By Bev McNair – When it comes to breaking news pertaining to the African Diaspora, the Black Press throughout the country has come to the rescue for over a hundred years. Common threads that unite these communities include information and education on everything from race, voter advocacy, healthcare, entrepreneurship and entertainment to wealth building, housing and more.
Representing the Black Press of northeast Florida, Free Press Associate Editor Lynn Jones-Turpin attended the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) Region III conference held in Jackson, Mississippi. The two day conference was filled with sessions held on the campus of Jackson State University, The Mississippi Civil Rights Museum and the Mississippi Museum of Art. Led by NABJ Region III Director Eva Coleman, Jones was an integral part of the committees conference planning. She is also the local NABJ president.
Opening Career Luncheon and Career Fair guest speaker was Dorothy Tucker, National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) President; Tucker encouraged conference attendees to stay focused on their commitment to their region and journalism excellence whether in board rooms or newsrooms. The conference outline included job fairs, town halls, networking wind downs and mindfulness meditation sessions.
Jones moderated the Black Press session entitled: The Black Press More than 200 Years and Still on the Front Line,” with panelist Barnett Wright (Birmingham Times); Jackie Hampton, Publisher (The Mississippi Link) and Cheryl Smith (Texas Metro News). The session highlighted and presented the Black Press agenda for empowerment, longevity and advocacy to the students, newscasters, radio host and influencers in attendance.
“The publishers and I met with each other and gained insight into our individual papers and how we can collaborate for future journalism projects,” Jones said. The conference culminated with the Maʽat (the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice) awards to recognize committee members, speakers, participants and volunteers for their facilitation and support of the conference logistics and presentations.
Founded in 1975, The National Association of Black Journalists is an organization of African-American journalists, students, and media professionals, whose stated purpose is to provide quality programs and services to and advocate on behalf of black journalists.