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Wave receives two NNPA Merit Awards

By Kamerie Gibson

Contributing Writer

The Los Angeles Wave received two awards at the 2018 National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) Merit Awards. The announcement was made June 28 at the annual NNPA Convention held in Norfolk, Virginia.

Every year the NNPA Merit Awards recognizes black newspapers and their staff members who have excelled in their work.

The Wave received a first-place award for contributing writer Erin Aubry Kaplan for best column writing and a third-place award for best special section. Both awards were for the April 27, 2017 edition of the West Wave, which was a special section devoted to the 25th anniversary of the 1992 South Los Angeles Riots.

“I always felt that when I wrote for mainstream media, my work was not entirely understood or appreciated,” said Kaplan, a former writer and columnist for the Los Angeles Times.

Kaplan, who had never won an NNPA Award, said she “felt fully embraced by the Black Press.” She called the award “most meaningful” and “very gratifying.”

“I didn’t even know I was in the running,” she said.

“We don’t do what we do for awards, that’s not our objective,” said Gregory J. Huskisson, spokesman for Wave Publisher Pluria Marshall. “We do it to provide our readers with substantive and compelling content that helps them lead better informed and more empowered lives,” a statement in partnership with the theme of the NNPA Awards this year: “Sustaining, Engaging, and Mobilizing Black Communities.”

Still, Huskisson, the Wave’s vice president of content and audience, acknowledged that it is “gratifying to be honored by [our] peers and to be recognized nationally for the hard work and dedication we commit to our craft each and every day.”

“I would like to thank the NNPA for this esteemed honor and congratulate all the newspapers that were honored at this convention,” he added.

Since 2015, the Los Angeles Wave has won six awards from the NNPA.