Thank You for Russwurm 2020

Donald M. Suggs, publisher and executive editor of The St. Louis American thanks the National Newspaper Publishers Association for the top honor, The John Russwurm Award, with some of the staff by his side (l. to r.): Mary Easter, front desk administrator; Alvin A. Reid, news editor and Dawn Suggs, acting digital director.

Each year, the National Newspaper Publishers Association presents the ‘Messenger Awards’ ceremony, which recognizes excellence in journalism and entrepreneurship among the Black Press of America.

The St. Louis American recently won 10 national awards at the virtual 2021 Messenger Awards, including the first place John Russwurm Pinnacle Award, which is the top honor of the competition, and is awarded to the newspaper with the highest cumulative score. This marks the 14th time The St. Louis American has won the Russwurm award since 1995.

The American had six other first place awards which include: Video Campaign (Sylvester Brown, Ashley Jones, Dawn Suggs; #BlackLivesMatter resurgence in Missouri); Business Story (Rebecca Rivas’ piece on minority exclusion at the makeshift morgue in St. Louis County); Don Kings Sports Award (Alvin Reid’s piece on Cardinals’ pitcher Jack Flaherty finding his voice in fight against racism, police brutality); Faith & Religion (Sylvester Brown’s piece on Ella Owens, COVID-19 and how God got her attention); Facebook Campaign (Wiley Price, Dana Rieck, Rebecca Rivas, Dawn Suggs; The American’s digital team’s coverage of Cori Bush becoming the first Black congresswoman in Missouri); and Instagram Campaign (Kate Daniel, Rebecca Rivas, Ishmael Sistrunk, Dawn Suggs; The American’s promotion of the foundation’s Salute to Excellence in Education Scholarship & Awards Gala).

Second place awards were given for: Best Original Advertising Campaign (The American’s annual Free Reader Calendar); and Health (Sylvester Brown’s piece on Ronald L. Jones; COVID impacts the funeral business). The American also received a third place A. Philip Randolph Award for Website Excellence (Ishmael Sistrunk.)

“We couldn’t be more proud. We don’t take these awards lightly,” said Donald M. Suggs, St. Louis American publisher and executive editor. 

“These accolades from industry professionals are a testament to the consistent, professional work we strive to provide for our community.

“You can see from what is reflected in the vast variety of the different award categories that these and all of our work are a total team effort.”   

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