Hearst Stations Feature Daily Multi-Generational ‘Exploring Race In America’ Interviews

For Black History Month, “Project CommUNITY: History & Hope” will pair young Black Hearst Television journalists across the country with Black seniors in their communities for insightful conversations.

For this February’s Black History Month, Hearst Television undertakes “Project CommUNITY: History & Hope,” an effort to give voice to the experiences of Black seniors by uniting them with young Black journalists for probing, in-depth interviews and conversations exploring the state of race in America. The goal is to produce at least 28 stories, one for each day of Black History Month, with each of the company’s television stations producing at least one story for this project.

The effort is the latest extension of Hearst Television’s multifaceted Project CommUNITY effort, launched in January 2019 across 26 media markets to investigate, chronicle and study — via on-air and online news reports, in-depth interviews, investigations, feature stories and community conversations — not only the nation’s deep divisions, but undertakings across the country focused on uniting people within their communities.

“As part of Project CommUNITY, our stations have produced dozens of specials and stories addressing race and social justice, moving critical conversations forward and identifying and celebrating positive efforts to bring neighbors together,” said Barbara Maushard, Hearst Television senior vice president, news.

“Project CommUNITY: History & Hope adds an innovative, multi-generational element to the exploration of persistent racial injustice and inequality, and pathways to greater understanding that can help bridge divides,”Maushard added. “This process starts with in-depth, engaging conversations among people of varying generations, and the compelling, untold stories these conversations might surface can be a powerful starting-point for positive change.”

According to Hearst, “in its initial two years, the umbrella Project CommUNITY effort has positively impacted several Hearst Television communities, and even has been credited with helping spur national legislation.”

As part of Project CommUNITY, Hearst Television’s WBAL Baltimore, hosted a June 2020 panel discussion among community leaders about questions arising from the death of George Floyd. Subsequently, Sen. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), one of the participants on the WBAL panel, joined with Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) to announce  the Community-Based Response Act to allow mental- and behavioral-health professionals to respond to crisis situations which otherwise might solely be assigned to law enforcement officers.

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