MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The National Association of Black Journalists is in Minneapolis for the rest of the week.

It is the 40th annual gathering of the NABJ. The convention opens Wednesday night, with a main focus on mentoring student journalists.

Those students were working on a newscast Wednesday that will be shown during the evening’s ceremonies.

From still photography to TV production, all the disciplines of journalism are represented at the NABJ convention.

“We put on a daily newscast,” student journalist Ziris Savage said. “It’s fun and exciting and a lot of hard work.”

All the tools are state of the art. The equipment used to be rented, but now major companies have stepped up to help.

“Everything you see in there now has been loaned to us free of charge, so every year we get computers, we get microphones, we get the tripods, we get the software,” NABJ president Bob Butler said.

One of the things students learn is deadline pressure.

In their college media, most students work on a story for a couple days or a week, Butler said. But at NABJ, they’re doing daily deadlines, just like the real world.

The NABJ convention also features large meetings to discuss current affairs. On Friday, they will have a special guest.

“We’re going to be talking about the Boko Haram, the group in Nigeria that kidnapped a lot of girls last year or the year before,” Butler said. “One of those girls is going to be here to talk to us about that.”

The convention will also have sessions on racism in America.

A member of the NABJ broke the story of the police shooting in Ferguson, Missouri, that sparked protests and a national debate about law enforcement and race.

Amelia Santaniello

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