KCABJ Newsletter for August 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.

NABJ & UNITY News
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 cathy.lewis@heart.org.
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.

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