Louisville, KY has a national reputation for three (3) things:
1.) Sports – (The Kentucky Derby, Muhammad Ali, The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory, College Hoops –The University of Louisville). These corporations also happen to be three of Kentucky’s six Fortune 500 Companies.
2.) Food – (KFC – YUM Foods, Superchefs, Seafood Lady, Mussel & Burger Bar, Grind Burger, The Bar at Blu, The Comfy Cow. Louisville is world-renowned for its hundreds of unique local eateries.
3.) Crime – Unfortunately the television show, The First 48, has put a national spotlight on Louisville’s recent murder epidemic.
The fact that the world’s perception of Louisville primarily revolves around the three (3) categories mentioned above, is exactly why seven (7) independent black-owned media outlets have become the prominent voices of Louisville’s African-American community.
Fair & Unbiased media reporting has become a rarity these days. Many major media outlets opt for misleading Sensationalized stories that have the potential to “Go Viral” – thus earning more advertising revenue for their publications.
To make matters worse, those Sensationalized stories are often rooted in exploiting well-known racial stereotypes.
For those who don’t know – this is how media works. Everything is based on analytics. Television & Radio earn revenue from advertisers and sponsors (commercials). Online publications earn revenue from the advertisements placed on their websites.
The higher the ratings are for television and radio programs – the more the outlet can charge advertisers for commercial spots. The more hits (views) that a website receives – the more people view the ads – resulting in the site earning more money.
So essentially, the viewers drive the content. The higher the ratings/views/clicks – the more the media outlets are going to continue giving their audience the same type of content because it’s making them money.
So when a person views or shares something they don’t like or agree with – they are actually financially supporting that content.
Now the mainstream media isn’t innocent in all this. They purposely title articles and headlines with misleading Sensationalized phrases to entice viewers into indulging in the content. For online publications, this concept is commonly referred to as “ClickBait”.
Everyone wants to see a train-wreck right? Media outlets understand this, so they have created an appetite for calamities within the general public.
They feed you just a enough adrenaline driven content – to have you craving for more. Meanwhile, you no longer want the DULL, BORING news that actually affects your life. You now want the DRAMA.
The main problem with this type of reporting is that minorities – particularly African-Americans – often are portrayed in the bulk of the negative Sensationalized stories. We are the sacrificial lambs, watching our images being led to slaughter.
For example, instead of covering positive volunteer programs, community leaders or entrepreneurs within the African-American community – mainstream media outlets opt to cover the murders, shootings and acts of violence because those stories tend to have a greater life throughout the news cycle.
Since the racial stereotype exists in America that black people are violent – the mainstream media plays to that narrative – for profit.
Let’s look at some interesting facts. According to the Child Rescue Network:
- On average 33 children are abducted every day by a non-family member. Most of these children are sexually assaulted before being released or getting away.
- Over 150 kids per day are abducted by a family member, most often a parent. Such cases make up 82% of all abduction scenarios.
- Over 1000 children per day are classified as runaways or thrownaways. Thrownaways are those children who are forced out of their homes with no means of support.
Now, the racial stereotype also exists in America that most child abductions, resulting in sexual assault and/or murder, are committed by suburban white males. But do we see reports of these abductions during “Breaking News” interruptions all day – every day? Of course not.
Why you ask? Many black scholars would argue that since blacks lack any significant economic or political power in America, our public image and labor have been exploited for profit since the first slave ship arrived in Jamestown on August 20, 1619.
Now that exploitation has just become a routine part of American culture. It’s expected, believed and embraced – by non-blacks and sadly many black people as well.
It is also a common belief in the black community that the powerful white people, who own and control all the MAJOR media outlets in America, will never allow the public reputation of white America to be tarnished.
Often it appears as if the mainstream media goes to great lengths to downplay or cover-up the ill deeds of many white Americans.
Additionally, black journalists like myself, often make the argument that white media outlets simply don’t understand or care about black culture – therefore their coverage is misleading and lacking facts. These outlets typically are out of touch with the black community and often use black correspondents who are not actually a part of black culture.
Whether blacks are primarily being portrayed in a negative light purposely or by misunderstanding, six black entrepreneurs from Louisville have realized that black-owned media outlets are a necessity to accurately represent and protect the image of black community.
Louisville poses its own set of challenges within itself. Being a racially segregated city, African-American stories rarely get any mainstream press unless they are acts of violence or criminal activity.
Currently, whites make up 70% of Louisville’s population as opposed to 21% of African-Americans. With that type of racial disparity, blacks are not routinely a large part of the mainstream media cycle.
Taking all the adversities of black Louisville into consideration, these seven black-owned media outlets, each offer unique formats and perspectives of the black experience in America.
1.) Chea Chea Media – Owned and operated by Chea K. Woolfolk
Chea Chea Media houses the Chea K. Woolfolk Magazine, the Nosey by Nature TV show, and Heart & Mogul Network Radio under its umbrella. All ventures under Chea Chea Media operate online and are easily accessible free of charge. Woolfolk focuses on a global following and is positioning herself to be mentioned in the conversation with the Oprah’s and Wendy Williams’ of the world.
2.) Vome’ Magazine – Owned by Oremeyi Kareem
Vome’ is a fashion magazine based on models of African descent. Vome’ launched online in January 2017, and will soon be heading to print. The upscale publication specializes in offering modeling opportunities to average everyday people, with the concept of spreading the message that: “We All Are Beautiful”.
3.) The Turn Up Show w/T-Made & Friends – Owned by Antonio “T-Made” Taylor
The Turn Up Show is a weekly radio show that airs on WLOU 104.7FM in Louisville, every Friday evening at 8:00pm. The Turn Up Show is a one-hour, hip-hop based, talk radio show that operates on a positive platform.
T-Made developed the show nearly two years ago to serve as a positive alternative to the negativity that is commonplace on most mainstream Urban radio stations in America. The Turn Up Show plays positive hip-hop and discusses the current events trending throughout the African-American community. The Turn Up Show is also accessible on the Tune-In radio app.
4.) LGTV – Owned by Dee Johnson
LGTV is an online television network which allows partners to purchase channels to air their content. LGTV has been operation for over a decade and has built a substantial national online following. Johnson specializes in photography, videography, directing, editing, film production and graphic design. He also owns a full service studio which is available to film TV shows, documentaries, videos, short films, commercials etc.
5.) Millennial Mom Magazine – Owned by Jessica “JT” Taylor
Millennial Mom is a national online magazine that represents the perspective of the millennial mom. The magazine’s 30 national contributors represent mothers of many ethnic backgrounds and cultures. Millennial Mom features articles ranging from mediation, health/diet, dealing with negative emotions – to makeup tips. This publication is one-of-a-kind and is the perfect reading material for those wanting to know what’s on the mind of the modern-day mother.
6.) Urban Voices Radio – Owned by Brad Harrison
Urban Voices Radio is a weekly radio program which airs on WCHQ 100.9FM in Louisville, KY every Saturday evening at 4:30pm. The hour-long talk show highlights positive individuals from Louisville’s Urban community.
Harrison, along with co-hosts Nene Woolfolk, Shawn Mucker and Tiandra Robinson interview local entrepreneurs, educators, activists, students and entertainers who typically are overlooked by the mainstream media outlets.
The slogan of the show is the “Voice of the Voiceless.” Urban Voices can also be accessed on the Crescent Hill Radio app, UrbanMaxx Magazine, crescenthillradio.com and on SoundCloud on the CHRadio channel.
7.) UrbanMaxx Magazine – Owned by Brad Harrison
UrbanMaxx Magazine is an online publication that features positive articles about residents from Louisville’s African-American community. Harrison believes that media images help shape the way the world views individuals as well as influences those who digest its content. UrbanMaxx focuses on highlighting the best and brightest from Louisville’s African-American community, while influencing its readers by providing positive role models.
Urban Voices and UrbanMaxx Magazine are divisions of UrbanMaxx Media.