Newspaper and broadcast entries have been received, and the material has gone to the judges for the 22nd Annual KCABJ Media Awards.
The awards ceremony will occur at 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 at The Star Press Pavilion at 16th and McGee streets. KCABJ honors go to news media coverage for accurate and honest accounts of African Americans and other people of color in stories, pictures and artwork about individuals and groups in the Kansas City area.
KCABJ also has award categories that include advertising, public relations and public service announcements. Through the awards, KCABJ positively encourages the area news media to produce good, honest journalism about people of color instead of the usual coverage of crime and other problems. The judges will decide the winners by mid-September.
The honorees will be notified, and the plaques will be ordered for the October ceremony.
The seven students who completed the summer KCABJ journalism academy will receive letters from KCABJ encouraging them or a family member to attend the awards program, where they will be honored with the media professionals. The students’ stories will appear in the 2013 KCABJ Journal, which will be available at the awards ceremony, and students will receive copies of their television and radio newscasts.
At the awards program, KCABJ will announce the winners of scholarships given to the top performing academy students. The scholarship winners will be picked at the September KCABJ membership meeting.
KCABJ again renewed its nonprofit corporate status with the Missouri Secretary of State’s office in Jefferson City. KCABJ’s membership increased by one with the addition of Liliya Karimova.
The National Association of Black Journalists had its 38th annual convention in Orlando, Fla., where media awards were presented and hundreds of journalists gathered to network, learn from panel discussions and workshops and job hunt at the NABJ career fair. The theme of the convention was “People, Purpose, Passion: The Power of NABJ.”
People at the convention also got to enjoy the Walt Disney World Resort. Bob Butler was elected the new president of NABJ; Errin Haines, vice president/print; Dedrick Russell, vice president/broadcast; Coery Dade, secretary; Keith Reed, treasurer; Cindy George; parliamentarian; Gayle Hurd, director, region III; Vickie Thomas, director region IV; Michelle Fitzhugh Craig, director region VI; Dawn Roberts, associate representative; and Khorri Atkinson, student representative.
In addition to evening dances, NABJ members participated in the 5K walk/run and a golf tournament. Morning workouts also were lead by Billy Blanks Jr. and his wife, Sharon Catherine.
Dori Maynard, head of the Maynard Institute in Oakland, Calif., explains that a problem with the coverage of the February 2012 Trayvon Martin homicide and the acquittal this summer of George Zimmerman in the killing of the 17-year-old unarmed black youth is with the news media itself.
The stories of African Americans present a distorted view of communities of color.
“It’s time for us to look at what our distorted coverage of communities of color is doing to the country,” Maynard writes. “It’s time for us to look at whether we’re meeting our ethical obligation to give our audience factual and credible information necessary to make rational decisions in its private life and about public policies. It’s time for us to take seriously content audits showing that people of color are found primarily in stories about crime, sports and entertainment.” Maynard adds that progress in diversifying newsrooms has stalled.
“According to the 2013 American Society News Editors annual census, only 12.37 percent of full-time daily newspaper journalists last year were people of color,” she wrote. “People of color make up 37 percent of the U.S. population. The U.S. Census Bureau projects that people of color will be 42 percent of the population by 2025.
“The nation and the news media are going in opposite directions, and the public is paying the price. To tell the stories of communities of color, we’re relying increasingly on people who have little knowledge about them.”
ASNE in 1978 set a goal for the percentage of journalists of color in newsrooms to equal the percentage of people of color in the population. The deadline to reach the goal has been pushed back to 2025.