KCABJ Newsletter for July 2017

Media Awards

KCABJ members met in July and set the September meeting as the day that members-only can turn in entries for the 25th KCABJ Media Awards.

Over the years, KCABJ has given awards for news media coverage of accurate depictions of African Americans and other people of color in stories, pictures and artwork in print, broadcast and new media. KCABJ also has award categories for advertising, public relations and public service announcements.

One of the goals of the media awards is to encourage good, honest journalism in the coverage of people of color. KCABJ has enjoyed phenomenal success in pushing the area media companies to be more accountable in this area.

Members at the Sept. 16 KCABJ meeting can submit entries. At the October meeting, members will decide which entries will receive awards. Nothing is guaranteed. All entries are judged on their merit.


The National Association of Black Journalists convention will take place Aug. 9-13 at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. NABJ is offering a day of service for people to take part in a New Orleans Volunteer Day of Service to paint and drywall homes for families still displaced by the 2005 catastrophe that we all know as Hurricane Katrina. The deadline to register is July 21.The event is in partnership with the St. Bernard Project during the month of Katrina’s 12th anniversary to help families finally come back home.

CNBC is hosting an invitation-only Aug. 10, interactive business reporting workshop at the convention. Some workshop attendees may be picked to visit CNBC Global Headquarters for a camera test and meetings with CNBC executives. For more information about the workshop, CNBC, and eligibility requirements, please visit here.

NABJ’s 2017 Salute to Excellence award

winners will be announced at gala celebration during the convention on Aug. 12 in New Orleans. The competition honors work from print, television, radio, online, photojournalism and public relations. Among the persons honored at the NABJ convention will be Rochelle Riley, columnist for the Detroit Free Press. She will receive the prestigious Ida B. Wells Award. Riley will be presented with the award at the Hall of Fame Luncheon on Aug 11.

Also during the convention, NABJ is offering a limited number of complimentary hardship registrations to the #NABJ17 Convention and Career Fair in New Orleans, Louisiana. Eligible NABJ members may apply for a free convention registration, which provides access to the career fair and workshops. Access to ticketed special events is not included.

Who’s eligible? NABJ members who lost their full-time journalism, public relations or journalism educator jobs in the last nine months, and NABJ members who are freelancers and have not been paid in full by Ebony magazine. (More to come on this item.)

The deadline is July 20 at 5 p.m. EDT. Click here to apply for the hardship registration.

Last, but certainly not least, NABJ on July 13 announced its 2017 Thumbs Down Award. Fox News is understandable, but the shocker was Ebony magazine.

The Thumbs Down Award is presented annually to an individual or organization for especially insensitive, racist or stereotypical reporting, commentary, photography or cartoon about the black community or for engaging in practices at odds with the goals of NABJ.

Fox News was picked in part because of lawsuits and accusations charging the cable network with “abhorrent, intolerable, unlawful and hostile racial discrimination.” There also have been allegations of sexual harassment.  Additionally, the lack of diversity in key positions is a major concern for NABJ.

“It seems FOX has allowed a very unhealthy environment to fester,” said NABJ Vice President of Broadcast Dorothy Tucker. “There has to be a level of accountability and it starts at the top. Management has to do better.”

The surprise NABJ Thumbs Down Award recipient this year was Ebony magazine. Ebony, under its new owners Clear View Group, has made headlines this year because of staff cuts; the relocation of its headquarters from its founding base in Chicago to Los Angeles; and, its very public and sometimes offensive responses to reports of late or non-payment for work already performed by staff or freelance journalists.

“Many of the decisions being made by Ebony’s new owners seem counter to the vision of founder John H. Johnson,” said NABJ Vice President of Print Marlon A. Walker. “Ebony and its sister publication Jet are near and dear to us. To hear writers whose words bring us much joy aren’t being paid for those words is sad, unconscionable, unacceptable. Johnson is probably rolling over in his grave.”

NABJ noted: “Fox News must address its work culture and diversity at all levels of employment, including management positions, and the owners of Ebony magazine must resolve its pay issues with freelancers immediately and work to rebuild its image after several alarming missteps.”

KC People

KCABJ membership grew by one with the addition of Pamela Spencer De La Fuente. Turnout for the July membership meeting also was quite impressive — especially during a time of summer vacations.

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