Dan Cryer, currently a freelancer, was a book critic at Newsday for 25 years. While there, he won the Publishers Award in Commentary for Criticism and an award for Best Criticism from the News Guild of New York, and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in criticism. He was Vice President of the National Book Critics Circle. His books include “Being Alive and Having to Die: The Spiritual Odyssey of Forrest Church” and “Forgetting My Mother: A Blues from the Heartland.” His book reviews have appeared in The New Republic, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and other publications. He has also contributed to “Salon.com Reader’s Guide to Contemporary Authors,” “Conversations with Louise Erich and Michael Dorris,” and others.
Kyle Good became a producer/director at CBS News in 1979, where she directed the weekend news and special events coverage, including space shots, the Iran/Contra hearings, and breaking news reports. She also directed “48 Hours on Crack Street,” the pilot for the long-running CBS News series “48 Hours.” In 1987, she joined NBC News where, as producer/director, she launched “Sunday Today.” She directed two prime-time specials called “A Day in the Life of the White House” during the George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations, prime time series “Real Life with Jane Pauley” and “Exposé with Tom Brokaw,” as well as directing election-night coverage and numerous breaking news reports. In 1993, Kyle left the TV news world to lead communications for the Children’s Defense Fund. In 2003 she became senior vice president at Scholastic Corporation, spearheading global communications for the world’s largest publisher and distributor of children’s books. She expanded the Scholastic News Kids Press Corps to include 50 reporters ages 10-14 worldwide. Dozens of Kids Press Corps alumni are now working journalists. Kyle retired from Scholastic in January 2017.
For most of her career, Joanne Mattera covered the fashion industry: as editor in chief at Fiberarts from 1981 to 1983, as editor of fashion features at Women’s Wear daily from 1983 to 1986, and as life-styles editor at Glamour magazine from 1986-1998. At WWD she coordinated the coverage of couture and ready-to-wear shows, working with of more than a dozen reporters in New York, four bureaus in the US, and European bureaus. Mattera won awards for her” Truth in Fashion” investigative column that covered consumer issues in the fashion industry: the Atrium Award from the University of Georgia’s College of Journalism and Mass Communications, and the Clarian Award from Women In Communication. As a freelancer she also wrote for New Woman magazine, the Chicago Tribune and other outlets. Since 2000, Joanne has focused on writing about art and in creating art. She has exhibited in galleries throughout the US, and is author of The Art of Encaustive Painting: Contemporary Expression in the Ancient Medium of Pigmented Wax. Her memoir, Vita: Growing Up Italian, Coming Out, and Making a Life in Art, was published in 2019.
Sheryl McCarthy has hosted the “One to One” weekly talk show on CUNY-TV since 2007. In print journalism, she has been a reporter and education editor at the Daily News, a national correspondent at ABC news, and senior writer and longtime columnist at Newsday and New York Newsday. She has also written for Ms. Magazine, USA Today and The Nation. McCarthy has received numerous awards, including the Meyer Berger Award from Columbia University for her columns about New York City, and Harvard’s prestigious Neiman Fellowship. She taught at Columbia, and was Distinguished Lecturer of Journalism at Queens from 2007 to 2020. You can read a collection of her Newsday columns in Why Are the Heroes Always White, published by Andrews McMeel.
Melvin McCray is a filmmaker, photographer, writer and journalist. He has been president of Media Genesis Solutions LLC, a Brooklyn-based production company from 1978 to present. He has produced and directed films for a wide variety of religious, cultural and educational organizations including NASA, Princeton University and the New-York Historical Society. For 28 years (1981-2009) McCray was a video editor for ABC’s World News Tonight with Peter Jennings; he was awarded three Columbia DuPont Awards, an Emmy and the George Foster Peabody Award. From 1974 to 1978, he was a reporter with Time, Life and Money magazines. McCray taught broadcast journalism for 12 years as an associate adjunct professor at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and was the Ferris Professor of Journalism visiting professor at Princeton in 1999. In 2013 he created the Digital Media Training Program, a non-profit that provides free training to Harlem residents in video production, photography and journalism; in 2015 and 2016 his students won the White House Student Film Festival, and were awarded by President Obama (https://vimeo.com/196143196). In 2018 the Digital Media Training Program partnered with the Fortune Society in a program that offered training in journalism and film making to young men and women as an alternative to incarceration. The result was seven films and a broadcast on WNET’s public affairs program MetroFocus (http://harlemeyes.com/youth-empowerment-television-at-the-fortune-society). McCray presented his findings at the United Nations in 2019 (https://vimeo.com/319003260).McCray is also a member of the selection committee of the George Polk Awards in Journalism, Long Island University (https://vimeo.com/697212414).
JacklynMonk is the managing editor at WSF- The Wall Street Journal Magazine, where, she explains, she “manages and advocates for the editorial team, is responsible for editorial operations, and supervises the budget.” Before joining WSJ in 2019, she was executive editor at Essence, executive editor of InStyle and deputy managing editor of Real Simple. She has held senior editorial positions at Vibe, Girl, Bridal Guide, New Woman, Beauty Digest and New Woman,where she became beauty editor at the age of 25–making her the first African American beauty editor at a major general-audience women’s magazine. Monk‘s work has also appeared in Harper’s Bazaar, Heart & Soul, Cosmopolitan and Ladies Home Journal. Throughout her career, she has received industry accolades, including a Folio Top Women in Media Award, Black Women in Media: Literature & Publishing Award and ColorComm: Women of Color in Communications Award.
Sandra Peddie, Newsday investigative reporter, has won more than 75 awards for her work, including the $35,000 Selden Ring Award for stories on pension fraud and abuses in special government districts that led to changes in New York State law. Before becoming an investigative reporter, she was an assigning editor and reporter for Newsday. During that time, she was a finalist for the Public Service Pulitzer for stories on police misconduct (2014) and was a reporter on the paper’s 1995 Pulitzer Prize-winning police disability fraud series. In 2011, she was named Long Island’s Outstanding Journalist of the year. She also has won two New York Emmys, most recently for the documentary, “American Gangster.” Earlier in her career, she worked at the St. Paul Pioneer Press as a reporter and editor, and before that at the San Jose News in Costa Rica as managing editor. Peddie served on the board of the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and has taught journalism at Hofstra and Stony Brook universities. She is author of two books: The Repetitive Strain Injury Sourcebook (1997) and SONNY, the Last of the Old-Time Mafia Bosses, John Sonny Franzese (March 2022), Kensington Publishing).
Garry Pierre-Pierre, a leading voice on Haiti, the Haitian diaspora and community media, is publisher of The Haitian Times, which he founded in 1999. The Haitian Times provides timely, in-depth information about Haiti and its diaspora. From 1993 to 1999 he was a reporter at The New York Times, where he won a Pulitzer Prize. Pierre-Pierre is a recognized leader in media entrepreneurship circles. He is a Sulzberger Executive Leadership fellow at Columbia University, exploring ways to serve the Haitian diaspora worldwide and the co-founder and the first executive director of the Center for Community Media at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. In 2011, he was elected president of the New York Press Association, the first person of color to serve in that role. Pierre-Pierre’s works include “30 Seconds: The Quake that Destroyed Haiti,” a book of photographs about Haiti’s 2010 earthquake. His contributions have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Miami Herald, Essence, The Griot, The Root and other publications. Pierre-Pierre frequently appears on major TV and cable networks, where he is called upon to provide context about Haiti. His weekly column appears on haitiantimes.com.
Terry Pristin writes that before retiring, she “spent more than one-third of my 40-year career in journalism at The New York Times” as an editor and writer (3/1995 to 12/2009) “but I took a circuitous route to get there.” She worked in TV, alternative journalism, then went on to MORE, the UPI (“mainly in West Virginia, the closest I ever came to a foreign assignment),” The Los Angeles Herald-Examiner, and the Los Angeles Times, where she started on the Op-Ed page. She notes that she had “a lot of different beats–among them, two state legislatures, crime and punishment in LA, the movie industry (when it was made up of colorful individuals, not just private-equity companies), the gentrification of Harlem and commercial real estate.”
Dean Warren Schomburg (on-air name: WarrenDean) spent his entire career as radio news anchor. Before retiring in 2008 he worked as a newscaster/writer with the Wall Street Journal Radio Network for 14 years. He also hosted a network TV program “Black Perspective on the News”, which originated at WHYY TV in Philadelphia and was carried by the Eastern Radio Network. He was a radio news anchor for the ABC Contemporary Radio Network in New York City and also was an on-air host for New York classical radio stations WQXR and WNCN.
Dean Schomberg, who got his MA in communications at Rutgers, is a grandson of noted bibliophile and historian Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, whose private collection of art and artifacts formed the basis of the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. He chaired the Government Advocacy Committee of Schomburg Corp., a non-profit that raises funds for the center. In his spare time (pre-pandemic) Dean enjoyed traveling to various points of the globe in pursuit of his love for jazz. He attended jazz concerts from Havana to Dubai and embarked on annual jazz cruises to the Caribbean, where he mixed with musicians and played his flute and alto sax during the “passenger jams.”
Mark Stamey had a unique career. After owning a commercial diving company for over 10 years, he decided to come above water and enter academia. After getting a BA and MA, he went on to Columbia Journalism, earning an MS. He researched the coping strategies of destitute people and published his findings in The Journal of Consumer Research, as co-author of “The homeless in America: an examination of possessions and consumption behaviors” (1990). He continued to write on the subject for other academic publications until 1993, when he started writing as a freelancer for The New York Times, covering everything from riots and the police to education and health care in under-served communities. As “a general assignment runner,” most of his stories in the City Section were not by-lined–he’d call in the facts, plus color, and the desk would write the story, a common practice then. One story with his byline tracked the history of Dr. Angela Diaz, director of adolescent health at Mt Sinai Hospital (“One Unpaved Road to the White House,” NYT Aug. 7, 1994.) In 1995, the New York Post hired Stamey as a full-time general assignment “runner”, focusing primarily on fires, riots, murders, the police, the courts, and more fires. He was “constantly on the go,” sometimes dressing as a janitor to enter a scene where journalists were cordoned off, or flying a drone when not allowed to approach the site of a plane crash. Brooke Gladstone profiled his work on NPR’s On the Media, first in 2001 (“The Crime Beat) and later on Nov. 24, 2005 (The Bummer Beat), after Stamey was no longer working for the Post, due to ill health.
Sandra M. Stevenson is associate deputy director of photography at CNN, where she manages a team of picture editors who curate the home screen, edit stories and newsletters, as well as special projects. Prior to joining CNN in April 2021, Sandra was at The New York Times, first as picture editor (2005-2018) and then as associate editor, overseeing digital photo editors on the news desk, and working on visual content for Race/Related and the Gender sections. She also worked on projects such as “Overlooked” and “This Is 18.” After receiving a BA in English from Syracuse University, Sandra spent four years working at NBC, first as a page and then working on various news programs. From there, she became the program coordinator for the Black Filmmaker Foundation. Stevenson returned to the news industry, joining The Associated Press, where she spent eight years moving up from photo assistant to overseeing photo news coverage for Latin America and the Caribbean. She received an advanced degree in multimedia from l’Universite Toulouse in France. Currently, she is a governor at the Overseas Press Club/America and board member of the LCU Fund for Women’s Education.