NABJ releases statement on W.E.B. DuBois plenary at the 2017 NABJ Convention & Career Fair

The National Association of Black Journalists board of directors met on Aug. 13, 2017, for their last meeting of the 2015-2017 term. At the meeting, NABJ issued this statement on Al Jazeera and press freedom:
“The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) supports the journalists of the Al Jazeera Media Network and the vital need for them to continue to freely share news and information with the public. Any forced closure or censorship of the Al Jazeera news operation is a blow against free speech and the rights of millions of people in the region and throughout the world.”
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NABJ releases statement on W.E.B. DuBois plenary at the 2017 NABJ Convention & Career Fair

As an organization of professional journalists, NABJ seeks to have candid and frank conversations with newsmakers. For years, the NABJ has invited the White House administration to participate in the annual convention.

Omarosa Newman, Director of Communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison, was invited as a panelist this year to share her perspective on issues that are critical to our members, and moreover, critical to the communities that we serve. During her time on the panel, she exercised her right to decide which questions she wanted to answer, and which she did not want to answer.

Moderator Ed Gordon asked tough questions and the Q&A quickly became combative. NABJ does not endorse the positions or the discourse by panelists or moderators at its programs.

#NABJNAHJ20: NABJ and NAHJ Announce Joint Convention Plans for 2020

Momentum is already building for another successful joint convention!

NAHJ President Brandon Benavides and NABJ President Sarah Glover attended SXSW 2017 in Austin, Texas. Glover’s participation on a SXSW panel was a first for an NABJ President and the first time NABJ leadership attended the convention. The mega convention attracts 70,000 attendees each year.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 8, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ) are pleased to announce the two organizations will come together again and host a joint convention in 2020. NABJ President Sarah Glover and NAHJ President Brandon Benavides have signed a Memorandum of Understanding demonstrating their commitment and to officially begin planning.
The two presidents are excited that the associations are collaborating again as partners to produce another epic journalism convention in 2020.
The two organizations held the joint #NABJNAHJ16 convention in Washington, D.C. last year, known as #NABJNAHJ16. The gathering garnered nearly 4,000 attendees and attracted major newsmakers and celebrities, including Democratic presidential candidate and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Convention partners responded with enthusiasm on the quality of the programming and registrants and the career fair booths were sold out.
“NABJ is looking forward to hosting another joint convention with NAHJ. Both groups executed a memorable convention experience for our members and the journalism industry last year. We have a lot of momentum to build off of as we head into 2020,” said Glover. “It only makes sense to bring black and Hispanic journalists together as we move toward what is shaping up to be a history-making election in 2020.”
“Over the next couple of years as we’re moving toward returning to a joint convention with NABJ, we’ll be recognizing the priorities in our programming, special events and all elements of a conference that our members value most.” said NAHJ President Brandon Benavides. “It is critical that as the two-largest journalism associations of color, we not only make an investment into our student journalists, but also provide the best resources to develop talent and make it our mission to create more leadership training opportunities for all of our journalists.”
Both organizations anticipate increased convention attendance in 2020. The city location will be released at a later date.

 

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About The National Association of Black Journalists:
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit,www.nabj.org.
About The National Association of Hispanic Journalists:
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists is dedicated to the recognition and professional advancements of Hispanics in the news industry. Established in April 1984, NAHJ created a national voice and unified vision for all Hispanic journalists.  For additional information, please visit,www.nahj.org.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (July 31, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased to announce those who will participate in the Student Multimedia Project during the 2017 NABJ Convention and Career Fair, Aug. 9-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana. The project is part of the organization’s Student Education Enrichment and Development (SEED) Program.

Annually, NABJ offers an all-expenses-paid fellowship to outstanding college students that allows them to cover the convention and local stories in the host city.

“The Student Multimedia Project offers our student members a unique opportunity to receive on-the-job training from our dedicated professional members including journalists and public relations experts,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “As a former member of the 1995 Student Projects, I know first-hand the invaluable experience this will be for our 2017 student cohort by providing them the opportunity to showcase their talents to our membership and potential employers.”

The students produce both breaking news and long-form multimedia stories, which are featured in the convention’s daily newspaper (print and online), and during a daily newscast. Additionally, the students promote special events, programming, and sponsor-related information on the organization’s social media platforms.

“Since organizing in 1975, NABJ’s commitment and mission to black journalists and especially to our up-and-coming journalists, has been to mentor and encourage students of color,” said SEED Chairman Alexis Mitchell. “Each student has a different goal and we help them identify their special interest, which we hope will ultimately propel them into a very rewarding and productive profession.”

NABJ thanks the NABJ SEED Project partners, especially the Knight Foundation and WDSU-TV in New Orleans.

 

2017 Student Participants include: Alexis Wainwright, Arriana McIlymore, Benjamin Arthur, Candace King, Cecil Hannibal, Crystal Milner, Daja Henry, Danielle Solomon, Doni Holloway, Emmanuel Morgan, Garahbrie Wesley-James, Gladys Sergeant, Joi Wade, Justina Sharp, Katherine Gilyard, La’Candis Brown, Lee Mengistu, Marquavia Smith, Maya King, Phillip Jackson, Simone Thomas, Tamara Richardson, Vance Brinkley, Zoe Jackson, Tiffany Afoakwa, Penelope Blackwell, and Chancellor Johnson.

Journalists push for Senate hearing on a free and unfettered press

INDIANAPOLIS (JULY 27, 2017) – The Society of Professional Journalists and 29 other journalism and open government organizations sent a letter today to Sen. John Thune (R-SD) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) urging the Senate Commerce Committee to hold a hearing on the state of media in the United States.

The letter follows one sent in May by Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) and Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM), members of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, requesting this hearing. The Committee last hosted a hearing on the Future of Journalism in May 2009. It plays an important role in shaping the environment in which journalism and media exist and in which journalists seek to work safely.

“We believe now is the time to reaffirm the importance of a free and unfettered press, which has been a cornerstone of democracy for the past 240 years,” the letter states. “Having an open discussion where journalists can talk about their professions, the industry and explain how it all works will hopefully help rebuild trust in a pillar of our democracy, reaffirming to the American people the link between the strength of our nation’s democracy and its free press.”

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a membergive to the Legal Defense Fund, or give to the Sigma Delta Chi Foundation.

WASHINGTON, D.C. (JULY 22, 2017) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the loss of pioneering broadcast journalist WRC-TV/NBC Washington anchor Jim Vance.

“It’s a sad day in American journalism. The passing of legendary journalist Jim Vance has struck a chord with the nation and rightfully so as he was a pioneer and role model among the nation’s top broadcasters,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover, NBC Owned Television Stations Social Media Editor. “As one of the first African-American primetime anchors in a major television market, Vance was an impeccable deliverer of news, keeping the citizens of Washington informed for 45 years. He inspired multiple generations of African-Americans to pursue journalism as their craft. His beautiful spirit touched everyone he met and lives on in the scores of working journalists he mentored.”

Vance joined WRC-TV in 1969 as a general assignment reporter. He became an anchor for the station three years later in 1972. He served as the station’s main anchor primarily co-anchoring the station’s 6p.m. and 11p.m. newscasts. Vance gave up his 11pm anchor duties only recently but continued to anchor, report, and offer his incisive commentary in a segment dubbed “Vance’s View.”

Earlier this year Vance announced that he had received a cancer diagnosis and was undergoing treatment. He said at the time, “I love what I do. I love the people with whom I am privileged every day to do it.”

“For more than 45 years, Jim Vance was not only the soul of NBC4 but of the entire Washington area. His smooth voice, brilliant mind and unforgettable laugh leaves each of us with a tremendous void. Vance always celebrated the good and acknowledged the parts of life that didn’t go so well. That made him a great man,” Jackie Bradford, NBC Washington President & General Manager said in a statement.

“We have lost a giant. Jim Vance was a well-respected anchor, not only in DC but across the country. He was the consummate journalist we all admired and longed to emulate. He will be missed,” said NABJ Board Vice-President of Broadcast Dorothy Tucker.

NABJ was honored to induct Vance into the Association’s Hall of Fame at our annual convention in 2007.

NABJ’s thoughts are with Jim Vance’s family, his colleagues and friends during this difficult time.

OWN’S Queen Sugar and Greenleaf Casts to Converge on #NABJ17 – National Association of Black Journalists

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 30, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased to announce that the casts of OWN’s “Greenleaf” and”Queen Sugar” are among those who will attend the annual A&E Task Force reception at the 2017 NABJ Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans Aug. 9-13, 2017. NABJ even received a shout-out on this week’s episode of “Queen Sugar” and by Director Ava DuVernay on Twitter.
Once again, the A&E Task Force will present their “How I Landed My Dream Job Before 30” panel, which will feature Justin Tinsley of ESPN’s The Undefeated, Sylvia Obell of Buzzfeed and more for an in-depth conversation on how they landed at some of the biggest media brands before hitting a milestone age. Veteran broadcast journalist Tony Harris will be back to present new documentary Black and Blue, which is a timely look at the state of police affairs and race relations on the heels of the controversial verdicts involving police shootings this week.
Finally, take time to network with A&E members at the convention, including Task Force chair Kelley L. Carter of ESPN’s The Undefeated, Gerrick Kennedy of the L.A. Times, Eric Deggans of NPR, Patrick Riley of talent agency ICM and more!

 

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ASNE brings Emerging Leaders Institute to #NABJ17

 
Apply now for the ASNE Emerging Leaders Institute hosted by NABJ Executive Suite Aug. 8-9 at the 2017 NABJ Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans. The goal of this institute is to train up-and-coming news leaders with diverse backgrounds and help them develop core leadership and strategic skills.
The institute is free to all participants and will provide travel reimbursements of up to $500 per participant after the institute.
This is the second institute of the four that ASNE is hosting this year to help train the next generation of news leaders. The first institute trained 25 participants last week at Loyola University Chicago. The other two institutes will be offered in September and October.
“ASNE is pleased to again bring the ELI to the NABJ Convention,” said ASNE Leadership Committee Co-Chair Peter Bhatia of The Cincinnati Enquirer and ASNE Vice President Alfredo Carbajal of Al Dia at The Dallas Morning News. “Now more than ever, our newsrooms need effective, innovative and diverse leaders to confront the most pressing issues that journalism is facing. This partnership with NABJ is crucial to our future.”
“NABJ is proud to host the ASNE Emerging Leaders Institute at the NABJ Convention in New Orleans,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “This two-day training will bolster the leadership chops of the next generation of newsroom managers and change agents. This program is a great opportunity to explore news leadership as participants will gain tangible skills to take back to their newsrooms. I’m proud to be an alum of this worthy program.”
For two days, the institute will provide leadership and management training for new and mid-level news leaders from organizations across all platforms around the country. It is tailored to address the most pressing issues for leaders and the basic skills needed to lead and drive change. Some of the topics on the program include coaching and feedback, leadership style, driving diversity in news platforms, goal-setting and strategy, financial leadership, and technology and innovation. Click here for a quick glance on last week’s program at Loyola.
“Our classes are filled with smart, diverse up-and-coming managers who love to learn,” said ASNE member Jill Geisler, the Bill Plante Chair in Leadership and Media Integrity at Loyola, who co-leads the institute with Bhatia, Carbajal and ASNE Leadership Committee Co-Chair Ron Smith of the USA TODAY. “Together, we focus on the leadership skills and values that foster innovation, quality and positive workplace cultures. We provide tools they can put to work immediately.”
The institute will take place Tuesday, Aug. 8, and Wednesday, Aug. 9, prior to the NABJ Convention at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, at Two Poydras St., New Orleans, LA 70130.
Interested candidates need to apply by filling out an online form by July 14.The form includes a resume, a brief statement on goals for the institute and a nomination letter from a supervisor. Candidates will be notified of their application decision via email, and those accepted will be required to fill out a skills survey by July 21.
For accepted candidates, arrangements will be made for two nights of hotel (Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 7-8) at the New Orleans Downtown Marriott at the Convention Center, at 859 Convention Center Blvd., New Orleans, LA  70130. Some meals during the institute will be provided.
The two additional institutes ASNE is hosting are:
  • Sept. 6-7 at the Excellence in Journalism Conference in Anaheim, California, in cooperation with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists
  • Oct. 7-8 at the ASNE-APME News Leadership Conference in Washington, D.C. More information will be available soon
The Emerging Leaders Institute is a program ASNE started in 2012 with the goal of training minority journalists to become leaders in their organizations and in the industry. ASNE has trained more than 225 news leaders since its inception.
The institute is underwritten by generous contributions from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Loyola University Chicago School of Communication and the American Press Institute.

NABJ Launches Black Male Media Project to #InspireBlackMen this Saturday

WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 7, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is launching its Black Male Media Project, an initiative to help change the narrative around the lives and images of black men in the news and in society, with a series of workshops nationwide on Saturday, June 10, 2017.

The NABJ Black Male Media Project will launch with 19 NABJ affiliate chapters hosting events in various cities across the United States, including Atlanta, Baltimore, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Pittsburgh and St. Louis, all on the same day. The initiative is designed to inspire, support and develop training and mentorship opportunities for black men working in or aspire to work in journalism and media.

“NABJ has created the Black Male Media Project to combat the blotter-to-mugshot images of black male faces, to create a fresh and real view of black men in America and across the diaspora and to help build trust in communities nationwide,” said Sarah Glover, NABJ president.

The initiative’s launch with feature workshops, panels and events focused on examining newsroom diversity, professional development and networking. The New York Association of Black Journalists event will include Civil Rights Activist Rev. Al Sharpton, New York Daily News justice writer Shaun King and Fox 5 News Director Byron Harmon as part a panel of black male journalists, discussing race and the perception of black males in the media. Concurrently, the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists will will screen a documentary on that city’s historically black business district.

Participating chapters will promote the project – open to anyone helping to engage around the value of black males working in newsrooms and media – using the hashtag #InspireBlackMen.  Please share this post with other journalists and use #InspireBlackMen to begin the dialogue that will help fuel a change in the perspective of black men.

The second phase of the NABJ Black Male Media Project will be a digital photography project showcased at the NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair from Aug. 9-13, 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NABJ members will be invited to share positive pictures of black men.Some of the images will be displayed during the convention, and hopefully a traveling juried exhibit will happen in the future. More details are forthcoming on the digital photography project. Also at the #NABJ17 Convention, there will be a special reconvening workshop session focusing on black men and the #InspireBlackMen project.

Media outlets and general questions may direct inquiries to: InspireBlackMen@gmail.com. Partnership inquiries may be addressed to JoAnne Lyons Wooten at jlwooten@nabj.org.

 
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Atlanta
The Atlanta Association of Black Journalists will host a brunch program on Saturday, June 10 to celebrate Black men and “to help change the lives and images of black men in the news and in society.” The program will include a panel of well-known men from different media, including radio/TV/film, sports and music. The panelists will discuss the images of Black men in their respective fields (both negative and positive), what they have experienced, and any changes they are making to provide a solution to the issue.
Baltimore
The Baltimore Association of Black Journalists has a special program designed to inspire, support and develop training and mentorship opportunities for Black men working in journalism and media and those that aspire to. Key figures in media were tapped to lead this effort for Charm City. The chapter has partnered with WBAL-TV 11 & WBAL 1090AM Radio to host the event.Charlotte
The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists project is being headed by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Proctor. Panelists will explore the need to have black men represented in the editorial process, leadership and resilience, and take a critical look at journalism through the eyes of black male reporters. The discussion will include how the industry has changed black male journalists and if that change has an impact on how black journalists cover our communities.
Chicago
In an effort to change often-negative portrayals of black men in media, NABJ-CC will host an event to discuss the issue and expose young black men to careers in media while providing one-on-one mentoring to jump-start their futures. There are also plans to take them on a tour of a top local media outlet.Dallas
The Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists is planning a Black Media Day of Presence. Black male journalists will gather for a photo taken by celebrity photographer Steven Williams. Leaders in journalism and the community will help lead a discussion on the state of black males in media in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Little Rock
The Central Arkansas Association of Black Journalists (CAABJ) will partner with KWCP 98.9 radio and mentor African American males who are preparing to take the Certified Radio Operators (CRO) exam. The goal is to help the mentees to become official certified radio operators. The CAABJ mentors will provide training and tutoring through workshops, lectures and practice examinations.
Los Angeles
NABJ Los Angeles will host a digital discussion on the state of black males in the media, addressing pressing questions such as how can the media better serve black men. Participants are invited to share the moments when their identity impacted their careers and how and to explain how mentorship has affected their careers. Some of the biggest names in media are expected to weigh in. The chapter is partnering with the LA chapter of the Black Public Relations Society.
Memphis
The Memphis Association of Black Journalists will hold a panel discussion on June 7 with African American males in media and include community organizations that work with black males. The panel will focus on showcasing black males in media and how they can impact our community through mentorship programs and professional development. There will be a digital component with videos to showcase black men in media. We will connect with black males in high school and college to mentor emerging journalists and combat the literacy problem in Memphis.
Miami
The South Florida Black Journalists Association is participating in a nationwide initiative highlighting black male journalists who contribute to telling stories about black men and the relationship with the media. There will be an engaging panel discussion that explores the black male story in the media from those who tell it, produce it and view it. The event will be live streamed.
New Orleans
The New Orleans Association of Black Journalists (NOABJ) will begin with a panel discussion Perception vs. Reality: Black Men and the Media. Dr. Charles Corprew will lead the discussion. They will partner with  the partnership with M. von Nkosi, creator of the Mi Rialiti social experience app, to gauge participant experiences both with the images of Black men in the media and as Black men working in journalism.
New York
The New York Association of Black Journalists is planning a mentorship day to include Rev. Al Sharpton, nationally recognized journalist Shaun King and Fox 5 News Director Byron Harmon as part a panel of black male journalists leading a discussion on race and the perception of black males in the media. Panelist will examine the causes fueling the lack of black males in major mainstream media newsrooms and the relatively narrow scope of coverage on issues affecting black people in the age of President Donald Trump. Recruiters from some of the city’s top media companies will be present as well.Norfolk
The Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals event will include an in-depth look at the barriers facing black male journalists.  The program opens up to attends with a question-and-answer session. A panel of industry leaders and well-known media personalities will help provide insight on the issues raised. Everyone is encouraged to attend, especially young men! The event is free, but donations for HRBMP scholarships are accepted. Let’s #InspireBlackMen together!
Philadelphia
The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists will hold a series of discussions including newsroom leaders, newsmakers, and community leaders.  They will candidly address questions about how far black journalists come have and how far do they have to go. Participants will receive training in broadcast, including radio, print, and digital reporting. The professional development training will be open to youth.
Phoenix
The Arizona Association of Black Journalists will open its session with an engaging discussion about racist graffiti on the home of NBA great LeBron James. A panel of students, journalists, and police will guide participants through the portrayal of black men by the public and how that impacts journalists covering issues that shape the image of black men.
Pittsburgh
The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation invites aspiring and professional photographers/videographers to a networking and mentoring forum where it will discuss images of black men in media. Attendees will engage around the value of black males working in newsrooms and media.  Attendees are welcome to bring their cameras to talk shop.  Those who would like to showcase and discuss their own photos and short videos of black males working and living in Pittsburgh communities may bring them on thumb drives to be shown on a large projector screen. Aspiring photographers in middle, high school and college are encouraged to attend the free forum interactive discussion.
Raleigh-Durham
The Triangle Association of Black Journalists will address issues confronting black male in media online. Veteran journalists in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area will rely on social media to lead the discussion about obstacles facing men of color and provide actionable solutions using the hashtag #InspireBlackMen. They will kick off their digital discussion on speaking directly to emerging journalists in the numerous colleges in the area working to establish a career.
St. Louis
The Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists will meet on the campus of Saint Louis University, Boileau Hall. Their journalists are teaming up with representatives from the arts, youth development and social research to tackle the issue of negative stereotypes, damaging images and how they affect black men and boys. The panel discussion and question-and-answer session will include some of the strongest voices in media in the St. Louis area.
Tampa Bay
Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists will take a look at the community Journalists cover through a special documentary screening to delve into Central Avenue, the historically black business district in the city, a vibrant area until its physical and symbolic demise in 1974. Their program will recognize African-American pioneers in the Tampa television market, with profiles of and encouragement from, current journalists and provide an opportunity for current and emerging journalists to learn from their struggles.Wisconsin Black Media Association
Wisconsin Black Media Association will facilitate a talk with young men aged 14 to 25 years old, and Milwaukee’s Brothers in the Media. This is a free event, and attendees will get a chance to participate in a candid dialogue about working in the world of media. These influential speakers can give genuine insight into what they do, why they do it, and the hurdles and rewards presented to them here in the Greater Milwaukee Area. This event is a great networking opportunity for those looking to the careers of Journalism in News, Print, Radio/Podcasts, Blogs and Social Media. Breakfast and lunch will be provided.

NABJ Announces Finalists for 2017 Student Chapter of the Year

Washington, D.C. (June 6, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is proud to announce the finalists for the NABJ Student Chapter of the Year Award. The nominees are the Carolina Association of Black Journalists, City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism Association of Black Journalists and Morgan State University Association of Black Journalists.

The NABJ Student Chapter of the Year Award is given to an NABJ student chapter for accomplishments during the eligibility period. Criteria include, but is not limited to, the number of new members who joined the chapter and NABJ, and the chapter’s campus and community activities and programs.

“They’re all strong candidates,” said NABJ Student Representative Wilton Jackson. “I know people who work in those chapters and they really work hard to get their students involved in campus and off-campus media. All three are deserving of this.”

 

Carolina Association of Black Journalists
The Carolina Association of Black Journalists (CABJ) noted its 25th anniversary in 2016. As part of the celebration, CABJ launched the #25for25 campaign with 25 events showcasing chapter excellence. The chapter’s Sports as Entertainment Conference last April served as the signature event for the campaign and brought together students and sports professionals to discuss the intersection of sports and entertainment. Other major happenings in 2016 included the chapter’s Women in Communications panel and a roundtable discussion on diversity in the communication’s industry with Bloomberg News leadership. CABJ is based at the School of Media and Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Founded in 1991, the chapter’s slogan supports its mission precisely: Without diversity, there is no excellence.

 

City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism Association of Black Journalists
In 2016, the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism Association of Black Journalists (CUNY ABJ) members hosted six special events in between monthly chapter meetings. The events included the NBCUniversal Recruiter Roundtable, The New York Times Career Development Information Session and the #BlackNarrativesMatter post election panel. In February 2016, the chapter hosted an early career recruitment workshop with NBCUniversal Campus Recruiter, Jillian Leviton. In addition to its service to the college community, some CUNY ABJ members volunteered and assisted students at the New York Association of Black Journalists’ High School Journalism Workshop last fall. The chapter was established in 2008 to create a strong union among black students pursuing graduate degrees in journalism and to exchange ideas and information concerning the portrayal of minorities in the media.

Morgan State University Association of Black Journalists

The Morgan State University Association of Black Journalists’ (MSUABJ) was the host of the 2016 NABJ Region 1 Conference in Baltimore. The support in the planning and implementation of the two-day conference titled “One Year After Freddie Gray: Navigating Social Justice in Journalism” highlighted the death of the young black man at the hands of Baltimore police. The chapter’s home, the School of Global Journalism and Communication (MSU-SGJC), was the location for the conference, which was open to the community and included a town hall discussion with the city’s police chief. For its efforts, the chapter won a $500 financial prize given by the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company to specifically support academic and organizational excellence. Other highlights in 2016 included particpating in the Student Organizations Summit at Morgan and having notable journalists such as Nicki Mayo from The Associated Press, and Justin Tinsley from ESPN’s The Undefeated, speak at chapter meetings. The chapter was co-founded in 2008 by former assistant professor Allissa V. Hosten and Denise Brown, former director of student media, and recognizes the efforts of MSU-SGJC’s founding dean and NABJ Founder DeWayne Wickham.

This year’s Student Chapter of the Year will be announced at the Opening Ceremony on Aug. 9 during NABJ’s Annual Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans. Register for the #NABJ17 Convention here.

NABJ Announces 2017 Hall of Fame Inductees

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 23, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased to announce its 2017 Hall of Fame class — Michael Days, Rev. Aisha Karimah, John Jenkins and Garth C. Reeves, Sr. The induction ceremony will take place at the Hilton Riverside Hotel in New Orleans, Louisiana on Aug. 11, 2017 as part of NABJ’s national convention. The Hall of Fame Award is the highest recognition given by the organization.

“NABJ is honored to recognize such an esteemed group of African American journalists whose works and lives have epitomized journalistic excellence and a spirit of love, faith and endurance during some very challenging times in our country and the industry,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “These valiant soldiers without swords not only excelled in their chosen field, they also brought others along with them. We stand on their shoulders.”

The 2017 NABJ Hall of Fame inductees are:

Michael Days
Has had an impressive career at numerous publications including Minneapolis Tribune, Gannett Rochester Newspapers, Louisville Courier-Journal, Wall Street Journal and Philadelphia Media Network, home of the Daily News – where he led Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage, and The Inquirer. A member of NABJ for 40 years, he also served as a regional director and vice president in the 1980s. He is an author of Obama’s Legacy: What He Accomplished as President.

NABJ member Rodney Brooks said of Days, “He has hired dozens of young African American journalists and mentored dozens more, on both a personal and a professional level. Why else would a black man willingly go to South Dakota if not to be there for one of his mentees who was about to graduate with a degree in journalism? None of that should overshadow the fact that this is a man who, with his wife Angela, adopted four young brothers because they did not want to see them separated.”

Days said word of his honor took him back to his first NABJ convention in 1977 at the Lord Baltimore Hotel in Maryland. It was there he made life-long friends and also first set eyes on the woman who would become his wife. He recalled a happy gathering, “hanging out in Acel Moore’s suite with Reggie Stuart, following them around gaining wisdom.”

“I’ve been in love with NABJ since I was a young man,” said Days. “It’s such an amazing honor to be selected. I’m humbled. I’m floored.”

John Jenkins
Veteran photographer and television executive. Jenkins attended North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) and was among the first African American journalists hired in the Dallas/Fort Worth market starting out as a newsroom trainee at KRLD-TV (now KDFW) in Dallas. Later, Jenkins became a full-time photographer at WFAA-TV. After years on the streets shooting news and sports, Jenkins moved into news management at KDAF-TV in Dallas. He went on to a news director role in Tyler, Texas, followed by management roles at KHOU-TV in Houston and KDFW-TV in Dallas/Fort Worth. Jenkins spent the last 16 years leading the management team at NBC5/ KXAS-TV. He is a long-time NABJ member, helping to form the DFW/ABC chapter, and the Society of Professional Journalists in 1981.

To say that Jenkins was surprised when he received word of his honor would be an understatement.

“I was flabbergasted,” he said. “I am so honored because I never think about awards. I do what I do, I did what I did because it was the right thing to do. I take care of people and now that I am out of the newsroom I am not out of the lives of those I mentor.”

NBC 5 Operations Manager Stephen Wright said, “John has been in the TV news business since the 1970s. He is a mentor, and most importantly a friend to everyone especially NABJ. Numerous news managers, anchor/reporters, producers, photojournalists say they owe their careers to Jenkins’ guidance. He is one of a kind and has broken barriers and reached the highest standards in journalism.”

Jenkins attributes many of the successes in his career to NABJ members including Paula Madison, Ruth Allen Ollison and Alexis Yancey, because the media “changed when we got on the management side.” He says Madison and Ollison were “two of the toughest women managers I know.”

“They taught me how to be a manager,” he recalled. “I said if I ever get in a position I would mentor and help mature people into the business. We have to empower those who are coming behind us.”

Reverend Aisha Karimah
Prize-winning television producer worked in Washington, D.C. for NBC/News 4 for 46 years. Ms. Karimah also produced programs for the Howard University station WHUT-TV, which was known as WHMM-TV.

Reverend Karimah said she was writing a sermon when she received the call from President Glover that she was a 2017 inductee.

“I was feeling a little low, dealing with a lot of challenges,” she recalled. “Her call lifted my spirit and all I could say was ‘praise the Lord, God just does amazing things!'”

Then she said she started crying.

“I started thinking about my life. I was honored and overwhelmed,” she continued, recounting a life that included welfare, working her first job at the age of 10 and eventually working for NBC in her hometown. “You know you can’t fake it in your hometown. These people knew me and I went to work at NBC in 1969. People had protested. I was looking for a job. They needed black people.”

Karimah retired in 2016 but she’s just as active as part of the ministerial staff at Metropolitan AME Church where she said she continues, just like when she was at NBC, to address issues around social justice, community engagement, pipeline to prison, affordable housing and healthcare, because your work “ought to be a reflection of who you are.”

Past NABJ President Dorothy Gilliam said of Karimah’s work, “While demonization of African Americans existed, her programs demonstrated the ability of her viewers to excel despite negativity by stressing and spotlighting their remarkable resilience. Her programs elevated African Americans and celebrated diversity by presenting interracial dialogues.”

Garth C. Reeves, Sr.
Publisher Emeritus of the Miami Times. A 1940 graduate of Florida A&M University, Reeves proudly boasts that he has had only one job in life and that has been working for the Miami Times, the newspaper his father founded in 1923. He said he was elated to be recognized by NABJ.

“I feel honored to be honored by NABJ,” he said. “I have admired the organization since it started. Black journalists and the Black Press are up against formidable foes and we have to keep fighting and not give up. It makes you feel good when you are recognized by your peers and being in the business, at 98, I feel good.”

Reeves served for 10 years as president of the Amalgamated Publishers of New York City, which represented over 100 African American-owned newspapers throughout the United States. He was also elected to serve two terms as president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA).

In 1970, Reeves was named publisher and chief executive officer when his father passed. Reeves went on to become the first African American to serve on the governing boards of the Miami-Dade Community College, Barry University, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and the United Way of Dade County. He also served as organizing chairman of the board for National Industrial Bank, which was the first integrated bank in the State of Florida. During the 1950s, Reeves worked to integrate the local beaches, parks, and golf courses.

Reeves is a life member of the NAACP, Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., and a founding member of the Episcopal Church of the Incarnation in Miami, Florida. He was awarded Honorary Doctorate Degrees from the University of Miami, Barry University, Florida Memorial University, and most recently, Florida A&M University.

“I am so excited about this year’s inductees,” said NABJ Vice President Print Marlon Walker. “Anyone who came through the FAMU Journalism School knows who Garth Reeves is and it is an honor to share this experience with him.”

The NABJ Hall of Fame was created in 1990 when 10 distinguished historical journalists became its charter members. Since then, several of the nation’s top journalists have been inducted, among them: Chuck Stone and all of the NABJ founders, Gwen Ifill, Robert Maynard, Lynn Norment, Ed Bradley and Carole Simpson. For a complete listing of previous inductees, visit www.nabj.org.

“This year’s Hall of Fame inductees are more than distinguished journalists,” said NABJ Vice President Broadcast Dorothy Tucker. “They are humanitarians, philanthropists, mentors, advocates and just the type of people we want the world to know more about. We are so proud of this Class of 2017.”

Tickets for the NABJ Hall of Fame luncheon on Friday, Aug. 11 are available here.

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NABJ Weighs in on Ebony Staff Cuts

WASHINGTON, D.C. (May 6, 2017) –The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is disheartened by news that Ebony Magazine laid off nearly a dozen key staff members this week, including several long-time NABJ members.

According to a Chicago Tribune report, the move was made to consolidate operations with sister publication Jet Magazine and transition to Los Angeles from the magazine’s Chicago home base, where it began nearly 72 years ago.

Johnson Publishing Co., Ebony’s longtime owner, sold the magazines to a Texas private equity firm, CVG Group, in early 2016. The magazine recently became the target of a negative social media campaign for not paying freelance writers and copy editors in a timely manner for their published work.

“And so it begins,” said Marlon A. Walker, NABJ’s vice president of print. “Fear that Ebony would lose its place on coffee tables around the country began when the Johnson family sold the business. Over the last two years, talented journalists such as (now former) editor Kyra Kyles and (now former) managing editor Kathy Chaney produced keepsake issues after the death of Prince and the demise of Bill Cosby’s legacy. As a print journalist, I hope the owners understand how important it is to keep Ebony as a mainstay in black households, telling stories that reflect our community.”

The news comes as several major news organizations — including ESPN, Gannett and Berkshire Hathaway subsidiary BH Media Group — announce major staff cuts to meet changing demands of an ever-evolving media landscape.

“Ebony and Jet have a strong legacy of covering the black community, especially during times when mainstream media outlets chose not to,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said. “It’s NABJ’s hope that the owners have a plan in place that will continue the legacy of both publications.”

National Association of  Black Journalists Abhors Allegations in FOX News Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 27, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is disturbed and dismayed by recent allegations of a racist work environment at FOX News. Eleven current and former Fox News employees, including Emmy-winning anchor Kelly Wright, filed a class-action lawsuit in New York this week, according to The Washington Post.

“The recent discrimination allegations at FOX News are unsettling. NABJ was founded 42 years ago to fight against racism and discrimination in newsrooms and we pledge to continue to do so today,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “We’ve seen downsizing and layoffs in U.S. newsrooms that have had a disproportionate effect on the number of working black journalists. No one working in the media industry today should be subjected to discriminatory practices. This has to end.”

When asked about the lawsuit, a FOX News official offered the following statement to NABJ: “FOX News and Dianne Brandi vehemently deny the race discrimination claims in both lawsuits. They are copycat complaints of the original one filed last month. We will vigorously defend these cases.”

Douglas H. Wigdor, founding partner at Wigdor, LLP and the attorney representing the plaintiffs in the FOX News case, stated at a Wednesday news conference: “When it comes to racial discrimination, 21st Century Fox has been operating as if it should be called 18th Century Fox. We sincerely hope the filing of this race class action wakes 21st Century Fox from its slumbers and inspires the company to take a conciliatory and appropriate approach to remedy its wrongs.”

“NABJ believes diverse newsrooms improve fair and balanced coverage of issues important to all viewers and that no journalist should be subjected to discrimination while doing their job,” said NABJ Vice President-Broadcast Dorothy Tucker.

NABJ has an active Media Monitoring Committee and the association is reaching out to to several major media outlets to address our diversity concerns.

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NABJ Board of Directors Names 10 Cities as Key to Successful Future Conventions

Organization gearing up for 2017 National Convention while operating in a budget surplus
WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 11, 2017) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) held its spring board meeting April 7-8 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel, site of the 2017 NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair. Board members were joined by NABJ staff, members, local corporate host committee members and convention partners throughout the meeting.
“Gathering together in the host city for our 2017 convention provided an opportunity for the NABJ board to have a site visit, meet and greet potential local partners and sponsors, and continue planning what promises to be one of our best conventions yet while conducting other organization business,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “We’re excited about the work the NABJ board and staff continues to do. Our organization is operating with a surplus budget, a newly released strategic plan, and goals with aligned measurements and tactics. This is a great time for NABJ!”
Highlights from the board meeting include:
  • The NABJ Strategic Plan Implementation Committee, led by NABJ Founder William Dilday and NABJ Lifetime Member Dr. Sheila Brooks, outlined the committee’s recommendations for future convention site selections following the NABJ Strategic Plan 2017-2020 directive. Based on past conventions and other performance metrics, the board accepted the committee’s recommendation that identifies 10 cities for NABJ to explore as future convention sites. Although additional cities may bid through a Request for Proposal process and be considered, NABJ has identified 10 cities as locations likely to provide critical revenue generating opportunities for the organization and a successful convention experience for attendees. The 10 cities are:
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Chicago, IL
  • Charlotte, NC*
  • Dallas, TX
  • Las Vegas, NV
  • New Orleans, LA
  • New York, NY
  • Orlando, FL
  • Philadelphia, PA
  • Washington, DC
    *To be considered only if discriminatory laws are repealed.
A formal Request for Proposal process for future conventions will be posted in the coming months. If NABJ partakes in a future joint convention with another association, NABJ will work with the partnering organization to develop a joint strategy regarding city location and convention goals.
  • Convention highlights from NABJ Convention Chair Ryan Williams and NABJ Program Chair Ava Thompson Greenwell:
  • The Program Committee received 166 workshop proposals from NABJ members. Among them were innovative and forward-thinking ideas for discussions that would appeal to all registrants. The vetting process for all submissions has begun and some approved sessions for the convention will be available on the NABJ website by the end of April.
  • The Convention Schedule-at-a-Glance is currently available on the organization’s website.
  • Registration is under way for the convention. The #NABJ17 pre-registration deadline is June 1. Hotel reservations can also be made now.

NABJ Treasurer Greg Morrison detailed the organization’s present healthy financial position — $1.287 million projected surplus for 2016. The positive financial performance is due to critical financial decisions made by the NABJ leadership that enabled additional revenue opportunities and a more efficiently run organization.

Partnership opportunities for the 2017 NABJ Convention to be held Aug. 9-13 are still available. More information is provided on the NABJ website and interested parties should contact Development Consultant JoAnne Lyons Wooten at  jlwooten@nabj.org.

Pictured: (Top) NABJ board members, NABJ Founder William Dilday and NABJ lifetime member Dr. Sheila Brooks hold up the organization’s new three-year strategic plan at the 2017 spring NABJ board of directors meeting. (Above) NABJ President Sarah Glover poses with New Orleans guests and partners at the George and Joyce Wein Jazz & Heritage Center in New Orleans on Friday. A special thank you to Hospitality Enterprises.

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National Association of Black Journalists Launches Black Male Media Project to #InspireBlackMen

NABJ Calls on Chapters to Host Workshops Nationwide on June 10

WASHINGTON, D.C. (April 7, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is launching a new program to help change the lives and images of black men in the news and in society. The NABJ Black Male Media Project is a nationwide effort to open doors and change the narrative of black men.

The NABJ Black Male Media Project will launch its first program in various cities across the United States on Saturday, June 10, 2017. The program is designed to inspire, support and develop training and mentorship opportunities for black men working in journalism and media and those that aspire to.

“NABJ has created the Black Male Media Project to combat the blotter-to-mugshot images of black male faces, and to create a fresh and real view of black men in America and across the diaspora,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover.

All NABJ chapters are invited to join the dialogue on June 10 by creating local workshops and sessions aimed at cultivating skills and broadening the networking opportunities for black men in media. This program is not exclusive to black participation and is aimed at helping all people engage around the value of black males working in newsrooms and media.

Participating chapters will promote the project using the hashtag #InspireBlackMen. Learning will be cultivated in various cities concurrently on social media platforms by the local chapters via echo comments, ideas, videos and photos.

The second phase of the NABJ Black Male Media Project will be a digital photography project showcased at the NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair from Aug. 9-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana. NABJ members will be invited to share positive pictures of black men where they are, as they are.

Some of the images will be displayed during the #NABJ17 Convention, and hopefully a traveling juried exhibit will be feasible in the future. More details are forthcoming on the digital photography project.

At the #NABJ17 Convention, there will be a special reconvening workshop session focusing on black men and the #InspireBlackMen project.

NABJ chapters interested in hosting one of the concurrent June 10 training programs should contact NABJ Council of Presidents Chair Ken Lemon by April 14 to indicate interest at InspireBlackMen@gmail.com.

Please share this post with other journalists and use #InspireBlackMen to begin the dialogue that will help fuel a change in the perspective of black men.

Media outlets and general questions may direct inquiries to: InspireBlackMen@gmail.com. Partnership inquiries may be addressed to JoAnne Lyons Wooten at jlwooten@nabj.org.

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Legendary New Orleans Journalist Warren Bell and CBS Correspondent

Michelle Miller to Serve As Honorary #NABJ17 Co-Chairs

New Orleans business and community leaders serve as local corporate partners for the
2017 National Association of Black Journalists Convention

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 31, 2017) The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announced today a team of dedicated professionals will serve as honorary co-chairs and corporate partners for the 2017 NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair. The convention is scheduled for  Aug. 9-13 in New Orleans, Louisiana. More than 3,000 journalists, media professionals and students are expected to attend this year’s “Power Up and Break Through” gathering.

Both honorary co-chairs — Warren Bell and Michelle Miller — have deep ties to New Orleans and a long history with NABJ.

“We are thrilled to have the support and engagement of so many amazing African American professionals with distinct ties to the New Orleans,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said. “Our time is now to propel NABJ to new heights. There will be many breakthrough and memorable moments at this year’s convention, propelled by the dedication of this dynamic team.”

Bell, a local news legend and scholar, attended his first NABJ convention in 1982 and is a founding member of the New Orleans Association of Black Journalists (NOABJ). He also served as a regional director on the NABJ board and was co-chair of the 1983 convention in New Orleans. He is the recipient of the NOABJ Lifetime Achievement Award.

“I am thrilled to have the chance to serve my beloved NABJ once again as its 2017 honorary convention co-chair,” Bell said.

Miller is a correspondent for CBS News and has served as a substitute anchor on “The CBS Evening News” weekend editions and CBS News “Up to the Minute.” From 1994 to 2003, Miller lived in New Orleans and worked as a reporter and anchor for WWL-TV, the CBS affiliate. She is a past  recipient of an NABJ Salute to Excellence Award.

“For many of us, NABJ is the connection to our professional pathway. It gave us knowledge, strength and courage to get to the next job, through the next story, or past the next challenge,” said Miller, who is the wife of former New Orleans Mayor Marc Morial.

“I was told I wouldn’t make it. I was discouraged. I was blocked. I made mistakes. But being connected through NABJ, I got up. I climbed out. I moved forward. I’m still climbing, still sharing, still learning. That is why NABJ remains relevant and why I’m proud to serve on the convention planning team.”

NABJ is fortunate to have the support of four New Orleans business and community leaders to anchor the local corporate partners committee: Tod Smith, president,and general manager, WWL-TV/TEGNA; Demetric Mercadel, senior public affairs customer service specialist, Entergy New Orleans; Cheryl Teamer, senior vice president,  New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau; chair, The Greater New Orleans Foundation; chair New Orleans Aviation Board; and Jimmie Woods, CEO and co-founder, Metro Service Group.

NABJ will be in New Orleans next month to cultivate outreach in “The Big Easy” and underscore and cultivate the association’s diversity efforts. The spring NABJ board of directors meeting takes place April 7-9 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel.

 Companies seeking more information about how to partner with NABJ at the conference and professionals interested in registering, please visit: www.nabjconvention.com.

 

 

NABJ Congratulates Rashida Jones, Senior VP of Specials for NBC News and MSNBC

(NABJ – Washington, D.C.) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) extends congratulations to longtime NABJ member Rashida Jones, who was recently appointed Senior Vice President of Specials for NBC News and MSNBC. She was previously managing editor of MSNBC ‘s day side programming.

Jones has been integral in the network’s rebranding and focus on breaking news coverage. Under her leadership, MSNBC day side programming saw year-to-year triple-digit growth, a trend that continues.

“I’m am very excited to take on this position and thankful for all of the support NABJ has provided over the years,” Jones said.

In making the promotion announcement to staff, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim said Jones “brings deep knowledge of cable, breaking news coverage and events programming to her new role.”

Before her time with MSNBC, Jones was the news director for WIS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina, where she rebuilt and rebranded the news team to focus on investigative reporting. The station was solidly No. 1 in the market.

She was also director of live programming at The Weather Channel, leading network coverage and programming for some of the world’s most historic weather events, such as Hurricane Katrina.

“We are thrilled that Rashida Jones has been given this well-deserved promotion. It is a reflection of her skills as a newsroom leader. She is a mentor and friend to many NABJers and we are proud of her continued success as a television executive,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover.

Jones is a 2002 graduate of Hampton University.

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From NABJ Website

WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 16, 2017) – The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the passing of NABJ Founder Claude Lewis, also a founder of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ). Lewis died Thursday morning at Virtua Voorhees Hospital in Voorhees, N.J. He was 82.

Lewis was a highly respected journalist and mentor to many journalists. Born and raised in New York City, he attended public schools and graduated from City College with a degree in English. Lewis worked as an editor and reporter for newspapers and magazines, such as Newsweek, New York Herald Tribune, and The Philadelphia Bulletin.

He taught at Villanova University and also wrote a column for The Bulletin until it folded in 1982. Later, Lewis wrote a syndicated column for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

“This is a very sad day. Claude was a great mentor for me at The Bulletin. He always had time to talk with a young journalist trying to navigate the newsroom. He was the calm spirit that guided many of us,” said former colleague and NABJ Founder Sandra Dawson Long Weaver.

Known as one of the “original three,” Lewis along with fellow Philadelphia journalists Chuck Stone and Acel Moore laid the groundwork for and later founded the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) in 1973. Lewis and many of PABJ’s early members contributed to the formation of NABJ in 1975 in Washington, D.C.

“Founder Claude Lewis was a gentle giant and kind soul whose passion for equality and equal opportunity can be seen in his columns and life’s work. He had a personal impact on the trajectory of many NABJ members, myself included, showing us all the way,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover.

“Claude lives on in all of us. I thank him for instilling in me, and my peers, a deep level of tenacity and commitment to the cause.”

Lewis had an extensive career in broadcasting, writing and producing various TV specials and documentaries with NBC and Westinghouse Broadcasting.  In 1982, he founded the first national African-American newspaper, The National Leader.

NABJ Founder Joe Davidson worked with Lewis at The National Leader and first met him when both worked at The Philadelphia Bulletin.

“Claude was an important force in journalism in the 1970s. He meant a lot to me personally and to a lot of black journalists professionally,“ Davidson said. “He lured me away from The Inquirer to work as managing editor at The Leader.  It was an opportunity to serve the black community with high quality journalism. I was really proud of the work we did together on that newspaper,” Davidson added.

Lewis covered the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, meeting and interviewing such icons as Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr.  In 1968, Lewis left a meeting in Philadelphia to join the King family in Memphis immediately after receiving the news that King was shot.

“Claude was a journalist miles ahead of his time, and he achieved recognition long before many recognized him,” said NABJ Founder Paul Brock.

Former NABJ President Vanessa Williams, a national reporter with the Washington Post, remembers Lewis fondly.

“I remember Claude as a friendly and encouraging colleague when we worked together at the Philadelphia Inquirer. His door was always open and he didn’t hesitate to share his contacts, expertise and advice to young journalists. He and Acel were like these twin towers of black journalism excellence in Philly. We should honor them by continuing their tradition of being fierce advocates for the truth, especially in this current political climate,” Williams said.

NABJ extends its sincerest condolences to Founder Lewis’s family and the countless friends within the journalism community who he leaves behind.

Lewis is survived by his wife Beverly, four children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.  A memorial service is planned for a later date.

 

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An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit  www.nabj.org.

Cheryl Smith Appointed NABJ Secretary

Cheryl Smith

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased to announce that former Region VII Director, Cheryl Smith, is the organization’s new secretary.

Smith was recently appointed to the office by NABJ President Sarah Glover.

“I’m excited to welcome Cheryl Smith to the NABJ board team. Her years of experience serving NABJ on the national and chapter level are noteworthy. She brings a strong passion for NABJ service to the national board once again,” said Glover.

An award-winning reporter, Smith has worked as an editor, columnist, and staff writer for The Dallas Weekly. She is currently publisher and editor of the IMessenger News Group, a
multi-platform news organization that consists of two print newspapers, one digital news magazine, an online radio show and a television program.

She is especially proud of her work with the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists Urban Journalism Workshop, where she has made an impact on aspiring journalists from middle school to age 55.

Smith, a Florida A&M University graduate, previously served two terms as NABJ Regional VII Director. She is the president of the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists.

“I am excited about the opportunity to once again serve NABJ at the national level, This is a critical time when the successful execution of NABJ’s strategic plan is necessary and the industry is rapidly evolving,” said Smith.

The organization’s former Secretary Sherlon Christie stepped down for family reasons.

“I wish outgoing NABJ Secretary Sherlon Christie well. He is a longtime supportive member and strong leader. I hope to see him on the NABJ board again in the future, ” said Glover.
About the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ):

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.

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Three Reuters-National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) fellows have joined the Reuters newsroom as part of the 2017 program. The Reuters-NABJ fellowships honor rising reporters, recent graduates or business professionals who demonstrate a clear commitment to a career in journalism and an ability to generate story ideas relevant for a Reuters audience, with a focus on multimedia, using text, video and/or graphics. The paid fellowship program offers hands-on, real-world experience in a Reuters bureau in the U.S.

“We are proud to offer these bright, young journalists the opportunity to develop their skills and enhance their careers through the Reuters-NABJ fellowship program,” said Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler. “Expanding diversity in the newsroom is of critical importance to Reuters, and we’re honored to collaborate with the NABJ in this commitment.”

Sarah Glover, NABJ President said, “I’m excited for the new class of Reuters-NABJ fellows. The firsthand reporting experience for one of the world’s leading media companies is unmatched. The opportunity to work inside Reuters cutting-edge newsrooms expands the skill set of fellows and brings new perspective to the news team — a win-win.”

This year’s Reuters-NABJ fellows are:

Nigel Manuel (@TheRealNigelMan) is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, working with Reuters digital team in San Francisco on the social media, web, and TV teams covering technology. While at UC Berkeley, he got to helm and cover the local elections for Oakland as the nighttime site editor.

Ruthy Muñoz (@ruthymunoz) is covering energy for Reuters in Houston after interning for the wire service in Washington, D.C., where she covered breaking and national news, the Dakota Access Pipeline, collected data for an upcoming investigative series and scooped exclusive data about the Pentagon’s EpiPen expenditures. Prior to joining Reuters, Ruthy also interned in radio and wrote for newspaper and online platforms as well as being a copy editor for a bilingual magazine. A first generation American, born to immigrant parents from the Dominican Republic and a veteran of the U.S. Army and the 82nd Airborne Division, Ruthy was the first college graduate in her family, earning a dual degree in Chinese studies and French, along with minors in Spanish and journalism from the University of Houston in May, 2016. A native New Yorker, global citizen and polyglot, having lived or traveled in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East, in addition to 45 of the 50 states, Ruthy is a single parent with two grown daughters.

Renita D. Young (@RenitaDYoung) is located in the Chicago bureau, where she’s discovering unique ways to use multimedia to report on the agriculture commodities markets. Recently, she was a web producer for WBBM’s combined TV and radio website, CBSChicago.com. Prior to that, she was a staff reporter for NOLA.com, the Times-Picayune’s Baton Rouge hub covering business, the oil and gas industry, development, entrepreneurship and breaking news. Renita formerly worked for Reuters as a stringer and at theGrio.com, covering breaking crime, education, social justice and politics happening in the Chicago, Northwestern Indiana areas, and at the State Capitol. She also worked for WVON Radio in Chicago as an anchor and show contributor, and was a business reporter for K24-TV, Nairobi, Kenya’s first locally-headquartered 24-hour news network. Currently the secretary of her local NABJ chapter, Renita is a native Chicagoan who completed her bachelor’s in Communication and English from DePaul University and a master’s in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism.

Media Contact: Heather.Carpenter@thomsonreuters.com

NABJ and NBC Meet –

Representatives from NBC and NABJ recently met to discuss the departure of former NBC anchor Tamron Hall. The meeting was an opportunity for NABJ to express its concerns over the loss of the popular anchor from the Today Show with the possible replacement of former Fox talk show host Megyn Kelly. It was a productive meeting that set the stage for additional face-to-face dialogue regarding diversity initiatives that will ultimately benefit NBC and NABJ members. Face-to-face meetings are also on the horizon with other media companies.

South Florida Black Journalists Association Hosts Successful Job Fair

A funny thing happened on the way to the first-ever South Florida Black Journalists Association’s (SFBJA) Media Career Fair on Jan. 25. After expecting only 50 attendees, the planners were ecstatic when the numbers skyrocketed to more than 300. The attendees weren’t only local; they came from as far as Atlanta, Dallas and Philadelphia.
The fair was chaired by Juan Diasgranados, also SFBJA’s former VP-Broadcast. He noted that South Florida, part of NABJ Region III, is a unique region in the United States. “We’re one of the few places that has a population that’s overwhelmingly majority-minority,” he said. “We saw an opportunity to host a career fair to cater to the audience here in South Florida.”

SFBJA promised the recruiters that it would have a diverse set of registrants attending the fair, said Diasgranados. “It’s important to hire within the region instead of bringing talent from outside South Florida,” he said. “The Tri-County area is full of talent, so we wanted to have a chance to showcase that to our local recruiters.”

The fair had 18 companies in attendance including the Miami Herald, the South Florida Business Journal, WPLG/Channel 10, Telemundo, I Heart Media, the Sun Sentinel, NBC 6, the Miami Dolphins and the Miami Heat.
Samantha Ragland is a recruiter for the Palm Beach Post who learned about the fair after Diasgranados texted her in November and asked her to be on a panel. “In my former life, I was an adjunct professor and I loved it. Nothing energizes a life like students hungry for knowledge, so I try to give back as often as I can,” she said.

Ragland attended the fair with a few missions. “One was to recruit a full-time social media producer, the last of which was hired at the NAHJ job fair at FIU in Spring 2016. Two, I wanted to recruit for possible interns and spread the word about Cox Media Group’s Digital Talent Program, a super rad career program for digital journalists of color,” she said. “And three, to pour into whoever needed to be filled.”

The panels created by Diasgranados were great, said Ragland. “The applicants listened and soaked up everything. Some stayed after to ask more questions. Often, they needed simply to be encouraged,” she observed. “The field is competitive and the application process can be disheartening. Can you believe that I’m actually still answering emails from the fair? They’re asking about business cards and resume advice and to tell me they’ve applied. It’s great.”

The quality of the job fair attendees was great, said Ragland. “I was especially appreciative of their diverse experience. There were several who had been out of the industry for years, others who were venturing into media entrepreneurial projects, some recent grads and others still in school. The conversations were great,” she said.

“Most seemed to want careers in broadcast, which I took as an opportunity to speak with them about digital media opportunities and to expand their job search to include digital positions and not just on-air ones since the former is such a cool blend of broadcast, print and digital skills,” Ragland noted. “While I’m not the hiring manager for the social media producer position or for the interns at The Palm Beach Post, I’m often on the interview panel. We are definitely hiring for these positions and look to have them filled as soon as possible.”

Sofie Tapia, a recent graduate from the University of Kentucky journalism program, flew in specifically to attend the job fair after learning about it in the NABJ Student Facebook group. “I have yet to find a job and am in the limbo phase that most graduates go through,” she said. “Fortunately, I found out about the job fair and have a friend who lives in Miami. I decided that it was worth it to pursue job options in Miami since I was able to do so with relative ease.”

The job fair had a decent range of candidates in fields ranging from print to radio to broadcast, said Tapia. “One of the strongest aspects of this career fair was the discussion panel. It was helpful to have professionals in the field answer questions and prepare candidates before they even spoke to potential employers,” she said. “Some of the employers at the booths even gave attendees tips on their resumes.”

There were recruiters looking to hire interns and professionals who knew how to read and write Spanish and Creole, said Diasgranados. “That’s uncommon in other areas [of the country]. We also wanted this event to be our kick off to unite fellow journalists in the area and bring on board new members at the start of the year,” he said.

Attendees also had the chance to attend two career-related workshops that turned out to be a hit, said Diasgranados.

“Both workshops were filled to capacity, to the point we had people standing up to listen to the panelists,” he said. “Everyone’s path is different. We wanted to provide thought-provoking plenary workshops to discuss resumes, how to get your foot in the door, industry changes and hot topics, including fake news. It also provided a chance for job seekers to ask questions and meet with panelists one on one after so they could ask questions and get advice.”

The career fair was a vision dating back to last August, Diasgranados recalled. “I pitched the idea to then-President Suzette Maylor, who loved the idea and said, `Go for it, and let me know how we can assist you.’ Little did she know that I was dead serious on making this the biggest event the chapter has ever put on,” he said.

At the chapter’s December board meeting, a goal of having 50 to 80 people show up was set, said Diasgranados. “We said 50 would be satisfactory and 100 would be good. It took everyone by surprise when the checked Eventbrite the night before the event and it showed 271 RSVPs,” he said.

SFBJA had only booked a small classroom, said Diasgranados. “So we had to come up with a new game plan that night to handle crowd control. So in all, it took about five months to plan. I had a committee work with me along the way, so it made managing the event 10 times easier,” he said. “We spent very little on our fair. We received sponsorships for breakfast and lunch for the recruiters. We did purchase signs and wristbands. Overall, we may have spent $180.”

Diasgranados has advice for other NABJ chapters who may want to put on a similar event. “Give yourself at least five months to plan. It may sound easy, but it’s far from it. There are so many pieces to hosting an event like this and it’s impossible to do it with only two or three people, so plan to have a committee of at least five people who are ready to work,” he advised. “If you’re starting from scratch like us, it takes a while to find and locate the various recruiters at each company. And reaching out to sponsors also takes time.”

Finding panelists that fit within your panel can be tricky, said Diasgranados. “Marketing is a big component. The Miami Dolphins did very well this season (unexpectedly) and made the playoffs, so that was a concern to us,” he said. “We also had to schedule around the inauguration. It’s hard to predict what will happen five months ahead, so all you can do is plan and prepare for any scenario.”

The chapter plans to carry the momentum from the fair by continuing to train up-and-coming minority news reporters and help them succeed in their careers, said Diasgranados. “Also, a lot of the job-seekers have never been to NABJ convention, so we wanted to show them on a smaller scale how we run the career fair and workshops,” he explained.

The ultimate goal was to help the job seekers find their next professional opportunity and even connect them with possible long-term mentors who could help guide them in their future endeavors.

NABJ Statement on Tamron Hall’s Departure From NBC

WASHINGTON (Feb. 1, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is saddened by Tamron Hall’s departure from NBC. She broke ground as the first black female “Today Show” cohost and was enjoying ratings success alongside Al Roker during the show’s third hour of programming.

NBC has been a leader for diversity in broadcasting, but recent reports that Hall and Roker will be replaced by former Fox News anchor Megyn Kelly are being seen by industry professionals as whitewashing.
Published reports suggest Kelly will be replacing “Today’s Takes,” the hour of programming led by Hall and Roker. Roker tweeted last week that the show leads the ratings in its time slot and consistently beats its competition. This achievement deserves praise, not punishment, as replacing talent often is associated with low ratings performance. Kelly has a well-documented history of offensive remarks regarding people of color. On The Kelly File, her Fox News show, the host said then-First Lady Michelle Obama’s commencement address at Tuskegee University pandered to a “culture of victimization.”
While NABJ wishes Hall well on her next move, NABJ requests a meeting with NBC leadership on the top-rated show’s dismantling. We look forward to dialogue and resolve regarding black journalists and their continuing roles at NBC both in front and behind the camera.

NABJ Mourns the Loss of Longtime Journalist Ronald Wade

WASHINGTON (Jan . 27, 2017) – The National Association of Black Journalists mourns the loss of longtime journalist Ronald Wade, who died Wednesday after a brief illness. Mr. Wade was 62.

Mr. Wade was news editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, where he arrived in 2006. Journalists from across the country are remembering and celebrating a colleague known for his knowledge and kind spirit.

“I came to know Ron from his days at the Philadelphia Inquirer,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover. “He was a warm person and admirable journalist. He is remembered fondly across U.S. newsrooms for his friendship, kindness, precision to detail and strong journalism skills. He encouraged many young journalists along their career paths, and warmly kept in touch via Facebook. He will be truly missed.”

“I can’t put into words what Ron Wade meant to me,” said Marlon A. Walker, NABJ’s vice president of print. Walker was a reporter at the Post-Dispatch from 2010 until 2013. “He always made himself available to me, either as a journalist, a source of endless information or someone who had seen so much of this country and knew all the best places to eat!”

At the Post-Dispatch, colleagues remembered a dedicated journalist with strong intellect and news judgment, said Post-Dispatch Editor Gilbert Bailon.

“Our top editors trusted his decision-making and ability to respond to big news stories from the many nights of protest in Ferguson to major election nights. He was a backbone involved in coordinating coverage among the various desks and also overseeing the website in the evening,” he said. “But even more important, Ron was beloved because of class, grace and great sense of humor. He had a lot of authority to make important decisions. He did so with clarity of thought, strong reasoning and it was always done with great respect for the people involved. Ron never shied away from tough calls, but he did it with aplomb. Respect for him and his friendship with him spanned the entire newsroom. . . The personal and professional loss in our newsroom is huge. All of the Post-Dispatch journalists were blessed to have worked with Ron. And we all miss him dearly.”

His career began in the Chicago Tribune newsroom as a copy editor, and he worked in newsrooms in Louisville, Ky., Long Island and Buffalo, N.Y., Springfield, Va., Minneapolis and Philadelphia.

“This has literally been his entire life,” daughter Tasha Wade said by phone.

Mr. Wade received a bachelor of arts degree in East Asian Studies from Harvard University.

In addition to Tasha, Mr. Wade is survived by his wife, Mollie, and six other children: Lisa, Sharon, Shawn, Aaron, Jaden and Deiontae.

Funeral services for Mr. Wade will be held in his native Chicago on Feb. 3 at 11 a.m. at Sacred Memories Funeral Home, 2024 E. 75th St.

NABJ, 60 other journalism groups, ask Trump administration for meeting on government access

WASHINGTON (Jan. 18, 2017) — The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) and 60 other journalism organizations have requested a meeting with President-elect Donald Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence to discuss access to government.

The coalition sent a letter today to Trump and Pence, asking for a meeting or conference call to discuss:

the ability of reporters to directly interact with government employees who are subject matter experts, rather than interacting with Public Information Officers (or having all conversations monitored by Public Information Officers);
access to the activities of the President;
and ensuring that the Federal Freedom of Information Act remains as strong as possible.
This letter is the latest among several that were sent to the Obama administration, since at least 2013, regarding concerns about White House restrictions on photographers, transparency and public information officer restrictions.

The first letter, sent Nov. 21, 2013, addressed concerns regarding White House restrictions on photographers. The next letter, sent July 8, 2014, and a follow-up letter sent Aug. 5, 2014, regarding PIO and transparency issues were met with a response from the White House on Aug. 11, 2014, that the groups found unsatisfactory. This white paper and other articles also provide background on the issue.

“We urge you to publicly affirm your commitment to transparency, to issue an executive order prohibiting the restrictive public information policies that have been the status quo, and to engage in a public discussion with us about the Trump administration’s commitment to the free flow of information from the White House and all federal government, to the American people,” the latest letter states.

The groups hope that together, they and the Trump administration can improve the lines of communication between the White House and the press.

For media inquiries contact Aprill Turner, aturner@nabj.org.

About the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ):
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.