With NPR Canceling ‘Tell Me More,’ What’s the State of Black Media?

Michel MartinMay 29, 2014 – Segment 2

Listen to our discussion of the state of Black media, especially in light of NPR’s cancellation of Tell Me More, with: Farai Chideya, journalist, author, and Distinguished Writer in Residence at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University; Dr. Jared Ball, Associate Professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Morgan State University; and Dr. James Peterson, Director of Africana Studies and Associate Professor of English at Lehigh University.

Then, talk show host, author and political commentator Tavis Smiley joins us to continue the discussion on the state of Black media.


Written by Marc Steiner

Marc Steiner

The Marc Steiner Show currently airs on The Real News Network. The show covers the topics that matter, engaging real voices, from Charm City to Cairo and beyond. Email us to share your comments with us.


  1. […] experiences to the whitest, and elitist, audience in radio), but okay, these kinds of shows are not its kind of thing–particularly when the network is broke(ish) and had to cut […]

  2. As a Black media historian, wanted to add my two cents, listening to this GREAT discussion!

    8:00 – NPR’s “future” is people of color? LOL! Okay, Peterson, let me get out my lyrics for “Climb Every Mountain”…… 😉

    9-12:00 – Thanks, Jared, for setting them straight! *WHEW* (At an HBCU, huh? LOL!)

    12:00 – “They SHOULD?” And I should be The Silver Surfer! LOL!

    14:00 – They will “ride on the rims,” but they will buy new tires THEMSELVES; their vision is CLEAR.

    17:00 – I could tell “Tell Me More” was trying hard to mainstream, because much of it was about Mom issues. I stopped listening to it because I’m not a Mom and probably will not be one in the future 🙂

    18:00 – Damn, Jared! “White rule?” Can tell Pacifica doesn’t pay you! LOL!

    20:00 – Diana Ross?!? Let’s just give Steiner some melanin right now! LMAO!!!

    21:00 – Farai’s podcast is nationally syndicated on PRI. (She’s back in the game, without having to make a living doing so.) So she’s making the only argument that somebody from Harvard, in major media for 20 years, etc., can make. She’s not going to waste time on Pacifica when she can get, say, young white women to fund her.

    24:00 – “Democratization of content?” Yeah, okay, Peterson, if you’re okay with having your own thing and 20 listeners…..

    24-25:00 – There is no benefit of diversity if whites have to pay for things they don’t want!

    26- 28:00 – WHEW! Thanks, Jared! They really don’t want to talk about how whites control this stuff, do they? 🙂 Except the white host! LMAO! (So 600 people read my Baraka stuff on imix and The Root: so what?)

    29:00 – Farai thinks she is going to be the “Black voice” of the next media forum that Zuckerberg and them will put together! Ahh……now she makes sense! Well, good luck, Farai! I’ve been one of your biggest fans since Newsweek. One question to you, though: You are 45 next month, and why would they (the omniscient “they”) want you when they can get the next 25-year-old bi-racial Farai that they can control, I dunno :)?

    30:00 – Jared: yep! The DRAKE FORMAT!

    32:00 – Peterson wants to be seen as radical as Jared, but also as an optimist. 🙂

    33:00 – Farai doesn’t want to address Jared’s concerns, because it doesn’t get her any grants! (Jared: Do you notice you are the ONLY person mentioning Richard Prince’s column here? That says A LOT! Farai knows better, but all she can do is articulate her hustle.)

    36- 38:00 – Tavis does a good job here breaking down the history of PBS/NPR, and his history with NPR. (Tavis once said he told NPR at the beginning of the deal: “I’m an activist that hosts a radio program, and I will continue to be so.”)

    40:00 – “Budgets are moral documents” 🙂 Ah, the PK flow….. 🙂

    41- 43:00 – “NPR doesn’t cut its research budget, I can tell you that.” 😉 And Tavis is now saying what Jared was saying.

    43-45:00 – “Super-serve the white audience!” YES, Tavis! He is trying to bridge the gap between Jared and Peterson. Tavis is funny about his sounding WAAAAY too Black for NPR! LOL!

    46:00 – Tavis is trying to be an optimist, but he agrees with Jared.


  3. LD Fox says:

    People, people, people what are you afraid of? Are you not heeding the progression of white supremacy? Are you still not able to admit that we can do something about it!

    When did IT ever care about what you want. Many cultures world wide have realized they must create their own voice and stand on their own “two feet”. No matter how much you beg or try to prove and argue with your intellectual minds you are not saying anything different than your ancestors. DON’T BE AFRAID! WAKE UP and try something new.

    Let’s think tank out of this mess we have lived for so long in America.
    Let’s take seriously suggestions from our people like: Dr. Frances Cress Welsing, Neely Fully Jr. Dr. Claud Anderson, W.E.B. DuBois and stop talking about our problems with those that cannot help solve them. Money has never been our God.

    You can make the sacrifice and walk the line as leaders and the rest will follow.
    It won’t be easy, it won’t happen overnight, but it should be quite fulfilling.

    Let’s do what ever we want for ourselves ourselves! I’m ready.

  4. Soul Rebel says:

    Lol Todd – best commentary ever!

  5. Greg Thrasher says:

    Good discussion NPR has always discounted Black themes.. The leadership was backward patronizing White Jewish liberals who it now appears no different than the usual suspect.

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