By Gail M. Brown
African-American journalists from Jackson, Miss. are among thousands from around the nation in New Orleans this week for the 37th Annual NABJ Convention and Career Fair.
June 20-24, media professionals, media executives, public relations professionals are participating in professional development sessions and celebrating excellence in journalism.
Several members of the Jackson Association of Black Journalists (JABJ) boarded the City of New Orleans train from Union Station in downtown Jackson, Wednesday morning, June 20 headed to the event. Others motored or traveled by other means.
The Mississippi Link Manager Editor Othor Cain is among them. “More than 20 of us that work in Jackson now are in New Orleans…but more than 100 people who have worked in the Jackson market are here!” Cain said. “We are having a Jackson reception Thursday.
Asked why is it important for journalists of color to attend the convention? Cain replied, “I think it is important for journalists of color (black) to attend NABJ to see what is going on in other markets. To sharpen our skills and to network! This conference gives us the opportunity to learn new techniques and to be exposed to news leaders …NABJ has one of the largest job fairs in the country, so we have an opportunity to have our work critiqued.”
Cain said this will be the first time that he will intersect with journalists that work solely for the black press. “I’m looking forward to brushing up on my understanding of why the black press was started,” he said.
Journalists are also interacting with news makers on a national level. They have heard from Vice President Joe Biden, and many others are expected to speak before the convention ends.
According to The Huffington Post, “Vice President Joe Biden hammered on some of President Barack Obama’s re-election themes at a conference for black media professionals, casting this fall’s election as a referendum on the country’s character. ‘This is about more than the economy — it’s about who the hell we are,’ Biden told members of the…annual convention.”