Connections, Changes, and Playing Keep-out: this week on Fresh Powder

Creating Connections

Journalism is, sadly, a fairly homogenous game: it’s mostly composed of white people. People of color are woefully underrepresented when it comes to newsroom demographics, and when it comes to leadership, the numbers are embarrassingly low. The Ida B. Wells Society wants to change that. They’re holding journalism bootcamps aimed at grooming journalists of color for the newsroom. The idea is that by training journalists, they’ll start to chip away at the oft-used excuse for a lack of diversity in newsrooms: there are not enough qualified applicants. No more excuses means room for change, and that’s cool.

Trump Change

Last week, the Trump administration rescinded federal oversight of school protections for transgender students. Primarily, this change removes Obama admin guidelines that require schools to accommodate students according to their gender identity, and that prohibit schools from requiring transgender students to use separate bathroom facilities. The new guidelines do mandate that schools provide a safe learning environment for LGBTQ students, but so-called “bathroom laws” will be handled state by state. In a time when we thought we really were moving past segregation, this feels like a major step backward.

No Holds Barred

Last Friday, press secretary Sean Spicer hand-picked reporters to attend a White House press briefing. NBC, ABC, and Fox News were represented at the briefing. CNN, Buzzfeed, and Politico, along with almost all of the foreign press, were barred from attendance. This kind of siloed information sharing is unprecedented, and it’s alarming. We have a president who is openly disdainful of the media, and by allowing this kind of pick-and-choose media access, the Trump admin is, in effect, curating the news. That’s scary, and as members of the journalism community, we all need to sit up and take notice. Even George W. Bush critiqued Trump’s war on the media, because freedom of the press is that important.

This also happened last week: The Academy Awards happened Sunday, and at the end of the night Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway announced La La Land as winner of Best Picture. But… they were wrong. Moonlight won. Mid-acceptance speech, La La Land producer Jordan Horowitz made the announcement, and the snafu was handled gracefully. Actor Bill Paxton died over the weekend at the age of 61, and he’ll be missed. To help, here are 26 pictures that will make everything ok.