Publisher’s Drive Keeps her on the Main Road

By NABJ JSHOP Reporter Ayomi Wolff and Ankhusmet Lynch-Wade

NABJ secretary and Dallas journalist Cheryl Smith visited the NABJ JSHOP this week, to share with students her journey as a journalist.

Smith was born and raised in New Jersey and attended Florida A&M University in Tallahassee. Smith told the students that almost immediately upon stepping onto campus, she made her way to the college newspaper. 

In her four college years, Smith completed two internships.

However, despite her initiative, the world of journalism was not always kind to those who looked like her. ‘I faced sexism,” Smith said.

Smith said she also faced problems because of imposter syndrome, the feeling of unworthiness in one’s status or position. This insecurity led to her declining an interview opportunity at a broadcasting station early in her career. 

“I wonder where I’d be now (if I had taken that interview),” Smith said, adding that she now knows that “never again will I not be prepared (for an opportunity).” 

Smith told the JSHOP class that her setbacks only helped to make her stronger. 

“(If) you live your life for everybody but yourself,” you will set yourself up for misery,” she said.

Smith said she is thankful for the opportunity to share with budding journalists the knowledge she has gained from a lifetime devoted to journalism. 

“I love giving to (JSHOPers) what I was missing in my life,” Smith said.

Smith currently owns three newspapers in Dallas and has partnered with the Dallas Morning News to help improve their relations with the Dallas Black community.

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