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Underlying Rights

Howard Bragman Chats with Magic Johnson’s Outed Son

On the latest edition of the YouTube interview show GWISSUES, Earvin Johnson III (a.k.a. EJ) says that the person shown on TMZ TV walking with him hand-in-hand on the Sunset Strip was not actually a boyfriend but rather his best friend. Nevertheless, the April 2 report led to Magic’s son being outed in the media and EJ’s dad doing a subsequent interview with Harvey Levin.

Johnson tells host Howard Bragman that in addition to his current focus on an event planning and hospitality degree at NYU, he has a personal passion for media and journalism. One day, he tells the former uber-publicist, he hopes to host his own TV talk show.

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Associated Press Removes the Term ‘Illegal Immigrants’ from its Lexicon–Draws Inevitable Conservative Blowback

The term “illegal immigrant” will no longer be used in Associated Press stories–nor will it appear in its much-copied style book. In a blog post yesterday, AP Executive Editor Kathleen Carroll wrote that “‘illegal’ should describe only an action, such as living in or immigrating to a country illegally.”

The decision, of course, has drawn conservative outrage.

Do we even have to mention what network has been up in arms all day today?

#NewAPStyle is also now a thing on Twitter.

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Angered by Proposed Health Plan, San Francisco Chronicle Staffers Staging Social Media Protest

It’s been a herky-jerky month for Hearst Corporation. It began with the theatrical roll out of a very good 125th anniversary documentary; continued with a salacious sex scandal involving Scott Sassa; and is now ending with an angry Twitter and Facebook protest by employees at a flagship publication.

Reporters, editors and other workers at the San Francisco Chronicle are using the twin social media powerhouses to register their displeasure at Hearst’s desire to shift to a new health insurance plan that they say will dramatically increase costs. For some, this means changing their Twitter avatar to a red box; for others, it’s a matter of re-tweeting. And here’s how the open letter on Facebook begins:

We, the employees of the San Francisco Chronicle, have had enough.

We love this newspaper, and we’ve worked hard since the layoffs of 2009 to help keep it afloat. We’ve done everything Hearst demanded: sacrificing pay raises, giving up seniority, losing vacation time and holidays, even working through what used to be our paid lunch hour.

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How Occupy LA Set Paulina González on the Path to ‘Authentic Journalism’

There’s a fantastic essay today on narconews.com by Paulina González, a Southeast Los Angeles native who by means of a very unusual trajectory, now finds herself teaching at the Authentic School of Journalism. The non-profit organization is based out of Easthampton, MA, but Gonzalez is set for a second professorial stint next month in Mexico City.

After dropping out of a hoity-toity Liberal Arts college, González wound up getting involved in union organizing. Then, last year, a three-day Authentic School workshop in New York City rekindled her interest in writing and sparked a visit to Occupy LA. She writes:

I felt the familiar anger boiling up in me after one night of the General Assembly. Yes, I had and have anger at the “Wall Street” that had fired my father many years before, but now there was also anger at a movement that threatened to exclude people like my father. I put pen to paper, and wrote. My anger, frustration, hope and 17 years of organizing training spilled onto the page. It felt good.

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It’s Now KPCC-SAG-AFTRA

In this afternoon’s KPCC item about some very exciting in-house business, reporter and union organizing committee member Adolfo Guzman-Lopez was quoted as follows:

“The vote count is clear. We look forward to sitting down with management to collectively bargain for the content employees at KPCC.”

He’s referring to a January 11 supervised tally of KPCC employees in favor of SAG-AFTRA unionization. But is a 35-to-26 vote count really that “clear?” FishbowlLA is somewhat surprised that nearly 40% of the 69 employees who will be covered by the new contract voted against it. (A union rep tells us that 69 ballots were cast, but eight challenged, hence the final vote total of 61.)

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Paparazzo Gets Into Presidential Trouble in Hawaii

Camped out December 21 on Kailua Beach in Hawaii in hopes of catching a glimpse of a pregnant Jessica Simpson, this unnamed celebrity photographer got something entirely different: the sight of Sasha and Malia Obama. When he decided to snap some photos, two sets of problems ensued.

Per an item on Celebuzz by Cliff Renfrew, some Secret Service agents came over, asked the photographer for identification and presumably gave him a warning. However, when the photographer later went ahead and put the pictures out through his agency, the White House Press Office stepped in:

“He received a letter, on White House Press Office letterhead, requesting that the images not be released,” a source told Celebuzz…

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Reporter Who Caught Police in Occupy LA Lie Files Suit

Despite a display of proper press credentials, City News Service reporter Calvin Milam was thrown to the ground and dragged away November 30, 2011 by police during the clear-out of Occupy LA’s downtown encampment. But it’s what immediately followed that really took the journalist by surprise.

The LAPD tried to dismiss the confrontation by claiming Milam was drunk and belligerent. All well and good, except for the fact that video of the incident completely disproved this version of events. Late last month, Milam finally filed suit in LA Superior Court. Per a Courthouse News Service report:

“The only reason he wasn’t prosecuted was because we located video which completely puts lie to what the cops said,” said Milam’s [high-powered] attorney Mark Geragos. “It’s astonishing to see that video and then see what was alleged: that he didn’t identify himself, show press credentials and that he was resisting.”

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Student Newspaper Editor Hopes to Soon Become Legal

This month is shaping up as a momentous one for Angel Silva, managing editor of Glendale Community College student newspaper El Vaquero. Per a write-up in the Glendale News-Press, he plans – after putting to bed this week’s final issue of the semester – to get around to the business of applying for temporary illegal-resident amnesty.

His application will seek to take advantage of a June 2012 President Obama executive order designed to provide children of illegal immigrants with two-year work permits. Silva’s undocumented status prevented him earlier this year from landing a paid position as El Vaquero editor-in-chief. And at GCC, he is not alone. Per the article by current USC Annenberg graduate student and former Times Community News education writer Megan O’Neil:

Silva is one of 400 undocumented students — often referred to as AB 540, or Dream Act, students — enrolled at Glendale Community College. He said his experience has not weakened his passion for journalism, but it has fueled his engagement with immigration issues. He has become increasingly involved in VOICES, an on-campus student organization focused on immigration, as well as the Coalition for Human Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA) and the California Dream Network.

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Medill LGBT Journalism Project Makes Impressive Lift-Off

Earlier this week, Northwestern University rightly heralded their journalism school’s laudable new effort known as the Medill Equal Media Project (MEMP). Put together over the summer by a group of students led by editor-in-chief Camille Beredjick (Class of 2013), the website filters LGBT issues through the prism of the 2012 Presidential election.

In a separate op ed by Beredjick for The Advocate, where she has interned, she explained why MEMP is such a big deal:

It’s easy to understand why LGBT media might be overlooked in a university journalism program. The curriculum often emphasizes national rather than community news. We’re taught from the beginning to be objective, leaving little room to acknowledge our LGBT identities in our reporting. Though some schools, like the University of California, Los Angeles, are home to LGBT-specific student publications, LGBT student media are pretty uncommon compared with general campus newspapers…

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Gawker Identifies the Creepiest Troll on the Internet, and Reddit Rushes to His Defense

Under the username Violentacrez, 49-year-old Michael Brutsch of Arlington, Texas, anonymously created and maintained a multitude of racist, mysogynistic, and violent sections on the website Reddit. “Niggerjailbait” is one such example of his handiwork on Reddit, and it is as bad as it sounds – sexualized images of underage African American girls. In fact, underage girls was a specialty of Brutsch, and while he was careful to remove any content that was technically illegal, his many “jailbait” pages clearly pandered to pedophiles.

Brutsch/Violentacrez was also the moderator behind the infamous Reddit group “Creepshots,” which featured upskirt and other covert photos taken of unsuspecting women in public places. Though he was somewhat famous in the Reddit community, and had even been called out by Anderson Cooper, Brutsch’s true identity was unknown until Friday, when Gawker’s Adrian Chen published an article about him.

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