Archive for September, 2020

KCABJ Newsletter for September 2020
September 20, 2020

Upcoming Election

KCABJ members met via Zoom for the September meeting, and picked a full slate of candidates for the executive positions in the organization. The nominees are Kaci Jones, a TV news reporter, for president; Breland Moore, a sports anchor with KCTV-5, for vice president; Rae Daniels, with KSHB-NBC-41, for secretary; Lewis Diuguid, a freelance writer, treasurer; and Harold Kuntz, sports anchor with WDAF-TV Fox 4, member at large. Kaci checked with the National Association of Black Journalists after the August meeting and learned that for KCABJ to renew its affiliate status with NABJ it had to have the above elected officers, and those individuals also had to be paid members of the national and local associations.

The KCABJ election will take place at 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 17 at the organization’s next Zoom meeting.

Kaci also invited Stacy Shaw, a lawyer and activist, and Sheryl Ferguson, an organizer with “It’s Time 4 Justice,” to speak at the September KCABJ membership meeting. Each had been involved in Black Lives Matter demonstrations in the Kansas City area after the May 25 police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Each was upset over Kaci being terminated this month from her reporting position at KCTV5 because of cutbacks. Shaw praised Kaci’s reporting, saying she was the only news reporter at the Meredith Corp. station who could be trusted to get stories right. The termination, Shaw said, would trigger a “ban” throughout the metro area of KCTV5, including future coverage of black news stories. Shaw said such unwarranted terminations of black journalists triggers the need for an independent media platform that would provide the area with more equitable and accurate coverage. The mainstream media like law enforcement were created and sustained by a white supremacy culture. They force out black journalists like Kaci and Lisa Benson, Shaw said. The same culture examines black people and activists through the white supremacist’s lens, distorting what people said and what actually took place. The independent media that Shaw hopes to create will pursue a pay model so that journalists of color can be employed by the new entity. Shaw said.

At the meeting, KCABJ members also discussed starting a webinar series aimed at high school and college students and others who are interested in journalism careers. The topics could include sports reporting, storytelling, the importance of good questions, how to write for the print media and how to use social media. People who are interested in being instructors in this new program can send email to kcabj1981@gmail.com. The webinar series also could create an opportunity for KCABJ to revive its scholarship program. The organization annually had awarded scholarships based on student performance during its journalism academy. The awards were named after Roy Wilkins, Laura Hockaday, Lucile Bluford and Nancy Diuguid.

NABJ News

The National Association of Black Journalists applauds Gannett, the owner of USA Today and more than 260 local news platforms and publications for its announced commitment to make the company’s workforce “as diverse as America” by 2025. The American Society of News Editors in 1978 set the goal to be at parity with the population by the year 2000. When that fell short, the deadline was moved to 2025.

“Gannett’s stated goals, if achieved, can serve as a powerful example to media companies of the urgency of making diversity and inclusion a priority and creating new job opportunities in the process,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker. “Gannett’s president was right in stating that ‘diversity and inclusion are choices, not just words.’ NABJ looks forward to working with Gannett and other news organizations to effect these types of changes across the industry as soon as possible. Our newsrooms must reflect the people they serve and the diverse voices that make our communities thrive now.”

With a presence in 47 states, Gannett has reported that:

 

  • Women make up 46% of its workforce.
  • Black, Indigenous and people of color only make up 22% of its workforce.
  • In its news division: 41% of its journalists are female and only 18% are Black, Indigenous and people of color.
  • At USA TODAY, women make up 48% of the newsroom and Black, Indigenous and people of color make up a little over 30% of its staffNews You Can UseKC People
  •    KCABJ picked up new and renewing members with the additions of Rae Daniels, Darren Smith and Glenn E. Rice.
  •    A Women in Journalism Workshop is being offered April 5-9, 2021, by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia. For more information, go to https://www.rjionline.org/events/women-in-journalism-workshop.
  •    Women constitute 52 percent of the U.S. population, and people of color make up more than 33 percent of the U.S. population of 331 million people.