In Remembrance of Bernal E. Smith, II

MEMPHIS – The Memphis Association of Black Journalists mourns the death of Bernal E. Smith II, publisher of The New Tri-State Defender and one of the city’s leading media voices.

{Read about funeral arrangements on the New Tri-State Defender site.}

Smith’s commitment to journalism – both as a member of MABJ and as an officer of the National Newspapers Publishers Association – was unparalleled.

At a time when both mainstream and ethnic newspapers struggle to thrive, Smith wisely positioned the city’s only black newspaper for growth by creating new revenue streams and strategic partnerships. Just one example is the Best in Black Awards. Born in 2012, the event quickly became an eagerly anticipated annual celebration of African-American businesses.

Smith also played a major role in MABJ. He was a sponsor and worked closely with the MABJ Black Male Media Project this year. The goal was to change the negative stereotypes of how African American men were portrayed in the media. Smith told MABJ at the time, “We as African American men really need to assert ourselves to define our image and our presence in media on our own terms.”

“If you look across the landscape of media and see the consistent images of black men that are portrayed, sometimes they’re not the most flattering and sometimes they’re just downright derogatory.”

MABJ president Siobhan Riley says Smith’s life stood in stark contrast to those negative images. “Smith made a huge impact in Memphis and loved MABJ. He taught our organization the importance of leadership and telling stories in a way that would bring about change in our community,” said Riley.

At its December convention, MABJ will honor Smith’s legacy with the creation of the Bernal E. Smith II scholarship. If you would like to contribute, donate HERE.

Please send checks with “Memo: BES Scholarship” to this address: MABJ, P.O. Box 42176, Memphis, TN 38104

For more information, email MABJ president Siobhan Riley at

January Meeting Recap

On Saturday, January 14, the MABJ held its first meeting of the year. Local 24 anchor Kelli Cook interviewed ABC correspondent Kenneth Moton via satellite. Moton offered tremendous insight about his experiences on the ground covering the White House in DC. Together, he and Cook discussed the need for confident, empowered journalists – as well as the balance between responsible journalism and job security.

Our “Reporting In A Trump Presidency” session set the tone for a great year of professional development workshops for our membership.

Thank you to Chef-For-A-Day Catering for providing light hors d’ouevres for our group.

Also, congratulations to our new members on joining the only professional membership organization for journalists in this region. We are glad to have you.

If you’re considering joining the MABJ, now is a great time to do so. Visit to download an application and pay membership fees for this year.


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2017 Region III Conference: Dallas

The National Association of Black Journalists’ Region III Conference will take place at the Marriot Suites – Market Center in Dallas on March 10-12.

You can register on

Last year’s conference was hosted by our Memphis Chapter and we are hoping that several chapter members can make it to Dallas to show support. Plus, NABJ is bringing the IRE Watchdog Workshop back. Remember, space is limited so register ASAP.

Visit the website to learn more about this year’s workshops, receptions, and activities.

Room Rate: $105, includes breakfast. ($97 for room only)

Let us know if you will be joining NABJ/MABJ in the Lone Star State.

Kontji Anthony Named WMCTV Co-Anchor

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) – WMC Action News 5 in Memphis announced that Kontji Anthony will be co-anchor for WMC Action News 5 at 5pm, 6pm, and 10pm. Anthony came to WMC Action News 5 in July of 2005, where she started as a reporter. She was promoted to weekend anchor in 2008, then 4pm anchor in 2015. Anthony has been filling in, anchoring the 4pm, 5pm, 6pm, and 10pm newscasts since December, 2015, and will now be a permanent fixture in those newscasts.

Successful NABJ Region III Conference In Memphis

We’re thrilled that Memphis was selected as the host city for the Region III Conference. Over 100 journalists from the Southeast region convened in Memphis for over two dozen workshops and panels to help advance the professional interests in black media professionals in the south.

New Executive Board Named For 2017

Congratulations to the 2016 Executive Board of the Memphis Association Of Black Journalists. The board members were selected by plurality vote in November 2015. Appointments are listed below.

President – Siobhan Riley

(Reporter-WREG TV 3)

Vice Pres. Broadcasting – Noel Hutchinson

(Host- Black Thought TV-MUTV1)

Vice Pres. Print – Trennie Williams
(Editor- Silverstar Newspaper)

Vice Pres. Public Relations – Danielle Inez(Owner- Ding Marketing)

Vice Pres. Digital Media

Poinesha Barnes (Producer WREG TV 3)

Secretary – Michael Quander

(Reporter- WREG TV 3)

Treasurer – Richard Thompson

(Owner- Mediaverse Blog Site)

Parliamentarian – Montee Lopez

(Producer – Local 24 TV News)

Student Liaison – Victoria Brinkley

(Producer – WREG TV 3)


Are you interested in membership, partnership, or collaboration? Complete the form below and an appropriate member of the MABJ team will contact you with next steps.