Is It Time for a Black News Network?
1 year ago
Whitney Houston's mainstream media coverage left many frustrated
The news of iconic pop singer Whitney Houston’s death was sudden, tragic and unforeseen. Viewers around the world tuned into national news networks such as CNN, MSNBC and Fox News to get answers on how and why the world had lost what many called a national treasure known as “The Voice.” It was no doubt that these networks would provide in depth unbiased coverage of what happened to the fallen star. After all, they did provide adequate reporting of other celebrity deaths, hurricane disasters, tsunamis and wars. However, moments and even days into the coverage it was almost heartbreaking to watch anchors report what seemed like old news to many African-American viewers who were looking for respect and details regarding Houston’s death and life that they just were not getting from major networks.
“I’m surprised at how CNN is handling this,” one social network user said as the news of Houston’s death broke. “She’s been allegedly dating Ray-J for years, this is nothing new, why do they keep acting surprised,” Another social network user commented. “That’s it, I’m changing the channel. Too bad we don’t have a black news network,” the social network user continued.
[ALSO READ: Black Journalists Shine in Time of Houston Tragedy]
It was easy to see as more news broke on Houston that there was a clear divide between African-American media and mainstream media throughout the week leading up to Houston’s funeral. African American networks like BET chose to report on the positive side of Houston’s death by dedicating their hit show 106 n’ Park to her greatest hits and a two hour show entitled, “Remembering Whitney,” that featured friends and loved ones reflecting on the positive aspects of her life. However, it seemed to be the opposite for many mainstream media networks that chose to focus on the negative of her life with alleged rumors on how she died.