Race coverage in media needs to improve, panel says

October 24, 2014

Panelists Norma Holland, Dave McCleary, Cristina Domingues, Jim Lawrence and Chris Ford

About 60 people turned out for the Rochester Media Association’s most recent professional development event, The Color of Coverage, on Oct. 22 at St. John Fisher College.

The college, RMA, and the Rochester Association of Black Journalists jointly sponsored the event, which featured as panelists:

  • Cristina Domingues, Time Warner Cable News
  • Chris Ford, News10NBC
  • Norma Holland, 13WHAM News
  • James Lawrence, Democrat and Chronicle Media Group
  • Dave McCleary, The Minority Reporter

RMA board member Juan Vazquez of WXXI News was moderator.

The panelists took a critical look at issues of concern with regard to race and news coverage, including which stories are covered, how they are covered, mistrust of major media by people of color, and the lack of diversity within newsrooms. Much work needs to be done in all of those areas, panelists said throughout the night.

As could be expected in a room full of journalists and journalism students, the event received extensive coverage on Twitter. This archive of tweets (via @storify) comprises a fairly thorough look at the evening’s discussion.

Links from the event

Updated 1 p.m. Sunday Oct. 26 to add these links

During the event, moderator Vazquez noted two recent, high-profile illustrations of some of the issues surrounding race and news coverage, and noted that links to more information about both would be made available here on the web after. These are:

Media Insight Project survey

New Republic article by Rebecca Carrol about newsroom racism

Next event is membership social July 31

June 22, 2014

With our Third Annual Rochester Media Association Awards Banquet now behind us, we are looking forward to another year of great events. The banquet May 17 had record attendance, with more than 150 people honoring our colleagues and friends.

Our next event is a membership drive from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday July 31 at Matthews East End Grill, 200 East Ave. It will include light appetizers and your first drink is on us!

You don’t have to be a member to stop by, but we’re convinced you’ll join before you leave!

That’s because your $25 annual membership supports our annual banquet, professional development events and social networking events. Members do not have to pay to attend professional development events and get a discount on banquet tickets. Being a member also enables you to nominate and vote on our Impact Award winners.

In addition to joining at any event, you can sign up  to be a member using PayPal.

We also have some exciting events coming up in the fall of 2014 and winter 2015, including (tentatively):

  • The return of our popular trivia night in Sepember.
  • Professional development activities in October and January
  • Another membership social in February or March
  • Next year’s awards banquet in May.

Stay tuned for details as they become available!


22 honored at RMA awards banquet.

May 19, 2014

The Rochester Media Association honored 22 local media professionals for contributions to their organizations and the greater community at its third annual awards banquet on Saturday May 17.

About 150 media professionals and guests attended the event at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center. The emcee was Beth Adams, host of Morning Edition on WXXI Radio, one of the honorees at the 2013 event.

Impact_all_4The association’s top honors, the Impact Awards, went to Randy Gorbman, director of news and public affairs for WXXI; Jack Palvino, retired owner of the Lincoln Group of radio stations; Gary Craig, public affairs reporter for the Democrat and Chronicle Media Group; and Janet Lomax, anchor and reporter for News10NBC.

These awards are meant not just to recognize career achievement but also acknowledge a commitment to giving back time and talent for community causes. Honorees were nominated and selected by the RMA membership in a two-stage voting process.

Additionally, 18 individuals were honored for their contributions to their organizations. For these awards, media organizations self-nominate individuals worthy of recognition; each organization is allowed to set its own the criteria for the honor. Each organization designates a Young Media Professional (age 30 or younger) and an Established Media Professional for the honors.
Thus, while these are not competitively selected, they are presented in a public setting among peers from across the local industry. The RMA calls this “bringing the media community together collectively and collaboratively to honor everyone’s good work.”

Those honorees for 2014 are:

  • Patrice Walsh, anchor and reporter, Established Professional honoree 13WHAM News.
  • Toby Motyka, sports videojournalist and weekend sports anchor, Young Professional honoree 13WHAM News.
  • Joëlle VanBuren, morning host and production director; and Derrick Lucas, music director, account executive and on air host, both Established Professionals for WGMC Jazz 90.1.
  • Mike Jaeger, photographer, Established Professional honoree for WHEC News-10NBC.
  • Justin Granit, sports anchor/reporter, Young Professional honoree for WHEC News-10NBC.
  • Billy Kidd, assistant program director, music director and afternoon personality on 92.5 WBEE, Established Professional honoree for Entercom Radio.
  • Pat Duffy, radio personality for the Break Room on 96.5 WCMF, Young Professional honoree for Entercom Radio.
  • John Kucko, sports reporter and anchor, Established Professional honoree for WROC-TV News 8,
  • Wendy Halik, producer, Young Professional honoree for WROC-TV News 8.
  •  Jane Sutter, editor of community partnerships and niche content and state news, Established Professional honoree for  Democrat and Chronicle Media Group.
  • Justin Murphy, reporter, Young Professional honoree for  Democrat and Chronicle Media Group.
  • Joanne Gordon, senior editor, Established Professional honoree for WXXI Public Broadcasting Council.
  • Carlet Cleare, public affairs reporter/producer, Young Professional honoree for WXXI Public Broadcasting Council.
  • Bill Moran, host of The Morning Drive on 100.5 The Drive, Established Professional honoree for Clear Channel Radio
  • Julie DePasquale, assistant program director and music director and also co-host of 100.5 The Drive’s morning show hosted by Bill Moran, Young Professional honoree for Clear Channel Radio .
  • Mike Hedeen, reporter, Established Professional honoree for Time Warner Cable News.
  • Kelly Farraro, producer, Young Professional honoree for Time Warner Cable News.


Banquet takes place May 17

May 15, 2014

The Rochester Media Association’s Third Annual  Awards Dinner will be held Saturday May 17 at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

As was done at the first two banquets, the Association will present its signature honors, the Impact Awards, and also honor professionals from area media organizations designated by their employers for the honor. This year’s Impact honorees are Democrat and Chronicle reporter Gary Craig; former radio personality, manager and station owner Jack Palvino; WXXI Radio director of news and public affairs Randy Gorbman; and News10NBC anchor Janet Lomax.

The dinner is sold out. Thanks to all who made reservations, and we are looking forward to seeing everyone and having a great time.

Media organizations sign on to sponsor RMA event

April 19, 2014


The Rochester Media Association’s annual awards banquet on May 17 received an initial round of sponsorship from five leading area media organizations. Network television affiliates WROC Channel 8, WHEC Channel 10, WHAM Channel 13, along with Time Warner Cable News and the Democrat and Chronicle Media Group have agreed to sponsor the event.

Also recently agreeing to sponsor the event were WXXI Public Broadcasting and Entercom Radio.WXXI

As sponsors, these organizations receive a variety of benefits including the right for employees of their organization to purchase tickets at half price. More importantly, they are helping support an event meant to collaboratively celebrate the collective good work of media professionals from around Greater Rochester.

The event will be held at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center on Saturday May 17 beginning with cocktails (cash bar) at 6:30 p.m. and dinner and the awards program at 7:30 p.m. The evening will include recognition of media contributors designated by their employers, as well as presentation of this year’s Impact Awards.

Tickets may be purchased online


2014 Impact Award Winners announced

April 8, 2014

The Rochester Media Association is proud to announce its Impact Award winners this year. The Impact Awards honor individuals with a distinguished career in local media who also have made substantial contributions to the community. The awards will be presented at RMA’s third annual banquet on May 17 at the Riverside Convention Center.

RMA members selected the following Impact Award winners:

Gary Craig has been a reporter for Gannett Company since 1990, starting at the Times-Union. His investigative reports now appear in the Democrat and Chronicle. Gary’s wide range of work has exposed a number of issues, and he loves the “unpredictability” of reporting. He recalls the Betty Tyson case, conditions in female prisons, and drugging of foster children. Gary is writing a book about the famous Brinks heist. Gary has received numerous awards, including honors from the National Headliner Awards and Investigative Reporters and Editors.

Jack Palvino had a 40-year career in broadcasting. He was on the air from 1958-1978. In 1978, he and his partner, Albert “Bud” Wertheimer, formed the Lincoln Group and purchased WVOR radio. The group grew to include WHAM, WHTK, WPXY, and WHRR in Rochester; WBUF in Buffalo; and WQKX and WSOM in Youngstown, Ohio. The group was sold in 1997 to American Radio Systems, now CBS. In 2001, he established the Jack Palvino Excellence in Communications Scholarship, which is awarded to two St. John Fisher Media and Communication students each year. He also serves on the Fisher board of trustees. Jack started the Jack Palvino Excellence in Communication Awards in 2011, honoring local communications professionals for their work in public relations, advertising, and broadcast and print journalism. Jack was inducted into the Rochester Music Hall of Fame in 2013.

Randy Gorbman is WXXI’s director of News and Public Affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online. Randy has over 30 years of broadcast news experience, and was recently news director at WHAM-AM in Rochester. Randy has also been news director, writer, announcer, and producer at radio stations in several cities in New York and Connecticut, as well as working as an editor at the NBC Radio Network. He served as past president of the New York State Associated Press Broadcasters’ Association, and is currently a member of its board of directors. Randy has also taught journalism to local students, serving as adjunct instructor at SUNY Geneseo and Monroe Community College.

Janet Lomax is a news anchor at News10NBC, with more than 30 years experience as a broadcast journalist. Over the years, Janet has covered a variety of stories, from national political conventions and the NYC visit of Pope John Paul II to a number of one-on-one interviews with prominent newsmakers, including America’s First Lady Michelle Obama. In addition to her anchor duties, Janet reports on the arts. She has written and co-produced numerous half-hour specials and is responsible for “Best Seat in the House,” which focuses on the local arts scene. Janet is a member of The Links, Inc. (and a past president of the Rochester chapter), Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, the National Association of Black Journalists, and RABJ, the local affiliate. Janet is frequently asked to speak or serve as emcee at events throughout the community.

Ticket Information for the banquet:

  • $50 – RMA Members and their guests
  • $60 – Non-RMA Members

***Half-Price Tickets are available! If your company is a banquet sponsor, you and your guest can purchase half-priced tickets. Ask your supervisor or email rocmediaassoc@gmail.com to find out if your are a member of a participating organization.

For more information about banquet sponsorship and tickets, visit our 2014 banquet information page.


March 10, 2014


Let’s face it: the media-PR relationship can be tense at times. But media professionals need PR professionals and PR professionals need media professionals. So, how can we all work together better?

Join PRSA and RMA for a panel discussion of media and PR professionals who share stories of successful relationships, pet peeves, tips of the trade, and things they wished more of us knew.

6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday March 26
St. John Fisher College, 3690 East Ave, Rochester
Wegmans School of Nursing Room 100
(Use campus East Entrance)

Free for RMA & PRSA members & students;
just email rocmediaassoc[at]gmail.com to secure your spot.
Identify yourself as RMA, PRSA or student (please list school).

$5 all others (register with PayPal)

Space is limited; reservations required by March 24

Presented in collaboration with SJFC Department of Media and Communication


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