year the Register once more gave noteworthy coverage to a young woman raped multiple times that again [...]

Mary C. Curtis: A Nieman Memory of John Hope Franklin

When I heard about the death of John Hope Franklin, I grabbed my copy of “Mirror to America,” his 2005 autobiography. The blurb on the cover reads: “The twentieth-century fight for civil rights told in the first-person singular by a preeminent American historian.” An understatement. For 94 years, John Hope Franklin lived the history he [...]

Mary C. Curtis: Urban League Issues a Challenge

Now is not the time to be reminded of Charles Dickens or the French Revolution, it would seem. Life in 2009 America is already plenty bleak. Yet Marc Morial, National Urban League president and CEO, channeled “A Tale of Two Cities” to summarize the league’s State of Black America 2009 Report. It is “the best [...]