Black Leaders Air Radio Grievances
February 26, 2008 at 6:31 AM (PT)
The FCC may have come to CAMBRIDGE, MA YESTERDAY to review Internet-related issues. But a group of African-American leaders held a press conference outside HARVARD LAW SCHOOL’s AUSTIN HALL, where the FCC was conducting a hearing yesterday, to blast the declining number of black radio stations in BOSTON and across the nation, reports THE BOSTON HERALD.
"We’re going backwards," said NATIONAL BLACK CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Pres. HARRY C. ALFORD, noting that African-Americans are literally losing their voice on the airwaves.
NAACP/BOSTON Pres. KAREN PAYNE said young African-Americans in the Hub have few choices about what to listen to on radio. LEONARD ALKINS, past President of NAACP/BOSTON, said radio stations are increasingly dominated by white talk-show hosts often hostile to the policies backed by African-Americans.
"There’s no balance," he said, noting that radio stations are overwhelmingly owned by large corporations with syndicated national shows.
He said the FCC has done little to promote diversity on the radio.
The FCC was at HARVARD LAW SCHOOL YESTERDAY for a hearing about alleged attempts by large telecoms to interfere with Internet usage. But ALKINS said the FCC has failed to properly oversee the older technology of radio.