You are on page 1of 6

the monitor

HOUSTON
Saturday, April 12, 2008 NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF BLACK JOURNALISTS REGION V CONFERENCE TRANSFORMING CAREERS IN A CHANGING INDUSTRY

« INSIDE NABJ Region V looks at emerging media


CONFERENCE
GETS RAVE
REVIEWS
By Tristan Jones
MONITOR STAFF WRITER

More than 100 people, including


keynote speaker Roland Martin, gath-
ered at the NABJ Region V confer-
ence that focused on transforming
THE MULTIMEDIA careers in a changing industry.
REVOLUTION In addition to his speech, Martin
participated in a town hall discussion
NABJ arms its mem-
on the presidential race with TSU
bers with an arsenal of political science professor Franklin
new media skills. Dallas Weekly’s Cheryl Smith and Langston University’s Dr. Karen Clark lead students in boot
Jones, University of Houston political
See Page. 2 camp practicum.


science professor Christine LeVeaux-
Haley, Houston Defender publisher McConnell, deputy metro editor/sub-
We know that the way students were taught
Sonny Messiah-Jiles, state Sen. urbs at the Chronicle.
Rodney Ellis, and the New Majority in the past, the way professionals are work- TSU students also realize the
newspaper publisher/editor Paul importance of having the conference
ing now, is not going to give them the type
Bennett. on their campus.


Overall, the National Association of career that is going to last them another “I think this is a great opportunity
of Black Journalists’ conference, held for journalism students,” Nakia
10 or 20 years.
at Texas Southern University’s Tavis Cooper, a senior broadcast journalism
– Cindy George
Smiley School of Communication, major at TSU, said. “They get a crash
NABJ Region V Director
gave participants a hearty dose of new course and real life experience to see
media. what it’s going to be like in the job
“We’re going to make sure that market.”
journalists, communications profes- Times are definitely changing,
sionals and students that want to go to compete in a changing, more com- getting out there and working at what journalism experts say. Whether they
into journalism, in particular the com- petitive industry. you do and getting better at what you are changing for better or worse will
munications field, have an idea of Experts say the changing industry do.” be dictated by the future and how new
what it’s like to be a multimedia jour- will force communications students New medium now requires media professionals adapt to the
BARACK OBAMA’S BID nalist in this changing media climate,” and media professionals alike to either reporters to have the total package, changing market. The whole purpose
FOR THE PRESIDENCY said Cindy George, NABJ Region V adapt to the changes or simply be left including video and blogs, to stay cur- of the NABJ conference is to better
director. “We know that the way stu- behind. rent in the changing business. prepare students and professionals for
Barack Obama is fight- dents were taught in the past, the way “I think the simple fact of reality is “Reporters must now diversify a new journalism industry that is
ing to become America professionals are working now, is not that nowadays it’s not as easy to get a their skills. Not only are they expect- tougher and more competitive.
going to give them the type of career job in the television or media profes- ed to go out and report, but they will “You’ve got to get aboard this
’s first black president. that is going to last them another 10 or sion as it was four, five, even 10 years have to take their own photographs train,” said George, also a Chronicle
However, is America 20 years.” ago,” said Freddie Willis, a a sports and video and get them posted online reporter. “We don’t want this train to
ready for Obama? NABJ has taken it upon itself to copy editor with the Houston ASAP. We are now in a minute-by- leave the station without black jour-
See Page. 3 arm students with the necessary tools Chronicle. “Nowadays it’s a matter of minute competitive market,” said Pete nalists on it.”ck journalists on it.”

Martin inspires conference participants


said. “They must be able, as journalists, to
By Tristan Jones
adapt to the changing conditions of our indus-
MONITOR STAFF WRITER
try and … access and exploit new opportunities
to allow them to thrive in this industry.”
CNN contributor and nationally syndicated The point of new media journalism is to
columnist Roland Martin is committed to allow journalists to appeal to a broader demo-
teaching students and fellow media profession- graphic, which also introduces them to a wider
als the ins and outs of journalism. audience, he said.
He said he’s adapted well to the changing Other professionals concurred.
industry, as his work and various projects “When you’re doing all of these things in
demonstrate. His biography embodies what it multimedia, you’re branding yourself,” said
means to be the total package as a journalist. Gloria Neal, CEO of Aliglo Media Partners
HBCU’S LEADING “I’m a contributor on CNN (and) commen- LLC. “If you’re a journalist, you should never
THE PACK tator on TV One cable network. I write a blog stop branding yourself. You are your own com-
and a column for Essence magazine. My col- pany.”
Historically Black umn is nationally syndicated – also the radio Freddie Willis, a Houston Chronicle sports
Colleges and show in Chicago; do public speaking; and I’ve copy editor, said: “I think in five to 10 years
written two books.” online journalism is going to take over.”
Universities are pro-
Martin was the keynote speaker at the On the subject of diversity, Martin said he
ducing some of the luncheon April 12 at the NABJ Region V does not believe media companies’ contention
nation’s top leaders Conference at Texas Southern University. He that they cannot find qualified black talent at
See Page. 4 discussed the changing journalism industry and TSU and other predominantly black institu-
what students and media professionals need to tions.
do to thrive in the business. “I’ve always rejected that,” Martin said. “If
Roland Martin, CNN contributor and national “In talking to students as well as profes- some folks know how to look and know where
syndicated columnist. sionals, I want to get them to understand that to look, you can always find them. I’ve always
they are operating in a new world,” Martin seen that as a cop-out.”
2 The Monitor Saturday, April 12, 2008

Journalism
« THE STAFF

in a Digital
Student Editor
Tristan Jones
Texas Southern University

Age
Assistant Student Editor
Kangsen Feka Wakai
Texas Southern University

Editor
David Ellison
Houston Chronicle KEEPING UP WITH
Managing Editor
Pete McConnell
Houston Chronicle
TECHNOLOGY
Assistant Managing Editor By Jerrell Allen
Lee Warren MONITOR STAFF WRITER
Houston Chronicle

A
recent presidential primary for Sen.
City Editor
Barack Obama has reacquainted the
Robert Stanton
United States with one its past specters
Houston Chronicle
— uncomfortable racial tension.
As a result, African-American journalists
Assistant City Editor
find the new landscape of the professional
Peter Thornton
media a little more difficult to navigate. They
Texas Southern University
have to deal with a new “revolution” as well as
the constant struggle to keep up with the higher-
Assistant City Editor
than-usual standards placed on them by main-
Lewis Smith
stream media outlets.
Prairie View A&M University
In a society nourished by TV talk show
hosts such as FOX’s Bill O’Reilly and CNN’s
Lou Dobbs and Glenn Beck – all of whom
Director of Photography preach that race doesn’t matter – minority jour-
Evan White nalists face challenges simply by mentioning the
Prairie View A&M University importance of race in politics or journalism.
Compounding this problem is the question of
Assistant Director of how African-American journalists will be able
Photography to find a place in the paradigm of digital media.
David Butler Those familiar with professional journalism
Prairie View A&M University know the revolution of the new digital media Roland Martin
will certainly not come in the form of television;
instead, it will be podcast, zipped and down-
loaded en masse. Practically every newspaper
Design Editor in the country maintains a presence on the ing technology influences the media’s functions Majority use very few of the revolutionary
Cale Carter Internet, and even other publications that have by providing more tools to news organizations media tools that the mainstream has come to
Houston Defender been traditionally restricted to the narrow for greater coverage. embrace — independent blogs, podcasting and
parameters of print journalism have used the The question does not seem to be whether the like. As well, magazines such as the Crisis
Deputy Design Editor Internet to branch out. black journalists are ready for the new media have not yet made the leap into the 21st century
Terry Jackson And even if minority or black publications revolution because mainstream black journalists such as Time or People magazines.
TSU Alumus have not completely translated their ideas and have proved that they can adapt to the new tech- If black media are to continue the tradition
thoughts into the realm of the new media revo- nological changes. The question, instead, is of keeping issues of importance to African-
Practicum Coordinator lution, the community is certainly ready for it. whether the black media, those publications that Americans relevant to mainstream American
Serbino Sandifer-Walker The Internet has substantially changed the way specifically target African-Americans, are ready society, it is imperative that they keep up with
Texas Southern University African-Americans (and, indeed, all Americans) to embrace the revolution. Newspapers like technological advances.
communicate with one another. The ever-chang- African-American News and Issues or the New

Design Staff
Randi Crowder
University of North Texas «THE CONFERENCE
Kent Floyd
Langston University At a glance
Richard White
Led by Cheryl Smith of The Dallas Weekly and Dr. Karen
Prairie View A&M
Clark of Langston University, students attending Boot Camp
Jasmine Gibson
learned cutting edge techniques for gathering, evaluating
Skyline High School
and writing news across various media platforms. They
Alisha Renae Prince
n Actual Attendance: 128 n 20 speakers
were also introduced to strategies used by backpack
Paul Quinn College
n 52 pre-registered n 11 volunteers/staff
journalists. The backpack journalist performs at optimum
April Garland
n 45 on-site
levels in a convergence journalism environment.
North Garland High School

« Print « Online « Radio


Student journalists produced an Professional journalists from Led by Texas Southern
eight-page online newspaper with the Houston Chronicle, includ- University journalism profes-
11 stories focusing on issues that ing sports writer Terrance sor Serbino Sandifer-Walker
See pictures of include black journalists’ ability to Harris, and other leading and student executive produc-
mentors and adapt to the new media revolu- regional journalists explained er Nakia Cooper, 10 students
students, tion, the significance of black col- to students the benefits of wrote, edited and produced a
leges, and journalism students’ reporting, writing, and story- five minute newscast that
page 6 transition into professionalism. telling for the Web. aired live on KTSU radio.
Saturday, April 12, 2008 The Monitor 3

Is America Ready For a Black President


two demographic groups, specifically the younger and the
By Benna Sayyed
more educated, would most likely support a black president
MONITOR STAFF WRITER
because they are apt to be more liberal minded and capable
of looking beyond race and sex.
Journalists and educators at the NABJ Region V
On the other hand, Broussard said ,older people who
Conference expressed optimistic views about the possibili-
live in areas where institutional racism is still visible might
ty of electing the United States’ first black president.
not be willing to fathom the idea of a black or female pres-
Freddie Willis, a Houston Chronicle sports copy editor,
ident.
believes that political, social and ideological change is the
Broussard also emphasized that when considering the
top priority for many
reactions of different ethnici-


Americans. White America
ties to the potential election of
will not respond to a black
a black president, it is impor-
leader in the same way the
black population might, he
I think Barack Obama can definitely tant that Americans not think of
black and white communities
said, but that whites, too, are
looking for a break from the
help the lower and middle class get each as monolithic.
“I think there are white peo-
political norm that traditional-
ly controls the country. If any-
better jobs, just get jobs period. There ple in this country who will
vote for a black presidential
thing, Willis said, the white
community will welcome the
are a lot of talented young African- candidate because of who they
are, where they’re from, their
change.
Willis said the country
Americans out there and the work- socioeconomic class and their
educational background,” said
needs a boost in the economy,
force is just not presenting those


Broussard.
which is something that a
He said the prospect of
black president can accom-
plish.
opportunities to them Obama becoming president lies
with his speaking ability that
“I think Barack Obama
engages and inspires, and his
can definitely help the lower
and middle class get better
– Freddie Willis willingness to embrace all peo-
ple. Also, his open manner of
jobs – just get jobs period.
discussing his biracial back-
There are a lot of talented young African-Americans out
ground adds to his credibility.
there and the work force is just not presenting those oppor-
“I think that this is going to engage certain groups of
tunities to them,” Willis said.
people who may not have been that interested in politics. I
Obama presiding as the nation’s commander-in-chief
think he is going to be able to reach across racial and cul-
will allow him greater influence and power to make such
tural lines in a way that’s unprecedented for an American
opportunities more feasible, he said.
president,” he said.
The Illinois senator is locked in a tight race with Sen.
Broussard said he was impressed that Obama has
Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination.
reached his position on personal merit.
Barack and Michelle Obama William Broussard, assistant athletic director at
Northwestern State University in Natchitoches, La., said

YOUTH VOTE
After the
Young voters flock to polls love is gone
By Da’Janai Woods
By Jarreth Alexander
MONITOR STAFF WRITER
MONITOR STAFF WRITER

Traditionally, young people have not been motivated to


A career in the media isn’t for the faint at heart and
vote in national elections, but this year things seem to be
requires journalists to be well-rounded and flexible, profes-
drastically changing, especially in the Democratic primary
sional journalists say.
races.
Without the necessary skills, a journalist’s frustration
What has inspired the attention of people ages 18-29 to
builds and a career can become a revolving door – one day
inspire them to vote?
you’re in, and the next day you’re tossed out.
Overwhelmingly, the campaign of Sen. Barack Obama –
Those messages were delivered in the “After the Love is
the first African-American to make it through major primar-
Gone” seminar that provided tips to recover from a bad first
ies – has served as an inspiration for them to take a stand and
internship. It also gave student journalists insight on how to
vote.
survive in the profession.
Students who attended the National Association of Black
“It’s very important that you network with everyone that
Journalists Region V Conference on April 12 at Texas
you come in contact with in this business,” said Tamara
Southern University had some definite opinions about the
Washington, assignment editor at KPRC-Channel 2 in
presidential campaign.
Houston. “You never know, that person you just met might
Natalie White, a 25-year-old student from Langston
be your new boss in the near future.”
University in Langston, Okla., said she didn’t vote in the
A degree in journalism doesn’t automatically mean a job,
2004 election, but she is inspired to vote this year because she
panelists said. But success is based on your experience,
wants to be a part of history.
which is what gets you ahead in the industry. While it’s
“I want to be able to say that I voted for the first black
good for media personnel to be experts in their concentra-
president,” she said. “I like his positive attitude toward facing
tion, they also say it’s vital to know about global events.
the crisis that is taking place in America.” Guy said she likes the critical issues that Obama is focus-
Panelists said it’s imperative to learn the tricks of the
According to ABC News, a record number of youth have ing on in his campaign, such as health care and education,
trade so that the revolving door doesn’t spin out of control.
turned out to vote in the primary elections. In Massachusetts, because they affect her.
They posed questions that students might ask themselves
28 percent of youth voted, more than double the number that In the Texas Democratic primary, voters ages 18-29 over-
after a bad internship: “What do I do next?” “Where do I go
voted in 2004. In Illinois, 23 percent of youth voted, up from whelmingly supported Obama by a 61 percent to 39 percent.
from here?”
14 percent in 2004. His opponent, Sen. Hillary Clinton, was a favorite among
Cheryl Smith, executive editor for the Dallas Weekly,
Hip-Hop mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs played a major those 60 and older, leading Obama 63 percent to 36 percent.
suggested finding a mentor and selling your skills.
role in the 2004 national election through Rock the Vote, Obama has won among 18- to 29-year-olds in every state,
“Presentation is a must, leaving a lasting good impres-
which encouraged youths to go to the polls. But many reports capturing 67 percent of their votes in South Carolina, 59 per-
sion so that a person will work with you again in the near
showed that the percentage of youth that voted in 2004 was cent in Nevada, 51 percent in New Hampshire and 57 percent
future,” she said.
almost the same as in 2000. in Iowa.
Smith said it’s good to have a life outside of your career
However, this year young voters – especially black youths In the past, young people have felt that their vote doesn’t
but offered another caution.
– are casting ballots in record numbers. count. But Richard White, a student at Prairie View A&M
“(Romantic office) relationships may interfere with your
One of the states that experienced the most dramatic University, disagrees. He says that every vote matters.
career, but it’s up to you to decide. It’s very important to
increase in youth voters was New Jersey, where the number “I think my vote will make a difference,” said White, 21.
have that balance of your personal life and your career life,”
of youth voters climbed from 4 percent in 2004 to 20 percent “Whether you win by 100 or 1, every vote matters at the end
she said. “Find a partner who understands your career and
in this year. of the day.”
won’t use it against you in every scenario.”
Markita Guy, a 24-year-old TSU student, thinks one of the White said America is ready for a change, and that it’s
Panelists said survival is the key to helping young jour-
reasons for the increase is that people want to see a change. good to hear that message is being reaffirmed by Obama.
nalists stay ahead in the field by being knowledgeable of the
“This year will really make a difference,” she said. “I “A change is going to come,” he said.
media.
want to vote for someone who is willing to make a change
and Obama is that guy.”
4 The Monitor Saturday, April 12, 2008 Saturday, April 12, 2008 The Monitor 5

The Significance
HBCU’s


8 out of 10 African-
American engineers grad-
continued from page 5
uate from HBCUs.
…[HBCU’s] must produce individuals
“It [HBCUs] must seek Whalum is a proud
today to move into the that make the greatest individual impact, graduate of TSU. He
mainstream and serve the recently completed a two-
competent and trained citizens who can


whole urban community. As year stint as Artist in
never before it must pro- achieve for themselves and their commu- Residence at the
duce individuals that make Stax/Soulville Music
nity.”

of HBCU’s
the greatest individual Academy in Memphis.
impact, competent and He is still one of the top
– Granville Sawyer
trained citizens who can selling contemporary jazz
achieve for themselves and artists and a respected
their community as never saxophonist. Meanwhile
07 annual report, HBCUs constitute
before it [HBCU’s] must produce his former teacher and mentor,
3 percent of all colleges and univer-
individuals that make the greatest Harris is gearing up for a grueling
sities in the nation. But they enroll
individual impact, competent and schedule this fall when he perform
16 percent of all African-Americans
trained citizens who can achieve for some dazzling shows so to raise

Preparing a new generation of African-American leaders


attending four year degree granting
themselves and their community,” money for the TSU jazz studies pro-
institutions and graduate 30 percent
stated Sawyer. gram, his gem.
of them. The report also states that
According to NAFEO’s 2006-

TSU campus

By Kangsen Feka Wakai


MONITOR STAFF WRITER

On a warm summer day in 1976, 22 years According to the American Council on


after the U.S. Supreme Court handed down the Education Minorities in Higher Education Annual
landmark Brown v Board of Education decision, a Status Report, HBCUs graduated 20 percent of all
Photo: TSU's: Earlie Hudnall
young man and his father drove from Memphis, bachelor’s degrees earned by African-Americans
Above, Howard Harris, on the right, Kirk Whalum.
Tenn., to Houston, Texas. in 2000-01. Twenty-five thousand and ninety bac-
Their destination: Texas Southern University, calaureate degrees were awarded to African-
a historical black university that in its own way American students that academic year the report
had played a monumental role in desegregating the stated.
city of Houston. That young man eventually The Status Report is widely recognized as the
enrolled at TSU, and credits that institution for national source of information on current trends
molding and sculpting his flourishing career. related to minorities in higher education. The
Today, that young man is one of contemporary report is made possible by a grant from the GE
jazz’s giants: Kirk Whalum. Foundation.
Recently, Whalum was joined by an alumnus Peter Thornton, a communication instructor in
of the Duke Ellington Band, Barry D. Hall, among the TSU Tavis Smiley School of
other jazz greats, former students, friends and Communication, attended a historically white
members of the TSU community at the universi- university as an undergraduate, but did his gradu-
ty’s Sterling Student Life Center to pay homage to ate studies at TSU. In fact, Thornton is one of the
Howard Harris, composer, educator, mentor, musi- first to have graduated from the school of commu-
cian, teacher and walking jazz archive. nication graduate program. He cites access to
Theirs was a musical tribute to a man who resources as a great resource in HBCUs.
personifies the ethos of Historically Black “I think I had more access to the equipment
Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)—excellence State University for Negroes and later changed in and professors than I did at Boston University,”
and sacrifice. Today, Harris’ jazz studies program 1951 to Texas Southern University. Thornton said.
is one of only two such programs in the state of The National Association for Equal Granville Sawyer is a former TSU president
Texas. Opportunity in Higher Education (NAFEO) repre- who served on President Richard Nixon’s commis-
“I have been involved with the jazz ensemble sents HBCUs and predominantly black institutions sion on campus unrest and has been a lifelong
since 1971. Then in 1981 the director resigned; so with the executive, legislative, regulatory and advocate for HBCUs.
from 1981 till now I am still standing,” said judicial branches of federal and state government Sawyer saw the importance as both a student
Harris. amongst other non-governmental organizations to at an HBCU [Tennessee A&I University] and
TSU is the nucleus of Houston’s historic Third provide services to its over 118 members. administrator.
Ward neighborhood. It was born out of the NAFEO contends that HBCUs were founded In his landmark document on the role of urban
inequities that characterized the state’s segregated primarily for the education of African-Americans, universities, The Urban Commitment, Sawyer out-
education system. although their charters were not exclusionary. lined his vision for the role and importance of
The 50th Texas Legislature established TSU Cheney University in Pennsylvania, founded in HBCUs.
on March 3, 1947. It was founded as the Texas 1837 was the nation’s first HBCU. HBCU’s continued on page 6
5 The Monitor Saturday, April 12, 2008

Getting ready for the


multimedia World of Journalism
By Ashley Minor
MONITOR STAFF WRITER

C

ohen Cosby, a Texas Southern nalist, authors and celebrities are also
University public relations stu- famous bloggers.
dent, relies on his cell phone to “Blogging started out because people
keep up with his busy lifestyle, while
When not actually using a PC, most people read the news on felt like they weren’t getting the news
also keeping abreast of the latest news. that they needed,” said Gloria Neal, CEO
“When not actually using a PC, most
their PDA (personal digital assistant) like I do… All day I get of Aliglo Media Partners LLC. “Then it


people read the news on their PDA (per- was considered a form of social media,
sonal digital assistant) like I do,” said
the latest updates from the New York Times, the Washington but now it’s certainly professional
Cosby. “All day I get the latest updates media.”
from the New York Times, the
Post and other major newspapers. Neal said that in order for journalists
Washington Post and other major news- to have longevity in their field, they must
papers.” – Cohen Cosby become as marketable as possible. A
To meet the demands of Cosby and reporter must also be prepared to design,
others like him, journalists are becoming blog and have experience in radio and
multimedia experts. times. Freddie Willis. “Now, it just comes down television.
Cosby was one of the students partic- According to an article in pewinter- to time.” Some newspaper photographers and
ipating in the National Association of net.org, 62 percent of adult Americans Journalists are adapting skills that reporters are now shooting and producing
Black Journalists Region V Conference have taken advantage of mobile access to relate to all aspects of communications. video.
at TSU. The theme of one of the work- digital data and other such tools. Today, journalists are familiar with pro- “For those of us on the news side of
shops he attended was Getting Ready for Americans use the Internet with a wire- ducing and publishing content online, the business, it is alarming, because we
the Multimedia World of Journalism. less connection away from home or while also taking advantage of the trend have to learn new skills,” said Billy
Multimedia technology has allowed work, or used a nonvoice data application toward social media. Calzada wrote in a San Antonio Express
the news – including newspapers – to with their cell phone or PDA. Blogging has given people who are –News story. “It is also enticing and fas-
have an instant impact. With advances in “People don’t want to wait until not communications professionals an cinating because the Internet offers a new
technology – mobile phones and Internet tomorrow to get their news,” said opportunity to have their messages outlet for our news content.”
access – the news is within reach at all Houston Chronicle sports copy editor viewed by a broad audience. Some jour-
Saturday, April 12, 2008 The Monitor 6

«THE MENTOR STAFF

Serbino Sandifer-Walker David Ellison Cheryl Smith Pete Mcconnell Robert Stanton
Texas Southern University Houston Chronicle The Dallas Weekly Houston Chronicle Houston Chronicle

Karen Clark Lewis Smith Peter Thornton Cale E. Carter Terry Jackson
Langston University Prairie View A&M University Texas Southern University Houston Defender TSU Alumus

«THE STUDENT STAFF

Ashley Minor Kangsen Feka Wakai Tristan Jones Da’janai Woods Jerrell Allen
Texas Southern University Texas Southern University Texas Southern University Langston University Prairie View A&M University

Kent Floyd Richard White Randi Crowder David Butler


Langston University Prairie View A&M University University of North Texas Prairie View A&M University

Jasmine Gibson Alisha Renae Prince April Garland Evan White


Skyline High School Paul Quinn College North Garland High School Prairie View A&M University