On Election Night 2020, the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) embarked on an unprecedented mission to bring Black America wall-to-wall coverage of the historic contest between President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
According to the more than 40 Black Press newspaper publishers, editors, reporters, and the various members of Congress and celebrities who participated—the five-hour broadcast proved successful.
“I couldn’t turn it off,” said NNPA Chair and Houston Forward Times Publisher Karen Carter Richards.
“I’m so proud of all the publishers and the journalists of the Black Press for what was accomplished by us on Election Night. It shows that people need us, and we need each other. This was such a great moment for the Black Press, and the participation was nothing short of amazing.”
Publishers from battleground and swing states like Wisconsin, Florida, Arizona, Georgia, and North Carolina took part in the broadcast, as did those from cities including Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Sacramento, Cincinnati and Toledo, Ohio; Seattle, Houston, Richmond, and Jackson, Mississippi.
Journalists like William Ford and Anthony Tilghman of the Washington Informer and Lynn Jones of the Jacksonville Free Press joined the broadcast from election campaign headquarters and the White House to provide viewers and listeners with updates.
“For over 193 years, the Black Press of America has continued to stay on the frontlines of the struggles of Black Americans for freedom, justice, and equality,” said NNPA President/CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr.
“On the night of the 2020 national elections in the United States, the NNPA added another historic chapter to the transformative legacy of the Black Press. For five hours in its 2020 election night live global broadcast, the NNPA produced and distributed an unprecedented news and commentary coverage of the political views and significance of Black America’s determinative impact on the 2020 elections.”
Representatives Eddie Bernice Johnson (D-Texas), Brenda Lawrence (D-Michigan), and Hank Johnson (D-Illinois), joined Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, and Black Women’s Roundtable Founder Melanie Campbell as special guests providing valuable analysis.
Scranton, Pennsylvania journalist Steve Corbett, and legendary Supremes singer Mary Wilson also provided commentary.
The broadcast occurred over several Facebook pages, YouTube, and <BlackPressUSA.com>.
The Washington Informer, Savannah Tribune and Houston Forward Times were among the members sharing the live-stream.
“The job [NNPA] did was amazing. Great, great job,” said Washington Informer Publisher Denise Rolark Barnes, who scrapped her newspaper’s Election Night live-stream to open up her social media pages to the NNPA.
“I’m so excited about the NNPA,” said journalist Mikel Holt of the Milwaukee Community Journal, who joined the broadcast throughout the night.
“I believe we are on the precipice of a totally different respect for the Black Press of America. We remain a distinct demographic, not homogenous, yet ethnically grouped to tell our truths like no other.”
Holt noted that millennials joined elders in voting and advocating this year to make their concerns known. “And change remained a forefront issue through the leadership of our Black papers, throughout the country,” Holt said.
“We look forward to more opportunities to share our local dynamics as we jointly pursue a national agenda that strengthens us all.”
Tanya Milton of the Savannah Tribune and Jan-Michelle Kearney of the Cincinnati Herald also proclaimed success for the Black Press.
“We were able to share the program,” Milton said. “Thank you.”
Michelle-Kearney said: “The NNPA team has elevated the Black Press to new heights. We are rising.”