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Sidmel K. Estes

Sidmel Estes (BSJ76, MSJ77) was a member of the inaugural class of the Medill Hall of Achievement in 1997.

Estes took more than three decades of journalism experience, primarily in television news, and transformed it into a dynamic media consulting and production company. She served as media and project manager for nonprofits such as the Frederick Douglass Family Foundation, The McCormick Tribune Fellows Foundation, The Tupac Amaru Shakur Foundation and the Atlanta Center for Creative Inquiry. Her company assisted dozens of journalists and helped them get back to work through the nationally acclaimed “Journalists to Go” project. Estes provided top-level media training and strategy to news organizations, corporations, small businesses, and entrepreneurs.

She was a nationally recognized television insider who helped create and build the successful morning program, “Good Day Atlanta” at WAGA/Fox 5 where she worked for 27 years. Who’s Who in Black Atlanta selected her as one of their “most interesting personalities.” She made history in 1991 when she was elected as the first woman president of the National Association of Black Journalists. In 1993, she was listed in Ebony magazine’s 100 Most Influential Black Americans and Organizations.
She won several local Emmy awards and in 2003 received the highest honor from the Television Academy as the recipient of the Silver Circle award that celebrates 25 years of service to the television industry. When the National Association of Media Women selected her as the Media Woman of the Year in 1988, Mayor Andrew Young proclaimed November 18, 1988 as “Sidmel Estes-Sumpter Day” in the city of Atlanta. She was formerly an adjunct professor of journalism at Clark Atlanta University and previously served in a similar position at Emory University. She also was a fellow with the McCormick Tribune Foundation sponsored by the National Association of Broadcasters.

Estes died in 2015.