Iowa Association of Black Journalists Makes History
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is proud to see our members making history in Iowa! Kudos to Tisia Muzinga and Ty Rushing, and their entire team, for establishing the first-ever NABJ Chapter in Iowa.
“We appreciate the hard work of our chapters and are especially proud of the efforts of Tisia and Ty to create a voice and safe space for Black journalists in Iowa,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker. “We look forward to working with them in moving the diversity, equity, and inclusion needle forward.”
We also congratulate these additional NABJ Chapters approved by the NABJ Board in 2021: NABJ Northeast Florida, DePaul University Association of Black Journalists, NABJ – Loyola University Maryland, NABJ – Virginia Commonwealth University.
Muzinga and Rushing were featured in a highlight story written by Linh Ta of Axios. Read the full story below or here: https://www.axios.com/local/des-moines/2022/02/03/iowa-association-black-journalists-ty-rushing-tisia-muzinga.
Black Journalists in Iowa Form State’s First NABJ Chapter
When Ty Rushing first moved to rural Iowa for a journalism job nine years ago, the Kansas City native immediately noticed two things.
- Not only was he the sole Black journalist in the area, but he was of the few Black people, period.
- “You’re like, dang man, where are the Black faces? Where are the people I can talk to that can relate to some of these things going on?” Rushing told Axios.
That experience is why Rushing and other journalists of color have started the Iowa Association of Black Journalists — a local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
Why it matters: The organization provides support and advocates for journalists of color in Iowa — especially as historically white newsrooms try to cover racially sensitive stories like the recent Black Lives Matter protests or book banning in schools.
Zoom in: Tisia Muzinga, president of IABJ, recalled a morning she was anchoring at KCCI.
- She watched a news package that aired and immediately said that it shouldn’t be broadcast again because it was racially insensitive — a perspective she was thankful she could share and wants to help other journalists do as well.
- “We’re here to say this is not appropriate. This is not how we do journalism. And this is not the way that we should report things, especially with our community,” Muzinga said.
What’s next: Muzinga and Rushing said they want to show journalists of color that they can work in Iowa and they’ll have a support system if they do.