Special Report: Trans voices still missing from Minnesota news reporting

(Image via trinitynews.ie)

The Minnesota State High School League’s vote in early December to include transgender students in high school athletics made news throughout the state. For the first time in recent memory, a transgender issue was thoroughly covered through television, newspaper, radio, and the web. For many media outlets, it was one of the few times transgender issues were reported on. In some cases, that inexperience showed.

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#Pointergate points to the imperative of oversight

In another life I was a stooge on the Minnesota News Council. At some point I, as a member in good standing, read in the press that the MNC was to be no more – no explanation, a simple affirmation that the staff person had acquired a safe position at the University of St. Thomas. Because I was too otherwise engaged to explore the roots of a decision I accepted as a done deal, closed that file, and gave complicit assent to a decision I knew was wrong.

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Fire on the Bluff: Airstream pizza kitchen meets the East Side radio novela

Maria Avenue resident Barry Madore is planning two projects for the East Side that likely have never been combined before: a roving wood-fired pizza kitchen in a classic Airstream trailer, and a bilingual radio novela series to be aired on the soon-to-be-live East Side radio station, WEQY-FM.

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Beyond press release journalism and official stories

Police break up Colorado drug ring! Oops — no, they didn’t. What actually happened: police arrested 40 people on the basis of unreliable and vindictive informants, splashed their names and faces all over local front pages and TV news, and later dismissed all the charges. This story of policing — journalism — gone wrong demonstrates the perils of relying on the “official story.”

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VIDEO: Journalists discuss #Pointergate

UPDATED Tuesday, December 9, 2014, 1:58 pm.

The Society of Professional Journalists – Minnesota Pro Chapter, along with the Twin Cities chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists and the Asian American Journalists Association, as well as the Silha Center for the Study of Media Ethics and Law and the Minnesota Journalism Center, hosted a panel discussion on the recent Pointergate issue in our local community.

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After Ferguson: What comes next? The nature of media coverage is a big part of the answer

Owners Jerome and Cathy Jenkins outside of Cathy’s Kitchen in Ferguson, MO

“What do we do now?” Such questions have been noticeably absent in media coverage in the aftermath of the Michael Brown shooting in Ferguson, Missouri in August, especially after last week’s announcement of the decision not to indict the police officer who killed him. Instead, most of the focus has been on if and when violence would erupt after the grand jury decision.

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OPINION | Less scrolling and scanning, more digesting

(Photo by Ian Lamont published under Creative Commons License)

Tied to our electronic devices, most of us do a lot of scrolling these days: scanning our Facebook newsfeeds and tweets, skimming favorite blogs and online news sources. The result, says Nicholas Carr (“Is Google Making Us Stupid?” and The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains), is that we’re losing our capacity to concentrate, contemplate, reflect, even as what we're reading is often purposely kept shorter in response to our shortened attention spans. All of this has consequences for the quality, depth, and tone of the discourse that we can engage in about important matters.

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Twin Cities Black preachers unite against biased reporting

(Photo by Mike Morbeck published under Creative Commons License)

The local mainstream media has been “culturally arrogant” in its reporting of prominent Blacks, says a ministers’ group. His Works United, “an informal group” of nearly 20 clergy, told reporters at a November 24 morning press conference at New Salem Baptist Church in North Minneapolis that mainstream media outlets have “discounted our community” by not including diverse voices in their reporting.

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Media forum: Finding voice beyond the dominant

(Photos by Mark Allan Peterson) On the panel above, Emilia Gonzales Avalos – Advocacy and Community Engagement Director, NAVIGATE MN; Hlee Lee – MPR’s Counter Stories, Production Specialist; Adja Gildersleve – Director/Project Manager, Digital Divide Documentary Empowerment Project; Nancy Musinguzi – Youthprise artist-in-residence; Kristoffer Tigue – Editor, TC Daily Planet

The importance, and the difficulty, of gaining a voice to tell one’s own story was the underlying theme of the annual Twin Cities Media Alliance Fall Forum Nov. 8. The forum’s keynote speaker, Nekima Levy-Pounds, expressed concern that minorities, especially African-American men, are portrayed in only one dimension in the local media, and are seldom the authors of their own narratives.

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OPINION | KSTP and Pointergate: Not as surprising as we want to believe

KSTP’s outrageous Pointergate story has caused quite the stir on the Internet. Daily Kos called it the most racist piece of journalism in 2014. I think it fits right in with the stories that suggest that Black people are going to riot if there isn’t a grand jury indictment of Darren Wilson in the Mike Brown Jr. case.

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