The Black Television News Channel (BTNC) will be based in Tallahassee, and the journalism school plans to have the network on the air by next year, February 2018.
On Friday, Tallahassee Mayor John Marks attended the ribbon-cutting and was brought to tears. “This has been a long time coming,” he said. “I really feel so proud to be a part of what I know is going to be revolutionary as well as evolutionary.”
In addition to serving the African-American community by highlighting news stories that specifically affect them, Marks said that the station would seek to knock down negative stereotypes and tell “the rest of the story.”
“You’re talking about the unemployment rate for African American males being like 15 percent, but guess what the employment rate is about 85 percent. You don’t hear from that perspective,” Marks said.
Already, both students and professionals are excited about the chance to work side-by-side on this new venture.
“For it to be owned by African Americans and then cater to African Americans, that’s just big for me alone,” FAMU student Nathan Vinson said. “We will speak and you will hear us. It’s definitely something major for the African American community as a whole.”