Black Journalists’ Convention to Address the Nation’s Pressing Issues

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) 2009 Annual Convention & Career Fair in Tampa will deliver hands-on multimedia training for journalists and media professionals August 5 – 9 at the Tampa Convention Center. In traditional NABJ fashion, this year’s convention also brings some of the biggest names and hottest issues in the news to special convention plenaries and news conferences.

“This NABJ Convention — more than ever before — will provide the cutting edge journalism skills that attendees need to keep their current jobs or compete for the journalism jobs of the future,” said Barbara Ciara, NABJ President. “The top notch training by organizations like the Poynter Institute, Google and the Gannett Foundation along with newsmaker plenaries, a career fair and networking opportunities make this convention a must for anyone looking to keep pace in a rapidly evolving industry.”

The NABJ Convention is the largest gathering of minority journalists in the country. More than 50 workshop sessions, learning labs and short courses will help convention attendees to embrace the changes taking place in the field from how to succeed in communications and broadcast production to the latest in digital journalism.

This year’s convention will also include appearances by some of the biggest names in news and sports including EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson; Commerce Secretary Gary Locke; Anika Noni Rose, Tony (R) award-winning actress and voice of Disney’s newest princess in the animated film, “The Princess and the Frog”; NBA MVP LeBron James to discuss his upcoming documentary film, “More Than A Game”; and comedian Chris Rock, who will answer questions following screenings of his new documentary, “Good Hair.”

Among the timely, high interest plenary discussions this year is “Beat It, Bad or Dangerous? What Michael Jackson’s death tells us about media competition and the future of journalism.” This frank discussion among top media and entertainment journalists will include Jon Klein, president of CNN/ U.S., and pop culture critic Toure.

At the convention’s Salute to Excellence Awards Gala, NABJ Journalist of the Year Michele Norris of National Public Radio and Lifetime Achievement Award Winner Michael Wilbon of ESPN and the Washington Post will be honored along with a slate of the nation’s top journalists. NABJ’s esteemed Hall of Fame inductees include the likes of reporter and early Civil Rights activist Earl Caldwell and EBONY’s Lynn Norment.

“In our honorees, NABJ gives kudos to the industry leaders who have broken new ground without forgetting from where they came,” said Ciara. “The annual convention is a one-of-a-kind opportunity that has been a turning point in so many journalists’ careers. In this challenging time for the profession, it is more important than ever that journalists embrace the industry’s change and change with it. ”

New this year, NABJ will host special health-related exhibitors to offer free health screenings, cooking demonstrations, group exercise sessions, healthy foods and expert advice. A convention favorite, the NABJ Authors’ Showcase & Bookstore will feature works by black authors and a schedule of signings by black journalists including Gwen Ifill, Leonard Pitts, and Robin Roberts.