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2016 NABJ Region III Conference
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2016 NABJ Region III Conference

2016 NABJ Region III Conference

4/8/2016 to 4/10/2016
When: April 8-10, 2016
Where: Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel
250 N. Main Street
Memphis, TN  38103
United States
Contact: Gayle Hurd

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Race Matters: Looking Back, Moving Forward
April 8-10, 2016 ~ Memphis, TN

~Special Offering~

Watchdog Workshop
Presented by Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE)



2016 NABJ Region III Conference

Race Matters: Looking Back, Moving Forward

Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel
250 N. Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103
April 8-10, 2016

Gayle Hurd
NABJ Region III Director

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will host the 2016 Region III Conference April 8 - 10 at the Sheraton Downtown Memphis, 250 N. Main Street, Memphis, TN.

This year's conference theme "Race Matters: Looking Back, Moving Forward" reflects on the impact race has had on recent coverage from police shootings to the upcoming elections. While in Memphis, a city with a history of civil rights, we see the similarities between the racial issues of past and present day, with an eye to prevent repeating them  in the future. This conference will feature insightful programming that will impact working journalists, freelance and transitioning journalists, public relations practitioners, entrepreneurs and students.

Region III is honored to have former civil rights movement leader Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr. as  Keynote Speaker

Dr. LaFayette, who is currently a Distinguished Scholar at Emory University,  has been a Civil Rights Movement activist, minister, educator, lecturer, and is an authority on the strategy on non-violent social change. He Co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960. He was a leader of the 1960 Nashville Movement,  the 1961 Freedom Rides,  and the 1965 Selma Movement. He directed the Alabama Voter Registration Project in 1962, and he was appointed National Program Administrator for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and National Coordinator of the 1968 Poor Peoples' campaign by Martin Luther King, Jr. In addition, Dr. LaFayette has served as Director of Peace and Justice in Latin America; Chairperson of the Consortium on Peace Research, Education and Development; Director of the PUSH Excel Institute; and minister of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tuskegee, Alabama.

Conference attendees will have the opportunity to network with other journalists, public relations professionals and entrepreneurs in workshops that will include the return of our interactive producers/reporters boot camp and student interview critiques. Other exciting workshops include the issue of protecting journalists in the field, mid-career choices and changes, journalists and PTSD, Black Twitter and social media, and for the first time, a special two-part IRE workshop. Our 2016 Region III Achievers Award will be awarded and another first, R3's  new "Media and Me Essay Contest" for aspiring high school journalists.


Calling all Investigative Reporters!! (Or those who would like to be)

For the first time at a NABJ Regional conference, we are offering a special Investigative Reporting workshop conducted by Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE).

IRE is hosting it's Watchdog Workshop at the 2016 R3 Conference! Hone your investigative skills with tips and strategies from IRE's experienced trainers and a group of veteran reporters. At the end of the Friday and Saturday afternoon sessions, attendees will receive a certification issued directly from the organization.

These workshops require a separate registration fee.


Workshops, times and panelists are subject to change.

Friday, April 8
1:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m.
IRE Watchdog Workshop - Pt. 1
WMC-TV5, 1960 Union Avenue, Memphis

Powered by IRE and Raycom Media
6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. Region III Opening Reception at The National Civil Rights Museum

Powered by  Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D) TN and

The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel

Me in the Media Awards - A special contest for High school students interested in a career in Journalism.  Students submit their work on the topic:  What does news mean in your area?

9:00 p.m. NABJ "Walkin" in Memphis -  Night on your own to enjoy Memphis!
Saturday, April 9
7:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
7:30 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
Continental Breakfast
Powered by Kroger
8:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. Opening and Welcome: Gayle Hurd, NABJ Region III Director, WPTF/NC News Network/WRAL-TV, Raleigh, NC

Chapter Greetings
: Siobhan Riley, MABJ President, Reporter/Anchor WREG-TV, Memphis, TN

 Earle J. Fisher, Sr. Pastor Abyssinian Baptist Church in Whitehaven, Memphis, TN
8:30 a.m. - 8:35 a.m. Faith Morris, National Civil Rights Museum
8:35 a.m. - 8:40 a.m. Imara Canady - AIDS Healthcare Foundation
8:40 a.m - 8:50 a.m. Sarah Glover, NABJ President
8:50 a.m. - 8:55 a.m. DeWayne Wickham, NABJ Founder, Dean, Morgan State University
9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
Plenary Session - Decision 2016: The Politics of Race
A workshop on how issues effecting black and latino voters impact the 2016 elections. Where do we fit in to candidate's platforms? Or do we? Journalists and those in the political arena will discuss how journalists of color can have their say in the political process.

Panelists: Rep. Antonio Parkinson (D) Shelby Co. TN, Lee Whack, Jr. Press Secretary, Democratic National Convention, Tezlyn Figaro, Director of Racial Justice – Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign, Tezlyn Figaro Communications Group

10:00 a.m. - 11:30 p.m. Morning Breakout Sessions
Blended  Bootcamp:
 A Bootcamp for Journalists who wear multiple hats while doing their jobs. Half technical the other half reporting. For all genres. This workshop will provide hands-on instruction across all to help journalists adapt to the changing requirements of the job involving digital media and develop skills in new concentrations. The goal is also to make sure future journalists have to tools necessary to acquire a job, to increase the value of journalists in their currents jobs, and to help all journalists advance in their professions.
  A.  Scribers Workshop:  Instructors should be qualified print and web writers used to writing for readers. The participants should be journalists who primarily produce information for readers and viewers.
  B.  Shooters Workshop:  Instructors should be qualified still and video photographers who can teach writers and novice to shoot pictures and video with mobile devices.  Instructors need to teach shooting for new media and publication.
  C. Speakers Workshop:  Instructors should be qualified talent with who can give voice instruction to novice reporters. The speaker should be able to use mobile devices to help teach participants how to maximize their voice and appearance.

Ken Lemon, Reporter, WSOC-TV, Charlotte, NC

Panelists: Various
10:00 a.m. – 11:15 a.m.
How to Get that First Job: Student’s Critique SessionsThis popular workshop will give student attendees the opportunity to have their resumes and work reviewed by managers and working journalists.

Moderator: Ken Smith, Anchor/Reporter, WRAL-TV

Panelists: Mark Russell, Managing Editor, The Commercial Appeal; Brett Chambers, NC Central University, Richard Thompson, Black Mediaverse, Tammy Phillips, News Director, WMC-TV, Lisa Lovell – News Director, WATN-TV/WLMT-TV, Sandra Combs, Arkansas State Univ., Jerry Goodwin, Tulsa Community College

10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Morning Session I
Elvis has Left the Building:  Mid-Level Career Choices and Changes - 
This is a repeating theme for many journalists who are facing the autumn of their careers, or who are just looking to make a change after a number of years in one job. What opportunities are available for veteran journalists who want to continue to practice their craft after working for years as a full-time journalist?

Moderator: Angela Robinson, Host, In Contact, Atlanta, Robinson Media

Panelists: Terry Allen, 1016 Media/Terry Allen PR, Kortni Alston, PhD. Candidate, Univ. of Florida, Tenisha Bell, President, Perfect Pitch Media Group, LLC

11:00 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.
Morning Session II
#Journalist'sLivesMatter:  Keeping Journalists Safe in the Field
- The horrific shooting of two Roanoke, Virginia journalists has many thinking of ways to stay safe while doing their jobs. What measures are journalists and news organizations taking to protect themselves? And what can management do? This panel will address journalists who are considering legally carrying a weapon while on assignment or at work. Is it necessary?

Moderator: Siobhan Riley, Reporter, WREG-TV, Memphis

Panelists: Brittany Noble-Jones, Anchor/Reporter, WJTV, Jackson, MS, Tammy Phillips, News Director, WMC-TV Memphis, Kennan Oliphant, Asst. News Director, Manager of Coverage and Content, Fox 13, Memphis.

12:00 noon – 1:15 p.m.

Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr.

Region III Achievers and Awards Luncheon
Powered by Wells Fargo

Moderator: Dr. Sybril Bennett – Belmont College, Nashville, TN

Honorees: Clarence Williams – Director/Producer (Ret.) WRAL-TV and Glenn Proctor, President, REDDJobb

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Jr., Civil Rights Leader, Distinguished Sr. Scholar in Residence, Candler School of Theology, Emory University

1:15 p.m. – 4:15 p.m. Special Offering
IRE Watchdog Workshop Pt. II
- An investigative workshop conducted by IRE personnel to help you hone your reporting and interviewing skills and where the participants receive an IRE certification for investigative reporting after completion.

1:30 p.m. –2:15 p.m.
Afternoon Session I
Professional Workshop
Powered by Wells Fargo

Mo’ Better
Money Blue$: Financial Literacy for Journalists - An interactive opportunity to engage with seasoned financial planning experts who will offer planning guidance, tips to address real-life financial challenges, and insight into the ways journalists, at all stages of their careers, can maximize and manage their financial futures.

Panelists: Jerome Franklin, MBA, Senior Vice President and Daryl Quarles, Vice President, Investments, - Wells Fargo Advisors

2:30 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.
Afternoon Session II
What's your Status? Expressing Yourself Online and On-air
- What's safe to say on Social Media? How should journalists respond to social media posts? Journalists are free to express themselves now in a way that was unacceptable in the past – but is that a good thing?

: Ken Smith, WRAL-TV

Panelists: Jason Luntz, The Luntz Report, Lisa Lovell – News Director, WATN-TV/WLMT-TV, Katina Rankins, Local 24 Memphis

3:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Afternoon Session III
Recovering from Coverage:  Journalists and PTSD
- How does covering tragic events like wars, disasters and emotionally charged issues like the Charleston church shooting or the Ferguson protests, impacts journalists, as well as what steps one should take to “recover from the coverage. These stories brought anger, sadness and other emotions to all our lives. How do journalists separate their emotions from these types of stories and report accurately? Journalists share their experiences in these high stress stories and how they cope with the aftermath and go on to report again.

Moderator: Richard DeVayne, Reporter, WCNC-TV  Charlotte

Panelists: Errin Whack, AP, Philadelphia, Ken Smith, WRAL-TV, Psychologist

4:30 p.m. – 5:15 p.m.
Afternoon Session IV
Black Twitter and other Social Media of Color
- The advent of African American-run and directed social media such as Black Twitter, NBCBlk, and the like, and how it works for journalists as well as how to best utilize these digital tools.

Moderator: Brittany Noble-Jones, Anchor/Reporter, WJTV, Jackson, MS

Panelists: Sarah Glover - NABJ President, NBC OTS Social Media Editor, Ernie Suggs, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Jason Luntz – The Luntz Report

5:30 p.m.
R3 Networking: Memphis Meetup Lobby LoungeTake time after the workshops end to meet and greet attendees or continue conversations started with panelists or fellow R3 members in a relaxed atmosphere. Bring your business cards!
6:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. St. Jude Cocktail Reception – St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Campus, Memphis, TN

9:00 p.m. – Until
MABJ Re-New Chapter Party – Memphis, TN

Sunday, April 10
10:00 a.m.

NABJ in the Spirit - Sunday Service at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Whitehaven, Memphis, TN
2:00 p.m. NABJ at the Memphis RedBirds – Attendees can purchase tickets to see this AAA Baseball team. Tickets  starting at $16.


Friday, April 8
1:00 p.m. - 1:20 p.m.
Welcome and Overview of the Workshop
1:20 p.m. - 2:20 p.m.
Getting an Investigative Mindset - Move beyond anecdotes and he-said, she-said journalism with data and documents. Advice on developing a documents state of mind, navigating public records, understanding records retention schedules, exploring key records on a variety of beats, and becoming familiar with key national data sets to produce high-impact local stories.
2:30 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Policing the Police/Watchdogging Crime - This session will go over ways to elevate the coverage of law enforcement and crime by watchdogging those whose job it is to uphold the law. It will focus on who to talk to, what kinds of records to ask for and the issues to highlight.
3:40 p.m. - 4:40 p.m.
FOI/Open Records - How to use federal and state laws. How to write an open records request the right way. How to appeal and challenge denials. How to keep a steady flow of information and ideas coming into the newsroom by using FOI.
4:50 p.m. - 5:50 p.m.
The Art of the Interview - Learn the best ways to approach sources, prepare and handle the interview process. Advice for conducting video interviews for your website. Plenty of tips and strategies for handling tough situations, ethical trouble-spots, etc.
Saturday, April 9
1:30 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.
Investigating Racial Inequality - What tools can provide more in-depth coverage about racial inequality, school segregation, housing and policing? We’ll discuss past coverage and provide tools for investigating the racial divide.
3:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.
The Web as an Investigative Tool - What reporters and editors need to know. From better search techniques to the invisible Web, how to find documents and databases on deadline and where to find reliable websites for enterprise stories. The craft of better searching and not wasting time. Handling issues of credibility and ethics online.
4:15 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Wrap Up


Register Today and Save!

Registration Type Early-Bird Pre-Registration Onsite
NABJ Member $35.00 $40.00 $50.00
NABJ Student Member n/a $25.00 $30.00
Non-Member $45.00 $50.00 $60.00
Student Non-Member n/a $35.00 $40.00

IRE Watchdog Workshop

With Conference Registration - $25 Without Conference Registration - $55

(Total will include a $3.00 administrative fee)


Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel
250 N. Main Street
Memphis, TN 38103

Discounted Rate: $129 per night
Discount Code: "National Association of Black Journalists"

Online reservations are available at:



Thank You

2016 NABJ Region III Conference Partners

Gold Sponsors

Silver Sponsors


Bronze Sponsors

In-Kind Sponsor


For questions, details and partnership opportunities at or 301-405-8281.

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