A Fertile Training Ground for the Future of NABJ
By Melody Greene
This year marks the 30-year anniversary of the NABJ Student Projects.
In 1989 member Sheila Brooks and then-student representative Roland Martin convinced the national board to approve the first student project at the 1990 Los Angeles convention.
“As we celebrate the 30th anniversary of the NABJ Student Projects, one of the most visible and important features of our annual convention, I am especially proud to be recognized as the founder and for my leadership in increasing access and opportunities for people of color in journalism,” Brooks said.
Over the course of the week, student reporters are given assignments to report on a number of highlights from the convention, its host city, the business of NABJ and journalism as a whole.
Student reporters hit the ground running with a boot camp focused on best practices in journalism, including the use of Google tools. Their reports appear on several platforms, including a printed newspaper called the NABJ Monitor, www.nabjmonitor.com and NABJ News.
Henry Kenney, a Georgia State University graduate student, has valued his broadcasting experience so much that he applied for a second year with the project.
“I really enjoyed all of the information and feedback from the mentors and from working in such a high, fast-paced environment,” Kenney said.
Lisa Cox, a participant of the 1992 student project who later served as the NABJ secretary, returned as a mentor this year.
“Once I came through the program and became a working professional, I certainly wanted to give back what was given to me,” said Cox, who is serving as the assignment desk editor.