Apply for Board Officer & Chair Seats for 2018-19 Term

The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation is accepting candidates’ statements from those seeking to fill the offices of parliamentarian and secretary, and chairs’ seats for the Membership, Special Events, Communications and Outreach, Professional Development and Frank Bolden Urban Multimedia Workshop Committees. 

Applicants also are being sought for the Community Service Subcommittee’s chair seat.

The deadline to apply, using the form below, is Jan 14, 2018.

All the officers and chairs, except the Community Service Subcommittee chair, will become members of the PBMF board.  The incoming president will make the appointments and they will be confirmed by the new administration.

The officers and chairs will serve two-year terms that will start mid-January, 2018, and end Dec. 31, 2019.

Requirements for running for and holding PBMF office and chair seats are as follows:

• Only full-time working journalists or freelancers who receive a majority of their income from journalism may run for president or vice president.

• All other offices and chair seats may be held by full-time or freelance journalists, public relations professionals or college journalism/communications professors.

• Candidates for offices and chair seats must be current in their PBMF membership dues.  If you are unsure of your membership status, contact Membership Chair Ashley Johnson at

• It is important that board members regularly attend monthly general body meetings, which are held at 7 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month, and monthly board meetings, which are held by conference call on the first Sunday evening of every month.  There are no general body meetings from June to August or in December.

• Per the bylaws: Any board member who has three or more consecutive unexcused absences from board meetings may be removed by a majority of the directors.

The following are duties of each office as laid out in the bylaws:

• The officers of the federation shall each have such powers and duties as generally pertain to their respective offices, as well as such powers and duties as may specifically be conferred or imposed by the board of directors.

• The secretary shall be responsible for preparing minutes of meetings of the federation and the board and for authenticating records of the federation.

• The parliamentarian shall possess of a thorough knowledge of (1) these bylaws, (2) Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised (current edition), and (3) any other rules and regulations of the federation; furthermore, the parliamentarian shall act as sergeant-at-arms of meetings and shall perform such other duties as may be assigned by the board.

The following are descriptions of all committees and the Community Service Subcommittee:

• The Frank Bolden Urban Multimedia Workshop Committee is responsible for the planning and execution of the annual Frank Bolden Urban Multimedia Workshop. Founded in 1983, the free program is designed to encourage local, African-American students to pursue careers in journalism, but students of any ethnicity and geographic location are welcome to apply.

In the summer workshop, which typically is held on four consecutive Saturdays, students produce projects in print, online, photo, radio and television journalism.The committee works with workshop directors to recruit eligible students, attract and schedule media professionals to guide students in the workshop, chaperone students on assignments and other trips off campus, locate events for the students’ news conference project, etc.

• The Communications and Outreach Committee is responsible for writing and sending news releases announcing chapter initiatives, updating PBMF’s social media sites and website with chapter and media-related news, taking photos at PBMF events and undertaking other communications or marketing initiatives that promote or represent PBMF.  The Community Service Subcommittee falls under the Communications and Outreach Committee.

• The Community Service Subcommittee, which falls under the Communications and Outreach Committee, organizes outreach projects designed to serve historically disadvantaged communities in the Pittsburgh-area while staying true to PBMF’s mission of bridging the gap between the media and black Americans.

Some of the subcommittee’s flagship programs include conducting an annual book drive to promote literacy among children, holding a winter clothing drive and recruiting members to serve as mentors and tutors for young minorities.

• The Membership Committee is responsible for maintaining an updated membership database, notifying members about membership renewals and working in conjunction with other committees on initiatives that retain and attract members.

• The Professional Development Committee is responsible for overseeing PBMF’s Professional Development Series, which is designed to give chapter members resources to help them thrive in today’s increasingly competitive media industry.  The series includes panel discussions and other events about a wide variety of topics, including freelancing, optimizing social media use, tax return preparation, data-driven journalism and ethics.

• The Special Events Committee serves as a liaison between the PBMF board of directors and event subcommittees and, possibly, organizers of other chapter events.  The Robert L. Vann Media Awards and the Soul Café subcommittees fall under the Special Events Committee, which may assist the subcommittees in planning their events with respect to decor, room setup, etc.  The Special Events Committee also plans social events, such as mixers.

Any questions about the officer and chair appointment process should be referred to PBMF president Brian Cook Sr. at

2017 Candidate's Statement Form for Officers & Chairs