What career path can lead to publisher of the New Journal and Guide?

Posted by Ronald | October 31, 2012  |  No Comment

The Holmes Education Post continues its segment of interviewing professionals in different fields as an avenue to inform the public, particularly students, of career paths for successful employment, Our distinguished interviewee is Ms. Brenda H. Andrews, president and publisher of the New Journal and Guide in Norfolk, Va.

The New Journal and Guide has been in existence for more than 100 years and is Virginia’s oldest Black weekly newspaper. By the time World War II was underway, the Journal and Guide was the largest Black employer in the South. Circulation soared to over 100,000 and the paper was the only one south of the Mason Dixon line to carry a national edition.

It won four consecutive Wendell Wilkie awards for outstanding journalism. In March 2013, the New Journal and Guide will celebrate its 113th anniversary of serving the African-American community in Virginia and nationwide. It will also celebrate the 31th anniversary of owner Andrews. An excerpt of the interview with Andrews follows:

Q. What career path led to your profession?

A. My newspaper career began as a member of the U.S. Army where I served for four and a half years. I was the editor for one and a half years of a military community paper in Nuremberg, W. Germany and an associate editor of the Army’s Newswire Service at the Pentagon for two and a half years.

Q. What educational background and/or professional training are essential for this profession?

A. My undergraduate degree is in English which offered an excellent advantage in conducting research, writing and speaking. The ability to communicate well, including skills like thinking and analyzing facts are essential to doing well in this profession. Also, because the publisher is a business person, courses taught in business school are helpful in keeping the business solvent.

My express newspaper preparation came from the military’s defense information school which trained members of all branches of the services. The course was an accelerated nine-months of print media and broadcast.

Q. What influenced you to pursue a career as a publisher?

A. Actually, it pursued me. I began this career as a journalist/news writer and I still enjoy writing. My English degree led me into an editorship because I had the skills needed to not only write a story well, but to proof and edit other stories. Publishing is beyond the newsroom and into the administrative end and business of the newspaper world. As important as the story is, equally so are the other aspects of production, circulation, advertising, marketing, and managing the revenue of the business. I have been a newspaper publisher since 1987 and a newspaper publisher/owner since 1991.

Q. What professional, civic or community organizations do you belong?

A. I have learned to be selective about how much to involve myself outside of the business. I limit my commitments to groups related to youth, education, and religious studies.

Q. What advice do you give to students who desire to pursue a career as a publisher?

A. I encourage every student to pursue his/her desire and to know what it is that makes that desire attractive. What you see as the finished product is the result of many hours of training, hard work, sacrifice and determination. Unless there is intrinsic value in what you are doing, the “desire” gets old quickly. To be a good publisher, make sure you are a good communicator, be informed on current events and know what is going on in the world around you. Also, be accessible to people and hire qualified people to make your product the best it can be.

Q. Describe your typical work day?

A. I am a hands-on publisher which means I get involved in every aspect of the newspaper operation. I enjoy interacting directly with my small staff and most staff meetings are held informally as one-on-one exchanges. I attend community sponsored gatherings as a representative of the paper. My typical day is from 9:00a.m. – 3:30p.m. in the office which can be spent in a number of ways that will ensure upcoming issues of the paper are lining up. I also do advertising calls to generate revenue for the company.

We thank Ms. Brenda Andrews for sharing her professional experience and providing invaluable news to the African-American community in Virginia and nationwide. We encourage other professionals to share their experiences as an avenue to improve public education. For consideration, contact us at [email protected]

Dr. Ronald Holmes is the author of two books, “Education Questions to be Answered” and “Current Issues and Answers in Education.” He is publisher of “The Holmes Education Post,” an education focused Internet newspaper. Holmes is the national superintendent of education for the National Save the Family Now Movement, Inc., a former teacher, school administrator and district superintendent. He can be reached at [email protected]

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