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News & Press: NABJ News

National Association of Black Journalists Gives Thumbs Down Award to KTVU-TV

Monday, August 13, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Jovan Riley
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National Association of Black Journalists Gives Thumbs Down Award to KTVU-TV

Also: Investigative group recognized for best practices


WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 13, 2018) --The National Association of Black Journalists announced on Monday the winners of its Thumbs Down Award and for Best Practices. The Thumbs Down Award is presented annually to an individual or organization for especially insensitive, racist or stereotypical reporting, commentary, photography or cartooning about the black community or for engaging in practices at odds with the goals of NABJ. The board also lauds an organization for best practices.

Here are the recipients of this year's Thumbs Down Award and Best Practices recognition:

THUMBS DOWN: KTVU TV. In its reporting on the death of African American woman Nia Wilson, who was killed by a knife attack on a public transit train, the TV station published a photo taken from Wilson’s Facebook account of her holding what looked like a gun to her head (the object actually may have been a cell phone case shaped to look like a gun). In the wake of the attack, in which Wilson’s sister Lahtifa was also slashed, many questioned why the TV station used such an inflammatory photo.

The station has apologized publicly for publishing the photo. NABJ President Sarah Glover said: “There’s no justification for KTVU's airing of a photo of her apparently holding a fake gun cell phone case. KTVU victimized her twice by airing an image that puts her in a negative light, and that also has nothing to do with her death. The lack of sensitivity shown to the victim and her family is unacceptable."

BEST PRACTICES: International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and Cenozo. Earlier this year, the ICIJ convened 13 journalists from 11 countries to help expose the financial secrets of some of West Africa’s most powerful institutions – including politicians, corporations and power brokers. These journalists work in environments where the kind of reporting they do is not only aggressively opposed by powerful forces in their home countries, but where violence against journalists is not uncommon and danger can be high.


The collaboration allows members to share resources, data and access to help report on issues of tax avoidance, financial crime and corruption.

NABJ recognizes this as being worthy of its Best Practices Award.



About the National Association of Black Journalists: An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide. For additional information, please visit


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