Lonnie White dies at 49; Times sportswriter, USC football player

White covered the L.A. Clippers, Kings, NFL and UCLA football in a 19-year career at The Times. At USC he set a season record in kickoff return yardage that stood until 2010. http://www.latimes.com/obituaries/la-me-lonnie-white-20140331,0,1711980.story#ixzz2xY0Cig6V

White covered the L.A. Clippers, Kings, NFL and UCLA football in a 19-year career at The Times. At USC he set a season record in kickoff return yardage that stood until 2010.

Lonnie White, a former USC football player who worked for two decades as a Los Angeles Times sportswriter, has died. He was 49.
White, who had a number of health problems over the last several years, died Saturday at Glendale Memorial Hospital, his sister Terri said.
White worked for The Times from 1987 to 2008. He covered the Los Angeles Clippers, Los Angeles Kings, the NFL, UCLA football, USC basketball, high school sports and was a general-assignment reporter.
His work was recognized several times in the Associated Press Sports Editors annual writing contest and he wrote the book “UCLA vs. USC: 75 years of the Greatest Rivalry in Sports.”
“Lonnie was one of the truly good guys in our business, respected and liked by almost everyone who knew him professionally and personally,” said Times sports editor Mike James, who worked with White throughout his career at the newspaper and edited his book. “This is a very sad day.”

Read more at the Los Angeles Times.


Race, the N-word, discrimination: Panel on role of race in sports media

By Richard Deitsch of SI.com

Last November, I paneled a group of a six highly accomplished and respected female sports journalists for an SI.com email roundtable on the issues they deal with daily as women in the sports media. After publication of that story, a number of well-known sports journalists of color reached out suggesting I should do something similar on the issues sports media members of color deal with on a daily basis. That suggestion prompted the formation of the similarly well-accomplished and respected group below.

The panel:

Cari Champion, host of ESPN2′s First Take.
Jemele Hill, co-host of ESPN2′s Numbers Never Lie.
Gregory Lee Jr., Executive Sports Editor, Florida Sun-Sentinel, Past NABJ President.
Tim Kawakami, San Jose Mercury News sports columnist.
Angel Rodriguez, sports editor, Cincinnati Enquirer.
Darren Sands, sports business reporter and multimedia journalist, BlackEnterprise.com.

The panel was asked a series of email questions with no requirements. They were free to pass on any questions. For those of you on Twitter, the panelists are recommended and you can follow them by clicking on their names above. This is long, but I think worth your time if you want insight into today’s sports media. Part I runs today. Part II of the panel’s answers will run in next week’s Monday Media Circus column.

SI.com: Most of you are on social media. How often do you get tweets/Facebook comments related to your race and what impact do they have?

Champion: More often than I’d like to admit. Working on a national show, five days a week gives me an amazing platform but also a significant amount of social media access. Someone created an account on Twitter to send me some very racist/sexist messages. My immediate response was to block whomever but they persisted. And while everyone says ‘Don’t read it’ and ‘Ignore it,’ I’m here to say it doesn’t always work. No matter how hard you try, a few messages will catch you. When I first began work at First Take it really bothered me because the words were very hateful, words that no one would dare say to your face. But unfortunately and fortunately, I’ve become immune. We live in a social media world where I now expect it. (Anyone with a public platform can more than likely relate.) There have been a few instances where ESPN security had to respond. To that end I’m more selective about who or whom I interact with and engage on social media.

Hill: Every day, I’m told to either go back to the kitchen or back to Africa. In fact, I checked my Twitter mentions 10 minutes after writing this, and a tweeter called me a monkey. It’s unacceptable, but I came to the conclusion a long time ago that this was part of the job. I hate that I compartmentalize it that way because I’m giving a pass to those who verbally abuse people on social media. I can’t afford to be impacted by it because if I am, then I can’t do my job. I’d cry myself to sleep every night if I let what some idiots say on social media change how I did my job or what I thought of myself.

Kawakami: Sadly, because I respect that the Raiders fan base is so balanced demographically, I’d say that 20-to-25 percent of the angry Tweets and emails I get from Raiders fans have racial overtones or flat-out racist filth directed at me. My stance is that I think they’re trying to intimidate me into saying only what they want. Racists are used to trying to intimidate people, and I don’t get intimidated — especially not by racists. Many wise people have told me that they don’t like that I spend so much time on Twitter firing back at those who fire at me. I get that. But the racist element is the main reason I do. If I’m annoying, it’s occasionally because I want to let the racists know that they can’t stop me from being annoying. Otherwise, I don’t see much of it. Always going to get some, but that’s life as a columnist.

Lee: On the occasion that people resort to challenging my views as it relates to race, I will not attempt to engage them because 1.) you will not win on social media; 2.) you won’t be able to provide proper context in social media and 3.) we never had a conversation in person that justifies those on Twitter to make judgments about me.

Rodriguez: I haven’t gotten much of that on social media, thankfully. In my previous job as the home page manager for the Arizona Republic’s website I used to get a lot of pretty crazy stuff on my voicemail. This was when the immigration debate was at its peak in Arizona and emotions were pretty high on both sides. My job was to decide what stories made it to the front page of the website. A local talk radio show host (and former U.S. Congressman) got on the radio and said that the reason the website wasn’t more anti-immigrant was because I was hiding the real news. He gave out my phone number and told his listeners to call me and complain. The messages were pretty colorful. One caller said I should go back to Mazatlan. I’m not even from Mazatlan! (And who wouldn’t want to go to Mazatlan?!) I got several others saying that I was biased because I was ‘one those people with a ‘ez’ last name’. Several Hispanic reporters at the paper got a lot of abuse around that time, probably still do. We would share our craziest messages and see whose was worse.

Sands: People are allowed to act anonymously on the Internet with (save for a few notable occasions) little accountability for the things they tweet, comment and send. In this sense, the Web is really the wild West. It’s unfortunate and can hurt sometimes, but it’s why people shouldn’t react and, in some cases, should not take themselves so seriously. I defer to the other panelists on this, especially Cari and Jemele, because they must deal with it every day.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/more/news/20140330/race-sports-media-panel-racism-sexism/#ixzz2xYCeN8th


Larry Whiteside Scholarship – Deadline: March 21, 2014 (5:00pm EST)

larry_whiteside_picNumber of Awards Available: 1

Amount of the Award: $2,500
* Winner will receive a free trip to the 2014 NABJ Convention & Career Fair in Boston, MA.  Registration, lodging, a round-trip flight and a meals stipend will be provided.  He/She will be acknowledged during the Sports Task Force events and required to write a post-convention account of the experience.*

Student Type: Undergraduate or Graduate

Larry Whiteside, a pioneer in the field of sports journalism, was the first African-American beat sports writer for The Boston Globe.  His achievements earned him many prestigious honors including induction into NABJ’s 2009 Hall of Fame (posthumous); NABJ’s 1999 Lifetime Achievement Award; induction into the 2008 National Baseball Hall of Fame (posthumous); and the 2008 J. G. Taylor Spink Award posthumously given by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.  Mr. Whiteside passed away in 2007 due to complications from Parkinson’s disease.  NABJ’s Sports Task Force established this scholarship in Mr. Whiteside’s honor to provide financial assistance to journalism students interested in sport journalism.

Specific Application Requirements:

  • Must major in journalism with an interest in pursuing a career in sports journalism
  •  Must be an undergraduate or graduate student with at least one year left in school.
  • G.P.A. requirement: 2.5 or higher in journalism major and at least a 2.0 cumulative
  • Essay topic:  “Write a profile essay on a sports journalist (alive or deceased) you admire and explain why this person has inspired you to pursue a career in sports journalism.” (1,000 – 2,000 words)

General Application Requirements:

  •  Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Official College Transcript
  • Five (5) Work Samples
  • Three (3) References


Introducing the SJI Class of 2014


The Sports Journalism Institute, which celebrated its 20th anniversary last year, is set to welcome a new group of students to the family as we prepare for class this summer in Columbia, Mo.

A group of six women and six men (including 5 African-Americans, four Hispanics, 1Asian-American and 1 Caucasian female) make up the Class of 2014, which will be in residence at the University of Missouri School of Journalism from May 30-June 7, with students moving on to internships around the country.

The work experience that awaits them is as diverse as the class, with interns placed at APSE-member newspapers from coast to coast, ESPN.com and MLB.com. This year, the Knoxville News-Sentinel and South Florida SunSentinel will host an intern chosen through APSE’s partnership with Scripps Howard, which provides students with a stipend that pays their summer expenses.

“Students selected for the Scripps Howard Foundation internship have the added benefit of being part of the SJI class,” said Phil Kaplan, former APSE president. “This would not be possible without the help of the leadership of SJI. Students from Scripps Howard journalism schools go through an intense boot camp before starting their 10-week assignment at a newspaper that is a member of APSE. Many of the interns have been able to use SJI and the internship as a springboard to media jobs after graduating and I look forward to watching the progress of the next group.”
In 2012, SJI and Missouri began a partnership in which SJI students will work out of the Missouri print and digital newsroom for their boot camp, and the university will nominate a Missouri Scholar to the institute each year. This year the Missouri scholar is Anne Dankleson.

“This partnership has been a blast. The SJI class sends a jolt through our newsroom,” said Columbia Missorian sports editor and Missouri faculty member Greg Bowers.  “The relationship has matured from joining in with our newsroom budget meetings to adding to the newspaper’s Special Olympics Coverage. We’re more excited about the third year of this relationship than we were about the first.”

SJI also has a partnership with the Association for Women in Sports Media. This year’s AWSM scholar is Alexandria Valdez of the University of Montana.

Once again, SJI thanks its partners at the Asian-American Journalists Association (which selects one member of the class each year), the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (which promotes our program in email newsletters to student members educators nationwide) and the National Association of Black Journalists (whose immediate past president is Gregory Lee Jr. a 1994 SJI alum, and which faithfully promotes and works with SJI). SJI also thanks its sponsors, including ESPN, APSE, MLB.com, USA Today and the National Football League. These sponsors helped make our 20th anniversary celebration last summer at NABJ’s convention a rousing success.

We would like to welcome APSE second vice president Mary Byrne, of USA Today to the family. Byrne will participate in the weeklong boot camp in Missouri.

And SJI welcomes back longtime host paper the Houston Chronicle, which will host an intern again this summer.

“We are beyond thrilled to re-establish our long-standing relationship  with the APSE Sports Journalism Institute after a one-year absence,” said Dan Cunningham, senior editor/news at Houston Chronicle Media Group.  “The interns they have sent us over the years have been a definite asset to our sports department — not only well-prepared but also very professional and eager to learn.  As an APSE member since 1983, I can say without hesitation this is APSE’s proudest legacy.”

As SJI turns 21, we thank our funders and partners (old and new). With their help, we’ve added roughly 275 women and minorities to the staffs of the nation’s sports media.

“This year’s class is very special to me because they represent what I experienced 20 years ago in 1994,” Lee said. “These students are the best of the best and we believe 20 years from now they will be running their own sports operation.”


The Class of 2014

Chris Chavez, Marquette University, junior


Anne Dankleson, University of Missouri, junior


Sebastian Herrera, University of Texas at Austin, junior


Avery Jennings, Ohio University, junior

Scripps Howard Scholar

Knoxville News-Sentinel

Thuc Nhi Nguyen, University of Washington, junior

Los Angeles News Group

Katie O’Keefe, Colorado State University, senior

Kansas City Star

Chris Shelton, University of Houston, junior

South Florida SunSentinel

Tierra Smith, Grambling State University, junior

Salt Lake Tribune

Keith Turner, Ohio University, senior

Scripps Howard Scholar

South Florida SunSentinel

Alexandria Valdez, University of Montana, junior

Association of Women in Sports Media Scholar

Denver Post

Rhiannon Walker, University of Maryland, College Park, junior

Houston Chronicle

Alex Valdez

Chris Chavez

Avery Jennings

Chris Shelton

Anne Dankelson

Kaitie O'Keefe

Keith Turner

Sebastian Herrera

Rhiannon Walker

Thuc Nhi Nguyen

Tierra Smith


Morgan Campbell On Sportonomics, Sports Business Journalism And Tank For Wiggins

2854366393001_videoStillImageIf you lived under a rock for the past 20 or so years, you might not be aware that the public’s interest in the business of sports has grown with every passing season. No longer satisfied with memorizing lengths and amounts of player contracts along with league salary caps, we’ve gone far beyond that over time with not only stories that creep into the business or “hard news” sections of our favorite mediums, but with dedicated platforms that satiate an increasingly high demand.

Read More Here.

TV One Signs ESPN.com Editor Shannon Cross As ‘News One Now’ Anchor

Shannon Cross_News One NowTV One has hired ESPN.com editor Shannon Cross as news anchor for its live daily news program, News One Now, network officials said Wednesday.

Cross will serve as a contributing voice of the daily morning news broadcast, narrating both breaking news briefs and lengthier feature segments beginning Dec. 9, said the network.  Additionally, Cross will join News One host Roland Martin in his analysis of the day’s headlines, discussions with on-set panelists, Skype-net interviews, social media integration and standing segments.
Read more here.

LaVelle Neal 1st Black Writer To Head BBWAA

baseballgenericST. LOUIS (AP) — LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has become the first black reporter to head the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

The 48-year-old Neal, who has covered baseball for the paper since 1998, was elected Saturday at the BBWAA’s World Series meeting to succeed Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Slusser was the first woman to head the organization, which was founded in 1908.
Read more here.