A gathering of African Americans from various backgrounds will strategize on how communication avenues for blacks can be strengthened and enhanced in the Digital Age. Radio, print, television, cable film, the Internet and mobile usage will all be discussed. This panel is part of the 3-day conference at the 4th Annual Beyond Broadcast symposium.

Attendees include LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley Thomas, KLJH Radio General Manager Karen Slade, Pastor Mark Whitlock, Journalist Jasmyne Cannick and Actress, Talk Show Host and Media Personality Rolonda Watts. Invited guests include Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Councilman Bernard Parks, Councilwoman Jan Perry, Inglewood Mayor Roosevelt Dorn, Assembly member Mike Davis, State Senator Curren Price, Gardena Councilman Steve Bradford, attorney Angela Reddock and other community leaders. 3BAAS President and CEO Kevin Ross will serve as moderator.

WHEN: Thursday, June 4, 2009 – 2:00pm – 4:00pm

WHERE: USC Annenberg School for Communication, 3503 Watt Way, Los Angeles, CA 90089

According to the Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism the makeup of African American media in 2009 is shifting. Newspaper circulation continued to fall in 2008. As the print sector shrank, both the newspaper and magazine industries moved, if belatedly, to expand online. One major black daily converted to weekly, others have folded, and various black-owned radio outlets are struggling with plunging advertising revenue. While the reach of black-oriented cable television networks grew, there is currently not one African American predominantly owned television or cable network in the United States. Yet one advantage of black-owned media is the greater trust it enjoys among many African Americans. So while African Americans are twice as likely to trust black-owned or black-focused media as they are to trust the mainstream media, established media outlets are facing possible extinction. And this is taking place as the Internet continues to expand and engage hundreds of millions through blogs, Internet radio, digital content and social networks.

With the theme, “Embracing the Digital Renaissance” the panel will explore how the Internet is being used among different constituencies. We will also discuss the implications of digital and other technologies for the future of reaching communities of color, employment opportunities and the latest in mobile applications. An important aspect of the panel will be to build lasting virtual and real world bridges across the spectrum of organizations and ideas in the public information space.

The afternoon forum provides an opportunity for media, academia, politicians, business and the technology sector to convene to chart the course African Americans have already embarked on as the Internet re-imagines how society receives news, information and entertainment. The goal is to identify opportunities where these conversations will produce the highest value in the United States and abroad.

Seating is limited so attendees are strongly encouraged to RSVP. For those unable to attend, the free event will also stream live via the Internet. (Parking is not included). Hope to see you there!