Archive for June, 2009

KCABJ Newsletter for June 2009
June 20, 2009

KCABJ Academy
The KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy kicked off with the June 20 orientation at The Kansas City Star Press Pavilion.
The summer Class of 2009 will have five students. They are Cymonne Nicolle New, a junior at North Kansas City High School; Zachary McGowan, a senior at the University Academy; Raymond Banks, who graduated from Westport High School; Gabrielle Young, a sophomore at Oak Park High School; and Marcus Hollinger, a junior at the University of Kansas – Lawrence.
Glenn Rice, KCABJ member, will lead the print part of the program during the first week. Robyn King, KCABJ vice president-broadcast, will take the students through the broadcast part of the program during the second week. The students will do their television news cast on Monday, June 29. The radio news cast will follow during the week at KPRS-FM, where Robyn is an on-air personality.
During the first week of the program, students will have story assignments outside of class. They also will have in-class news conferences featuring real news makers. Those news makers include Mayor Mark Funkhouser; Kevin Masters, deputy chief of the Kansas City Police Department; and Mike Fannin, editor and vice president of The Kansas City Star.
Many other working professionals will lecture on the basics of journalism. KCABJ members are encouraged to attend the academy to contribute to the discussions and to help edit the copy that the students turn in. The stories will be given back to the students for rewrites, which is part of the learning process.
The class convenes every week day at 8 a.m. in Humanities 302 at the Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley. KCABJ has sponsored the annual program since 1982, a year after the association was founded, to attract more students of color to the journalism profession.

NABJ Convention
People who plan to attend the NABJ convention in Tampa this year should make their hotel reservations as soon as possible. The National Association of Black Journalists has arranged for discounted rates at area hotels where the convention will occur.
The NABJ Housing Bureau is handling the process. For more information send e-mail to
The new low rate at the Hyatt Regency Tampa is $120 a night. The convention takes place from Aug. 5-9.

News You Can Use
KAVU-TV in Victoria, Texas, has job openings for journalists who want to apply. Write to Michael Wall, EEO officer, at KAVU-TV, 3803 N. Navarro, P.O. Box 4929, Victoria, Texas 77903.
The University of Missouri – Columbia School of Journalism has an opening for an assistant professor/visiting editor for the Columbia Missourian. It is a one-year, non-renewable job. For more information send e-mail to Elizabeth Hardt at
The Nellie Mae Education Foundation in Quincy, Mass., has an opening for a communications associate. For more information call Lisa Catapano at 866-903-3182.
The Society of Professional Journalists encourages working journalists to visit its site, It is designed to help people sharpen their skills. The site was created by the Council of National Journalism Organizations. The site addresses issues in sports, reporting and design.

KC People
The membership of KCABJ inched to 28 with the addition of Alonzo Weston as a renewing member in St. Joseph.
Graduates of the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy continue to praise the organization for the boost it provided them academically and in their chosen professions. Morgan Neal sent a thank you letter to KCABJ. She graduated summa cum lade from Howard University in May with a bachelors of science in civil engineering. She has accepted admission to the graduate school at Princeton University, where she will begin classes in the fall. Morgan credits KCABJ for the discipline and the scholarship she received when she was a student in the academy.
Amber Mobley, a KCABJ graduate and scholarship winner, recently completed her master’s degree in education at the University of California. She got a special award from the Annenberg School of Communications for the Web site she produced while in school. She left a reporting job at the St. Petersburg (Fla.) Times to go back to school. KCABJ was instrumental in getting her the graduate school position. She enters the Teach for America program this summer and will take over a classroom teaching position in Shreveport, La.
Kia Breaux, former KCABJ president and interim bureau chief for The Associate Press office in Kansas City, is pictured with other AP staffers in the latest issue of J-Links magazine published by the school of journalism at the University of Kansas – Lawrence.
Fatimeh El-Sherif, a KCABJ academy graduate and scholarship winner, wrote a column for the opinion pages of The Kansas City Star this month on the reaction of people in Egypt to U.S. President Barack Obama’s recent speech in Cairo on Muslims. Fatimeh was the editor of the University News at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She has a bachelor’s degree from UMKC and is a MPA graduate of the Bloch School in human resources and strategic management. She is working as assistant CFO at Sinai University in Al-Arish, Egypt.
Sadly, KCABJ member Laurie Austin’s mother, Laverne Scott, passed away in May.