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Black Journalists Group Issues Relief Checks to Members Affected by Hurricane Katrina

Black Journalists Group Issues Relief Checks to Members Affected by Hurricane Katrina

The National Association of Black Journalists has begun issuing financial grants to NABJ members directly affected by Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.

Six NABJ members — five from New Orleans and one from neighboring Metairie, La., — have each received checks for $500 from NABJ’s Katrina Relief Fund, established in September to help journalists and students affected by the disaster. The members include a working journalist and five college students.

“We had members who Katrina knocked down,” says NABJ president Bryan Monroe, assistant vice president/news at Knight Ridder. “I’m glad we are able to begin to help them back on their feet.”

NABJ has raised nearly $19,000 to help members from the Gulf Coast region, including individual donations from members and contributions from other journalism associations.

A committee of board members and industry leaders are screening applications. Monroe adds that months after the tragedy there are still those who may be in need. A second round of grants will be awarded by the end of January 2006.

“We’ll have students just returning to their campuses, and who are only now discovering a need,” he says. “We’ll have journalists who are just now realizing their readers and viewers may not be coming back any time soon. Will they be able to keep their jobs at the newspapers or TV stations?”

NABJ has also established the NABJ Gulf Coast Fellowship to provide professional development opportunities for its members to tell the stories of Black people affected by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

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