WASHINGTON -- The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) will induct five legendary journalists into its Hall of Fame, the organization's highest honor, and present the Ida B. Wells Award, the annual honor highlighting the achievement of a media executive who has demonstrated a commitment to diversifying the nation's newsrooms and improving the coverage of people and communities of color. The ceremony will be held on Thursday, January 27, 2011 at the Newseum in downtown Washington, D.C. Proceeds from the gala benefit fellowship programs. The event will be hosted by MSNBC's Tamron Hall, host of News Nation.
Annually, NABJ pays homage to legendary black journalists who have made outstanding contributions to the industry. Over the last 20 years, NABJ has inducted over 40 journalists into the esteemed Hall of Fame, such as W.E.B. DuBois, John H. Johnson, and Carole Simpson.
"These trailblazers in the industry have endured great challenges so that black journalists today can have more freedom and professional opportunities," said NABJ President Kathy Times. "As Black History Month approaches, we are proud to be the first event held at the Newseum that solely recognizes the contributions of Black journalists in our industry."
The star-powered event will include the following guests: Senior Advisor to President Obama, Valerie Jarrett; MSNBC's Andrea Mitchell, Chris Matthews, and Chuck Todd; President of NBC News Steve Capus; President and CEO of BET Debra Lee; Managing Editor NBC News' theGrio.com, David Wilson; Members of Congress, and many others.
Attendees will have access to the 250,000 square foot museum of news. The Newseum features seven levels of galleries, theaters, retail spaces and visitor services. It offers a unique environment that takes museum-goers behind the scenes to experience how and why news is made.
The program will also recognize the event's Honorary Chairman John Seigenthaler, the Newseum's Vice President for programs Jack Marsh and the introductory announcement of NABJ's newest Fellowship awards.
Five legendary journalists who have helped us make sense of the world will be honored – Ed Bradley, Eugene Robinson, Merri Dee, JC Hayward, and Ray Taliaferro. Walterene Swanston will receive the Ida B. Wells Award.
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization of journalists of color in the nation and provides educational, career development and support to black journalists worldwide.