The Baltimore Times: Making a Difference
New America Media, Media Profile, Janine Cooper Posted: May 09, 2008
At ten o’clock in the morning, six members of the Baltimore Times staff are holding an editorial meeting, sitting around an old brown table. Most of the things discussed are probably not things you would hear in a mainstream newsroom.
“The magazine is about to blow up. Ba-boom!” says Donnie Manuel, director of advertising.
Manuel is referring to the paper’s upcoming projects, including the launch party for their latest small business magazine.
“People are finally recognizing us as their source for small business,” says Manuel.
The magazine will be aimed at the business community. Mostly an entrepreneurial product, it allows for networking between small businesses in the area and the publication.
While most of the staff at the Baltimore Times are predominantly African-American, the magazine’s appeal is targeted at a much wider audience. Along the walls of the conference room, community service awards from the City of Baltimore and many others grace the walls. The Baltimore Times, located on North Charles Street in downtown Baltimore, has a look of a New York City brownstone -- old.
The Baltimore Times staff understands the importance of advertising dollars. Ads are bought by local businesses, like Diamond Cinemas, and major department stores like Macy’s.
With their small staff, ethnic media staffers often wear more than one hat. Ty Winston, for instance, sells ads to businesses, and lately, she has also taken on the role of staff photographer.
In the middle of a discussion about ads, Dena Wane, a manager of special projects, talks about the 5K run that supports the Victim’s Fund. All staff members talk about participating in the run, but jokingly acknowledge that most of them will probably be walking much of the time. Even so, it was important to stay involved in the community, they say.
Manuel, who started his career as a musician, once worked for the Afro-Newspaper, which is located right next to the Baltimore Times. After he moved to the Baltimore Times, he realized that a small ethnic media outlet was the job for him.
“It’s kind of like a family atmosphere, he said. “I enjoy working for ethnic newspapers. I would have been confined in mainstream media, rigid. You will be lost in the sauce. “In a small business, your voice is heard. There is no glass ceiling like there is in corporate America.”
The editorial meeting is humming with ideas. Silas Price says he is working on a story that centers on “Dress for Success” for the next issue of the magazine. A long discussion to determine what will grab the reader’s attention follows. Price also talks about how important it is to network in and around the community in order to gain connections, especially in places that may seem foreign to some.
“There is a need to network on golf courses. White counterparts do that and I think blacks are recognizing the need to do that” as well, says Price.
With all of the meeting mostly focusing on the next issue of the small business magazine, Joy Bramble, the publisher, tells the staff that while bringing out the next magazine, they must not forget about the Baltimore Times itself, ensuring the importance of this paper.
“You cannot neglect the Baltimore Times for a glossy magazine. It’s gravy,” says Bramble.
After the editorial meeting is over, everyone gets to work, including Frederick Howard. He walks slowly through the hallway, greeting the staff. Howard’s formal title at the Baltimore Times is “Director of Operations.” To most people on the staff, he is simply, “Mr. Freddie.” He’s in charge of laying out the paper each week, something he has been doing for years.
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