In 1980, Valerie Shaw, a feature writer at the Los Angeles Times, had an idea. She invited to her home Clint Wilson, a journalism professor at the University of Southern California and Bill Lewis, a sound engineer at KNBC, to discuss starting an organization for black journalists. Soon, eighteen African Americans who worked for newspapers, radio and television stations in Southern California joined them, expressing common concerns.
A temporary steering committee took the lead in planning a local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. That committee included Austin Scott, a veteran reporter at the Times; Susan Kirvin Cox, a staff writer for the L.A. Daily News; Bill Wood, a writer/producer for KNX; Tony Cox, a reporter for KFWB-AM and others who were committed to improving opportunities for black journalists and the coverage of African Americans in Southern California.
The chapter was formed to meet four specific goals:
- To provide a means of association for black journalists in the Los Angeles area news media.
- To help provide employment opportunity information for minorities.
- To educate and train high school and college students pursuing a career in journalism.
- To work towards better news coverage of the black community.
The Black Journalists Association of Southern California meets on the Third Saturday of each month at 11:00 a.m. at the AFTRA Headquarters in the Mid-Wilshire district.
Dues are $50 for working journalists, $30 for associate members and $15 for student members.
5757 Wilshire Blvd. @ Curson
Los Angeles, CA 90036