FLINT TOWNSHIP (WJRT) (01/18/2020) - A local journalist organization is tackling a national problem right here in mid-Michigan.
The Flint Saginaw Association of Black Journalists is a newly-formed affiliate of the national association. On Saturday night, members and advocates of the chapter gathered with hopes to serve and represent all.
A local NABJ chapter hasn't been around since the early 90s, and Saturday night was their first fundraiser. It was a kickoff to not only say they're here to support the community, but also to raise money for big plans in 2020.
"We want to just definitely connect, help young journalists who may be interested in journalism be able to be a part of the journalism programs that we're going to have and definitely professional development," President, Ebony Stith said.
According to Pew Research Center, in 2017, just 10.9% of the TV news workforce are African American. With such low representation, it can be difficult to represent minorities accurately.
"We need diversified journalism and reporting. Without it, it gives a little bit of a bias to all the news. We don't want that. The more diversity there is, the better," Saginaw Mayor, Floyd Kloc said.
Stith says a lot of times, stories might not be politically correct or feature a minority group in a positive light. She hopes the chapter can share better options on featuring minority groups and how to talk about them.
"We want the stories of course to be reported, but we also want to be fair and unbiased and definitely want to be able to be an advocate for our community," Stith said.
The chapter also spoke about inspiring young, inner-city kids who may have not been introduced to journalism.
That, in turn, can spark a transformation.
"It's about changing the lives of what's going on in our community. I think the way we tell our stories, how we tell our stories, and the stories that we tell, I think eventually will help better our community and change the community that we live in," Jamal Bransford said. Bransford is the Vice President of Broadcasting.
If you couldn't make it tonight, the FSABJ is accepting donations online or by check. If sending a check, the address is: PO Box 864, Flint, MI 48501.
You can find the PayPal link in the 'Related Links' tab below (mobile) or on the right side (desktop).