On Wednesday, December 7th, TV One announced that NewsOne Now is set to be canceled due to budget cuts. NewsOne Now is a morning news show hosted by journalist and political commentator, Roland Martin. It was one of the only television shows on air that specifically talked about current affairs from the lens of the Black community. Many Black activists, political commentators, community leaders and celebrities have been featured on the show.
Roland Martin’s show gave me my first national television appearance opportunity and helped lift up Black voices that are traditionally marginalized. There are so few outlets that voice the concerns of the Black community. The cancellation of his show is a serious threat to our representation. I’m old enough to remember when we still had BET Nightly News anchored by Jacque Reid from 2001-2005. The disappearance of that platform was widely felt and now with NewsOne Now ending – many are wondering what will take its place?
In this current environment, with increasing racial hostility disguised as politics, we need more national televised platforms that both centralize and elevate Black voices. Televised Black news shows are needed, even if it’s just a thirty minute segment.
Hopefully, TV One or BET will find a way to successfully incorporate news and core community issues within their programming – outside of the realm of scripted series or reality tv shows.
Jessica Ann Mitchell Aiwuyor is the founder of Our Legaci Press. To reach Jessica, email her at OurLegaci@gmail.com. Follow her on Facebook at Facebook.com/JAMAiwuyor.