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Dec 19

Final – The Black Independent Weekly

Newspapers are a wealth of information, ranging from the currents events whether they are national, international or local, to editorials, to political issues, to popular culture, etc. Often these topics are generalized and concentrated to the most popular and relative stories to the majority of people within the newspaper’s readership. The concept of the cultural newspaper emerges to  cover the stories certain ethnic and cultural groups would find interesting but are not covered in the pages of a mainstream newspaper. This paper will discuss the need and demand for a national newspaper for black millennials and younger. To elaborate the newspaper will target Young Black women and men of African, Caribbean, Hispanic and American descent. The newspaper will be a weekly newspaper highlighting events that are most important to the demographic and will feature a long editorial section that will include pieces from a range of different perspectives within the demographic. It will include an Arts and Entertainment page highlighting the best in plays, movies, concerts books, and so on. The ads will come from both corporate industries and small businesses catering to the demographic,  and 30% of the newspaper will be dedicated to advertisements. There will be a strong online presence as millennials and younger are regarded as the most technologically advanced demographic. With daily posts and a very interactive discussion board. The goal is to engage, educate and inspire the youth and continue to inspire the younger generations with each passing year, making news and social issues more interesting and relatable to the intended readership.

Providing adequate news coverage is essential for the development of a culture, and for the development of successful individuals within that culture.  The problem with media portrayal of Black people is that it’s often violent and criminal or slave-based. While it’s necessary to cover these issues, they’re covered at an alarmingly high rate while accomplishments the accomplishments of Black people are reduced to stories of Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr.  and Nelson Mandela. For instance, a common misconception is that there are more black males in the prison system than in College. However it’s a statistic that unintentionally harms Black Youth, essentially stating that they are more likely to go to prison than college  When media outlets report on more positive aspects of the black community, it provides encouragement and  motivation. With the state of affairs being what they are, specifically regarding the lack of indictments of police who killed black youth. There needs to be a media outlet that brings hope to the demographic. The goal of the Black Independent Weekly will be to report the news while still uplifting the Black community whether they be of Hispanic,  Caribbean, African, Asian or American descent.  It will highlight the accomplishments of Black people as well as reporting news relevant to them and their situation.   

The Black Independent Weekly will be a 42 page newspaper that will cover briefly National and International events in the most factual way. The paper will be printed in English. will circulate nationally and will run about 20,000 copies weekly. The Editorial Section in-depth articles about current and relevant issues, within the black community. It will concentrate on International and National News and will have sections dedicated to Business,  Politics, Arts and Entertainment, People, Sports, Health, Food, and Technology. Each section will be dedicated around 7% of the paper for a total of 3 pages.   

The opinion-editorial section will cover one story very in-depth such as the back-log of trials in the New York Court System, or the militarization of police. The story will be reported in much the same way as articles in The New Yorker and Vice Magazine. There will also be an online component with a more detailed video and interviews on the website. On the website users will be able to comment on editorials and post opposite opinion pieces. 

The Business section will report stories on the economy and the coming effects, the power of supporting their own economy. As well as highlighting black-owned businesses whether they be  banks, investment companies, real-estate, law-firms etc. It will have a section to celebrate the achievements of individuals who are excelling in their fields, with detailed accounts of what they had to do succeed.

The Politics section will feature articles about upcoming bills and policies that will effect the public as well as election coverage when necessary.  The newspaper will do it’s very best to report facts in the easiest possible way to engage all readers and help them understand the election process and who their candidates are and just exactly what they stand for. This section will also feature black politicians who are doing their very best to change and improve their area.

The Arts And Entertainment section will feature the best in culture, with television and movie reviews of the best in black movies and television. It will have reviews of  books, plays, musicals, ballets and operas from the major cities. It will also include articles for up and coming singers, actors, artists etc. The paper will not focus on celebrity gossip, opting instead to report on facts about their professional life and steering clear of their personal lives.

People and Places section will include information of Black people doing amazing things from celebrities doing volunteer work, to scientists and researchers, students and teachers, and average people doing things to change the world.  There will also be a written piece about a famous black person from the past. It will also include the best vacation places to go within the world each week featuring a new vacation destination and the response to black people within that area.  It will also feature a Crossword based on Black History Trivia.

The Sports section will function like most other sports sections and will include analysis of team trades, team politics, scores, and analysis of games.  These articles will include Baseball, Football, Basketball, Golf, Soccer, Cricket etc.

The health section will have an advice column from panel of Doctors. Readers can get free  It will include articles about the latest innovations for diseases that tend to plague black people. It will also include healthy renditions of classic meals. As well as herbal remedies for people who choose to opt out of traditional medicines. 

Food will feature a different recipes for a full course meal,  ranging from a variety of cultures and will include an appetizer,  entree, and dessert. It will include all of the hottest restaurants and food truck reviews. It will also sometimes feature a piece on gardening and growing you’re own food. 

Technology will have the best in technology and those Black individuals who are making strides in computer technology etc. It will have articles about the future of technology and will include features on Black-owned tech companies and companies who’s hiring practices reflect diversity.

The paper will also feature 6 page mini-magazine for children.  It will include fairytales, funny stories, games, and coloring scenes meant to educate and engage black children. However the mini-magazine will be formatted much like a newspaper and will introduce children to way newspapers are set up It will also feature Black history snippets for children. This booklet will help engage children in literacy and help them know their history.

Thirty percent of the newspaper will be designated for the Advertising/Classified section which will be equal to 9 pages of the The Black Independent Weekly. There will be a stress of promoting black-owned businesses and other corporate entities with fair pro-ethnic hiring policies. Retailers like Macy’s, Target, Freedom Paper Company, Banks such as OneUnited Bank, First State Bank, Chase, etc. The Classified section would advertise job openings, real estate, concerts, movies.  It will include ads for vocational training and an extensive internship list.

The readership for the paper will be for Black Americans of American, Caribbean, African, South American, European, and Asian descent.  While the paper will be for all ages, The Black Independent Weekly will be aggressively marketed toward Black Millennials (Millennials are defined as anyone born between 1980-1999), a demographic savvy with social media and increasing purchasing power. As more and more Black Millennials are graduating from post-secondary education, their incomes grow as well. As well I want engage the youth and encourage them to enjoy news

The online edition will feature the some main articles from the print edition but will specialize more in online reporting of stories via web video.  It would update weekly as well. There would be an options to write your own articles and after some fact checking would be published to the site. Granting aspiring journalists to write articles for a paper. Advertising on the site would be extensive having banner ads on the side from corporations.  There would also be ads on the web videos.

To conclude, Reporting on the achievements of Black people in all subjects around the world will inspire and uplift a community. There is an alarming need for accurate representation in all forms of media. By creating this paper,  I hope to provide a positive media portrayal of Black people for Black people.  By enriching the community and fostering development within the youth, the community will keep improving. 

Works Cited

NCES. “Number of African-American undergraduate students enrolled in the United States from 1976 to 2010, by gender (in 1,000).” Statista – The Statistics Portal. May 2012. Web. 15 December 2014. <http://www.statista.com/statistics/236639/african-american-undergraduate-enrollment-by-gender-in-the-us/>

Partnership, Topos. Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and BoysThe Opportunity Agenda (n.d.): 1-47. Media Representations and Impact on the Lives of Black Men and Boys. The Opportunity Agenda, 1 Oct. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.

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