KCABJ members at the September meeting reviewed some material for the 2015 KCABJ Awards program to determine whether they merited honors this year. The discussion was continued until the Oct. 17 meeting when some members promised to bring more material to be considered for this year’s awards. The media awards will take place at 2 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Press Pavilion of The Kansas City Star, 16th and McGee streets. Students who were graduates of the 2015 KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy have been notified. The scholarship winners were picked at the August meeting. The names will be announced on Nov. 14.
The KCABJ website will undergo a remake. KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver told the membership meeting that she would bring cost estimates to the October meeting. Additions to the site should include the ability of members to pay online with reminders that their dues is due. In addition, students will be able to apply for the urban journalism program online. Those teens without online capabilities will be able to send the application and other material to KCABJ by mail. KCABJ will be relying on members to help the organization become more tech and social media savvy so that members’ work will gain maximum exposure through the KCABJ website, Twitter and Facebook pages.
KCABJ will have to work on building the membership numbers in 2016. That was an issue brought up by KCABJ Secretary Anita Parran. Like other black, Hispanic, Asian American and Native American journalists associations, KCABJ has been affected by the downturn in readership, viewership, listenership and accompanying layoffs on the sinking ships of media companies. Minority journalists’ numbers are down, and the industry has to find ways to turn around that trend.
The National Association of Black Journalists Region 1I Conference will take place Oct. 17 with a theme of “Covering Comeback Cities.” It will be at Cuyahoga Community College in Cleveland in the auditorium. The regional conference topics will include covering “Policing the Populace,” “The Role of Great Schools in Selling Cities,” “Economic Development” and “Diversity and Inclusion.” People attending will be at the Westin Cleveland downtown. For more information call 216-771-7700 or go to nabj.org.
NABJ President Sarah Glover in a message to the membership announced the receipt of a $100,000 Ford Foundation grant to help with strategic planning for 2016. NABJ has not done strategic planning since 2012.
The joint NABJ-National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention will be Aug. 3-7, 2016, in Washington, D.C. It takes place at the same time as the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.
Since taking office in August, the NABJ board has advocated for fair coverage of the black community. It also has been made aware that the last black reporter covering news in Birmingham, Ala., was laid off. Depressing diversity setbacks are taking place in other newsroom that NABJ needs to be kept aware of.
NABJ has spoken out against Egyptian court officials sentencing Al Jazeera journalists to prison time despite insufficient evidence alleging false news reports.
NABJ is hoping more members will attend the NABJ Hall of Fame honors in Washington, D.C., on Dec. 16.
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