Category Archives: Journalism

White House Correspondents’ Association is Distributing a Record $132,500 in Journalism Scholarships

Posted by: Audiegrl

The White House Correspondents’ Association is distributing a record $132,500 to eighteen (18) journalism student from five prestigious universities, and will honor the recipients at its annual scholarship luncheon on Friday, April 30th .

Since 1991, the WHCA has awarded nearly $360,000 in scholarship money to 42 graduating high school seniors and college-level students.   The success of this dinner allows members of the White House press corps to give back to the next generation of reporters.

This year, the students will be recognized at a noon-time luncheon at the Atlantic Media offices, 600 New Hampshire Avenue, N.W., to be followed by a panel titled: “Press & the Presidency: A Front Row Seat to History.”

Former White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry will moderate the discussion with five veterans of the White House press corps:

  • Christina Bellantoni, Talking Points Memo
  • Ron Brownstein, National Journal/ Atlantic Media
  • Major Garrett, Fox News Channel
  • Savannah Guthrie, NBC News
  • Jennifer Loven, Associated Press

“This on-the-record forum will give these students a first-hand perspective on covering the presidency,” said Edwin Chen of Bloomberg News & President of WHCA.   “The session will also allow these new journalists to discuss how the press corps does its job in an era with new challenges of access, and at a time when our business is undergoing profound changes.”

The scholarships are targeted in different ways. Columbia University’s grant allows a student from the Middle East to study here and return home to share the best standards of American journalism in that crucial region. At Northwestern, our scholars must demonstrate interest in reporting on government affairs. And at Missouri, the WHCA scholarship program enables up to 10 students to attend its semester-long program in Washington.

Full list of this year’s scholarship recipients

Additional information about past winners

All photos of the 2009 dinner by Brendan Smialowski

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10 Semi-Finalists Named in Academy/MTVU “Oscar® Correspondent Contest

Posted by: Audiegrl

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and mtvU, MTV’s 24-hour college network, announced ten teams of college journalists as semifinalists in the 2010 Oscar Correspondent Contest, each vying for a coveted position on the red carpet at the 82nd Academy Awards in Hollywood. Video entries from the semifinalist teams are posted online at www.oscars.mtvU.com, where students and other viewers can vote for their favorite college journalists until February 10 at 2 p.m. PT.

The semifinalists are (listed in alphabetical order by university):

Chapman University, Orange, CA – Rachel Berry (anchor) and Christian Hartnett (videographer)
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Emerson College, Boston, MA – Terry Stackhouse (anchor) and Zach Cusson (videographer)
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Emerson College – Dean Dimitruk (anchor) and Tyler Weinberger (videographer)
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Florida A&M University, Tallahassee – Brandon McCaskill (anchor) and Kiarra Hart (videographer)
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Middle Tennessee State University, Murfreesboro – Nicki DeCroce (anchor) and Tony Holt (videographer)
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Rider University, Lawrenceville, NJ – Kelly Dixon (anchor) and Gina Grosso (videographer)
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Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY – Eeshé White (anchor) and Patrick House (videographer)
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Texas State University-San Marcos – Amanda Dugan (anchor) and Colby Howell (videographer)
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University of South Dakota, Vermillion – Angie Lacompte (anchor) and Travis Berg (videographer)
Watch and Vote

University of Texas at Austin – Loren Grush (anchor) and Xorje Olivares (videographer)
Watch and Vote

On February 12, the three teams with the most online votes, and as agreed upon by the Academy and mtvU, will advance to the final round of competition. From February 16 to March 2, fans can continue to cast their votes for the teams of finalists as they compete for grand prize. All three teams will be flown to Los Angeles to cover Academy Awards pre-events, including the Animated Feature Symposium, Foreign Language Film Award media op, the Makeup Artist and Hairstylist Symposium and the Governors Ball preview.


The grand prize-winning team will be revealed on Saturday, March 6, at an Academy press conference. The anchor and videographer will be awarded a spot on the red carpet for the 82nd Academy Awards arrivals, as well as credentials for access to backstage press rooms. The winning team’s coverage will be aired on MTV News and mtvU. The two finalist teams will receive bleacher seats along the red carpet and admission to an Oscar viewing party.

The ten semifinalist teams were selected by the Academy and mtvU from videos submitted for the competition. The entries were judged based on criteria including originality, creativity, and how compelling the video was overall. The competition was open to teams of two college students, one anchor and one videographer, residing in the United States.

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For a complete list of rules and regulations for the Oscar Correspondent Contest, visit www.oscars.mtvu.com

44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® Main PageBack to 44-D’s Virtual Red Carpet to the Oscars® Main Page

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The Death of U.S. Political Democracy For The People

Posted by: LibbyShaw

Will the Senator from Wal-Mart please yield to the Senator from Halliburton? The Congressman from Black Water has 5 minutes remaining before the Congresswoman from United Health may speak.

Mark your calendars, folks. January 21, 2010 is the day the radical and activist Supreme Court of the United States delivered the U.S. Democracy into the hands of the corporate sector and special interests groups. According to an article in the New York Times corporations, lobbyists and unions can now legally purchase their candidates of choice.

“We have got a million we can spend advertising for you or against you – whichever one you want,’ ” a lobbyist can tell lawmakers, said Lawrence M. Noble, a lawyer at Skadden Arps in Washington and former general counsel of the Federal Election Commission.

The decision yesterday will usher in unimaginable numbers of Swift Boat attack ads. Corporate fat cats can now threaten and bully politicians to do their bidding or else.

“It will put on steroids the trend that outside groups are increasingly dominating campaigns,” Mr. Ginsberg said. “Candidates lose control of their message. Some of these guys lose control of their whole personalities.”

“Parties will sort of shrink in the relative importance of things,” he added, “and outside groups will take over more of the functions – advertising support, get out the vote – that parties do now.”

Front row: Associate Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Antonin G. Scalia, and Clarence Thomas. Back row: Associate Justices Samuel A. Alito, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, and Sonia Sotomayor.

Some have called the SOTUS decision a power grab that is intellectually dishonest.

In opening the floodgates for corporate money in election campaigns, the Supreme Court did not simply engage in a brazen power grab. It did so in an opinion stunning in its intellectual dishonesty.

Many of those commenting on the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission have focused on the power-grab part. I agree with them. It was unnecessary for the court to go so far when there were several less-radical grounds available. It was audacious to seize the opportunity to overrule precedents when the parties had not pressed this issue and the lower courts had not considered it. It was the height of activism to usurp the judgments of Congress and state legislatures about how best to prevent corruption of the political process.

“If it is not necessary to decide more, it is necessary not to decide more,” a wise judge once wrote. That was Chief Justice John G. Roberts — back when — and dissenting Justice John Paul Stevens rightly turned that line against him.

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Republicans naturally and predictably love this recent ruling. But of course they would. Republicans embrace and fully support authoritarian forms of government. And the sad truth of the matter is the GOP has always worked for the corporate sector.

It is devastatingly unfortunate that Republican voters have never been able to understand the hard, cold and mean reality of those they elect into office. Politicians take an oath to serve the people in their districts but many merely give their constituents nothing but empty rhetoric. If one were to closely examine one’s Republican lawmakers’ voting records one would find who their elected officials really work for.

My guess is the teabaggers will wraps it head around the reality of the SCOTUS decision like we progressives have, for the only one imperative we do share in common is a collective outrage over the corporate takeover of the U.S. government and its legislative process by special interest groups and corporations.

But unfortunately teabaggers, unlike progressives, are far too easily led astray by the likes of Dick Armey, one of the numerous behind the scenes leaders of the teabagger movement. Armey’s main mission is to promote the interests of the health care industry. He and his organization, Freedom Works, uses teabaggers as its tools.

Republicans and teabaggers alike have been led to believe that the government is the root of everything evil while progressives know that government is the only force that can and will protect us from the evils of self-serving greed mongers of the corporate sector.

We are where we are today b/c the corporate sector has been enabled to run rough shod over the American people. We are broke. There are no jobs. We lost homes. We lost retirement savings. Meanwhile on Wall St. the fat cats who can now purchase politicians get richer by the minute.

Elections have consequences. The nice guy or girl candidate with whom to have a beer could very well be an anti-political democracy devil in disguise who has every intention of throwing the middle and working classes to the lions.

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Oh, and Prince Alwaleed, grandson of the King of Saudi Arabia and the largest individual shareholder in Citigroup and second biggest shareholder in News Corp (Murdock’s FOX “News”) doesn’t like Obama’s tax on the banks.

Who would have thought?

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Morgan Freeman Replaces Walter Cronkite On CBS Evening News Voice-over

Posted by: Audiegrl

Actor, film director, and narrator Morgan Freeman

Actor, film director, and narrator Morgan Freeman

Associated Press/David Bauder~~Nearly six months after Walter Cronkite‘s death, his voice is leaving the “CBS Evening News.”

His introduction of anchor Katie Couric was replaced Monday by a voiceover featuring actor Morgan Freeman.

The legendary CBS News anchor recorded the introduction, played at the beginning of most newscasts, when Couric started at CBS in 2006. Cronkite’s voice was kept on the air even after his death July 17.

Walter Cronkite 1916~2009

The most trusted man in news, Walter Cronkite 1916~2009

As comforting as it is to look back on the great career that Walter had, we’re looking forward now and we just felt it was the right time to make the move that at some point had to be made,” said CBS News and Sports President Sean McManus. “This seemed like the appropriate time since Walter’s passing to make the move.”

Having Freeman on board gives CBS the flexibility to record different intros when Couric has special reports and is on location, he said.

CBS has replaced Cronkite with a generic voice over the past few months when it wanted to highlight something special.

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Justicia Poetica: Dobbs Rises and Then Falls Thanks to Immigrants

Op-ed by Roberto Lovato

robertolovatoofficial-picAs I watched the sad eyes of Lou Dobbs last night while he bade an abrupt farewell to his long career at CNN, I shed the tears that he apparently couldn’t. I cried in part because, regardless of the Basta Dobbs campaign’s — and my own — constitutional differences with his brand of anti-immigrant, anti-Latino propaganda disguised as news, one couldn’t help but be moved by the fast and fiery demise of a media titan. It really was sad to watch the aging Dobbs go out without the slow grace and good will that characterized Walter Cronkite’s departure in a previous media era.

Yet, while slightly moved by Dobbs’ personal drama, I cried primarily because, as a member, relative and friend of the groups most vilified by Dobbs for so many years — Latinos and immigrants — I was inspired by the power of the movement to oust him, a movement that these same groups and their allies led. In the words of many a jubilant Twitterer and Facebook friend celebrating Dobbs’transition as a victory,”Si Se Pudo” (Yes We Could).

At one level, Dobbs’ departure was influenced by internal dynamics at CNN, a network in need of rapid changes required by the economic, political and demographic shifts transforming media. But at another level, the victory over Dobbs shows that our community is mobilized like never before. It reflects how we have taken important strides since the immigrants rights marches of 2006, and are now using the latest technology and organizing tactics to make our voices heard. Lou Dobbs led us to march with our feet — and with our fingers.

In their search for the right frame for the story, many have commented that ours was a struggle against the kind of hatred promoted by Dobbs and his many guests. But for those working daily to defeat Dobbs, the guiding force of our movement was not hate but love — the love that we show ourselves when, in the face of daily attacks, we stand up and say “Basta,” “Enough.

More than the media or technology or organizing capabilities of Presente.org, Drop Dobbs, DemocraciaUSA, NDN, America’s Voice, NALACC or any other organization, the will of the many to push the powerful few has again reminded us of the centrality of spirituality to social change. I cried mostly because I saw in Dobbs’ departure some of the same intense desire for change that made many of us cry at the election of Barack Obama.

Dobbs himself said it best when, during his farewell, he linked his rapid departure to how “strong winds of change have begun buffeting this country and affecting all of us.” I was touched by these same winds during my travels throughout the country, where I met some of the more than 100,000 people who signed our Basta Dobbs petition. I heard it from the septuagenarian Tejano who, from his hospital bed had a family member text message to tell me, “I’m getting ready to leave the hospital and will be ready to help you get Dobbs out soon.” I saw it in the youthful optimism of the troop of Latina Girl Scouts from south Georgia, who said they wanted to go to Atlanta to protest CNN’s headquarters. And I felt it among the tens of thousands of non-Latinos who responded quickly to our call to demand Dobbs’ removal. Taken together, these people and others are the embodiment of the “strong winds of change” that buffeted Dobbs and CNN.

While on the surface, the anti-Dobbs movement appears as a recent development, its roots go as far back as the beginning of Dobbs attacks on immigrants. Many of the grassroots groups and bloggers allied with our campaign as well as national groups like the National Hispanic Media Coalition, the Southern Poverty Law Center and Media Matters have a long and distinguished history of challenging and checking Dobbs. Without their efforts, there would be no movement.

But for me, the most moving, poetic aspect of the entire Dobbs drama is that it begins and ends with immigrants, including undocumented immigrants. In this sense, the victory reinvigorates the important work of immigration reform. Hopefully Republicans and Democrats are taking note of the power of immigrants and the immigrant rights movement that mobilized to defeat Dobbs. But that’s for tomorrow. For now, let us commemorate this historic event by saying along with immigrants, “Justicia Poetica.”

Roberto Lovato, Co-founder http://www.presente.org

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My solemn meeting on Veterans Day with President Obama at my friend’s resting place in Arlington

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President Barack Obama leaves a Presidential coin at the gravesite of 19-year-old Medal of Honor recipient, Specialist Ross McGinnis, who is one of two Medal of Honor recipients memorialized at the cemetery from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Daily News/James Gordon Meek—He didn’t introduce himself. He didn’t have to.

President Obama simply stuck out his hand and asked for my name as he stepped toward me amid a bone-chilling drizzle in the Gardens of Stone.

This was Section 60 of Arlington National Cemetery. I wasn’t there as a reporter, but to visit some friends and family buried there when Obama made an unscheduled stop – a rare presidential walk among what Lincoln called America’s “honored dead” – after laying a Veterans Day wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns.

President Obama extends a hand to James Gordon Meek of the Daily News Washington Bureau.

President Obama extends a hand to James Gordon Meek of the Daily News Washington Bureau.

What I got was an unexpected look into the eyes of a man who intertwined his roles as commander in chief and consoler in chief on a solemn day filled with remembrance and respect for sacrifices made – and sacrifices yet to be made.

I’m sure the cynics will assume this was just another Obama photoop.

If they’d been standing in my boots looking him in the eye, they would have surely choked on their bile.

His presence in Section 60 convinced me that he now carries the heavy burden of command.

I had stopped at Arlington to see the resting place of Ken Taylor, Ed Lenard and Dave Sharrett. Ken and Ed survived their service, in World War II and Korea, and died as old men. Dave did not leave Iraq alive. He was 27.

Obama arrived just before noon at the serene Section 60, where many of the dead from Iraq and Afghanistan are buried together – and where many more heroes will undoubtedly be laid to rest before this President leaves office.

It’s a section typically bustling with those visiting loved ones. Every time I go there, more and more graves have been dug into the earth.

The President and First Lady Michelle Obama emerged from their armored limousine hatless in the frigid downpour and took a slow stroll into the soggy rows of white marble headstones.

They stopped first at the grave of Medal of Honor recipient Ross McGinnis, an Army private who threw himself on a grenade in Iraq three years ago to save four buddies.

A sad-faced woman reached for Obama’s hand and pointed him to a nearby plot.

The face of another woman – who had grimly sat in a folding chair for hours next to a headstone she’d arranged flowers around – suddenly broadened into a smile as she stood to embrace Obama and thank him for paying his respects.

She was so overcome with emotion that a soldier from the Army’s Old Guard had to console her afterward.

Gravestone of Pfc. David Sharrett at Arlington National Cemetery

Gravestone of Pfc. David Sharrett at Arlington National Cemetery

The President patted backs of a dozen other Gold Star relatives and troops visiting buddies now in the ground.

He gave hugs. He shook wet, chilly hands. He wanted to know something about each fallen warrior.

He began to slowly trudge back toward the motorcade – and to another White House huddle with his war council, which is advising him whether to send up to 40,000 additional troops into harm’s way in Afghanistan.

And then Obama noticed a tall, bearded figure. He probably didn’t see the mud-caked combat boots I trudged around Afghanistan in a few years ago.

What’s your name?” a somber President asked as he extended his hand.

James Meek, sir,” I replied, struggling to pull off my wool glove and pull my hood back from my head. “I’m here visiting a friend, Pfc. David H. Sharrett II, who was killed in Iraq last year.”

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