Let’s Make Real News
We know our Go Local to Go Global is an ambitious plan, but the times cry out for it. Watch our new video from Paul Jay and the TRNN team and make a donation today
PAUL JAY, SENIOR EDITOR, TRNN: So I was in a taxi cab in Chicago, and the taxi driver asks me, what do you do? And I said I worked for this new news network that doesn’t take corporate funding or government money, doesn’t sell advertising. And he said, oh, you mean the real news. I knew that was it. That was going to be the name.
SHARMINI PERIES, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, TRNN: Welcome to the Real News Network. I’m Sharmini Peries.
SHAGHAYEGH TAJVIDI, TRNN: This is Shaghayegh Tajvidi.
THOMAS HEDGES, TRNN: This is Thomas Hedges.
DHARNA NOOR, TRNN: I’m Dharna Noor.
DIMITRI LASCARIS, TRNN: We’re here in front of the Greek parliament, where a very large crowd is gathering.
JAISAL NOOR, TRNN: The site of the unrest one year ago, after Freddie Gray was killed in police custody.
JESSICA DESVARIEUX, TRNN: We’re here in the town of Westminster, Maryland.
JAY: Manchester, New Hampshire for the primaries of the Democratic Party.
MAX BLUMENTHAL: Washington, DC at the National Press Club.
NOOR: Live from Ferguson, Missouri.
PERIES: I’m Sharmini Peries coming to you from Athens.
DESVARIEUX: Jessica Desvarieux coming to you from Capitol Hill.
KAYLA RIVARA, TRNN: I’m Kayla Rivara, and this is the Real News of the Day.
ELI WOODSON, TRNN: We’re not doing the news just to understand. We’re doing it because we want to make a difference. We want to make change. We don’t want to live in a world of perpetual war and climate disasters, and eroding living standards and chronic poverty. And we’ve realized that if we’re going to make that difference, we need to talk to the people who need the change the most: that’s working and poor people. That’s why we’re based in Baltimore.
JAY: The main idea of the name The Real News is that there’s an objective world, where economic interests dominate.
EDDIE CONWAY, TRNN: You look at a police department, their primary mission is to protect wealth and property.
SPEAKER: They think that they can do what they want to do. And the citizens have lost confidence.
PERIES: But our role isn’t just to report and expose. We go beyond critique and strive to answer the question: what are effective solutions?
MEGAN SHERMAN, TRNN: When we covered the Baltimore protest against the murder of Freddie Gray and systemic police abuse, we said that the real problem was not just a few racist cops, but the role of police in enforcing laws that perpetuate chronic poverty and mass incarceration. Police act as a buffer between those who own stuff and those who don’t. The more you own, the more you are served and protected.
STEPHEN JANIS, TRNN: The Real News gave a voice to the people most affected. For example, we hosted a town hall in the parking lot in Gilmor Homes, the community where Freddie Gray grew up.
CONWAY: We decided to have a town hall meeting today.
SPEAKER: The little white children in their neighborhoods, they got skateboard rails, playgrounds. Soft plastic mats on their courts. Our children got the concrete jungle. Then they wonder why they’re so hard and so disrespectful. They don’t have nothing to respect. What the hell do they have? Nothing.
CONWAY: The weakness of independent news sources, including ours, is that they have yet to capture a broad, mass audience. Corporate media dominates.
TAYA GRAHAM, TRNN: We think the weak link in the corporate media chain exists in certain local markets. For example, the advertising-driven model of Baltimore’s local television news leads it to target the mostly white and wealthy audience in Baltimore County. That’s why 75% of their on-air talent is white in a city that’s 65% black.
JAY: Of course, the issue is much deeper than who’s on air. In a city where there were 348 murders in 2015–that’s as many murders as New York, a city 13 times the size of Baltimore–local news turned tragedy into morbid infotainment. They don’t ask questions that might lead to transformative change. They don’t challenge those who have real power because they’re owned by people who have such power.
The nonprofit model of the Real News allows us to take on these issues with imagination and courage. We could win a major share of the Baltimore City audience. And when we do, it’s a game-changer. We call our strategy go local to go global. Because if we can do this in Baltimore, we can do it in cities across North America, and even around the world.
DESVARIEUX: Our plan is to develop news, analysis, and cultural programs that will break through to a Baltimore audience. We will deepen our investigative work and debate solutions in town halls held in our downtown studios. They will be livestreamed and on television. We’re producing a daily news and commentary show on local television, and developing Real News radio. We’re opening a restaurant event space that features local artists and cultural events that strengthen our ties with the community.
SPEAKER: [Reading poetry] As I see him on his phone; walking, talking, minding his own; Boom, a shot from my hands where I stood. All I seen flying was a phone and a hood–.
RIVARA: We’re sending a team to Westminster, a working-class town near Baltimore that’s mostly white and supports Trump. We’ll be investigating the community’s concerns, and explore what real solutions look like.
SPEAKER: The biggest thing here in Westminster is a lot of drugs. Some drugs, you go anywhere in Westminster City and see it.
JAY: We’re building an institute that’s a collaboration of investigative journalists, academics, and frontline workers, like teachers and nurses and cops, and community activists, that will answer the question: if you ran Maryland and Baltimore in the interests of the majority of its people, what policies would you create?
RALPH NADER: It’s going to be more than news. It’s going to be community mobilization, community enlightenment, community morale. And really focused not just on telling people what’s going on that’s not very good in Baltimore, but telling them what’s going on that is good all over the solutions for a better life for the people in this big city.
DESVARIEUX: We will strengthen our team in DC, focusing on the real interests that drive Washington policy, and expose the mainstreaming of racism, Islamophobia, and far-right ideology in American national politics and media. TRNN is one of the few independent news networks accredited on Capitol Hill.
NADIA KANJI, TRNN: Very importantly, we will expand our climate change bureau, and stress the urgency of the environmental crisis, expose the war on science, and report on creative and necessary solutions. We’re covering everything from global rising temperatures to toxic waste dumps in Baltimore.
JAY: On Reality Asserts Itself, I talk to the leading thinkers and activists, and find out what were the formative experiences that shaped their political worldview? It’s also a place to explore the major issues of our times with a sense of history and a consciousness of class and race. Most importantly, it’s a place for people who want change to discuss and debate what should be done next.
CONWAY: I’m Eddie Conway. Welcome to Rattling the Bars. In Maryland, 2,100 inmates are serving life with the possibility of parole.
PERIES: We will increase our coverage of the foreign policy of the 1% and its devastating impacts. We will report on mass movements around the world that are resisting austerity, war, and aggression.
CORNEL WEST: Real News is in the house, building the world house that Martin King and so many others envisioned. Please support Real News.
MICHELLE ALEXANDER: I’m grateful for the Real News Network for bringing true news to people and communities who need it most.
WOODSON: We know that this is an ambitious plan, but the times cry out for it. Please help us make Real News.
Make a tax-deductible donation today at TheRealNews.com. Together, let’s make Real News.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that transcripts for The Real News Network are typed from a recording of the program. TRNN cannot guarantee their complete accuracy.