Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) President Sarah J. Glover thanked everyone, on behalf of the PABJ Board, for an amazing show of support for the sold out 2012 PABJ 7th Annual Awards Ceremony. The organization’s signature event took place at WHYY TV Studio in Center City on Saturday May 19.
Distinguished 2011 PABJ honorees were: Fatimah Ali, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, WURD 900AM (posthumously); Sarah Hoye, Journalist of the Year – Online, CNN; Jericka Duncan, Journalist of the Year – Broadcast, CBS3; Phillip Dixon, Trailblazer Award, formerly of The Philadelphia Inquirer and Howard University; and Todd Bernstein, Community Service Award, Global Citizen/MLK Day of Service. A very special highlight of the evening was the
presentation of videos shared by each recipient which provided an in-depth look at their professional achievements as well as their personal interest.
This year’s PABJ scholarship winners are: Derrick Q. Lewis, a journalism major at Temple University and aspiring broadcast journalist, and Brianna Taylor, a senior at Absegami High School in Galloway Township, N.J., who plans to study journalism at Hampton University in the fall. Both will receive scholarships to further their education.
Elmer Smith, renowned and retired columnist from The Philadelphia Daily News, served as master of ceremonies. Smith said, “The remarks by Marc Lamont Hill, this year’s special guest speaker and host of the nationally syndicated television show “Our World With Black Enterprise,” were a call to young journalists.
For me, the tribute to Fatima Ali was most moving. She was a respected journalist who I worked with at The Philadelphia Daily News and WHAT-AM Radio,” Smith said. He also noted how Ali’s family acknowledged how her late husband and broadcast journalist, Brahin Ahmaddiya, had helped her break into the field of journalism.
Ali’s (formerly Susan Hughes) sudden death at age 56 in January was a shocking loss. I spoke with her mother, Mrs. Mary Hughes who accepted the award on her daughter’s behalf. She helps you understand the source of Fatima’s tremendous fortitude. Mrs. Hughes stressed, “As my daughter grew as a journalist, she also grew as a person. I am so proud that she will not only be remembered as an exceptional journalist but also as an outspoken activist for women and the homeless.” Hughes also credited the PABJ for opening the doors for Fatima and other aspiring, young black journalists, mentoring, and providing professional development.
Among the hosts of relatives attending the ceremony to pay tribute to Fatimah were: her father, Dr. Deurward Hughes and his wife Terri Kriedman who traveled from Martha’s Vineyard, Mass.; one of her two sisters Diane Webster from northern New Jersey and her eldest daughter, Arielle Hughes.
Duncan joined CBS3 and the CW Philly’s Eyewitness team in 2010 as a general assignment reporter. She quickly became one of the city’s most recognizable reporters and has covered news ranging from Hurricane Irene to exclusive interviews for the story about three mentally challenged adults held captive in a basement. Before coming to Philadelphia, Duncan was a reporter for WIVB-TV, the CBS station in Buffalo, where she had been on air since 2007. Previously, she was an anchor/reporter for WETM, the NBC station in Elmira, N.Y.
Duncan grew up in newsrooms shadowing her father, Ronnie Duncan, a popular sports anchor in Huntsville, Ala. She received a New York State Broadcasters Association Award for
Best Spot News Coverage in 2007 and a local Emmy Award in the Best Morning Show category for winter-storm coverage in 2008.
Hoye joined CNN in 2010 as an all-platform journalist based in Philadelphia, covering regional assignments and breaking news. She has reported on several prominent national stories, most recently, the Penn State scandal, the disabled adults held captive in a basement, Philadelphia’s violent teen mobs and the Catholic priest sex scandal. She was among CNN’s first team on the ground during the Gulf oil spill, which earned the company the prestigious 2011 Peabody Award.
In 2008, Hoye was named Emerging Journalist of The Year by the National Association of Black Journalists. She previously worked at the Tampa Tribune/WFLA News Channel 8, the Lexington Herald-Leader and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
Dixon is an award-winning journalist, editor and educator who has made his mark in the industry for more than three decades. He held top leadership positions at The Philadelphia Inquirer as a reporter, assistant city editor, city editor, deputy suburban editor and its first Black managing editor. He was on the team of Inquirer reporters that won the Pulitzer Prize in 1980 for coverage of the partial meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear plant. He was an instructor in the first Acel Moore High School Journalism Project. Dixon also worked at the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. In 2002, he joined the faculty at Howard University as chairman of the journalism department. He retired in 2011.
Bernstein, president of Global Citizen, has dedicated his career to public service. He has had a tremendously positive on the entire community. Bernstein is founder the Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King of Day of Service, which mobilized more than 109,000 people this year to participate in community volunteer programs. The MLK Day of Service involves a broad spectrum of projects, including cleaning up neighborhoods, sprucing up schools and empowering young people. Bernstein also founded MLK365, which transformed the King Day of Service into a year-round civic engagement initiative. This program provides volunteer opportunities, educational programs and community partnerships across the region. He has also adopted a project to restore historic Eden Cemetery, the oldest Black public cemetery in the United States, to its former prominence. In January, Bernstein was honored at the White House by President Obama as a “Champion of Change” for his outstanding community service.
Among other distinguished journalists attending the awards ceremony were National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) President Gregory H. Lee Jr.; Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist and history maker, Acel Moore and his wife; and outstanding broadcast journalist and columnist, Linda Wright Moore.
Proceeds from the awards banquet support PABJ’s scholarship program and its year-round
community activities. For more information, visit www.pabj.org.