Gabby Petito, a 22-year-old woman who went missing in September and was discovered dead the following month, was covered by Black News Channel, as were the other cable news networks.
However, talks on the obsessive publicity surrounding the white blond Petito’s tale and how missing women of color are often disregarded by the media were interspersed throughout the reporting. Every week on its legal show “Making the Case,” led by attorney and former judge Yodit Tewolde, BNC reports on missing Black women and spends a substantial portion to their situation.
While CNN, MSNBC, and Fox News have focused on the trial of Kyle Rittenhouse, a white teenager accused of killing two people during a civil disturbance in Kenosha, Wisconsin in 2020, BNC has provided gavel-to-gavel coverage from the Brunswick, Ga., courtroom, where three white men are accused of chasing and killing Ahmaud Arbery, a young unarmed Black man, after spotting him running in their neighborhood. The station, which is situated in Tallahassee, Florida, is the only full-time national TV news channel dedicated to Black viewers. BNC is now accessible in over 50 million pay TV homes, up from 2.5 million when it was launched in February 2020, and is available from most major carriers such as DirecTV, Xfinity, Spectrum, and Cox. BNC will begin offering its programs as a direct-to-consumer online subscription service next year.
The Black Star Network, a streaming channel created last month by veteran journalist and pundit Roland Martin, is aiming to get into the market as cable TV news audiences are dwindling and technology has decreased the barrier of entry for video news start-ups.
It’s difficult to launch a 24-hour news station. Al-Jazeera, located in Qatar, attempted a US version of its station but abandoned it after three years. NewsNation, which Nexstar Media Group started in September 2020, has failed to acquire an audience.