On Saturday, Atlanta will host a forum for the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) candidates vying for the organizations top offices. The forum will be held in the WSB-TV cafeteria and is being hosted by the Atlanta Association of Black Journalist (AABJ).
Attendees will hear the goals of the potential 2013 Board of Directors as they stump for the 2013 positions of president, vice president/print, vice president/broadcast, secretary and parliamentarian. College students vying for the opportunity to be the organization’s student representative will also participate.
“Picking new leadership is a very important task and NABJ members should not take it lightly,” said AABJ President Tenisha Bell. “Just think about the presidential race in this country, there are debates, forums, speeches and millions of dollars spent by the candidates to get your vote. Our NABJ candidates take their race just as serious. They could be the next leaders of this organization and it’s up to us to put the right people in place to lead us.”
Those who qualify and have been certified by the NABJ National Election Committee are allowed to run for an NABJ Board of Directors postition. The NABJ committee then announces the candidates.
So far, 15 candidates have confirmed their attendance for the forum. They are:
NABJ Presidential candidates Bob Butler and Sarah Glover
Vice President/Print candidates Errin Haines Whack and Denise Clay
Vice President/Broadcast candidates Lisa Cox and Dedrick Russell
Secretary candidates Corey Dade and Michael Feeney
Treasurer candidate Keith Reed
Parliamentary candidates Cindy George and Caleb Wilkerson
Student Representative candidates Alexis Rogers, Eric Burse, Ashleigh Atwell and Michelle Fitzhugh-Craig.
“Not everyone can make it to the convention so it is a great opportunity to see and hear the candidates vision,” said Butler. “There is going to be a robust discussion during the forum about what is happening in NABJ and who is going to do what.”
His opponent agreed about the importance of the forum.
“I’m sure the audience will consider all points of view and will have formed opinions and leave with knowing which candidates are the best to lead our great organization,” said Glover.
Former NABJ President, Herbert Lowe will be serving as this year’s moderator and members of the election committee will be in attendance.
The order of questions will start with candidates running for president and move down the line to vice president all the way to the students. Bell told the Daily World that each candidate would have equal time to answer each question.
“NABJ headquarters set forth very strict guidelines for the candidates forums and we follow those rules” said Bell. “By having this candidates forum we allow the candidates to make an impression upon the membership and convince us of why they deserve our vote. It allows our membership to ask them pertinent questions which will aide in their decision making process.”
For candidates who cannot make it to the forum, a Google Hangout has been set up that is accessible from across the U.S. and they will be able to answer questions from the moderator.
“They can expect honesty, to hear what the candidates have to say and give,” said Russell. “I’m pretty sure that they should be able to find out what the candidates have to offer to the position and the organization.”
Members that are unable to attend the forum can access a live stream of the event at YouTube.com/AABJOrg or TinyUrl.com/AABJGoogle.
Members in attendance are encouraged to live tweet the event using the hashtag #AABJforum and ask the candidates questions by tweeting AABJ’s official account @aabjorg.
WSB-TV is located at 1601 W. Peachtree St. NE. The forum begins at 11:30 a.m. and doors will close at noon.