Media 2070: An Invitation to Dream Up Media Reparations

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Snapshot of Harms

Media and Race in Each Century

1704

The Boston News-Letter, the nation’s first continuously published newspaper, is the first paper involved in the slave trade: It runs a slave ad less than a month after its founding. The ad, from a local merchant, seeks a purchaser of “two Negro men” and a “Negro Woman & Child.” The paper’s publisher, John Campbell, acts as a broker.

1898

In North Carolina, the white-supremacist publisher and editor of Raleigh’s News & Observer, Josephus Daniels, helps lead a coup that overthrows Wilmington’s multiracial government — the only armed overthrow of a local government in the nation’s history.

1917

After a white policeman attacks a Black woman in Houston, a riot that kills at least 15 people ensues. A Black newspaper, The San Antonio Inquirer, publishes a letter from a woman who praises Black soldiers involved. The government arrests G.W. Bouldin, the paper’s editor, and charges him with espionage. He spends about a year incarcerated.

1957

In Jackson, Mississippi, the White Citizens’ Council produces a TV program — Citizens’ Council Forum — to “thwart” the fight for integration. The program airs on WLBT-TV, an NBC affiliate, and receives free airtime since the station’s general manager is a member of the Council. The program also receives funding from the Mississippi state government.

1995

The Republican-controlled Congress passes legislation that ends the FCC’s minority tax-certificate program — which since 1978 had helped increase broadcast-station ownership by people of color from less than 1 percent to 3 percent.

2017

A Color Of Change and Family Story study finds that Black families represent 59 percent of stories about poverty in news and opinion outlets like CNN and Fox News — even though they make up just 27 percent of poor families in the country.

Share Your Story

Calling all journalists, media-makers, artists, activists, podcasters, bloggers and keepers of the story of our people. Help build this work forward, toward the reparation of harm and the realizing of collective vision.

Team Media 2070

Hello! We are the Media 2070 team.

This project is the result of more than a year of gathering, built on the foundation of Juan González’ and Joseph Torres’ New York Times bestseller News for All the People and Alicia Bell’s work infusing newsrooms with the spirit of community organizing via Free Press’ #newsvoices project.

>> Click our names to learn more about our journeys.

Alicia Bell

Joseph Torres

Collette Watson

Tauhid Chappell

Diamond Hardiman

Christina Pierce

Essay Co-Conspirators, Schemers and Dreamers

Nora Benavidez, PEN America

Manolia Charlotin, Press On

Jennifer Choi, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

Brandi Collins-Dexter, writer and activist

Malkia Devich-Cyril, Senior Fellow and Founding Director, MediaJustice

Eteng Ettah, MediaJustice

Brandon Forester, MediaJustice

Chelsea Fuller, Blackbird

Cierra Hinton, Scalawag

JuJu Holton, North Carolina Black Leadership and Organizing Collective

Janine Jackson, FAIR

Chenjerai Kumanyika, Rutgers University

Bryan Mercer, Movement Alliance Project

Tracie Powell, Borealis Philanthropy

Steven Renderos, MediaJustice

Mazin Sidahmed, Documented

Roxann Stafford, The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund

Lea Trusty, Democracy Fund

Get In Touch

Relationships are important to us. If you have a question, want to join the building of this vision, or just want to share space, we look forward to hearing from you. Email, call or send us a text.