Leading online media platform for Black tech innovation, The Plug, and Pennsylvania’s only independent Black-owned talk radio station WURD Radio, have entered into a partnership to shed a light on the city’s Black tech ecosystem. The partnership’s content will include a bimonthly segment on WURD Philadelphia listeners will be able to tune into The Plug’s bi-monthly segment on WURD Radio.
While Philadelphia has become a major opportunity hub for Black tech and innovation, with nearly 9 percent of the city’s tech founders identifying as Black, there has been an under-reporting of the community as it relates to media coverage. Looking at headlines and local news, the coverage of Black tech and innovation is vastly less than that of white founders and entrepreneurs. As a result, there is less awareness and visibility of Black innovation which the community needs in order to tap into economic and social capital opportunities. The Plug and WURD Radio believe that by combining its resources, they will be able to achieve greater impact and reach in telling the stories of some of the city’s rising founders and entrepreneurs that can in turn lead to more funding and access for Black and Brown founders.
“Coverage of innovation in Black and Brown communities, not only in Philadelphia but across the country, tends to be unfavorable or noticeably missing in media, completely overlooking the amazing work of entrepreneurs from these backgrounds, when it comes to innovation,” says Sherrell Dorsey, founder and CEO of The Plug. “We hope that through the success of this partnership with WURD that we can prove the need for access to resources – primarily capital – to tell these stories taking place in these communities.”
“We believe our partnership with The Plug is a model of two Black-owned media enterprises collaborating to raise greater awareness about entrepreneurship and innovation in the Black community,” says WURD Radio’s President and CEO Sara Lomax-Reese. “By leveraging the strengths of each of our platforms and combining our resources, we hope to make an impact that leads to greater funding for Black tech founders, leading to greater wealth creation within Black and Brown communities.”
Philadelphia listeners will be able to tune into The Plug’s bi-monthly segment on WURD Radio. Content will be produced by a fellow – Hadriana Lowenkron – a junior at the University of Pennsylvania who has previously interned at The Philadelphia Inquirer – will be featured on both The Plug and WURD digital platforms. Stories featured as part of the segment and the Philadelphia briefing within The Plug’s newsletter will cover a myriad of topics including the 2020 elections, cybersecurity, and mental health.
“Given our inundation by mainstream media’s coverage of trauma in the Black community, I look forward to reporting on the Black innovation economy, as well as utilizing this wonderful fellowship to improve my journalism skills — especially in the areas of technology and business,” says Lowenkron.
The partnership between The Plug and WURD Radio will be for a duration of a year with the opportunity for continuation. Earlier this year, WURD Radio implemented its Lively-HOOD initiative which addresses high unemployment within the Black community by using its platforms to connect Philadelphians to jobs, career readiness information and entrepreneurial resources. Additionally, The Plug has recently launched its podcast – The Clark Street Project – which will examine the work of Black journalists in their coverage of Black tech and entrepreneurship.
Both media entities hope to expand this work into other Black majority markets that have become innovation hubs for Black entrepreneurs as early as 2021. Additionally, the collaboration can be used as model by other media to follow in creating and sharing positive narratives when it comes to reporting of Black communities.
Experienced Philadelphia journalists interested in reporting or producing content for the partnership can send portfolios and inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Philadelphia community can learn more about The Plug and WURD’s work and the city’s Black innovation economy by tuning into WURD every second and fourth Monday in addition to signing up for The Plug’s newsletter at tpinsights.com.
About The Plug
Launched in 2016 as the first daily tech newsletter for Black tech innovation news, The Plug curated the top news of Black founders and innovators. Today, we investigate and report on Black tech trends, stories, and breaking news, and we do it with the rigor and analysis you won’t find elsewhere. Learn more by visiting tpinsights.com.
About WURD Radio
WURD Radio is the only African-American owned and operated talk radio station in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (and one of only three remaining in the country). Started in 2002, over the past 18 years WURD has evolved into a multi-media, multi-platform communications company that reaches deeply into the Black community through radio, events, digital and social media. It is considered the go-to media channel to engage, interact and connect with Philadelphia’s Black community. Listen in and learn more at wurdradio.com.
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