The judges have completed their work on entries for the 22nd Annual KCABJ Media Awards. Letters have gone to the graduates of the KCABJ summer academy, notifying them to attend the 2 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 26 media awards program.
KCABJ members at the September meeting picked the winners of the four scholarships that KCABJ annually awards to the high school and college students who finished the two-week program at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. The winners will be announced at the media awards program.
Those awards are the KCABJ-Roy Wilkins Scholarship, the KCABJ-Lucile Bluford Scholarship, the KCABJ-Laura Hockaday Scholarship and the KCABJ-Nancy Diuguid Scholarship. The students also will receive copies of their 2013 KCABJ Journal, which will include their stories, and copies of their television and radio newscasts.
The students will be honored with media professionals. Letters also went to area newspaper and broadcast journalists this month notifying them that they are this year’s print and broadcast KCABJ Media Awards winners. For the 22nd year, KCABJ will honor media professionals for enterprise journalism about African Americans and other people of color. The program is open to the public and will be at The Kansas City Star Press Pavilion, 16th and McGee streets. Light refreshments will be provided.
KCABJ members discussed a number of other issues, which they plan to vote on at the October meeting. They include:
Increasing the membership dues for the first time since the organization was started in 1981, from $20 a year to $35, starting in 2014. But members who pay their 2014 dues before Jan. 1 can pay at the current rate.
For the first time require students chosen for the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy in the summer to also become dues paying members of KCABJ. That annual membership rate will climb from $15 to $25 for students.
Scholarships might be offered to students who want to be journalists but are unable to afford the membership fee.
KCABJ will provide members the opportunity to post their best work on the KCABJ website to increase the amount of page views for their work. In addition, http://www.kcabj.org will feature photos of members and goings-on in the community.
KCABJ will seek corporate members whose logos can go on the KCABJ website.
KCABJ will expand the media awards to include bloggers, web page journalists and social media.
Members will redo the judging criteria for the media awards to be more restrictive of the “body of work” criteria and more inclusive of the online influence of the media.
A new survey will be done of minority journalists to learn what they are seeking and what they plan to do to enhance KCABJ.
KCABJ wants to do more to black businesses, including membership meetings held at black restaurants with quiet meeting rooms.
KCABJ in 2014 would like to sponsor more media awareness programs, including films and discussions on pertinent issues.
KCABJ will get members to recruit at least one black journalist in 2014.
KCABJ Secretary Anita Parran suggested that the Oct. 19 meeting be the 2013 retreat. It will occur one week ahead of the Oct. 26 awards program. KCABJ Vice President/Print Ramanda Hicks is looking for a location and time for that Oct. 19 meeting.
KCABJ member Bette Tate-Beaver said she would like to work on getting KCABJ shirts designed with the organization’s logo. These shirts will be attractive and cut for women.
Ramanda reported that traffic at the September meeting that the KCABJ website has enjoyed incredible traffic with 1,400 hits from Aug. 1 to Sept. 21. Members at the meeting said it may have coincided with the Aug. 28 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. It nevertheless showed that KCABJ needs to do more to increase the content and its quality so that KCABJ has something to show people who take the time to visit kcabj.org.
The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its 5th Annual Media Institute for Media Professionals & Entrepreneurs. It will be Friday, Sept. 27 at The Associated Press offices in New York City. It will feature programs for freelance and transitioning journalists, public relations professionals, entrepreneurs and students. For more information, go to http://www.nabj.org.
The 2014 NABJ convention will take place July 30 to Aug. 3 at the Sheraton Boston Hotel and John B. Hynes Veterans Memorial Convention Center. Early bird registration is open through March 15. For NABJ and affiliate chapter members the cost is $275. For more information, go to http://www.nabj.org.
KCABJ’s membership expanded by one for 2013 with the addition of Dr. Susan B. Wilson, host of “KC Currents” on KCUR-FM. It grew by three for 2014 with the additions of Bette Tate-Beaver, Lewis Diuguid and Susan Wilson.
Terez Paylor, longtime sportswriter with The Kansas City Star, has been promoted to covering the Kansas City Chiefs full time. Terez had covered the Missouri Tigers for The Star. He was hired in 2005, covering high school sports and worked his way up.
KCABJ loses one of its members, Blaise Labbe. He had been news director at KCTV-5 from February 2010 to August 2013. Blaise was the recipient of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City Difference Maker Award. He left KCTV-5 and is now news director in San Antonio at the Sinclair Broadcast Group.