The Sacramento Observer also received 16 additional honors at the 2023 Messenger Awards, which were held in Nashville, Tennessee, and included distinction as the best Black newspaper in the United States.
According to the Sacramento Bee, The Observer, which has been a source of news for the Black community in Northern California since 1962, has earned the John B. Russwurm Award for being the greatest Black newspaper in the country for the seventh time.
The John B. Russwurm Award, given to the newspaper with the greatest overall score, is the highest honor among six award divisions: equity, perspective, culture, creativity, digital, and audience.
More than 200 African American-owned community newspapers across the country are members of the NNPA – which hosts the awards ceremony.
At the awards ceremony, OBSERVER Publisher, Larry Lee, thanked the staff of The OBSERVER for their dedicated work throughout the occasion.
Additionally, Lee won “Publisher of the Year,” a title that was up for grabs against more than 200 Black newspapers and their publishers.
According to BET, The Observer received four first-place prizes in the areas of newspaper excellence, video campaign, special edition, and online excellence. The journal also received awards for style and design, editorial and opinion pieces, and community service.
“I’m so thankful for our team,” Lee said. “Winning awards such as these isn’t possible without a great team, and I will put our team up against any other newsroom in the nation,” The Observer noted.
Since 1962, The Observer has been a pioneer in providing honesty and integrity to the Black community in the greater Sacramento area. Dr. William Hanford Lee’s success as a real estate broker and businessman passed down through generations of close relatives, all of whom contributed to the success of the newspaper, where his son, Larry Lee, currently serves as publisher and president.
The Observer has garnered over 700 local and national accolades for exceptional community service and journalism over the previous 60 years. The California Newspaper Publishers Association named The Observer third best weekly newspaper in the state in May.