Now published by Denise Rolark Barnes, The Washington Informer Newspaper Co. Inc. is a multimedia organization founded in 1964, by her father Dr. Calvin Rolark, to highlight positive images of African Americans. For more than 50 years, The Informer has continued to report positive news that strives to EDUCATE, EMPOWER, and INFORM.

The Informer serves metropolitan Washington D.C., and now reaches over 50,000 readers each week through their award-winning newspaper print edition; a weekly average of 50,000 sessions through their award-winning website; 7,500 weekly subscribers through their weekly email newsletter, and growing numbers on social media. 

“My father wanted a newspaper that would challenge institutions that would not open their doors of opportunities to blacks, including the local media.” Rolark Barnes said.


The Atlanta Voice newspaper was founded by J. Lowell Ware in 1966 with a defined vision and mission which has been the publication’s motto and driving force ever since: “A People Without A Voice Cannot Be Heard.”

The award-winning publication was born out of the refusal of the white-owned majority Atlanta media to give fair and credible coverage to the burgeoning Civil Rights Movement. It was effectively and uniquely spearheaded by the legendary, and politically powerful, J. Lowell Ware, who when he died at age 63, had been responsible for publishing seven newspapers throughout the state of Georgia.

“The paper was started out of the Movement,” reports his daughter and current Atlanta Voice Publisher, Janis Ware, a dynamic and charismatic housing expert, businesswoman and community activist, who assumed the role and responsibility for fulfilling her father’s vision. Under her leadership, The Atlanta Voice continues to be the unchallenged leader and the foremost provider of news and pertinent information to Atlanta’s African American community.

The New York Amsterdam News was started more than a century ago, with a $10 investment. It has gone on to become one of the most important Black newspapers in the country and today remains one of the most influential Black-owned and -operated media businesses in the nation, if not the world. On Dec. 4, 1909, James H. Anderson put out the first edition of the Amsterdam News with six sheets of paper, a lead pencil, a dressmaker’s table and that $10 investment. The Amsterdam News was one of only 50 Black newspapers in the country at that time. Copies were sold for two-cents a piece from his home at 132 W. 65th St. in Manhattan. The paper was named after the avenue where Anderson lived in New York’s San Juan Hill section of Manhattan.  Today, the New York Amsterdam News remains the voice of one of the largest and most influential Black communities in the country and the world.

The New Journal and Guide is a regional weekly based in Norfolk, Virginia, and serving the Hampton Roads area. The weekly focuses on local and national African-American news, sports, and issues and has been in circulation since 1900. By the time World War II was under way, the Journal and Guide was the largest Black employer in the South. Circulation soared to over 100,000 and the paper was the only one south of the Mason–Dixon line to carry a national edition. It won four consecutive Wendell Willkie awards for outstanding journalism. Along with the Chicago Defender, the Baltimore Afro-American and the Pittsburgh Courier, the Journal and Guide took the lead in informing the Black community on events as they related to such issues as housing and job discrimination among Black soldiers. At that time, the Guide ranked fourth in circulation among Black newspapers in the United States. The New Journal and Guide has a readership that extends throughout the United States and abroad.






The Washington Informer team is excited to be a part of the GM Chevrolet-NNPA Discover the Unexpected Journalism Program. We also view it as a privilege to work with students attending the historic Howard University in Washington, DC, America’s coolest city. The DTU program will provide interns with valuable work experience and a memorable opportunity to creatively tell untold stories through The Washington Informer. We extend our deep appreciation to General Motors and NNPA for including us.






I am excited that the Atlanta market and The Atlanta Voice specifically was selected by General Motors to participate in the Discover the Unexpected campaign. The DTU/NNPA Fellows Program is unique because it allows students an opportunity to experience first hand the field of journalism as it exists while providing an opportunity for the publishers to understand how best to communicate and relate to that generation.





Publisher, New Journal and Guide

DTU interns at the New Journal and Guide will work directly with the Publisher in discovering how to write stories and use social media expressly for the Black Press. They will be encouraged to look at other black publications to get an idea of what kinds of stories appear in black newspapers and which will work on the New Journal and Guide website. On social media, they will be asked to look for videos related to black issues that they can write about and  embed in WordPress. Our team is looking forward to learning from them how to better engage and reach their generation.