St. Louis American wins top excellence distinction at NNPA Merit Awards

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NEW YORK (NNPA)—The St. Louis American, the 82-year-old newspaper published by Donald M. Suggs, dominated the National Newspaper Publishers Association Foundation’s Merit Awards this year, once again becoming the “best newspaper in America” by winning the coveted John B. Russwurm Trophy.

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TOP YOUTH SECTION—Nexus Ransom, daughter of Chicago Defender Executive Editor and former Courier Managing Editor Lou Ransom, is shown with Courier Editor and Publisher Rod Doss after receiving the NNPA Merit Award for Best Youth Section. Miss Ransom was a contributing writer for the youth section as a Courier intern.

The New Pittsburgh Courier picked up three awards including first place for best youth section, second place for best news pictures and third place for best use of photos. Courier staff writer Christian Morrow also picked up a second place award in the prestigious A. Phillip Randolph Messenger Awards for a story on “green jobs.” Last year’s Russwurm winner, the Chicago Defender, picked up eight awards including best column writing by former Courier Managing Editor Lou Ransom.

The St. Louis American, the second largest newspaper in Missouri with a circulation of nearly 100,000, netted eight awards, including first place in Community Service, Best Circulation Promotion and Best Lifestyles Section during the organization’s 70th anniversary celebrated in New York, the birthplace of the Black Press. The Russwurm Trophy is given to the newspaper receiving the most points in all Merit Awards categories.

The glitzy gala, this year chaired by Wilmington Journal Publisher Mary Alice Jervay-Thatch, celebrated the history, present and future of the Black Press of America. The newspapers—all from the 200-plus NNPA membership—were recognized for their excellence in 22 categories, ranging from best editorial to best entertainment section.

NNPA Chairman Danny Bakewell received the evening’s highest honor for an individual publisher. He was named publisher of the year. It was a surprise distinction as Bakewell did not apply for or run for the honor. He was nominated. Bakewell, an activist publisher, is highly esteemed for his leadership in fighting to take the Black publisher organization’s name, reputation and level of advertising dollars to a higher level.

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