NABJ Conference, Black journalist, black press

Black Journalists Gather At 2023 NABJ Convention To Discuss The Importance Of Black Press

The recent National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Convention in Birmingham, Alabama, drew some of the nation’s most prominent Black voices. The multi-day event included networking opportunities and panel discussions, where journalists shared the importance of the Black press, especially in today’s current political climate. 

“The Black Press has an interesting battle now, though, because in media, as a whole, funding is down. And if funding is down for mainstream, then it’s really down for Black media,” comedian and actor Roy Wood Jr. of The Daily Show told The Washington Informer

Wood Jr. is the son of the late Roy Wood Sr., a  journalism pioneer who hosted the series One Black Man’s Opinion on the National Black Network. 

“Black media has this double-sided duty of uplifting and showing the things that have happened in the Black community that people don’t talk about, but also the Black press has a responsibility of showing the things within the Black community that the people don’t want to talk about,” Wood Jr. continued. 

The convention was complete with several different events, including a live recording of TheGrio’s Dear Culture podcast on Aug. 3, where host Panama Jackson delivered witty commentary alongside featured guests Michael Harriot and Wood Jr. The convention also held a Black Press Task Force meeting and panel discussion. Attendees discussed how the Black press can continue to evolve.  

The following day, Chase sponsored a luncheon where Larry Lee, publisher of the Sacramento Observer, spoke about the difficulties Black business owners face.

“During COVID, more than 300 newspapers [went] out of business, and the challenges that entrepreneurs face are very real,” he said. Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin explained to the Washington Informer about the necessity of the Black press as print media dwindles and tragedy continues. 

“There’s so much negativity in media. It’s good to have Black publications—printed Black publications, online Black publications—that promote not just Black, but Black business; not just Black business, but Black families; not just Black families, but all positive things going on in the Black community,” he said. 

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