Archive for July, 2009

KCABJ Newsletter for July 2009
July 20, 2009

Academy Has Great Start
Editing of the students’ stories for the 2009 KCABJ Journal began this month now that the journalism academy is done.
KCABJ Vice President/Broadcast Robyn King and KCABJ member Glenn Rice reported that the students this summer were exceptional.
Five students completed the two-week program, which Glenn and Robyn led as coordinators for the print and broadcast segments. The students were Cymonne Nicholle New, a junior at North Kansas City High School; Zachary McGowan, a senior at the University Academy; Raymond Banks, a freshman at Missouri Valley College; Gabrielle Young, a sophomore at Oak Park High School; and Marcus Hollinger, a sophomore at the University of Kansas – Lawrence.
Robyn said the students did an exceptional job on the broadcast portion of the program even though the week was shortened to four days because of the holiday. The students also had to work with the added wrinkle of the TV newscast occurring the first day instead of the last day of the program. But Robyn told people at the July KCABJ membership meeting that the students did great.
Speakers during in-class news conferences in the print week of the academy included 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. KCABJ and others who lectured to the students constantly remarked about how good this year’s class was.
Glenn reported at the membership meeting that Fannin said he wanted to be invited back each year to lecture to the students picked for the KCABJ academy. He found it to be a rewarding experience.
In the broadcast week, the lecturers whom the students had included Lisa Benson, a reporter at KSHB-NBC, 41; Damon Bryant, vice president of promotions at WDAF Fox 4; and Tony Sanders, a public relations officer with the Kansas City Police Department. The students did their broadcast TV newscast at KCTV-5 and their radio broadcast at KPRS-FM.
KCABJ members will meet soon to decide which students will receive the scholarship that KCABJ gives to the top performers in the 2009 class. At the July meeting, Sharon Cheers, KCABJ member and assistant to the publisher at The Call newspaper, said The Call wanted to present the recipient of the KCABJ Lucile Bluford Scholarship with a commemorative poster. Bluford had been publisher of The Call.
At the July meeting, members also set Nov. 21 as the date for the 18th Annual KCABJ Media Awards ceremony. The location will be announced.
In addition, KCABJ will hold a membership drive and fundraiser on Dec. 12. The location will be announced soon. The party also will commemorate The Call’s 90th anniversary of publishing as a weekly black newspaper in Kansas City.
The KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy took place at Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley.

KCABJ Awards Update
Applications were mailed in June to KCABJ members and area media companies for the 2009 KCABJ Media Awards program.
A date will be set soon for the ceremony in the fall. The awards annually go to the persons in the media and media companies that have done the best job of accurately portraying African Americans and other people of color in stories, pictures and artwork. The deadline for award applications to be submitted is July 25.

The National Association of Black Journalists is gearing up for the NABJ convention in Tampa, Fla., on Aug. 5-9.
Lisa Jackson, administrator with the Environmental Protection Agency, is to speak at the NABJ convention on green jobs and the protection of the health and environment by the EPA.
NABJ officials are watching the bad economy taking a toll on other conventions of journalists of color and the membership and finances of those organizations.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists reported that the number of attendees at its convention in Puerto Rico in June was down. There were about 800 attendees, which was more than expected.
The organization also reported that its membership had fallen 36 percent, from 2,200 members in 2008 to 1,400 now. Students now make up 40 percent of NAHJ’s membership. Dues in NAHJ is $110 compared with $103 for NABJ.
NABJ congratulated the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People during the NAACP’s convention in New York this month. President Barack Obama spoke at the Freedom Fund Dinner.
“Few organizations can achieve a centenarian milestone, fewer still can make such a broad and wide-ranging impact on the livelihood of African Americans and other people of color as the NAACP has,” said NABJ President Barbara Ciara. The academic olympics annually held since 1978 by the NAACP to honor students for academic excellence was started by Vernon Jarrett, a past NABJ president and founding member.

Other Journalism News
The bad economy continues to affect media companies. More staff cuts were expected at Gannett, the nation’s largest newspaper company.
UNITY, Journalists of Color Inc. reported in June that Gannett CFO Gracia Martore was said to project 1,400 newspaper layoffs throughout the Gannett chain in July as well as a 10 percent pay cut for its broadcast employees.
The Boston Globe reported that the Bay State Banner, Boston’s only black newspaper, may shut down because of the bad economy. Efforts are taking place to keep the paper alive.
UNITY reported that since Sept. 15, 2008, 33,623 jobs have been lost in the journalism industry.
Black Enterprise Magazine picked the top companies for diversity. The top 10 are Aetna, Aflac Inc., American Express Co., AT&T, Bank of America, Burger King, Citigroup Inc., The Coca-Cola Co., Comerica Inc. and Darden Restaurants.
DiversityInc. magazine in its spring issue released its top companies for diversity. The top 10 are Johnson & Johnson, AT&T, Ernst & Young, Marriott International, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Sodexo, Kaiser Permanente, Merck & Co., Coca-Cola and the IBM Corp. Many of the same companies were on both lists.

Career Building News
WISE News Director Peter Neumann is seeking a full-time and one part-time producer. For more information check out;260.484.4989
Check out It offers freelance opportunity. Contact Babs Miller for more information at
The Dennis A. Hunt Memorial Fund for Health Journalism is seeking applications for the California Endowment Health Journalism Fellowships. For more information go to
The Journalism Center on Children & Families is seeking applications for its Sept. 13-15 conference on covering early childhood learning. It will be in College Park, Md. For more information go to
Hallmark Cards has an editorial opening in its gift books studio. For more information go to Hallmark’s Web site.

KC People
KCABJ’s membership inched to 29 with the addition of Dr. Crystal Lumpkins, a professor of journalism at the University of Kansas-Lawrence. Crystal was one of the speakers at the KCABJ academy.
KCABJ member Candace Buckner plans to hold a party on Aug. 8 at her place for KCABJ members who won’t be attending the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Tampa. Details will be announced.
Former KCABJ officer Joy Sewing “Celebrities Undressed” has a video blog. It can be viewed at Joy also will be a guest speaker at the Mayborn Literary Nonfiction Conference in Dallas this month. She is fashion editor at the Houston Chronicle. Also check out
Congratulations to KCABJ Vice President/Print Andale Gross. He has accepted a job with The Associated Press in Chicago. However, he leaves a vacancy in KCABJ. Glenn Rice has agreed to fill the VP position in Andale’s absence.
KCABJ Vice President/Broadcast Robyn King plans to create a Facebook page for KCABJ. Stay tuned.