07-09-2020  7:51 am   •   PDX and SEA Weather
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NORTHWEST NEWS

Oregon DOJ to Hold Listening Sessions on Institutional Racism; Leaders Wary

DOJ will hold 11 virtual listening sessions for underserved Oregonians.

Portland Black Community Frustrated as Violence Mars Protests

Black leaders condemn violence from small group of mostly-white activists as Rose City Justice suspends nightly marches

Protester Dies After Car Hits Two on Closed Freeway

Summer Taylor, 24, of Seattle died and Taylor and Diaz Love of Portland were injured. The driver, Dawit Kelete has been arrested

Police Union Contract Extended, Bargaining to Continue

Negotiations will resume in January 2021.

NEWS BRIEFS

Portland Art Museum and Northwest Film Center Announce Artist Fund

The fund will help support artists during COVID crisis and beyond ...

The OHS Museum Reopens Saturday, July 11

The Oregon Historical Society museum will reopen with new hours and new safety protocols ...

Meyer Memorial Trust Announces New Trustee

Amy C. Tykeson of Bend, will oversee management of the 38-year-old Oregon-serving foundation. ...

African American Alliance for Home Ownership Announces New Board Member

AAAH has announced the appointment of Carl Anderson, M.D., a staff physician specializing in occupational medicine with Northwest...

Ploughshares Fund announces over $1 million in Grants to Stop Nuclear Threats

The global security foundation’s board of directors awards grants to 15 organizations working on nuclear weapons issues ...

Virus causes uncertainty for state lotteries

Boston (AP) — The coronavirus pandemic has been a rollercoaster for state lotteries across the country, with some getting a boost from the economic downturn and others scrambling to make up for revenue shortfalls.Since March, Texas, Arkansas and Montana and several other states have seen an...

Oregon Appeals Court affirms Portland renter relocation law

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday affirmed a Portland ordinance requiring landlords to pay tenants’ relocation fees if their rent is increased by at least 10% or if they’re evicted without cause.Presiding Judge Darleen Ortega said she agreed with a...

Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner hurt in jet ski accident

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa defensive back Jack Koerner sustained serious injuries when he and a passenger on a jet ski collided with a boat on the Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.According to a police report, Koerner and Cole Coffin were hurt at about 6:30 p.m. Friday when their watercraft...

Missouri football program pushes again for racial justice

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Ryan Walters had just arrived at the University of Missouri to coach safeties for the football program when a series of protests related to racial injustice led to the resignations of the system president and the chancellor of its flagship campus.The student-led movement...

OPINION

Recent Protests Show Need For More Government Collective Bargaining Transparency

Since taxpayers are ultimately responsible for funding government union contract agreements, they should be allowed to monitor the negotiation process ...

The Language of Vote Suppression

A specific kind of narrative framing is used to justify voter suppression methods and to cover up the racism that motivates their use. ...

Letter to the Community From Eckhart Tolle Foundation

The Eckhart Tolle Foundation is donating more than 250,000 dollars to organizations that are fighting racism ...

Editorial From the Publisher: Vote as Your Life Depends on It

The Republican-controlled Senate won’t pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, no matter how hard Oregon’s senators and others work to push for change. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Asian American girls saw pivotal icon in 'Baby-Sitters Club'

Author Ann M. Martin had no master plan when she decided to make one of the core members of “The Baby-Sitters Club” a Japanese American girl named Claudia.Claudia Kishi happened to be everything the “model minority” stereotype wasn't. She got bad grades. She thrived in...

Black Players for Change lead protest at MLS is Back tourney

Now that Major League Soccer has re-started, a group of Black Major League Soccer players is using the moment to call attention to systemic racism across sports and society. Black Players for Change was formerly the Black Players Coalition of MLS, but changed its name this week while joining forces...

Latino group launches M campaign to boost voter turnout

PHOENIX (AP) — A national organization is announcing a million campaign to turn out Hispanic voters in several of this year's battleground states.Mi Familia Vota, based in Phoenix, said it will spend million on get-out-the-vote measures and an additional million on digital and...

ENTERTAINMENT

With a satirical fictional memoir, Jim Carrey gets real

NEW YORK (AP) — When Jim Carrey and Dana Vachon handed in the book they had toiled on for eight years — a satirical “anti-memoir” about Carrey’s life but with increasingly extreme flights of absurdity — to Sonny Mehta, the late Knopf publisher said he would...

Country band Lady A files suit against singer with same name

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Country group Lady A, which dropped the word “Antebellum,” from their name because of the word's ties to slavery, has filed a lawsuit against a Black singer who has performed as Lady A for years.The Grammy-winning vocal group filed the lawsuit on...

MSNBC appoints Joy Reid as Chris Matthews' replacement

NEW YORK (AP) — MSNBC says Joy Reid will move into the early evening time slot vacated in March by former “Hardball” host Chris Matthew's retirement in March.Reid, who has been a weekend anchor at the cable news network and lately has subbed in the 7 p.m. Eastern time slot, now...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Is it safe to visit the dentist during the pandemic?

Is it safe to visit the dentist during the COVID-19 pandemic?Dentists can’t eliminate all risk, but they...

Parades, close-ups with Mickey out as Disney World reopens

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Forget about up-close “meet-and-greet" sessions with Mickey Mouse or Donald...

Bolsonaro now 'poster boy' for dubious COVID-19 treatment

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — After months of touting an unproven anti-malaria drug as a treatment for the new...

Morocco to start reopening borders after strict lockdown

RABAT, Morocco (AP) — Morocco will start gradually reopening its air and maritime borders next week after...

VIRUS DIARY: In Saudi Arabia, a photographer finds new focus

JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia (AP) — I moved to Saudi Arabia from Egypt last year, eager to photograph a national...

COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is now reaching 'full speed'

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — The COVID-19 pandemic in Africa is reaching “full speed,” the Africa...

McMenamins
Nadra Kareem Nittle Special to the NNPA from America
LOS ANGELES -- Krystal Murphy received her first cellphone at age 13 and she used it solely to keep her parents in the loop about her activities. Four years later, her use of the phone has changed dramatically. Now 17, she relies on it to text friends, surf the Internet and send messages on Twitter.

"I'm on my cell all day, every day, as soon as I wake up and until I go to bed," says the African-American teen from South Los Angeles.

The Northwestern University study  "Children, Media and Race: Media Use Among White, Black, Hispanic, and Asian American Children" found that minorities between ages 8 and 18 use cellphones, television, computers and other electronic devices to consume an average of 13 hours of media content daily. That's 4.5 hours more than their White counterparts.

The study has renewed debate about whether minority youths spend too much time on media consumption and not enough on reading and studying. While some people insist that the disparity in media consumption contributes to the education gap between minority and white youths, others cite it as a positive that can aid a child's educational growth.

 

"I think that the results of this study coupled with the other factors that we know influence student performance," says Sharon Lewis, research director for the Council of the Great City Schools, an advocate for urban public schools and students. "When you combine all of this together, it's another indication that we need to take extra steps to reach [minority] youth.

"Factors such as health, such as preschool experience, such as a sibling that may not have graduated, such as coming from a single-parent household and then you add this [media consumption] to it—it's another indication."

Past reports have shown a correlation between television viewing and low academic performance. A 20-year study of 678 families released in 2007 by the New York State Psychiatric Institute found that teens who watched three or more hours of television daily had an 82 percent greater chance of not graduating from high school when compared with those who watched less than an hour. However, critics of that study say students who struggle academically may be more inclined to watch TV to avoid the rigors of schoolwork.

The Northwestern study is said to be the first in the United States to examine children's media use by race. Nearly 1,900 youths participated. The study re-analyzed data from previous Kaiser Family Foundation studies on media consumption, finding that racial differences in children's media use remained static when accounting for socioeconomic status or whether youths came from single- or two-parent homes.

The results, which appeared to counter concerns about a possible digital divide and may give parents and educators new strategies to meet needs of minority youths, surprised Ellen Wartella, head of Northwestern's Center on Media and Human Development. She co-authored the study.

"Recreational media use is an enormous part of young people's lives, more than we ever thought," she says. "It's quite clear we have a group of young people who are tethered to their technology."

The report finds that Black and Latino youths spend one to two more hours daily watching TV and videos, an hour more listening to music, up to 90 minutes more on computers and 90 minutes on cellphones, and 30 to 40 minutes more playing video games than white youths. During the past decade, Black youths have doubled their daily media use, and Latino youths have quadrupled theirs, according to Wartella.

Asian-American youths also consume more media than their white peers. Asians lead all groups in use of mobile devices at 3 hours and 7 minutes daily, compared with 2 hours and 53 minutes for Latinos, 2 hours and 52 minutes for Blacks and just 80 minutes for Whites. Asians also spend 14 more minutes daily watching traditional TV than do white youths and more than an hour daily than whites watching TV online, via TiVo or on DVD. Nevertheless, Asian-American youths remain high academic achievers, challenging the contention that media consumption hurts student performance.

Kerry Riley, an affiliated scholar at the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, says media can help students of color in the classroom.

"For me, the issue isn't having more media," says the professor of ethnic studies. "It's access to higher standards of media." He adds that teachers and mentors of minority youths increasingly expose them to social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook to help them learn about many issues.

Riley says he has directed students to use cellphones in class to access music videos and shown them cartoons such as "South Park" and "Family Guy." Incorporating media in class to showcase popular culture, he says, has helped Blacks and Latinos understand how music forms and television shows can function as parodies of Western society.

 "We helped them to understand these weren't just elements of popular culture," Riley says. "They were existential forms of social critique that related directly to their lives. So I, as an African-American professor, was able to use popular culture via Google, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook as a pedagogical tool to help educate African-American and Latino youth and increase their academic performance."

Northwestern's Wartella agrees that greater media consumption isn't necessarily a drawback for youths but might put them at risk for obesity.

"One concern is exposure to food marketing, specifically television advertising for foods high in calories and lower in nutrients," she says. "We're saying maybe we should take a look at the negative consequences if they're watching television. Our hope is to start a national conversation about youth and media."

Her study's finding that, among children, 84 percent of blacks, 77 percent of Hispanics and 64 percent of Whites and Asian-Americans have TV sets in their rooms is telling. Blacks not only lead youths in TV ownership but also are also more likely to be obese or overweight. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 22.4 percent of Black children are obese and 44.4 percent are overweight, compared with 17.4 percent and 36.9 percent for white children, respectively.

Félix Gutiérrez, a University of Southern California journalism and communication professor who has written extensively about race and media, doesn't necessarily recommend advising youths of color to watch less television. It depends on whether they're intellectually engaged, he says.

The New York State Psychiatric Institute study found that students who passively absorb entertainment on television find classroom lessons boring. Gutiérrez advises parents that rather than leaving children alone to watch favorite shows, they should join them and initiate meaningful discussion about what's on the screen.

"Studies in the past have shown that when children saw a stereotypical portrayal of an Indian or black or Mexican, it helped to have parents there to challenge the message," he says. "There weren't many Latinos on TV, so if a Ricky Ricardo type came on, the child could hear the parent saying, 'People think we're all like that.' "

 Such critical feedback from parents helps children of color not to internalize racially demeaning messages, according to Gutiérrez.
 
Of course, not all minority youths spend much time watching television. Melissa Reed, 15, of the San Fernando Valley in California, says she rarely tunes in. Instead, the Black teen exercises regularly and spends "maybe like up to five hours listening to music on my iPod." Melissa also spends about an hour daily on her computer but not necessarily for homework.

The Northwestern study found this trend among youths of all races. White, Black and Hispanic juveniles spend on average of 16 minutes daily on computers for studies, with Asian-Americans using computers for that purpose a mere four minutes more.

That the Northwestern report showed little difference in numbers of computers in homes of white, black and Latino children surprised Gutiérrez. Homes of each of these groups have about two computers, while Asian-American homes average three.

"This runs counter to the digital divide talk of the late '90s and early part of the millennium when they said that Black and Latino youth would be left behind technologically," Gutiérrez says.

Now that minority youths rely daily on new and traditional media, parents and educators should engage them by using these tools, says Lewis of the Council of the Great City Schools. "Educators need to be more familiar with this new media, so we can use this to our advantage, so young people can have an educational experience with it that's meaningful."

Krystal and Melissa say teachers routinely assign them homework requiring Internet use and that taking shortcuts that way is all too easy. According to Melissa, students must be motivated to use technology to develop better thinking skills.

"I think the Internet can easily give you answers if you use it just to look up answers for homework, but it doesn't really help," she says. "That's the easy way out. If you actually want to learn, that's not going to help at all."

Parents can help by monitoring how children use different forms of media and for what length of time, Lewis says. The worst thing parents can do is allow children to shut themselves in their rooms while using media because that offers no way to gauge whether critical thinking skills are being used, she says.

Wartella agrees. She says media shouldn't function as baby sitters but should entertain and inform youngsters, and connect them with parents.

"Parents should start talking to young people about what media they're using and why they're using it and try to figure out what's going on," she says. "It's the way we communicate with our children."

 (America's Wire is an independent, non-profit news service run by the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. America's Wire is made possible by a grant from the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. For more information, visit www.americaswire.org or contact Michael K. Frisby at [email protected].)
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