The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists visited the USF campus to share their knowledge and expertise with students.
The goal of TBABJ is to encourage students of color to pursue their interests in media.
Some of the biggest TV personalities who are involved in this chapter include: Rod Carter, Corey Davis, Garin Flowers, and Saundra Weathers. A few of these reporters took a trip to The University of South Florida to put on a workshop for college students.
“We work together to make sure we are addressing the needs of our community and making sure their stories and voices are heard,” TBABJ leader Loraine McBride said.
The Tampa Bay chapter was established in 1990. TBABJ represents journalists who live in Pinellas, Hillsborough, Citrus, Hernando, Polk, Manatee and Pasco county. Some of the goals this organization has are: bringing together black journalists who work in related fields, serving as clearinghouses for employment within the media, sponsoring events that encourage professional development among journalists of color, and awarding scholarships to promising young black journalists who plan on pursuing careers on media.
“I feel like it’s important to give back to college students because someone once helped me and I was once in their shoes,” said McBride. “Someone took the time to sit down with me and it made a tremendous difference in my life. I got every single job that I really wanted. It made a difference.”
The members of this organization shared their expertise and backstories about how they began their journalism careers. When it comes to beginning a career, some of the important tips they gave students are being proactive and landing internships.
“I would encourage students to career shadow,” said McBride “Learn how to pick up the camera. Learn everything you can because when you walk across that stage on graduation day, there is nothing like the feeling of leaving and knowing what it’s like to work in the news field.”
The second part of the workshop was dedicated to working with students one on one to give them critiques on their resumes and demo reels. The media professionals sat down and answered any questions that the students had. This organization is a keen on helping students in any way they can.
Some of the advice they gave in regards to resumes included: putting the most relevant information at the top, composing it to look neat and professional, and being descriptive.
In addition to workshops, this organization hosts a Gala once a year to give out awards and scholarships. Nada Blassy, a USF student, was the scholarship winner last year. She was awarded a $1,000 dollar scholarship for her achievements.
“I received a scholarship from the TBABJ for writing a news story relvant to Tampa Bay” Blassy said. “It was a great addition to my resume. Through this organization I find myself meeting people that are already working in the field and that is something a lot of students don’t get to say. So, I’m very grateful to this organization for helping me get my foot in the door.”