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Whitlock hits it out of the park

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Twoback, Jul 20, 2006.

  1. thegrifter

    thegrifter Member

    Didn't know there were 22 black assistant sports editors. I'm among that group, but finding it out to be a bitch to become that sixth black SE.
    Not cause 'The Man' is keeping me down, but just cause it's like Whitlock said, you have to put in your time and earn your stripes.
  2. black journalists (and i'm just speaking about the group i know best) get sold this myth that newspapers covet "their" perspective and desperately want the diversity they would provide the newsroom....you buy the hype and get passionate about sharing your perspective and impacting the way the newspaper covers certain things.... and then you get smacked in the face real freaking hard that they want your face for the paper and your SS# number for some box they can check on some diversity survey and they don't want to hear from you on what the paper does because that might lead to some long, uncomfortable conversations, rethinking of the way stories are covered or presented and some difficult editing sessions..... i ain't trying to gloss myself or mike fannin, but fannin has to stretch his legs and his mind when it comes to editing some of my columns. it can be a headache because i'm always pushing the enevelope and saying things that might make readers uncomfortable or the subjects of my columns uncomfortable....diversity is hard freaking work and it's a group effort. one person can't be diverse. and a lot of people just don't think diversity is worth the effort... you ain't gonna make it home at 5 pm every day if you really invite diversity.... $h*t is deep y'all.
  3. Left_Coast

    Left_Coast Active Member

    How much editing did Mike do on this piece?
  4. friend of the friendless

    friend of the friendless Active Member

    Mr Whitlock,

    If you substituted Irish and Hibernian for black and African-American in your column, you'd have ...

    ... well, frankly you'd have an unreadable, nonsensical mess.

    But your points are well taken and it was a good read. I'm doing what I can to drag my fellow shamrocks outta the business and find them respectable work.

    Begorrah, etc
  5. not much.... we just had a one-hour conversation/debate about the column.... no real significant disagreement. there were a couple of things that had to be clarified... at one point i wrote something vague: "buffoonery and total assimilation are embraced." it didn't track. i knew what i was saying...but it didn't track as a reader.... we changed it to buffoonish writers....etc....

    the conversation and the clarity of thought the conversation produced is what improved the column... the ending to the column changed because of our conversation. we both realized that our passionate debate/discussion about the column is what diversity is, not a column mug in the newspaper. i wrote a new ending to the column after our conversation...
  6. Left_Coast

    Left_Coast Active Member

    Nice insight, thanks. Is that a normal process for you with Mike, or moreso this time because of the topic? I would assume it's not like this on live, late-at-night columns from gamers, though I could be wrong.
  7. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    I would hope that someone lower than the sports editor is allowed to edit Whitlock's column.
  8. it's a normal process on high-end columns that cover a touchy issue. and i like to write touchy stuff at least once a month or maybe twice a month. you gotta file a column like that one early in the day. i let him and holly know it was coming at 11 am and i tried to file it by 3 p.m. but got slowed down by a long email exchange with another writer and phone calls and didn't file until 5 pm, which is still early for me...you can't file that column at 8 p.m., fannin might be on his way home and you wanna give people time to digest and offer feedback....the stuff i wrote on the jr giddens bar fight with the white kid i filed by 3 or 4 most days....lawyers needed to look it over...as well as editors.

    we have a solid desk that i trust and mike trust so on normal columns we damn sure don't spend an hour on the phone debating whether the chiefs should sign ty law and whether i should spank carl peterson for not signing ty law.... i been in kansas city 12 years. i work my corners solo most nights.
  9. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    I'll hand you the biggest compliment I can: that was as solid as some of Leonard Pitts' finest looks at race matters.

    Well done, Jason.
  10. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member


    Pitts is excellent 9 out of 10 times.


    Best columnist in America.
  11. Columbo

    Columbo Active Member

    It's all external diversity..... (except fat people don't count).... has that ever been in question?
  12. Jumping into the discussion about true diversity...

    Understand that if you're Hispanic, newspapers only want you to act a little Hispanic. If you're black, they only want acting a little black, and so forth.

    They want to see you (count you), but not hear you. They don't want to hear your complaints about how all the stories on the front page were of black people committing crimes. They don't want you to challenge them about why they ran the death of a black child on 10B and that of a suburban white child on 1A. They tune you out when you try to convince them why it's important to put the death of Betty Shabazz (Malcolm X widow) on the front page. This is the kind of diversity that newspapers really have a hard time embracing.

    I'm afraid most newspapers only want minorities who a) fit a stereotype of what they think of people of color or b) reinforce their own racial beliefs. It is why a lot of excellent minority journalists hit a ceiling rather quickly in their careers, or why many of them leave the business altogether.
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