Archive for June, 2014

KCABJ Newsletter for June 2014
June 29, 2014

KCABJ Academy
The KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy was canceled this year. Despite several high school and college students expressing an interest in attending and despite KCABJ’s months-long recruitment efforts, no students submitted applications for the free program. As a result, no scholarships will be issued this year by KCABJ. Scholarships are awarded based on merit to the top students of each year’s class.

KCABJ started offering the academy in 1982 first at Penn Valley Community College to give students who were interested in journalism careers some exposure to a college campus. The college is on a bus line providing easy access to the commuter program for students — particularly those in Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., schools. The academy became a residential program in the early 1990s at Rockhurst College but went back to a commuter program a few years later.

KCABJ members will meet in July and determine what adjustments need to be made in the recruitment efforts to ensure that students enroll in the program. In the early years, it was not uncommon to get about 50 students to submit applications, and most were from the Kansas City and Kansas City, Kan., school districts. The applications have dwindled over the years to under a dozen, and nearly all of the students are from suburban or private schools. KCABJ has always received a few applications from students in colleges nationwide. Those willing to do the work are accepted.

The next KCABJ meeting is July 19. The time and location will be announced.

This is not the first time the annual academy has been canceled. It occurred twice in the mid-1980s, and for a year or two the academy merged with a similar program offered at the University of Kansas school of journalism in Lawrence.

KCABJ canceled its annual media awards program this year also because of a declining interest by area news media and journalists to either submit their work for judging or a lack of enterprise journalism produced about African Americans and other people of color. The membership also plans to retool that program this year so that it will be stronger and more compelling when it re-emerges.

The National Association of Black Journalists convention will be July 30 to Aug. 3 in Boston at the convention center. NABJ has been sending out a lot of email highlighting the convention. Members also have received recorded telephone calls.

The theme is “Revolution to Evolution: Shaping Our Future.”

The 2014 Salute to Excellence Award winners will be showcased at the convention. In another announcement, NABJ plans to have members at the convention perform community service through the Pine Street Project to assist U.S. veterans. The work will be done in collaboration with Rent-A-Center.

The convention also will feature a film festival. For more information go to

Plenary speakers will go along with this being a midterm election year nationally. Speakers include Republican National Committee Chair Reince Priebus and Democratic National Committee Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

NABJ members also will be able to attend the jobs fair at the convention to shop around their resumes with print, broadcast and new media companies that might be hiring. In addition, members can attend a number of workshops that provide continuing education and career enhancement.

And for exercise, NABJ members can take part in the 2014 NABJ 5K run/walk or the NABJ Celebrity Golf Tournament. Both are on Aug. 2. On Sunday the Gospel Brunch will take place.

News You Can Use
Applications are available for the 9th International Conference on Climate Change taking place July 7-9 in Las Vegas. For more information go to

The Kansas City Star is seeking an experienced investigative reporter. For more information send email to Greg Farmer, senior assistant managing editor at

Journalism and Women Symposium is offering a new fellowship for women to attend the Conference and Mentoring Project (CAMP). For more information send email to Fellowship Chair Kira Zalan at

KC People
Kevin C. Morris, a former KCABJ member, is the new director of communications with Operation HOPE. Kevin has 20 years experience in marketing, public relations and strategic planning. Operation HOPE promotes self-respect and self-sufficiency through financial literacy and education tools to underserved communities in more than 300 cities worldwide.

KCABJ academy graduate and scholarship recipient Briana Simmons is working to hook up a new NABJ student chapter at Missouri State University in Springfield, where she is a student. KCABJ member and academy coordinator Glenn E. Rice said he planned to write a letter in support of Briana’s efforts. The new chapter plans to have in guest speakers on journalism-related topics, focus on professional skills development, resume writing and networking. The students also want to do more to promote journalism as a career for African Americans and other students of color.

Check out KCABJ member Aaron Randle. He has had a number of articles in The Call of Kansas City. But Aaron also has had an article posted on You can find it at