The News Beat Podcast is a short-form educational and political news podcast focused on social justice and civil liberties issues, that melds the worlds of journalism and music.
We elevate journalistic storytelling through interviews with experts, thought leaders, academics and activists, coupled with original verses from musicians and independent hip-hop artists to foster a deeper connection with listeners and deliver an alternative narrative on some of the most pressing issues, events and people shaping our world.
Morey Creative Studios, longtime publisher of the award-winning Long Island Press, launched News Beat to continue the mission of truth-telling and journalistic integrity that guided the Press for its nearly 15 years of publication. News Beat utilizes verse, beats, and audio to educate, inform, and inspire our readers and listeners—interacting with the public on a whole new level in the process.
News Beat illuminates under-reported social justice, civil liberties, and human rights issues through hard-hitting independent journalism and incendiary indie hip-hop. We seek to incite, inspire, and spark true, meaningful change.
With News Beat, you’ll no longer simply read the news; you’ll hear it, and you’ll literally feel it. Most importantly, News Beat presents an alternative take to widely accepted narratives on its featured topics, arming listeners with important knowledge and insights that they likely wouldn’t hear from mainstream media—provoking thought, spurring questions, and challenging long-held beliefs. News Beat episodes clock in at roughly 20 minutes each—far less than the average podcast length of 35 minutes, and yet long enough to listen to in their entirety during the commute to work.
Think how “Schoolhouse Rock” broke down educational barriers by leveraging an original score in a televised cartoon format, and more recently, how “Hamilton” has brought history to life through hip-hop and theater.
The host and producer of News Beat is Michael “Manny Faces” Conforti, hip-hop journalist, DJ, producer and lecturer, founder of New York hip-hop publication Birthplace Magazine and hip-hop non-profit The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy. Its editor in chief is Christopher Twarowski. Rashed Mian is News Beat’s managing editor.
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News Beat Host & Producer
Manny Faces, is the host and producer of the News Beat podcast. He's an award-winning journalist, podcast producer, entrepreneur, and founding director of Hip Hop nonprofit, The Center for Hip-Hop Advocacy. As a podcast professional, Manny produces other acclaimed shows including Hip-Hop Can Save America!
News Beat was awarded Best Podcast at the 2018 and 2021 New York Press Club Journalism Awards, and the 2019 and 2020 Society of Professional Journalists/PCLI Awards, while Hip-Hop Can Save America! is listed as “recommended material” at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
In 2019, Manny launched a podcast production and consultant firm, Manny Faces Media, and he continues to produce and develop audio projects for various businesses, nonprofits, and journalism outlets, with a focus on amplifying underrepresented voices and sharing their often under-reported, stories.
Manny is also an accomplished public speaker, DJ, and if none of this is impressive enough, he is also a living kidney donor, so there is that.
Editor in Chief
Christopher Twarowski is editor in chief of News Beat, and former editor in chief and chief of investigations of the alt-weekly Long Island Press. He holds an M.S. in Journalism with a specialization in investigative journalism from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism and was an inaugural member of the school’s Toni Stabile Center for Investigative Journalism. He also holds an M.A. from the school with a concentration in business and economics. Twarowski has written for the financial and metro desks of The Washington Post and has earned more than 150 local, state and national journalism awards and accolades. Follow him on Twitter at @investigations1.
Rashed Mian is the managing editor of News Beat. Mian previously covered civil liberties and the Muslim American community for Long Island Press. Mian graduated with a degree in journalism from Hofstra University. Mian is interested in under-reported stories that impact disenfranchised communities as well as issues related to civil liberties. You can find him on Twitter at @rashedmian.
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