A Magazine of Pride  | American Journalism Review
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From AJR,   October 2000

A Magazine of Pride   

By Jennifer Dorroh
Jennifer Dorroh (jdorroh@ajr.umd.edu) is AJR's managing editor.     


When Vele Keyta Y. Redding got her start in print journalism as an obituary writer at the Savannah Morning News and Savannah Evening Press in 1984, she was the only African American reporter at the paper.

Now, as founder and publisher of the new magazine PROUD, which celebrates the careers and lives of journalists who "make awesome strides in the industry," Redding hopes to help journalism recruit--and keep--journalists of color.

The quarterly PROUD, an acronym for "People Relying on Unconditional Diversity," bills itself as the "People magazine of the news industry." The summer inaugural issue was widely distributed at conferences of journalists of color, including those of the National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Asian American Journalists Association.

The issue features profiles of CNN's Bernard Shaw and Lee Enterprises' Jodi Rave, the first reporter to cover a national Native American beat, and an interview with the Seattle Times Co.'s vice president of circulation, Mei Mei Chan. Fitness guru Donna Richardson also demonstrates an exercise routine quick enough for a reporter on deadline to do.

Redding, who invested her life savings to found the magazine, has distributed 10,000 copies so far. She says her paid subscription base is growing steadily, but she would not reveal those numbers. Redding says she decided to focus on lifestyle and profiles, rather than "hard-hitting" pieces, because "there is a lot of good news out there to tell."

People of color make up only 11.85 percent of journalists working at daily newspapers, according to American Society of Newspaper Editors statistics. The message of PROUD to journalists of color is, "Please stay in this industry," Redding says. "There is an awful lot of good to be done and an awful lot of truth to be told."

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