Print newspapers providing trusted information for many African American communities

Posted at 2:40 PM, Feb 19, 2021

For many people of color, print newspapers are the most trusted voices in their communities.

“You can’t go into any other community and find papers like this,” said Maedella Stiger, who owns a barbershop in Denver’s historic black neighborhood of Five Points.

Stiger says all of the­ options for news these days, she still prefers print.

“You pick up this paper for free and it tells you the story,” she said.

Blacked-owned newspapers have been reporting issues impacting communities of color for decades and Brother Jeff Frad is continuing that coverage.

“We keep the tradition alive in terms of the culture, but then also the information and that’s why we continue to print news,” he said.

Frad is the publisher of 5 Star News, a monthly newspaper that focuses on issues impacting his community.

Right now, there’s more than 300 African American-owned newspapers nationwide, with most of them represented by the National Newspaper Publishers Association.

“Because of our longevity, this is where the trust comes from,” said Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis, Jr., president and CEO of the NNPA.

Chavis says from the civil rights movement to the recent fight for social justice, black-owned newspapers cover issues in ways other outlets won’t or even avoid.

“When a lot of times the mainstream press may not cover when all the lynching were going on, it was on was on front page of papers,” he said. “It was dependent on the Black press to get those messages out.”

While advancements in technology will evolve, print newspapers continue to be unique sources of information for readers like Stiger.

“It makes me feel great knowing that my people have come up with something that maybe no one else has,” she said.