On December 21st, Roland Martin’s news show, News One Now, aired its last show. After a four year run, the show was canceled due to budget cuts. News broke on December 6th through news outlets and Roland’s official Facebook page about the ending of News One Now. Many fans of the show and Roland were devastated by the news, even suggesting he start his own online show. Leading up to the last day, Roland looked back at some of his memorable interviews and guest, and in Roland Martin style, he also took a look back at his famous clap backs, including one towards Bill O'Reilly.
On the last day of the show, Roland gave a fierce speech about his journey into the field of journalism and media, the ups and downs he has faced, and the positivity he sees in the future. Roland stated that although he doesn’t know what’s going to happen next, he is determined to use his voice to speak for black people and bring issues to the forefront because as he states, “I believe black media deserves quality.” Many people on social media agreed with Roland and reposted the quote. During the final minutes of the show, the entire crew, including the guest stood around Roland, while he thanked everyone and said his signature closing remark, “holla!”.
Now that his show is canceled, many ask, “what now?”, “who are we going to get our news from now?”. In a time where African Americans don’t trust mainstream media, people are looking for someone to be the voice of their community and speak on the issues others are afraid to speak on. Although Roland Martin is still around, not having his news show on the air doesn’t kind of put a damper on the black community and leaves us sort of voiceless on television. I must admit, although there were times when viewers, including myself, completely disagreed with Roland and knew he was wrong for certain statements, it was fantastic to see a man of color with his own news show, stirring the pot and being the center of news media as much as a CNN, FOX, or MSNBC.
We shouldn’t worry though because there are other reports, commentators, and news outlet we can go and support now. We have Sister Circle which just aired on TVOne this year, we have The Rundown with Robin Thede, and of course, we have The Daily Show with Trevor Noah. There are numerous black-owned (or black dedicated) publications including Blavity, Very Smart Brothas, Black Girl Essays, and of course, yours truly, Made In Stone, that will always bring the news how you want it, loud and unfiltered. There are numerous young millennials (and even younger) who are ready to step up to the plate and pick up where Roland has left off. Due to Roland’s fearless attitude, he’s open the door for black journalist and correspondents to be unapologetic.
As we quickly approach the year 2018, there’s an opportunity for black journalists to level up. Who will be the next person to take charge and be the voice of those unheard? How many black journalists will step up and tell the raw news of this country (other than the journalist I mentioned above)? Although the show is canceled, the energy and desire to speak for the people continue on after NewsOne Now, it’s continuing to live through us.