The St. Louis American has a circulation of 70,000 and is the largest weekly in Missouri targeting African American readers. It reaches 40-45 percent of black households in the St. Louis metropolitan area.
It has received top national honors for journalistic excellence several times and it was named the best African American newspaper in the country in 2006.
Host Don Marsh spoke with Dr. Donald Suggs, the principal owner, publisher and executive editor of the newspaper for the last three decades.
Suggs addressed racial polarization in St. Louis and an apparent brain-drain, in which talented St. Louisans leave for other cities. He said early childhood education is the most important topic to address.
They addressed the founding of the newspaper, in 1928, when it, as Suggs described, “was a time when there was almost absolute segregation.”
A group of businessmen started the newspaper and while it faced some problems during the Great Depression, the St. Louis American is now in its 79th consecutive year of service to the community.
The St. Louis American’s business model focuses on more local coverage today. “About 20 percent of our content comes from the community through commentaries, calendars, and unions,” said Suggs.
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