2017-2020

Strategic Plan

For the National Association
of Black Journalists

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton at the Democratic National Convention.  Clinton spoke at the #NABJNAHJ16 Convention in Washington, D.C.

Take it with you

We’ve developed the plan for portability. Not only can you read it on your favorite device, you can download and save it to your reader of choice.

Follow NABJ in all your favorite places

Sponsored by the Ford Foundation

Executive Summary

Overview

The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), now 41 years old, is the largest of the nation’s professional training and advocacy organizations for minority journalists, representing some 3,500 members and operating on a budget of $2.5 million a year.

It has been the leader in advocating for the hiring and promotion of black journalists and equipping those journalists with skills to cover important, often untold, stories as well as to compete in the journalism and communications workforces in the United States.

NABJ has recently surmounted a period of staff and board turnover and grave financial challenges that abruptly caused it to reorganize to secure its operations. The organization’s turnaround in the last 18 months has been significant: It has generated notable projected surplus revenues – an unprecedented $1 million projected in 2016; enacted operational changes for better management; identified opportunities that can enhance its value to members; and developed a new three-year strategic plan. The plan charts a course that will position NABJ to add members, grow revenues and expand services for the future.

This strategic plan addresses pronounced challenges that surfaced in assessing the media landscape. NABJ seeks to diversify and increase its revenues so it is less reliant on its annual convention and events while also maximizing the revenues from those events. It seeks to amplify its training in digital skills to equip its members for emerging opportunities even as traditional opportunities in legacy and African-American news outlets diminish. It seeks to set goals and systems for measuring whether it is achieving its targets while also revamping the operating and governing structures that will deliver on those benchmarks. It plans to articulate and enhance its value so that more journalists will join and more donors will support the organization.

Roadmap of Priorities

NABJ has begun implementing its three-year strategic plan in early 2017. The plan builds upon formal assessments of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, to outline a road map of achievable goals. NABJ has prioritized five of those activities that cultivate stakeholder and revenue opportunities. A full description of the strategic plan follows.

In summary, NABJ’s five top priorities are:

  1. Financial and Organizational Stability

    Key tasks involve aligning resources with key activities, establishing guidelines for expenditures, setting profitability requirements for events and services, diversifying revenues and safeguarding cash reserves, and developing metrics to monitor how it is meeting its goals.

  2. NABJ Jobs

    NABJ will develop robust affirmative action programs to secure more hiring and promotions for its members, develop job databases for members and prospective employers, and cultivate business startup and ownership skills for members.

  3. Training and Professional Development

    NABJ will work to become a leader in digital media training. It will ramp up its Media Institute and regional training activities. It will develop skills and media entrepreneurship training, and expand partnerships with Poynter and HBCUs, among other activities.

  4. Advocacy Activities

    NABJ will elevate its efforts to advocate for black journalists and for coverage of issues relevant to the black community in the U.S. and internationally. NABJ will partake in advocacy activities with like-minded groups, such as the National Association of Hispanic Journalists (NAHJ), Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA), Native American Journalists Association (NAJA), UNITY: Journalists for Diversity, American Society of News Editors (ASNE), National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), NLGJA, The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, The National Press Club, among others.

  5. Special Projects: Convention Site Selection

    NABJ will revise its convention site-selection process to ensure strong attendance and the generation of optimal revenue. The event now generates more than 70 percent of its annual income. It plans to rotate the convention among a handful of cities, to be identified, that are fiscally sound, accessible and appealing to attendees. Consider convention partnerships with other associations that have the potential for fiscal success, such as the joint convention with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2016.

Conclusion

NABJ embarks on its strategic planning activities buoyed with the confidence of successfully tackling difficult challenges in recent years. It has already completed early milestones of this plan. Its leaders are fully cognizant that the challenges facing its individual members impact NABJ itself as a professional organization. Shrinking job opportunities, disappearing job security and the ever-evolving demand for expertise in new skills are issues that all journalists are confronting. Competition for support from donors and sponsors has intensified as new professional organizations have emerged to train and advocate for new players in the news landscape, including digital-first, nonprofit and entrepreneurial news outlets.

With a roadmap in place, NABJ is primed to take the next steps.

Part 1

Environmental Scan

In assessing the media landscape, NABJ is mindful of the structural changes in the media industry and the trends that foreshadow still more change. It has identified several opportunities to position itself to help its members and the organization itself adapt to these changes.

Industry Issues

NABJ is the largest professional association for journalists who historically have been underrepresented in the communications industry.

Available data indicates that NABJ operates with similar dues, revenue and board structures as parallel organizations representing Hispanic, Asian and Native American journalists. However, NABJ’s balance sheet could be stronger.

NABJ members work primarily in the broadcasting and cable, digital media, newspaper and public relations industries.

While each of these industries faces different challenges, emerging media developments impact all of them. Traditional advertising-based business models have been disrupted, leading to cutbacks in staff, reductions in news coverage, consolidation of management positions and changes in the ownership of news outlets. New distribution platforms now compete for revenues and the attention of news consumers. In response, news organizations have evolved their news coverage policies and practices and altered the nature of their workforces, placing renewed emphasis on digital content production.

These changes have especially affected NABJ stakeholders. Downsizing at major news outlets in recent years has prompted complaints that black (and other minority) journalists have been disproportionately affected. Consolidation of editing and management functions at many chain-owned newspapers has constricted opportunities for advancement. Smaller news holes have impacted coverage of issues relevant to the black community.

All these developments pose challenges for black journalists in the job market, and for NABJ’s ability to influence employment and coverage decisions that affect its members.

These changes have especially affected NABJ stakeholders. Downsizing at major news outlets in recent years has prompted complaints that black (and other minority) journalists have been disproportionately affected. Consolidation of editing and management functions at many chain-owned newspapers has constricted opportunities for advancement. Smaller news holes have impacted coverage of issues relevant to the black community.

All these developments pose challenges for black journalists in the job market, and for NABJ’s ability to influence employment and coverage decisions that affect its members.

While each of these industries faces different challenges, emerging media developments impact all of them. Traditional advertising-based business models have been disrupted, leading to cutbacks in staff, reductions in news coverage, consolidation of management positions and changes in the ownership of news outlets. New distribution platforms now compete for revenues and the attention of news consumers. In response, news organizations have evolved their news coverage policies and practices and altered the nature of their workforces, placing renewed emphasis on digital content production.

These changes have especially affected NABJ stakeholders. Downsizing at major news outlets in recent years has prompted complaints that black (and other minority) journalists have been disproportionately affected. Consolidation of editing and management functions at many chain-owned newspapers has constricted opportunities for advancement. Smaller news holes have impacted coverage of issues relevant to the black community.

All these developments pose challenges for black journalists in the job market, and for NABJ’s ability to influence employment and coverage decisions that affect its members.

Key trends

NABJ must adapt its training and services to address key trends in the media ecosystem. Among them:

  • The transition of employment opportunities and news consumers from legacy to new media outlets
  • Consolidation of distribution channels at media outlets
  • Fake news
  • A continuing erosion of black media outlets, with many losing circulation
  • Shifting skills requirements that increasingly call for multimedia, social media, and tech expertise
  • Revenues for news outlets and pay scales for journalists that dramatically vary by geography and market size

Opportunities for NABJ

  • Increase the emphasis on professional development to hone basic craft skills
  • Develop new skills training for members
  • Expand entrepreneurship training for members aspiring to launch their own startups
  • Expand job and candidate search services for members and prospective employers
  • Advocate for jobs and career advancement with NABJ partners and in newsrooms
  • Establish an NABJ Jobs service that aims to match prospective candidates with positions and improve the existing jobs listings on the website

Donor Issues

Philanthropic funders continue to be a viable source of funding for NABJ and represent 27 percent of the annual budget. However, donors are increasingly more selective in aligning their missions with their funding. Moreover, they are seeking to support organizations that can effectively manage, deliver and report on their grant activity.

NABJ has focused its fundraising efforts primarily around its annual convention with particular emphasis on media and non-media corporate sponsorships.

Articulating a compelling value proposition that elicits donor support is a forthcoming challenge for NABJ. Furthermore, seeking out new donors will require NABJ to build greater development capability to reach beyond traditional partners and programs.

Key trends

  • Stronger alignment between donor and grantee missions
  • Giving that has become more relational, less transactional
  • Funders that are increasingly seeking signs of impact and measurable return on their investment
  • Stiffer competition for donor funds

Opportunities for NABJ

  • Diversify funding sources
  • Expand development activities to solicit support for more than the annual convention and Media Institute
  • Invite donors to become NABJ members
  • Develop a system to track grant activities, reach and impact
  • Hire a consultant to oversee grants, monitor metrics and write grant reports
  • Cultivate existing relationships to secure new support and multi-year giving
  • Develop deeper relationships with international partners

Membership Issues

Members are the heart of the organization. NABJ has a strong and loyal membership base presently comprised predominantly of broadcast journalists, digital journalists and students.

  • 69% of members reside in the Eastern and Southern states.
  • 44% are students and emerging professionals.
  • 40% are under the age of 35.

NABJ is the largest journalism organization that focuses on the interests of individual racial and ethnic communities. It is also one of many journalist organizations focused on providing career support to members based upon a demographic characteristic and not a general cause. Consequently, NABJ faces significant competition for members.

Although NABJ’s legacy and prominence provide competitive advantages to attract new members and retain its current base, other professional organizations are addressing the new skills journalists need to find jobs.

NABJ also has young members. More than two out of five are students, newly minted journalists or under the age of 35 and can’t offer strong financial support. This requires that NABJ enhance its value propositions to attract more members who are financially secure in journalism and media-related fields and have the skillset to adapt to 21st century journalism.

Developing distinctive and compelling value propositions will be a key differentiator to enable the organization to engage current and prospective members and grow membership.

NABJ Strengths

  • Robust roster of current and past members
  • Active social media presence
  • A well-developed Convention and Career Fair that provides training, access to jobs and resources, and networking opportunities

Opportunities for NABJ

  • Strengthen value proposition for members at all career levels and in all membership categories
  • Recruit new members, especially in digital media and public relations
  • Expand and rebrand training to attract more mid-career journalists, veterans, media executives and displaced journalists
  • Recruit members inside and outside the media industry that support NABJ’s mission
  • Explore opportunity for joint chapter/national dues structure

NABJ Weaknesses

  • Poorly defined value proposition
  • Insufficient member recruitment and retention initiatives
  • Inadequate cross-training and support in the national office for member services

Threats

  • Not adapting to millennials’ needs
  • Competition for NABJ members by other organizations
  • Deficiency of mid-career programming

Programs
& Services Issues

NABJ’s Programs and Services division produces its annual convention and regional conferences, the backbone of NABJ’s current value proposition for both members and their employers.
The revenue from these conferences and conventions generates 73 percent of NABJ’s total annual income. It supports other NABJ programs and services and net event income is the primary source of funding for NABJ’s operating expenses.

By utilizing the Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT) exercise, NABJ can take numerous steps to leverage strengths and correct weaknesses.

NABJ Strengths

  • Professional development and training offered at annual convention, regional conferences & Media Institutes
  • Event-related recruitment opportunities for partners and networking opportunities for members
  • Tracking and communicating industry employment trends
  • Awards programs that validate high-achieving members

Opportunities for NABJ

  • Become a digital-media training leader
  • Offer multimedia delivery of events and programs through livestreaming, webinars and online courses
  • Leverage technology and chapter network to expand training
  • Expand journalist job-search services
  • Expand partner-sponsored programs, such as skills training and fellowships
  • Increase professional development opportunities for mid-career members
  • Sharpen program marketing efforts
  • Increase newsroom advocacy to support black journalists and fair coverage of the black community
  • Offer event-management services to local chapters
  • Develop proprietary event-management products and services and market to other organizations

NABJ Weaknesses

  • Lack of systems for tracking registrations and demand for offerings
  • Lack of funding for more training
  • Uneven program offerings among regional conferences
  • Deficiency of programming for mid-career journalists
  • Insufficient job-search capabilities

Threats

  • Competition for program funding
  • Shifting demand for different journalism skills
  • Delivering quickly on expanded-training goals

Governance &
Organization Issues

NABJ has suffered in recent years from changing leadership and poor fiscal management. The NABJ Constitution previously mandated replacement of its entire governing board every two years. Furthermore, its national office has had five executive directors since 2006, requiring its all-volunteer board to assume significant management responsibilities.

A 2014 membership vote amended the NABJ Constitution and attempted to provide more continuity and strengthen governance: Starting with the 2017 election, the board members now serve staggered terms with only half the board being replace at one time. And the board president is now permitted to run for re-election, enabling a president to serve a maximum of four years instead of two so as to build on a foundation of learning.

The combination of board structure, management turnover and internal politics distracted from NABJ’s focus on its mission and contributed to a lack of clarity regarding roles and responsibilities throughout the organization.

The turnover left employees in the member services and finance division with the greatest longevity at the national office. NABJ needs to consider additional governance enhancements and a permanent management structure to strengthen the organization. These can include a mix of board members, employees, consultants, volunteers and other management-service providers.

The association also must revisit the size of the board; the staggered election process, which now requires the association to underwrite an election every year; and the lack of a succession of leadership, which is not addressed in a staggered election process.

NABJ Strengths

  • New board leadership and management
  • Longevity of core staff
  • Commitment of a corps of volunteers

Opportunities for NABJ

  • Adopt and execute strategic plan
  • Align governance structure with achieving plan goals and NABJ mission
  • Adopt best practices for organization design, board roles and responsibilities
  • Revisit size of 14-member board
  • Improve recruitment and training to attract board members qualified to govern a nonprofit organization
  • Develop a leadership succession plan for headquarters
  • Explore succession in elections for board leadership
  • Amend or streamline board committees and task forces
  • Set up a permanent management structure
  • Use volunteers more effectively
  • Set staff productivity goals
  • Outsource some staff functions and use consultants where applicable
  • Examine the role and relationship between NABJ and its affiliate chapters. Consider joint dues structure, address affiliation and governance concerns
  • Increase sharing of best business practices sharing among national office, regions and chapters
  • Provide skills training to staff members
  • Create advisory council of business leaders
  • Continue to empower the Finance Committee to provide fiscal advice and counsel

NABJ Weaknesses

  • Organizational design
  • Unclear roles and responsibilities
  • Lack of a permanent management structure
  • Standard operating and rent costs
  • No management succession plan

Threats

  • Retention of key managers and employees
  • Loss in continuity of board and management expertise
  • Organizational politics that, at times, focuses on individual advancement over organizational goals

Operations

NABJ’s national office operates with four full-time employees and several consultants who manage the office, operations, communications, and fundraising efforts.

Operational functions include:

  • Facilities management
  • Technology systems management
  • Program marketing and delivery logistics, including sponsor solicitation
  • Human resources management
  • Members and partner services
  • Board support

operates in good space at market rates at the University of Maryland’s Philip Merrill College of Journalism.

The most significant operational challenge is the organization’s outdated website and lack of integration of the various systems for internal communications with members and external outreach via its website and e-newsletters.

Once these issues are addressed, NABJ will have increased capacity to provide support for additional programming and services for members, regions and chapters.

NABJ Strengths

  • Co-location with the Philip Merrill College of Journalism at the University of Maryland, College Park
  • D.C.’s attractive and convenient geographic location
  • The institutional knowledge of long-time staffers
  • Agility to modify and create programming events to meet membership needs

Opportunities for NABJ

  • Share administrative resources with a partner
  • Use strategic plan to guide sustainability
  • Offer fee-based services, such as event management and student development programs
  • Establish performance metrics for staff
  • Upgrade software to improve efficiencies and support for members and partners
  • Create standard operating procedures for staff and board

NABJ Weaknesses

  • Outdated website
  • Lack of integrated communication systems
  • Inconsistent social media outreach
  • Lack of established operating procedures
  • Failure to zero in on appropriate organizational model addressing personnel, executive director, consultants or management company

Threats

  • Minimal personnel for high-volume programming
  • Lack of staff training
  • Possible significant lease increase in three years
  • Lack of resources to support operational expenses and execute strategic plan goals

Part 2

Implementing the Plan

NABJ has establishED a Strategic Plan Implementation Committee following the completion of the strategic plan to review and help the staff and board manage implementation.

To create a strategic workflow to be sure the plan is put into action, NABJ will:

  • Present the Strategic Plan Overview via webinars and conference calls with key leadership cohorts including NABJ Founders, past presidents, chapter presidents and task force chairs
  • Collaborate on developing strategic framework and establishing priorities, strategies, projects and expected outcomes
  • Present plan and overview of progress to date to NABJ members at the Business Meeting at the annual convention.

Strategic Framework

Strategic Planning Vision Statement

The National Association of Black Journalists advocates for black journalists who tell the stories of our evolving world on all media platforms and impacts the communications industry at all levels while focusing on diversity, job training, coverage and other issues relevant to the black community.

Strategic Planning Mission Statement

NABJ exists to provide its members with opportunities for professional development and career advancement; to demand accessible and fair coverage of people of color; to promote diversity and inclusion in the workplace for black journalists and to advance these principles wherever and however journalism is practiced.

NABJ Strategic
Priorities, 2017-2020

Given the numerous external and internal factors and challenges facing NABJ, the organization must be selective in allocating time and resources dedicated to achieving its mission.

Consequently, NABJ will focus on the following priorities for 2017-2020:

  1. Financial and Organizational Stability

    NABJ’s Board and management will ensure the organization’s financial stability and sustainability by operating with transparency in all financial matters and following standard and generally accepted accounting procedures.

  2. NABJ Jobs

    NABJ will become an indispensable talent resource for all media. It will ensure that diversity remains an industry priority by monitoring the representation of African-American journalists at all levels of media. NABJ will work with industry leaders to ensure members are considered for key leadership positions.

    NABJ will be a resource for members on key industry trends, innovations and technologies that impact jobs across the news landscape.

  3. Training and Professional Development

    NABJ will offer, or partner in offering, skills-based training with particular emphasis on core journalism skills, digital and emerging trends, and entrepreneurial opportunities.

  4. Advocacy Activities

    NABJ will monitor coverage of people, issues and trends relevant to African-Americans and will advocate for better coverage of issues impacting the black community across all media platforms. NABJ will partake in advocacy activities with like-minded groups, such as NAHJ, AAJA, NAJA, UNITY, ASNE, NAB, NLGJA and the National Press Club.

  5. Special Projects

    One significant project involves site selection of the venues for NABJ’s annual convention. Instead of locating the convention in different cities throughout the country, NABJ will target 5 to ten key cities as venues for its annual convention and will rotate the convention through those cities. The sites will be selected based on their affordability and appeal to members, opportunities for large attendance and ability to generate revenues from donors and sponsors.

The remaining sections of this report outline the details for addressing these priorities, and include the strategies, key projects and expected outcomes for each.

Priority 1

Financial & Organizational Sustainability

Strategy 1

Develop a Sustainable Financial Model

Key Projects

  • Develop financial management policies and guidelines to:
    • Allocate resources
    • Engage in philanthropic fundraising for program activities
    • Budget for projected revenue for events, programs and services
    • Fundraise for capital expenditures and operating costs
    • Cultivate revenue for investments
    • Manage cash flow
  • Develop plans to grow and preserve cash reserves
  • Fine tune the budgeting process to direct resources to mission-critical activities
  • Develop metrics and reporting systems to monitor performance
  • Develop a plan to diversify revenues
  • Develop a program to continuously manage expenses management with the assistance of the Finance Committee

Expected Outcomes

Consistent profitability
Sufficient working capital
Increase in reserves to 200% of annual expenses

Strategy 2

Grow Revenue

Key Projects

  • Revise membership structure to:
    • Develop compelling value propositions based on member needs and wants
    • Consider joint dues for national and local chapter members
    • Conduct a membership growth campaign
  • Revise convention site selection to optimize member attendance and partner exposure
  • Grow the number and profitability of regional conferences
  • Increase and maintain the number of revenue-generating Media Institutes
  • Expand partnerships
  • Develop a publishing and digital media production capability that incorporates the NABJ Journal or other projects that generate sales for NABJ and remuneration for members
  • Establish an organizational development plan
    • Create a comprehensive development strategy
    • Link development and marketing strategies
    • Grow event/program sponsorships
    • Increase unrestricted corporate and foundation grants
    • Re-establish a planned giving program
    • Develop major donor program
    • Develop government grants program
    • Monitor participation, impact, online metrics for grant reports

Expected Outcomes

Increased annual revenue
Membership growth
Expanded partnerships

Strategy 3

Grow Public Awareness of NABJ Mission

Key Projects

  • Expand and promote a fee-based Speakers Bureau comprised of members
  • Establish a marketing and communications plan
    • Create comprehensive marketing strategy
    • Link marketing and development strategies
    • Develop both internal and external communications strategies

Expected Outcomes

Increased media exposure
Enhanced membership visibility
Increased opportunities for advocacy
Increased partner and donor opportunities

Strategy 4

Build Organizational Capabilities

Key Projects

  • Revise organization design and processes
    • Evaluate alternative national office management structures (including hybrid consultant, contractor, staff, and/or management company)
    • Align organization design and size with roles and responsibilities
    • Invest in staff development
    • Cross-train staff on operational functions
    • Document operational policies, processes and create standard operating procedures
    • Clarify roles and responsibilities for board members, volunteers, management, staff and consultants
    • Seek potential areas for collaboration with like-minded nonprofit organizations to share administrative resources and non-competitive capabilities or expenses
  • Evaluate opportunities for improvements in governance structure
    • Develop qualifications and roles for board members
    • Reexamine the size of the NABJ board
    • Develop board and staff management succession plan
    • Grow and expand the NABJ partner concierge system
    • Consider creating an Advisory Council to provide operational advisement to the board of directors and supplement the Finance Committee
  • Develop metrics for:
    • Management, staff, consultant productivity
    • Member satisfaction
    • Partner satisfaction
    • Staff satisfaction
    • Grant impact
  • Acquire funding to update technology capabilities to:
    • Develop a mobile app
    • Improve website design and utility
    • Integrate technology into operations to improve accounting and tracking needs
    • Standardize communications systems
    • Improve members-only access to the website

Expected Outcomes

A stable and efficient organization
Updated technological capabilities
Operational continuity plans
Better relations with members and partners
Reduced friction from internal politics

Priority 2

NABJ Jobs: Employment and Business Opportunities

Strategy 1

Develop Affirmative Action Programs

Key Projects

  • Obtain hiring and promotion benchmarks from news organizations and SAG/AFTRA for NABJ Members
  • Leverage federal contractor requirements to increase employment diversity and business opportunities for NABJ members
  • Work with communications industry partners to increase the number of diverse senior managers

Expected Outcomes

Employment growth for NABJ members
Growth in NABJ members who are senior managers in the communications industry
Business ownership growth for NABJ Members

Strategy 2

Expand Current Efforts

Key Projects

  • Expand national and regional career fairs
  • Develop partner programs to increase NABJ member access to career opportunities, and partner access to NABJ members
  • Create an NABJ Jobs portal online that serves to connect members with jobs and helps partners meet their staffing needs
  • With funding, hire a consultant or consider working with another association to share jobs resources
  • Develop a fee-based member capabilities/availability search service
  • Establish a resource library for career development assistance
  • Develop a Entrepreneurship Program for members
  • Inaugurate a career or life coaching program

Expected Outcomes

Employment growth for NABJ members
Growth in representation of NABJ members in senior management in the communications industry
Business ownership growth for NABJ members

Priority 3

Training and Professional Development

Strategy 1

Further Develop Media Institutes, Regional Conferences

Key Projects

  • Secure grants to fund and direct the NABJ Media Institute
  • Develop a Digital Media Training Program, expand or continue Poynter-NABJ Digital Leadership Academy
  • Formalize an entrepreneurship training program
  • Develop a skills certification program
  • Initiate studies and publications in partnership with HBCUs
  • Create a recognizable international footprint for NABJ programs and mission that trains blacks across the Diaspora
  • Train members to decode fake news and join partners in the effort to eradicate fake news

Expected Outcomes

Increased participation in programs
Improved member satisfaction with programming
Increased funding for training
Membership growth
Communications industry recognition for programming quality and effectiveness

Strategy 2

Expand Other Programs

Key Projects

  • Secure dedicated funding for programs
  • Formalize a mentor program
  • Grow fellowship programs
    • Expand NABJ mission and programming internationally, bring back fellowship opportunities in Africa and expand opportunities to the Caribbean
  • Create an NABJ Student Projects-like program as fee-for-service conference program and produce it for other professional organization conventions
  • Expand NABJ Scholarship Program
  • Expand campus partnerships outside of convention
  • Create the Black Male Media Project to elevate the role of black males in media, focus on mentorship and training for NABJ male members and advocate for more black men in media

Expected Outcomes

Growth in program participation
Improved member satisfaction with programming
Increased funding for training
Membership growth
Recognition for programming quality and effectiveness
Growth in NABJ membership on college campuses
Increased representation of black males in the media industry

Strategy 3

Expand Training Delivery Methods

Key Projects

  • Become a digital media training leader
    • Use technology, expertise among members and partners to expand capacity
    • Develop the capability to deliver training anywhere, anyhow and anytime
    • Use mobile apps to provide timely information and leverage a website optimized for mobile
    • Develop partnerships to expand third-party program offerings
    • Develop a member skills database or speakers bureau
    • Enhance training registration capabilities

EXPECTED OUTCOMES

A Roster of Volunteer Mentors
Fully-funded Fellowship Program
Dedicated Training Fund for new programs
Growth in program participation
Improved Member satisfaction with programming
Increased funding for training
Membership growth
Recognition for programming quality and effectiveness
Growth in representation of NABJ members in senior management in the communications industry
Business ownership growth for NABJ members

Priority 4

Advocacy

Strategy 1

Re-Establish NABJ as the Voice for Black Journalists Across Media

Key Projects

  • Develop a comprehensive advocacy agenda
  • Provide advocacy training for NABJ Board and management
  • Develop alliances with other organizations to leverage advocacy efforts for coverage and diversity
  • Develop national, regional and local forums to advocate for accurate and fair coverage of issues relevant to the black community
  • Develop relationships with traditional media outlets to increase opportunities for NABJ members to serve as specialists on coverage of issues relevant to the black community
  • Develop multi-media communications capabilities to expand coverage of advocacy issues in the NABJ Journal and NABJ-produced print and digital media
  • Bring back the Ethel Payne Fellowship and develop other programs, with partners, to offer grants for storytelling on the black community and issues affecting black people across the Diaspora
  • NABJ will partake in advocacy activities with like-minded groups, such as NAHJ, AAJA, NAJA, UNITY, ASNE and NLGJA.

Expected Outcomes

Greater coverage of stories relevant to the black community
Greater number of issues covered by black journalists
Greater number of NABJ-sponsored forums/events
Greater national exposure for NABJ members

Strategy 2

Expand Advocacy for Diversity and Fair Coverage

Key Projects

  • Expand efforts to advocate for members on issues of coverage and employment in all sectors of the communications industry
  • Keep members well informed by continuously monitoring industry trends and practices.
  • Develop systems to measure outcomes of advocacy strategies

Expected Outcomes

Greater number of NABJ members in positions with the responsibility to determine coverage policies and practices
Growth in representation of NABJ members in senior management in the communications industry
Business ownership growth for NABJ members
Greater coverage of stories relevant to the black community
Greater number of issues covered by black journalists

Priority 5

Special Projects: Convention City Selection

Key Activities

  • Establish site-selection criteria for hosting conventions.
    • Proven attendance history, geographic concentration of members, travel costs/accessibility, national destination city appeal measured by tourism metrics, rooming costs, black population/culture/leadership in the city, hotel venue exhibit /workshop space and costs.
  • Select five to 10 convention cities for consideration on a rotating basis
  • Broaden Media Institutes and Regional Conference venues to non-host city markets
  • Explore combining regional conference and Media Institutes
  • Consider convention partnerships with other associations that have the potential for fiscal success, such as the joint convention with the National Association of Hispanic Journalists in 2016

Expected Outcomes

Better financial performance
Higher attendance at venues
More accessible training opportunities for members
Membership growth

Conclusions

This strategic plan outlines a set of goals for NABJ that the organization will confidently meet. This will require that stakeholders collaborate and use a disciplined approach to support fair and comprehensive storytelling about issues that affect the black community. It also outlines pathways that NABJ can pursue to build organization capacity to:

  • Develop highly-skilled black journalists
  • Help members find professional opportunities with high potential for advancement or assist members with building successful media businesses
  • Provide forums to advocate for diversity and fairness in the communications industry

To accomplish these goals, NABJ has established priorities that optimize the use of precious current resources to pave the way forward. Those priorities are:

  • Financial and Organizational Sustainability
  • Training and Professional Development
  • Employment and Business Opportunities
  • Advocacy
  • Conventions Site Locations

To support these priorities, NABJ will employ tailored strategies, including:

  • Advocate for members on issues of coverage and employment in all sectors of the communications industry at all levels
  • Keep members well-informed about industry trends and practices
  • Strengthen NABJ’s role as a convener and consensus builder to ensure that issues relevant to blacks are covered accurately and fairly
  • Manage resources efficiently
  • Build organizational capacity
  • Develop NABJ University
  • Establish affirmative action programs with communications industry partners and SAG/AFTRA

With these strategies and associated initiatives, NABJ envisions that by 2020, there will be:

  • Greater coverage of stories relevant to the black community
  • Greater number of major issues covered by black journalists
  • Greater number of NABJ members in positions with the responsibility to determine coverage policies and practices
  • A stable and efficient organization
  • Programming for members recognized for quality and effectiveness
  • Employment growth for members
  • Growth in representation of members in senior management in the communications industry
  • Business ownership growth for members

Journalism has reached a critical juncture as a result of disruptions in business models, social media’s dominance in newsgathering, changing delivery modalities, fake news and non-traditional competition. Industry leaders have responded to these challenges with consolidations that can result in job constrictions, and increased use of technology to improve productivity and profitability.

These industry issues pose additional challenges for black journalists, including a disproportionate impact in the job market, coverage challenges for issues relevant to the black community and adequate funding for programming.

NABJ has long been an inspirational leader for black journalists and an advocate for workforce diversity in the communications industry and fair coverage of issues relevant to the black community.

Skilled black journalists who are committed to the calling of journalism should be supported and developed in newsrooms just like their peers. Media organizations must adapt and prepare for 2044 when the United States becomes a majority minority nation, according to a 2015 U.S. Census report. News and information that are reflective of the changing demographics, and emerging and new audiences, are a vital business practice.

Now is the time for NABJ to draw upon its profound history and be a leader among journalism organizations at a time when truth telling is necessary. NABJ is committed to expanding diversity and inclusion efforts in newsrooms, and to improving the ways in which it serves its members and partners to that end. A sincere thank you to NABJ’s 44 founders who blazed the trail and continue to light our path.

The driving force of NABJ are its members — a diverse group spanning age, specialty and region. The organization’s performance directly impacts members. Here is a look at various metrics that may help tell the story behind the organization’s membership and performance.

Geography of Members

%

Region 1
Conn., Del., D.C., Maine, Md., Mass., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Pa., R.I., Vt., Va., W.Va.

%

Region 2
Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ky., Mich., Minn., Mo., Neb., N.D., Ohio, S.D., Wis.

%

Region 3
Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., Okla., S.C., Tenn., Texas

%

Region 4
Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo, Hawaii, Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.M., Ore., Utah, Wash., Wyo.

%

Outside US

NABJ Membership
by Industry

Student25%739
PR9%279
Educator6%166
Online Media13%384
Radio4%132
Television32%967
Newsletter0%6
Magazine2%61
Newspaper9%280

NABJ Member Distribution
by Category

Corporate group0%1
Corporate individual0%2
Student37%1,302
Professional37%1,305
Media Related13%466
Academic4%144
Alumni1%28
Emerging Professional8%288

NABJ Membership Totals

2014

2015

2016

NABJ Member
Distribution by Age

16-2434%1024
25-3422%726
35-4417%507
45-5414%408
55-649%285
65 & over2%63

NABJ Revenue Distribution 2016

Convention revenue73%
Programming fees7%
Contributions and grants5%
Membership dues7%
In-kind contributions7%
Gain/loss on investments1%

Journalism Association
Performance Comparison

2013
Net income or loss
2014
Net income or loss
NABJ$138,648-$264,604
NAHJ$189,533$15,277
AAJA$128,987$55,398
IRE-$107,663$1,051,162
RTNDA$135,312$125,054
RTNDA$137,768-$18,177
ASNEN/A-$62,483

Source: IRS 990

Employee/Board Member Comparisons

EmployeesBd Members
NABJ414
NAHJ222
AAJA311
NLGIA514
RTNDA532
ONA615
SOPJ1621
ASNE022
IRE013
NAB--
NAA--

NABJ Financial Performance Trends

2009-$612,779
2010$437,727
2011$3,363
2012-$79,575
2013$138,648
2014-$264,604
2015-$395,206
2016$1,287,000*

*Pending yearly audit

2015-2017 NABJ Board of Directors

Sarah Glover,
President
Social Media Editor, NBC Owned Television Stations, New York City

Dorothy Tucker,
Vice President/Broadcast
Reporter, WBBM-TV, Chicago, IL

Benėt J. Wilson,
Vice President/Digital
Owner, Founder, Editor, Aviation Queen LLC, Baltimore, MD

Marlon A. Walker,
Vice President/Print
Education Reporter, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta, GA

Sherlon Christie,
Secretary
Sports Reporter, Asbury Park Press, Neptune, NJ

Greg Morrison,
Treasurer
Executive Producer, Owner, Bumper2Bumper TV, Atlanta, GA

Dave Jordan,
Parliamentarian
Investigative Reporter, WSPA-TV, Spartanburg, SC

Johann Calhoun,
News/Special Projects Editor, The Philadelphia Tribune, Philadelphia, PA
Region I: Director (Conn., Del., D.C., Maine, Md., Mass., N.H., N.J., N.Y., Pa., R.I., Vt., Va., W.Va.)

Vickie Thomas,
Reporter, WWJ/CBS Radio, Detroit, MI
Region II Director: (Ill., Ind., Iowa, Kan., Ky., Mich., Minn., Mo., Neb., N.D., Ohio, S.D., Wis.)

Gayle Hurd,
Anchor/Reporter, WPTF-AM/ NC News Network, Raleigh, NC
Region III Director: (Ala., Ark., Fla., Ga., La., Miss., N.C., Okla., S.C., Tenn., Texas)

Marcus Vanderberg,
Deputy Editor, Sports, Yahoo Sports, Los Angeles, CA
Region IV Director: (Alaska, Ariz., Calif., Colo, Hawaii, Idaho, Mont., Nev., N.M., Ore., Utah, Wash., Wyo.)

Michelle Johnson,
Associate Professor of the Practice, Boston University, Boston, MA
Academic Representative

Tanzi West-Barbour,
Senior Director of Communications
Charters and Choice at Policy Innovators for Education, Washington, DC
Media-Related Representative

Wilton Charles Jackson II,
Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
Student Representative

2017 NABJ Strategic Planning Committee Members

Sheila Brooks,
Ph.D., Former NABJ Board Member,
President and CEO, SRB Communications, LLC

Barbara Ciara,
Former NABJ President,
Managing Editor, WTKR

Allison Davis,
NABJ Founder,
Coopty Productions, LLC; Executive Director, Arts Horizons

Duchesne P. Drew,
Community Network Vice President,
Bush Foundation

Galen C. Gordon,
Coordinating Producer,
ESPN

Princell Hair,
Senior VP, News and Talent,
NBC Sports Group

Gayle Hurd,
NABJ Region III Director,
Anchor/Reporter, WPTF-AM/NC News Network

Wilton Jackson, II,
NABJ Student Representative,
Student, Louisiana State University

Roy S. Johnson,
Former NABJ Board Member,
Editor, Birmingham Magazine

Roland Martin,
Former NABJ Board Member,
Owner, ROMAR Media Group, Analyst/Commentator, TV One/Tom Joyner Morning Show

Gregory Moore,
Former NABJ Board Member,
Former Editor-in-Chief, The Denver Post

Sandra Dawson Long Weaver,
NABJ Founder,
Former Managing Editor, Philadelphia Inquirer

Gary Wordlaw,
News Director, WVLA/WGMB-TV

· · ·

Consultants
Drew Berry & Associates, LLC
The JBW Group, LLC
The Heidi Stevens Network, LLC
J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism
Michael Grant: Freelance Creative Director, Print & Digital

NABJ Founders

Norma Adams-Wade
Dallas Morning News

Carole Bartel
CORE Magazine

Edward Blackwell*
Milwaukee Journal

Paul Brock
Founding Executive Director

Reginald Bryant*
Black Perspective on the News

Maureen Bunyan
WTOP-TV
Washington, D.C.

Crispin Campbell
WNET-TV
New York

Charlie Cobb
WHUR Radio
Washington, D.C.

Marilyn Darling
WHYY-TV
Wilmington, Del.

Leon Dash
The Washington Post

Joe Davidson
Philadelphia Bulletin

Allison J. Davis
WBZ-TV
Boston

Paul Delaney
The New York Times

William Dilday
WLBT-TV
Jackson, Miss.

Sandra Dillard
Denver Post

Joel Dreyfuss
The Washington Post

Sam Ford
WCCO-TV
Minneapolis

David Gibson
Mutual Black Network

Sandra Gilliam-Beale
WHIO-TV
Dayton, Ohio

Bob Greenlee
New Haven Register

Martha Griffin
National Public Radio

Derwood Hall*
WSOC-TV
Charlotte

Bob Hayes
San Francisco Examiner

Vernon Jarrett*
Chicago Tribune

Mal Johnson*
Cox Broadcasting

Toni Jones
Detroit Free Press

H. Chuku Lee
Africa Journal Ltd.

Claude Lewis*
Philadelphia Bulletin

Sandra Dawson Long Weaver
News Journal
Wilmington, Del.

Pluria Marshall
Freelancer

Acel Moore*
Philadelphia Inquirer

Luix Overbea*
Christian Science Monitor

Les Payne
Newsday

Claudia Polley
NBC

Alex Poinsett*
Ebony Magazine

Richard Rambeau
Project Bait
Detroit

Max Robinson*
WTOP-TV
Washington, D.C.

Chuck Stone*
Philadelphia Daily News

W. Curtis Riddle
Louisville (Ky.) Courier Journal

Jeannye Thornton
U.S. News & World Report

Francis Ward
Los Angeles Times

Charlotte Roy
Detroit Free Press

Vince Sanders
National Black Network

John C. White
Washington Star

DeWayne Wickham
The Baltimore Sun

*Founders who are deceased.

A Special NABJ Report

NABJ | "NABJreports" Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

shift_nav_menu