Happy New Year

2008 was a tough year for our industry. We faced perhaps the worst financial crisis in our industry where buyouts and layoffs became just as routine as political scandals that were reported at our news outlets.

But all was not bad for the Sports Task Force. We raised nearly $40,000 for the Larry Whiteside Scholarship Fund. We awarded our first scholarship this past summer. We also had dedicated members take a group of students to Comiskey Park to teach them how to cover a major league baseball game.

The Sports Task Force has continued to grow but this year will be another challenging year.

NABJ is facing considerable affects from the industry and we expect financial support to drop from previous levels.

We as a group must work hard together to make sure we get the programming and funding to maintain the quality of work we have done in the past.

Already, Jemele Hill is working hard to secure funding for two possible events in Tampa.

And today I am announcing that Kim Bardakian will head up our workshop and plenary efforts for our Tampa convention. I hope some members will help Kim through this process.

NABJ in its efforts to help members get through these tough times and transitions we will have a convention that is based in education and re-invention.

Here is the note from NABJ that underscores that point:

Time to think about Tampa and Reinvention!

Now I know for many of us in the midst of freezing temperatures and wind gusts it can be difficult to imagine warm August weather but give it a try for these few minutes.

The 2009 Annual Convention will take August 5-9, 2009 at the Tampa Convention Center.

The NABJ Convention Call for Proposals is now online and available for your task force members and colleagues to submit programming ideas. We’ve added an online system where every workshop coordinator can submit workshop proposals electronically. Please find more information on the Call for Proposals and the 2009 Annual Convention at http://www.nabj.org/conventions/2009/index.html


2009 in Tampa will be the REINVENTION CONVENTION

Programming will be reviewed and accepted based on their ability to strengthen the skills of your friends and colleagues toward complete career reinvention. A higher concentration in your proposal toward new media (intermediate to advanced skills) is strongly encouraged.

Provide attendees with new and innovative products, programs and speakers.

Don’t just talk about the technology, bring it with you, and invite participants to demonstrate it.

Encourage participants to open their laptop and connect with you before, during and after the session.

Encourage round table discussions where topic leaders break into groups and delve into plans of action for participants to follow up with these leaders after the convention takes place.

Motivate one another and this new generation of journalists and media professionals

Always watch for spelling and grammatical errors in submission information and speaker information.

Today, I pledge to you that we will be more active this year and help us to navigate through the perils that we face together and know that we are all family here.

Gregory Lee
Senior Assistant Sports Editor
Boston Globe
NABJ Treasurer
NABJ Sports Task Force Chair