2017 Griot Drum Awards

The Griot Drum Awards is the Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists’ (TBABJ) celebration of the best media coverage of people of color. The contest is open to print, broadcast and online media professionals of all ethnicities. Journalists submitting entries do not have to be a member of TBABJ, a local chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

Any individual or news organization in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties can enter materials published, broadcast or presented online last year.



The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists’ Griot Drum Awards honors the best journalism on issues related to people of color in Tampa Bay and surrounding areas.

Rules and Eligibility

Entries must have been published in Citrus, Hernando, Hillsborough, Manatee, Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Sarasota counties. Entries must have been aired or published between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016.

Entries must involve issues or concerns related to people of color, especially African-Americans. Only one category is allowed per entry. The contest is open to journalists of all ethnicities. Entrants do not have to be a member of TBABJ; awards will be presented to individuals, groups or media companies.

Each entry must be accompanied by an entry fee of $20 for non-chapter members and $15 for chapter members. Chapter members and officers may enter the contest except those serving on the awards committee.

Instructions for submitting in each category must be followed. Each entry must have its own separate entry fee though entrants can write a single check for all fees.

Entrants should submit a link to the story online or a PDF of the newspaper page on which the story appeared. The date of publication should be visible. Word documents containing the work will not be accepted.

Entries will be accepted online only. For more information about uploading a PDF or link to a story online, go to www.tbabj.com for instructions. You also will be able to submit your entry form and payment online.

Deadline for submissions: Midnight on FRIDAY, October 20th, 2017

Finalists will be announced weeks before the Griot Drum Awards & Scholarship Banquet but winners will not be announced until the night of the ceremony, which will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017, at the Florida Aquarium 701 Channelside Drive Tampa. Finalists attending the ceremony must do so at their own expense. Ticket pricing information will be posted online at www.tbabj.com.

Entries will be judged by other National Association of Black Journalists chapters. Broadcast entries will be judged based on content, production value and impact. Print entries will be judged on content, readability and impact. Judges have the right to choose not to present an award in any category.

TBABJ looks forward to receiving your Griot Drum entries!

The Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists strives to help ensure diversity in area media and accurate, balanced coverage of communities of color while serving as a resource for both established and aspiring communicators. TBABJ was recognized by NABJ in 2010 as Chapter of the Year.



Tickets can be purchased below through the secure PayPal feature or by mailing your payment in advanced of November 9th to: 

Tampa Bay Association of Black Journalists

P.O. Box 172092

Tampa, FL 33672-2092

Ticket Options