Renette Dejoie-Hall is the president and publisher of The Louisiana Weekly. Based in New Orleans, Louisiana, the influential 96-year-old weekly Black newspaper serves the African American community in that city and around the region.
Dejoie-Hall says that her paper — which still only costs 50 cents an issue — brings news that is “not be covered by other people, by other media.” She says that even in non-pandemic times that “we consider ourselves a history book,” documenting issues that matter.
The pandemic has impacted advertising revenue and forced the Weekly to cut or reduce its coverage of religious life and entertainment, but so far has not led to any staff reductions. Dejoie-Hall remains hopeful that her paper can endure and pass on its mission to a new generation.
“You know, you do what you have to keep the legacy going.”
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See more from The Essential Workers, an oral history project tracking the experiences of locally owned newspapers in Mid-America during the pandemic.