Archive for October, 2019

KCABJ Newsletter for October 2019
October 25, 2019

KCABJ Regrouping

A meeting will take place in the next month to try to create an opportunity for black journalists working in the Kansas City area to get together to discuss common concerns.

It is a little too soon to say who is calling the meeting or what plans might be discussed. But please look for additional information soon on the basics — who, what, where, when, why and how.

For background, the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists was formed in 1981 when area black journalists decided that this organization was needed to advance our shared concerns in this media market. They include area news organizations hiring and promoting more journalists of color and pushing schools of journalism in Kansas and Missouri to hire and promote more black faculty members and recruit more students of color. Those issues have not gone away. Learn more at

Watch for more information in this newsletter, and if you are a member of KCABJ, look for details about the upcoming gathering in emails that the membership receives.


The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) joins the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Congressional Black Caucus and numerous other civil rights organizations in urging Comcast and the Supreme Court to not dismantle the critical protections provided under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866. The potential outcome of Comcast’s urging of the Supreme Court to undo equal opportunity protections afforded under the Act could affect our more than 4,000 members, as well as black media professionals and entrepreneurs nationwide.

At issue is the filing of a brief asking the courts to require a minority plaintiff to provide proof that the denial of a contract, property ownership or job opportunity is 100% based on race. For example, a company’s decision to not award a contract or job to an African American or any person of color could be 99% based on a reason of race and only 1% based on a lack of sufficient experience in the industry. What Comcast is proposing allows for acts of discrimination to be hidden by the justification of that 1%, leaving those affected with no legal remedy to pursue.

Even if the motive of the Comcast filing is isolated to defending itself in one court case, the profound and widespread lasting effect will be devastating to minority entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs. It will also have a negative effect on communities of color in that there will be even fewer media platforms and content of interest produced for and by us.

NABJ strongly urges that these efforts not be allowed as they would have a huge long-term and negative effect on our members and their content creating opportunities, as well as entrepreneurial aspirations.

Be sure to check out the NABJ Journal with inspiring words from the new president, Dorothy Tucker, and more. You will find it at There also is a feature in this issue on Dorothy Butler Gilliam, a Lincoln University graduate in Jefferson City, Mo., longtime Washington Post reporter and former NABJ president. She has a new book out, “Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America.”

National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) President Dorothy Tucker has appointed Kathy Chaney as the editor of the NABJ Journal. Chaney is a veteran and award-winning, multiplatform journalist, editor and executive.

The Journal serves as NABJ’s official publication for organizational, member and industry news and is distributed nationally. Chaney will also serve as the editor of the NABJ Bulletin. The Bulletin will be a monthly email newsletter distributed to members and partners during the second week of each month. The newsletter will begin publication in January 2020. Chaney will begin her role as editor with an upcoming issue highlighting NABJ’s 2019 honorees.

Chaney is a former NABJ-Chicago Chapter president and currently serves as the Chicago Sun-Times deputy managing editor for breaking news and staff development. She previously served as managing editor at EBONY Magazine. Before that, she was a producer/reporter at Chicago Public Media, senior executive producer at Midway Broadcasting, and managing editor of the Chicago Defender. Chaney also has contributed to the Chicago Tribune, The Associated Press and Thomas Reuters. She is an advocate for newsroom diversity.

News You Can Use

The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism is sponsoring a Women in Journalism Workshop 2020. It will take place May 1-3, 2020. The annual workshop focuses on challenges, accomplishments and issues specific to women in the journalism industry today. The goal is to “build safer, more diverse and innovative newsrooms to serve our communities worldwide.” For more information go to

KC People

Former KCABJ President, current KCABJ secretary and KCABJ Lifetime Achievement Award winner Anita K. Parran will become the first African American to serve as national board chair of the Association for Women in Communications. The organization recently met in St. Charles, Mo., for its bi-annual conference, where it elected members to the AWC National Board of Directors for its 2019-2020 fiscal year. As national board chair, Parran will lead the 110-year-old organization.

“I am both humbled and excited to have been selected to lead this organization that embraces an all-encompassing communications arena,” Parran said. “We have developed a strategic plan and surveyed our members and board, all of which will serve as our guide. It is my hope to grow the organization during the next year, cultivate relationships with other communications organizations and others around the country, and offer our members more benefits in addition to those that are already numerous.”

Parran, a native of St. Louis, served as the organization’s Vice Chair and Membership Committee Co-chair in the prior year. She earned a B.A. degree in Journalism from Stephens College in Columbia, Mo., and M.A. in Business Management from Webster University in Webster Groves, Mo. Parran also received the Certified Communications Professional (CCP) designation from the University of Washington School of Communications.

Parran is a member of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), National Association of Black Journalists and the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists (NABJ and KCABJ), Women of Color in Communications, and American Association of University Women. She is a member of the Stephens College Board of Trustees, Public Member for the Missouri Board of Pharmacy and serves on the Urban League of Greater Kansas City Board of Directors.

The Association for Women in Communications is a professional organization that champions the advancement of women across all communications disciplines by recognizing excellence, promoting leadership and positioning its members at the forefront of the evolving communications era. For more information contact