The Sacramento Observer
|Owner(s)||Lee Publishing Company|
|Founder(s)||William H. Lee, Gino Gladden, and John W. Cole|
The Sacramento Observer is an African-American-owned weekly newspaper in Sacramento, California. It serves the African-American community throughout the Sacramento Metropolitan Area. There are an estimated 144,000 African Americans living in Sacramento, according to the 2005 American Community Survey published by the Census. It is distributed every Friday. It is owned and operated by The Observer Media Group, which also publishes SacObserver.com, its online news site.
Dr. William H. Lee, Gino Gladden, and John W. Cole established the Observer on November 22, 1962. Dr. Lee served as owner and publisher of the 59-year-old newspaper for 52 years. Dr. Lee passed away in 2019. Playing major roles in the family owned OBSERVER’s tremendous growth, as a modern-day Black newspaper, has been Dr. Lee’s immediate family. The late Mrs. Kathryn Lee (1935-2013), and sons, Larry, Billy and Roderick (deceased), all have served in dedicated leadership roles at THE OBSERVER. Larry Lee has ascended to the role of OBSERVER Publisher and President.
The Observer has grown since its four-page debut in the 1960s. It boasts six sections, covering local, national and international news, business, entertainment, government and politics, education, health and sports. It publishes a local church directory and a calendar of events highlighting African-American events throughout the city.
In 2001, The Observer launched its online news site SacObserver.com. Its first inception featured select articles from The Observer newspaper. The website underwent a redesign where it expanded to seven content channels. The website publishes an online Church Directory, Community-Based Organizations directory, HBCU Directory, Blacks in State Government listing, a Recipes archive and an online Calendar of Events, which lists events throughout Northern California.
The Observer has earned many awards, including the coveted John B. Russwurm Trophy for Journalism Excellence, which is considered to be the Pulitzer Prize in African-American newspaper publishing. National Newspaper Publishers Association, an organization of more than 200 Black newspapers throughout the United States of America, awards the 4-foot (1.23 m) Russwurm trophy. The newspaper has won this distinction six times.
Throughout the years, The Observer has been a strong community leader. The Observer was the catalyst for Sacramento Urban League and the Sacramento Area Black Law Caucus. In the past The Observer has sponsored numerous community events including organizing the Sacramento Black Expo, a yearly, three-day event celebrating African-American history, featuring seminars, workshops, concerts and a marketplace.