*While promoting his TV One broadcast “News One Now” in July, Roland Martin promised that his show would venture beyond the politics that limited his previous TV One show “Washington Watch.”
“We’re going to be dealing with political, social, cultural, entertainment, sports, all those different things, looking at a variety of issues, because African Americans are talking about those things,” he told the Television Critics Association.
As “News One Now” approaches its two-month anniversary, Martin has made good on his promise – mixing stores from inside the beltway with such topics as the new
additions to “R&B Divas: LA.”
Perhaps most important to Martin is that his show features opinions from experts who aren’t normally booked on the major cable news channels.
“If you watch any broadcast on cable network, you will not see a black general talking about military options. Not one,” says Martin. “But if you watched [“Washington Watch”] the last four years and this show, you will see African Americans who are three and four star generals talking about foreign policy in Libya, in Syria. That’s an example of why I think we are so important, because we are providing a platform to folks who otherwise don’t get called, who don’t have an opportunity to have their perspective.
“The same thing happens when you talk about black Hollywood. If your name isn’t George Clooney or Brad Pitt or Matt Damon, typically they’re not going to talk about what you’re doing off the screen. You look at what Jeffrey Wright’s doing in Sierra Leone, what Don Cheadle is doing in Rwanda, what Wendell Pierce is doing with opening grocery stores and houses in New Orleans. Those folks typically are not getting the kind of attention on other networks that they’re going to get on our network, and so that’s why I say this will be the center of black thought. Because we will be able to say you have something going on, you can talk about these things and share with the community every day.”
A daily three-hour version of “News One Now” streams live on Radio One stations in select markets, beginning at 7 a.m./ET, with the third hour doubling as the 9 a.m. telecast on TV One.
Martin, who has run a black website and three black newspapers, including the Chicago Defender, says it was important that he maintain a cultural advantage over his mainstream competition when it came to covering black stories. “My strategy was simple, they could not out-black me,” he says. Listen below.
Watch Martin’s recent “News One Now” interview with freshmen “R&B Divas: LA” cast members (and fellow TV One colleagues) Leela James and Chrisette Michele below.