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2016 NABJ/ NAHJ Student Monitor/ Latino Reporter 

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NABJ Mourns the Passing of NABJ Founder Claude A. Lewis

Claude A. Lewis


WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 16, 2017) - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the passing of NABJ Founder Claude Lewis, also a founder of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ). Lewis died Thursday morning at Virtua Voorhees Hospital in Voorhees, N.J. He was 82.

Lewis was a highly respected journalist and mentor to many journalists. Born and raised in New York City, he attended public schools and graduated from City College with a degree in English. Lewis worked as an editor and reporter for newspapers and magazines, such as NewsweekNew York Herald Tribune, and ThePhiladelphia Bulletin.

He taught at Villanova University and also wrote a column for The Bulletin until it folded in 1982. Later, Lewis wrote a syndicated column for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

"This is a very sad day. Claude was a great mentor for me at The Bulletin. He always had time to talk with a young journalist trying to navigate the newsroom. He was the calm spirit that guided many of us," said former colleague and NABJ Founder Sandra Dawson Long Weaver.

Known as one of the “original three,” Lewis along with fellow Philadelphia journalists Chuck Stone and Acel Moore laid the groundwork for and later founded the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) in 1973. Lewis and many of PABJ’s early members contributed to the formation of NABJ in 1975 in Washington, D.C.

“Founder Claude Lewis was a gentle giant and kind soul whose passion for equality and equal opportunity can be seen in his columns and life’s work. He had a personal impact on the trajectory of many NABJ members, myself included, showing us all the way,” said NABJ President Sarah Glover.

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Claude A. Lewis Scholarship Donations


NABJ Congratulates Rashida Jones, Senior VP of Specials for NBC News and MSNBC

Rashida Jones
Senior Vice President of Specials
for NBC News and MSNBC

(Washington, D.C.) - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) extends congratulations to longtime NABJ member Rashida Jones, who was recently appointed Senior Vice President of Specials for NBC News and MSNBC.  She was previously managing editor of MSNBC 's day side programming.

Jones has been integral in the network's rebranding and focus on breaking news coverage. Under her leadership, MSNBC day side programming saw year-to-year triple-digit growth, a trend that continues.

"I'm am very excited to take on this position and thankful for all of the support NABJ has provided over the years," Jones said.

In making the promotion announcement to staff, NBC News president Noah Oppenheim said Jones "brings deep knowledge of cable, breaking news coverage and events programming to her new role."

Before her time with MSNBC, Jones was the news director for WIS-TV, the NBC affiliate in Columbia, South Carolina, where she rebuilt and rebranded the news team to focus on investigative reporting. The station was solidly No. 1 in the market.

She was also director of live programming at The Weather Channel, leading network coverage and programming for some of the world's most historic weather events, such as Hurricane Katrina.

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NABJ and NBC Meet

Representatives from NBC and NABJ recently met to discuss the departure of former NBC anchor Tamron Hall. The meeting was an opportunity for NABJ to express its concerns over the loss of the popular anchor from the Today Show with the possible replacement of former Fox talk show host Megyn Kelly. It was a productive meeting that set the stage for additional face-to-face dialogue regarding diversity initiatives that will ultimately benefit NBC and  NABJ members. Face-to-face meetings are also on the horizon with other media companies.

Cheryl Smith New NABJ Secretary


Cheryl Smith
NABJ Secretary

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased to announce that former Region VII Director, Cheryl Smith, is the organization's new secretary.

Smith was recently appointed to the office by NABJ President Sarah Glover. 

"I'm excited to welcome Cheryl Smith to the NABJ board team. Her years of experience serving NABJ on the national and chapter level are noteworthy. She brings a strong passion for NABJ service to the national board once again," said Glover.
An award-winning reporter, Smith currently works for The Texas Metro News and The Garland Journal.. Shehas also been an editor, columnist, and staff writer for The Dallas Weekly.  Smith is also the publisher and editor of the IMessenger News Group, a multi-platform news organization that consists of two print newspapers, one digital news magazine, an online radio show and a television program.  
She is especially proud of her work with the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists Urban Journalism Workshop, where she has made an impact on aspiring journalists from middle school to age 55.

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