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The ‘new guard’ in black media

Joy-Ann Reid, Managing Editor, theGriot

By Tracie Powell

The black press began in 1827 when John Russwurm and Samuel Cornish started Freedom’s Journal in New York. Black newspapers were most popular during the 1920’s and ’30s, when major papers virtually ignored black America (they wouldn’t even run African American obituaries). 

Black newspapers and magazines were once the dominant means of communication for African Americans, as depicted in the documentary “Soldiers Without Swords.” But with circulations in free fall, their continued relevance had been questioned in recent years.

Coverage of Trayvon Martin’s story is turning that idea on its head. READ MORE


Tracie Powell is a regular contributor to Poynter Online and Vice Chair of Education & Policy of the NABJ Digital Journalism Task Force.