The National Association of Black Journalists assembled in Boston this week for its 39th annual convention and career fair. A hotbed of networking, socializing and advocacy building among the nation’s Black reporters, editors and content creators, it is a regular destination for journalism faculty and students at historically Black colleges and universities. Morehouse College President John Silvanus Wilson addressed convention attendees by joining in on the event’s official hashtag, and took Black journalists to task on telling our stories.
A Google news search of Dr. Wilson’s interviews provides links to features and editorials in Harvard Magazine, the Huffington Post, NPR, B.E.T., Inside Higher Ed, and MSNBC’s The Griot. A review of Morehouse’s official archives on Dr. Wilson’s media mentions adds the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Atlanta Business Chronicle and Milwaukee Public Radio.
None of the aforementioned outlets or networks is Black-owned.
Are Black reporters doing a poor job of telling HBCU stories? Or are some HBCU presidents and PR officials overlooking Black-owned outlets and media as a legitimate source of media outreach? A central theme of this year’s NABJ conference is advancing Black media ownership; is Morehouse committed to being a primary stakeholder in advancing Black media ownership through marketing and advertising support of these outlets?
Has Morehouse sent its best students in journalism and language to work for, or create Black media outlets and companies? Is Morehouse even aware that its own Maroon Tiger newspaper was voted as the best among all historically Black colleges and universities?
All of us can do better and be better, but its clear Dr. Wilson has a little further to walk than most in making Tweets and actions match up.