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Roland Martin

Roland Martin

Roland Martin

This past weekend, Roland Martin debuted as the host of a new weekly public affairs television series on TV One.

The hour-long series, “Washington Watch with Roland Martin,” premiered Sunday, Sept. 27, 2009, and will air weekly at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. Eastern time. It aims to focus on issues that matter to African Americans through interviews with Obama administration officials, members of Congress and other policymakers representing black communities, as well as discussions with journalists, commentators and policy experts.

“I am reminded of the founders of the first black newspaper in America, Freedom’s Journal, who wrote in their lead editorial in 1827, ‘We wish to plead our own cause; too long have others spoken for us,’” Martin said. “The same applies today. The voices of African American elected officials, policymakers, analysts and journalists are important, and need to be a part of the discussion on a weekly basis, and on most Sunday morning shows, they are not.”

TV One President and CEO Johnathan Rodgers said in a statement that the network has “wanted to find a way to have [Martin] as a regular on-air presence” since he first began appearing on TV One as a political commentator in the spring of 2005. He was named the network’s political editor in 2008.

“With the election of President Obama, Washington has taken center stage in the hearts and minds of African Americans, and with the many critical issues facing our country, this was the perfect time for us to launch a program to help our viewers understand what impact Washington policy decisions are likely to have on their lives,” Rodgers said.

Martin also serves as an analyst for CNN, a nationally syndicated columnist, a special correspondent for Essence magazine and a senior analyst for “The Tom Joyner Morning Show.” He is the former editor of African American publications the Chicago Defender, the Houston Defender and the Dallas Weekly, and a former reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and Austin American-Statesman.