This month celebrates the 7th year that I’ve published and presented TBTNews, now one of the leading news and information media outlets in Chicago (Oh yeah, stop calling it a blog). Even though we’re Chi-town based and most of the content is scripted around my city, people read the news service globally–that’s the coverage area of a digital platform.
I’m proud of the new and innovative mechanism to distribute relevant and disruptive content to tens of thousands of subscribers each day. Nearly one million people view TBTNews each month. And now with digitally distributed TBTNews TV and its original IMAGE MAKER Series being watched daily; in the next few years, online driven gadgets like smartphones, iPads and tablets will be how 75% of all content will be consumed. And my team is preparing for the digital revolution!
I know that black media is going through some major changes and advancements. There’s a resurgence of black content. Look at cable networks like BET and TV ONE, who are banging out some damn good television shows. And even stations like FOX and several other broadcast entities are producing original black programs. The numbers are exploding. Now we have black radio, especially talk formats, trying to find its progressive footing.
In Chicago, WVON’s president and CEO, Melody Spann-Cooper, has been making moderate but effective changes. She added The Commentators, now she has revamped her most important morning slot, replacing veteran radio personality Matt McGill with new comer and now former Commentator, Maze Jackson, to the daily lineup. This change is expected to bring more aggressive dialog in an environment that need all hands on deck. And for the new slogan attached to Jackson’s show, the ‘gloves are coming off’ and listeners can expect the unexpected.
All of black media must collectively be on the same page in terms of rebuilding our black brand. We must be truthful about the past, the present, and faithful that if the future is to present better days, then we must control the messages being inserted into our moral conscious. We must use our media platforms to dictate our truths: that we are worthy and have earned our position at the table and should not be treated as a posted-note.
I’m gonna be as candid as possible to not only black media but my black people. There is no way we’ll secure our trajectory out of massive poverty and become a stronger and more wealthy race of people if we continue to collaborate with mainstream media and their daily portrayal of blacks as a violent group of people. This global and negative image being transmitted has damaged our character and profiled blacks as savages and uncontrollable destroyers of communities. We must use new and old media as a way to distribute positive messages about our collective community as vibrant and progressive villages.
This must be (one) of the main objectives of black media’s evolution into a powerful and influential communication tool. And it must be executed using social and broadcast media, radio and the printed word. Highlighting the best and brightest must be an around-the-clock mission. We must control our narrative. We must write our own script and seek the many actors who are capable of winning Oscars for their portrait of trusted public servants and community builders.
This rough terrain that we’re forced to travel to regain our place in America and within our communities, can only be accomplished through some serious changes. We must first connect with our past leaders whose wisdom must be delivered to us. We need our elders to step up and give us meaningful direction. We need our young to stand on the front line to show their strength, courage and ability to be future leaders. This revolution or evolution must be televised! Until the next edition…… Peace and One Love.
I Write to Differ