By Lisa Petrillo

AVENTURA (CBSMiami) – Thousands of media professionals are in South Florida for the National Association of Black Journalists convention.

Thursday night, a handful of presidential candidates spoke at a forum at the 5-day event.

The convention, taking place at the J.W. Marriott Turnberry in Aventura, is all about networking and diversity for the 4,000 participants.

NABJ is an organization of journalists, students, and media related professionals that provide quality programs to, and advocates on behalf of black journalists worldwide.

“We want to train our members so they can compete for jobs in the industry and we are an advocacy organization as well, because we believe that diversity is good business sense,” said Drew Berry Vice President of NABJ.

“We are an organization that makes sure the black community is covered and represented accurately,” said. Dorothy Tucker, VP of Broadcast.

The annual convention that was founded in 1975 has many workshops and lectures going on throughout the week as well as a career fair that draws hundreds of recruiters for job placement.

On this day, Entertainment Tonight’s Kevin Frazier was among many journalists participating in the job fair.

“It’s about fellowship, the job fair and also just connecting with people. It’s so important to come here and see not only the younger folks, but the older folks who can give you advice and talk to you about everything from what you wear, to how you act in newsroom and the way you tell stories,” said Frazier.

Journalists of color from around the country and here in South Florida say this is a not to be missed yearly event.

“It’s great for me to see the next generations of journalists. I have a great time speaking to some of them and it invigorates me to see them so excited to get into our journalism,” said Berry.

Celebrities also attend to highlight their shows to working journalists.

CBS is bringing in some familiar faces this weekend.

In addition, for those just starting out, NABJ helps light the way to their journey on their career paths.

”A lot of people here are super seasoned.  I’m only 20 and still in college and I want to learn to make connections and see what track I want to be on,” said student Salina Tsegai.

NABJ runs through Sunday.

Lisa Petrillo