Pasadena Media’s newest local news talk show “NewsRap Local with Justin Chapman” continues this Friday at 5 p.m.
Friday’s episode will focus on housing and feature an interview with Ryan Bell, a local tenants’ rights activist and member organizer with the Pasadena Tenants Union. He serves as the Southern California regional coordinator for Tenants Together, a statewide coalition of local tenant organizations dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of California tenants to safe, decent and affordable housing. Chapman will ask Bell about a new petition effort to put a rent control measure on the ballot in Pasadena in June 2022.
Bell has been involved in organizing housing justice and other social justice campaigns in Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley for the past 15 years. He is currently a commissioner on the city of Pasadena’s Northwest Commission. He also volunteers as the humanist chaplain at USC and ran for Pasadena City Council’s District 6 seat last year.
“Pasadena deserves a hyperlocal TV show where we can reflect on the top stories of the month and hear directly from the Crown City’s movers and shakers about the most pressing issues impacting the community, such as housing, policing, public health and more,” said Chapman, a Pasadena-based journalist since 2005 who has written extensively for Pasadena Now and Pasadena Weekly. “This show aims to be that space and that voice.”
Previous guests on “NewsRap Local” included Dr. Ying-Ying Goh, director of the Pasadena Public Health Department, and filmmakers Dennis Haywood and James Farr, director and producer respectively of “Thorns on the Rose: Black Abuse, Corruption & the Pasadena Police,” a 2021 documentary that examines the past 40 years of police-community relations in Pasadena.
The show launched in April and airs on the third Friday of every month on the Arroyo Channel. It is the only TV talk show that focuses exclusively on Pasadena news and politics.
In each episode, Chapman provides analysis on local news, presents a “lightning round” of the month’s top stories and interviews a special guest or hosts a panel for a deep dive into an important issue in the community.
“NewsRap Local” has already broken news. In the first episode, Chapman reported the story that Pasadena Police Chief John Perez was considering resigning within the year. Two weeks later, Pasadena Now reported that Perez made it official: he would be retiring in early 2022.”
Pasadena Media’s Arroyo Channel is available on channel 99 on AT&T U-verse, channel 32 on Charter Spectrum, YouTube, Facebook, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV and Roku.
“NewsRap Local” is written by Chapman, directed by Joshua Morales, produced by Chapman and Aaron Wheeler and executive produced by George Falardeau, CEO and executive director of Pasadena Media. The show is a spinoff from a former Pasadena Media weekly show called “NewsRap” co-hosted by Barry Gordon and André Coleman.
“We are so pleased to add this program to our Arroyo Channel lineup, providing our community with news focused solely on Pasadena,” Falardeau said. “This is must-watch television each month for everyone who cares about this city.”
Chapman is also the writer, host, producer and editor of the show “Well Read with Justin Chapman,” which also airs on Pasadena Media’s Arroyo Channel and streaming apps.
Chapman was the youngest elected official in LA County when he served on the Altadena Town Council at age 19. He has written hundreds of articles for two dozen print and digital publications, including Alta Journal, Huffington Post, LA Weekly, Berkeley Political Review, Pasadena Weekly, Pasadena Now and many others. He served as the editor-in-chief of USC’s Public Diplomacy Magazine and as a staff writer at the Daily Trojan. His book about his travels across Africa, Saturnalia: Traveling from Cape Town to Kampala in Search of an African Utopia, was published by Rare Bird Books in 2015.
He serves on Pasadena Media’s Citizens Advisory Committee and is a member of the Los Angeles Press Club. He previously served as president of the Pasadena-based nonprofit Men Educating Men About Health, as secretary of the West Pasadena Residents’ Association (and currently as a member of the WPRA Advisory Board), as secretary of the ACLU SoCal Pasadena/Foothills chapter board, as a member of the United Nations Association Pasadena chapter’s Communications Committee and as a commissioner on the city of Pasadena’s Northwest Commission. As a professional child actor, he performed in dozens of commercials, television shows, plays and movies.
“Join me on the third Friday of every month at 5 p.m. for my analysis of Pasadena news and politics and to hear directly from community leaders,” Chapman said.