The Black Agenda Report has an insightful and well-rounded article by Bruce Dixon that gives an African-American perspective on media reform. Dixon notes it’s important for blacks to support the diversification of media ownership from radio to television to newspapers, beyond white male dominance of these markets. However, he comments that "media reform will have to start close to home" with black-owned media. Dixon observes:
The choking off of resources and air time devoted to news and public
affairs on black commercial radio — with black-owned stations leading
the way, has all but shut down black America’s own internal civic
dialog, the conversation among and about us. The fact of nearly
universal black opposition to America’s imperial wars in the Middle
East is practically invisible on commercial black radio. The ongoing
saga of the uprooting, dispossession and displacement of black New
Orleans, a city of hundreds of thousands is nearly as invisible on
black radio as it is on mainstream white media. And although America’s
unspoken public policy of racially selective mass incarceration has
left almost no black families untouched by the shadow of prison,
commercial black radio can find no room for discussions of mass
incarceration as a public policy issue.
Dixon decries the glamorization of violence, the objectification of women, and the clichéd portrayals of black culture found on black-owned radio stations. He ends this important and well-thought piece with a call for black communities to exert more influence and participation in media produced by their brothers and sisters.