National Association of Black Journalists founder Sandra Dawson Long Weaver is a longtime convention-goer. Since the 1990s, Weaver said she’s hardly missed a convention. She’s excited about returning in person to reconnect with other founders and NABJ members after three years away from one another.
She expects eight of the 44 founders to be present. They plan to hold their annual Founders Reception where they will honor Djibril Diallo for his efforts internationally on behalf of Black journalists with the Founders Appreciation Award. In addition, Weaver said a Founders Roundtable is slated for Thursday. Kay Angrum, digital anchor/reporter/producer with NBC New York. will moderate. They plan access to founders in an intimate setting to talk about the beginnings of the organization and other matters.
Weaver said NABJ started as an organization to advocate for Black journalists.
“Even though some progress has been made, we cannot let our guard down. It’s still hard to get your foot in the door, your first job,” Weaver said. “And we still need diversity in newsrooms, in management and diversity of age and of thought.”
For newbies, Weaver said in terms of the benefits of becoming a journalist, the skills that you learn are lifelong skills. Weaver is also an adviser for the Meter, the student newspaper at Tennessee State University in Nashville.
NABJ president Dorothy Tucker, an investigative reporter for WBBM, the CBS affiliate in Chicago, is looking forward to her first in-person convention as president.
She expressed the importance of members being responsible. Although the decision was made to meet in-person, wearing masks at the convention is mandatory. She said for yourself and others, don’t be upset when you’re asked to pull your mask up, or put it on.
NABJ executive director Drew Barry said about 4,500 attendees are expected, a record for NABJ-NAHJ. “Interest level is humongous,” Berry said. However, he added, onsite registration is closed. Berry said something else that is new, full refunds are being offered if you’ve decided not to attend.
The convention will host more than 200 sessions. The Career Fair will have 202 booths with 87 companies and organizations represented
President Tucker was elated about the response for this convention. Tucker said members can expect more meal functions, breakfast and lunches, than in recent years.
She advised members to pack their patience and to give the organization some grace. If there is a session or workshop you plan to attend and there’s no more room, she suggested taking the time to really talk to one another. In fact, she said to relax and enjoy the convention. “Go to what you can, but don’t stress. We will have another convention next year. Let’s get through this one safely,” Tucker said.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists will convene alongside NABJ starting Wednesday, Aug. 3, at Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. In addition to convention workshops, a career fair and other sessions, NAHJ will have an induction of seven new members into the NAHJ Hall of Fame, including Diana R. Fuentes, Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) executive director; TV journalist John Quiñones, host of ABC’s “What Would You Do?”; and Maria Hinojosa, anchor of Latino USA (NPR), the founder of Futuro Media Group.
The National Association of Hispanic Journalists will convene alongside NABJ starting Wednesday, Aug. 3 at Caesars Palace Las Vegas Hotel and Casino. In addition to convention workshops, a career fair and other sessions, NAHJ will induct seven new members into the NAHJ Hall of Fame including Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) executive director Diana R. Fuentes, TV journalist John Quiñones, host of ABC’s “What Would You Do?” and Maria Hinojosa, anchor of Latino USA (NPR), the founder of Futuro Media Group.
A plenary on Mass Shootings will feature NBC news anchor Lester Holt and other network representatives.
A session on Ukraine will have members who have been there covering or who remain covering, to offer a Black perspective on coverage of refugees from Ukraine versus from Mexico or Haiti.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases of the National Institute of Health, will make an appearance via Zoom.
Eric Holder, former attorney general of the United States in the Barack Obama administration, and Robin Roberts, ABC Good Morning America anchor, are among the speakers.
NBC Nightly News will broadcast from the convention site.
The Salute to Excellence Awards will be hosted by Entertainment Tonight host Kevin Frazier and CBS News anchor Jericka Duncan.
The IRE investigative reporting track will expand to more than a dozen offerings.
The TV newsmagazine 60 Minutes headliner Bill Whittaker will lead a master class on the behind-the-scenes techniques and best practices on creating award-winning level of storytelling.
Wendy McMahon, resident and co-head of CBS News, CBS TV Stations and CBS News Digital, will introduce the panel.
In the runup to the convention, President Tucker said she has spent nearly every hour of every day with meetings. Over 100 media and non-media partners want to talk with the NABJ president about diversity and increasing Black managers in the newsroom, and she is a working journalist with deadlines.
Andrew Hughes is not working as a journalist just yet, but he wants to be one. He just graduated from Cane Bay High School in Summerville, S. C. The 18-year-old Hughes will enroll at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University in Tempe, Ariz., later this month. He said he took a creative writing class that propelled him to want to be a journalist.
Hughes and his father traveled across country to be at the Las Vegas convention for the NABJ High School Journalism Workshop, referred to as JSHOP. An NABJ convention first-timer, Hughes said when his uncle found out about his interest in journalism, he signed Hughes up with NABJ. Hughes started getting emails about NABJ and JSHOP and decided to attend this summer’s convention.
He said he has no expectations. “My goal is to learn, enjoy myself, build relationships with my mentors, and use the knowledge I acquire and apply it at ASU in the fall,” Hughes said.
President Tucker announced the call for applicants for the 2nd annual NABJ Entrepreneur Academy in the fall powered by CafeMedia. According to nabj.org, the academy is an arm of the organization’s newly established NABJ Entrepreneur Network, which specializes in helping members with existing digital media companies and websites to grow their businesses.
“We created the network to provide support for our members who are established, budding or aspiring entrepreneurs and to answer the call to develop and strengthen more Black-owned digital media and content providers,” Tucker said. “NABJ recognizes that not all of our members will pursue traditional jobs, and we want to encourage members to start their own businesses”