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Grown folks radio: U.S. election politics and a “hidden” black counterpublic

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ABSTRACT

President Obama's 2008 electoral triumph garnered enormous journalistic and scholarly attention, but analysts have shown very little interest in African American media coverage of the campaign. In this piece, I focus on one major, nearly ignored, black media outlet: a syndicated radio show with a huge audience, commercial success, and progressive politics. I analyze the show's construction of a powerful mediatized black counterpublic, consider its rise parallel to the neoliberal deregulation of U.S. media, and narrate its coverage of the 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns. I also consider the political effects of a new cross-media platform synergy among black and progressive outlets.

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