KCABJ members at the March meeting set dates for the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. They are June 6 through June 17 to coincide with the early release of students from school. KCABJ again will work with Metropolitan Community College – Penn Valley for classroom space and computer access for the students.
The organization has had a long-standing relationship with the community college because having the academy on a college campus helps to demystify and take the fear out of the college experience for many high school students. The orientation date is June 4. The location and time will be publicized in the next KCABJ newsletter.
KCABJ Vice President-Print Glenn E. Rice plans to put together the print week of the two-week academy and work with the students each day. KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver, who worked with the students in the broadcast week of the academy last year, has already reached out to KMBC-TV, Channel 9 to secure that station for the students’ work on camera. The high school and college students who are accepted into the program write stories for their own KCABJ newspaper, and they will produce their own newscast at KMBC-TV, Channel 9. Bette, who met with Olivia Dorsey at the station, said the general manager also wants to have lunch with the students. In addition, the students will be exposed to many jobs behind the camera, including work as account executives selling advertising. “Part of what we talked about is getting young folks to expand their horizons,” Bette said.
Bette also showed KCABJ members the work that has been done to redesign the kcabj.org website. It will include many more photographs from the student academy, slide shows, the students’ newscast and enable students to apply for the academy online. In addition, working professionals will be able to pay their dues online. Right now all of that is done through snail mail.
KCABJ.org will include links to Twitter and Facebook. Bette said the target is to get the new website up and running by the end of the month. Plans for the redesign have been in the works since last year. It will be a great way for members to communicate with each other and for KCABJ to reach out to new journalists in the area to get them to join. “I think it will expand our ability to draw in more folks,” Bette said.
Members also discussed the success of the social hour during Black History Month that KCABJ sponsored at Danny’s Big Easy at 18th and Vine streets. It resulted in new members joining and great networking with KCUR-FM and KMBC-TV, Channel 9. KCABJ members said it would be worthwhile to have similar social hours periodically this year.
The National Association of Black Journalists has extended the deadline to 5 p.m. March 21 for its highest honors, including the Lifetime Achievement Award, Journalist of the Year Award, Best Practices Award and Ida B. Wells Diversity Leadership Award.
NABJ also during Black History Month was the recipient of the 2016 NASCAR Diversity Institution Award. NABJ President Sarah Glover and NABJ Sports Task Force Member Ricky Clemmons received the honor on behalf of the organization.
The joint NABJ and National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention will take place Aug. 3-7 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park Hotel in Washington, D.C. to register and for more information go to nabj.org.
The NABJ Region III Conference will be Aug. 8-10 at the Downtown Memphis Sheraton in Memphis, Tenn. The theme is “Race Matters: Looking Back, Moving Forward.” For more information send email to email@example.com or call 301-405-8281.
The NABJ Region I Conference will take place April 29-30 at the School of Global Journalism & Communication on the campus of Morgan State University in Baltimore. The theme is “One year After Freddie Gray: Navigating Social Justice in Journalism.” Contact Johann Calhoun at calhoun.nabj.@gmail.com for more information.
During Black History Month, NABJ expressed its “disappointment” over the end of the “Melissa Harris-Perry Show.” MSNBC announced at the end of February that it was severing ties with Harris-Perry after she walked away from the show last week. Harris-Perry was upset over pre-emptions of her weekend program over the past few weeks. The New York Times also reported that Harris-Perry and the cable news network had a dispute over editorial freedom and airtime. In an email, NABJ said: “For four years, Harris-Perry and the program’s team of producers provided a critical space for underrepresented voices to discuss issues of national and international importance. Harris-Perry told NABJ that she does not believe she was targeted by her race, however, she does not dismiss the ‘race’ factor.”
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The Hickman Mills School District has an opening for a public relations assistant. For more information send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
KCABJ picked up a new member in addition to others (as reported in the February newsletter) who joined because of the social hour during Black History Month at Danny’s Big Easy. Ieshia McDonald is a freelance writer for KC Studio Magazine.