148: Aaron Foley, Director of the Black Media Initiative at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, CUNY

“…Part of my role is to think of strategies, whether it’s getting grant funding or steering more resources through the school, like CUNY to these digital outlets so that they can continue to thrive. And that, so all the black media outlets, whether it’s a newer one that just started like a podcast or a legacy newspaper, that’s been around for a hundred plus years, how do we ensure that those perspectives are being heard? And that representation continues to matter?”

– Aaron Foley

EPISODE PREVIEW:

Today, Verde launches the first of a regular monthly episode series featuring resources and solutions to ensure people of color are more comfortable identifying as part of the outdoors communities. Verde is committed to strategically using our reach and the reach of our clients to welcome a more diverse participant base into the incredible outdoor community! 

Today’s guest on the Channel Mastery podcast is Aaron Foley, who was named Director of the Black Media Initiative at the Newmark Graduate School of Journalism in June of 2020. The collective goal in his new role is to increase the potential for community media. This is defined as Black media, Latino media, Indigenous media, Asian media, and media that is geared towards immigrant communities. It can also include Jewish media, Muslim media, Catholic media, etc. Ensuring Black media outlets are more sustainable is also a top initiative in his role. 

Prior to this position, Aaron was a Fellow at the John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford University, where he served as one of 19 professionals selected for a 10-month residency at Stanford assigned to research and innovate solutions in Journalism. Aaron and his cohort worked on topics like: revenue streams from public entities to fund independent newsrooms; curbing spread of misinformation and disinformation among Black news consumers. 

He’s also been a journalist, of course. He served as Chief Storyteller for the City of Detroit, a position that was a Mayoral appointment, a first for a city government in the U.S. And was Editor In Chief for BLAC Detroit Magazine. Aaron comes from a family that is deeply rooted in journalism, as his mother was a reporter, editor and photographer for the Michigan Chronicle, which is considered one of the oldest Black newspapers in the country.

Through his work in his new role, he wants to ensure Black media outlets are more sustainable. He offers ways for brands and businesses to successfully reach broader audiences and also sheds light on how our specialty businesses can support black media outlets and enable more people of color to feel part of our outdoor communities through media. 

Kristin is joined by a co-host today, one of her esteemed Verde Brand Communications colleagues, Alice Baker! 

Alice has been a part of the Verde team for about three years and crushes it day in and day out leading her clients at the agency. Alice has stepped up to lead Verde’s commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Verde’s agency-wide goal is to strategically deploy its reach, and the reach of its clients, to enable more people of color to feel welcome in the outdoors. Once a month going forward, the Channel Mastery podcast will be dedicated to that commitment. Alice will be co-hosting these special episodes. 

Without further ado, here’s the Aaron Foley interview on the Channel Mastery podcast! Let’s do this!

GUEST PROFILES:

Aaron Foley

Aaron Foley is a journalist from Detroit who has had an extensive freelance career and was the city of Detroit’s first chief storyteller from 2017 to 2019. Before joining the Newmark J-School’s Center for Community Media (CCM) in June 2020 as the Black Media Initiative Director, he was a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University.

His freelance work has appeared in BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, CNN, Forbes, The Root, Ebony, Columbia Journalism Review, New Michigan Media among other platforms. He also helped launch the successful digital news site MLive Detroit and was editor-in-chief of BLAC Detroit magazine, a publication covering black life, arts, and culture in metro Detroit. He is the author of How to Live in Detroit Without Being a Jackass (2015) and has an impressive public speaking record, including a Ted Talk. Foley describes himself as “a product of Black media.” His mother was an editor at the Michigan Chronicle, one of the oldest and last remaining Black newspapers in the country.

TOPICS COVERED:

Black Media, Initiatives in his new role, Pitching to Black Media

SELECT QUOTES:

“…Part of my role is to think of strategies, whether it’s getting grant funding or steering more resources through the school, like CUNY to these digital outlets so that they can continue to thrive. And that, so all the black media outlets, whether it’s a newer one that just started like a podcast or a legacy newspaper, that’s been around for a hundred plus years, how do we ensure that those perspectives are being heard? And that representation continues to matter?”

“If there are companies out there that would like to diversify their customer base or diversify their audience a good first step would be placing an ad in a black newspaper.”

“…I was always frustrated when I knew that there was a hierarchy in how some of the PR agencies pitched out local outlets in Detroit. They always did the business publications in daily newspapers first, you know, they would stagger out a press release if it was time sensitive and the dailies would always get at first, then the TV stations, then the community news outlets.

“They’re {Twitter} also a wealth of disinformation and misinformation. So what I like to, what I’d also like to see is us doing more analysis and research around how folks with the worst intentions are intentionally misleading black audiences into believing certain things or, or believing certain hashtags or things like that through the spread of misinformation and disinformation. It’s pretty ambitious for a J school, a School of Journalism to be thinking of this, but when it comes to the knowledge and susceptibility of marginalized audiences it’s definitely something we should be thinking more about.”

CONNECT:

AS MENTIONED IN EPISODE:

Have questions or ideas for Kristin and the Channel Mastery podcast? Email: [email protected]

Like what you hear? Or maybe you don’t?
Help us deliver exactly what you need from Channel Mastery by writing an Apple Podcast review at: 
https://apple.co/2FJ6lwB

PRESENTED BY:
SIGN UP FOR KRISTIN’S NEWSLETTER:
DOWNLOAD TRANSCRIPT:

SUBSCRIBE: