Archive for November, 2019

KCABJ Members, Ukrainian Journalists Discuss Race In U.S. Newsrooms
November 19, 2019

On far left and far right, Kansas City Association of Black Journalists President Lewis Diuguid and KCABJ member Lisa Benson Cooper met on Nov. 18 with journalists from the Ukraine. The meeting at Union Station was arranged through GlobalTies KC. Those who attended the meeting and some of whom are pictured with Lewis and Lisa are Maryna Ansiforova, Nadiia Volodymyrivna Sukha, Anton Yaroslavovych Marchuk, Valeriia Andriivna Yehoshyna, Liliia Serhiivna Stativko and Natalia Uchen.

KCABJ Newsletter for November 2019
November 19, 2019

KCABJ, Ukrainian Journalists Dialogue

Members of KCABJ got an opportunity to discuss with journalists from the Ukraine the unique issues that black journalists face in the United States.

KCABJ President Lewis Diuguid and KCABJ member Lisa Benson Cooper on Nov. 18 met at Union Station with six visiting Ukrainian journalists arranged through Global Ties KC. They were Maryna Ansiforova, an investigative journalist at a weekly investigation program, “Our Money with Denys Bihus,” who specializes in judicial reform and judicial self-management issues; Nadiia Volodymyrivna Sukha, a journalist at the special project “ElectionsElections,” who prepares materials on election technologies, interviews with leaders and important people, and electoral reform; Anton Yaroslavovych Marchuk, a Center of Policy and Legal Reform expert who concentrates on anti-corruption policy in Ukraine; Valeriia Andriivna Yehoshyna, an investigative journalist at “Schemes: Corruption in Detail” which is a project of Radio Liberty; Liliia Serhiivna Stativko, a journalist at the Zaporizhya Center for Investigations,” which investigates the use of budget funds, corruption, legislations violations, etc. in the Zaporizhya region of Ukraine; and Natalia Uchen, a self-employed freelance translator who works on written translations from Ukrainian or Russian into English or vice versa.

The Ukrainian journalists had many questions after Lewis explained why KCABJ was founded in 1981 and its mission continues to be the recruitment and promotion of journalists of color at news organizations in the Greater Kansas City area. KCABJ also strives to place educators of color in journalism schools in colleges and universities in this region and go to bat for its members when they encounter difficulties on the job. Networking and sharing strategies for advancement are an important part of KCABJ. But the journalists from the Ukraine were particularly intrigued by the racism, discrimination, prejudice and negative treatment that black journalists face on the job compared with their U.S. white co-workers.

Lisa shared her experience at KSHB-TV, Channel 41, which included filing a discrimination complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a lawsuit that followed, her termination from the job she had held for 14 years, the lawsuit going to trial and a federal jury awarding $201,000 on her claim that the station retaliated against her. She explained that the jury found that she was wrongfully fired for sharing an article on her Facebook page, but in a separate claim sided with the station that she had been denied promotions because of racial discrimination.

Both KCABJ members also explained to the Ukrainians that the NBC affiliate in Kansas City faces a similar claim of disparate treatment from Emmy Award winning sports reporter Demetrice “Dee” Jackson, who filed a lawsuit against the station in federal court for race discrimination, and then lost his job. Jackson, a native of Kansas City, had been with the station since 2013. A spokeswoman with E.W. Scripps Co., which owns KSHB, declined to comment on the case to local media, saying it was a personnel matter. Jackson had filed a race discrimination lawsuit in U.S. District Court in May 2018, alleging he was twice passed over for sports director after management led him to think he would get the position. In court filings, Scripps denied Jackson’s contention, saying the position of sports director was never offered or promised to Jackson at any time, Kansas City Star reporter Glenn E. Rice reported on Sept. 26, 2019, in newspaper.

Benson also explained that KSHB in 2004 had a practice of only hiring a journalist of color to replace a journalist of color. Lewis said that was the practice at The Kansas City Star/Times when he was hired in May 1977 after graduating from the University of Missouri-Columbia School of Journalism. Lisa and Lewis made it clear to the Ukrainian journalists that the local news media have gone backward in hiring and promoting journalists of color. The metropolitan area has a desperate need for black journalists who can correctly and more accurately cover the news about African Americans in Greater Kansas City.


National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) Board of Directors on Oct. 25 held its inaugural #NABJAdvocacy Day. Led by President Dorothy Tucker, Board members and Executive Director Drew Berry, they visited local newsrooms, national network headquarters, publishing companies, public relations firms and spent time with several black press newspapers. NABJ Journal Editor Kathy Chaney also participated in the meetings.

Board members broke into teams and spent a day in the Los Angeles community participating in collaborative and fruitful meetings focused on diversity and inclusion awareness, job opportunities for members, NABJ resources for companies, and building relationships with organizations that have not directly been involved with NABJ. Meetings in newsrooms of the black press provided an opportunity to exchange ideas and offer mutually beneficial insights.

“I wanted to make sure we could really make an impact,” Tucker said. “I knew we couldn’t just talk to one company. This was an opportunity for us to have meaningful conversations, very candid conversations with a number of companies. Print, radio, television, public relations, digital… we touched them all.”

Tucker said that the board would hold more advocacy days in other cities over the next year.

The Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists is hosting the 2020 NABJ Regional Conference on March 13-15. The plenary session will be on “Covering the Presidential Election.” Look for more information on this important regional conference soon.

NABJ warns members to be aware of scam emails being circulated that are signed with President Dorothy Tucker or Executive Director Drew Berry’s name.

If you receive an email requesting gift card purchases or financial help while out of town from board members or staff, please disregard it and report it as a phishing scam to your email provider immediately.

NABJ has picked the host cities of the association’s National Convention & Career Fair for 2023 through 2026.

They are Birmingham in 2023, Chicago in 2024, Cleveland in 2025 and Atlanta in 2026. Previously announced convention cities include Washington, D.C. in 2020, Houston in 2021 and Las Vegas in 2022. The convention sites were based on potential for revenue generation, projected expenses for NABJ, hotel availability dates, room prices and hotel capacity, travel and attendance costs for NABJ members and partners, accommodations for meeting space and exhibitor requirements and attendance track record (if applicable).

News You Can Use

NABJ is offering an intensive one-week, all expenses paid training fellowship for student members. The deadline to apply is Dec. 31. The 2020 NABJ-NAHJ (National Association for Hispanic Journalists) Student Multimedia Project takes place July 6-12 in Washington, D.C. For more information and to apply go to

On Nov. 20, NABJ is offering a self-care webinar titled “Beyond the Story: Self-Care & the Black Journalist.” For more information and to register go to

The Frederick Douglass Institutes of Pennsylvania’s State System of Higher Education is offering teaching opportunities to graduate students who are pursuing careers as university faculty. For more information send email to Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania at or call Dr. Ayanna Lyles at 724-938-4258.

The University of Missouri – Columbia is seeking a digital editor/professor. Contact Ruby Bailey, executive editor for the Columbia Missourian:

Here are some job opportunities listed with the Society of Professional Journalists:

WPVI-TV in Philadelphia is accepting applications for a data journalism fellow. The fellow will regularly pitch and produce data-driven stories with creativity and originality and track data releases in a specific market. Candidates must have strong presentation and pitch skills, basic competence with Excel and be able to work independently. A degree in data journalism is preferred but not required.

The Texas Tribune is seeking a Houston-based energy and economy reporter. The reporter will monitor fluctuations in jobs and business and what it means for Texas’ citizens, as well as cover topics like oil booms and busts, innovations in renewable energy and how state issues play out in the city. The ideal reporter will cover these topics in a people-focused way. This position will require some travel to headquarters in Austin and other parts of the state. Deadline is Dec. 1.

WIRED in San Francisco or New York is hiring a senior writer. This reporter will help direct coverage of everything culture, write two to three stories a week and work with social, photo and video teams to shape storytelling efforts. They also must be comfortable on camera, mic and social media and must have fundamental understanding of technologies and ideas relevant to the business that created them and experience writing breaking news and composing long-form narratives.

Looking for more journalism jobs? Check out SPJ’s Career Center and resources from the Journalist’s Toolbox.