(October 20, 2015) WASHINGTON, D.C. – Former Emerge magazine Editor-in-Chief George E. Curry has announced that he is reviving the award-winning publication online, possibly as early as mid-November.
Curry resigned as editor-in-chief of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) News Service as of Oct. 2 and immediately directed his attention toward bringing back Emerge as an online publication.
“For the most part, I have enjoyed my nine years as head of the NNPA News Service,” said Curry, who was with NNPA from 2001-2007 and 2012-2015. “I will always cherish the wonderful experiences I shared with most of the publishers, many of whom remain good friends. Now, I am looking ahead with excitement as I bring back Emerge magazine on a digital platform.”
A GoFundMe drive has been inaugurated to obtain seed money to get the Emerge venture off the ground (http://www.gofundme.com/mg5qtr44). In addition, an EmergeOnLine Facebook page has been created (www.Facebook.com/emergenewsonline).
On his GoFundMe page, Curry said, “EmergeNewsOnline.com will continue the uncompromising journalistic tradition of its namesake, combining a vibrant website that carries the latest national and international news each day with an in-depth monthly digital magazine component that both reports and analyzes news of interest to Blacks and other people of color.”
Before taking over as editor-in-chief of Emerge: Black America’s Newsmagazine in 1993, Curry was New York bureau chief of the Chicago Tribune. He began his career as a reporter for Sports Illustrated magazine and worked as a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. He served as a Washington correspondent for the Chicago Tribune before accepting the New York assignment.
Curry was editor of Emerge for the last seven of its 10-year existence. Less than six months after taking over Emerge in 1993, the Philadelphia Daily News described Emerge as “a feisty, slam-’em-to-the-wall publication for African Americans that’s quickly gaining a reputation for taking no prisoners in its search for truth.” The Washington Post observed that Emerge “gets better with each issue.”
During his tenure at Emerge, Curry was elected president of the American Society of Magazine Editors, the first African American to hold that post. In 2000, he was awarded the University of Missouri’s Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism, an honor previously presented to such luminaries as Sir Winston Churchill and Walter Cronkite.
After Black Entertainment Television was sold to Viacom, the magazine division of BET was placed in the hands of Vanguarde Media CEO Keith T. Clinkscales, who immediately closed Emerge in 2000 and replaced it with short-lived Savoy magazine. When Vanguarde filed for bankruptcy in 2004, it had killed seven Black publications.
Writing in Time magazine when Emerge closed, Jack E. White said: “No matter what George Curry accomplishes during the remainder of his journalistic career, he will be remembered for one thing: he was the editor who slapped a portrait of Clarence Thomas wearing an Aunt Jemima-style handkerchief on a 1993 cover of Emerge magazine. That shocking image outraged Thomas’ supporters, of course, but it crystallized the disgust that many African Americans had begun to feel about the ultraconservative legal philosophy of the U.S. Supreme Court’s only black member.”
Curry was initially hired at NNPA by Chairman John “Jake” Oliver, publisher of the Afro Newspapers, and the second time by NNPA Chairman Cloves Campbell, Jr., publisher of the Arizona Informant.
While serving as editor of the NNPA News Service in 2003, Curry was named “Journalist of the Year” by the National Association of Black Journalists for his work improving the quality of journalism in the Black Press.