Archive for May, 2014

KCABJ Academy for 2014 canceled
May 28, 2014

The Kansas City Association of Black Journalists had to make the regrettable decision to cancel the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy for 2014.

It was to have taken place June 16-27 at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. Applications were posted online and distributed to interested persons starting in March.

Many people expressed an interest before the April 26 deadline, but no one applied. The deadline was extended twice — first to May 16 and then to May 23. Still no applications so the program was canceled.

KCABJ will regroup and offer it again in 2015.

The academy has been an annual program sponsored by KCABJ since 1982 to better equip high school and college students of all colors for careers in journalism. KCABJ offers scholarships to the top graduates of the academy.

The program has taken place at MCC-Penn Valley during most of its history because the college is on a bus line and provides students easy access to the commuter program.

KCABJ also has the academy taught by print and broadcast journalism professionals at MCC-Penn Valley to give students an early exposure to college.

The program has been canceled only twice in the past. KCABJ also decided earlier this year to cancel its Media Awards program because of dwindling interest by area news media companies in submitting enterprising print, broadcast, new media and other entries showing African Americans and other people of color in accurate and non-stereotypical roles.

KCABJ will spend the next year refashioning this program, too.

Kansas City Star Job Opening
May 20, 2014

The Kansas City Star seeks an experienced and motivated investigative reporter to join the newspaper’s enterprise and projects team. We’re looking for someone who knows how to ferret out wrongdoing and hold people in power accountable. Top-rate news judgment is a must. Likewise, this reporter will be a self-starter who has excellent skills researching diverse topics, developing sources and writing with authority and flair.

We need someone with expertise in computer-assisted and data-driven reporting and the ability to make sense of the complexities inherent in that analysis. In addition, this reporter will be a key partner in digital visualization and the creation of interactive graphics that help make projects pop.

The successful candidate will need:

– An impressive track record in investigative reporting.

– Experience developing strong in-depth story ideas.

– Proven ability to work in a fast-paced environment.

– Strong understanding of and commitment to journalistic ethics.

– Desire to engage readers with frequency and urgency on high-interest topics.

– Social media savvy and an appreciation for the value of multi-platform publishing.

To apply for the job, email your cover letter, a resume and links to your best reporting work to Greg Farmer, Senior AME, at

KCABJ Newsletter for May 2014
May 18, 2014

Academy Watch
The deadline for students to apply to the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy was extended from April 26 to May 16 and then extended again to May 23.The executive board of KCABJ will convene May 27 to determine whether enough students have applied for the two-week class to take place. Canceling this year’s class would not be unprecedented. It has occurred twice in the past.

The academy is set for June 16 through June 27 at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. KCABJ members decided at the May meeting that they would revamp the application for the academy and the marketing to attract students if the program is suspended for 2014. KCABJ Treasurer Bette Beaver also said more social media has to be included in the program because of its heavy use by young people and more media depending on it to capture audience. The KCABJ website also should be retooled to enable students to apply for the program online. Bette said KCABJ should sell to students the value they get from the free program, which includes enhanced studying, writing and time management skills for college, business etiquette training and mentors who will serve as references and advisers for young people for life. The program is open to high school and college students who have an interest in journalism. KCABJ also offers scholarships to the top graduates.

The membership decided earlier this year to suspend the media awards program because of a diminishing interest by area television stations, radio stations and newspapers in the program, which encourages Kansas City area media companies to do more accurate, enterprising stories, photographs, artwork, public relations and advertising about African Americans and other people of color. The awards program also will undergo an overhaul in 2014.

Meanwhile, Vice President/Print Ramanda Hicks said she would put the names of paid KCABJ members in a spreadsheet as well as those who are potential members. The potential members then will be contacted by KCABJ members and encouraged to join.

KCABJ Secretary Anita Parran said the organization has to determine what concrete benefits it has to offer members.

The next KCABJ meeting will be July 19. The location and time will be emailed to members.

The National Association of Black Journalists convention will be July 30 to Aug. 3 in Boston at the convention center. The theme is “Revolution to Evolution: Shaping Our Future.”

NABJ will honor Stephen Henderson, editorial page editor of the Detroit Free Press. He has been named NABJ’s 2014 Journalist of the Year.

Sandra Hughes, former anchor of WFMY-TV in Greensboro, N.C., will receive the 2014 Chuck Stone Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tiffany Warren, senior vice president and chief diversity officer of Omnicom Group will receive the Patricia L. Tobin Media Professional Award.

NABJ has named Darryl R. Matthews Sr. executive director of the organization. He had been doing the job on an interim basis.

NABJ this month celebrated Dean Baquet being elevated to executive editor of The New York Times. He had been managing editor of the newspaper. He moved to the top job when Jill Abramson unexpectedly left the position. Baquet, 57, is the first African American executive editor in The Times’ history.

News You Can Use
AARP in the Kansas City area has a paid college internship opening for the summer. For more information contact Anita Parran at 816-360-2202 or send email to

The Metcalf Institute for Marine & Environmental Reporting is offering a lecture series in June that will focus on science, policy implications and communication of climate change to the public. For more information go to

KC People
Pamela Spencer added to KCABJ’s membership ranks by rejoining the organization. She also announced at the membership meeting that she is moving into a public relations position at Sprint.

Bre Jordan, a 2012 KCABJ academy graduate and scholarship winner, will be working this summer as a public policy intern at the Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City.

Trey Williams, a 2007 KCABJ academy graduate and scholarship winner, graduated this month from Northwest Missouri State University. He will be working as a freelance writer in the Kansas City area.

Ken Bunting, an NABJ member and former associate publisher and executive editor of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, died of a heart attack in April in Columbia, Mo., at age 65. He had served as state capital bureau chief, city editor and assistant managing editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The National Freedom of Information Coalition in Columbia called Bunting “a strong voice for Freedom of Information and government transparency and a great advocate for state coalition groups trying to right off encroachments on their open government laws.”

Student Academy Deadline Extended
May 8, 2014

The deadline for the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy has been extended to May 23. For additional information or to have an application emailed to you contact Lewis Diuguid, KCABJ president, at 816-234-4723 or email him at

The academy will take place June 16-27 at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley. The two-week, free program is open to any high school or college student who has an interest in a print, broadcast or new media journalism career.

KCABJ has sponsored the academy since 1982.