Journalism in the age of the Internet is a difficult practice. And if it’s difficult for one the finest news organizations in the world, you know it’s doubly so for even the best of Black media. Like our partners and friends at The Grio and The Root, we do the best we can with limited resources. But we do have many moments of pride — when we’re able to execute the kind of reporting and writing that we believe our audience deserves.
What follows is a list of our favorite original NewsOne pieces in 2011. We hope you enjoyed them as much as we liked creating them.
When the North River Sewage Treatment Plant in Harlem burst into flames this summer, NewsOne decided to do an expose of how that nasty bit of public works got to be placed in Harlem in the first place.
In the spring, the New York Daily News reported that a genius 13-year-old girl had been accepted to the University of Connecticut, only to have her acceptance rescinded. As it turned out, with some digging by NewsOne reporter Gerren Gaynor, the story was completely bogus. Representatives at UConn refuted the alleged “confirmation” that Daily News claimed that they received from college officials. The Daily News told us that they “stood by” their story.
In a world gone media mad, NewsOne found sanity in the story of two little girls from Baltimore who called out Lil Wayne for his misogynistic lyrics; and the father who decided that it was better to turn his daughters into soldiers against bad influences than to shield them.
Not many folks would have the guts to come out and say it, but our West Coast Editor Adisa Banjoko did. In this controversial piece, Banjoko basically said that Kwanzaa’s weak foothold in among African Americans can be traced directly to the spiritual bankruptcy of its founder, Dr. Maulana Karenga.
Gene Marks, for those that don’t know, is a freelancer for Forbes.com who drew very strong criticism for a very weak piece about what he would do if he were a “poor, Black child.” In the days following the article’s publication, commentators from around the Web heaped invective on Marks. But none, for our money, were more poignant than that of our very own contributor Terrell Jermaine Starr, who drew on his own impoverished upbringing in the streets of Detroit to slay — point by point — Marks’ specious argument.
Most of us at NewsOne may not agree with this piece — still believing as we do that Ron Paul is at the very least a latent white supremacist. But nothing beats the chutzpa of Johan Thomas’ rational argument here, that Paul’s policies and his status as a third party candidate make for a lot of common ground with African Americans.
Elon James White isn’t all humor and sarcasm (though we do love him for it). In this piece, Elon describes his poignant “aha” moment at the 2011 Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference, realizing that there actually is a “there” there.