Black News Media Maintains Consumer Trust
Despite borage of fake news claims aimed at mainstream media
(Photos credit Greggory Reed, MFA)
“The power of Black-owned media is undeniable,” said Hiram Jackson CEO of Real Times Media who gave the keynote address at the third annual “Get to Know Black Media Symposium”. “Black-owned media not simply “urban” media is as relevant today as it ever was, but it is imperative that Black-owned media shift our thinking about how we connect and engage our audiences and showcase our value to advertisers or we risk getting lost in the sauce.”
The Black Owned Media Alliance (BOMA) hosted their annual symposium at the beautiful Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts on Feb. 6, 2018. BOMA Symposium Chairwoman, Debra Toomer of WMBM 1040 AM, started the program by telling guests what an exciting day and more appropriate day to discuss the importance of Black Owned Media. Immediately following this welcome, the symposium began with a frank discussion on how trusted Black media is in today’s society where fake news claims are prevalent. BOMA President and MIA Media President, Dexter Bridgeman quickly responded “Black-owned media has been that place for generations where the Black community goes to receive their news and information. They know that they can trust us for delivering accurate and truthful documentation of the news. That trust has not changed.”
Hiriam challenged the Black Owned Media to be bold and break rules. He warned that mainstream media gets it wrong and sited a quote taken from a 2016 New York Times article. It stated “The influence of Black-owned media companies on Black culture is diminishing.” He went on to point out fact after fact. Black Media owned by Black people is to be considered a gateway to the most influential audience with a buying power of $1.1 trillion annually. Spending habits of Blacks out spend any other ethnic group according to Nielsen Media.
“The importance of the Black consumer is at an all-time high. We are at the forefront of trends and are generally the tastemakers for pop culture across all races,” said Hiram who basically told the audience that we were trendsetters. He urged the Black media owners and guests to know that in the Black culture we were always at the forefront of everything and still are.
Other facts included that R&B music and hip-hop music is recognized as the top music genre in terms of consumption. That is compared to Rock music and the likes. Nielson Npower Insights reported February of 2017 that Blacks influence mainstream culture. Hiriam charged the audience to move forward with a zeal and confidence in knowing unlike anyone else what our consumers want — what resonates and drives the Black consumer.
Dr. Benjamin Chavis knows the importance of Black-owned media all too intimately. He is the president of the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) which is a trade association of the more than 200 African American-owned community newspapers from around the United States. Chavis addressed the attendees to discuss the importance of events that educated the public on Black media, their importance, and viability.
With a focus on educating and inspiration, each panel addressed levels of understanding to debunk stereotypes. Panel discussions addressed Black Media Its Relevance Today, Advertising Campaign Activations, Effective Content Storytelling, and Integrating E-mail & Social Media Marketing for creating effective strategies.
This year’s moderators included many of the awardees from the Spring 2017 BOMA Awards. Moderating the Black Media & IT’s Relevance Today panel was Jessica Garrett Modkins from Hip Rock Star Advertising who won the 2017 BOMA Marketing Firm of the Year award. Moderating the Advertising Campaign Activations panel was DaVenya Armstrong with Armstrong Creatives who received the 2017 BOMA Black Advertising Agency of the year award. Ed O’Dell was also a moderator. He moderated the Effective Content Storytelling panel. O’dell works with Jackson Health Systems and was awarded the 2017 Champion of the Year Award. Tony Lesesne rounds out the awardees that moderated. Lesesne moderated the panel on Digital Marketing: Proven Tactics and Strategies. His company Lesesne Media Group took home the 2017 BOMA Digital Communicator of the Year award. Also moderating the highly revered panel, Integrating Email, and Social Media Marketing, was Lasana Smith with the Miami Herald.