ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* They asked the same things once about rock 'n' roll, boogie-woogie and ragtime, so why should rap music be any different?
"Is hip hop music educating or eroding young minds?" That's the scheduled issue of this weekend's edition of the "Jesse Jackson" show (at midnight Sunday, Channel 2).
Among the guests are performers Big Daddy Kane, Young M.C., Chuck D. and Sister Souljah of Public Enemy, as well as editors of The Source, a rap magazine.
* Also on the rap scene, the MTV cable network this month has brought out the first of its "YO! MTV Raps" trading cards, including some of the above performers.
The cards are similar to baseball cards, and the promotion is tied to MTV's daily rap show (4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. Saturdays) with hosts Doctor Dre and Ed Lover.
Look for the cards at record stores.
* With Secretary of State James Baker aggressively pursuing peace in the Middle East, the CNN network's investigative series "Special Assignment" takes a timely look this weekend at the history of American relations with the young state of Israel.
At 9 p.m. Saturday, "The Israeli Connection" features correspondent Mark Feldstein tracking the shift of U.S. support in recent years. The show repeats at 6:30 p.m. Monday and Tuesday.
* Longtime broadcast commentator Eric Sevareid is joining the daily radio public affairs show "Marketplace," which can be heard here at 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday on WJHU-FM 88.1.
Beginning Monday, Sevareid will do pieces every other week on a variety of topics, taking advantage of a level of experience that ranges back to early pioneering work with Edward R. Murrow.
"Marketplace" is a production of American Public Radio and concentrates on reporting on international business, finance and global marketing issues.
* The Maryland State Geography Bee that was contested earlier this month in Prince George's County, and televised by Maryland Public Television, is getting some screen time on the Comcast Cablevisions in Baltimore and Harford counties.
Reruns of the bee are scheduled on Baltimore County's Channel 36 on April 22 (11 a.m. and 6 p.m.), April 23 (noon and 7 p.m.), April 24 (1 and 8 p.m.), April 25 (2 and 9 p.m.) and April 26 (3 and 10 p.m.).
On Harford County's Channel 15, the dates are tomorrow (April 20, 11 a.m. and 8 p.m.), Sunday (April 21, 11 a.m.) and April 23 (8:30 p.m.).