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Title:Diagnosis NABJ: a preliminary study of a post-civil rights organization
Author(s):Crittenden, Letrell
Director of Research:Nerone, John
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Nerone, John
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Berry, William E.; Benson, Christopher; Lang, Clarence E.
Department / Program:Inst of Communications Rsch
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
African Americans
African American History
National Association of Black Journalists
Abstract:This critical study interrogates the history of the National Association of Black Journalists, the nation’s oldest and largest advocacy organization for reporters of color. Founded in 1975, NABJ represents the quintessential post-Civil Rights organization, in that it was established following the end of the struggle for freedom rights. This piece argues that NABJ, like many other advocacy organizations, has succumbed to incorporation. Once a fierce critic of institutional racism inside and outside the newsroom, NABJ has slowly narrowed its advocacy focus to the issue of newsroom diversity. In doing so, NABJ has rendered itself useless to the larger black public sphere, serving only the needs of middle-class African Americans seeking jobs within the mainstream press. Moreover, as the organization has aged, NABJ has taken an increasing amount of money from the very news organizations it seeks to critique. Additionally, this study introduces a specific method of inquiry known as diagnostic journalism. Inspired in part by the television show, House MD, diagnostic journalism emphasizes historiography, participant observation and autoethnography in lieu of interviewing. This approach is taken, as a means of maintaining distance from the influence of various stakeholders within the early stages of research. Diagnostic journalism, as this study argues, represents an ideal preliminary method of inquiry, as it allows the researcher to gather expertise on a topic prior to the critical interviewing stage.
Issue Date:2015-01-21
Rights Information:Copyright 2014 Letrell Crittenden
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-01-21
Date Deposited:2014-12

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