Last night, during a banquet at the Nielsen headquarters in Oldsmar, the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists (TBABJ) gave out its annual Griot Drum awards in recognition of outstanding media coverage of people of color, particularly African-Americans.
Creative Loafing writers took home two awards in the under-100,000-circulation print division. Mitch Perry won 1st place in features for his April, 2011 profile of Goliath Davis, the controversial former St. Petersburg deputy mayor. Arielle Stevenson won 1st place in community/public affairs for her June, 2011 story about St. Pete's neglected African-American landmarks.
Other winners included Dalia Colon of healthystate.org and WUSF; Demorris Lee of the Florida Courier and the Tampa Bay Times; Elizabeth Dougherty of Food Nation Radio Network; Keisha Pickett of blackinthebay.com and Power Broker Magazine; Fred Bellet of the Tampa Tribune; and Eric Deggans of the Tampa Bay Times.
The awards presentation, which was emceed by the Times' Ernest Hooper, followed an engrossing panel discussion led by Deggans featuring three local African-American news anchors: Channel 10's Reginald Roundtree; Bay News 9's Erica Riggins; and WFLA's Josh Thomas.