National Newspaper Publishers Foundation Chair Al McFarlane presents the Best Column award to Askia Muhammad at the 2017 Merit Awards during the National Newspaper Publishers Association's annual convention at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on June 22. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)
National Newspaper Publishers Foundation Chair Al McFarlane presents the Best Column award to Askia Muhammad at the 2017 Merit Awards during the National Newspaper Publishers Association's annual convention at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in Oxon Hill, Maryland, on June 22. (Roy Lewis/The Washington Informer)

The Washington Informer earned four National Newspaper Publishers Association Awards at the organization’s 2017 summer conference.

The newspaper was honored the Miller Coors A. Phillip Randolph Messenger Award for Digital Excellence. The Informer also earned a second-place award for the Robert L. Vann Best Layout and Design the Frank L. Stanley Sr. Best Feature Story while garnering a third-place honor in the category of the Emory O. Jackson Best Column Writing.

“We don’t do it for awards, but it’s always good when we are acknowledged for the many hours of hard work that we do on behalf of our community,” said D. Kevin McNeir, managing editor of The Informer.

It was a piece by McNeir titled, “The Hurt is Real, But We Heal,” that earned second place in the Best Feature Story category.

Meanwhile, the St. Louis American earned 10 awards, including the coveted John B. Russwurm and Robert A. Sengstacke trophy for general excellence at the ceremony held inside the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center.

The Philadelphia Tribune and Los Angeles Sentinel each also enjoyed a good night inside a packed and festive hotel ballroom.
The Tribune copped six awards while the Sentinel walked away with four.

Jackie Hampton of the Mississippi Link earned the Publisher of the Year award.

“I’m at a loss for words,” said the affable Hampton, who admitted to being surprised by the honor.

“I’ve learned so much from you,” she said in addressing fellow NNPA publishers. “I don’t look so much as to what I can get out of this organization; what I really enjoy is what I can give to this organization.”

For the St. Louis American, however, the NNPA has repeatedly — and deservedly — paid homage to the Pulitzer Prize-winning newspaper which continues to set standards not just for the Black Press, but for all print publications around the globe.

“It was a whole team of people who worked so hard and we had excellent competition so it really is an honor to be recognized by our peers in this way,” said Kenya Vaughn, the website editor for the American. “I’m very proud and humbled that [the NNPA] recognized us and recognized that we are informing and shaping the minds of our communities through what we publish and print and we do not take that lightly.”

Irv Randolph, managing editor of the Philadelphia Tribune, said he was thrilled with the honors his paper received.

“It’s always good to compete with some of the best black papers in the country and to help raise awareness about the African-American press,” Randolph said.

Among the honors earned by the Tribune were first-place awards for Best News Story, Best Church Section, the Don King Best Sports Section and Best Entertainment Section.

Other first-place winners include the Amsterdam News for Best Editorial; New Tri-State Defender for Best Column Writing; Houston Defender for the Carl Murphy Community Service Award; Cincinnati Herald for Best Feature Story; The Skanner for Best Layout and Design- Broadsheet; Houston Forward Times for Best Special Edition; New Tri-State Defender for Best Youth Writer; and the Michigan Chronicle for Best Business Section.

Stacy M. Brown is a senior writer for The Washington Informer and the senior national correspondent for the Black Press of America. Stacy has more than 25 years of journalism experience and has authored...

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