KCABJ Newsletter for December 2014

December 17, 2014 - Leave a Response

KCABJ in 2015
The Kansas City Association of Black Journalists received notice from Veronique Dodson that it has been renewed as an affiliate chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
That’s in time for NABJ’s celebration in 2015 of its 40th anniversary. Dodson, with NABJ chapter relations, said KCABJ is able to apply for a chapter grant for its programs in 2015.
KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver said she planned to make the application.

KCABJ owes its continued standing as an affiliate NABJ chapter to its officers, Glenn E. Rice, vice president/print; Anita Parran, KCABJ secretary; Bette; and Lewis Diuguid, KCABJ president.

The terms of KCABJ officers expire this month. Elections will take place in January. Persons who are interested in running for the seats should contact Lewis at Ldiuguid@kcstar.com.
News You Can Use
NABJ will have its 40th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Minneapolis from Aug. 5-9. People who plan to attend should go to http://www.nabj.org to register for the convention.
Discounts are out there for people who plan to attend.

Don’t forget the NABJ Region III Conference Cruise on March 5-8 to Nassau Bahamas. It’s on Carnival Cruise Lines.

North Carolina A&T Short Course will take place March 18-21 at North Carolina A&T University in Greensboro. The deadline to apply is Jan. 16. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.

Special honors nominations are now open for NABJ awards. They include Journalist of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, the Pat Tobin Award, the Community Service Award, Award, Legacy Award, Emerging Journalist Award, Percy Quoboza Foreign Journalist Award, Student Journalist Award, Educator of the Year Award, Best Chapter Award and Best Practices Award. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.

Application are being accepted for the NABJ/NBC News Summer Fellowship. The deadline is Feb. 13. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.

City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism is offering a new full tuition scholarship to a NABJ member who applies for admission to its M.A. in Journalism program for the fall of 2015. The scholarship is worth $17,000-$36,000. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.

The Metcalf Institute is partnering with the National Adaptation Forum and EcoAdapt to offer a day-and-a-half seminar on climate change. It will be May 12-14 in St. Louis. There is no cost for the seminar, but it includes lodging and travel support. The deadline to apply is Feb. 9. For more information go to metcalfinstitute.org/training/adaptation2014 or call Karen Southern at 401-874-6009. You can also send email to her at Karen_southern@mail.uri.edu.

KCABJ’s membership is open. Membership dues is due in January. Here is the application:

KCABJ Membership Application for 2015

Mail this application with your $35 check or money order to KCABJ, P.O. Box 32744, Kansas City, Mo. 64111. It covers your annual membership dues. Membership entitles you to receive the KCABJ monthly newsletter sent via email and emailed monthly meeting notices.



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(Membership in KCABJ runs from January through December. Membership is subsidized by donations from KCABJ members.)

KCABJ Newsletter for November 2014

November 18, 2014 - Leave a Response

KCABJ members will try to regroup in December for a membership/holiday meeting. The date and location will be announced. Refreshments will be offered and memberships for 2015 accepted.

Election of officers will take place in January. If you are open to running for president, vice president/print, vice president/broadcast, treasurer or secretary, please email KCABJ President Lewis Diuguid at Ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

The National Association of Black Journalists offers an all-expenses paid fellowship for students who will cover the 40th Annual NABJ Convention and Career Fair in Minneapolis from Aug. 5-9. The deadline to apply is Dec. 31. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.

NABJ Region III Conference Cruise is taking place March 5-8 to Nassau, Bahamas. For more information contact Scott Berry at sberry@nabj.org or call 301-405-7520. The cruise will take place on Carnival Cruise Lines, leaving from Orlando, Fla.

News You Can Use
The Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting is seeking applications for its science immersion fellowship. It will be held June 7-12 at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography. For more information contact Karen Southern, director of communications at the Metcalf Institute, at Karen_southern@mail.uri.edu.

KC People
Lewis and KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver spoke Nov. 15 at the Third Annual NABJ-MU Unity Conference at the School of Journalism at the University of Missouri-Columbia. They put on a program involving how journalists can better cover events like those in Ferguson, Mo. Ferguson is where a white police officer on Aug. 9 fatally shot unarmed, 18-year-old Michael Brown, setting off protests — some violent — that continue to occur. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon on Nov. 17 declared a state of emergency in the St. Louis area ahead of a state grand jury decision on whether charges should be filed against Ferguson police Officer Darren Wilson. The governor called out the Missouri National Guard to help keep the peace.

Jonathan P. Hicks, a St. Louis native, MU School of Journalism graduate and longtime NABJ member died in November of pancreatic cancer. He was 58. Hicks had worked for more than 24 years as a reporter for The New York Times. He joined The Times in 1985. His father had been the first black reporter at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

KCABJ Newsletter for October 2014

October 26, 2014 - Leave a Response

KCABJ Regrouping
Normally KCABJ members would be exhausted, having completed another year of media awards handed out to Kansas City area journalists for enterprising stories about African Americans and other people of color and from awarding scholarships given to the top students in the summer class of the journalism academy. But none of that took place this year, breaking with two long-standing traditions. Scholarships had been awarded to students annually since 1987, and the media awards had been an annual feature for 22 years, beginning in 1991.

KCABJ is regrouping, rebuilding for 2015. The next KCABJ membership meeting will be Sunday, Nov. 16. The time will be in the afternoon so people can get done with church and have time to devote to doable ideas for KCABJ that they also are willing to put energy into.

Growing the membership has to be a priority. Also, KCABJ should have a holiday get-together. Come with ideas for both. KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver will send out meeting notices soon with the time and location of the November meeting.

News You Can Use
Amber Buck, formerly Amber Mobley and a former KCABJ member and academy graduate, is seeking journalists to volunteer at Alta Vista charter school. Amber is the head of the middle school’s English Department. It’s for Alta Vista’s (high school) Seniors Writing to Achieve Greatness program, which is set up to help students of color win scholarships. Volunteers would devote time to editing and questioning high school students for clarity in their writing. For more information contact Amber at abuck@altavistacharterschool.org.

The National Association of Black Journalists is seeking workshop proposals for the 2015 NABJ Convention & Career Fair. It will take place Aug. 5-9 at the Hilton Minneapolis and Minneapolis Convention Center. The deadline for submitting workshop proposals is Nov. 16. For more information contact Scott Berry, program manager, at 301-405-0248 or sberry@nabj.org.

NABJ President Bob Butler announced this month that longtime NABJ supporter, CNN, has pulled its backing for the 2015 NABJ convention in Minneapolis.

NABJ previously had issued a statement expressing concern about the “atmosphere at CNN for African Americans.” Several black anchors “have left the anchor desk or CNN altogether in the past few years.” They include Soledad O’Brien, TJ Holmes and Suzanne Malveaux. An examination of newsroom managers shows only two African American executive producers. At least one lawsuit against CNN by a former writer/producer in CNN’s Los Angeles bureau alleges discrimination and wrongful termination.

CNN in 2007 had received NABJ’s “Best Practices” award for its efforts to increase diversity on air and behind the cameras. Butler said in an earlier release expressing concerns, “I know CNN is going through layoffs, but the departure of so many African Americans is worrisome.” CNN at that time had no comment.

CNN later contacted Butler to deny NABJ’s request for support for the 2015 convention. CNN then announced a major layoff in which at least five senior managers were let go.

“I understand the company has a right to make personnel decisions,” Butler said in a prepared release. “There were not that many African American managers at CNN in the first place. These layoffs have hurt our members tremendously. I am severely disappointed that CNN has ended our partnership.”

In a release dated Oct. 21, Butler appeals to black journalists to join NABJ, signaling that the national organization also is contending with membership issues the same as KCABJ is.

“Won’t you join us?” Butler writes. “Please consider joining or renewing your membership. Help us advance the cause of fostering an exemplary group of professionals that honors excellence and outstanding achievements by black journalists and outstanding achievement in the media industry as a whole.”

KC People
KCABJ has sent in the paperwork to renew its affiliate status with NABJ. The national organization in 2015 will celebrate its 40th anniversary. KCABJ was established in 1981.

KCABJ Newsletter for September 2014

September 21, 2014 - Leave a Response

Membership meeting
KCABJ members at the September meeting tabled until October issues on membership recruitment. Members realize that young black journalists may not have a strong commitment to the goals of the organization established in 1981. Some brainstorming will have to occur to determine what will appeal to the younger generation of black journalists.

KCABJ wants to reach out to new members.

The National Association of Black Journalists Region 1 Conference will take place Oct. 4 in Atlantic City, N.J. The theme is “The Winning Hand: Leading, Learning & Leveraging in Journalism & Media.” The conference will be at the Tropicana Casino & Resort. Some of the topics include “producing investigative stories while covering your beat” and “leveraging all platforms to do cutting-edge journalism.” For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.

The Sixth Annual NABJ Media Institute for Media Professionals will be on Oct. 3 also at the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City. The theme is “Media Roulette: Making the Right Moves in the Media Game.” For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.

NABJ also is partnering with other organizations on a panel titled “Know Your Rights: Minorities Dealing with the Police and Issues of Police Brutality.” It will be on Sept. 26 at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Room 202 B in Washington, D.C. For more information go to the NABJ website.

News You Can Use
The Association of Opinion Journalists lists an opening for an opinion writer. For more information go to http://www.journalismjobs.com/Job_Listing.cfm?JoblD=1609747.

The CUNY Graduate School of Journalism is offering a new, full-tuition scholarship to a NABJ member who applies to its master’s in journalism program for the fall of 2015. For more information call Colleen Marshall, director of admissions, at 646-758-7852 or send email to colleen.marshall@journalism.cuny.edu.

KC People
Ramanda Hicks, KCABJ vice president/print, unexpectedly resigned her post, citing personal reasons. Ramanda as a teen had been a student in the KCABJ journalism academy and years later became a member and then an officer.

Many members of KCABJ have praised Ramanda for her “unselfish service to the organization” and have noted how she will be “sadly missed.”

Glenn E. Rice, a past president of KCABJ and treasurer and board member of the National Association of Black Journalists, volunteered to fill the spot in the interim.

September KCABJ Membership Meeting

September 17, 2014 - Leave a Response

KCABJ members will meet from noon to 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 20 at the Plaza Library, 4801 Main St., in the Large Meeting Room. The agenda will include reports from officers and efforts to boost membership.

KCABJ Newsletter for August 2014

August 21, 2014 - Leave a Response

The Key Question
KCABJ members at the August meeting had to answer the key question about the organization, which was founded in 1981. Should KCABJ — after 33 years — continue to exist?
The consensus of persons at the meeting was “yes” because the need is still there to:

 * Train and recruit young African American for journalism careers.

 * Network and strengthen ties among journalists of color in the Kansas City area and the region.

 * Push journalism schools to appoint and retain black professors.

 * Sensitize the media to the institutional racism in news coverage and in employment practices.

 * Expand the media’s coverage and balanced reporting of events and trends in the black community.

 * Become an exemplary group of professionals who honor excellence and outstanding achievements of journalists.

 * Prepare black journalists for managerial and supervisory positions.

 * Encourage members to report the stories of the black community. Because without us, those great stories will go either poorly told or get left out altogether.

But this year in particular, KCABJ has struggled to recruit new members and continue the programs that have helped the organization fulfill its more than three-decade-old goals. The KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy was canceled this year when no students submitted applications for the program annually held for two weeks at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. Only a couple of years in the past has KCABJ had to suspend the academy.

KCABJ members discussed ways to remedy the lack of applicants this year. It includes sending news releases and appealing directly to The Call, The Kansas City Globe, The Kansas City Star and more black churches for news items notifying people about the free program that offers scholarships to the stop graduates who have a sincere interest in journalism. KCABJ members also said more social media should be employed to appeal to students where they hang out. KCABJ members could go to job fairs, college fairs, high school and college journalism programs and classes to appeal face-to-face to students. More direct appeals also should be made to be on “Generation Rap” on KPRS-FM. Efforts this year to get on the radio station were rebuffed.

In addition, KCABJ Vice President for Print Ramanda Hicks said she would check with the company that administers KCABJ’s website to get a cost estimate to enable students to apply online for the program and submit all of the required material via the Internet instead of sending it through the mail. Appealing to each new generation of students has been an ongoing struggle. The Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., school districts used to get a lot of teens to apply. They would fill the program. In recent years, KCABJ has been lucky to have a student from either district. Also, after students did apply, KCABJ had to maintain a stream of correspondence with the applicants just to ensure they would show up when class started. Before that, there were a lot of no-shows.

This year the annual KCABJ Media Awards program was canceled after 22 years because of a fall-off in area news media participation. It may resurface in 2015 in a very different form in which a committee of journalists and community members seated by KCABJ picks the journalists or media company whose work merits awards. That also could bring back the KCABJ Thumbs Down Award for the journalist or media company that has done the most to set back the image of African Americans or other people of color. Area blogs also could get KCABJ’s attention wanted or unwanted attention.

On recruiting new journalists, KCABJ members will meet in September to determine whether to conduct a census of journalists of color in the Kansas City area. If that is approved then letters will be drafted with follow-up telephone calls to those individuals. KCABJ members in addition will vote on whether to allocate money — up to $25 — from the treasury so existing members can take potential members to lunch to appeal to them to join.

The day, time and location of the next KCABJ membership meeting will be announced to members in an email. Ramanda suggested that each member attending try to bring a potential member.

The National Association of Black Journalists held its 39th annual convention in Boston, attracting hundreds of journalists from throughout the country.

NABJ already is advertising its 40th anniversary convention, which will take place in Minneapolis Aug. 4-9 at the Hilton Minneapolis and the Minneapolis Convention Center. The anniversary special is $200 for members and $150 for student members. The offer runs through Sept. 12. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.

News You Can Use
The Charlotte Observer has an opening for an associate editor on its editorial board. For more information contact Editorial Page Editor Taylor Batten at tbatten@charlotteobserver.com or send correspondence to Bratten at P.O. Box 30308, Charlotte, N.C. 28230.

KC People
KCABJ renewed its nonprofit status with the Missouri Secretary of State. That has been in place since 1985-86 when KCABJ went through an earlier period of reorganization.

Trey Williams, a KCABJ academy graduate, scholarship winner, Kansas City Star summer intern, and Northwest Missouri State University newspaper editor and graduate, is moving to Washington, D.C., next month. For four months he will work for Market Watch, part of The Wall Street Journal. Trey will be covering politics.

KCABJ Newsletter for July 2014

July 22, 2014 - Leave a Response

Normal vanishes
Normally KCABJ would be gearing up for its 23rd Annual Media Awards ceremony after completing the annual KCABJ summer urban student journalism academy. Normally KCABJ members would be getting ready to attend the National Association of Black Journalists annual convention and jobs fair.

But this is far from a normal year. The NABJ convention is taking place July 30 through Aug. 3 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center in Boston. Hundreds of black journalists are expected to attend.

Some from the Kansas City area are likely to go, too.

But KCABJ is in a rebuilding mode. Invitations to the 2014 KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy yielded no applications. Because of a declining interest in the area media producing enterprise and accurate news stories about African Americans and other people of color, the KCABJ membership voted earlier this year to cancel the media awards program for 2014.

The next KCABJ membership meeting will be Saturday, Aug. 16. The time and date will be announced by email to paid members of the organization.

People who plan to attend should get in touch with KCABJ President Lewis Diuguid by sending email to Ldiuguid@kcstar.com.

The August meeting will be the start of the restructuring of the organization. The agenda for August will focus on the urban student journalism academy and what KCABJ could do differently to attract and retain more students. Members are urged to come with ideas.

The meeting the following month will deal with the media awards program and how that might be restructured to generate more interest.

Again, KCABJ members are encouraged to send email to Lewis with ideas they would like to share at the meetings.

KC People
Liliya Karimova rejoined KCABJ as a member. KCABJ academy graduates are headed back to school and others are in the job market. KCABJ members have promised to do what they can to support KCABJ students for life with recommendations and career counseling. We strive to do for our young people what few to no persons ever did for us.

KCABJ Newsletter for June 2014

June 29, 2014 - Leave a Response

KCABJ Academy
The KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy was canceled this year. Despite several high school and college students expressing an interest in attending and despite KCABJ’s months-long recruitment efforts, no students submitted applications for the free program. As a result, no scholarships will be issued this year by KCABJ. Scholarships are awarded based on merit to the top students of each year’s class.

KCABJ started offering the academy in 1982 first at Penn Valley Community College to give students who were interested in journalism careers some exposure to a college campus. The college is on a bus line providing easy access to the commuter program for students — particularly those in Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., schools. The academy became a residential program in the early 1990s at Rockhurst College but went back to a commuter program a few years later.

KCABJ members will meet in July and determine what adjustments need to be made in the recruitment efforts to ensure that students enroll in the program. In the early years, it was not uncommon to get about 50 students to submit applications, and most were from the Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., school districts. The applications have dwindled over the years to under a dozen, and nearly all of the students are from suburban or private schools. KCABJ has always received a few applications from students in colleges nationwide. Those willing to do the work are accepted.

The next KCABJ meeting is July 19. The time and location will be announced.

This is not the first time the annual academy has been canceled. It occurred twice in the mid-1980s, and for a year or two the academy merged with a similar program offered at the University of Kansas school of journalism in Lawrence.

KCABJ canceled its annual media awards program this year also because of a declining interest by area news media and journalists to either submit their work for judging or a lack of enterprise journalism produced about African Americans and other people of color. The membership also plans to retool that program this year so that it will be stronger and more compelling when it re-emerges.

The National Association of Black Journalists convention will be July 30 to Aug. 3 in Boston at the convention center. NABJ has been sending out a lot of email highlighting the convention. Members also have received recorded telephone calls.

The theme is “Revolution to Evolution: Shaping Our Future.”

The 2014 Salute to Excellence Award winners will be showcased at the convention. In another announcement, NABJ plans to have members at the convention perform community service through the Pine Street Project to assist U.S. veterans. The work will be done in collaboration with Rent-A-Center.

The convention also will feature a film festival. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.

Plenary speakers will go along with this being a midterm election year nationally. Speakers include Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

NABJ members also will be able to attend the jobs fair at the convention to shop around their resumes with print, broadcast and new media companies that might be hiring. In addition, members can attend a number of workshops that provide continuing education and career enhancement.

And for exercise, NABJ members can take part in the 2014 NABJ 5K run/walk or the NABJ Celebrity Golf Tournament. Both are on Aug. 2. On Sunday the Gospel Brunch will take place.

News You Can Use
Applications are available for the 9th International Conference on Climate Change taking place July 7-9 in Las Vegas. For more information go to http://www.climateconference.heartland.org.

The Kansas City Star is seeking an experienced investigative reporter. For more information send email to Greg Farmer, senior assistant managing editor at gfarmer@kcstar.com.

Journalism and Women Symposium is offering a new fellowship for women to attend the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP). For more information send email to Fellowship Chair Kira Zalan at jawsfellows@gmail.com.

KC People
Kevin C. Morris, a former KCABJ member, is the new director of communications with Operation HOPE. Kevin has 20 years experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Operation HOPE promotes self-respect and self-sufficiency through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities in more than 300 cities worldwide.

KCABJ academy graduate and scholarship recipient Briana Simmons is working to hook up a new NABJ student chapter at Missouri State University in Springfield, where she is a student. KCABJ member and academy coordinator Glenn E. Rice said he planned to write a letter in support of Briana’s efforts. The new chapter plans to have in guest speakers on journalism-related topics, focus on professional skills development, resume writing and networking. The students also want to do more to promote journalism as a career for African Americans and other students of color.

Check out KCABJ member Aaron Randle. He has had a number of articles in The Call of Kansas City. But Aaron also has had an article posted on Ebony.com. You can find it at http://www.ebony.com/entertainment-culture/in-shonda-they-trust-black-women-take-over-tv.999.

KCABJ Academy for 2014 canceled

May 28, 2014 - Leave a Response

The Kansas City Association of Black Journalists had to make the regrettable decision to cancel the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy for 2014.

It was to have taken place June 16-27 at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. Applications were posted online and distributed to interested persons starting in March.

Many people expressed an interest before the April 26 deadline, but no one applied. The deadline was extended twice — first to May 16 and then to May 23. Still no applications so the program was canceled.

KCABJ will regroup and offer it again in 2015.

The academy has been an annual program sponsored by KCABJ since 1982 to better equip high school and college students of all colors for careers in journalism. KCABJ offers scholarships to the top graduates of the academy.

The program has taken place at MCC-Penn Valley during most of its history because the college is on a bus line and provides students easy access to the commuter program.

KCABJ also has the academy taught by print and broadcast journalism professionals at MCC-Penn Valley to give students an early exposure to college.

The program has been canceled only twice in the past. KCABJ also decided earlier this year to cancel its Media Awards program because of dwindling interest by area news media companies in submitting enterprising print, broadcast, new media and other entries showing African Americans and other people of color in accurate and non-stereotypical roles.

KCABJ will spend the next year refashioning this program, too.

Kansas City Star Job Opening

May 20, 2014 - Leave a Response

The Kansas City Star seeks an experienced and motivated investigative reporter to join the newspaper’s enterprise and projects team. We’re looking for someone who knows how to ferret out wrongdoing and hold people in power accountable. Top-rate news judgment is a must. Likewise, this reporter will be a self-starter who has excellent skills researching diverse topics, developing sources and writing with authority and flair.

We need someone with expertise in computer-assisted and data-driven reporting and the ability to make sense of the complexities inherent in that analysis. In addition, this reporter will be a key partner in digital visualization and the creation of interactive graphics that help make projects pop.

The successful candidate will need:

- An impressive track record in investigative reporting.

- Experience developing strong in-depth story ideas.

- Proven ability to work in a fast-paced environment.

- Strong understanding of and commitment to journalistic ethics.

- Desire to engage readers with frequency and urgency on high-interest topics.

- Social media savvy and an appreciation for the value of multi-platform publishing.

To apply for the job, email your cover letter, a resume and links to your best reporting work to Greg Farmer, Senior AME, at gfarmer@kcstar.com.


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