Author: Sam G. Riley
Category: African Americans in the mass media industry
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The history of African Americans in the news media is a relatively recent story of firsts. Consider Dorothy Gilliam, who in 1961 became the first black woman reporter hired by The Washington Post, or Bob Herbert, who in 1993 became the first black columnist at The New York Times, or even Mark Whitaker, who in 1998 became the first black editor of one of America's three major newsweeklies, Newsweek. These are just a few of the trailblazers who overcame obstacles to rise to the highest echelons of the media world. Prior to the 1960s, however, African Americans working for the predominantly white media were few and far between. After the subsiding of the dramatic civil rights demonstrations that shook most of America out of complacent acceptance of the status quo, the hiring of African-American news people slowed for a time before accelerating in the 1970, gaining real speed in the 1980s and 1990s. By the dawning of the new millennium, African Americans in the news media had achieved a sort of critical mass. This two-volume biographical encyclopedia chronicles the success stories and considerable strides made by over 240 African American media figures from newspapers, magazines, radio, television, and the Internet. The most influential and often groundbreaking reporters, columnists, editors, publishers, broadcasters, and even talk show hosts are all included here. Each in-depth biography discusses the individual's achievements and struggles along with more personal and career information. Numerous primary source documents-including newspaper and magazine articles, columns, and radio and television transcripts-give readers first-hand accounts from the newsrooms. Unlike other reference workscurrently available, this timely encyclopedia emphasizes those African Americans who are currently working in the news media. Among the featured: BLBob Herbert, syndicated columnist, The New York Times BLRichard D. Parsons, CEO, Time Warner BLLeonard Pitts, syndicated columnist, Tribune Media Services BLClarence Page, syndicated columnist, Chicago Tribune BLStanley Crouch, columnist, New York Daily News BLDerrick Johnson, columnist, The Boston Globe BLEd Bradley, correspondent, 60 Minutes on CBS BLLester Holt, anchor and show host, MSNBC BLCharlayne Hunter-Gault, foreign correspondent, NPR BLGwen Ifill, correspondent and moderator, PBS BLRobert L. Johnson, founder of Black Entertainment Television BLByron Pitts, national correspondent, CBS news BLAlfred Edmond, editor-in-chief, Black Enterprise Magazine BLMark Whitaker, editor, Newsweek BLLinda Johnson-Rice, publisher, Johnson Publishing Company BLKevin Blackistone, sports columnist, The Dallas Morning News BLRobin Roberts, sportscaster, anchor, ABC and ESPN BLOprah Winfrey, show host, ABC actress, producer, magazine publisher BLMichelle Norris, host of All Things Considered on NPR. A timeline, comprehensive introduction, numerous photos, and an extensive bibliography of print and electronic sources for further reading are included, making this encyclopedia a valuable reference for teachers and students interested in understanding the impact and significance of African Americans in the news media today.