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April 15, 2023

NABJ Arts & Entertainment Media Institute

April 15, 2023

“Our Culture. Our Responsibility.”

Loyola Marymount University

1 Loyola Marymount University Dr, Los Angeles, CA 90045



The inaugural NABJ Arts & Entertainment Media Institute is a full day of training and networking for students, journalists and communicators who work or want to work in the arts, culture and entertainment space. Registration is available onsite!

  • Experts and industry insiders will equip attendees with the tools and tips necessary to successfully chart their career course. 

  • Participate in real-world, real-time discussions about the state and future of our industry.

  • Join us in LA for hands-on workshops and sessions designed to help enhance your network, professional skills and portfolio. 

Star Purple Icon Astronomical - Free vector graphic on PixabayREGISTRATION INFORMATION

Registration Rates

(Total includes a $3.00 administrative fee)

– Early Bird by April 10, 2023 (before Midnight ET)

  • Professional Member (Professional/Emerging Professional/Alumni/Academic/Media Related Members) – $40

  • Student Member – $20

  • Nonmember – $50

  • Student Nonmember – $25

Onsite Registration is available in-person on April 15, 2023
*No Cash Accepted • Debit or Credit Cards Only

  • Professional Member (Professional/Emerging Professional/Alumni/Academic/Media Related Members) – $50

  • Student Member – $25

  • Nonmember – $60

  • Student Nonmember – $30

Contact Information:


Star Purple Icon Astronomical - Free vector graphic on PixabayHOTEL INFORMATION

Hotel name: Hilton Los Angeles Culver City

Hotel address: 6161 West Centinela Avenue, Culver City, California, 90230

Book online: Click here for National Association of Black Journalists pricing.

Book by phone: 833-797-0443 (Please refer to “National Assn. of Black Journalists” when making reservations by phone)

Check-in/Check-out: April 14 – April 16

Discounted rates: $179 plus tax for a king bed

Reservation deadline: Friday, March 31.

Featured Amenities:

  • Complimentary WIFI in all guest rooms and Lobby

  • Overnight valet parking of $37 per night

NOTICE: At check-in, the credit card provided to the Front Desk Agent will be authorized for room tax and incidentals. The amount for incidentals is $75 per night. The authorization is a hold on the credit card and not an actual charge. Upon check out, the final amount charged onto the credit card would be what was spent during the stay. Any remaining funds would be released back to the credit card.

Star Purple Icon Astronomical - Free vector graphic on PixabaySCHEDULE

8:30 AM | University Hall Lobby | Registration & Badge Pick-up

9:00 AM – 10:10 AM | Opening Keynote: In Conversation with Nekesa Mumbi Moody

Room: UHall 1000 – Ahmanson Auditorium

Nekesa Mumbi Moody is Editorial Director of The Hollywood Reporter. In our opening keynote conversation, she’ll reflect on her more than two decades as a journalist, discussing taking on the THR role during the pandemic, and share her publication’s approach to covering the business of Hollywood, its personalities and its culture. 

  • Tre’vell Anderson, Journalist, Authoress, Podcaster & NABJ Region IV Director (Emcee)

  • Dorothy Tucker, NABJ President & Investigative Reporter, WBBM-TV (Remarks)

  • jarrett hill, Founder, trblmkng. & NABJLA President (Moderator) 

  • Nekesa Mumbi Moody, Editorial Director, The Hollywood Reporter (Panelist)


10:10 AM – 11:25 AM | Mastering the Red Carpet

Room: UHall 1218

Mastering The Red Carpet will cover a range of topics including standard red carpet protocol versus red carpet faux pas. The session will offer tips on how to prepare for, execute, and get the most out of fast-paced interviews. It will also cover the importance of improvisation, maintaining relationships, and letting your personality shine.

  •  Shar Jossell, Journalist and Media Personality (Presenter)

10:10 AM – 11:25 AM | The Art of Music Reporting

Room: UHall 1222

The democratization of music reporting in the social media era has made it tougher for new voices to rise. Veteran journalist and critic Gerrick Kennedy will show you how to stand out in an ever-crowded landscape in a workshop covering pitching, sourcing, interviewing, feature writing, and criticism.

  •  Gerrick Kennedy, Journalist and Author (Presenter)

10:10 AM – 11:25 AM | Breaking Into Entertainment PR

Room: UHall 1226

It’s not always clear how someone gets into public relations in Hollywood, or how a journalist might go about making the transition. In this session, learn from two of the industry’s most prolific communications professionals about what it takes to do entertainment PR, how to break in, and how to succeed.

  • Joseph Williams, Director of Domestic Publicity, Starz

  • Brittany Rodgers, Multicultural PR & Communications Director, Warner Bros. TV


11:35 AM – 12:50 PM | Mock Celebrity Interviews

Room: UHall 1402

In this interactive session, attendees will have the chance to conduct mock interviews with working actors and entertainers and receive real-time feedback to improve their skills. 

  • Venton Blandin, Reporter, ABC15 & NABJ A&E Task Force Chair (Facilitator)

  • Iona Morris Jackson, Theater and Television Director

  • Richard Lawson, Actor

11:35 AM – 12:50 PM | The Future of Journalism Education

Room: UHall 1401

In this panel, students and professors discuss how to teach journalism effectively in higher education and elsewhere to shape the next generation of Black journalists and equity-focused news, communications and media professionals.

  • Dr. Libby Lewis, Founding Chair, NABJ Academic Taskforce (Moderator)

  • Dr. Lisa Pecot-Hebert, Director, USC’s Graduate Journalism M.S. Program (Panelist)

  • Pilar Lee, NABJ-USC President (Panelist)

  • Christopher Darren Cathcart, Professor, Cal State Northridge (Panelist)               

  • Solomon O. Smith, Student-Journalist, Cal State Northridge & Co-chair, SPJ Freelance Community (Panelist)

11:35 AM – 12:50 PM | The Real Real About Film Criticism | Powered by Hollywood Foreign Press Association

Room: UHall 1226

Everyone has opinions about the movies they watch. But having an “opinion” alone does not make a film critic. In this session, learn some of the skills needed to elevate your commentary on movies to criticism of films that will be useful to both audiences and creators.

  • Tim Cogshell, Film Critic (Presenter)

12:30 – 1:30 PM | Lunch at Roski Dining Hall



1:40 PM – 2:55 PM | Mock Celebrity Interviews

Room: UHall 1402

In this interactive session, attendees will have the chance to conduct mock interviews with working actors and entertainers and receive real-time feedback to improve their skills. 

  • Venton Blandin, ABC15, NABJ A&E Task Force Chair (Facilitator)

  • Kenny Gravillis, Co-owner + Creative Director, GRAVILLIS INC. 

  • Thea Camara, Actress

  • Patricia Rae, Actress 

1:40 PM – 2:55 PM | Investigating the Culture

Room: UHall 1218

Danielle Bacher, a contributing writer for various publications from Playboy to Rolling Stone, will discuss her background in entertainment reporting, how she got into investigations and best practices for interested journalists who want to do more in entertainment journalism.

  •  Danielle Bacher, Journalist & Editor (Presenter)

1:40 PM – 2:55 PM | From Screenplay to Screenings

Room: UHall 1222

A conversation about the ups and downs of breaking into Hollywood. We touch on the rejections, the delays, the financial burdens, and the networking and politics it takes to get your work out to the world. Filmmaker Addison Henderson went from the Marvel world to independents and will speak about the journey and all the stops in between.

  • Madison Carter, Investigative Journalist & NABJ Board Secretary (Moderator)

  • Addison Henderson, Filmmaker

1:40 PM – 2:55 PM | Making It Work: Managing the Publicist-Journalist Relationship   

Room: UHall 1226

In entertainment, relationships are everything. In this panel, communications professionals and journalists discuss their tips and tricks to developing mutually beneficial professional connections.

  • Ray Love Jr., Communications Professional & NABJLA Board Member (Moderator)

  • Van Crawford, Director of Multicultural Publicity & Marketing, Allied Global Marketing (Panelist)

  • Sharon Liggins, SVP, Head of Communications, FIFTH SEASON (Panelist)

  • Daric L. Cottingham, Entertainment Journalist (Panelist)

  • Randall Skelton, Associate Director, Publicity at Epic Records (Panelist)

3:05 PM – 4 PM | Roundtable: Getting Us Access 

Room: UHall 1000 – Ahmanson Auditorium 

Black media continues to get the short end of the stick regarding access to Hollywood talent, red carpet placements, and other press opportunities. But this conversation isn’t new. In this roundtable, PR professionals and Black journalists discuss this pivotal issue with an eye toward solutions.

  • Kathia Woods, Film Critic, Co-chair of NABJ’s A&E Task Force (Moderator)

  • Valerie Complex, Associate Editor and Film Writer, Deadline (Panelist)

  • Jasmine Simpkins, Reporter and Correspondent, KTLA/HipHollywood (Panelist)

  • Kelly Bush Novak, Founder and CEO, ID (Panelist)

  • Hilda Somarriba, VP of Entertainment, 42West (Panelist)

4 – 5 PM | Closing Keynote: In Conversation with Danyel Smith and Elliott Wilson

Room: UHall 1000 – Ahmanson Auditorium

Danyel Smith and Elliott Wilson have each had storied careers as music journalists and editors at some of the culture’s most prized outlets, from Vibe and Billboard to XXL. In this fireside chat, moderated by media personality and MTV host Ryan Mitchell, the wife-husband duo will reflect on their journeys and the current state of arts and culture journalism and media production.

  • Ryan Mitchell, Music & Culture Commentator, MTV (Moderator)

  • Danyel Smith, Music journalist and Author, “Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop” (Panelist)

  • Elliott Wilson, Chief Content Officer at TIDAL and Co-host of The Rap Radar Podcast (Panelist)

5 – 6:30 PM | Mixer at Roski Dining Hall

Unwind from a full day of professional development with light bites and adult beverages. Danyel Smith will be selling and signing copies of her book, Shine Bright: A Very Personal History of Black Women in Pop.