Historic NABJ Convention gives Black journalists the props they deserve

More than 4,000 attendees came out to the National Association of Black Journalists' largest gathering ever.

Being a journalist has never necessarily been easy, but today's Black content creators have a role that's more important than ever.

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What does it mean to be a Black journalist in 2019? Does it mean sparring on Twitter with the Donald Trump after he calls for your firing? Could it mean fighting to get justice for a murdered colleague? How about going toe-to-toe with your news station or viewers because they told you to make your natural hairstyle more “professional.”

Being a journalist has never necessarily been easy, but today’s Black content creators have a role that’s more important than ever. It’s perhaps why thousands of journalists come out to the National Association of Black Journalists’ (NABJ) convention each year, seeking community, networking and support to do the jobs that make all the difference.

This year’s convention took place in Miami, Florida, at the JW Marriott Turnberry Resort & Spa, with the theme “Fight the Power: Press Forward with Passion and Purpose.” It drew a crowd of more than 4,000 attendees, the largest turnout in NABJ convention history.

In addition to hosting numerous panels, workshops and keynote talks, NABJ’s 2019 Convention featured presidential candidates, including Senator Cory Booker, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Bernie Sanders, all three of whom spoke at a Presidential Candidates Forum.

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The organization also saw its own political election take place, voting into office it’s 22nd national president, longtime CBS 2 TV reporter, Dorothy M. Tucker from Chicago, IL.


The convention also hosted multiple events to honor the work and achievements of Black journalists, awarding the 2019 Michael Feeney Emerging Journalist of the Year Award to Alexi McCammond, a political reporter at Axios. McCammond has been credited with elevating the voices of underrepresented in groups in the political process and is leading Election 2020 campaign coverage for Axios.

NABJ also honored Karen Attiah, Opinions Editor at The Washington Post as the 2019 Journalist of the Year. Attiah helped lead the charge in calling for justice after the murder of her colleague, Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul. Attiah’s strong and unapologetic editorial coverage, has also put a national spotlight on issues impacting the Black community.

NABJ was founded in 1975, and continues to strive for “credible journalism that comprehensively portrays the voices and experiences of African Americans and people from the black diaspora for a society and world that values them.”