Black journalist society joins campus

The organization that called for “shock jock” Don Imus to be fired is starting a chapter on campus.Last week the National Association of Black Journalists released a statement asking for Imus to be removed immediately for his comment about the Rutgers University’s women’s basketball team.

Karen Anderson, a journalism graduate student, is organizing an NABJ chapter at TCU. Their first meeting was Wednesday night, Anderson said. Although it is the end of the semester, she said she wants to get the chapter set up for next year.

“The national convention for NABJ is in Las Vegas next August, so the plan is to get people organized now, then go there and start next year off with a bang,” Anderson said.

Anderson said there was an NABJ chapter on campus previously, but the professor who sponsored it left and it fizzled out. She wanted to start the chapter again because she said it is important for black journalists to have mentors to help them in their careers.

Antoinette Nevils, a sophomore news-editorial journalism major, said she is looking forward to the NABJ.

“Journalism didn’t really have any organizations for minorities so I’m glad they’re doing something about that,” Nevils said. “It will be a good opportunity to find more jobs, internships and scholarships.”

The NABJ was founded in 1975 and is the largest organization of black journalists in America, according to the NABJ Web site. Its purpose is to connect black journalists nationwide in order to increase black employment in the media, encourage and educate black students pursuing a career in journalism, and “to monitor and sensitize all media to racism,” according to its Web site.

On April 4, Imus called the women’s basketball team “nappy-head hos” on his radio talk show “Imus in the Morning.”

The NABJ asked for Imus to be fired for his racist comment on April 6, and for black journalists to boycott the show. The NABJ said Imus’ apology was “too little, too late,” according to the news release on the NABJ Web site.

Three days later, CBS Radio and MSNBC announced they were suspending Imus for two weeks. A few days after that, on April 12, CBS canceled the show and fired Imus.

“I’m glad, in a way, that he said what he did because it brought America’s focus back on race,” said Bob Ray Sanders, an adjunct professor and columnist at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “It’s something we ought to talk about.”

The Society of Professional Journalists will be holding a panel discussion on Thursday where Sanders, along with Steve Stockdale, a professor of semantics, will share their opinions on the Imus situation.