The Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists announced Thursday it will honor author, NewsWorks blogger, Daily News columnist and WURD radio host Solomon Jones with its Online Journalist of the Year award.
In tapping him for the award, PABJ honors Jones for work published in 2013, which it called “extraordinary in depth, scope and significance.”
Jones began his writing career while living in a homeless shelter in 1995, wrote his first book while still a student at Temple University, and has grown into a multi-platform media juggernaut — he’s authored novels; worked with politicians and with groups fighting homelessness; become a leading voice on parenting and fatherhood; written for local and national print media; appeared on radio and television; and created a family reality show that was recently optioned by NBC’s Peacock Productions.
Jones said Thursday he was honored by the selection.
“It’s been a tough and challenging year for me as a journalist, but through it all, I had my work,” he said. “The quality and integrity of that work mattered, both to me and to my readers and listeners.”
In his Newsworks blog and his Daily News columns, Jones writes on everything from race and fatherhood to his admittedly dismal skills as a household fix-it man. In his latest gig, on WURD radio, Jones’ talk show tackles current events and interviews with newsmakers.
He called it “overwhelming” to have been selected by the public and said he understands the privilege and the responsibility of having a public platform.
“It lets me know that what I do is important, not only to me, but also to the people I serve. I’m grateful to Newsworks, WURD radio, the Daily News, Al Dia News Media, and the now-defunct AxisPhilly for publishing my work and amplifying my voice for the people I serve as a journalist.”
The PABJ honor puts Jones in good company. Other honorees include: a Trailblazer award to the late Ed Bradley, “60 Minutes” correspondent and Philadelphia native ; an Impact award to CBS3’s Charlene Horne for commitment to positive portrayals of African-Americans in media; a Lifetime Achievement award to R. “Sonny” Driver, longtime editor and publisher of SCOOP USA; the Community Service award to Earl Harvey, Jr., editor and publisher of Black Professional News and the Atlantic City Times.
The PABJ Special Honor winners were selected from among a group of nominees submitted by the public, and will be recognized at an awards celebration to be held on Oct. 18, at WHYY. Anzio Williams, vice president for news at NBC10, will be the keynote speaker.