The Washington Post Reports. The House subcommittee on consumer protection held a hearing last week on stereotypes and degrading images in the mass media. Alfred C. Liggins III, chief executive of Lanham-based Radio One, the nation’s largest African American-owned radio broadcaster, told members of Congress about his company’s efforts to protect its listeners from potentially offensive content. Here are excerpts of his prepared testimony: “Our Radio One network consists of 60 radio stations and can be found in 19 cities around the nation. Taken together we reach over 12 million listeners across the country. . . . However, those numbers do not really paint the full picture of who Radio One is. Radio One takes its responsibility to serve its communities very seriously. For this reason, the content broadcast on Radio One stations is a product and reflection of the audiences we serve. We at Radio One pride ourselves on our close-knit relationships with our listening audience and view them as members of our extended family. This causes us to be responsive to and engaged in the many public affairs issues facing the local communities where we broadcast.
How we serve our audiences can be summarized with two recent examples. Just within the last week two of our popular radio DJs who host shows with a hip-hop format, one of whom can be heard in Dallas and Augusta and one of whom can be heard in Detroit, played an instrumental role in bringing national attention to the issues faced by six black teenagers known as the Jena 6. We are proud to say that the efforts of many of our local radio stations to raise awareness of the Jena 6 case and organize bus caravans helped lead thousands of citizens to Louisiana . . . and played a pivotal role in making the rally for justice in Jena such a resounding success.