Black media need ownership and control

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(NNPA)—With the continued consolidation going on within the media (radio, TV, newspapers), there is never-ending debate over the issue of ownership and diversity. But how do you define ownership? Is ownership the issue or editorial control or both?

As members of the (NNPA like to remind me, Black media is by definition Black-owned and operated. The NNPA is composed of approximately 200 Black newspapers in the United States and the Virgin Islands. They have a combined readership of nearly 20 million and the organization also has a digital presence in BlackPressUSA.com, which enables newspapers to provide real time news and information to its national constituency.

There is no question that these newspapers are wholly owned and operated by Blacks, unlike media outlets such as The Grio, The Root, Essence magazine or Black Entertainment Television. These outlets are merely White media masquerading as Black-owned media. The Grio is owned by NBC, The Root is owned by the Washington Post, Essence is owned by Time, Inc., and BET is owned by Viacom.

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