KCABJ Newsletter for July 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 http://www.nabj.org.
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 wakeman@nbcactionnews.com.
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.”

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