Tracie Powell



How ‘Washington Watch with Roland Martin’ succeeds

Roland Martin is always multitasking. He is a syndicated columnist, author, CNN contributor, and senior analyst with “The Tom Joyner Morning Show,” all in addition to his role as host and managing editor of the only Sunday morning talk show geared to black Americans.

The juggling appears to be paying off. Ratings for his Sunday news program, TV One’s “Washington Watch with Roland Martin” are up 35 percent and pacing 27 percent ahead of last season, according to Nielsen figures cited in a network press release.

CNN’s loss is TV One’s gain

Martin signed a development deal with CNN to create a weekend show, but the network nixed it in May 2009, Martin told me during a recent visit. Read more


New website helps viewers see how news is skewed

With 60 percent of Americans saying they do not trust mainstream media to fully, accurately or fairly report the news, Colleen Bradford Krantz launched, a project that she hopes will help the public identify why a news story seems biased.

Still in its early stages, the project launched last week and targets high school, middle school and college students, Bradford Krantz told Poynter by phone.

“Teachers have told us that these are the groups who are really bad at critical news viewing,” she said. “But it’s not just limited to young viewers. A lot of people think that most journalists are out to slant news.”

The site focuses on video for now. “That’s what young people are using more and more,” Bradford Krantz said. Read more


Romney charges journalists to cover tonight’s party, Obama gives journalists free access

Journalists covering Mitt Romney’s election night party will have to pay for the privilege.

During national conventions, campaigns typically charge news organizations for use of electricity and Internet access, but instituting what is essentially a cover charge just for journalists to be admitted into the parties is a new move, reports Robert Rizzuto for

Romney will hold his election night party at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center.

The Romney campaign cover charge appears to be hitting student journalists particularly hard, but is also likely to shut-out independent bloggers and smaller news organizations. Read more

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Why Black Enterprise was given an exclusive interview with Mitt Romney

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney did not reach out to black media until August when senior campaign adviser Tara Wall called and offered Black Enterprise an exclusive interview with the candidate. The interview made Black Enterprise the only black media outlet that Romney spoke with on the record, said April D. Ryan, White House Correspondent and Washington Bureau Chief for American Urban Radio Networks.

Oprah Winfrey interviewed Romney. And he spoke off-the-record to several members of the black press. But he broke promises, including to Ryan, that he would later speak with them on-the-record, she said. Read more


SC jail stops publishing mug shots

The StateFox 5 AtlantaWLTX
The Richland County Jail in South Carolina has stopped publishing mug shot arrest photos after learning that a website was posting the photos and then charging $400 to have the images removed.

Some of those having to pay the hefty fee were clients of Seth Rose, a Richland County Councilman and local defense attorney.

“I just think there are ethical concerns,” Rose told WLTX in Columbia, South Carolina. “I think this should be against the law.” Read more

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As 4 stations cancel his show, is Tavis Smiley’s advocacy journalism too political for public radio?

One week after Tavis Smiley was yanked off the air by Chicago Public Media for being too much of an advocate, the veteran broadcaster slammed President Barack Obama in a New York Times story published over the weekend.

“Tragically, it seems the president feels boxed in by his blackness. It has, at times, been painful to watch this particular president’s calibrated, cautious and sometimes callous treatment of his most loyal constituency,” Smiley told Jodi Kantor of the Times by email. “African Americans will have lost ground in the Obama era.”

That’s the kind of talk that a week ago led Torey Malatia, President and CEO of Chicago Public Media to cancel “Smiley & West,” a public affairs show hosted by Smiley and Princeton Professor Cornel West. Read more

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Five things we’re watching for in tonight’s Vice Presidential debate

Normally, the vice presidential debate hardly matters, but in light of the close polls following last week’s debate between the two presidential candidates, the spotlight will likely be brighter than usual on Vice President Joe Biden and Republican challenger Rep. Paul Ryan when the two square off at Centre College in Danville, Kentucky tonight.

Here are five things we’ll be watching for in tonight’s vice presidential debate.

1. It’s the questions, stupid. Last week moderator Jim Lehrer said he ran out of time before he could ask about several issues important to Americans. This week, ABC News Senior Foreign Affairs Correspondent Martha Raddatz will moderate the 90-minute vice presidential debate that will cover international and domestic policies. It will be divided into nine segments of about 10 minutes each. Read more

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Lehrer: ‘Part of my moderator mission was to stay out of the way’

The Democratic co-chairman of the Commission on Presidential Debates called criticism of moderator Jim Lehrer’s performance “unfair.” More than 58 million viewers were watching last night’s debate between President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney, according to the overnight ratings.

“There’s a lot of beating up on Jim Lehrer today and I think there ought to be a little time to let things settle in a little bit before we make any summary judgment,” Mike McCurry told Poynter by phone while on a plane to Austin, Texas. Read more

A podium stands on stage as a worker cleans lint off the background for a debate at the University of Denver Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2012, in Denver. President Barack Obama and Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will hold their first debate Wednesday. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

5 things you need to know about the first presidential debate

President Barack Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney will meet tonight for the first time to go head-to-head over domestic policy issues. Moderating his 12th nationally televised presidential debate, PBS Executive Editor Jim Lehrer selected the topics to be covered, which include the economy, health care, the role of government and governing. The debate will take place from 9-10:30 p.m. Eastern Time at the University of Denver in Colorado.

Here are five more things you will need to know about tonight’s debate:

1. Format. The first debate will be divided into six, 15-minute segments. Lehrer will open each segment with a question, after which each candidate will have two minutes to respond. Lehrer will use the balance of the remaining time in the segment to further discuss the topic. Read more


Presidential Debate Commission co-chair blames TV networks for lack of diversity among moderators

During Wednesday’s presidential debate, moderator Jim Lehrer will have the same freedoms male moderators have enjoyed since the modern day presidential debates began more than two decades ago – asking their own questions – while Candy Crowley, the second woman in 20 years to moderate a presidential debate, will face the same limitations her predecessor Carole Simpson faced in 1992: The town hall debate format where voters ask the questions, not the moderators.

“She’ll be the girl with the microphone,” said Simpson, the former ABC News anchor who was handpicked by the Commission on Presidential Debates — the bipartisan body that plans the when, where and how of the events — to moderate the debate between George H. W. Bush, Ross Perot and Bill Clinton. Read more

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