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GOP Chairman Michael Steele Cancels Appearance

SteeleJuly 30, 2010 - San Diego, CA.......National Association of Black Journalists Convention Convention Chair, Elise Durham was informed by Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele’s advance team this morning that Michael Steele was canceling his panel discussion scheduled for 4:00 pm today because of food poisoning.

The RNC statement reads, "While traveling out West the Chairman came down with a bad case of food poisoning. He is disappointed to miss the opportunity to take part in this valuable dialogue and looks forward to engaging with NABJ in the very near future."

Steele was scheduled to appear at NABJ one day after former USDA Regional Rural Director Shirley Sherrod indicated that she will take legal action against conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart, who she said caused her to lose her job. Sherrod , who appeared before hundreds of journalists at the NABJ Convention yesterday, was forced to resign after Breitbart posted a video excerpt of a speech she gave to the NAACP and accused her being a racist.

Steele is scheduled to appear at a RNC fundraiser with Breitbart in California next month.

When asked by Durham if there was any relationship between his cancellation and the fundraiser, Special Assistant to the Chairman, Joey Smith said, "We don’t comment on our finance events and never have.”

NABJ President Kathy Times issues statement on Shirley Sherrod
"Where do we go from here? It is clear that some media companies dropped the ball. Mrs. Sherrod’s story helps us examine the question of how as journalists do we pick up the ball and investigate deeper issues that have been raised by this experience? I challenge all journalists and our members to look closely at race relations in the Department of Agriculture and the plight of black farmers. This is just the beginning of a critical conversation and her attendance here today is a great start." -- Kathy Times, president of NABJ.


Shirley Sherrod addresses journalists at Annual Convention in San Diego
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (JULY 27, 2010)— Newsmaker Shirley Sherrod is set to appear before thousands of journalists on Thursday, July 29 at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Annual Convention in San Diego, Calif.

SherrodSherrod has made headlines over the past two weeks for her forced resignation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart posted video excerpts of Sherrod's address at a March 2010 NAACP event on his website. The NAACP initially condemned her remarks and U.S. government officials called on her to resign. Upon review of the unedited video in context, the NAACP, White House officials, and Tom Vilsack, the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, apologized soon after and Sherrod was offered a new position. Sherrod has not yet decided if she will accept the job offer.

Sherrod will have a candid conversation with a panel of journalists during a newsmaker plenary, "Context and Consequences: A Conversation with Shirley Sherrod.” The discussion will focus on the reporting and coverage of this incident and the role that race still plays in a runaway media culture.

NABJ also extended Breitbart an invitation to this session. He initially accepted, but later declined.

EVENT: Context and Consequences: A Conversation with Shirley Sherrod and the National Association of Black Journalists

TIME: 8:00 a.m. PST July 29 - Newsmaker Plenary

LOCATION: Manchester Grand Hyatt

NOTE: *Members of the working press who wish to cover this forum will need to obtain press credentials.To obtain credentials please contact the NABJ Convention Press Office,


NABJ announces inaugural J-Lab high school program

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – July 27, 2010 - The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) is pleased to announce its first NABJ Journalism Lab (J-Lab)for high school students during its 35th NABJ Annual Convention and Career Fair, July 28 – August 1, 2010.

High school students near the San Diego area will be exposed to a cross-platform journalism training experience and future careers in journalism.

"Having championed and nurtured future journalists for 35 years, we are extending our efforts to do so with the inception of our J-Lab,” said NABJ President Kathy Y. Times. "It empowers our young people by providing substantive journalism training that builds confidence and sparks young people’s imaginations.”

Students will work with professional journalists and educators to craft news stories across several media platforms. They will learn such journalism fundamentals as reporting ethics, meeting deadlines, and news judgment.

"I am excited to work with the young people. We are certain that the exposure will be meaningful to the high school membership,” said Russell LaCour, NABJ High School Committee chairman. "This opportunity is our way to make an imprint in the journalism community.”

The workshop will complement the work produced by students of the NABJ Multimedia Project, an annual project for college students. The college students engage in a rigorous training, plus hands-on experience in using the latest tools to produce both breaking news at NABJ’s annual convention.

NABJ has seen a significant growth in high school membership, which was just added four years ago. High school membership has tripled over the past four years.

The workshop, sponsored by the Dow Jones News Fund, the Society of Professional Journalists Sigma Delta Chi Foundation and NPR, will take place July 25 - 28 at Point Loma Nazarene University in San Diego, Calif. Additional support has been provided by the Houston Association of Black Journalists, San Diego Association of Black Journalists, Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, Twin Cities Black Journalists and NABJ-Tulsa.

"The opportunities for all our students aims to make them better journalists and develop relationships with professional journalists that will provide mentorship as they move through the ranks of media organizations,” said Times.

This year’s participants:


Alyssa Littlefield, Temecula Valley High School

Bailey Loughran, Chaparral High School

Kendal Kirkland, Lincoln High School

Ziyadah Muhammad, Lincoln High School

Adriana Espinoza, Lincoln High School

Alexandria Smith, Lincoln High School

Samantha Lopez-- Lincoln High School

Andreana Kovacs, Westview High School

Anna Buckley, Westview High School

Mary Cruz, Lincoln High School

Zion Daniel, Lincoln High School

Stephon Chapman, Lincoln High School

Andre Lawton, Lincoln High School

Alejandro Gonzalez, Lincoln High School


Kimberly Adams, NPR, J-Lab Co-Director

Dana Littlefield, The San Diego Union-Tribune, J-Lab Co-Director

Russell LaCour, Tulsa World, High School Committee Chairman

Reginald Ragland, Young DC

Khari Johnson,

Shauntel Lowe, Vallejo Times-Herald

Jerry McCormick, KNSD-TV

Tim Carr, KNSD-TV

Shannon Edwards, San Diego 6 CW

Alicia Dean, KNSD-TV

Lorise Maynard, San Diego County Water Authority

Natasha Lee, KUSI-TV

Sunday Ely, University of California, Berkeley


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