Page 3

Saturday, April 12, 2008

The Monitor

3

Is America Ready For a Black President

two demographic groups, specifically the younger and the more educated, would most likely support a black president MONITOR STAFF WRITER because they are apt to be more liberal minded and capable of looking beyond race and sex. Journalists and educators at the NABJ Region V On the other hand, Broussard said ,older people who Conference expressed optimistic views about the possibililive in areas where institutional racism is still visible might ty of electing the United States’ first black president. not be willing to fathom the idea of a black or female presFreddie Willis, a Houston Chronicle sports copy editor, ident. believes that political, social and ideological change is the Broussard also emphasized that when considering the top priority for many reactions of different ethniciAmericans. White America ties to the potential election of will not respond to a black a black president, it is imporleader in the same way the I think Barack Obama can definitely tant that Americans not think of black population might, he black and white communities said, but that whites, too, are each as monolithic. help the lower and middle class get looking for a break from the “I think there are white peopolitical norm that traditionalple in this country who will better jobs, just get jobs period. There ly controls the country. If anyvote for a black presidential thing, Willis said, the white candidate because of who they are a lot of talented young Africancommunity will welcome the are, where they’re from, their change. socioeconomic class and their Americans out there and the workWillis said the country educational background,” said needs a boost in the economy, Broussard. force is just not presenting those which is something that a He said the prospect of black president can accomObama becoming president lies opportunities to them plish. with his speaking ability that “I think Barack Obama engages and inspires, and his can definitely help the lower Freddie Willis willingness to embrace all peo– and middle class get better ple. Also, his open manner of jobs – just get jobs period. discussing his biracial backThere are a lot of talented young African-Americans out ground adds to his credibility. there and the work force is just not presenting those oppor“I think that this is going to engage certain groups of tunities to them,” Willis said. people who may not have been that interested in politics. I Obama presiding as the nation’s commander-in-chief think he is going to be able to reach across racial and culwill allow him greater influence and power to make such tural lines in a way that’s unprecedented for an American opportunities more feasible, he said. president,” he said. The Illinois senator is locked in a tight race with Sen. Broussard said he was impressed that Obama has Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. reached his position on personal merit. William Broussard, assistant athletic director at Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La., said By Benna Sayyed

Barack and Michelle Obama

YOUTH VOTE

Young voters flock to polls By Da’Janai Woods

By Jarreth Alexander

MONITOR STAFF WRITER

Traditionally, young people have not been motivated to vote in national elections, but this year things seem to be drastically changing, especially in the Democratic primary races. What has inspired the attention of people ages 18-29 to inspire them to vote? Overwhelmingly, the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama – the first African-American to make it through major primaries – has served as an inspiration for them to take a stand and vote. Students who attended the National Association of Black Journalists Region V Conference on April 12 at Texas Southern University had some definite opinions about the presidential campaign. Natalie White, a 25-year-old student from Langston University in Langston, Okla., said she didn’t vote in the 2004 election, but she is inspired to vote this year because she wants to be a part of history. “I want to be able to say that I voted for the first black president,” she said. “I like his positive attitude toward facing the crisis that is taking place in America.” According to ABC News, a record number of youth have turned out to vote in the primary elections. In Massachusetts, 28 percent of youth voted, more than double the number that voted in 2004. In Illinois, 23 percent of youth voted, up from 14 percent in 2004. Hip-Hop mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs played a major role in the 2004 national election through Rock the Vote, which encouraged youths to go to the polls. But many reports showed that the percentage of youth that voted in 2004 was almost the same as in 2000. However, this year young voters – especially black youths – are casting ballots in record numbers. One of the states that experienced the most dramatic increase in youth voters was New Jersey, where the number of youth voters climbed from 4 percent in 2004 to 20 percent in this year. Markita Guy, a 24-year-old TSU student, thinks one of the reasons for the increase is that people want to see a change. “This year will really make a difference,” she said. “I want to vote for someone who is willing to make a change and Obama is that guy.”

After the love is gone MONITOR STAFF WRITER

Guy said she likes the critical issues that Obama is focusing on in his campaign, such as health care and education, because they affect her. In the Texas Democratic primary, voters ages 18-29 overwhelmingly supported Obama by a 61 percent to 39 percent. His opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton, was a favorite among those 60 and older, leading Obama 63 percent to 36 percent. Obama has won among 18- to 29-year-olds in every state, capturing 67 percent of their votes in South Carolina, 59 percent in Nevada, 51 percent in New Hampshire and 57 percent in Iowa. In the past, young people have felt that their vote doesn’t count. But Richard White, a student at Prairie View A&M University, disagrees. He says that every vote matters. “I think my vote will make a difference,” said White, 21. “Whether you win by 100 or 1, every vote matters at the end of the day.” White said America is ready for a change, and that it’s good to hear that message is being reaffirmed by Obama. “A change is going to come,” he said.

A career in the media isn’t for the faint at heart and requires journalists to be well-rounded and flexible, professional journalists say. Without the necessary skills, a journalist’s frustration builds and a career can become a revolving door – one day you’re in, and the next day you’re tossed out. Those messages were delivered in the “After the Love is Gone” seminar that provided tips to recover from a bad first internship. It also gave student journalists insight on how to survive in the profession. “It’s very important that you network with everyone that you come in contact with in this business,” said Tamara Washington, assignment editor at KPRC-Channel 2 in Houston. “You never know, that person you just met might be your new boss in the near future.” A degree in journalism doesn’t automatically mean a job, panelists said. But success is based on your experience, which is what gets you ahead in the industry. While it’s good for media personnel to be experts in their concentration, they also say it’s vital to know about global events. Panelists said it’s imperative to learn the tricks of the trade so that the revolving door doesn’t spin out of control. They posed questions that students might ask themselves after a bad internship: “What do I do next?” “Where do I go from here?” Cheryl Smith, executive editor for the Dallas Weekly, suggested finding a mentor and selling your skills. “Presentation is a must, leaving a lasting good impression so that a person will work with you again in the near future,” she said. Smith said it’s good to have a life outside of your career but offered another caution. “(Romantic office) relationships may interfere with your career, but it’s up to you to decide. It’s very important to have that balance of your personal life and your career life,” she said. “Find a partner who understands your career and won’t use it against you in every scenario.” Panelists said survival is the key to helping young journalists stay ahead in the field by being knowledgeable of the media.

NABJ Monitor  

National Association of Black Journalists student publication produced at Texas Southern University. Serbino Sandifer-Walker coordinating e...

Advertisement