Real Times Media (RTM), parent company of four of the largest and most influential African American weekly newspapers in the United States, was honored with multiple Merit Awards at the much-celebrated 2017 National Newspaper Publishers Association Annual Conference held at the Gaylord Convention Center at the National Harbor in Maryland from June 20 to June 24.
RTM properties, founded in 2003 by a consortium of Chicago and Detroit business leaders, is the umbrella corporation for several of the most historic and iconic print news outlets around the country including: the Michigan Chronicle, the Chicago Defender, the Atlanta Daily World, and the New Pittsburgh Courier.
“We have shown the nation the struggle, sacrifice, progress and triumph of Black Americans and of America as a nation from the Black perspective,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., president and CEO of the NNPA. “The Black Press covers the progress of Black Americans and provides interpretations of the events involved in our progress. No other print or digital media serves in this role quite like the Black Press.”
The NNPA is a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States. Since its founding 75 years ago, the NNPA and its member newspapers have consistently been the voice of the Black community and an incubator for news that makes history and impacts our country.
On RTM’s local home fronts, the list of Merit Award winners include:
•Michigan Chronicle senior editor Keith Owens, who won second place for the Robert S. Abboptt Best Editorial Award for his column titled “Darnell Early Was Only a Symptom.”
•The Michigan Chronicle’s managing editor Roz Edward received the first place award in the E. Washington Rhodes Best Business section category.
•The New Pittsburgh Courier garnered the second-place award in the E. Washington Rhodes Best Business section category.
•The New Pittsburgh Courier also took home the second-place award for Digital Excellence.
In addition to the Merit Awards wins, RTM also secured two important positions in NNPA leadership. Hiram E. Jackson, CEO of RTM and publisher of the Michigan Chronicle was elected to the NNPA’s Region 3 Board of Directors, and Chicago Defender interim publisher Frances Jackson was elected to the NNPA Foundation’s Board of Directors.
The NNPA Awards ceremony culminated with the presentation of the Lifetime Legacy Award to Martin Luther King III for his service as an ambassador of his parent’s legacy of nonviolent social change. “The NNPA is one of the most impactful institutions our community has, and every week the newspapers of the Black Press reach at least 22 million people in our communities,” said King. “And every week the Black Press tackles issues that we deal with, that we cannot find in the mainstream newspapers.” King continued: “The Black Press provides the information that’s needed for African Americans, and if not for the Black Press, I would say that, during the Civil Rights era, my father would not have been successful. The African American journalists had their ears to the ground to what was important in our community.”
Other highlights of the event included a special recognition segment of NNPA publications that have been in operation for more than 100 years.
The National Newspaper Association is committed to the ideal that the Black Press and America can best lead the world away from racial and national antagonisms when it accords to every person, regardless of race, color, or creed, full human and legal rights.