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The Relevance of Black Journalism Organizations

“Houston Association of Black Journalists made my childhood dream seem logical”

By: Kenneth Ware Jr. – Texas Southern University Journalism Major

Texas Southern University Multimedia Journalism Major

My interest in journalism began at an early age. I was given books to attempt to read that were on my level or slightly more advanced. My family would ask me later to tell them the stories or what I had learned.

I realized that sharing my experiences and the retelling was extremely pleasurable and this was something I intended to always do. For me, journalism is the vehicle to make my childhood dream come true.

My view of journalism is that it is the ultimate profession that can allow me to report on: current, future and historical events; crimes and punishment; vital statistics; reviews of entertainment; sports; disasters; medical, technological, and scientific advancements; and local, state, national and world economics. This wide variety diminishes the prospects of boredom.

Three years from now I will be a college graduate who is employed as either a print, broadcast or multimedia journalist for an organization that provides opportunities for growth and advancement.

On Friday, February 11, the Houston Association of Black Journalists made my childhood dream seem logical.

I was honored as a scholarship recipient; however, the monetary value can not compare to the awesome experience I endured alongside the world’s leading black journalists.

Additionally, I was the leader of Texas Southern University’s social media correspondent team. Collectively we interviewed a plethora of individuals from Mayor Annise Parker to legendary lawyer Rusty Hardin.

We used social media to broadcast the event and created a huge buzz on Twitter, Facebook and Ustream.

The emcees for the 25th Awards Anniversary Dinner were KRIV-TV’s Jose Grinan and KTRK-TV’s Sharron Melton.

After the awards dinner, both of these accomplished news anchors took the time outside of the program to once again congratulate me on my award. They wished me great accomplishments in the future. For the first time in my talkative life, I was speechless!

As they announced the 2011 HABJ Honorees during the program and the recipients accepted their award I was in total awe.

D’Artagnan Bebel, general manager and vice president of KRIV-TV, enlightened the room about the recent police brutality cases causing controversy in the city of Houston.

KHOU-TV’s Deborah Duncan admitted that many years ago she was simply a volunteer for the HABJ Awards Dinner.

Sonceria Messiah-Jiles, CEO of the Defender Media Group,  confessed that although she does not have a big staff she continues to make a big impact.

KPRC-TV’s Charles Scott humorously accepted his award by putting his successful photojournalism skills to great use.

As I watched Pierre Thomas, ABC News judicial correspondent, receive the Pinnacle Award, I was greatly moved to hear him speak about completing everything I hoped to accomplish.

At the end of the dinner, I knew my decision to major in journalism at Texas Southern University was correct.

As I headed towards the elevator I bumped into Pierre Thomas, and he graciously entertained my impromptu conversation. He told me I was telegenic and had a promising future.

We continued our conversation on the brief elevator ride down and I was amazed at how down-to-earth he was, and I beamed.

 “Do not take my job too soon,” said Thomas.

 I quickly shook my head in disapproval and we both enjoyed a laugh as we parted ways.

 I am not aiming to replace him, but I am creating a lane for myself so that one day I too can be a HABJ Pinnacle Award winner.

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Author:

Home of the National Association of Black Journalists's (NABJ's) Digital Journalism Task Force

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