The E.W. Scripps Company has agreed to broadcast a commercial-free special across its local stations next week in a move it hopes will “spark a national dialogue around implicit bias while advancing conversations at the local level in the 41 markets where it operates.”
“Each of us have experiences and backgrounds that shape how we think and how we interact with the world around us,” explains Scripps Local Media President Brian Lawlor. “As a steward of the public airwaves with a station footprint that reaches into nearly a quarter of U.S. TV households, Scripps has a powerful platform from which we can help facilitate critical conversations about the implicit biases we all carry and what they mean for how we connect with one another.
With that, every market where Scripps has a station will air the 60-minute special, “Hidden Bias of Good People,” hosted by Dr. Bryant T. Marks, Ph.D.
“We’re proud to bring this special with Dr. Marks to our viewers in every market in order to provide a safe space for these discussions – neighbor to neighbor – about identity and bias,” Lawlor said.
Dr. Marks is the founder and chief equity officer of the National Training Institute on Race and Equity.
Scripps notes that the TV special is “interactive and conversational, with a goal of helping viewers understand the unconscious biases we all carry based on our upbringings and environments. Implicit, or unconscious, bias refers to attitudes and beliefs that occur outside of our conscious awareness and control.”
Marks has provided training to police departments and to executives and professionals in educational institutions, nonprofit organizations and local and federal government agencies, among others.
In addition to airing the special, Scripps’ local TV stations are producing multiplatform content to aid viewers in engaging with the topic of implicit bias. Planned content includes an in-depth series on race relations and stories examining the importance of equity, diversity and inclusion to employers and job seekers.
Scripps TV stations also will host Facebook Live discussions and Zoom Q&As with local experts.