KCABJ Media Awards
Alonzo Weston received the KCABJ President’s Award at the 22nd Annual KCABJ Media Awards Ceremony for developing a student program in St. Joseph for young people interested in journalism careers.
Weston is a native of St. Joseph, Mo., and has worked for the St. Joseph News-Press for 25 years. KCABJ President Glenn E. Rice presented the award to Weston, saying his unrelenting perseverance has helped the Reporting L.I.V.E. program be a success for seven years.
Weston credited people at his newspaper, the television station and people in the community for Reporting L.I.V.E. The president’s award goes to the person in the media who has selflessly given time, talent and resources to benefit other journalists of color in Greater Kansas City. Reporting L.I.V.E” exposes northwest Missouri high school students to careers in journalism
KCABJ also at the awards ceremony gave out four scholarships to graduates of the summer 2013 KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy at Metropolitan Community College–Penn Valley. Each scholarship was based on the students’ performance in the academy.
The recipient of the 11th annual KCABJ-Lucile H. Bluford Scholarship is Tonyae Thomas. She is a junior at the Plaza Academy. Ms. Bluford had been the longtime editor and publisher of The Call of Kansas City. She continued in that job until she died in June 2003 at age 91. Ms. Bluford used the pages of The Call to promote civil rights and helped open journalism more to people of color.
The KCABJ-Roy Wilkins Scholarship has been awarded annually since 1987. It is named after a former editor of The Call, Roy Wilkins, who also served as head of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People during the Civil Rights Movement. The winner of the 2013 KCABJ-Roy Wilkins Scholarship is Briana Simmons. Simmons is a junior at Missouri State University. She is the 27th recipient of the award.
The 12th annual KCABJ-Laura R. Hockaday Scholarship went to Molly Dillinger, a senior at Lincoln Early College Academy. The annual scholarship is named after Hockaday, who until she retired in 2000 was the longtime society editor of The Kansas City Star. Hockaday has received numerous awards for making her work inclusive of the racial, ethnic, gender and other diversity in Greater Kansas City.
The 20th Annual KCABJ-Nancy Diuguid Scholarship was awarded to Zach Kilgas. Kilgas is a junior at Liberty High School. The scholarship is funded by KCABJ Treasurer Lewis Diuguid and named for his mother, who died in 1994 of Alzheimer’s disease. Nancy Diuguid had longed to be a journalist, but such career options were mostly closed to young black women in the 1950s.
KCABJ gave out five media awards. The recipients were:
Sylvia Maria Gross, Alex Smith, Dr. Susan B. Wilson and Suzanne Hogan with KCUR-FM’s “KC Currents”; KCABJ Broadcast Radio News Magazine Award for “KC Currents” Body of Work
Suzanne Hogan with KCUR-FM; KCABJ Broadcast Radio Feature Award for “Remembering Kansas City Jazz Musician Eddie Saunders”
Jenee’ Osterheldt with The Kansas City Star; KCABJ Newspapers Daily (over 100,000): Features Commentary Award for “Not Going to Spend My Life Being a Color.”
Alonzo Weston with the St. Joseph News-Press; KCABJ Newspapers Daily (under 200,000): Commentary Award for “Resident Still Has Fond Memories of World War II.”
Mary Sanchez with The Kansas City Star; KCABJ Newspapers Daily (over 100,000): Metro Commentary Award “Seeking Fairness for KC Charter.”
At the KCABJ monthly membership meeting, Glenn said the National Association of Black Journalists was requiring affiliate chapters to submit chapter audits. That information has been sent to the national office.
The regional NABJ convention will take place in Dallas in the spring. KCABJ members decided to act on issues at the next meeting that were left from the September meeting. That included whether to increase dues for members.
Other Media News
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists voted in October to leave UNITY: Journalists for Diversity coalition, following the exit of NABJ.
In a statement, NAHJ said: “It’s a bitter sweet decision. The board believes in the concept of UNITY but feels the organization needs to reform to meet the new challenges minority journalists are facing in an industry that is continuously changing.”
In response, Paul Cheung, national president of the Asian American Journalists Association, one of the remaining UNITY partners, said, “I remain optimistic about a future partnership between UNITY and NAHJ, as well as NABJ, because our common goals for improved diversity in the newsroom and in news coverage exceed any difference we might have.
NABJ is offering a media institute on health reporting covering underserved communities in the Bay Area. It will be on Nov. 2 at San Francisco State University. For more information contact Janice Hodge at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 301-405-0717.
Alonzo Weston has renewed his KCABJ membership for 2014.
Jenee’ Osterheldt, columnist with The Kansas City Star, received the Excellence in Media Award from the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus.