Steve Franklin, Glenn Reedus, Natalie Moore, Richard Muhummad, Aminah Hanan, Matt McGill
On Tuesday, November 8, 2011, there was a panel discussion between the Black media and the Black community held at Little Black Pearl. Aminah Hanan from Blogging While Brown; Glenn Reedus from the Chicago Crusader; Richard Muhammad from the Final Call, and Matt McGill from WVON 1690 were the panelists for the evening and WBEZ reporter Natalie Moore was the moderator. It was sponsored by the Chicago Headline Club.
Some of the discussions for the evening included what types of stories make news, how the community should approach the media, the types of stories the community would like to see covered as well as the future of the Black press.
Following are some of the tips, advice and thoughts shared by the panelists. I will share my thoughts on the event in a different post.
What makes news?
- Anything that’s new and different in our community
- The sooner you report the story to the media, the better
- What do you like to hear stories about?
How to approach the media
- The first thing you should ask: Why should anyone care about this?
- Do not spell the reporter’s name wrong
- Do research. Know what the reporter covers
- How does the reporter prefer to be contacted?
- What is the best time to contact the reporter? They are all on deadline
- Do not go up the organizational ladder if your story is not immediately accepted
- Have knowledge about the publication and the writer
- Keep initial contact to two paragraphs or less
- There are no Black daily newspapers, and they cannot respond to requests on short-notice
The state of the Black press
- There is a fight for the Black audience by all media sources
- The Black press will be much stronger through partnerships
- Economics is squeezing out advertising, which is the financial foundation of many media sources
- Many Black media sources are no longer Black-owned i.e. BET and Essence
What do Black people want?
- Let the Black press know what you want
- BUT you have to support them. Don’t expect them to give it to your for free
How can the Black press engage young people intellectually?
- Glenn & Richard shared their addresses so young people could come to their offices to help share report stories
- Matt said that he asks a provocative question to get conversations started among young people
What needs to be done going forward?
- The Black press needs to embrace technology. There are many stories not being told because Black media sources are not utilizing their online space effectively
- Glenn Reedus encouraged audience members to submit their stories and videos to help the news staff out
- Many Black newspaper sites are not updated frequently which is not a good look because news is happening all the time
Those are just some of the things I picked up from the panel. Like I said, it was good to start that conversation, but I think it needs to continue and the relationship between the Black media and the Black community needs to be stronger.
What are your thoughts on the relationship between the Black media and the Black community?