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April 1, 2023

2023 NABJ Region IV Conference

April 1, 2023

“We Are Rising: Changing the Climate for Black Journalists”

Arizona State University

Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

Phoenix, AZ



View & Share the Digital Program Book HERE.

Photo credit: Arizona State University

For the first time in over a decade, the NABJ Region IV Conference is back! Register on site!

Catering to Black professional and aspiring journalists, and comms pros, this conference is a day-long gathering focused on training and skills-building aimed at equipping attendees with the tools necessary to elevate their craft, career and network.

  • NABJ family from Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming will unite to build upon our legacy of:

    • Diversifying newsrooms

    • Holding news media accountable for its coverage of Black communities and Black issues

    • Supporting generations of Black journalists across the globe through innovative training


Registration Rates

Online registration is closed! Register in-person on April 1, 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


  • Hotel: Hampton Inn and Suites Phoenix Downtown

  • Address: 77 E Polk St Phoenix, Arizona, 85004

  • Discounted Rates: Starting at $205 plus tax

  • Booking: Click HERE to book rooms at the ASU discount rate.

  • Featured Amenities:

    • Free Wi-Fi

    • Hot breakfast

    • Valet parking – $41.00/night

NOTICE: There is a Credit Card required for this reservation. If you use a debit/credit card to check in, a hold may be placed on your card account for the full anticipated amount to be owed to the hotel, including estimated incidentals, through your date of check-out and such hold may not be released for 72 hours from the date of check-out or longer at the discretion of your card issuer.


All sessions will be held in the Auditorium.

View & Share the Digital Program Book HERE.

8:30 AM

Registration & Check-in

9:00 AM – 10:00 AM

Opening Ceremony

Join us as we kick off the conference and host a special fireside chat.

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

  • Greg Moore, Columnist & Editorial Board Member, The Arizona Republic, NABJ-Arizona President 

  • Dr. Battinto L. Batts Jr., Dean, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication

  • Michael Lewis, Senior Vice President and General Manager, FOX 10


10:00 AM – 11:00 AM

We Need to Talk: Journalists and Mental Burnout

Many journalists face mental health issues such as stress, anxiety, depression, sleep and eating disorders, or burnout on a regular basis. The media industry has been hit hard by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, testing the limits of employees’ mental health and the ability of editors and unions to help those who are struggling. This session will engage attendees in a necessary conversation about how to keep our minds healthy while covering often difficult news issues.

  • Charity Bailey, Veteran Journalist and Media Personality

  • Ashlea Barber, Licensed Therapist, Favor & Grace Under Fire PLLC


11:00 AM – NOON

Cashing In: How to Spread Your Freelance Wings and Increase Your Funds

Were you furloughed, laid off, or are you just looking to earn some supplemental income in the media industry’s ever-changing landscape? Learn how to increase your cash flow from experienced journalists who have successfully tapped into the freelance market.

  • Keith Jenkins, Award-winning Multimedia Journalist (Moderator)

  • Tre’vell Anderson, Journalist, Authoress, Podcaster and NABJ Region IV Director (Panelist)

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

  • Delarita C. Ford, Journalist and Communications Coordinator (Panelist)


NOON – 12:45 PM

Lunch on Your Own (Local dining info will be shared with attendees)



1:00 PM – 2:00 PM

Universal Principles of Storytelling

Storytelling is like cooking. It’s easy to do, but hard to do well. And there are many different paths to creating something amazing. Some storytellers have fancy degrees, but they churn out boring, impenetrable collections of words that are interesting only to the person who wrote them. Some storytellers drop out of school, teach themselves the art of storytelling and share experiences that others couldn’t imagine; but unless they master some key basics, their audience and impact are severely limited. Regardless of the path, there are a few skills that contribute to a solid foundation for communicators of all sorts, and Greg Moore is here to teach us a few of them.

  • Greg Moore, Columnist & Editorial Board Member, The Arizona Republic, NABJ-Arizona President (Presenter)


2:00 PM – 3:00 PM

The Rise of Independent News: Getting at the 5Ws and the H

What does it really mean to be an independent news organization, and – more particularly – a Black independent news organization? During this session, we will re-imagine independent and local news for 2023, discover best practices on dealing with challenges, and gain inspiration on how to thrive in telling stories that matter.

  • Leah Marché, Managing Editor, Arizona Informant and AZABJ Vice President (Moderator)

  • Brian Watson, Actor, Poet and Filmmaker, Black River Life Media (Panelist)

  • Collette Watson, Musician and Creative Director, Black River Life Media (Panelist)

  • Danielle Williams, Owner, Diva Strong Media and Freelance Writer, Arizona Informant Newspaper (Panelist)

  • Kaja Brown, Executive Director/President, Desert Soul Media and General Manager, KRDP Community Radio (Panelist)

  • Akoto Ofori-Atta, Co-founder and Chief Audience Officer, Capital B (Panelist)


3:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Closing Keynote Conversation: ChatGPT: Let’s Talk About It

Generative AI is here. Artificial intelligence is changing the journalism industry. Whether it’s good or bad depends on the programmer and your perspective. It is a tool that can, however, be useful. Join Retha Hill, Executive Director of the Innovation Lab at the Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and Dr. Syb Brown, Professor of Journalism at Belmont University in Nashville, as they discuss how journalists can leverage this new technology.

  • Dr. Syb Brown, Professor of Journalism, Belmont University and NABJ Board Academic Rep. (Moderator)

  • Retha Hill, Executive Director of the Innovation Lab, Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication