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The National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) mourns the passing of NABJ Founder Claude Lewis, also a founder of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ). Lewis died this morning at his home in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, according to his grandson Judah Wilson. He was 82. Lewis was a highly respected journalist and mentor to many journalists. Born and raised in Harlem, he attended New York City public schools and graduated from City College with a degree in English. Lewis worked as an editor and reporter for newspapers and magazines, such as Newsweek, New York Herald Tribune, and The Philadelphia Bulletin. He taught at Villanova University and also wrote a column for The Bulletin until it folded in 1982. Later, Lewis wrote a syndicated column for The Philadelphia Inquirer. "This is a very sad day. Claude was a great mentor for me at The Bulletin. He always had time to talk with a young journalist trying to navigate the newsroom. He was the calm spirit that guided many of us," said former colleague and NABJ Founder Sandra Dawson Long Weaver. Known as one of the "original three," Lewis along with fellow Philadelphia journalists Chuck Stone and Acel Moore laid the groundwork for and later founded the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists (PABJ) in 1973. Lewis and many of PABJ's early members contributed to the formation of NABJ in 1975 in Washington, D.C. "Founder Claude Lewis was a gentle giant and kind soul whose passion for equality and equal opportunity can be seen in his columns and life's work. He had a personal impact on the trajectory of many NABJ members, myself included, showing us all the way," said NABJ President Sarah Glover. "Claude lives on in all of us. I thank him for instilling in me, and my peers, a deep level of tenacity and commitment to the cause," Glover added. Lewis had an extensive career in broadcasting, writing and producing various TV specials and documentaries with NBC and Westinghouse Broadcasting. In 1982, he founded the nation's first national African-American Newspaper, The National Leader. NABJ Founder Joe Davidson worked with Lewis at The National Leader and first met him when both worked at The Philadelphia Bulletin. "Claude was an important force in journalism in the 1970s. He meant a lot to me personally and to a lot of black journalists professionally," Davidson said. "He lured me away from The Inquirer to work as managing editor at The Leader. It was an opportunity to serve the black community with high quality journalism. I was really proud of the work we did together on that newspaper," Davidson added. Lewis covered the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, meeting and interviewing such icons as Langston Hughes, James Baldwin, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. In 1968, Lewis left a meeting in Philadelphia to join the King family in Memphis immediately after receiving the news that King was shot. "Claude was a journalist miles ahead of his time, and he achieved recognition long before many recognized him," said NABJ Founder Paul Brock. Former NABJ President Vanessa Williams, a national reporter with The Washington Post, remembers Lewis fondly. "I remember Claude as a friendly and encouraging colleague when we worked together at the Philadelphia Inquirer. His door was always open and he didn't hesitate to share his contacts, expertise and advice to young journalists. He and Acel were like these twin towers of black journalism excellence in Philly. We should honor them by continuing their tradition of being fierce advocates for the truth, especially in this current political climate," Williams said. NABJ extends its sincerest condolences to Founder Lewis's family and the countless friends within the journalism community who he leaves behind. Perry is survived by his wife Beverly, four children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A memorial service is planned for a later date.
The music and radio industry once had a standard set of rules that everyone who wanted to be successful followed. Since the industry's drastic change around 2001 there was an overhaul of the people who worked in the industry as well as the rules. More than half the industry is gone and the ones who remain have probably broken one or several of these rules during their career. Click "Next" for next segment
Keep Your Mouth Shut and Your Ears OpenYou can do this today but only if you plan to be working the same job for your entire career. A closed mouth won't get fed and keeping your mouth shut today will appear as a lack of motivation and you will be ignored. In all seriousness, this advice has been dead for the last 20 years. There are many announcers today in their 40s and 50s who waited for someone to take them to the next level and it never happened.
Don't Burn any BridgesTo hell with BURNING bridges in today's industry you better learn how to build one better yet build MANY. When you are creating opportunities for yourself you ARE going to burn bridges. People will be jealous, get pissed at you and in some cases even hate you for having the courage to be who the never could be and thats not your concern. When you make a decision to take control of your career, just do it. A young aggressive industry person was once looked down upon in the industry as someone who was not following the rules and moving up the ladder at a pace that was uncomfortable for others. Today you BETTER be aggressive and you better grow fast because the more you can do the longer you will have a career.
Work your way up the ladderI have personally never believed in industry politics which is why I work for myself but working for someone does require protocol and there is a fast way you can do this. Let me give you a piece of advice I wish I didn't have to learn the hard way early on in my industry career. Give ALL jobs a time limit and a goal. NEVER accept an offer where you are told you are being tested (with low pay). If your PD is immature and jealous of your talent because he missed his 15 minutes make plans to leave, you won't win in a negative situation like this. In today's industry you will work your way up the ladder much quicker by diversifying your skill set. NEVER and I mean NEVER depend on someone else to build your career. Take control.
Find a MentorI have never had one single mentor in my entire career. I have found that people are either busy or selfish and concerned with their own careers or perhaps they felt I didn't need a mentor and I didn't. Doing what someone else has done to be successful may work but you won't be who you are and you will not enjoy it. You have to create your own pathway to success.
Once you get into Radio, you will be addicted for Life.There is CERTAINLY life after radio don't EVER believe that. I know MANY people who have left and they are doing MUCH better than they were when they were on the air. Some are doing worse but the ones that I know are doing better. Radio DJs today must realize that being on the air means that you have exceptional communication skills. Local TV stations are taking more chances on radio people than ever and many companies need media representatives. I just saw jobs posted on Linked in SPECIFICALLY looking for people with broadcasting experience to work for major corporations as media reps.
Surround Yourself with the Right PeoplePolitics still exist in the industry so to an extent this is still a good piece of advice, I would venture to say it's better to aim to surround yourself with the right OPPORTUNITIES first.
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