>Is ‘seperate but equal’ news network a good idea?

>We’ve all heard former Congressman J.C. Watt’s plan to start a cable news network targeted at African-Americans. The idea has intrigued many bloggers, news pundits and columnists.

While some welcome Congressman Watt’s idea, others view it with skepticism. Over at TheRoot.com, Mychal Massie takes issue with creating a black news network, saying that black news is just as important to the general public as it is to the black community.

There are things that happen to black people in black communities that don’t really have an impact on the rest of America, but that doesn’t mean they should be provincial to black America. News happening in America is American news, and it should be everyone’s concern.

Massie also points to the cost of starting a network of this size, saying that said a venture could cost around $100 million to get off the ground and $7 million per hour to operate the channel. Massie also said finding the appropriate talent not already locked into contracts could be time-consuming.

Massie continues:

Division among the races is a favorite topic of the major media. How are we going to overcome divisions if blacks are supposed to have their own channel for news and the current news channels are to be regarded as only expressing the views of the white majority? If J.C. Watts wants to see more positive reporting about blacks, he should use his considerable cache to get the heads of Fox News, CNN, MSNBC and the major networks on the phone. Perhaps one or more of them will give him a show. Luring black America to a segregated source of news, however, is not the answer.

While the idea of having a black news network sounds great on the surface, I do understand Massie’s concerns. But, I’m still on the surface about this. I can understand both sides of this issue. I can understand the skepticism of having an all-black news channel (and the criticisms that will come with it) and the positives of having a network of this magnitude.

Maybe you guys can help me make up my mind here. What do you think?