Some observers of Black journalism and Black media in general say that it is dying. One writer says outright that for the most part, the Black Press is Dead. Bruce Dixon of Black Agenda Report makes the argument that the Black Press as we knew it is gone, and that Black journalists no longer advocate for Black America.
The reasons stated in the piece, are definitely true. Unfortunately, in much of Black media, much like mainstream media, there is a focus on sensationalism. The turn away from hard news affects the entire field of news reporting and publishing. More attention than absolutely necessary goes to celebrity coverage, and it has a dulling effect. While making this overall observation, this writer personally embraces a hope that things can be different. The loose connection of Black blogs and websites that has emerged in the 2000’s and now is part of the answer to this problem. It must be. Blogging now is like the Wild West, with anyone able to be apart of it. It allows new voices to be heard. The content that goes on a blog is determined by the consciousness of the individual behind the site. Though it opens up the conversation and democratizes the discourse, it is far from perfect. Because of the individual not being able to cover everything, and in some cases outright fatigue, it is difficult for independent Black media to cover all aspects of Black life.
Yes, newspapers are in decline, and magazines are published bi-monthly instead of every month. Something must supplant these losses, whether its Black owned and centered online media or a Black internet radio station. Such a vacuum cannot exist. There is still a need out there for Black news, local, national, and international. Perhaps the answer is a coalition of Black Bloggers. While its important to know that the traditional news media model is in decline, some thought has to go into how Black journalists and bloggers will continue to reach their audiences. This is too important an issue to be left by the wayside.
What is your opinion? Do you think the Black Blogosphere can step in for the waning influence of the traditional Black press? We welcome your commentary.
-Marc W. Polite