Owners of the nation’s first 24-hour video news network for African-American viewers, joined Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University (FAMU) administrators at the university for a ribbon-cutting to unveil plans for its new headquarters and launch date in 2018.The Black Television News Channel (BTNC) will be the first 4K Ultra HD newsgathering and production infrastructure of its kind.
During the event, Byron Pitts, chief national correspondent and Nightline co-anchor at ABC News, announced that he would join the new network as a contributor while continuing his role at ABC.
“I am proud to be a part of this historic venture,” Pitts said. “And I want to thank the Black journalists that came before me and those that will come after me for creating a space, to tell the truth and honor the truths of people of color that have often been ignored.”
The BTNC will house its principle operations within the 100,000-square-foot School of Journalism & Graphic Communication facility on FAMU’s campus.
“This partnership is not only unprecedented change, it’s game-changing,” said FAMU Interim President Larry Robinson, Ph.D. “I believe this partnership will be among those that will be chronicled in history in terms of allowing us to reach a larger spectrum of individuals to tell them more about their own culture and perspective that they can appreciate.”
Other features of BTNC’s future operations include a media-training center for aspiring multimedia and visual communicators, including FAMU students and students at other historically Black colleges and universities nationwide.
Congressman Al Lawson, a FAMU graduate, was among elected officials who lauded the network, which is scheduled to launch in February 2018.
“This is a great day at Florida A&M University and in the state of the Florida,” said Lawson. “Many of my colleagues in the Congressional Black Caucus are excited about the opportunity we have here in bringing a news network to Florida A&M’s campus. For the first time, people will be able to tune into the Black Television News Channel and watch what is happening in America through another dimension and another story. Where else better for it to start than here at FAMU?”
Similar sentiments were expressed by former U.S. Congressman J.C. Watts, Jr., (R-Oklahoma) and former city of Tallahassee Mayor John Marks III, both owners of BTNC.
Read the full article on the FAMU Forward news site.
Source: Kanya Stewart, Florida A&M University