I was attending the 30th Anniversary convention for the National Association of Black Journalists. This was my first attendance since becoming a member in June. All this while I had been cynical about the real purpose of NABJ, but after talking to a few others in the industry and my co-workers, I learnt about the benefits and opportunities that being a member of this historic organization can provide.
The highlight for me during this week long trip to Atlanta was eventually having a dream of mine come true; visiting the CNN Center, meeting the 'Faces of CNN', the executives and sitting in the control room during a LIVE broadcast of 'Your World Today'.. OMG...I had to pinch myself several times to make sure I was not dreaming. All of this would not have happened with out Femi Oke, who went above and beyond taking the extra mile to 'hook a sista up,' as well as Kyra Phillips.
Another intereseting thing that happened while i was sitting in the control room was seeing Jeff Koinange and Anderson Cooper do a report on the famine in Niger. Ironically, a similar image, with Christiane Amanpour reporting on the famine in Ethiopia and Somalia, 20 years ago was what made me decide that I wanted to not just be a journalist, but a 'foreign correspondent' for CNN. I am just so elated that I got the opportunity to just have a taste of the prize, and now, with a renewed passion, I will be focused on working towards winning that prize...THE JOB CONTRACT.
Below are a few of the people I met at NABJ... Ignore 'susie' my wig, she is about to take a needed vacation, she has really tried...
with Farai Chideya, former CNN reporter who rocked the braids (who said you need straight hair) Check her out on NPR and www.popandpolitics.com
with Tony Harris, CNN Anchor...as funny in person as he is on TV
with Femi Oke, CNN's 'singing' weather Anchor, an absolute doll and a pleasant person to be around. Help keep her ratings up by watching Inside Africa (check www.cnn.com for time), you can also catch her on CNN domestic on weekend mornings
with J.A Adande, sports writer LA Times and commentator on ESPN catch him on The Horn.
with Monique Conrad of BET Nightly News
with Noluthando Crockett-Ntonga, former White House correspondent for NPR (known a Phyllis Crockett then)
with Henry Mauldin, head of CNN's Talent Development and Carlos Watson...remeber him from all that crazy election coverage.
Met a host of others including Zain Verjee, Jim Clancy and some other CNN execs not pictured here, and a whole bunch of others in the industry that truly gave me encouraging feedback on my resume tape. I soooo had the best time...like OMG...words cannot express. I had this huge smile plastered on my face the entire time and when I got back to my friends house I just screamed on top of my voice. I am still recovering and trying to catch up on some rest.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... I AM THE BIGGEST CNN 'FANADDICT'. I DON'T KNOW ANYONE ELSE WHO IS EXCITED ABOUT CNN AND THE NEWS AS I AM...BUT IT'S HIGH TIME I STARTED GETTING PAID FOR IT.