WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 19, 2012) --The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) announces the selection of the Los Angeles Times' Gerrick Kennedy as this year's Emerging Journalist of the Year Award recipient, selected by the NABJ Board of Directors at its winter meeting. Kennedy is one of several honorees who will be recognized this summer at NABJ's 37th Annual Convention and Career Fair, the largest annual gathering of minority journalists in the country.
A "NABJ Baby," Kennedy is now an award-winning journalist and blogger. He began at the Los Angeles Times in 2009 as an intern and contributed to both the metro and online entertainment teams as part of the paper's Metpro training program. He is currently a music reporter for the paper where he covers pop, R&B/soul and hip-hop. He has interviewed some of music's biggest stars including Sean "Diddy" Combs, Brandy, Monica, Drake, Mary J. Blige, Kelly Clarkson, Usher, Rodney Jerkins, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. Kennedy also contributed greatly to the coverage of the recent death of Whitney Houston.
"I'm honored and humbled to receive such a prestigious award. As someone who has benefited from both NABJ's Student Projects and the New York Times Student Institute it means a great deal to me that this organization and my peers value my work and have selected me for such an incredible honor," Kennedy said.
An Ohio native, he earned a bachelor of arts degree in journalism from The Ohio State University, where he served as the editor, managing editor and Arts & Life editor of The Lantern, OSU's student newspaper. Kennedy was also a founding member of the campus chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists.
"I have watched Gerrick grow since the start of his career. NABJ is fortunate to have played a role in his development as a young journalist. I look forward to his continued contributions to our industry and know that he will be both a role model and inspiration for others," said NABJ President Gregory Lee Jr.
His prior honors include the Joseph S. Meyers award in journalism in 2008 and the Robert F. Wolfe journalism merit award in 2009. In addition, he won best college featuring writing by the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists in 2009 for his reporting on efforts in New Orleans to rebuild the city's education system following Hurricane Katrina.
Prior NABJ Emerging Journalists Award recipients include: Errin Hines (Associated Press); Mara Schiavocampo (NBC News); Sarah Hoye (CNN); Michael Feeney (NY Daily News); Trymaine Lee (Huffington Post); and Kimberley A. Martin (Newsday).
"Gerrick continues in the proud tradition of young journalists who have set the bar for excellence in our industry and have begun to show themselves as leaders within NABJ," said Errin Haines, NABJ Vice President-Print and past chair of the NABJ Young Journalists Task Force. "In honoring him with this award, we recognize the bright future he has ahead of him and that he has already begun to make the most of his opportunities in the 21st century newsroom."
Kennedy and other honorees will be celebrated at the association's Salute to Excellence Gala, to be held June 23 in New Orleans.
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.