Thursday, July 19, 2007

Black TV news personalities - a unique Detroit phenomenon

Whenever we vacation domestically, my wife and I can't help but to notice that, compared to Detroit, there seem to be far fewer African-American TV news personalities in major local markets.

In Detroit, we take it for granted whenever we see folks that look like us on the air, such as Huel Perkins on Fox 2, the legendary Detroit native Carmen Harlan on Channel 4, and Carolyn Clifford on WXYZ, all of whom are in anchor roles during weekday evening broadcasts.

Even more noticeable is the fact that it's not uncommon to see two or more blacks in the same newscast on a regular basis. The most obvious examples of this include Fox 2's morning lineup, anchored by Alan Lee and Fanchon Stinger, as well as Channel 4's weekend morning lineup, which includes Kori Chambers (anchor), Andrew Humprey (weather), and Gail Anderson (traffic).

In contrast, we were just in Atlanta last weekend, and I don't recall seeing one African American in the newscasts that I saw. I'm sure they're around somewhere, but not in the numbers that I would have expected in the so-called black Mecca. Same goes for other major cities we've been to recently, including Chicago, New York City, Washington DC, Phoenix, and San Francisco.

Maybe I'm just being hypersensitive, but I find it refreshing to come back home after an out-of-state trip, turn on the tube, and see people that look like me reporting the news of the day, realizing just how unusual of a phenomenon this is.

No comments: