Black Star News, News Report, Staff, Posted: Sep 12, 2012In view of the fact that Black-owned media is being squeezed out of business by the mega broadcast corporations — whose advantages in the media industry may well be in violation of the Sherman Anti Trust Act — a public hearing on the status of Black radio in New York was convened at the State Office Building, in Harlem New York.The hearing, the first of its kind in the nation, was held in mid-August and attracted people from throughout New York’s tri-state area, including Pennsylvania. Convened by broadcaster and community activist Bob Law, participants heard three hours of sworn testimony from small business owners, directors of cultural institutions, educators, political activists and everyday listeners.The hearing aimed to allow the African American community to express their support for Black-owned media and Black-owned radio in particular, since radio represents the most significant inroads achieved by Blacks in the electronic media to date, and it is Black owned radio that is being marginalized.
More than 100 people came to give sworn testimony that will be forwarded to the Federal Communications Commission, as the commission considers license transfers throughout the nation that, unless carefully monitored, may have a devastating effect on Black Americans.
There was expert testimony from Dr. Elisa English PhD MSW, who pointed out that a cultural, ethnic and race-based perspective is critical to the psychological, emotional, financial and social development and prosperity of any minority group. She further stated that in addition, media reports influence the formation of stereotypes and in turn stereotypes can influence behavior, social cohesion and civic life.
The testimony by Dr. English reinforced a 1997 study by the Dubois Bunche Center for Public Policy, which underscored the need for people of African descent to be able to exercise control over the editorial content of news and information coming into their community. See full article here.