Jose Antonio Vargas

The Internet is totally cool with Jonah Lehrer’s book deal

Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. Jonah Lehrer gets a new book deal

    Penguin Random House will publish the disgraced writer's new book with Shlomo Benartzi, "The Digital Mind: How We Think and Behave Differently on Screens," in May. (AP) | It's interesting who gets another bite at the apple, isn't it, especially a day after Hanna Rosin's story about Stephen Glass' diminished life. | To wit, remember when the Knight Foundation paid Lehrer $20,000 to talk about his intellectual dishonesty? | "Fingers crossed that in this case, co-authorship really just means that Lehrer was a glorified line editor, or better yet, a publicity stunt to boost sales." (New York) | "Last we heard of ol' Jo, he had sold a book about the redemptive power of love to Simon & Schuster. 'We believe in second chances,' Simon & Schuster editor Jonathan Karp told the Times. It was then revealed that Lehrer had plagiarized that proposal." (Gawker)

  2. Student paper runs article by rapist

    The University of Oregon's Daily Emerald ran a guest piece called "Memoirs of a student-criminal" on Nov. 3. Its author talks about what led to his conviction for sexual assault. (Daily Emerald) "The sexual assault offender was actually legally required to write it and submit it to the paper." (College Media Matters) | "Never once does the author mention the fact that his actions—and the actions of all rapists—produced intensely damaging results for the survivor." (Daily Emerald)

  3. People distrust news outlets they don't read or watch

    Pew's recent report on how political affiliation affects media habits asked people how much they trusted certain outlets. But "this sense of trust or distrust may not actually stem from an individual’s recent exposure to news content. Instead, it may flow from any other information they may have about the news source – whether that comes from friends, family, other media or a past experience with it." (Pew) | Related: Trust "is something you earn over time," BuzzFeed EIC Ben Smith says after release of the Pew report. (Poynter)

  4. "Pointergate" update

    Navell Gordon, who KSTP asserted was flashing gang signs with Minneapolis' mayor, says his boss told reporter Jay Kolls to "kick rocks" when he sought comment on the station's ludicrous story. Kolls "thought he had a big story. And now it's really a big story," Gordon says. (HuffPost) | Jon Tevlin: "The allegation was so ludicrous that two reporters at the Star Tribune ignored it after it was pitched to one of them by someone in law enforcement. But Kolls, seeing a sensational story, bit." (Star Tribune)

  5. The best beat in (marble) Washington

    "I think the best reporting gig in Washington is Capitol Hill, not the White House," Chuck Todd says. "There's more freedom on Capitol Hill. Five-hundred-and-thirty-five members up there, most of whom only -- don't have an entire team of people that are designed to keep the press away from them." (The Diane Rehm Show) | Unsolicited and unnecessary editorial comment from newsletter author: Actually, the best beats in Washington have nothing to do with Congress or the White House.

  6. Jose Antonio Vargas will make new documentary

    Planned film for MTV "will examine what it means to be young and white in America." (Deadline)

  7. New OC Register publisher asks staffers to field calls from frustrated subscribers

    Rich Mirman's "move isn't sitting well with reporters and editors." (OC Weekly)

  8. Some AJC reporters frustrated with two-site strategy

    "Everything's behind the damn paywall. ... It's harder and harder to find our stuff on the free site," one brave anonymous Atlanta Journal-Constitution employee tells Max Blau. Mark Medici, the AJC's VP of audience, notes it costs only $3.39 per week for the Sunday paper and digital access. (Creative Loafing) | The AJC's free site just got redesigned; Cox Media Group plans similar redesigns for its free sites in Austin, Palm Beach and Dayton. (MediaPost)

  9. Front page of the day, curated by Kristen Hare

    The St. Louis Post-Dispatch fronts Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's plans for whatever follows the grand jury's decision on indicting Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson. (Courtesy the Newseum)


  10. Job moves, edited by Benjamin Mullin

    Simone Oliver is now growth editor at The New York Times. Previously, she was online fashion editor there. (The New York Times) | Tessa Gould will be vice president of ad innovation and monetization at BuzzFeed. Previously, she was director of native advertising at The Huffington Post. (Adweek) | Susan Ellerbach is now executive editor at The Tulsa World. Previously, she was managing editor there. Mike Strain will be managing editor at The Tulsa World. Previously, he was news editor there. (Tulsa World) | Henri Cauvin is now city editor at The New York Times. Previously, he was assistant metro editor there. (@FrancesRobles) | Gerry Smith will be a media reporter at Bloomberg. Previously, he was a technology reporter at The Huffington Post. (‏@srabil) | Chael Sonnen is now a UFC analyst at ESPN. Previously, he was a UFC middleweight and light heavyweight contender. (ESPN) | Noah Bond is now an anchor at KOLO in Reno, Nevada. Previously, he was a reporter at KOMO in Seattle. (Email) | Job of the day: KUSA in Denver is looking for a managing editor. Get your résumés in! (Journalism Jobs) | Send Ben your job moves:

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Jose Antonio Vargas

Vargas released by Border Patrol

The U.S. Border Patrol has released the journalist and activist Jose Antonio Vargas, his group Define American says in a statement. He was detained while leaving McAllen, Texas. In the statement says he came to Texas “to shed a light on children who parts of America and many in the news media are actively turning their backs on. But what I saw was the generosity of the American people, documented and undocumented, in the Rio Grande Valley.” The statement continues:

I’ve been released by Border Patrol. I want to thank everyone who stands by me and the undocumented immigrants of south Texas and across the country. Our daily lives are filled with fear in simple acts such as getting on an airplane to go home to our family.

With Congress failing to act on immigration reform, and President Obama weighing his options on executive action, the critical question remains: how do we define American?”

The Border Patrol has not yet replied to numerous requests for comment. Read more

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Jose Antonio Vargas

Jose Antonio Vargas detained in Texas

Journalist and immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas has been detained in McAllen, Texas, Lara Drasin with Define American told Poynter in an email. Vargas, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, is an undocumented immigrant and the founder of Define American. (Update: Vargas was released Tuesday evening.)

“Mr. Vargas did not make it through security at the airport,” Define American’s campaign director Ryan Eller said in a statement that ran here. “Our understanding is that he is currently being questioned behind us at border patrol headquarters.”

In the statement, Eller said that Vargas came to Texas to humanize the stories of children and families fleeing the most dangerous regions of central America. “It became apparent during our time here in this border town that the founder of our organization, Jose Vargas, may not be able to leave McAllen.”

On Monday night, Eller said Vargas told him the following: “Our America is better than this, we’re more humane, more compassionate, and we are fighting for a better America, a country we love, but has yet to recognize us.”

Dan Kowalski, an immigration lawyer with the Fowler Law Firm in Austin, Texas, told Poynter in a phone interview that Vargas has a law firm or a lawyer on retention, though he’s not sure who. Kowalski said several lawyers on the ground in McAllen are trying to reach Vargas. For now, border patrol has just three options.

One, they can let Vargas go and set up recurring meetings to keep track of him. Two, they can let him go, set up those meetings and put him in removal proceedings. But because he has no criminal record and isn’t one of the refugees coming from Central America, Kowalski said, that could take years.

“But the third option is they could actually detain him and take him into custody.”

One question is, why now? Vargas has been traveling since coming out as undocumented in The New York Times in 2011.

“In theory, he could have been stopped at any one of those trips,” Kowalski said. “It does raise an interesting question. Why now, why here?”

Ryan Grim and Igor Bobic wrote more about the situation for Huffington Post.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, immigration rights activist and self-declared undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas waits to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on comprehensive immigration reform.  (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, immigration rights activist and self-declared undocumented immigrant Jose Antonio Vargas waits to testify on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013, before the Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on comprehensive immigration reform. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

On July 12, Igor Bobic wrote about Vargas’ trip to the Texas border town for The Huffington Post. On July 11, Vargas wrote a piece for Politico about what led to the trip, and how he feared being detained.

When my friend Mony Ruiz-Velasco, an immigration lawyer who used to work in the area, saw on my Facebook page that I was in McAllen, she texted me: “I am so glad you are visiting the kids near the border. But how will you get through the checkpoint on your way back?” A curious question, I thought, and one I dismissed. I’ve visited the border before, in California. What checkpoint? What was she talking about?

Then Tania Chavez, an undocumented youth leader from the Minority Affairs Council, one of the organizers of the vigil, asked me the same question: “How will you get out of here?” Tania grew up in this border town. As the day wore on, as the reality of my predicament sunk in, Tania spelled it out for me: You might not get through airport security, where Customs and Border Protection (CPB) also checks for IDs, and you will definitely not get through the immigration checkpoints set up within 45 miles of this border town. At these checkpoints, you will be asked for documentation. (“Even if you tell them you’re a U.S. citizen, they will ask you follow-up questions if they don’t believe you,” Tania told me.)

Around 9:30 a.m., Vargas sent out this tweet:

On June 27, Poynter spoke with Vargas about his documentary, “Documented.”

Vargas calls himself the most privileged undocumented immigrant in America. He’s a product of the country, he said, and a product of American newsrooms.

“I think we in the media for the most part are missing the moral crisis that is happening in our own country.”

Read more

Glen Taylor’s plans for Star Tribune, NPR’s new approach to diversity

mediawiremorning Good morning. Here are 10 media stories.

  1. AP hires robots: The news co-op will use automation technology from Automated Insights to produce more than 4,000 earnings-reports stories (it now produces about 300). No job cuts: “If anything, we are doubling down on the journalism we will do around earnings reports and business coverage,” AP’s Lou Ferrara says. (Poynter) || Related: “Can a robot-journalist win a Pulitzer Prize?” Laugh it up while you can, humans. (HuffPost)
  2. Glen Taylor plans to appoint his daughter to the Star Tribune’s board: Deal is “on the verge of closing.” He tells Curt Brown, “Most business guys are saying about the newspaper thing: ‘Don’t do it. Don’t do it,’ and that’s why I’m doing it.” (The Star Tribune)
  3. NY1 will stop using the term “illegal immigrant”: “Instead, staff are encouraged to indicate that an individual is ‘here illegally,’ with ‘undocumented immigrant’ as a permissible fallback.” (Capital)
  4. Twitter says JAV can stay: During its broadcast of Jose Antonio Vargas‘ film “Documented” last night, CNN polled people with a tweet: “Do you think Jose should be deported?” 63 percent of people said he should stay. (BuzzFeed) || Related: Vargas talks with Kristen Hare: “I think we in the media for the most part are missing the moral crisis that is happening in our own country.” (Poynter)
  5. Diversity will not be a vegetable at NPR: New NPR honcho Jarl Mohn pointed to the audience of the KPCC show “Take Two,” which is 22 percent Latino, as a model for diversity at the broadcaster. “If we see diversity and a diverse organization as our green vegetable that we have to eat, that’s not success,” he tells Elizabeth Jensen (NYT)
  6. More on Matt Lauer’s question to Mary Barra: “as long as journalists can use other sexist interviews to rationalize perpetuating sexist media coverage, it’s hard to imagine anything changing,” Kat Stoeffel writes. (New York) | Deborah Norville and Jeffrey Toobin discuss Lauer’s question. (CNN)
  7. Deciding to pay interns doesn’t mean you’ll avoid a suit: “any New York-based company that paid interns less than minimum wage during the last six years could easily find themselves the target of an Outten & Golden class action suit,” Peter Sterne writes. (Capital)
  8. Aereo done? It suspended operations this weekend. “[O]ur journey is far from done,” CEO Chet Kanojia wrote. (Aereo) || Other companies gun for Aereo’s customers. (NYT)
  9. Email newsletters David Carr likes: Ann Friedman‘s. Caitlin Dewey‘s. Alexis Madrigal‘s. (NYT) || Related: Former NBCUniversal executive Lauren Zalaznick writes a newsletter “about, and for, women in business.” (LAT)
  10. Matt Drudge did an interview: He stopped by Washington, D.C., station WTOP and said, “I make waves. I don’t surf them.” (The Washington Post)

Suggestions? Criticisms? Would like me to send you this roundup each morning? Please email me: Read more


The Washington Post’s former owner wants to send dreamers to college

The Washington Post

Donald E. Graham, a former owner of The Washington Post, has created a fund to help send “dreamers” — children who came with their parents to the U.S. without legal permission — to college, according to a story Monday by Lyndsey Layton in the Post.

Donald E. Graham has created “TheDream.US,” a $25 million fund that aims to award full-tuition college scholarships to 1,000 students in the next academic year.

“I’m not wise enough to know what is the right immigration policy for the United States of America,” said Graham, who contributed an undisclosed amount to the fund, as did his brother, Bill. “I know these students deserve a chance at higher education.”

Read more

Feds are focused on ‘public safety threats,’ and Jose Antonio Vargas isn’t one

Associated Press | The New York Times
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement didn’t detain Jose Antonio Vargas after his traffic arrest Friday because he’s not a priority: “ICE is focused on smart, effective immigration enforcement that prioritizes the removal of public safety threats, recent border crossers and egregious immigration law violators, such as those who have been previously removed from the United States,” agency spokesperson Gillian Christensen told reporters.

In The New York Times, Julia Preston reports Vargas returned to New York and will go back to Minnesota for arraignment later this month to face charges of driving without a license. “I am grateful to have made it home Friday night,” he told Preston. Vargas missed the lecture he was planning to give at Carleton College; he was pulled over for driving wearing headphones but arrested after a Minnesota State Patrol officer found his Washington state driver’s license had been canceled. Read more


Immigration officials didn’t ask for Vargas to be detained after arrest

Politico | Minneapolis Star Tribune
An official with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement told Politico reporter Katie Glueck the agency didn’t issue a notice to Minnesota police that it intended to take custody of activist journalist Jose Antonio Vargas after he was arrested for driving without a valid license Friday.

“Mr. Vargas was not arrested by ICE and no detainer was issued,” an unnamed official wrote Glueck in an email. Read more


Jose Antonio Vargas arrested for driving without a valid license

Journalist turned immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas was arrested Friday in Minnesota for driving without a valid license. The offense typically leads to a citation, rather than an arrest, reports Beth Hawkins for MinnPost, so it’s unclear why Vargas was arrested. He was released soon after and tweeted:

Vargas is scheduled to appear in court in two weeks, on Oct. 18, Hawkins reports. Read more


Looks like Jose Antonio Vargas won’t be deported anytime soon

Time magazine
Jose Antonio Vargas feared being departed after he revealed last year in The New York Times Magazine that he is in the U.S. illegally. Though his driver’s license was revoked by the state of Washington and he worries that a TSA agent will check his Filipino passport for a visa stamp, he’s still here. The reason is delightfully bureaucratic:

I spend every day wondering what, if anything, the government plans to do with me. After months of waiting for something to happen, I decided that I would confront immigration officials myself. Since I live in New York City, I called the local ICE office. The phone operators I first reached were taken aback when I explained the reason for my call. Finally I was connected to an ICE officer.

“Are you planning on deporting me?” I asked.

I quickly found out that even though I publicly came out about my undocumented status, I still do not exist in the eyes of ICE. Like most undocumented immigrants, I’ve never been arrested. Therefore, I’ve never been in contact with ICE.

Read more

Jose Antonio Vargas plans to report on immigration issues as he lobbies for policy changes

Define American |
Jose Antonio Vargas, who started lobbying for immigration reform after revealing in The New York Times Magazine that he has been in the U.S. illegally since he was 12, is now writing about immigration issues and critiquing media coverage. His stories will be published on the website of his advocacy organization Define American.

“Immigration is an issue I never squarely faced; it’s an issue I never fully and deeply reported on,” Vargas writes in his first post, noting that perhaps 10 of his 600 or so stories dealt with the issue. “That changes now.” Read more


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