Our Story

The New Tri-State Defender caters to the news and information needs of the African-American community and is one of the longest, continuously published weekly newspapers in the South.

First published on Nov. 1, 1951, the newspaper now is the anchor element in the multi-platform delivery of news and information by BEST Media Properties, Inc. Concentrating on Arkansas, Mississippi and Tennessee, The New Tri-State Defender (TSD) informs and inspires readers while seeking to help them elevate the quality of their lives.

Its online companion, TSDMemphis.com, augments the weekly newspaper’s value. An abbreviated version of the news of the day is conveyed via the Digital Daily. And now the expanding mix features an array of social media platforms, including TSDtv.

Guiding the production of the editorial content is Associate Publisher/Executive Editor Karanja A. Ajanaku, who has 40-plus years of journalism experience as a reporter, editor and manager. He directs a roster of talented reporters and columnists. The team relays the ongoing narrative of the African-American community as it evolves in myriad forms, including family, neighborhoods, education, business, religion, government, commentary and opinion, entertainment, sports and various civic and fraternal groups.

The parent company BEST Media Properties, Inc. has a five-member board of directors that measures performance in the context of the company’s mission. The president is Calvin Anderson. The other members are: Deidre Malone, vice president; the Rev. Dr. L. LaSimba M. Gray Jr., treasurer; Vanecia Belser Kimbrow, Esq., secretary; and Towanda Peete-Smith.