Over the weekend, I attended a Media Empowerment Brunch hosted by Ardith Valencia, the CEO of Steppin Out TV, and discovered that collectively, we are what media looks like in 2018. I was very impressed with the guests that attended the event as I saw many of my colleagues, and simultaneously concluded that not only was I surrounded by the new faces of media, that I too am media. I know it sounds strange, especially if you read my blogs, but I figured I was only reporting what was happening in my life, as most of us do on a daily basis, but we cannot neglect the range of our influence. The media brunch provided much need information, revelation and empowering resources. So, this edition of “On the Scene” is intended to help my readers recognize their responsibility as new media and to use their platforms for impactful influence. We must agree to leverage our voices and be more intentional as we re-port our scenes. Let’s keep the following in mind as we “report”:
In 2018, YOU Are Now Media So Be Intentional – Let’s face it, we are in a media renaissance. There was a time when marketing agencies would send press releases to media companies on behalf of their clients or interests for the purposes of increases awareness of a particular message. Today, social media allows us to produce a message instantly regardless if our posts factual, current, relevant, or even comprehensive. Our thoughts and opinions on topics that typically have negative connotations like crabs in the bucket, gentrification or lack of support in the Black community are conveyed for public consumption in real time and should be expressed with care. I applaud City of Miami Gardens Vice Mayor Erhabor Ighodaro, a panelist from the Media Empowerment Brunch who addressed crabs in the bucket by asking, “why are crabs even in the bucket?” He gave history lessons on centuries of racial injustice as op-posed to degrading an entire race for being crablike. Additionally, Hot 105 radio personality (and brunch panelist) Jill Tracey, addressed the notion that Black women do not support each other. She provided insight saying, “Black women are typically vying for 1 of three available slots”, and once those slots are secured, “Black women put on their blinders to focus on remaining in those elite slots.” It was empowering to see how they crafted their messages with intentionality. We too, must respect our platforms and endeavor to do the same thing.
Understand The Power Of Your Platform – Even if you only have 200 friends on social media, you have a capacity to reach 200 plus followers at any given moment. Therefore, we should be more conscientious of the messages we relay. Let’s think twice before sharing fight videos, using obscenities, or degrading others. No matter the size of your reach, respect your influence and endeavor to be solution driven. Go beyond stating the facts and challenge your followers to think beyond what is currently taking place. Avoid casually mentioning injustices such as unjust shootings, racial inequality or controversial topics without expressing a resolution. Your voice has power and your perspective can be impactful when you are intentional.