Black media is THE ONE with its finger on the pulse of OUR community On Saturday, December 21, the Community Brainstorming Conference held its monthly forum at St. Matthew C.M.E. Church, located on North 9th Street. The topic of the forum was how the media covers African Americans (to be more exact, the African American community as a whole). On the panel were journalists who work for the mainstream (i.e. the White to be more accurate) media: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Columnists Eugene Kane and James Causey; Fox 6 Television News Anchor and Reporter Kim Murphy; and Joel McNally, a former columnist with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel who now writes a column for the Shepard Express.
The only White individual on the panel, McNally has earned the respect of African Americans in the city as a champion of Black issues, which earned him a morning co-hosting position with the now defunct 1290 WMCS AM radio. McNally can also be seen on Public Television’s “interCHANGE” talk show program. Former 1290 WMCS Talk Show Host Earl Ingram was also on the panel. He now carries on his mission of speaking truth to power online. His fans now listen to him via the Internet. His “studio” is Coffee Makes You Black coffeehouse and café every Sunday.
Conspicuously absent from the panel was anyone representing Black owned and operated media outlets: Your Milwaukee Community Journal, The Milwaukee Courier, The Milwaukee Times; and WNOV AM radio, which know—with the demise of 1290 WMCS—is the lone Black owned radio station providing a talk-radio format. Fortunately, a representative of local Black media—the editor of the Community Journal—was present at the forum to hear what Black journalists working for White owned mainstream media outlets had to say about “covering” our community. After the panelists spoke, the forum’s moderator acknowledged the MCJ editor’s presence and asked if he would like to say a few words on behalf of the Black press.
The MCJ editor agreed and explained to the forum audience the purpose of Black media—particularly the Black press—which is to plead the causes, issues and aspirations of the Black community on a local, national, and international level. More importantly, he said, the Black press/media’s main goal is to laud the positive accomplishments of our community and people. For example, instead of talking about who’s killing who—and where—in our community (which the mainstream media seems to “eagerly” cover), the editor said the Black press/media focuses on the reasons for homicides and crime in general, and offers solutions that could stem the crisis. The editor stressed the Black press/media is THE ONE with its finger on the pulse of what is going on in the Black community and is the only authoritative source of information, education and inspiration our people can—and do—depend on. We are well aware of the challenges facing the print media.
However, as the Black print media: MCJ, Courier, and Times, we have a unique niche/audience that only we can reach with our brand of news and information. We don’t expect the mainstream media to be able to penetrate our audience anytime soon, but we’re also fully aware of our responsibility to you as our readers. But you, our readers, also have an obligation, especially Black businesses. For us to continue our mission of pleading your case, we need your support via advertising dollars. With your dollars we can continue our mission of informing, educating and inspiring our community forward to success and prosperity. We’re here for you! We have been for 38 years and we don’t plan on going anywhere soon. With your continued readership and advertising support, we will continue to “plead our own cause!”