SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – NBC 6 is promoting racial understanding with our ‘Voices of Courage’ series. We started the conversation in Shreveport and it is continuing across the country. One of the largest stations in our parent company, Nexstar Media Group, has promoted the project. NBC 6 News Director John Walton was featured in a recent podcast..
Two newsroom leaders, discussing ideas and best practices.
“Just like everybody else we saw what happened with George Floyd and the protests and we’ve gotta do something,” said Walton during the interview.
That something became “Voices of Courage”, a conversation to promote racial understanding. Staff members of NBC 6 started the uncomfortable conversation, by sharing their own stories. Walton bravely stepped from behind the scenes, into the spotlight, to share his experience. “We want to go home at the end of the day. We want to hug and kiss the people that we love at the end of the day. And seeing those images that we’ve seen all too often, it breaks my heart,” said Walton. “And then having to explain that to my son, to my daughter, and my wife… we talk about it in bed at night… that stuff is heavy, man. That stuff is heavy.”
The goal to make something good out of something painful has sparked similar projects in other Nexstar stations, like the “Voices of Unity” series in Cleveland. News organizations are using their platform to inform and inspire.
“I’ve been in this business for 29 years and I’ve never seen a news director go on camera and be that honest and genuine and tell a real personal story so congratulations,” Ball said to Walton. “Thank you for doing it. It is really remarkable that you put yourself out there and you let yourself be so vulnerable.”