Friday, October 19, 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, which is even more ridiculous and unacceptable in this media driven age. 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 one 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 growth of social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram , Twitter and Linkedin and we will be using them all.

Our funding approach has evolved dictated by reality. The recent thinking was that the multimillionaire ball players would relate to an empowering concept of us having our own national news media versus demonstrating for news media attention. Secondly we thought describing to the NFL and NBA owners that the race and social justice problem they are trying to figure out is what we are directly addressing. As opposed to committing $89 million over seven years on a wish and a prayer that this will make the players not want to protest instead you may want to check out the logic of our endeavor.

Social media and technology has hooked up with our commitment and determination. Ultimately, we decided to organize the collective power of the people by fully explaining this empowering concept so its clear what's at stake and make the donation so small for the individual that no one will feel reluctant donate and pass the word on.  The word is for the first time in history we  (black Americans) have the opportunity to advance to an unprecedented level of empowerment with the only means to achieve that objective, which is the establishment of our own national news media presence and representation and a few of us donating $20 each can make it happen. We are calling this “The People Power” approach because that literally is what it is. This $20 pre-launch campaign starts now. Simply sign up and leave your email address indicating your commitment to donate $20 when notified of the launch of the campaign. Our goal is 15,000 participants.  $20 X 15,000= $300,000 we do this without counting on the rich and famous.

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  displaying our editorial direction, production value, the viability and feasibility of the concept to potential investors. However, the potential investors are no longer the “ Warren Buffet and Bill and Melinda Gates Giving Pledge Billionaires. We are staying with the “People Power” approach.   

The sample television news-day pilot will be aired nationally to millions via You Tube and other streaming platforms. It will make know that we are selling 1 million shares of the corporation at $200 per share with a maximum of 5 shares per individual making sure this remains a “People Power” entity. This is the ideal solution for the ideal news media concept American needs and has been waiting for.