Archive for August, 2018

KCABJ Newsletter for August 2018
August 26, 2018


KCABJ’s participation in the Sheila Brooks book discussion in July at the Central Library was well-received.

KCABJ was publically thanked at the event, which attracted an audience of about 100 people. The organization also received a letter from Kristin Nelson, development director for the Kansas City Public Library, thanking the KCABJ for its membership approved contribution for the reception. She wrote “your recent $200 gift proves that you 100 percent believe in the mission of public libraries everywhere and understand the importance of rallying behind your own local Kansas City Public Library. Thank you.”

KCABJ members also need to be aware that the organization is pursuing investment opportunities for funds that have accumulated in the 37 years that KCABJ has existed. It will enable KCABJ to continue to provide community-based programming to benefit its members and the Kansas City area. This isn’t the first time that KCABJ has made such investments. However, the Great Recession had made it impossible for such action to occur until now. Stay tuned as more details are announced only at membership meetings.


The National Association of Black Journalists held its first convention in Detroit in 26 years, drawing about 3,000 people to the city, where Motown was born and pumping an estimated $10.6 million into the economy, according to Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau.

The 44th annual convention featured about 150 workshops, keynote speakers and career fair. Learn more about the goings-on at the convention by going to the American Black Journal. The need for more journalists of color was highlighted during the conference in discussions about diversity.

Many awards were handed out during the convention, including NABJ’s Thumbs Down Award. “The Thumbs Down Award is presented annually to an individual or organization for especially insensitive, racist or stereotypical reporting, commentary, photography or cartooning about the black community or for engaging in practices at odds with the goals of NABJ,” NABJ said in a prepared statement. This year’s recipient is KTVU TV in Oakland, Calif. “In its reporting on the death of African American woman Nia Wilson, who was killed by a knife attack on a public transit train, the TV station published a photo taken from Wilson’s Facebook account of her holding what looked like a gun to her head (the object actually may have been a cell phone case shaped to look like a gun). In the wake of the attack, in which Wilson’s sister Lahtifa was also slashed, many questioned why the TV station used such an inflammatory photo,” NABJ said in a prepared statement. “The station has apologized publicly for publishing the photo. NABJ President Sarah Glover said: ‘There’s no justification for KTVU’s airing of a photo of her apparently holding a fake gun cell phone case. KTVU victimized her twice by airing an image that puts her in a negative light, and that also has nothing to do with her death. The lack of sensitivity shown to the victim and her family is unacceptable.’”

NABJ also has a Best Practices Award. This year it went to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Cenozo. “Earlier this year, the ICIJ convened 13 journalists from 11 countries to help expose the financial secrets of some of West Africa’s most powerful institutions — including politicians, corporations and power brokers,” NABJ said in a prepared statement. “These journalists work in environments where the kind of reporting they do is not only aggressively opposed by powerful forces in their home countries, but where violence against journalists is not uncommon and danger can be high.

“The collaboration allows members to share resources, data and access to help report on issues of tax avoidance, financial crime and corruption.

NABJ recognizes this as being worthy of its Best Practices Award.”

At an NABJ board meeting after the convention, the board unanimously passed a resolution, condemning statements and actions by U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration that are detrimental to the freedom of the press. The continued attacks and hostile attitude toward the news media must end.

NABJ has picked Drew Berry as its new executive director.