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Publisher: 4-year-old Redding News Review is 'fiercely independent'

How Rob Redding built Redding News Review

    WASHINGTON, D.C., March 24, 2006, 4 p.m. After four years, Redding News Review Publisher Robert "Rob" Redding Jr. said the site is "more fiercely independent than ever" and will feature "more original earth-shattering news content" in the future.

    "The way I see it this is our year," Redding said as he sat in his private Capitol Hill office. "This is the year we expect to grow our readers by providing more exclusives written by a larger staff."

    He said adding Editor Imani Milliner and freeing himself of the day-to-day responsibilities and restrictions of The Washington Times, where he worked for more than 2 1/2 years as a reporter, will help the Web site become even more of a national player.

    "We can grow now that we have the freedom, staff and money to pay that staff necessary," he said. 

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     The Web site's parent company Redding Communications, Inc. (RCI) recently started public relations consulting for several clients in the District.

    Redding said RCI's consulting contracts have catapulted Redding News Review to "new independent heights" when compared to its humble start in a tiny 3-by-10-foot closet in Atlanta on March 25, 2002.   

    Critically acclaimed

    Since its start, Redding News Review has been called "the nation's top black news site" by Atlanta media news site Keminications.com, and has been recognized by legacy media for its hard hitting nonpartisan coverage of black news and beyond.

     Updated hourly, its scoops have been acknowledged or linked to by BET, MSNBC, Roll Call, The Baltimore Sun, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, The Washington Times, The National Newspaper Association and many more. (View Redding News Review in the news).  

    In December 2004, the Web site's breaking news coverage prompted Brian Williams, NBC News anchor and managing editor, to apologize for saying there are "bigger problems" than newsroom diversity. It also spurred the newsman's boss NBC News President Neal Shapiro to vow to redouble the company's minority hiring efforts. (Read more).

     Redding News Review has also been recognized by the National Association of Black Journalists for its Hurricane Katrina coverage. The Web site ran a widely read exclusive pointing out the Drudge Report's questionable use of a photo and headline. The Drudge Report's photo likened black people to being "Trapped like animals." The exclusive report resulted in the photo being taken down and it being run on the black journalists' group's Web site's front page for more than two weeks. (Read the story).

    The beginning  

    Redding, who has worked for various newspapers across the country, started the Web site approximately 90 days after his Atlanta-based radio program aired in December of 2001.

    "It is a virtual newspaper portal of sorts," he said four years ago, as he worked in his make shift Atlanta office littered with crates full of books and news clippings. He used the office at the time -- a tiny 3-by-10-foot closet -- to wage war with the news titans of the mainstream.

    "When I started [Redding] News Review on March 25, 2002, I did it because I felt like people needed an apparatus to tackle issues that were important to them," he said, adding, "Minority populations - women, blacks, Hispanics, Native Americans, Asians, the disabled, homosexuals, misfits and malcontents of America - are the target audience of Redding News Review, because these peoples' concerns are rarely addressed by the mainstream media.

    "I don't think I can underscore enough the importance of bringing news to the forefront, which is what I believe this site does," he said. "And at the same time I think we give people ample opportunity to comment on issues through our message board without them  being censored by some editor."

    Today, Redding works primarily out of his District office, which is becoming more cluttered with articles of recognition from the mainstream media he initially set out to target.

    "You have to have a sharp eye for news and have excellent news judgment," he said. "I think the national recognition that we have received in this short amount of time proves we have what it takes to compete with the big kids on the block." 

    The readers

    Celeste Kieselstein-Hearn of Atlanta, who is one of more than 1,000 readers who log onto the growing news portal daily, says Redding News Review provides her with an overview of "many different news sources."

    "Since accessing The Redding News Review, I have found it very informative and I spend a lot of time on it daily," she said. 

    Sean Summers, of Detroit, agreed.   

    "The site really keeps me up to date on things I otherwise would not have caught on my own," he said. "I especially love how it is a one stop shop for local, American and global news, sprinkled with a little entertainment ... oh and I think the weekly podcast is the bomb too."

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