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.

KCABJ Newsletter for November 2020

November 18, 2020 - Leave a Response

President’s Column

   Now more than ever, America needs journalists. More specifically America needs Black journalists. The problem is many Black journalists are struggling to love and serve an industry that rarely loves or serves them back. Black journalists are often pitching stories to a room full of mostly white people, who have the power to determine whether a story is valuable and deserves news coverage. The lack of diversity often leaves Black journalists to carry the burden of addressing implicit bias stained into the minds of newsroom management. If unaddressed, the bias can lead the news organizations to unconsciously perpetuate racist ideas to large audiences.

   Journalism holds power accountable, but who holds journalists accountable to the communities they serve? Why don’t the demographics of newsrooms match the demographics of the people who are watching, reading and listening? These are some of the questions advocacy groups must ask news executives.

   I’m honored, humbled and excited to serve as President of the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists. It will be my pleasure to lead this organization and the Kansas City metro community alongside a talented executive board. Together we will advocate for diverse newsrooms and management teams, the equitable treatment of minority staff and balanced coverage of issues that affect all communities.

   This organization celebrates 40 years of service in 2021. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this milestone. As president, I hope to continue to grow KCABJ in membership, influence, and financial capital. As Black journalists, we often feel alone in our respective spaces. I hope joining this organization reminds all of its members of the power that we possess as a network of people united in identity, purpose and direction. We all have each others’ back.

Sincerely,

Kaci Jones

KCABJ President

KCABJ News

  KCABJ members at the November meeting approved changes to the association’s constitution. KCABJ President Kaci Jones submitted the changes to the membership, working from a draft dated 1989.

   The constitution with an audit, membership roster, a projected budget for 2021 and other documents will be submitted to the National Association of Black Journalists to renew KCABJ’s affiliated chapter status. The membership also elected Harold Kuntz as parliamentarian.

   Kaci also let members know about the regional conferences of NABJ taking place Nov. 21 and urged members to participate.

   During the meeting, Kaci alerted KCABJ members to the organization celebrating its 40th anniversary in December 2021. That is a milestone, and the organization has to plan a big celebration for 2021.

   After the monthly meeting, past presidents of KCABJ offered to provide new members of the association’s board with an orientation session. Those providing the Zoom training for the new board at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 will be Glenn Rice, a veteran reporter with The Kansas City Star and past NABJ treasurer and board member; Anita Parran,  Principal of KK Charles Communications and board member of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City; Kia Breaux, Bureau Chief and Regional Director of The Associated Press in this region: Bette Tate-Beaver, Executive Director of the National Association for Multicultural Education; and Lewis Diuguid, a founding member of KCABJ and immediate past president. Glenn has unearthed an “NABJ Chapter Handbook,” which will be shared during the training session.

   The next Zoom membership meeting of the KCABJ membership will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. KCABJ Secretary Rae Daniels agreed to send out an early meeting notice to members and potential members so they can mark the date on their calendars. That will be followed by a notice just ahead of the meeting to remind people.

NABJ News

   The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its awards program at 7 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday, Dec. 19. This year for the first time, it will be all virtual. Tickets for the event are free and available at https://nabj.digitalvirtualspaces.com/register.

   During the event, NABJ will pay homage to Black journalists, media-related professionals, journalism and media educators and journalism and media-related students who died over the past year.

   NABJ will recognize the winners of its 2020 Salute to Excellence Awards and pay tribute to its 2020 Special Honors recipients and Hall of Fame inductees.

   NABJ President Dorothy Tucker is asking members and organizations to provide donations to NABJ members who may have been laid off, furloughed or forced to take pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic. For members in need, NABJ is providing:

   NABJ is providing several scholarships, fellowships and training opportunities. The applications are open through Dec. 12. They include:

News You Can Use

     The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Electronic Frontier Foundation at the University of Missouri-Columbia on Nov. 18 is sponsoring a program to help journalists better understand data privacy. For more information and to register for the event, go to https://umsystem.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mCWdQi23Rxm4Pd5PL1t3KA.

   The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute also is seeking proposals from individuals and organizations who wish to partner with the institute on innovative projects that strengthen journalism’s future. Fellowships range from $20,000 to $80,000 and last eight months. For more information, go to https://rji.submittable.com/submit. The deadline to apply is Dec. 18.

   Opinion in a Pinch is looking for a former editorial writer/editor interested in writing a few editorials each month. For more information, contact Chris Trejbal at chris@trejbal.net or 503-451-0241.

   ACES scholarships: Applications are being accepted for scholarships through the ACES Education Fund, which awards six scholarships annually. ACES: The Society for Editing is the nation’s leading organization of editing professionals, educators and students. Learn more and apply here.

   The Alliance for Women in Media is accepting applications for its Gracie Awards, which recognize exemplary programming created by women, for women and about women in all facets of media and entertainment. Early bird deadline is Dec. 10. Learn more here.

   The University of Kansas J-School is accepting applications for scholarships. For more information, go to https://ku.academicworks.com/. The deadline is Dec. 15.

   An eight-week, virtual Freelance Journalism 101 course is being offered by Susana Mendoza starting Nov. 21. For more information, go to https://www.eventbrite.com/e/freelance-journalism-101-how-to-break-into-the-industry-tickets-126780549035.

   Other opportunities:

Fellowship – NY Times, Remote/New York

Senior Producer – AirTalk, SCPR, Pasadena, CA

Senior Sports Editor – Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT

Journalist – Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT

KC People

   KCABJ’s membership roster increased by three with the additions of Lynn Worthy, Bianca Beltran and Jon-Michael Banks.

   KCABJ member and immediate past treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver was one of two women selected for this year’s Difference Maker Awards from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. The honor is for Bette’s work as executive director of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) furthering equity and justice. NAME is an international organization with 2,500 members. The other recipient is former Missouri state Sen. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls. She is being honored for her 14 years of service in the Missouri General Assembly. The awards will be presented at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1 during the Urban League’s 100th anniversary virtual celebration. The event will include a fireside chat panel, “Protecting Black Lives: 21st Century Police Reform,” moderated by Marc Morial, National Urban League Chief Executive Officer. For reservations or sponsorship opportunities, contact Jauqua Wilkins at 816-471-0550 or send her an email at jwilkins@ulkc.org.

KCABJ Newsletter for October 2020

October 23, 2020 - Leave a Response

Membership meeting

   The KCABJ membership met this month via Zoom and elected a new slate of officers:

  • Kaci Jones, president.
  • Breland Moore, vice president/broadcast.
  • Jelani Gibson, vice president/print
  • Rae Daniels, secretary.
  • Lewis Diuguid, treasurer.

   Kaci had reported that to be affiliated with the National Association of Black Journalists, the slate needed to include a parliamentarian. However, that position does not conform with KCABJ’s bylaws, which calls for officers to fill the above positions. Kaci said the last official copy of the bylaws was dated 1989. A KCABJ committee will have to be appointed to review the organization’s bylaws to ensure they conform with NABJ’s so the local chapter can once again be affiliated with the national. All of the KCABJ officers will have to be members of NABJ in addition to being members of the local association.

   Kaci also reported that KCABJ could develop a webinar for high school and college students interested in journalism. It is something that KCABJ can plan for 2021. The first session would focus on sports journalism. KCABJ since 1982 had offered an annual journalism academy and scholarships for college for students who were interested in journalism careers. However, the last class was in 2015. Not enough students afterward have signed up for the two-week summer class covering print, broadcast and new media journalism. The webinars are a way of continuing to prepare the next generation for college and careers in journalism.

   Kaci and Breland said efforts are underway to possibly change the KCABJ logo. More information will be provided at the next Zoom meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14.

NABJ News

    The National Association of Black Journalists reports that its first all-virtual convention made history, attracting more than 3,700 registrants. The NABJ virtual awards event will be on Dec. 12.

   NABJ’s four regions will have NABJ’s first-ever joint (and virtual) regional conferences on Nov. 21. Registration is now open for the daylong event, which will include a career fair, networking spaces, cutting-edge training, topical discussions, and a keynote address and fireside chat with Nikole Hannah-Jones. KCABJ is in Region 2.

   For a special rate of only $35, attendees can access all four regional content tracks, fireside chat and networking activities, and the career fair. The registration deadline is Nov. 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Registrations cannot be accepted after the deadline.

   For more information, go to https://www.nabj.org/event/NABJ2020RegionalConf.

News You Can Use

   The Facebook Journalism Project has announced it is pumping an additional $5 million into programs that support U.S. local news. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/journalismproject/local-news-investment-diversity-entrepreneurship?content_id=AjBX67xFEXakdyT.

   Applications are now being accepted for scholarships through the ACES Education Fund, which awards six scholarships annually. ACES: The Society for Editing is the nation’s leading organization of editing professionals, educators and students. Learn more and apply here.

   The Reynolds Journalism Institute’s 2020-21 Student Innovation Competition at the Missouri School of Journalism invites college students to participate by tackling engagement with a news organization. A student or student team will partner with a news organization to devise an engagement idea innovative to that organization. Applications detailing the team’s idea are due by Oct. 31. The chosen finalist teams will implement their idea at the partner news organization for three months before presenting the results on Feb. 26, 2021, in front of judges and the public on Zoom. First-place prize is $10,000. More details here.

   Make plans to participate in the J-School Virtual Career Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 28. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., employers will be conducting mini-interviews and drop-in sessions with University of Kansas students. Look for more details later on how to schedule times to connect with companies through a CareerFair Plus app.

   Here are the companies that have committed to the fair so far:

The KU Career and Outreach Office will provide interview and career fair tips.

The Career and Outreach Office will host Zoom sessions Oct. 14 and Oct. 21 to prepare students for the Virtual Career Fair on Oct. 28. Both sessions will begin at 1 p.m. Interview tips in a virtual setting will be the focus in the first session. What to expect at the fair and how to interact with employers will be discussed the following week. Here is the login information: 

Zoom link

Meeting ID: 896 7977 1462

Passcode: N8TxWh

For more information, contact Steve Rottinghaus, career and outreach coordinator, at steve_rottinghaus@ku.edu.

   The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from individuals and organizations who wish to partner with us on innovative projects that strengthen journalism’s future. Fellowships range from $20k – $80k and last 8 months. The deadline to apply is Dec. 18. For more information, go to https://rji.submittable.com/submit.

   The Trace, a nonprofit newsroom covering gun violence across the country, is hiring a story editor and a managing editor. For more information, contact Lakeidra Chavis at lchavis@thetrace.org.

   The St. Louis American is seeking a managing editor. For more information contact Linda Lockhart at lockhartls92@gmail.com.

KC People

   KCABJ added four new members in the last month. They are Jelani Gibson, Lauren Scott, Kevin Holmes and Kia Breaux. Kia also donated an additional $5 to KCABJ.

   Be sure to welcome Trey Williams back to Kansas City. The Kansas City Star had an article on Trey, 29, in the Oct. 21 edition of the newspaper. He was hired as The Star’s first-ever editor for race and equity issues. Trey is a graduate of Truman High School in Independence and Northwest Missouri State University. He is a graduate of the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy and was a summer intern at The Star in 2013. Trey worked as a reporter for MarketWatch covering Wall Street and covered Hollywood for The Wrap. He has a rich family history in journalism, particularly at The Star. Trey’s mother is Mara’ Rose Williams, a veteran education reporter. His father, Ceaser Williams, began as a copy editor at The Star in the late 1970s and advanced about a year later to become the first black assistant metropolitan editor at The Kansas City Times, then-The Star’s sister newspaper published in the morning. After working at major East Coast newspapers and serving on the faculty of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, Ceaser returned to The Star in the 1990s to become the newspaper’s first African American assistant managing editor.

KCABJ Newsletter for September 2020

September 20, 2020 - Leave a Response

Upcoming Election

KCABJ members met via Zoom for the September meeting, and picked a full slate of candidates for the executive positions in the organization. The nominees are Kaci Jones, a TV news reporter, for president; Breland Moore, a sports anchor with KCTV-5, for vice president; Rae Daniels, with KSHB-NBC-41, for secretary; Lewis Diuguid, a freelance writer, treasurer; and Harold Kuntz, sports anchor with WDAF-TV Fox 4, member at large. Kaci checked with the National Association of Black Journalists after the August meeting and learned that for KCABJ to renew its affiliate status with NABJ it had to have the above elected officers, and those individuals also had to be paid members of the national and local associations.

The KCABJ election will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at the organization’s next Zoom meeting.

Kaci also invited Stacy Shaw, a lawyer and activist, and Sheryl Ferguson, an organizer with “It’s Time 4 Justice,” to speak at the September KCABJ membership meeting. Each had been involved in Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the Kansas City area after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Each was upset over Kaci being terminated this month from her reporting position at KCTV5 because of cutbacks. Shaw praised Kaci’s reporting, saying she was the only news reporter at the Meredith Corp. station who could be trusted to get stories right. The termination, Shaw said, would trigger a “ban” throughout the metro area of KCTV5, including future coverage of black news stories. Shaw said such unwarranted terminations of black journalists triggers the need for an independent media platform that would provide the area with more equitable and accurate coverage. The mainstream media like law enforcement were created and sustained by a white supremacy culture. They force out black journalists like Kaci and Lisa Benson, Shaw said. The same culture examines black people and activists through the white supremacist’s lens, distorting what people said and what actually took place. The independent media that Shaw hopes to create will pursue a pay model so that journalists of color can be employed by the new entity. Shaw said.

At the meeting, KCABJ members also discussed starting a webinar series aimed at high school and college students and others who are interested in journalism careers. The topics could include sports reporting, storytelling, the importance of good questions, how to write for the print media and how to use social media. People who are interested in being instructors in this new program can send email to kcabj1981@gmail.com. The webinar series also could create an opportunity for KCABJ to revive its scholarship program. The organization annually had awarded scholarships based on student performance during its journalism academy. The awards were named after Roy Wilkins, Laura Hockaday, Lucile Bluford and Nancy Diuguid.

NABJ News

The National Association of Black Journalists applauds Gannett, the owner of USA Today and more than 260 local news platforms and publications for its announced commitment to make the company’s workforce “as diverse as America” by 2025. The American Society of News Editors in 1978 set the goal to be at parity with the population by the year 2000. When that fell short, the deadline was moved to 2025.

“Gannett’s stated goals, if achieved, can serve as a powerful example to media companies of the urgency of making diversity and inclusion a priority and creating new job opportunities in the process,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker. “Gannett’s president was right in stating that ‘diversity and inclusion are choices, not just words.’ NABJ looks forward to working with Gannett and other news organizations to effect these types of changes across the industry as soon as possible. Our newsrooms must reflect the people they serve and the diverse voices that make our communities thrive now.”

With a presence in 47 states, Gannett has reported that:

 

  • Women make up 46% of its workforce.
  • Black, Indigenous and people of color only make up 22% of its workforce.
  • In its news division: 41% of its journalists are female and only 18% are Black, Indigenous and people of color.
  • At USA TODAY, women make up 48% of the newsroom and Black, Indigenous and people of color make up a little over 30% of its staffNews You Can UseKC People
  •    KCABJ picked up new and renewing members with the additions of Rae Daniels, Darren Smith and Glenn E. Rice.
  •    A Women in Journalism Workshop is being offered April 5-9, 2021, by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia. For more information, go to https://www.rjionline.org/events/women-in-journalism-workshop.
  •    Women constitute 52 percent of the U.S. population, and people of color make up more than 33 percent of the U.S. population of 331 million people.

KCABJ Newsletter for August 2020

August 16, 2020 - Leave a Response

KCABJ News

During the Aug. 15 Zoom meeting of Kansas City Association of Black Journalists, members decided to sideline the get-together that had been scheduled for September.

COVID-19, or the new coronavirus, has made such gatherings a health risk. It also is why the last two KCABJ meetings have been virtual.

KCABJ members did discuss contacting Kansas City area educators and possibly offering journalism webinars to interested high school and college students who want to become journalists. The program would revive aspects of the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. The academy began in 1982, a year after KCABJ was founded. The last annual class of the academy was in the summer of 2015. Since then KCABJ has been unable to interest enough Kansas City area students in attending the free class in which four scholarships also have been awarded to the top performing students. A committee of KCABJ members is reviewing what might be offered during a webinar series and who might be interested.

At the urgings of KCABJ member Kaci Jones, Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver said she would look into establishing a Cash App for the kcabj.org website so that people can pay their annual dues online.

The membership also discussed the need to re-establish its affiliation with the National Association of Black Journalists. That will require the election of new KCABJ officers. At the 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 membership meeting, people who are interested in running for the KCABJ board should declare their candidacy. The offices that will be open are president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and parliamentarian. Anyone wanting to declare their candidacy ahead of the meeting can send the information in an email to lewisdiuguid@gmail.com. Candidates must be paid members of KCABJ. Dues is $35.

Kaci was among the KCABJ members who attended the all-virtual NABJ-NAHJ convention Aug. 5-8. She reported that a benefit was that if two sessions that she wanted to attend occurred at the same time, she was able to view one and later watch a recording of the other. She was among members who said they hoped NABJ would offer a virtual aspect of the convention.

KCABJ President Lewis Diuguid attended a NABJ Region II Zoom meeting on Aug. 8. Sia Nyorkor, NABJ Region II director, was the host for the gathering. NABJ President Dorothy Tucker also attended giving her assessment of how the virtual NABJ convention went. Chapters in the region reported their latest news.

NABJ News

National Association of Black Journalists Executive Director Drew Berry reported that the organization exceeded its revenue goals for the Aug. 5-8 convention and had far fewer expenses this year.

NABJ Finance Director Nate Chambers added the organization “will meet our budgeted revenue goals. That is impressive in the COVID-19 environment.”

The joint NABJ-NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists) convention had 3,713 persons register.

The convention included a pre-recorded message from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, sessions on covering the killing of George Floyd, the unrest that followed nationwide, COVID-19 and a town hall on the strategy for overcoming social injustice.

News You Can Use

The Association for Women in Communication’s professional development series on Aug. 27 is offering “Know to Grow: Every Woman for Herself is a Losing Strategy.” Anne Doyle is the presenter. For more information, go to https://womcom.org/content.aspx?page_id=4002&club_id=903060&item_id=1251339.

KC People

The Missouri Press Association has added the names of three journalists to its Hall of Fame. Former KCABJ President Kia Breaux is among them. Kia is the Midwest regional director for The Associated Press. The other inductees are the late Laura Hockaday, longtime society editor for The Kansas City Star; and Dane Vernon, former publisher of Vernon Publishing and former MPA President. KCABJ for years has had a scholarship named for Hockaday because of her efforts to include African Americans and other people of color in the society section of The Star. Learn more about the honor at https://apnews.com/e5de53768376bf98e7a72929b5b9949f?fbclid=IwAR2hZr0jLCIs5lpqBWutoql3X6Anh0yA1wmEzqT64hiuwqKBHFct_i-5GYA.

Former KCABJ member Jenee’ Osterheldt, now a culture writer for The Boston Globe, has  won two 2020 Excellence in Features Awards from the Society for Features Journalism. She was recognized for general commentary and arts and entertainment commentary.

 

KCABJ Newsletter for July 2020

July 27, 2020 - Leave a Response

KCABJ Meeting

Thanks to Kansas City Association of Black Journalists member Kaci Jones and KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver, the organization pulled together the membership and potential members for an unprecedented Saturday, July 25 membership Zoom meeting. Bette provided the Zoom platform, and Kaci emailed the notices to people.

The Zoom meeting was necessary because of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the need for people everywhere in the United States to social distance to maintain public safety. COVID-19 first surfaced in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. As of July 26, more than 16 million people globally have tested positive for the disease, including more than 4.2 million in the United States, which leads the world in COVID-19 infections. The extremely contagious and deadly virus has killed nearly 650,000 people throughout the planet, including more than 148,000 in the United States, again a world leader.

Nevertheless, the first-of-its-kind KCABJ Zoom membership meeting attracted nearly 20 people, who had either joined the organization in the last couple of months or planned to join soon. From the meeting, Kaci was appointed to chair a membership committee that will pick a location, a time and date in September for a membership party that will enable blacks in journalism in the Greater Kansas City area to celebrate the work being done locally in covering the global pandemic and the unrest erupting from the May 25 Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Since it was founded in 1981, KCABJ has provided a foundation for social interactions among journalists of color, networking opportunities, a sounding board for professional development and a place for continuing education. The organization also has sponsored community forums, a student journalism academy for high school and college students, and a local media awards program, honoring the best of enterprise journalism about African Americans and other people of color. New members were encouraged to share their ideas because KCABJ is only as strong and as effective as its members’ input and willingness to get involved.

During the membership meeting, KCABJ also heard from Sia Nyorkor, the Region II Director of the National Association of Black Journalists, and Walter Smith-Randolph, a candidate for NABJ treasurer. Nyorkor explained that the NABJ convention — held in conjunction Aug. 5-8 with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists — would be completely virtual. Yet, it will include 90 panels and workshops online. The Jobs Fair will be virtual, providing journalists of color a unique opportunity to be interviewed for positions without the wait in long lines to see recruiters.

“NABJ is important; networking is crucial,” said Nyorkor, whose territory includes Kansas and Missouri. “We don’t want this to fail. The funding is definitely there.”

A COVID-19 hardship fund has been set up to benefit journalists of color who have been laid off but need to attend the convention to seek new opportunities, Nyorkor said. Some of the funders for the convention increased their contributions to ensure that the conference is successful. Nyorkor said the NABJ Monitor and TV news broadcast, staffed by students to cover the convention, also would continue but online. She said NABJ elections also take place this year to fill seven positions. People running for contested positions are campaigning online.

Smith-Randolph is among the candidates. He is seeking the position of NABJ treasurer. He said he wants more accountability and transparency in the budget process. He also supports NABJ having pandemic insurance. NABJ’s assets would have been nearly wiped out if it had to pay the more than $1.4 million the hotel may have charged the organization this year because of the traditional convention being canceled. That didn’t happen because the hotel canceled it because of COVID-19. Smith-Randolph also said NABJ needs to diversify its revenue stream because two-thirds of the annual budget comes from the convention. NABJ has struggled in recent years to emerge from being in the red.

NABJ News

Registration remains open for the Aug. 5-8 virtual NABJ/NAHJ convention. The theme remains “Power of the Past, Force of the Future.” More than 100 companies and organizations will join NABJ and NAHJ in presenting the largest convention for journalists of color.

Highlighted virtual convention features include:

  • More than 90 workshops, panels, forums, and training opportunities
  • A 3D career fair and exhibition hall featuring more than 70 companies armed with recruiters
  • The option for attendees to meet recruiters and managers live via video, phone and chat in their booths
  • The opportunity to build and share your professional profile and visual portfolio while also applying for job openings right at the virtual booths
  • An opening ceremony and reception co-produced with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
  • At least 5 networking/happy hour receptions
  • Three breakfast and luncheon events (the first 1,200 registrants will receive free meal delivery)
  • The annual NABJ Sports Task Force Scholarship Jam featuring a celebrity DJ
  • The 2021 Houston Convention Kickoff party
  • The Newsmaker Plenary on the U.S. Presidential Candidates
  • The W.E.B. Du Bois Plenary powered by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Special sessions focusing on social justice, racism in America and COVID-19
  • Exclusive movie screenings and upfronts
  • The Innovation Bubble (featuring the latest from technology companies)
  • The Authors Showcase (featuring new creative works hitting shelves)
  • The Visual Task Force photo auction
  • And a whole lot more (including the option to build your own virtual swag bag to take advantage of partner offerings and save important information as you experience the virtual environment)
  • Due to various and unexpected shifts and changes, we will not be able to host the award events virtually at the August convention.
  • We are planning to either host a virtually-produced awards show in the coming months or explore options to hold the awards event in person in the spring of 2021. We will then determine a timeline to announce finalists.
  • Speakers will include Stacey Abrams, Lester Holt, Soledad O’Brien, Maria Hinojosa, Yamiche Alcindor, Byron Pitts, Kimberly Godwin, Derrick Johnson, Laz Alonso, Jessie T. Usher, MC Lyte, Victoria Rowell, Lynn Toler, Roy Wood Jr., Dr. Regina Benjamin, Dr. Patrice A. Harris, Kamie Crawford, John B. King Jr., Chance the Rapper, Jenifer Lewis and more!

For more information on registering for the convention, go to https://www.nabjnahjconvention.com/NABJ_Registration3.cfm.

For the information on the convention at a glance go to https://www.nabjnahjconvention.com/Manual_Schedule.cfm.

NABJ has taken a stand against sexism in the treatment of women covering sports. The organization said in a statement that it “is disappointed to learn of the reported harassment and mistreatment that women journalists have been experiencing as employees of Black Sports Online (BSO) and its CEO Robert Littal. The issue surfaced on Twitter after Tamantha Gunn, one of BSO’s former employees, posted a series of tweets that included a string of inappropriate and insensitive comments from Littal, exposing a toxic work environment. The Twitter thread can be found here.”

Women should be respected as professional colleagues and not treated as sexual objects, the brunt of sexual jokes or belittled for speaking up and commanding respect.

“In a time where Black voices are needed now more than ever in the media, media owners, especially those within the Black community, should be working to support and uplift their employees and not undermine their abilities because of their gender or refusal to participate in inappropriate behavior,” said Dorothy Tucker, NABJ President.

“We implore Mr. Littal’s advertisers, readers and supporters to also hold him accountable, and ensure the culture that has been reported is corrected. We encourage Mr. Littal to seek the help he needs to improve his management approach and to undergo sensitivity training, as well as move quickly to find a way to remedy the harm that has been done to these women.

“`The misogynistic behavior of Mr. Littal toward women at Black Sports Online is just sad and pathetic on so many levels. We are committed to not only addressing the need for change but also becoming the change that we want to see by taking a more active and vigilant role in addressing sexual harassment and other workplace issues,”’ said A. Sherrod Blakely, chair of the NABJ Sports Task Force.

The sexual harassment issue also came up at Essence, prompting NABJ to issue the following statement: “NABJ is disheartened about the multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct at publications like ESSENCE, Okayplayer OkayAfrica and others. We have learned that some of the leaders at these companies such as Abiola Oke and Richelieu Dennis have been dismissed or have resigned, but still believe sweeping change has to occur now, as others may have also been involved. It is important to note that Dennis still remains the CEO of Essence Ventures, which owns Essence Communications. As we have said previously, it is important that the readers, consumers and advertisers of these platforms hold them accountable and demand change.”

NABJ applauded NBCUniversal’s “aggressive diversity initiative.”

“NBCU’s stated goals of having 50% of the news organization’s employees be women and 50% of its total workforce be people of color is a direction all media companies, including legacy and digital operations, should adopt and embrace,” NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said. “We implore these companies to ensure that their goals include hiring Black middle and senior managers.”

In other action, NABJ announced that it was please with Disney/ABC terminating “top ABC News executive Barbara Fedida, after substantiating allegations of racially insensitive comments made by her.

“The actions of Fedida are uncalled for, and points to the kind of barriers Black journalists face in advancing in newsrooms across the country.

“But we still call on Disney/ABC to do more. For more than month, we’ve sought to schedule a meeting with Chairman Peter Rice to discuss:

– Immediate redress for those who were wronged by Barbara Fedida

– An African American should be put in charge of the network’s diversity-in-hiring program

– ABC News/Disney should hire an outside consultant to assess the culture and work environment and policies at ABC News.

“NABJ is committed to standing up for and with Black journalists. We are living in a period where the voices of African American media professionals are as important as ever, and we are committed to ensuring opportunities for hiring and advancement are as fair and equitable as possible.

“We look forward to hearing from Chairman Rice.”

In addition, NABJ “is appalled to learn of new allegations of “rank racism” at the nation’s highest-rated cable network, Fox News.

This comes two years after Fox News paid $10 million to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by Black employees. The NABJ release said that according to a report published by the TheDailyBeast.com, a 90-minute call was held in June with Black employees, where a number of them detailed numerous examples of racism at the network, including an explosive statement that management “created a white supremacist cell inside the top cable network in America.”

“If such allegations are substantiated, they clearly represent a hostile work environment for Black journalists at Fox News, and they must be taken seriously. Decisive action must be taken after a full investigation. We at NABJ will not tolerate Black employees having to be a part of any workplace where they are devalued, demeaned and not provided opportunities to grow and prosper. The challenges are not unique at any one media company.

“Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and her management team have already agreed to and are scheduling a meeting with NABJ leadership to discuss these allegations and plans to address them. We previously met with Scott and her team in September 2018 to discuss ways in which NABJ can assist Fox News in advancing the cause of journalism and Black journalists.”

Elections are taking place at NABJ this year. To learn more go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0HkxRrKnvA&list=PL-hu6c4dLdHC4DIjdlScjwmY5XSCGG5AP.

News You Can Use

KCTV5/KSMO/Meredith in the Kansas City has two job openings:

KCTV5/KSMO Assistant News Director and KCTV/KSMO News Producer. For more information, contact Monica Ngo, director of Human Resources at 913-677-7171 or send email to monica.ngo@kctv5.com

Through the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Hannah Yoon, independent visual journalist, Mason Trinca, documentary and editorial photojournalist, Sarah Fritsche, independent food writer and editor, and Maddie McGarvey, independent photographer, will discuss how to succeed as an independent journalist. They will talk about health care, building your client base, making time for personal projects, invoicing and contracts, how to prepare for slow months and more. For more information, go to https://umsystem.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VH0yCCobT5agU-gbNVI2Ag.

Job listings in the Maynard Institute’s communications include:

Senior Reporter, Racial Equity – Center for Public Integrity, Wash., DC

Justice Reporter – CalMatters, Sacramento preferred

Product Manager – CalMatters, Sacramento preferred

Analytics Manager – CalMatters, Sacramento preferred

Engagement Editor – CalMatters, Sacramento

Transportation Reporter – Chicago Tribune
Questions? Contact Mary Ellen Podmolik, Business Editor at Chicago Tribune, at mepodmolik@chicagotribune.com

California Editorial Intern, Fall 2020 – POLITICO, Sacramento, CA

Reporter/Anchor – WCCO-TV, CBSN Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

INN Member Collaborations Leader – Institute for Nonprofit News, Remote

The Columbia (Mo.) Chamber of Commerce is seeking a director of Women’s Networking. For more information, go to https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/1919909443/?lgTemp=jobs_jymbii_digest&lgCta=eml-jymbii-organic-job-card&recommendedFlavor=MATCHING_SKILLS&refId=3b0cd635-082a-4e97-98ab-c547ee3c89d8&midToken=AQHWYzVSKXCD3g&trk=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-10-job_card&trkEmail=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-10-job_card-null-1hkn20%7Ekc1wg0aq%7Egi-null-jobs%7Eview.

The MLK50 in Memphis is seeking a managing editor. For more information go to https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/65ea71a8131c49338ae69fae8f1bb78a-mlk50-memphis?redirected-from-listing=true.

KC People

KCABJ’s membership increased by one with the addition of Bryant Maddrick.

KCABJ Newsletter for June 2020

June 23, 2020 - Leave a Response

KCABJ Members

Please look for an announcement soon via email of a KCABJ membership meeting. The goal will be to bring members together to determine what issues members may want to take on in 2020 and to possibly elect new officers.

KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver will send out the email notice of the time, day and location. There are some updates that members will receive only at the meeting about KCABJ’s finances, P.O. Box change, website and non-profit incorporation status.

KC People

The membership of the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists grew by three with the additions of Kaci Jones, a reporter at KCTV5; Breland Moore, a sports anchor and sports reporter at KCTV5; and Harold Kuntz, a sports anchor at Fox 4. Each is committed to recruiting new members for KCABJ. Please make our new members feel welcomed.

NABJ News

Ahead of the virtual National Association of Black Journalists/National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention Aug. 5-8, people will have an opportunity to have their resumes reviewed by news outlets. Go to https://www.nabjcareers.org/registration/?user_group_id=JobSeekerLogIn. People with questions can send them to Journalismnext.com.

As protests and some unrest have occurred throughout the country following the Minneapolis police killing of unarmed African American George Floyd, so have police attacks on journalists doing their jobs just covering the news. The National Association of Black Journalists issued a statement in May condemning “the arrests of CNN crew members, including reporter Omar Jimenez, who were simply doing their jobs and covering protests in Minneapolis…. They were handcuffed and led away by state police during a live shot even after Jimenez identified himself as a CNN reporter.

‘“It was unnecessary, and a violation of the First Amendment,’ NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said.

“Jimenez and the crew members were later released. Minnesota’s governor apologized for the arrests while intervening to get the journalists released. In a Twitter post, CNN pointed out that while a person of color was arrested, a white reporter also on the ground was not.”

The ongoing protests of police killings of unarmed black men included another statement from NABJ this month:

“The Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed headline “Buildings Matter, Too” is an offensive attempt to play off the Black Lives Matter movement.

‘“Even vaguely suggesting a parallel between the loss of buildings and the loss of lives is inappropriate and insulting,’ National Association of Black Journalists President Dorothy Tucker said.

‘“The Inquirer did include a sub-headline that said buildings ‘ … can be rebuilt but lives are forever lost. But that doesn’t mean they will be.’ The sub-headline does not erase the insensitivity shown by publishing such a headline.

“The headline ignited a storm of criticism on social media. The headline has since been changed two more times: ‘Black Lives Matter. Do Buildings?’ and (as of 6:30 p.m. ET) ‘Damaging buildings disproportionately hurts the people protesters are trying to uplift….’”

NABJ appealed to all media outlets to fully engage with NABJ and other journalism organizations of color. “This obvious mistake further punctuates the need for diversity across the board in the nation’s newsrooms, particularly in management and decision-making roles. Perspectives and sensitivities must be recognized and become part of the fabric of newsroom cultures.”

More Pennsylvania troubles prompted an additional statement from NABJ:

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is greatly disturbed by developments at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

NABJ’s local chapter, the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation (PBMF), is closely monitoring the situation and put out a statement regarding developments The PBMF statement is at http://pbmf.org/alexisjohnson/. That statement in part said:

“The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation is outraged by the removal of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette journalist Alexis Johnson from any engagement with covering the social justice protests unfolding in Pittsburgh and around the world that are related to the police murder of George Floyd.

To deny the African American reporter the opportunity to cover this news removes an opportunity for the Post-Gazette to present a more fair, nuanced and informed portrait of what is happening in local communities.

More so, the Federation is baffled by the management’s justification used for removal. Johnson’s social media communications was from her private Twitter account. It was there that she raised a question and offered a comparison that challenged stereotypes. There was no malicious bias and nothing to suggest her reporting would be compromised or slanted if she continued telling the story of the protests. The Federation is in sharp disagreement with the action taken by the Post-Gazette’s managing editor.”

NABJ President Dorothy Tucker added that the association “is strongly against silencing the voices of those who bring unique and objective perspectives to coverage. We believe that hiring and supporting a diverse group of employees are critical steps that all media organizations should be taking in practicing excellence in journalism.”

NABJ’s statement went on to say it calls on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to assess its policies including those associated with social media while improving the management of employee relations.

“All employees, including Black employees, deserve to be heard without retribution for opinions that may differ from management’s viewpoint. NABJ and PBMF look forward to discussions regarding these issues.”

Yes, there is racism in the news media. NABJ issued the following statement, targeting ABC:

“NABJ is appalled at the allegations of discriminatory hiring practices and treatment of Black employees by a powerful ABC News executive, as detailed by Yashar Ali with the Huffington Post. Yashar’s story can be found here.

“We call for ABC News/Disney to immediately launch a transparent, external investigation led by a diverse law firm to examine all of the allegations detailed in the report, while conducting a thorough review of ABC News Executive Barbara Fedida, and the talent department that she has run at ABC News.

“NABJ calls on ABC News to waive its confidentiality agreements with any Black employees and other employees of color, and permit prior and current employees to speak on the record absent of reprisals if they choose to do so.

“This external investigation by ABC News should be transparent, and all findings must be published and broadcast. This is appropriate because Fedida was no second-tier executive. This top ABC News executive wielded arguably the most power at the network in determining the fates of Black employees in terms of hiring and contracts. The careers of many at ABC News, as well as their future advancement, was literally in her hands.” NABJ:

— Demands that there be immediate redress for those who have been wronged.

— Want an African American to be put in charge of the network’s diversity-in-hiring program.

— Insists that ABC News/Disney hires an outside consultant to assess the culture, work environment and policies at ABC News.

“In 2019, NABJ met with the senior leadership of ABC News, which at the time had no senior Black news executives above the rank of executive producer. They subsequently hired Marie Nelson, SVP Integrated Content Strategy.

“We at NABJ are calling for a meeting with the top leadership at ABC News immediately, and we would like for top leadership at Disney to be present as well.

“We strongly advise media companies to engage with NABJ regarding its formalized Media Diversity Blueprint built for organizations struggling with or in denial about diversity issues among its employment ranks.

NABJ also has issued a statement on capitalizing “Black”:

“For the last year, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has been integrating the capitalization of the word “Black” into its communications.

“However, it is equally important that the word is capitalized in news coverage and reporting about Black people, Black communities, Black culture, Black institutions, etc.

“NABJ’s Board of Directors has adopted this approach, as well as many of our members, and recommends that it be used across the industry.

“We are updating the organization’s style guidance to reflect this determination. The organization believes it is important to capitalize “Black” when referring to (and out of respect for) the Black diaspora.

“NABJ also recommends that whenever a color is used to appropriately describe race then it should be capitalized, including White and Brown.”

In other NABJ news, the association and the NABJ Sports Task Force accepted $100,000 from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The money will go to the NABJ COVID-19 Relief Fund to assist both sports and non-sports journalists whose jobs have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The donation was made in honor of two former Dallas Mavericks beat writers, Roger B. Brown and Martin McNeal, who each passed away recently.