The Sacramento Observer has been named the best Black newspaper in the US for the seventh time

Dollita Okine July 06, 2023
Sacramento OBSERVER Publisher, Larry Lee, displays the coveted John B. Russwurm trophy for journalism excellence after The OBSERVER won 16 awards at the NNPA Fund 2023 Messenger Awards in Nashville. Photo Credit: The Observer

The Sacramento Observer won 16 other accolades at the 2023 Messenger Awards presented by the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) in Nashville, Tennessee, including recognition as the best Black newspaper in the US.

The Observer, which has been a source of news for the Black community in Northern California since 1962, won the John B. Russwurm Award for being the best Black newspaper in the country; winning the top prize for the seventh time, according to the Sacramento Bee.

The John B. Russwurm Award, which is given to the newspaper with the highest overall score, is the highest honor among six divisions of awards, including equity, perspective, culture, creativity, digital, and audience.

More than 200 African American-owned community newspapers across the country are members of the NNPA – which hosts the awards ceremony.  

At the awards ceremony, OBSERVER Publisher, Larry Lee, thanked the staff of The OBSERVER for their dedicated work throughout the occasion.

Additionally, Lee won “Publisher of the Year,” a title that was up for grabs against more than 200 Black newspapers and their publishers.

According to BET, four first-place awards went to The Observer in the categories of newspaper excellence, video campaign, special edition, and website excellence. The publication also won honors in the categories of layout and design, editorial and opinion pieces, and community service.

“I’m so thankful for our team,” Lee said. “Winning awards such as these isn’t possible without a great team, and I will put our team up against any other newsroom in the nation,” The Observer noted.

The Observer has been a pioneer in delivering honesty and integrity to the Black community of the greater Sacramento area since 1962. As a result of Dr. William Hanford Lee’s success as a real estate broker and businessman, excellence in journalism was passed down through generations of close relatives, all of whom contributed to the success of the newspaper, where his son, Larry Lee currently holds the positions of publisher and president.

Over the course of the last 60 years, The Observer has received more than 700 local and national awards for outstanding community service and journalism. The Observer won third place for the state’s best weekly newspaper in May from the California Newspaper Publishers Association.

Last Edited by:Annie-Flora Mills Updated: July 6, 2023


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