Archive for March, 2011

KCABJ Newsletter for March 2011
March 19, 2011

KCABJ Media Awards
KCABJ will have its 30th anniversary banquet at noon Saturday, Oct. 22. The location will be determined.
KCABJ members chose that day, which also will include the 20th Annual KCABJ Media Awards, honoring the best of Kansas City area media coverage of African Americans and other people of color. The location still has to be confirmed.
KCABJ members also decided to continue the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. The details are being finalized. The organization will work with KMBC-TV, Channel 9 to use its state-of-the-art studios for the students’ broadcast program.
The academy will run June 20 through July 1. A mandatory orientation will take place June 18. The first week of the academy will be devoted to print journalism during which students will write stories to go in the 2011 KCABJ Journal. The second week will focus to radio and television broadcast journalism with new media.
The students’ work will be showcased at the 30th anniversary luncheon. KCABJ also is finalizing work on the audit required of member chapters of the National Association of Black Journalists. KCABJ has been an affiliate of the national since KCABJ was founded in 1981.
The next KCABJ meeting will be at noon Saturday, April 23. The location will be announced in an upcoming e-mail to members.

The National Association of Black Journalists Elections Committee, chaired by KCABJ President Glenn Rice, is seeking candidates for NABJ officers. The deadline for people to declare their candidacies is April 3. Election Day is Aug. 5 during the NABJ convention in Philadelphia. The convention will run from Aug. 3 through Aug. 7.
NABJ is offering 50 percent off registration to the Health Disparity Conference, which is March 24-26 at the Barbara Jordan Conference Center in Washington, D.C. For more information go to
In a March 10 e-mail, NABJ expressed its concerns over National Public Radio’s commitment to diversity in the wake of Vivian Schiller’s resignation as president and CEO of NPR and Cheryl Hampton’s exit as director of news and staff development. When Schiller started at NPR in 2009 she identified transforming NPR’s diversity as a top priority. Schiller followed up correspondence from NABJ with meetings during which she expressed a commitment to creating a more diverse work force at NPR.
She announced the hiring of Keith Woods as vice president of diversity, news. Jeff Perkins also was hired as vice president of human resources and chief people officer. Deborah Cowan was hired as vice president of finance and chief financial officer. NPR under Schiller also created two new positions related to diversity: a senior editor to diversify the voices heard on NPR and the sources used by NPR and a diversity correspondent to cover race, ethnicity, community and culture.
In addition, NABJ member and a senior producer Teshima Walker was promoted to executive producer on Jan. 13. Hampton was a familiar presence at NABJ’s annual conventions and career fairs, staffing the NPR jobs booth.
NPR Senior Vice President for Strategic Operations and Finance Debra Delman said the network would maintain its commitment to diversity.
NABJ President Kathy Times responded in a written statement: “Delman’s words are encouraging, but they are not consistent with the company’s actions in changing the reporting structure – and thereby the priority and prominence – of the journalism recruiting role in a company where half the employees are journalists. NABJ is greatly concerned that this change, combined with the expertise lost with Hampton’s departure, will prove a setback to NPR’s progress. NABJ challenges NPR to go beyond the relationship we had with Schiller and make a commitment to diversity at the highest level.”

News You Can Use
Latino Public Broadcasting is seeking an executive director. For more information send e-mail to Wendi Brown at
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is seeking an assistant managing editor. For more information send e-mail to Duchesne Paul Drew at

KC People
KCABJ’s membership inched up with the additions of Kia Breaux and Michelle Johnson.
Kia Breaux, former KCABJ president, has picked up Iowa in her coverage area as bureau chief for The Associated Press. That’s in addition to Missouri and Kansas.
Micah Wilkins, a 2010 graduate and KCABJ-Laura Hockaday Scholarship winner from the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy, sends greetings and praises to KCABJ for what she learned in the program last summer. She is in school in Asheville, N.C., at Warren Wilson College. She is working on the student-run college newspaper, The Echo, writing articles, shooting pictures, videos, doing audio clips and writing blogs. “I love it all so much!” Micah said.
“I’m still very interested in journalism, and seriously considering it as a path to follow in my life,” she continued. “And I think KCABJ had a lot to do with that. It seemed to pull me further along in that direction. KCABJ was not only a really big learning experience, but it also really got me thinking about journalism, what I like, what I don’t like, what I’m good at, what I need to improve.”