On Tuesday, October 13, 2020, The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) chapter of Alcorn State University (ASU) hosted a virtual Lunch and Learn with news anchor and current Region III Director for the NABJ, Rod Carter, as the guest speaker.
Carter was born and raised in Tallahassee, Florida. He graduated from Florida A&M University (FAMU) in 1990 with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. He is currently a news anchor and a general assignment reporter for Channel 8 News in Tampa Bay, Florida. He is an active member in his community which includes mentoring and teaching students at FAMU in a journalism course every year, and holding a 2nd Vice President position for the Sigma Xi Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. In addition to News Channel 8 in Tampa, Carter has held job titles at other news stations including WVTM 13 in Birmingham, Alabama, WAGT 26 in Augusta, Georgia, WTXL 27 in Tallahassee, Florida, and WCJB 20 in Gainesville, Florida.
During the Lunch and Learn, Carter discussed with the students the expectations of being in the NABJ, along with his affiliations outside of being the Region III Director. He became Regional Director in August 2019 which included Mississippi and several other states throughout the Southeast. Because of COVID-19, the past year’s national convention for the NABJ was held virtually with 3,700 participants and Carter expressed the importance of attending the conventions so that students can meet other individuals, network, and enjoy the atmosphere.
He conveyed that the regional conferences occur every Spring, but instead of each region hosting the conferences separately, this year it will be hosted jointly and virtually on November 21st for a full day. “The regional conferences, in my opinion, are one of the better untapped resources for students because they’re a lot smaller and you have an opportunity to meet one-on-one with people who are in the business and working in television. Overall, students can get more of an idea on a personal level of what they desire to do in their career fields,” Carter stated.
As a gesture of good faith Carter offered to waive Alcorn’s NABJ member’s fees and take care of their registration information for the organization. His passion for the organization and motivation for the students to join was an obvious factor throughout the Lunch and Learn.
He mentioned other upcoming events held by the NABJ including “The Salute to Excellence Awards” on December 12th which is an awards program where student journalists are recognized for their work. Carter also revealed that the next national convention for the organization would take place virtually and in person in Houston, Texas next Summer, if COVID-19 permits.