KCABJ Newsletter for May 2021

President’s Column

   This is a bittersweet time for us as we say goodbye to Breland Moore, our Vice President of Broadcast.

   You might have heard a VP does most of the work but you really have no idea. When I asked Breland to join KCABJ last summer, she hit the ground running.

   I told her my goal was to reinstate the chapter as an affiliate of the National Association of Black Journalists, and she has been a vital support system in reaching that goal.

   Breland was a walking billboard for KCABJ. She invited several working journalists to become KCABJ members. She established partnerships with local organizations.

   Breland never turned away from the real work. She never complained about the workload. Instead, she saw the opportunity to get involved as a privilege.

   Breland took the lead to plan our first sports webinar, which drew in dozens of people to learn more about what it takes to become a sports journalist.

   This event also raised money for KCABJ. Breland showed courage in her workplace as she fiercely and courageously helped create real change at KCTV5.

    Her efforts have created a better workplace environment for Black journalists and paved the way for Black colleagues to be promoted and others to be hired. This work is often a thankless job.

   I wanted to take the time to tell Breland, my friend and colleague, that I appreciate her selfless sacrifices. Through it all, Breland continues to be an inspiration to many around her including me.

   I’m so proud of everything she’s done. As Breland returns home to continue her career in Philadelphia, PA, market #4, I’m grateful this organization was able to have Breland’s leadership. Our loss is Philadelphia’s gain. Fly Breland Fly! We will never replace Breland, but if someone steps up willing to make half the sacrifices she did, KCABJ can continue to be a viable organization.
With sincere love and gratitude,

Kaci Jones
KCABJ President

Membership Meeting

   KCABJ member Kevin Holmes shared some of the results of a survey of members. The findings will fold into a strategic plan for the organization.

   Kevin said there were 24 respondents to the survey. A key outcome: “Folks really realized there is value to this organization,” Kevin said.

   There are things that KCABJ does and does well. Yet from the survey results, people questioned whether the mission and objectives of the organization are clear and whether KCABJ has a large enough footprint in the Kansas City area.

   Some suggestions included KCABJ sponsoring more webinars, more events and having more of a public presence. KCABJ also could provide more mentoring opportunities, social mixers, happy hour get-togethers, fundraisers and dinners.

   Kevin said he would make the full results known to members soon.

   KCABJ President Kaci Jones said she would meet with Kevin and Parliamentarian Harold Kuntz to discuss how the survey results will figure into the organization’s strategic plan.

   The next KCABJ Zoom meeting will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 12.

   After the meeting, Kaci opened the discussion to the first quarterly KCABJ Mental Health Check-In. It was led by Dr. Tamela Ross.

   Members shared their concerns with being asked by white media companies where they work to speak for the entire Black community involving stories about African Americans. Often they are the only person of color in news meetings, and often there is push-back from their white colleagues when they do share their thoughts.

   Members also expressed concern over dealing with racism in their newsrooms. Some said that it is difficult with all that is being asked of them to have a good work-home balance. All of it makes the job of being a Black journalist exhausting, members shared.

   An additional frustrating aspect about being Black in the white news media is never knowing how other African Americans at the media company will respond on controversial racial issues. “Not all skin folks are kin folks,” one KCABJ member shared.

   “It’s a weird space to be in sometimes,” another member shared.

   Some members they have been accused of not Black enough on the job. Members said they were frustrated by some Black co-workers’ refusal to engage, saying: “I got my check. I’m going home.”

   Dr. Ross said a sad aspect of what KCABJ members expressed was that over time they just become numb. Congress recently passed legislation attacking hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. But African Americans have had to endure acts of hate and police killings without any urgent congressional response.

   “It’s overwhelming,” she said. Dr. Ross encouraged KCABJ members to practice self-care and to lean on each other for solace. “If you don’t take care of you, you can’t take care of anyone else,” she added.


   The theme this year’s National Association of Black Journalists’ convention will be “Navigating a Digital World – United by Mission, Driven by Purpose.” Just like last year, the convention running Aug. 18-21 will be a virtual gathering.

   Registration is now open! This virtual event promises to be even more exciting than last year’s historic gathering that saw 3,713 attendees.  

   NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said this year’s convention chairs will be Kay Angrum and Isiah Carey. Leisa Richardson will serve as the convention program chair. Carol Gantt and Justin Madden will chair the student multimedia project. The JSHOP (High School Workshop) Chair is Sheryl Kennedy Haydel. The Innovation Bubble Chair will be Michelle Johnson and the Authors Showcase Chair is Alexis Yancey. The Salute to Excellence Chairs are Greg Morrison and Sia Nyorkor. The Special Honors/Hall of Fame Chairs are Sachelle Saunders and Jamar Younger.

   Attendees: Remember to upload or update your resume at NABJCareers.org if you plan to attend the career fair. Be sure to check off on your profile that you will be attending the convention so recruiters can easily search for you!

News You Can Use

   The Wichita Beacon launches this summer and is seeking a full-time executive editor with benefits. The person who is hired will guide the newsroom through transformational growth. Salary range starts at $70,000. For more information, go to https://docs.google.com/document/d/1rR3vtWNCj_HRGHjNvRH_TkMJlj1ASMOe3huFGtp8ySg/edit.

   The Maynard Institute lists the following job opportunities and internships:

Communications Director – The Maynard Institute for Journalism Education. Remote/Emeryville, CA

Director of Inclusion & Audience Growth – American Press Institute, Arlington, VA

Senior Editor, Investigations – Southern California Public Radio, Pasadena, CA

Executive Editor – MLK50, Memphis, TN/Remote

Senior Reporter: City Hall – Berkeleyside, Berkeley, CA

Senior Reporter: City Hall and policing – Oaklandside, Oakland, CA

Anchor/Reporter – KIRO7 Newscasts, Seattle, WA

2021 National Fellowship – USC Annenberg Center for Health Journalism, Nationwide

Director – International Women’s Media Foundation, Washington, D.C. 

Media Relations Manager – International Refugee Assistance Project (IRAP) 

Philanthropy Officer – inewsource, Remote/San Diego, CA

Peter Roth Internship Program – Paley Center, Remote/New York, NY

   Susan Smith Richardson, deputy editor with the Guardian US, Guardian News & Media, shares the following openings:

Breaking news/general assignment reporter, west coast

Senior tech reporter/editor, west coast

Breaking news reporter, NY

Editor, US Editorial Partnerships

And see this link for a complete list of openings at the Guardian US.

KC People

   At the May membership meeting, those in attendance wished KCABJ Vice President/Broadcast Breland Moore farewell. She is leaving KCTV5 to work as a sports anchor for Fox 29 in Philadelphia, the nation’s fourth largest market. It also happens to be her hometown. KCABJ President Kaci Jones said that Breland has been invaluable to the organization and will be missed. Breland piloted KCABJ this year through its first successful webinar on sports coverage. Kaci encouraged KCABJ members who are interested in the vice president/broadcast position to please get in touch with her.

   Mara’ Rose Williams, a longtime reporter and now editorial board member of The Kansas City Star, was honored last month with the Eleanor McClatchy Award for piloting The Kansas City Star through a series and apology in December on the coverage of the Black community.

   Longtime KCABJ members also paid tribute to Eddie Williams III, a Kansas City native and former KCABJ member, who died April 19. Eddie was the older brother of Missouri state Sen. Barbara Anne Washington, a 1984 KCABJ journalism academy graduate. KCABJ President Kaci Jones provided a letter from the organization that was read at Eddie’s service on May 8 at The Blue Room in the 18th and Vine District.

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