Wednesday, August 6, 2008

FAMU NABJ Wins Student Chapter of the Year

The Florida A&M University Chapter of National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) was recently honored as Student Chapter of the Year during the UNITY Journalists of Color Convention.

Earlier this summer, FAMU broadcast journalist senior, Sidney Wright IV, an award-winning senior broadcast journalism student from Tampa, was honored as the Student Journalist of the Year by the NABJ.

“Anybody who hadn’t heard of SJGC before knows about us now,” said James Hawkins, dean of the School of Journalism and Graphic Communication.

Hawkins noted Dorothy Bland, director of FAMU’s journalism division and a McCormick Fellow, was featured in UNITY’s opening plenary session that focused on changes and challenges facing the media 40 years after the historic Kerner Report. The Kerner Report spotlighted the lack of diversity among media organizations.

“Our students and graduates are ready, willing and able to help the media industry diversify the talent pool,” said Hawkins.

Wright said UNITY, which attracted more than 6,000 journalists, recruiters and other professionals, was an “excellent networking opportunity…. I and other students met industry leaders that will benefit us for years to come.”

“Under the leadership of President Georgia Dawkins, FAMU’s NABJ chapter has become one of the most active student groups in the SJGC,” said Bland. “Membership in the chapter has tripled from 15 to more than 50 active members in the last year.”

Members of the FAMU NABJ chapter are actively engaged in student media outlets such as The Famuan, Journey, WANM radio, FAMU-TV 20 and related web sites. In addition to participating in student media boot camps, producing a newsletter and hosting résumé-writing workshops, they have established a mentoring and scholarship program for high school students at FAMU’s Developmental Research School.

About the SGJC
The School of Journalism and Graphic Communication was founded in 1982. Its Division of Journalism was the first journalism program at a historically black university to be nationally accredited by the Accrediting Council on Education in Journalism and Mass Communications (ACEJMC). It offers four journalism sequences: newspaper, magazine production, broadcast (radio and television) and public relations.

Photo caption: From left to right: Front row - Kathy Times, NABJ vice president of print and a FAMU alumna; Sidney Wright IV, winner of Student Journalist of the Year; FAMU Professor Dorothy Bland, director of FAMU Division of Journalism; Georgia Dawkins, FAMU ABJ president, who is holding the Chapter of the Year Award; Chantell Black, FAMU ABJ vice president; and John Marsh, a 2008 FAMU graduate. Second row - Jon McCloud, ABJ treasurer, and Robin Mitchell, a FAMU alumna and former ABJ president.

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