The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will host its southern regional conference in Atlanta at the Hilton Atlanta Hotel April 6-8. Hundreds of African-American journalists and students, representing 11 states, will convene in Atlanta the same weekend as the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.

“Atlanta is the perfect location for black journalists to meet, on such an historic anniversary,” says Ken Lemon, Region III Director. “We’ll look in the mirror to get an honest reflection of how far we’ve really come in these five decades and how much further we have to go,” he adds.

The conference, “Freedom of Press Under Fire: A Battle for the First Amendment”,” will examine how the press is targeted, often referred to, by the Trump administration, as “Fake News”. Sessions kick off Friday, April 6 with certified investigative training. Participants will earn Investigative Reporters and Editors (IRE) certification and a one-year membership to IRE.

CBS46’s main anchor Sharon Reed will explore the media response when hate is interjected into the news. Reed was called the “n-word” last December by a viewer; her response went viral. NBC Correspondent Blayne Alexander-Bailey will lead another highly anticipated discussion on ethics violations and “fake news” allegations.

“Our industry is under fire now more than ever,” says Lemon. “Everyday our constitutional right to shed light on the truth is challenged,” adds the WSOC-TV reporter.

A special focus will be on millennial journalists who will lead “Ted Talk” style sessions on lessons learned on breaking into the field, and finding success. “We must provide a solid foundation that trains young journalists to be successful in their craft,” says Nicole Smith, Senior Digital Features Editor at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“These journalists must be able to compete on a global level,” she adds. Programming also includes one-on-one sessions for emerging journalists, media entrepreneurship, sports and digital journalism and resume critiques. Participants will also earn special certification for Google Lab Training.

Region III conference, sponsored by Wells Fargo, Aid Healthcare Foundation, and Southern Company will attract media professionals representing all platforms. To register visit www.nabj.org. A special Hilton Atlanta Hotel reservation rate is available call 1-800-445-8667, reference “ABJ”.

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