Back to: The Skanner News Staff
Co-founder and Publisher
A native of St Louis, Illinois, Bernie served in the US Air Force, spending six months in Vietnam in 1963. He started out in journalism taking photographs for The Crusader, an African American newspaper in East St. Louis. Stationed in Seattle, Bernie took photographs of the Seattle Super Sonics for The Facts. He took journalism classes through a University of Western Washington program in Seattle and was inspired by the words of Black Publisher John Russworm. Launching Freedom’s Journal in 1827 Russworm said, “We wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us.”
With Bobbie Foster, in 1975, Bernie launched The Skanner, a weekly newspaper based in Portland that aimed to cover African American and underserved communities in the Pacific Northwest. The Skanner was designed to produce high-quality professional journalism, and has won numerous awards, including the West Coast Black Publishers Association’s Publisher of the Year in 1986 and 1993. Bernie says his proudest moments include, helping change the street where the paper had its first office to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, and seeing leaders and community members take action to right wrongs after the paper covered the issues. For example, hair stylists organized a training on styling and grooming Black hair, after the paper ran a story about White moms who struggled to care for their daughters’ hair.
In 1987 Bernie worked with Wayne Branch to create a website for The Skanner. Now in its third redesign our website offers 24/7 news and entertainment with a focus on African Americans and African immigrants and refugees in the Pacific Northwest.