Archive for November, 2008

KCABJ Newsletter For November 2008
November 24, 2008

KCABJ Officers Needed

   KCABJ will elect new officers for 2009 at its December meeting. KCABJ President Kia Breaux, who has served two terms, announced at the November meeting that she will be stepping down at the end of this year.

   Anita Parran, a former KCABJ president, has been appointed the nominations chair. She is accepting candidates for president, vice president-print, vice president-broadcast, treasurer and secretary. Anita will present the slate for 2009 at the December meeting.

   The meeting will be at 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 13 at 1601 Walnut St. in the community room on the first floor. Food and drinks will be provided at the meeting, which also will be KCABJ’s holiday party. Music and dancing will follow the meeting.

   Kia also reported that NABJ required the vote in 2008 so the officers’ names could be reported to the National Association of Black Journalists with the year-end audit and bonding requirements.

   KCABJ Secretary Greg Moore will be sending out invitations so that the meeting and party can also serve as a membership drive for 2009.


Need For Media Diversity To Catch Up to Obama And The Nation

   The election of Sen. Barack Obama as the first African-American president of the United States drew cheers from the National Association of Black Journalists and UNITY: Journalists of Color in addition to a renewed demand for diversity in race and ethnicity in the news media.

   In a written statement, UNITY said: “As journalists of color, we face a real struggle for diversity in America‘s newsrooms, where we are still underrepresented and misrepresented. With our country now taking new steps toward diversity and change, it is essential that our nation’s newsrooms move toward parity and equality in the newsroom with the same fervor….

   “The national dialogue about race will continue, and as journalists of color, we will continue to be an integral part of it.”

   NABJ President Barbara Ciara said in a prepared statement: “By our accounts, in the midst of this monumental campaign for the Oval Office, black journalists had little to no opportunity to cover the candidates or the issues. Now in the midst of this defining moment, as the White House press corps is being formed to cover this country’s 44th president, NABJ urges the news media to gather their own transition team for change….

   “For the big media companies out there, diversity at all levels of the newsroom should be about gaining a competitive advantage and not satisfying a quota. For the readers and viewers, it should be about fairness and completeness in coverage – an implicit assurance of inclusiveness.

   “And like the advertisers they serve, media companies should do the necessary homework to make sure they are demographically inclusive in their news coverage. If the country ever needed the unique perspective and expertise of journalists of color, it is now.

   “Not just in the coverage of the presidency but also on issues such as immigration, housing predatory lending, the imact of the economic collapse in our communities, the Iraq war, and the war on poverty and education….

   “To date, not one black journalist hosts a Sunday morning or daily news and commentary show on the major cable and television networks. There are no African-American executive producers at network newscasts and shows such as ‘Today,’ ‘Good Morning America‘ and the ‘CBS Early Show.'” Change, Ciara said, is long overdue.


Other Headlines

   The National Association of Hispanic Journalists condemned the killing of crime reporter Armando Rodriguez who worked for the Mexican newspaper El Diario de Juarez. Rodriguez was gunned down in front of his daughter outside of his home in Ciudad Juarez as he was taking her to school in November. The gunman walked up to Rodiguez’s car in the city across the border from El Paso, Texas, and fired. NAHJ called on society and authorities to stand strong against the violence that attempts to silence a free press.

   Reuters news service reported that Gannett Co. Inc.’s chief executive will take a voluntary 17 percent pay cut in response to advertising decreases and as Gannett prepared to cut thousands of jobs. CEO Craig Dubow’s salary was reported to fall by $200,000 annually.

   The journalism industry has lost 4,335 jobs just since Sept. 15.

   The Society of Professional Journalists urged President-elect Barack Obama to support a bill that would protect journalists and their confidential sources. The Free Flow of Information Act, also known as the Federal Shield Law, would protect journalists who choose not to reveal their sources even when compelled by the courts to do so. An exception is when such information compromises national security. In his campaign, Obama said he would support the law.


Jobs And More

   Applications are now being accepted for 10 Metcalf Institute for Marine and Environmental Reporting Fellowships. For more information check out The 11th Annual Science Immersion Workshop for Journalists will run June 7-12, 2009, and focus on global change in coastal ecosystems.

   The Metcalf Institute also is offering diversity fellowships in environmental reporting from September 2009 to June 2010. The fellowships support journalists of color in the study of marine life and environmental science. For more information go to

   The National Association of Black Journalists will hold a Health Care Disparities Conference Jan. 30-31 at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. NABJ members interested in attending can register online by Jan. 16 at

   The NABJ Media Institute is teaming up with IRE for a better Watchdog Workshop set tentatively for April 25, 2009, in Detroit. For more information go to

   Sigma Delta Chi is seeking entries for its New America Awards. It honors excellence in journalism in 53 categories. including print, radio, television, newsletters, photography, online and research journalism. For more information write to Lauren Rochester at

   Livingston Awards for Young Journalists is seeking entries. The deadline is Feb. 1. For more information check out

   The American Press Institute is having a series of residential seminars in Reston, Va., including “The New Newsroom,” “Maximizing Revenue Across All Channels,” “Executive Development Program,” “Visual Journalism Across All Platforms” and “Building Community.” For more information check out

   The Maynard Institute is seeking applications for the Maynard Media Academy, an immersion management training program. The program runs from Jan. 11-15 and March 22-26. Participants must attend both sessions. For more information write to Agata Lowell at

KCABJ Membership Application:

Mail this application with your $20 check to KCABJ, P.O. Box 32744, Kansas City, Mo. 64111 to cover your annual membership dues. It entitles you to receive the KCABJ monthly newsletter and monthly meeting notices.






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   (Membership in KCABJ runs from January through December. Annual dues of $20 in the organization has not changed since 1981. It is the lowest of any of the affiliates of the National Association of Black Journalists.)