KCABJ Newsletter for March 2012

KCABJ to Upgrade Website
Operating under the guidance of KCABJ Vice President/Print Ramanda Hicks, the organization voted to upgrade its website for the third time in its history.

KCABJ hired Randy Leiker with Skyway Networks to do the work to make the site more dependable and to give members more options for keeping information current. KCABJ will be able to post the print and broadcast work of students in the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy so that others can see what they have done.

The current site is prone to being down a lot, and it has few options for updates. The new website will have more flexibility and provide members with more options.

KCABJ Academy
KCABJ members decided to set June 4-15 as the dates for the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy at the Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley this year. The dates had to be moved ahead because of the conflict with the convention of the National Association of Black Journalists.

Former KCABJ President Kia Breaux checked on the dates that school will be out this year and found that most area students will be done with school this year by the end of May. There were few days off because of snow, which enables the students to be released for summer vacation earlier.

The NABJ convention takes place June 20-24 in New Orleans instead of in August. That would have conflicted directly with KCABJ’s student academy, which normally would have run June 18-29 this year.

The orientation for the academy will take place Saturday, June 2 at The Kansas City Star Press Pavilion.

Membership Party
KCABJ also decided at the March meeting to have a membership gathering at 7 p.m. Friday, May 4. The event will function to welcome new journalists of color to town and to draw more people to the organization.

It will take place at The Star’s Press Pavilion at 16th and McGee streets. Ramanda and KCABJ President Glenn Rice said they want to do more community outreach sessions to help inform the public about issues in the news.

A panel with news makers is being planned as well as having people in the news media speak at public forums sponsored by KCABJ.

The National Association of Black Journalists announced a new scholarship named after NABJ founders and past presidents Les Payne and DeWayne Wickham. The Payne scholarship is open to any NABJ student member in a four-year university majoring in journalism. The Wickham scholarship is for a high school senior with promise and a passion for journalism.

The 4th Annual NABJ Media Institute on Health: Health Policy and Health Inequities will take place March 28-31 in Washington, D.C., at the Barbara Jordan Conference Center at the Kaiser Family Foundation. See the http://www.nabj.org for information.

NABJ named Pierre Thomas of ABC News as Journalist of the Year. DeWayne Wickham, columnist with USA Today, will receive NABJ’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Despite the good news, NABJ also had to take issue with the 19 layoffs this month at the Philadelphia Media Network. An additional 21 persons took buyouts. Some key persons in the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists were in the layoffs and buyouts. It is part of the ongoing loss of key journalists and diversity in the news media nationwide.

The Unity, Journalists of Color convention takes place this year. Early bird registration ends this month. NABJ is not participating in UNITY this year for the first time since the UNITY conventions started in 1994. UNITY had been a gathering of black, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American journalists. NABJ last year took issue with UNITY over representation and finances. The UNITY convention takes place Aug. 1-4 in Las Vegas at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Convention Center.

Opportunity Knocks
The 17th Annual Minority Writers Seminar will take place April 12-15 at the John Seigenthaler Center in Nashville, Tenn. For more information go to http://www.MinorityWritersSeminar.org.

KC People
KCABJ’s membership climbed with the additions of Eric Wesson, Robyn King, Blaise Labbe and De Shai Hampton.

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