Episode 107: Don’t Just Read the Paper, BE the Paper with Denise Rolark Barnes, Publisher of The Washington Informer

Now, you know I feel strongly about Black media. It’s so important that we have our own platforms — not just a segment of someone else’s platform like Black Twitter but platforms we own, manage, and run.

This mess with Twitter is just a part of it. What happens if Facebook blocks your account or Instagram bans your posts? A change in their algorithms can ignore a topic, silence you as a person, or even erase us as a people.

If you know what I’m talking about (and especially if you don’t), then you’ll get a lot from my talk with Denise Rolark Barnes, publisher of The Washington Informer and Howard University alumna.

Listen in for: how Denise inherited the newspaper from her father, its founding publisher, and the newspaper she launched with her son — yes, that’s 3 generations of Black Media! We also cover why it’s important to share your story plus the best places to share it, 5 ways to support the Black Press (4 of them are free) … and more!

"It’s important for us to make sure that the history of our community is not lost, that it’s not buried.” – Denise Rolark Barnes

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Highlights From This Episode:

  • Where to find stories worth telling (they’re closer than you might think!)
  • Black media businesses go multi-generational
  • Pop Quiz! How big is the Black consumer market (in US dollars)?
  • True Story: Collaboration is better than competition
  • The challenges in switching to “digital first” news publishing
  • 3 ways COVID destroyed print newspaper sales
  • Meet The Washington Informer’s COVID baby
  • True Story: A young Black female reporter’s “baptism by fire”
  • Pro Tip: How to get Millennials to read the newspaper
  • How to get your story into The Washington Informer
  • 1 hot news area The Informer needs stories for
  • OpEd = Opportunity
  • 5 ways YOU can support the Black Press (4 of them are free!)
  • What you need to ask yourself about digital media
  • A special message about sharing YOUR message


pam perry

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