Greetings Task Force Members,
I am finally getting around to writing about our successful convention. Last week, the AAJA Convention was in Boston. I was representing NABJ at some functions. I am finally getting a breather. Now it’s time to give you an update on our 2009 Convention.
It was an unprecedented year for the NABJ Sports Task Force at the NABJ Convention in Tampa.
Nationally, we were noticed.
Leon Carter and Sandy Rosenbush were presented with the Legacy Award for their work on the Sports Journalism Institute.
It was an emotional moment for me as I presented my journalism parents with the award.
Then, later at the same event, Larry Whiteside was enshrined into the NABJ Hall of Fame. Derrick Jackson accepted the award on the family’s behalf. Jackson was flanked by some of the journalists who were on Whiteside’s famous “Black List.”
Later in the week, Michael Wilbon accepted the NABJ Lifetime Achievement Award and gave voice to the importance of sports journalism in our profession.
Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts started off the week with a powerful speech during the Mentor Breakfast.
The Task Force had three workshops during the convention programming.
The Task Force also made news with its meeting with LeBron James as SportsCenter, Jim Rome and PTI mentioned his comments on the dunk, the handshake and Shaquille O’Neal.
The Sam Lacy Pioneer Awards were doled out at another successful event. We honored legends such as Doug Williams and Jim Dent.
We also awarded two Larry Whiteside Scholarships — Daniel Sampson of Texas Southern and DeAntae Prince of Indiana University.
The Sports Task Force Scholarship Jam had a different feel with a Bowling Tournament, dominated by Jemele Hill. The event raised nearly $9,000 for the task force.
It was also an election year and the Task Force elected the following people.
Chairman: Gregory Lee
Vice President-Print: Marc Spears
Vice President-Broadcast: Mike Eaves
Vice President-PR: Tara August
Secretary: Gary Washburn
Seargent at Arms: Chuck Johnson
East Region: George Willis
South Region: Freddie Willis
Midwest Region: A. Sherrod Blakely
West Region: James Black
Other issues at the Business meeting were:
- A more moderate priced golf tournament so more people can participate. Members of the task force would like to be more involved in the planning.
- Journalism Sports Education Focus.
- A possible NABJ STF book.
- Year-round professional development webinars.
- A possible celebrity poker tournament at next year’s convention.
It has been a great year for the Sports Task Force. In the coming days, I will be making committee assignments. I will designate based on your skill level. So be ready to serve!