The best part of watching history Tuesday night was the excellent presentation of election coverage by TVOne. While watching the returns in a party in suburban Charlotte, N.C., I mentioned to the gathering that there had never been wall-to-wall coverage of an election by a black television network.
Because of the disgusting stereotypes of African-Americans on CNN’s T.L. Hughley show and the remainder of its programming, we chose to watch TVOne. The commentators included Joe Madison, Michael Eric Dyson and Tom Joyner, while Jacqui Reid anchored and coordinated online reporters from TVOneOnline.com and BlackPlanet.com. Earlier, I had listened to Michael Baisden’s nationwide radio cast.
There is something to be said for a serious, thoughtful black perspective on the news and the event demonstrated the power of the media empire that RadioOne has put together, including 56 radio stations, the TVOne cable channel, BlackPlanet.com, BlackAmericanWeb.com, to cover large events.
We saw what financial resources did for the presidential campaign of Barack Obama. RadioOne is a publicly-traded company that sells its stock to investors, but the current price does not reflect the value of its properties. It could befall the fate of BET, which was absorbed by a larger company.
Black radio is one of the most important political forces in the black community and we should take an interest in preserving its independence.