The purpose of the Byron Burney Community Journalism Academy is to engage the community through teaching, mentoring and hands on experience. We encourage community members of all ages to become more involved in telling the stories that have impacted their lives and changed their communities for the good or to their detriment. We inspire students through hands on training and journalistic activities.  Skills such news gathering, writing, producing and reporting are taught using various media formats.

This project will help individuals grow as communicators by encouraging strong independent editorial voices. This program will also utilize its platform to encourage individuals, especially the youth, to enter into related fields of study and/or careers.

Byron Burney
Past President, HRBMP

With a foot in the door, and nearly thirty years of dedicated and stellar service, Bryon moved through the ranks at WVEC TV as a photographer, a chief photographer, and the operations manager of the entire newsroom. He was a member of the National Association of Black Journalists and a past president of the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals.

During his tenure with WVEC TV, he earned numerous accolades and awards; however, his greatest reward was helping others. Throughout his career, Bryon mentored and guided others and always had kind words to impart. After leaving WVEC TV, he was employed by iSoft, a contractor at Fort Eustis where he served as an audio-visual specialist. While in this position, Bryon demonstrated his professional excellence, kindness to others, and genuineness.

Byron Burney passed away on February 21, 2020.  The BBCJA is a testament to his legacy.

Student Video Spotlight

Prodcued By: Aderonke Adeleke

Get an up-close look at the life of a college student assistant and the impact the pandemic has had on her daily routine!

BBCJA Mentee Michaela Adams addresses cyber bullying in a creative cartoon

I climb into my desk chair, open up both my school-issued and personal computer, and get ready for class. This has become an unfortunate routine of a virtual-only student since March 13, 2020. I remember the day like it was yesterday. After coming home from a long day at school, I went and flopped onto my family’s new gray sofa and cracked open a freshly cold Coca-Cola. It had been as a normal day full of the usual teenage manner. But nothing would be the same after this day. From this day on, I will remain a virtual-student and will be a further advanced than others.

For the eleven long years of my life, I had sat in a school classroom for seven hours every day. I would socialize the majority of the time at school with my teachers, friends, and others. Now in my last year of school, as a twelve grader, I have suffered greatly. Due to my parents having pre-existing conditions, I put my social life and senior year on the line. I decided in early August, to decline the first option, in going back to school and accepting my second option of staying at home.

Now, virtual learning does have drawbacks but also has positives. Personally, as a person who loves to work at their own pace, I have enjoyed virtual learning. I can plan and set my whole week around my classes. Unfortunately, like I said there are some drawbacks. Yes, drawbacks include; non-human interaction and unusual learning from home. Not being in school, interacting with peers and teachers has deteriorated my social life. I feel disconnected from my teachers and peers, viewing them from a computer screen every day. I am forced to communicate to them through a mute and unmute button. I have not succumb to these negative effects, but I adapted to the Pandemic and made it positive.

Yes, some may say the negatives outweigh the positives, and some may say the latter. This Pandemic has also opened many opportunities for me. I have worked on my craft of Journalism more than I ever. I became more outgoing and worked harder on being an amazing Sports Journalist. I can communicate and convey my thoughts better in my everyday life, due to Journalism. I have met amazing peers with like-minded interests in this field, and they have been a great inspiration for me to continue writing and putting my all into giving people amazing stories to share. Journalism has taught me that everyone needs a good storyteller; why not have a purpose to the storytelling.

One thing I have learned from this pandemic is to be grateful for every single thing in life. Life goes like a blink of an eye. Even though this Pandemic has been hard, I am grateful for the experiences and lessons of perseverance that it has taught me.

Ten Minute Training Sessions

How To Ask Great Questions

If you’re in any aspect of media, talking to people is just part of the job, but what makes something an ok question and what makes it a great question? Barbara Hamm Lee brilliantly shared a few techniques!

Painting A Picture With Your Words
Have you ever heard the saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”?
HRBMP Education and Scholarship Chair Larry Rubama gives examples and tips on how you can draw in your readers by painting a mental picture!
Woube Gebre

Woube Gebre


Marie Bullock

Marie Bullock

Vice Superintendent

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Norfolk, VA 23501

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