Journalist Michel Martin’s NPR program, Tell Me More, ended on July 31 after a seven-year run. She created the show to give a voice to people of color, who too rarely hear their concerns discussed in the media. And the program certainly provided that voice: the NPR ombudsman noted that one of the “hundreds” of listeners protesting the closing wrote,  “Tell Me More is the only show I know of that features ‘minority’ stories as just regular stories. . . .Where else can you hear a discussion about the issues of the day and the panelists are from four or five different ethnic or racial groups but no one is expected to be the spokesperson for their ethnicity or race?”

According to NPR, the show was terminated because it had a relatively small audience, lost money, “and is a victim of shifting strategies” (NPR wants to spend more resources on its growing digital audience). Martin will stay with NPR as a producer contributing to other shows. However, as her farewell to Tell Me More, she lets us in on some things that even she has left unsaid. Her theme: the particular difficulties women of color face in balancing career and family life.

What has made a trying situation even more painful is the sense that our story is not worth telling. Too often in my baby-boomer generation, women of color have had to fight our way into conversations that should have included us to begin with. That needs to change. It needs to change because while we have many experiences that are similar to those of our white colleagues, we are also living with realities that are very different. I believe that if those conversations had taken place, had been truly inclusive, and had considered a broader array of life experiences, we would all be further along than we are now in addressing so many of the things that, for many women, make life more difficult than it needs to be.

Read more about these difficulties in National Journal

 

 

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