Today we honor Dr. Martin Luther King. For our #MediaMonday profile, we asked Cloves Campbell, Jr., Co-Publisher, Board Chairman and Chief Operating Officer of Arizona Informant to share his thoughts on Dr. King and what it’s like to be in the newspaper business.
Since 1971, the Arizona Informant has provided an important voice for the Black community throughout the state. The family-owned and operated newspaper continues to capture the attention of the Black community and others. Published every Wednesday, the Arizona Informant Newspaper is the only African-American owned weekly newspaper in the state.
Cloves, time to share:
As we celebrate the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday this year, I want to share my thoughts on what the day means to me. Being a native Phoenician, I have seen a lot of events occur in my 50-plus years.
One day in particular was the day Dr. King was assassinated. Even though I was only about 6- or 7-years-old at the time, I can remember being at home that evening and seeing my dad sitting in his favorite chair with a glass of milk. He was listening to recordings of Dr. King’s speeches on the record player. As he sat quietly, staring into space I sat down next to him on the floor. I wondered way he was not watching his favorite TV show or out speaking at a community event.
He was at home that night, reflecting on the words of Dr. King.
Little did I know that my dad would be leading a march down Washington Street the very next day. At the time, I did not understand what was going on or even what had happened. What I did know is that it was very emotional for my dad.
How I got into the newspaper business...
My dad and my uncle purchased the Arizona Informant in 1971 for one buck! Having the opportunity to go to the small, cramped office on 9th Street and Van Buren, I saw a small community newspaper from the ground up. Watching them spend so much of their time and money to get the paper to bed every week really showed me how committed they were . I got involved early, delivering papers door-to-door every week with my dad in our VW Beetle. I remember one time my dad dropped me off in an apartment complex he knew was full of dogs. He sat calmly in the car waiting for me; I came running out to the car tossing my load of papers to the ground as a pack of small dogs chased me. I have never seen him laugh that hard since. From then on I was hooked, performing every duty from janitor to now, publisher.
What's next for newspapers?
Obviously, the industry has changed. From the days of huge reporting staffs and desk-crowded offices to tech-savvy editors and aggregated online stories, it is a new day. National news can be picked up from any number of news outlets, but local news is the key. People want to read and see about things that occur in their own backyard. Community news, on all platforms, is where I believe we are headed.
I just returned from a trip to Morocco. We visited the capitol city Rabat, Casablanca, Laayoune and Dahkla . Morocco has so many historic buildings, fascinating foods and friendly people. I recommend that everyone visit this beautiful country. You will not be disappointed.
You can follow me on Twitter @clovesccampbell and @arizinformant.