Orlando, Florida—The Florida Association of Black Owned Media, Inc. outlined an aggressive agenda for 2016. FABOM celebrates its ten year anniversary on December 22. The state’s oldest and largest African American media organization consists of the state’s most influential African American media reaching over 4 million Floridians each week. While “Majority” newspapers are struggling with dwindling subscriptions and readership, Black newspapers have a steady stream of readers who rely almost totally on their publications for information important to them. It’s common knowledge that Black newspapers are read by 4-6 individuals before thrown away.
The December anniversary meeting was hosted by BB&T Advisory Board Director Ron Oates, at the banks downtown office in Orlando. Oates is also a leader in Boy Scouts of America and shared the need for a stronger presence in the Black community. Most of the publishers were Boy Scouts and understood the important value of the youth organization and committed to supporting an awareness program.
African Americans make up 16% of the Florida population. FABOM has been the eyes, ears and voice of African American Floridians in a variety of ways. It has held forums with Florida gubernatorial, legislative, US Senate and Cabinet officers to get answers on issues of major importance to the community. It plans to issue a Report Card on candidates and elected officials. It is planning its February meeting in Tallahassee where they will also meet with state lawmakers, the Governor, Attorney General, Treasurer/Insurance Commissioner and Secretary of State, who is Florida’s chief elections officer.
In this critical election year, FABOM is committed to keeping African American news consumers informed and educated. “Our job is to be ready for this election year. We want the elected officials and other to know that we will insist that our constituents are not ignored or discriminated against. We know that Black Lives Matter, and we want to make sure our quality of life is the best it can be,” said FABOM President Bobby Henry, publisher of the Westside Gazette in Ft. Lauderdale.
FABOM members include The Pensacola Voice, The Capitol Outlook, The Jacksonville Free Press, The Florida Star, The Orlando Times, The Florida Sun, Metro News, The Weekly Challenger, The Florida Sentinel Bulletin, The Westside Gazette, and Caribbean Today.