Summer & Fall NABJ Journal 2019

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Summer / Fall 2019



NABJ JOURNAL Summer / Fall 2019 Vol. 36, No. 1

Official Publication of the National Association of Black Journalists



23 34 35 36 37

Photo: Jason M. Johnson

In Memoriam Student Projects

Celebrating 30 Years of Success

In Their Own Words Stories of Impact

NABJ Congrats 2019 NABJ Convention

NABJ’s Record-breaking Annual Gathering




Dorothy Butler Gilliam


A Drum Major for Excellence




Sarah Glover


30 Led NABJ to Success and Solvency

Dorothy Tucker

Ready to Lead NABJ into the Future



WBBM-TV Chicago, Ill.

Marlon A. Walker

Dorothy Tucker

V IC E P R E S I D E N T -


Atlanta Journal-Constitution Atlanta, Ga.



Cox Media Group –WSOC-TV Charlotte, N.C.

I Messenger Media LLC Dallas, Texas

Ken Lemon


Roland S. Martin NuVision Media, Inc. Leesburg, Va.

Cheryl Smith


Greg Morrison BumpertoBumpertv Atlanta, Ga.


Khorri Atkinson Law360 Washington, D.C.



Newsday Melville, N.Y.

Dr. Milbert O. Brown Jr.

Tory Parrish


Sia Nyorkor WOIO-TV Cleveland, Ohio


Washington Adventist University Takoma Park, MD MEDIA- R EL ATE D R EPR ESEN TATIVE

Terry Allen


1016 Media/FedEx Dallas, Texas

WFLA-TV Tampa, Fla.


Rod Carter


Terry Collins Freelance San Francisco, Calif.


Enjoyiana Nururdin Univ. of Wisconsin-Madison

Special thanks to past 2019 Board members Sarah Glover, President; Johann Calhoun, Region 1 Director; and Kyra Azore, Student Representative. JOURNAL | SUMMER/FALL 2019


“...Come together around those things that we [have] in common, and push the industry further.”

from the



These words were spoken by trailblazer and former

NABJ STAFF Drew Berry Executive Director

NABJ President Dorothy Butler Gilliam during an

Angela Y. Robinson

interview with “The History Makers,” which included a

Director of Operations

segment on her work with NABJ and other organizations for journalists of color. Though the interview was

Kaylan Somerville

recorded decades ago, her words ring true today. They

Development Director

speak to the heart of my hopes and passion for NABJ. NABJ changed my life. It gave me a safe and constant place to embrace my culture and individuality, hone my skills, learn from the best, and take what I learned to help

Veronique Dodson Director of Membership

transform the newsrooms I have worked in, as well as

Kanya Stewart

mentor others. NABJ pushed me further and now, with

Director of Communications

your help, my desire is to push NABJ and the industry further — further in diversity and inclusion efforts, further in prioritizing equal pay,

Nathaniel Chambers

further in securing career advancement opportunities for journalists of colors and

Finance Manager

much more. But in order to accomplish this, we must come together around the things we have in common. NABJ’s ability to move forward into the future of this shifting media landscape and into higher heights of advocacy, training and career development requires all of us. It

Senior Program Manager

requires our collective experiences, similarities and differences, and I am confident that

Garretta Rollins

together we can achieve great things for NABJ.

Program Manager

Together, we will make a profound impact on the industry, changing it for the better while holding it accountable. Together, we can evolve and modernize our

Sharon Odle

programming and the way we tell our story; embrace more journalists of color

Staff Accountant

worldwide; extend services and offerings for members; build upon our historic mission; and advance our core areas of focus. Together, we will drive the change needed to ensure parity in the recruitment, hiring and promotion of journalists and communicators of color. But without you, none of this is possible. I want to hear from you and want to engage in conversations with our members that will indeed move NABJ forward. We will soon announce several strategies and initiatives to get the ball rolling, but to make them happen, we need your perspectives and talents in our committees and task forces, your presence at our media institutes, regional events and conventions, and your voice as we embark on several online/social media campaigns and storytelling projects. Last, but certainly not least, thank you for taking the time to read our summer/fall issue of the NABJ Journal. I am confident you will enjoy the work of our contributors. In this edition, you will read parting words from past President Sarah Glover; learn more about one of the fastest-growing mediums in the industry; journey through the legacy of the late Lorraine Branham and the impact of Dorothy Butler Gilliam; and join in on the celebration of the 30th anniversary of NABJ’s Student Multimedia Project. I am excited about what the future holds for NABJ and I’m encouraged that we will reach our goals, together. NABJ Forward,

Dorothy Tucker | NABJ President | @Dororthy4NABJ


Vanessa Johnson-Evans


NABJ JOURNAL STAFF Contributing Editors Michael Days Angela Dodson Sarah Glover Kanya Stewart Will Sutton Contributors Wayne Dawkins Edwin P. Lake Angela Dodson DeArbea Walker Denise Clay Jason M. Johnson Aaron J. NABJ Monitor Staff

From Former President


Sarah Glover

ver the course of my tenure as NABJ’s 21st president, I had the privilege of addressing Black student journalists at multiple college campuses throughout the United States. From those experiences, I will always remember the hope that sparkled in the students’ eyes. That sparkle was a resounding reminder that now more than ever NABJ matters. While our mission is more than 44 years old, its relevance today is evidenced in the lack of Black representation in news leadership, pay inequities, discriminatory practices and the racist news headlines we see and hear too often. These are issues the NABJ Board and our chapters have been tackling over recent years on international, regional and local levels. We’ve ushered in major successes and improvements in the cause of media diversity. Now it’s time for NABJ to shift full focus to the future and continue to uplift our record number of 4,000 plus members. Yes, decades later – after those 44 brave men and women



gathered in Washington, D.C., to form our organization – we are still fighting for equity and diversity in newsrooms and organizations across America and the world. There are still barriers to be broken, doors to be kicked in and glass ceilings to break. During each of my campus and newsroom visits over the past four years, I have had the opportunity to share NABJ’s purpose and programs, and as each student listened and watched attentively, their eyes yearned for NABJ to “keep fighting, keep blazing new paths and keep building bridges for equal opportunity.” Thanks to the commitment of the NABJ Board, our staff, our members and our partners I am able to look back at them with an assurance that we, NABJ, are giving our greatest efforts to ensure that they, our future, will have a seat at the table, and if they choose, they may create and own their own table. The members of the NABJ Board over the past four years – Marlon A. Walker, Dorothy Tucker, Roland Martin, Cheryl Smith, Greg Morrison, Khorri Atkinson, Johann Calhoun, Sia Nyorkor, Ken Lemon, Terry

Collins, Terry Allen, Milbert Brown, Kyra Azore, Benet J. Wilson, Sherlon Christie, Dave Jordan, Melanie Burney, Vicki Thomas, Gayle Hurd, Marcus Vanderberg, Tanzi West Barbour, Michelle Johnson and Wilton Jackson, as well as NABJ Executive Director Drew Berry and the NABJ staff, and the numerous committee chairs, chapter and task force leaders, and volunteers deserve praise for their hard work. All have served passionately alongside me in the trenches. As the organization moves forward from my tenure as president, we are in good hands with the new Board led

NABJ and instrumental for expanding partnership relationships, dovetailing with our efforts to expand NABJ’s use of technology, such as live streaming and LinkedIn training. In 2018, we had another historic moment, our reporting trip to China. It was NABJ’s first trip to Asia. There, I saw our budding journalists light up with courage and confidence every day during our journey – as they learned that there are truly no physical boundaries to what they can accomplish as Black journalists. In 2017, the rollout of the NABJ Strategic Plan 2017-2020 was vital

Morrison. In 2016, we added to the NABJ history books a special chapter, as we pulled together as a Board, staff, members and partners and ended the year with a $1.3 million surplus – the highest in the organization’s 44-year history. In 2019, NABJ achieved another milestone: we enhanced reserves with four consecutive years of surpluses, began planning for the future by establishing three new investment accounts, and took a portion of our 2018 surplus and applied it to our scholarship account, establishing our scholarship

...keep fighting, keep blazing new paths and keep building bridges for equal opportunity. by Dorothy Tucker, CBS 2 Chicago’s investigative reporter. As I write this column, I look back with pride, reflecting on the history and positive changes we accomplished together over the last four years and I am confident that we have set a course for our young people to access the keys, ladders and hammers they will need to reach their full potential in today’s media landscape and beyond. For instance, this year we held our inaugural, first-of-its-kind mobile Media Institute program in Silicon Valley, where we were able to expose the next generation, and current professionals, to opportunities in technology and the importance of diversifying this arena. We visited the headquarters of Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn and Nerd Wallet to name some. This program was groundbreaking for

to our future and builds upon the legacy of the work of our founders. It has become a model in our industry and our best practices have generated additional funding from the Ford Foundation and Democracy Fund to continue to build capacity at our National Office to assist in the realization of our strategic goals. Because of this plan, we have been able to successfully execute financial and organizational stability, secure more job opportunities for our members, offer more training and professional development, enhance our advocacy activities and focus on special projects, like optimizing our annual convention site selection and providing more fellowship and scholarship opportunities. And importantly, NABJ owns its own name, as we’ve trademarked our logo thanks to the efforts of NABJ Treasurer Greg

investment account with $1.3 million in the coffers. NABJ also secured a $250,000 Facebook scholarship. As an NABJ Baby (1995) and former NABJ scholarship recipient myself, I’m very, very proud of this accomplishment. This administration has made sure that our future is bright for emerging and seasoned journalists alike. We’ve worked with our partners to create new opportunities for mid-career journalists with the return of the Ethel Payne Fellowship, after a 10year hiatus, and launched the NABJ Content Creators Fellowship. NABJ moved from talk to action and ramped up its advocacy efforts during my administration. We sought more opportunities for Black executives in news leadership specifically. Following CNN’s unwillingness to meet with NABJ, we called for a civil rights audit at CNN that resulted in JOURNAL | SUMMER/FALL 2019


the NAACP, NNPA, Color of Change and the Congressional Black Caucus to echo NABJ’s sentiments. We worked with The Associated Press to expand its definition of “boy” in the AP Stylebook and asked them to capitalize Black when describing people and communities, as I’ve done so throughout this column. And last but certainly not least, over the course of my tenure as president, we developed and launched the Black Male Media Project (BMMP), making an international impact not just in the media landscape but in Black communities and communities of color everywhere. BMMP is an initiative to help change the narrative around the lives of Black men and how they are portrayed in the media. With goals to combat the blotter-to-mugshot images of Black male faces, create a fresh and real view of Black men in America and across the diaspora, and to help build trust in communities nationwide, this project is now three years strong and has positively influenced about 1,000 black men In 2019, in its third year and funded by Tegna Foundation and Procter & Gamble, the project went worldwide as I worked with Afro-Colombian journalists to host professional development workshops in Medellin and Cali, Colombia. While we have made many more accomplishments together, these are 8

just a few highlights of our united effort in creating a brighter future for the next generation and the next phase of NABJ’s fight for equal opportunity As we celebrate all of NABJ’s successes, it is also important for me to note that after serving as president of the largest minority journalism organization for four years, that the media industry can and must do more to commit to fair and balanced coverage of the Black community and by extension all communities of color. A greater commitment to the hiring and retention of Black and diverse candidates must be a mandate from the highest level of all media companies. With the U.S. Census forecasting a majority-minority country in 2044, just 25 short years from now, the journalism industry is woefully ill-prepared and media companies must implement real change and open opportunities at the executive and all staff levels so newsrooms are truly representative of the communities they cover Black audiences and viewers are the highest users of mobile technology. Addressing this reality is too big of a business proposition to bypass. Diversity, inclusion and equity is a moral obligation of the Fourth Estate. More support of diversity journalism organizations must happen immediately. All journalists of color organizations are underfunded. I hope for a day when NABJ receives more of the support it needs to function like the first-class nonprofit it is. We know when NABJ succeeds, all diversity journalism efforts benefit, and the support of others oftentimes follows. Real talk, I’m often saddened to read the headlines about major foundations allocating hundreds of millions of dollars to initiatives in local news, digital, women’s issues, and investigative journalism projects. The lack of major commitment to diversity


journalism organizations is telling and deafening. When I first became president four years ago, I declared NABJ was ready for a multi-year, million-dollar grant. Unfortunately, I’ve heard crickets despite NABJ’s work in many of these spaces to power and support other groups. NABJ has done the work, and we’ve built the track record. I truly hope a major grant can come to fruition soon. We are ready. As an NABJ Baby, I am proud to have been blessed with the opportunity to serve NABJ as the first NABJ Baby to become president and the first president to serve for two terms at such an important time in the history of our country - where division and discrimination have once again become the norm, and journalists are under siege and attack by some of the very politicians they are charged with covering. As an organization, we must continue to look racism in the eye and say, “not so.” Although my tenure as president has come to an end, I will continue to support NABJ’s mission until equality is our new normal. After all, I was once one of those students who looked to our NABJ leaders and our beloved founders with the hope that their work would lead to a better future for me. I know that my professional life has been possible because of those who came before me. I dedicated my service to those who’ve inspired me and sadly also passed on, such as Acel Moore, Sidmel Estes and Michael J. Feeney. Thanks to all of NABJ’s members and supporters because of each of you our organization’s combined successes were possible. I will continue to fight the power with each of you -- holding the NABJ banner high and holding the powerful to account. May God bless each and every member of the NABJ family.



After working in the Black Press for nearly five years, DOROTHY BUTLER yearned to work in the daily press, which then was almost exclusively the “white” press. To do so, she decided she would need “white” credentials — a master’s degree in journalism from a prestigious university “to at least enhance my opportunities to get a job on a white daily,” she recalled. (Only one Black daily existed in the nation.)



...Trailblazer By Angela P. Dodson

She was a Black woman from the South, born in Memphis, Tennessee, and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, a preacher’s daughter. Her undergraduate degree was from Lincoln University in Missouri, a historically Black institution, and she had worked for three Black-owned publications, first for the Louisville Defender and The Tri-State Defender in Memphis, then at JET magazine. For the Tri-State Defender, she had covered the integration of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, assigning herself to go after she saw her boss on television being beaten by a mob. In 1959, she applied to Columbia University “the most famous graduate journalism program in the country,” Dorothy Butler Gilliam writes in her new memoir, “Trailblazer: A Pioneering Journalist’s Fight to Make the Media Look More Like America.” The book was published by Center Street/Hachette Publishing Group on January 8. “The school turned down my application on the basis that I didn’t have enough liberal arts credits on my transcript from Lincoln University to meet Columbia’s criteria,” she recalled. “I didn’t question their decision.“ Determined to get in someday, she took a job at Tuskegee Institute at the invitation of a JET colleague, Sam Yette, who got a job there heading the public relations office and offered her a position as his assistant. She could take

the courses she needed there. Yette later became executive secretary of the Peace Corps, the first Black Washington correspondent for Newsweek and author of a landmark book, “The Choice: The Issue of Black Survival in America.” At Tuskegee, she took courses to fulfill the Columbia requirements, reapplied and got in. She was the only Black woman, and one of only 15 women in a class with 45 men, including one African American. The women joked that the school had a quota on them. When she went off to Tuskegee, Gilliam did not know that a Columbia alumnus in Chicago who interviewed her for the application process had written a note to the school officials, suggesting that they should be aware that the candidate was “very dark-skinned.” “I found out about the interviewer’s remark decades later when the school recognized me as one of the Columbia Alumni of the Year, and a professor, my old Washington Post colleague Luther Jackson, found it in my records,” she wrote in “Trailblazer.” At that stage of integration in America, lighter-skinned Black people sometimes were given preference by employers or schools, even by other Black people, but despite the reviewer’s comment, her dark complexion did not seem to be an issue at Columbia after she reapplied. While she was there, one

Photo Credits - Left: Kea Dupree Photography Right: Evan Sigmund for SRQ Magazine JOURNAL | SUMMER/FALL 2019


Dorothy Butler Gilliam in the fall of 1961 or early in 1962, soon after having arrived at The Washington Post. (Harry Naltchayan / Washington Post)


professor did tell her in a kind way that, in view of her race and gender, “You’ve got so many handicaps, you’ll probably make it” in journalism. She persevered, graduating in 1961 with a master’s degree in journalism. That same year, she became the first Black woman reporter at the Washington Post, (following two Black men, Luther P. Jackson Jr. and Wallace H. Terry) where she would have a long and distinguished career, spanning more than 40 years as a reporter, editor in the Style section, metro columnist and founder of a high school journalism program, before retiring in June 2003. At a gathering in Philadelphia on February 19, “The Inquirer Presents: Dorothy Butler Gilliam,” she described her early days at the Post when cabs would not stop for her because she was Black, most eating establishments near the paper were segregated and a Black doorman at an apartment complex suggested she go around to the maid’s entrance when she showed up to report a story. In the book, she says even her own Post colleagues would ignore her or not recognize her on the street. “It was humiliating — the fact that this was happening in the capital city of the United States,” she said at the Philadelphia event. “J.F.K. was in the White House, and he was beginning to talk about race as a moral issue.” Gilliam had learned the Gregg shorthand method as an undergraduate, at a small Catholic women’s college, Ursuline College in Louisville, Kentucky., where it was in the curriculum “because they seemed to think all women would wind up as secretaries,” she told the audience. (She transferred to Lincoln after her introduction to journalism at the Louisville Defender, where she was working as a secretary when the publisher tapped her to fill in for an ailing society reporter covering Kentucky Derby parties and other upscale social events in the Black community.) In Washington, as Gilliam waited for cabs, she would use shorthand to begin writing her story in her notepad. “Eventually some driver would feel sorry for me, and I could get back to the paper to file my story,” she said. In the book, Gilliam said she would transcribe it, and, thanks to Ursuline’s teachers, she also could type it at 80 words a minute to make her deadline. She kept her humiliations to herself. In “Trailblazers,” Gilliam explained:“I never told my editors about these snubs and slights because race was not discussed in the workplace. I felt that complaining would just give the editors a reason not to hire another Black woman. I feared they would say, ‘You can’t hire them because they can’t get the job done. Cabs won’t even pick them up. It’s not our fault she didn’t make it.’” She was going to make it, covering such major stories as the integration of the


Don’t be afraid of the African American voice and creativity. Be an ally. Racial diversity in the newsroom benefits you — and the nation.” University of Mississippi in 1962, in Oxford, Mississippi, where the only room she could find to stay in overnight was in a Black funeral home because hotels were segregated. In the book, Gilliam also talks about how being a woman and mother affected her career. After a year at the Post, she married Sam Gilliam, then an aspiring artist from Louisville, Kentucky, who went on to be worldrenowned for his abstract work. They had two daughters in quick succession. Wanting more time for her home life, she asked to work a four-day week with longer hours each day, but an editor denied the request. “‘No, you can’t work part-time,’ he told me. ‘There are men here who might want to work part-time so they can write the great American novel. Why should we give you that special privilege?’” Her editors eventually relented, and she began working the shortened week. Later, an editor told her she could no longer do so because it was ruining newsroom morale. When she became pregnant with a third daughter in 1966, she left the paper. Gilliam

took a job as a part-time reporter for WTTG’s television program, “Panorama” with Maury Povich in Washington, wrote freelance magazine articles and taught as an adjunct at American University and Howard University. In 1972, at the suggestion of a writer from the Post who was at her home to interview Sam Gilliam, she agreed to a meeting with the executive editor, Ben Bradlee, and managing editor, Howard Simons, and gladly accepted a job as an assistant editor on the groundbreaking Style section launched in 1969 to replace the old women’s section, For and About Women. In the new section, she helped assemble an outstanding team of African American reporters and reinvent coverage of social life, celebrities and the arts, especially for Black readers. In 1979, she became a columnist on the Metro section, a position she held for 19 years, writing articles that cut to the core of Washington. She quickly became not just a role model for generations of aspiring journalists, Black, white, male and female, but a leader in the

movement to diversify the news media. She worked continually to give journalists following her path a hand up, eventually heading three major organizations that are in the forefront of efforts to diversify media: • She was president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) from 1993-1995 after serving a term as vice president. • Gilliam served as chair of the board of directors of the Robert C. Maynard Institute for Journalism Education (MIJE) from 1985-1992, helping to train journalists of color for reporting, editing and management positions. • She is a former president of the Unity Journalists of Color and was a leader of the first Unity Convention, held in Atlanta in 1994 and attended by an estimated 8,000 journalists. In her final years at the Washington Post, she was the founder/director of the Young Journalists Development Program, before retiring from the newspaper on June 30, 2003. She served as the Shapiro Fellow at the George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs JOURNAL | SUMMER/FALL 2019


for the 2003-2004 academic year and later served as senior research scientist and founder/director of Prime Movers Media (PMM) (www. at G.W. Prime Movers Media provides exposure to journalism for urban high school students in Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. They work closely with veteran journalists, college interns and teachers. Gilliam worked with NABJ Founder Acel Moore to expand the program to Philadelphia. When she began work on her memoir about five years ago, Gilliam said, “I did not plan for it to be released during a time when we have a president who calls the media ‘the enemy of people.’ I think it is providential that my memoir came out now and shows the challenges and problems of media, but also the importance of the media to American Democracy. My book shows how Black people and people of color have worked and continue to work to diversify the media so that it really does reflect the diversity of America.” Her memoir has been very well received. She has been interviewed on “The Daily Show with Trevor Noah,” three times on NPR, by theGrio and Al Jazeera. In Washington, she has made appearances at Busboys and Poets, the Newseum, the National Press Club, at an event co-sponsored by the Washington Post, and at a law firm. Reviews or articles about the book have been written by the New York Daily News, the Washington Post, the Seattle Times and Kirkus Reviews. THE SEATTLE TIMES SAID: “Far from a braggadocios ‘Look what I did!’ memoir, Gilliam’s story resonates in today’s media environment. As racism continues 14

in this country and combines with an increased distrust of news media, added pressure is put on journalists of color.” For young journalists of color feeling hopeless, Gilliam’s book is an informative and inspiring source of solace. Gilliam said she has been pleased with the response from reviewers and readers, especially journalists, many of whom are mentioned in the book, who say the history of the industry and the stories of working in newsrooms and covering stories resonates with them. “I have been so gratified by the reaction to the book,” she said in an interview for the NABJ Journal. “The reception has been very good, and I am happy about it.” Gilliam herself has done opinion pieces based on the book for philly. com, and NBC’s “Think” opinion page online. Her Inquirer article challenged “newsrooms to be more open to diverse ideas and to cover important issues in Black communities — for example, the massive incarceration of Black men. Diversity among reporters produces more views from various communities and that can help increase public knowledge, awareness, and understanding. To media industry leaders across America, I say: ‘Don’t be afraid of the African American voice and creativity. Be an ally. Racial diversity in the newsroom benefits you — and the nation.’” Her book tour also has taken her to New York for a launch party at a Manhattan art gallery, a visit to the University of Southern California in Los Angeles, and to Oakland for an event in conjunction with the Maynard Institute, a law firm in New York City, and the New York Public Library. “I really enjoy the people when I go


out to speak or to signing books, even though it is kind of hectic,” she said. Gilliam’s whose prior experience with writing books was author of “Paul Robeson, All American,” and as a contributor to “The Edge of Change: Women in the 21st Century Press: 2009,” said the hardest part of writing the memoir was writing about her family, her three daughters and particularly her ex-husband. “It was my memoir, not his, and I didn’t want to turn it into anything that would be harmful or hurtful to him,” she said. “But I think I said enough to make it clear why we separated.” She urged other journalists to complete their memoirs. “The one piece of advice I would give them, the initial thing is to have a person help them outline their book,” she said. “Most people can afford at least that. If you started like that with an outline that would be such a help in producing the final memoir.” She also urged published authors “to get their own publicist.” While publishers will provide some help, it is usually limited. “I also think it is an excellent time for other journalists to write and complete their memoirs,” she said. “There is great interest in stories on the lives of Black people. This year’s Oscars unscored that. I think journalists are uniquely equipped to tell their own story.” Angela P. Dodson is an editor and consultant who assisted Dorothy Butler Gilliam on her memoir project. Dodson is author of “Remember the Ladies: Celebrating Those Who Fought for Freedom at the Ballot Box.”



Podcasts Find A Growing Audience Joyce Davis / Facebook

ost sunny days in Atlanta, Joyce Davis comes bounding out of Spelman College’s Rockefeller Hall straight onto Greensferry Avenue, then over to Clark Atlanta University She has her earbuds in and her comfortable maroon sneakers on. Davis, 48, who is the director of marketing and communications at Spelman is an avid walker. When she walks, she listens to a podcast. “Sometimes I find myself walking down to the King Center (named for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.),” she explained. “I can walk and listen to podcasts all along the way.” If she is near her daughter Amber’s school, and she is early, she will walk around the city of Decatur until school is 16


By Edwin B. Lake

dismissed. Davis said she listens to her favorite podcast when she’s cooking, washing clothes, even vacuuming. “I listen to podcasts 4 or 5 times a week,” she added. Davis is one of the hundreds of thousands of individuals who follow podcasts. Either while exercising, at home cooking or cleaning, or behind the wheel on a long commute, this surging group of tech-savvy professionals makes listening to a podcast part of their daily routine. Here are some of the statistics about this phenomenon: • There are approximately 660,000 podcasts in the world, according to Podcast Insights, a subsidiary of Quandary Media. • As of late April 2018, the publication Fast Company said there were 525,000 active podcasts

and 18.5 million episodes. • Forty-four percent of the U.S. population has listened to a podcast and 49% of that is done in the home, while 22% is in the car, according to Infinite Dial. It found that 80% of those who start a podcast listen to all or most of each episode. • The percentage of Americans 12 years of age and older that have listened to a podcast from 2006 to 2018, has increased to 44% from 11%. Americans who have listened to a podcast in the past month from 2008 to 2018 has increased to 26% from 9%. And the percentage of Americans who have listened to a podcast since 2013 (when the data first began to be tracked) to 2018 increased to 17% from 7%, according to the Pew Research Center.

• Thirty-five percent of the adults living in households earning at least $75,000 per year listen to podcasts, according to a 2013 study by the Pew Research Center. • A year ago, podcast listeners averaged seven different shows per week, up from 5 in 2017, according to Infinite Dial Research. • The monthly income of 45% of podcast listeners is over $75,000 per year. • Podcast listeners are also more likely to own a smart speaker, either Amazon Alexa or Google Home, according to Nielsen, a global information and measurement company. • Nationwide, 27% of listeners have a four-year college degree, compared to 19% for the nation’s population as a whole. • Among internet users 18 and older, the percentage of podcast listeners by race is: white — 26%, Black (nonHispanic) — 24%, and Hispanic (English) or Spanish speaking — 33%, according to the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project. Who lit this powder keg under the growth of podcast usage and waited for the reverberation we’re now feeling? Around the year 2000, radio announcer Adam Curry and software developer Dave Winer tested the theory that audio could be pushed through an RSS feed, according to Kevin Goldberg, founder of Discover Pods, which reports on and analyzes the podcasting industry. Among other things, an RSS feed allows audio to be played over the internet. In 2005, Apple Inc. added podcasts to iTunes and later that year “podcast” was added to the dictionary. Why do a growing number of people like podcasts? Humans think in stories, according to Shiva Bhaskar, with, an online open platform. Podcasts have the capability to convey

remarkable stories, Bhaskar says. He quoted psychologist Jonathan Haidt who said: “The human mind is a story processor, not a logic processor.” So, it’s all in your head and not the earbuds. Stories shape our understanding of where we fit in the world. Neuroeconomist Paul Zak discovered that character-driven stories cause the brain to release chemicals that promote empathy toward others. Neuroeconomists seek to explain human decision making. Podcasts can put our minds on a psychological treadmill at increasing speeds, like a workout for the mind. Listeners say a podcast can fit right into a busy life. Davis said she listens to “Longform” ( “It’s a podcast for journalists,” she said. “They have weekly conversations with a nonfiction writer.” Davis is also a fan of “Snap Judgment,” a weekly storytelling podcast distributed by WNYC Studios, and hosted by Glynn Washington, and “This American Life,” a weekly, hourlong podcast produced in collaboration with Chicago Public Media and hosted by Ira Glass. Davis considers herself a “cordcutter” a term associated with tech users who have stopped cable or satellite television service, in addition to getting rid of landline phones. “My life is really busy,” she continued. “I literally don’t have time to sit down and watch a show.” She says she has listened to podcasts to help her daughter, who has an attention deficit disorder, including “Inside ADHD” and “Parenting ADHD.” Jackie Jones, 64, assistant dean of programs at Morgan State’s University’s School of Global Journalism and Communication, said she listens to

some shows for entertainment and others for information. “I’m learning stuff,” Jones said. Most days she drives more than an hour from her home in Washington, D.C., to school in Baltimore and back. Like Joyce Davis, she listens to “Snap Judgment” and “This American Life,” but also to “Radiolab,” an NPR podcast with Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich, that weaves stories and science into sound and music-rich documentaries. Because she is in higher education, Jones is drawn to narrative podcasts. “Anything that helps me with storytelling,” she said. “I’m always telling them (her students) the technology is cool, but it’s to be used in telling a story.” Dr. Peggy Lewis, executive dean of the School of Business and Graduate Studies at Trinity Washington University in D.C., has a list of special podcasts she tries to hear during her busy week. They include “Code Switch,” a podcast for journalists of color who get stuck in conversations about race and identity; “POD Save the People,” interviews with comedians, entertainers and radio personalities exploring complex philosophical questions; and “WTF” on which organizer and activist DeRay Mckesson explores news, culture, social justice and politics through conversations with experts. “You learn something new every time you listen,” she said. Sometimes it’s a pithy quote or what people are reading. She listens to shows when cooking or cleaning. “I enjoy them because you get a variety of topics,” she said. “It’s uninterrupted intellectualism.” Before they are heard, podcasts must be made, providing new opportunities for journalists. Annette John-Hall, 61, a former sports reporter and columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, has a JOURNAL | SUMMER/FALL 2019


Annette John-Hall/Twitter

Jackie Jones/Knight Foundation

podcast she produces with her co-host Shai Ben-Yaacou called “The Why” that does a “deep dive” on one local story a day. “Our show is both a podcast and a broadcast,” John-Hall explained. After the show airs live, listeners can download current and previous shows as a podcast. “The Why” is heard on WHYY Monday through Thursday in Philadelphia. John-Hall calls journalism the bedrock of what she does, regardless of what platform she uses. “The whole technology part of radio production was something new to me,” she admits. “But it’s nice to be in the autumn of your career and learning new skills.” Most days John-Hall confesses it’s the guest’s narrative and the sound provided by her production crew who are the stars of the show. Another podcast offers personal and professional advice. Mandi Woodruff, 31, is the executive editor at LendingTree, an online marketplace where borrowers compare interest rates. Along with her co-host, Tiffany “The Budgetnista” Aliche, she runs the podcast “Brown Ambition,” about “careers, success, relationships and building wealth.” With three or four episodes a month, the show averages around 50,000 downloads monthly. “I consider myself a journalist,” Woodruff said. “My podcast is a private, independent venture. It’s not tied to my full-time job.” She says she lets her listeners know she has a background in personal finance. Woodruff says she has been reporting for 10 years, and she believes that establishes her expertise. “We have more of what I would consider a chat show,” she explained, to describe her podcast. “Brown Ambition” kicked off in September 2015. “We share anecdotes from our professional and personal lives,” she said. “And we take questions from the audience. Every once in a while we have a guest come on.” Her guests have a story she and her co-host think will resonate with the audience. Woodruff says her podcast adds another arrow to her professional quiver. 18


“It shows that you understand new media and you’re not afraid to do it,” she said. Another person who started a podcast is Joymarie Parker. She started “Joblogues,” also in 2015, and ended the show in December 2018. The 31-year-old applied arts and science major attended Rochester Institute of Technology. Graduating and then looking for work in New York City, she found herself navigating her career path by talking to friends, connecting with peers and recruiters. In the beginning, she attended networking events. “What pulled me through was the conversations with friends, families and colleagues,” Parker said. She saw plenty of information on the web about how to do an interview. “But there are not a lot of places you can share the sort of behind-the-scene advice and conversations” that she said her friends provided. “Joblogues” was envisioned as a safe place for young multicultural women to be schooled. She teamed with a co-host, Cortney Cleveland, a close friend she grew up with in Maryland. “We started to make it feel more like you were listening in on her and me talking about work,” Parker explained. Sometimes the show featured career coaches or financial experts. What the podcast ended up doing was giving free space to be accepted, she said. She ended the podcast because she felt she had accomplished what she wanted. Stepping out into the professional world is very daunting initially. “It’s about relationships. You need someone to guide you,” Parker said. Edwin B. Lake is a freelance writer who lives in Bowie, MD. He is a member of the Baltimore Association of Black Journalists.

SOME PODCASTS THAT MIGHT INTEREST YOU: • “SERIAL” – investigative journalism podcast (was a Peabody Award winner in 2015). • “THIS AMERICAN LIFE” – known for excellent journalism and skillful storytelling. • “RADIOLAB” – looks at scientific and philosophical concepts through a creative lens. • “STUFF YOU SHOULD KNOW” – from animals to war and everything in between (it’s a light-hearted educational podcast). • “THE JOE ROGAN EXPERIENCE” – conversations about sports, science and everything else under the sun. • “THE DAILY SHOW WITH TREVOR NOAH” – tackles the biggest stories in news, politics and pop culture.














A ‘Drum Major’ for Excellence By DeArbea Walker

My dean: The dean of the prestigious Syracuse University S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She boldly led with both her words and her actions. Often, Dean Lorraine Branham was the only Black voice in the room, and I often wondered how she handled it, how she just wasn’t completely drained. I always wondered why she never seemed stressed, why she didn’t seem to internalize that she was often the only and only. “She had a public persona that she worked harder at than other people did and because of that everyone saw the real Lorraine,” said Hub Brown, associate dean for research, Creativity, International Initiatives & Diversity at Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Public Communications. “The sense of purpose. All of those things. It was fun to watch. Everyone saw the great sense of humor.” I remember the first time I met with the dean in her office. It was my sophomore year. She asked me about my major and what I wanted to do. At the time, I wanted to be a sports columnist. She looked up from her notebook and with a slight grin on her face, asked teasingly, “You don’t want to be an editor?” Deep down I knew she was serious. She deeply wanted more students of color to be editors at The Daily Orange, the student newspaper, and she wanted students like me to understand the impact we could make in positions of



power. She sold me when she said editors decide what gets published. As I progressed through my time at Newhouse and now at The Inquirer as a Lenfest Fellow, I have watched how an editor can change the entire tone of your work. That conversation is a big reason why I want to be an editor. “She would give people a pat on the back and chew them out in the same way, at the same time, in a way that people appreciated it and understood,” said Reginald Stuart, who worked with Dean Branham at the Knight Ridder Newspapers for over a decade. “She helped NABJ rise. She had to be a drum major. She did her part to help the general population get better and grow. She wanted to share what she knew to help everyone get better because she knew it wasn’t always about her. It was about this profession getting better.” During her years at The Philadelphia Inquirer, she both inspired and demanded respect from all, according to her former colleagues. Dan Biddle, a former New Jersey and national editor, who now teaches at the University of Delaware, worked for Branham when she was the editor for the Inquirer’s New Jersey bureau. “PR persons and persons of politics came by the office, typically white and male, and they would see her and then see me and ask Lorraine, ‘Can I talk to your boss?” Biddle

“Lorraine Branham is easily one of the most important African American academics in this country for generations. I think I can say that without any reservations whatsoever.” Hub Brown | Associate Dean | Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications



recalled. “Lorraine would say with a great mix of humor, pride and thick skin, ‘I am the boss.’ I learned something from that,” said Biddle. “I thought Lorraine was a total pro, and I had the good fortune to work for her as her deputy.” She most certainly had a great deal of spunk about her. There was no place for mediocrity. Watching a Black woman often say “we are the best” as she led one of the country’s top communication schools helped me gain confidence and step into my own. She always thought on a larger scale. That way of thinking rubbed off on me. Every conversation I had with her challenged the goals I had set for myself. I think she saw herself in me, being a young Black woman and having gone the places I wished to go. She wanted me to think about the macro impact I could make in the field, and I am thankful for that. “She followed a dean who was a legend and became a legend herself,” said former Newhouse Professor John Nicholson. “She was a strong Black woman, but to put her in that box alone — she was much more.” Bill Marimow, a former boss of Branham’s at The Philadelphia Inquirer, described her as “a marathon woman.” At the time she commuted every day from Baltimore to Camden, New Jersey. She started at the paper as a deputy editor of the New Jersey bureau and was tasked with assigning daily stories to over 50 journalists. Marimow admired her work ethic and her versatility. Marimow said her days were grueling and long, which mirrored what I saw from her as my dean. She was often away from campus moving mountains to raise money for the projects and equipment students needed to be on the cutting edge of innovation. Even while away, she was quick to email me back if I had a concern or question. “She was so strong in her focus and approach to challenges that she could make you think that you were strong too,” Maida Odom, a former Philadelphia Inquirer reporter said. The dean checked on Odom during one of the toughest parts of her life, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Timi Komonibo, who serves as the associate director of Recruitment and Diversity for The Newhouse School, says this didn’t stop even after she was diagnosed with cancer. Komonibo visited with the dean a few months before her passing. “She was asking about how things were and about the students,” Komonibo said. “Even from her sickbed, she was wanting to make sure everyone was successful.” Last year, when members of one of the fraternities on campus were captured on video spewing racist and homophobic words and behaviors, Dean Branham 22


condemned their actions. Days later, she moderated a panel discussion where students discussed their classroom experiences. She took notes and offered possible curriculum changes that would fight some of the toxic behavior by other students and faculty. Within weeks, she proposed some suggestions to the Newhouse Diversity Committee, of which I was the student representative. She spearheaded the campus’ only diversity requirement and even dedicated a faculty position, associate director of Recruitment & Diversity, toward recruiting students of diverse backgrounds, who could thrive at the school and in the field. She checked in with NABJ often and funded our executive board trips to the national convention, giving us a clear message before attending, “network, network, network.” NABJ was instrumental in her career and she knew NABJ could do the same for us, and it has. Occasionally, I would stop by her office to chat, see her around campus, and even at NABJ conventions all the way up until graduation last May. Most times she was in a rush, but she would always have a big sweet smile on her face. She always had time to ask how I was doing, how my family was doing. One of her former colleagues at The Philadelphia Inquirer, Arlene Morgan, met her at an NABJ convention years ago and hired her shortly after. She knew from the first meeting something was special about her. They later became close friends. “When she told me she was going to look at the Syracuse job, I was like ‘Whoa!’ That’s a big one,” said Morgan. “She said, ‘I won’t get it, but why not try.’ And that was her attitude, why not try, and she got the job.” When I was awarded a two-year Lenfest Fellowship at The Philadelphia Inquirer last March, she was the first person to congratulate me, and that meant a lot. I have reflected a lot recently over the impact she has had on me. I am grateful for Dean Branham being in my life, and I hope that all of those who have been inspired by her can embrace that and always live her legacy. Newhouse’s associate dean, Hub Brown, takes great pride in having been on the search committee that ultimately hired Dean Branham. “Lorraine Branham is easily one of the most important African American academics in this country for generations. I think I can say that without any reservations whatsoever.” DeArbea Walker is a Lenfest Fellow in the sports department at the Philadelphia Inquirer. She is a recent graduate of Syracuse University.

In Memoriam C E L E B R A T I N G

Vince Sanders NABJ Co-founder 2005 NABJ Hall of Fame Inductee VP - Broadcast Operations National Black Network

Ken Smikle

Founder/President of Target Market News Arts Editor Harlem’s Amsterdam News

Ray Taliaferro First Black Talk Show Host Major Market - KGO Radio 2011 NABJ Hall of Fame Inductee

Rashod Ollison Author and Pop Culture Critic The Virginian-Pilot

John Kilimanjaro

Founder - Carolina Peacemaker Founder - Theater Arts Program at N.C. A&T Founder - N.C. Black Publisher’s Association

Joan Fuller

Former WESH and WKMG Reporter Bethune-Cookman University Professor Long-time NABJ Member

Gregory Stanford

Columnist - The Milwaukee Journal & Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Founder of the Milwaukee NABJ Chapter

Eunetta Boone Hollywood Writer and Producer Sports Reporter for The Evening Sun


W E ’ V E



2 0 1 8 - 2 0 1 9

Bob Slade

Russ Ewing

Sharon Woodson-Bryant

Ellison Womack

Creator and Longtime Host of “Open Line” KISS-FM

Former Publisher - Capital Outlook Former Journalism Educator - Florida A&M Member of the Black Journalists Association of Southern California

Samuel L. Adams, Sr. Civil Rights Activist Founder - First Black Radio Newscast WERD 860 Journalism Educator - University of Kansas

Delbra Walker Bristol First African-American Female News Reporter WPTV-NBC, Public Relations - American Heart Association

Joshua C. Johnson

Chief Executive Editor - Focus Daily News Recognized for Excellence in Legal Reporting

Jada Russell CEO, High Style Marketing & PR

Former publicist for Johnson Publishing Co.

John Shearer

Longtime ABC7 Eyewitness News Reporter

Former Producer at WFSU TV

Renee Gumbel NBC Press and Publicity

Nancy Parker News Anchor, WVUE FOX 8

Christopher Edwards II

Digital Content Manager, Atlanta’s Office of Film & Entertainment

Erin Edwards

Boston University Student Intern at NBC 4 New York

Marsha Edwards CEO MME Enterprises, LLC

Donna Davis

WMC Action News 5

William H. Lee, Ph.D. Publisher Sacramento Observer

Youngest Photographer at Look Magazine Second African American Photographer LIFE

Lloyd Joseph “Kam” Williams Syndicated Film and Book Critic New York Film Critics Online Rotten Tomatoes JOURNAL | SUMMER/FALL 2019


By NABJ Journal Staff Photo by Jason M. Johnson






arah Glover has the unprecedented distinction of being the first president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) to serve two terms. She closed out her second two-year term at the record-breaking 2019 NABJ Convention in Miami. The 44th annual gathering garnered the highest number of attendees for a single convention to date — 4,129. In March, NABJ membership roles swelled to 4,421, the highest in the association’s history. Glover’s historic four years of continuous leadership was made possible because of a change in the NABJ constitution in 2014. She was elected in August 2015 as the 21st president of NABJ and reelected in 2017. So, does extra time to serve make a difference? “Truthfully, all I know is what I experience,” said Glover in a telephone interview. “I’m somewhat in awe of what we accomplished. I have not compared my experience to other administrations, but I’ve been inspired by them… The Fourth Estate is in crisis and trying to innovate and lead Black journalists at a time of seismic change and serving NABJ is humbling and a huge honor to represent 4,000 plus journalists and students, and media-related professionals.” She is the seventh woman to serve as NABJ president. NABJ’s first eight presidents were men. Atlanta TV news producer Sidmel-Estes Sumpter broke the NABJ glass ceiling in 1991. Since then, seven of the last 13 presidents have been women. “I was delighted when Sarah decided to run. She was Region 2 director during my presidency and secretary during [successor] Herb Lowe’s presidency,” said former President Condace Pressley. Greg Morrison, treasurer of NABJ, was emphatic: “To quote a male member in San Antonio, ‘Sarah Glover was born to be NABJ president.’ And I concur.” Glover’s NABJ service includes regional director [formerly New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania] from 2001-2003 and two terms as secretary, 2003-2007. In 2013, she ran for president and lost by 22 votes [251229] to San Francisco radio newsman Bob Butler. The priorities she promised her Board of Directors she would put in motion during the 2015-2017 administration were to “develop year-round Media



Institute programming, restore NABJ to fiscal stability and advocate on behalf of Black journalists and for fair coverage of the Black community,” she wrote in the 2016 NABJ Journal that celebrated the association’s 40th anniversary in December 2015, only four months into her presidency. Glover said her administration’s accomplishments include: • Spearheading the Development of a Strategic Plan: The 2017-2020 plan is a road map for future administrations to use – pivotal for NABJ’s success. “We made things business-focused versus what people feel passionate about,” said Glover. • Fundraising: “Easily $1 million-plus, probably the most of any president (to date),” said Glover. “Revenue is important to governance. We brought in more foundation grants and treated partners as customers and served the needs of the partners. Foundation grants included the Ford Foundation, which in 2017 gave NABJ $150,000 for creativity and free expression/arts, culture and media, and the Democracy Fund, which awarded $200,000 to build staffing capacity in the national office and further implementation of the strategic plan. • Robust, year-round training at NABJ Media Institutes: The institutes were launched during the administration of Arthur Fennell, 1995-1997. “We’re now generating six figures in revenues,” said Glover during the interview. “We have served 1,000 to 1,500 registrants at programs [this year].” NABJ created new topical institute programs such as NABJ Goes to Silicon Valley (which made its training mobile and took it to the tech companies) and the Basics Bootcamp. In addition to domestic programs, for decades, NABJ global outreach has engaged with Africa. However, on Glover’s watch, NABJ landed in Asia, the Middle East and South America — all firsts for a sitting president. “Our China trip was a shift, a flashpoint moment,” said Glover. “Remarkable. It establishes a footprint for NABJ Global and opportunities for training and reporting, i.e. correspondents.”

Recent NABJ Finances: Erased Deficits, Then Surpluses* YEAR CONVENTION REVENUES EXPENDITURES BALANCE 2014 Boston

$2,273,000 $2,538,000


2015 Minneapolis

$1,977,000 $2,372,000



Washington, D.C. $3,307,000




New Orleans



2018 Detroit**


$3,900,000 $3,360,000


Data provided by Drew Berry, NABJ Executive Director & IRS 990 Filings * Figures rounded. ** Detroit pending official audit

YOUNG MEMBERSHIP Glover’s service is unique because as she announced in summer 2018, she presided over an NABJ that for the first time is mostly populated with Millennials, 20 to 30-something members who were born in the late 1980s and through the 1990s -- the period when traditional media was transformed by the internet and cable television. The finding that NABJ is 75 percent Millennial and Gen-X came out of the strategic planning process. The 21st president’s core constituency was social-media-savvy, digital natives. To serve as NABJ president in the 21st century digital age, Glover said, “You have to have a lot of bandwidth.” Glover, meanwhile, has a career history that mirrors the rest of the Baby Boom and Gen-X members she also serves. She came of age in the 1990s as a photojournalist at the Philadelphia Inquirer and then moved to its sibling, the Daily News. As media companies reacted to technological changes and financial stresses with layoffs and buyouts of workers, Glover reinvented herself as a multimedia journalist. About a decade ago, Glover changed platforms and now works in TV news as a social media editor, initially at NBC 10/Philadelphia, and now with NBC-Owned Television Stations, based in New York.

FINANCES: BUSTS AND BOOMS The crowning achievement of the Glover administration years will be four consecutive years of association budget surpluses. At the end of 2018, the unaudited surplus was approximately $530,000. In 2015, she inherited an NABJ budget that ended the year with a $395,000

deficit. In 2016, the first full year of Glover’s presidency, the organization erased the deficit and climbed to an almost $1.3 million surplus, said Drew Berry, who at that time served as the NABJ executive consultant. He is now the NABJ executive director. He replaced Sharon Toomer, who resigned in 2018 after seven months of service and less than two months before the August Detroit convention. After a roller-coaster 21st century of NABJ financial deficits, surpluses and some break-even years, “Our association needs more people like Sarah to raise holy hell,” said former President Gregory Lee. “Sarah’s done yeoman work. She’s been at the forefront of fundraising, jumping in full-bore and never stopping. She did the heavy lifting to get the Ford Foundation and Democracy Fund grants. Regional directors are contributing too, raising revenue for local conferences.” Longtime association observers said commitments to host consecutive conventions in Seattle and Phoenix [1999, 2000], plus 2002 in Milwaukee, far away from the membership base on the East Coast, strained revenues, and the mistake was repeated a few more convention years during this decade. NABJ is sailing through 2019 with the economic winds appearing to push them forward. Last August, the 3,000-plus Detroit convention attendees exceeded expectations, and the numbers nearly matched recordsetting participation at Washington in JOURNAL | SUMMER/FALL 2019


2016 and then New Orleans in 2017. NABJ also experienced unprecedented hotel preregistration for the 2019 convention in Miami. The host hotel sold out in early fall. Convention hotels previously sold out only a few months before the conventions. The National Office staff moved quickly to contract six additional hotels in Miami.

Unfinished Business, New Frontiers NABJ is financially strong at the end of Glover’s service, but getting healthy wasn’t easy, and an unpredictable media industry could still knock NABJ off course if the organization does not continue following strong revenuegenerating and expenditure strategies. “That’s my recurring nightmare,” said Morrison, the treasurer. “I wonder, what about tomorrow?” “Sarah had vision,” he said. “At the end of 2018, she could have said, ‘We have all this cash.’ Instead, she said, ‘Let’s be smart.’ We set up long-term and short-term investment accounts,



putting more legs on the stool.” The scholarship investment account reached $1.3 million under Glover’s tenure. Although that amount was previously exceeded at least 10 times before, it represents significant progress toward restoring NABJ funds to previous highs. Also, an account formerly named “Home Sweet Home,” a fund for capital projects, was renamed “Funding Our Future” and it had $150,000 as Glover’s term ended. Glover challenges future boards to allocate $50,000 per year so that it will climb to $1 million in 20 years. Glover was effusive about NABJ’s future: “People are responding. Our membership is responding. We will certainly exist for another 44 years.” Glover also said her involvement with the association will continue. Glover continued serving through her last day in office to ensure NABJ’s future remains bright. She concluded her tenure by leading a delegation of two dozen Afro-Colombian journalists to the 2019 Convention in Miami and worked with NABJ staff to start developing a new NABJ mobile app and redesigned website to be launched before 2020. Glover plans to continue working on diversity and inclusion initiatives, and the training and development of Black journalists worldwide following her tenure.

Two-Term Presidency: A Unique History

By Wayne Dawkins

In 2014, the National Association of Black Journalists membership voted 193-46 to revise its constitution. Among a handful of sweeping changes, for the first time, the president could serve a second, two-year term. Sarah Glover, elected in 2015, is NABJ’s first two-term president. Previously, the tradition for decades was presidents served one, two-year term then remained on the Board of Directors for two more years as ex officio voting members, providing institutional memory and continuity to incoming presidents. Condace Pressley – the 2001-2003 president – said she was the last ex officio member because of a previously amended constitution. The 2014 constitutional change that extended the presidency was decided by 20% of eligible members and passed with little-to-no rancor, which was unlike a previous, tumultuous attempt to change the rules during NABJ’s infancy. Charles Sumner “Chuck” Stone, Jr., a Philadelphia Daily News columnist, was elected president at the historic December 1975 meeting in Washington, D.C., where NABJ was founded. Back then, the constitution called for the president to serve a one-year term. The following summer in Houston, at the inaugural 1976 conference, Stone persuaded members to suspend the rules and allow him to serve an additional year, I reported in the seminal book “Black Journalists: The NABJ Story.” In 1977, the summer convention was in Baltimore, where attendance was triple the size of the intimate Houston gathering. Many conferees were 20-somethings, who resemble the new Millennial majority membership today. Those once young 1977 conferees are now Baby Boomer retirees, or soon-to-be. Stone, one of the rare, iconic elders of the association back in the day, once again asked the Board for a suspension of the rules so he could continue to lead the association that was essentially a toddler as far as maturity. DeWayne Wickham, a younger co-founder and lead host of the Baltimore gathering, balked. “Why have a constitution that prescribes a term office, but then we constantly suspend the rules?” he explained in “The NABJ Story.” Joe Davidson, another co-founder who at that time was regional director for the Northeast area, where Stone was based, said the debate between Stone and Wickham became intense. When the tense Board meeting ended, the officers went to their respective regional caucuses and then reconvened to vote whether to suspend or follow the rules. The Philadelphia delegation — Stone’s region and probably the largest caucus — overwhelmingly voted to follow the association constitution. “Instead of suspending the rules again, NABJ implemented a single twoyear term for president and elected Vernon Jarrett its second chief executive,” said Wickham, who is now dean of the Morgan State University School of Global Journalism and Communication. Morgan established the Jarrett Medal for journalistic excellence in honor of the late co-founder and Chicago journalist. JOURNAL | SUMMER/FALL 2019


Featuring excerpts from a story by Jessica Taylor & Jerell Rushin for the NABJ Monitor Photos capturing the day of Tucker’s election win by Martha Asencio-Rhine for the NABJ Monitor





uring NABJ’s August National Convention & Career Fair, Dorothy Tucker cruised to victory with 55% of the votes to become the next president of the National Association of Black Journalists. Tucker defeated former President Gregory Lee and current Vice President-Print Marlon A. Walker. Tucker, an investigative reporter for WBBM-TV in Chicago (CBS 2), succeeds Sarah Glover, who has served for two terms. “I’m proud to be leaving NABJ stronger and more fortified than it’s ever been before and I look forward to working with the next administration and supporting their future work,” Glover said. Tucker teared up upon hearing the news of her win. ‘I’m thrilled,” she gushed. “It’s unbelievable. I’m emotional because in 1979, when I was 23 years old and I was making very little money living in Denver, all I wanted was to connect with Black people and I came to NABJ.” “I could not afford the room so I didn’t get one,” Tucker continued. “I just flew across the country. I registered. I paid for the ticket but I could not afford a hotel room. And I didn’t care that I couldn’t afford the hotel. I just wanted to be at NABJ. I got there and it was only because some kind woman let me share a room with her that I was able to attend the conference. I’ve come to every conference since then.” Tucker has been active in both the national and local chapter organizations with leadership positions in Denver, Pittsburgh and her local Chicago chapter. She notably created NABJ’s producer database as well as a job satisfaction survey that members received via email. She arguably had the most visible campaign as the only candidate with literature provided in the Convention registration bag along with a significant social media campaign. “I have not missed one convention since 1979,” Tucker said. “Every one of them. For me, it’s my therapy. It’s my extended family. ... It fills me journalistically, so I have to be here. And to think that I’m going to be able to lead an organization that I love so much is amazing.” Tucker joined CBS 2 Chicago from KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh, where she worked as a general assignment reporter and talk show host. Prior to that, Tucker worked at KWGN-TV in Denver and REG-TV in Memphis (1979-80). Tucker began her broadcasting career in Peoria, Illinois at WMBD-TV, after serving as an intern at CBS 2 Chicago in 1977. Tucker previously served on the NABJ Board of Directors as Region V Director. Elaijah Gibbs-Jones, Alexis Grace and Cierra Ivey also contributed to this story.


Establish an editors and freelancers database

Increase training webinars

Offer professional development and networking opportunities to veteran members looking to increase or transfer their skills to other industries

Broaden advocacy outreach to print, digital, national sports networks and non-network companies

Establish an Entrepreneurial Academy to support freelancers

Seek partnerships with companies like LexisNexis,, DocumentCloud and to provide members free or low-cost access

Produce an annual report card that grades media companies on hiring, promotions, retention, etc.

Reduce Board expenditures and redirect monies to offer more discounts to members

Raise funds through a targeted campaign to offer more hardship scholarships

FULL 2019



PRESIDENT Gregory Lee: 203 votes Dorothy Tucker: 411 votes (winner) Marlon A. Walker: 138 votes

SECRETARY Ernest Owens: 214 votes Cheryl Smith: 511 votes (winner)

VICE PRESIDENT-BROADCAST Ken Lemon: 682 votes (unopposed)

REGION I DIRECTOR Christopher Nelson: 130 votes Tory Parrish: 145 votes (winner)

VICE PRESIDENT-DIGITAL Roland Martin: 574 votes (unopposed)

REGION III DIRECTOR Rod Carter: 153 votes (winner) Stephen Wright: 65 votes

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE Enjoyiana Nururdin: 103 votes (unopposed)




Excerpts By Melody Greene NABJ Monitor

Celebrating 30 Years of Success

NABJ TV at the Los Angeles Convention in August 1990. Photo by Mark Gail/ NABJ/VTF) Some of the nation’s top journalists started their career paths as Student Projects participants.

This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the NABJ Student Multimedia Project (Student Projects). In 1989, member Dr. Sheila Brooks and then-

including the use of Google Tools. They work with

student representative Roland Martin convinced the

professionals from across the industry to produce

National Board to approve the first student project at

and write reports that appear on several platforms,

the 1990 Los Angeles convention.

including a printed newspaper called the NABJ

“As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NABJ Student Projects, one of the most visible and

Monitor, and NABJ News. Henry Kenney, a Georgia State University graduate

important features of our annual convention, I am

student, has valued his broadcasting experience

especially proud to be recognized as the founder

so much that he applied for a second year with the

and for my leadership in increasing access and


opportunities for people of color in journalism,” said Brooks, founder/CEO of SRB Communications. Over the course of an all-expenses-paid week (thanks to fellowships and other support from the

“I really enjoyed all of the information and feedback from the mentors and from working in such a high, fast-paced environment,” Kenney said. Lisa Cox, a participant of the 1992 student project

Knight Foundation, The Charles Koch Institute, FOX,

who later served as NABJ secretary, returned as a

MGM Resorts and Dow Jones), student reporters

mentor this year.

are given assignments to report on a number of

“Once I came through the program and became a

highlights from the convention, its host city, the

working professional, I certainly wanted to give back

business of NABJ and journalism as a whole.

what was given to me,” said Cox, who is serving as

Student reporters hit the ground running with a


boot camp focused on best practices in journalism,


the assignment desk editor.

To commemorate the 30th anniversary milestone, the NABJ Journal captured memories from a handful of NABJ Babies about their experiences and the impact of Student Projects. “When I was a sophomore attending Florida A&M University, I was selected as an NABJ TV intern for the summer of 1990, and I also participated in the Student Project at the convention in Los Angeles. From that summer on, the relationships I made with fellow students, and working journalists, led to several of my producing jobs in television news and entertainment including stints in local news, at CNN, The Oprah Winfrey Show and currently at HLN. Not only has NABJ played a vital role in helping to navigate my more than 25-year career in this industry, but I have also developed true friendships with fellow

In Their Own Words

NABJ’ers. I’ve mentored a plethora of youth I’ve met via NABJ conventions and I’ve participated as a workshop

photographers and staff. I was able to put

instructor at Short Courses at FAMU and Hampton. I can’t stress enough the importance of the Student Project both from a

together a real-life newscast and resume reel while participating in the Short Course in Orlando in

professional development and relationship building perspective.

2001. I made friendships that were invaluable and met mentors

May it continue to grow and thrive as it seeks to develop aspiring

who gave me advice along with constructive criticism that

Black journalists.”

pushed me to become the resilient journalist I am today. I only

– Denise Hendricks, Senior Producer, HLN

wish that more people can participate and take advantage of the program and get the experiences and exposure to what is

“The NABJ Student Projects was central to my development as a journalist and visual storyteller. Without it, I wouldn’t have met

needed to survive and thrive in newsrooms today.” – Amanda Fitzpatrick, News Anchor and Managing Editor, WWAY-TV

the mentors who ultimately helped jump-start my career. Just as important are the industry friendships and relationships built

“I participated in the NABJ Student Project in 2009 in Tampa,

across the newsroom. As part of the best NABJ Baby class ever

Florida. During that week, I worked with masters in the field and

(2009 in Tampa), the everlasting friendships built have inspired

developed relationships with NABJ members that I rely on today.

me to keep pushing our industry forward. I am grateful for Dr.

One of the most influential mentors in the student project was

Sheila Brooks, and all of the volunteers and mentors who have

Greg Morrison. He was tough and took no nonsense. He and I

helped keep the Projects strong for 30 years. Thank you NABJ.”

even had a “come to Jesus” moment in the student newsroom.

– Jarrad Henderson, Visual Journalist, USA Today

After the project, Greg helped me secure opportunities around the country and provided professional counsel. He would even

“(NABJ) truly shaped my life and my career in journalism. If it

call the newsrooms I worked in to check my progress. When

wasn’t for the hardworking volunteers and resources provided

I think about the impact the Student Project has had on my

through the NABJ Student Project I would not be where am I

career, I think about Greg Morrison. A week in Florida gave me a

today. I can truly say NABJ allowed me to work in a fast-paced,


no-nonsense, real-world news environment with top market

– Larry Miller, Weekday Anchor, WUSA9 JOURNAL | SUMMER/FALL 2019


Spring/Summer 2019

NABJ members have made major impacts in their respective careers throughout the year! Here is a look at just some of the highlights. For more listings, be sure to follow #NABJCongrats on Twitter. Past NABJ President Sarah Glover was honored by the National Action Network and the Rev. Al Sharpton at the Women’s Empowerment & Network Luncheon. NABJ Founder Joe Davidson was inducted into the D.C. Hall of Fame for Communications. Former NABJ President Condace Pressley was inducted into the Georgia Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame. NABJ Region II Director Sia Nyorkor received a Regional Emmy in the category of News Single Story/Series/Feature. Former Board Member Dr. Sheila Brooks received an NAACP Image Award nomination as a debut author for the book “Lucile H. Bluford and the Kansas City Call: Activist Voice for Social Justice.” Kimberly Godwin was promoted to Executive Vice President of News at CBS News, making her the highestranking Black news executive in the U.S. Marcus Mabry was promoted to Vice President of Global Programming for CNN Digital. Tara August was promoted to Senior Vice President of Talent Services and Special Projects at Turner Sports.


Renee Washington was promoted to Vice President of News at NBC4 - Los Angeles. April D. Ryan was awarded the Freedom of the Press Award from The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. Lester Holt was nominated for an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Host in a Talk or News/Information (Series or Special). Charles Whitaker now serves as the Dean of Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism, Media, Integrated Marketing Communications. Mira Lowe was named the University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications Assistant Dean for Student Experiences. Rochelle Riley was inducted into the North Carolina Media and Journalism Hall of Fame. Abby Phillip was awarded Outstanding Journalist in Broadcast at the Salute to Washington Women in Journalism Program.

into the Hampton University Hall of Fame. Joel Boykin was inducted into The Emmys Silver Circle. Phillip Martin won a National Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Investigative Series. Sasha-Ann Simons won a regional Edward R. Murrow Award for Best Feature. Vickie Thomas was inducted into the Michigan Journalism Hall of Fame. Vincent McCraw received the Spirit of Diversity Award from Wayne State University. Yamiche Alcindor received an Honorary Doctorate from Norfolk State University Chancellor Johnson became a recipient of the Cronkite Spirit Award. Larry Miller was nominated for an Emmy Award for his work at WUSA-9.

Shani Hilton who was named the Deputy Managing Editor at the LA Times. Felecia Henderson & Bria J. Brown won Michigan Associated Press Media Editors Awards. Don Blount was named California State Editor for GateHouse Media. Chris Ruffin Jr. was named a Poynter-Koch Fellow. Keith Jenkins was named Sports Reporter for the Associated Press - Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he also manages a team of 20 freelance reporters. LiZeatra Wilson was named Johnson C. Smith University’s Assistant Director of University Communications and Marketing. Benjamin Bullock was selected to serve as a Producer for the Dallas Cowboys.

Errin Haines Whack was named to The Associated Press’ political team to cover the 2020 presidential campaign.

Dean Baquet was honored with the 2019 Distinguished Journalist Award from DePaul University’s Center for Journalism Integrity & Excellence.

Blayne Alexander joined NBC News as a correspondent based in Atlanta, reporting across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms.

Rashida Jones was inducted

Tonya Mosley was named Co-


Anchor of NPR’s “Here & Now.”

Share your accolades, achievements, milestones and promotions with us by using #NABJCongrats or emailing journal@



Photos by Jason M. Johnson & Aaron J.

NABJ’s record-breaking annual gathering hosted more than 4,100 attendees in Miami. The Convention was held Aug. 7-11 at the JW Marriott Miami Turnberry Resort & Spa.





Save the Date: NABJ - NAHJ CONVENTION & CAREER FAIR July 8-12, 2020 | Washington Marriott Wardman Park | D.C.