NABJ’s Academic Members Urge “No” Vote on Amendment Proposal

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NABJ Educators
NABJ Educators signed this petition

A message to NABJ’s full voting members:

As you cast your vote in this year’s NABJ election, the academic members of the organization ask that you vote “NO” on the proposed constitutional amendments because a yes vote will have a detrimental impact on our educators by eliminating the academic representative position on the national board. Unfortunately, as academic members we cannot vote on constitutional issues, so we have no direct say in this. Your “NO” vote will ensure we remain at the table.

Here is the language of the amendment ― current and proposed: 

CURRENT: The board of directors shall be 14 in number, and shall include the national officers, four regional directors, a media-related representative, an academic representative and a student representative.

PROPOSED: (a)The board of directors shall be 11 in number, and shall include the elected national officers, an appointed parliamentarian, four regional directors, a media-related representative, and a student representative.

This change would eliminate the academic representative on the national board. The very group of members that serves to train the next generation of journalists would be sidelined by this proposal.

We ask you to consider the following:

  • Our educators are advisers to NABJ student chapters. We support student participation in NABJ conventions and support regional short courses to attract local NABJ members. We contribute to programming and leadership locally and nationally, and engage in many other activities that grow the NABJ membership.
  • NABJ members transition from the newsroom to the classroom and include in their ranks former NABJ presidents who are now professors, academic leaders and administrators. As newsrooms have downsized our numbers in the academy have grown and our members’ involvement in NABJ has been steady.
  • When this position was added to the board just a few years ago, it was supported by a vote of the membership. Why are the voices of educators ― who are on the front lines helping to prepare the next generation — not valued enough to be at the table now?

By removing our representative from the board, NABJ would cause harm to journalists of color in presenting a unified front as professionals and related academics in this critical time in our nation’s history.

You will be required to vote on the amendments as a block, so even if you approve of other changes, there's no way to support them without removing our voice from the leadership of NABJ.

We urge you to vote NO on the amendment proposal and to demand more transparency in the amendment process going forward.

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