St. Louis American awards

The staff of The St. Louis American is extremely proud, but humbled, to receive awards from our peers in the news press industry. Being honored by your peers is a high form of affirmation, and we are appreciative. Since 1995, The St. Louis American has won nearly 700 state, regional, national and international awards for excellence in journalism, design, advertising and community service.

The National Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NNPA) has named The St. Louis American the ‘#1 African-American Newspaper in the Nation’ 21 times since 1995, including the last six years in a row. The NNPA, known as the Black Press of America, is a 78-year old federation of more than 200 African-American community newspapers from across the United States.

On the state level, The American has won Missouri Press Association’s Gold Cup Award four of the last five years (2017, 2016, 2014, 2013), topping all other large Missouri weekly newspapers in its class. The American has also won first place honors for General Excellence from Missouri Press Association seven times.

In 2015, partially because of The St. Louis American’s extensive coverage of Ferguson, the paper was named ‘Newspaper of the Year’ by Local Media Association. Local Media Association (LMA) is comprised of more than 3,000 member newspapers, TV stations, radio stations, directories, pure plays and research and development partners, across North America.

LMA was formerly known as Suburban Newspapers of America (SNA), and in 2010 SNA named The St. Louis American ‘Best Weekly Newspaper in North America’ (in its circulation class of 37,500 or more, tying with a paper in Toronto). Regarding first place award recipient The St. Louis American, some of the judges’ comments included “Respectful news content, covers happenings in the community.” Another judge commented “Beautiful, clean design, linear layout, attractive, lovely.” Another judge stated: “This is an example of a true community newspaper.”

“That is our mission, and our value proposition and business model reflect our mission,” American publisher and executive editor Donald M. Suggs said. “Local, local, local – hyper-local.”  Suggs proudly pointed to The St. Louis American’s close relationship with its readers.   “We’re thrilled that, on average, about 22 percent of our newspaper’s content is actually provided to us by our readers,” Suggs said.

In 2003, The St. Louis American received a Gold Honor Award for Distinguished Service in Journalism by the University of Missouri-Columbia’s School of Journalism. The American is the only African-American newspaper to be honored with the Gold Honor Award, which has been given to only a few newspapers since its inception in1930.

While The American’s staff is proud of all the recognition for excellence in journalism, it is just as proud of the accolades it has received for community service. Since 2004 The St. Louis American has received an unprecedented 15 first place awards for community service, from industry organizations including the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association, National Newspaper Association, Suburban Newspapers of America, Missouri Press Association and Illinois Press Association. 

Individual Awards

Moreover, current staff members of The St. Louis American have garnered many individual awards as well. Veteran photojournalist Wiley Price has won more than 80 local, state and national awards for excellence in photojournalism. Price was inducted into the Missouri Photojournalism Hall of Fame. Reporters Kenya Vaughn and Sandra Jordan have each won several awards, including an A. Philip Randolph Messenger Award. Rebecca Rivas is a five-time winner of Missouri Press Association’s first place Best Video award from Missouri Press Association, along with several other awards.

Managing editor Chris King was national first runner up for ‘Best Investigative Story’ by New America Media. Graphic artist Angelita Jackson received the Ad Layout Person of the Year by Missouri Advertising Managers’ Association. Art director Mike Terhaar and graphic artist Melvin Moore have combined to win more than a dozen first place award for excellence in design and layout.

Publisher and executive editor Donald M. Suggs was named National Publisher of the Year in 2016 by the National Newspaper Publishers’ Association, and was named to the Hall of Fame of the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists. In 2014, Suggs was among the three inaugural members inducted into the Missouri Public Relations Hall of Fame. The other two members were former U.S. President Harry S. Truman and Sen. John C. Danforth.

The American’s chief operating officer, Kevin Jones, is a five-time first place award recipient for ‘Best Advertising Idea’ from both the Missouri Press Association and National Newspaper Association. In 2007, Suburban Newspapers of America named Jones “National Advertising Director of the Year” among all weekly newspapers in North America. 

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