STATEMENTS

Below are different issues and events that have occurred in our community and RABJ's statements in regards to these events!

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Martin_Luther_King,_Jr._and_Lyndon_Johns

RACIST WORDS USED TO DESCRIBE DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. 

STATMENT FROM RABJ:

The Rochester Association of Black Journalists condemns the clearly racist language used to describe Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial Park, last Friday on the News 10NBC 5:30 p.m. newscast. We reviewed a recording by a viewer of the broadcast in which the meteorologist used the term, “Martin Luther Coon King, Jr. Park” while referring to a photograph of the park in downtown Rochester, N.Y.

 

This is completely unacceptable and contrary to all standards of broadcasting.  

 

While we are aware that the station has issued an apology, we expect a complete explanation of what happened, who was responsible and why nothing was said immediately after the Friday broadcast. We also want to know what measures will be taken to prevent incidents like this from occurring in the future.

Image by Oladimeji Odunsi
Image by Sticker You

DETENTION OF TWO BLACK JOURNALISTS AT BLACK LIVES MATTER RALLY

STATMENT FROM RABJ:

The Rochester Association of Black Journalists (RABJ) champions the First Amendment and also advocates for diversity in news gathering and reporting.

 

Thus we were deeply disturbed when two African-American reporters at 13WHAM, Justin Carter and Carlet Cleare, were handcuffed and detained by police on July, 8, 2016, as they were reporting on a local Black Lives Matter protest. Our colleagues were there guaranteeing citizens' First Amendment right to get information on public affairs through a free press.

 

The arrest of our two colleagues could clearly be interpreted by many as indication of an implicit bias by police against African Americans, as several other non African-American journalists were neither arrested nor handcuffed nor detained and still allowed to continue carrying out their reporting activities.

 

This is a sad and unfortunate irony, as our two colleagues were precisely there, to cover reports of widespread implicit bias on the part of police. The fact that they were placed in handcuffs and detained nearly confirms and underscores such bias.

 

Both the mayor and Rochester Police Department have reached out to 13WHAM and Mr. Carter and Ms. Cleare to express their deepest apologies for their detention. The city has also said it regrets that officers had difficulty distinguishing between onlookers capturing images on Smartphones and journalists using these devices to report live on the demonstrations and police actions, which are activities protected by the First Amendment.

 

RABJ proposes another Community Conversation event in which members of the community, the police department, the Mayor’s office, city council and news media come together. This event would delve into ways police, the media and people of color can work together to de-escalate volatile situations like we saw a few days ago. We think an open and free discussion of community concerns would well serve everybody in the long run.

 

RABJ is an advocacy organization that represents people of color in the media. For more information go to www.rabjournalists.org

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Contact Information

Richard J. McCollough

President

Rochester Association of Black Journalists

(585) 442-3728

rmccollo@gmail.com

Image by Binit Sharma
Wyoma Best.jpg

THE PASSING OF WYOMA BEST

STATMENT FROM RABJ:

Wyoma Best, Rochester's first African-American woman television reporter, passed away Friday evening.

 

On behalf of the Rochester Association of Black Journalists we are sad to hear the news of one of our great mentors. Wyoma was a highly skilled broadcast journalist most will remember her on the air at News 10 NBC in the 1970s.

 

RABJ started the Wyoma Best Scholarship in 2005 to help aspiring High School students study journalism. Wyoma will be missed, but her legacy will endure.

A memorial service will be held on Saturday, September 2 at 10:00 a.m. at Genesee Baptist Church, 149 Brooks Avenue in Rochester. 

Contact Information

Richard J. McCollough

President

Rochester Association of Black Journalists

(585) 442-3728

rmccollo@gmail.com