NNPA/HBCU signs MOU
Bobby R. Henry, Sr. publisher of the Westside Gazette, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Chairman of NNPA/HBCU Initiative, Texas Southern University’s President, Dr. John Rudley, NNPA Chairman Clovis Campbell, Jr., publisher Arizona Informant, Co-chair Dorris Ellis Robinson, publisher The Houston Sun, and committee member Jacqueline Hampton, publisher of Mississippi Link.
D. J. Mickey The Houston Sun
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) committee made momentous history for the future of the media industry when it signed an internship Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Texas Southern University’s President, Dr. John Rudley, the President of the Southwestern Athletic Conference (SWAC) Council of Presidents during the NNPA Board meeting in Washington, DC on Sept. 19.
The MOU outlined collaboration strategies to advance journalism and business initiatives through the use and training of interns who are pursuing careers in the media, communications and business. Students will work with editors and publishers in print, digital, film and social media along with marketing, design and event planning. The university’s School of Communication and the Jesse H. Jones School of Business will supply the interns and monitor their progress.
Participating in the signing was Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee (D. TX 18th). Lee praised NNPA for its vision for the nation’s college students and thanked NNPA Chairman Clovis Campbell, Jr., publisher Arizona Informant; her constituent and Co-chairperson, Dorris Ellis Robinson, publisher The Houston Sun, Co-chair Bobby R. Henry, Sr. publisher of the Westside Gazette, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. and Chairman of NNPA/HBCU Initiative, and Jacqueline Hampton, publisher of Mississippi Link and NNPA/HBCU committee member for designing the initiative whereby students will benefit.
Speaking with pride, Rudley
said, “I am proud that Texas Southern University is the first to sign such an important MOU with NNPA as it will help our students learn and provide international access to further opportunities by engaging in this effort.” He continued by saying that the collaboration will expand and reach into the other 10 member SWAC Schools.
NNPA Chairman Campbell, Jr. said, “The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that the NNPA has agreed to with Texas Southern University and the SWAC Conference is monumental. This agreement displays NNPA’s commitment to young African American students and our pledge to reach out to the next generation of leaders. It is only the beginning of The Black Press and Historically Black Colleges and Universities joining forces to ensure that the legacy of both organizations. As our future leaders find their niche and make history, the NNPA will be there to record it.”
Former President of Bennett College, Dr. Julianne Malveaux said, “This is a good thing that NNPA is doing. I only wish that you could have gotten started earlier. The students will benefit from this opportunity.” Ellis Robinson said, “This is an opening to do more with young readers of all media platforms that emanates from an idea of my late husband, Lonal Robinson who had a vision of expanding what we did at the Houston Sun to NNPA by working the HBCU conferences through sports and subsequently the editorial side of the business. I am delighted that Chairman Campbell gave the nod so that the HBCU committee of Henry, Hampton and Shannon Williams, Indianapolis Recorder, could make it happen. A special note of appreciation is extended to our TSU partners of VP Wendy Adair who lead the effort for TSU with the support of Eva Scott and her staff” Ellis Robinson concluded, “I know that this will make a positive difference.”
“It is my hopes and aspirations that this initiative between the NNPA and HBCUs will be the umbilical cord that keeps the Black Press alive, vibrant and successful in telling our own story and pleading our own cause, we are ready to engage all of our HBCUs with this initiative!” said, Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
Dean James Ward, Texas Southern University School of Communication is ready to get started and so is NNPA Editor George Curry. Conversations have begun to execute the implementation process as the agreement activates in the spring semester of 2014.
Dr. Rudley and Chairman Campbell signed the MOU in front of the NNPA membership and a standing room only crowd at the W Hotel during the NNPA Annual Leadership Reception in conjunction with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Annual Legislative Conerence.
Excerpts from the MOU
NOW, THEREFORE, it is hereby agreed by and between the HBCU Texas Southern University and NNPA as follows:
To ensure the success of the project the roles and responsibilities each organization are set below:
Resources HBCU and TSU will contribute to the project either through time, in-kind
contribution by supplying interns from the Department of Communication and the TSU Jesse H. Jones School of Business who will learn the media business and train as writers, photographers, distribution management, designers, event development sales and marketing training. Interns will be engaged in the editorial, public relations, visual arts, print, digital and social media plat-forms along with special event development and implementation.
Representatives of the NNPA planning and development team who will be responsible for planning, developing, and implementing project activities as they will work with TSU to provide the following services: establishment of a News Wire services for students who can post media for print, digital and social media platforms together and work with project staff. NNPA staff will pledge to cover and publish the University’s events for posting through individual publications or via pooling for posting and editing by the NNPA editor.
The parties will expressly demonstrate a commitment on the part of all partners to work together to achieve stated project goals and to sustain the project.
NNPA will provide supervision, access for students, media credentials as needed, training and guidance in the editorial, public relations, visual arts, and print, digital and social media platforms.