Janis Ware, publisher and owner of The Atlanta Voice, was elected as first vice president of the National Newspaper Publisher’s Association (NNPA) during the trade organization’s annual convention in Cincinnati on Friday, June 28.

Houston Forward Times Publisher Karen Carter Richards was elected as the organization’s new chair over incumbent Chair Dorothy Leavell of the Chicago Crusader Newspaper Group.

“I am excited to have been elected first vice president of the NNPA, an organization that advocates for African American newspapers across the country,” Ware said. “The opportunity to impact the direction and public face of NNPA is a welcomed change.

“Promoting the disseminating of news to our readers on a variety of platforms that include digital and social media affords our messages to attract additional readers in a way that will expand our current reach in print and online,” she continued. “While print will always remain our primary vehicle of messaging we will not shy away from new opportunities.”

Additional elected executive board members include:

• Fran Farrer, Publisher of The County News, elected as second vice chair;
• Jackie Hampton, Publisher of The Mississippi Link, elected as secretary;
• Brenda Andrews, Publisher of New Journal & Guide, elected as treasurer;

Ware’s husband, James A. Washington, who serves as publisher of the Dallas Weekly and president of The Atlanta Voice, was voted as one of the directors-at-large for NNPA, along with Sonceria Messiah of the Houston Defender.

Prior to her newly-elected position, Ware previously held the position as NNPA’s treasurer.
For 79 years, NNPA (formerly known as the National Negro Publishers Association) has represented African American newspapers and media organizations as a national trade organization comprised of more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers.

The largest organization comprised of Black-owned media companies, NNPA was originally organized by John H. Sengstacke, of the Chicago Defender, back in 1940.

“It’s time for a new vision and leadership that goes beyond where we used to be,” Richards said.

“We are the Black Press of America, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, so when I ask are you down with O.B.P., I am talking about letting people know that we are the Original Black Press, and we aren’t going anywhere.”

Janis Ware

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