Serving Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Volusia, & Lake Counties


Gavel and Law BooksARTICLE I: Name of Organization.
Section 1 – The name of the organization shall be the Central Florida Association of Black Journalists. We are an affiliate chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.

ARTICLE II: Purpose.
Section 1 – The objectives shall be to:

  1. Inform the Central Florida community – placing special emphasis on the area’s Black population – about the importance of the mass media as it relates to a resident’s daily life, needs and concerns.
  2. Regularly critique reportorial deficiencies in the local media in relation to Black people.
  3. Assist the Black community in the usage of the media and to expose print and broadcast media to the need for fair, impartial and adequate coverage of news in the Black community.
  4. Improve professional skills among Black journalists and broadcasters and, at the same time, to honor excellence and outstanding achievements in the field.
  5. Strengthen ties between whites, Blacks, and other minorities in the mass media, and to provide a support system for fellow Black communicators.
  6. Monitor affirmative action and Federal Communications Commission guidelines for equal employment opportunity at Central Florida print and broadcast companies; to serve as an employee advocate when necessary; and to work to increase the numbers of Black journalists in managerial and supervisory positions.
  7. Work with high school and college students aspiring toward careers in the media.
  8. Act as a resource for journalism teachers and other academic professionals, and to encourage the appointment of Black journalism teachers and professors at local schools and colleges.
  9. Network job opportunities throughout the country in general and in the Central Florida area in particular.

Section 2 – This constitution shall be in compliance with any local, state, and federal laws that govern the organization’s business.
Section 3 – The organization shall, after membership approval by majority vote, take stands and positions on issues of social concern. Also, by membership approval, the organization may defend its members in related grievances.

ARTICLE III: Membership.
Section 1 – Full Membership: Journalists employed full time at any daily, weekly, or monthly newspaper or magazine or on any radio or television program or digital media outlet in the Central Florida area (Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard, Volusia, and Lake Counties) shall be eligible for full membership. Journalists are defined as reporters, radio stations or media outlets, who produce, gather, disseminate, and distribute news. Also considered eligible for full membership are anchors, news producers, cinematographers and engineers.
Full memberships will be offered to those free-lance journalists who can prove that they actively write, broadcast, or photograph on a free-lance basis. Full memberships also will be given to journalism professors at a college or university with a journalism department who have had at least five years’ previous newsroom experience before going into academia.
Section 2 – Affiliate Membership: Those employed full time or work full time or part time in the mass media in the Central Florida area, who work as intern (but not student) reporters, photographers, or copy editors, researchers, television and radio desk assistants, are eligible for affiliate memberships. Affiliate memberships also will be offered to journalism teachers or professors and public relations specialists responsible for writing and editing newsletters. Affiliate memberships also will be offered to public relations specialists and others involved in the production of a news product.
Section 3 – Student Membership: Student memberships shall be offered to any student who is presently a full-time student at an accredited college or university. The student’s course of study must be in the communications field, preferably journalism or broadcast journalism.
Section 4 – Persons shall become financial (full) members upon payment of annual dues. A financial membership entitles one to cast one (1) vote on issues brought forth in general business meetings and to participate in the general election of officers. Only full members of the organization shall be able to vote on matters concerning the organization, while associate and student members will be kept abreast of all matters concerning the organization. Termination of membership shall be immediate upon petitions the treasurer for a six-month hardship extension at the end of the year. The request must be made in writing, and at the end of the six-month period, if the member has taken another job in the media, his or full membership will be reinstated. Hardship requests, when accompanied by prorated dues, will be granted automatically.
Section 5 – Dues: Regular members shall be assessed forty dollars ($40) annually. Dues for affiliate members shall be twenty-five dollars ($25), and for students, fifteen dollars ($15).  Dues are for a calendar year based on payment date.

ARTICLE IV: Officers.
Section 1 – The organization shall have a president, three vice presidents – one for digital media, print and broadcast, a secretary, a treasurer, and a parliamentarian. These officers, including the immediate past president, shall also be members of the organization’s executive committee. The president and the vice presidents shall be full members of the organization and they also shall be full members of the National Association of Black Journalists. The offices of secretary, treasurer, and parliamentarian may be filled by full or affiliate members of the Central Florida Association of Black Journalists. President shall serve a term of two (2) years.  All other officers shall serve a term of one (1) year.

  1. President – The president shall be the chief officer of the organization and shall preside at all regular and special meetings held by the organization. The president shall be an ex-officio member of all standing committees except the nominating committee.  The president shall perform all duties charged to that office by the membership of that organization.  The president also shall act as co-signatory on all checks drawn by the organization.
  2. Vice Presidents – The vice president of print shall be a full-time employee working with a print medium. The vice president of broadcast shall be a full- time employee working with a television or radio medium. One of the vice presidents shall act in the president’s stead when he/she is unable to perform his/her duties, or when any other executive committee member (e.g. secretary, treasurer, or parliamentarian) is unable to perform his/her duties. A vice president shall assume the role of parliamentarian if the office is vacant.
  3. The vice president of digital media shall be a full-time employee working in a digital media role within a company. He/She shall have a strong working knowledge of but not limited to web development, social media, video, and digital editing. He/She shall update the organization’s website with monthly meeting notices, fundraising, event and program notices and photo recaps in a timely fashion. The vice president of digital media is responsible for updating the organization’s social media accounts no less than three times a week and shall monitor all social media outlets to maintain the integrity of the organization.
  4. Secretary – The secretary shall have the responsibility of recording the minutes at each regular and special meeting, and of establishing files and maintaining copies of all committee reports, documents, and any other materials belonging to the organization. He/she shall maintain a current roster of all financial members and shall notify all members of regular and special meetings of the organization, and also of the organization’s activities.
  5. Treasurer – The treasurer shall collect all membership fees and other monies received by the organization. He/she shall maintain all financial records, and shall prepare monthly financial reports to be given at each regular meeting. The treasurer shall act as co-signatory on all checks drawn by the organization and shall be bonded. The treasurer shall maintain a current financial membership roster for voting.
  6. Parliamentarian – The parliamentarian shall be thoroughly schooled on parliamentary procedure. He/she shall also have a total understanding of the organization’s constitution and by-laws. The parliamentarian shall be the sergeant-at-arms at all meetings and shall advise the president on proper procedures for running meetings of the organization.

Section 2 – The executive committee shall establish subcommittees as necessary. A quorum of the executive committee – at least 4 – must be present at each meeting of the organization to conduct regular business. All executive committee members must be financial members.
Section 3 – Executive Board/Committee Code of Conduct. Any officer who has three (3) or more consecutive  unexcused absences from board meetings, and general meetings may be removed by a majority of the directors and the president may appoint a successor to fill the vacancy until the next election cycle, at which time the members may elect a successor for the remainder of the term.

ARTICLE V: Election of Officers.
Section 1 – The election of officers shall be held at the regular meeting in November.
Section 2 – Officers shall be installed at the regular meeting in December.

ARTICLE VI: Manner of Voting.
Section 1 – At each meeting of the financial membership, each financial member having voting power and the right to vote shall be entitled to cast one (1) vote.
Section 2 – Voting shall be by secret ballot when electing the principal officers and executive committee members.
Section 3 – Election Rules: The chairperson of the nominating committee shall preside during the election of officers.

  1. Elections shall be held in November of every year.
  2. The list of financial members entitled to vote shall be read y the treasurer before holding the elections.
  3. Voting shall be by secret ballot.
  4. Tabulation of votes shall be performed by the treasurer, secretary, and secretary of the nominating committee, or an associate member selected by the nominating committee chairperson.

Section 4 – Voting shall be by voice vote or by show of hands when transacting the regular business of the organization, unless the chair deems that other voting methods must be used.
Section 5 – Non-financial members shall not be entitled to vote.

ARTICLE VII: Committees.
Section 1 – Standing committees (including, but not limited to membership, nominating, broadcast, fund-raising, scholarship, hospitality, special events, and special projects) shall be established by the executive committee.
Section 2 – Standing committee chairpersons shall be appointed by the president of the organization and shall be ratified by a majority of the membership. Full, affiliate, and student members may chair committees.
Section 3 – Standing committees shall have a quorum in order to conduct business, and a majority vote of the quorum present shall constitute acceptable action of the committee. The committee shall give regular reports to all organizations and/or at each regular meeting.

Section 1 – A regular meeting of the membership shall be held each month or twelve (12) times a year. Meetings shall be scheduled for the 2nd Saturday of every month.
Section 2 – Special meetings of the organization may be called for any purpose by the president and in his/her absence, the vice presidents.
Section 3 – A quorum of the executive committee – at least 4 – must be present at each meeting of the organization for the transaction of business.
Section 4 – The executive committee of the organization shall meet monthly, or as needed, to conduct the business of the organization.

ARTICLE IX: General Provisions.
Section 1 – Vacancies in any office due to death, resignations, removal, or any other cause shall be filled for the expired portion of the term.
Section 2 – Removal: Any principle officer, committee chairman or member may be removed by the financial membership whenever evidenced in its judgment, the best interest of the organization may be served by this action, but this removal shall be without prejudice.

  1. Principle officers, chairpersons, and members shall be subject to removal only for one or more of the following reasons:
  2. Neglect of duties.
  3. Non-support of the purpose, goals, objectives, and rules adopted by the financial membership of this organization.
  4. Principal officers, chairpersons, and members may be removed from their duties by two-thirds (2/3rds) vote of the financial membership at any regular or special meeting after procedures for removal have been completed.

Section 3 – Procedures for removal: Procedures for removal of an officer, chairperson or member shall be commenced by the filing of a petition with the organization’s secretary, with a copy sent to the person charged. The petition shall specify the grounds for removal and have at least two other signatures.

  1. Upon receiving the petition, the president shall set a hearing date no more than ten (10) days from the filing date and the hearing shall be held within thirty (30) days from the date of charges.
  2. The secretary shall notify the person charged and the membership of the time, date, and place of the hearing.
  3. The person charged and those bringing charges shall have the right to present evidence and witnesses. If, at the hearing, the person charged is found guilty of any one or more of the charges set forth in said petition by at least two-thirds (2/3rds) of the financial membership of the organization, such person shall be removed from his/her position.
  4. The secretary shall notify the person who is charged of the decision of the membership.

Section 4 – Appeal After Removal: Any officer, chairperson, or member so removed shall have the right to appeal to the executive committee within fifteen (15) days after receiving notice of the removal by filing a notice of appeal before the committee. The person charged and those bringing charges shall have the right to present evidence and witnesses in the same manner as at the original hearing before the financial membership.

  1. The action of the financial membership shall be final.
  2. The president shall appoint a qualified member temporarily to fill the vacancy immediately after the decision becomes final. The appointee shall serve until a special election may be held.

Section 5 – Fiscal Year Terms of Office: The fiscal year of the organization shall commence on the first (1st) day of January and end on the thirty-first (31st) day of December.
Section 6 – Qualifications of Nominees and Voters:

  1. Only financial members shall be eligible to hold office or committee chairmanships.
  2. Financial members shall have current all assessments by the first of December (Dec.1st) each year to become eligible to vote or to hold an office in the organization.

Section 7 – Qualifications of Appointees: Appointees shall be financial members of the organization.
Section 8 – Contracts and Finances: No officer or member except the president (or in his/her absence, the vice presidents) shall have the power or authority, except with approval of a quorum of the executive committee, to create contractual obligations or pledge the credit of the organization or to render it liable for any purpose or to any amount.

  1. Expenditures up to fifty dollars ($50) may be approved by the president (or in his/her absence, the vice presidents) and signed by the treasurer or vice presidents. Expenditures of more than fifty dollars ($50) shall require approval of a quorum (4) of the executive committee AND a 2/3 or majority vote, by chapter membership, whichever is present.
  2. All standing committees shall submit a budget report for any programs or activities planned that shall require the financial support of the organization. The budget shall require acceptance by the financial members.
  3. Members shall have the right to be reimbursed within 7 days of using personal funds for items that are designed for chapter use. Members must complete the proper reimbursement form, and reimbursement checks are signed by both the President and Treasurer.

Section 9 – Depositing, savings and spending of income. Sixty percent (60%) of income from donations and fundraising efforts goes to scholarships and assisting the student chapters, with the remaining 40% to be spent on general operating purposes of the organization.
One hundred percent (100%) of all membership dues goes to operating expenses.
The executive board may present to the general membership recommendations for transferring funds to either account for special purposes when funds are needed.

ARTICLE X: Digital Media Policy.
Section 1 – The Vice President of Digital Media and President have exclusive administrative rights to all social media websites and passwords. It is at their discretion to appoint other administrators, and determine the removal of comments or posts. The Vice President of Digital Media will have administrative access and ownership purposes, and reserves the right to remove any comments made on the CFABJ ‘Facebook’ and ‘Twitter’ sites. The Vice President of Digital Media and President reserve the right to post official chapter business on all social networking sites, and the chapter’s website ( All posts relating to official CFABJ business must have prior approval from the President of the chapter and Vice President of Digital Media. The President will review and respond to mail received through the CFABJ e-mail account (

ARTICLE XI: Non-profit Organizational Status.
Section 1 – This organization is organized exclusively for “charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes, including, for such purposes, the making of distributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under section  501(c)(3) the Internal Revenue Service Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Section 2 – No part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of this document, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be carried on (a) by an organization exempt from federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code, or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c)(2) of the Internal Revenue Code, or corresponding section of any future federal tax code.
Section 3 – Upon the dissolution of the organization, financial assets shall be distributed equally between the student chapters at Bethune Cookman University, University of Central Florida, and any future or subsequent student chapters, which the organization nominates, assists and supports. The National Association of Black Journalists must recognize the student chapter. In the event there is no active student chapter, recognized by the national organization, the funds shall be distributed to the nearest active professional chapter.

ARTICLE XII: Amendments to the By-Laws.
Section 1 – These by-laws may be altered, amended, or appealed by a two-thirds (2/3rds) majority vote at the meeting held to elect officers or at such time the executive committee deems it necessary to alter, amend, or repeal the by-laws in the interest of the organization. This is providing notice of intention to alter, amend, or repeal any provisions of these rules shall have been given in writing to each financial member fifteen (15) days in advance of the meeting.

By-laws adopted by majority vote Jan. 4, 1986; revised June 1990; revised April 1992; revised July 2004; revised April 2011; revised December 2011; revised September 2012; revised May 2013.