Archive for July, 2008

KCABJ Newsletter for July 2008
July 21, 2008

Membership Meeting

The Kansas City Association of Black Journalists in June concluded another successful KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. The class of five students was one of the smallest KCABJ has ever had since it started the program in 1982. The smallest was four students.

However, the students received more intensive instruction and performed exceptionally well at the Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley. That was the assessment of the students provided at the KCABJ membership meeting in July.

The students wrote stories for the 2008 KCABJ Journal and went to KPRS-FM and KMBC-TV where they produced their radio and television news casts. The stories for the newspaper have been edited and are in the hands of KCABJ Secretary Greg Moore, who will do the final edit and layout for the student publication.

KCABJ had difficulty this year recruiting students for the academy. Members sent out the applications through regular mail and e-mail to area high schools. They went on KPRS-FM as in the past to appeal to students who have an interest in journalism, and they met with people who said they planned to get students to apply to the program. Notices also went into church bulletins.

Despite those traditional efforts, few students applied. Members at the July meeting suggested that KCABJ reach out to the Linwood Family YMCA and its young achievers program. They also suggested appealing to sororities and fraternities, Jack and Jill, local celebrities and tapping Internet sites that young people frequent to appeal to more students.

KCABJ member Adjoa Adofo reported that she has completed the design work on the new KCABJ Web site. The pages have been forwarded to KCABJ President Kia Breaux for approval. Once that is received, the pages will go up, and Adjoa will begin offering training for KCABJ members.

KCABJ members also learned that the application deadline for the 17th Annual KCABJ Media Awards entries is Saturday, July 26. The program during which the recipients of the awards will be announced is Oct. 25. Students from this year’s journalism academy also will be honored at the program for their good work.


The National Association of Black Journalists reported in the summer issue of the NABJ Journal that 2,400 journalists left the newspaper industry in 2007, and of that number nearly 300 were journalists of color.

The numbers come from the American Society of Newspaper Editors annual survey. The ASNE figures noted that of the 52,598 journalists, 7,113 were journalists of color, and 45,485 were white.

The industry in 2007 had 2,790 black journalists, 2,346 Hispanic journalists, 1,692 Asian journalists and 284 Native American journalists. Journalists of color still hold fewer than 14 percent of all newspaper jobs – a figure that hasn’t changed in years despite ASNE’s goal to have the percentage of journalists of color equal the percentage of people of color in the population by 2025. Currently people of color constitute 34 percent of the total U.S. population, and that figure is growing.

NABJ also reported in a news release that its membership has grown to 4,100 people. NABJ noted that it had 3,400 members in June 2004. The membership increase has occurred despite dues increasing to $100 from $80 and convention costs going up while meals that had traditionally be provided at the conferences going down.

NABJ also announced in a news release its newly developed NABJ Media Institute. It is to offer professional development, educational programs, conferences, workshops, entrepreneurial guidance and Web seminars. It will premiere at the UNITY: Journalists of Color convention in Chicago.

UNITY Convention

Thousand of people are expected to gather July 23-27 in Chicago for the UNITY: Journalists of Color convention. Presumptive Democratic Party presidential nominee Sen. Barack Obama is to address the gathering July 27 at the McCormick Place West Convention Center.

Sen. John McCain, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, also has been invited to speak but has not responded to the invitation.

The convention will feature numerous workshops and panel discussions. A key issue will be the ongoing job losses in the news media and how journalists can retool themselves to be more employable. It will include learning how to be proficient in the digital media. A jobs fair also will take place at UNITY as well as career counseling sessions.

A database has been created for UNITY to make the job search easier. More than 400 recruiters are to be at the jobs fair. Some NABJ members whose jobs have been eliminated have been offered the opportunity to attend the convention by receiving “scholarships” deferring their registration fee.

A Plenary Session will be “Is Change in the Air: 1968 to 2008 and Beyond: How Race has Changed America.” It is co-sponsored by RiseUp, a new Kansas City-based magazine distributed in about 5 million copies of newspapers nationwide and published by Dr. Janice Ellis.

UNITY will offer members text message highlights as well as news coming from the convention. UNITY also is charging sponsors $2,000 to have their messages included in the texting and news.

Movies also will be previewed at the convention, including “The Secret Life of Bees” and Spike Lee’s “Miracle at St. Anna.” UNITY attendees also will get a chance to get information on such hot news stories as HIV/AIDS and the Sentencing Project’s session titled “Incarceration Nation: Covering America’s Prison-Industrial Complex.”

News You Can Use

The Record of Bergen County, N.J., has an opening for an editorial writer, real estate writer and part-time sports copy editor. For more information write to Douglas Clancy, assistant managing editor at The Record, 150 River St., Hackensack, N.J. 07601.

KSHB/KMCI has an opening for a traffic person. For more information send e-mail to Tracy Wakeman at

The American Press Institute is offering newspaper seminars titled “Growing Audiences Beyond News” and “Building the New Revenue Portfolio.” They will take place Sept. 22-24 in Reston, Va. For more information call Mary Glick at (703) 715-3313.

The University of North Texas has tenure-track faculty openings in visual journalism and news writing. For more information visit

The Kansas City Star has openings for an editor in the Grand Communications/Advertising division. For more information contact Randy Smith at (816) 234-4884.

The Village Voice is seeking a writer for its news blogs. For more information write to Tony Ortega at

KOAM-TV has openings for a news assistant, a news reporter, a news producer, an IT support specialist, a master control operator and an account executive. For more information write to Kelley Foust, 745 Range Line, Joplin, Mo. 64801.

Stanford University is offering its John S. Knight Fellowships to journalists. For more information go to

Purdue University has communications job openings. For more information call Clyde Hughes at (765) 494-2073.

The Intelligence Project at the Southern Poverty Law Center is seeking an editor. For more information write to Human Resources, Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Ave., Montgomery, Ala. 36104.

The Columbus Dispatch is seeking a Home & Garden reporter and a reader relations manager. For more information go to

WTXF-FOX 29 in Philadelphia is seeking a sports anchor/reporter. For more information e-mail Sherylle Linton Jones at

The University of California – Berkeley has multimedia teaching position openings in the journalism school. For more information write to Paul Grabowicz at

The Lubbock (Texas) Avalanche-Journal is seeking a photographer/multimedia specialist. For more information write to Sherlon Christie at

KC People

KCABJ’s membership inched up by two with the additions of Damon Smith and Jonathan Entzminger.

KCABJ journalism academy graduate and scholarship winner Rickeena Richards has been promoted to the education beat at the Belleville, Ill., newspaper.

Kansas City Star sports columnist Candace Buckner will be on a McClatchy Co. Career Skills panel at the UNITY: Journalists of Color convention.