A Conversation With #ROLANDMARTINUNFILTERED
It’s not a secret that three-time NAACP Image Award recipient, Roland Martin has always been a voice of brusque media and commentary. He challenges the many faces that represent inequality, discrimination, racial disparities within the police force, unorthodox misconduct and trespasses whether political or cabarets.
Martin is wildly known for his discussions that bequest transparency and accountability.
The published author and commentator is logged as one of TV Week's "Top 12 To Watch In TV News.” He was chief political editor as well as the face of daily news program News One Now for TV One for four booming years before the show went off the air December 2017. News One Now was the only black daily news show in history that spoke on provocative news topics, analysis of politics, entertainment, sports and culture from ethnic and diverse interpretations.
Books: Martin include Speak, Brother! A Black Man's View of America, Listening to the Spirit Within: 50 Perspectives on Faith and The First: President Barack Obama's Road to the White House as originally reported by Roland S. Martin.”
He was a contributor on the BET Sunday morning news program called “Lead Story” sometime in the 90’s. He is former executive editor of the Chicago Defender.
Currently, the influencer is senior analyst for “The Tom Joyner Morning Radio Show.” He’s appeared on corresponding presentations such as "Real Time with Bill Maher," as a frequent guest commentator on MSNBC, "Dr. Phil" and ESPN's "Sports Nation," to mention a few. He was a contributor for CNN, appearing on various shows including Anderson Cooper AC360, The Situation Room, and a horde of other programs.
Martin was named Ebony Magazine Power 100 4 times.
He’s still embracing the news and reporting with robust viewpoints in real-time dialogue on #ROLANDMARTINUNFILTERED, an independent news source that addresses topics that are trivial to mainstream media. Martin produced the show through his company, Nu Vision Media, Inc. He’s not holding back, and if he ruffled some feathers before, he’s stirring the pot in his newest segment.
“We launched #ROLANDMARTINUNFILTERED on September 4th. This is something that I had been focused on releasing since the moment that TV One Canceled News One Now on December 9th,” says Martin. Of course, our last day was December 21st. It has been a long time coming putting it together. We’re excited with what we’ve been able to do.”
Martin shared that he live-streams #ROLANDMARTINUNFILTERED on Facebook and YouTube simultaneously. If he’s onsite at another location, they film live, so viewers should be able to get their fill-ups from either of the social networks regardless of the broadcast location.
For the month of October, Martin and his team are focused on the midterm elections.
“We, of course, are dealing with the voter registration issue. We are dealing with the issues of voter’s suppression of Republicans across this country. We are seeing what’s happening with Georgia and North Carolina. We are really on top of these events as well. We want to be that source and voice that speaks to our issues and concerns and being unapologetic about it.”
Martin said that they will cover many of the topics, but with candid truth.
“The reality is, I’ve always been unapologetic in my perspective. I’ve not been one to shy away from offering my opinion on these various issues. That’s one of the reasons my audience is always responding to that. As a result, this was something we wanted to be able to do. With this, it allows us to be able to create a platform that goes beyond just this show. I have other individuals who’ve been reaching out to me, who want to be able to do other shows as well. The goal of what we are doing is to be able to build this into a digital news source. We understand that coming out of the gate, we need to be able to do this thing right and do it properly. That why we’ve been methodical with our build. Again, what this does is position us to do exactly what we desired. Having this platform that reaches directly to our audience. There’s a lot of people, who are my fans, who want to be able to watch the show. They couldn’t watch the [previous] show because they didn’t have, let’s say Dish Network, which is a perfect example. We were on Direct TV, but they didn’t have Dish. By looking at that, we now have a platform.”
With strategic planning like he mentioned, Martin could possibly plant himself so far into mainstream, that he might get his wish universally.
Gone are the days of censored media and disjointed edits in journalism. The viewers want total transparency. They want forthcoming explanations, and not more of the same click-bait sites that feed you a little but doesn’t even come close to reporting the meaty proportions of the news.
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“We understand the election ballads. We understand where people stand on those issues. What we wanted to be able to do was target our audience and let them know about things that are important like voter deadlines and things along those lines,” Martin spoke thoughtfully.
Observably, everybody can’t be the next Oprah Winfrey. If you want to be realistic, even Oprah focused on the entertainment shelf instead of community and politics although we know she had former POTUS Barack Obama sitting front and center on her show. However, it was propaganda. Who didn’t stand in line to interview the first African American President in the White House, who took his seat at the table. There were issues long before Obama won the 2008 Presidential Election and there are prevalent concerns even after the Obama administration left office in 2017. Racism is more belligerent than it was back then. There is a crisis and an assault on media professionals who choose to speak facts, who choose to call a spade a spade even at the risk of exclusion. But, nobody is talking about those injustices, the ones that affect the brown and colored people in media as well as journalism. And, this… This is the reason #ROLANDMARTINUNFILTERED is so important today, to highlight all things critical to the African American Community, to open dialogue and really get to the matter of these toxic substances creating the problems.
“I’ve always been true to myself in terms of my mouth,” said Martin. “That’s always been the case from day one. Whether I was at the black newspapers, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, or whether I worked in Austin as well. I think what happens is, people and folks—It’s how you speak the truth, and the way you speak the truth. I’ve never been shy about that. Obviously, it’s more opportunity when you can be more analytical opposed to straight reporting. That’s one of the reasons that I left mainstream and I began to run black newspapers. I wanted to be the person who was deciding what the news was. See, that’s important. Many of us don’t quite understand the role of gate keepers, the individuals who are deciding what’s on the front page or what is going to be the focus, and where do you put your intention [for important stories]. I did not want to ask someone else, ‘Can I please go [and] cover this?’ I want to be able to say, ‘Yes, I’m going to cover this.’ That has always driven me to be able to have those platforms. People, sometimes, get so caught up in thinking that just because they work at a newspaper or a bigger place, they get caught up in just that [the aesthetics]. They get caught up in the hype of the outlet when, the outlet doesn’t define who I am. Wherever I go, I’m still able to get my phone calls returned, and get that level of respect from people. My integrity to the purpose is what matters. That’s what a lot of people really don’t focus on. For me, it’s being able to control the destiny of the news, and not always having to ask somebody, ‘Can we cover this?’ I’ve always believed that we must control our narrative. I think when we allow someone else to control our narrative, then we got a problem, because we’re going to be asking someone else, ‘Can you tell our stories?’
“If we look at it historically— If it wasn’t for The Chicago Defender, then, there is no Ebony Magazine. Robert ‘Sengstacke’ Abbott with the Chicago Defender is what piqued the interest of John H. Johnson, and that’s how he was able to launch Ebony Magazine. If Ebony and Jet were not there, then, who was telling our story? Who was speaking to our issues. We’re in that same position today. I think, we, as African Americans, need to understand why we must support these initiatives. Therefore, I created an independent fan-club because of the people who said, ‘How can I help you make this possible?’
“We must fund our freedom. See, we can’t just sit and hope to meet advertisers. We must not only watch, but we must fund our freedom. We must also be contributors to it, otherwise we’re outsourcing our freedom to somebody else. Then, [we get mad] when they don’t cover our stuff. They decide to focus on Brett Kavanagh and not this Laquan McDonald trial, and we get mad. Well, guess what? We didn’t support our own. We need to step up and support our own. I think that’s what we also must understand.”
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