Thursday, July 17, 2008

BET Decides Regular News Is Important Again - Who Got Half A Brain At BET?

Someone at BET just recognized that black folks just might be interested in political campaign coverage and a little taste of regular news from the black perspective. Too bad they will be using "company man" Jeff Johnson as the primary commentator. He acts too much like a wanna be fashion model, than a serious journalist. And he has worked at BET so long, nothing ground-breaking will come from him. He has been absolutely horrible on the Hip Hop vs. America series and I always hated that "Cousin Jeff" persona.

TV One had already announced that they would do extensive coverage of the Democratic convention, so they had already scooped BET once again. I'm not that big of fan of TV One either. The truth is they are only doing what BET should have been doing years ago, so their station is not as ground-breaking as some black folks think it is.

TV One will not even been using real journalists for their coverage, a couple of their correspondents; actor Hill Harper (who is good friends with Obama and will not provide any balanced commentary) and my soror and new Zeta Phi Beta Sorority National President, Sheryl Underwood, (who claims to be a "Bush Republican," did she really admit that?). Is that the best they could come up with?

Why can't black folks do anything without doing it so half-assed? It is always one step up, two steps back. Can't either of the heads of these stations see the golden opportunity to launch a serious African American journalist into mainstream media with the attention they could garner on BET or TV One?


Don July 17, 2008 at 1:03 PM  

i've always wondered why BET failed to being a serious news coverage program into their programming mix. i do remember jacki reed reporting what seemed to be news, but i could never get the feel.

i wish them well in their new efforts.

Anonymous,  July 17, 2008 at 2:54 PM  

Wow... as for BET I'm just glad that Toccara won't be covering the news. I would say they(TVone) are learning as they go but they've had BET as a model so they could have easily done the opposite and that may be their strategy except they are limiting it to not playing videos constantly.Both channels seem to reposition the same few people as though there isn't a diverse crop of new and talented people to choose and no special programming reflecting anything new or interesting.TVone seems stuck on 'proving' that black people are not *insert stereotype* rather than being a serious groundbreaking media outlet reflecting black people. is tvone not covering the republican convention by choice or are they not allowed? that seems silly and unbalanced. Sheryl has been saying that for years but I thought it was part of her comedy routine.

Anonymous,  July 17, 2008 at 2:55 PM  

I've somewhat like TV One, but they kinda lost me with the show about family reunions. Maybe it could have been really good, but I just couldn't get past the drama.

Black Family Network could've had a chance if they were more original in their programming (and it didn't thrive off of the 90s) and didn't play the same episode 4x a day, 6 days a week.

Torrance Stephens - All-Mi-T July 17, 2008 at 4:26 PM  

im with ya on jeff - he aint too well read u know

Anonymous,  July 17, 2008 at 4:28 PM  

A news division costs money and takes exceptional knowhow and investment. Research, paying folk to get out in the streets and COVER the news in a professional costs good money.

BET and TVOne aint payin no good money for something they a) don't know how to do and B) are too cheap to pay someone to do.

Sheryl Underwood is a Bush Republican? Sheryl Underwood the COMEDIENNE???

*rushes off to the Google incredulously*

DB July 18, 2008 at 12:13 AM  

I have always wondered that exact same question. Why can't one just step up and do it right. Its almost like they are afraid one another is going to scoop them on the next bit of mindless entertainment if they act serious for a second. I gave up on both several years ago, and even if I did decide to tune into TV ONE for their election coverage, why would I think I would hear anything ground breaking?

I have come to the conclusion that educated black people are not money makers in television. Or at least know one is willing to risk that they are.

Faith July 18, 2008 at 7:23 PM  

Well news programs typically operate in the red. With the one-two punch of Reagan and Clinton wiping out any FCC controls and allowing the media to be gobbled up it's no wonder Black news and programs were decimated. If Obama wins and if he is held accountable he might install the FCC back to it's role and some of those licenses can get revoked while others reinstated and we can have some balance again. Plus the new Oprah network will be operational in 2009. I'm not relying on the JC Watts venture being anything viable but a pleasant surprise would be welcome.

Tabatha Atwood July 18, 2008 at 10:53 PM  

wow first disagreement- actor Hill Harper is really smart and well informed so i am looking forward to an actualy interesting coverage. and gwen ifill is best friend's with condi rice so i think having friends in power is something journalists also do not just actors.

Professor Tracey July 19, 2008 at 9:02 AM  

@Sassy J -


@The Ink -

Well said! "*rushes off to the Google incredulously*" LOL!

@DB -

Preach brotha!

@T-Man -

Maybe we can get him some books or a reading list?

@Tabatha -

It's cool to disagree my sista. I'm not hating on Hill, he's a good looker, actor, and activist, he's just not a professional journalist. He's taking someone's opportunity because black folks always seem to need to be told something by someone they recognize instead of someone who's actual profession and training makes them qualified to inform.

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