|Broadcast correspondent Byron Pitts speaking at Region III NABJ conference
in Charlotte, NC, on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University
The National Association of Black Journalists — the largest organization of journalists of color — has annual conventions in big cities, sometimes so big and so expensive that many of our members are not able to attend, That’s why the regional conference in Nashville on March 9 was a welcome event to many journalists and students who don’t normally have access to their veteran and successful peers.
Yours truly was honored to participate on a panel of top newsroom leaders for participants who have an interest in building their careers toward management ranks.
The highlight of the day’s event was the keynote address by broadcast veteran Byron Pitts, who is leaving CBS News after many years and heading to a new position at ABC News. Pitts, a self-described “mama’s boy,” said he had to overcome stuttering and being less than a top student in his journey to network news.
Pitts challenged the group of about150 attendees at the NABJ event to dare to dream, just as he did as a young kid growing up in the rough East Baltimore, yet he dared to dream that he would someday be a correspondent for the CBS show “60 Minutes.”
Here is some of the audience reaction, per tweets during the event (#nabjr3conf):
@nabjprez2010: If your dream is only about you, then it’s not big enough. @byronpitts quoting Deion Sanders @nabjr3conf
@NABJDigital: RT @skyphoto: .@byronpitts tells #NABJ: “Dream new dreams!” #NABJR3conf
@drsyb: We must do what we have to do to be successful. Young people need us to pour blessings into them. @ByronPitts #NABJR3CONF
@drsyb: The most valuable real estate today ends in “.com.”. Encourage people to create their opportunities. @ByronPitts #nabjr3conf
@NABJDigital: RT @TenishaCNN: “I’ll leave you w/ my momma always told me, ‘Don’t tell me God ain’t good” -@byronpitts #nabjr3conf
(Thanks to Kathy Times, former NABJ president,for photo of Pitts above.)