DSU panel addresses news media and minority issues

 

DSU alumnus Eric Dickens, digital media advertising Operations manager for A & E Network and senior platform specialist for NBC Universal; DSU alumnus Steven DeShields, point of sales manager for Showtime; DSU alumnus Dr. Jamar Jeffers, vice president of development for 100 Black Men of America; Donald Champion, correspondent for the CBS Evening News; Kevin Spence, producer at AOL Studios; Justin Finch, reporter for CBS Philly; and alumnus Omarr Bashir, president of Heritage Sports Radio Network were on the panel during DSU’s Mass Communications Symposium on Thursday. (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

DSU alumnus Eric Dickens, digital media advertising Operations manager for A & E Network and senior platform specialist for NBC Universal; DSU alumnus Steven DeShields, point of sales manager for Showtime; DSU alumnus Dr. Jamar Jeffers, vice president of development for 100 Black Men of America; Donald Champion, correspondent for the CBS Evening News; Kevin Spence, producer at AOL Studios; Justin Finch, reporter for CBS Philly; and alumnus Omarr Bashir, president of Heritage Sports Radio Network were on the panel during DSU’s Mass Communications Symposium on Thursday. (Delaware State News/Arshon Howard)

DOVER— There seems to be a conflict in terms of how the news media handles stories, specifically related to issues of ethnicity, politics, social economic status and gender.

Delaware State University addressed those issues during its Mass Communications Symposium on Thursday.

One of those sessions took a look at how the media covers issues facing African American males, the challenge that African American males and other minority journalists face when they are charged with reporting the news and ethical considerations when it comes to covering controversial issues.

The panelist included Donald Champion, correspondent for the CBS Evening News; DSU alumnus Steven DeShields, point of sales manager for Showtime; DSU alumnus Eric Dickens, digital media advertising operations manager for A&E Network and senior platform specialist for NBC Universal; DSU alumnus Omarr Bashir, president of Heritage Sports Radio Network; DSU alumnus Dr. Jamar Jeffers, vice president of development for 100 Black Men of America; Kevin Spence, producer at AOL Studios; and Justin Finch, a reporter for CBS Philly.

“As much as people love our culture I think there are a lot of misconceptions out there about our culture, especially with the Black Lives Matter movement,’ Mr. Champion said.

“People try to denigrate that movement — how do we change that?

Mr. Finch said the Black Lives Matter Movement needs to be more cohesive.

“There seems to be so many different layers of black lives matter it’s hard to track down what the platform is and what the agenda is,” Mr. Finch said.

“I think the problem is maybe it’s with this generation that no one appreciates leadership.”

“No one wants to be the leader,” he added. “We all want to hash tag it or re-tweet it, but no one wants to say we’ll be the pieces to make the world understand the point that we’re trying to make.”

“When Black Lives Matter becomes a catch phrase for everything it becomes harder to identify it as an actual cause.”

Mr. Spence said people have to become leaders in order for the perception of the movement to change.

“You need a leader,” Mr. Spence said. “That’s what was so different with the Civil Rights Movement. They had those leaders that were always consistent and that the key with that movement.”

“That’s what I always thought was an issue with a Black Lives Matter ,” he added.

“It lacks consistency and the Civil Rights were consistent. “It never stopped and didn’t stop until it finally invoked the change that was needed.”

He said that everyone has allowed social media to be the leaders for them.

“Social media isn’t inclusive for blacks, but it’s for everyone,” Mr. Spence said. I think what we can do better is that we have to put our phones down at some point and become leaders.

“We have to find an agenda and what we’re trying to drive home. We have to find that turning point.”

Mr. Dickens agreed.

“We look at someone like a Trayvon Martin or people that have been disenfranchised with violence from the opposite race, but we’re killing each other in our own communities and what are we doing about that?”

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