Archive for August, 2010

KCABJ Newsletter for August 2010
August 23, 2010

KCABJ Media Awards
Entries have been received and a deadline set for the 19th Annual KCABJ Media Awards program.
The entries from newspapers, television stations and radio stations have gone to the judges. They have a Sept. 21 deadline to complete their work. The media awards program will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 30 at The Kansas City Star Press Pavilion, 16th and McGee.
The award recipients and the student graduates of the 2010 KCABJ summer journalism academy will be notified of the program date. The top students among the eight who finished the intense two-week program will receive scholarships. KCABJ members decided at the August meeting to pick the scholarship winners at the September meeting.
KCABJ member Ramanda Hicks agreed to be the lead judge for the print entries. KCABJ Media Awards Committee Chair Lewis Diuguid will lead the broadcast judging. Each will pick two other judges to assess the entries for accurate, enterprising depictions of African Americans and other people of color in news media coverage.
KCABJ Secretary Anita Parran agreed to emcee the program with Ramanda.
Also at the August meeting, KCABJ Vice President for Print Glenn Rice told the membership that KCABJ met with Blaise Labbe, KCTV-5’s news director. Labbe is the first African American to hold such a position in the Kansas City area. Glenn reported that the meeting was positive. Labbe also spoke with students in the summer academy.

In a letter to NABJ members, NABJ President Kathy Times called for a national forum on talk show hate.
It is in response to Dr. Laura Schlessinger using the N-word repeatedly in a short period of time on her radio show after the issue was raised by an African American caller. Schlessinger, who since has apologized and resigned, told the caller she was being too sensitive about the N-word use.
Times wrote: “When will people learn it’s never OK to use the N-word, no matter how many times it is uttered in the name of entertainment, sarcasm or disgust? Instead of helping one of her callers, Dr. Laura chose to go on a tirade that appeared to reveal deep-rooted thoughts on politics and black America.
“It is past time for a movement to address ‘Talk Show Hate.’ As the president of the National Association of Black Journalists, my goal is not to change the inherent mindset of provocateurs and consumers of any controversial media platform but instead to lead the charge in forums that will educate those who dare to think for themselves.”
Times invited Schlessinger and radio networks to join NABJ in a conversation leading to a “change in the public discourse, which embraces their right to free speech and our desire to end the use of racial slurs and epithets on the public’s airwaves.”
In other news, NABJ laments the lack of diversity on television. It is calling on television owners to do a better job of reflecting the ethnic makeup of the communities they serve.
The third annual Television Newsroom Management Diversity Census found that only 12.6 percent of news staffers at 151 stationed surveyed are persons of color. People of color constitute more than a third of the U.S. population.
NABJ reported that “out of 815 executive producers, assignment managers, managing editors, assistant news directors, news directors and general managers at ABC, CBS, Cox, Fox, Gannett, Hearst Argyle, Media General, Meredith, NBC and Tribune stations, 713, or 87.9 percent, are white; 64, or 7.8 percent, are black; 3 percent are Hispanic and 1.6 percent are Asian. Only 1 percent are Native American. The management teams at 82 of the stations are all white.
“It is disheartening in 2010 that four of the media companies in the report have no African American news directors, and so many of the companies have no black news directors in some of the most diverse cities in America,” Times said. “It’s time for African American viewers to reconsider their support of media companies that do not appreciate or make diversity a priority.”
NABJ said the NBC-owned stations were the ones with the best record.

Jobs and More
Entries are being accepted for the American Heart Association’s 2010 Howard L. Lewis Achievement Award honoring health and science reporting. The deadline is Sept. 3. For more information write to Cathy Lewis at
WKTK-FM and WSKY-FM are seeking applications for an account executive and an administrative assistant in Gainesville, Fla. For more information call 352-377-0985.
The 2010 Society of Professional Journalists Convention and National Journalism Conference will be in Las Vegas from Oct. 3-5. For more information call 317-927-8000

KC People
KCABJ’s membership increased by two with the addition of Keena McClendon and Dr. Susan B. Wilson.
Kia Breaux, past president of KCABJ, had been interim bureau chief for The Associated Press in Kansas City. She was promoted this month to bureau chief becoming the first African American to hold the position locally.
KCABJ President Greg Moore and his wife, Tiffany, on June 29 became the proud parents of twins — Garrison and Grant. All are healthy and doing well.
KCABJ Vice President for Print Glenn Rice has been asked by NABJ President Kathy Times to chair the 2011 election of officers for NABJ in Philadelphia. Kathy had served as an officer for KCABJ in the 1990s when she worked for KSHB-TV, Channel 41. Kathy also has asked Glenn to serve on the NABJ finance committee.
Malecia El-Amin, former KCABJ member and award recipient, left the newspaper in Dallas and is copy editing for Black Enterprise Magazine.
Raymond Bank, a 2009 KCABJ academy graduate and scholarship recipient, this summer is studying abroad in London. He also worked during the summer for the Urban Rangers. Raymond also has served as president of the Student Government Association at Missouri Valley College in Marshall, Mo., where he is a student.

KCABJ Newsletter for July 2010
August 2, 2010

Print and broadcast entries have been received for the 19th Annual KCABJ Media Awards program.
They have included those from newspapers, radio and television stations in the Greater Kansas City metropolitan area. Applications were mailed in June to KCABJ members and area media companies for the 2010 KCABJ Media Awards program.
A date will be set at the August meeting for the October ceremony. KCABJ did not have a July meeting.
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.
In other KCABJ news, the organization completed a successful urban student journalism academy. Eight students were selected for the two-week print and broadcast program, and eight students completed the work.
Their stories are going through editing now to make them ready for the 2010 KCABJ Journal. The high school and college students also will receive copies of their television and radio newscasts at the media awards program.
KCABJ members will decide at the August meeting how many scholarships will be presented this year to the top graduates of the program. That meeting is to take place at noon on Saturday, Aug. 21 at The Kansas City Star, 1729 Grand Blvd.

The National Association of Black Journalists held its 35th annual convention in San Diego on July 28 through Aug. 1. About 1,300 persons attended. Fewer exhibiters also were at the jobs fair. NABJ President Kathy Times said the attendance exceeded expectations, and all of the hotel rooms were filled. Times, who was an officer in KCABJ in the 1990s, called the convention a success.
It included a panel discussion with Shirley Sherrod, the Department of Agriculture official who was fired after a conservative blogger posted on the Internet only a portion of a speech she gave to an NAACP group. The clip made it appear as if she was discriminating against white farmers. Sherrod was dismissed from her job but offered apologies — including from President Barack Obama — and a new post in the Department after the full speech showed that she assisted the white farmer and treated all farmers equally. She told NABJ members she had not decided whether to take the new position and was wary of what that job entailed.
Sherrod told convention-goers that she planned to pursue legal action against the blogger. Sherrod also said that Obama and other young people need to travel to the South to get civil rights history lessons to understand the racially tense climate that the country is in today.
The convention also focused on health concerns with separate sessions with Dr. Oz and U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin. Each said health care officials must find ways to reframe the discussion on healthy living habits to get people to eat right and exercise to reduce the death rate from heart disease, cancer, diabetes, HIV/AIDS and strokes.
The convention was to feature Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele in a newsmaker plenary session with broadcast news personality Roland S. Martin. But Steele canceled, claiming health issues. The convention will be in Philadelphia in 2011.
In other NABJ news, NABJ reported that cable news networks are moving backward in the diversity of who anchors prime time news shows. Ebony magazine reported three years ago that CNN had the most black news anchors with eight. The other cable networks didn’t come close. That diversity deficit has not changed. NABJ also questions the hiring of former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer as co-host of a new show vs. hiring a journalist of color.

UNITY Journalists of Color Inc. reports that the National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention in Denver focused on fighting hate speech, particularly the Arizona law on immigration. The group called for fair and accurate coverage of the issue.

News You Can Use
The Philip Merrill College of Journalism will begin a Graduate Certificate of Professional Studies in Multimedia Journalism this fall. It will be for working journalists and communication professions. For more information go to
KSHB/KMCI in Kansas City has a position open for a MMJ/reporter and a master control operator. For more information write to Tracy Wakeman at
FamiliesUSA is offering training on Aug. 11 for journalists to learn more about health care inequities. For more information call 202-628-3030.

KC People
Two KCABJ members attended the NABJ convention in San Diego. They were Steve Penn and Lewis Diuguid. There were, however, a number of former KCABJ members and officers including Kathy Times, Gromer Jeffers, Terry Collins, Joy Sewing and Tracy Townsend.
From the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy, KCABJ received the following e-mail from 2010 academy graduate Micah Wilkins:
“Thank you so much for hosting the KCABJ summer workshop. I’ve learned so much these past weeks, and I’m so grateful that the program exists. Thank you for making this opportunity available to myself and my classmates.”