Radio One Baltimore and DC stopped the music and aired live TV One’s Baltimore town hall, “State of Emergency: Black America and Law Enforcement” on Tuesday, May 5. This wasn’t the multi-media conglomerates first effort to serve the community,
particularly Baltimore that has been in crisis for the past two weeks. It’s just one example of the company’s commitment to grassroots impact and extending the power of the microphone to open a two-way dialogue; giving the community a much needed voice.
“Radio One has been a beacon of light for the communities we serve for nearly 35 years. Our local radio markets embody the spirit of the community and endeavor to provide a voice and platform for our listeners to express concerns, ask questions and be empowered with information particularly in times of crisis,” said Yashima White AziLove, Vice President, Corporate Communications Radio One, Inc.
Radio One deployed the same strategy in Baltimore that it did in St. Louis during the early unrest in Ferguson. First, they stopped the music and opened the phone lines for listeners to be heard. Second, they engaged local experts to provide information and answer questions. Leaders such as Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Congressman Cummings, Sergeant Lou Hopson and over 30 other civic leaders graced the air-ways over the next several days. Then, they initiated a call for peace promotion that continues to air several times an hour on all of the local stations. The local DJs have endorsed peaceful demonstration on-air, on social media and have physically taken to the streets to help clean- up and speak to the community face to face. Tuesday the town hall was televised and streamed live on Radio One’s digital assets, but the radio division has a history of organizing local town halls to bring healing in communities that never get broadcasted.
The Radio Division President Chris Wegmann said, “This is the local radio difference – the power of local engagement; for voices to be heard and to influence those listening. We pride ourselves on being early responders to the issues that impact our listeners and we use our influence to bring the right people to the table to address the issues. No other audio medium can do that.”
The Radio One Baltimore market will continue to keep its finger on the pulse of the community and use the power of the radio and digital mediums to not only entertain, but to inform and inspire listeners.
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