For those of you who don’t know I just returned from the NNPA (National Newspaper Publishers Association) Conference in Louisville, Kentucky.
The NNPA is a coalition of Black Newspaper Publishers, which have been in existence for over 180 years. This was an absolutely incredible conference where I had the opportunity to meet, greet and fellowship with over 380 of the other African American Publishers throughout the country.
I had the opportunity to pick the brain of some absolutely fabulous newspaper people and we all shared resources, ideas and messages because in the end it is not only about each of our individual newspapers but it is also about the Black Press as a whole and I am proud to be a part of this incredible fraternity of publishers and publications.
You will all be proud to know that your Los Angeles Sentinel represented the Los Angeles area well. It remained the one of the top publications in the nation winning awards in 11 (more than any other newspaper in the county) of the 19 Merit Award categories, including 1st Place for Best Religious Section, 1st Place in Best Entertainment Section and 1st Place in Best in Overall Layout. But The Sentinel was not alone, the West Coast was also represented by the Wave Newspaper who won three awards, including former Sentinel Editor Betty Pleasant who won the Emery O. Jackson Best Column Award (Congratulations Pluria and Betty).
In addition to racking up 11 NNPA Merit Awards your Los Angeles Sentinel also won two A. Phillip Randolph Awards, sponsored by Miller Brewing Company for Best Cultural Story and Best Heritage Story. This was the first time in the 8 years that Miller Brewing has been sponsoring these awards that one paper has won two awards in the same year.
To receive this recognition both humbles me and makes me proud. But I am also honored on behalf of our staff here at the Sentinel. Every week we push ourselves to continuously deliver a superior product to you our readers, and these awards represent to me that our efforts reflect the greatest of our community at the highest level.
I believe these awards are also a tribute to you our readers, who push us week in and week out to deliver the absolute best our community has to offer. The truth is to you our community, we will give nothing less than the very best and I promise that we will continue to push ourselves to keep giving you and being the very best newspaper week in and week out.
So, whether you agree or disagree, now more than ever I really need your input. I need to hear from you. I need to know what is going on in our community. I also need to know what other stories we need to tell, and what is on your mind. I really do want to hear from you, I want you to “Talk to Danny.”
Danny J. Bakewell, Jr.
President & Executive Editor