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SOJ students establish local NABJ chapter

 National Association of Black Journalists

The National Association of Black Journalists has officially accepted West Virginia University’s application to begin a student chapter – a move that will create more opportunities for African American students and others interested in diversity in journalism.

The new organization, known as West Virginia University Association of Black Journalists, is the first NABJ chapter in the state. WVU P.I. Reed School of Journalism’s Visiting Assistant Professor Tori Arthur is the club’s advisor. She and several School of Journalism students have been working to establish WVUABJ since last fall. Arthur says it will be a tremendous resource for the School’s aspiring communicators.

“For a student, being a member of NABJ could be half the price of admission to their future career,” said Arthur. “They will have the opportunity to meet and interact with people who are pretty high up on the ladder.”

An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation, with more than 4,100 members, and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.

Arthur says becoming part of an organization like NABJ is another step in the right direction for the SOJ and the University community.

“I think this says ‘yes, we are committed to diversity,’” said Arthur. “These types of organizations can contribute so much to our School and our greater community by way of introducing people to a host of issues – maybe even people – they were never aware of before.”

Two School of Journalism students are already receiving an opportunity they wouldn’t have had without WVUABJ. In July, news-editorial junior Chelsea Fuller of Morgantown and broadcast news senior Brandon Radcliffe of Philadelphia, Pa., will take part in the 2010 NABJ Convention’sstudent multimedia project.

Fuller and Radcliffe are among a small group of students selected nationwide to take part in the rigorous cross-platform training experience for full-time undergraduate and graduate students interested in pursuing journalism as a career. They will work in an on-site newsroom alongside experienced industry professionals for one week during the convention in San Diego.

News-editorial junior Morgan Young of Upper Marlboro, Md., will be the club’s inaugural president. Her first priority is to apply for official WVU student organization status. The group plans to organize membership drives and community service in the fall. Any student who is interested in diversity is welcome to join WVUABJ.

Read the official press release on WVU Today.