Georgia Fort’s New Show Brings Authenticity and Empathy to Local News

Please log in or register to do it.

Earlier this month, the 30-minute news show Here’s the Truth with Georgia Fort by the Minneapolis-based journalist premiered on the CW Twin Cities. With an extensive background in broadcast journalism, Fort is bringing a fresh perspective to local news, one that centers authenticity and empathy. 

As a freelance journalist, Fort built a dedicated audience in the Twin Cities, amassing a large social media following across different platforms. Her work has gained traction for the types of stories she covers. She was one of two journalists in the courtroom for Derek Chauvin’s trial, and she faithfully reports stories that are not always represented in current media coverage, focusing on stories of marginalized communities and focuses on BIPOC voices. With her new show, she’ll continue this work in a new format. 

“I’ve always wanted to do my own show, even when I worked in TV,” she says. She began ideating the show in the summer of 2021. As a freelancer, it was a logical next step. She founded and runs Black Press LLC, a business entity that has supported her freelance work, which carried her into the show. 

This is not an opportunity Fort was presented with, she carved the show out for herself, bankrolling the whole thing with grants and donations. “A lot of people think that the networks came to me or the networks came to us and presented us with a contract, and that they’re paying us to do the show,” she says. “And that’s not the case. I’m buying airtime. And I raised money and wrote grants,” she adds. And it’s a historic feat, according to the Minnesota Broadcasters Association, there’s no record of a black woman independently producing and hosting her own show in the state. Here’s the Truth with Georgia Fort will be the first.

Doing it the unconventional way has given her the opportunity to create a show that fully aligns with her editorial standards and values. “Even if one of the stations picked it up, or they paid us to do it, then they would have some editorial control. And so it was really, really, really important to maintain the independent oversight and independent editorial control of the show,” she explains. 

Having that editorial freedom allows them to push boundaries, in both the stories they choose to cover and how they cover them. As Fort explains, traditional news writing often relies on AP style, which can be impersonal and falsely objective. “It’s not always authentic for communities of color, it’s very dry, it lacks empathy,” she says. In Fort’s work, and in her new show, she upholds strong journalistic integrity, but subverts journalistic norms that have excluded and harmed communities of color in the past. 

She explains that concepts that have been traditionally understood as pillars of journalism have, in some cases, been directly harmful to marginalized communities. She cites the concept of objectivity as a contributor. “Largely when you examine the history of the media industry, objectivity did not serve communities of color, objectivity served white folks,” she says. “we have to, in the media industry, continue to challenge our standards and our practices, because a lot of them are outdated. And a lot of them are charged with, or fueled with ways that produce inequities,” she adds. 

In creating her own show, with a group of established journalists and producers, many of them BIPOC, they are crafting the type of media that under-covered communities are craving. “People want something different, people do not want to get their news and information from folks who are robots who lack empathy, who aren’t connected, who don’t care, or who are perceived as not caring,” she says. 

Fort’s ability to create that space has made her one of the most trusted and reputable journalists in the Twin Cities. Her social media presence is evidence of this. In her comment sections she’s frequently replying to posters, answering their questions and taking their notes. Even when it came to the title of her show, she gave the audience the choice between “The Georgia Fort Show,” “The Fort Report,” and “Here’s the Truth with Georgia Fort.”

In terms of the title, it reinforces one of the main goals of the show, which Fort says is to “unite people in the truth.” “Fundamentally, when you think about journalism, that is what every good journalist strives for, they strive to find the truth. And so I felt that the title, “Here’s the Truth with Georgia Fort,” would hopefully unite people who don’t necessarily immerse themselves in the stories that we tell on a day to day basis.” 

With this new show, Fort is breaking barriers and creating a space where people can find stories not traditionally told, in a trusted way. By upholding strong journalistic integrity and subverting traditional norms that have excluded and harmed communities of color in the past, Fort is paving the way for a more equitable and inclusive media landscape in the future.

Source link

A Brief History of Nicollet Avenue
MoMA Apologizes to Artist after Ejection from ‘Black Power Naps’ – ARTnews.com