Says Whut?: NPR Cancels Their Only Black Issues Radio Program, "News & Notes"

Discovering the news about the Black Issues radio program "News & Notes" is pretty depressing to me and the family, especially coming from what is seen as one of the more balanced mainstream radio outlet's that exists in the United States.

Everyone is cutting back due to budget cuts and losses of money due to a bad economy and the National Public Radio (NPR) organization is not above that fray, unfortunately.

But why "News and Notes" had to be one of the few programs chosen to get the cut (along with the "Day to Day" radio show as well, part of NPR's first layoffs in over 25 years)?

It's said to be due to the program's lack of funding and underwriting (one of the main ways that non-commerical radio gets by, from college and community radio stations on upward), the money balance wasn't in the cards for the radio show to stay on the NPR's airwaves.

I can only hope that is the reason, but who knows?

Most forms of Intelligent Black American Media discourse that doesn't talk down to folks (some of our "activist" community can be snooty and siddity as all hell, admit it and be real about it) or alienate them in some way (a rarity, period) doesn't exactly have a history of getting a lot of love in the United States.

And if it gets people who are not a part of the Black American and related Black Diaspora groups to discover that there are different perspectives on things in the world that do not fit a one-sided/monolithic picture, we know what that leads too...something that doesn't worry me but still scares the hell out of some people in power positions in this country.

Just look at all of the retroactive talk that's gone down since what we know as the Civil Rights Era here in the U.S. where even trying to have a serious talk about race or class issues still gets some folks collective undergarments in a knot ("post-racial" society currently existing right now without that, yeah right).

Regardless, the loss of the intelligent and balanced "News and Notes" program definitely does not make it a good day for Black Independent Radio and Media at all (and quality independent media in general).

Thanks for the folks over at Jack & Jill Politics for contacting me about this situation - you can read more details in this detailed and excellent article about the scenario on their site here.


Slaus Caldwell said...

Thankfully they Still have Michelle martin's Tell Me More on NPR, but it's defintely more for the 35+ crowd in my opinion.

Im going to seriously Miss farai CHideya and her team. is gone also dude tot he economy... not looking good.

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