In 1973 a group of Black journalists envisioned an organization that would support Black journalists and advocate for accountability in news stories ensuring that the stories impacting minority communities would be reported fairly and correctly.

On Sept. 20, that group, now known as the Pittsburgh Black Media Federation, celebrated 40 years of PBMF and 30 years of the Frank Bolden Urban Journalism Workshop with a theme of “Onward!” 




The traditional entertaining and elegant dinner was reprised at the University Club and the evening was a well-written story with exciting lead characters. Urban journalism workshop graduates Sharon Epperson, a CNBC Correspondent, was the keynote speaker while Keith L. Alexander, a Washington Post reporter, served as master of ceremonies. Event chairs Erv Dyer and LaMont Jones Jr. and their committees decided on a refreshing conversation between Epperson and Alexander as the centerpiece of the evening, even allowing for a few questions for Epperson from the audience.


ONWARD—Shelia Beasley, LaMont Jones Jr. and Tonita Davidson (Photos by J.L. Martello)


This was also the evening that the 2013 Robert L. Vann Media Awards were presented, along with a presentation of awards to the PBMF Elders, the ones who laid the groundwork 40 years ago. A $1,000 scholarship was presented to Teadora Dillard. The  Communicator of the year award was presented to Candi Castleberry-Singleton and the Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Robert Hill. A wide array of writers, editors, producers, show hosts, photographers, artists, and digital medial gurus and public relations specialists worked to make the evening happen. Also on this beautiful evening the PBMF 2013 Haitian Storytelling Fellowship was announced. Five Bolden workshop alumni and one professional photographer were traveling to Haiti to report on the grassroots recovery efforts in the country.


HONOREES—Candi Castleberry-Singleton and Robert Hill


PBMF President, Tonita Davidson says, “the fellowship will serve as a platform for the development of the Edna McKenzie Fellowship, which will offer journalists opportunities to report on issues of the African Diaspora.” Onward was a fitting theme.


KUDOS TO JOHNSON—Ashley Johnson, of the New Pittsburgh Courier, with her award.


THE SOUTHERS—Mark Southers and wife, Neicy Southers


PBMF SUPPORTERS—Syndi Grant, Ashley Connor, Jasmine Caprice and Johnetha Mitchell


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