WASHINGTON — This month the Media 2070 project at Free Press is commemorating one year since launching as a living archive of harms that white-dominant media and tech companies have inflicted on Black lives throughout U.S. history, up to and including today.
Founded in 2020 in the midst of the pandemic and racial reckonings across the country, Media 2070 also functions as an emergent Black-led multiracial consortium of journalists, technologists, artists, activists, policymakers, media-makers, organizers and scholars. This collective is pushing media institutions to make reparations to the Black community and calling on policymakers and philanthropists to make reparations for policies and practices that have baked inequities into our media system.
Most recently, Media 2070 filed a letter to the FCC signed by 100 organizations that calls on the agency to study the history of racism in media policymaking. Co-organized by MediaJustice, the letter has been signed by the African American Policy Forum, the Center for Rural Strategies, Color Of Change, Common Cause, the Future of Music Coalition, GLAAD, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists, the National Newspaper Publishers Association, Open Technology Institute, UltraViolet Action and Writers Guild of America East.
Media 2070's letter comes on the heels of the latest FCC media-ownership report and follows Media 2070’s work with Rep. Jamaal Bowman (D–New York), who co-authored a letter in June with Reps. Yvette Clarke (D–New York) and Brenda Lawrence (D–Michigan) that calls on the Commission to conduct a racial-equity audit. The letter was signed by more than 20 House members.
Media 2070 co-founder Collette Watson, who is the vice president of cultural strategy at Free Press, made the following statement:
“Media 2070 was founded one year ago as our contribution to a long lineage of agitation for the reparations Black people are owed. Our mission is to help spark unearthing and redress of the deep harms caused by a dominant media system that perpetuates and profits from the myth of Black inferiority, a falsehood that permeates all aspects of our society, including our nation’s shared understanding of whose lives and labor have value.
“The media system has done much harm, but there are many possibilities for repair. So as we honor the first year of this work, we extend deep gratitude to the many individuals, groups and organizations that have joined us in dreaming, resisting and calling for accountability from corporations, federal policymakers and philanthropies. We look forward to continuing to expand the media-reparations conversation this coming year and beyond.”