The hardest news to take in is the news that hits too close to home.
In a new episode of "Black Nouveau," airing at 6:30 p.m. tonight on Milwaukee Public Television (Ch. 10), we will see the impact that human trafficking is having on our community.
"What we found was that Milwaukee was a major player in feeding young people – 10, 11 or 12 years old," said producer and show host Liddie Collins of Milwaukee Public Television.
"Every week we hear of children gone missing and it’s usually tied to trafficking. Families and parents should be aware of what’s happening in plain sight around them," she said.
When we chatted this week about the program, I said that I understood why mainstream local television media would have difficulty covering this issue. On the surface, a child missing, a runaway, gets reported. Then a follow-up is done to tell the child is back into custody or is still missing. Then the report gets lost among all of the other news on TV.
But what Collins and her reporting team at "Black Nouveau" found is that sometimes the relationships between the children and those who force them into trafficking is very complicated.
"Sometimes it is the child’s family members that are doing this," Collins said. "Sometimes it is a nice person that feeds them and clothes them and takes care of them for a couple of years before anything happens."
It becomes a modern-day slavery where these young children are moved, traded and treated like property.
Collins said the first segment of the show presents a survivor, someone who got out, and looks well, but people may not realize it took 20 years of counseling for the person to get to this point. She talks with other survivors as well, to get a sense of the life they lived inside that environment.
Later in the show, she presents national and local outlets where people can find help. The Milwaukee Police Department, for the first time, has a task force dealing with human trafficking, and a large number of arrests were made in the area. They say as they work to find the inner workings of this organized crime, more arrests will be made.
"I call this trafficking 101," Collins said. "This is the tip of the iceberg of a story that needs to be told."
The show will repeat at 12:30 a.m. tomorrow on Ch. 36 and on Sunday at 4 p.m. on Ch. 36, as well.
TOP TWITTER: According to Twitter Counter, the handle @Twitter isn’t the most popular brand on the social media platform.
The winner is actually @YouTube, with more than 40 million followers. @Twitter, actually, doesn’t even come in second place in the number of followers either. That slot goes to @Instagram, with a little more than 30 million followers.
In a world where business branding and influence is attempted to be measured to appease bean counters, I tend to look at a list like this as a guide rather than a rule. There is no better measure to how a business is doing than the bottom line. However, if you are not following the almighty dollar, you can look at this list of the top 20 brands on Twitter:
- YouTube (@YouTube, 39,032,438 followers)
- Instagram (@instagram, 30,580,781)
- Twitter (@twitter, 28,675,525)
- CNN Breaking News (@cnnbrk, 15,298,299)
- Twitter en español (@twitter_es, 13,681,003)
- Facebook (@Facebook, 13,443,939)
- CNN (@cnn, 11,653,938)
- UberSocial (@UberSoc, 11,248,738)
- FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona, 11,035,246)
- The New York Times (@nytimes, 10,832,547)
- MTV (@MTV, 10,420,040)
- Real Madrid F.C. (@realmadrid, 10,058,112)
- NBA (@NBA, 9,248,845)
- TwitPic (@twitpic, 9,016,448)
- ESPN (@espn, 8,791,174)
- BBC Breaking News (@BBCBreaking, 8,658,276)
- A Googler (@google, 7,974,450)
- Ramalan Indonesia (@TweetRAMALAN, 7,848,470)
- Funny Or Die (@funnyordie, 7,785,564)
- Samsung Mobile (@SamsungMobile, 7,146,967)
Media is bombarding us everywhere.
Instead of sheltering his brain from the onslaught, Steve embraces the news stories, entertainment, billboards, blogs, talk shows and everything in between.
The former writer, editor and producer in TV, radio, Web and newspapers, will be talking about what media does in our community and how it shapes who we are and what we do.