The Center for Community Media announced the 30 recipients of the 2021 Elections Reporting Fellowship, Wednesday, March 3rd. Black Westchester Editor-In-Chief AJ Woodson and Westchester Hispano Publisher María del Carmen Amado, were among the recipients of the prestigious award.
Writing in nine languages and covering more than 15 communities – including African, Arab, Bangladeshi, Black, Caribbean, Chinese, Filipino, Haitian, Indian, Irish, Jewish, Korean, Latino, Nepalese, Pakistani and Russian – the group reports on communities across the tri-state region, from Bushwick to Parkchester, and Brooklyn to Westchester, as well other areas across the globe.
Black Westchester (BW) Editor-In-Chief AJ Woodson joined a select group of community journalist from the New York City area who were awarded the Center for Community Media’s 2021 City Election Reporting Fellowship, it was announced earlier today. An arm of the City University Graduate Center’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, the CCM provides a host of services designed to support media outlets that concentrate their coverage on local issues frequently overlooked by today’s highly corporatized, profit-driven media industry.
“I am honored to have been selected as one of the fellowship recipients,” Woodson shared. “It is a testament of the hard work we have put in to be recognized as a serious community media outlet. It is definitely a good look for the Black Westchester brand.”
Part of a dynamic duo that includes BW Publisher Damon K. Jones, Woodson and Jones launched Black Westchester in June 2014 in the hoping of filling the lacuna that opened after consolidation and downsizing forced some of the County’s bigger, better-known media outlets to slash coverage of the needs and concerns of Westchester’s 100,000+ African-American residents.
“I’m real proud of AJ,” Jones remarked, after getting word of the award. “It’s a good look for him as a writer and an editor. He’s worked hard over the years to establish himself as a serious journalist.”
Despite working on a shoe-string budget, since its launch Woodson alone has published over 2,500 articles, covering a variety of topics that would’ve otherwise gone unreported. The fellowship is the latest in a several awards that have been bestowed on the BW team in the past year, which includes their selection to City & State New York Magazine’s Westchester Power 100, and an Local Media Digital Innovation Award for community journalism from the Local Media Association.
Thanks to the support of the Fellowship, in the coming months Woodson will be able to expand his reporting beyond the borders of Westchester County, with plans to focus on the NYC 2021 election, dealing with issues residents in nearby Bronx neighborhoods are facing.
The CCM states the fellowship is part of the 2021 City Elections Initiative, started by the Center for Community Media to support community media in deepening and expanding their coverage of local and citywide elections, and connect community-based publishers with prospective advertisers in political campaigns, city government agencies, and voter education campaigns.
Woodson’s selection for the fellowship is just one part of the overall mission of CCM, which provides a host of support services to media outlets that concentrate of communities that are frequently overlooked by today’s highly corporatized, profit-driven media industry.