Remember when you were a child and you used to tune into The Magic School Bus around 4pm after you got home from school? Remember how you used to wish school was really that exciting? Spontaneous trips to “forbidden” lands and exclusive access to special knowledge–would’ve been nice, huh? Well welcome to the life of NABJ-SU members.
On Friday August 10, NABJ-SU celebrated 10 years with the kick-off of the first annual Summer Series. The Summer Series was an exploration of media-related career fields and interviews with black professionals. The event was headed by NABJ-SU Co-founder Zandile Blay. Zandile has worked at Essence Magazine, Paper Magazine, and Seventeen Magazine. She is currently a Style and Culture Columnist at the Huffington Post and the founder of Africa Style Daily. What better way to celebrate 10 years than to have the pleasure having your founder celebrate with you!
The first stop on the 2012 Summer Series adventure was the office of the New York Daily News. Members received a tour of the newsroom from Michael J. Feeney, New York Association of Black Journalist President and NY Daily News reporter. The tour concluded with a candid conversation with NY Daily News Managing Editor Robert Moore. Moore is the first Black Managing Editor at the paper and also happens to be a Syracuse Alumnus. After telling students all about his life as a managing editor, Moore opened up the floor to students where they were able to ask questions of their own as well as advice.
The next stop for the series was meeting up with Rahman Ali Bugg. Bugg, a television producer, majored in Television-Radio-Film and graduated from Syracuse in 1996. Bugg has produced MTV shows All Eyes On: Nas & Jay Z, Run’s House and the Hiphop Honors. In an intimate conversation he gave good insight on working in media as a freelancer. He prefers the term “solo artist” though. He told students about his experience as a novice in the industry to finally becoming an executive producer and starting his own production company, Popstar Media. He continues to work as the CEO of Popstar as well as a freelance producer for Viacom.
The last stop for the bunch was Essence Magazine. After spending the entire day traveling around Manhattan everyone was exhausted, but that energy was regained when they walked into a conference room with comedian Kevin Hart entertaining the Essence staff. After meeting Mr. Hart members toured the Essence office. They were granted access to both sides of the publication: Digital/Online and Publication. The office dynamics was a favorite of many members because of its vibe. Fun yet professional and fashionable yet relaxed. What a mix right!
Summer series 2012 was the genesis of many great experiences with black media professionals to come. Members gained a lot from the professionals they encountered during the series and were grateful for the opportunity to network and have candid discussions with media professionals. Not to mention the pleasant surprise of meeting Kevin Hart.
A special thank you to Zandile Blay for organizing a great event with amazing companies and professionals. The members of NABJ-SU are thankful to have a mentor and leader to look up to like Zandile. A Winter series is in the works and has gotten members excited about whats to come next for the event. Questions like, “Where are we visiting?” and “Who are we meeting?”. They’ll just have to wait and see!
Written by Candice Frank
Photos by taken Kelvin Sherman