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Broadcasters Tackle Tough Racial Issues

(Image credit: Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Broadcast outlets are using their airwaves to help viewers grapple with the tough issues of racial and judicial inequality brought to a head by the death of George Floyd in police custody.

Four policemen in Minneapolis have been charged in connection with that death, including Derek Chauvin, who has been charged with second degree murder. 

CBS This Morning is giving over its Friday (June 5) broadcast to what it bills as a comprehensive report on racial inequality and injustice.

Race for Justice airs from 7-9 a.m. and will feature CBS News contributor Ibram X. Kendi, author of “How to Be an Antiracist,” and Robin DiAngelo, author of "White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism."

And on Sunday (June 7), WPVI Philadelphia (ABC) will air and stream a virtual town hall, with arguably the big question coming out of the protests that have been at turns peaceful and violent, with police responses to match, or in some cases, seemingly not matched: ‘Race, Rage and Healing: Where Do We Go From Here?

The 12:30-1:30 p.m. program will be moderated by WPVI anchor Sharrie Williams and feature community leaders fielding questions collected from the community by anchor Gray Hall. It will stream on and via the station's smart device and connected TV apps.

KTRK Houston has also scheduled a special virtual town hall for June 4 looking at the historic tensions between police and people of color.

KOIN TV Portland will also host a virtual town hall on race and justice Thursday (June 4), while WRAL Raleigh, N.C., will air a candid conversation at 7 p.m. with local police chiefs and law enforcement. 

Also on Thursday, KNTV San Francisco will air "Race in America: The Conversation," which will be live streamed on Facebook and YouTube.  

On Sunday, June 7, at 10 a.m., Fox 9 (KMSP-TV) Minneapolis will air a live special, "FOX 9: Voices for Change." The program will include African American community leaders talking about how acknowledging prejudice and racism can begin the healing process and working to wipe it out can help finish the job.

The station signaled it could be the first of a regular series on how the community can use its voice to effect change and enlighten others.

John Eggerton
John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.