ABOVE: Houston Forward Times Associate Editor Jeffrey L. Boney accepts the two Salute to Excellence Awards at NABJ Convention in Miami
For the third year in a row, the Houston Forward Times was once again named a finalist for six journalism categories at the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) Salute to Excellence Awards that was held this past Saturday, August 10th in Miami, Florida.
Winners were announced Saturday, Aug. 10, at the annual NABJ Salute to Excellence gala during the NABJ Convention & Career Fair in Miami, where more than 4,100 convention attendees gathered — the largest in the organization’s history.
The Salute to Excellence Awards Gala highlights the work of media organizations and individuals involved in collegiate, digital, print, television, radio, photojournalism, podcasting and public relations/marketing categories.
The competition is the only event in the U.S. that honors exemplary coverage of Black people in this country and across the entire African diaspora, as well as covering our issues exclusively.
There were more than 20 main categories and nearly 120 subcategories and winners. The Houston Forward Times was up against several national mainstream publications and representatives of the newspaper were named the sole finalists in two categories: Best Single New Story and Best Art & Design: Page Design.
Forward Times Associate Editor Jeffrey L. Boney, who was named a finalist in five separate journalism categories at the NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards, was honored for Best News: Single Story, for his article entitled A Texas-Sized Tragedy: Horrific Convict-Leasing System Exposes Dark Truths About American History, surrounding the remains of the Sugar Land 95 victims of the convict-leasing system that were found in Sugar Land, Texas back in 2018.
The other categories that Boney was named a finalist for included: Best Commentary for his riveting op-Ed on the importance of voting entitled, Ungrateful, Non-voting Negroes Ignore Bloody War for Black Voting Rights; Best Specialty Story for his article on the after-effects of teenage suicide entitled, After They’re Gone: Dealing with the Loss of a Loved One to Suicide; Best Feature: Single Story for his article on the ineffectiveness of law enforcement’s use of body cameras as it relates to police brutality entitled, Body Cameras Don’t Protect Black Lives; and Best Investigative Story for his series of articles about Capital One Bank being accused of racial discrimination and redlining by a former African American bank executive entitled, Banking in Houston: The New “Jim Crow” and Not So Fast! Capital One Bank Dealt Severe Blow as Federal Judge States Racial Discrimination Lawsuit Against Them Will Continue.
“To once again be named a finalist, along with so many other talented journalists from across the country, it is truly an honor,” said Boney. “As we, as journalists, continue to face so many unprecedented attacks from the White House and from those who wish to silence our voices, it is moments like this that continue to remind me that the power of the pen that I have and the ability to use that pen to make a difference in the lives of others, truly matters. I am so grateful and honored. Thank you NABJ.”
Houston Forward Times Managing Editor and Graphic Designer, Grace Boateng, was honored for Best Art & Design: Page Design, for the MLK50: Celebrating the Life and Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Special Edition, commemorating the 50th year of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination.
Upon learning she won an award Boateng said, “I am humbled and filled with gratitude after being recognized by the National Association for Black Journalists for my art & design work in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination. Having my name mentioned among other gifted, groundbreaking, and impactful black storytellers is an honor unto itself. I am grateful to the NABJ for the acknowledgment and am encouraged to carry on amplifying black voices and stories through my art & design.”
At the Salute to Excellence (STE) Awards event, NABJ gave awards in more than 100 categories across six segments including digital media, magazine, newspaper, photojournalism, television, and radio at the STE gala. NABJ recognized journalism that best covered the Black experience or addressed issues affecting the worldwide Black community during 2018. The competition was open to all media organizations and individuals involved in print, broadcast and/or online journalism media.
Last year, the Houston Forward Times was named a finalist in two new journalism categories at the NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards: Best News: Single Story for Boney’s article entitled, Hurricane Heartache: This is What 15 Trillion Gallons of Water Looks Like and for Best Business Story for his business article entitled Honoring A Trailblazing Woman in the Area of STEM: Dr. Reagan Flowers, for which Boney came away victorious. Two years ago, the Houston Forward Times was selected as a finalist in four categories: Best Art & Design: Page Design, Best News: Single Story, Best Specialty Story and Best Sports Story, where the Houston Forward Times came away with awards in three out of the four journalism categories.
The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) congratulated all of the winners of the 2019 NABJ Salute to Excellence Awards for their stellar work.
“Judges were impressed with the caliber of entries, which made it really tough to choose winners in many of the categories because of the exceptional competition,” said Executive Director Drew Berry. “We congratulate all of our winners and finalists for a job well done.”
The 2019 NABJ Annual Convention & Career Fair, which was held from August 7-11, is the premier venue for journalism education, career development and networking opportunity that draws leaders in journalism, media, technology, business, arts and entertainment. More than 4,100 convention attendees gathered at this year’s event, which is the largest in the organization’s history. Over 3,000 of the nation’s top journalists, media executives, public relations professionals and students gathered in Miami for the annual event. The NABJ Career Fair draws hundreds of recruiters from the top media companies and journalism schools from across the country and around the world. Countless headline makers, innovators, and industry leaders in politics, media, journalism, and film have attended NABJ Conventions, where they have shared their wisdom and insight with NABJ members and attendees.