NABJ snares Shirley Sherrod as convention speaker


Newsmaker Shirley Sherrod is set to appear before thousands of journalists on Thursday, July 29 at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Annual Convention in San Diego.

Sherrod has made headlines over the past two weeks for her forced resignation from the U.S. Department of Agriculture after conservative blogger Andrew Breitbart posted video excerpts of Sherrod’s address at a March 2010 NAACP event on his website.

The NAACP initially condemned her remarks and U.S. government officials called on her to resign. Upon review of the unedited video in context, the NAACP, White House officials, and Tom Vilsack, the US Secretary of Agriculture, apologized soon after and Sherrod was offered a new position. Sherrod has not yet decided if she will accept the job offer.

NABJ says Sherrod will have a candid conversation with a panel of journalists during a newsmaker plenary, “Context and Consequences: A Conversation with Shirley Sherrod.” The discussion will focus on the reporting and coverage of this incident and the role that race still plays in a runaway media culture.

By the way, NABJ also extended Breitbart an invitation to this session. He initially accepted, the organization said, but later declined.

RBR-TVBR observation: Are we the only ones who think Shirley Sherrod has the poise and personality to be a TV commentator? She certainly came out of this controversy as the participant viewed with sympathy by the public.