Archive for May, 2013

KCABJ Newsletter for May 2013
May 19, 2013

KCABJ Academy
KCABJ at its membership meeting this month picked six students for the 2013 KCABJ Urban Student Summer Academy at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley.

They are Tonyae Thomas at Plaza Academy, Nathan Hunt at Liberty High School, Monisha Hawkins at the African Centered College Preparatory Academy, Zach Kilgas at Liberty High School, Molly Dillinger at Lincoln Early College Academy and Miesha Miller at Howard University.

The academy will run from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. June 17 through June 28 at MCC-Penn Valley. The first week will focus on print journalism. The second week will be on broadcast journalism and new media.

A mandatory orientation session will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15 at The Kansas City Star Press Pavilion, 16th and McGee. All of the students will get letters this week notifying them of their acceptance.

KCABJ annually has sponsored the program since 1982 to try to increase the number of journalists of color in the news industry. Similar programs are run through black journalists association chapters throughout the country.

After the membership meeting at the Plaza Library, a committee met to work on enhancing KCABJ’s presence in the social media. Look for the outcome of that soon on Facebook and Twitter.

The struggle continues on issues of diversity. ASNE soon will release its annual report on journalists of color in America’s newsrooms. The news once again is not expected to be good.

National Association of Black Journalists reports that recent data from 2010 to 2011 shows that newsroom employment overall contracted 2.4 percent but the drop in minority journalists fell by 5.7 percent. From ASNE’s 2012 data, of 41,600 print professionals, only 5,300, or 12.7 percent, were minorities.

ASNE in 1978 set a goal for the year 2000 to have the percentage of journalists of color equal people of color in the population. When it became obvious in 1999 that the goal would not be reached, ASNE pushed the deadline back to 2025, and still, the news industry can’t keep up with the demographic changes in society. Minorities currently constitute more than a third of the U.S. population.

This will be a key topic at the NABJ convention in Orlando running from July 31 to Aug. 4.

News You Can Use
The Society of Professional Journalists is seeking applications for its Eugene C. Pulliam Fellowship. For more information call 317-927-8000. Applicants must have at least three years’ experience as an editorial writer or columnist to be eligible.

The Society of Professional Journalists is seeking applicants for its 2013 Eugene S. Pulliam First Amendment Award. For more information send email to

The Kansas City Star has an editorial board position open. For more information send email to Miriam Pepper, vice president, editorial page editor, at

KC People
Steve Penn has re-upped as a member of KCABJ. Steve has a new book out and is embarking on a new career.

Kia Breaux, bureau chief for The Associated Press in Kansas City, has been picked for a study exchange program in Brazil. The program, sponsored by the Rotary Foundation, each year sends a team of young professionals to another country for a month-long vocational and cultural exchange. This year’s group left April 29. The foundation helps promote world understanding and peace through an international humanitarian, educational and cultural exchange programs.

Carlton Houston, a 1987 KCABJ academy graduate and former president, has been named news director of the Oklahoma City NBC affiliate KFOR. Carlton had been in Tulsa at ABC affiliate KTUL.

Kamariah Al-Amin, a KCABJ academy graduate in 2012, was the valedictorian at the African-Centered College Preparatory Academy graduation on May 15 at the Scottish Rite Temple. She will be attending the University of Missouri-Columbia in the fall, majoring in journalism.

KCABJ Vice President-Print Ramanda Hicks at the May membership meeting shared a thank you card from the True Light Family Resource Center, where KCABJ did its day of service, speaking with people about preparing for jobs. “The ladies really enjoyed having KCABJ come out and speak. You are a blessing,” the note said.