Archive for December, 2009

KCABJ Newsletter for December 2009
December 20, 2009

KCABJ Election in January
KCABJ members at the January meeting will elect officers for 2010. Members at the December meeting decided to have the election at noon Jan. 16. The location will be announced soon.
KCABJ President Greg Moore appointed member Sharon Cheers to serve as nominations chair for the vote. Persons who are interested in running for president, vice president-broadcast, vice president-print, secretary or treasurer should send an e-mail to Sharon. Her e-mail address is
Greg went over the KCABJ events of 2009 during the December meeting. Community involvement by KCABJ members stood out. At the meeting, members offered insight on what went well and what could be improved. The first meeting of 2010 will focus on projects for the new year as well as discussion of how to get more members to remain active in the organization throughout the year.
KCABJ also will plan a membership party for February, Black History Month. Look for more details soon.

The executive director of the National Association of Black Journalists has resigned. Karen Wynn Freeman had held the position for three years.
A national search is taking place to replace her. The executive director works closely with the NABJ board on fundraisings, professional development and projects. Anyone interested in the position should check out
NABJ officials expressed continuing dismay over layoffs and the lack of diversity in the news industry.
The Wichita Eagle lost its last African American reporter, Journal-isms reported. Layoffs at The Associated Press have drawn the attention of NABJ President Kathy Times and NABJ Vice President-Print Deirdre Childress. Their concern is whether the job cuts have disproportionately affected black journalists at the AP.
Times in remarks at a Federal Trade Commission conference this month said: “The challenges our members face are real. Newsroom jobs held by black journalists were cut by an alarming 18 percent since 2001, making African Americans the single most targeted group for job losses in newsrooms across the country.
“In real numbers, nearly 400 black journalists lost their jobs at newspapers alone last year. Worse, 458 newspapers still have no minorities in their newsrooms. (The Kansas City Star reported Dec. 20 that the number of daily newspapers had dropped from 1,480 in 2000 to 1,408 in 2008. That means that 33 percent of the daily newspapers in the United States have no journalists of color.)
“On the television side, our second annual NABJ census revealed facts about who’s making decisions. The 2009 census looked at the diversity of the management teams at 111 stations owned by ABC, CBS, FOX, Hearst Argyle, Media General, NBC and Tribune. Only 11.7 percent are people of color. At the network level, there are no African American executive producers supervising nightly newscast or morning shows. (An American Society of Newspaper Editors annual survey also found that the percent of journalists of color at newspapers remains under 14 percent and continues to decline after years of increases from below 4 percent when the survey began in 1978.)
“The numbers are equally poor at online media outlets. Many of these startups left the starting gate without black journalists.
“Without diversity, stories and events that are important to the African-American community are less likely to be covered and more often misunderstood. The Obamas’ triumphant fist bump was one of those moments.”
UNITY, Journalists of Color Inc. reports that although Hispanics are the largest minority group in the United states at 16 percent of the population, a new study showed that of more than 34,000 news stories in major media outlets, the press poorly informed the public about Latinos.
Most of the news about Latinos, UNITY reported, was “event-driven” in which Hispanics were one of many elements. From Feb. 9 to Aug. 9, “only a fraction of stories contained substantial references to Hispanics — just 645 out of 34,452 studied. And only a tiny number, 57 stories, focused directly on the lives of Hispanics in the U.S.,” according to the media content analysis done jointly by the Project for Excellence and the Pew Hispanic Center.
Former NABJ President Byron Monroe wrote in response to an article on the 28 media leaders who died this decade that of all the people mentioned, none was a journalist of color. People like Gordon Parks and Ed Bradley were overlooked.

News You Can Use
NABJ is seeking names for its Hall of Fame, Special Honors and Salute to Excellence awards. For more information go to
The Knight-Wallace Fellows at the University of Michigan is seeking applications. For more information go to
The Society of Professional Journalists is seeking entries for its Sigma Delta Chi Awards. For more information, call Lauren Rochester at 317-927-800, Ext. 210.
The Grantham Prize for Excellence in Reporting on the Environment is seeking entries. For more information go to
Kansas State University’s A.Q. Miller School of Journalism and Mass Communications has an opening its R.M. Seaton Chair. It is a five-year position. For more information write to Bonnie Bressers at or call 785-532-3956.
K-State also is holding a communications readiness program for times of crisis. It will take place March 25-27. For more information go to
UNITY is asking people in the industry to donate $25 to UNITY to support the work that it does. For more information go to

KC People
KCABJ President Greg Moore returned from his fellowship in Kenya and Uganda in November. He shared photographs and his newspaper experiences with the staff of The Star in an hourlong presentation.
Former KCABJ President Anita K. Parran has joined the 28-member board of trustees at Stephens College. Anita is a graduate of that school in Columbia, Mo.