New York Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet, WCBS-TV Anchor Dana Tyler and legendary columnist Clem Richardson were honored last Tuesday at the New York Association of Black Journalists? 2014 Scholarship & Awards ceremony. NYABJ President Michael Feeney made opening remarks and NY1 News anchor, author and award-winning journalist Cheryl Wills served as this year?s dinner chair.??
Baquet, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the first African American executive editor at the Times, was honored with the Trailblazer Award.
?Of all the awards that I?ve gotten over the years, this one means as much to me, if not more, than any of them because it?s a powerful reminder that having journalists of color in important positions truly matters, particularly right now. Of course it matters inside of our newsrooms and it even matters within our companies. Last week, a group of Times employees met with me, and the most emotional congratulations came from people in Advertising and in Circulation. A staff that is not diverse can?t hope to cover the world; a staff that is not diverse won?t see why Ferguson is a story that?s so resonant in so many ways and won?t stick with it until the end; a staff that is not diverse might not cover the television business as clearly as we should; a staff that is not diverse will not see the story of economic upheaval as clear as it should. I would like to argue that the diversity of our audiences is the most important issue that we face. My biggest concern besides the diversity of our staff is the diversity of our audiences. I?m worried that the American press is on its way to becoming an expensive, hard-to-read medium that doesn?t draw kids who have less money and maybe less education. And it?s important for us to fight against that and find stories that appeal to those kids. And if you all were like me as a kid, I needed stories like that when I was growing up in a household where my mother had a third grade education and my father did not go to high school. It?s important for us to gain the diversity of readership by pushing stories like the Ebola story. It?s important for us to not get too caught up in the stories about a luxuriant America and to make sure we find stories that tell people that not all of America is so luxuriant,? Baquet said on stage upon receiving his award.?????????
Held at the Time-Life Building in Midtown Manhattan, the event was hosted by Sandra Bookman, a reporter and anchor at WCBS-TV and a 2013 Network Journal 25 Influential Black Women in Business honoree, and Dean Meminger, an anchor at NY1 News. Together, they gave a moving tribute in memoriam of journalists of color who passed away between 2013 and 2014 including radio newsman Joe Bragg and WNBC-TV reporter John Noel.????
The Lifetime Achievement award went to Tyler who said that her grandfather, a reporter during World War I, ?was the first Black reporter in his field? and shared her feelings of pride in being a part of his legacy.
Richardson, who has written for the New York Daily News since 1993, also accepted a Lifetime Achievement award.????????
Other award recipients included journalists from several news outlets including the New York Daily News, NY1 News, WNBC-Television, 1010 WINS Radio, The Amsterdam News, The Wall Street Journal, WBGO Radio, WCBS Radio, Bloomberg, News-12, and many others.??
CLICK HERE to view photos from N.Y. Association of Black Journalists? 2014 Scholarship & Awards
* Photo: Alonzo Boldin