Journalism club develops leaders and promotes diversity

 

OSU’s student chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists gives media and communication students the opportunity to learn and develop a plethora of media skills in their respective field.

The national organization was founded on Dec. 12, 1975, in Washington, D.C. NABJ holds an annual convention and career fair each summer for recruiters, professionals and students to network.

President of the OSU chapter, Chrishayla Smith, attended the conference this past summer in New Orleans.

“I was empowered just by being surrounded by thousands of like-minded black professionals at conference,” Smith said. “Not only was I able to meet pairs from all over the country, I was able to connect face-to-face with professionals at CNN, ABC, NBC universal and National Geographic.”

The organization hosts a student-run news show called Campus in Color. It is composed of about 15 members, each who have a role in producing, writing, hosting and editing. The show focuses on the everyday life of black students on the OSU campus.

The organization also offers current students the opportunity to gain experience from past alumni of Paul Miller Journalism Building and NABJ as well.

Bailey Overstreet is a recent OSU graduate who currently works as a sports reporter for the Dallas Mavericks. Overstreet is thankful for her years working with NABJ.

“NABJ provided support from other students in the African American community and made it an even playing field among blacks in the workplace,” Overstreet said.

When looking at the composition of journalists in present-day America, there is a clear lack of diversity. NABJ aims to prepare future black journalists for success.

Though the organization does its best to coordinate events and get everyone involved, it still struggles with getting students to participate and take advantage of the opportunities it offers.

Despite those struggles, the executive board remains hopeful and certain it will get the awareness it deserves.

“I think the future of NABJ looks like growth,” said the Vice President Kai Hughes. “The executive team has a saying, ‘it is only up from here’ because we realized that as long as we keep working towards the goal, we can only get closer to it.”