Archive for October, 2017

KCABJ Newsletter for October 2017
October 21, 2017

KCABJ Awards

KCABJ received no nominations for media awards and therefore no awards will be handed out this year. Paid KCABJ members have had at least two months of to make nominations.

The nominations process will be open again at the end of summer in 2018 with plenty of announcements again being made to paid members in the monthly notices sent out for meetings and in the KCABJ Newsletter at

KCABJ Media Awards began in 1991 to honor enterprise journalism in the Kansas City area about African Americans and other people of color. The fall awards program also includes honors for students who complete the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. This year only one student applied for the academy so the two-week, free class was canceled. No KCABJ scholarships will be awarded this year.

Opportunity Knocks

KCUR-FM has put together what station officials think is an exciting opportunity for mid-career journalists, and KCUR is looking far and wide for folks who might be interested. The National Public Radio affiliate hopes that even if individuals aren’t interested in participating, they’ll forward this link to anyone who might be.

Here’s what it is:

  • It’s an intensive two-day seminar for mid-career journalists — even those who may not be currently employed by a news organization — to learn the basics of audio storytelling and podcasting.
  • It’s free and open to anyone with some years of experience in journalism. KCUR is especially encouraging journalists of color to apply.
  • Dates: Nov. 3 and Nov. 4 at the studios of KCUR 89.3, 4825 Troost, Suite 202.  We’ll limit the number we accept.
  • KCUR is excited to be part of a national effort aimed at diversifying public media.

Thank you so much for sharing this link with more information with your network of contacts. Let us know if you have any questions!

Sylvia Maria Gross, Storytelling Editor,

Laura Ziegler, Community Engagement Reporter and Producer,

C.J. Janovy, Arts Editor and Reporter,



The National Association of Black Journalists has named Sharon Toomer as its new executive director. Toomer previously served as senior vice president for public affairs and policy at Matlock Advertising & Public Relations, where she led the agency’s Reputation Group in its work with a diverse portfolio of clients representing the corporate, nonprofit, academic and business sectors. Toomer has also served as chief of staff and senior policy adviser for U.S. Representative (D.C.-Shadow) Franklin Garcia. She worked as an editorial producer for CNNfn and CNN Headline News and founded the award-winning digital news platform Black and Brown News. In public relations, Toomer served two Kings County (Brooklyn, NY) District Attorney administrations. In addition, she worked for the Association of Black Foundation Executives, the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office and the City University of New York faculty union.

NABJ in the wake of the Las Vegas mass shooting on Oct. 1 during an outdoor concert that left 59 people dead and nearly 500 injured, stresses the importance of putting such horrific events into historical context. NABJ Treasurer Greg Morrison in an appearance on KARE11-TV in Minneapolis said, “It’s not an issue of race, it’s an issue of accuracy.”

NABJ first issued a call to put tragedies and coverage into historical perspective after the Pulse nightclub mass shooting on June 12, 2016, in Orlando, Fla., where a gunman killed 49 people and wounded 58 others. Included in last year’s joint statement were suggestions for future coverage to include avoiding superlatives altogether or report the shooting as the deadliest shooting in recent or modern history.

“The shooting in Las Vegas was tragic and we extend our sincerest expressions of sympathy to those impacted by the Las Vegas shooting and with the NABJ members who have been on the front lines reporting on this horrific tragedy,” NABJ President Sarah J. Glover said.

NABJ in announcements to members also gave kudos to award-winning, veteran investigative journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones on her being named a MacArthur “Genius” Fellow for 2017.

Hannah-Jones was one of 24 to receive the honor from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. She will receive a $625,000 award.

“Being named a MacArthur fellow has been surreal and was totally unexpected,” Hannah-Jones said. “I am grateful for the wider platform this acknowledgement will give to the issue of school segregation in this nation. With the grant, I plan to continue my reporting on racial injustice, including the book on school segregation that I am currently on leave to write.”

Hannah-Jones also was the 2015 NABJ Journalist of the Year.

NABJ also informs its members that the Annie E. Casey Foundation has created an index based on 12 indicators of child well-being in America by race and ethnicity. This Race for Results Index serves as a reliable resource for journalists. For more information contact Beau Boughamer at or Ryan Fox at

KC People

KCABJ’s membership increased by one with veteran KSHB-NBC reporter Lisa Benson rejoining the organization.

Despite the Kansas City Marathon clogging the streets, KCABJ had a good turnout at its October meeting. KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver informed those attending of her plans to lead a group to Cuba in March, covering even more of the communist nation 90 miles south of Florida. It will be the fourth consecutive year that Bette has led a group of people to Cuba and KCABJ members have been part of the cultural and professional exchange. Bette leads the most economical, yet impressively rich, international trips imaginable. For more information contact Bette at 202-679-6263 or send an email to her at