November 10, 2023 – 1:30 pm
When we praise the tenacity of the media industry and its capacity for innovation, we often think only of technological advances, better tools, or new trends. But one thing that the history of newspaper companies teaches us is that change and transformation come not so much from technology as from business leadership.
Today, as we present the IAPA Executive of the Year Award to Pamela (P.J.) Browning, it is clear that great ideas are just that, ideas until someone comes along and executes them to perfection.
P.J. Browning, as Publisher of The Post and Courier newspaper in Charleston, South Carolina, has impressed and inspired us with the implementation of her Public Service and Investigative Reporting Fund that has raised more than $1 million, enabling the newspaper to uncover corruption cases and put politicians in check and, in the process, win a Pulitzer Prize.
The fund also serves to finance public education projects through the Post and Courier Education Lab and develop in-depth reporting on weather, particularly the threat of rising tides and flooding affecting South Carolina.
At the same time, under P.J.'s leadership, the newspaper provides financial support to other media outlets in the region to enable them to access public information and develop their investigations.
It is an extensive crowdsourcing, collaborative journalism, solutions journalism, and investigative journalism program for a community that stays involved and funds it.
At a time when the media industry is trying to slow the advance of "news deserts," this case in South Carolina shows us that, with local support, committed owners, and skillful execution, newspapers have the potential to reinvent themselves and thrive again.
Pamela is senior vice president of Evening Post Industries and president of Evening Post Industries' newspaper division. She is also president and publisher of The Post and Courier in Charleston, South Carolina. Her boss is former IAPA President Pierre Manigault, who will undoubtedly be congratulated for having her at the helm of his newspaper companies.
Pamela has held various executive positions at newspapers in Georgia, Pennsylvania, Missouri, and South Carolina. She has stood out for launching digital innovation projects that have inspired the communities she has served.
For all these reasons, for her extraordinary inventiveness and creativity, for a career full of accomplishments, and exemplary execution of The Post and Courie's Public Service and Investigative Reporting Fund, the Inter American Press Association is pleased to present its Executive of the Year Award to Pamela J. Browning.
Congratulations, P.J., and thank you for your excellent work.