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WHITE NOISE

by YES! Staff

Media News & Reports

Journal’s lack of coverage

The National Farm Worker Ministry says it is very disappointed that the Winston-Salem Journal gave very little media coverage to the May 6 protest organized on behalf of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee’s campaign against Reynolds American to improve working conditions for immigrant farmworkers. The protest, which included a march of 100 people through the streets of downtown Winston- Salem, received no coverage in the Journal’s print editions. An article by Journal reporter Richard Craver about the Reynolds American shareholder meeting included a mention of the FLOC protest. The article appeared on the newspaper’s website. Craver reported that a resolution proposed by FLOC supporters at the shareholder meeting that would have required Reynolds American to ensure its suppliers complied with all labor laws was voted down. Craver also mentioned that FLOC’s campaign was aimed at securing better wages and living conditions for tobacco farmworkers. Alexandria Jones, North Carolina Outreach Coordinator for the National Farm Worker Ministry, said the group made several calls and sent a number of e-mails to the Journal prior to the May 6 protest. “It was a surprise for us to see that the Winston-Salem Journal didn’t cover this significant event,” Jones said. “Farmworkers and their supporters will continue to have a strong presence in Winston-Salem until Reynolds Tobacco agrees to meet with FLOC to ensure that tobacco farmworkers are given the rights they deserve. We hope that the Winston-Salem Journal will take advantage of the opportunity to provide coverage in the future on an issue that is so relevant to people in their home town.” — KTB

After the fact redact 

An alarming trend has surfaced among former college journalists, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. It seems some of them are asking their old papers to take some of their more embarrassing or controversial pieces off of the internet. Nickie Dobo, now a reporter for Pennsylvania’s York Daily Record, called the current editor of Penn State’s Daily Collegian and requested he bury an old column of hers on college “hook-up” culture after a white supremacist group used it to question her credibility. “I’m an education reporter, so I do a lot with schools and kids,” she told the Chronicle. “It just didn’t make me look like a professional.” Still, the editor refused her request. Which makes us wonder: How long before our own youthful journalistic indiscretions come back to haunt? I myself wrote a column for the Loyola University Maroon for a year or so called “Ship of Fools” which surely must have contained several passages that would prove embarrassing were they ever discovered by my enemies. Fortunately, my old school has yet to transcribe archives to the internet, so I am safe. For now. — BC

Republican soul searching

US Rep. Patrick McHenry, the Republican who represents North Carolina’s 10 th District, became a focus of the GOP’s search for an identity in the wake of its watershed loss last November. McHenry, who reportedly keeps a bust of Ronald Reagan on his desk, is quoted in the May 7 issue of Time magazine as saying, “Marginal tax rates are the lowest they’ve been in generations and all we can talk about is tax cuts. The people’s desires have changed, but we’re still stuck in our old issue set.” The Democratic National Committee had a field day with the comment in a mass e-mail that highlighted the congressman’s long-standing record of tax slashing by quoting from the position statement on taxes posted on his website: “Congressman McHenry believes in lowering the tax burden on American workers, families and small business owners. As a member of Congress, and previously as a state representative in North Carolina, he has never voted for a tax increase. The congressman strongly supports President Bush’s 2001 and 2003 tax cuts — the biggest since Ronald Reagan’s first term as president. But that tax relief is set to expire in 2010, and Congressman McHenry believes those reductions need to be made permanent.” Joanne Peters, a regional press secretary for the DNC, crowed, “Whatever will the NC GOP and Americans for Prosperity North Carolina have to say about this?” and went on to surmise that McHenry “must be having an outof-body experience.” — JG

It’s your calling card…

A quick shout-out to Ed Cone, whose blog, “Word Up,” turned seven years old on May 9. More than 14,000 posts later, the blog has become a must-read for media watchers, internet junkies and argumentative whack-jobs alike. As members of all three groups, we check the site every day and look forward to seven more years of Word Up. Congratulations, Ed, on a great run so far. — BC

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