Calls for Media Space

In the early issues of The Nubian Message, writers often felt the need to justify the paper's existence to critics and to an unsupportive University administration. Their justifications inevitably related to their perception that mainstream media did not adequately represent African American interests and the realities of African American experiences. Writers often used the metaphor of "space" to explain this situation; African Americans, they argued, were not given enough "space," or accurate and relevant coverage, in mainstream media to reflect their numbers in and contributions to society. Consequently, writers frequently lauded the benefits of separate publications, like The Nubian Message, to represent African American voices.

"A Message from the Editor: To All My Nubian Brothers and Sisters - 'WHAT'S UP?!'"

For example, in this editorial, which appeared in the first issue of The Nubian Message on November 30, 1992, editor-in-chief Tony Williamson explained the need for an African American student publication on NC State's campus. Appealing to the people "who either do not understand the purpose of this newspaper, or are simply totally against it," Williamson stated that African American students had tried for many years to make other student media realize the ways in which they exhibited racial bias. Because "proposed solutions to our media problems have not been accepted thus far," Williamson asserted that African American students had no choice but to found a separate newspaper; "rather than sit around and wait for some fair coverage by that other paper on campus," African Americans took matters into their own hands. Williamson went on to state that The Nubian Message will "represent the African American community totally, truthfully and faithfully," and will be a publication in which "people can learn about different aspects of our culture, as well as find useful information about State's campus."

"Why the Nubian?"

Writing nearly a year after Williamson's article appeared, Assistant Editor Glenn French still felt the need to defend the paper's existence. In his September 14, 1993, editorial, "Why the Nubian?", French reiterated the necessity for an African American newspaper on campus. He argued that mainstream media networks did not adequately cover African American news because they did not recognize that African Americans have different perspectives and life experiences than white Americans. He used the media's failure to cover urban drug sales as an example; because urban drug use primarily affects African Americans and not whites, he believed, the media does not care enough to cover it. In contrast, The Nubian Message, while not promoting African American perspectives as more important than white perspectives, will nevertheless highlight different points-of-view so that "we all can appreciate them." As French wrote, "different points-of-view aren't good or bad, just different. The only poor perspective is an ignorant one."