Ernest Owens

Award winning journalist and host of “Ernestly Speaking!"

Ernest Owens is an award-winning journalist and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. He is the Editor at Large for Philadelphia Magazine and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He hosts the hit podcast “Ernestly Speaking!” and is an author of the upcoming book “The Case for Cancel Culture” to be published by St. Martin’s Press in Fall 2022. As an openly Black gay journalist, he has made headlines for speaking frankly about intersectional issues in society regarding race, LGBTQ, and pop culture. In 2018, he launched his growing media company that specializes in multimedia production, consulting, and communications.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and other media outlets. He has won countless honors, which includes landing on the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, winning two Sigma Delta Chi Awards, and receiving the 2019 NEXT Award by the American Society of Magazine Editors. He can be found on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and other social media platforms at @MrErnestOwens and ernestowens.com.

VIDEOS

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Award winning journalist and host of “Ernestly Speaking!"

Ernest Owens is an award-winning journalist and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. He is the Editor at Large for Philadelphia Magazine and President of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists. He hosts the hit podcast “Ernestly Speaking!” and is an author of the upcoming book “The Case for Cancel Culture” to be published by St. Martin’s Press in Fall 2022. As an openly Black gay journalist, he has made headlines for speaking frankly about intersectional issues in society regarding race, LGBTQ, and pop culture. In 2018, he launched his growing media company that specializes in multimedia production, consulting, and communications.

In June 2016, he made a viral post on Twitter that called out superstar Justin Timberlake during the BET Awards. The tweet got a response from Timberlake that prompted a national discussion on cultural appropriation. For several years, his extensive reporting on racism in the LGBTQ community received national attention as he revealed acts of racial discrimination in Philadelphia’s Gayborhood. His coverage was cited by the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations as reviving a decades long issue in the community that finally led to local government intervention, an anti-discrimination bill being unanimously passed, and the city’s pride rainbow flag to now include black and brown stripes to acknowledge racial inclusion. His versatile talent has taken him from Ghana to the campaign trail where he’s interviewed countless political leaders, such as Vice President Kamala Harris, to Hollywood where he’s interviewed industry heavyweights such as Oprah Winfrey and Academy Award winning screenwriter Tarell Alvin McCraney.

At 29 years old, Ernest has already used his wide media platform to spread awareness on several important issues. He received his B.A. in communication from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Master’s degree in Communication Management from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. His work has been featured in The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, MTV, NBC, NPR, and other prominent media outlets. He’s also a member of the Online News Association, the Association of LGBTQ Journalists, and the National Association of Black Journalists. He is the Board Chairman of Philadelphia Community Access Media, and also serves on the boards of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists and the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (Mid-Atlantic Chapter).

His work has earned countless honors, which includes landing on the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 list, being named the 2017 Emerging Journalist of the Year by the National Association of Black Journalists, winning the 2018 & 2020 Sigma Delta Chi Award from the Society of Professional Journalists, the 2019 National City & Regional Magazine Award by the City & Regional Magazine Association, and receiving the 2019 NEXT Award by the American Society of Magazine Editors.

He can be found on Twitter and other social media platforms at @MrErnestOwens and ernestowens.com.

PRESS

Our speakers get attention.

  • Ernest Owens
    Owens has written about allegations of racial discrimination in Philadelphia's Gayborhood.
  • The Legacy
    As the new president of the Philadelphia Association of Black Journalists, Ernest Owens promises to lean heavily on the organization’s tradition of advocacy.
  • Black History Month Pride: Ernest Owens
    The journalist and activist has caught the attention of the famous and the grassroots alike.
  • Meet Ernest Owens, new leader of Philly’s Association of Black Journalists
    Owens, PABJ's first openly gay president, is making waves through his advocacy for Black journalists and equality in media via his writing in Philly Mag and on his podcast.
PRAISE

Owens was the best speaker to have for the first Courageous Conversations series. His youth gives him the ability to connect with the student body and his position in journalism keeps him informed on social justice issues around the country.

PRAISE

Many of the topics Ernest has unpacked while developing the Swarthmore Community’s capacities are topics which many educators/trainers would shy away from. Instead, Ernest has leaned in to hone our community members’ skill sets in engaging in difficult dialogue and also laid the groundwork for many to continue to build on their skills and learning.

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