A MESSAGE FROM NABJ PRESIDENT SARAH GLOVER
Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Posted by: Aprill Turner
Sept. 12, 2015
Good Day, NABJ!
It’s been a little over a month since the 2015-17 NABJ Board of Directors took office, but we’re already laying the groundwork for a successful two years -- and people are taking notice.
$100,000 FORD FOUNDATION GRANT
I’m honored to share with you the most notable highlight since my presidency began: NABJ was approved for a $100,000 Ford Foundation grant to help us execute a strategic-planning process in the next year. Our organization has not had a strategic plan since 2012. This is a remarkable development this week and the board and staff are excited to get the process under way.
I want to personally thank our executive director Darryl R. Matthews Sr. and the NABJ staff for their hard work. Typically, the weeks immediately following the NABJ convention are when staff takes much needed time off. So the staff’s ability to execute the rewriting and submission of this proposal post-convention is commendable and a huge win for NABJ.
NABJ-NAHJ JOINT CONVENTION
Our executive director and I have been working with NAHJ President Mekahlo Medina and NAHJ Executive Director Alberto Mendoza to begin planning next year’s convention. Our joint convention will be THE convention to attend in 2016. Please mark your calendars and request time off now to attend. The convention takes place August 3-7, 2016, in Washington, D.C. The convention week coincides with the start of the Summer Olympics in Rio. After we returned from the Minneapolis convention, I asked Executive Director Matthews to work with our convention management company and to go back to the hotel again and ask if another date was possible. There are no alternative working dates for our convention next year so we embrace the existing date and will work to be sure we establish a successful joint convention plan with NAHJ. We will reach out to our partners and members and keep them informed often throughout the planning process. I look forward to sharing more news about the convention with you in the coming weeks.
HIGHLIGHTS FROM FIRST 30 DAYS
I have ambitious goals for NABJ and there’s a lot I’d like to accomplish, both in the first 90 days and over the next two years. This board’s progress in its first 30 days is a strong indicator of the path we are on. Here’s the highlights:
- Within 24 hours of taking office, NABJ spoke in favor of press rights after learning Washington Post reporter and former NABJ board member Wesley Lowery was charged with trespassing during his coverage of the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, Mo.
- We also advocated for fair coverage of the black community following an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune. I personally visited the Tribune’s editorial board with NABJ-Chicago Chapter president Kathy Chaney while I was working in Chicago.
- NABJ Vice President-Print Marlon A. Walker is working with Alabama Media Group after reports surfaced that the last black reporter covering news in their Birmingham newsroom had been laid off.
- Academic Representative Michelle Johnson has met with Stat, a subsidiary of the Boston Globe, after a swift departure of a promising young black journalist and NABJ member. I happened to be in Boston for work just after the news broke and was able to meet personally with that young person to provide encouragement.
- Because I was in Boston that week I was unable to attend the AAJA Convention in San Francisco, but spoke with president Paul Cheung and wished him well for a productive convention week. We will meet in person in New York City soon to discuss ways NABJ and AAJA can collaborate in the future. Immediate Past President Bob Butler attended the AAJA Convention on NABJ's behalf.
- I will attend the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Convention in Washington, D.C., and then the joint #EIJ15 Convention with NAHJ, SPJ and RTNDA in Orlando later this month.
- NABJ Region IV Director Marcus Vanderberg will attend the ONA Convention in Los Angeles later this month on my behalf. VP-Digital Benet Wilson, VP-Broadcast Dorothy Tucker and Academic Representative Johnson will also be in attendance. I will not be at ONA this year because I will be manning pope social coverage for the 11 NBC Owned Television Stations.
- I have also met with UNITY President Russell Contreras and NABJ has spoken out against Egyptian court officials for sentencing Al Jazeera journalists to prison time despite insufficient evidence in the case alleging false news reports. NABJ also honored the passing of Julian Bond and recognized the tragedy at WDBJ by offering a statement of support and condolence.
- In addition to these active statements and public gestures, NABJ has met with corporate partners in person and by phone to discuss the endless possibilities for future collaboration and how NABJ can help companies meet their goals.
HALL OF FAME
Please mark your calendars and plan to attend the NABJ Hall of Fame in Washington, D.C. on December 16, 2015, where we will also celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary. More details on this special event are forthcoming.
NABJ STUDENT REP VACANCY
I’d like to draw your attention to the student representative position. Please help me to spread the word that there is a board vacancy for this position. I’m reaching out to our membership to encourage the very best student members to step up to serve. The deadline to apply is Sept. 15. Apply here.
What can you do to help support NABJ? Maintain your NABJ membership. Recruit a colleague to join NABJ. Share your partnership leads with the national office. Reach out to me and express your volunteer interest or join a committee. Share some of your best ideas by using the hashtag #nabjidea on social media or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I particularly am interested in ideas that include funding proposals and suggestions.
I look forward to working with you to build a stronger NABJ.
Yours In Service,
NABJ President 2015-17
NBC OTS Social Media Editor