"Those of us in mainstream media were often at war with our editors," wrote Dreyfuss, who was with The Washington Post when NABJ was founded in 1975. "The unrest in black communities, and the Kerner Commission Report on the segregated nature of the news business, had cracked the door open for black reporters. We saw the way the news was covered as one-sided, especially when it came to racial incidents or violence involving the police."
Dreyfuss also shared how black journalists got crucial stories past their editors – or as he put it, "'the desk,'" the bastion of conformity that served as a firewall against the inflammatory stories of rage and deep dissatisfaction that we brought back. The advice from our elders was priceless: Find someone conservative to say it; use statistics to make your point; use a soft lead – and then hit 'em with the facts."
Finally, truly humbled that The Root chose to affix to Dreyfuss' column an image of me sharing the stage with former President Bill Clinton during NABJ's 30th annual convention in Atlanta in 2005. Clinton's visit helped NABJ make news that day – always a good thing during a convention – and helped demonstrate our organization's influence.