The Jackson Advocate wins three 2022 NNPA Messenger Awards, publisher wins 2022 Diamond Journalism Award

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The Jackson Advocate won three (3) awards at the 2022 National Newspaper Publishers Association Fund Messenger Awards. The awards ceremony, held in person in New Orleans and virtually on Thursday, June 23, 2022, honors excellence in publishing and reporting among some 200+ Black newspapers across the nation.

Sponsored by Molson Coors, Google News Initiative, and Facebook Journalism Project, the Messenger Awards presented honors in the divisions of Equity (Health, Education, Social & Criminal Justice, and Environment); Perspective (Faith & Religion, Business, Editorial & Opinion, and Original Photography Use); Culture (Entertainment, Sports, Youth & Children, Fashion, and Beauty & Lifestyle); Creative (Special Edition, Original Advertising Campaign, and Layout & Design); Digital (Website Excellence, Facebook Campaign, Instagram Campaign, and Video Campaign); and Audience (Community Service, Community Engagement, Newspaper Excellence, and Newsletter Excellence).

For the second year in a row, the Jackson Advocate has placed amongst the top Black publications in the country.

The Jackson Advocate won second place in the Perspective division in the category of Original Photography Use Award for its coverage of the First Lady Jill Biden’s visit to Jackson State University to promote COVID vaccinations in the Black community.  The photo was taken by publisher DeAnna Tisdale Johnson on June 23, 2021 and featured in the June 24-30, 2021 issue.

The Jackson Advocate won third place for the Leon W. Washington Award in the division of Creative and the category of Special Edition for its 2021 Black History Special Edition. The issue featured a history of the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade and the African Diaspora. It also featured a story from Earnest McBride about a Black first lady of China (“Black wife of Trinidad-born Eugene Chen was First Lady of China posthumously in 1926”). 

The Jackson Advocate won third place for the W.A. Scott II Award in the division of Audience and the category of Community Engagement for its ability to engage with the community through its podcast, Volume. The show features guests from around the Magnolia state and covers topics that range from discussing the Jackson water crisis, critical race theory, and the stigma of living with HIV/AIDS, among others.

And, for the first time, the Jackson Advocate and Publisher DeAnna Tisdale Johnson were recognized by the Society of Professional Journalists | Arkansas Pro Chapter for the work created in conjunction with the Mississippi Free Press through the Black Women, Systemic Barriers and COVID-19 Project collaboration. 

During its 2022 Diamond Journalism Awards ceremony, DeAnna Tisdale Johnson, Azia Wiggins, Torsheta Jackson, Aliyah Veal, Kimberly Griffin, Kristin Brenemen, Donna Ladd, and the Mississippi Free Press received the award for Special Section – Print/Online. One judge commented, “An outstanding project by a team of journalists using superior written and visual journalism to trace historic roots of a public health phenomenon, educate on the consequences of systemic inequities, and illuminate solutions, all in an engaging digital package. Exceptional work.”

The awards honor journalism excellence among professionals and students from Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas. This year’s competition, for work published or broadcast in 2021, drew 379 entries in more than 80 categories. Judges were members of the SPJ chapters in Colorado, New Mexico, and Wyoming.

The Jackson Advocate is among the oldest continuously published Black-owned and operated newspapers in the United States. Since 1938, we have served as “The Voice of Black Mississippians”. This is our motto and our mission. While informing our audience about local, national, and global issues affecting their lives, we record their histories of challenges, sacrifices, and triumphs. We are more than a newspaper. Our advocacy for social justice extends far beyond words printed on paper. We are action-oriented, striving to lead by example.

Established more than 20 years ago, the NNPA Foundation is a 501(c)3 tax-exempt organization that has traditionally focused on pre-professional training and encouraging excellence in the industry. Its four traditional programs include: the Black Press Archives and Hall of Fame at Howard University, the A. Philip Randolph Messenger Awards for Excellence in publishing and reporting, a summer internship program offering journalism students the opportunity to gain hands-on experience at Black newspapers, and a scholarship fund providing financial assistance to college and graduate students with an interest in journalism. In 2000, the foundation created the Black Press Institute and the NorthStar Center for Civic Journalism as a means of revitalizing and enhancing its programmatic activities.

DeAnna Tisdale Johnson has stepped into the role of publisher of her family legacy, the Jackson Advocate. Since March 2020, she has led the publication to once again become an award-winning newspaper with a new logo and website to boot. She is a Jackson native, graduating from Murrah High School and Tougaloo College. She is also classically trained in vocal performance, and, though she’s never broken a glass, she’s known to still hit a high note or two.

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The Jackson Advocate wins three 2022 NNPA Messenger Awards, publisher wins 2022 Diamond Journalism Award

By DeAnna Tisdale Johnson
July 10, 2022