The Rochester Association of
Black Journalists

The Rochester Association of Black Journalists is a chapter of
the National Association of Black Journalists that covers the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.
The organization works to groom future journalists of color, help chapter members thrive in their current roles, and advocate for African-Americans to be depicted in a fair and balanced way in the media.

Before RABJ, there was
the Rochester Black Media Association (RBMA)

Some of the RBMA members included Anita Sims Johnson, Ron Thomas, George Anderson, James and Carolyne Scott Blount, Barbara Rogers Dennis, Wyoma Best (who RABJ now offers a scholarship honoring her) and Rochelle Brown. 
  1. Managing Director
    Rochester, New York played host to a NABJ regional conference in spring 1988.
  2. Managing Director
    Here is a ticket from one of RABC's gala events.
  3. Managing Director
    One of RABC's signature events, when it existed, was an annual gala.
  4. Managing Director
    Richard Prince, a former D&C reporter, was a member of RABC.
  5. Managing Director
    A group of former members of RABC pose for a picture at the NABJ convention in 2016.
The Rochester Black Media Association

The organization founded in 1982 then disbanded and later became RABJ

Decades before the Rochester Association of Black Journalists (RABJ) came into being, there was the Rochester Black Media Association. 

The organization's members included reporters from both the then-Rochester Times Union afternoon newspaper and the Democrat & Chronicle morning newspaper. It also included black journalists who worked for the local television stations associated with the major networks.


RBMA put on black film festivals at the George Eastman House, including a "She's Gotta Have It" event in 1986 at the Little Theater, the NABJ regional conference in 1988, and annual scholarship dinners.

RBMA was part of the annual UNCF telethon. Members sponsored a talk with Howard Simons, former managing editor of the Washington Post and then Nieman Foundation curator, along with Writers and Books. 



It was a time that black-Jewish relations were in the news, and so it made sense for our black organization to pair with a Jewish author who collected Jewish first-person stories.

RBMA was also successful in making WHAM change its policy when identifying suspects of crimes as black when the relevancy of the suspect's race was not apparent.