Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Questions & Answers on my Region II Director Candidacy

On Saturday, I had the chance to present my candidacy for NABJ Region II Director before the Baltimore chapter - the Association of Black Media Workers (ABMW). After a week of bad weather, Saturday turned out to be a warm, sunny day, so the turnout was low -- but I wasn't hating! There were four of us in attendance, and it allowed for more conversation about issues of importance to members including future job prospects, the role of NABJ in the rapidly changing journalism field and what can be done to ensure journalists of color are not left behind. Specific topics addressed included:
  • Having chapters/regions to be more interactive with members;
  • Boosting efforts to increase chapters' membership;
  • Tapping regional directors to better serve as a bridge between local chapters and the board;
  • Offering a Region II conference and quarterly webinars on topics of interest to the membership; and
  • Ensuring more is done to offer training/advice/learning for members trying to adapt to new business models.
My emphasis has been to offer NABJ members the tools they need to adapt and thrive in the new media landscape. The traditional lines between print, radio and broadcast journalism are blurring at a record pace.

I earned my degree in broadcast journalism from American University back in 1985. While in school, I worked at the campus television and radio stations, and I also was editor of the black student union newspaper. I ended up being a print journalist.

But with all the changes in journalism, I now consider myself a multimedia journalist, since I am now a writer, a blogger, a podcaster, a photographer and a videographer. I have worked hard in the past three years to get the skills I need to keep and thrive in my job.

NABJ has been working to do the same for its membership, but the potential to do even more is there. As Region II director, one of my goals will be to ensure that the board work with chapters to offer more training options across all segments and all sides -- journalism, education and public relations/public affairs -- of the industry, including more help for those who may want to start their own businesses.

Tough times call for tough measures and -- I hate to use the cliche -- thinking outside the box. With so many running for election for the first time this cycle, NABJ and its board have the chance to rethink how we do business moving ahead. And I am determined to be a part of that process with my candidacy for Region II Director.

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