I am a now a proud, dues-paying member of the Carolina Association of Black Journalists.
No, I’m not black. CABJ’s motto is “Without diversity, there is no excellence” and no truer words have been spoken. Racial diversity in newsrooms has routinely lagged behind the minority populations in the county. (It’s not even close.) And news coverage suffers. (Last month, I wrote about our lackluster efforts at the News & Record when I was the editor.)
CABJ has about 70 members, president Shandel Menezes told me. I joined after a meeting Monday in which I was one of several UNC faculty members who talked with about 25 students in the group. There were a mix of print, broadcast, advertising and public relations students. They are all impressive. Journalism will be better if it can keep them in the craft after they graduate.
I got a T-shirt for joining, and I’ll wear it with pride.