In this Still Talking, we asked Thomas O’Neil-White, reporter and producer for WBFO News:
“Given that Buffalo constantly ranks among the most segregated cities in the country, do you think local media can play a role in changing that?”
O’Neil-White is a reporter and producer for WBFO News, and is a Buffalo transplant from Louisville, KY.
Growing up, O’Neil-White was an avid reader – he read The Washington Post every morning as a child. He then began reading hip hop and sports magazines, and his fate was crystal clear. He knew he wanted to be a writer. Ultimately, he earning a degree in communication studies from Buffalo State College, which helped him achieve his end goal.
O’Neil-White’s focus at WBFO is racial equity in the areas of criminal justice reform, law enforcement reform, and socio-economic and racial disparities – conditions which led to situations like the killing of George Floyd.
“I don’t believe what is happening now has affected the stories which I cover, it’s been the other way around,” O’Neil-White said. “The stories I have been doing prepared me for this moment.”
Regarding Buffalo’s renaissance, O’Neil-White heard from a community leader: it’s not a renaissance unless everyone benefits from it. Most of the capital-intensive projects are centered downtown, and money in such a large scale doesn’t reach other parts of the city as quickly, if at all.
“I think one thing the coronavirus has done is really laid bare the disparities black people on Buffalo’s East Side are dealing with.”
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