GJR book review: Book traces ASNE’s efforts to advance newsroom diversity

BY MICHAEL D. MURRAY / Professor Gwyneth Mellinger has written a thoughtful, thorough account of the efforts of U.S. newspapers to achieve newsroom diversity through the work of the American Society of Newspaper Editors (ASNE). The book is published as part of the University of Illinois History of Communication series, edited by Robert McChesney and John Nerone. To demonstrate the extent to which prejudicial hiring practices were embedded in certain places, Mellinger begins her introduction to the book with a discussion of one response to President Harry Truman’s proposals to reform America with a mandate for fair employment practices, outlaw of the poll tax, integrating the military and making lynching a federal crime.

CBS' ongoing coverage of Columbia Tribune sports editor murder

Looking for a long-term commitment in covering a complicated local crime story? As the skeptics say, “Good luck with that!” So it’s well worth noting that both Columbia, Mo., daily newspapers have weighed in recently on the long-term, multiple-part commitment by CBS’ “48 Hours” in covering the 2001 murder case of Columbia Tribune sports editor and popular University of Missouri Journalism School alum Kent Heitholt.

Book spotlights St. Louis radio, TV legends

Let’s face it. Any book with Harry Caray on the cover “behind the mike” is going to attract attention in St. Louis – and maybe north of the Gateway Arch, too. And any book about the history of local broadcasting compiled by Frank Absher, known for developing Media Archives, is going to be well worth a look. Absher has put together an excellent collection of illuminating photos and supplementary material for the “Images of America” series, his second about broadcasting for Arcadia, specializing in visual works, focusing on local history.

Seigenthaler fights for First Amendment

Just before Oprah Winfrey made the move to cable television from her popular national commercial broadcast syndication program in May 2011, she aired a show titled “American Heroes: The Freedom Riders Unite 50 Years Later.” That program revisited events depicted in an award-winning PBS documentary “Freedom Riders.” Guests were introduced as “heroes” but could have been termed “survivors” of that bloody era, when many Civil Rights activists were assaulted and some murdered.