I was watching Global national news just a few minutes ago and I noticed something well maybe I already knew but now I’m going to talk about it. Where are the young black male anchors? I can turn on CNN and see TJ Holmes and Don Lemon. I can turn on Buffalo news and see black anchors and its nice to see. Its not strange or bizarre to go on the web and read articles by black journalists from the United States. Now of course the racial diversity in the USA newsroom isn’t as great as it should be. However, the USA newsrooms are a hell lot more racially diverse then Canada. CNN still has their weekend ghetto where they lump the majority of their anchors of colour on the weekends. Anyhow at least I can see people that look like me on American news.
I would never become a broadcast journalist because I don’t like how TV news works. I like print media I feel I have more freedom when I write my articles then being under the gun of some TV producer that focuses more on image then substance. I wouldn’t last very long on Canadian TV because I am just too damn controversial.
One thing I am really irritated by is the lack of black Canadian male anchors on the news. The black Canadian males we are the most feared men in all of Canada. The Canadian news networks do a great job of writing about the issue of “race and crime” and of course young black men we are always the link. However, has anyone ever questioned if what the media is reporting is an actual real representation of what is taking place in Canadian society?
Of course in the media they never discuss what takes place in those pitch meetings where all the editors sit down and decide what stories they want to broadcast and why they want to broadcast them. TV producers and editors at the Canadian TV networks have their own racial prejudices and biases. Of course, you’ll never see that reported on the six O’ clock news. Young black men we have been demonized in Canada for decades and the people that run Canadian TV certainly aren’t very interested in having positive images of young black men on Canadian TV.
The only so called positive images of young black men in Canada relates to entertainment such as pro athletes or rappers. I mean how many more news articles are there going to be about black NHL players. I never cared for hockey and I still don’t. I always found hockey to be so offensive and I can’t stand some of those hockey commentators.
I think there is more to young black men then just being rappers and NBA basketball stars. I don’t want to sound like a prude but what’s the big deal about this Lebron James character? I mean yes he’s a young black male in the NBA finals and he’s considered the “new Michael Jordan.” I mean I just cringe when I see the media focus so much on this young basketball player. Sure Lebron James is idolized because he fits perfectly into the stereotypical role of the black male athlete. Is that all there is?
Where are the positive cultural productions of black manhood? Where are the articles about the black male writers, doctors, scientists, teachers, parents? The one positive thing is that there are black media publications that do focus on the positive social contributions of young black men.
And yet even reading Toronto black publications such as “Share” or “Pride” I even cringe even more. I mean no offense I don’t need to be patronized by some old black goat that’s over 60 with his big Masters and Doctorate degrees telling young black people we need to work “harder.” I also find it very frustrating that the Toronto black media is so patriarchal.
TV news is all about the gloss and the image and not really about the news. The so called Canadian news is talking about Conrad Black. As if the common citizen gives a crap about Conrad Black? If you turn on the Canadian TV networks now of course most of the anchors are white. However, the white male anchors so many of them are over the age of 50 yet the female anchors of course most of them are young, slim and pretty.
I never see any black anchors on Global news. Sure, I know Nathan Downer, and Terese Sears are black reporters for Global yet they are never at the anchor desk. Usually whenever I watch Global there is always a very attractive young white woman that is a blonde or sometimes if Global wants to get diverse they will hire a young slim attractive Asian woman. Yet I have seen a black woman anchor on Global news. And I have never seen an Asian male reporter on Global news either at the anchor desk. I know Gus Kim works at Global he’s the only Asian male reporter I can think of that works there.
CITY TV is the only Canadian news network I can think of that really depicts the true racial diversity of Toronto. I have seen many anchors that are black and Asian on CITY TV. Over on CBC they used to have a young black male anchor a few years back for the CBC news I forget his name at the moment. I know that CBC has one prominent black male reporter Ron Charles. I think that’s it Ron Charles is the only black reporter on TV o CBC news. On CTV I have never seen a black male anchor on that network but they do have two black women anchors though. CTV is basically a whiteout. Oops take that back they got Marcy Ien and Andrea Case. Although it is positive that CTV has two black women anchors. Why don’t they have any men of colour as anchors? And why no black men?
The issue here is it isn’t just about the racial demographics of the Canadian news media that I question. I also question the ethics behind what the Canadian broadcast media decides is news.
Black lesbian feminist Dionne Brand wrote in her groundbreaking book 1994′s ”Bread Out of Stone” a chapter titled “Whose Gaze, and Who Speaks for Whom.” I remember reading this chapter about how we black people are viewed in Canada. I think about the social constructions of race, class, and gender, when I watch the news. People have to realize certain TV networks have their own biases of course. I also ponder about what the Canadian news media reports. The networks need to obtain viewers and they need to focus on racial triggers that gain more press. The recent shooting at a Toronto high school is a perfect example of this.
Canadian radio isn’t much better. I used to listen to CFRB 1010 I clicked CFRB off its just too damn racist for my taste. I moved on to AM 640 and I clicked that off as well. I don’t need to listen to some white male bigot complaining about immigrants, the Liberal government, women, feminists, gays. I noticed that the so called Toronto radio shock jocks just complain about marginalized groups and they do this to hype their white audience into a frenzy. I think Canadian talk radio such a racist myopic state it really is just a bunch of negative energy I have no use for.
I have to turn to the USA media to find positive repsentations of blackness. I am so glad there is the internet I can click on WBAI radio in New York City or listen to Harlem Radio or Los Angeles or Houston. I can listen to black people on the internet radio discuss issues that are important to us.