Guest Commentary

Written by admin   // March 10, 2011   // 0 Comments

Did the NAACP snub the Black press?

Courtesy of the Philadelphia Tribune

Does the NAACP, the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization, truly believe in economic inclusion?

Is the NAACP deliberately snubbing the Black press when it comes to delivering its advertising messages?

Considering recent action taken by the NAACP, or others working on its behalf or using the organization’s name, one has to wonder.

In the Thursday edition of the Philadelphia Daily News was a glossy 64-page insert advertising the NAACP’s 42nd annual Image Awards Magazine. However the insert was not placed in the Philadelphia Tribune or to our knowledge any other African-American newspaper in the nation.

Danny Bakewell, chairman of 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.

Phone calls to several other African-American newspapers, including the Amsterdam News in New York, The Washington and Baltimore Afro American newspapers, and the Los Angeles Wave and Los Angeles Sentinel revealed that not only did these newspapers not receive the insert, but they did not receive any advertisements at all about the Image Awards.

“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 Bakewell.

Bakewell points out that while the Black press has always supported the NAACP, the relationship has not been reciprocal.

“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.

At press time the Tribune had not heard from the NAACP. We would like to hear the group’s explanation for how an organization that rightly criticizes corporate America for minority exclusion can justify the same practices when it comes to the Black press.


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