‘Drive for Fives’
KCABJ President Greg Moore shared with people at the membership meeting in April that his “Drive for Fives” initiative to re-energize KCABJ is succeeding.
The goal is to generate five new members, get five past members to renew, have five members recruit one new member and get five members to donate $5 each to the organization. The donations are in, and the renewals have just about been complete. New members and members recruiting new people are what remain.
KCABJ member Terez Paylor also reported on the schools targeted for recruiting students for the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. The deadline for applications is April 24, but applications will be accepted until May 1. The targeted schools include Sumner Academy, Van Horn High School, Lincoln Prep, University Academy, Hogan Prep, Washington, Westport, Ruskin, Schlagle, Grandview, East, Harmon, Central, Renaissance, Northeast, Center and Wyandotte.Terez said he has recruited Candace Buckner, James Edwards, Justin Robinson, Katherine Williams, Ramanda Hicks, Sharon Cheers, Raymond Banks, Rocelyn Davis and Toriano Porter to help get students interested in the program.
The goal is to get at least 25 applications and to pick about a dozen students to participate in the two-week academy. It will be at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley from June 21 through July 2. It is open to high school and college students. There is no cost, and the top performing students will be awarded scholarships.
At the meeting, Greg asked KCABJ members to monitor news accounts of the large number of black teens on the Plaza on Saturday, April 10. Some reports have crossed the line invoking racial hatred and fear. That would make those news media companies and their reporters/personalities eligible for the KCABJ Thumbs Down Award given out in the fall.
The American Society of News Editors’ annual newsroom census of journalists of color is out, and the news once again is not good.
Instead of making progress, the percentage of newsroom jobs held by journalists of color continued a two-year slide, falling from 13.52 percent in 2008 to 13.41 percent in 2009 and 13.26 percent in 2010. Overall jobs in the industry also dropped from 52,600 in 2008 to 41,500 in 2010. Journalists of color held 7,100 of those jobs in 2008 and 5,500 of the newsroom jobs in 2010.
UNITY: Journalists of Color noted that the rate of decline in journalists of color in newsroom exceeded that of white journalists. “The last hired, first fired often applies,” UNITY said in a prepared release. It noted an appreciation of the census and asked how it could help in recruiting and retention of journalists of color.
UNITY also noted that minority journalists accounted for 11 percent of all supervisors in newsrooms, which has remained steady over the last three years. There also were 465 newspapers that reported having no journalists of color on their full-time staff. That number has grown since 2006. UNITY noted that two-thirds of journalists of color work for newspapers with circulations of more than 100,000.
The census reported that 1,333 journalists worked solely online, but only 20 percent were minority journalists. Women held only 36.62 percent of newsroom jobs. Minority women accounted for 16.3 percent of the female newsroom staffers. Men held 26,300 of the newsroom jobs; minority men accounted for 11.5 percent of the male newsroom staffers.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors in 1978 set a goal to have the percentage of journalists of color in newsrooms throughout America equal the percentage of people of color in the population by the year 2000. In 1978, only 1,700 minority journalists, or less than 4 percent, were in the total newsroom work force of 43,000.
The ASNE goal was set after the Kerner Commission report, which studied the causes of the riots of the 1960s during the Civil Rights Movement. The Kerner Commission laid some of the blame for the riots on the news media not having journalists of color and not covering minority communities.
The percentage of journalists of color grew to only 11.55 percent by 1999 compared to the percentage of people of color in the population growing from about 25 percent in 1978 to about 33 percent by 2000. ASNE in response to failing to meet its goal, moved the parity deadline to 2025.
The National Association of Black Journalists said in a prepared statement that newsrooms cut black journalists and supervisors at a higher rate than ever before despite minority communities growing larger. “As more African-American journalists lose their jobs, diversity in newsrooms has taken a back seat,” NABJ said.
“It is a tragedy that minority journalists are being disproportionately cut in newsrooms across the country,” NABJ President Kathy Y. Times said. “Despite the economy and cutbacks, we must try to keep our newsrooms at least on parity with the communities we serve.”
Newsroom jobs held by black journalists fell by an unprecedented 19.2 percent, nearly 6 percentage points higher than the previous year. Since 2001, African Americans have suffered a net loss of more than 30 percent of the positions they occupied in American newsrooms.
Black journalists in supervisory roles dropped by 20.3 percent to just 428 individuals helping decide what is considered news worth printing in newspapers and online. Fewer black journalists lessens the possibility that accurate, honest and credible news about African Americans will be in the news media. Stereotypical “news” will dominate.
“Readers are very smart and readers know whether or not their newspaper is covering news that is important and relevant to them,” ASNE Diversity Director Bobbi Bowman said.
The 35th Annual National Association of Black Journalists convention will be in San Diego from July 28 through Aug. 1. It will include a jobs fair. The Manchester Grand Hyatt is the convention hotel.
Registration is $330 for full members, $345 for associate members and $175 for students members. The cost goes up as the convention draws near.
KCABJ Summer Academy
Applications are being received for the 2010 KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. Go to http://www.kcabj.org for more information. The program runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 21 through July 2.
A mandatory orientation will take place June 19. During the academy students will produce their own newspaper as well as TV and radio newscasts. The academy is open to any college or high school student.
Building Your Career
KSHB-TV, Channel 41 has an opening for a multimedia reporter. For more information write to Peggy Phillips, news director, 4720 Oak St., Kansas City, Mo. 64112.
KCABJ picked up three membership renewals. They were from Edwin Birch, J.W. Edwards and Candace Buckner.