AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity – Clint Wilson

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

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Interview Subject: Clint Wilson
Interviewer: Dr. Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez
Interview date: 5/7/2014
Number of Recorded Segments: 3
Interview length: 01:37:10
Language: English
Reviewer: Carlos Morales
Date of review for index: 6/20/14

Table of Contents:
Early experiences in journalism (2-3)
Background Questions (3-5)
Diversity awareness (5-8)
Other Experiences (8-9)
Diversity in the newsroom (9-12)
Diversity and academia (12-17)
Media and the Community (17-20)

Early Experiences in Journalism:
0:00 – 1:30 Introductions and preamble
1:46 Clint’s introduction into journalism came from his father who was an editorial political cartoonist.

1:57 His father worked for the black press. For the Los Angeles Sentinel and the California Eagle.

2:09 Clint was an only child and his father worked at home.

2:18 He brought newspapers home and would read to Clint. His father’s interest in newspapers passed onto him.

2:33 He started writing very early. In elementary school he would write stories and share them with classmates.

2:48 He had a pretty good idea that writing is something he might want to do

2:55 Throughout high school and college he started to work on the school papers.

3:07 As a senior at Cal State Los Angeles – what he refers to as the “big awakening” – Clint was offered several positions after college. He said the college had a good track record at finding students jobs post graduation.

4:07 When the department chair talked to him about these opportunities, the first thing he said was “You know, I’ve looked around and nobody wants a colored reporter”

4:11 This set Clint off on a new path.

4:20 He knew he could write well. He had already been doing this professionally for several years.

4:46 This made him wonder, “why would somebody who has the talent not be able to get a job? Why would classmates – who were less accomplished – and not black or Hispanic getting jobs?

5:06 This set a research agenda for Clint.

5:16 The ironic part, Clint says, is that once he started in higher education, suddenly he started getting offers from newspapers. Even broadcast stations.

5:45 But by then he had his career set in education.

5:55 However, Clint would work at some of these places, like AP, during summer session, or he would take a sabbatical

6:10 His career had been established because he had been denied.

Background questions

6:18 Clint went to high school in LA at Fremont high school.

6:24 He graduated in 1961

6:31 At Fremont at that time, Clint’s graduating class had 640-something students, 70 percent African American, 25 percent Latino and the rest white.

7:02 Clint says, Fremont had a decade earlier, been an all-White school. But “the flight took place” and minorities, Clint says, became the primary population at that school.

7:25 While there Clint says he had a number of Latino friends and they all saw themselves in the same boat.

7:58 He had an “inborn affinity for an understanding of that [Latino] culture”

8:20 It was an excellent preparation for when Clint would meet Felix Gutierrez.

8:50 Clint says his parents rarely talked about the status of African Americans in the United States because “a lot of it was obvious.”

9:00 Clint read the black press – he knew the issues and what was going on.

9:10 His father encouraged him to get involved at an early age.

9:14 His father told him to make sure he voted and even took him to the polls

9:24 That, Clint says, was his introduction into the political side of things.

9:33 His father, as a cartoonist in the black press was tackling those issues

9:37 Prior to the Watt’s riots, the relationship between the African American community and the Los Angeles police department was tense.

10:08 Even now, Clint says, events like the Trayvon Martin case is reminiscent of the times he grew up in (“It’s not a lot different”)

10:19 Clint says it’s interesting that someone like him who came from a middle-class background, had never been in trouble, but was still “hassled by the police.”

10:41 One time in high school, Clint remembers, he started working at the Herald Examiner in LA. He was working late one night and on his way home he was pulled over and asked to get out of the car.

11:27 In college, Clint was pulled over and the officer told him racial epithets.

11:47 These weren’t isolated events. Clint says a lot don’t understand that this happens.

12:03 When the Watt’s riots occurred, Clint didn’t participate but he understood the frustrations.

12:14 You’re aware of the oppression, Clint says, just because you live in that community.

12:35 At the time, Clint’s mother was a union seamstress. She worked downtown in the garment district.

12:48 His father worked at a bank in the evenings, because he couldn’t make enough income solely as a cartoonist.

Awareness of Diversity

13:19 Clint says his family was active in NCAAP, active in church, and grew up in the club scouts. These organizations he said were to hopefully socialize one into a “midstream.”

13:54 At no time, Clint says, did it occur to him that high school was the end of his education.

14:09 It struck him that a large number of students at Fremont high school did not go to college.

14:23 Clint knew that his classmates were capable of going to college.

14:38 At that time there was tracking. Clint was placed in the college prep group.

14:47 Out of that group all of Clint’s classmates went to college.

14:55 The key moment, Clint recalls, was in middle school. Before moving to Fremont, Clint met with a counselor at his middle school to discuss the curriculum he would take.

15:30 -16:30 Pause in story due to background noise

16:29 The counselor tells Clint if he’d prefer woodshop, electric shop, the automotive program

17:12 Clint says he didn’t mind working with wood and he’d do that.

17:22 But when his parents found out they went to the school and asked why they were placing him in these vocational areas. With his test scores and other indications, Clint’s parents said he’d be able to do well in the college prep.

17:45 The counselor’s changed Clint’s curriculum.

17:51 As a kid, Clint thought woodshop would be an easier way out.

18:06 That was the nature of the schools at that time, Clint recalled.

18:12 Even if you had the intellectual capacity to do something beyond vocational tracks, you would be steered in that direction.

18:34 He never really thought about this moment until he was older and reflected on this time and how things were.

18:44 Growing up, Clint’s family didn’t have a lot of money. But there were options he said, like community college for little and work your way up. So Clint went to community college at LA City College

19:03 After LA City College he transferred to Cal State LA.

19:09 At LA City College he became a journalism major and worked his way up.

19:20 His last year there, elections for editor were held. He and another student – a white candidate – were the two running for the position.

19:52 His classmates told him that he’ll be the next editor.

20:04 On election day, Clint said that the next editor would be revealed by 1 o’clock during a staff meeting.

20:31 The meeting ended up starting late. The Chair of the department said it was a close election and that Clint’s opponent would be the next editor.

21:04 But Clint had reservations. He felt the chair’s wording was weird and that it was strange that the staff meeting was delayed.

21:10 The other students, according to Clint, were baffled, wondering how this happened.

21:18 In Clint’s mind, this was “racism at its best.” He was the only black student in his class and this was his first experience in a predominantly white environment.

21:38 The students were saying one thing, but the outcome was different.

21:53 The Chair said that since the election was so close that they would make Clint the managing editor. Normally, the editor-in-chief picks the staffs.

22:06 Years later, as Clint is working on his doctorate, he’s teaching at Cal State LA. One of his colleagues on the faculty had formerly been on the faculty at LA City College.

22:40 During lunch with Clint, his colleague revealed that he’ll “never forget how they kept him from being editor.”

23:00 The colleague goes on to tell Clint that the department had a faculty meeting and that the chairwoman told the faculty that Clint had won in a landslide. However, she was determined that there wouldn’t be an African-American editor as long as she chaired that department.

23:29 Clint never knew that, although he had his suspicions.

23:48 It’s an interesting area of study, Clint says.

24:00 He clears this up, adding: “Communication is so important. It can marginalize communities. If you don’t have a voice and you can’t acquire it in a mainstream environment, then you’re subject to whatever news they’re going to report about your community.”

24:38 The highest level of educational attainment for both of his parents was high school.

24:56 Clint didn’t concentrate on stories about African Americans.

25:05 This is because, Clint says, to be a well-rounded reporter you need to cover a lot of different topics.

25:13 So he started in sports.

25:24 There are events in sports, Clint says, that help you sharpen your journalistic skills.

25:39 Early on, Clint covered campus affairs, educational issues, etc.

25:58 A memorable story: Clint went to report on a lecture by a scientist from the jet propulsion lab. The scientist was discussing the lunar landing module.

26:15 On the blackboard were symbols, Clint knew he “was in trouble.”

(clip break)

­Other Experiences

26:41 At a conference in Houston, Texas during the late 70s, Clint received a note from the head of operation Breadbasket in Houston.

27:20 He wanted to talk to Clint because he had seen some of his research.

27:55 This man needed someone to come up with a program and asked Clint to join their board of directors.

28:16 This takes place over the period of a years

28:22   Clint was introduced and told them what initiatives and research.

29:14 All of tis happened in the 1980s during the Regan administration.

29:32 Before that time, Clint wasn’t a member of the Black Media Coalition

29:54 Black Media Coalition was a national group but it was based in Houston

30:16 The NABJ starts around 1975.

30:25 NABJ was inevitable, Clint says. Following a report, the mainstream media started hiring African-Americans into the newsroom. In doing so, they raided the black press

31:01 They were lured away with higher salaries and the opportunity to speak with a larger audience.

31:29 Clint describes this as a double-edged sword: this integration of African-Americans into white media was a major blow to the black press

32:31 The development of NABJ developed because of this integration. Black journalists were limited in the stories they’d cover, or they weren’t being promoted like their white colleagues were.

33:28 Although there was a larger number of African-American reporters, Clint said that insensitivity to these issues still continued.

33:29 This created friction amongst colleagues

34:06 NABJ became an institution in which those individual journalists could address those concerns in a collective kind of way.

34:36 At the same time the Kerner Commision asked higher education folks to put some people of color “in the pipeline.”

35:16 Everybody believed that integration was a good idea (in these higher education organizations) but no one was doing anything, Clint said.

35:26 At the local level, Clint was a founder of the BJA of Southern California, an NABJ chapter.

35:45 He was teaching at Cal State during this time. He began meeting with his black friends from area media like the LA Times and discussing these issues.

36:14 Three of them decided to start the organization.

36:20 (break)

36:36 The founders of the organization were Valerie (Clint can’t remember last name), she was a writer for the style section at the La Times; Bill Luis, a black cameraman at NBC – the 3 of them started talking and things developed from there.

37:18 They were able to get the organization started successfully and then applied to be apart of the national group. It still exists today.

Diversity and the newsroom

38:05 Clint remembers certain stories that advanced the cause of diversity in a negative way.

38:39 At the LA Times there was a black woman, and her colleagues made sexual comments about her.

39:02 Clint’s colleagues knew he wouldn’t partake in these jokes and stopped talking to him about it.

39:11 Another example, Clint says, happened at the times, too.

39:27 A story came across Clint’s desk. His story was about a shooting in South-Central LA. It was full of language implying this was gang related. But the facts, to Clint, didn’t seem to suggest this wasn’t the case.

40:18 There was one source, a cop, who believed this was gang-related violence.

40:32 Clint removed that graph from the article. The next day the reporter was livid.

41:16 Another instance, Clint recalls, occurred during a summer he worked at AP.

41:31 This occurred during the 1980s while Clint was at USC teaching.

41:38 A news advisory came across the wire saying that the LA county health department is going to have a news conference to discuss the deaths of 5 hispanics in East LA.

42:06 It didn’t suggest violence, Clint says. He then passed it on to the Editor’s desk saying this needed to be covered.

42:28 They didn’t do anything, however.

42:42 Later that day, they saw on TV, that the lead story was about these deaths, which were caused by tainted cheese found in this community.

43:24 They came to Wilson, who was on the desk at the time, and asked why this wasn’t covered.

43:33 They later recognized that they blew that story

43:49 They key thing here, Clint says, is that this happened in East LA. Any time 5 people die – for whatever reason – it needs to be covered. That’s news 101.

44:14 Days later they apologized to Clint, saying that they dropped the ball.

44:24 This mentality amazes Clint.

44:43 That experience, specifically, was very instructive because it showed Clint how things worked and why certain things are covered and certain things are not.

45:00 He hopes things are better now, but he says he doesn’t believe the Trayvon Martin story is an isolated event.

45:16 Clint mentions a movie, Fruitdale Station. It’s about a young man that’s kill by the police in that area. These events aren’t infrequent, Clint says.

45:30 Clint says that the notion that people in 2013 think this is an isolated event is mindboggling

45:57 His family didn’t talk about civil rights per se, but Clint was always told that when a cop approaches you don’t give them any hassle.

46:30 “You grow up that way – if you want to survive”

46:53 Clint says that younger colleagues were more observant of his role and status at the newspaper. Older ones, were resentful of Clint’s position.

47:23 There was a diversity role that needed to be filled, Clint says. Whether or not his boss at paper was sincere in his decision remains to be seen.

48:05 The reception generally among his colleagues wasn’t too warm, Clint says.

48:29 The Times wrote a series of stories about black criminal gangs leaving Watts to commit crimes.

49:38 The first headline read: “Marauders from South L.A. Invade”

49:47 Clint was shocked.

49:52 He says the Times spent a lot of money setting up a dummy storefront across the street from the neighborhood these reported gang members lived in.

50:08 Reporters hid inside. The idea was to notice people leaving, presumably getting on this freeway (which was referred to in print as “Nairobi highway”) to commit crimes elsewhere.

50:38 Clint wrote a letter to the editor about this, while he was still working the desk.

50:51 Clint says he was ostracized.

50:55 If something came across his desk, his colleagues would say “Clint wouldn’t want to deal with this ‘cause he thinks we’re all a bunch of racists.” These are the types of comments he received.

51:39 These kinds of stories, Clint hopes, are isolated now.

51:48 This whole thing has been a gradual process.

51:52 Clint is worried that as we get to the point where newspapers are declining in revenue and circulation, there will be fewer and fewer voices for underrepresented communities.

52:14 (quick pause due to noise)

52:29 Clint says there are fewer and fewer people of color that are representing those communities. There’s even a dearth of whites who are sensitive to these issues.

53:04 As these communities are becoming a larger part of the demographics of the United States, at the same time we see the media becoming less representative of those voices.

53:26 The interest in doing this kind of thing has peaked and we’re going down again. We’re loosing people right and left in the industry, Clint says.

Diversity and Academia

53:40 Clint got his Ph.D from USC.

54:24 For many years, Clint ran the summer programs for minority students. He started at Cal State LA.

54:45 For about 10 years he did this program. And were mainly funded by the Wall Street Journal.

54:53 They – Clint and Feliex – started with the multicultural group and as the program got larger they continued to get grants for their efforts.

55:30 The idea was to give these kids a start early.

55:33 The other issue was the de-emphasis of journalism in high school.

55:40 They were trying to fill that void at that level.

55:54 When you talk to educators, they say the main problem is there were pressures put on the curriculum to do other things.

56:09 Also, these programs were expensive. The equipment, how to print a paper – the costs added up.

56:25 At Fremont High School, Clint says they had their own print shop.

56:33 Their journalism program wrote the articles and the print shop printed the articles and the paper came out, Clint said.

56:44 The students, at the beginning of every school year had the option of subscribing to the paper – it was a means of making revenue.

57:08 The benefit for the print shop is they were teaching this craft so it all made sense, Clint said.

57:10 But not many high schools have print shops on campus so they had to find other means of printing.

57:29 That was only true in certain areas, Clint adds. “If you were in a more affluent area, you did have access to those things.”

57:55 Although there is the internet, Clint says students still need to be taught journalistic ethics, reportorial skills, what’s worth reporting and what’s not, etc.

58:05 (Break in recording)

58:19 Clint’s book is now in its 4th edition.

58:28 He’s not sure how many books have been sold, but it’s done very well.

58:43 Last he’s heard, more than 100 colleges and universities use it.

59:07 Clint says it’s rewarding because it laid the groundwork for that field of endeavors.

59:17 That helps people to publish in this area and build their portfolios.

59:32 It’s the combination, Clint says, of having a diversity standard and accreditation.

1:00:08 The first piece Clint wrote academically came out in Journalism Educator.

1:00:14 He was at Cal State LA. Clint’s research was on black journalism students. The research, Clint says reflected his experience: You have these people graduating but they’re not being hired.

1:00:53 In Clint’s research he found that students that are active on the campus newspaper had the best opportunities of getting jobs upon graduation

1:01:10 Those with internships also fared a better chance

1:01:16 But a look at the student body revealed that there were very few minorities

1:01:32 The faculty, Clint says, has a large part in that. They’re not pushing for recruitment, retention, or finding students employment post graduation.

1:01:49 Part of that, Clint believes, has to do with the fact that they’re white. “You look out for your own”, he says.

1:02:00 It occurred to Clint that they needed to get more people of color and women on these faculties.

1:02:10 There have been inroads, but it’s a work in progress.

1:02:20 That was around the time that Clint started going to AEJMC

1:02:35 Here, he met people, who were seeing the same issues in journalism he was.

1:02:48 Clint previously served on the centennial commission.

1:03:13 Armistead Pride was the chair at Lincoln University in Missouri, the prominent journalism university for African Americans

1:03:36 Pride was the first African-American faculty member in AEJ.

1:03:39 Clint read Pride’s book on the history of AEJ and wanted to include it in the centennial book (which never came out).

1:04:06 AEJ has had women almost from the beginning, but not many.

1:04:19 Multiculturalism needed to be a huge component of that book, Clint says.

1:04:38 Clint pushed for its inclusion. Others thought it was weak.

1:05:05 Clint believes there could’ve been a more concerted effort to track this information and the development of faculty of color down.

1:05:33 In 1978, there was a study of the faculty and the researcher found that as late of 1978 there 98 percent of the faculty were white males.

1:06:04 That was an astonishing realization, Clint says. The Kerner report had been out for 10 years by that point.

1:06:15 This is something that Lionel Barrel was addressing from the beginning.

1:06:23 Clint isn’t sure whether he was the second-ever black person at AEJ, but he was one of the firsts.

1:06:45 As we begin to discuss these issues of race in America, we look at the industry and point the finger, Clint says

1:07:00 Clint brings up an anecdote. He was reading an article in the Washington Post. The lead, he says, was essentially that as President Obama walks into a room to discuss race in America, all the reporters covering it are white.

1:07:28 When he comes into the room to discuss immigration, all the reporters are white, Clint says. There are no Hispanics in the room to ask questions or illuminate this issue.

1:07:52 Clint brings up this anecdote, because it’s still a problem still in the industry, but

1:07:57 Clint wonders what kind of innovative ways, if any, are being applied to bring in young, diverse people into the academy.

1:08:39 Clint uses another anecdote to illustrate a point.

1:08:48 His student, a doctoral graduate, recently got his degree. He’s an assistant professor

1:09:37 Clint was also weary of the fact that you have to do these things in the academy if you’re to succeed. Is this issue being taken seriously enough?

1:09:50 If they really want to get a diverse faculty, Clint says, extra effort will have to be made.

1:10:00 He suggests lightening the teaching load, or extra mentoring to make sure that these professors don’t get lost in the system.

1:10:22 It’s really no different than the industry’s situation, Clint says.

1:10:29 “It’s not enough to just give lip service to it”, Clint says. You can’t just hire a person and then put extra expectations on them that nobody in the organization has to address.

1:10:55 This takes extraordinary effort on the part of those in power, Clint says.

1:11:04 It won’t happen on its own, Clint says. “What incentive is there for somebody to go through all this when there’s no real commitment.”

1:11:40 These are bright people with options, Clint says.

1:12:14 These faculty members are “precious jewel”, Clint says. “You need to nurture this and help this person along.”

1:12:30 Clint’s graduate students often ask him if there will be a job for them

1:12:49 There are pressures on these students/faculty members, and Clint believes the academy needs to realize that.

1:13:05 While in graduate school, Clint didn’t have to get many loans. He could afford the tuition at Cal state and then used the GI bill to get his Master’s and doctorate at USC.

1:13:42 He was the only black student in the program. At both the Master’s level and doctorate level.

1:14:36 At Cal State LA his curriculum didn’t really center on diversity.

1:14:41 He taught news writing and reporting, history of media,

1:15:16 One of the things that attracted Clint to teach history was the fact that every history course he took never covered colored people.

1:15:41 The message, Clint says, is that these people are not important.

1:16:02 Additionally, he’s taught mass communication,

1:16:20 You have a certain student body, Clint says, and he felt it was important that they know something about their history in the industry.

1:16:33 At USC, he started his own course. The textbook, minorities in the media, became the basis for the course at USC.

1:16:47 This move was approved by the faculty. It became an elective course.

1:16:57 He also taught introductory mass communication course.

1:17:13 In this class Clint would introduce a unit on people of color in the media.

1:17:25 It was generally well received, he said. But there was always a handful of students questioning its merit.

1:17:41 At Howard, there was more of a background for teaching about people of color in communications.

1:17:57 There was already a course there called “History of the Black and White press.”

1:18:09 When Clint took that course over, he refined it to include the history of multicultural media. He wanted to be as inclusive as possible.

1:18:38 The cultural mix, at Howard, is greater than people think

1:19:03 Every couple of years, Clint teaches, an undergraduate course, but his focus has mainly been on graduate courses.

1:19:30 He has a course on the Black Press, specifically. The other courses he teaches are on pop culture and mass media

1:19:53 He also teaches a sports and media culture course

1:21:11 Clint is often interviewed by established news media, primarily around Black History Month.

1:21:25 Clint served several years on the board of the NAPA, the black press. He was the board of directors on their foundation.

1:21:47 A number of publishers will go to Clint, inquiring about the history of their paper, or if he’ll write a history of their paper.

1:22:10 He’s done a couple of NPR interviews

1:22:17 People in the community don’t really seek out Clint.

1:22:23 At USC he did more community engagement.

1:22:36 He had a couple of seminars for the community on how to deal with the media. For example, a church group would ask how they get positive messages about the community out.

The Media and the community

1:23:20 There is a distrust, Clint says, of general-audience media in the community.

1:23:33 The summer Clint worked at AP, one of the anniversaries of the Watt’s riot came up. “Wilson, that would be a good assignment for you.”

1:23:50 In doing that story, he found there was a lot of distrust, because he was representing AP.

1:24:05 It takes a while to talk to people and show them your sincerity, Clint says.

1:24:25 “I may work for the enemy, but I’m representing you”

1:23:53 Clint thinks it’s all about the readership because anything he does “is filtered through my cultural experience.”

1:25:19 There’s no question that either an editor or as a reporter, Clint decides the content that’s in there.

1:25:35 If something seems too stereotypical, Clint avoids it. He want readers to see causal things, how did things get to be this way?

1:26:09 It’s the responsibility of all reporters to be accurate

1:26:19 Years ago, Clint wrote about his belief that in many instances many well-meaning white reporters are unaware. “When they go into our communities it’s like going into a foreign venue.”

1:26:45 It’s almost like sending an American reporter, who doesn’t know any background information, to Afghanistan, and starts writing away.

1:27:02 A lot of that is subtle, but to Clint it’s fundamental reporting that his job is to present the truth as he sees it. And when you only have a part of the truth, your reporting is affected.

1:27:43 Much of the reporting is the truth, but not the whole truth.

1:28:00 That kind of perspective is the absolute epitome of solid reporting. We don’t get that if we don’t have a cultural understanding, Clint says.

1:28:38 Clint has no problem telling a source the quote he’ll use because he wants to be as accurate as possible.

1:29:03 He likes to think that almost all our reporters of color and women see things through another lens. There’s a sense of obligation to be accurate.

1:29:37 Without the Kernner Commision report, Clint believes we’d still be where we are today.

1:29:50 Clint doesn’t see any particular allegiance to the report.

1:30:01 He thinks that within 10 years of the report it became passé

1:30:16 He believes there have been other forces that have been more important, socio-cultural events that have made a difference.

1:30:33 Specifically, the movements, gay rights, issues with respect to reproductive rights. Clint says there’s been a shift in society.

1:30:58 Changes in demographics have also had profound influence.

1:31:15 There’s been – in some instances – better reporting by whites, Clint says

1:31:22 The Kerner report brought it to our consciousness, but that’s it

1:31:42 Clint uses an anecdote to illustrate his point

1:31:42 A professor once told him that ‘Americans can’t concentrate any one issue for too long. They may seem gung-ho about it, but something else will happen and draw their attention away.”

1:32:16 When Clint thinks about the Kerner report he sees it in a similar vein. It was something that struck at the communication industry, but the general population has no idea what this report means or its implications.

1:32:34 Clint believes that the initial reaction was one of embarrassment

1:33:32 It had the collective attention for a few years, Clint says, but there was no commitment.

1:33:40 The first couple of years were an attempt to fix that initial embarrassment

1:34:00 Clint wonders why summer programs for minority journalists stopped. “Are we suggesting this problem has been resolved?”

1:34:13 Clint says that some use the recession or state of the newspaper industry as an excuse: “how can we hire more people?” The irony of that, Clint says, is that some papers could’ve survived had they taken note of the demographic shift

1:34:30 In an article Clint co-wrote, Otis Chandler, publisher of the LA Times, said when African-Americans, Latinos and Asians get sophisticated enough they will become readers of the LA Times and when they become readers then our advertisers will jump on board

1:35:07 Clint doesn’t agree. “Advertisers have no allegiance to the media, only to those who can deliver the audience.

1:35:19 “If you’re sitting in the middle of Los Angeles in a sea of black, brown, yellow – all kinds of faces – and you’re not addressing the needs of those communities, you are going to die.”

1:35:50 Clint believes that if diversity “takes a back seat” then our society will be in trouble.

1:36:00 Corporate America will be the first to take notice the demographic shift, because their livelihood depends on extracting dollars from the consumers

1:36:46 Media that doesn’t change will be in trouble.

1:36:51 Clint’s concern right now is that digital media operations are as interested in multiculturalism as they should be

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity – Reginald Stuart

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.

Interview Subject: Reginald Stuart
Interviewer: Martin do Nascimento
Interview date: 3/30/2014
Number of Recorded Segments: 1
Interview length: 01:13:51
Language: English
Reviewer: Carlos Morales
Date of review for index: 7/1/2014

Table of Contents:
Early Experiences in Journalism (3-7)
Diversity in the Newsroom (7-11)
Journalism education (11-14)
The News Industry Today (14-15)

0:00 – 3:15 Introduction and preamble
Early experiences in journalism
3:16 Stuart’s first experience with journalism dates back to his childhood. He had
3:22 He had a newspaper when he was a kid, around 10-12-years-old.

3:30 The major daily newspaper in his hometown of Nashville did a story about two competing neighborhood editors, Stuart and a kid from down the street.

3:57 When they interviewed Stuart for the article they asked him what he wanted to do when he grew up. He told them that he wanted to own the paper – their paper.

4:05 Stuart says they were amused.

4:16 When he went to college he majored in sociology.

4:24 After he graduated he went looking for a job and decided not to go into sociology. He went by the newspaper and applied for a job.

4:33 In those days, Stuart says, it’s a lot easier than it is today.

4:42 They told Stuart that there wasn’t an immediate job opening but he could apply and they’d let him know when positions became available.

4:48 The newspaper remembered Stuart from the childhood story that was written about him.

4:54 They said, “He’s the kid that wanted to buy the paper, right?” and hired him.

4:58 The newspaper called Stuart about a week before graduating college and offered him a job.

5:06 The position was a starting reporter.

5:23 The managing editor – although Stuart had wanted to take the summer off before working – said he needed Stuart to beging work the Monday after graduation.

5:28 He told Stuart that if he couldn’t take it the job would be gone. Stuart took the offer.

5:36 “I went to work like a week after I graduated and I haven’t stopped work since and that was more than 40 years ago.”

5:47 Stuart says that he loves what newspaper do now and he loved what they did then as a child.

6:10 Stuart grew up in a “city where news is very important to all people”

6:19 There were weekly papers, there were the two major daily papers. Those weren’t papers for kids, though, Stuart says.

6:27 Stuart says that he wanted to have a paper not because the other papers were for adults, but because he wanted to be involved in “this enterprise of gathering information.”

6:50 The idea, Stuart says, was to be the first to know about things in his neighborhood.

6:57 The inspiration, Stuart says, was the desire to get the news first and disseminate it.

7:07 Stuart shortly realized that despite how good the local papers were, there was still news that they couldn’t cover.

7:17 They didn’t have enough people, time, or they just didn’t know about things.

7:25 Stuart wrote about the things he thought should be in the paper.

7:37 He had news stories in it, he had a friend make cartoons for the editorial page, entertainment news, a gossip column, a music column – it was hyper-local news, focusing on his street.

8:13 Stuart did that for 3 years and it evolved into a really good following.

8:23 Stuart’s rival editor, who lived at the end of the street, took care of his end of the neighborhood.

8:30 “It was growing on an innate feeling that there’s more news out there and I want to tell about it.”

8:45 Stuart gives an example of the kind of stories he’d write. The hospital in his neighborhood was going to expand and build a new wing – he wrote about that.

8:51 There were back-to-school stories.

9:01 He had a fire-prevention week story.

9:06 It was “nice stuff”, Stuart says, that he found interesting as a young person.

9:37 His early endeavor was “ a reflection of what was going on around the neighborhood – it was important.”

9:45 Stuart called it “The Neighborhood Times”.

9:50 He named nicknamed the paper “TNT” – after the explosive material, a reference to the Cold War Era, Stuart says.

10:26 Stuart wrote some of the stories, but he also relied on his neighborhood for help. Older people in the area helped Stuart with cooking columns or secretarial tips columns and kids his age wrote the gossip and music column.

11:10 Whenever these people didn’t have time to write, Stuart would write it.

11:18 He would then type it up on stencils and would have it printed at printing department at the hospital, who Stuart had befriended.

11:33 He would charge Stuart a dollar or so for 100 sheets of paper

11:38 Stuart would write for a couple days, sell ads for a couple days, then print on a Thursday or Friday and distribute the paper.

11:50 Stuart says that at some point his paper gained popularity and he reached “national circulation”

11:59 “National circulation” included all of Stuart’s relatives across the country.

12:43 Stuart says his innate feeling to cover and disseminate the news was because he “must’ve been nosey”

12:47 “I liked reading the paper…I just thought that newspapers were cool because they talked about stuff and I liked to talk about stuff.”

13:10 Stuart read many newspapers growing up, including The National Tennessean, The Banner, Life Magazine.

13:40 Stuart got these at the library. He was a paperboy and “threw” the Banner so he kept a copy for himself.

14:04 Stuart goes on to list several more newspapers and magazines that he read and that were available to him.

14:48 The main thing, Stuart says, is that they all had something new and different.

15:14 There wasn’t a particular theme or topic that Stuart enjoyed the most. He “liked it all”

15:30 A lot of things, Stuart says, you learned as you went. “You started off saying I want to know what’s in there, and then you start picking and choosing.”

15:46 For Stuart some of his disinterests included sports. He liked science, and politics. He wasn’t a big culinary enthusiast, he adds.

16:25 There were things that were important, Stuart says, that he may not have had an interest in, but others did.

16:42 Stuart says he learned a lot about the importance of the skillsets that were described in his columns, such as cooking and typing.

17:22 Stuart’s mother was a “big reader”, his dad read Western fiction and the paper. But they weren’t “consumed with reading” – it was jut a part of their routine.

17:56 Radio news was marginal in those days, Stuart says.

18:07 Television was a half hour a day. No noontime newscast, or evening news. Stuart said he had 3 stations: NBC, ABC, CBS.

18:30 Stuart says that the 30-minute newscast only allowed for so much. The news generally included sports, weather, and regular news.

18:46 Eventually, Stuart says, more and more stations began having newscasts, what they called “rip and read”

18:55 Stuart says they were called this because on the FCC mandates you have 5 minutes of news every hour if you were a certain category of station.

19:05 According to Stuart, everyone had news. They might be “ripping and reading” Stuart says, but they had news.

19:14 That’s important, he continues, because you grew up in an environment of being informed.

19:41 Stuart says you couldn’t listen to one station all day long. “You had to get some information on which to make decisions about things. And that was cool.”

20:04 Stuart says that he learned that “gossip is valuable”

20:15 “Even the smallest information you have – that’s a story.

20:25 You also learn, Stuart adds, that as a newspaper editor or publisher you have a lot of power, you have a lot of responsibility.

20:52 In TV you learn the same thing, Stuart said.

20:54 “You’re reaching thousands of people at one time. It’s a very delicate and fragile responsibility.”

21:48 Stuart says that when you have only a certain number of people on the staff you can’t cover everything.

22:24 A lot of publications couldn’t cover everything because they didn’t have the manpower, Stuart says.

22:33 Another reason is that as a news organization you make a judgment about what’s important and what needs covering.

22:42 A lot of times you make a judgment that reflects your history, what your interests are, etc.

23:05 This is why, Stuart says, that broadening the ranks of newsmakers became so important.

23:15 News organizations soon realized that they weren’t covering the whole community; they weren’t covering people of color, they weren’t covering poor people, women, etc.

23:28 As these organizations open their mind to what’s important, Stuart says, then you’ll start seeing things that weren’t being covered.

24:30 Stuart says he was too young to recognize that they local papers weren’t covering these issues.

24:40 There were a lot of social changes between when Stuart was a kid and when he began working.

24:52 It’s then, he says, that he realized what the issues were

25:13 Stuart offers an example of how he understood news as a kid and as an adult

25:17 Nashville had a lot of colleges and the paper had a “vibrant” sports section

25:43 You realized after a while, Stuart says, that some of the black colleges were only getting a couple paragraphs worth of coverage – even in their winning season.

26:05 Clip abruptly cuts

26:33 Stuart says that American Airlines – the major airline servicing Nashville – had a strike coming up. This kept him busy
26:44 One time, he went to the airport and noticed a factory that was making the wings for what was then a type of plane, the jumbo jet.

27:14 This inspired Stuart and he went back to the paper saying that he’s found his beat: “a combination of transportation and aviation”

27:29 Although reluctant at first, the paper allowed Stuart to work this beat. He ended up writing at least 2 front-page articles a week for the next several months.

27:50 Stuart says he had to learn how to write newspaper style first and had to find his niche. “You had to figure out a niche, this is yours, aviation and transportation were mine.”

28:13 “Those little things,” Stuart adds, “were important, teach-ful moments that helped me get focused as a journalist.”’

Diversity in the Newsroom

28:53 Stuart was the first full-time black news reporter. There was a part-time black religion writer and one full-time black person running the photo lab.

29:12 “It was a diverse as you were going to get in 1968”

29:33 Stuart says there weren’t any problems that came up in the newspaper

29:38 The problems that Stuart had were “external.”

29:47 Stuart had a problem with the police department. He realized that the speech they used when talking over the radio was antiquated, “they were stuck in the 50s and before.

30:29 Stuart went to the Police chief and asked them if they still used the term “colored.”

30:40 By then, Stuart adds, they were being called “negroes.”

30:50 The police chief was hesitant to believe Stuart, asking if he had research to back up the claim that they didn’t want to be called “colored.” So Stuart started a survey.

31:09 Stuart then did a survey, asking members of city council and civic leaders of the black neighborhood.

31:18 He took the survey back to the chief. But Stuart doesn’t think it every changed anything.

31:35 Stuart says that the paper was very supportive.

31:38 What the paper wanted, Stuart said, was people – regardless of sex or color – who were in to journalism, who had spark, who could go out and do things.

32:06 “What I also learned was that if they gave anybody hell, they gave everybody hell.”

32:26 It didn’t matter who you were, Stuart said. “If your stuff was bad, your stuff was bad”

32:32 When Stuart realized that the structure of checks and balances on people wasn’t limited to race or sex, he saw that the newspaper had a high standard of productivity and expectation.

32:57 The newspapers commitment to journalism was greater than any discriminatory practices.

33:16 Stuart watched a couple people who got one-day dismissals because they weren’t reporting well.

33:46 “It wasn’t a double standard or triple standard or a black standard or a white standard – it was a standard for journalism and you had to be good at it.”

New York Times?

35:44 At the times, Stuart says, there was a high standard as well. What you didn’t know you had to learn fast

36:21 They were a superbly edited newspaper, Stuart adds. “If you work with them, they worked with you.”

36:57 The level of diversity at the Times was about the same as the Tennessean

36:59 Stuart says this is because newspapers were two mindsets 1) they were going to find journalists or 2) they were going to find untrained people and teach them journalism skills.

37:36 No one is really qualified, Stuart said, adding, “the question is are you ready for the challenge?”

37:46 Stuart says that news organizations were going to have much more luck in finding a successful reporter if they looked for spark and drive – not color or sex.

38:09 The Times was looking for people ready for the challenge.

39:08 Stuart, however, does say that there were plenty of times when diversity needed to be addressed in the newsroom.

39:13 There were two lawsuits against the New York Times, Stuart says, both about hiring women and minorities.

39:22 Both lawsuits looked at the number of people being hired and salary discrepancy.

39:36 “They were at points in time for the Times that you could use that boost of attention to keep doing progressive things – not because it was the law, but because it was the right thing to do.”

40:14 You don’t find many people saying that today, Stuart says.

40:28 When Stuart got in the business he says there was a passion to change things.

41:01 Stuart says that could be said of all the places he worked. “In that era it was the time to do the right thing.”

41:29 You had degrees of moving forward

41:41 You could identify the different paper’s ideologies, Stuart says, by reading them for a couple weeks. What are they covering? What are the editorials saying? What kind of columnists do they have?

42:25 Stuart says that to “you wanted to make sure you had a complete report” when reporting.

42:36 His report would be diverse when it needed to be. He didn’t ignore anything.

42:50 “You got to remember there’s a lot of discrimination that’s active and there’s discrimination that’s passive.”

42:55 He says that a lot of discrimination that was before his generation was passive.

43:02 A lot of discrimination was active, too. Stuart says that you could find a lot of newspapers – primarily in the south – that actively didn’t cover.

42:19 “That was a reflection of who they were as an institution”, Stuart says.

42:25 Stuart saw influencing diversity as part of his job. “My job was not to go out and make sure the race news got covered, my job was to make sure that the news we covered was inclusive.”

43:38 Stuart says that it’s a sematic difference, but that it’s a very important one.

43:41 There are some things, Stuart says, that he would find that he would want to be covered that wouldn’t be normally.

43:55 Stuart gives example

43:55 Stuart says that if he’s writing a story about the demise of the old military-related retiree clubs, historically you would write about the white club. But he says he would find the Black club and include the two American Legion Clubs together.

44:23 It’s a subtle shift in what you’re doing, Stuart says, but you’re still writing about the same topic.

44:46 Across the South, Stuart says that there were a couple of teacher associations. There was the white one and there was the black one.

45:12 De-segregation happens and these two organizations dissolve and unite into one. But the merger occurred differently on both sides, Stuart says.

45:25 In some of them “all the black structure would disappear” and blacks would just be members they wouldn’t be leaders.

45:35 In others you would find that blacks were merging as leaders or in some higher capacity.

45:41 In writing about this simulation, Stuart says, you would focus on the shortcomings of the mergers, e.g. people aren’t paying dues. Race, Stuart says, adds “a whole new layer of discussion.”

Journalism education

47:20 Stuart first got started with journalism education in the 1970s. At this time, he says, there was still an effort to accelerate the pace at which they were bringing people of color into the newsrooms.

47:39 Several programs emerged out of these efforts. One was by the Ford Foundation out of Cornell University in New York. It eventually moved to UC Berkley.

47:55 It was called the Summer Program for Minorities in Journalism

47:57 Stuart says you would recruit about 15-20 college graduates who wanted to be journalists and you would bring professionals in to mentor them about 6 days a week, 8 hours a day.

48:18 The idea was to teach the students in about 8-10 weeks what they would normally learn in 1 year in a newsroom.

48:25 This is where Stuart got started in journalism education.

48:46 By this point, Stuart had 12 years experience in journalism.

49:07 The mentors would teach how to structure a story, how to report it, what the ups and downs are of doing so, ethics, writing style, etc.

50:01 These students, Stuart said, needed to figure out what a reporter does. Which he says is to find people, go to situations, and get them to talk. The second part is to write it.

50:42 Nowadays, he adds, you find that too many reporters – particularly television reporters – you find that you’re told what a source says, but never hear from them.

50:56 “Your job, truthfully, is to facilitate people telling the story.”

51:19 You need to tell their story effectively, coherently – in either long form or briefly. Stuart says that a lot of what the students wanted to know is how to do that.

51:30 “You got to ask questions”

52:39 Stuart says that the program taught these students how to report and in the process of good reporting “the adjectives will provide themselves”

53:24 We’d also teach them to learn that “they’re not important, the story is”

54:18 It’s the philosophy of being inclusive. You can’t just say you’re looking for the truth, Stuart says, you need to be looking for the facts – the truth will emerge.

55:50 Stuart says that the questions that the program’s students asked (about diversity) were generally expected.

55:55 “’I’m going into an all-white newsroom. What do I do?’ and my answer is pretty stupid, ‘be a reporter.’”

56:02 Stuart says he doesn’t want to inject more skepticism, or self-intimidation into your thinking before you get there.
56:20 If you’re not productive, if you’re not good, they’re going to target you, Stuart says.

56:25 Stuart says that thinking that they’re picking on you because you’re black is the wrong thinking.

56:35 He says that’s because your work may be sloppy. “There’s a lot of reasons they don’t like you and race is not the main one.”

56:50 Stuart says he’s worked with people who were racists.

57:14 Stuart says that sometimes when you can overcome the other reasons that they’re picking on you, the race factor will disappear.

57:41 “You can’t play the race card over and over again when you’re not producing up to speed, when you’re not carrying your part of the load.”

59:19 Stuart says that the main thing you need to understand about teaching journalism is that the people you’re teaching aren’t dumb just because they don’t know what you know.

59:32 By the same token, Stuart says, you need to understand that people that have been here longer than you know more.

59:46 Stuart says he was interviewing a student who wanted to be a sports writer. He gave him a name-recognition quiz, tailored for sports. The student failed it.

1:00:14 “That doesn’t mean he’s dumb, that doesn’t mean he’s stupid – it does mean he’s not qualified, but he’s ready for the challenge.”

1:00:29 Stuart says that if he spends time working with this student on his knowledge gap then he’ll be ready in a couple years.

1:01:06 “So when you’re teaching you have to understand that you’re going to wind up with a mixture of people who just really are late. There’s lots that they don’t have.”

1:01:26 If you can find someone who wants to learn, then share your knowledge with them, Stuart says.

1:02:14 Stuart tells an anecdote of a graduate student.

1:02:25 This student had to take a math class. And she said in the middle of class, “I’m not here to learn math, I’m here to cover politics and government.”
1:02:47 Stuart says she missed the whole point. “Wherever you are – politics, entertainment, science, health – it’s money.”

1:03:19 Stuart says that this student was too narrow in her thinking of what a journalist does.

1:03:40 Stuart says that he meets a lot of people in college that want to be entertainment writers.

1:04:00 But, Stuart says, what happens if they star gets in trouble? You need to know how to write a court story, follow their arrest procedure, etc.

1:04:41 “Will you lose the story once it goes to page 1?”

1:05:52 “It’s so important to write about the whole story. We’re talking about inclusiveness – that’s the whole story.”

(switching SD cards)

The News Industry Today

1:07:06 Stuart says that overall the role of diversity in newsrooms has cooled off. The economy, Stuart adds, has also contributed to this

1:07:26 The enthusiasm of journalism is not present today, Stuart says.

1:07:40 People still say the right thing, but we don’t see them doing the right thing, Stuart says.

1:07:55 In that respect, Stuart says, diversity may be important, but how important it is to the people has come down a few notches.

1:08:09 There’s no one making noise about it, Stuart says.

1:08:18 The consequence of this is that the newsrooms will regress to where they were years ago.

1:08:30 Newsrooms that were once making progress in bringing diversity to their ranks and no longer doing that.

1:08:49 You don’t want this to be a fluke decade or era, Stuart says, in regards to diversity efforts, but that’s what it’s become.

1:09:52 Media owners still have a lot of money left, Stuart says, and they need to invest in people of color.

1:10:06 There are a lot more companies now moving online and social media, Stuart says. And he hasn’t seen a serious effort there to bring emerging people of color into these areas

1:10:44 “The same effort you had for print and broadcast 30 years ago, 40 years ago, you need to have that same presence today for emerging media – and I don’t see it.”

1:11:43 Stuart says that we need to be straightforward in asking for more people of color.

1:12:01 We want a broad array of meaningful programing aimed at a broad audience.

1:12:10 If we don’t get the consumer giving us feedback, Stuart says, then the people “running it” don’t realize that they’re missing anything.

1:12:32 If you hear more people complaining, then you’re going to hear it, Stuart says.

1:13:06 The reader, the public may need to wake up, Stuart says, and say something and the newsrooms will respond and “get their act together”

1:13:15 Stuart says that the news industry is unfortunately “trailing off” in that area.

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity – Federico Subveri

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.

Interview Subject: Federico Subveri
Interviewer: Martin Do Nascimento
Interview date: 5/7/2014
Number of Recorded Segments: 3
Interview length: 01:16:37
Language: English
Reviewer: Carlos Morales
Date of review for index: 6/12/14

Table of Contents:
Early Experience in Journalism (3)
Federico’s studies (4-5)
Diversity in Academia (5-10)
AEJMC (11-13)

Early Experiences in Journalism:

2:33 Says the interesting part of his personal story was he intended – since high school and throughout some of college – to be an aeronautical engineer.

2:56 interest in math didn’t “match up” once he got to college.

3:05 He witnessed protests to Vietnam War at University of Puerto Rico and what he saw personally differed from the media accounts.

3:25 These differences caused him to say: “There’s something wrong here – why?”

3:37: He excelled in the area of social sciences and decided to explore media

3:52 During his last year of college, the university introduced the master’s degree in public communication.

4:05 He was one of the first 33 students to enroll in the program at the University of Puerto Rico

4:15 At this point he wanted to be a journalist, he wanted to write about journalism.

4:17 He worked at the San Juan Star as a copy boy. Because of this position he was able to do some freelance work for the SJ Star.

4: 29 Here he also witnessed the lifestyle of journalists in the newsroom and realized that wasn’t him.

4:43 At the end of his master’s degree he started weighing the options of a Ph.D in communication because he wanted to do research about media.

4:48 He was admitted to the University of Wisconsin at Madison

5:09 His work has been a “social science approach to the field”

5:54: As a Puerto Rican in Puerto Rico, he was the majority; only minority in political beliefs.

6:10 He wasn’t aware of being a “Latino or Hispanic” until he had to fill out forms and felt “that’s the closest category – I’m just a puertoriqueño.”

6:35 (more on Vietnam protests): The experience of the protests and then reading the newspapers the next day is one that told him there was something wrong with the system and how stories are covered, their political meaning.

7:33 Until that point he was apolitical, but those contradictions alerted him and urged him to study that.

His Studies

8:00 His studies at Wisconsin were directed with his desire “to understand the political economy of the media system of Puerto Rico.”

8:13 He wanted to understand the decision why the decision makers in Puerto Rico, in terms of news construction, did what they did.

8:42 Expanded his research to include the political economy of not only Puerto Rico but Latin America.

8:48 Another turning point in his decision to continue his communication studies was an international conference in San Jose, Costa Rica, where “the most progressive minds of media in Latin America” were meeting.

9:45 He was beginning to understand how media, politics and the economics work together.

10:01 At Wisconsin, his studies were a challenge because the university was very much a social science empirical oriented university and school of journalism

10:16 He did the coding for a study on Hispanics in Chicago and was allowed to do studies on this data, which would eventually become the basis for his dissertation.

11:44 The body of his research was new and pioneering – he was supported to continue his efforts.

12:12 His first job was at the University of California Santa Barbara where he learned what it meant to be a professor. By 1992 he began work at UT Austin.

12:20 At the time he had no intention to stay as a professor in the United States.

12:29 He wanted to go back to Puerto Rico because part of his studies had been funded by the University of Puerto Rico presidential system.

12:42 As he finished his studies and began working, the political power in Puerto Rico shifted form center to right wing. The president of the university system, Federico found out years later, didn’t want any more pro-independence professors in the school of communication.

13:11 As much as he applied and tried to get back to Puerto Rico, he never got a positive response from any university in any system in the country.

13:29 While at UT he did the first study on the political economy of the media system of Puerto Rico.

12:45 He continued his interest in Puerto Rico and developed the study of Latinos in media in the United States in all branches, children, politics, etc.

13:58: The third branch of his interests became race and media relations in Brazil. He performed these studies with support from the LLilas office (Lozano Long Institute of Latin American Studies).

15:52 While at Wisconsin, he realized that there were two emerging tracks on Latino Media studies were: The ownership and history of Spanish media in the United States and

16:33 Overall there were very few studies on Latinos and media.

16:56 There were hardly any studies, Federico recalls, that connected the use of media and political knowledge and opinions and behaviors among Latinos.

17:17 There had been studies about the use of media and politics, but the research wasn’t quite aligned with Federico’s overall research goals.

17:59 Still as of today, there are a lot of studies that look at history, ownership, use of media, and now there’s content analysis of films, TV shows and print

18:26 There’s still a sizeable gap in terms of survey research that connects use of media and knowledge.

18:44 An area he’s developed is emergency communication, how people who are not English-speakers understand there’s an emergency.

18:55 There’s a huge gap in terms of policy, knowledge and implementation for Latinos who are primarily Spanish-speakers.

19:09 Federico had to find the gaps that had not been developed and then explore them – at Wisconsin it was all beginning. Now there’s an explosion of literature.

Diversity at Wisconsin

20:11 At Wisconsin he had the blessing of open-minded professors who allowed him to engage in the field of work he was interested in, but there wasn’t a professor who could teach him what he learned about in Latinos and media.

20:41 Diversity at the time meant Blacks and Whites. 

20:44 There was a sense of awareness, but not as much as it is today, recognizing changing demographics and the growth of Latino populations and their media.

20:53 Some of his professors at Wisconsin weren’t aware of these populations and their media.

21:07 There were, however, professors that guided him to literature.

21:12 While at Wisconsin, he was supported to engage in this fledgling field

22:44 In the time he’s taught, there’s been a dramatic change in the field of communication. There’s recognition now of the demographic shift.

22:54 There’s a need to embrace research in these arenas.

22:57 One of the contributions to the change has been the recent graduates who became professors and studied in this field.

23:49 These graduates have populated this area, doing research and engage in teaching others.

23:57 What is still lacking is the institutional higher level decision makers who validate and support this work.

24:11 Even at UT Austin, the school of journalism has Latino professors but there isn’t a whole track dedicated to the research of getting a Ph.D in Latinos in Media.

24:31 The department of radio-television-film had an interdisciplinary concentration of diversity and media. But didn’t have the research to go with it.

24:42 The college of communication has not had, developed and promoted an integrated Masters and doctoral program to attract, train and prepare future researchers in the social science of communication.

25:08 That is missing still.

25: 10 In these 30 years, the studies, the content analysis, the history of these works is growing.

25:25 Kent Wilkinson – not a Latino – has branched off and done similar studies and is now a director at Texas Tech.

25:50 It’s not just a privy for Latinos or other minorities it’s still a lack of institutional recognition of the value of these programs.
26:08 At the undergraduate levels there are courses here and there but there isn’t an institution dedicated to this research.

26:56 A Senior professor at UC Santa Barbara told Federico’s student that here Latino studies was a dead end.

27:17 This, Federico says, implies that not only were this student’s efforts not worthwhile, but neither was Federico’s.

27:23 UC Santa Barbara has yet to hire another Latino professor who can engage in these studies, Federico says.

27:55 The decision makers there haven’t recognized the need for it.

28:03 The institutional, high-level effort to make change is not there.

28:11 At UT, the environment was more supportive.

28:21 Federico left to New York temporarily, returned to UT, and was told by the key decision maker of the radio-television-film chair department that “that Latino stuff you do is not a priority here anymore, so I’m not going to hire you.”

29:24 He then moved to Texas State University.

29:35 Within a few months he developed a program that became the Center for the Study of Latino Media and Markets. It flourished for 5 years.

30:01 Support dwindled and wasn’t as strong as it needed to be for the center to survive and to keep him there.

30:10 Now at Kent State University

30:26 In 1992, he proposed to school director at UT a program – for the college – to develop Latinos and media issues. The dean at the time told him, “that’s not relevant here.”

31:07 When he moved to Texas State, he updated the proposal and within a year he had the center.

31:20 It depends on the decision makers, he says, who are either open minded or not.

32:16 Some of these decision makers don’t have the capacity to value these programs because they were educated in a narrow field, in which Latinos weren’t a topic.

33:00 It’s not part of their radar, of their value system. It’s other.

33:15 Federico says, in 30 years the demographics have changed, the media have changed, the political power of Latinos has been demonstrated and there is a different mindset.

33:42 Given the changes, the need for a professor who can teach the social science of Latinos in communications isn’t a priority, he says.

34:15 The perspective may be that what they’re doing is good enough.

34:54 The one university that comes close to having these programs/institutions is the University of Urbana- Champaign.

35:21 There’s still the need to enhance – at the college level, at the university level – an integrated effort to study these populations, their media and their effects.

37:01 Federico has seen that 1/3 or more of the applicants – people who have earned or are about to earn their Ph.Ds – are people with Asian backgrounds in their names.

37:26 Federico hardly finds a Latino name.

37:40 He says we haven’t done a good enough job to develop, at the high school and undergraduate level, degree programs and interest in Latino media studies. The same goes, he says for other ethnicities.

38:10 Even though there are Latinos engaged in graduate-level education, they are not in the social science and statistical analysis.

38:43 Statistical skills are a necessity for this field, which may not available to many Latinos.

39:15 Federico says he believes that those – namely Latinos and African-Americas – who lack these skills are encouraged to become teaching assistants.

40:03 What’s missing, Federico says, is the need to purposely recruit and train the minorities that don’t have those skills but have to be trained to get that knowledge and go into the research field.

40:49 It’s a cycle that can only be broken by training these specific students who are underprivileged or understudied.

41:00 They then can become future publishers and do training and recruiting for future generations.

41:31 He wants to emphasis that there are individual efforts; there are people who recognize the need to understand Latino/African-American populations.

41:53 Rarely will you find an institution that will incorporate this as part of its flagship.

42:35 We need doctoral-level classes that teach the research on the political economy, history, on the uses, on the content analysis, on the effects of media on diverse populations.

42:48 We need more than just a “catch-all course.”

43:00 (Siren in the background, interview stopped for several seconds) (ask maggie about this part)

44:58 The interesting thing about studying race in Brazil is that the leading scholar is a white Italian (heritage) Brazilian woman.

45:34 This professor’s students, who have graduates, are now the ones teaching these issues in Brazil and teaching the next generation.

45:45 They are, however, behind in the national recognition for the need to enhance and teach these issues. It’s an incremental process as it is here.

46:20 Most of the studies he’s familiar with in Brazil are content analysis on how the media has treated race issues.

46:56 The reason for Brazil being behind in is there’s an ideology that there is no racial differences. The reality, however, is that there are major differences, Federico says.

47:33 Still we have a gap in people who are trained and can train others to engage in research in this arena.

47:51 For too many years, Federico says, it was assumed that racial issues were minority issues in passing.

48:02 Some of the first academics writing about this assumed that minorities emigrated with very little knowledge of the U.S., learned about it and left their old cultural values behind – which Federico says is old hat.

48:30 Latinos – and other groups – hardly ever assimilate, they adapt. It’s a sum game. These groups learn about U.S. culture and learn about their heritage.

48:54 The term Federico uses to describe this is situational ethnicity

49:21 It’s not a linear process of leaving behind old culture, taking on new culture.

51:06 Some recognize that there’s a problem.

51:56 Study after study makes it evident that there is a problem in the underrepresentation and the misrepresentation of Afro-brasileros in their media.

52:16 Federico wants to aim bring this research to the decision makers to press the need for change.

52:44 He doesn’t think there’s a need for that much individual research in Brazil to figure out that need.

52:58 Negative images cause harm to the stereotyped individual and to the general population that assumes incorrectly who and what those “others” are.

53:13 If we can get that research to decision makers in advertisement, in television – there will be a great leap forward, Federico says.

53:51 It’s not just enough to say there’s a need bring minorities into the school of journalism, there needs to be a systematic effort.

54:03 This is related to the quotas in Brazil, Federico says.

54:08 Federico explains that kids aren’t given the same advantages as others. He uses analogy of kids running a race, some have shoes, some have been coached and others have had neither.

55:00 He says the same applies to journalism schools and mass communication.

55:06 Years of undertraining – not lack of skill – is what hinders some students. It’s important to recognize that.

56:19 People will act when they’re pressured to do so. But part of that process to be convinced requires more background, understanding of the situation, Federico says.

56:39 Too many decision makers don’t have that background

56:58 Major decisions require money, Federico says, and money then is directed to those who they see in their experiences that are pressuring them.

57:17 One of the most recent programs that was developed form the Dean’s level is at Cal-State Fullerton. The dean recruited and developed their center, specifically to teach about Latinos and media.

57:54 There were some reluctant members of the faculty.

58:07 At this institution, dean was proponent. At others, there’s usually more support from faculty but not from decision makers.

59:00 He hopes that there’s more higher-level decision making processes, given the change in demographics.

59:25 It’s imperative for major efforts to be directed at Latino populations and media, the uses and the effects on this population and general population and other ethnic minorities.


1:00:29 Federico says that it was through support from AEJMC that he gained validation for the work he was doing

1:00:36 His first AEJMC conference was in 1976.

1:00:39 That year it took place at Wisconsin.

1:01:01He attended the conventions, became a member, and started to receive the journals.

1:02:05 Federico says the support he received from AEJMC members was widespread – but he wasn’t receiving this kind of support from his faculty, professors at Santa Barbara.

1:02:35 Federico was either a graduate student or a young professor when he was recruited to be apart of the minorities in communication division.

1:02:47 He was then nominated a position within that division, became a chair, and was recruited to the commission.

1:03:03 During those years of participation, Federico says two things happened: He received validation for his work and he was able to talk to (and be listened to) about the value of diversity.

1:03:27 Whether it was panel opportunities, involvement, research, it helped him on the way to get a foothold with the organization.

1:04:24 The value of AEJMC for diversity issues is twofold.

1:04:28 With its minorities in communication division, anyone that does diversity issues has an opportunity to get their work evaluated even if it’s not accepted for a convention.

1:04:49 The work is evaluated and given feedback that can contribute to the enhancement of that research.

1:05:00 For those whose paper is accepted, the conference is a place where they have full support – they don’t have to justify, Federico says, it’s a given that it is valued.

1:05:16 This networking contributes to the enhancement of the scholarship of minority issues in communication.

1:05:44 As students and scholars present their work in these other divisions (not just the minorities in communication division), then diversity is acknowledged and valued and expanded into those other divisions as well, Federico says.

1:06:29 One of the projects that AEJMC had was the journalism leadership institute for diversity (JLID). This brought together a number of minority faculty, women and minority. Federico says it often went to white women who learn leadership skills for being department chairs and deans.

1:07:22 Some applied, Federico says, and were not ready for those positions.

1:07:26 That program wasn’t funded after a time. Federico is unsure why.

1:07:49 The effort, Federico says, was directed towards anybody, but not purposefully towards those who didn’t have the preparation (“running shoes” as Federico says, referring to his earlier analogy.)

1:08:29 AEJMC should return to the JLID program and make it more sophisticated.

1:08:40 They could also then express the importance to other faculties across different universities of diversifying their faculty.

1:08:56 From there, Federico says, it’s important to also teach the maintenance, the training needed to retain diverse faculty.

1:09:55 AEJMC has changed dramatically its gender diversity.

1:10:45 In terms of recruitment of more outreach to diversity it lags behind, Federico says.

1:10:57 AEJMC has done a great job in the gender disparity that used to exist, from when it started to today.

1:11:06 In a study, Federico says, we noticed that more than half of the leadership of AEJMC has been female in the divisions and at the presidency.

01:11:34 The leadership on the gender side, primarily white women and some African Americans, has improved, Federico says. But at the “rank and file” AEJMC is “decades” behind.

01:11:59 AEJMC is way behind in terms of recruitment and retention of Latinos.

01:12:17 Federico says he would recommend a JLID program specifically for Latinos for AEJMC.

01:12:40 There needs to be a similar effort, Federico says, for other underrepresented groups as there are really way behind.

01:13:50 It’s well document that the portrayals of Latinos in the media are not what they should be. Federico points to some of his research for support.

1:14:07 Federico points to a controversy with MSNBC that’s currently going on.

1:14:18 Federico mentions member of MSNBC who dressed up with a sombrero and maracas and some liquor for a “cinco de mayo” segment.

1:14:44 The decision makers in these institutions should do better. The problem has been documented, Federico says, but they haven’t changed their mindset.

01:14:54 It should fall upon the schools of journalism, the decision makers at the schools of journalism, the scholars at the schools of journalism to bring to the decision makers in the news media the imperative for better, more diverse images.

01:15:18 Federico hopes that the decisions of these schools create substantial change and influence.

1:15:46 Now it’s time for change in the content and representation of these groups.

1:15:53 There should not be the continued stereotyping of these groups, or the ignoring of them as it has been the case.

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity – Linda Shockley

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.

Interview Subject: Linda Shockley           
Interviewer: Maggie Rivas-Rodriguez
Interview date: 08/08/2013

Number of Recorded Segments: 3
Interview length: 01:17:49
Language: English
Reviewer: Trent Boulter
Date of review for index: 12/17/14

Table of Contents:

0:00 – 0:20 Start and focus camera
How did you become interested in journalism? Role models?:
0:20 Her interest started around 14 and felt she wanted to pursue that career and read the newspaper as early as first grade. At some point she came up to her mom and asked what “rape” meant and that’s when she started preventing her from reading the newspaper.

1:08 When she was 14 Claude Lewis was one of her role models and there was a stunning anchor on CBS named Eaddie Huggins. She said to herself, “I can do that.”

1:52 she got in touch with Claude Lewis after she was told by her counselor that she should become a teacher and write in her spare time. Her parents weren’t in support of a journalism career because they didn’t think it was financially sustainable. Claude suggested she write to an organization in Princeton called The Journalism Fund, which was used for information about journalism programs, scholarships, etc.

3:06 After using the guide we went to University of Bridgeport for a visit and that was it. Her mom decided that’s where she needed to be. The cost was about 6,000 at that time. She wanted to go to Syracuse but they offered her a scholarship.

3:43 She graduated 4 years later and interned in Ganet newspapers where she had an encounter with Jerry Saass.

4:09 Her hometown newspaper turned me down for a internship and so someone suggested that she call Jerry in Rochester, New York. She called him and he offered her one of two internship positions.

5:26 In the summer of 1975 she worked as an intern in Westchester County, New York. She worked for 2 papers (Sleepy Hollow being one of them).

6:00 Just before graduating she was offered a job covering education for Ganet in Ossining, NY.

6:12 (benefit of working for Ganet as a minority woman)

6:25 she worked for that company for 12 years, starting in education, but changing responsibilities ever couple of years. She used typewriters and other old technologies etc.

7:25 Covering schools, there was a big effort to desegregate schools so that was eye-opening touching a topic that was extremely controversial.

7:54 She felt a lot of support from her newsroom and the corporation as well. She moved into the production area, and eventually became a bureau chief.

9:15 She also had a very diverse staff. (African Americans, Asian Americans) Eventually she became a city editor in a major city. She was even able to attend conventions and conferences on the companies dime. That way she could progress and develop different resources and mainstreaming techniques to further diversity.

11:06 Here she adds that she joined the NABJ and other things and served on other committees which helped her to get experience that turned her into the journalist she is and promote diversity. Ganet really wanted to make an impact on diversity.

12:55 Another thing she found important was Ganet’s willingness to offer opportunities and move people around so they could advance their career regardless of gender or race.

13:38 Now she feels extremely fortunate to have worked with particularly influential people that, at a young age, she didn’t quite appreciate at the time. Those influential people, some of them had actually participated in the civil-rights movement.

14:10 Through the Michelle Clark program, people of different minorities were able to get the training they needed to change their career and begin participating as journalists. (Lists different notable people that helped do training)

15:18 At one point she was encouraged to come to a meeting in D.C. where Jay Harris was making a presentation saying that media should reflect the ethnic makeup of the country. She didn’t understand the implications that presentation and thought carried.

17:10 (Pivotal time in American History – was there a time when you became aware of the need for that diversity in media?)

17:38 growing up in a community of predominantly African American in New Jersey, we always had a feeling of self governance. But we didn’t see that representation in the general new media. However there was a thing called Tuesday Magazine that was all about African Americans. It was filled with features and things going on in the AA community. This went on even until the 1970’s.

18:58 Being at Ganett with the different conversations about diversity really struck her while in high school and into college.

19:32 She had great admiration for Encore, (1st AA newsmagazine) and felt she might want to work there. She knew there needed to be a voice and felt she could be part of that cohort of people providing that voice for these publications.

(Do you remember any stories or pieces that you produced that touched on diversity in a particular way?)

20:15 Being part of the diversity committee, she remembers a story about children born with heart deformities and one of the parents was a teenage girl of color. The editor felt like they couldn’t use her because they didn’t want to highlight a girl having a child out of wed-lock. Another parent was a latino woman who had a different surname than the father and the editor didn’t want to use them either. There was a total lack of understanding of cultural practices that had to be addressed.

22:45 There was another story about illegal immigration. This was in the early 1980’s. There was a question about marriage for green cards. Is it a fake marriage? Immigration fraud? There was a specific tip that lead to the focus on Haitians, regardless that other groups were doing it as well. She gives examples of Irish immigrants doing this as well. It’s important to broaden the context and look at the underlying problem instead of the specific instance being brought to everyone’s attention.

24:45 This is even an issue of terminology with “civil rights leader” v. “human rights leader”.

(At the time did you feel that minorities were treated fairly and equally in the newsroom?)

25:25 In many instances it’s episodic, there are many people that rise to the top but she felt that women were marginalized. She sites the lack of personal Pulitzer prize awards given to AA women for their work. She conducted a survey and found that these women felt they were the “hand-maidens” of the newsroom. They were supposed to go get the information and then another person would write the story.

28:06 She did have a conversation with one woman from the study that said that they needed to be willing to put in the extra time. She eventually found an interest in a specific place and went there to learn and report about it so that she could gain knowledge and expertise in a particular area. Don’t just complain about it, but do something about it. Prepare yourself.

(How did you get involved with Dow Jones?)

30:20 She came in 1988 but the organization had been established in the 50’s. They typically tried to recruit well-rounded people with liberal arts degrees that the organization felt could accept a position helping to report for the Washington Post. Later in the 1960’s you started to see women and people of color join those programs. She gives examples of some of the people to receive awards and internships from the organization.

32:05 Later Paul Swenson introduced the copy editing program to an ethnically/gender diverse group because he felt people from any background could produce the same quality of content. Followed by examples of success stories from this program.

34:25 Paul Swenson decided in the 60’s that these programs for high school journalism teachers should include people of color. He went to a HBCU (Savanah St.) to find people willing to participate and used a professor and student as the example in some of these trainings. That example student later became a participant in the program and a successful journalist herself.

35:28 in ‘68 the Fund started the first Urban Journalism workshop. It was in response to President Johnson’s question as to why there continued to be urban disturbances in the U.S. One of the things the commission determined was that American was two separate societies; one black and one white. The focus on the media talked about the lack of representation of African American people, and coverage of issues regarding urban areas. They recommended training African American students to become journalists.

37:15 The result of the workshop was a little group of journalists and if only 10% of the participants went on to work in the field they would consider it a success. 30% actually did become journalists (examples of those individuals).

38:25 In 1988 a colleague shared a job opening that he had received about an opening at the Dow Jones News Fund. He suggested it to her and she took a chance at it.

(DJNF had helped numerous people, tell us about the years you were there and how the programs developed)

40:37 The Fund was always looking to progress. She shares the different programs that started with focus on high schools.

41:18 She talks about John Seagenthall and his work to get the movie “Did You Hear What I Said?” made and what goes into being a reporter and stories they write.

42:37 The fund was always looking to see what else they could do to get their message out, while still addressing the needs for diversity. She also gives an example of one of the classes that was taught by Adams and how that effect is still being felt.

43:54 In 1990 they started a Reporting Scholarship Program to award a $1000 scholarship. Eventually that morphed into the Business Reporting Program because they wanted to encourage more young journalists of color to pursue becoming business journalists. She lists some of the challenges they faced with the program.

45:15 She talks about the gratifying outcomes of the program, and some examples of students that used the scholarship to get herself through school.

47:01 The current status of the DJNF and their programs that are looking to help all students, as well as minorities, become successful journalists.

48:22 She expresses understanding that you can’t achieve diversity of selection if you don’t have diversity in the pool of applicants and that’s why they have focused on reaching out to HBCU and developing training programs across the country.

(Scope of the DJNF and it’s impact)

50:17 For the editing, reporting, and digital programs the number is around 7500-8000. For the high school programs 13000+ up to now. Moving forward we have supported other organizations and their programs.

51:00 A student asked her how she might change her approach to recommending journalism as a career based on what’s going on in the industry? She realized that it wasn’t a question looking at the technical reaction, but how do you tell people to pursue a career in journalism? Especially minorities?

53:20 Her response to that question.

54:34 Facing discrimination in a journalism career,

55:02 Our responsibility in association with discrimination

55:17 Her hope for the progress journalists can facilitate. And the way we can tell the “Truth of our story”

(Newsrooms use of statistics and the numbers of minorities… Suggestions for media to attract the talent that is needed?)

57:54 She doesn’t feel she has a new solution, cites “Girls who Code” and the work they do to promote confidence. “Some things are done by example.” She shares some of those leading by example. In recruitment, “we have to go where the people are.”

(With the rapid changes in media, how does this impact the focus on diversity?)

1:01:43 She expresses a disappointment in the lack of emphasis by media organizations on diversity. She also expresses her feelings that the response of these organizations is a short-sighted approach to the issues that they will eventually face in the future.

1: 03:40 She gives an example of a reporter covering Spanish speaking baseball players and his colleagues lack of understanding of the athlete.

1:05:18 She says we’re not responding to the needs of the people that we represent as members of the media, even if immigration stopped today, which it hasn’t.

1:06:00 “We want to be useful to our population.”

(Do you feel this is a problem in top management?)

01:07:18 She expresses a lot of optimism that people might catch on to the need for change, but a disappointment that most decisions are being driven, not by the journalists, but by investors and advertisers.

1:08:32 There are people that are using their sphere of influence to address certain issues.

1:09:23 The pattern of new media is following that of legacy media

1:10:10 The democratization of media and the place it holds in impacting lives.

(Role of AEJMC)

1:11:20 Experience with AEJMC and using some of the papers and research to help high school students and other students of journalism. Interaction with different committees and interest groups.

1:13:20 The role of AEJMC in shaping the education of journalists and helping faculty to progress.

1:14:07 An example of a professor requiring their students to go to a specific place to find a story to help them become exposed to different ideas and cultures.

(Final thought)
1:16:30 Diversity is not an add-on or an afterthought. It’s part of telling the full story with all of its detail.

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity – Paula Poindexter

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.

Interview Subject: Paula Poindexter
Interviewer: Martin do Nascimento
Interview date: 5/7/2014
Number of Recorded Segments: 3
Interview length: 01:13:24
Language: English
Reviewer: Carlos Morales
Date of review for index: 5/14/14

Table of Contents:
Early Experience in Journalism (3-6)
Diversity and Academia (6-12)
AEJMC*( (7-)
AEJMC and Diversity (12-16)

*Poindexter begins to mention AEJMC here with frequency, by page 12 the mentions are more related with diversity

0:09 Poindexter is the president of AEJMC – the association of education in journalism and mass communication. She’s also a journalism professor at the University of Texas at Austin.

0:21 – 3:38 (Preamble and miscellaneous)

Early Experiences in Journalism

3:48 Poindexter’s interest in journalism was completely “accidental.”
3:55 When she graduated from college, she was a radio-television-film major.
4:03 Poindexter wasn’t involved in journalism or interested in it. Her goal was to become a television producer in Los Angeles.

4:16 The first full-time job as a news reporter and producer.

4:31 She says at this time there were very few women and people of color in the newsroom. Her job was at KPRC-TV, the NBC affiliate, in Houston, Texas

4:47 She says she had “no idea” what she was doing because she hadn’t studied journalism, but she was familiar with video and film.

5:02 The program she worked on was a daily news and feature program. She was a co-producer. She – and her team – were responsible for making a local news feature in the Houston area.

5:27 It’s here she says that she learned about producing features.

5:47 She discovered journalism on the job and it became something she was very interested in.

6:00 Next, Poindexter realized that she didn’t like the particular line of work, particularly because she didn’t like being on television; she wanted to remain behind the scenes.

6:20 Additionally, she grew apart form the field because she was restricted to mainly feature type work, which didn’t seem as important. From here she decided to go to graduate school.

6:30 She was at KPRC-TV for almost 3 years.

6:35 She then left for graduate school in Syracuse.

6:41 She decided she wanted to become a magazine journalist. Syracuse, she said, was a pipeline to New York City and magazine work there. However, while there she was introduced to research.

6:58 Poindexter had a research assistantship in the communication research center and had an opportunity to work under Doctor Maxwell McCombs, a renowned international scholar.

7:17 Their research work involved public opinion surveys of various communities around the Northeast.

7:22 They were interested in understanding and learning why people were interested in the news.

7:32 That was the first time that she had been exposed to learning about things from the news-consumers perspective.

7:38 After she finished her Master’s, Poindexter decided to stay and get her Ph.D.

7:46 While there she had both research and job opportunities

7:53 She moved to the University of Georgia where she taught for a year

7:58 Athens, according to Poindexter, was pretty isolated and she didn’t enjoy working there.

8:06 She had an opportunity to work at the LA Times. She met the publisher, Tom Johnson, and went to work for the LA Times.

8:30 At the LA Times she was on the business side as opposed to the newsroom.

8:34 Poindexter enjoyed this because she had an opportunity – having already worked in a newsroom – to see journalism from both sides.

8:49 Until relatively recently, Poindexter says, the business side has been kept separated from the newsroom.

9:18 Learning the business side of journalism was a great experience for Poindexter

10:20 Poindexter says there’s a particular moment in which she became aware of diversity in the newsroom.

10:25 However, she does say that she’s aware of the need for diversity because of the state of Texas’ longstanding history of segregation, because it was a slave state, and because UT Austin still employs very little African Americans

11:00 She says that consciously, she didn’t necessarily translate this into the field of journalism but when she did work for the TV news in Houston, she did make a point of seeking out diversity in terms of the stories they covered.

11:35 “You can’t help – certainly in the time that I grew up and also in the state of Texas – it’s just a part of you.”

11:48 Poindexter recalls some of the stories that she covered.

12:03 She had come up with this idea that she wanted to do a documentary on Blacks in Houston. It was called “On the Other Side”

12:16 The news director approved it. It was an hour-long documentary that aired, which is unheard of, Poindexter said.

12:23 She made an effort to really explore Houston and specifically African-Americans from a cultural point of view.

12:39 Poindexter says it was more of a feature documentary, but she did want to bring that awareness to people.

12:51 Poindexter also had the opportunity to do several features on the Houston Museum of Art, which had become an art fixture both nationally and internationally.

13:32 Poindexter says that she made a conscious effort to make sure that African-Americans were included, too.

13:57 Poindexter would also work behind the camera, shooting and editing. It was important, she recalled, for her to learn how to do all of that.

14:09 It was a time that she learned about the production – researching, writing, reporting, shooting and editing it

15:29 When Poindexter began working in TV, women were just starting to get into the newsroom and blacks as well.

15:41 TV was probably doing a better job hiring minorities, Poindexter says, only because the FCC required it.

15:51 Stations had to keep records of their diversity in the newsroom, in the TV stations.

16:01 Poindexter says that TV stations are licensed, so if there’s no effort at diversity at all, someone could challenge their licensing

16:15 TV stations were very concerned about having diversity in their newsroom for this reason

16:28 It made news directors more aware, Poindexter said, but at the same time “there was only so much that was going to be done.”

16:40 Poindexter said when she was younger she really didn’t think about diversity in the newsroom, but that later she “developed a consciousness about this.”

17:51 Poindexter has spent more time in the academy than in the profession

18:00 “We do need to keep in mind that today there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.”

18:10 Poindexter says it’s better than in years past, but there’s still a lot of ground to be made.

18:14 This includes, hiring more people of color in newsrooms, but also retaining people of color in newsrooms and making sure they have opportunities for leadership.

18:32 Poindexter believes this is a huge part of the problem.

18:36 Poindexter believes that the admirable goals of the ASNE – to have parity in the newsroom – will never be achieved. The group had to scale their goal back

19:18 They were never even able to come close to it, Poindexter says.

19:22 If you look at census data today, you can see that it would be extremely ambitious to reach that goal, Poindexter say.

19:30 Poindexter says that they have to keep in mind that not every person of color wants to enter in this field.

19:41 The truth is everything is open now. “You can be a rocket scientist, you can be a physician, you can be an attorney, a teacher, a nurse – it’s completely open and at one time it wasn’t.”

20:20 It’s unrealistic, Poindexter says, to expect that we’re going to have parity in the newsroom. There needs to be a back-up plan.

20:27 She believes that the back-up plan should be that everyone in newsroom – despite his or her color – has a responsibility to understand why diversity is important. Everyone in the newsroom needs to be knowledgeable so that they can include and accurately report.

21:11 The priority the, Poindexter says, is to ensure that the way the news is covered is inclusive and not filled with stereotypes.

22:39 TV station requirements for diversity changed things

22:44 That focus was just on employment not on content, meaning that the stories that you cover were not a focus.

23:05 Because there was an expectation to have diversity in the newsroom, news directors began hiring a small number of people of color. Poindexter says she was one of them, she knows she got her first job because she was African-American.

23:30 Today you must have a lot of experience to join a network.

24:01 Poindexter says that there were advocacy organizations that were challenging licenses of TV stations.

24:15 Newspapers, however, weren’t doing a lot.

24:25 But that changed for ASNE after the Kerner commission in 1968

24:37 It was extremely critical, Poindexter said, of news organizations, saying they were not doing a good job of diversity and of telling the story of race relations in the United States.

25:01 The effort to diversify newsrooms has been going on for a while. And that’s when the goal for parity, Poindexter says, came from.

26:01 Poindexter doesn’t recall discussions of diversity in graduate school.

26:03 Those discussions really took place in AEJMC.

26:11 She attended her first AEJMC meeting in graduate school. That’s where she began experiencing these issues of diversity in a more systematic way.

26:42 Specifically, it’s within the MAC (minorities and communication) division of AEJMC that she experienced this.

26:47 There are many niche divisions within AEJMC

27:13 The founder of MAC, Dr. Lionel Barrow, according to Poindexter, singlehandedly made an effort to push for the development of diversity.

27:52 He was the one who “raised the consciousness of AEJMC”

27:59 One of the things, Poindexter says, that we have to keep in mind is that there is at least one person who is getting the conversation started, but it boils down to being persuasive and explaining its importance

28:38 A lot of Barrow’s work started with him and came out of the MAC division.

28:47 Poindexter says he did it singlehandedly in the sense that it was his idea. AEJMC has a responsibility since they’re training the next newsroom generations.

29:22 That’s how AEJMC became a leading force in the changes taking place in journalism education, Poindexter said.
(mic fix)

30:30 Journalism education is lacking people of color, Poindexter says. There aren’t many Hispanics in this field.

31:15 The vast majority of AEJMC members are from universities, but there are professionals that are engaged with these issues.

31:40 The organization allows people to come together from all backgrounds and discuss these issues.

32:16 Dr. Barrow was from Howard University – a predominantly black university.

32:36 It’s not a surprise that Dr. Barrow pushed for the MAC division. Considering the time, his background and experience it made sense.

33:09 Poindexter says that we take it for granted or we forget that the news industry is founded on the first amendment of the constitution. That means it’s unique – there’s a special responsibility that journalists have that you might not have in other fields.

33:48 Addressing diversity is a natural fit, Poindexter says because of the sense that this field is different, combined with the social responsibility aspect of the job, and what you expect of Universities.

34:34 Often there are very few minorities on staff

35:00 These discussions have influenced Poindexter’s studies

35:16 Poindexter says she was probably amazed when she went to her first AEJMC conference and noticed that these conversations were taking place.

35:31 It influenced her research areas: 1) The audience for news 2) Diversity in news coverage 3) research methods and ethics

36:12 Poindexter says that her research area the diversity in news coverage directly grew out of attending her first AEJMC conference.

36:24 After that conference Poindexter added her second research area,

36:36 She also created a course that’s called African-Americans in the media.

36:49 That particular course is even more important today than when she first created it, Poindexter said.

36:56 The bottom line, Poindexter said, is that AEJMC, more than anything else, has had an impact on her research, teaching and her worldview.

37:38 AEJMC is organized around three areas: research, teaching, and PF and R (Professional freedom and responsibility).

37:58 Poindexter further explains each area

37:58 People do research and submit conference papers. If the paper is accepted then it’s presented at the August conference.

38:21 There are several initiatives and teaching components at the conference.

38:47 The course Poindexter teaches is focused on African-Americans on the media. But there are other courses at UT that center on gender.

39:13 Teaching is very important to AEJMC. Every year at the conference there are many panels about being more effective teachers

39:33 And from time to time these panels are about diversity.

39:39 Poindexter says diversity remains one of the most important panel topics and needs to be covered more.

40:38 Poindexter says there’s an urgency that’s not felt by many.

41:04 If you want to be in an accredited university there are certain things you have to do.

41:12 One of these requirements is that you have to have a diversity plan. That plan means what it is what you’re trying to do to increase diversity in your faculty, what you’re doing to increase diversity in your curriculum.

41:33 If you want to be an accredited university that’s one of the things you have to do

41:40 The are other things you have to do – that’s just one of the standards that’s required every six years you go up for re-accreditation.

42:00 Many universities around the country are struggling with diversity. They’re certainly trying to diversify their faculty.

42:12 But as Poindexter pointed out earlier, diversifying faculty – like diversifying the newsroom – can be difficulty. Not every minority is getting their doctorate in journalism – there are other fields they’re pursuing.

42:32 By that same token, Poindexter adds, some might choose to work in the newsroom instead of in academia

42:32 There are a lot of hurdles and challenges, Poindexter says.

42:55 Even the universities that are challenged with filling this diversity requirement are making an impact where they can.

43:13 “You can still have an impact on the curriculum. You can have a very diverse curriculum, you can make sure you’re integrating diversity throughout the curriculum – which is the ideal.”

43:33 To do that, Poindexter says, it does require engagement with faculty. Poindexter says workshops could help bring people up to speed.

43:45 The bottom line is that there several steps you must take to be apart of an accredited university.

43:59 Some things are hard, Poindexter says. Diversifying your curriculum is easier than some of the other things

44:05 You may not have success in your hiring, but there are things you can do. You can look as widely as possible to try and diversify the search process as much as you can while hiring.

44:22 We can certainly do a better job at UT Austin.

44:32 It boils down to, Poindexter says, down to commitment. “Every university is not committed. Every university does not see the benefit, the value.”

44:46 “For a long time when some news organizations, and certainly the ASNE, were trying to diversify…they would say ‘this is good business.’”

44:58 Poindexter believes otherwise. “This is a social responsibility.”

45:03 This goes back to an earlier point that Poindexter made about the press being in the first amendment.

45:13 There is a reason, Poindexter says, for that.

45:21 “I think if universities recognized that social responsibility then they may get it, why this is important.”

45:33 Universities are also training future journalists, so there’s a pressure on them to properly inculcate their students.

45:49 It gets harder to teach these generations as time goes on, Poindexter says.

45:51 For example, the generation after millennial is the post-millennial generation and they will be farther and farther away from the Civil Rights movement and the experiences that inspired people like Dr. Lee Barrow.

46:11 “This generation is so far away from that they have no idea.”

46:18 Poindexter says that this generation doesn’t realize that things weren’t always this way.

46:24 “The bottom line is that we have a lot of work to do and AEJMC needs to continue to help people, help universities, help individual faculty members, continue to support.”

46:42 Poindexter says that AEJMC is one of the most supportive organizations around when it comes to diversity.

(talking, question asked)

48:53 Poindexter says that it’s no question that there’s less emphasis on diversity in newsrooms now than in the past.

48:57 She says it’s understandable, however, in the sense that newsrooms have been trying to survive.

49:06 Newspapers in particular, Poindexter says, were extremely profitable. For a long time, these groups were slow to change.

49:39 Instead of getting ahead of the issue, newspapers were behind and they got caught.

50:14 The newspaper industry in particular, Poindexter says, was in bad shape. It’s a business, she said, if you want to be successful you have to be successful with your news but you also have to be successful with the business side.

50:48 If you’re spending all of your time trying to figure out not to go under, then it’s hard not to think about all these other things, e.g. diversity.

51:02 Poindexter believes this has a lot to do with it

51:12 Journalists are now having to do a whole lot more than before. You’re doing more with less.

51:36 The past few years, Poindexter says, it’s the first time that every other news article isn’t about the news industry dying. “The bleeding has stopped”

51:55 In the mean time it hasn’t changed the fact that diversity needs to be a priority.

52:02 Poindexter says that she understands why diversity hasn’t been a priority recently, but it’s time to change that.

52:26 She says the same is true of journalism and communication schools.

52:32 Because of the fact that many of these schools work closely with news organizations, when their students aren’t being hired because they can’t hire anybody.

53:04 Poindexter says we need to go back to having a diverse as possible newsroom and that we need to improve coverage, being more inclusive and not stereotyping.

54:18 Poindexter first became a member of AEJMC when she was in graduate school.

54:21 She says it’s an expectation. If you’re in a Ph.D program, it is the case that you’ll become a member.

54:49 That’s what distinguishes a graduate program that’s oriented towards research, Poindexter said.

55:10 When she started her Ph.D. program she received a doctoral diversity scholarship. It was a part of Dr. Barrow’s efforts to increase minority representation in journalism and communication.

56:03 Poindexter says that the scholarship, which was created by donations from AEJMC members, reveals that they were serious about increasing minority faculty.

56:12 To get a minority faculty you need to establish a pipeline where there are more minorities going to graduate school and a Ph.D program.

56:39 Poindexter says that if you were to look across the country at the various racial and ethnic groups who are now teaching at various universities, you’ll see that many of them were probably recipients of this scholarship.

57:06 She presented research papers at these conferences and even won an award for it.

57:16 When she became inspired about doing research that dealt with race and ethnicity, a colleague and her did a review of the literature.

57:27 They looked at the studies that had been published about blacks and the media.

57:50 It was a literature review, a meta-analysis. From that they published an article in Journal Broadcasting.

57:59 Her involvement with AEJMC was multifaceted. She was a recipient of the scholarship, she was active in the MAC division, she did research, and she ran for office early on.

58:31 AEJMC really supported Poindexter in her academic endeavors.

58:35 She stayed active with AEJMC until she went to work for the LA Times.

58:53 When she returned to teaching at UT Austin she got involved with AEJMC again.

59:10 Her involvement since then has only grown.

59:13 There are many divisions, Poindexter says. “There are 30 or 40 divisions, interest groups and commissions.”

59:21 You are not only a member of AEJMC but you are a member of any division, interest group or commission you select.

59:39 Through the MAC division, Poindexter was eventually elected “first vice-head, then head” of the group.

59:54 From there she was elected, across the whole membership, to the standing committee on research. There’s several of these committees. She has served 2 3-year terms.

1:00:21 That committee has responsibility for the awards that are given across the division.

1:00:31 When she chaired that committee she had the chance to start a new award. This is the seventh or eighth year that the award is given now.

1:00:50 When you chair that committee you also serve on the board of the directors.

1:01:19 Poindexter finished her terms. Shortly after which she was nominated for a new award – also named after Dr. Barrow. It’s for recognizing one’s contributions for research, teaching and leadership.

1:01:58 This was an important award for Poindexter because it recognized her in the areas that were most important for Dr. Barrow.

1:02:09 A few years later she received a call from nominations and elections committee chair, saying they wanted Poindexter to run for Vice President of AEJMC.

1:02:36 Poindexter, who was finishing up a book at the time, didn’t think she would have time. But she ended up running and winning.

1:02:45 Poindexter has been in a leadership role for AEJMC

1:02:53 This year, 2013-2014, is Poindexter’s year as president. She will preside over the conference in Montreal. As president of AEJMC, she has several initiatives.

1:03:27 Every president writes a column for the AEJMC newsletter and the column that Poindexter is going to write is about diversity.

1:03:40 It’s to remind people that it’s important, it still matters, and there’s still work to be done.

1:03:47 The president of AEJMC, Poindexter says, has the opportunity to make difference in many ways.

1:04:04 AEJMC celebrated their centennial anniversary 2 years ago. One goal for that year was to reach a pledge of $300,000.

1:04:21 A portion of the money they raised specifically went towards diversity programing.

1:04:31 Poindexter was on the board that got to decide how they would spend that money.

1:04:45 “You can have an impact and I believe I’ve had an opportunity to have a positive impact on diversity.”

1:04:49 Poindexter isn’t the first African-American president of AEJMC. There have been 3 before her.

1:05:09 What this says, according to Poindexter, is that AEJMC “walks the talk.” They don’t just say that diversity is important.

1:06:14 Poindexter recently attended the Unity Diversity Caucus in D.C. representing AEJMC

1:06:24 Unity was originally composed of all of the minority journalism associations, but two have dropped out.

1:06:44 At this particular caucus they asked each representative how the organization they were there for had had an impact on diversity.

1:07:13 In her initial comments Poindexter said that diversity is in its DNA – it is who they are.

1:07:24 “When you say AEJMC you are talking about diversity.”

1:07:32 If you look at the bylaws, it’s in the bylaws.

1:07:36 There is a concerted effort to make sure there is diversity in every single way in AEJMC

1:07:56 The group doesn’t always succeed as much as they would like to.

1:08:02 These different divisions sometimes can’t as diverse as they’d like to because (again) the population for it isn’t there. “You can’t make people appear if they’re not in the pipeline to appear.”

1:08:24 The bottom line, Poindexter says, is that AEJMC is at good place in the area of diversity.

1:08:47 There’s an award that was started to recognize a university’s progress at diversity, areas like hiring, curriculum, teaching, etc.

1:09:16 When Poindexter joined AEJMC they primarily had the MAC division, so there weren’t these other ways to acknowledge the importance of diversity and award those efforts.

1:09:39 The real question, Poindexter says, is where do we go from here?

1:09:43 The incoming president will restart a mentorship initiative to get more diverse administrators.

1:09:58 So those on faculties who are interested in being deans or department heads could get that training/mentoring

1:10:09 AEJMC originally funded that program for seven or eight years, but then because it was no longer able to receive foundation support, it wasn’t able to continue and placed on hiatus.

1:10:24 But as a result of the centennial program that Poindexter mentioned, they’re now able to restart it.

1:10:38 AEJMC is still working to do as much as it can to stay ahead, Poindexter says.

1:12:09 The foundation stopped supporting it – Poindexter is unsure why, but now they’re able to support it again.

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity – Lawrence Kaggwa

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.

Interview Subject: Lawrence Kaggwa
Interviewer: Rochelle Ford
Interview date: 06/04/2013

Number of Recorded Segments: 3
Interview length: 00:52:18
Language: English
Reviewer: Trent Boulter
Date of review for index: 12/19/14

Table of Contents:
0:00 – 1:20 Start and Intro
(How did you get involved with journalism)
1:20 He talks about the educational system in Uganda before he immigrated to US. It was a British system and didn’t require people to have a degree to be a journalist. It was an apprenticeship system. His first job was covering the national legislature as an information officer. And it followed with a full-ride scholarship to study journalism here.

255 question over some of the media you actually consumed

305 he talks about the fact that Africans weren’t in fault with racial differences here in the United States. So the newspapers he read were the white newspapers that his family read. He was in traduced to black newspapers until the 60s. That instruction came from a student body officer who informed him that if he were black he needed to be aware of black newspapers.

428 question so impact that have on you?

435 he questioned whether or not he would go the way the black press was going or the way the mainstream media was going. It was a question about diversifying versus sticking in your niche.

532 journalism was not covering black communities so that there was nothing to explain the riots broke out in the 60s and that’s why everybody was caught off guard. One of the things they learned through the commission signed by Pres. Johnson was that there was a total lack of representation for black communities in the media.

628 the white people responded in a very interesting way by starting to recruit black people to work in the industry and right stories so that the media could really keep track of what was going on

655 he talks about the establishment of a pipeline for black journalists through universities and journalism programs, and the difference between the quality of journalism in the black press and the mainstream media.

835 question Tell me about your experience working as a journalist in Africa and the United States

854 he talks about going from Rutgers to UCLA and then his time in graduate school and about his classmates and him not being full-time students but full-time professionals going to school. He talks about the fact that when he was at SIU that practice switched and became a full-time student working part-time but outside of media because the newspapers in the area wouldn’t hire a black person

1049 question over some of the diversity challenges you faced in The US compared to Uganda

1120 having worked in 14 different newspapers in the US he was never expected to do stories that would resonate with black readers. He was expected to write stories that anyone could relate to. He talked about the fact that he really enjoyed covering communities stories and so is often assigned to write those.

1225 he shares a story about an intern who wanted to work with a professional and when they went to do the story they had a gun pulled on them and the intern took off.

1310 question having that colorblindness did you feel that you were treated fairly

1343 interestingly enough it seems that most of the people he worked with didn’t feel threatened by a foreigner the way they felt threatened by a black American. So because of his accent he didn’t seem to feel the same animosity from the people he worked with because he was interesting coming from a different country.

1510 the only time that he had an issue was when he dealt with an interviewee, Dan Grover, who wouldn’t talk to white people. He claimed that he was an Africanist and because they were both from Africa he was able to get one of the longest interviews he ever had.

1610 he never any issues and send the newsroom but outside the newsroom was a completely different story

1647 question why did you choose the university you attended for your doctorate and why get a doctor

17 00 he chose the school he went to because he was offered a full fellowship. He didn’t realize until later that the only reason he was admitted was because the director thought he was Japanese. He went into the office to visit with the director with his admission letter in hand and the director told him that he hadn’t been admitted because he thought he had admitted a Japanese person.

1823 when he was in school there he was one of two black people on campus.

1847 question why going to academia and why become a professor

1857 the first scholarship you received was on a contract that after the four years were over he would return home. That was because of the Cold War. A lot of it was based on trying to get votes in the UN.

1953 at the end of his four-year degree there was a revolution in home. He couldn’t go home that only had a student visa so we went on to get a Masters degree. The year he finished his master’s degree there was another revolution in so he couldn’t go back home than either. So once again he stayed in school and continued on to get a PhD because he could not go home to his home country in Africa.

2036 by the time he finished his PhD in American schools were wanting to hire as many PhD’s is the could. Because of the racist feelings in the country regardless of whether you had a PhD or not you wouldn’t be hired at a white university they told him where to go teach and that was it Norfolk state.

2140 Raymond Boone was such a radical local character and engineered an effort to get him fired from Norfolk state because of a program he had put into place. He was a man of standards because of what the wounded the established a journalism program at the first black university to apply for accreditation. He talked about the pressure that put on Howard to also become accredited and how that served to get him to Howard University.

2310 When he came to Howard a lot of people were upset that the curriculum was changed to not be focused on black press, but instead mainstream media. He expresses feelings about his life and never being about where he planned to be.

2346 question seen the lack of diversity and newsrooms, how did you prepare students as a teacher to feel comfortable in integrating newsrooms?

2426 money talks. He expresses the difference in pay between the black press and mainstream media drives students to mainstream media. It didn’t hurt that white editors were very aggressive in hiring people that they felt were qualified. As a matter of fact a lot of their graduates even got signing bonuses or had their future employers pay the last year school. So motivating students to integrate wasn’t difficult at all.

2711 question how did you involve yourself in professional organizations to meet recruiters

2725 He talks about the support of an activist dean and being able to attend conferences like AEJMC through university funding.

2855 he talks about when he joined AEJMC there not being a minority division. he was part of the original group that established the minority division.

2930 talks about the establishing and his involvement in BCCA. Initially the first grants that were given to the minority division were written by white Dean’s.

3134 question being known as one of the toughest professors that Howard University’s, how are you able to train the students to go into the community and report on those stories that still go unheard in mainstream media

3210 he talked about following the publish or perish mentality to academia has. If students don’t get their stories published they don’t pass. He also talks about the fact that all people are racist because we don’t look at their communities are other cultures the same way we do our own.

3340 one new notice cover story for the Washington Post they have experts who happen to not be white. If you’re constantly working at getting different voices you can find them, but it’s not a natural thing. However if your concern was self-preservation you have to include all of the different perspectives or they will or the people that they represent will not listen or watch or consume your programming.

3540 question : how are you established your own black press. What influenced you to do that and to start those things?

3615 he feels very strongly that in order for a journalism department to create students that are marketable they need to have control and power over a teaching newspaper in order to provide students with the experiences they need. And Howard he was surrounded by other faculty who felt the same way, and so they started their own community newspaper to serve as a teaching newspaper.

3825 once the newspaper was budgeted out a new problem came up in conflict of interest with him owning the paper, he couldn’t require that students produce stories for his paper. Benefits to Howard for having the newspaper.

4020 question tell me about the network that you started with other nonprofit organizations focused on trying to encourage young people to become the next generation of journalists

4047 as an educator you know that the future of media is dependent on getting the youths interest in those things. It used to be that the Washington Post had a youth section to encourage young people to read the newspaper. This program for use during the summer is a way to encourage media consumption while also building and training journalists and writers for the future.

4430 question what level of importance does diversity in news media have now

4448 when he came to this country diversity meant assimilation. You didn’t come here to keep things from your own culture, but to become American. Now diversity means access to diverse sources. Where he finds stories of interest to every segment of your audience. We have to build the ethnic media to the same level of quality as the mainstream media.

4656 question what about diversity within academia

4704 diversity in academia is something he’s given up on. He was really trying to focus on getting a graduate program at Howard University in order to provide diversity of faculty throughout the rest of the country.

50 00 question if diversity takes a backseat what type of effect will that have on us

5011 riots. When people get into a situation when they’re comfortable and nobody cares whether or not there is that diversity and tolerance then that will bring riots.

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity – Barbara Hines

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.

Interview Subject: Barbara Hines
Interview date:

Number of Recorded Segments: 3
Interview length: 00:41:37
Language: English
Reviewer: Trent Boulter
Date of review for index: 11/24/14

Early Experiences in Journalism:
0:00 – 1:30 Introductions and preamble
Rochelle Ford is interviewing Dr. Barbara Hines
0:45 As a young child I loved to write and wherever we were I would write and journals. My father was military so we did move around quite a bit and we were encouraged to write. We were encouraged to read. In my home everyone read the newspaper whether we would discuss things that were in the newspaper at dinnertime. I got very involved in journalism when I was in high school in both Texas and in Maryland. I was interested in the business side to start out with, and then evolved to the editorial side and became the editor of my high school newspaper. I think everybody has some stories about how they began but my interest was forged really in high school.

1:45 Were there any particular news media that you consumed in your high school as you were thinking about journalism?

1:50 Well, absolutely newspapers were king at the time. I remember when, as a child, when we got a television. That will date me, but in my home it was a very small picture in seemingly a cardboard box. But basically newspapers and magazines. I was a print person.
2:13 When did you become aware of the need for diversity in media?

2:18 I actually noticed that probably in college, working on the daily Texan at the University of Texas at Austin, that we did not have a lot of different different voices. There were a lot of people like me. Blonde, Caucasian, even though we’re in Ausin, Texas with a heavy Hispanic population, and a good African American population. I would hear people talking about different opinions and different views, and I wondered why more people weren’t interested, because I thought everybody had the opportunities to participate in the things that they were interested in. Because I’d had a very diverse childhood, and I grew up thinking that everybody had similar opportunities. And that really wasn’t true

3:23 What types of stories did you report on and edit and that you felt really helped perpetuate the cause of diversity?

3:36 Most of my early stories were neighborhood stories. Again working at the daily Texan, I was one of the four editors of the daily Texan at the time. It was broken up so the there was an editor every day because of the daily nature paper. When I was writing again, they were communities stories and trying to show that there were things that everyone can participate in that weren’t just things that were only open to one group or one class. I’m not so sure that at the time I realized that I was trying to consciously write about diversity. I don’t know that I became more aware of that until later in my career, and that probably came when I was a public school teacher in Prince George’s County Maryland.

4:43 I’m sort of jumping over another career, but where I was teaching high school journalism and speech at Parkdale high school in Prince George’s County. The Prince George’s County schools were segregated to a great deal. And there was a major loss will suit and we had students who were being bussed throughout the county by court order. It all happened fairly quickly. It was back in the 70s and I realized then that the students that were coming into the school hadn’t had the kind of opportunities. So I kind of encouraged them and tried to get them to work on newspaper and encourage them and get them involved in with the yearbook, try to get them involved in the state Scholastic press Association so that they could go out and compete with schools and students that were attending majority white institutions or students that were attending the high-performing public schools. Versus the public schools of the public schools they might’ve come from or represented.

5:58 So it wasn’t a conscious effort I don’t think, until I started teaching there, and then I as I started to migrate over to the University of Maryland at College Park, I was recruited to teach there and after a year ended up becoming the assistant Dean of the College of journalism. And as part of my duties I worked to develop an internship program, and again at that time College Park was not very diverse. And there was an organization started called the task force on minorities in the news business, because colleges and universities around the country were seeing that the media industry was not diverse. And so colleges and universities were looking at ways that they could partner with industry organizations and try to build a better representation of people who were working in the industry.

7:06 There were organization like the Dow Jones newspaper fund the newspaper the American newspaper publishers Association. This was before NABJ and NAHJ or the Native American or the Asian-American Journalism Associations. So there were lots of groups that came together to work to try to increase people of color in the news business. And not just people working the business, but the representation of really a rainbow community. Being able to see that.

7:49 So I spent a lot of time working on that and that sort of led to creating high school journalism workshops at College Park, and working with organizations that did things for use in the community. And I spent seven years there before Lee Barrow who was Dean here at the school of communications asked me if I would be interested in coming to teach at Howard. And I’ve been in administration at College Park, and the notion of being able to go back into the classroom full-time was very exciting. And so I moved over to Howard University. And they give me the opportunity to teach a full schedule, which I did for a number of years, but then gradually got back into administration.

8:55 But as part of that I was in a whole different environment. I was in an HBCu. And I didn’t know what an HBCU was, quite frankly, as a blonde who would been educated in the South, really have had a very narrow education and understanding of the different institutions that have been created. I was looking at a certain niche, a certain kind of institution. And the more that I was at the University and the more that I saw what the vision was for HBCUs and the need for HBCUs, as are led me into other activities.

9:42 For 18 years she ran the leadership youth academy at Howard University (summer Journalism workshop and eventually advertising workshop) with support from the Knight Foundation to bring in students provide them with help.

10:30 Started a similar program at College Park with the Baltimore Sun. It was designed to….(Started over at 10:50)

10:50 At College Park they started a scholars program with the Baltimore Sun helping minorities from Maryland high schools get a scholarship to school and an internship with the Baltimore Sun to prepare them to enter the industry. Mentions a few of the success stories from the program and the purposes of the program.

12:45 Talked about how she became aware of the issues of minorities in media. Starting in Austin, then visiting with a Senator, before heading to Washington to work in Senator Yarborrow’s office. He was interested in helping people have a voice, and took me under his wing. She became his “one-woman-army” and he introduced her that way to many people including Cesar Chavez, Ted Kennedy, and others.

16:10 She worked for him and wrote his statements and ghosted numerous articles. She had opportunities to continue her interest in news, education, and other issues. The Senator encouraged her to continue her education and she started to date someone she had known in high school. They eventually married.

17:45 She was offered a position in Prince George’s County and the Senator lost his re-election. So after his last day she started teaching.

19:21 Throughout her jobs she was very involved in the media, got a Master’s degree at American University, and never thought she would get a PhD. She watched people getting PhD’s and decided she needed to use the tuition benefits and just do it.

20:20 Throughout that experience she met people in education and media and became involved with internship programs and press associations allowing her the opportunity to diversify.

20:50 By diversifying the type of work she was doing widened her opportunities to meet people. It wasn’t a conscious choice or event, but it just happened.

21:45 It was the way she was raised. She didn’t know she was a minority until the first day of one of her classes when a student asked her what she was doing there. She was assigned a communications class and a student asked why she wanted to teach “with all these black people”. She responded by saying that it didn’t matter. It was an opportunity to come, teach, work with different people.

23:30 At that time the College Park Campus wasn’t that welcoming to women. Most were white males in positions of authority. And was even counseled to stay in administration because she “would never be given tenure as a faculty member”. And in the back of her mind she said, “Well, I’ll show you.” It was that mindset that not everyone had the same opportunities.

24:45 Two years after she left College Park, there was a class action lawsuit on behalf of the women faculty regarding issues of promotions and other things. So it wasn’t something that a lot of people talked about, but she experienced it. That is another reason she was so excited to have the opportunity to teach again at Howard University.

26:01 She really tried to push her students out of their comfort zone and look outside the box, and take opportunities regardless of where it was located.

27:40 She tried to push herself to be part of as many organizations as might benefit her students, as well as attending conferences where people were doing different types of research that might provide a different perspective. And she recommended that same practice to her colleagues.

29:07 When dealing with the graduate program and the research agenda provided unique challenges that were different from other areas. She discovered that many people were set in their ways and didn’t have an open mind. There were opportunities to work with universities overseas in order to find different perspectives.

30:35 The blessing and the curse of working at Howard University in Washington DC is there are so many opportunities that you can be overwhelmed. You have to balance those things and set some boundaries. Those opportunities include visiting the White House, Legislature, meeting foreign dignitaries, etc., and you want make sure that you help your students pick the right opportunities.

32:15 The agenda that she espoused in leadership positions- Starting with PRSA, she enjoyed being involved in building the diversity of that organization and the industry they represent. Early memory about a workshop for a Washington PR firm that an old high school student worked for. In AEJMC there are divisions and commissions devoted to equal opportunities where I try to ask a lot of questions and work behind the scenes to ensure that things are equal. She doesn’t consider herself a special leader in any specific organization, but “just a good soldier”.

36:55 She feels there is a serious concern about the way the society is becoming a product of technology. They don’t spend as much time thinking or talking. Things are centered around technology and equal representation in those industries is “abysmal”. She doesn’t see as much of a push to improve things there either.

38:15 She feels that the NABJ and NAHJ are struggling because the industry is struggling due to a news and broadcast focus. As the industry evolves, with new organizations, she worries about the opportunities for people in a communications specific position. Communication, especially among the young is dying. They would rather text someone in the room than talk to them. And that’s a problem. We have to understand how people think and believe, and you don’t get that from texting.

40:23 Even working as a supervisor, she finds that students have a hard time actually communicating in person. And she’s concerned that’s going to affect our society.

40:52 She wants to make sure that everyone has the opportunities. “I don’t know the answer, yet, of how to ensure that as our world becomes so much more technology oriented. But I know in my heart, that we’ve still got to be able to talk and reason, and think quickly on our feet and be able to able to write so that people can understand. That’s never going to go away, and we’ve got to be able to do it well.”

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity

Trailblazers of Diversity – Felix Gutierrez

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.

Interview Subject: Felix Gutierrez
Interviewer: Kyle Hukins
Interview date: 08/07/2013

Number of Recorded Segments: 3
Interview length: 00:46:27
Language: English
Reviewer: Trent Boulter
Date of review for index: 12/17/14

Table of Contents:
0:00 – 0:53 Start and Intro
(How did you get involved with journalism)
0:53 Talks about his parents involvement in journalism while in college in Arizona (mother) and California (father). Even talking about how they met through their work. Is father then became a school teacher before dying from cancer.

2:51 Later in Jr. High and High school he started working for the school papers and went to Cal State LA, but didn’t major in journalism (1961). He majored in Social Studies so that he might be teach after school, just in case.

4:15 After getting his degree and then credential in education, he wanted to do what he loved and so went to get his Masters in Journalism at Northwestern

4:35 It was during the Vietnam War and the draft but after the war he applied for both types of jobs and only got one teaching offer in California.

5:12 he took a job at Cal State LA in service learning. He wanted to do journalism, not higher education.

5:47 He did what he could with different publications and media relations, helping coordinate different interviews and things. That experience gave him a completely different perspective on journalism and the way stories were produced. It also helped him to get to know people in the industry.

7:20 In 1969 he decided that if he couldn’t get into the newsroom he wanted to have an impact on the newsroom by becoming a journalism professor.

(awareness of minorities in journalism in connection with parents work?)

8:05 It was an integration generation but you couldn’t play that racial card. He was a trailblazer because he was the first latin American to do everything that he wanted to do. (Editor of school paper, etc.)

9:11 He knew there was a need to break through, but it was by showing that you could do everything you were expected to do.

9:32 When he saw the media trying to make sense of racial issues and being unable to explain things or understand, he realized that there was a larger agenda that needed to be brought up. That led to the government reports as well.

10:32 “Media had always been an issue for us, but we hadn’t always been an issue for media” and that led him to journalism education.

(What was your thinking about future generations of minorities as you went into journalism education?)

11:10 He was able to see both sides of the coin of Affirmative Action. That kept him from getting a job beforehand, and got him a job as an assistant dean at Stanford 1969. You had to grab the opportunity while you could. Learn what you can learn, but use it to advance what’s important to you.

13:10 He made a conscious decision to get into higher education.

(Did you continue to see the need to address diversity in higher education?)

13:57 The difference between assimilation, integration, and full participation.

15:07 The power that comes with an advanced degree. Redefining knowledge in new ways

16:14 Talks about his first job teaching at Cal State Northridge and wanting students to have a different experience than he did.

(Diversity was always your focus)

17:14 People always approached him saying “Why would you do that?” It wasn’t “don’t”.

(The practice of dominant culture to keep minorities accomplishments in the shadows)

19:00 Those minority facts of history were used as a footnote, nothing more.

(the advocacy and mentoring in his teaching)

20:01 It wasn’t a factor in his career until he got into a PhD program. But he never intended to forget about the fact that he was a Mexican American.

22:09 He joined AEJMC because there was a minority division that allowed him in. It provided him with a new perspective and helped him to see that he wasn’t alone in his interests regarding racial issues.

24:18 The process about how he got a paper accepted to AEJMC for the first time in 1976.

25:22 His first experience at AEJMC. Seeing things as a wider movement and not just a black and white issue. It was his first exposure to how the mentoring and structure works in academia.

(Challenges that you’ve had)

27:20 The first challenge is to produce. It’s all about being able to deliver and providing the information that’s needed.

29:08 You feel lonely when you’re out there doing work and you’re not sure what you’re going to find or whether people are going to be interested in it or not. That’s where AEJMC comes in.

30:09 With hiring it’s more difficult because people kept saying that there weren’t qualified candidates.

31:25 Corporations started diversity programs and looked to people like him for help.

32:28 Broadcasting was different because they were under federal regulation.

(How has the struggle changed over time?)

33:14 It’s gone from uni-dimensional on both sides to multi-dimensional on both sides. All different minorities, gender, and sexual orientation. You have to know your own base before you go into forming coalitions. The demographics of the country is changing as well.

35:08 Journalism education is still stuck on an integration model and need to look more at the breadth of opportunities available.

(Academia diversity challenges)

36:34 “I don’t put any blame on higher education” It’s got to be based on alliances and what your allies are doing.

37:26 Higher education is changing. It’s fantastically expensive. Professors are also being pulled away from teaching to writing and research.

(Polarization and where things are with diversity and racism)

39:44 We’re at a critical point and an assimilation point. It’s a matter of numbers and majorities regardless of the fact that this country is all immigrants. We need to expand participation. Signs in English only.

41:30 The similarities between Underground Railroad and Central American migration now.

42:50 By going to the segmented “niche” market media we are losing ground and practicing selective exposure. And it is becoming very polarizing

43:57 The biggest roles he’s had are as a Teacher, Scholar, and Advocate and anyone interested in furthering these ideals has to play all three. Scholar needs to document beyond the rhetoric. From broad sweep to specifics. Look for ways to help others and it’s a way of life.

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity

Trailblazers of Diversity – Ray Chavez

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity in Journalism Education

Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication

School of Journalism

University of Texas at Austin

The purpose of this index is to mark the themes that have emerged in the interviews conducted so far. From these indexes we will develop an extensive guide of the areas to be covered in the interviewer’s story of the interview subject – and where the viewer/listener can find them.
We ask you watch the interview and give descriptions about what the interview has to say about the issues listed here. We ask you to note any NEW topics that you find in the interview – issues that are not included in this index. YOU MUST INCLUDE COUNTER OR TIMES. At the end of the index you will find a section for your comments of the interviewer in general, the interviewer and your suggestions for improvements in further interviews. We also ask you to give us your opinion on whether this interview is a good subject to be contacted for the second-level interviews.
Lastly, we appreciate feedback on this index so that we can revise future forms.

Interview Subject: Ray Chavez
Interviewer: Martin do Nascimento
Interview date: 4/18/2014
Number of Recorded Segments: 3
Interview length: 02:07:34
Language: English
Reviewer: Carlos Morales
Date of review for index: 7/1/14

Table of Contents:
Early experiences in journalism (3-8)
From the Classroom to the Newsroom (8-9)
Journalism and Diversity (9-14)
AEJMC (14-17)
Diversity in Academia (17-18)
Different Academic Positions Held (18-20)
Realization about Diversity (20-22)
Diversity Now (20-23)
Accolades/End (22-23)

Early Experiences in Journalism:
0:00 – 2:48 Preamble and introductions
3:08 Chavez says he got into journalism by accident.
3:13 The high school that Chavez went to in El Paso, Texas was a technical high school.

3:29 While he was there he had to pick a shop and he chose architectural drafting. He was hopeful that this career path would get him a job right away.

3:41 Chavez didn’t have plans to go to college right away after graduation.

3:55 On top of the drafting class, Chavez also took a journalism class, but he didn’t do very much writing.

4:12 He wrote copy for the yearbook, but mainly did bookkeeping.

4:15 However, he “didn’t get hooked on journalism or even thought of it as a career”

4:20 Chavez adds that these technical schools were allowed to have athletic teams and compete against the regular high schools in the city and the state.

4:37 Chavez was a good distant runner and eventually won the state championship
4:51 As a result he received many scholarship offers. “Not for my brains, not for my head – but for my legs”

5:00 That’s how Chavez ended up in Texas Tech University. He received a full-ride track scholarship.

5:06 Chavez needed to decide on a major and chose architecture. His first semester was a disaster, he said.

5:26 Chavez was in danger of losing his scholarship because his GPA was dipping.

5:33 A counselor asked Chavez what he liked doing and he said “writing and sports” – so they combined the two and he took journalism courses.

6:02 That’s how Chavez stumbled into journalism

6:18 The reality, Chavez says, is that he never really did that much sports writing

6:40 (quick break to turn off ceiling fan)

7:12 Chaves says that he really enjoyed the writing classes, because that’s where he excelled.

7:19 Chavez’s older brother is the one who taught him English since their parents didn’t know much English themselves.

7:56 Chavez took photography. He says it provided a creative outlet for him

8:04 What really got him hooked, Chavez says, was working on the school newspaper. “Once I got on the staff there, I really enjoyed going out and doing stories.”

8:41 Chavez has been told that he was the first Latino to be on the news staff at the Texas Tech University Daily. When he researched this claim he wasn’t able to find any Spanish surnames on the daily before him.

9:09 He found this interesting because he knew there were others who had the talent and the skills.

9:17 “I looked around me in my newsroom and discovered that, yeah, I was the only Latino and there weren’t any in the pipeline.”

9:29 Chavez says that he was treated well by the staff and the student editor.

9:39 At that time, Chavez remembers, most of the stories that were about minorities were about East Lubbock – the area where most of the African Americans lived.

9:52 More of the minority-related stories were about African-Americans

10:03 There wasn’t a lot of coverage on Latinos, Chavez says. “Most of the Latinos that were in Lubbock area at that time, in the panhandle and the south plains, were migrant workers.”

10:15 Chavez says that since they were transitory they didn’t really establish themselves in the community – that came later.

10:24 Because of that Chavez was unable to make use of his knowledge of the Spanish language or of the Spanish community.

10:32 That’s how he ended up doing many stories on African-Americans.

10:44 By the time he graduated there was another Hispanic in the pipeline. His name was Robert Montamayor

10:52 Chaves says he might be familiar to some of his colleagues because he went on to become the first Latino executive editor of the University daily at Texas Tech.

11:12 In Montamayor’s career he went on to become a Pulitzer winner at the Los Angeles Times.

11:35 Chavez says Montamayor would’ve succeeded without any of his advice

11:43 Chavez says their friendship allowed him to criticize him and his work, provide him with a path.

12:30 Chavez says Montamayor would’ve been successful without him – but he hopes he “made it a little bit easier”

12:51 The newsroom, Chavez says, was a sanctuary for him.

12:58 That is where he had the respect of his fellow staffmembers.

13:09 At a closing banquet during his senior year, Chavez received an award for being the stop staff member of the paper.

13:53 Texas Tech and Lubbock – however – was a different story, Chavez said.

14:03 The environment has changed over the years and he says it’s a better place for minorities in general, especially Latinos who have taken up a more permanent residence in the area.

14:13 It was difficult, Chaves says, because he had to deal with the “ultra-conservative, sometimes backwards and sometimes bigoted community of Lubbock.”

14:31 Getting off campus was a challenge. That’s where Chavez would encounter individuals who would either ignore him or make snide remarks.

14:48 Chavez recounts a story

14:48 His freshman year, Chavez decided that he’d had enough was going back to El Paso. Fortunately, he says, his roommate – Lance Harter – convinced him to stay in Lubbock – the two stayed up all night talking. They remain friends today

16:14 Chavez says he always recognizes Harter as the guy who convinced him to stay at Texas Tech and “tough it out.”

16:44 Chavez says that you had to have an internship in order to graduate.

16:52 He was having a hard time finding a place to intern. He needed to look beyong Lubbock and go to the South Plains area.

16:55 The Lubbock Avalanche Journal he says was ultra-conservative. “They probably did not want to take me on as an intern because how could I possibly be the best intern available form Texas Tech at that time?”

17:21 Chavez was fortunate to get a phone call from the executive editor of a paper that was distributed in the black section of town.

17:34 The executive editor had called because he had read Chavez’s articles and wanted to know if he was interested working part time for the West Texas Times.

17:59 As a result, Chavez ended up interning there.

18:05 All of this, he recalls, was part of his education.

18:10 Chavez worked what was essentially the ghetto at that time

18:16 He says the black folks didn’t get the connection – was he really with the black newspaper?

18:25 Chavez says it was tremendous experience – It expanded his horizons and convinced him of the need for diversity.

18:39 The mainstream newspaper – the Avalanche Journal – was not covering East Lubbock. The West Texas Times was. This forced Chavez to ask himself, why did they have to establish their own newspaper to get information out to their community? And why was the mainstream paper ignoring this community.

18:59 It allowed Chavez to think about diversity in terms of more than what’s happening to Latinos.

19:40 This was the “seminal moment” that Chavez became aware of the need for more diversity.

19:45 Chavez’s coursework at Texas Tech had led him to start developing ideas beyond his personal experience. For example, he took a lot of courses in African-American studies.

20:00 History became one of Chavez’s areas of interest. He even became trained at the University of Washington as a journalism historian

20:10 In taking those courses, Chavez says, he began to learn more and more about the history of African-Americans.

20:18 TJ Patterson – who owned the West Texas Times – was also a business professor at Texas Tech.

20:30 Chavez says he learned more than journalism from Patterson. He “learned about the economics of the black community.”

20:42 His experience on the West Texas Times influenced him to take a broader diversity of coursework.

21:41 “In some ways growing up in El Paso was isolating because the majority of the population in El Paso is Latino.” Chavez grew up in the             barrio ­­– his high school was 95 percent Hispanic.

22:17 His interaction with white people he says was minimal. Because of this, Chavez says, he didn’t notice a lot of discrimination

22:20 Even though he never noticed discrimination, Chavez says he did notice inequality. “Very few of the shakers…were Latino.” Most of the population, Chavez added, was Latino, but the leadership was white.

22:45 Going to Lubbock was eye-opening for Chavez.

22:55 “That change, that reality was really what most of America was like, as opposed to the Southwest.”

23:04 Chavez says this was the “catalyst” that made him think about what he could do for his community and how to educate them about diversity

23:26 His experience with the Black community furthered that

24:09 Chavez’s dad was an “avid newspaper reader”

24:14 His family subscribed to the daily newspaper

24:18 Sundays specifically we’re a ritual of sorts. “We would sit around and take pieces, different portions of the newspaper”

24:42 It was an English newspaper. But since Chavez’s grandfather only knew Spanish they would also get the Spanish newspaper.

24:56 Chavez read mostly the English newspaper because his dad wanted him to learn English. Occasionally, he would try to read the Spanish editions.

25:23 Chavez’s grandmother was blind so she listened to a lot of radio. And the radio she listened to was the Spanish-language station.

25:38 “There was always Latino music in our house”

25:56 Chavez says that his news and information was coming from a variety of sources.

26:11 He adds that his family also watched television together. They’d mainly watch the Spanish-language stations from Juarez.

From the Classroom to the Newsroom

27:12 Chavez had a job offer before graduation

27:30 During his junior and senior year he was working for the school newspaper and the West Texas Times.

27:40 The offer Chavez received was from his hometown of El Paso, Texas.

27:53 Chavez didn’t go through his commencement exercises at Tech because after his last final he had to head to El Paso to start work.

28:39 This is where Chavez’s professional career began.

28:47 Chavez says he was fortunate that his first job was in El Paso because he already knew the community.

29:12 From there Chavez worked for several other newspapers

29:12 The Seattle Times (where he worked during graduate school at the University of Washington).

29:32 After that he worked for the Yakama Herald Republic in eastern Washington state.

29:45 Chavez said he would’ve stayed there, but what drove him away was the eruption of Mount St. Helens

39:48 Chavez says that the eruption was a great event to cover as a journalist, but was a terrible personal experience.

30:04 The ash cloud dumped all of its volcanic ash in the Yakama valley and Chavez was highly allergic to it. “I was miserable physically. I didn’t want to raise my family in that environment”

30:36 As a result, Chavez took the first job available, which happened to be a teaching position.

30:39 He ended up teaching at San Jose State University.

31:01 Chavez thought he would try teaching for a while.

31:14 Chavez also worked at the Albuquerque Tribune, and the Miami Herald during a summer.

31:40 “Something kept pulling me back – not only to journalism but to education.”

31:44 Chavez says it was UT El Paso that brought him back

31:49 The university offered him a job as the advisor to the student newspaper

31:53 Chavez said it was a great experience. It was the first time he advised a student newspaper

32:01 “And to have it happen in El Paso where the majority of the staff were Latinos, first generation college students – I did not appreciate their talent until many years later.”

32:22 Chavez says that the first staff he had was committed and talented. Most of them – he adds – have gone on to continue their careers in journalism.

Journalism and Diversity

33:32 In Washington state, Chavez says, the largest minority group was Asian-American.

34:04 Chavez says he liked working in this community because he wanted to “open up more of the Seattle Times’ coverage in that area”

34:22 As he did in Lubbock with the black community, Chavez felt this was an opportunity to learn more about Asian Americans.

34:32 Chavez says that the stories he wrote weren’t “blockbuster news stories” but more “slice of life culturally related stories.”

34:51 Chavez adds that these stories were to explain to the Seattle community more about the Asian-American community. For example, he did a story on Japanese gardens

35:01 The international district, Chavez says, didn’t have much character – “it was just buildings, sidewalks and streets”

35:22 Through learning about the community, Chavez realized that the Japanese-Americans like to garden – but there’s no room, so they garden on the rooftops.

35:40 Nobody knows about it except for the people in the community, Chavez says.

36:18 Chavez says that he takes particular pride in those stories.

36:24 Now in Yakama Valley, Chavez wrote about migrant workers. He adds that his managing editor Jim Macknekey wanted to expand coverage and make use of Chavez’s bilingual ability.

36:45 Chavez says he takes particular pride in a series of stories he did about migrant workers coming to the Yakama valley.

37:03 Most people didn’t know about this community because they were transitory

37:12 Chavez was able to go into the fields with them, they accepted and trusted him.

37:40 Chavez says that he got in touch with his native roots

37:52 The other large minority population are indigenous – the Yakamas. Chavez started doing stories on the Yakama Indian nation.

38:02 “The greatest reward that I got form the Yakamas was not a plaque or a trophy…I was invited to the opening of their Indian cultural center.”

38:23 Chavez thought he was invited because he was a reporter, but he was there to be honored for his contributions to the Indian community.

39:26 That meant more to Chavez than many of the types of awards that he would get later on.

39:50 “It affirmed, it validated my value to that community.”

41:00 “Regardless of who you are and what your background is, you tend to be ethnocentric”

41:12 Chavez says he’s no different’ from anybody else. He identifies with the Latino community, with the American Indian community (and because of his coverage) with the Black and Asian community

41:30 But the priority for Chavez remains in being Hispanic and covering Hispanic issues.

41:34 “And that’s true of newsrooms because newsrooms are made up of individuals and these individuals come from their own communities. And when you have a newsroom that is predominantly white, they’re going to rely on their own background and their own sources.”

42:00 Chavez adds that news people are “open minded” and not bigoted, but they do tend to fallback on what makes them comfortable – “that’s just human nature”

42:22 Chavez says that his contribution to the newsroom was to encourage his colleagues to think in broader terms

42:41 Thinking about this different communities leads to thinking about poor communities.

42:48 When the poor community is covered, Chavez says, it’s about crime

43:18 The news is there the second there’s a drug bust, Chavez says, but doesn’t go into these communities to cover important events like graduation.

43:27 “That bothers me because that community exists on a day-to-day basis and on a day-to-day basis most of these people are decent, upright law-abiding citizens who do things in their communities that are worth news coverage”

43:58 When Chavez got back in the newsroom after leaving UTEP, he began work at The Albuquerque Tribune

44:19 Like El Paso, Albuquerque is predominantly Hispanic

44:19 At the Tribune Chavez was an assistant city editor

44:28 He worked with his city editor to expand news coverage along more positive lines in the Latino community.

44:35 After that Chavez was sent back to El Paso to work for the El Paso Herald Post

44:46 A few months later he was promoted to city manager – he was now in a position “to make decisions on what we cover and what we don’t cover.”

45:03 His staff was very supportive

45:26 Chavez says he belives they changed the culture. “I think the Herald-Post became known as the newspaper for the minority community”

45:43 Chavez clarifies that some of these stories were negative.

45:51 These stories mainly included drug-trafficking, Chavez adds.

46:08 Chavez says he had to rescue a photographer that had been arrested by some of the federal police in Juarez who were connected to the drug trade.

46:50 “We did do those stories because it was news but we did a number of other stories were I got to decide what the priority was”

47:01 One of these stories, Chavez says, was called the Streets of El Paso and focused on a “slice of life” story

47:51 Chavez says that he was blessed to have a staff that energetic and devoted to community service.

48:53 As a newsperson, Chavez said, you can’t be driven by “popularity.”

49:12 Chavez says that some of the most negative comments he received was from Latinos

49:19 These comments came from when they wrote articles critical of events happening in their neighborhood.

49:35 For example, Chavez says, there was a story about “shooting galleries” – abandoned houses where heroin addicts go to shoot up.

49:58 This was mainly happening in the southside of El Paso in the Segundo barrio – the second ward.

50:05 Chavez says this was a well known occurrence to city officials and police.

50:21 When his reporters came back and told Chavez what was going on he said if this happened in the affluent side of town something would’ve been done.

50:50 immediately they did stories on this

50:55 Chavez says that they came under fire from the Latino community for photographs they printed – specifically one of a teenage boy in the “shooting gallery” actually shooting up.

51:33 The community was wondering how they could take this photo and not stop him

51:51 “The reason, the motivation behind it was to shock the community so they would put pressure on the city to clean it up – and that’s exactly what happened.”

52:01 During that process, however, Chavez says they received lots of criticism.

53:07 Chavez says that his personal motivation to highlight these shooting galleries was because he felt they were an insult to his grandmother – who used to live in that neighborhood.

53:5 One of the things that Montamayor did at Tech was to change the logo to the student newspaper from “Official student publication of Texas Tech University” to “It is the purpose of this newspaper to raise constructive hell”

54:18 This means that you’re raising issues that will upset people but if it leads down the road to a betterment of that community – then you’ve done your job.

54:41 “Those are the kinds of stories that journalists should do”

54:49 In the long run, Chavez says, if the end result of your reporting leads to a betterment of the community then you did your job.

55:10 Chavez says that’s what lacking in today’s coverage.

55:31 The staff was generally supportive of the changes in coverage, Chavez says.

55:56 News organizations, Chavez adds, like to have a “template” for their newspaper. “Most of the time they’re thinking in terms of the bottom line – the income, the fiscal health of the newspaper”

56:18 Chavez says that representatives from Scripts-Howard (owners) visited the staff to talk about some of the things they should be doing.

56:47 The presentation from the representatives went touched on “lifestyle issues”

56:56 They told Chavez and his staff that they needed to cover things that people could do after work and things about health.

57:24 They also suggested doing more stories about daycare

57:42 These representatives from Script-Howard were from Cincinnati, which is very different from El Paso. At one point, Chavez says, a veteran reporter says ‘We have to stop you – this is a blue collar town…when they get home from work they’re not going to work”

58:13 To write these stories about gyms and fitness centers, Chavez said, you’re only speaking to a small group of people.

58:55 The next reporter said that the daycares in El Paso were primarily relatives or maids who doubled as nannies.

59:59 Chavez said they felt insulted that the Scripts-Howard people offer advice after having done little to no research on the El Paso community

1:00:35 Chavez and the rest of the staff walked out

1:01:00 These are the types of things that exist within newsrooms, Chavez says

1:01:19 These companies – like Scripts-Howard — promote their editors mostly based on the fiscal health of the newspaper and where they fall in line with standards of the corporation, not the community.

1:02:06 “Our executive editor came from Knoxville. He had a good heart and right intentions but it took him a long time to understand El Paso – it’s a unique setting along the border.”

Treatment of Diverse Groups

1:03:41 The women that Chavez has worked for and with did not get paid as well as the mend. “Equity in pay is still a major issue”

1:04:14 Chavez says that gay issues are still being debated. He doesn’t think that individuals are judged but that newsrooms have a hard time dealing with gay issues.

1:04:42 It wasn’t addressed during Chavez’s time in the newsroom

1:04:49 “It’s an issue I try to address in my teaching, in my classes.”

1:05:05 He says there’s also a generational push. The current generation is more open minded and tolerant, he says, especially in the Hispanic community.

1:05:34 Chavez says in his experience he doesn’t know of any conflict of having gay reporters in the newsroom.

1:06:08 “When you have that good mix in the newsroom, ethnic and racial mix, it leads to other issues, a good mix of men and women.”

1:06:25 Chavez likens a newsroom to a family

1:07:09 Journalists, Chavez says, move on, unlike people in academia.

1:07:19 Chavez also did radio for a little while too.

1:07:28 He did bilingual broadcasts at UT El Paso. It was called El Paso Adelante. The first half-hour was in English and the second in Spanish.

1:08:53 Chavez has been a member of AEJMC off and on for years. This is because he’s bounced back and forth between the newsroom and academia

1:09:12 He’s also a member of the accrediting council – there’s AEJMC and there’s ACEJMC

1:09:24 That branch, Chavez says, accredits journalism and mass communication programs across the country.

1:09:41 AEJMC is an important organization, Chavez says. “It’s a good vehicle for people to share ideas and innovations.”

1:10:10 Chavez says it’s similar to a continuing education. It keeps us up to date, Chavez adds.

1:10:28 At these conferences, Chavez “steals” good ideas from other people and incorporates it into his teaching

1:10:55 (Clip breaks)

1:11:45 If you’re a professor you don’t have to be a member of AEJMC – but it’s beneficial

1:12:07 If you teach mainly skills courses AEJMC is probably not as useful to you. It is, however, if you are a researcher

1:12:29 Most of the papers that are introduced in their conferences are research oriented

1:12:32 Those that “came up through the ranks of the news business” rely on newsroom experiences to help with the skills courses.

1:12:55 Chavez says AEJMC is more helpful for him when he teaches courses that are connected to his research areas.

1:13:31 The first time Chavez joined he was a graduate student.

1:13:38 That was mainly because AEJMC held their national conference in Washington that year – Chavez saw this as a good opportunity to 1) see the research that was being done and 2) establish a network

1:14:36 “I joined because my mentor, professor Robert Simpsons at the University of Washington, recommended that I join.”

1:14:55 Chavez was able to present his research at this conference. His paper was about the history of Spanish-language journalism in the Pacific Northwest. This would eventually become his thesis.

1:15:20 The history of these Spanish-language journalism in southwest states is well documented, Chavez says.

1:15:45 He dropped membership when he graduated from the University of Washington.

1:15:50 He rejoined when he began teaching at San Jose State University.

1:16:26 Chavez’s first experience with the organization was critical

1:16:48 Most of his classes at Texas Tech and Washington dealt with mainstream media and very little about non-mainstream, “minority” media

1:17:10 These are the things that Chavez had to research on his own or learn about from other faculty members.

1:18:09 Chavez says that there are people in academia who won’t admit to their shortcomings, e.g. when they don’t know.

1:18:33 “AEJMC, If I were to criticize sometimes falls into that pattern,” Chavez explains, adding that the further you get in research/studies “you sometimes become a little bit more narrow”

1:19:29 This pattern has – in some ways – stayed the same.

1:19:52 “When it comes to universities, the universities pretty much fall back on traditions. It’s a tradition-bound profession so they rely on traditional research.”

1:20:24 Non-traditional forms of research, like documentaries, aren’t as well accepted, Chavez adds. Institutions have gotten better he says, but it’ll take a couple more years before it becomes more accepted.

1:21:12 Chavez says the most productive change within AEJMC has been the production of more divisions and interest groups that address diversity issues

1:27:12 There are interest groups that can develop into divisions if enough people show particular interest in that area (Chavez says these can be a range of topics)

1:22:18 Chavez says that accreditation is an important process in this. “There are now more vehicles…that begin to push those kinds of issues onto the agenda”

1:22:22 He adds that being who we are, it’s difficult to get out of our comfort zones

1:22:58 “When you try to push those individuals to be more diverse in terms of ethnicity, race, gender, etc, it’s like pulling teeth.”

1:23:28 It becomes hard to convince people of the importance of diversity, Chavez says, especially if they already have tenure

1:24:15 Chavez further defines the differences between AEJMC and ACEJMC

1:24:18 The accrediting council is an offshoot. It’s the main accrediting vehicle, Chavez says, that can grant (or not) accreditation.

1:24:39 “They’re the ones that have a more direct impact on a program because they include a diversity standard. They have a number of standards they look at.”

1:24:48 When Chavez serves on accreditation teams he usually is assigned to look at their diversity among other things.

1:25:20 Chavez would like to see more aggressive action taken to not accredit programs that have great deficiencies in diversity.

1:25:38 He adds that there are very few – if any – programs that have lost accreditation because they failed the diversity standard.

1:26:02 AEJMC is a little more political, Chavez says. The organization’s membership needs to more aggressive pushing the diversity agenda.

1:26:30 This is important because we live in a nation that’s more diverse than it’s been before.

1:26:45 The AEJMC dates back to 1912

1:27:05 The group has come a long way, Chavez says, but still has much work to do to ensure that diversity becomes a “primary issue”

Experiences with Diversity in Academia

1:28:05 “I think he main criticism, the main deficiency is the curriculum where courses that address diversity are electives rather than required courses.”

1:28:36 Chavez adds that there should be, within required courses, a diversity element.

1:28:53 Chavez says that he’s seen some programs that faculty are required to incorporate diversity into their existing work.

1:29:10 He’s also seen the development of coursework that falls into the areas of electives, but are not required of students so the only ones who take those courses are the ones that are most interested in the subject

1:29:25 Chavez gives an example: If you have a course on women in the media the people who sign up are mainly going to be women – but it’s a course that would be of great benefit to male students.

1:29:51 This is something Chavez says he learned the hardway

1:30:06 At the University of Colorado, the Association for Women in Communications needed a faculty advisor and they couldn’t find one. Either because the women faculty members were already on so many committees or cause the male faculty members didn’t want to be advisors.

1:30:39 Chavez volunteered as advisor on a temporary basis

1:30:55 It turned out that Chavez learned a lot from this group. “They educated me as much as I think I educated them.”

1:31:18 The girls in the group wanted Chavez to stay on as a permanent advisor. During his time at the University of Colorado he maintained this position.

1:32:06 He went on to join the national group

1:32:27 It was another eye-opening opportunity for Chavez

1:32:42 “I think that’s part of the process – you have to get more faculty members do that sort of think…and for AEJMC to push those issues, to commit to community service in a broader sense, in a diverse sense.

1:33:11 (Short break in interview to fix dog’s collar)

Different positions in academia

1:33:40 Chavez has had several positions in academia. His first teaching experience was as a teaching assistant at the University of Washington.

1:34:12 He liked this experience. His advisor mentioned that he had positive evaluations as a TA and told Chavez to consider this as a possibility.

1:35:10 His first full-time teaching position was at San Jose State University

1:35:17 Chavez says he found that he had a connection with his students. He did this for 2 years.

1:35:38 His next role “was a kind of teaching position” as the advisor for the student newspaper at UTEP. As advisor you also taught one or two courses a semester.

1:36:07 Next: Chavez met several students from The University of Colorado at a conference in El Paso. When they returned to Boulder they mentioned to their dean that Chavez would be an excellent addition to their teaching staff.

1:36:42 Chavez was offered a position with Colorado University

1:37:04 When Chavez sat down with the dean to discuss what he’d be doing, he soon realized that there wasn’t a diversity component

1:37:07 He then proposed the establishment of an office of student diversity within the school of journalism. Chavez’s idea was approved and he was later appointed director.

1:37:30 It was a good opportunity, Chavez says, to bring together all his past experiences.

1:37:48 Within the Office of Student Diversity, Chavez created another group: MEMO – the Multi-Ethnic Media Organization

1:37:56 MEMO became the main organization for minority students, Chavez says.

1:38:15 MEMO did well. After Chavez left Colorado they kept the program

1:38:39 The group was a great support system for minorities in boulder, Chavez says

1:38:50 “Minorities there can sometimes feel uncomfortable because it’s not part of the culture of Boulder, Colorado. So it’s good that they have a home in MEMO that they can go to and mutually support each other.

1:39:10 After Colorado, Chavez went on to the University of South Dakota and “the creation of the American Indian Journalism Institute”

1:39:20 The most underrepresented group of journalists are Native Americans, according to Chavez – not only because they’re small in numbers but because Native Americans don’t pursue careers in mass communication.

1:39:39 Chavez, a friend of his – Jack Marsh of the Freedom Forum – and Danny McCulough – an Osage Indian who was teaching at the University of Montanta – got together to create the concept for the American Indian Journalism Institute.

1:40:13 This was to be an institute that could “act as kind of a boot camp to recruit American Indians and then give them initial training in journalism.”

1:40:24 They wanted to establish the institute at the University of South Dakota.

1:40:42 Jack Marsh recruited Chavez to be the chairman of the journalism program and also to be the education director for this institute.

1:41:26 When Chavez returned, his role as chairman gave him his “first opportunity to be a manager, primarily an administrator.”

1:41:51 He designed the curriculum for the AIJI boot camp. McCulough provided the recruitment, and Marsh provided the funding and the office support.

1:42:09 That program produced more American Indian journalists more than any previous program or any program since, according to Chavez.

1:42:27 This lead to an opportunity at the University of Oklahoma.

1:42:32 The University had heard about Chavez’s efforts in South Dakota and contacted him for an assistant professorship and to develop a similar program.

1:43:05 Chavez took the position.

1:43:33 Fred Blevins – a professor – had already created the program (The Oklahoma Institute for Diversity in Journalism), and Chavez came to help develop it.

1:43:53 When Blevins left, Chavez took over.

1:43:58 Chavez was hired for a year – and at the end of the year Oklahoma offered him a permanent position. That’s how Chavez ended up in Oklahoma.

1:44:30 Chavez was there for a little over seven years.

1:44:37 “That’s the whole academic aspect, but it’s always been about diversity – it’s always been the driving force and the driving motivation.”

Realization about diversity

1:45:02 Chavez says that it was at Texas Tech that he most likely began to understand the need for diversity in journalism and journalism education.

1:45:13 Being the only minority at the newspaper, Chavez said, made him recognize his differences and perspectives.

1:45:58 “I don’t like being a one-and-only because you don’t have many allies.”

1:46:06 Chavez said it was easier/better when there were other minorities

1:46:22 “That’s when I became aware that, if you’re going to have diversity in journalism you’re got to have diversity in faculties, too. You can’t teach what you don’t know.”

1:47:45 This idea, Chavez continues, is the main criticism he has of higher education. “There are not enough of us people of color, gay people – there’s a lot of women now in academia and I think that’s why women’s issues have risen to the forefront…But it’s mostly white women.”

1:48:53 It’s not in your experience unless you go out there and do it yourself, Chavez says, recounting his early experiences with the African-American community.

1:49:19 Chavez says that when he was working in the black community he went to church with them to learn more about their community. He goes on to say how he shared experiences with different communities.

1:50:25 “I learned to diversify my approaches to people in order to be more accepting, but I had to know about their lives.”

1:50:46 “It’s not just sympathy it’s empathy and in order to empathize you got to go to go do it.” Chavez says that’s the main problem with higher education.

1:51:44 Chavez says that recruitment is a major challenge that diversity in journalism faces.

1:52:15 A lot of minority groups, Chavez says, grow up in unconventional ways – not how people in academia come up.

1:52:50 “They are at a disadvantage at being hired for a full-time faculty position because in academia a Ph.D is often a required skill, a requirement for employment”

1:53:06 Chavez says that he likes to think that his Ph.D is from the “school of hard knocks.” He says his years in journalism and experiences give him an education that some haven’t had.

1:53:59 A lot of them are unprepared to teach diversity because they haven’t experienced it themselves, Chavez says. “The minorities are disadvantaged because they’re not recognized and appreciated for their unconventional ways of getting where they are.”

1:54:30 This is still a major fault – Chavez says – not just in journalism but “across the board.”

1:54:45 Chavez says his career in academia would’ve been much smoother had he had a Ph.D.
1:55:19 Despite the fact that Roger Simpson encouraged Chavez to continue his education, he had a family to provide for, so he took the first job that was offered – which ended up being the job in Yakama.

1:54:45 Once he began working full-time and had enough he realized he couldn’t go back for a Ph.D because it would be a strain on his family.

1:56:16 “Although I took some doctoral-level coursework at the University of Washington, I didn’t complete the Ph.D because I had those other priorities.”

Diversity now

1:57:48 Chavez says that this has always been a process of “taking two steps forward and then taking one step back.”

1:58:04 “We’re constantly swimming against the stream, we’re going upstream and if you stop swimming, the stream is going to take you down.” Chavez adds that this is the metaphor for what he sees in journalism and academia

1:58:28 You constantly have to fight to make progress – and it’s not easy, Chavez says. “It’s very hard to institute change, specially institutional change.”

1:58:50 Chavez says in the current situation he believes they’ve eased off on diversity as a priority.

1:59:05 The advancements made in diversity, Chavez says, can act as a detriment. They lead people to believe that it’s not an urgency anymore because there have been gains.

2:00:10 Affirmative action, Chavez says, never meant that you had to hire a minority. The good programs, he adds, are the ones that said you must give an “equal opportunity”

2:00:29 A good program will take into consideration a person as an individual, their background, and their unique set of skills – it’s not about having to hire a minority.

2:01:10 Covering diversity is a challenge, Chavez says. And all the news wants to write about is car chases.

2:01:55 Chavez says that news organization don’t go into depth, it’s surface-reporting

2:02:21 “We’re sliding back in order to do easy journalism and that’s not our job.”


2:02:58 In 2001 Chavez was honored by Texas Tech University as outstanding alum

2:03:24 As part of the award Chavez returned to Lubbock for an awards banquet.

2:03:51 Chavez was presented the award by TJ Patterson – the business professor that hired Chavez for the West Texas Times

2:04:35 Although Chavez is normally hesitant about receiving awards he says this one was special because of Patterson.

2:04:44 Chavez says Patterson’s speech revolved around a particular story Chavez did while working with the West Texas Times

2:04:47 It was about a scam that resulted in an 82-year-old woman having to give a woman back her house. After the article was published, the woman was returned to her home and Chavez wrote a follow up.

2:05:10 This woman was so grateful that Chavez was writing the story that when he showed up she embraced Chavez and gave him and told him thank you.

2:06:32 The plaque wasn’t about that one instance, Chavez says. He says it was really representative of his whole career – which started at Tech.

2:06:31 It started with the awakening that he “knew diversity was important.”

2:06:42 It was important, Chavez adds, that everyone become an agent of change – like Patterson, who helped to make Chavez an agent of change, too.

2:07:10 The plaque is a reminder of everything that led up to that event – the culmination of his experiences in journalism, Chavez says

AEJMC Trailblazers of Diversity

Tips from the AEJMC Teaching Committee

Capturing Students’ Attention

ThorntonBy Leslie-Jean Thornton
AEJMC Standing Committee on Teaching
Associate Professor
Barrett Honors Faculty
Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication
Arizona State University


(Article courtesy of AEJMC News, November 2015 issue)

Here’s what I remember: After 15 minutes of a lecture, students start to glaze over, attention-wise. After 30 minutes, they’re genuinely antsy with brains in rebellion. And at the dreaded 45-minute mark, they’re actually losing knowledge, and will leave the lecture less smart than they were when the lecture began. This was the highly memorable advice I recall from a teaching bootcamp I attended a decade ago. It may not be exactly accurate, but… it’s a cautionary tale. I often think of it when I’m at a conference and the speaker’s gone on too long. As I fight to focus, I’m pretty sure I feel smarts escaping out my ears.

A variety of studies have weighed in on the attention span issue, including a recent one widely sourced as being from the National Center for Biotechnology Information. It famously reported that humans now have an average attention span of 8.25 seconds, three-quarters of a second less than that of goldfish and 3.75 seconds shorter than what humans averaged in 2012. When I tried to track this down, however, I found a range of attributions, squishy research dates and nothing in the way of solid data. So consider it another one of many comments on how external stimuli are encroaching on our abilities to — wait, what?

The general consensus, in terms of workable information, is that the most attentive a student will be is at the beginning of a class, after a brief settling-in period. Then attention will come and go in ever-decreasing amounts of time — unless interrupted by something that is interesting, refreshing, or otherwise engaging. A question will often do it, or a demonstration. But much depends on a host of variables, many of which are out of a professor’s control. A class’s stay-on-task potential, as any teacher can tell you, is inversely related to the proximity of holidays and semester breaks.

The lecture mode of teaching has come in for hard knocks in recent times, partly as a result of genuine research into how people learn, and how long they can pay productive attention. Still, in the right hands and for the right class, and by employing some keep-them-attuned tips, it can be one of many powerful methods. A key factor in teaching effectiveness is how appropriate the delivery method is to what is being taught. If you’re teaching a complex skill — how to create an interactive digital infographic, say — you’re going to want to go step by step, pausing often to let material sink in, and reinforcing it with “doing” (that would be the students) and showing (that would be you).

Take advantage of the “settling in” period. In those first few minutes of class, connect with the students in some way. This might be asking the class at large how their weekends went, telling them a lighthearted piece of news about yourself, or relaying some breaking news you heard on the way in and asking them if they know anything more. Direct their focus toward you, the teacher, in a way that makes them want to absorb what you say. During the settling-in time, expect them to wrap up their own conversations and do whatever’s needed to prepare for a productive time in class. Bonus: It tends to relax the professor, too. Caution: Don’t announce important information during this time if you can avoid it. If you do, expect to repeat it so that they hear it during a clearly designated pay-attention time.

The idea of “chunking” information, or delivering it in neat packages of easily absorbed units of time and complexity, can apply to all presentation genres. The increasing use of videos for online instruction has spurred inquiry into best practices. Good results are reported for videos that clock in under 10 minutes, and I’ve seen substantive points made in half that time. Of course, the advantage there is that students can replay segments when they want to clarify or review. In real life, it’s there and it’s gone. Traditionally, notes are the review materials, but they’re only good if the student taking the notes knows what’s going on when the notes are taken. Offering material incrementally, pausing to let students absorb each stage, and helping them stay clearly focused is just part of basic good teaching.

So what are some tips for that “clearly focused” part?

It might sound counter-intuitive in light of many, many complaints about technology and social media encroaching on class time and attention, but why not harness some of that to your own ends? Keeping in mind that a change in pace every 10 or 15 minutes is beneficial, and that engaging your students wakes them up and gives them “buy in” to what you’re doing, think about information races. Ask a question and see how long it takes for them to come up with answers — good, credible answers — using their smart phones or computers.

If your class lends itself to sending students outside of the classroom, work in movement breaks. Teaching reporting? Give them 15 minutes to go out and find a story seed after taking about 15 minutes to explain what you mean. Have them take notes with their cellphone cameras, or record a mini-interview with the same device. Then, once back in class, explain how that can be used in what you intended to teach them all along. Have them work at it for awhile, then, informally, have several students share their experiences. Then perhaps it’s time for another 15-minute session where you explain the next step…

Working in modules works. The key is another one of those teaching-skill tricks: matching the complexity of what you’re teaching to the complexity your students can handle at the time. But that’s another column.

Teaching Corner