Biden-Harris Invests $1.5M in Black Press, Aiming for Key African American Votes

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

To help bolster reelection efforts, the Biden-Harris Campaign announced a $1.5 million advertising deal with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). Jasmine Harris, Director of National Black Media for Biden-Harris 2024, made the announcement during the NNPA’s 2024 Annual National Convention in Baltimore, where the weeklong event’s theme was, “Empowering the Black Press, Communities, Families, and Voter Turnout.” Biden-Harris 2024 also counted among the sponsors of the week-long gathering, reflecting its strategic focus on Black media.

“In August of last year, our campaign announced the earliest and largest investment into Black media for any reelection campaign in history,” Harris declared. “This partnership with the NNPA is a continuation of those efforts and will strengthen our work in meeting Black voters where they are, to underscore the stakes of this election for Black America. President Biden and Vice President Harris are responsible for creating millions of new jobs for Black workers and record low Black unemployment. Black America has far too much to lose this election.”

The Black Press, which dates to 1827, has remained a steadfast pillar for African American voices. That mission persists today as the Black Press approaches its 200th anniversary in 2027. “I think the campaign realizes that, by advertising with NNPA newspapers, it also serves to support the 230-plus Black-owned small business media companies which will have the effect of stimulating the local economy,” said NNPA Sales and Business Development Director Ron Burke.

The NNPA is a trade association made up of Black-owned media companies.

“The partnership between Biden-Harris 2024 and the NNPA is urgent because we must pool all of our resources to keep Donald Trump out of office,” said Fran Farrer, the NNPA’s National Secretary and Publisher of The County News in Charlotte, N.C. “Biden has helped the Black community grow, and he and the vice president are on the ground fighting for our community and all of America.”

Hiram Jackson, CEO of Real Times Media, which publishes the Michigan Chronicle, expressed concern over the tight race in Michigan but saw the partnership as a vital step. “The race is close, but we haven’t been very aggressive yet,” Jackson insisted. “It’s great that Biden-Harris 2024 is beginning to embrace one of the Black community’s strongest institutions. The Black Press is an intergenerational tool highly trusted in the Black community.”

Jackson added that, “We are the ultimate influencer in terms of community engagement, but we need everybody to come to the table in this election.” He noted that a deeper sense of engagement than television or radio could develop by engaging the Black Press.

“To tell the story properly, you must have resources,” Jackson demanded. “The initial advertising deal between the campaign and the Black Press is a great first step. It symbolizes that the campaign understands the significance of the Black Press, but it can’t only be a first step. There must be many more steps to increase engagement, voter registration, and excitement.”

Four years ago, the 2020 Biden campaign experienced a pivotal moment in Charleston, South Carolina. An interview with Biden hosted by NNPA President & CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. and subsequent national news article circulated to the more than 200 Black-owned newspapers in the NNPA reached millions and significantly boosted Biden’s campaign. The event preceded a crucial endorsement from South Carolina Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, propelling Biden to victory with a record turnout by Black voters.

“Black-owned media voices can shape political messaging, mobilize voters, and advocate for Black issues,” stated Bobby Henry, NNPA’s national chairman and publisher of the Westside Gazette in Florida. “We are subjected to political pressures and media scrutiny because we have the power to amplify our community’s concerns, influence public opinion, and hold leaders accountable. This role demands a deeper understanding of the political landscape, unwavering integrity, and a commitment to speaking truth to power for social justice. It comes not only with a cost that is seen immediately in respect to business; however, our future can hang in the balance of what we project.”

Robert Bogle, First Vice Chair of the NNPA Fund and publisher of the Philadelphia Tribune, said continued engagement with Black voters in swing states like Pennsylvania is mandatory. “If President Biden is truly committed not only to this race but winning, he can’t do it without the vote of the African American community,” Bogle asserted. “Philadelphia is crucial. They will need to spend more time here and dedicate to talking to African Americans. The campaign is dedicating $1.5 million to swing states (but) there is a place called America. Swing states are critical and will make a difference, but there must be a continued commitment to changing the environment for African Americans in America. If Biden wants to win, he and his campaign must have a commitment and dedication to the African American community and what our experience in America has been.”

The campaign is being responsive to the interests of Black America through the campaign’s advertising initiatives with the NNPA, said NNPA President & CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. “The Black vote throughout the United States will be a key determinative factor to the outcome of the 2024 national elections. We profoundly thank the Biden-Harris 2024 Campaign.”

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