By: Mark Fitzgerald
In what’s believed to be the first effort in more than a decade to produce a comprehensive directory of black newspapers and news organizations, the Historical Black Press Foundation this month will publish the Black Press Yearbook: Who’s Who in Black Media.
DC Livers, the yearbook’s senior editor, said the directory will include more than 400 newspapers and organizations, with verified contacts, addresses, phone and fax numbers, and Web addresses.
“The need for this is overwhelming,” Livers said. “We talk to people every day who say they have their own minority media list, but the addresses are out of date, the phone numbers aren’t correct and [personnel] have moved on.” The last comprehensive directory of journalists of color and minority-owned publications is believed to be Who’s What and Where, published in 1988 by Mary Bullard-Johnson and Ben Johnson.
A directory is particularly important now, Livers added, when racial and ethnic diversity is slipping in newsrooms: “I think if people knew where journalists of color are and where the publications are, there would be more of an effort to reach out.”
Herb Lowe, president of the National Association of Black Journalists, wrote the foreword. The directory also provides a timeline of the black press in America, plus a section on “Movers and Shakers,” that identifies organizations and journalists of all races who have contributed to newsroom diversity.
Information about the yearbook is available from the Washington, D.C.-based foundation at 202-452-7450, and online at www.blackpress.org.