Review: Never In My Wildest Dreams: A Black Woman’s Life in Journalism

Book is both moving memoir and fascinating journey into U.S. history

Written by Belva Davis, with Vicki Haddock


Review by Carolyn Schurr Levin


To describe Belva Davis’ book simply as a memoir by the first black female news anchor in the United States is to ignore the inspiration and history lesson that this incredible book provides.  Davis takes us on a journey, from her birth in 1932 in deeply segregated Monroe, La., during the Great Depression, through a lifetime filled with an uncanny ability to overcome obstacles and surpass even her own expectations, to the 21st century, when she has been honored with accolades and awards, including eight local Emmys and Lifetime Achievement Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and the Northern California Television Academy.  Her odyssey can only be described as extraordinary.  Although it may not have been her intent when she set out to tell her story, Davis’ memoir surely can inspire young journalists to take on bigger, even seemingly insurmountable challenges, both professional and social.

Never in My Wildest Dreams by Belva Davis

Never in My Wildest Dreams by Belva Davis

Davis’ memories of her childhood are filled with sadness.  Because her mother, a 14- year-old laundress earning $4 a week, and her father, also a teenager without formal education, working at a local sawmill, were unable to care for her, she became, in her words, “portable – rather like an old suitcase that they would pass from place to place.” Her family fled the racism of the Deep South and headed for Oakland, Calif., as part of the Second Great Migration west during World War II.  In California, unfortunately, life was not all that much easier for Davis.  She describes how, as both a black and a Southerner, she confronted prejudice in school.  She lived in projects.  She suffered from neglect and abuse. She describes a home “overstuffed with people but lacking in affection.”

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Editors note

It’s payback time

Bob Bergland

The year was 1989. Reagan had just ended his term as office and I was an undergraduate searching for a topic for my senior honors thesis. As editor of my college newspaper at Millikin University, I was interested in researching media ethics at college newspapers. After discovering the existence of College Media Review (actually College Press Review, before the name change) and finding several valuable ethics articles in the journal, I was on my way.

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College Media — a look back at 2011-2012

College media enjoy, endure numerous revolutions, large and small

By Daniel Reimold
University of Tampa

The year began with a bombshell.  On the first day of school last August, The Red & Black, one of the largest and most-feted college newspapers in the country, announced it was switching from a daily to a weekly print edition.

The University of Georgia student paper simultaneously rolled out a digital-first workflow and publishing philosophy that made redandblack.com the “main arm for delivering the news of UGA to the masses.”  In an announcement message on a popular college media advisers’ list-serv, Red & Black editorial adviser Ed Morales dubbed the whole shebang Red & Black 2.0.

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Editor’s Corner

In with the old in the new year

If you’ve been following the CMA listserv since the first of the year, you’re familiar with the case of the East Carolina University newspaper adviser who was fired after controversy over the publication of a full-frontal photo of a streaker at a Pirates home football game. And, by now, you’ve probably heard about the blunder by a community news blog managed by Penn State students whose premature reporting of the death of coaching icon Joe Paterno was picked up by national media. Continue reading

Joining the Click: College Media Review now digital only

Welcome to the launch of the web-only version of College Media Review, the flagship publication of the newly-dubbed College Media Association, Inc., itself the new moniker for the organization formerly known as College Media Advisers since 1983 and founded as the National Council of College Publications Advisers way back in 1955.  Judging by that pattern, we brace for another name change around 2039.  But by any name, we’re the largest organization of college media advisers in the country, and role of College Media Review remains the same. Continue reading