By Tracey Tate
Special to TheBlackHour.com
The Bay Area Black Journalists Association (BABJA) awarded Laney College student Reginald James the Chauncey Wendell Bailey Jr. Scholarship on Oct. 2. At the Seventh Annual Young Journalists Scholarship Gala, held at Scott's Seafood Restaurant in Jack London Square, James received a check for $2,500 for his work as a student journalist.
James, a former editor-in-chief of the Laney Tower, received his associates arts degree in Journalism from Laney this year and has been accepted to the University of California at Berkeley for the spring 2011 semester. He plans to study political science at Cal while continuing his personal journalistic endeavors.
In 2004 James, an Alameda resident, decided to pursue journalism when he realized that "the press didn't represent my community's voice."
Gentrification in West Alameda uprooted his family and hundreds of others. The controversial incident spurred James to pursue his educational path in journalism. It was then that James noticed that "they [the press] did not speak to me or for me."
While studying journalism at Laney, James has honed his news writing, newspaper design and photography skills. Excerpts from his body of work at the Tower, along with an essay answering the question "What will you do to impact your community as a journalist?" earned James the Bailey Scholarship.
Present at the awards ceremony which honored KCBS Radio Broadcaster Bob Butler, were legends in local media, including Belva Davis, Barbara Rogers and current KRON anchor Pam Moore. On being in the presence of such journalistic icons, James said, "As a young journalist, is was humbling to be honored by a group of black media professionals."
James' other media endeavors include his radio show--"The Black Hour," an educational blog, The Peralta Report and his role as a contributing editor to Oakland Local. He hopes to contribute to the Daily Californian when he continues his studies at Cal, as well as to the Black Student magazine, "Onyx Express."
A major milestone for James was writing for the San Francisco Bay View newspaper, and getting paid as a professional journalist. His future goals include building a hyper-local website for his community in west Alameda, called the "West End Times".
Photos: Top, Bay Area Black Journalists Association President Michelle Fitzburg-Craig, James receiving check from Belva Davis, James' mother and former California Voice Arts Editor Deborah James, BABJA Scholarship Chair Ellison Horne and Membership Chair Marcus Osbourne. Right, James gives acceptance speech. Photos by Z'ma Wyatt of Shades Magazine.
Tracey Tate has been the editor-in-chief of the Laney Tower newspaper since Fall 2009. She almost maintains the online magazine, BlingingBeauty.com. This article originally appeared in the Laney Tower newspaper.
Friday, October 15, 2010 The Black Hour