Roland Martin Wonât Be âSilencedâ<br />

Roland Martin Won’t Be ‘Silenced’


Roland Martin Wonât Be âSilencedâ<br />

Roland Martin

matter where you go, your phone calls always get returned.

Your life is not defined by the one place where you work. My life has never been defined as Roland Martin, CNN; Roland Martin, TVOne; or Roland Martin, Tom Joyner Morning Show. I’m appreciative of all of those platforms but I’ve done all different things. I’m still Roland Martin. The credibility and trust I’ve built up is what gets my phone calls returned. That’s what you’re focused on. Even if you get laid off, you get ill, you get fired, you still are able to take those relationships and build upon that. That’s the most important advice I have for any journalist or any person.

EBONY: That’s so true. But for your fans and Soledad O’Brien’s fans who may be feeling a little wary of CNN right now because the loss of your presence on the network, do you have any advice for CNN for reaching out to and engaging the Black community, especially since MSNBC is enjoying a spike in African American viewership?

RM: Here’s what I would say to anybody…so it’s not specific to just CNN—any [mainstream outlet]. Look at the recent study, the State of the Media report, that shows that African Americans, more than any other group, get their [news] information from television, from cable news. See where African Americans are in terms of social media [use]. We are consumers of information. Black audiences are a loyal audience and a significant audience and they should be respected. I think it is important if America is becoming a majority-minority country… that these numbers ought to be reflected on television.

So my advice for any media executive is to leave your office and walk in your newsroom and say what am I looking at? If I see people of color, what are they doing? Are they writers, executive producers, senior producers? When it comes to power positions, how many Black folks are sitting around the table? If you have a meeting and it’s virtually all White in the room, you’ve got a problem.  You can’t talk about a diverse America when you have virtually all White people hosting shows and producing shows. The nation is changing; journalism has to change.

*The original version of this story erroneously reported that Don Lemon was the only African-American host remaining at CNN.

Catch Roland Martin on Sundays on TV One’s Washington Watch and follow him on Twitter @RolandSMartin.

Brooke Obie writes the award-winning blog DistrictDiva.com. Follow her on Twitter @BrookeObie.

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