This is my first official blog post as a candidate for Region II Director for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). I was prompted to run after a recent series of posts on our members-only chat group.
(Photo of Wilson speaking at the 2008 BlogOrlando unconference courtesy of Ted Murphy via Flickr)
The issue was that NABJ had set an April 1 deadline for people to register for our organization's annual conference, scheduled for Aug. 5-9, 2009, in Tampa, Fla. The problem is that the conference workshop had not been released, and answers on the delay were originally slow in coming. The argument was that people needed to know what NABJ was offering in the way of this year's theme -- Refresh, Reinvent, Reclaim -- before making that commitment.
To its credit, NABJ's board heard the members and extended the early-bird deadline to April 15. It has also released the full schedule of workshops, here. I'm pleased to note that two of my workshops -- Make That Move - Careers In B2B/Trade Publications and Tools You Need To Be A New Media Journalist -- are on the agenda.
All that back and forth on the chat group made me realize that it's one thing to offer suggestions on what NABJ should do. But it's completely another to put your money where your mouth is, jump in and become one of the people offering solutions.
My candidacy fits in perfectly with what NABJ is trying to focus on: Refresh, Reinvent, Reclaim. My current career-related passions are trade/B2B publishing as a career option for journalists of color and taking advantage of new/social media tools to make journalists much harder to lay off. And I have many ideas on how to help journalists in Region II make that transition.
Between now and August, I'll use this blog to post articles of interest to the journalism community, my thoughts on what is being proposed and how my candidacy for Region II director fits in the conversation. With media companies announcing layoffs and buyouts regularly, now is the time to reclaim what brought you into journalism -- no matter how it's delivered -- in the first place.
You can follow me via Twitter: @benet4nabj. I also have a Facebook page: Benet J. Wilson for NABJ Region II Director. You can help by joining me on Twitter and Facebook, and getting your friends and colleagues in Region II to do the same. I appreciate your support, and look forward to the conversation.