Some Black press members insulted by exclusion from Image Awards marketing
By Ayana Jones
Tribune Staff Writer
The NAACP has been criticized for not including Black newspapers in a recent advertising campaign.
The NAACP inserted its 42nd NAACP Image Awards Magazine in the Philadelphia Daily News, however the advertisement was not included in The Philadelphia Tribune and other markets (Los Angeles, Atlanta, Texas, New York, New Jersey and Chicago).
The magazine insert serves to highlight the Image Awards and the respective honorees.
“In (Thursday’s) Philadelphia Daily News, the 42nd NAACP Awards Magazine was inserted and not one copy was inserted in the Philadelphia Tribune, America’s oldest and America’s largest daily newspaper serving the African-American community,” said Robert W. Bogle, president and CEO of the Tribune.
“This action is an insult to the men and women who work at the Philadelphia Tribune and should be an insult to Black Americans in this country. The very right of full inclusion and participation of African Americans has been denied by the organization that purports that African Americans should be fairly included in all aspects of American life.”
The National Newspapers Publishers Association, which represents over 200 members of the Black press, is conducting an investigation to determine whether the practice has happened in other markets. Members have been asked to monitor whether the general publications in their areas are carrying the NAACP Image magazine.
“We are quite dismayed and disappointed that the NAACP has, it appears, blatantly overlooked the value of the Black press in slighting and disrespecting the Philadelphia Tribune and when you disrespect one of our papers, you disrespect all of our papers,” said NNPA Chairman Danny Bakewell.
Bakewell says the Black press has continuously supported the NAACP.
“Whenever they have a need the Black press carries their message without question or qualification because we believe in the mission, and it seems as though, from this action, that the NAACP under Mr. Jealous is losing their way and that troubles me greatly,” he said.
“You have to ask the question of who are they trying to get to watch the Image awards. It is a Black program. It is without question a quality program, and is it something that they are trying to get white people to watch, taking for granted that Black people will watch it?” said Bakewell, who publishes the Los Angeles Sentinel.
The Los Angeles Sentinel, which is the city’s oldest and largest Black newspaper, did not carry the insert either.
“This is not the first time that something like this has happened. We would expect that the NAACP would without any hesitation ensure that the Black press is the primary vehicle for communicating its message about the Image Awards or any other issues that come up,” Bakewell said.
NAACP officials could not be reached for comment by the Tribune’s deadline.
“At the end of the day this is not just about communication, this is about economics. The fact that they are buying the message from the white papers and they want us to convey the message free in Black papers is insult to injury,” Bakewell added.
“We have supported them and we will continue to support them in the future but this has got to stop. We want a full explanation and a declaration of what the NAACP’s actions will be towards Black newspapers in the future.”
Contact Tribune staff writer Ayana Jones at (215) 893-5747 or AJones@phillytrib.com.