By Kesia Sharpe
The Magic City will host journalists from throughout the Southeast this weekend. The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) hosts its Region III Conference, Code Switching: Reporting the Virtual Truth, at the Sheraton Hotel in Birmingham on April 5-6.
Ken Lemon, NABJ Region III Director and award-winning journalist at WSOC-TV in Charlotte, North Carolina, will welcome attendees.
The conference will revolve around digital reporting techniques for news, as more journalists rely on technology to help them record and publish their stories. Attendees will learn how to create stronger news pieces, avoid common reporting mistakes and employ the latest tools of the trade.
The conference will also include a special communications “watchdog” workshop on Friday and a panel discussion on ensuring accurate counts with the census on Saturday.
Dr. Michelle Ferrier, Florida A & M University a victim of vicious online attacks leads a special session on dealing with the disturbing problem of hate online. She will provide a personal look at online targeting and how her experience led to Trollbusters, a way to combat digital attacks.
WBRC-TV evening news anchor Steve Crocker is the President of the Birmingham Association of Black Journalists (BABJ), an affiliate chapter of the national organization. Crocker says Birmingham provides the perfect backdrop for this conference.
“We are excited to host journalists from Texas to the Carolinas here in Birmingham,” said Crocker. “We have all sorts of history, but we also have stories of growth and innovation to tell as well.”
The conference kicks off Friday morning and after several training sessions, will end the day with an opening reception. Following more panel discussions and classes on Saturday, the conference closes with an evening celebration.
The NABJ annual conference will be held Aug. 7-11 in Miami.