KCABJ members began the New Year with the decision to continue the 36-year-old organization’s core programs.
They include the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy in the summer at Metropolitan Community College-Penn Valley and the KCABJ Media Awards in the fall. Since 1982, the annual KCABJ academy has been the organization’s response to area media executives saying they can’t find African Americans who want to work as journalists. KCABJ identifies high school and college students of all colors with an interest in journalism careers, and then through the academy provides them with an intensive training in print, broadcast and new media journalism so they are equipped for colleges and careers. KCABJ provides the top academy graduates with scholarships to further enable them in the profession. In addition, KCABJ members have told the students they will remain mentors to the young people for life, providing college and career feedback, guidance and references when needed. The academy this summer will include a stronger digital component because that is the emphasis of today’s news media.
The KCABJ Media Awards begun in 1991 help to push the area news media and public relations companies to provide in-depth, honest coverage of African Americans and other people of color. The awards for nearly three decades have honored the work of journalists and media companies doing enterprising work about African Americans and other people of color. People are producing great journalism — but except for the KCABJ awards — it goes mostly unnoticed.
The membership left no question that KCABJ must remain a viable, strong, and independent organization to compel the news media in the Kansas City area toward hiring and promoting more African American journalists. There has been a very noticeable, unforgivable and irresponsible retreat by television and radio stations and the print media in keeping up with the diversity and demographic advances in the metropolitan area population. That has to change.
The metropolitan area community is poorly served when the Greater Kansas City media deliberately fail to be inclusive. Without the truth about people of color being good, hard-working, taxpaying citizens doing their best to raise their families and be engaged in the community, the ages-old stereotypes and biases about African Americans and other minorities will dominate, and any chance of opportunities and equity for all will disappear in a cloaked haze of discrimination and white privilege.
The membership decided at the January meeting to elect officers at the Feb. 11 meeting. Look for an email announcement on the time and location of the meeting in February. Those with an interest in running should make sure their dues for 2017 is paid and email KCABJ President Lewis Diuguid at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Members also discussed the possibility of KCABJ sponsoring a community forum on a hot, newsworthy topic. The organization has done it before, and they have been well-attended.
In addition, KCABJ reiterated that it will remain supportive of its members in their job-related struggles. Unfortunately, being black in news media jobs remains a challenge.
KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver and Secretary Anita Parran reported that the 2016 awards program was successful. It took place at KMBC-TV, Channel 9, and All-Star Awards produced some outstanding monuments that went to the award recipients (See the December 2016 KCABJ Newsletter).
National Association of Black Journalists President Sarah Glover has appointed Alexis Mitchell as the new chair for the NABJ Student Education Enrichment and Development Program (SEED).
Some things she will oversee are:
- The NABJ Student Multimedia Projects, working with veteran journalists to cover the NABJ convention Aug. 9-13 in New Orleans. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org/?page=2017SEEDstudpro.
- The NABJ/NBC Summer Fellowship Program. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org/?page=NBCFellowship.
- The 2017 NABJ/ESPN Stuart Scott Internship. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org/?page=NABJInternships.
- NABJ Scholarships of up to $2,500. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org/?page=SEEDScholarships.
- The NABJ/Florida A&M University Short Course on March 16-19 in Tallahassee, Fla. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=873838.
- The NABJ Bootcamp on Feb. 10 in Birmingham, Ala. For more information contact NABJ VP-Print Marlon A. Walker at email@example.com or go to http://www.nabj.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=906587.
- The NABJ Media Institute on #BlackTwitter on Feb. 25 in New York City. For more information go to http://www.nabj.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=882288.
The theme of this year’s NABJ convention is “Power Up and Break Through.” Glover writes: “Ryan Williams and Ava Thompson Greenwell will lead NABJ’s convention efforts in New Orleans in 2017. Ryan did a phenomenal job co-organizing the historic #NABJNAHJ16 convention. Ava’s commitment to NABJ over the years and her efforts to amplify NABJ’s annual Ida B. Wells Award is noteworthy. I’m pleased we have two longtime and experienced members at the helm.”
Nominations are open now through March 3 for the NABJ Hall of Fame and for NABJ Special Honors. For more information go to https://nabj.secure-platform.com/a/page/HOF/HOFRULES for the NABJ Hall of Fame and to https://nabj.secure-platform.com/a/page/SH/SHRULES for the NABJ Special Honors.
KCABJ’s membership increased with the addition of Anita Parran, Mara’ Rose Williams, Bette Tate-Beaver and Lewis Diuguid.
Congratulations are in order for KCABJ Secretary, longtime officer and member and Lifetime Achievement Award winner Anita Parran. In January she retired as director of communications with the AARP in Missouri. That position is open, and it would be great to have an African American with journalism experience pick up where Anita did exceptional work.
KCABJ academy student Tre Williams is in his second year at The Wall Street Journal as a reporter in New York City. He took an internship with The Journal in Washington, D.C., and turned it into a full-time job.
KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver at KKFI-FM’s request is to work with the station on its anti-discrimination efforts.
KCABJ Membership Application for 2014
Membership has its privileges. Mail this application with your $35 check or money order to KCABJ, P.O. Box 32744, Kansas City, Mo. 64111. It covers your annual membership dues. Membership entitles you to receive the KCABJ monthly newsletter and emailed monthly meeting notices.
Occupation (Title, company and address):
Years of Experience________________________
KCABJ and/or NABJ member
(circle one or both)
(Membership in KCABJ runs from January through December. Annual dues of $35 is the lowest of any of the affiliates of the National Association of Black Journalists. Membership is subsidized by donations from KCABJ members.)
For more information or news about KCABJ members, email KCABJ President Lewis Diuguid at firstname.lastname@example.org.