Regional journalism conference covers 2020 Census, digital reporting

Regional journalism conference covers 2020 Census, digital reporting
The National Association of Black Journalists' Region III Conference was hosted in Birmingham. Region III Director Ken Lemon (r) is joined by Alabama journalists (right to left) Varion Walton, Shelia Smoot and Florida news anchor (and former Alabama news reporter) Rod Carter and reporter Solomon Crenshaw, Jr. (Keisa Sharpe)

The National Association of Black Journalists hosted a regional conference in Birmingham April 5-6.

This conference – “Code Switching: Reporting the Virtual Truth” – featured journalists from the states of Alabama, Florida, Texas and the Carolinas.

[NABJ Regional Conference]

Former NABJ President and Alabama journalist Kathy Times (l) and Dr. Syb Brown of Belmont University poses a question during a Friday evening panel discussion on Trollbusters. (Keisa Sharpe)

While many sessions involved hands-on digital training tools for journalists, other sessions dealt with hot topics reporters will be covering well into the future.

A plenary entitled “The Census, Gentrification and Demographics” featured panelists Rebecca Briscoe of the U. S. Census Bureau out of Houston, TX and Stephen Woerner of Voices of Alabama’s children.

Both talked about the immense push to make sure every child is counted with the 2020 Census taking place on April 1, 2020. It’s expected to end in June. Recently Gov. Kay Ivey kicked off a yearlong Census Initiative to make sure all Alabamians are counted.

Challenges in ensuring a complete and accurate count in the 2020 Census from Alabama NewsCenter on Vimeo.

CBS News’ DeMarco Morgan was the keynote speaker at Saturday’s luncheon. (Keisa Sharpe)

[Gov. Ivey kicks off Census Initiative]

Here’s how it works.

Alabamians will receive a postcard March 23, 2020 and can participate in one of three ways.

They can fill out the postcard, call a number provided (which will be available in 13 languages) or go online and fill out the Census.

Organizers are hoping for a better response with the upcoming Census as 72% participated in Alabama in 2010 in mailed responses.

For more information on the Census, visit

The regional conference also included sessions on coding, salary negotiation, handling online bullies and using Google news tools. A keynote luncheon also featured motivational words from CBS reporter DeMarco Morgan.

The NABJ Convention and Career Fair will be held August 7-11 in Miami.

NABJ President Sarah Glover talks with DeMarco Morgan during luncheon at NABJ Regional Conference. Morgan credits NABJ with helping him land every job in his broadcasting career. (Keisa Sharpe)


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