In Perilous Times, Diverse Storytellers Matter

Black Public Media
2 min readOct 10, 2023

by Leslie Fields-Cruz

We’re living in perilous times. There is ongoing social unrest and political chaos in the U.S.A. Gangs are running amok in Haiti. The bloodletting in Sudan and Ukraine is relentless. Climate change is wreaking havoc across the globe. Authoritarianism is on the rise. And now there’s a war in Israel.

For every one of these crises, there are countless stories waiting to be told. Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of nonfiction storytellers in the U.S. continues to be White and male. Which, as history has shown, means we’re not always getting the full story.

report cover with various shades of blue triangles and rectangles shapes covered by the title of the report in a bright yellow and white text
Report from the Center for Media and Social Impact

Black Public Media and its funders and partner organizations — Vision Maker Media, Latinos in Public Broadcasting, Pacific Islanders in Communications, Center for Asian American Media, Firelight Media, and New York Women in Film and Television — are working with our public media allies to revitalize and diversify our industry’s labor force. We know that for our democracy to function properly, our citizens need access to media stories that reflect the world as it really is: diverse, complex and continuously evolving.

If you agree, let your local station managers and elected officials know. And don’t forget to add the organizations I’ve named in this post to your annual giving plans. Honestly, the fact that you give at all is sometimes more important than the amount you give. That’s because your gifts let our industry know that the work we’re doing matters. This is especially true in perilous times, when history is made and documented. Ultimately, the work of our media labor force will influence how current and future generations behave, legislate, lead, and remember. They all deserve better than what our industry currently provides.

— Fields-Cruz is the executive director of Black Public Media

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Black Public Media

Black Public Media (BPM) develops, produces, funds, and distributes media content about the African American and global Black experience.