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Praise for the Washington Informer and slams on the Washington Times were the order of the day at a pro-Informer rally this morning, as the dispute over whether the Washington Informer qualifies as a “newspaper of general circulation”—-and thus, deserved a shot at a city contract for an unclaimed property ad that went to the Times—-rolls on.

“It is not the fault of the Washington Informer because some people do not read it,” said activist Yango Sawyer at the Judiciary Square press conference, which was attended by around 20 supporters.

Several speakers spoke about how, despite the paper’s focus on black Washington, it can be found all over the District. The Washington Times, on the other hand…

“You can’t nowhere find a Washington Times paper—-at Ben’s Chili Bowl, at the playground,” said WPFW host Roach Brown, who went on to remind his audience about the paper’s connections to the Reverend Sun Myung Moon.

Informer owner and publisher Denise Rolark Barnes and her attorney, Johnny Barnes, handed in an appeal to the contract award after the press conference. The paper’s appeal argues, among other things, that the Informer has won city contracts in the past and that it deserves preferential treatment as one of Washington’s two Certified Business Enterprise newspapers (the Northwest Current is the other).

“This bunch of bureaucrats said you’re not qualified because you appeal to black people,” Johnny Barnes said. On the contrary, Barnes argued, the Informer has that prized general audience. The Times’ audience, according to Barnes, is no mystery.

“We would suggest conservative Republicans,” Barnes said. “They don’t have any unclaimed property!”

Photo by Will Sommer