UNITY Conference & CNJO meet in DC

"UNITY is really about collaboration," said UNITY President Ernest Sotomayor as he addressed those gathered at the Council of National Journalism Organizations. Over 40 people, the biggest attendance ever for a CNJO meeting, gathered at the Washington Convention Center for their annual summer meeting, coinciding with the UNITY conference (www.unityjournalists.org).

[Unity: Peter Weitzel, of the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government, speaks to CNJO at UNITY at the Washington Convention Center in Washington. At left is Ted Gest of the Criminal Justice Journalists, and at right is Eric Hegedus of the National Lesbian and Gay Hournalists Association. Photograph by Linda D. Epstein/KRT]

More than 7,000 people had registered for UNITY by Monday night. UNITY is an alliance of AAJA, the Asian American Journalists Association; NABJ, the National Association of Black Journalists; NAHJ, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists; and NAJA, the Native American Journalists Association. While each group meets individually each year, the four groups hold a joint conference every five years to bring minority journalism organizations together in one event.

Representatives of various journalism organizations such as the Society of News Design, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma, American Copy Editors Society, Associated Press Photo Managers, and the Society of Professional Journalists attended CNJO.

[Unity: Hai Do (right), AME/Photo at The Journal News in White Plains, NY, and representing the Associated Press Photo Managers, speaks with Mark Mittelstadt of the Associated Press Managing Editors, at CNJO and UNITY at the Washington Convention Center. Photograph by Linda D. Epstein/KRT.]

Pete Weitzel, of the Coalition of Journalists for Open Government addressed the organization and asked that all the organizations coordinate their efforts to be more effective in getting information from the government. "We need to fight restrictions on information," Weitzel said.

Several training issues were brought to the attention of the organization including Poynter's training survey and Journalismtraining.org.

-- Linda Epstein, NPPA Region 3 director