KCABJ Newsletter for February 2009

Party in the KCABJ House
KCABJ members reviewed final preparations for the Black History Month 2009 KCABJ Membership Drive Party.
The bash will run from 8 p.m. until midnight Saturday, Feb. 28 at the SoHo Lofts Community Room on the first floor at 1601 Walnut St. downtown. A lot of black journalists are expected to attend. The event will include food, beer, wine, soft drinks and music.
The cost of admission is membership in KCABJ and/or a donation to the organization. The event is being planned by KCABJ committee members Anita Parran, Schanina Winfield and Andale Gross. Members are urged to attend and bring a new member for KCABJ.
Schanina also let the membership know at the monthly meeting that KCABJ is exploring whether to partner with other organizations in Kansas City to sponsor the showing of the documentary, “America the Beautiful.” The film is about how the media continue to change people’s perception of beauty, Schanina said. African Americans are prominently featured in the production.
Potential KCABJ partners include the Black Health Care Coalition and the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. Schanina said it would cost $2,500 to bring the documentary to Kansas City, and KCABJ would have to partner with other organizations to benefit from their 501C(3) fundraising capabilities.
KCABJ President Greg Moore said the organization would continue to work on the project, but no date has been set or commitment made. “It’s in the planning stages,” he said.
Greg updated the membership on the success of the litter pickup in January on the Day of Service for the holiday dedicated to the birthday of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. About 12 people showed up and filled nine big bags with trash. “The bus stop in the Bannister area looked great,” Greg said.
The membership also learned that journalism educators in the Kansas City area have received the applications for the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. It will take place June 22-June 29 at Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley. The mandatory orientation is Saturday, June 20 at The Kansas City Star Press Pavilion.
KCABJ members deferred until March setting a date for the KCABJ Media Awards Ceremony.

News Industry Blues
UNITY: Journalists of Color Inc. reports that nearly 13,000 jobs have been lost in the news industry since Sept. 15.
UNITY also reported that Minneapolis Star-Tribune employees, who were among those who left the company last summer and fall, might not get their full severance allotments because of the company’s Jan. 15 bankruptcy filing. A.H. Belo Corp. laid off about 500 workers at The Dallas Morning News and three other dailies. Disney’s television division is cutting 400 jobs.
The Baltimore Examiner is closing after being started in 2006. The journalism job losses and other newspaper and broadcast cutbacks are driven by the deteriorating economy.
The cuts also have impaired the diversity in newsrooms in the sheer number of journalists of color and the percentages of people of color in management, editing jobs, reporting, art and photography positions.
In the fall 2008 edition of the NABJ Journal, the NABJ board writes that NABJ is “calling on the industry to keep diversity in the forefront of cost-cutting decisions…. Diversity is an essential component of success that companies and communities can’t afford to lose.” The magazine cites Gannett cutting more than 2,000 positions at the company’s 85 daily papers.
It follows consolidations that slashed about 100 newspaper managers last fall and hundreds of Gannett jobs through layoffs, attrition and buyouts. Gannett is the country’s largest newspaper company. In 2008, the NABJ Journal estimated that 14,000 people have lost their jobs at newspapers through buyouts and layoffs. Predictions for the future include several major cities being without a major daily newspaper.
NABJ President Barbara Ciara has put together a committee to create a year-long series of seminars – in person and online – to help NABJ members contend with the job losses.

NY Post Shows Effect of Diversity Void
NABJ, UNITY: Journalists of Color and others immediately condemned The New York Post for running Sean Delonas’ editorial cartoon on Feb. 18 showing two police officers shooting a chimpanzee. The caption said, “They’ll have to find someone else to write the next stimulus bill.”
NABJ President Barbara Ciara said in a prepared statement, “I question the judgment of the editorial editors to move this to print as well as the diversity of its staff that would let them think this passes as comedy.”
The cartoon featured a monkey, which is an ages-old stereotype for black people. President Barack Obama, the nation’s first African-American in the Oval Office, pushed the economic stimulus bill through the House and Senate to try to help the ailing U.S. economy. The cartoon also has the police shooting the monkey as the symbolic initiator of the stimulus plan. A disproportionate number of black men are the targets of racial profiling by police, and a great fear in the black community is that Obama will be a target for an assassination attempt.
The Post initially defended the cartoon, saying it was only meant to be critical of the stimulus bill that Obama sought.
UNITY President Rafael Olmeda responded, “Are we to believe that the image of a slain chimpanzee juxtaposed with a comment about the stimulus package would not lead reasonable people to draw a comparison with the person with whom the stimulus package is most associated?”
After street protests were launched, The Post later apologized for the cartoon but also said its critics used the cartoon as ammunition against the newspaper.

Hate Speech Resurgence
UNITY: Journalists of Color reports that FBI data show that hate speech is not abating.
Of the 8,999 single-bias hate crime offenses in 2007, two-thirds were motivated by race and ethnicity/national origin biases. The number has remained at that level since 2003.
Anti-black bias still accounts for more than half of the offenses motivated by race and ethnicity/national-origin biases and for the largest share of the total offenses.
The National Hispanic Media Coalition is leading a petition effort before the Federal Communications Commission against hate speech on the nation’s airwaves. UNITY reports that hate speech against vulnerable groups is pervasive in our media. “Indeed, many large mainstream media corporations regularly air hate speech, and it is prolific over the Internet,” UNITY reported.
UNITY also reported on a survey of journalists of color showing that most of the respondents were cautiously optimistic about the effect of the Obama administration on the media’s coverage of racial issues. But 92 percent of those surveyed thought the mainstream media was still not effectively covering race relations in America’s multiracial society.
Of that group, 45 percent attributed the cause to a lack of diversity in newsrooms, and 33 percent said it was because of a lack of understanding by editors/producers. “The mass majority of the respondents felt that using experts and analysts of color and the hiring of more people of color in management positions would positively affect the quality of reporting,” UNITY reported.

Good News In The Bad Economy
The Sedalia (Mo.) Democrat is seeking a city editor. For more information go to http://www.freedom.com/careers/job_info.asp?id=1371.
A journalism professor is being sought in Bangalore, India. For more information go to http://journalism.berkeley.edu/jobs/details.php?cat=jedu&ID=7198.
The National Society of Newspaper Columnists is seeking entries for its Will Rogers Humanitarian Award. For more information write to http://www.willrogers.com. The organization also is seeking entries for its other awards. For more information e-mail staff@columnists.com.
The Society of Professional Journalists has a new Journalists Toolbox listing 10,000 Web resources and links. Check it out at http://www.journaliststoolbox.org.
NBC/FOX in Baton Rouge, La., is seeking a reporter/anchor, master control operator, engineer, part-time studio personnel, a news producer, an account executive and news photographer. For more information go to http://www.nbc33tv.com/info/jobs.
WFB in the Los Angeles area is seeking a sales/traffic assistant, associate producer in news, marketing director, photojournalist in news, marketing & creative service person in promotions, a news reporter and a weather anchor/reporter. For more information go to http://www.raycommedia.com/careers/default.aspx?station=wafb.
The Ascension Parish newspaper is seeking a general assignment reporter. For more information send e-mail to editor@weeklycitizen.com.
Roll Call in Washington, D.C., is seeking a copy editor. For more information send e-mail to hr@rollcall.com.
Scholarships are being offered for the Education Writers Association’s higher education seminar in San Francisco on Feb. 27-28. For more information go to http://www.ewa.org/desktopdefault.aspx?page_id=118&resource_id=3775.
United Press International has an opening for a copy editor. For more information send e-mail to rtotten@upi.com.
People can register now for the NABJ convention Aug. 5-9 in Tampa, Fla. The early bird price for KCABJ/NABJ members is $225. The cost rises substantially in the spring. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.
KPTS, Channel 8 is seeking entries for its young writers and illustrators contest. For more information call 316-838-3090, ext. 210.
The University of Southern California Annenberg School of Communications is seeking applications for its News Entrepreneur Boot Camp on May 16-21 in Los Angeles. For more information call 213-437-4417.
KSHB/KMCI/NBC Action News has openings for a broadcast sales manager and account executive. For more information send e-mail to wakeman@nbcactionnews.com.
The Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser has a copy editor opening. For more information call 334-261-1509.
CBS Radio has openings for account managers. For more information call 610-949-7800.
RTNDA has extended its award entries deadline to Feb. 27. It honors outstanding achievements in diversity. For more information go to http://www.rtnda.org.
The Maynard Institute is partnering with the Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Southern California to offer a one-day career assessment seminar. For more information send e-mail to alowell@maynardije.org.
WTNH in New Haven, Conn., is seeking an account executive. For more information send e-mail to joe.pelliccio@wtnh.com.
The Capital News in Albany, N.Y., is seeking a senior assignment editor. For more information go to http://www.timewarnercable.com/careers.
NBC Universal in New York City is seeking a news associate. For more information check out http://www.nbcunicareers.com.
PA Associate Digital is seeking an associate digital arts director. For more information call 215-790-4333.
The Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, N.Y., is seeking a digital communications supervisor. For more information send e-mail to mcalinnja@cmog.org.
Amtrak has an opening for a senior marketing officer in Washington, D.C. For more information send e-mail to hremp@amtrack.com.
Parallels Inc. is seeking a public relations/marketing manager in Herndon, Va. For more information send e-mail to careers@parallels.com.
WMTW-TV is seeking an account executive. For more information call 207-775-1800.
WTNH/WCTX in New Haven, Conn., is seeking a Web Sales content producer. For more information send e-mail to webjobs@wtnh.com.
The Science Communication Network is seeking a program associate in Washington, D.C. For more information send e-mail to arwa@sciencecom.org.
NABJ is seeking entries for its 2009 National Media Awards. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org.
The Record of Bergen County N.J., is seeking a news assignment editor. For more information write to Frank Burgos, managing editor, The Record, 150 River St., Hackensack, N.J. 07601.
Time Warner Cable is seeking a news assistant who will work as a free-lancer. For more information go to http://www.timewarnercable.com/Corporate/about/careers/default.html.
Applications are being sought for the Arthur F. Burns Fellowship Program in which journalists report from Germany for two months during the summer. For more information send e-mail to burns@icfj.org. It’s being offered by the International Center for Journalists Advancing Quality Journalism Worldwide.
The Kansas City Press Club is accepting applications for the William B. Moorhead journalism scholarship. For more information call 816-234-4689.
WLS-TV in Chicago is seeking a special projects producer. For more information call 312-836-5718.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors is seeking students for its online edition of The ASNE Reporter. For more information call 703-453-1126.
The Institute on Political Journalism is accepting entries for its 2009 journalism awards. For more information go to http://www.TFAS.org/ipjawards.
Reece Nichols Real Estate has a marketing position opening. For more information call Kendra Kemp at 374-5465.
Harvard University is offering free tuition to undergraduate students from low-income families. for more information call 617-495-1581.
Safe Streets in Topeka, Kan., is seeking a community mobilizer. For more information call 785-266-4606.
The Department of Treasury is seeking a tax examining technician. For more information call 816-291-9400.
The American Chemical Society Scholars program is seeking students of color in high school and college for its scholarships. For more information send e-mail to scholars@acs.org.

KC People
KCABJ’s membership inched upward with the additions of Anita Parran, Lurleen Brinkman, Tanyanika Samuels, Schanina Winfield, Eric Wesson, J.W. Edwards, Lynita Jones, Andale Gross, and Laurie and Stan Austin.
The next KCABJ meeting will be at noon Saturday, March 21.


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