Word on the street is that black magazines and newspapers are redundant. Outdated, done with, about as on trend as a Michael Jackson impersonator. Last week one of Britain's only two black newspapers went into administration. The New Nation launched in 1996 and at it's peak sold in excess of 20,000 copies a week. Combining a heady mix of celebrity news, provocative features, politics and sports, the publication was a fresh and exuberant alternative to its more politicized rival - The Voice. But although off to a flying start, last year the paper nosedived rapidly only managing to shift a mere 6000 copies a week. Over the last few days I've read two informative articles which offer insight into the downfall of the New Nation. Overground Online asks whether the future of Black newspaper is online, while journalist Angela Foster asserts that we still need black press in her piece for the Guardian. I should really know from experience not to read the comments posted on the Guardian website when issues regarding race is raised. The ignorance of some of the individuals who post is astounding. It still baffles me that some people can become so enraged by the actions of a community who have decided enough is enough. That tired of being misrepresented or ignored by the mainstream media, they have decided to create something that reflects their interests. I almost wet myself laughing when one commenter said well surely the fact that the papers dedicated masses of coverage to the Obama presidency campaign and the Victoria Climbie case proves that the mainstream press are serving the needs of the African Caribbean community. Wow! I stay here humbled and thankful for your kindness massa *breaks into a uncle Tom-esque tap dance shuffle*. Excuse me for thinking that the extensive Obama coverage was due to the fact that he was running for the top position in the highest office, and not some kind of altruistic act of tokenism. These comments prove we still have a long long long way to go before we can really throw around misleading terms like 'multi-culturalism'. As for the future of black publications? Who knows. As a black woman who works for a black magazine, obviously this is an issue of concern for me. I totally agree with some of the comments made in the Overground Online piece. Some Black media outlets in the UK need to move with the times, and recognise that the future of media is definitely online. I'd really love to hear your thoughts on this subject. Why do you think black newspapers and magazines are failing to sustain its audience? Or do you even think there is a need for black mags and papers in 2009?
- I am a thirty-something African Caribbean female from South East London. My blog will shine a light on Black British culture offering the best in entertainment, fashion, beauty, community, film & music, with the occasional personal musing thrown in from yours truly. Thank you for taking out the time to peek into the pages of my diary. Now grab a cup of cocoa, relax and enjoy.