Journal-isms Journeys On

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The future for Richard Prince’s Journal-isms is looking much brighter now than it did than 18 months ago, when Prince was notified the Maynard Institute for Journalism Education would no longer provide institutional support for the influential column that is a must-read for employers, employees, students and consumers.

Journal-isms Inc. obtained tax-exempt status in March, he is receiving support from the Ford Foundation and in May the Stewart R. Mott Foundation provided a $10,000 seed grant. “We think you’re doing the right thing at the right moment,” Conrad Martin, the foundation’s executive director told Prince. Les Payne has described that “moment” as a “time of transition for the craft — as well as for the republic.” In addition to acting as a sentry against erosion of a free press, Payne said, “Prince’s online journal stands forceful vigil against an even more insidious, internal threat — the media’s historic devaluation of African Americans as sources of news and also their exclusion as gatherers, decision-makers, editors and presenters of news and analysis.”

Richard Prince

Next February marks the 50th anniversary of the declaration by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders (aka the Kerner Commission) that “the journalistic profession has been shockingly backward in seeking out, hiring, training, and promoting Negroes.”

Journal-isms began in 1991 as a column in the printed journal of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ). At the urging of Dori Maynard, then the president of the Maynard Institute, Prince launched it online in 2002. In 2013, Prince received NABJ’s Ida B. Wells Award largely for Journal-isms.

Prince says of the column: “It calls out the media when warranted; it lets news consumers know of best practices; it encourages our journalists of color and others who care about accurate and fair coverage. It tries to make sense of our new political and media reality.”

Individuals may donate to a GoFundMe campaign that Prince started in November. Foundations and groups may contact Richard Prince’s Journal-isms at P. O. Box 8714, Alexandria, VA 22306.


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Journal-isms Journeys On