Black Media Rights Organization to Form

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We intend to organize at least 100 Blacks who are conscious, committed and not afraid to challenge the six commercial television stations in the tri-state area.


[Op-Ed]

The members of
"Friends of Like It Is" invite you to a seminar on Saturday, October 13,
2012 at the world's famous Cotton Club, 656 West 125th Street near the
West Side Highway in Harlem at 9:00 a.m. sharp in celebration of its one
year educational program in studying media law and media history. 
 
The keynote speaker at this event will be Utrice C. Leid. 
 
Utrice
is a Trinidadian American civil rights activist and journalist. She was
the managing editor of The City Sun and general manager of New York
radio station WBAI. In 2004, The Miami Herald wrote that she "prides
herself on never working in the mainstream media during her 34 years of
journalism."  Utrice is loaded with tidbits on the media, the
Presidential debates, Trayvon Martin and a variety of other current
issues. It will be a wonderful and celebratory event. 
 
The
purpose of "Friends of Like It Is" is to establish a media rights
organization with standing. We can challenge the renewal of the license
of radio and television stations in the New York or tri-state area in
addition to fashioning an agenda for this media rights organization in
the interim.

Thus, the challenge is to demand, obtain and maintain
public affairs programming for Blacks on the schedules of the six
commercial television stations in the tri-state area.  Frederick
Douglass said "Power concedes nothing without a demand.  It never did
and it never will."  Hopefully, this will also arrest censorship.

The
abolitionist newspaper Freedom Journal first published on March 16, 1827,
stated "We wish to plead our own cause.  Too long have others spoken for
us.  Too long has the public been deceived by misrepresentations, in
things which concern us dearly."  In addition, Stokely Carmichael (Kwame
Toure) and Charles V. Hamilton, the authors of Black Power (1967),
stated in the preface, page xvi, the following:  "We start with the
assumption that in order to get the right answers, one must pose the
right questions. In order to find effective solutions, one must
formulate the problem correctly.  One must start from premises rooted in
truth and reality rather than myth." 

Moreover, Blacks must stop
knocking on the wrong doors, talking to the wrong people, raising the
wrong issues and asking the wrong questions. This is why Blacks need a
media rights organization in the tri-state area with standing,
intelligence and knowledge of military science.

We must
acknowledge first and foremost -- this media rights organization is about
preserving the legacies of Medgar Evers and Gil Noble, among others.
Medgar Evers was assassinated for practicing natural law in
Mississippi.  Gil Noble was denied retirement income for practicing
natural law in New York. It was not about melanin. However, it was
always about philosophy.

As  a result of the sacrificial
efforts of the United Church of Christ, Medgar  Evers, Gil Noble, Elombe
Brath and others, Blacks in the tri-state area are entitled to public
affairs programming on Sundays in the same manner that whites enjoy
'Face the Nation", "Meet the Press", "Fox News Sunday", "This Week" and
others.

In order for any media rights organization to
have standing before the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it
must satisfy certain legal requirements. We intend to organize at least
100 Blacks who are conscious, committed and not afraid to challenge the
six commercial television stations in the tri-state area.

Blacks
must also establish a media rights organization based on a business
model. Accordingly, we must prepare for the formation of a permanent
media rights organization with the election of officers and a board of
directors in addition to the building of a headquarters and the
deployment of personnel to fulfill the organization's mission.

No
Black organization in the tri-state area has ever challenged the
license of any commercial television station. The airwaves are public
and not private. There should be no censorship of public affairs. Blacks
should prepare now to challenge the licenses of the six commercial
television stations in the tri-state area. Time is of the essence.
 Thus, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia
Circuit's ruling in the case of Office of Communications, United Church
of Christ v. Federal Communications Commission (1966) gives a media
organization standing to challenge a commercial television station's
application for a license renewal.

"Most battles are won before they are fought" Sung Tzu The Art of War.

Under
the Communications Act of 1934, the public, and not a commercial
enterprise, owns the airwaves.  As  the years passed, the FCC and the
federal courts gradually defined the unclear concept of "public
interest" to encompass three main policy goals: promoting competition in
the broadcast marketplace, requiring local stations to serve the needs
of their local community, and ensuring a diversity of viewpoints on the
public airways.  Commonly referred to as "localism, diversity, and
competition," these goals are still considered the bedrock principles of
federal communications policy.  Hence, a commercial enterprise may not
own the airwaves but can secure a broadcast license to promote the
"public interest."  Any transaction by a commercial enterprise, with the
approval of the FCC, must promote the public interest.

Nearly
four decades ago in the tri-state area, there was "Like It Is" on
WABC-TV; "Positively Black" on WNBC-TV; and "Black News" on WNYW-TV.
 The tri-state area presently has six commercial television stations.
 Blacks should have enjoyed six public affairs programs under the FCC
law.  On the other hand, whites still watch on Sunday mornings the
following public affairs programs: "Face the Nation", "Meet the Press",
"Fox News Sunday", "This Week", and others.

Today, there
is not a single, public affairs program for Blacks in the tri-state
area.  There has been no serious and continuous coverage of public
affairs programming on commercial television stations in the tri-state
area of the NYPD stop and frisk policy, Black unemployment, racial
discrimination (prison-industrial complex), adult prosecution of
children (Black and Latino), and the recent deaths of Michael Lembhard,
Malik Williams, Ramarley Graham, Trayvon Martin, Reynaldo Cuevas and
others.  These racially-inspired subjects and killings represent a
crisis and are matters of public interest concerning the Black
community.

In conclusion, the absence of public affairs
programming for the majority population in New York City area will
undermine the political rights of its majority population and it is
intended to maintain the status quo.  Public affairs programming
promotes educated voters.  This is especially important when the
majority population disagrees with the philosophies, agendas, policies
and platforms of the Democratic and Republican parties.  In my humble
opinion, this is why Steven Biko said "The most potent weapon in the
hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed."

If you require further information, please contact me  tdm8453@aol.com

  
Brother Ted Murray is a Member of "Friends of Like It Is"

"Speaking Truth To Empower."


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