FABOM celebrates decade of service; gears up 2016 agenda

ORLANDO — The Florida Association of Black Owned Media, Inc. (FABOM) outlined an aggressive agenda for 2016 at a conference held in Orlando last week. Florida’s oldest and largest African-American media organization consists of the state’s most influential black media outlets reaching over four million Floridians each week.

While “majority” newspapers are struggling with dwindling subscriptions and readership, black newspapers have a steady stream of readers who rely almost totally on their publications for information important to them.  It’s common knowledge that black newspapers are read by four to six individuals before thrown away.

The December anniversary meeting was hosted by BB&T Advisory Board Director Ron Oates, at the bank’s downtown office in Orlando. Oates is also a leader in the Boy Scouts of America and shared the need for a stronger presence in the black community. Most of the publishers were Boy Scouts and understood the value of the youth organization and are committed to supporting an awareness program.

African Americans make up 16 percent of Florida’s population. FABOM has been the eyes, ears and voice of black Floridians in a variety of ways.  It has held forums with Florida gubernatorial, legislative, US Senate and Cabinet officers to get answers on issues of major importance to the community. It plans to issue a report card on candidates and elected officials.  The February meeting will be held in Tallahassee where they will also meet with state lawmakers, the governor, attorney general, treasurer/insurance commissioner and secretary of state, who is Florida’s chief elections officer.

In this critical election year, FABOM is committed to keeping African-American news consumers informed and educated.

“Our job is to be ready for this election year. We want the elected officials and others to know that we will insist that our constituents are not ignored or discriminated against. We know that black lives matter, and we want to make sure our quality of life is the best it can be,” said FABOM President Bobby Henry, publisher of the Westside Gazette in Ft. Lauderdale.

FABOM will celebrate its 10-year anniversary December 22.

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