Archive for November, 2020

KCABJ Newsletter for November 2020
November 18, 2020

President’s Column

   Now more than ever, America needs journalists. More specifically America needs Black journalists. The problem is many Black journalists are struggling to love and serve an industry that rarely loves or serves them back. Black journalists are often pitching stories to a room full of mostly white people, who have the power to determine whether a story is valuable and deserves news coverage. The lack of diversity often leaves Black journalists to carry the burden of addressing implicit bias stained into the minds of newsroom management. If unaddressed, the bias can lead the news organizations to unconsciously perpetuate racist ideas to large audiences.

   Journalism holds power accountable, but who holds journalists accountable to the communities they serve? Why don’t the demographics of newsrooms match the demographics of the people who are watching, reading and listening? These are some of the questions advocacy groups must ask news executives.

   I’m honored, humbled and excited to serve as President of the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists. It will be my pleasure to lead this organization and the Kansas City metro community alongside a talented executive board. Together we will advocate for diverse newsrooms and management teams, the equitable treatment of minority staff and balanced coverage of issues that affect all communities.

   This organization celebrates 40 years of service in 2021. I’m grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this milestone. As president, I hope to continue to grow KCABJ in membership, influence, and financial capital. As Black journalists, we often feel alone in our respective spaces. I hope joining this organization reminds all of its members of the power that we possess as a network of people united in identity, purpose and direction. We all have each others’ back.


Kaci Jones

KCABJ President


  KCABJ members at the November meeting approved changes to the association’s constitution. KCABJ President Kaci Jones submitted the changes to the membership, working from a draft dated 1989.

   The constitution with an audit, membership roster, a projected budget for 2021 and other documents will be submitted to the National Association of Black Journalists to renew KCABJ’s affiliated chapter status. The membership also elected Harold Kuntz as parliamentarian.

   Kaci also let members know about the regional conferences of NABJ taking place Nov. 21 and urged members to participate.

   During the meeting, Kaci alerted KCABJ members to the organization celebrating its 40th anniversary in December 2021. That is a milestone, and the organization has to plan a big celebration for 2021.

   After the monthly meeting, past presidents of KCABJ offered to provide new members of the association’s board with an orientation session. Those providing the Zoom training for the new board at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5 will be Glenn Rice, a veteran reporter with The Kansas City Star and past NABJ treasurer and board member; Anita Parran,  Principal of KK Charles Communications and board member of the Urban League of Greater Kansas City; Kia Breaux, Bureau Chief and Regional Director of The Associated Press in this region: Bette Tate-Beaver, Executive Director of the National Association for Multicultural Education; and Lewis Diuguid, a founding member of KCABJ and immediate past president. Glenn has unearthed an “NABJ Chapter Handbook,” which will be shared during the training session.

   The next Zoom membership meeting of the KCABJ membership will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 12. KCABJ Secretary Rae Daniels agreed to send out an early meeting notice to members and potential members so they can mark the date on their calendars. That will be followed by a notice just ahead of the meeting to remind people.


   The National Association of Black Journalists will hold its awards program at 7 p.m. Eastern Time Saturday, Dec. 19. This year for the first time, it will be all virtual. Tickets for the event are free and available at

   During the event, NABJ will pay homage to Black journalists, media-related professionals, journalism and media educators and journalism and media-related students who died over the past year.

   NABJ will recognize the winners of its 2020 Salute to Excellence Awards and pay tribute to its 2020 Special Honors recipients and Hall of Fame inductees.

   NABJ President Dorothy Tucker is asking members and organizations to provide donations to NABJ members who may have been laid off, furloughed or forced to take pay cuts during the coronavirus pandemic. For members in need, NABJ is providing:

   NABJ is providing several scholarships, fellowships and training opportunities. The applications are open through Dec. 12. They include:

News You Can Use

     The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute and the Electronic Frontier Foundation at the University of Missouri-Columbia on Nov. 18 is sponsoring a program to help journalists better understand data privacy. For more information and to register for the event, go to

   The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute also is seeking proposals from individuals and organizations who wish to partner with the institute on innovative projects that strengthen journalism’s future. Fellowships range from $20,000 to $80,000 and last eight months. For more information, go to The deadline to apply is Dec. 18.

   Opinion in a Pinch is looking for a former editorial writer/editor interested in writing a few editorials each month. For more information, contact Chris Trejbal at or 503-451-0241.

   ACES scholarships: Applications are being accepted for scholarships through the ACES Education Fund, which awards six scholarships annually. ACES: The Society for Editing is the nation’s leading organization of editing professionals, educators and students. Learn more and apply here.

   The Alliance for Women in Media is accepting applications for its Gracie Awards, which recognize exemplary programming created by women, for women and about women in all facets of media and entertainment. Early bird deadline is Dec. 10. Learn more here.

   The University of Kansas J-School is accepting applications for scholarships. For more information, go to The deadline is Dec. 15.

   An eight-week, virtual Freelance Journalism 101 course is being offered by Susana Mendoza starting Nov. 21. For more information, go to

   Other opportunities:

Fellowship – NY Times, Remote/New York

Senior Producer – AirTalk, SCPR, Pasadena, CA

Senior Sports Editor – Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT

Journalist – Hartford Courant, Hartford, CT

KC People

   KCABJ’s membership roster increased by three with the additions of Lynn Worthy, Bianca Beltran and Jon-Michael Banks.

   KCABJ member and immediate past treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver was one of two women selected for this year’s Difference Maker Awards from the Urban League of Greater Kansas City. The honor is for Bette’s work as executive director of the National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) furthering equity and justice. NAME is an international organization with 2,500 members. The other recipient is former Missouri state Sen. Shalonn “Kiki” Curls. She is being honored for her 14 years of service in the Missouri General Assembly. The awards will be presented at 11:45 a.m. Tuesday, Dec. 1 during the Urban League’s 100th anniversary virtual celebration. The event will include a fireside chat panel, “Protecting Black Lives: 21st Century Police Reform,” moderated by Marc Morial, National Urban League Chief Executive Officer. For reservations or sponsorship opportunities, contact Jauqua Wilkins at 816-471-0550 or send her an email at