Dropping Gems at #NABJ18

Earlier this month, I was in Detroit for the annual National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention. I got the opportunity to speak to a room packed with Black journalists looking to learn how to start their own publications. Through my work with Gentilly Messenger and LION Publishers, I was invited to speak on a panel for the session entitled, “Innovation Bubble: Launching Your Media Company.”


The panel was made up of myself; Jiquanda Johnson, founder and publisher of FlintBeat.com in Flint, MI; and Wendi Thomas, founder, editor and publisher of MLK50.com in Memphis, TN. The focus was “what you need to know before launching your own media startup, where to find funding, leveraging collaboration/partnerships, and how not to reinvent the wheel.”

That said, the room filled to capacity quickly. About 60 media professionals of color heard us talk about our experiences and answer questions that could help shape future media startups.

I might've been in the city for 30 hours tops, but I managed to make some new friends, network, run into some Black media celebrities, and be interviewed by students from the local PBS affiliate, Detroit Public Television. The students asked me a few questions regarding the current state of diversity in the newsroom. Looks like I gave good enough answers to make the final cut twice!

Check out the powerful responses others had, and my 2¢ here (segment starts at 17:22):

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