Post about "entertainment news"

The Case for BET Nightly News and Black Media in General

We messed up. When we err, we need to admit it and move to correct the wrong. Black folks have been complaining about BET programming for ages when, in actuality, they’ve been checking it out on the “down low.”

Listening to the negativity over the years, even I was shocked to find out there were so many closet watchers secretly hooked on BET Nightly News. I’ve gotten calls and emails from people all over the country upset about BET’s decision to cancel the program. Many of them say that BET is their only real connection to the Black community, and, for many organizations it is often the only TV coverage they receive.

It’s not just the over 40 crew tuning in each night for an update on what’s happening in Black America, young people of all nationalities are aware of current events in the Black world thanks to BET Nightly News.

After constant criticism of BET programming, the Black community was incensed when Robert Johnson made a savvy business move and sold the company to Viacom. As many people predicted, the nightly newscast hit the chopping block.

If we do not want all of Black media to fold or get sucked up by mainstream conglomerates, we must recognize that news is a product governed by the laws of supply and demand. The more we watch our own news, read and subscribe to our print publications and praise the work, the more that business can flourish.

Since slavery Black publications have been consistent advocates in our community and are still the first people called when there’s a problem. Unless it’s celebrity driven or blood ridden, mainstream press does not address our issues until there’s sufficient buzz created in the Black press.

For example, recently several stories appeared in the Black press about the lack of concern for missing Black women. Those stories resulted in coverage in mainstream media including USA Today. And, no one can deny the impact George Curry’s article on Kemba Smith had on her case and the criminal justice system as a whole.

For those of you who believe Black media has out-lived its usefulness, Richard Prince’s Journal-isms recently reported that The New York Times Co. is starting a Black newspaper in Gainesville, Fla. I’m not mad at the New York Times for their efforts to increase revenue by targeting the Black market; I’m sad that we do not recognize our own value and repeatedly take our struggling media institutions for granted.

There are Black publications – like the 100 year-old Chicago Defender – that have served as the voice of the community for years. Among those already in Florida are the Broward Times, Weekly Challenger, Westside Gazette, and Jacksonville Advocate; why would New York Times start their own Black newspaper in Florida?

Here’s a clue. Katherine Stapp of Inter Press Service recently reported that the first nationwide assessment of foreign-language and other ethnic media found that ethnic radio, television and newspapers in the United States now reach 64 million people. However, the article adds, Sandy Close of New California Media says “only three to four percent of the 145 billion dollars spent on U.S. advertising goes to ethnic media.” With these figures we can expect to see more profit-oriented mainstream publishers setting up shop to get a piece of the lucrative “ethnic” market.

One might mention the quality factor. It is true that budget limitations prevent Black media from providing the glitz and glamour comparable to that of mainstream press. Don’t criticize, take action.

Start by subscribing to a Black publication today. If your cable station does not offer TV One or the Black Family Channel, make a request to your cable provider. If they don’t respond, this is your opportunity to complain. For those of you with, or in charge of advertising budgets, make sure Black media is a major line item in your campaign. We need to be proactive, not reactive.

What if public relations professionals would not service Black media if a client only spent adverting dollars with mainstream? What if, instead of refusing interviews with Black press, publicists granted exclusives to Black media for A-list clients? Imagine the impact if Will & Jada, Denzel, Halle, Jamie, Usher, Nelson, and Rev. Al only spoke with Black Media. Blacks are a driving force internationally, leveraging our power for just one week would position Black media across the globe. It’s time for Black America to put up or shut up.

As the end nears for BET Nightly News I urge you to stop complaining and take a minute to plead the case for the newscast. If you would like to see BET continue to provide their excellent coverage of Black news and events send a note to BET explaining why it is important to keep the show on the air. Email, fax, or send your message in a bottle, but let them know that we do support the work that BET is doing for the community. For those who don’t watch the newscast, stand up for those who do.

The “look what they did to us now” approach is ineffective in the new millennium. It’s time for Black folks to come out the closet and demonstrate a little “Black Pride.”

A Brief History of Home Entertainment

The concept of home entertainment and indoor recreational activities changed when home electronics invaded our lives. One can say that access to numerous electronic products at home has revolutionized the idea of what constitutes a complete home entertainment. Nowadays, anyone can have immediate access to every kind of electronic entertainment via different media within the comforts of their homes. They can have their choice of entertainment which may range from the latest DVD players, radios to the wireless internet connection which offers them the convenience of mobility. Advancement in technology has gifted us with loads of home entertainment options ranging from radio, television, CD, DVD players, home theatre system, games consoles and so on.Music has always been one of the most preferred leisure activities. It found its way into our home through the long playing discs and the gramophone. Of course with the coming of radio a decade later made music a more widespread home entertainment. Before the advent of the CD or DVD player, the radio was the most popular home entertainment system available. Though there were some juke boxes available in the local pubs or salons where one could listen to a song of their choice at home there was only the radio. With radio, the choice of listening was however quite limited as people had to listen to the songs that the radio channels would play, even though some of the stations would at times play the selected numbers based on listeners’ requests. But there were no complaints as there wasn’t anything better for decades to come.Initially, when television had not yet become an everyday part of our lives, the visual entertainment strictly meant those theatres which had large screens to view a movie. Things changed dramatically with the invention of the television in the initial phase of the 1950s. The television was a complete wonder in the days when it was discovered. People did not have to restrict themselves anymore to music as their only entertainment at home. They could actually watch a full length movie in the comfort of their own home.Not only movies, this small wonder box started entertaining people with more and more new ideas, programs and techniques. Television has been considered as one of the pioneers in the history of home visual entertainment. Of course it provided more than just entertainment. With news and special documentaries, TV soon became the most important source of amusement. The long playing discs were also a part of home entertainment which was an early discovery. While radios, LPs and television made a permanent place in everyone’s home, the quality of sound in those times essentially required tremendous development.Good sound systems and speakers stared to develop in the mid 1970s. Various technologies were discovered to enhance the quality of sound. And with the music genres like rock, pop and discos coming into being, there was a specific and urgent requirement for good quality sound systems. Thus the electronic giants did not stop producing recorders and put more emphasis on amplifying and equalizing the sound to give it a new dimension.Good quality sound systems were specially designed and created for homes which produced outstanding music. Woofers and subwoofers along with various amplifiers equalizers and multi channel audio were being used to produce crisp stereophonic sounds.However, this concept took a back seat when CD and DVD players came into existence. During the end of the ’70s and early ’80s some of the electronic giants worked in collaboration to develop the world’s first Compact Disc system. Experts proved that this CD player was quite compact and lightweight with its unique durability. For music lovers it was truly a boon. At the same time this CD system opened a new window in the audio equipment industry.Compact discs were more durable than any other long playing discs or tapes. Thus the CDs removed all other music disc and tapes from the market and held prominent position. The 80s and early 90s saw a vast improvement in the technology of compact disc systems. It became very popular with people because of the crystal clear sound it produced and was affordable. These CDs not only stored music, it was versatile enough to store movies, data, pictures or even software.Along with CDs a much improved device which actually revolutionized and changed the entire system of home entertainment is the DVD or digital versatile discs. These discs are powerful and large enough to hold two movies in one. It stores data digitally and is more durable. The scratch proof technology of the DVD players also makes the DVDs last a long time. Both music and movie buffs felt delighted when the DVD player came into the market. Recent survey statistics reveal that the DVD player is the most successful product of home entertainment. It was introduced in the year 1997 and has reached great heights of success ever since.Nowadays, people can have the same effect of a movie theatre in their homes. With the latest DVD players, LCD screens and the sound systems with woofers, sub woofers and multi channel audio systems, anyone can have a fantastic home entertainment system with high quality sound and spectacular visual effects. The plasma and LCD screens are high resolution televisions which started to develop in the latter half of the 1990s and these sleek televisions enabled the viewers to experience digital sound and vision with fantastic picture quality and various advanced features.With the invention of DVDs and a major development in the visual media such as Plasma and Liquid Crystal Display or LCD in the late 90s gave home entertainment its latest technical dimension. With it, the meaning of home entertainment changed significantly with more and more people installing the home theatre systems with newest gadgets and technologies.