The Missing News in Black America

Frederick Lowe was scanning a news article about the decline in prison populations, and a detail way down in the story caught his eye.

Black inmates account for the majority of state prison inmates, and do so in a number way before their share of the population. He read that and wondered why that wasn’t something pointed out earlier in the story.

Doesn’t it matter, he thought. Why would it be buried so low in the article?

So he decided that’s something to share and here’s what he did:

by Frederick H. Lowe
The nation’s overall prison population in state and in federal institutions dropped for the third-consecutive year in 2012, but it was not necessarily good news for African-Americans.

It’s was he does lately. He is the editor, creator  and spirit behind the Northstar News and Analysis.

Taking his inspiration from Frederick Douglass and his North Star News, Lowe created a weekly online outlet with a specific goal. He wanted to write about black men “without the negative portrayal” that so often takes place.

With 30 years in journalism, reporting for publications such as the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times and the Philadelphia Daily News, he knows what is news, how the news media operates and, most importantly, how news creates indelible images that reality cannot wash away.

So he looks for stories that explain black history that few have heard about. He searches for details that explain what’s happening in black America today.

It’s a struggle, but he is committed to it.


Because he would like to read about black art and culture that he knows exists but gets little attention. Because he would like to catch a local TV news presentation of crime that is more than a body count of black souls. Because he would like to hear more people talking about what’s happening to black families and how black police fit see themselves in the struggle for control of big cities’ streets today.

Do you see these stories? Do you see the news that Frederick H. Lowe says is a ghost in our daily lives?

Talk to me. Talk to us., or call me 312 369 6400. And take a look at the North Star News & Analysis.





  • Larisa

    August 23, 2013 at 8:44 pm

    The media is shrinking. With newspapers laying off or closing shops, there is very little opportunity for those stories such as Mr. Lowe uncovered to get covered. Print is no different from broadcast when it comes to ratings or readership. It all boils down to what sells and that is often at the expense of good stories reflecting positive change in communities often depicted as decimated by crime. Also there is a lack of diversity in the newsroom — Black, Latino, Native American, Asians who can champion those stories that focus on art, culture etc. maybe we should be looking to the web and independent on line news publishers to fill that void as Mr. Lowe has done.

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