Friday, August 15, 2008


I remember when I was younger, I know that I am only 23, so it wasn't that long ago, but around middle/high school, I used to religiously watch two shows, Moesha and BET Nightly News. I wanted to be Jackie Reid, and would tell myself all the time, when I go away to college I will intern for Jackie Reid. I would even call up to BET (Black Entertainment Television) and ask who I should talk to about interning with BET Nightly News, keep in mind I would not be able to intern for another three to four years once I got to college, I was just that adamant about working with her. I used to call and talk to this lady named Eldra Gillman, whom I think still works for CBS, and I bugged her to death. But to much dismay, once I got to college BET NIghtly News with Jackie Reid was no longer a program on BET. This program meant a lot to me, and I am sure it meant a lot to many other viewers, not only BLACKS, but everyone who watched this program for national and international news that affected the BLACK community.

For some reason BET has not been able to consistently continue on with the news programming. The network has tried to implement a few long standing news oriented programs throughout the years with hosts such as Tavis Smiley, Ed Gordon and Jackie Reid, respectively, but none have remained.

BET's news division will launch its newest talk show, felicitously titled 'The Truth With Jeff Johnson,' tonight at 11pm. AOL Black Voices reports that the show will be hosted by "the young, hip and debonair political motivator and social commentator, who first debuted as "Cousin Jeff" on 'Rap City,' the weekly half-hour program promises to use a mix of investigative reporting and one-on-one interviews with leading experts to review the week's events and examine exactly what the top headlines mean for the Black community."

The former National Youth Director for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) told yesterday that, "I don't want us to be the "black show" as much as a show that provides a different perspective and covers issues that other networks don't view as news."

This new show is a bittersweet moment for me. Bitter because I think that it's beyond crazy that BLACKS do not have a daily news show to watch, one that is for us and by us, especially at a time such as now. Yet, sweet because this is a start, a great start, and I am excited to see what comes of this show. I just pray that we drive this show's ratings as high as we drive 106 & Park, I Want to Work For Diddy, Flavor of Love, I Love New York, and all the other non-productive shows that are great for entertainment purposes only. It's time for some substance. Now don't get me wrong, entertainment is great, I watch entertainment shows quite often, but balance is imperative. Imbalance is unhealthy, and detrimental to the BLACK community.

Make sure you tune in tonight and watch!

Sidebar: This show will air on Friday's at 11pm at night. Are they setting themselves up for failure before the program even begins? Where are young people on Friday nights???? I'm just saying. Lets just say unless we (young people) start making some changes, we are usually hanging out.


Bestkeptsecret said...

I completely agree Jennifer. This issues continues to irritate me. Why don't we have a daily news program highlighting the issues in our community? So often we are cast as violent criminals, victims of poverty etc on the local braodcast network news. Black people need an alternative! In addition, think about the large number of people (including myself) who don't have access to cable television. Why don't African Americans have their own broadcast network television stations so we can see depictions of ourselves other than what the local news choses to portray. To add fuel to the fire we all have access to niche stations like Telemundo, Univision, etc. Why can't we have a broadcast network? I've gotten off on my soap box again... Sorry :o(

Chinara said...

i feel like BET is airing this show only because they feel obligated to do so. BET is a joke to me. They portray African Americans in a negative manner. They show these absurd videos and they really aren't providing an outlet for blacks to be blacks. BET is supposed to be BLACK ENTERTAINMENT TELEVISION. However, they must equate entertainment with naked backsides, dropping it like its hot, college students that come to school to party (College Hill) etc. I prefer TV One.