NABJ Mourns Loss of Legendary New York Times Journalist C. Gerald Fraser
Thursday, December 10, 2015
Posted by: Aprill Turner
WASHINGTON (Dec. 10, 2015) --The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the passing of Charles Gerald Fraser, a retired New York Times journalist and 2016 NABJ Hall of Fame Inductee. He inspired generations of reporters and served as a strong advocate for inclusive and accurate reporting of African Americans in mainstream media. Fraser died Tuesday in New York from cancer.
“Gerald was a journalist’s journalist — one who embraced without compromise the highest standards of our profession, while doing it with heart,” said Charlayne Hunter-Gault, a former reporter for National Public Radio and PBS NewsHour. “As a result, his reporting was elegant, eloquent and effective. He was truly a giant whose work deserves to be studied and emulated by generations to come. He was always there for young reporters like me who were finding our way in a world still inhabited by all too few of us. In word and in deed, Gerald was a proud, confident black man who knew his place -- and that place was where his talent took him. And he was eager to help us go to the limits of where our talents took us.”
Fraser started his career with the Amsterdam News, a black newspaper in New York City, covering criminal justice and education during a time when traditional newspapers rarely hired black reporters. During the Civil Rights Movement, he advocated for use of the “black” instead of “Negro,” which the media now describes African Americans.
Fraser dedicated his life to cultivating and developing fellow journalists at various publications, as well as in his role as a professor at Columbia University's Graduate School of Journalism and John Jay College of Criminal Justice.
“I met Gerald in the early weeks of my first journalism job. He took me under his wing and gently steered me in the right direction when I was struggling to figure out a story or find a source,” said Joel Dreyfuss, former managing editor of The Root and an NABJ founder. “I got to appreciate his sharp, skeptical mind and his dry Bostonian humor. He was my model of the gentleman journalist; tough but polite. I will miss him.”
“The NABJ family and the entire industry has lost a journalism giant. Fraser led by example during his career, serving as a mentor and inspiration to generations of journalists,” NABJ President Sarah Glover said. “African-American journalists owe him a true debt of gratitude for being a trailblazer in an industry that can still be difficult for us to navigate.”
NABJ offers its deepest condolences to Fraser's family, friends, and colleagues.
About The National Association of Black Journalists:
An advocacy group established in 1975 in Washington, D.C., NABJ is the largest organization for journalists of color in the nation, and provides career development as well as educational and other support to its members worldwide.