By: Editorial Staff
IN AN UNUSUAL campaign to boost membership of the financially strapped NAACP, the National Newspaper Publishers Association will contribute advertising space worth $300,000 over the next three months.
In addition, the NNPA said it will publish in member papers a series of editorials and features promoting the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People’s membership drive.
“The members of the NNPA believe that the missions of our leading civil rights organization and of the nation’s African-American newspapers are inextricably linked, and that both would be well served through a closer working relationship,” NNPA president Robert Bogle said in a statement. The campaign was announced at a press conference in Washington, D.C.
Bogle, president of the Philadelphia Tribune, said the NNPA board of directors decided on the campaign in part to counter flood of negative press that has beset the NAACP.
In recent months, the civil rights organization has seen its executive director ousted for agreeing to a costly settlement of sexual harassment charges and its president under investigation for expense account abuse.
In addition, there has been conflict in some NAACP branches, such as Chicago, where a leadership election has turned on charges that one candidate has ties to a street gang.
“The renewed interest of the black press in strengthening the relationship with the nation’s oldest civil rights organization was spurred by the recent spate of negative NAACP coverage by the so-called ‘majority press,’ ” Bogle said.
“Despite the smear tactic being presented daily in the majority press, the real record of successes by the 85-year-old NAACP has given generations of blacks better equality of rights and measurable results, illustrated by removal of barriers in employment, housing and legal areas.”
NNPA is the biggest association of publishers of black-oriented newspapers, with 205 members.