First Openly Gay Congressman Endorses Freedman’s ‘Dying Words’

Samuel G. Freedman’s book Dying Words, an account of the groundbreaking AIDS reporting by New York Times journalist Jeff Schmaltz in the early 1990s, recently received a resounding endorsement from the nation’s first openly gay congressman.

Retired U.S. Congressman and gay rights pioneer Barney Frank (D-Mass.) recently endorsed CUNY author Samuel Friedman's book, "Dying Words."

Retired U.S. Congressman and gay rights pioneer Barney Frank (D-Mass.) recently endorsed CUNY author Samuel Friedman’s book, “Dying Words.”

Retired U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass) offered words of high praise for Freedman’s Dying Words, calling it “an important part of the story of the fight for LGBT equality in America.

“‘The personal is the political’ is usually a meaningless cliché,” Frank added, ‘but in the case of ‘Dying Words’ it is a perfect description of the part the death of reporter Jeff Schmalz played in dispelling the ambivalence in The New York Times coverage of LGBT issues in general, and AIDS in particular.”

The book, subtitled The AIDS Reporting of Jeff Schmalz and How It Transformed The New York Times, will be published by CUNY Journalism Press this autumn. Sam Freedman, the author of several renowned nonfiction books, is a longtime award-winning professor at the Columbia Journalism School.

Schmalz, who was a journalistic prodigy at the Times, began his reporting career there before he finished college. He led the way in reporting on the HIV and AIDS crisis affecting the homosexual community in the 1980s and early 1990s at a time when homosexuality was stigmatized, even in the newsroom of the New York Times. Schmalz, who was closeted in the newsroom for much of his career, was outed when he collapsed of AIDS at the Times. He then devoted himself to coverage of AIDS and gay life before he died of AIDS in November of 1993 at the age of 39.

Dying Words chronicles the mark he left on journalism, the nation and the fight for equality, which reverberates to this day.

“(Dying Words) will come as a surprise even to many well-informed readers,” Frank added.

To support “Dying Words,” by donating to the Kickstarter campaign to publish the book and fund an audio documentary, click here.

“Geeks Bearing Gifts” Now Available on Audible

CUNY author Jeff Jarvis’ critically acclaimed book, “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News,” is now available as an audiobook on Amazon’s Host, like author, is lower case in that usage.

The book, which examines the evolving landscape of journalism and mass media and possible ways to help save the soul of the industry, has a rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Throughout the book, Jarvis offers his own take on what’s wrong with the journalism standards of top media providers who prioritize page views and clicks over serving the public.

Jarvis argues that journalism should be viewed as a service, and that advocacy journalism is the future.

“Content fills things. Services accomplish things,” Jarvis told TV host Jorge Ramos earlier this year on Ramos’ web TV show, “America with Jorge Ramos.” “We have to shift this idea of seeing the world as a mass, all the same. We start seeing the individual and communities that exist in our communities.”

To purchase a copy, or for more information, click here.

Jarvis is regarded as a leading voice on the evolution of journalism and mass media. He is often quoted in the New York Times and elsewhere, is a frequent speaker at major journalism and technology conferences, and has made recent appearances on Bloomberg Markets and

CUNY Author’s Profile Subject Rips FBI Surveillance Practices in Latest Column

Celebrated writer Nate Hentoff calls out the FBI in his latest column for the conservative web site World Net Daily.

The staunch Libertarian and subject of CUNY author David L. Lewis’ book, “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step: Nat Hentoff’s Life in Journalism, Jazz and the First Amendment,” accuses the FBI of increasingly trampling on citizens’ rights under Presidents Bush and Obama.

“If James Madison and Thomas Jefferson could see this shredding of the Bill of Rights, they might be leading another American Revolution,” he writes.

Hentoff focused his criticism on the law enforcement agency’s expanded the attorney general guidelines for domestic operations, which were first implemented under President Bush’s Attorney General Michael Mukasey, but remained under President Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder.

He likened the policy’s phone surveillance and record retention practices to the methods implemented by FBI founder J. Edgar Hoover during the Red Scare of the 1950s and ‘60s.

“The FBI is ‘authorized and encouraged’ to identify and recruit informants, even if the activities to be investigated are totally lawful,” Hentoff writes, citing a quote from Margaret Ratner Kunstler and Michael Ratner, co-authors of “Hell No: Your Right to Dissent in 21st-Century America.”

“[The FBI’s] Mukasey guidelines dispense with the Privacy Act restrictions on keeping records about United States citizens and permanent residents, flatly stating that all activities authorized by the guidelines are exempt from the Privacy Act.”

For the full story, click here.

Hentoff has never held back in his defense of his Libertarian ideals and what he perceives as the federal government’s unending assault on the Bill of Rights.

David Lewis’ book, “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step,” profiles the former Village Voice reporter like never before with extensive interviews with Hentoff himself, his allies and rivals, and his unique career in American journalism and activism.

For more on the book, click here.

CUNY Author Weighs In On ‘Zombie’ Tom Brady Sketch

“The Illustrated Courtroom,” author Elizabeth Williams’ depiction of NFL Quarterback Tom Brady in court this month drew much less attention than the controversial “Zombie Brady” image drawn by her colleague Jane Rosenberg.

Williams recently shared her thoughts on the courtroom art controversy in her column with the New York Observer.


“Jane Rosenberg’s sketch (pictured right) depicted the pretty-boy quarterback as if he had taken too many blows to the face,” Williams wrote. “She did this scene that was journalistically accurate, but I knew it was going to take me too long.”

Williams apparently took her time drawing her own image of Brady (pictured below), which is less popular for the right reasons.

BRADY1“He looked contrite; his head was bowed and his eyes downcast, which I felt was important to capture,” Williams said of Brady’s demeanor in court. “I said to myself, ‘I’ve got to … just zero in on him.’”

Rosenberg and Williams depicted the New England Patriots signal caller during an Aug. 11 appearance in Manhattan’s federal courthouse following a lawsuit Brady filed against the NFL for suspending him four games this upcoming season.

Brady’s suspension was punishment for cheating allegations against him and the Pats. An NFL investigation earlier this year concluded he conspired with Patriots personnel to deliberately deflate footballs his team used in the 2015 AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts, allegedly making the balls easier to throw and catch.

Rosenberg’s illustration of “Tom Terrific” went viral on social media sites. Twitter users created the hashtag #ZombieBrady comparing the likeness to something straight out of an episode of “The Walking Dead.”

To read the full story, click here.

Brady is one of many famous faces drawn by Williams. Her book, “The Illustrated Courtroom,” a collection of courtroom art from some of the most famous trials of the last 50 years, features likenesses of John Gotti, Bernie Madoff, and “Cannibal Cop” Gilberto Valle among others.

For more information or to purchase a copy of the book, click here.

“The Illustrated Courtroom” Wins Global Ebook Award

CUNY Journalism Press authors Elizabeth Williams’ and Sue Russell’s critically acclaimed book, “The Illustrated Courtroom,” brought home the gold at this year’s Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards.

The collection of courtroom sketches from some of the nation’s most famous trials of the last half century took first place in the competition’s Illustration in Non-Fiction category.

“We can’t thank you enough for taking part in the awards this year and for your contribution to promoting the value of ebooks,” an organization spokesperson said via email.

Award-winning author and publisher Dan Poynter founded the Global Ebook awards to highlight excellence in electronic publishing. The annual competition is open to authors, publishers, illustrators and photographers.

Earlier this year, “The Illustrated Courtroom” also won four medals – two gold and two silver – at the annual eLit Book Awards, an independent organization honoring digital books. It was the first time in the history of the competition that a single book has won four awards.

To read more about this year’s Global Ebook Award winners, click here.

“The Illustrated Courtroom,” includes behind-the-scenes text of many of the biggest headline-grabbing cases in U.S. history: Charles Manson, O.J. Simpson, Michael Jackson, Martha Stewart, Bernie Madoff and more.

To learn more about the book or to purchase a copy, click here.

CUNY Author Jeff Jarvis Breaks Down Google’s New “Alphabet” Venture for Bloomberg News

What WON’T Google Do?

That seems to be the real question this week after the tech giant recently announced the creation of its new umbrella corporation, Alphabet.

CUNY Professor Jeff Jarvis, author of “What Would Google Do?” and his latest title, “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News,” participated in a Bloomberg News segment discussing the implications of Google’s latest venture, which he described as a brilliant move.

“Google was being typecast as just a search engine company,” Jarvis said, “when the truth is for a long time it’s been much more… with Gmail and Google Maps and so on.”

“Google is really a personal services company,” he added. “To maximize that value, I think it needs to be able to concentrate on that.”

Google’s iconic search engine is only one of at least 78 businesses included in the soup of enterprises under the Alphabet Holding Company umbrella, which also includes Android, AdSense, YouTube, X Labs, and Finance among others.

Bloomberg reports Google investors showed confidence in the move with company shares up as much as five percent.

Bloomberg News Editor Tom Giles says that’s because of the potential for “unlocked value,” from the tech giant’s entrepreneurial ambitions.

“Now you have a bunch of new businesses that are going to be easier to set apart and possibly down the road sell IPO,” he said. “Some of them are going to fail miserably, but others are going to do really well.”

To watch the full segment, click here.

Jarvis’ latest book, “Geeks Bearing Gifts: Imagining New Futures for News,” examines the changing journalistic landscape and assesses the need for modern reporters to act as service providers, not just content creators.

To learn more about the book, click here.

CUNY Profile Subject Weighs In on Rand Paul, Presidential Race

Republican Presidential Candidate Rand Paul may know the Constitution, but he lacks the fortitude to make it to the White House, claims Legendary Author Nat Hentoff.

The former Village Voice jazz critic and Libertarian who is the subject of CUNY Author David L. Lewis’ book, “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step: Nat Hentoff on Journalism, Jazz, and the First Amendment,” recently shared his thoughts on Paul and other 2016 presidential politics in an interview with the conservative website World News

“Though he knows more about the Constitution,” Hentoff says of Paul, “there is something lacking in him, and that’s, to use the language of the street, a certain amount of balls.”

Hentoff criticized Paul’s failed effort to end the much-maligned U.S. Patriot Act, which was ultimately renewed by Congress earlier this year, as well as Paul’s support of President Obama’s efforts to renew diplomatic relationship with Cuba.

“I have friends who have been in Cuban jails for a long time,” Hentoff tells WND,” and they have very little chance of getting out.”

At 90-years-old, Hentoff also addresses his recent health troubles and rumors that he may soon return to writing and political commentary.

For the full story, click here.

David Lewis’ book, “The Pleasures of Being Out of Step,” profiles Hentoff like never before with extensive interviews with Hentoff himself, his allies and rivals, and his unique career in American journalism and activism.

For more on the book, click here.

“Distant Witness” Author’s iPhone Added to Smithsonian

Former NPR social media director Andy Carvin used his iPhone to document history during the 2011 Arab Spring in Cairo.

Now Carvin’s phone has literally become a part of history.

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is featuring Carvin’s iPhone in its new exhibit on enterprise and innovation in the U.S. The 8,000-square-foot exhibit tells the stories of technology that changed the world. Other exhibit showcases items such as the Nintendo Gameboy, the original Google server, Eli Whitney’s cotton gin, and the iPhone, using Carvin’s phone to exemplify its impact.

Curator Peter Liebhold notes, that the iPhone is one of the inventions that helped Americans “really understand who we are as a country.”

For the full story, click here.

For more information on “Distant Witness,” the book that tells Carvin’s story and how he changed journalism by covering the Arab Spring using social media, click here.

National Arts Club Honors ‘Illustrated Courtroom’

“The Illustrated Courtroom” Author Elizabeth Williams joins a revered group of courtroom artists in New York June 9 at an event honoring their crucial role in chronicling courtroom history.

The National Arts Club, located at 15 Gramercy Park S in Manhattan, will host a reception for the artists, celebrating its new exhibit, which showcases some of their work through most of the month of June.

The exhibit titled, “Courtroom Art: Eyewitness for the Public,” will be displayed in the club’s Trask gallery through June 26. It features illustrations from the artists’ most famous trials, including Galella v Onassis (1973), U.S. v Helmsley (1989)U.S. v Marcos (1990), and USA v Shahzad (2010).

In addition to Williams, work from courtroom artists Christine Cornell, Aggie Kenney, Jane Rosenberg, and Richard Tomlinson is featured in the exhibit. Aggie Kenney and Richard Tomlinson also have a number of reproductions of their drawings in the book The Illustrated Courtroom.

Guests can see the exhibit during the club’s normal business hours,  11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday – Friday. The club is closed Saturday and Sunday.

For more information on the event and the exhibit as well as more club calendar events, click here.

The Illustrated Courtroom is regarded as one of the best books published in 2014, according to Kirkus Reviews.

Click here for more information or to purchase a copy.

Federal Judge Uses “Fighting for the Press” In Ruling Against NSA Domestic Spying

A three-judge panel on the US Court of Appeals cited James Goodale’s book, “Fighting for the Press,” in its recent decision limiting the controversial National Security Agency (NSA) domestic phone monitoring program.

In the case of A.C.L.U. v. James R. Clapper – the NSA’s director of national intelligence – Second Circuit Judge Gerard E. Lynch’s opinion declared that the program, which has been publicly criticized for its practice of collecting and storing Americans’ phone call data, “exceeds the scope of what Congress authorized,” in the U.S. Patriot Act (2001).

In his concurring opinion, Circuit Judge Robert D. Sack explained the court’s ruling in part by citing, “Fighting for the Press,” and exploring the national security vs. free speech issues weighed in the Pentagon Papers Supreme Court case U.S. v. New York Times Co. (1971). James Goodale was the Times’ General Counsel who led the newspaper’s fight against the Nixon administration’s efforts to suppress publication of the leaked documents about the Vietnam War.

“Recognition of the dangers to the fundamental rights of citizens that inevitably arise when the nation attempts effectively to treat grave external threats to lives and property was not dependent on the creation of telephone metadata or the preparation of secret reports on the origin of the Vietnam War,” wrote Sack.

He concluded his argument with a quote from Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist No. 8 essay.

“’The violent destruction of life and property incident to war, the continual effort and alarm attendant on a state of continual danger, will compel nations the most attached to liberty to resort for repose and security to institutions which have a tendency to destroy their civil and political rights.’”

For more details on the story, click here.

“Fighting for the Press,” was named best non-fiction book of the 2013 by Alan Rusbridger, Editor of The Guardian, and by Alan Clanton of

To purchase a copy of “Fighting for the Press,” click here.

“Distant Witness” Author Cited in Irish Social Conflict Study

“Distant Witness,” Author Andy Carvin continues to make waves overseas.

Carvin, the author of our 2013 book on social media’s role in the 2010 Arab Spring, was recently cited in an England university’s study of sectarian conflict in Ireland. The study found that social media is not only a means to start a revolution, but can also prevent violence by mediating peaceful discourse.

Paul Reilly, a media and communication lecturer at the UK’s University of Leicester, mentions Carvin in his recent ‘Social Media, Parades and Protest’ study on community relations in Northern Ireland, which was summarized in a recent blog post by the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Reilly analyzed Twitter activity during a July 2014 conflict between unionist and loyalist protesters with the Police Service of Northern Ireland, groups that have a history of violent conflict.

“Although there was no equivalent of the ‘crowdsourced newswire’ that emerged via NPR editor Andy Carvin’s Twitter account during the ‘Arab Spring,’” writes Reilly. “Twitter did provide users with an array of information sources courtesy of the citizen and professional journalists who were tweeting their perspectives on events as they unfolded.”

“While acknowledging that social media has often been used to reinforce divisions between rival communities in Northern Ireland,” he continues, “this study suggested that Twitter may have untapped potential in facilitating modes of communication that help defuse sectarian tensions around the marching season.”

For the full story, click here.

For more information or to purchase a copy of “Distant Witness,” click here.

USC Honors “The Illustrated Courtroom”

The University of Southern California recently honored our book, “The Illustrated Courtroom,” at its Art in the Court: Famous Trials Illustrated,” event in downtown Los Angeles.

Co-Author Elizabeth Williams was one of three courtroom artists participating in the event, which looked back on famous courtroom dramas such as the O.J. Simpson and Michael Jackson trials.

Williams was joined by two other artists whose work is featured in the book, Bill Robles and Emmy Award-Winner Aggie Kenny. USC Professor Judy Muller and Roy P. Crocker, led panelists in peeking behind the scenes and the challenges of capturing courtroom history with stencils and paper.

For more details on the event, click here.

In addition, artwork from, “The Illustrated Courtroom,” was put on display at the Newport Beach Central Library in Newport, Calif. The book is regarded as one of the best books published in 2014, according to Kirkus Reviews.

The acclaimed book review magazine included “Courtroom” in its annual best-of-the-year list in the independent books category.


California Library Spotlights ‘The Illustrated Courtroom’

The Newport Beach, California library is displaying sketches from The Illustrated Courtroom by co-authors Sue Russell and Elizabeth Williams.

The critically acclaimed book is part of the library’s Courtroom Art exhibit. The exhibit pays tribute to courtroom artists and the critical role they play in the judicial storytelling process. Featured among the sketches are some of the greatest California courtroom dramas in The Illustrated Courtroom, including the trials of Michael Jackson and O.J. Simpson.

The library recently hosted, “An Evening of Famous Trials in Pictures,” with Williams and two other courtroom artists whose work is featured in The Illustrated Courtroom – Bill Robles, who covered the infamous 1970 murder trial of Charles Manson, and Emmy Award-Winner Aggie Kenny, whose work includes illustrations of the trial of Nixon cabinet members John Mitchell and Maurice Stans.

Read the full article on The Daily Pilot.

The Illustrated Courtroom, the first oversized full-color book of American courtroom illustrations, is one of the best books published in 2014, according to Kirkus Reviews.

The acclaimed book review magazine included The Illustrated Courtroom in its annual best-of-the-year list in the independent books category.

“GEEKS” Author Debates Journalism’s Outlook on “America with Jorge Ramos”

CUNY Professor and “Geeks Bearing Gifts” author Jeff Jarvis made a recent appearance on the web show, “America with Jorge Ramos,” where he and fellow guest – Senior Editor Felix Salmon – debated the merits of a career in journalism in today’s web-based media landscape.

Salmon asserted that today may be the best time ever for the practice of journalism because of the internet and the prevalence of communications technology – but that there’s never been a worse time to be a professional journalist.

“There’s amazing journalism going on everywhere,” he says, “but it also means the amount of money you can make, the idea that you can have a long career, that you can get a lot of experience, that this will pay you well, that you can have a family on a journalist’s salary, has never been less.”

Jarvis argued that journalism is still a viable career path, but that today’s reporters must become advocates, not content providers.

“We have to switch from the idea that journalism is a content factory where we churn out more paragraphs and paragraphs,” he said. “We have to change to an idea where journalism is a service to people. If we’re a service, then you have to judge our success on whether or not we help you, as an individual or a community, meet your goals. That’s where we move over, I think, into advocacy.”

To see the full conversation, click here.

In February, Jarvis discussed the future of journalism on Host Bob Garfield’s, “On the Media,” podcast. He also was quoted in a Feb. 10 PBS Idea Lab article about the outlook on how consumers get their news.

In January, “Geeks,” was spotlighted by BBC Culture as one if it’s “Ten Books to Read.”

Jeff Jarvis talks ‘Geeks Bearing Gifts’ on NPR’s ‘On the Media’ Podcast

Rave reviews continue to pour in for CUNY J-School Professor and Scholar Jeff Jarvis’ latest book, GEEKS BEARING GIFTS: Imagining New Futures for News, his analysis on the future of news production and delivery.

The veteran author, who also wrote the 2009 critically-acclaimed, “What Would Google Do?” was recently featured on host Bob Garfield’s, “On the Media,” weekly podcast discussing how relationship-building is the key to capturing news consumers in today’s transformed mass media landscape.

“We have to stop thinking of journalism as a content factory and we have to re-think it as a service,” Jarvis tells Garfield. “If my local newspaper knew more about me, gave me greater relevance, it would get greater engagement from me. It would get higher value advertising for me, and I think that a relationship-based strategy is where we have to shift journalism.”

Jarvis was also quoted in a Feb. 10 news story for PBS Idea Lab about the future of journalism and how consumers get their news. And last month, “Geeks,” was spotlighted by BBC Culture as one if it’s “Ten Books to Read in February.”