Diversity advocate Robert Naylor will receive Lifetime Achievement Award; chapter will pay tribute to late television journalism pioneer Gil Noble and Beyonce wins award for Essence cover story


NEW YORK CITY (May 2, 2012) – The New York Association of Black Journalists will recognize the work of more than 40 journalists, including a special honor to former diversity advocate Robert Naylor, and pay tribute to the late Gil Noble at its 24th Annual Scholarship and Awards Banquet.


The event will be held May 15th at 7 p.m. at the historic Audubon Ballroom, now known as the Malcolm X & Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center in the Washington Heights section of Manhattan. The evening, which will be hosted by WNBC’s Pat Battle and Black Enterprise’s Shannon Lanier, will benefit NYABJ’s college scholarship fund.


Among the winners include CNN, The Grio, the New York Amsterdam News, Bloomberg News, the Wall Street Journal, BET, Essence Magazine, News 12 (Long Island/Westchester), CBS, Verizon FiOS 1 News, the New York Post and WGBO.


“NYABJ is thrilled to present well-deserved awards to all of our winners and also recognize two luminaries in our field — Robert Naylor and the late Gil Noble,” said NYABJ President Michael J. Feeney. “From News 12 Westchester’s coverage of the Danroy Henry killing to CNN’s coverage of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. monument dedication to recording artist Beyonce Knowles’ Essence magazine article about how a nine-month break changed her life, we congratulate everyone.”


Robert Naylor, who spent more than 30 years as a reporter, editor, and news executive for newspapers, television stations — and most recently The Associated Press — is the recipient of the 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award for his tireless efforts as a diversity advocate to helping other minorities break into the news industry. Naylor spent most of his career at the Associated Press where he became the second black bureau chief and later Chair of the AP Diversity Council.


Naylor is a long-time member of the National Association of Black Journalists, and a founding member of the LGBT Task Force. He is also member of the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association, and has been a member of the Asian, Hispanic, and Native American journalist associations, as well as the National Association of Multicultural Media Executives and the Media Diversity Networking Group.


NYABJ will also pay tribute to Gil Noble, legendary television journalist and long-time host of WABC-TV New York’s public affairs program Like It Is, who passed away in April at the age of 80. Noble, a four-time Emmy Award winner, was born in Harlem and joined WABC-TV in 1967 as a reporter and later became an anchor of its weekend newscasts. A few months later, Noble became host of Like It Is, which featured interviews and commentary from some of the most prominent and influential Black Americans of the 20th century including Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Stokley Carmichael (Kwame Toure), Dr. Martin Luther King, Fannie Lou Hamer, Muhammad Ali, Lena Horne and Bill Cosby.


“Gil Noble was a giant in broadcasting who reminded generations of newscasters who followed in his footsteps that we have a responsibility to tell it ‘like it is.’ We are proud to honor him and his family,” said NYABJ Vice-President of Broadcast and Awards Committee Chairperson, Cheryl Wills.


NYABJ will also present scholarships to high school seniors Felicia Romain and Annick Laurent, who both participated in the chapter’s high school journalism workshop.


All award entries were judged by the Dallas-Fort Worth Association of Black Journalists. Tickets are available for purchase at http://nyabjbanquet.eventbrite.com/.


An advocacy group established in 1976, the New York Association of Black Journalists provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members and is an affiliate of NABJ, the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation.

Gabrielle M. Lee,
NYABJ Secretary
nyabjPR at gmail.com