Clarke: Diverse Ownership Essential in National Media

Says stories about minorities are being filtered through lens that doesn't reflect them
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Rep. Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) said it is time for minorities to be able to frame their own stories rather than have their experiences filtered through a media that does not reflect them in front of or behind the camera.

"We don't have the voice of our own media at the national level to provide perspective," Clarke said at the Multicultural Media, Telecom and Internet Council 14th annual Access to Capital and Telecom Policy Conference in Washington Thursday (July 14), where she talked about the news reporting on the police shootings of unarmed black men.

She said that social media has provided one means of not having to view the stories "through the lens of others."  But she also said it should not be the case that people have to "tweet it out" in order to "plead our case."

That is why there needs to be diverse media owned and operated by people "who look just like us," Clarke said. "We can't go to those who have marginalized it for so long to present our story. It just won't work."

Clarke in May formed the Multicultural Media Caucus to promote greater representation of minorities in the media.

Also weighing in at the conference was Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Calif.). He said communications was the people’s space, not corporate America’s, adding that those corporations should reflect the diversity of their audiences, but don’t. He said Congress’s job was to hold up a mirror to that fact.

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