“We are watching organizations like Huffington Post determine what Black stories are elevated to national news stories. We plan to drive that narrative too, instead of others having the final say in what’s important to us.”
“It’s important that we stop thinking of ethnic media as a ‘nice to have,’ as something on the side. It’s a must have,” Glenn Burkins of Q City Metro, a Charlotte-based African-American news website, said at the Knight Media Forumearlier this week. Discussions about how to better amplify and support diverse media are still a core part of the future of the industry — and the numbers are unfortunately still dismal — but it helps to have a data-driven understanding of the state of ethnic media now.
Appropriately, Democracy Fund released a report on the state of African-American media in the last days of Black History Month here in the U.S. It includes a detailed history of African-American media, from the 1800s’ Freedom’s Journal and Frederick Douglass’ The North Star — creating a legacy of, according to the late Columbia Journalism professor Phyllis Garland, “never [intending] to be objective because it didn’t see the white press being objective. It often took a position. It had an attitude. This was a press of advocacy. There was news, but the news had an admitted and a deliberate slant.”