By: Stacy Jones
THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION of Minority Media Executives held its annual “A Celebration of Diversity” banquet last week at the Chicago Hilton and Towers, site of this year’s Newspaper Association of America convention.
NAMME is made up of approximately 200 senior managers from the news and business sides of print, broadcast and online media organizations, but the dinner was an “evening for three special individuals,” said NAA president and CEO John Sturm.
Calling NAMME a “unique media organization,” Allen H. Neuharth, Freedom Forum chairman and the evening’s master of ceremonies, praised the efforts of the seven-year-old group for “really leading the way among media organizations,” toward “the kind of diversity and dedication that I think is necessary if all of us in this business are not only to preserve a free press, but also to deserve.”
The three honorees were: Gregory E. Favre, executive editor of the Sacramento Bee and vice president of news for McClatchy Newspapers, who received the Catalyst Award; Henry Hampton, president and executive producer of Blackside Inc., who was given the Robert C. Maynard Legend Trophy; and John L. Dotson, Jr., president and publisher of the Akron (Ohio) Beacon Journal, who received the Distinguished Diversity Award for Lifetime Achievement.
“I feel a little guilty for being graciously rewarded for something that is simply the right thing to do,” Favre said.
Later, he shared with the crowd a lesson learned from his father, a publisher in Mississippi. “My dad never allowed us to think for a moment that black ink was only reserved for white people.”
Favre also expressed frustration with newspaper editors who complain that they can’t find quality minority journalists. “No, they can’t if they don’t try,” he said.
Hampton, the fifth winner of the Maynard Legend Trophy, was “pleased and extraordinarily proud.”
He explained the value of diversity in terms of the bottom line. “Diversity is important,” he said. “Why? The product benefits.”
“Humbled” by his award, Dotson credited others for assisting him.
One winner’s father “never allowed us to think for a moment that black ink was only reserved for white people”
?Web Site: http://www.mediainfo.com.
?copyright: Editor & Publisher, May 3, 1997.