DETROIT, -- Reverend Horace Sheffield III will lead a delegation of Detroiters to New York City for a Monday meeting with NBC executives and Dateline correspondent Chris Hansen to discuss the NBC Dateline production "America Now: City of Heartbreak and Hope" that focused on Detroit.
"I believe that the airing of 'City of Heartbreak and Hope' has caused irreparable harm to the good people of Detroit. Detroitdeserves a fair media shake from NBC. We travel to New York City to discuss the possibility of airing a follow-up production that is balanced and does not wallow in sensationalistic negativity," said Sheffield.
Sheffield said he will also discuss the need for NBC to implement a Code of Fairness that would take into account the impact of airing productions that have the potential to harm a city.
"The network obsession to obtain ratings by any means necessary must be balanced with a sense of fairness. How in the hell can you justify portraying America's poorest and blackest city as having been reduced to eating coon meat as a Detroitstaple?" asks Sheffield who contends that the Dateline inclusion of the Detroit coon hunter bordered on media racism.
"Does Detroit need help? Yes. We need help. But Detroit and Michigan were hit harder than any other region in the nation by the economic downturn. NBC would have one believe that Detroit caused its own pain. Nothing could be further from reality. Real Detroiters love Detroit and are battling to save our city. That is why we will be asking President Obama to visitDetroit and lend a helping hand," said Sheffield.
Vickie Thomas, the president of the Detroit chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists, will also participate with Sheffield in discussions with NBC.
SOURCE Detroit Association of Black Organizations