Residents, city officials are in opposition to library’s new location in San Diego’s East Village.

Journalist Bill Gentile empties his bag about using multiple platforms to tell a story.

Page 9

Page 11

Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican National Committee, visits Friday. For breaking coverage see

National Association ofof Black Journalists Convention º º º National Association Black Journalists Convention

Sherrod Joins Plenary

NABJ’s money woes

ºWednesday, July 28,2010 Friday, July 30, 2010



This week’s convention is make or break for the National Association of Black Journalists’ future, officials say. NABJ has met its registration and hotel room targets this summer, said Drew Berry, interim executive director, showing signs that the organization may have found a path out of the worst of a financial storm that some officials say started nearly a decade ago. After closing 2009 with a deficit of $338,901, NABJ officials are doing a lot of belt-tightening as the organization moves forward. NABJ is operating with a $1.04 million budget in 2010. “We need to be lean and mean in San Diego; have a good convention, but come out strong for Philadelphia next year,” said NABJ treasurer Greg Lee. “We’re doing well but we still have a long way to go.” Board members, along with whoever

Finances, continued on page 3


CNN anchor Don Lemon and Shirley Sherrod, a former USDA director, participate in an Opening Plenary session Thursday at the Manchester Grand Hyatt in San Diego. Lemon was one of the moderators for the event. For a complete story, see Page 5.



Friday, July 30, 2010 •

King Brings Star Power to HIV Testing Initiative

Fame, Fortune and Freelance
Julie Walker is a multiplatform journalist and freelancer. She has been a freelance correspondent for AP, CNN, NPR, and other media outlets in radio, television and print. She offers what she wanted people to take away from the seminar she hosted, “Fame, Fortune, and Freelance.” * Freelancing is a great way to stay in the business. * Anyone can do it. * Don’t be afraid to fail. —Brittney Fennell


NABJ and the Black AIDS Institute will team up for a year-long partnership focused on raising HIV/AIDS awareness in the black community. The goal of the Test 1 Million HIV/ AIDS awareness campaign, announced Thursday during a news conference, is to get 1 million African-Americans tested for HIV/AIDS within tone year. Actress Regina King, spokeswoman for the initiative, said that with NABJ’s

“I am a mother, and I want my 14 year-old son to be aware of what’s going on.
help, “We can drastically reduce the numbers.” “I am a mother, and I want my 14 year-old son to be aware of what’s going on,” King said during a news conference. “He’s at the age where sex is knocking at the door.” Testing will be available at the Black AIDS Institute’s booth in the NABJ job fair. Results can be obtained in as little as one hour. Phill Wilson, founder and executive director of the Black AIDS Institute, said this partnership is especially critical to the campaign’s success. Wilson wants black journalists to use this initiative to promote stories in all mediums about HIV. “Nobody can save us from us,” Wilson said. “One in five Americans living with HIV don’t know their status.” According to Wilson, 2011 will mark the 35th anniversary of the first diagnosed case of HIV in America. He says that it didn’t have to happen, but it will continue to happen as long as people don’t get tested or know their status.

• Several NABJ founders were only in their 20’s at the time of their organizational meeting. A 22-year-old at the time, Allison Davis said she was more interested in attending a party that night. She, instead, set her priorities, stayed at the meeting and became NABJ’s parliamentarian. “It’s probably among my life’s most treasured accomplishments.....,” Davis said Thursday. “It shows that we can get together and build something that’s sustainable. —Letrell Crittendon



Actress Regina King talks with a convention attendee at the Test One Million Campaign news conference Thursday during the NABJ@35 convention.

“A lot of black people find out less than a year before they get a full blown AIDS diagnosis,” Wilson said. King volunteered to work with the organization three years ago, and openly took an HIV test in public and had her results shared publicly. Her results were negative but she said it was a scary experience because she had not taken a test in a while, but the message she was sending encouraged her to do it. “I’ve had a friend who has been living with HIV for 19 years now,” King said. “Those stories need to be brought to the forefront more often. I think that so many young people feel like if they find out they are HIV positive ... it’s like

a death sentence.” King told journalists in the room that there is a celebrity in virtually every city who will publicly stand up and support the initiative to get tested. However, she said, journalists don’t need to wait for celebrities. “(Journalists) should also publicly get tested and broadcast it on the radio, at your station, or write about it,” King said. “You’ll save lives. You will literally save lives.”
Go to for more coverage of the Black AIDS Institute News Conference and more convention photo coverge.

Clarification NABJ has had two conferences in California; one in 1990 and this year’s. An item in Thursday’s edition was not clear.

T O D AY ’ S H I G H L I G H T S
7:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. National Golf Tournament 7:30 a.m. - 9:00 a.m. Professional Development Breakfasts 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. Breakfast: Accessing Aunthentic Voices for Your Stories 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Career Fair & Exhibition 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 a.m. Healthy NABJ Pavilion 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. 9:00 a.m. - 10:30 p.m. 11:30 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. 1:30 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. 8:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Cyber Café and Membership Lounge Authors’ Showcase & Bookstore Short Course Session(s) A Workshop Sessions II Newsmaker Plenary w/ Michael Steele A “Nightastic” Evening with Disney!

11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Workshop Session I

Friday, July 30, 2010 • Finances, from page 1
is tapped to take the reins as the next executive director, have the arduous task of figuring out how to get the organization back into the black. The executive director is responsible for making day-today financial decisions. The board is responsible for signing off on the budget and hiring and firing the executive director. Officials have discussed raising membership fees and beefing up the board with business-savvy individuals who are well-connected and can bring in bigger donations. They say NABJ must continue finding other streams of revenue so the organization is not so dependent on annual conventions – NABJ’s bread and butter. According to a review of documents obtained by The Monitor, the organization’s finances have been particularly bad since the 2005 convention in Atlanta, which left the organization $255,797 in the red. Things got even worse the following year when NABJ reported a $631,095 deficit, according to tax documents. Some of NABJ’s past presidents attribute money problems to a myriad of issues – from overspending and unanticipated expenses to poor planning and disconnect among board members and the executive director. The ailing economy has siphoned away hundreds of members and that, too, has affected the organization. Lee, who was critical of spending during the 2006 convention in Indianapolis, has said there’s been a lack of oversight. “Once their term is up, board members see (financial issues) as ‘the next boards’ problem,” Lee said. “In order for NABJ to thrive once again, no matter what leadership team is in office we have to build on the previous board’s work if they do good work.” Big spending Since 2005, NABJ’s membership has dropped almost 27 percent. President Kathy Times sent an e-mail in October 2009, saying the organization had lost 887 members since 2008 -- a $78,525 drop in dayto-day operating dollars. With about 2,820 members according to most recent figures, NABJ is the largest of the journalist-of-color associations. But NABJ has struggled to get members to attend. About 2,500 people attended the NABJ convention in 2006. The number of attendees dropped the following year to 1,700. NABJ officials expect about 1,600 attendees at this week’s convention – 323 fewer people than last year’s convention. That slide in numbers has had an adverse affect on the organization. For example, NABJ was hammered with $150,000 in fees

The MoniTor •


Executive Directors and the Presidents

Condance Pressley

Herbert Lowe, Jr.

Bryan Monroe

Barbara Ciara

Kathy Times

Executive Directors:
June 2001 - March 2006

Tangie Newborn

July 2006 - December 2009 2006: $93,242 plus $10,119 in other compensation 2007: $167,623 plus $14,739 in other compensation 2008: $172,808 plus $41,230 in other compensation
Cyntra Brown /

Karen Wynn-Freeman


2005: $125,252 plus $7,262 in other compensation 2006: $30,496 plus $1,276 in other compensation

Ciara said. In 2007, NABJ began to bounce back, boasting increases in revenue from convention registration, membership dues and programming fees. By the end of 2008, NABJ had $69,776 in the bank, according to tax documents. Ciara said she added new streams of revenue so NABJ would not have to rely on the annual convention. In 2008, NABJ got a major boost from the UNITY: Journalists of Color convention in Chicago. “Most of the time, UNITY is a successful financial year,” Ciara said. “Everyone makes money during UNITY years.” Trouble in Tampa Despite making money at UNITY ’08, leaders knew there was a bleak financial outlook for the 2009 convention in Tampa. “In 2008, we made money but we negotiated an unattainable room block for Tampa,” Ciara said. The contract signed in 2004 with the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina in Tampa required NABJ to fill 5,669 rooms. The organization came up short by 2,341 rooms. “Nobody knew when the contract was signed in 2005 that we would be facing the greatest economic challenge since the Great Depression,” Times said in a message to members in October 2009. “We are not surprised that we did not meet our contracted room block at the convention.” Lee said NABJ also incurred increased cost at the Tampa convention after failing to make budget cuts in a timely manner. He said a lack of communication among board members allowed the window to close when it was time to trim. “We knew at the convention that we had problems,” Lee said. “We were doing well sponsorship wise, but we didn’t know other things.” A decline in membership didn’t help NABJ’s 2009 financial situation. “We’ve lost over $97,000 in membership dues over the last three years,” Lee said. “We had a high of 4,100 (members) in 2005. We’re sitting at just about 3,000 members now. People are losing their jobs and can no longer afford to attend the conventions, the individuals can’t afford to come, they can no longer afford their membership, and as a result we lose members.” Convention costs and fines crippled NABJ’s balance sheets, and Lee reported to the board on Tuesday that the organization closed 2009 with a $338,901 deficit. Wynn-Freeman resigned in December 2009. She could not be reached for comment. On the onset of her presidency, Finances, continued on page 5

Source: This information was provided by Internal Revenue Services documents

in Tampa last year because it failed to meet hotel reservation requirements that had been negotiated years in advance. Hoping to avoid a similar fate this year, NABJ renegotiated its hotel agreement, slicing the number of rooms from 6,800 to 2,850. Here was the problem: NABJ’s bylaws require the organization to book its convention sites five years in advance, not allowing the organization to factor in dips in the economy. During an executive board meeting earlier this week, the board voted unanimously to postpone its selection of a host city for the 2016 convention until it had a clearer picture of its financial situation and it evaluated its process for planning conventions. Lee said if NABJ can avoid fees from this week’s convention and keep overall costs down, the organization should be in good shape entering 2011. “I’m very cautiously optimistic that we will leave San Diego without any bills,” Lee said. A tailspin Following the 2000 convention in Phoenix, NABJ faced a deficit after poor turnout. Wayne Dawkins, NABJ historian and a former board member, said that hosting a convention in the West hurt NABJ because most of its members are in the East Coast. “Between participating in the UNITY conference on the West Coast in 1999 and coming back and having (the NABJ) convention in Phoenix in 2000, it really put a hurt on the finances,” Dawkins said. “The year 2000 is when NABJ went through a tailspin.” Shortly after that convention, then-executive director Toni Samuel abruptly announced she was leaving the organization to accept a new job. Later that year, Tangie Newborn was brought in to steer the ship.

“I inherited an organization with a $340,000 deficit,” Newborn said. “NABJ’s revenue base heavily depended on the annual convention for 65 to 70 percent of its operating budget. My goals were to reduce that dependency margin and begin to create new revenue streams by increasing membership recruitment and retention, creating new products and services, and developing new educational programs. In the five years Newborn served as executive director, NABJ grew from about 2,000 to more than 4,000 members. Fundraising goals were set at more than $1 million annually. “We instituted a plan to build a better budget by employing the ‘under promise, over deliver’ philosophy. It worked,” Newborn said. At the 2005 board meeting, Newborn reported a $45,000 budget surplus. Months later, after factoring in costs associated with the Awards Gala and the 30th anniversary program, NABJ reported a deficit of 255,797. At the time, Newborn was receiving $125,252 in salary and $7,262 in benefits. On March 6, 2006, Newborn resigned as executive director. “We made a switch when it became clear a new direction was needed,” said Bryan Monroe, who was NABJ president from 2005-07. “It was a performance issue. We ended up doing what was the right thing to do for the organization at the time.” Newborn said she did not leave on bad terms; it was time to move on to the next job. Things would get worse after expenses created at the Indianapolis convention when NABJ’s deficit ballooned to $631,095. Monroe attributed much of the financial hardship under his tenure to overly optimistic revenue projections and unanticipated convention costs, including fees for not filling the hotel block.

“The issue that often happened was that revenue projections were not met,” Monroe said, adding that NABJ was hit with fines as high as $100,000 for not filling the predetermined number of hotel rooms during his time as president. Monroe said he could not remember which years during his presidency NABJ was charged for failing to fill its hotel block. Lee, currently in his second term on the board, said blame for budget problems in 2006 is about leadership; not hotel rooms. “The 2006 deficit was a result of just overspending,” Lee said. “Indianapolis is a great city and a great town, but expenses shouldn’t have been as high.” A new direction Karen Wynn-Freeman was tapped to replace Newborn. Wynn-Freeman earned $93,242 plus $10,119 in benefits for her first nine months as executive director, according to documents obtained by The Monitor. In 2008, Wynn-Freeman’s salary had jumped almost $50,000, including $35,000 more in benefits than her predecessor. Barbara Ciara, then the Vice President for Broadcast, was elected in 2007 to succeed Monroe as the organization’s president at the Las Vegas convention. Ciara restructured Wynn-Freeman’s contract and began looking for ways to bring in money to shore up the deficit. The Monitor asked for a copy of Wynn-Freeman’s contract, but requests were denied, citing personnel reasons. “The industry had been projecting in an erratic manner,” Ciara said. “It’s been difficult for us financially for at least the last seven years.” Ciara attributed much of NABJ’s financial hardship to inefficient, unprepared leadership. “There was a lack of accountability, and just no accounting of certain things (in the budget).”

THURSDAY, JULY 29, 2010 6:30 PM Doors Open | 7:00 PM Screening Begins MAnCHESTER GRAnD HYATT – ELIzABETH BALLROOM A, B, C
Reception to follow.



Target invites you to attend a special screening of The Black List: Volume Three, featuring some of today’s most accomplished and influential African Americans through a series of intimate-portrait interviews. They share stories about the pride, struggles and triumphs of black life in America. A dynamic discussion with the people involved in bringing this film to life will be held after the screening, followed by a cocktail reception. Target is proud to partner with The Black List to bring you this memorable evening. The Black List Project is an award-winning documentary series featured on HBO, as well as a book of portraits and a photographic exhibition—all serving as the basis for a national educational initiatives that stimulates conversation on the issues of identity, diversity and tolerance. For more information, visit Be sure to visit THE BLACK LIST lounge in the Douglas Pavilion. BOOTH #315
Portraits © Timothy Greenfield-Sanders

© 2010 Target Stores. Target and the Bullseye Design are registered trademarks of Target Brands, Inc. All rights reserved.

TEM100045-NabjAd_2 1

Not the same old story. Not in journalism,EVENT at JOB # TEM100045 and not the John S. Knight Fellowships at Stanford DATE 7.6.10 NABJ

“ I arrived at Stanford with

7/6/10 12:44 PM

CD Matt A year to make a difference for journalism... Think of it. A year to study and research in M. JOB DESCRIPTION The Black list the company of other accomplished journalists at one of the top academic institutions in AD FLAT 7.5"ideas and create something of benefit — x 5" the world. A year to develop your out-of-the-box CW BLEED None to yourself and the profession. The John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships offers a year to FOLDED DS FILE of a changing profession while working on real100% broaden your understanding AM Jenny I. COLOR BlACK world issues. Come help us tackle the challenges and explore PM Coby Y. the K opportunities of 21st century journalism. Our CLIENT goal? To improve the quality of information reaching the public through the news media: print, broadcast and cyberspace.


Find out more at NABJ’s Opportunities Through Fellowships panel from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, July 30.
JOHN S. KNIGHT FELLOWSHIPS Building 120, Room 424 Stanford, CA 94305 (650) 723-4937 http://

INITIAls dATE an idea in need of direction and expertise. Ten months later, that idea has roots and is growing. I owe it to the new Knight Fellowship, which values innovation, entrepreneurship and people committed to creating the future of journalism. The gift of time and the resources of Stanford University and Silicon Valley help me develop my vision for what’s next in education media.

John S. Knight Fellowships


Veronica Anderson
Education journalist, Emerging media entrepreneur, - Knight Fellow

Friday, July 30, 2010 •

The MoniTor •

Sherrod plans to sue
By nATeLeGÉ WhALey


Shirley Sherrod, former director for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, said she plans to file a lawsuit against a popular conservative Internet blogger, and urged journalists to work on stories that matter at the National Association of Black Journalists convention on Thursday. Sherrod, 62, answered questions from a panel as hundreds of journalists and dozens of news organizations looked on at the 35th annual NABJ convention. Sherrod was thrown into the national spotlight after a video clip was posted by an Internet blogger who suggested she was racially biased. The blogger later posted the full video of Sherrod’s full comments, which happened only after Sherrod’s resignation

was forced by USDA leaders and President Barack Obama’s administration. She talked about how it has affected her life and family. “I knew it was racism when it happened to me, and nobody had to tell me that,” Sherrod said Thursday. An internal investigation by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) revealed that her comments were taken out of context and she had used the example in a speech where she spoke out against racism. The report of video footage was posted by conservative Internet blogger Andrew Breitbart on nearly two weeks ago. Sherrod said she plans to file a lawsuit against the blogger, and possibly other news

organizations who defamed her character. She said she hasn’t talked with Breitbart and does not want an apology from him. “I don’t want it at this point, and he will definitely hear from me,” Sherrod said. Sherrod did not give specifics on when she plans to file a lawsuit, but said she has spoken with an attorney. She also said she needs time to research the new position that was offered after the controversy. Tony Shute, a television producer in Chicago, said the event was helpful and should teach a lesson to all journalists regardless of their ethnic backgrounds. He also believes the government shouldn’t ignore the history of racism in the United States. “One line that she said today that struck me the most was in

NABJ Convention attendees listen to and participate in an Opening Plenary session Thursday in San Diego with Shirley Sherrod, a former USDA director.


referencing FOX News and that they were not interested in the truth,” Shute said. “That’s the reason I got into journalism and that’s what I always thought journalism was about. “It was very important for her

to say that the president of the United States needs to learn more about our history, as I think we all do.” For more in depth coverage of Sherrod’s visit, see

A Glimpse at Shirley Sherrod

Before the USDA Director of Rural Development became the center of national attention, she lived her life working to help the less fortunate in agriculture.
1985: Sherrod began working with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives Land Assistance Fund. While there, she was tasked with helping two Georgia farmers, Eloise and Roger Spooner, from ling bankruptcy to keep their farm. 2009: USDA hired Sherrod as its Director of Rural Development in August 2009. She would be the rst African-American to hold the position. July 16, 2010: At the 101st convention, NAACP passed a resolution against Tea Party leadership claiming acts of racism and bigotry. July 19th: Conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart posted a snippet from Sherrod’s NAACP speech on BigGovernment. com. Sherrod resigns. July 22nd: President Obama phones Shirley Sherrod and although he does not say “I’m sorry,” Sherrod accepts the phone call as an apology.

1997: Sherrod worked with activists to sue the U.S. Department of Agriculture, as black farmers were heading towards extinction because of discrimination. Victims were compensated nearly $1 billion by the USDA. The largest civil rights settlement in history.

1948: She was born in 1948 in Baker County, Ga. She is 62 years old.

1960s: At 17, she was one of the rst black students to integrate her high school in southwest Georgia. That same year, her father was shot and killed in a dispute with a white farmer. She enrolled in Fort Valley State University. She received a B.A. in sociology from Albany State University. and received a Masters degree in community development at Antioch University in Ohio.

1990: Sherrod worked with the Federation of Southern Cooperatives to help pass the Minority Farmers Rights Act. It authorized $10 million a year to assist black farmers, but only $2 to $3 million a year had been handed out.

2010: Sherrod told an audience during an NAACP banquet in Georgia that she had not given a white farmer "the full force of what I could do" to help him save his family’s farm in the 1980s in a speech about race and discrimination.

Photos courtesy of Rural Development Leadership Network, The Associated Press & Youtube / Graphic by Edited by Courtney Bessicks

Finances, from page 3
Times said Thursday it was devastating to learn that NABJ was in “dire straits.” “We started our administration off with bills that needed to be paid,” she said. “It was a tough time for us.” Moving forward It’s not clear why Wynn-Freeman resigned. Times declined to discuss Wynn-Freeman’s resignation. Former finance committee chairman Berry has functioned as the interim executive director. Once things wrap up in San Diego, NABJ will need to complete its

search for the next executive director. As of last week, the search – led by Linnie Carter & Associates – had cost NABJ $10,865.88, Linnie Carter said in an interview. Lee says the organization budgeted just over $12,000 for the search. A contract has been extended to a job candidate, but officials would not release any details. A new director could be named Aug. 13. Much like the outcome of the San Diego convention, the next executive director will play a large role in determining NABJ’s future. “Where is NABJ right now? We’re certainly at a crossroads,” Monroe said. “We have a rich legacy, strong history and some amazing mem-

bers but we’re in an industry that is changing drastically. The relationship between the president and the executive director is critical.” NABJ officials say there’s no doubt that the executive director’s job comes with a lot of pressure. It’s blanketed with lofty demands in a highly intense environment, Lee said. NABJ politics also makes retention of the executive director difficult, he said. “Part of the problem is dealing with the politics,” Lee said. “A former president said, ‘we eat our executive directors like our young.’” Times said the ability of the board to work with the new executive director is extremely important to NABJ’s future stability.

“I look forward to growing with the next executive director,” Times said. “I’m really determined to ensure the next administration doesn’t inherit a debt, and we’re getting there.” To date, last year’s deficit has been paid down from more than $300,000 to around $158,320. Finding solutions During an executive board meeting Tuesday, Berry highlighted some of NABJ’s cost-cutting measures. Eliminating expensive contracts and finding cheaper replacements. was among the topics discussed. Berry also suggested that an additional $50 be added to the regular membership

fees to help generate revenue for the organization. There also was talk of adding to the NABJ executive board four business executives who could bring in bigger donations. “These people are used to bringing in large donations in amounts that, let’s face it, you and I can’t bring in,” NABJ secretary Roland Martin said during the board meeting. “We have to live within our means,” Lee said. “Just because we’re the biggest association doesn’t mean we have to put on the biggest show.” Editor’s note: The Monitor reviewed tax documents from the last five years for this story.

6 • The MoniTor

Friday, July 30, 2010 •

Friday, July 30, 2010 •

The MoniTor •


KEnnEth hawKins/

Historical Places:
Eric BursE/

Top, far left: A bicyclist rides past San Diego Public Library, where some people considered the homeless population an issue. Top, center: San Diego Public Library patrons wait for it to open. Top, left: Brandon Pimente, 26, signs a support beam that will be used in the new San Diego Public Library complex. Bottom, far left: People visit the site of the ground-breaking ceremony for the new library. Bottom, left: Turner Construction Company, who will be building the new complex, gave hard hats to ceremony attendees.

Eric BursE/

Eric BursE/

Citizens oppose library in homeless hotspot; city officials see no issue
Eric BursE/

Eric BursE/

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Friday, July 30, 2010 •

The MoniTor •


City breaks ground for new library
Go to to see video coverage of San Diego’s plan for a new homeless shelter

While citizens say it’ll draw homeless, city officials see no issue
less population has been threatened with relocation and uncertainty. In order to help with the displacement of the area’s homeless, San Diego introduced the East Village Redevelopment Homeless Advisory Committee, a group responsible for assessing the physical impact of the area’s development projects. In April, the committee took the first steps to establish a permanent shelter for the city’s homeless. “Homeless people are citizens just like anyone else, but no one’s allowed to sleep in the library, no one’s allowed to set up camp,” Laing said. “The thing that is going to have the most impact is the new homeless facility that the city is planning.” The proposed project solution is to renovate the historic World Trade Center on Sixth Avenue to house drug and alcohol treatment programs, mental health services, job counseling services, and a medical clinic. The center, approximately a block away from the site of the new library, would provide a prototype for homeless shelters that advocates say is needed in surrounding neighborhoods. But some feel the city’s plan to restore the structure, built in 1928, goes against a community push to scatter homeless services throughout the city. Instead, these programs would be staying in the city’s 2nd District, where the library will be located. “This city has thrown this at the CCDC and said ‘this is your problem,’ ” said Herb Johnson, president and CEO of San Diego Rescue Mission. “So [the CCDC] has been setting up shop in the 2nd District, and now they don’t know how to get them out.”

By ADeLe hAMPTon

As city leaders agreed to break ground on downtown’s San Diego Central Library, residents of surrounding neighborhoods worry the $185 million, state-of-theart structure will become a safe haven for the area’s homeless. The new home of the central library sits on the corner of J Street and Park Boulevard, in the heart of the East Village, which is known to residents as a hot spot for the city’s homeless despite recent relocation attempts. Residents and those who oppose the new library say the city is doing nothing but building a multimillion-dollar homeless shelter, with no intention of penalizing those who seek refuge from the city’s streets. “East Village is the largest design area downtown, and there are a lot of homeless,” San Diego realtor Mark Mills said. “But the area around 10th Street, that’s where residents do run into problems, and the library, right next to that, is going up in a not so desirable part of town.” But city officials are skeptical of the influence East Village’s homeless will have on the new library, saying the building’s security guards will prove sufficient for the protection and safety of its patrons. “It’s in its own contained area, and homeless people aren’t usually a factor,” spokeswoman for the mayor’s office Rachel Laing said. “I honestly don’t think [the library] is going to have an impact. As long as they’re not causing any problems, there’s no reason to kick them out of a public area.” Although East Village is the target of a massive redevelopment proj-


An artist rendering of what the newly proposed Central Library will look like. The building is hallmarked as being eco-friendly and state-ofthe-art. But community members are afraid the building will become a safehaven for the area’s homeless.

ect, spearheaded by the city, in 2008, a staggering 76 percent of the city’s homeless population was located in the area, according to the city’s Regional Task Force on the Homeless. This creates the highest concentration of homeless in emergency shelters and homeless programs in San Diego. “It’s mainly an eyesore. No one wants to walk out of their condo and see homeless people,” Mills said. “It’s not their character that people complain about, it’s just that they don’t want their friends to come over and have to step over the home-

less person sleeping on the street.” This year also shows an approximate 8 percent jump in the city’s homeless population that is more than the 8,500 individuals, according to a Task Force report. City officials, however, see the influx in the homeless population as an unrelated issue to the library’s construction. “You have some homeless individuals, but it’s not a problem,” Laing said. “It in no way affects the citizen’s ability to use the library.” The central library’s construction comes amid a whirlwind of devel-

opment projects in East Village, implemented by the Centre City Development Corp., a nonprofit company created by the city to breathe new life into San Diego neighborhoods once plagued by crime and deterioration. Since the CCDC’s infiltration of East Village, hundreds of development projects have been completed. Future plans include hotels, parks and the possibility of a new stadium for the San Diego Chargers, the city’s NFL franchise. But with the city’s redevelopment crusade, the area’s home-

2010 Convention Bags Similar to 2007’s
By Corinne LYonS

NABJ members who attended the 2007 Convention and Career Fair in Las Vegas, might notice the similarity between the 2007 bags and this year’s bags. Interim Executive Director Drew Berry said the bags aren’t just similar, they’re the same. Berry said some members liked the bags so much that he ordered the same design for this year.

“Everybody liked them,” he said. “They worked. You could fit a computer in them.“ The budget for purchasing bags is based on NABJ sponsorship fees, according to Berry. Although the bags are a similar design, Berry said the bags weren’t left over from Las Vegas and bags from 2007 will not be redistributed. “We were tight on ordering (this year),” Berry said. “There will be no bags left.”

NABJ’s bags for the 2010 Convention had some members wondering if the bags were left over from the 2007 event. Interim Executive Director Drew Berry said, however, he ordered the same kind.


Can you name the company?
This year, Across America
We partnered with the 2010 Census to increase awareness and participation. We pledged $120,000 to furnish 20 teen recreation “RAC Rooms” for Boys and Girls Clubs. We raised $249,500 for Big Brothers and Big Sisters of America. We will extend our hunger-relief efforts by developing a “Soup-to-Nuts” food collection campaign at our 3,000 stores. We awarded $60,000 in scholarships to our customers, their children and children of our coworkers. We gave $200,000 in grants to 35 Junior Achievement affiliates for financial literacy programs. We provided $25,000 in support of the Earthquake Relief Effort in Haiti. We supported 10 military bases with $175,000 in merchandise donations to their Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation facilities.

And now in San Diego…
We are pleased to provide computers, furnishings and TVs in support of the NABJ convention.

Friday, July 30, 2010 •

The MoniTor •

Backpack Journalist empties his Bag


Bill Gentile carries an entire newsroom in his backpack. He has a video camera, laptop, microphone, editing tools and anything else he would need to produce quality journalism. But while the equipment is vital to his success, Gentile, a well known backpack journalist from Washington, D.C. whose work has been nominated for multiple awards, said it’s more important to know how to use what’s in the backpack. “The successful practitioner of what we refer to as backpack journalism is proficient in all of the skills [of journalism],” said Gentile, who also teaches journalism at American University in D.C. “It’s one person doing everything -- shooting, writing the piece, capturing the story, narrating the piece and editing the piece.” Being a journalist in today’s hightech, fast-paced world means being able to use multiple platforms to tell a story. As more journalists find themselves in converged newsrooms, backpack journalists have become the new standard in reporting. “Nowadays, it’s not enough to just

be able to write,” said Eileen Rivers, the Web content editor for USA Today’s editorial page. “You have to be able to experiment and come up with ideas to make things compelling maybe visually and online. You should be thinking: ‘How do I make this print piece visually compelling and make the reader want to come to the Web site and see what we have to offer?’” Given the state of the economy, spending several thousand dollars on new equipment may not be the best way to try to enhance a career. Rivers, who also produces a bi-weekly Web broadcast called “Common Ground” and uses social media daily to promote the opinion section, said working with equipment already in one’s arsenal is a great way to get started. “There’s this perception that you need some incredibly high-tech device to get good journalism. And honestly, it’s nice to have that. But it’s not always necessary,” Rivers said. “You could go out right now with a camera phone in a pinch and get really good video. As long as it’s well orga-

Nowadays, it’s not enough to just be able to write
nized, well thought out and compelling, you could post that on a blog.” The basic skills of shooting good video doesn’t change based on the device one uses, Rivers said. A cellphone or a Flip camcorder can eas-

ily grab the video a reporter needs. Some of the most compelling videos weren’t caught on professional equipment. For example, Rivers pointed to the Rodney King video or, more recently, footage of the Bay Area Regional Transit shooting in San Francisco. When the time comes to invest in new equipment, the Poynter Institute’s Regina McCombs suggests that one prioritizes what’s actually needed. “I really recommend as good a video camera as you can possibly get,” McCombs said. “News is really demanding. You’re not always going to have nice light and pretty pictures.” A quality camera allows an accurate adjustment to the loss of those elements, McCombs said. It’s important to know the limitations of the equipment and to purchase based on planned usage. If a reporter occasionally shoots video and photos, then McCombs suggests a basic pointand-shoot camera or a Flip camcorder. “If you’re starting out, the two biggest things you want in your cam-

era are dual microphone input and a headphone jack,” McCombs noted. Both Rivers and Gentile agree that without decent audio, video amounts to nothing. As expensive as working as a backpack journalists can be, McCombs said if done right, the initial cost will be outweighed by the financial gain. She said to always plan to upgrade the equipment down the road. “It’s really budget dependent,” McCombs said of being a backpack journalist. “If you just have $3,000, you don’t want to spend all of your money on a camera. The biggest thing is to figure out your budget and go from there. You want to have something that records video, and if that’s your iPhone or Android phone, that’s fine.” With the right skill set, Gentile said becoming a successful backpack journalist is possible. But he, too, said the most essential skill is the ability to write. “Whether its photojournalism or video journalism, backpack or broadcast, the primary skill is writing,” Gentile said. “You have to know how to write a story, a proposal, a script ... writing is the clearest most immediate reflection of how well our brain is functioning.”

We deliver more than just packages.
It’s not just about cars.
It’s also about helping people enrich the quality of life in their communities. That’s why we’re proud to support a wide range of organizations, schools and nonprofits that are opening doors and creating opportunities. Together, we can make a difference.

We understand. Something this good deserves all our support. As a sponsor of the National Association of Black Journalists Convention, FedEx is proud to deliver a show of support for the work of the NABJ.

Derica W. Rice

Executive Vice President, Global Services and Chief Financial Officer, Eli Lilly and Company
Started at Eli Lilly and Company in 1990 Salutatorian of his high school class, first in his family to attend college Holds degrees from Kettering University and Indiana University


A stronger sense of purpose.
My mom was the smartest person I have ever known. She raised the seven of us on her own after my dad died when I was only 11. We never had much money, but I realize now that because of things she taught us, we were rich. I carry her wisdom with me throughout my daily work. I also watched my mom struggle with diabetes. Thanks in part to Lilly, I shared 25 years with her that otherwise would not have been possible. And now I have the opportunity to do the same for other people. Once, in a VA hospital, I was approached by a Vietnam veteran. He told me how his life was transformed by our medicines. And that’s when it clicked for me — the REAL impact of what we do here and the dramatic effect we have on peoples’ lives. After that meeting, I had an even stronger sense of purpose. Lilly’s done so much for my family and for many others. And I hope the work I am doing today will help my three children overcome some of the challenges they might face tomorrow.

For more information about Lilly’s partnerships and resources for better patient outcomes, visit

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