Black Newspapers Recommit to Partnership with Howard

NNPA Rededicates Media Lab to Journalism Dept.

Left to Right: Mary Denson (in purple), chairwoman of the NNPA Foundation joins Wilhelmina Wright-Harp, the associate dean of the School of Communications at Howard University in the cutting the ribbon during the rededication of the NNPA Media Lab at Howard University as Bishetta Merritt (in eyeglasses), the interim chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film (MJF), Yanick Rice Lamb, the assistant chair of MJF, Cloves Campbell, the chairman of the NNPA Association, and Benjamin Chavis, the president and CEO of the NNPA look on.

WASHIGTON — The National Newspaper Publishers Association, a federation of more than 200 black-owned newspapers, rededicated the Media Lab at Howard University’s School of Communication by adding more top-of-the-line computers and other equipment.

The lab is a symbol of the commitment to the partnership between the organization and the journalism department, NNPA officials said.  A ribbon cutting took place on the second floor of the School of Communications during the NNPA’s annual Black Press Week with numerous members of the NNPA, the School of Communications and NNPA interns from around the country.


“In 2014, the media lab was refurbished with 16 Mac desktop computers thanks to Mary Denson of the NNPA,” said Wilhelmina Wright–Harp, the associate dean for Research and Academic Affairs.  “This news lab serves as a central vehicle for the journalism department preparing students to convey news and persuasive messages with technology.”


The NNPA began its partnership with Howard University School of Communications in 2003. It is one of the first partnerships between news organization and universities in the country. Howard journalism students continue the partnership today through the Howard University News Service.


Students have their original stories published in NNPA papers throughout the country, which contributes to their resume, clips and their overall journalism acumen.


Anissa Pierre, a senior in the school’s Department of Media, Journalism and Film, was selected to participate as one of 20 interns during Black Press Week.


“We got to meet a lot of publishers and have workshops with George Curry, the NNPA editor-in-chief,” Pierre said. “He gave us interviewing and writing tips. I don’t have anything lined up after graduation.   So, this has been really helpful.”


 “Our mission is to serve the NNPA and our students,” said Yanick Lamb, the assistant chair of the Department of Media, Journalism and Film. “We thank you for publishing their stories around the country. We have a chance to work on a lot of pressing issues affecting our communities.”


When Trennie Williams Jr., 19, a sophomore at University of Tennessee – Knoxville, heard about the opportunity to participate in Black Press Week, he jumped at the opportunity, after all he has been around the NNPA his whole life.


“I found out about this opportunity through my granddad, Mr. Jimmy Williams, who owns the Memphis Silver Star,” Williams said. “I thought it would be a great way to learn and get exposure. To me, now it is that much more important for me to continue the tradition that has been set.”