Is the Projo the Whitest Metro Newspaper in America?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

 

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The Providence Journal currently does not employ a minority reporter or editor. For the daily newspaper in an urban community that is majority-minority, the lack of any representation in the newsroom is stark contrast to the community it covers. 

In 2015, the Providence Journal wrote a multi-piece series titled "Race in Rhode Island," but now less than two years later, the last minority reporter, Alisha Pina, has resigned and taken a job in public relations for the State of Rhode Island.

“I was saddened to see Alisha Pina move on. While our communities have become more diverse in cultures, races and languages spoken, the newsrooms made up of people of color have reduced drastically,” said Ann Clanton of the National Association of Black Journalists, New England Chapter.

National Picture

The percentage of minorities working as reporters in newsrooms across the county is flat or slightly increased, according to recent studies.

“The annual survey also found that 28 percent of the news organizations reported having at least one minority journalist among their top three editors and 77 percent reported having at least one woman in a top-three position,” reported ASNE - the survey is funded by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Minority journalists comprised 17 percent of the workforce in newsrooms that responded to this year's ASNE Diversity Survey.

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Jim Vincent, Providence Chapter of the NAACP

A 2014 study conducted by the American Press Institute and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that only 25 percent of African-Americans and 33 percent of Hispanics said they felt the media accurately reflected their community — according to a story in Salon.

"There’s no [minorities] that I know of (at the Providence Journal),” said Jim Vincent, President of the NAACP Providence Branch. "I would think it’s something on their radar screen, and they’re actively recruiting people of color at all levels — I’m trusting that they’re actively engaged."

The Providence Journal recently offered a buyout package to its newsroom. On Thursday, John Hill, head of the Providence Newspaper Guild told GoLocal that Deputy Executive Editor Peter Phipps, reporter Karen Lee Ziner, and one unidentified reporter had accepted the buyout package. It is expected that Providence Journal will have additional layoffs.  

“With the exit of our friend Pina from the Providence Journal, I am concerned about the media-wide apathy, lack of resources - hiring of people of color. I urge the managing editors, newsrooms to reach out to the Journalism Departments and schools at our Historical Black Colleges and Universities and the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists,” said Clanton.  

 

Related Slideshow: Where the Former Projo Stars Are Today

Take a look at where the top Providence Journal writers and reporters from the 1990s and 2000s are now reporting. UPDATED April, 2017

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AP

Scott Mayerowitz

Airlines Reporter for Associated Press

Formerly ABC News correspondent - he is often the expert being quoted around airline strikes to plance crashes.

Photo: News Media Guild

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NY Times

Dan Barry

New York Times

Barry was part of the young gun investigative group at the Journal in the early 1990s that won a Pulitzer for the investigation into Chief Justice Thomas Fay, and also investigated Cianci’s Nick Ricamo and others.

He was a Pulitzer Feature Writing finalist at the NY Times for his portfolio of "closely observed pieces that movingly capture how the great recession is changing lives and relationships in America.”

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Boston Globe

Christopher Rowland

Washington Bureau Chief at the Boston Globe

He also has served as Metro political editor and as a healthcare reporter on the Business Desk.

Rowland covered Providence City Hall (among a number of assignments) during his Projo years. 

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LA Times (formerly)

Dean Starkman

Teaching in Hungry

Starkman previously was an editor at Columbia Journalism Review, Wall Street Journal and GoLocal. Starkman was part of the investigative team in 1994 at the Projo that won a Pulitzer.

An award-winning journalist and media critic, he is the author of 2014's “The Watchdog That Didn’t Bark: The Financial Crisis and the Disappearance of Investigative Journalism.” Before leaving for Europe he was the Wall Street reporter for the LA Times.

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USA Today (formerly

Tom Frank

CNN Now

Since leaving the Providence Journal, he has had stints at Long Island's Newsday and The Denver Post.

At USA Today, Frank was a 2012 Pulitzer finalist "for his sharply focused exploration of inflated pensions for state and local employees, enhancing stories with graphic material to show how state legislators pump up retirement benefits in creative but unconscionable ways."

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The Weekly Standard

Philip Terzian

The Weekly Standard

Terzian is literary editor of The Weekly Standard. In the 1990's he served as the editorial page writer for the Providence Journal.  In his career, he has been a writer and editor at Reuters, newspapers in Alabama and Kentucky, the New Republic, and the Los Angeles Times.

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Wall Street Journal

Jennifer Levitz

Wall Street Journal 

She was a pitbull State House reporter at the Providence Journal and has made a mark at the New England office of the Wall Street Journal. 

She was part of the reporting team that was a Pulitzer Finalist in 2014 for a series called "Deadly Medicine," a stellar reporting project that documented the significant cancer risk to women of a common surgery and prompted a change in the prescribed medical treatment.

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Washington Post

Kevin Sullivan

Washington Post

Once the State House reporter at the Providence Journal, today at the Post, Kevin is a longtime foreign correspondent who has been based in Tokyo, Mexico City and London, and also served as the Post’s Sunday and Features Editor.

He won a Pulitzer for international reporting with the Post in 2003, along with Mary Jordan, for their "exposure of horrific conditions in Mexico's criminal justice system and how they affect the daily lives of people."

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NY Times

C.J. Chivers

New York Times

Pulitzer Prize winner in 2017.

Chivers is a foreign correspondent for the New York Times, where he "contributes to the Foreign and Investigative desks of The Times on conflict, politics, crime and human rights from Syria, Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq, Russia, Georgia, Chechnya and elsewhere on a wide range of assignments."

His assignments are far from his political coverage in Providence City Hall and the State House.

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Boston Globe

Cynthia Needham

Boston Globe

Today she serves as the political editor at the Globe and oversees coverage of the State House, City Hall, and Massachusetts politics. She was a political and State House reporter at the Providence Journal.

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AP

Steve Peoples

Associated Press

Peoples has become a top political reporter and the lead on Presidential coverage at the Associated Press. In 2012, he covered the Mitt Romney campaign.  After he left the Providence Journal he covered politics for Roll Call and contributed to GoLocal.

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Computer World

Ken Mingis

Executive Editor, News and Strategy at Computer World

Mingis has risen through the ranks at the high tech pub and has served as the Apple expert and the online editor for Computer World, which is a different world from being the lead city reporter cover Buddy Cianci in the 1990s. He was the reporter who broke the infamous DiPrete Cranston Land Deal.

 
 

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