NIGHT OF EXCELLENCE–Courier Editor and Publisher Rod Doss accepts an award from NNPA President & CEO Dr. Benjamin Chavis at the NNPA Merit Awards, June 27 in Cincinnati. The Courier picked up three awards.
by Stacy M. Brown
NNPA Newswire Correspondent
Brenda Andrews publisher of the New Journal and Guide newspaper in Norfolk, Va., won the coveted Publisher of the Year Award at the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) annual convention in Cincinnati on June 27.
Andrews, who hosted last year’s convention, was greeted with a standing ovation as she ascended the platform to accept the award from NNPA Foundation Chair Amelia Ashley-Ward, the publisher of the San Francisco Sun Reporter.
The Miami Times (10 awards), Philadelphia Tribune (9), and St. Louis American (7) were the biggest winners of the night. Real Times Media (The New Pittsburgh Courier (3) and Michigan Chronicle (4) also picked up (7).
Included in the Miami Times’ awards was the John B. Russwurm Trophy that’s presented to the newspaper that accumulates the most points in NNPAF’s annual journalism competition.
During the ceremony, Ashley-Ward asked for prayers for Miami Times Publisher Rachel Reeves whom Ashley-Ward announced was gravely ill.
Westside Gazette Publisher Bobby Henry accepted the awards on behalf of the Miami Times and pledged to personally deliver them to Reeves and her family.
In 1827, Russwurm co-founded Freedom’s Journal with Samuel E. Cornish, the country’s first African American-owned and operated newspaper with the credo: “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.”
The awards were hosted by MillerCoors.
Other NNPA partners and sponsors include: The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; General Motors; Pfizer Rare Disease; RAI Services Company; Ford; Macy’s; Wells Fargo; P&G; Volkswagen; American Petroleum Institute; AARP; Ascension; AmeriHealth Caritas; Fifth Third Bank; and the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation (NNPAF).
California Sen. Kamala Harris opened the program via a video message of support and encouragement.
“Thank you for the work that you do … a free and independent Black Press is critical,” Harris said.
The 2020 presidential hopeful who received the 2018 NNPA Newsmaker of the Year Award during a ceremony last year, couldn’t attend the event because she was in Florida participating in the second night of debates for Democratic candidates.
During the ceremony, Ford and General Motors formally announced scholarship awards while Kerri Watkins, the publisher of the New York Daily Challenge, handed out the George Curry Award in honor of the late Black Press editor.
Among the highlights were the award for Best Editorial, which went to the Miami Times.
The St. Louis American and the Los Angeles Sentinel finished second and third respectively in that category.
The St. Louis American earned first place in the Best Column Writing category while the Miami Times finished second and the Michigan Chronicle third.
The Philadelphia Tribune took the top prize in the Community Service Award category while the Michigan Chronicle finished second and the Miami Times third.
The Final Call earned top honors for Best News Story, while the Birmingham Times finished second and Texas Metro News earned the third place prize.
The Birmingham Times earned first place for Best Feature Story while the Atlanta Voice and Houston Defender finished second and third.
In the Best News Picture category, the Richmond Free Press won first place followed by the New Pittsburgh Courier and the Philadelphia Tribune.
The Los Angeles Sentinel won top honors in the Best Editorial Cartoon category while the Washington Afro-American won second and third place.
In the Best Layout Design Category, the Birmingham Times won first place while the Philadelphia Tribune and the New Pittsburgh Courier finished second and third.
The Philadelphia Tribune, St. Louis American and Houston Forward Times won first, second and third place respectively for Best Special Edition.
The Miami Times, Houston Forward Times and Washington Informer finished first, second, and third in the Best Youth Section category and the Miami Times, Gary Crusader and the Washington Afro-American finished first, second and third in the Best Use of Photographs category.
“We are all winners tonight,” Ashley-Ward said. “When one of us wins, we all win.”