Mainstream News Outlets Paid Very Little Attention to the 20th Anniversary of the Million Man March

Attendees gather on the National Mall and West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for “Justice or Else,” a rally held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, Oct. 10, 2015, in Washington, D.C.  ALLISON SHELLEY/GETTY IMAGES
Attendees gather on the National Mall and West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol for “Justice or Else,” a rally held to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Million Man March, Oct. 10, 2015, in Washington, D.C.
ALLISON SHELLEY/GETTY IMAGES

The first viewer comment on C-SPAN’s call-in “Washington Journal” on Sunday was from Everett of Jersey City, N.J. The topic for the segment was Saturday’s Justice or Else march in Washington, the 20-year sequel to the 1995 Million Man March. 

“None of the mainstream media were there. That’s a problem,” Everett said. “Somebody’s got to be held accountable for this.”

On Facebook, a photo of the crowd on the National Mall circulated with these words superimposed: “It’s crazy how the riots in Ferguson and Baltimore were on all news outlet[s] 24/7 but turn on a news outlet today while the #Millionmanmarch is going on . . . They so easily focus on the negative and never highlight the positive.”

Another on social media cited old suspicions. “The lack of diversity inside newsrooms is one of the reasons why I believe this event had little or no coverage at all. No major incidents occurred either despite the fact that some media outlets reported a few days ago that some people feared violence would occur at the event after what happened last year in Ferguson and Baltimore.”

A tweet read, “OH YEA AND THERE WAS ANOTHER #MILLIONMANMARCH YESTERDAY BUT CNN DIDN’T TELL US.”

In contrast to the attention given the original march and its 10-year anniversary in 2005, C-SPAN was alone among major television networks in providing live coverage of Justice or Else.

A check during the major speech of the day, by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, showed regular programming on even the local network affiliates. BET showed still another rerun of the “Martin” sitcom, and TV One, the other major black-oriented network, reprised yet another “Good Times.” News channels CNN and MSNBC likewise turned their attention elsewhere.

On radio, Pacifica’s WPFW-FM in Washington and C-SPAN’s radio counterpart rose to the occasion and went live.

The Pacifica coverage was carried by the other four Pacifica stations, WBAI-FM in New York, KPFT-FM in Houston, KPFA-FM in Berkeley, Calif., and KPFK-FM in Los Angeles. “And online we registered 200,000 listeners, in addition to those listening to the terrestrial radio signals,” Askia Muhammad, news director at WPFW, told Journal-isms.

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Source: The Root | RICHARD PRINCE