Jackie Hampton to left Corporate America for Black Press
Jackie Hampton at Black Press Week (Photo by Worsom Robinson)
By Beunkka Davis and Anissa Pierre, NNPA Interns
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Many African Americans begin their career at Black businesses and move own to better-paying jobs in Corporate America. But Jackie Hampton, publisher of Mississippi Link newspaper in Jackson, took the reverse route – and she’s glad she did.
“I offered my services to help market the paper during Black History Month, and I was pleased when sales tripled. Before I knew it I began to like what I saw. I liked the way newspapers operate and the power they have to disseminate information, so I made a decision to come and work for the news-paper in the area of sales marketing. Before long I was promoted to sales manager later I became the co-publisher, then the publisher, and today I am the co-owner.”
When she was studying at Spelman College in Atlanta and Lincoln University in Jefferson City, Mo., she thought her future would be in corporate America.
“I’m a product of corporate America. I worked for many years for the Xerox Corporation but I had always been a good writer,” she said. “I took classes in creative writing and literature throughout college, but my interest was in advertising, sales, and marketing. That’s what I was really good at and where I always thought I would end up.”
That’s where she started, but not where she ended up.
With no experience in journalism, she started from scratch learning all of the aspects of the newspaper industry and made personal sacrifices for the never-ending news cycle. But her interest and enthusiasm helped her endure.
Today she is a well-versed and proud journalist.
Hampton and the other NNPA publishers are a testament to the fact that print is not a dying industry. Although she enjoys keeping the Black Press alive, being a publisher is still a cumbersome position.
“I still face challenges to be responsible for keeping the lights on for the entire publication as with any Black business, and we are always looking for avenues to aid in additional revenue as the Internet is taking over.”
Jackie Hampton has been with the NNPA for 12 years and sits on the Foundation Board of Directors. She is also active in her home community – she leads a troop of Girl Scouts, among other things.
She said, “It excites me to be an asset to my community.”