Itâ€™s a problem that David A. Wilson hopes he can address with TheGrio (www.thegrio.com), a video-based site that provides African American-focused news and information. Partnering with NBC Universal, Wilson, 32, a documentary filmmaker (Meeting David Wilson) who heads up Three Part Media L.L.C., is a former lead producer at CBS News, ABC News, and a FOX conglomerate. He launched the site in June 2009 because of what he saw, that most African Americans did not. â€śI found a lot of [stories] and content that would be of interest to African Americans but that never surfaced nationally. It would just live and die in the local context.â€ť Wilson says he wanted to find stories that resonated with African American communities, build original content on the site, and develop opinion pieces around them. And as a filmmaker he is adamant that video is the way to go.
Considering the ways in which video has served as a launching point for political discourse, social protest, and change, Wilson says, â€śI do think that in a world where there are so many cameras, video allows the story to live in a different form.â€ť The site also serves another significant function: It provides African American writers access to mainstream audiences. Wilson explains that the partnership with NBC Universal places African American writers and site contributorsâ€”and their storiesâ€”in a national and international context.
â€śThe African American market hasnâ€™t really been explored with news as much as it has been with entertainment, sports, and music. News is sort of a new concept in this space,â€ť he says. â€śWe try to put out information thatâ€™s smart, comes from a variety of perspectives, and is not condescending to our users.â€ť