NEW ORLEANS — Close to 3,000 Black journalists are attending the 2017 National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) annual convention in downtown New Orleans this week. The convention began Wednesday and runs through Sunday. The Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder (MSR) and KMOJ-FM are the only local Black media in attendance.
President Donald Trump’s warning to North Korea brought unexpected buzz over the first day of the convention. “This is a big issue,” declared veteran White House correspondent April Ryan, during a morning panel discussion on the American electorate pre-and-post 2016 election. The President is too unpredictable, noted Ryan. “We don’t know about this president. He is being John Wayne-ish.”
Ryan also talked to the MSR in a brief one-on-one interview after the 90 minute session and will be featured in a future article.
The debate over charter vs. public schools and the impact on African American students was the topic of the first NABJ ’17 town hall. A panel discussion on the NAACP’s recent call for a moratorium on starting charter schools was a hot topic among Black journalists.
UNCF President Michael Lomax strongly urged the audience to provide more stories on education. Urban League of Louisiana President and CEO Erika McConduit afterwards also stressed to the MSR the need for more stories on education and economic issues.
The convention wraps up Sunday.
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Charles Hallman is a contributing reporter and award-winning sports columnist at the Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder.