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Corrections requested from Huffington Post
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(Corrections requested from Huffington Post. Email addresses have been removed)

A recent Huffington Post article by Senior Media Editor Gabriel Arana about the status of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) contained inaccurate and misleading details, jumped to conclusions not supported in its reporting and was topped by a headline deceptive in nature.

The headline, “Why The Country's Largest Minority-Journalism Group May Close” was both incorrect and not supported by any facts or quotes in the story or elsewhere. NABJ is not closing.

Since the beginning of its term in August, the 2015-17 NABJ Board of Directors has practiced transparency regarding NABJ finances. The deficit is neither new information or a secret, and was shared with the membership at the NABJ business meeting at the convention in Minneapolis. A public memo was posted to on Oct. 29 outlining the association’s financial position and strategies to stabilize NABJ’s bottom line.

NABJ requests a formal correction published on the site and disseminated to those who have picked up the piece within 24 hours.

Among other issues:

— No record of a request for a 990 exists: the president has not received any such request, nor has the national office; but, the document is public record and readily available;

--- The board’s monetary pledges are donations to the organization as a gift and were never implied as help to offset any deficit

--- NABJ has not refused comment. Arana was referred to NABJ President Sarah Glover, the NABJ spokesperson, by each board member or staffer he contacted. Glover responded in writing to Arana’s questions on Nov. 6, yet the piece did not include responses to his questions (see attached). The NABJ communications consultant also responded to the reporter, requested that he call her cell phone and asked in writing if he needed any additional details or help with the story on Nov. 18. That correspondence went unanswered by Arana.

The most important issue was the claim that NABJ would use grant funds from the Ford Foundation to deal with the shortfall. That was never NABJ’s plan. It was suggested as a possibility by the treasurer in his report to the board during its October meeting in Washington, D.C. This was immediately corrected during the meeting, where it was acknowledged that the funds would not be used for anything other than their guaranteed purpose. Insinuating the move was a board consideration rather than a suggestion from the treasurer is reckless and, quite frankly, sloppy journalism.

The NABJ Board of Directors


Aprill O. Turner
Communications Consultant
National Association of Black Journalists
Twitter: @NABJ

Telephone numbers removed.

From: Sarah Glover  
Date: Friday, November 6, 2015 at 1:29 PM
To: Gabriel Arana  
Subject: Re: Answers to your questions

Bounce back? We are moving forward…

NABJ was founded 40 years ago and is the oldest, baddest and most influential minority journalism organization on the planet.


NABJ’s recent moves prove that we are progressive, purposeful and agile — all strong indicators we will be around for another 40-­‐plus years.

Sarah Glover
Social Media Editor
NBC Owned Television Stations
Follow: @skyphoto

From: Gabriel Arana  
Date: Friday, November 6, 2015 at 3:21 PM
To: Sarah Glover  
Subject: Re: Answers to your questions

This is great, Sarah, thanks so much for your responses. I'm sure NABJ will bounce back soon!


On Fri, Nov 6, 2015 at 2:09 PM Glover, Sarah 

1) What is the reason for the NABJ shortfall? Did a major gift fall through or is it just hard to raise money generally?

The previous board reported a projected deficit to the members at the 2015 convention in Minneapolis. The incoming board that was elected on Aug. 9 conducted a thorough review of NABJ's finances and provided members with an updated projected deficit for 2015. The 2015 convention did not yield the projected revenue as outlined in the budget by the previous board.

Also, there are additional factors that impact revenue generated from NABJ conventions, such as where the convention is located.

2) There seems to be a mismatch between the urgency of the diversity problem in our profession and the financial health of the minority journalism orgs. Do you think that's true?

The need for diversity in American newsrooms could not be a more pressing issue.

To me, these are separate issues as there are numerous factors at play with regard to the role and financial picture of the minority journalism organizations.

The current NABJ board is working to define what a successful business model looks like for NABJ through the forthcoming strategic planning process — that includes operating with no deficit in 2016.

3) What does NABJ plan to do to shore up fundraising? Or will it simply be scaling back?

Any responsible organization knows there are two sides to a healthy equation. We have both strategic revenue generation initiatives and expense reductions that are already yielding impressive results. It would be a huge mistake to underestimate the resiliency and talented business people in this 40-year-old organization.

That being said, NABJ must become a more efficient organization. We plan to create a budget for 2016 with reduced expenses and we’ve adopted zero-based budgeting.

4) Any developments in the conversations with Unity?

Since the new board came into office in August, the association’s focus has been on planning and hosting a successful convention with NAHJ in 2016. It will be "the” journalism convention to attend next year.

Sarah Glover
Social Media Editor
NBC Owned Television Stations
Follow: @skyphoto 

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