Thank you to Deshazo, STJ for help

Published 5:27 pm Friday, March 24, 2017

By Felecia Lucky
Lucky is president of the Black Belt Community Foundation.

In this day and age where media bashing seems to have become a fad, and terms like “fake news” buzz around as commonly as flies, it might be easy to lose sight of the important, day-to-day working relationship between the press and community organizations across Alabama and the nation.

The Selma Times-Journal provides a very good example of how a news organization works in partnership with its attendant community, not just in gathering and sharing news but also in actively supporting and helping the organizations within its hometown community.

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Last month, the staff of the Black Belt Community Foundation undertook a two-day long skills-building workshop covering communications.  Across several sessions, members of the foundation team sought to improve their skills in various topic areas including photography, social media management, digital information management and curation of local, community stories from across its twelve county regional service area.  The overall goal for improving these skills was in an effort to help improve sharing information about what is going on across the Black Belt of Alabama and connecting these stories with people across Alabama, the nation and the world.

In planning the sessions, the staff readily identified a need to include a professional in the field of news gathering and photography as a key component. The foundation reached out for help from its long-term community friend, The Selma Times-Journal.  The STJ promptly and graciously offered to have one of its team come over to the BBCF offices in Selma to meet with staff, present helpful information and answer questions.

We’d like to thank Alaina Denean Deshazo of the STJ for her volunteered time and expertise in sharing with our team.  Everyone appreciated her insight and professional advice.  The time she took to work directly with us all and present information clearly increased the value of the workshop to staff members.

We know this is but one modest example in one small American city, but it goes to demonstrate the valuable sharing and giving in a mutual spirit of support that typifies the STJ’s commitment to the region it serves.  Thank you STJ for your attention to the real news that is very important to readers in Selma and across the Black Belt region, and thank you for your commitment in helping community organizations help themselves to be able to better tell their stories.