KCABJ Newsletter for November 2020

November 18, 2020 - Leave a Response

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 https://nabj.digitalvirtualspaces.com/register.

   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 https://umsystem.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_mCWdQi23Rxm4Pd5PL1t3KA.

   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 https://rji.submittable.com/submit. 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 chris@trejbal.net 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 https://ku.academicworks.com/. 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 https://www.eventbrite.com/e/freelance-journalism-101-how-to-break-into-the-industry-tickets-126780549035.

   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 jwilkins@ulkc.org.

KCABJ Newsletter for October 2020

October 23, 2020 - Leave a Response

Membership meeting

   The KCABJ membership met this month via Zoom and elected a new slate of officers:

  • Kaci Jones, president.
  • Breland Moore, vice president/broadcast.
  • Jelani Gibson, vice president/print
  • Rae Daniels, secretary.
  • Lewis Diuguid, treasurer.

   Kaci had reported that to be affiliated with the National Association of Black Journalists, the slate needed to include a parliamentarian. However, that position does not conform with KCABJ’s bylaws, which calls for officers to fill the above positions. Kaci said the last official copy of the bylaws was dated 1989. A KCABJ committee will have to be appointed to review the organization’s bylaws to ensure they conform with NABJ’s so the local chapter can once again be affiliated with the national. All of the KCABJ officers will have to be members of NABJ in addition to being members of the local association.

   Kaci also reported that KCABJ could develop a webinar for high school and college students interested in journalism. It is something that KCABJ can plan for 2021. The first session would focus on sports journalism. KCABJ since 1982 had offered an annual journalism academy and scholarships for college for students who were interested in journalism careers. However, the last class was in 2015. Not enough students afterward have signed up for the two-week summer class covering print, broadcast and new media journalism. The webinars are a way of continuing to prepare the next generation for college and careers in journalism.

   Kaci and Breland said efforts are underway to possibly change the KCABJ logo. More information will be provided at the next Zoom meeting at 1 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 14.


    The National Association of Black Journalists reports that its first all-virtual convention made history, attracting more than 3,700 registrants. The NABJ virtual awards event will be on Dec. 12.

   NABJ’s four regions will have NABJ’s first-ever joint (and virtual) regional conferences on Nov. 21. Registration is now open for the daylong event, which will include a career fair, networking spaces, cutting-edge training, topical discussions, and a keynote address and fireside chat with Nikole Hannah-Jones. KCABJ is in Region 2.

   For a special rate of only $35, attendees can access all four regional content tracks, fireside chat and networking activities, and the career fair. The registration deadline is Nov. 18 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Registrations cannot be accepted after the deadline.

   For more information, go to https://www.nabj.org/event/NABJ2020RegionalConf.

News You Can Use

   The Facebook Journalism Project has announced it is pumping an additional $5 million into programs that support U.S. local news. For more information, go to https://www.facebook.com/journalismproject/local-news-investment-diversity-entrepreneurship?content_id=AjBX67xFEXakdyT.

   Applications are now 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 Reynolds Journalism Institute’s 2020-21 Student Innovation Competition at the Missouri School of Journalism invites college students to participate by tackling engagement with a news organization. A student or student team will partner with a news organization to devise an engagement idea innovative to that organization. Applications detailing the team’s idea are due by Oct. 31. The chosen finalist teams will implement their idea at the partner news organization for three months before presenting the results on Feb. 26, 2021, in front of judges and the public on Zoom. First-place prize is $10,000. More details here.

   Make plans to participate in the J-School Virtual Career Fair on Wednesday, Oct. 28. From 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., employers will be conducting mini-interviews and drop-in sessions with University of Kansas students. Look for more details later on how to schedule times to connect with companies through a CareerFair Plus app.

   Here are the companies that have committed to the fair so far:

The KU Career and Outreach Office will provide interview and career fair tips.

The Career and Outreach Office will host Zoom sessions Oct. 14 and Oct. 21 to prepare students for the Virtual Career Fair on Oct. 28. Both sessions will begin at 1 p.m. Interview tips in a virtual setting will be the focus in the first session. What to expect at the fair and how to interact with employers will be discussed the following week. Here is the login information: 

Zoom link

Meeting ID: 896 7977 1462

Passcode: N8TxWh

For more information, contact Steve Rottinghaus, career and outreach coordinator, at steve_rottinghaus@ku.edu.

   The Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute invites proposals from individuals and organizations who wish to partner with us on innovative projects that strengthen journalism’s future. Fellowships range from $20k – $80k and last 8 months. The deadline to apply is Dec. 18. For more information, go to https://rji.submittable.com/submit.

   The Trace, a nonprofit newsroom covering gun violence across the country, is hiring a story editor and a managing editor. For more information, contact Lakeidra Chavis at lchavis@thetrace.org.

   The St. Louis American is seeking a managing editor. For more information contact Linda Lockhart at lockhartls92@gmail.com.

KC People

   KCABJ added four new members in the last month. They are Jelani Gibson, Lauren Scott, Kevin Holmes and Kia Breaux. Kia also donated an additional $5 to KCABJ.

   Be sure to welcome Trey Williams back to Kansas City. The Kansas City Star had an article on Trey, 29, in the Oct. 21 edition of the newspaper. He was hired as The Star’s first-ever editor for race and equity issues. Trey is a graduate of Truman High School in Independence and Northwest Missouri State University. He is a graduate of the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy and was a summer intern at The Star in 2013. Trey worked as a reporter for MarketWatch covering Wall Street and covered Hollywood for The Wrap. He has a rich family history in journalism, particularly at The Star. Trey’s mother is Mara’ Rose Williams, a veteran education reporter. His father, Ceaser Williams, began as a copy editor at The Star in the late 1970s and advanced about a year later to become the first black assistant metropolitan editor at The Kansas City Times, then-The Star’s sister newspaper published in the morning. After working at major East Coast newspapers and serving on the faculty of the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, Ceaser returned to The Star in the 1990s to become the newspaper’s first African American assistant managing editor.

KCABJ Newsletter for September 2020

September 20, 2020 - Leave a Response

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.


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.

KCABJ Newsletter for August 2020

August 16, 2020 - Leave a Response


During the Aug. 15 Zoom meeting of Kansas City Association of Black Journalists, members decided to sideline the get-together that had been scheduled for September.

COVID-19, or the new coronavirus, has made such gatherings a health risk. It also is why the last two KCABJ meetings have been virtual.

KCABJ members did discuss contacting Kansas City area educators and possibly offering journalism webinars to interested high school and college students who want to become journalists. The program would revive aspects of the KCABJ Urban Student Journalism Academy. The academy began in 1982, a year after KCABJ was founded. The last annual class of the academy was in the summer of 2015. Since then KCABJ has been unable to interest enough Kansas City area students in attending the free class in which four scholarships also have been awarded to the top performing students. A committee of KCABJ members is reviewing what might be offered during a webinar series and who might be interested.

At the urgings of KCABJ member Kaci Jones, Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver said she would look into establishing a Cash App for the kcabj.org website so that people can pay their annual dues online.

The membership also discussed the need to re-establish its affiliation with the National Association of Black Journalists. That will require the election of new KCABJ officers. At the 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 19 membership meeting, people who are interested in running for the KCABJ board should declare their candidacy. The offices that will be open are president, vice president, treasurer, secretary and parliamentarian. Anyone wanting to declare their candidacy ahead of the meeting can send the information in an email to lewisdiuguid@gmail.com. Candidates must be paid members of KCABJ. Dues is $35.

Kaci was among the KCABJ members who attended the all-virtual NABJ-NAHJ convention Aug. 5-8. She reported that a benefit was that if two sessions that she wanted to attend occurred at the same time, she was able to view one and later watch a recording of the other. She was among members who said they hoped NABJ would offer a virtual aspect of the convention.

KCABJ President Lewis Diuguid attended a NABJ Region II Zoom meeting on Aug. 8. Sia Nyorkor, NABJ Region II director, was the host for the gathering. NABJ President Dorothy Tucker also attended giving her assessment of how the virtual NABJ convention went. Chapters in the region reported their latest news.


National Association of Black Journalists Executive Director Drew Berry reported that the organization exceeded its revenue goals for the Aug. 5-8 convention and had far fewer expenses this year.

NABJ Finance Director Nate Chambers added the organization “will meet our budgeted revenue goals. That is impressive in the COVID-19 environment.”

The joint NABJ-NAHJ (National Association of Hispanic Journalists) convention had 3,713 persons register.

The convention included a pre-recorded message from presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, sessions on covering the killing of George Floyd, the unrest that followed nationwide, COVID-19 and a town hall on the strategy for overcoming social injustice.

News You Can Use

The Association for Women in Communication’s professional development series on Aug. 27 is offering “Know to Grow: Every Woman for Herself is a Losing Strategy.” Anne Doyle is the presenter. For more information, go to https://womcom.org/content.aspx?page_id=4002&club_id=903060&item_id=1251339.

KC People

The Missouri Press Association has added the names of three journalists to its Hall of Fame. Former KCABJ President Kia Breaux is among them. Kia is the Midwest regional director for The Associated Press. The other inductees are the late Laura Hockaday, longtime society editor for The Kansas City Star; and Dane Vernon, former publisher of Vernon Publishing and former MPA President. KCABJ for years has had a scholarship named for Hockaday because of her efforts to include African Americans and other people of color in the society section of The Star. Learn more about the honor at https://apnews.com/e5de53768376bf98e7a72929b5b9949f?fbclid=IwAR2hZr0jLCIs5lpqBWutoql3X6Anh0yA1wmEzqT64hiuwqKBHFct_i-5GYA.

Former KCABJ member Jenee’ Osterheldt, now a culture writer for The Boston Globe, has  won two 2020 Excellence in Features Awards from the Society for Features Journalism. She was recognized for general commentary and arts and entertainment commentary.


KCABJ Newsletter for July 2020

July 27, 2020 - Leave a Response

KCABJ Meeting

Thanks to Kansas City Association of Black Journalists member Kaci Jones and KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver, the organization pulled together the membership and potential members for an unprecedented Saturday, July 25 membership Zoom meeting. Bette provided the Zoom platform, and Kaci emailed the notices to people.

The Zoom meeting was necessary because of the coronavirus, or COVID-19, and the need for people everywhere in the United States to social distance to maintain public safety. COVID-19 first surfaced in late 2019 in Wuhan, China. As of July 26, more than 16 million people globally have tested positive for the disease, including more than 4.2 million in the United States, which leads the world in COVID-19 infections. The extremely contagious and deadly virus has killed nearly 650,000 people throughout the planet, including more than 148,000 in the United States, again a world leader.

Nevertheless, the first-of-its-kind KCABJ Zoom membership meeting attracted nearly 20 people, who had either joined the organization in the last couple of months or planned to join soon. From the meeting, Kaci was appointed to chair a membership committee that will pick a location, a time and date in September for a membership party that will enable blacks in journalism in the Greater Kansas City area to celebrate the work being done locally in covering the global pandemic and the unrest erupting from the May 25 Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd. Since it was founded in 1981, KCABJ has provided a foundation for social interactions among journalists of color, networking opportunities, a sounding board for professional development and a place for continuing education. The organization also has sponsored community forums, a student journalism academy for high school and college students, and a local media awards program, honoring the best of enterprise journalism about African Americans and other people of color. New members were encouraged to share their ideas because KCABJ is only as strong and as effective as its members’ input and willingness to get involved.

During the membership meeting, KCABJ also heard from Sia Nyorkor, the Region II Director of the National Association of Black Journalists, and Walter Smith-Randolph, a candidate for NABJ treasurer. Nyorkor explained that the NABJ convention — held in conjunction Aug. 5-8 with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists — would be completely virtual. Yet, it will include 90 panels and workshops online. The Jobs Fair will be virtual, providing journalists of color a unique opportunity to be interviewed for positions without the wait in long lines to see recruiters.

“NABJ is important; networking is crucial,” said Nyorkor, whose territory includes Kansas and Missouri. “We don’t want this to fail. The funding is definitely there.”

A COVID-19 hardship fund has been set up to benefit journalists of color who have been laid off but need to attend the convention to seek new opportunities, Nyorkor said. Some of the funders for the convention increased their contributions to ensure that the conference is successful. Nyorkor said the NABJ Monitor and TV news broadcast, staffed by students to cover the convention, also would continue but online. She said NABJ elections also take place this year to fill seven positions. People running for contested positions are campaigning online.

Smith-Randolph is among the candidates. He is seeking the position of NABJ treasurer. He said he wants more accountability and transparency in the budget process. He also supports NABJ having pandemic insurance. NABJ’s assets would have been nearly wiped out if it had to pay the more than $1.4 million the hotel may have charged the organization this year because of the traditional convention being canceled. That didn’t happen because the hotel canceled it because of COVID-19. Smith-Randolph also said NABJ needs to diversify its revenue stream because two-thirds of the annual budget comes from the convention. NABJ has struggled in recent years to emerge from being in the red.


Registration remains open for the Aug. 5-8 virtual NABJ/NAHJ convention. The theme remains “Power of the Past, Force of the Future.” More than 100 companies and organizations will join NABJ and NAHJ in presenting the largest convention for journalists of color.

Highlighted virtual convention features include:

  • More than 90 workshops, panels, forums, and training opportunities
  • A 3D career fair and exhibition hall featuring more than 70 companies armed with recruiters
  • The option for attendees to meet recruiters and managers live via video, phone and chat in their booths
  • The opportunity to build and share your professional profile and visual portfolio while also applying for job openings right at the virtual booths
  • An opening ceremony and reception co-produced with Walt Disney Parks and Resorts
  • At least 5 networking/happy hour receptions
  • Three breakfast and luncheon events (the first 1,200 registrants will receive free meal delivery)
  • The annual NABJ Sports Task Force Scholarship Jam featuring a celebrity DJ
  • The 2021 Houston Convention Kickoff party
  • The Newsmaker Plenary on the U.S. Presidential Candidates
  • The W.E.B. Du Bois Plenary powered by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative
  • Special sessions focusing on social justice, racism in America and COVID-19
  • Exclusive movie screenings and upfronts
  • The Innovation Bubble (featuring the latest from technology companies)
  • The Authors Showcase (featuring new creative works hitting shelves)
  • The Visual Task Force photo auction
  • And a whole lot more (including the option to build your own virtual swag bag to take advantage of partner offerings and save important information as you experience the virtual environment)
  • Due to various and unexpected shifts and changes, we will not be able to host the award events virtually at the August convention.
  • We are planning to either host a virtually-produced awards show in the coming months or explore options to hold the awards event in person in the spring of 2021. We will then determine a timeline to announce finalists.
  • Speakers will include Stacey Abrams, Lester Holt, Soledad O’Brien, Maria Hinojosa, Yamiche Alcindor, Byron Pitts, Kimberly Godwin, Derrick Johnson, Laz Alonso, Jessie T. Usher, MC Lyte, Victoria Rowell, Lynn Toler, Roy Wood Jr., Dr. Regina Benjamin, Dr. Patrice A. Harris, Kamie Crawford, John B. King Jr., Chance the Rapper, Jenifer Lewis and more!

For more information on registering for the convention, go to https://www.nabjnahjconvention.com/NABJ_Registration3.cfm.

For the information on the convention at a glance go to https://www.nabjnahjconvention.com/Manual_Schedule.cfm.

NABJ has taken a stand against sexism in the treatment of women covering sports. The organization said in a statement that it “is disappointed to learn of the reported harassment and mistreatment that women journalists have been experiencing as employees of Black Sports Online (BSO) and its CEO Robert Littal. The issue surfaced on Twitter after Tamantha Gunn, one of BSO’s former employees, posted a series of tweets that included a string of inappropriate and insensitive comments from Littal, exposing a toxic work environment. The Twitter thread can be found here.”

Women should be respected as professional colleagues and not treated as sexual objects, the brunt of sexual jokes or belittled for speaking up and commanding respect.

“In a time where Black voices are needed now more than ever in the media, media owners, especially those within the Black community, should be working to support and uplift their employees and not undermine their abilities because of their gender or refusal to participate in inappropriate behavior,” said Dorothy Tucker, NABJ President.

“We implore Mr. Littal’s advertisers, readers and supporters to also hold him accountable, and ensure the culture that has been reported is corrected. We encourage Mr. Littal to seek the help he needs to improve his management approach and to undergo sensitivity training, as well as move quickly to find a way to remedy the harm that has been done to these women.

“`The misogynistic behavior of Mr. Littal toward women at Black Sports Online is just sad and pathetic on so many levels. We are committed to not only addressing the need for change but also becoming the change that we want to see by taking a more active and vigilant role in addressing sexual harassment and other workplace issues,”’ said A. Sherrod Blakely, chair of the NABJ Sports Task Force.

The sexual harassment issue also came up at Essence, prompting NABJ to issue the following statement: “NABJ is disheartened about the multiple allegations of sexual harassment and misconduct at publications like ESSENCE, Okayplayer OkayAfrica and others. We have learned that some of the leaders at these companies such as Abiola Oke and Richelieu Dennis have been dismissed or have resigned, but still believe sweeping change has to occur now, as others may have also been involved. It is important to note that Dennis still remains the CEO of Essence Ventures, which owns Essence Communications. As we have said previously, it is important that the readers, consumers and advertisers of these platforms hold them accountable and demand change.”

NABJ applauded NBCUniversal’s “aggressive diversity initiative.”

“NBCU’s stated goals of having 50% of the news organization’s employees be women and 50% of its total workforce be people of color is a direction all media companies, including legacy and digital operations, should adopt and embrace,” NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said. “We implore these companies to ensure that their goals include hiring Black middle and senior managers.”

In other action, NABJ announced that it was please with Disney/ABC terminating “top ABC News executive Barbara Fedida, after substantiating allegations of racially insensitive comments made by her.

“The actions of Fedida are uncalled for, and points to the kind of barriers Black journalists face in advancing in newsrooms across the country.

“But we still call on Disney/ABC to do more. For more than month, we’ve sought to schedule a meeting with Chairman Peter Rice to discuss:

– Immediate redress for those who were wronged by Barbara Fedida

– An African American should be put in charge of the network’s diversity-in-hiring program

– ABC News/Disney should hire an outside consultant to assess the culture and work environment and policies at ABC News.

“NABJ is committed to standing up for and with Black journalists. We are living in a period where the voices of African American media professionals are as important as ever, and we are committed to ensuring opportunities for hiring and advancement are as fair and equitable as possible.

“We look forward to hearing from Chairman Rice.”

In addition, NABJ “is appalled to learn of new allegations of “rank racism” at the nation’s highest-rated cable network, Fox News.

This comes two years after Fox News paid $10 million to settle a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by Black employees. The NABJ release said that according to a report published by the TheDailyBeast.com, a 90-minute call was held in June with Black employees, where a number of them detailed numerous examples of racism at the network, including an explosive statement that management “created a white supremacist cell inside the top cable network in America.”

“If such allegations are substantiated, they clearly represent a hostile work environment for Black journalists at Fox News, and they must be taken seriously. Decisive action must be taken after a full investigation. We at NABJ will not tolerate Black employees having to be a part of any workplace where they are devalued, demeaned and not provided opportunities to grow and prosper. The challenges are not unique at any one media company.

“Fox News CEO Suzanne Scott and her management team have already agreed to and are scheduling a meeting with NABJ leadership to discuss these allegations and plans to address them. We previously met with Scott and her team in September 2018 to discuss ways in which NABJ can assist Fox News in advancing the cause of journalism and Black journalists.”

Elections are taking place at NABJ this year. To learn more go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0HkxRrKnvA&list=PL-hu6c4dLdHC4DIjdlScjwmY5XSCGG5AP.

News You Can Use

KCTV5/KSMO/Meredith in the Kansas City has two job openings:

KCTV5/KSMO Assistant News Director and KCTV/KSMO News Producer. For more information, contact Monica Ngo, director of Human Resources at 913-677-7171 or send email to monica.ngo@kctv5.com

Through the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Hannah Yoon, independent visual journalist, Mason Trinca, documentary and editorial photojournalist, Sarah Fritsche, independent food writer and editor, and Maddie McGarvey, independent photographer, will discuss how to succeed as an independent journalist. They will talk about health care, building your client base, making time for personal projects, invoicing and contracts, how to prepare for slow months and more. For more information, go to https://umsystem.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_VH0yCCobT5agU-gbNVI2Ag.

Job listings in the Maynard Institute’s communications include:

Senior Reporter, Racial Equity – Center for Public Integrity, Wash., DC

Justice Reporter – CalMatters, Sacramento preferred

Product Manager – CalMatters, Sacramento preferred

Analytics Manager – CalMatters, Sacramento preferred

Engagement Editor – CalMatters, Sacramento

Transportation Reporter – Chicago Tribune
Questions? Contact Mary Ellen Podmolik, Business Editor at Chicago Tribune, at mepodmolik@chicagotribune.com

California Editorial Intern, Fall 2020 – POLITICO, Sacramento, CA

Reporter/Anchor – WCCO-TV, CBSN Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

INN Member Collaborations Leader – Institute for Nonprofit News, Remote

The Columbia (Mo.) Chamber of Commerce is seeking a director of Women’s Networking. For more information, go to https://www.linkedin.com/jobs/view/1919909443/?lgTemp=jobs_jymbii_digest&lgCta=eml-jymbii-organic-job-card&recommendedFlavor=MATCHING_SKILLS&refId=3b0cd635-082a-4e97-98ab-c547ee3c89d8&midToken=AQHWYzVSKXCD3g&trk=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-10-job_card&trkEmail=eml-jobs_jymbii_digest-jymbii-10-job_card-null-1hkn20%7Ekc1wg0aq%7Egi-null-jobs%7Eview.

The MLK50 in Memphis is seeking a managing editor. For more information go to https://www.idealist.org/en/nonprofit/65ea71a8131c49338ae69fae8f1bb78a-mlk50-memphis?redirected-from-listing=true.

KC People

KCABJ’s membership increased by one with the addition of Bryant Maddrick.

KCABJ Newsletter for June 2020

June 23, 2020 - Leave a Response

KCABJ Members

Please look for an announcement soon via email of a KCABJ membership meeting. The goal will be to bring members together to determine what issues members may want to take on in 2020 and to possibly elect new officers.

KCABJ Treasurer Bette Tate-Beaver will send out the email notice of the time, day and location. There are some updates that members will receive only at the meeting about KCABJ’s finances, P.O. Box change, website and non-profit incorporation status.

KC People

The membership of the Kansas City Association of Black Journalists grew by three with the additions of Kaci Jones, a reporter at KCTV5; Breland Moore, a sports anchor and sports reporter at KCTV5; and Harold Kuntz, a sports anchor at Fox 4. Each is committed to recruiting new members for KCABJ. Please make our new members feel welcomed.


Ahead of the virtual National Association of Black Journalists/National Association of Hispanic Journalists convention Aug. 5-8, people will have an opportunity to have their resumes reviewed by news outlets. Go to https://www.nabjcareers.org/registration/?user_group_id=JobSeekerLogIn. People with questions can send them to Journalismnext.com.

As protests and some unrest have occurred throughout the country following the Minneapolis police killing of unarmed African American George Floyd, so have police attacks on journalists doing their jobs just covering the news. The National Association of Black Journalists issued a statement in May condemning “the arrests of CNN crew members, including reporter Omar Jimenez, who were simply doing their jobs and covering protests in Minneapolis…. They were handcuffed and led away by state police during a live shot even after Jimenez identified himself as a CNN reporter.

‘“It was unnecessary, and a violation of the First Amendment,’ NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said.

“Jimenez and the crew members were later released. Minnesota’s governor apologized for the arrests while intervening to get the journalists released. In a Twitter post, CNN pointed out that while a person of color was arrested, a white reporter also on the ground was not.”

The ongoing protests of police killings of unarmed black men included another statement from NABJ this month:

“The Philadelphia Inquirer op-ed headline “Buildings Matter, Too” is an offensive attempt to play off the Black Lives Matter movement.

‘“Even vaguely suggesting a parallel between the loss of buildings and the loss of lives is inappropriate and insulting,’ National Association of Black Journalists President Dorothy Tucker said.

‘“The Inquirer did include a sub-headline that said buildings ‘ … can be rebuilt but lives are forever lost. But that doesn’t mean they will be.’ The sub-headline does not erase the insensitivity shown by publishing such a headline.

“The headline ignited a storm of criticism on social media. The headline has since been changed two more times: ‘Black Lives Matter. Do Buildings?’ and (as of 6:30 p.m. ET) ‘Damaging buildings disproportionately hurts the people protesters are trying to uplift….’”

NABJ appealed to all media outlets to fully engage with NABJ and other journalism organizations of color. “This obvious mistake further punctuates the need for diversity across the board in the nation’s newsrooms, particularly in management and decision-making roles. Perspectives and sensitivities must be recognized and become part of the fabric of newsroom cultures.”

More Pennsylvania troubles prompted an additional statement from NABJ:

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is greatly disturbed by developments at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

NABJ’s local chapter, the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation (PBMF), is closely monitoring the situation and put out a statement regarding developments The PBMF statement is at http://pbmf.org/alexisjohnson/. That statement in part said:

“The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation is outraged by the removal of Pittsburgh Post-Gazette journalist Alexis Johnson from any engagement with covering the social justice protests unfolding in Pittsburgh and around the world that are related to the police murder of George Floyd.

To deny the African American reporter the opportunity to cover this news removes an opportunity for the Post-Gazette to present a more fair, nuanced and informed portrait of what is happening in local communities.

More so, the Federation is baffled by the management’s justification used for removal. Johnson’s social media communications was from her private Twitter account. It was there that she raised a question and offered a comparison that challenged stereotypes. There was no malicious bias and nothing to suggest her reporting would be compromised or slanted if she continued telling the story of the protests. The Federation is in sharp disagreement with the action taken by the Post-Gazette’s managing editor.”

NABJ President Dorothy Tucker added that the association “is strongly against silencing the voices of those who bring unique and objective perspectives to coverage. We believe that hiring and supporting a diverse group of employees are critical steps that all media organizations should be taking in practicing excellence in journalism.”

NABJ’s statement went on to say it calls on the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette to assess its policies including those associated with social media while improving the management of employee relations.

“All employees, including Black employees, deserve to be heard without retribution for opinions that may differ from management’s viewpoint. NABJ and PBMF look forward to discussions regarding these issues.”

Yes, there is racism in the news media. NABJ issued the following statement, targeting ABC:

“NABJ is appalled at the allegations of discriminatory hiring practices and treatment of Black employees by a powerful ABC News executive, as detailed by Yashar Ali with the Huffington Post. Yashar’s story can be found here.

“We call for ABC News/Disney to immediately launch a transparent, external investigation led by a diverse law firm to examine all of the allegations detailed in the report, while conducting a thorough review of ABC News Executive Barbara Fedida, and the talent department that she has run at ABC News.

“NABJ calls on ABC News to waive its confidentiality agreements with any Black employees and other employees of color, and permit prior and current employees to speak on the record absent of reprisals if they choose to do so.

“This external investigation by ABC News should be transparent, and all findings must be published and broadcast. This is appropriate because Fedida was no second-tier executive. This top ABC News executive wielded arguably the most power at the network in determining the fates of Black employees in terms of hiring and contracts. The careers of many at ABC News, as well as their future advancement, was literally in her hands.” NABJ:

— Demands that there be immediate redress for those who have been wronged.

— Want an African American to be put in charge of the network’s diversity-in-hiring program.

— Insists that ABC News/Disney hires an outside consultant to assess the culture, work environment and policies at ABC News.

“In 2019, NABJ met with the senior leadership of ABC News, which at the time had no senior Black news executives above the rank of executive producer. They subsequently hired Marie Nelson, SVP Integrated Content Strategy.

“We at NABJ are calling for a meeting with the top leadership at ABC News immediately, and we would like for top leadership at Disney to be present as well.

“We strongly advise media companies to engage with NABJ regarding its formalized Media Diversity Blueprint built for organizations struggling with or in denial about diversity issues among its employment ranks.

NABJ also has issued a statement on capitalizing “Black”:

“For the last year, the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) has been integrating the capitalization of the word “Black” into its communications.

“However, it is equally important that the word is capitalized in news coverage and reporting about Black people, Black communities, Black culture, Black institutions, etc.

“NABJ’s Board of Directors has adopted this approach, as well as many of our members, and recommends that it be used across the industry.

“We are updating the organization’s style guidance to reflect this determination. The organization believes it is important to capitalize “Black” when referring to (and out of respect for) the Black diaspora.

“NABJ also recommends that whenever a color is used to appropriately describe race then it should be capitalized, including White and Brown.”

In other NABJ news, the association and the NABJ Sports Task Force accepted $100,000 from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban. The money will go to the NABJ COVID-19 Relief Fund to assist both sports and non-sports journalists whose jobs have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The donation was made in honor of two former Dallas Mavericks beat writers, Roger B. Brown and Martin McNeal, who each passed away recently.

KCABJ Newsletter for May 2020

May 17, 2020 - Leave a Response

President’s Call

The Kansas City Association of Black Journalists had representatives participating in a Zoom call on April 21 with Dorothy Tucker, president of the National Association of Black Journalists.

The topic was the summer NABJ convention and what form it would take. This newsletter reported in April that NABJ since March had been exploring three paths for the convention — a traditional “in-person” convention as scheduled, a “virtual convention,” and a “hybrid in-person/virtual convention.”

Tucker was collecting thoughts from NABJ chapter officers to make the best determination. The new coronavirus, or COVID-19, has forced many organizations to cancel, reschedule or make other adjustments to prevent the spread of the highly contagious pandemic. See NABJ News below for the decision that NABJ reached.


Breaking with a nearly 45-year-old tradition, the National Association of Black Journalists this year will have a virtual convention instead of one that members attend in person.

The change was brought on by COVID-19 and the serious health threat the pandemic poses. By mid-May 2020, more than 1.5 million Americans have tested positive for the pandemic that began in Wuhan, China, in late 2019; more than 90,000 U.S. residents have died from the virus. Globally, more than 4.5 million people have tested positive for coronavirus, and it has claimed more than 307,000 lives.

NABJ in making the decision to have a virtual convention is putting the safety of its members and presenters first. In addition, NABJ had to avoid $1.3 million in hotel contract cancellation penalties. “That’s how much we would have lost if we had prematurely canceled our contract with the Marriott and Omni hotels,” NABJ President Dorothy Tucker said in a prepared statement. “Timing, legal counsel and other requirements, along with tough negotiations on the part of NABJ and Marriott, were all essential parts of getting to a final successful resolution for our members and attendees. I understand you may have been frustrated by updates that appeared to be vague, but the language was deliberate so as not to trigger an unnecessary catastrophic negative impact on our organization. To do so would have damaged our negotiations and put us in legal peril. You elected me to do what was in the best interest of NABJ. I am happy to say we have negotiated a deal that prevents NABJ from financial ruin. Thank you for trusting me.”

The new dates for the virtual convention that NABJ is doing in conjunction with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists are Aug. 5-9.  The convention will have 85-plus sessions including meal events and online networking events. There are costs associated with a virtual conference so there will be registration fees offered at the best rates possible for our members and attendees.

For persons who have already registered for the tradition convention, you will be able to get full conference registration refunds by emailing the national office at membership@nabj.org.You can apply it to next year’s conference or donate it to fund student registrations.

“This is uncharted territory for NABJ,” Tucker said. “We are enlisting the help of professionals and companies that routinely do virtual conferences, but we’re also looking for members who have experience in the virtual convention space. We welcome your input. We’re in this together and will build an even stronger NABJ. Thank you for your patience and your support!”

This also is an election year in NABJ. The May 1 deadline to have your membership in good standing for voter eligibility has been pushed back to July 6. This change is because of COVID-19 developments and the new national convention dates. Members who are experiencing financial hardships or job loss because of COVID-19 can request a membership extension for up to six months by emailing membership@nabj.org.

The amended schedule is as follows:

  • May 14, 21 and 28, 2020: Virtual campaign forums will be held (Details TBA)
  • Two Thursdays in June 2020: Virtual forums for contested races (Details TBA)
  • Monday, July 6, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. ET: Deadline for NABJ membership to be in good standing in order to vote
  • Monday, July 13, 2020, at 9 a.m. ET: Voting opens
  • Friday, Aug. 7, 2020, at 5 p.m. ET: Voting closes
  • The evening of Friday, Aug. 7, 2020: Winners announced.

The Marriott Wardman convention hotel says it is directly handling the refund process because Marriott’s central reservations will not be able to see the first-night deposit through their system.

  • The Wardman will automatically cancel all reservations in the NABJ room block.
  • The Wardman will be sending you an email this week letting you know that they are processing your cancellation and your full refund. They will send another email when the process is complete.
  • The Wardman says it can take up to 10 business days for refunds to show in your bank account because payment methods (debit card vs. credit card), are handled differently and a shortage of staff also affects the time frame.

The Omni is also closed until June and has limited staffing.

  • The Omni says it will automatically cancel all reservations in the NABJ room block.
  • The Omni says it will take up to 10 business days to see the refund reflected in your bank account.
  • The Omni will also send an email upon cancellation.

For both hotels, if you did not book within the NABJ room block with the discounted hotel room rates, your reservations will not be automatically canceled. You’ll need to call and cancel them yourself through central reservations.

As the industry continues to see layoffs, cutbacks, furloughs, and cancellations, the NABJ Board has opened the NABJ COVID-19 Relief Fund. We are accepting donations to support our relief grant program to benefit members who are experiencing financial hardships as a result of COVID-19.

We are also now accepting applications for hardship grants from NABJ members. We encourage any member who has been affected financially by COVID-19 to apply. For more information on how to donate, go to https://app.mobilecause.com/form/fOoQvA?vid=8cg7v.

For those seeking relief, go to https://thenabj.wufoo.com/forms/s1hyngas1czetnz/.

You must be a current member of NABJ and in good standing. (Please note your membership can be extended if you are experiencing a hardship and your membership is soon to expire. Please email membership@nabj.org for details).

News You Can Use

The Association for Women in Communications has opened its entire database of recorded Know To Grow webinars to the public until May 31, in response to many professionals staying home and working remotely. AWC provides monthly Know to Grow webinars on topics like internal/external communications, leadership, technology in communications, social media, marketing, branding or professional development. For more information go to https://womcom.org/content.aspx?page_id=4002&club_id=903060&item_id=1206572

   Facebook Journalism Project (FJP): COVID-19 Local News Relief Fund Grant Program is offering grant opportunities to publishers to help U.S. local newsrooms continue serving communities during the coronavirus outbreak. Publishers can apply for relief grants through April 24, 2020. Applicants may request grant amounts ranging from $25,000-$100,000.

Additional information is available through this link, including a webinar about how to apply: https://www.facebook.com/journalismproject/programs/grants/coronavirus-local-news-relief-fund?content_id=BNeTSDeXPT71427.

Former KCABJ member Jenee’ Osterheldt shared via Twitter that Bina Venkataraman @ binajv recently tweeted: “To journalists recently laid off: We’re looking for sharp, surprising op-eds for @GlobeOpinion and for reported features on unconventional ideas for @GlobeIdeas. Learn more at https://twitter.com/binajv/status/1261322264131309570.

KC People

KCABJ’s membership increased by one with the renewal of April Jackson.

Former KCABJ Vice President for Print Ramanda Hicks will have a new book coming out soon titled Peaces: Poetry and Prose. Congratulations to Ramanda!


KCABJ Newsletter for April 2020

April 19, 2020 - Leave a Response

KCABJ Academy

In the last two months, the new coronavirus, or COVID-19, has changed the way KCABJ members and other blacks in the news media have done their jobs. Some are working from home. Some are doing interviews via Zoom, Skype or Facetime. Nearly all of the media are consumed with the effects the pandemic is having on the country.

Journalists of color, nevertheless, are getting the job done, keeping the public informed about the pandemic and the threats it continues to create for people.

A sad development in the last month has been the death of Donna Stewart, editor and publisher of The Call of Kansas City. Ms. Stewart passed away April 11. She had been diagnosed in late 2019 with pancreatic cancer.

Stewart, 65, began her 42-year newspaper career with The Call in May 1977 after graduating from Lincoln University in Jefferson City. She worked closely with legendary Call editor and publisher Lucile H. Bluford. Ms. Bluford died June 13, 2003, at age 91. Ms. Stewart helped care for Ms. Bluford until her death, and then continue to publish The Call.

The newspaper established in 1919 championed civil rights efforts in Kansas City, providing coverage of black people and businesses when no other news media would cover them. The Call plans to continue publishing under the leadership of Eric Wesson, acting managing editor.

KCABJ in 2003 established a scholarship in Ms. Bluford’s honor, and Ms. Stewart has helped to present the scholarship to the student annually selected based on merit to receive it.

A memorial service has not been set yet largely because of the COVID-19 threat and restrictions on the number of people who can attend.


Because of COVID-19, the National Association of Black Journalists is asking that people needing to contact individuals or the NABJ office reach out to Angela Holcomb, executive assistant, at aholcomb@nabj.org. She will forward any messages to the right person.

Meanwhile, NABJ continues to prepare for the July 8-12 joint convention with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in Washington, D.C. Michael Wilbon, a sports journalist, has been picked as the NABJ honorary chair for the 2020 joint.

Since early March, NABJ has been exploring three paths for the convention — an “in-person” convention as scheduled, a “virtual convention,” and a “hybrid in-person/virtual convention” are all being planned. NABJ will proceed down one of the three paths, hoping the in-person gathering works out. Which path we choose will be dictated by COVID-19 conditions in mid-May. There are many factors to consider including local, state and federal government restrictions, the local COVID-19 environment and at the top of the list is prospective attendee comfort with health concerns.

NABJ members are being asked to take the survey below on the July convention. To provide your views, go to https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdRTG-giKJ_3MffMONZqIQScHZwrZdFDl3l3wkaE2LFETTGeQ/viewform.

NABJ members have not gone untouched by COVID-19, which has disproportionately infected and claimed the lives of African Americans nationwide. Part of that is linked to disparities in health care access among African Americans and related health care vulnerabilities such as hypertension, diabetes and heart conditions. NABJ reported that at least one of the attendees participating in the Millennial Media Summit on March 7 in New York at Columbia University tested positive for the coronavirus. Several weeks later, NABJ President Dorothy Tucker tested positive for the new coronavirus.

Tucker shared with NABJ members: “I only experienced mild symptoms — a low-grade fever and a couple of days of fatigue. That was it.

“Because of my past travels, I have no idea where I contracted the virus. What’s important is that I have fully recovered, and my family did not have any symptoms. I am thankful.

“My experience is a reminder that we must be mindful of our health and self-care. Please remember that it is OK to respectfully decline any assignment that makes you feel uncomfortable.

“Make sure you wear protective gear at all times and practice social distancing. We need you healthy so you can continue to do great work. Please  join me in sending well wishes to our members who are still recovering from the coronavirus.

“Take care and thank you for all you do! Please email nabjcovid@nabj.org to share any thoughts, concerns or experiences.”

Because of COVID-19, some NABJ members may have been laid off or face job uncertainty. NABJ urges members to visit www.NABJCareers.org to access more than 120 jobs, representing about 100 employers. In fact, several new jobs were posted in the last few days.

Because of President Donald Trump’s attacks during his press briefings on journalists, NABJ has issued a statement saying it is “appalled to watch recent press briefings where the president of the United States is referring to veteran journalists, like our member Yamiche Alcindor and other industry colleagues, as being “terrible journalists” and accusing them of asking ‘nasty questions.’

“In a time where the entire world is looking for answers, it is the job of journalists to ask the hard and important questions, and it is the job of officials to answer them factually. Now more than ever, as we face the coronavirus pandemic together, citizens deserve facts. No journalist should be belittled or insulted for simply doing their job. We ask the president to treat all journalists fairly during this critical time.”

NABJ is providing tips on self-care during the pandemic. Go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3HhWeE-HgJA&feature=youtu.be&t=30 for more information. An NABJ member survey is at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfXqCzb8EaNicW-mejSLK4lEGeVBID0q4T3SpIC74CgmZ2U2A/viewform.

NABJ also is providing an “Online Teaching During the Coronavirus Pandemic” out of Temple University. Go to https://temple.zoom.us/j/811099680.

This is an election year for NABJ. Here is the list of certified candidates for the 2020-2022 Board of Director:

Vice President-Print



Ernest Owens


Ernest Media Empire, LLC

Philadelphia, PA

Walter Smith-Randolph

General Assignment Reporter

WKRC Local 12 News

Cincinnati, OH


Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig


MFC3 Media/shades Magazine – Celebrating All Women of Color

Oakland, CA


Region II Director


Region IV Director

Tre’vell Anderson

Freelance Multimedia Journalist

Los Angeles, CA

Academic Representative

Dr. Milbert O. Brown, Jr.

Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Communication

Washington Adventist University

Takoma Park, MD

Jarrad Henderson

Senior Multimedia Producer

USA Today

McLean, VA

Russell Motley


Florida Memorial University

Miami Gardens, FL

Media-Related Representative


You can learn more about our candidates HERE.

Getty Images and the National Association of Black Journalists are collaborating on a new $10,000 award to a university student focused on photojournalism. The deadline to apply for the Getty Images Inclusion Scholarship is April 27. For more information, go to https://gettyimages.submittable.com/submit/162542/nabj-getty-images-inclusion-scholarship.

Opportunity Knocks

The E.W. Scripps Company – Entertainment and Media Industry has an opening for a Journalism Career Program Producer — Entertainment and Media Industry Opportunity in Kansas City. For more information, go to https://kimblegroup.com/jobdetails?jobkey=10010527949-183515cfce546&jobtitle=Journalism%20Career%20Program%20Producer%20-%20Entertainment%20and%20Media%20Industry%20Opportunity&jobcompany=The%20E.W.%20Scripps%20Company%20-%20Entertainment%20and%20Media%20Industry&joblocation=Kansas%20City%2C%20MO&linkDate=1586786520&hash=1026149c60f7260270bf8ba8b76a076797b21485c5186d6376d29723.



KCABJ Newsletter for March 2020

March 13, 2020 - Leave a Response

Coronavirus Effect

KCABJ members were excited and looking forward to traveling across Missouri for the Region II conference of the National Association of Black Journalists. However, the trip was sidelined because the March 13-14 event was canceled.

Blame the coronavirus and the precautions the national office took to keep the pandemic from spreading to NABJ members. NABJ President Dorothy Tucker, who was to attend the regional conference to have breakfast on March 14 with members wrote that NABJ regional conferences have been postponed perhaps until the fall.

The NABJ-NAHJ Convention on June 8-12 in Washington, D.C., however, is still set to take place. Tucker writes: “Those who have already paid for regional conferences will have their registration transferred when the conferences are rescheduled. For those preferring a refund, email Veronique Dodson at membership@nabj.org.”

Because of the virus, which began about three months ago in Wuhan, China, and spread to 110 countries throughout the world, some NABJ members are reporting that they have been told to work remotely from home instead of going to their newsrooms. In addition because of closures on the University of Maryland campus, NABJ staff members are working offsite. To contact the staff of NABJ, please email Angela Holcomb, executive assistant, at aholcomb@nabj.org. She will route inquiries or requests to the appropriate department or staff member.


Here is more about the coronavirus from NABJ Executive Director Drew Berry:

“We will adjust our conference plans as developments dictate changes. Although there are competing viewpoints, as you may know, some health care officials say they expect a dramatic downward trend of coronavirus cases as the weather gets warmer consistent with the annual flu season. Others say it is too early to tell if warmer temperatures in July will result in a reduction in cases because not enough is known at this point about this strain of coronavirus.

“Either way, we are certainly going to comply with health officials and the hotel if they call for shutting down the facility and convention because of a high-risk threat to our members and guests. There is no sign of that action at this point.

“We will be taking precautions at our conference.  We will have multiple ‘sanitation stations’ throughout the facility. We will also insert hand sanitizers in all convention bags and include reminders from the health care industry on how to protect against such infections and how you can do your part to make sure these ailments are not spread. Although most people certainly know all of the prevention tips, it doesn’t hurt to remind everyone about these tips as they get excited during convention engagement. Of course, we strongly encourage anyone with the flu, flu-like symptoms, etc., to meet us at next year’s convention in Houston!

“The bottom line is at this point we fully expect to continue with our convention and conference activities. We are still trending toward record attendance. If anything changes, we will let you know. See you in D.C.!”

Meanwhile, to provide NABJ members and colleagues with more time to complete their submissions, in light of coronavirus coverage and related schedule changes, NABJ has extended the Salute to Excellence deadline to March 31 (midnight, ET).

All professional and student media organizations and individuals involved in print, broadcast, online journalism and other media-related platforms can nominate or submit via our portal link: https://ww5.aievolution.com/nbj2001/index.cfm?do=cnt.page&pg=2008.

NABJ issued a statement last month on reported extremist activities against journalists of color. The Arizona Republic reported that the “FBI arrested four ‘racially motivated violent extremists’ from four states for delivering threats by mail to journalists and activists of color, as well as representatives of the Jewish community. Their actions are believed to be a part of the efforts of an online hate group or neo-Nazi extremist group.

“NABJ condemns any threats or extremist actions made against journalists of color and journalists of all races. No journalist should be placed in harm’s way for doing their job or because of their profession,” said NABJ President Dorothy Tucker. “We applaud the FBI in their efforts to bring these accused extremists to justice. NABJ encourages all members, fellow journalists and activists to take precautions and alert authorities immediately of suspicious activity or threats. If any journalists feel their work may result in threats or harmful activity from extremists or others, we recommend following the safety steps shared in the Security Guide published on the Committee to Protect Journalists website. Please contact authorities immediately if you are experiencing such issues.”

Tips from the Committee to Protect Journalists can be found here and include:

  • Alert authorities of any concerning activities.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Follow practical safety procedures such as varying travel routes, changing routines, and keeping home and office buildings locked and alarmed.
  • Be mindful of what you post on social media concerning your family, whereabouts, and location.
  • Consider the assistance of security experts.

The NABJ Elections Committee is accepting candidate declaration filings for the 2020-2021 NABJ Board of Directors. The filing deadline is 5 p.m. ET on Monday, March 30. The offices up for election this year are:


  • Vice President-Print
  • Treasurer
  • Parliamentarian
  • Region II Director
  • Region IV Director
  • Academic Representative
  • Media-Related Representative


Any member seeking a position on the NABJ Board of Directors, including incumbent candidates, must submit a declaration packet by Monday, March 30, 2020, at 5 p.m. ET HERE.

The declaration packet must include the following (in PDF format):


Voting will take place from June 1 through July 10 online and during the convention.

For more information, visit the NABJ Elections page. The Elections Committee urges members to run for office.

Please contact me or NABJ Elections liaison Veronique Dodson at vdodson@nabj.org, if you have questions.


News You Can Use

Here are some job and other opportunities from the NABJ Roundup Monthly Newsletter:


The Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH)  is seeking papers on its theme: “African Americans and the Vote.” The group is having its 105th Annual Meeting and Conference Sept. 23-27 in Montgomery, Ala. For more information go to https://asalh.org/call-for-papers/.

The deadline for the Society of Environmental Journalists’ Awards for Reporting on the Environment is April 1.  SEJ’s 19th annual Awards for Reporting on the Environment honor the best environmental journalism in 10 categories, bringing recognition to the most important stories on the planet. Prizes include $500 for first-place winners and $250 for second-place winners in all categories.

The Nina Mason Pulliam Award for the “best of the best” environmental reporting will award $10,000 to one entry selected from the first-place winners of SEJ’s Awards for Reporting on the Environment. The prize also includes travel, registration and hotel expenses (up to $2,500) for the winner, or representatives of the winning team, to attend SEJ’s annual conference Sept. 23-27 in Boise, Idaho, and be recognized at the awards presentation ceremony at a gala luncheon on Sept. 26. For more information, go to https://www.sej.org/initiatives/sej-annual-conferences/overview.

All NABJ members are encouraged to join NABJ Task Forces. Contact the chairs listed below if you are interested in joining one or more of the following groups:

Arts and Entertainment Task Force

Contact: Kelley Carter, KelleyCarter@gmail.com or Venton D. Blandin, vinnieinvirginia@yahoo.com

Media-Related Task Force

Contact: Terry Allen,  terryallenpr@gmail.com or Pamela R. Purifoy, prpropam@gmail.com

Black Press Task Force

Contact: Tene Croom, tene.croom.tc@gmail.com or Othor Cain, othorcain@gmail.com

Broadcast Task Force

Contact: Alexis Rogers, alexisrrogers@gmail.com or Brandon Pope, jlandon623@yahoo.com

Print Task Force

Contact: Johann Calhoun, Calhoun.nabj@gmail.com

Digital Journalism Task Force

Contact: Tracie Powell, tracie.powell@gmail.com or Michael Grant, m.grant1981@gmail.com

Founders Task Force

Contact: Sandra Dawson Long Weaver, sandralongweaver@yahoo.com 

Global Journalism Task Force

Contact: Damaso Reyes, damasoreyes@gmail.com or Clarece Polke, clare.polke@gmail.com

LGBTQ Task Force

Contact: Tre’vell Anderson, anderson.trevell@gmail.com or Femi Redwood, femiredwood@gmail.com

Political Journalism Task Force

Contact: Tia Mitchell, tiamitchell6@gmail.com

Sports Journalism Task Force

Contact: A. Sherrod Blakely, sherrodb111@gmail.com 

Visual Task Force.

Contact: Jarrad Henderson, jarrad.henderson@gmail.com

Young Black Journalists Task Force

Contact: Chelsea Fuller, cgfuller.10@gmail.com or Walter Smith-Randolph, waltersmithrandolph@gmail.com

HBCU Task Force

Contact: Michael Grant, m.grant1981@gmail.com or Clarece Polke, clare.polke@gmail.com

or Daarel Burnette II, dburnette@epe.org

Freelance Task Force

Contact: Shanita Hubbard, s.reneehubbard@gmail.com

Business Task Force

Contact: Renita Young, renita@renitadyoung.com





KCABJ Membership Application for 2020

Mail this application with your $35 ($25 for students) check or money order to KCABJ, P.O. Box 414014, Kansas City, Mo. 64141. It covers your annual membership dues. Membership entitles you to receive the KCABJ monthly newsletter on the KCABJ website at kcabj.org and emailed meeting notices.






HOME ADDRESS_________________________



Email address____________________________


Phone (w) _________________________




Cellphone __________________________

Occupation (Title, company and address):




(circle one)


Years of Experience________________________


KCABJ and/or NABJ member

(circle one or both)


(Membership in KCABJ runs from January through December. Membership is subsidized by long-term KCABJ investments.)


KCABJ Newsletter for February 2020

February 18, 2020 - Leave a Response

KCABJ Renewal

A new year has begun, which also means it is time for KCABJ members and those who want to be to renew or to begin their membership in the organization. Annual dues is $35 for full membership; $25 for students. More details of how to become a member are at the end of this monthly newsletter. You can also learn more by going to kcabj.org.

KCABJ members will be among the participants in the Region II conference of the National Association of Black Journalists. This year the conference will take place March 13-15 in St. Louis. It will be at the Marriott St. Louis Grand Downtown. The conference will provide those who attend insight on rapidly changing news platforms, the deluge of major news stories and the upcoming presidential election. The Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists (GSLABJ) is hosting the event. The theme is “Telling Our Story.” Featured panels and events will include a Jobs Fair, Ferguson, Mo., and its impact on journalism, covering the 2020 presidential election, a scholarship fundraising party and a Sunday Jazz Brunch. NABJ President Dorothy Tucker plans to have a breakfast with attendees at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 14 at the conference hotel. Those who plan to attend the breakfast must RSVP before Feb. 28 to aholcomb@nabj.org. For more information on the conference, go to http://www.gslabj.org/.


The National Association of Black Journalists was among journalism organizations that met with ViacomCBS Executive Vice President, Global Head of Inclusion Marva Smalls. Others attending the Feb. 13 meeting were members of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association (NLGJA).

One concern involved reports from Variety (the story can be found here) that indicate the company’s diversity staff is undergoing significant reductions that could, presumably, negatively impact diversity initiatives and commitments.

The second issue NABJ wants more information on involves a Gayle King interview with WNBA star Lisa Leslie, during which King asked about a 2003 sexual assault charge against Kobe Bryant that was dropped. The interview clip has set off myriad reactions including people expressing disapproval that Ms. King brought up the topic during the morning of Bryant’s death with his daughters and others in a helicopter crash on Jan. 20 in Calabasas, Calif.

King has stated that she takes issue with her company, CBS, for posting the interview “out of context.” CBS issued a statement that said, “An excerpt was posted that did not reflect the nature and tone of the full interview. We are addressing the internal process that led to this and changes have already been made.”

Reports say Ms. King has received death threats as a result of this issue. NABJ does not condone any form of violence.

Candid discussions with ViacomCBS’ Marva Smalls centered on diversity and inclusion paths and the ViacomCBS commitment in the future following the merger of Viacom and CBS last December. The members of the journalism organizations requested the meeting because members wanted assurances that diversity and inclusion were important components of future plans at the company. The organizations sought transparency and accountability in data and demographics. Accountability helps create newsrooms that are inclusive and reflective to better serve communities. All participants agreed to ongoing discussions around these topics and that those discussions coupled with a strong ViacomCBS plan and mutual accountability have the potential for desirable outcomes.


The NABJ Region III conference takes place April 3-5 in Nashville, Tenn. It will be at the Freedom Forum John Siegenthaler First Amendment Center. The theme is “Vision, Skills, Stories, Strategies.” The conference will include in-depth sessions on mobile storytelling. For more information, go to https://www.nabj.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1329095&group=.


The NABJ Region I conference will take place April 17-18 in Pittsburgh, Pa. The theme is “Reimagine, Reinvent & Reemerge: Leveling Up in the Evolving Media Landscape.” The conference hotel is the Pittsburgh Marriott City Center. The conference will include a job fair, diversity management training and workshops on multimedia use, enhancing job skills to remain competitive, media technology and entrepreneurship. The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation will host the Friday night, April 17 opening reception.

For more information, go to https://www.nabj.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1327790&group=.


For the NABJ-NAHJ Convention on June 8-12 in Washington, D.C., Leisa Richardson and Walter Smith-Randolph have been named NABJ’s program chairs. The convention hotel is the Washington Marriott Wardman Park. Richardson is a veteran journalist and executive editor at The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Illinois. Smith-Randolph is an award-winning journalist and reporter at WKRC Local 12 News in Cincinnati. To register for the national convention, go to https://www.nabjnahjconvention.com/index.cfm.


Nominations for NABJ’s 2020 Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony and Special Honors, which will be awarded at the Convention, are also being accepted here.

NABJ’s most coveted awards honor the groundbreaking accomplishments of Black journalists and those who support the Black community in the media. Honorees will be celebrated during the #NABJNAHJ20 Convention & Career Fair in Washington, D.C. The nomination deadline is March 6. For more information, go to https://thenabj.wufoo.com/forms/s11yaq100r6vmbz/. For NABJ Hall of Fame, go to https://thenabj.wufoo.com/forms/2020-nabj-hall-of-fame-nomination-form/. The nomination deadline is March 6.


The NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards nomination portal is now open to all media organizations and individuals involved in print, broadcast, online journalism and other media. The deadline to nominate is March 13. For more information, go to https://ww5.aievolution.com/nbj2001/index.cfm?do=cnt.page&pg=2008.


The NABJ Young Journalists Task Force will have its annual Millennial Media Summit on March 20 at Columbia University in New York City. For more information go to https://www.nabj.org/events/EventDetails.aspx?id=1327368&group=.


The NABJ National Office is looking for qualified interns to assist the full-time staff. Interns will gain experience in the day-to-day operations of a national, nonprofit membership organization devoted to providing quality programs and member services. This is a paid summer internship. NABJ is located on the campus of the University of Maryland, College Park. For more information, go to https://thenabj.wufoo.com/forms/s1sat6cq0nl33q2/.


In partnership with NABJ, ABC News is launching the 2020 NABJ/ABC NEWS Summer Internship. Applications will be accepted through March 13. Some of the departments or shows these interns could be working for are “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight with David Muir,” “20/20,” “Nightline,” abcnews.com “ABC News Live” and “The View.” For more information, go to https://thenabj.wufoo.com/forms/s9uc0q31laiqnl/.


NABJ is also partnering with Comcast NBCUniversal to offer the NBC News Summer Fellows Program. The NABJ/NBC News Summer Fellowship will provide students with experiencing working with NBC News, MSNBC and CNBC. For more information, go to https://thenabj.wufoo.com/forms/s1vv1uze0x8m3re/.


NABJ members are invited to participate in the NABJ database for editors. The goal is to create an archive of editors that includes: deputy, copy, special projects, community engagement, audience engagement, breaking news, editorial page, opinions, web, digital, social media, photo, visual, sports, and any others who function in an editor’s position. For more information, send email to nabjeditors@gmail.com.


News You Can Use

The Kansas Press Association’s Annual Convention runs from 6 p.m. March 19 to 5 p.m. March 20 in Newton, Kan. Registration is $150.  Accommodations at a Holiday Inn next door are available at a conference rate of $99 plus 16.5 percent in taxes. For more information, go to http://kspress.com/contests-and-convention.


The Association for Women in Communications is now accepting entries for its Clarion Awards. Begun in in 1972, the Clarions honor excellence in more than 100 categories across all communications disciplines, including advertising and marketing, audiovisual productions, books and CDs, brochures, custom and special publications, education, fund development, magazines, major news events, newsletters, newspapers, online media, photography, graphics and design communications, public relations, radio, and television. For more information, go to https://womcom.org/content.aspx?page_id=22&club_id=903060&module_id=299045.


The Peace Journalist magazine based at Park University is seeking submissions for our April 2020 edition. The deadline is March 2. To see copies of the most recent Peace Journalist, and to peruse past issues, go to:
https://www.park.edu/academics/explore-majors-programs/peace-studies-minor/center-global-peace-journalism-2/peace-journalist/. Please submit your article via email to article via email to steve.youngblood@park.edu.


The Chronicle of Philanthropy, an independent news organization, seeks an experienced editor to lead its opinion section. Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, three examples of pieces that they have written or edited that demonstrate an ability to do this job, three two-paragraph pitches for story ideas, and salary requirements to editorialsearch@chronicle.com.  Indicate “Philanthropy editor” in the subject line.

KC People

KCABJ Membership Application for 2020

Membership has its privileges. Mail this application with your $35 check or money order ($25 for students) to KCABJ, P.O. Box 414014, Kansas City, Mo. 64141. It covers your annual membership dues. Membership entitles you to receive the KCABJ monthly newsletter and emailed meeting notices.






HOME ADDRESS_________________________



Email address____________________________


Phone _________________________




Cellphone __________________________

Occupation (Title, company and address):



(circle one)


Years of Experience________________________


KCABJ and/or NABJ member

(circle one or both)


(Membership in KCABJ runs from January through December. Membership is subsidized by KCABJ investment income.)

For more information or news about KCABJ members, email KCABJ President Lewis Diuguid at diuguidlj@yahoo.com.