Black News Channel makes history

Black News Channel celebrates public launch. Photo by Mariah Wiggs

Monday, the Black News Channel made its debut as the first 24-hour African American news network.  BNC is the only television news network with news programming gathered, written, and produced “by black people for black people.”   This notable trademark along with the collaboration of Black communities is what will allow the BNC to grow and maintain as a powerhouse network years from now.

In addition to local, state and national news, BNC showcases a range of daily segments from sports to black businesses, films, money management, and Historical Black Colleges and Universities highlights.  

Director of Communications Tommy Ross expressed this sort of diversity that stands out from any other news network.

“What’s different about the Black News Channel is that it will ultimately prove to be a transformational experience not just for the Black community but for the country as a whole,” said Ross. “What we are going to demonstrate with our recording is that there is a whole other side to the diverse perspective and experiences that exist within the Black community that most people are not aware of and that many people in our own community are not aware of.” 

BNC’s Chairman and Founder J.C. Watts Jr. expressed that as the first Black 24-hour news network located in the state capital of Tallahassee, the combination of technology, community, and resources is a recipe for years of success.

Reaching over 30 million households BNC caters to the Black community by engaging them in the nation’s social, economic, and political discussions and debates while shedding a light on the misconceptions of Black communities.

The BNC proudly shares its collaboration with HBCU’s across the nation as it offers internships and training for upcoming journalists.  Not only that, BNC’s neighboring connection with Florida A&M University has sparked a partnership with students and the network’s job opportunities.

FAMU alum and employee of BNC Kenneth Thomas shared his excitement about BNC’s connection with HBCU’s.

“We (HBCU’s) don’t get the level of publicity as other universities,” said Thomas.  “Being that they have been given a platform front and center I think it is a great opportunity.”

First-year broadcast journalism scholar Maya Ellison looks up to BNC as a light for minority engagement. 

“We look for role models in life,” said Ellison.  “Journalism sometimes doesn’t touch on the subject that there needs to be more minority engagement within the field.  People look at that for inspiration.”

Though culturally specific, BNC has a goal to be a valuable tool for anybody that wants to gain a broader perspective of the African American community.

Kicking off Black History Month with a little history of their own, BNC is striving to make an impact and serve all in its community.  Watts sees nothing less than success in the future from his team.

“We have a good team and staff put together,” said Watts. “We will be better next week than we were this week, better next month than we were this month, and better next year than we were this year.”

Florida A&M University’s College of Law in Orlando will host as a venue later this month for BNC’s community announcement with Spectrum, one of their distributors. 

BNC will be available on Spectrum, Xfinity-1, Platform and Dish Networks along with Smart TVs, Xumo and Roku.