KCABJ Newsletter for July 2021

July 15, 2021 - Leave a Response

Farewell Send Off

   KCABJ members turned out June 30 in great pre-pandemic numbers at the Soiree Steak and Oyster House in the 18th & Vine District to wish KCABJ President Kaci Jones well in the new job she has taken as an anchor at FOX46 WJZY in Charlotte, N.C. About 25 persons attended the send-off party that KCABJ member and former President Kia Breaux organized.

   Kaci, a native of Richmond, Va., and graduate of Florida A&M University, came to Kansas City about two years ago from Rochester, N.Y., where she worked as a broadcast journalist. She first worked at KCTV-5 in Kansas City as a reporter and later switched to WDAF, FOX4 on New Year’s Eve 2020.

   As a member of the National Association of Black Journalists, Kaci reached out to KCABJ, and then took the added step of re-invigorating the organization with new members. She then was elected president of the organization. Because of the Great Recession and recurring layoffs in the news industry, KCABJ’s membership dwindled to about six persons. Because of Kaci and her then-co-worker at KCTV-5 Breland Moore, who left Kansas City for a sports anchor position in Philadelphia, the organization’s paid membership increased to 38.

   The loss of Kaci and earlier this year Breland, leaves open two key executive board positions in KCABJ. Kaci reported at the July membership meeting that she plans to stay on with the organization until the executive board picks a new president and vice president/broadcast. Persons interested in having the KCABJ executive board consider them for the positions should send email to Lewisdiuguid@gmail.com.

   Also discussed during the membership meeting was a Watch Party at The Kansas City Star. It would feature this year’s NABJ convention. KCABJ member and past President Glenn E. Rice will be the host. The convention will take place Aug. 18-21. No date for the watch party has been set yet. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the convention will be virtual again. Refreshments will be served.

   During the July membership meeting, Kaci had Melesa Johnson speak to the organization as part of the association’s Talk of the Town feature. Johnson is a lawyer and special adviser to Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas. She has been in the position since February pushing public safety as well as equity for businesses owned by women and people of color. She reported that she and others at City Hall closely follow local news and that the stories that journalists do affect the mayor’s office.

   Johnson said that “troubling stories” typically don’t come from journalists of color. “We’re in a very divisive and polarizing time,” Johnson said. It is filled with “trigger phrases and trigger words.”

   Johnson shared that the city is examining its affirmative action policy, reforming the certification process and updating the website.

   The next meeting of KCABJ will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 14. Look for the email notice soon.

NABJ News

   The National Association of Black Journalists Convention & Jobs Fair will take place Aug. 18-21. It will feature more than 140 convention sessions, special events and activities, including more than 70 sponsored opportunities to engage with major companies, organizations and influencers at networking receptions, workshops, cocktail hours, luncheons, breakfasts, and upfronts/screenings. For more information, go to nabj.org.

   Meanwhile, NABJ officers have asked to meet with heads of the Disney Corporation over New York Times and other news reports on a toxic culture at ESPN, which Disney owns. Learn more at https://nabjonline.org/blog/nabj-calls-for-meeting-with-disney-heads-after-treatment-of-espns-maria-taylor-reveals-toxic-culture-of-bias/.

News to Go Places

   “Journal-isms,” an on the website of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education covering news about journalists of color, is seeking a part-time assistant editor. For more information, go to https://www.journal-isms.com/about/.

   Big Brothers Big Sisters Kansas City is seeking:

  • Program: 90-Day Match Support Specialist
  • Program: Volunteer Enrollment & Matching Specialist
  • Operations: Facilities & Office Manager

The deadline to apply is July 16. For more information, go to https://www.bbbskc.org/careers?cached=0.

   The Inez Y. Kaiser GKC-PRSA Memorial Scholarship Application Portal is now live via registration here. Read more about this national Black public relations pioneer and apply for this $2,500 scholarship today. It is open to all African American/Black junior or first semester undergraduate registered seniors and enrolled in a public relations or communications program at an accredited college or university in Kansas or Missouri. The student must live in Kansas or Missouri at the time of application. Preference is given to PRSSA members and affiliate chapters, however, membership or affiliation is not a requirement for eligibility. The applicant must have earned at least a 3.0 grade point average on a 4.0 scale overall. The application should reflect the applicant’s commitment to volunteerism, a hallmark of Inez Kaiser’s legacy. Two scholarship recipients will be announced at the GKC-PRSA chapter Prism event Thursday, October 21, 2021.Applications are due Sept. 24, 2021. For more information visit http://www.kansascity-prsa.org.

   The Federal Reserve of Kansas City is seeking freelance writers. For More information, contact Stan Austin, stan.austin@kc.frb.org.

   WDAF FOX4 is seeking a digital producer. For more information, go to https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Digital-Producer_REQ-10674.

   FOX4 also is seeking a multimedia reporter. For more information, go to https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Reporter-I–MultiMedia-Journalist_REQ-9956.

KC People

   KCABJ’s membership grew with the addition of Nathaniel Taylor.

   Anita K. Parran, a current member of KCABJ and past president of the organization, is a Community Advisory Board member for the KU Alzheimer’s Disease Center. She would like to introduce KCABJ members to new opportunities that would be of benefit to you and other individuals in communications. As you will see in the flier, MyAlliance for Brain Health and is a resource for brain health and is for anyone dealing with Alzheimer’s disease or another dementia. Customized information is provided for everyone, whether you are a family member, caregiver, a friend of someone who has been diagnosed, or simply someone who has an interest in overall brain health. Join MyAlliance at http://www.kumc.edu/kuadc/join-my-alliance-for-brain-health.

   Feel free to share this information about MyAlliance for Brain Health with members of the communications community and ask them to share it with family, friends, and others. It is important for everyone to have access to this free resource so they can stay informed and make good brain-health decisions. 

KCABJ Newsletter for June 2021

June 21, 2021 - Leave a Response

Membership meeting

   Dorothy Tucker, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, spoke to the June membership meeting of KCABJ, saying she was running for re-election.

   Tucker pointed out that she led NABJ through the unprecedent coronavirus pandemic, enabling the organization to pivot to a virtual convention last year with the intention to repeat that success this year. She added that she helped NABJ to aid members who have suffered pay cuts, layoffs or hours cutbacks.

   At the same time, NABJ has remained financially solid. Tucker said she also hopes the organization is able to draw on the talents of its members to create its own news media organization. The aim is to strengthen NABJ financially. “In the future, NABJ can be self-reliant,” Tucker said.

   Under Tucker’s leadership, several news companies have hired African Americans in key upper management jobs. In addition, NABJ has been looking out for the mental health and well-being of its members.

   NABJ also instituted LGBTQIA training for members. “I don’t tolerate anybody not feeling safe in this organization,” Tucker said.

   She said that if she wins a second term, she hopes to focus on undoing systematic racism, which includes attacking pay inequities in the news media. “We need to change that,” Tucker said.

   This was the second time in less than a year that Tucker has spoken directly with members of KCABJ.

   KCABJ President Kaci Jones said plans are taking shape for KCABJ members to hold a NABJ convention watch party on Aug. 21. The event will be catered by a black-owned company.

   Also speaking during the June membership meeting was Qiana Thomason, president and chief executive officer of the Health Forward Foundation. Kaci explained that Thomason was the first KCABJ Talk of the Town speaker, enabling members to hear from local newsmakers.

   Thomason explained that she is working to “reset” the foundation to focus on racial equity and economic justice. She explained that conditions such as housing, income, education and wealth affect health outcomes for people. The more a person makes, she said, the better that individual’s health tends to be.

   Thomason urged Black journalists to keep such concerns in mind as they cover stories about health and the associated disparities negatively affecting people of color.

   “There’s a health implication to most issues you cover,” she said. For example, “housing is health.” Homeownership is the key to wealth building.

   Thomason also explained that she hopes to change the narrative about people of color from a language of people who are vulnerable and at risk. The focus instead will be on their strengths, adaptability and resilience.

   The deficit-based language feeds the marginalization of people of color and enables conservatives to push attacks on schools and universities teaching critical race theory. Fear and a perceived loss of power are behind the controversies in state legislatures including in Kansas and Missouri. Philanthropy reset can help change that, Thomason said.

   Providing young people in underserved ZIP codes with jobs is one program that can help. “Power and money are the language of many folks,” she said.

   In other business, KCABJ re-iterated its commitment to restart the student journalism institute. A committee has been formed to try to get the program underway in 2022.

NABJ News

   The National Association of Black Journalists Convention and Jobs Fair will again be virtual this year because of the coronavirus, which has claimed the lives of more than 600,000 Americans. The convention will take place Aug. 18-21. NABJ members are urged to register as soon as possible at NABJ (vfairs.com). July 1 is the convention pre-registration deadline, which provides members and chapters with discounted registration rates. 

   The convention will feature more than 140 sessions and events and 10 tracks. More than 70 companies will greet people and provide job opportunities and training. For more details go to nabj.org.

News You Can Use

   Kansas City PBS is currently seeking applicants for the following positions:

  • Donor Relations Manager
  • Development Assistant
  • Multimedia Producer/Editor/Director
  • Graphic Designer

For more information, go to Employment (kansascitypbs.org).

   The Columbia Missourian is seeking an executive editor and Missouri community newspaper management chair/professional practice professor. For more information, go to JournalismJobs.com – Job Listing – Executive Editor of the Columbia Missourian and Missouri Community Newspaper Management Chair/Professional Practice Professor.

   WDAF-TV, Fox 4 offers the following job openings:

https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Reporter-I–MultiMedia-Journalist_REQ-9956

https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Lifestyle-Show-Executive-Producer_REQ-8284https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Lifestyle-Show-Host-Producer_REQ-8285

KCABJ Newsletter for May 2021

May 14, 2021 - Leave a Response

President’s Column

   This is a bittersweet time for us as we say goodbye to Breland Moore, our Vice President of Broadcast.

   You might have heard a VP does most of the work but you really have no idea. When I asked Breland to join KCABJ last summer, she hit the ground running.

   I told her my goal was to reinstate the chapter as an affiliate of the National Association of Black Journalists, and she has been a vital support system in reaching that goal.

   Breland was a walking billboard for KCABJ. She invited several working journalists to become KCABJ members. She established partnerships with local organizations.

   Breland never turned away from the real work. She never complained about the workload. Instead, she saw the opportunity to get involved as a privilege.

   Breland took the lead to plan our first sports webinar, which drew in dozens of people to learn more about what it takes to become a sports journalist.

   This event also raised money for KCABJ. Breland showed courage in her workplace as she fiercely and courageously helped create real change at KCTV5.

    Her efforts have created a better workplace environment for Black journalists and paved the way for Black colleagues to be promoted and others to be hired. This work is often a thankless job.

   I wanted to take the time to tell Breland, my friend and colleague, that I appreciate her selfless sacrifices. Through it all, Breland continues to be an inspiration to many around her including me.

   I’m so proud of everything she’s done. As Breland returns home to continue her career in Philadelphia, PA, market #4, I’m grateful this organization was able to have Breland’s leadership. Our loss is Philadelphia’s gain. Fly Breland Fly! We will never replace Breland, but if someone steps up willing to make half the sacrifices she did, KCABJ can continue to be a viable organization.
With sincere love and gratitude,

Kaci Jones
KCABJ President

Membership Meeting

   KCABJ member Kevin Holmes shared some of the results of a survey of members. The findings will fold into a strategic plan for the organization.

   Kevin said there were 24 respondents to the survey. A key outcome: “Folks really realized there is value to this organization,” Kevin said.

   There are things that KCABJ does and does well. Yet from the survey results, people questioned whether the mission and objectives of the organization are clear and whether KCABJ has a large enough footprint in the Kansas City area.

   Some suggestions included KCABJ sponsoring more webinars, more events and having more of a public presence. KCABJ also could provide more mentoring opportunities, social mixers, happy hour get-togethers, fundraisers and dinners.

   Kevin said he would make the full results known to members soon.

   KCABJ President Kaci Jones said she would meet with Kevin and Parliamentarian Harold Kuntz to discuss how the survey results will figure into the organization’s strategic plan.

   The next KCABJ Zoom meeting will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 12.

   After the meeting, Kaci opened the discussion to the first quarterly KCABJ Mental Health Check-In. It was led by Dr. Tamela Ross.

   Members shared their concerns with being asked by white media companies where they work to speak for the entire Black community involving stories about African Americans. Often they are the only person of color in news meetings, and often there is push-back from their white colleagues when they do share their thoughts.

   Members also expressed concern over dealing with racism in their newsrooms. Some said that it is difficult with all that is being asked of them to have a good work-home balance. All of it makes the job of being a Black journalist exhausting, members shared.

   An additional frustrating aspect about being Black in the white news media is never knowing how other African Americans at the media company will respond on controversial racial issues. “Not all skin folks are kin folks,” one KCABJ member shared.

   “It’s a weird space to be in sometimes,” another member shared.

   Some members they have been accused of not Black enough on the job. Members said they were frustrated by some Black co-workers’ refusal to engage, saying: “I got my check. I’m going home.”

   Dr. Ross said a sad aspect of what KCABJ members expressed was that over time they just become numb. Congress recently passed legislation attacking hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. But African Americans have had to endure acts of hate and police killings without any urgent congressional response.

   “It’s overwhelming,” she said. Dr. Ross encouraged KCABJ members to practice self-care and to lean on each other for solace. “If you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of anyone else,” she added.

NABJ News

   The theme this year’s National Association of Black Journalists’ convention will be “Navigating a Digital World – United by Mission, Driven by Purpose.” Just like last year, the convention running Aug. 18-21 will be a virtual gathering.

   Registration is now open! This virtual event promises to be even more exciting than last year’s historic gathering that saw 3,713 attendees.  

   NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said this year’s convention chairs will be Kay Angrum and Isiah Carey. Leisa Richardson will serve as the convention program chair. Carol Gantt and Justin Madden will chair the student multimedia project. The JSHOP (High School Workshop) Chair is Sheryl Kennedy Haydel. The Innovation Bubble Chair will be Michelle Johnson and the Authors Showcase Chair is Alexis Yancey. The Salute to Excellence Chairs are Greg Morrison and Sia Nyorkor. The Special Honors/Hall of Fame Chairs are Sachelle Saunders and Jamar Younger.

   Attendees: Remember to upload or update your resume at NABJCareers.org if you plan to attend the career fair. Be sure to check off on your profile that you will be attending the convention so recruiters can easily search for you!

News You Can Use

   The Wichita Beacon launches this summer and is seeking a full-time executive editor with benefits. The person who is hired will guide the newsroom through transformational growth. Salary range starts at $70,000. For more information, go to https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rR3vtWNCj_HRGHjNvRH_TkMJlj1ASMOe3huFGtp8ySg/edit.

   The Maynard Institute lists the following job opportunities and internships:

Communications Director – The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Remote/Emeryville, CA

Director of Inclusion & Audience Growth – American Press Institute, Arlington, VA

Senior Editor, Investigations – Southern California Public Radio, Pasadena, CA

Executive Editor – MLK50, Memphis, TN/Remote

Senior Reporter: City Hall – Berkeleyside, Berkeley, CA

Senior Reporter: City Hall and policing – Oaklandside, Oakland, CA

Anchor/Reporter – KIRO7 Newscasts, Seattle, WA

2021 National Fellowship – USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, Nationwide

Director – International Women’s Media Foundation, Washington, D.C. 

Media Relations Manager – International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) 

Philanthropy Officer – inewsource, Remote/San Diego, CA

Peter Roth Internship Program – Paley Center, Remote/New York, NY

   Susan Smith Richardson, deputy editor with the Guardian US, Guardian News & Media, shares the following openings:

Breaking news/general assignment reporter, west coast

Senior tech reporter/editor, west coast

Breaking news reporter, NY

Editor, US Editorial Partnerships

And see this link for a complete list of openings at the Guardian US.

KC People

   At the May membership meeting, those in attendance wished KCABJ Vice President/Broadcast Breland Moore farewell. She is leaving KCTV5 to work as a sports anchor for Fox 29 in Philadelphia, the nation’s fourth largest market. It also happens to be her hometown. KCABJ President Kaci Jones said that Breland has been invaluable to the organization and will be missed. Breland piloted KCABJ this year through its first successful webinar on sports coverage. Kaci encouraged KCABJ members who are interested in the vice president/broadcast position to please get in touch with her.

   Mara’ Rose Williams, a longtime reporter and now editorial board member of The Kansas City Star, was honored last month with the Eleanor McClatchy Award for piloting The Kansas City Star through a series and apology in December on the coverage of the Black community.

   Longtime KCABJ members also paid tribute to Eddie Williams III, a Kansas City native and former KCABJ member, who died April 19. Eddie was the older brother of Missouri state Sen. Barbara Anne Washington, a 1984 KCABJ journalism academy graduate. KCABJ President Kaci Jones provided a letter from the organization that was read at Eddie’s service on May 8 at The Blue Room in the 18th and Vine District.

KCABJ Newsletter for April 2021

April 14, 2021 - Leave a Response

President’s Column

   The year 2020 revealed and reinforced the need for diversity, equity and inclusion in the workplace.

   Diversity in newsrooms has been an ongoing conversation for decades, with little to no growth. Local news outlets like The Kansas City Star and KCTV5 have started the process of hiring more diverse staff to help report the news throughout our community.

   We applaud both media companies for their actions and encourage the others in this market to evaluate whether the demographics of their staffs match the community they serve. Taking it a step further, employers must focus on diversity in thought.

   Each of us has a different life experience, which shapes the way we look at situations, ask questions and tell stories. Oftentimes, news managers encourage their staff to pitch stories that would appeal to the “target market” in any given space.

   The managers will ask staff to think like that target market. What is the purpose of bringing in people from different backgrounds, and then asking them to think the same way?

   Instead, news managers should create an environment where discourse is encouraged and considered when making editorial decisions. News managers must create a space where journalists feel comfortable and safe enough to share their thoughts.

   At the same time, I’m asking my colleagues to offer their relevant perspectives on the topics at hand. Your life experiences shape your unique perspective and can help make news appeal to broader audiences.

   When you share your thoughts, you can help others see what they might not see otherwise. It takes courage to be more than a Black face in a newsroom, but the community needs journalists like us to be a Black voice, too.

   Only time will tell whether the latest push for diversity in newsrooms will pay off. In the meantime, I hope Black journalists will realize how much of an asset they can be to their newsrooms if they speak up.

Respectfully,

Kaci Jones 

KCABJ President

KCABJ News

   KCABJ Membership Committee Chairman Kevin Holmes on March 15 sent to KCABJ members a survey to gauge people’s impressions about the organization as well as where it can improve in services to members and the community.

   At the April membership meeting, KCABJ President Kaci Jones encouraged those on the Zoom call to fill out the survey if they already haven’t. She also said members should send the survey to potential members to get their feedback. It could be a way to expand the organization to include more people in independent media organizations.

   That survey is at
https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeRCPiFt3GQ0NjEEq6FLCur3_h41_7gUi-hgRwdxsXuTGzIjg/viewform?vc=0&c=0&w=1&flr=0.

   Kaci also reported that KCTV-5 recently had a meeting to report on the diversity of its staff. The numbers were not encouraging.

   More than 85 percent of KCTV-5’s newsroom staff is white. “It’s very telling but not surprising,” said Breland Moore, KCABJ Vice President/Broadcast.

   That closely mirrors national diversity numbers for media companies, according to the latest ASNE Newsroom Diversity Survey.

   “Overall, people of color represent 21.9 percent of the salaried workforce among newsrooms that responded to this year’s Newsroom Employment Diversity Survey. While encouraging, these figures cannot be generalized to interpret the landscape of the U.S. journalism industry as a whole because the survey relies on information collected from a convenience sample of organizations that volunteer to participate,” the 2019 report said.

   In 1978 ASNE set a goal to have the percentage of journalists of color equal the percentage of people of color in the population by the year 2000. The thinking at the time was that it would increase the likelihood that stories of people of color would be more accurately reported and would organically be included more in each news cycle.

   In 1978, people of color held fewer than 4 percent of all journalism jobs. People of color also made up less than 25 percent of the U.S. population. By 1999, it was clear that the ASNE goal was not going to be reached so ASNE pushed the goal back to 2025. Now people of color represent more than a third of the U.S. population and by 2042, they will be the majority in the United States.

   Efforts are being planned to add more journalists of color to the KCTV-5 newsroom staff by 2022. Kaci said the KCTV-5 report should open the door for more Kansas City area media companies to report on the diversity of their newsroom staffs.

   KCABJ members agreed that the diversity of news staffs must include journalists of color as managers.

   As a follow-up to the monthly meeting in February, Kaci told the membership that beginning at the end of the May monthly meeting, a licensed mental health therapist, Tamela Ross, would lead a mental health check-in for members who decide to attend. That Zoom meeting will take place May 8.

   Kaci also said that she was interested in reviving the KCABJ Student Journalism Institute, formerly called the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. Persons who are interested in being involved should send email to Kaci at kcabj1981@gmail.com.

   KCABJ member Glenn E. Rice, who had headed the program, shared documents used in the past to recruit students as well as the syllabus for the two-week summer course.

   “Local journalism outlets claim they can’t find qualified talent,” Kaci said. “We help teach them. We know they’re qualified because we help qualify them.”

   Kaci reminded members that 2021 is the 40th anniversary for KCABJ, and people should be thinking about how to celebrate the occasion. The organization held a banquet and media awards program for its 25th anniversary, which was well-attended. Kaci suggested watch parties for this year’s NABJ annual convention in August.

   Members should expect more guest speakers this year to add greater interest to the monthly meetings. One might be on the Black and Brown hesitancy to take the vaccines to prevent people from getting the coronavirus. Glenn said it would be a good idea to invite newsmakers to speak to Black journalists.

NABJ News

   In response to the growing number of attacks against Asian Americans in the United States, the National Association of Black Journalists joins with other journalism groups, denouncing the violence and urging “law enforcement to be aggressive in helping bring an end to these tragedies.” NABJ supports the Asian American Journalists Association and asked NABJ members to be sensitive about events and their coverage.

   NABJ is accepting applications for the free #NABJ21 JSHOP High School Workshop, providing an enlightening and informative introduction into the journalism profession. For more information, go to nabj.org.

   Nominations are now open for the 2021 NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards. For more information, go to #NABJ21 Submission & Partner Site – Welcome to the #NABJ21 Salute to Excellence Awards Nomination Site (aievolution.com).

   Nominations are being sought for the NABJ Hall of Fame. For more information, go to 2021 NABJ Hall of Fame Nomination Form (wufoo.com).

   NABJ Special Honors nominations are being sought for the virtual August convention. For more information, go to NABJ 2021 Special Honors Nomination Form (wufoo.com).

   The deadline for each is April 26.

   NABJ last month condemned the behavior of Rob Lederman, a radio host for Cumulus Media’s 97 Rock in Buffalo, New York.

   During a Wednesday morning show segment, Lederman, who has since been fired, used blatantly racist and sexist slurs and comments to describe the skin tones of several prominent Black women. He compared their complexions to his preference of how dark or light he liked his toast.

   His co-hosts, who also participated in the conversation and did not appear to correct his behavior, have been suspended. However, their apparent support of his behavior should also lead to their dismissal.

   “Racism and sexism have no place in our industry,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker. “As a company that touts on its website that ‘every voice matters,’ Cumulus must take today’s incident seriously and demonstrate its commitment to diversity. NABJ calls for the Cumulus organization and its affiliates to take immediate action to examine and eliminate what seems to be an accepted culture of racist and sexist attitudes within their organization.”

   NABJ also calls on news organizations to provide resources to Black journalists and communicators to help them cope with the emotional trauma of covering, rewatching and hearing the testimonies in the trial of Derek Chauvin, the former Minneapolis police officer accused in the death of George Floyd. NABJ said in a news release:

   “Covering the trial may also trigger trauma tied to past experiences and previous stories of Black citizens harmed at the hands of police.

   “We urge our members to take advantage of coping and mental health resources made available by their companies and health plans or to request such resources if they are not readily available. We also remind members to turn to one another and the NABJ Family for comfort when things get too heavy and revisit our Coping and Safety Resources link (which includes past mental health and coping webinars) to help with dealing with the various emotions they may be feeling. The link is here: https://nabjonline.org/blog/resources-for-coping-and-safety/

   “Our prayers and thoughts are with all journalists who are carrying a huge responsibility in this defining moment in our nation’s history.”

   CBS’s CEO George Cheeks announced that Peter Dunn, who served as president of the company’s television stations group, and David Friend, the senior vice president of news are no longer employed by CBS.

   NABJ reports that “their departures, as reported by the LA Times, come after the start of an independent investigation into multiple allegations of discrimination and ill-treatment of employees based on race, gender and sexual orientation, as well as pay equity complaints.

   NABJ Vice President of Broadcast Ken Lemon said in a prepared release that “after multiple meetings with CBS leadership about these allegations and our calling for the firing of Dunn and Friend in January, NABJ encourages the company to use this opportunity to immediately bring in permanent leadership, policies and procedures that will transform its reported toxic culture into one that promotes and demands diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) at every level of operations at its networks and owned and operated stations.”

   NABJ in a news release congratulated longtime member Kim Godwin on her historic appointment as not only the first Black woman to head ABC News as its president but also the first Black woman to head a broadcast network news operation. She will begin her role in early May 2021.

   “This historic announcement shows what we at NABJ have always known: there are Black executives more than capable of taking the reins of a network operation. We hope this move sends a clear signal to other networks,” said Ken Lemon, NABJ Vice President-Broadcast. “The NABJ Family is thrilled that Kim has been tapped for this position and it is the logical next step for a hard-working news leader. Her appointment opens the door for diversity and inclusion at a higher level. The glass ceiling is broken and must be shattered.”

News You Can Use

   WDAF-TV, Channel 4 is seeking a digital investigative and data producer. For more information go to Digital Investigative & Data Producer (myworkdayjobs.com).

   WDAF-TV, Channel 4 also is seeking a digital producer. For more information, go to  Digital Producer (myworkdayjobs.com).

   KHQA-TV in the Quincy, Ill., area is looking for a Multi-Media Journalist. The responsibilities include reporting, shooting and editing news stories, enterprising story ideas, developing contacts, as well as other responsibilities as assigned. For more information, go to https://edyy.fa.us2.oraclecloud.com/hcmUI/CandidateExperience/en/sites/CX_2002/job/3893.

    KSHB-NBC-TV, Channel 41 is seeking an experienced multimedia journalist. For more information, go to Multimedia Journalist, KSHB (myworkdayjobs.com).

KC People

   KCABJ’s membership increased by one with the addition of Jackson Kurtz, a reporter with KMBC-TV, Channel 9.

   KCABJ member Cortlynn Stark, a breaking news reporter for The Kansas City Star merits congratulations for two things: She was chosen as KCABJ’s new vice president/print and she was named one of 44 “outstanding media professionals picked for this year’s Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education Fellows.” She was selected from more than 140 applicants nationwide and will receive training and a year-long mentorship from the nation’s leading media experts.

   Also, congratulate KCABJ member Cynthia Newsome. She was promoted to senior community relations director at KSHB-NBC-TV, Channel 41. She also will anchor 41 Action News Midday.

   Former Kansas City Star columnist and KCABJ member Jenee’ Osterheldt has been showcasing her talents on ABC’s series “Soul of a Nation.” For more on that, go to The beauty of Black joy, in all its forms Video – ABC News (go.com). Jenee’ is a columnist with The Boston Globe.

   KCABJ member Bianca Beltran told members at the April meeting that efforts are underway to form a chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

KCABJ Newsletter for March 2021

March 16, 2021 - Leave a Response

President’s Column

One year ago the pandemic rocked the world. COVID-19 has changed everything particularly the way we do our jobs.

   While everyone else was instructed to stay home, we were out on the streets telling the stories of the pandemic. We told stories of sadness and strength as well as trials and triumphs.

   The public relied on us as essential workers. We put our health on the line to deliver the information our audience needed and wanted to hear.

   In the last year, more than half-a-million people have died nationwide from COVID-19. New studies show one-in-five people in the United States have lost a loved one to coronavirus.

   Not only have many of us been working through grief, but there have also been some of us who caught the virus ourselves. Nonetheless, you recovered and continued to tell the stories that mattered.

   There have been stories of inequity and innovation. Coronavirus exposed inequities in health care, education, infrastructure, neighborhoods, policies and more as the virus and shutdowns disproportionately affected Black communities.

   These stories could go untold if we fail to shine a light on them. At the same time, we continue to deal with another pandemic that has been raging for more than 400 years with no end in sight…. Racism.

   As the protests have died down, companies have casually forgotten their diversity commitments, black squares are no longer on our social media feeds, but racial injustice continues to plague the globe. Using our platform, we must continue to hold our leaders accountable to the communities they serve.

   It is up to us to keep the conversation going. While fighting the good fight, journalists must continue to practice self-care.

   KCABJ will begin quarterly mental health check-ins starting in May. We will provide a mental health professional to offer advice on how to best manage the stress of the business that has been exacerbated by the pandemic and race-related issues.

   Our goal is to help you best care for yourself while caring for others. Brighter days are ahead, and I’m looking forward to celebrating with you all.

Kind Regards,

KCABJ President

Kaci Jones

KCABJ Members

   KCABJ Vice President-Broadcast Breland Moore shared with the membership at the March meeting that the KCABJ Sports Webinar was a great success attended by 15 persons.

   “It went really well,” Breland said. It was the first time KCABJ has had a webinar. Breland said that the interest caused the program to run over the allotted time.

   Much like the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy, the Feb. 22 webinar was designed for high school and college students who are interested in journalism careers. It was moderated by KCABJ member and Grandview High School senior Hannah Harris.

   The speakers were Breland, sports anchor/reporter with KCTV5; KCABJ Parliamentarian Harold Kuntz, sports anchor/reporter at WDAF-TV Fox4; KCABJ member Lynn Worthy, Kansas City Royals baseball beat writer for The Kansas City Star; and KCABJ member Damon Smith, sports talk radio host with Fox Sports KLKC/ESPN Kansas City. The program capitalized on KCABJ having a great wealth of sports journalists. Breland said the success certainly means the organization should do more webinars.

   KCABJ President Kaci Jones shared with the membership that KCABJ member Kevin Holmes will soon release a 13 to 14-question survey for Black journalists to gauge KCABJ’s strengths and where it can better serve members.

   Kevin, a news anchor with KSHB-NBCTV, Channel 41 said the survey would enable the organization to be “bigger, bolder, greater.”

   Kaci also told the membership that she hopes to have quarterly mental health “check-ins” for the organization so that members at those meetings can talk about issues of concern to them in their newsrooms or elsewhere. Kaci opened up the February meeting to discussions about local news coverage of the Jan. 6 riot at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and the untimely death of Kansas City area sports reporter Terez Paylor, who covered the Kansas City Chiefs. Kaci said at the March membership meeting that the organization would work to have a local Black mental health professional lead the discussions. Black journalists’ struggles, Kaci said, are exacerbated by race-related issues.

   The membership was enthused over a re-start of the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. The annual program started in 1982 a year after KCABJ was founded, to help prepare more Black high school and college students for careers in journalism. The last class was in 2015. The organization has had difficulty since then getting enough students for the two-week summer course. New KCABJ members offered ideas on how to drum up more young people who have an interest in careers in journalism. Working with media professionals, students have produced their own newspaper, radio broadcast and TV newscast in the program. A reboot of the academy would include social media.

   During the membership meeting, members expressed a need to reach out to journalism and communications colleges in Kansas and Missouri. Kaci also shared that managers at local TV and radio stations also need to become aware of KCABJ and what it offers.

   Kaci shared that the National Association of Black Journalists is providing a reporting system for diversity, equity and inclusion so that people can report unwanted incidents that occur in newsrooms. For more information go to https://nabjonline.org/blog/nabj-launches-media-industry-alerts-from-for-diversity-inclusion-issues/.

NABJ News

   The National Association of Black Journalists plans to continue to work with the Hollywood Foreign Press Association to get more Black journalists included in the HFPA. During the Golden Globes Awards, the HFPA announced that it will rectify the lack of Black journalists among their ranks.

   “Black journalists matter, whether in the United States or around the world,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker. “Now that the HFPA has been rightfully called out for this shameful fact, NABJ stands ready to engage with the HFPA to address these issues immediately.”

   The 78th annual Golden Globe Awards program was broadcast live on NBC on Feb. 28.

News You Can Use

   The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City is seeking a communications specialist in its Public Affairs Department. For more information, contact Andre Brooks at andre.brooks@kc.frb.org.

   The Kansas City Star is seeking applications for a reporter. For more information go to https://jobs.jobvite.com/mcclatchy/job/oepaefwL.

   The National Society of Newspaper Columnists is seeking entries for its Annual Column Contest of 2021. The deadline is March 15. For more information go to https://nsnc.submittable.com/submit.

   The Kansas News Service is seeking a social service reporter. For more information, go to https://www.kcur.org/social-services-reporter-kansas-news-service.

   The Association for Women in Communications is holding its 49th annual Clarion Awards competition. For more information, go to https://clarion.awardsplatform.com/.

   The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri on March 23 is sponsoring a discussion on how newsrooms can work to become anti-racist starting with their social media policies and how to enforce them. For more information, go to https://umsystem.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2SqeIW3-SlytphOLS8WvAg.

   The Beacon has openings for an executive editor. For more information, go to https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rR3vtWNCj_HRGHjNvRH_TkMJlj1ASMOe3huFGtp8ySg/edit.

   Other job openings are as follows:

Lifestyle Show Executive Producer

https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Lifestyle-Show-Executive-Producer_REQ-8284

Lifestyle Show Associate Producer/Co-Host

https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Lifestyle-Show-Associate-Producer-Co-Host_REQ-8292

Lifestyle Show Host/Producer

https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Lifestyle-Show-Host-Producer_REQ-8285

Digital Investigative Data Producer

https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Digital-Investigative—Data-Producer_REQ-8282

Digital Producer

https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/en-US/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Digital-Producer_REQ-7494

KC People

   KCABJ increased its membership rolls with the additions of Jessica Eley, Jasmine Jones, Chris Powell and Samuel Mellinger.

   KCABJ President Kaci Jones shared with members at the March meeting that KCABJ member Cynthia Newsome with KSHB-NBCTV, Channel 41 celebrated 41 years in journalism this year, and Julee Jonez with KPRS-FM celebrated 25 years in the business. KCABJ member Bette Tate-Beaver added that Cynthia has been through an ongoing battle with cancer and has been brave enough to take her TV audience at her station with her throughout the process, which encourages other women to get tested for early detection.

   Kaci encouraged members who pay their dues through PayPal or CashApp to also send an email to kcabj1981@gmail.com with their name, address, phone number and email address so they will be included in all membership notifications. She encouraged members to join different committees, which include Media Monitoring, Print Advocacy, Finance, Special Events & Awards, Membership, Social Media & Branding, and Strategic Planning.

   Congratulations to Mara’ Rose Williams, a senior reporter with The Kansas City Star. She was promoted this month to the Editorial Board of the newspaper. Mara’ was responsible for The Star’s apology and series chronicling the newspaper’s 140-year history of racist coverage and non-coverage of the Black community, which won the newspaper national acclaim.

   KCABJ member Cortlynn Stark shared with the membership that The Kansas City Star is exploring a story on the state of Black journalists in Kansas City. People who are interested in sharing their stories should get in touch with Cortlynn at cstark@kcstar.com.

KCABJ Newsletter for February 2021

February 16, 2021 - Leave a Response

President’s Column

   Many of you have been grieving the loss of one of our own local journalist Terez Paylor. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loved ones and friends during this difficult time.

   In my short time in Kansas City, I didn’t get to meet Terez. However, I have been reading stories about his life and I can honestly say I am inspired by Terez.

   The Howard University graduate and Detroit native truly lifted as he climbed. Terez was a part of KCABJ’s Urban Student Journalism Academy. He volunteered to help area youths get interested in getting into a business where only 7% of newsroom employees are Black.

   Outside of the KC community, he also mentored young journalists he met through NABJ. So many people have shared stories of how Terez used his platform and influence to help journalists get their foot in the door and stay in the building.

   I read that Terez was a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame Selection Committee, a great achievement in itself. Terez went to bat for Terrell Owens to be inducted into the HOF. Terez had the courage and charisma to share his unique perspective in a room that lacked diversity.

   His passionate speech led to TO’s induction into the HOF after he had already been rejected in years past. On top of his advocacy and volunteer work, Terez was an outstanding, informed sports journalist. He had a unique voice and his humor paired with his knowledge were just a couple reasons why he was one of the most followed sports journalists in KC.

   Like the old saying goes, “you will know a man by his deeds,” and since Terez passed, countless journalists have shared stories about how he impacted their lives. Terez made his mark in this industry and paved the way for others to do the same. He represented what we should all be as Black journalists. KCABJ salutes Terez Paylor.

Respectfully,

Kaci Jones 

KCABJ President

KCABJ News

   The KCABJ Sports Webinar is to take place from 7:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday, Feb. 22 with a strong focus on sports journalism and its importance in news industry’s community coverage. The title is “Real Sports Talk.”

   It will be moderated by KCABJ member and Grandview High School senior Hannah Harris. The speakers will be KCABJ Vice President/Broadcast Breland Moore, sports anchor/reporter with KCTV5; KCABJ Parliamentarian Harold Kuntz, sports anchor/reporter at WDAF-TV Fox4; KCABJ member Lynn Worthy, Royals beat writer for The Kansas City Star; and KCABJ member Damon Smith, sports talk radio host with Fox Sports KLKC/ESPN Kansas City.

   The audience will be high school and college students who have an interest in covering sports. The folks on the panel will share their experiences and provide advice and insight into sports journalism.

   A committee of KCABJ has been working tirelessly on putting the webinar together. It is an outgrowth of KCABJ’s annual Urban Student Journalism Academy preparing young people in high school and college for careers in journalism. KCABJ was founded in December 1981. The academy began in 1982 and has prepared hundreds of students for journalism careers.

   The cost of the webinar is $5, but it is just to ensure students’ attendance. Breland reported at the February KCABJ membership meeting that donations have come in to cover the cost for students who may be unable to afford the fee. Julee Jonez with KPRS-FM invited KCABJ webinar organizers onto the station at 11:55 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 16 to talk about the program and what students might get from it.

   J.M. Banks, who was on the KCABJ membership Zoom call, also encouraged KCABJ webinar organizers to work with him to help boost attendance in the program. He added that he is on the board of Village KC and can get information to people in that organization. KCABJ member, former vice president/print and academy graduate, Ramanda Hicks, said she would help promote the sports webinar to interested students.

   KCABJ has reached out to the Journalism Education Association in Kansas City to try to get journalism instructors in this area to encourage their students to sign up for the webinar.

   KCABJ members were enthused when association President Kaci Jones mentioned that the organization would launch efforts to restart the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. That topic was raised in an earlier Zoom meeting Kaci and KCABJ Treasurer Lewis Diuguid had with Kansas City Star President Mike Fannin, newspaper Managing Editor Greg Farmer and Breaking News and Race and Equity Editor Trey Williams. Dorothy Tucker, president of the National Association of Black Journalists; NABJ Vice President/Print Kathy Chaney; and NABJ Region II Director Sia Nyorkor also attended the Zoom meeting. Fannin in December, at the urgings of senior Star reporter Mara’ Rose Williams, apologized for the deficient and defaming reporting and coverage of the Kansas City area Black community throughout the newspaper’s 140-year history. For the apology and the series, Williams and other Star reporters then wrote detailed stories explaining how the newspaper in many ways contributed to the institutional racism against African Americans. The meeting with NABJ and KCABJ was to follow up with The Star on what its next steps might be. They included working more closely with NABJ to recruit, hire, retain and promote talented Black journalists at the newspaper, better coverage of the African American community and other communities of color and working with KCABJ to restart the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy.

   At the monthly KCABJ meeting, a significant amount of time was devoted to allowing the more than 20 persons in attendance to voice their concerns over the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., that then-President Donald Trump incited by urging thousands of his followers who gathered at a Trump rally to march to the Capitol to “fight” to stop the certification of the Electoral College vote naming Democrats Joe Biden and Kamela Harris the new president and vice president of the United States. Harris became the first woman and the first woman of color to hold that office. Five persons died in the riot, property was destroyed and lawmakers were forced to retreat for their safety. Trump was impeached for a second time, however, the U.S. Senate for a second time acquitted Trump of the charge on Feb. 13.

   In the Kansas City area, three persons were arrested for being involved in the siege on the Capitol. KCABJ members said they were disturbed, shocked and outraged that their TV stations quoted people, saying the perpetrators were good people. The characterization would have been different if the suspects were Black. Members at the February meeting also described choking on tear gas during last year’s Black Lives Matter protests, which overall were peaceful. A difference response came from the police vs. law enforcement’s reaction to the riot at the Capitol. KCABJ members also shared that the coronavirus pandemic had kept them from socializing with others. That isolation is troubling.

   In addition, KCABJ members said they were upset over the sudden death of 37-year-old Terez Paylor, a sportswriter for Yahoo Sports, who covered the Kansas City Chiefs. Paylor, a Howard University graduate, previously had covered the Chiefs for The Kansas City Star, and he was among the speakers for the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy.

   KCABJ members said they appreciated the organization and the opportunity that it and NABJ created for Black journalists to have a safe place to discuss such troubling issues. Members also were happy to take away from the discussion the need to take “mental health days” from work and for self-care to enable them to continue to do the job and insist on accurate, fair, context-filled and better coverage of issues about people of color. Members were encouraged to continue to be spark plugs in their newsrooms igniting better coverage on issues that otherwise would never be inclusive of the full diversity that exists in the United States or Greater Kansas City.

   KCABJ Secretary Rae Daniels said being a journalist of color often is emotionally draining.

   Myron Fears and Julee offered to give KCABJ members a forum on KPRS-KPRT to discuss such concerns with the audience of the Black radio stations.

   Kaci urged members to join the KCABJ Media Monitoring Committee to keep a close eye on the area media’s coverage. She also suggested separate meetings so that members could discuss such concerns with others to develop new coping skills.

   Kaci told people at the monthly meeting that said she participated in a NABJ chapters meeting during which NABJ offered to provide chapters with a LGBTQIA sensitivity training video to give journalists resources to cover that community. She also told KCABJ members that NABJ is seeking proposals for its 2021 convention, which is being planned as a virtual event again because of the coronavirus pandemic. The deadline for submissions is Feb. 26. The NABJ convention will take place Aug. 18-21.

   Kaci encouraged members to also consider joining KCABJ standing committees, including media monitoring, branding and social media, membership, finance, and strategic planning.

   Kaci explained that KCABJ vice president for print position is open. Anyone who’s interested should get in touch with her. The next KCABJ Zoom membership meeting is at 11 a.m. on Saturday, March 13.

NABJ News

   The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Board of Directors applauds CBS’s decision to place two senior executives, Peter Dunn and David Friend, on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation into racist, misogynist and homophobic comments, as detailed Jan. 24 in the Los Angeles Times. Dunn is president of CBS Stations and Friend is senior vice president of News for CBS Stations and VP of News at WCBS-TV in New York.

   NABJ also calls on Disney to appoint its first Black news executive over the ABC network. NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said in a news release: “In the 53 years since the Kerner Commission called on news media outlets to increase the hiring of Black anchors, reporters and editors, our industry has made a number of strides. African Americans have ascended to the top ranks of running publications like The New York Times, and (recently) the first Black head of a cable news network started at MSNBC. But never have we seen an African American run a broadcast news network. That needs to change in 2021.” The push follows James Goldston’s decision to step down after 17 years at ABC News.

   NABJ and the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, LLC (CZI) are launching a program to support Black-owned media companies’ coverage of COVID-19 and education. The initiative’s goal is to generate and/or aggregate local enterprise, investigative, and public affairs stories that are potentially life-saving for Black communities. NABJ and CZI are awarding grants to Black-owned media companies and freelance journalists to achieve that goal. For more information, go to NABJ-CZI Black Press Initiative: Contractor Opp (wufoo.com).

News You Can Use

   The Association for Women in Communications is accepting applications for its Clarion Awards. For more information, go to About the Clarion Awards – The Association for Women in Communications (womcom.org).

   KHQA with the Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. is looking for a Weekend Meteorologist/Reporter in the Ottumwa IA\Kirksville, MO area to present the weather forecast for the weekend news and report three days a week. The weekend Meteorologist/Reporter is responsible for the content of the weathercast on-air and on the digital platforms. For more information, go to https://edyy.fa.us2.oraclecloud.com/hcmUI/CandidateExperience/en/sites/CX_2002/job/2760.

   KCABJ member Crystal Lumpkins, PhD, said she knows of an opening for an experienced videographer. For more information, email Crystal at clumpkins@kumc.edu.

    Metcalf Institute has extended the deadline for its Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists to March 1. For more information, go to Annual Workshop Application Information – Metcalf Institute.

KC People

   KCABJ’s membership increased with the additions of Cynthia Newsome, India Williams, Cortlynn Stark, Soul Revival, Eric Wesson, Toriano Porter and Crystal Lumpkins, PhD. Renewing members include Kaci Jones, Breland Moore and Glenn Rice.

   KCABJ members mourn the loss of Terez Paylor, who died in February unexpectedly at age 37. The cause is unknown. When the coronavirus pandemic lifts, KCABJ members will hold a memorial service for Terez, who covered the Kansas City Chiefs for Yahoo Sports and before that, for The Kansas City Star.

KCABJ Newsletter for January 2021

January 14, 2021 - Leave a Response

President’s Column

   On Jan. 6, we were again reminded of the importance of journalism.

   The world watched while supporters and extremists of President Donald Trump violently stormed the Capitol in Washington, D.C., forcing our elected officials to pause their duty to certify the 2020 election. While trying to interrupt our democracy, the insurrections beat a police officer to death with a fire extinguisher.  Members of the media were attacked and assaulted.

   We saw the lack of force used on the Capitol rioters compared with Black Lives Matter protesters last year. We saw how “law and order” did not seem to apply to everyone. There are several members of Congress and more than a dozen Capitol police officers under investigation for their potential involvement in the riot.

   There are still so many unanswered questions. Journalists have the power to ask the questions necessary to hold people in power accountable to the people they serve. 

   Even though we are local media, this is still relevant to our community. We must not lose our courage in pursuit of the truth.

   At the same time, it’s important that the media accurately and objectively portray these events with the correct language while adding historical context. The insurrection at the Capitol was one of the largest domestic terror attacks on American soil and should not be minimized.

   I urge all journalists to stay vigilant as the FBI warns there will be more armed gatherings in support of President Trump in the future.

   NABJ has issued a security advisory asking news managers to access safety protocols and offer security for crews in potentially dangerous situations. NABJ is asking members to be cautious on daily assignments and always be aware of their surroundings.

   We are not encouraging fear, but it is important to understand that some extremists see journalists as a target. Take care of yourselves physically and mentally.

   Please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need any type of support.  

-Kaci Jones 

KCABJ President

KCABJ News

   KCABJ spent part of the January membership meeting discussing the front-page “apology” and series of news stories on Dec. 20, 2020, in The Kansas City Star for its institutional complicity, perpetuating racism against African Americans. KCABJ members said they hoped the apology was the first step in repairing the damage to the Black community that the newspaper caused.

   Members recognized that the project, the brainchild of senior Star reporter Mara’ Rose Williams, followed the police killing of African American George Floyd on May 25 in Minneapolis and the national and international protests that followed.

   KCABJ members noted that when they get a meeting with The Star’s management they should seek:

  • More Black writers to cover The Kansas City Chiefs.
  • More Black editors in management roles.
  • More strategic coverage efforts on everyday stories such as sledding that include African Americans and other people of color.
  • Coordination with a KCABJ Media Monitoring Committee, taking a close look at stories that are covered to ensure that they are inclusive.
  • Tangible outlines must be developed and shared with other news media outlets.
  • Expanded Rolodex of diverse sources to be called upon by the news media.
  • More assertiveness from KCABJ and its members with news media companies.
  • Reporting from The Kansas City Star that is more inclusive of the entire metro area and not just the Country Club Plaza and the Power and Light District.

   In other action, the KCABJ Webinar Committee met after the general membership meeting. The focus of the Feb. 22 webinar will be on sports reporting with a focus on the winning streak of the Kansas City Chiefs. The cost will be $5 for students, $15 for adults. High school students are the target audience. The speakers will include Breland Moore, Harold Kuntz, Lynn Worthy, Darren Smith and Kennetra Pulliams. For students, KCABJ would reach out to the Boys and Girls Club of Kansas City, email school districts, the Urban League of Greater Kansas City, Prep KC, 810 Varsity, area colleges and Instagram.

   A flyer also should be produced with the faces of the speakers to appeal to students. KCABJ also could have a sports summit to gin up interest. The next meeting of the group will be 11 a.m. Jan. 30.

   The plan will be updated at the February membership meeting.

   The membership also decided to narrow its focus for 2021 to three achievable goals. They might include:

  • Making sure the Kansas City area news media produce fair and unbiased accounts of the goings-on in the metro area.
  • Holding all news media accountable.
  • Raising KCABJ’s visibility in the community.
  • Reaching out to more schools to identify students who have an interest in journalism careers.
  • Providing more guidance, continuing education and mentoring among members in KCABJ.
  • Celebrating members’ work and providing professional support.

   Plans will get underway soon to celebrate 2021 as KCABJ’s 40th anniversary. That may include any news stories and newscasts about the organization.

   Volunteers are being sought for committees including Media Monitoring, Strategic Planning, Finance, Print Advocacy, Membership, Special Events and Awards, Social Media and Branding.

   Kansas City area job openings:

  • MMJ – 41 Action News
  • News operations manager position – Fox 4
  • KCTV 5 News – meteorologist, weekend anchor, producer
  • Desktop publisher for The Call; someone who lays out the ads and in some cases lays out the B section of the paper, and setting the obits, classifieds and business ads (looking for graphic designer realm)

   The next KCABJ membership meeting will be Saturday, Feb. 13.

NABJ News

   The National Association of Black Journalists issued a statement this month condemning “the senseless violence and rioting” on Jan. 6 at the U.S. Capitol, as well as “the shameful mistreatment and arrests of journalists who were reporting from the scene” some of them NABJ members. To see the full statement, go to NABJ Condemns Shameful Violence, Terrorism at U.S. Capitol, Calls for Protection of Journalists – NABJ (nabjonline.org). NABJ also calls for those responsible for the rioting to be held accountable. To see the full statement, go to Insurrectionists Who Attacked Media Must Be Held Accountable – NABJ (nabjonline.org).

   NABJ President Dorothy Tucker followed up saying: “On behalf of our members, NABJ is asking all news managers to assess protocols and be proactive in providing extra security or assigning teams of reporters rather than sending them out alone.

   “To our members, do not hesitate to let your managers know of any occurrences or suspicious behavior, as well as potential threats.

   “We are also reminding our members to be cautious on daily assignments, to keep their media credentials with them, to be aware of their surroundings at all times, and, if they suspect danger, err on the side of caution and leave.

   “But at all times keep those cellphone cameras rolling.”

   NABJ is seeking professional NABJ members to serve on committees evaluating 2021 internship, fellowship and scholarship submissions. For more information, go to NABJ Selection Committees (wufoo.com).

News You Can Use

   The Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University seeks applicants for the Eugene C. Patterson Professor of the Practice of Journalism and Public Policy, an endowed chair in the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy. Application letters  along with a CV and the names of three references, should be submitted to Bill Adair, chair of the search committee, via the following website: https://academicjobsonline.org/ajo/jobs/17709. The application deadline is January 15, 2021.

   The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri School of Journalism is providing a “RJI Student Innovation Competition with a first-place prize of $10,000. For more information, to go Webinar Registration – Zoom.

   KCUR-FM has an opening for a news editor. For more information, contact Scott Canon, managing editor of the Kansas News Service. He can be reached at 816-235-8023 or canons@unkc.edu.

   The Metcalf Institute is seeking applicants for its Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists. For more information, go to Apply for Metcalf Institute’s Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists – Metcalf Institute.

  PRNewswire reports that NBCUniversal News Group announced its launching of NBCU Academy on the campus of Clark Atlanta University and select universities and colleges across the country. The new, innovative, multiplatform journalism training and development program is designed for four-year university and community college students offering on-campus training and online programming in the communications field.

KC People

   KCABJ’s membership increased with the additions of Kia Breaux, Rod Richardson, Shay Moore, Aaron Ladd, Khadijah Forrest, KCSN Media, Bette Tate-Beaver and Lewis Diuguid.

KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy February 1986

December 29, 2020 - Leave a Response

KCABJ Newsletter for December 2020

December 14, 2020 - Leave a Response

President’s Column

   If you’re reading this, we made it through 2020! It’s been a wild ride, but we did it. 
   This year KCABJ has increased its membership by more than 50% and for the first time in half a decade, we are recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists as an official chapter affiliate.
   In 2021, we will focus on using our collective power for advocacy, accountability and action in newsrooms across Greater Kansas City. 2021 marks 40 years since the founding of KCABJ. To celebrate this momentous occasion, we have plenty of ideas and projects on the horizon. KCABJ will find ways to safely and creatively engage with our members and the community. In our last meeting, we asked members what they wanted from this organization. We understand you want KCABJ to establish relationships with management at news organizations, you want more professional development for members and budding journalists, and you want us to advocate for fair and balanced coverage in all newsrooms. 

   I have great news! Everything you want is within our reach, and we will make it our goal to serve and support you. We are fortunate to have a diverse group of journalists and media professionals from television, newspaper, radio, public relations, education, independent media, and more.  For this organization to run in the most efficient way we need our members to volunteer their gifts, talents, and professional connections to the group There are seven committees within KCABJ, print advocacy, media monitoring, membership/recruitment, awards/special events, social media/branding, strategic planning and finance. How can you leverage your gifts to help contribute to the mission of the group? Which committee interests you? Do you have ideas for KCABJ? We hope to hear the answers to these questions very soon. If you haven’t already, please consider a yearly $35 for membership in KCABJ. I am optimistic, hopeful and excited about what will happen next!
   Whenever and however you celebrate your holidays, please do it safely.
   See you next year!

NABJ Connection

   Dorothy Tucker, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, praised the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists for renewing its affiliate status with NABJ this year and building back its membership.

   KCABJ member Glenn E. Rice was instrumental in getting Tucker to speak to the December Zoom membership meeting of KCABJ. Glenn has served NABJ as a regional director and as treasurer.

   Tucker said she was impressed that KCABJ’s membership included a diverse group of television, newspaper, radio and black press journalists. KCABJ since the November meeting was able to submit the paperwork and the required bonding documents to renew its affiliate status with NABJ for the first time since 2015.

   Tucker also was keen to remember that KCABJ hosted the NABJ convention in 1991 when it was in Kansas City. She said she was impressed by the membership then as well.

   Tucker also spoke of the NABJ Chapter Day meeting set for Jan. 29. Officers with affiliate chapters will learn what’s taking place with NABJ and share what’s going on in their area.

   Tucker said Houston is to be the site for the 2021 NABJ convention, but like this year, that will depend on how well the nation has contained the coronavirus and on the distribution of the new vaccine to stop the spread of COVID-19. The 2020 joint convention of NABJ with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists became the first virtual convention ever for both organizations.

   Regardless of the pandemic and the nation’s response to it, Tucker said that a virtual component will be part of the 2021 NABJ convention because the first was so successful. Tucker also told the membership of KCABJ about a new LGBTQIA training session that NABJ was undertaking for the benefit of NABJ members and affiliate chapters. She said it was so all members “feel welcome and safe.”

   Tucker encouraged KCABJ members to watch after the start of the New Year for NABJ’s call for proposals for the 2021 convention. She said she was particularly interested in more proposals coming from the Midwest. The national organization tends to get more proposals from the coasts.

   Tucker encouraged KCABJ members to also look for media institutes and digital boot camps that NABJ plans to offer in 2021 as continuing education opportunities for black journalists.

   In other news, KCABJ President Kaci Jones said progress was being made on KCABJ launching its first webinar for high school and college students. The first would focus on sports coverage.

   Participants would be asked to pay $10 to secure their spot in the program. KCABJ will connect with organizations in the Kansas City area that work with students who are interested in journalism careers. Because of the coronavirus global pandemic, the webinar is a way for KCABJ to provide the training that it normally would do during its two-week, summer KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy.

   KCABJ members said they wanted KCABJ to renew the services it provided in the community and to build a rapport with area media companies so they are aware that the organization once more is a viable media watchdog.

   Kaci also reminded members that 2021 will be KCABJ’s 40th anniversary. The organization will have to celebrate that occasion.

   Kaci shared with the membership that she would like local media companies to be audited to determine how well they are doing in recruiting, hiring, promoting and retaining journalists of color. The need is critical to ensuring a more accurate, fair and balanced coverage of African Americans and other people of color. Kaci cited a recent TV news story and chatter that followed giving an inaccurate portrayal of the history involving African Americans. She encouraged members to collect recordings of such instances so KCABJ can use them in meetings with Kansas City media executives.

   Also worth noting, veteran KCABJ members and officers provided the incoming board members with an orientation training to better equip the new officers with running the association. Those veterans included Anita Parran, Glenn Rice, Kia Breaux and Bette Tate-Beaver. Glenn put together an impressive PowerPoint, which the new officers received. It was the first time that KCABJ has provided an orientation for incoming officers.

   It is also important to note, that KCABJ members enjoyed their first Zoom holiday party after the December meeting. Kaci and Vice President/Broadcast Breland Moore got those in attendance to share information about themselves in a creative and fun way.

NABJ News

   NABJ will hold its virtual awards program at 7:30 p.m. Eastern Time on Dec. 19. Grammy Award-winning singer and actress Jennifer Holliday is among the featured performers. DJ Andre Mack will serve as the host of the program. The honors that will be presented include Salute to Excellence Awards, NABJ Special Honors and NABJ Hall of Fame inductees.

  NABJ is offering Insider Fellowships to students. For more information, go to NABJ-Insider, Inc. Fellowship (wufoo.com).

   Students also can apply for a number of NABJ scholarships. For more information, go to nabj.org.

   An NABJ-Facebook Journalism Project Fact-Finding Fellowship is seeking applicants. For more information, go to 2021 Fact-Checking Fellowship (wufoo.com).

News You Can Use

   The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism invites proposals from individuals and organizations who wish to partner on innovative projects that strengthen journalism’s future. Fellowships range from $20k – $80k and last 8 months. Read more here. The deadline is Dec. 18.

   KCTV5/KSMO, a Meredith Corporation is seeking a Multimedia Producer. Meredith participates in the federal E-Verify program to confirm the identity and employment authorization of all newly hired employees. For further information about the E-Verify program, please click here: http://www.uscis.gov/e-verify/employees.

   WDAF-TV, the Fox affiliate in Kansas City, MO is seeking a Digital Live Producer. Apply Online at URL: https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Digital-Live-Producer_REQ-6922

   WDAF-TV, the Fox affiliate in Kansas City, MO is seeking a News Photographer. Apply online at: https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/nexstar. Apply Online URL:https://nexstar.wd5.myworkdayjobs.com/nexstar/job/MO-Kansas-City3030-Summit-WDAF/Photographer_REQ-6918. Job Req #:
6918.

   The Kansas City Star has an opening for a news intern for the summer of 2021. For more information call 816-234-4636.

   KCUR-FM, the NPR affiliate, has an opening for a general manager. For more information call the station at 816-235-1551.

KC People

   KCABJ’s membership increased with the additions for 2021 of Kia Breaux and Rod Richardson, Shay Moore, Aaron Ladd, Khadijah Forrest and KCSN Media.

KCABJ Membership Application for 2021

Membership has its privileges. Mail this application with your $35 check or money order ($25 for students) to KCABJ, P.O. Box 414014, Kansas City, Mo. 64141. It covers your annual membership dues. Membership entitles you to receive the KCABJ monthly newsletter and emailed meeting notices.

NAME______________________________

DATE______________________________

HOME ADDRESS_________________________

Email address____________________________

Phone _________________________

(h)________________________________

Cellphone __________________________

Occupation (Title, company and address):

____________________________________

FULL/ASSOCIATE/STUDENT MEMBER

(circle one)

Years of Experience________________________

KCABJ and/or NABJ member

(circle one or both)

KCUR-FM Job Opening

December 1, 2020 - Leave a Response

Are you ready to take on the leadership opportunity of a lifetime? NPR and its member public radio stations are creating an innovative system of regional newsrooms, and the newest one, in the Midwest, focuses on investigative journalism. KCUR, in Kansas City, is hiring a Managing Editor who will define and manage the editorial vision for this collaboration, working with a dedicated team of four journalists plus reporters and editors across at stations across the four-state region.  

We’re looking for an ambitious journalist — based in Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska or Iowa — who can build and lead a network that shares resources, plans coverage together, and holds power accountable. If this appeals to you, please take a look at the full job description here: https://www.kcur.org/inside-kcur/midwest-newsroom-managing-editor-kcur-89-3-77578.

The application window closes Dec. 13.