By: Alysha Payne, Columnist
On the first day of November, a 16-year-old New Jersey teen opened up her very own spa/salon for children, tweens and teens. Although this is amazing and exciting news for the Black community and the teenage community as well, circulation of the story is limited on national, and even online news sources.
Why is it that we don’t recognize Black excellence in media outlets? A lot of it probably has to do with our natural attraction to excitement and things that go wrong. Many studies have been conducted over the years to support this.
On more popular news broadcasting stations there is, without a doubt, an overwhelming amount of negative news. Naturally, I think the other humans respond rapidly and more vigorously to news that is negative rather than news that is positive. This means the broadcasting stations that report mostly negative news will continue to do so because they are interested in ratings.
Another reason the major news outlets probably don’t report on Black excellence in general is because, of course, we are the minority. In a democracy, as many of you know, the majority always wins.
This is reflected in many broadcast stations, not only national/local news. These stations are only going to report on whatever will bring them the greatest ratings overall. These ratings can come from two primary factors: if the news is exciting and eye-catching (i.e. negative) and if the majority of news viewers will be interested in the news (i.e. what different social/political groups dominate that particular area).
One of the final reasons that I am going to list is that older people get insecure about the endeavors and accomplishments of children that are younger than them.
I’m not saying much is wrong with this necessarily, however, jealousy and insecurity can go a long way. There have also been studies done that conclude that sometimes we are unknowingly prejudiced against a group of people.
Teenagers are no exception. When news stories are able to cover the exciting news from everyone, it leaves room by variability and also shows that a population’s teenagers are important enough to be represented in the news.
The lack of credit that we give children and minorities that reach success actually adds hindrance to the growth that community had gained through that success. Sharing in the success of others and supporting others that experience accomplishments as well as tragedy are necessary to continue when supporting each other’s’ communities.
The impact that outside supporters can have on any situation, whether it is positive or negative news, is great to have, especially news like this. Being truly informed consumers of news is necessary as well, especially in a country where we have access to as much news as we need at any given time.