On Friday, March 21, 2014, Florida A&M University (FAMU) inked a deal with the nation’s only Black-owned cable news network. The newly established Black Television News Channel (BTNC) will be managed and operated from FAMU’s School of Journalism and Graphic Communication (SJGC).
With the creation of the BTNC, founding partners Congressman J.C. Watts, Bob Brillante, Frank Watson and Steve Pruitt, plan to fill a void in the news industry. Over the past twenty years, 18 Black-owned and operated television stations have gone out of business. The result? A dearth of content for Black consumers.
Said Congressman Watts, “The world only gets a sliver of who the Black community is today. We look forward to telling that story.” FAMU, an HBCU (historically black college or university), was the ideal choice for the enterprise.
The station’s connection to SJGC will provide authentic industry training and mentorship for its journalism students. The agreement provides career counseling, internships and job placement as well.
Said SJGC Dean Dr. Ann W. Kimbrough, “We are excited about this visionary opportunity that connects our mission with that of the black television news channel’s goals. This is not a singular opportunity. We see it as a multidisciplinary opportunity for our students, alumni and faculty.”
The contract, which includes a partnership with Sony, provides $10 million to the university over 11 years, including renovations and equipment upgrades to house the new enterprise.
Watch video from the historic signing. Learn more about the BTNC here.
It’s Wednesday and the sun is setting. I’m enduring a rare headache. It has not drowned in water nor drifted away in sleep, despite my best efforts. I guess it’s here to stay a bit. I’m due to stay up this evening and watch American Horror Story. I’m not normally a night owl, but I’m doing it this one time in solidarity with Sojo and Ms. Smart so we can do one of these. Just this one time though…
I’m thinking about compassionate capitalism. I imagine such a thing exists. I want you to imagine it, too. I aim to find it, and write about it, as to expand our understanding about what’s possible in a loving society.
I’m thinking about practitioners of restorative justice, especially those in Georgia or in the south. I want to know more about what they do and what impact it has in their respective communities. I want to interview them and document their stories.
I’m thinking about abolitionists. Those who would abolish the death penalty as well as those who would dismantle the prison-industrial complex. Although some states still murder prisoners, others are slowing and/or stopping the practice. Meanwhile, budget cuts are forcing states to question caging as the default response to nonconforming behavior. In many states it costs more per year than college tuition. With no restoration and no education. Just revenge. I want less revenge. More evolution. More solutions. More healing. More love.
I’m pondering the ways these elements are interwoven. And the fact that any discussion of these ideas must eventually include public schooling… from the zero tolerance policies leading to the school to prison pipeline, to the capitalist ideals underpinning school policy and curriculum.
Things I’m thinking about this Wednesday evening. What’s on your mind?