The Atlanta Association of Black Journalists Student Consortium (AABJSC) offered a sliver platter of events made for students to dive into the week of Feb. 20 – 24. The student chapter made sure to cater to students in all different fields of journalism in their first-ever week long lineup of events, hosted on Georgia State University’s campus.
AABJSC Week featured a different topic each day, which allowed students to attend events that pertained to their field or attend all week for a variety of information.
“During that week it was good that we had multiple dates because if someone maybe missed one event, they could get to something [else],” said Alexandra Amanambu, President of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists Student Consortium. “And we did try to reach out and do other things beside just print; we had the PR seminar and the social media because today in journalism, the field is becoming so broad that you can’t just be a writer. You have to know how to do many other things and be multi-talented. We wanted to give people a variety in terms of our programming.”
AABJSC Week began with a topic that could make or break a journalists’ career – the do’s and don’ts of social media. In light of the recent Roland Martin controversy, a discussion was hosted by AABJSC on how to keep from landing in “#TwitterJail.”
“I explained how Twitter could be used to a journalists’ benefit,” said Ashleigh Atwell, Public Relations Co-Chair of the Atlanta Association of Black Journalists Student Consortium.
The next event, titled “Black Love in the Media,” featured a panel discussion analyzing the way in which African-Americans are represented in the media.
According to Amanambu, this discussion primarily focused on how African-American journalists felt about the representation, or lack thereof, in the media in regards to African-Americans in relationships and how the media could better portray African-American love more accurately from Black writers.
The public relations seminar on Wednesday was hosted by Jennifer Jiles, marketing communications manager at Clark Atlanta University, and part-time communications instructor at Georgia State. Jiles went over the basics of the public relations field and discussed her experience working in the field using several case studies she had done in the past.
“It basically gave the ins and outs of the PR industry, some of the terminology, networking tips, things like that,” said Atwell.
Notable figures in journalism came in to participate in Thursday’s event, the Networking Social, including Rashan Ali, Deidra Dukes and Tom Jones, amongst others.
“What we had hoped to do with that was to take the line between students and the professionals and draw them closer instead of them just being two completely separate entities,” said Atwell.
Due to some “glitches in the system,” according to Amanambu, the Friday event, which was a community service event, was cancelled. Despite the cancellation of the final event, , Amanambu went on to say that she felt that members accomplished their objective of getting the name of the student chapter out to the public in the first-ever AABJSC Week.
“One of our main goals was really just to promote AABJSC’s name. A lot of students don’t know that we exist and knowing that we exist that week allowed them the time and opportunity to invest in some of our programs and get people to join,” she said. “We really wanted students to know that they had an organization on campus that was there for them and their major.”
Published in the February Issue of the AABJ Byline: “AABJSC hosts first week of events,” pg. 2.