Members of the Black Press of Columbus, OH in 2000 - representing the Call & Post, The Columbus Post and The Communicator Newspapers and Radio One, after our meeting with Columbus Mayor, Michael B. Coleman (4th from left). My first mentor, Albert Jones, C&P Managing Editor, is far left, with his hand on my shoulder. To the right of the Mayor, is Amos Lynch, affectionately known as the 'Godfather of Columbus;' he was managing editor of C&P for 30-years and founded The Columbus Post. Those were the days when integrity, fairness and truth ruled news journalism and there was a tremendous amount of respect for the profession.
Born and raised in Newport News, VA, Janel St. John planned to be a journalist from an early age. At 15 she anchored her first LIVE television news broadcast, on the public school system's TV channel. After earning her B.S. in Mass Communications from Virginia Commonwealth University, she and began work in corporate advertising at Circuit City. She was also a radio personality at WDYL, WFTH and WTJZ, where she was the morning show host. While at WTJZ, Janel produced a series of NPR-style, in-depth reports for the Gospel music station. In 1998, the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals, which was the Tidewater Chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, named her “Journey to Africa,” the ‘Best Live Radio Interview of the Year’ at their annual Echoes of Excellence awards ceremony.
After moving to Columbus, OH, Janel found her place in print journalism at the Call & Post Newspaper. She quickly moved from Franklin County Reporter, to Showtime Arts & Entertainment Editor, and was chosen at the age of 28, as the new Interim Managing Editor. Highlights at the Call & Post include covering the Bush-Gore presidential election, traveling to Beverly Hills to attend the press junket for John Singleton's movie 'Baby Boy' and covering Tina Turner's Farewell Tour.
conscience media productions, inc.
In 2003, Janel launched full-time at Conscience Media Productions, Inc., (CMP) a public relations and media company she formed in 2000. Her goal was to produce intelligent radio programs and print editorial for African American audiences nationwide.
Through CMP, she founded The Conscious Voice - a print magazine, radio show and podcast. She positioned the publication for selection to several exclusives including the debut of the Jaguar XJ, Mark Bradford's first museum survey at The Ohio State University's Wexner Center for the Arts and a history-making advertising buy from the Cincinnati Museum Center.
For 5-years, The Conscious Voice was the state-wide 'voice of diversity.' It's made history as the nation's first multicultural art + culture magazine.
For 10-years, Janel grew CMP's client list to over 60 businesses. For 8-years, she managed the PR, media relations and design for the City of Columbus Black History Month Celebration. She created an advertising campaign that generated thousands of dollars for the annual 500-attendee event and negotiated a $13K pre-event media sponsorship.
In 2007, Mayor Michael B. Coleman awarded CMP an
'Excellence in Business Award'
for her work.
Fashion Group International Inc.
In 2008, Janel was elected co-regional director of the Columbus Chapter of Fashion Group International, Inc., (FGI) a New York-based global network of fashion industry professionals. Under her leadership, FGI’s annual fundraiser, ‘Cocktails & Catwalk,” broke fundraising, attendance and media coverage records. The event was featured in five Columbus publications and received a post-event feature in the premier monthly glossy. The annual Trend Event followed suit.
In 2010, Janel returned to VA and formed her non-profit, Fashion Media Arts Council, with a goal to advocate for women's empowerment, domestic violence prevention, and diversity in fashion, media and arts education.The 2013 kick-off event, 'A Great Gatsby Affair,' a fashion show fundraiser for Safe Harbor Shelter, was featured twice on Richmond CBS Affiliate, WTVR-TV6. After a LIVE segment on "Virginia This Morning," it was named an "A-List" event in the weekend report feature.
conscience media productions, LLC.
Janel continued her work with The Conscious Voice, growing it online from a regional to a national scope. With a goal to make it the most-exciting place on the web to experience works by artists of color, she has most recently worked with East Coast museums, on publicity to African American audiences. She is currently working on the magazine's next iteration.
In 2020, after working on freelance projects, she reincorporated Conscience Media Productions in VA, as an LLC.
I met SPIKE LEE at OSU's Wexner Center for the Arts in 2008. He spoke on campus after receiving the Wexner Prize.
(right) At the WTVR 6 studios after our LIVE segment on "Virginia This Morning."