Media group’s new officers to incorporate tradition, fresh ideas

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PITTSBURGH (RTNS)— The Pittsburgh Black Media Federation’s newly elected officers want to continue the PBMF’s legacy of supporting journalistic excellence, and bring fresh initiatives to the organization.

PBMF members recently elected journalists Tory N. Parrish as president, Brian Cook as vice president, Merecedes J. Howze as secretary and LaMont Jones Jr. as treasurer-parliamentarian to serve in the 2014-15 term.

Founded in 1973, PBMF is a nonprofit organization that advocates for diversity in newsrooms, hosts programs that recognize excellent media coverage of minority communities and trains young people to enter the media industry.

Its marquee event is the annual Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop, which is a 30-year-old program in which high school students, guided by media professionals, produce projects in print, online, photo, radio and television journalism.

“I am looking forward to working with PBMF’s members to continue its tradition of advocating for journalists of color and fair coverage of minority communities,” said Parrish, a general-assignment reporter at the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.  “We also will work on new professional development initiatives to expand membership, incorporate more technology into communication and other PBMF operations, and partner with veteran journalists to bridge generations of media professionals.”

OFFICER BIOGRAPHIES

President: Parrish has more than a decade of experience in journalism.  She started her career in newspapers as an education reporter at the Manassas Journal Messenger in Northern Virginia.  She then spent five years working at the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, N.Y., where she was a business reporter and, later, a copy editor, before going to the Trib.

She is a member of the Pennsylvania Women’s Press Association, for which she is contest director, and the Women’s Press Club of Pittsburgh.  Parrish has a bachelor’s degree in communication, with a concentration in print journalism, from George Mason University in Fairfax, Va.

Brian Cook

Brian Cook

Vice President: Cook is a national, award-winning journalist for the American Urban Radio Networks.  In addition to serving as the web content manager for AURN.com and a producer for AURN programs, he reports on breaking news, sports and entertainment stories of national interest.

Cook also is a co-host of “Championship Chase,” a TV show on the Pittsburgh Cable News Channel that focuses on the Pittsburgh Steelers’ efforts to win a seventh NFL Lombardi Trophy.

Cook has a bachelor’s degree in communications, with a concentration in broadcast journalism, from Clarion University of Pennsylvania.  He is a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.

Merecedes J. Howze photo

Merecedes J. Howze

Secretary: Howze is the creator of Movie Scene Queen, a movie review and entertainment website for movie lovers. Movie Scene Queen is the official movie reviewer for the New Pittsburgh Courier, the Soul Pitt Quarterly Magazine and Mt. Ararat Baptist Church’s The Mount Magazine. She also works for Pittsburgh Public Schools’ Summer Dreamers Academy as a project assistant and activities coordinator.

Howze recently was honored by the New Pittsburgh Courier as a member of the Class of 2013’s Fab 40 under 40, an elite group of young professionals who have excelled in their workforces.

She studied journalism at Clark Atlanta and Duquesne universities.  She is a mother of two young children.

LaMont Jones

LaMont Jones

Treasurer-parliamentarian: Jones spent more than a decade as an award-winning fashion editor for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, where he worked until 2008.  He then spent two years as editor-in-chief of TheStyleArbiter.com, an online style magazine that he founded.  Jones is now a style writer, copy editor and style expert for Demand Media Studios.

He also is president and chief executive officer of Pneuma Publishing International Inc., a full-service boutique publishing company.  A former PBMF president, Jones has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and government from Western Kentucky University and a master’s degree in theology from the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

For more information about PBMF, call (412) 339-0730 or email tparrish@tribweb.com.

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