The National Newspaper Publishers Association held their 2016 Annual Convention June 21-25 in Houston, Texas. The theme for this year’s convention was “The Black Press: Penetrating and Sustaining in the Global Marketplace. The National Newspaper Publishers Association is led Dr. Ben Chavis as President and Denise Rolark-Barnes, Publisher of the Washington Informer as Chairman.
Nearly 200 Publishers of African American publications from across the country gathered at the Omni Hotel for a week of inspiring, thought-provoking and fun filled activities. Three of NNPA’s leading media companies – The Houston Defender, The Houston Forward Times and Houston Style were host to this year’s convention. Gospel TV legend Dr. Bobby Jones received the Lifetime Achievement Award during a Prayer Breakfast, “Proclaiming the Good News”. Dr. Jones is Mr. Gospel himself, credited with taking Gospel Music to mainstream airwaves via cable television. Bobby Jones Gospel, for which he is best known as host and executive producer, has been seen on BET since November 1990 and is one of the network’s most popular shows which ended last year after 35 years. For 24 seasons, “The Dr. Bobby Jones International Gospel Industry Retreat” as one of the most anticipated Gospel music conferences in the country.
During the conference, acknowledgement of the NNPA 2016 Scholarships and Junior Scholars from Texas Southern University along with the NNPA Merit awards was held. Among the workshops held were “Lessons on Advancing Your Digital Platform; Relationships and Sponsors Engagement Session and Criminal Justice Reform: Decriminalizing the Black Community led by Former Congressman Kendrick Meek, former Captain, Florida State Highway Patrol, John I. Dixon, III, Past President, National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); Major Neill Franklin, former Narcotics Agent, Maryland State Police and Art Way, Esq., State Director/Colorado,
Drug Policy Alliance. The conference concluded on Saturday morning with a Publishers Roundtable. The NNPA will meet in Washington, D.C. in September during the Black Caucus.