Archive for April, 2009

KCABJ Newsletter for April 2009
April 20, 2009

KCABJ Student Academy
Applications are still being sought for the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy.
The deadline is April 25. KCABJ Vice President/Broadcast Robyn King told members at the April meeting that she would have members talk about the program on KPRS-FM before the deadline to apply.
The two-week program will run June 22 through July 3. An additional wrinkle is the location. The Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley is where the academy has occurred for years.
However, last year MCC-Penn Valley required KCABJ to have proof of liability coverage for the class. KCABJ acquired the insurance but at a cost of more than $600 to the organization. KCABJ Secretary Anita Parran told the membership at the April meeting that she has secured the same coverage but for $367.60.
The community college this year said it would start charging for the classroom space. But KCABJ will likely receive the space at no charge this year because of in-kind connections. The insurance will still be a requirement.
In addition, KCABJ member Sharon Cheers has gotten the Kansas City Public Library to provide basement classroom space for the academy at no charge. However, parking downtown for the program may cost $500. Parking at the community college is free. A committee of KCABJ continues to explore the most cost-effective way to hold the program. Since the program started in 1982, classroom space has been donated for the program, and until last year, there never had been an insurance requirement.
KCABJ member Glenn Rice said advertising classroom space at The Kansas City Star is another possibility.
Sharon, who is a commissioner of LINC, also secured time at its meeting for a KCABJ member to discuss the journalism academy, which is open to high school and college students who have an interest in a journalism career.

Diversity Depression
The American Society of News Editors released its annual report on diversity in the newsroom, and the numbers are not good.
The percentage of journalist of color dropped to 13.41 percent – down from 13.52 percent last year. Of the 5,900 journalists who have left the business, 854 were journalists of color.
There are 46,700 journalists in the newspaper industry of which 6,300 were journalists of color at the end of December 2008. “The overall job loss was the largest one-year decline in employment in the history of the ASNE census and followed a drop of 2,400 a year ago,” the ASNE report this month said. “Since a modern era peak of 56,400 reported in 2001, newsroom jobs have decreased by 9,700. The highest employment level in the survey’s history was 56,900 in 1990.”
The newsroom census has been conducted since 1978 when journalists of color held only 3.95 percent of the newsroom jobs. In 1978, ASNE set as a goal to have the percentage of journalists of color equal the percentage of people of color in the U.S. population by the year 2000 to increase the likelihood that accurate and unbiased stories about people of color would get into the news media. That goal was pushed back in 1999 to 2025 when it was apparent that the number was unachievable. More than 33 percent of the population consists of people of color. The backsliding the last two years by the newspaper industry doesn’t help. The ASNE goal followed the Kerner Commission report after the riots of the 1960s. The report cited deficient to non-existent news media coverage of people of color as being partly responsible for the riots. The deplorable living conditions for minorities in urban areas went unreported and therefore unaddressed leading to a buildup of despair and hopelessness.
Some other highlights in this year’s report include:
— 458 newspapers responding to the ASNE census had no minorities on their full-time staff. That number has been growing since 2006. The majority of these newspapers have circulations of 10,000 or less.
— Nearly two-thirds of minorities work at newspapers with circulations exceeding 100,000.
— 17 percent of journalists of color work at newspapers with circulations of more than 500,000; 19 percent at newspapers with circulations of 250,001 to 500,000; and 29 percent with circulations of 100,001 to 250,000.
— Of the newspapers in Kansas that responded to the census, The Coffeyville Journal reported that 25 percent of its staff consisted of journalists of color; the Dodge City Daily Globe, 26.7 percent; the Lawrence Journal-World, 5.1 percent; the Manhattan Mercury, 12.5 percent; The Olathe News, 18.2 percent; and the Wichita Eagle, 13.2 percent.
— In Missouri, The Kansas City Star did not report its numbers. However the Columbia Daily Tribune did at 9.1 percent; the Jefferson City Post-Tribune and Daily Capital News, 5 percent; the Joplin Globe, 7.1 percent; the Springfield News-Leader, 12.7 percent; and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch at 14.8 percent.
— The greatest number of minority journalists continue to be employees in the eastern and western states.
— Women now hold 19,700 journalism jobs at newspapers, which is a decline from the previous year from 37.58 percent to 37.36 percent.

News You Can Use
The Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley is seeking a KCABJ member to teach a three-credit hour journalism class. The pay is $750 per credit hour. Contact Dr. Tracy Hall at 816-759-4000.
The features department at The Kansas City Star is seeking an editor/writer. For more information send e-mail to Mary Lou Nolan at
The International Women’s Media Foundation is accepting applications for its leadership training July 20-22 in Chicago. For more information go to
Online Journalism Awards is seeking entries for its 2009 Online Journalism Awards. For more information go to
NABJ is offering more than $60,000 in scholarships to students. For more information go to
CNN is joining forces with NABJ to offer students an opportunity create an iReport on how they are using innovative and unexpected ways to confront issues and challenges facing the black community. For more information, go to
The Institute for Intercultural Communication will hold its 33rd annual summer institute. For more information call 503-297-4622.
NABJ members with at least two years of professional experience are eligible for scholarships of up to $1,000 to attend the NABJ convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 5-9. For more information go to
ABC News is offering an April 29 seminar in New York City on Investigative Journalism in the Digital Age. For more information go to
The National Association of Television Program Executives invites NABJ members to apply to be diversity fellows during NATPE’s LATV Fest July 8-9. For more information check out
The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education is again offering its Multimedia Editing Program at the journalism school at the University of Nevada – Reno. For more information go to

KC People
KCABJ’s membership inched up to 28 with the addition of Jonathan Entzminger.
Former KCABJ President Kia Breaux and her husband, John Randle, had their second child. Jaden Sean Randle was born March 27.
KCABJ President Greg Moore has been selected as The Kansas City Star’s 2009 Alfred Friendly Fellowship mentor. Greg will work with Rodney Muhumuza, a Ugandan journalist, when he arrives to work as a visiting journalist in Kansas City, and then Greg also will go to Kenya and Uganda to work as a visiting journalist in September. KCABJ is considering having a party for Rodney when he arrives in May.
KCABJ member Damon Smith has started an open letter blog at He plans to publish some of the content in a book soon. He has gotten 20,000 hits on the blog in the last two months.