By Lauren Victoria Burke, NNPA Newswire Contributor
Journalist Roland Martin launches his new digital show, Roland Martin Unfiltered, this week. The show will feature a live stream broadcast on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Periscope and IGTV, Monday through Friday at 6 p.m. eastern. It will then replay four times on all of the same platforms, providing several opportunities for views to watch shows and recover ones they may have missed.
“I can’t sleep! I’ve been waiting for this day for almost 9 months. Gonna happen in 18 hours!” Martin wrote on his Facebook page on the morning of September 4, the day of the launch of Roland Martin Unfiltered.
The popular journalist has close to a million “likes” on his Facebook fanpage. He is asking viewers to “support independent fact-based journalism” in the form of the #BringtheFunk fan Club to support the new show. In the wake of President Donald Trump attacking the press and the First Amendment on a continuous basis, some in the profession are taking an offensive position. Memberships for Roland Martin Unfiltered can be seen here: http://rolandsmartin.com/unfiltered/.
During a recent interview, Martin said, “I’ve always been an early adopter of the digital space. When I ran the Chicago Defender, I launched the first black news audio podcast in 2005, and one year later, I launched the first black news video podcast. I’ve also launched numerous websites such as BlackAmericaWeb.com with founding editor Tom Joyner. I’ve always understood not only the power of the digital world but also where we were going in terms of the future and the role the digital world would play… I’ve been waiting for the day where you had broadband capabilities to be able to do exactly what we’re doing right now. Even when I was on NewsOne, we were doing things on the digital side, and I even proposed that we should livestream the show.”
In an Instagram post on the last day of August, Martin outlined the past, future and present.
“Over the last eight months, we’ve had numerous discussions about what I would do next with TVOne. As that was happening, I was planning my own daily digital show, #RolandMartinUnfiltered, to take advantage of this new media world we are now living in. So, with much sadness, but tremendous gratitude, my tenure at TVOne comes to a close on Friday, Aug. 31. I am eternally grateful for all of the folks at TVOne who I have encountered over the last 13 years. To be on the frontlines of watching a Black cable network become one of the fastest growing in history has been eye opening. I’ve learned so much about this business and have truly grown as a journalist.
“Why did I never leave TVOne when I was at CNN, even when I asked to give it up? Because TVOne gave me a chance to speak my truth – unimpeded. I served as managing editor of Washington Watch and NewsOneNow, given final authority over all news matters. There were no censors to run things by. Johnathan, and later presidents Wonya Lucas, Brad Siegel, as well as Alfred Liggins and our founder, Cathy Hughes, trusted me to set the standard for our editorial voice. TVOne gave me a level of freedom my peers at broadcast and cable networks have never had. I never did take that lightly,” Martin wrote.
Roland Martin Unfiltered has a studio in downtown Washington, D.C. and promises to bring some of the same energy and news insight that was seen on NewsOne Now. Given the plethora of platforms the show can be viewed on, viewership is expected to be high.
Martin is a veteran journalist who has won the NAACP Image Award twice. He was also a CNN contributor and is a regular guest on MSNBC. In November 2013, Martin launched News One Now at 7 a.m. on TVOne. The popular Black news show focused on politics, entertainment and sports news in the black community. In 2013, TVOne cancelled the show due to “budget cuts.”
“One can never say never. Even though I’m launching this daily digital show and working on other projects, I may end up doing something for TV One down the line. But as for now, we’ve come to the end of a road. All I have left to say, is thank you,” Martin added in the final words of his Instagram post. Roland Martin Unfiltered debuts its first show on September 4.