A Night of Journalists: The CABJ Praises and Awards Journalists in All Mediums at 30th Annual Gala

A Night of Journalists: The CABJ Praises and Awards Journalists in All Mediums at 30th Annual Gala

Various African-American journalists were praised and honored at the Colorado Association of Black Journalists’ (CABJ) 30th Annual Scribes in Excellence Gala on Sept. 29 at the Denver Marriott City Center.

Kicking off the program with jokes and humor was CABJ communications board member Gellilla Gebre-Michael, who was the emcee for the evening.

CABJ President Gabrielle Bryant addressed the audience while providing encouraging words to the journalists in the room.

“This is such a trying time to be a journalist. Despite our best efforts, our ethics and our dignity are being questioned,” Bryant said. “The tragedies just don’t seem to end. But this is when we shine. This is when we get creative. This is when we persist.

“To the students – aspiring journalists, mid-level–and to the veterans, please continue to innovate,” Bryant added to the crowd’s roaring applause. “We’re trend-setters and really, the true history book writers.”

As part of the program, Gregory Moore, former editor of Denver Post, Cleveland Plain Dealer and Boston Globe newspapers; Gloria Neal, the CEO of GloKnows Unlimited LLC, a multimedia management company that specializes in strategic media training and advocacy journalism; and Tim Wieland, the news director for CBS 4 Denver took the stage to discuss journalism under attack.

As the moderator, Neal asked Moore and Wieland various questions about journalism trends under attack. And with no surprise, President Trump came up a few times in this discussion.

“The way I describe Trump is, if you’ve ever been in a book club and somebody didn’t read the book but they do all the talking. That’s what Trump is like,” Moore said, which gained laughs from the audience. “I say to the journalist, pay attention to the book. Stay focused on the book. And I think the best journalism is focused on the book, focused on the facts, focused on what matters.”

“We’re a deeply antagonized group. We’re very proud of the work that we do. We’re very defensive of it. So when we are under attack we go down that rabbit hole of wanting to defend ourselves,” Wieland said. “So we do take our eye off the ball. We do focus on the salad, and not the meat and potatoes, because it’s so easy for us to do.”

“There have been presidents like John Adams and others who didn’t like the press. We had the Alien and Sedition Act where editors and publishers were put in jail for saying things the politicians didn’t like,” Moore said. “This is not new. Here we are 200 years later, and we’ll survive this too.”

Asia Black, a sophomore at the University of Colorado–Denver studying Communications, received the $1,000 2017 CABJ Journalism Scholarship. The scholarship is also in partnership with DJ Ktone’s Communication Grant.

“As a young woman who had lost her way, I’m really glad that I have the support of so many people. CABJ and DJ Ktone, thank you so much,” Black humbly said to the crowd. “I really appreciate this because it’s going to help me to pursue my dreams and to live up to what I promised to myself, to my family, to my friends and to my colleagues to finish college, and be part of such a huge organization that does so much in the lives of people every single day.”

The Scribes in Excellence (SIE) Awards were given to deserving individuals in the various mediums of journalism. The Denver Urban Spectrum picked up numerous awards. Graphic designer Jody Gilbert won a SIE Award for News Print-Art Design for the DUS February 2017 Celebrating Black History cover. Managing editor Laurence Washington’s 2016 “African-American Women Inspire and Dominate the Summer Olympics” scored an award for News Print-Sports. Contributor Allan Tellis won the News Print-Feature for his article, “Tommy Davidson: Flying Fearless and Using Laughter to Shape Perceptions.” The News Print-Overall Excellence Award went to Melovy Melvin for her article, “Challenging Choice for First Time Millennial Voters.”

The News Print in a Series Award went to contributor Theo E.J. Wilson for his stories, “Police Murder Expose Need for Nationhood ASAP!” “Integration May End with Obama,” “White Conservatives Deserve Trump,” and “Steve Bannon and the Dangerous Myth of White Genocide.” 

And for News Print-Specialty, publisher Rosalind “Bee” Harris won for the Spectrum’s January 2017’s “Reflections On a Legacy: Barack Hussein Obama, 44th President of the United States.” Other DUS contributors, Tanya Ishikawa and Charles Emmons and Laura Bond received Certificates of Nominations for several diverse articles.

The 2017 Print Journalist of the Year Award went to DUS contributor Allan Tellis.

“We have to help inform and empower the people or things will never change,” Tellis said to the audience. “I’m a freelancer, so I appreciate everyone that gives me an opportunity. I’m a young Black man. I’m 24. We don’t get heard from too often, especially about things that matter.”