Saturday, July 21, 2018

A Note From the Founder

With me, it has always been unacceptable that the most visible and vilified race of people  in America are without our own national news media representation. The logic and common sense of it all has always been to me, inescapable. Complaining about news media bias on the one hand while marching and demonstrating to gain news media attention on the other should lead to the obvious conclusion; get our own national news media apparatus. That has been my perception going all the way back to my college days, particularly during the civil rights movement. As time went by it became apparent to me that if this obvious solution was to be implemented I will have to be the person to make it happen.

My initial strategy to address this longstanding post civil rights lack of our own national news media problem was to produce a national weekly news magazine first and then spin off a weekly 60 Minute’s type TV news magazine show. This was my approach to establish national news media representation for black Americans.  The name U.S.A. This Week was purposely selected when we started in 1994  so as not to suggest limitations like “black weekly.” Our focus is on the interests and concerns of black Americans but not limited to that narrow scope. The world doesn’t work that way and neither will we. Everything is related, artificial separations ignore the realities. The universality of our appeal will ultimately define itself.

“A Mind Is A Terrible Thing To Waste ”   “A Mindset Is A Hard Thing To Replace”

Despite the validity and viability of this concept of providing black Americans with national news media representation, black venture capital was  convinced that  major advertisers will avoid  a “tell it like it is” national  news media vehicle providing black Americans with national news media representation. That time warped thinking among black venture capital people was a challenge to overcome. It remains to be seen if the mentality has changed. The irony may be, as opposed to seeing this as a concept major advertisers won’t support, years of conditioning to us being without may have solidified a mindset of acceptance of this racial news media inequality and there  being no need for this game-changer. Thus ending up with yet a different self-defeating mindset to address.  

In 1994 we produced a 44 page prototype of U.S.A. This Week. Besides showing our editorial direction, the significance of that project was it demonstrated that major advertising is available to a national news media operation providing black Americans with national news media representation. Both Chrysler and Chevrolet  purchased  full page four color ads in our prototype empirically putting that “can’t get major advertising” myth to rest. The reality is that no major advertiser can afford to ignore a news operation being the  definitive voice of the African American market. Nothing like imagined fears to paralyze and leave a whole race defenseless and devoid of national news media representation.

With the passage of time, print publications were declining and technology was moving in an advanced direction with the growth of the Internet. The concept of U.S.A. This Week moved with technology, however, cable news television and the Internet required a more substantial capital outlay introducing us to an increased challenge.

Fast forward to 2015, which saw a number of developments manifest that presented us with a welcome and realistic avenue to make this thing happen, not the least of which has been the recent heightened public awareness of the unjustified use of force by those in law enforcement thanks to the advancement in technology by way of camera phones and YouTube.  However, the most important development has been the wellspring of people creating Internet vehicles to fund projects, concepts, or undertakings they consider worthy of supporting.

Indiegogo and corporate participants are the likely source of funding at this stage, combined with the “Giving Pledge” billionaires at the next level  are the current entities we have chosen to pursue. This is our two step process which we feel offers a realistic path for us to change the course of history and accomplish this historic mission.

The  $300,000 is to produce our multimedia CPA generated business plan. The centerpiece of the business plan is a sample television news day pilot      consisting of a ten to twelve hour finished production displaying our editorial direction, production value, the viability and feasibility of the concept to potential investors. Upon completion, the news day pilot will be made immediately available by streaming it, placing it on YouTube and promoting it to the approximate 70,000  black churches and other sizable black organizations. The news day video pilot will serve as a preview of coming empowerment while we secure the final investment capital.  We can’t overstate the promotional mileage there to be advantaged and the obvious market appeal inherent in presenting this liberating national news media concept and its historic significance. We’re talking millions of eyeballs being introduced to our most significant empowering advancement  since the success of the civil rights movement. It’s not everyday a corporation  gets the opportunity to align itself with what amounts to a historic social movement for a race that has been looking for that game-changing development advancing us to unprecedented empowerment.   The corporations will be offered both advertising spots and a separate spot for congratulatory statements in support of this historic development for African Americans.  The final product will be presented to our potential investors from whom we are seeking $200 million. 

On the consumer side there will be those looking to see who is supportive as much as what product is being advertised.  Our goal is to complete this campaign by the end of this month of April 2018. It requires very little knowledge of history to appreciate this being the most significant empowering  advancement for African Americans since the success of the civil rights movement.

We have come full circle (April 5, 2018) reaching out to several black advertising agencies and PR firms, giving them the right of first refusal to take on this stage of our endeavor. This gives them the lead in presenting our Indiegogo fund raising opportunity to corporations to support. It will be interesting to see the level of understanding regarding major corporations being both supportive of our advancement as a race and conscious of our economic strength as a market to be courted.  Major corporations recognized the validity and viability of us  being empowered with our own national news media representation  with my prototype years ago, despite the naysayers  and they will certainly appreciate it now.