Griot Drum Awards 2006

Syler-podium

How quickly things changed in a year. In the 12 months since we first resurrected the Griot Drum Awards in 2005, our news outlets changed shape and size, we lost and gained colleagues and the news cycle grew ever faster and more demanding.

But one thing that hasn’t changed, is the commitment of Tampa Bay area communicators to diversity in media. Once again, an amazing array of sponsors and volunteers came together to help us celebrate quality journalism and train the next generation of minority journalists.

Featuring a keynote speech by Rene Syler, then anchor of CBS’ The Early Show (left)
, the banquet proved a watershed event for a chapter used to acheiving a lot.

In ancient Africa, the griot served as the keeper of history for each tribe before the dawn of written word, encapsulating the legacy of the community in his songs, stories or poems. So it seemed fitting that we invoke the spirit of the griot’s drum for our awards — which continue a tradition TBABJ started over 10 years ago with its first incarnation of the contest.

Our goal: to create an evening that honors the benefits of quality coverage of people of color. It’s all part of the TBABJ’s mission, which since 1983 has centered on ensuring diversity in area media and accurate, balanced coverage of communities of color while serving as a resource for communicators.

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