Kudos to Roland Martin, the
pioneering journalist who has taken his departure from TV One and
turned it into a digital platform. He'll be back with a daily
program, but he'll be online instead of traditional media. He has
financing from AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and
Municipal Employees, and he is also hoping for funding from us, the
folks who say they miss the program and say they want unfiltered
news. From his website, RolandMartin.com, you can join his
#BringtheFunk support group and help Roland bring the funk!
has had it with the traditional media, and he is right to point out
the lack of commentators and hosts on conventional media – the
networks and the "key" cable outlets. Many of those folks
have to toe the line, and can't be but so "controversial."
But sometimes one person's controversy is another person's truth.
The corporate media squirms with journalists call our 45th President
on his many lies because some of them are still currying favor with
him. And unless light shines on the filth that is occurring in
Washington, it will continue. Forty-five said he would "drain
the swamp," but he has become one of the world's great
alligators, profiting from his Presidency both through ties to China
(even as he imposes tariffs), through his many name-branded hotels,
and through all kinds of other shady deals.
Crusader publisher Dorothy Leavell Chairs of the Board of the
National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA). At the
organization's June conference, she convened a panel that focused on
fake news and the Black press. I was privileged to participate with
the National Association of Black Journalist (NABJ) President Sarah
Glover, pugnacious attorney A. Scott Bolden, and marketing expert
Deborah Gray-Young. I think that fake news is not only about the
Trump shenanigans and lies, but also about that which is unreported
or distorted. For example, how come every time a white person shoots
up a classroom, movie theatre, or public space, the focus is on their
"mental illness," while whenever a Black person commits a
crime of any sort, the focus is on criminality. Why has Rev.
Barber's Poor People's campaign been so underreported, and why was
the June 12 shackling of faith leaders outside Supreme Court wholly
ignored by the mainstream (and even the sidestream) media? Why has
there been so little focus on the economic status of African American
people, except when 45 crows about all the improvements he has made
(not) on the economy!
the other day, I was commiserating with someone about the ways the
mainstream media ignores the African American community. The brother
I was talking to said, "this is why I miss Roland." So
Roland is coming back roaring, lifting up the oft-quoted 1827 line
from Freedom's Journal, the nation's first Black newspaper, "We
wish to plead our own cause. Too long have others spoken for us."
Roland Martin and the NNPA have made the case that if we want our
story told, we have to support it.
is a shame that the Black press is so poorly embraced. NNPA papers
need ads, and they also need subscriptions, but while many of us talk
a good game, we don't sustain our press enough to help it thrive. So
they go seeking ads to survive, perhaps compromising integrity while
doing so. The Black press, those who plead our case, must not feel
that they have to buck-dance to the whim of advertisers.
Advertising, all too often, is contingent on the support of a
specific position, or avoidance of controversy. Thus in launching
his #Bring the Funk group, Roland is challenging African Americans
who real news to support it. That means contributing a little or a
lot to grow the digital platform Roland is building.
wants to go to heaven, but nobody wants to die. In other words,
everyone wants real news, and nobody wants to pay for it. One of the
ways to support real news is to take out a subscription to an NNPA
newspaper, or three. Another way is to help Roland bring his
particular brand of reporting and analysis to us through his digital
platform. Check his powerful statement out at RolandMartin.com and
check out the ways you support fake news by failing to challenge the
you write letters to the editor? Reach out to producers? Ask hard
questions about representation? Silence is consent.