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COMMENTARY: Do Right or Go Home

NNPA NEWSWIRE — There are people who want to hear from the Black Press. They get information on so many topics, but they thirst for more on the controversial and sometimes volatile subjects. No, they aren’t begging for gossip or salaciousness. What they want is someone to break down some of the senseless stuff we witness and put into perspective.

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Cheryl Smith is the Publisher of I Messenger Media L.L.C., Texas Metro News/Garland Journal & I Messenger

“My Truth”

By Cheryl Smith, Publisher of I Messenger Media L.L.C., Texas Metro News/Garland Journal & I Messenger

I vote early because tomorrow is not promised. I remember taking my Godmother to vote for Sen. Barack Hussein Obama for president… While she was not with us to witness the inauguration, she was proud to vote and also hear the results of the historic election. She felt strongly about voting and she wasn’t intimidated by the abundance of McCain/Palin signs we saw around Cairo, GA.

All elections are very important and sadly many still forego the process. On numerous occasions, I have been asked if Texas Metro News would endorse candidates.

We are moving to that point, despite opposition that says the Black press should not endorse because

  1. You don’t have the luxury (resources) of the mainstream press;
  2. Your readers don’t listen to sound reasoning because many choose personalities over issues;
  3. Candidates take it personally and won’t advertise with you if you endorse their opponent; and
  4. Politicians are dishonest.

Well, what are some good reasons for endorsing?

  1. You know the real dirt – the good, bad and ugly;
  2. People trust you; and
  3. Who better to tell the truth, accurately and fairly?

There are people who want to hear from the Black Press. They get information on so many topics, but they thirst for more on the controversial and sometimes volatile subjects. No, they aren’t begging for gossip or salaciousness. What they want is someone to break down some of the senseless stuff we witness and put into perspective.

Which brings me to my truth!

The Black Press has to be vocal! We have to return to those days of fearlessness where we called out people who were wrong and stood up for those who were right. Yes, times have changed. Remember the days, when you told someone to go sit down because they had no business even thinking about running for office.

Today you are supposed to keep your mouth shut to keep the peace. But who benefits from your silence? Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said, “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

There was a time when Black people looked to the Black press for that friendship because we weren’t getting love anyplace else. Those soldiers without swords not only shared the news, they spread the truth and let the hit dog holler.

Now some of the messages could be sharp and downright hurtful. But they were for the greater good. There will come a time when there will be endorsements from this publication, and other I Messenger Media outlets. We’re going to come correct. We will do our research and rest knowing we won’t be for sale!

Advertising with us is the right thing to do, whether we endorse you or not. You should want to reach our readers! If we don’t endorse you, we will tell you why.

When you choose not to advertise with us, you are speaking volumes. When you don’t pay or try to devalue us; you are sending a message. Some publishers want to let readers know when this happens.

As attempts are underway to build a respected and quality publication, we are getting ourselves together for that day when we can withstand any assaults that come from our efforts to educate, enlighten and inform.

We began this journey by establishing a publication with journalism at its core. We’re a team of award-winning journalists, journalism educators and communications/ media professionals who have what it takes to produce a stellar publication and we’re continuing to build.

Many are students of ethics and communications law. Others while well-versed in the Associated Press Stylebook also realize the importance of our own style and nuances that speak to our realities, our struggles, our lives.

We’re constantly looking for more talent, interns, volunteers and seasoned professionals. We’re embracing technology and collaborating with others to maximize our resources; while building and sharing.

We must, in the spirit of the Black Press credo, plead our own cause. We want to tell our stories. We want to be the voice for the voiceless. We have more resources today to give more folks a voice, but we still have to take into consideration that there are many who still find their voices muted.

And just because someone has a platform does not mean they have taken the steps to be adequately prepared to use that platform for the benefit of others. You might find someone totally abusing the platform, themselves and society. You have to know the difference!

We stand on the shoulders of men and women who make us feel the need to come strong and that’s what we are working on. We feel a moral obligation. We’re providing that strong base so when we do endorse, readers will trust and believe, and take us to the polls with them! If you believe in yourself enough to run for office, make sure you always do the right thing!

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