CPIJ-sponsored journalists attending NABJ conference this week in Orlando

On Friday, Trayvon Martin’s parents spoke at the The National Association of Black Journalists 38th Annual Convention and Career Fair in Orlando, Florida.

Photo embedded via @MichaelOnMedia.

Martin’s family said they are working on a so-called “Trayvon Martin Act,” a proposed amendment aimed at Florida’s controversial Stand Your Ground law, according to a local report from cfnews13.com.

As part of the CPIJ’s 2013 conference sponsorship program, the center supported several Philadelphia-based journalists the conference this week.

Philadelphia Inquirer editorial writer Melanie Burney said she was looking forward to hands-on workshops to sharpen her social media and technology skills, adding that the experience would be invaluable as one of the few remaining journalists of color in the Inquirer newsroom, and would help her effectively shape editorial policy on topics that are important to the minority community that may otherwise be overlooked.

Inquirer staff writer Vernon Clark said he would participate in workshops on the latest technology and trends in the industry. Clark said he would also be able to interact with many of the best journalists in the country and learn from their experiences, adding that the knowledge would be most valuable at a time when journalism is undergoing rapid change.

Denise Clay, who writes for the Philadelphia Sunday Sun and Philadelphia Public Record has attended NABJ before and said she found some of the best training available anywhere in a variety of multimedia disciplines, which she planned to bring back to work and share with her colleagues. Clay was particularly interested in a data mining workshop which she said would be helpful in her investigative reporting.

Jen Colletta, editor of Philadelphia Gay News, said that one of the major challenges she faces is the task of ensuring that the newspaper adequately addresses issues affecting all members of the multi-faceted LGBT community, in particular those impacting racial minorities, an area of coverage that she said she is hoping to enhance. Colletta hoped to learn about the particular issues that PGN could focus on and topics to be aware of when covering stories specific to the black community.

Vincent Thompson, who leads Thompson Mediaman Communications and has reported for the Philadelphia Tribune and WURD 900 AM Radio, said that his goal in attending this year’s NABJ convention was to get a better understanding about the various challenges facing all media and how he can best be prepared to face those challenges as a African-American media professional. Thompson added that sessions and workshops would present the opportunity to learn new tools to help him do a better job of reporting, as well as helping his work to stand out and get noticed. While many reporters are looking to leave the news business, Thompson hopes to get back into covering news full-time and tell underreported stories about Philadelphia.

Follow the backchannel discussion from the conference using the #NABJ13 hashtag.

CPIJ also sponsored journalists who recently attended IRE, will hold a local IRE boot camp soon and will send another group to ONA on the fall.

Applications are closed for those programs but Philadelphia journalists can still apply individually for CPIJ support to attend other conferences.

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