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Black Press enters pact to capture shopping habits, spending power of Black America

Over 200 black newspaper publishers gathered at Chicago’s Drake Hotel for several days of robust conversations on the future of the National Newspaper Publishers Association. by Jasmyne A. Cannick
NNPA News Service

CHICAGO – Led by Chairman and Los Angeles Sentinel publisher Danny Bakewell Sr., over 200 black newspaper publishers from all over the country gathered at Chicago’s legendary Drake Hotel for several days of robust conversations on the future of the National Newspaper Publishers Association, also known as the Black Press of America.

The conference (June 23-25) kicked off with Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III, Senior Pastor of the Dallas, Texas based Friendship-West Baptist Church, who addressed the significance and historic relevance of the relationship between the pulpit and the press.  In front of hundreds of attendees, Haynes retold the history of blacks in the United States pointing out role that the Black Press has traditionally had in African-American communities as the drumbeat of communication.

Bakewell announced a historic new partnership between Nielsen and the NNPA that will produce an annual report entitled the NNPA Nielsen State of the African-American Consumers Report with its inaugural release to take place later this year at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Conference in Washington D.C.

“This report will be able to put into black and white and more importantly quantitative data the shopping habits and spending power of Blacks in America,” said Bakewell.

Nielsen Vice-President of Public Affairs Cheryl Pearson-McNeil said that over the next three years the report will be issued in September at the CBC conference and will provide America with a snapshot of the African-American consumer in one report.

NNPA corporate partners representing Ford, GM, Nielsen and Wells Fargo attended the Chicago conference and participated in a conversation led by Bakewell on the future of these partnerships.

The legendary Motown group the Temptations provided the entertainment at the NNPA Legacy of Excellence Dinner and Awards where Trumpet Awards founder Xernona Clayton and Miami Times publisher Garth C. Reeves were honored.

Additionally, NNPA hosted its annual Merit Awards for publishing and editorial excellence.  This year’s winners included The Miami Times for General Excellence, The New Pittsburgh Courier received the Robert S. Aboott Best Editorial Award, and the Final Call’s Akbar Muhammad took home the Emory O. Jackson Best Column Writing.

At the conclusion of the four-day conference, NNPA’s body of publishers voted on a new board of directors and executive committee resulting in the passing of the leadership mantle from Bakewell to Arizona Informant publisher and former state legislator the Cloves Campbell Jr.

NNPA’s other elected officers include the Atlanta Inquirer’s John Smith as 1st Vice-Chair, Mollie Finch Belt publisher of the Dallas Examiner as 2nd Vice-Chair, Cleretta Blackmon with the Mobile Beacon in Alabama as Secretary, and Yvonne Coleman, publisher of the Louisville Defender serving as Treasurer.  Each executive committee officers will serve for two years.

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