News / USA

    New York's Ethnic Media Honored

    Diverse city has 26 foreign language dailies

    Each year, the best work of New York’s ethnic and independent media is honored with awards from the New York Community Media Alliance.
    Each year, the best work of New York’s ethnic and independent media is honored with awards from the New York Community Media Alliance.

    Multimedia

    Audio

    New York City boasts a vibrant, diverse media landscape, with an estimated 350 weekly newspapers and 26 foreign language dailies.

    Each year, the best work by reporters, photographers and editors of New York’s ethnic and independent media is honored with awards from the New York Community Media Alliance (NYCMA). Those awards are known as Ippies.

    NYCMA director Juana Ponce de Leon explains that the ethnic press often advocates for its communities, and acts as an intermediary between the audience and mainstream society.

    She adds that her organization encourages reporters to offer practical guidance to readers, listeners and viewers.

    "It helps the communities know where there are resources to address their concerns. It’s not good enough to say ‘We don’t have enough translation services from the DOE [Department of Education]’ and leave it at that. It’s better to say ‘Not only are there those services, but if you don’t find them, you can request them. And if they don’t come to you, then you have a right to get your child to another school, for instance.’"

    The ethnic media often provides immigrants with the tools they need to negotiate everyday life in America, says 2011 Ippie winner Helen Zelon.

    "I think the ethnic press does an enormous service when it explains to people, ‘This is what happens when your kid starts school. This is what happens when you rent something. Here’s how you establish yourself here.’"

    Zelon, a reporter with City Limits Magazine, a public policy journal, often writes about education.

    "Which means you are writing about race and class and money and politics and power and privilege and all of it," she says. "And I write about child welfare, which to me is a hugely important issue that doesn’t get a lot of coverage until there is a very bad disaster and then there is a lot of attention around it and then it goes away. We do investigative reporting."

    Often, the ethnic press will cover a local story that illuminates a larger issue. For example, Ippie winner Sharon Toomer of BrownandBlackNews.com reported on a public playground with a jungle gym modeled to look like a jail. Local residents felt that associating prison with fun and play was the wrong message to send to children in their largely African-American community.

    "This might not be something that a mainstream news outlet would find as a story or find relevant, for whatever reason. So that's why we pick up the slack. And we wrote a story and there was big media firestorm in the city," says Toomer. "And eventually the housing department, within less than 30 days took down the jungle gym that was jail themed and put in a more appropriate one, which was an outer space design."

    Sometimes, the ethnic press connects immigrant stories to another issue of national interest. Annie Correal is a reporter for "Feet in 2 Worlds," an immigration news project of the New School’s Center for New York City Affairs. She won an Ippie for her audio piece about Latinos in Louisiana helping to clean up after BP’s offshore oil spill.

    "And I broke the story that Homeland Security had actually come and done a roundup to make sure everyone was a documented worker," says Correal. "And that story went national because it was, like, ‘Where are our priorities? Do we care about more about who these people are or whether the oil is getting cleaned up?’ It was a controversial story."

    From their unique vantage point, editorials in the ethnic press can highlight common experiences of different immigrant groups. Peter McDermott of the Irish Echo, won an Ippie for an editorial that compared last year’s controversy over a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero with 19th century riots against the Irish community which wanted to build a church in that same downtown neighborhood.

    "There was really no difference between the hostility against Catholics and other minorities in the 19th century and hostility toward the Muslims today," says McDermott. "People say, 'There is a big difference.' And I say there is no big difference. It was essentially the same bigotry, actually."

    The ethnic press has a vital role to play in America, according to independent progressive journalist Amy Goodman.

    "In order to ensure a democratic society, we need to cover every community, people from their own communities covering their own communities and other communities. I think the media can be the greatest force of peace on earth because it’s a forum for people to speak to each other, and to learn about each other. And there is no better place than in the diverse communities of New York and the presses that represent them."

    As the foreign-born population continues to swell, New York's ethnic press will continue to tell the stories of the city's diverse communities.

    You May Like

    US Internet Giants, EU Reach Deal to Combat Online Hate Speech

    Facebook, Twitter, Google and Microsoft commit to ‘quickly and efficiently’ act to clamp down on use of social media to incite violence, terror

    Video Tunisia’s Ennahda Party Begins a New Political Chapter

    Party now moves to separate its political and religious activities; change described by party members as pragmatic response to political and economic challenges facing Tunisia today

    Virtual Reality Fine-tuned at Asia Tech Show

    Microchip designers hope to improve resolution for users of systems that can turn your bedroom into the ocean floor

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conferencei
    X
    Serginho Roosblad
    May 30, 2016 5:11 PM
    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video Tech Startups Showcase Wares at Amsterdam Conference

    More than 20,000 tech enthusiasts, entrepreneurs and lovers of digital technology came together in Amsterdam recently at the Next Web Conference to discuss the latest developments in digital technology, look to the future and, of course, to connect. In recent years, there has been an explosion of so-called startup businesses that have created devices and applications that have changed the way we live; but, as Serginho Roosblad reports for VOA, there are pitfalls for such startups as well.
    Video

    Video US Military's Fallen Honored With Flags

    Memorial Day is a long weekend for most Americans. For some, it is the unofficial start of summer -- local swimming pools open and outdoor grilling season begins. But Memorial Day remains true to its origins -- a day to remember the U.S. military's fallen.
    Video

    Video Rolling Thunder Rolls Into Washington

    The Rolling Thunder caravan of motorcycles rolled into Washington Sunday, to support the U.S. military on the country's Memorial Day weekend
    Video

    Video A New Reading Program Pairs Kids with Dogs

    Dogs, it is said, are man's best friend. What some researchers have discovered is that they can also be a friend to a struggling reader. A group called Intermountain Therapy Animals trains dogs to help all kinds of kids with reading problems — from those with special needs to those for whom English is a second language. Faiza Elmasry has more on the New York chapter of R.E.A.D., or Reading Education Assistance Dogs, in this piece narrated by Faith Lapidus.
    Video

    Video Fan Base Grows for Fictional Wyoming Sheriff Longmire

    Around the world, the most enduring symbol of the U.S. is that of the cowboy. A very small percentage of Americans live in Western rural areas, and fewer still are cowboys. But the fascination with the American West is kept alive by such cultural offerings as “Longmire,” a series of books and TV episodes about a fictional Wyoming sheriff. VOA’s Greg Flakus recently spoke with Longmire’s creator, Craig Johnson, and filed this report from Houston.
    Video

    Video Chinese-Americans Heart Trump, Bucking National Trend

    A new study conducted by three Asian-American organizations shows there are three times as many Democrats as there are Republicans among Asian-American voters, and they favor Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump. But one group, called Chinese-Americans For Trump, is going against the tide and strongly supports the business tycoon. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee caught up with them at a Trump rally and reports from Anaheim, California.
    Video

    Video Reactions to Trump's Success Polarized Abroad

    What seemed impossible less than a year ago is now almost a certainty. New York real estate mogul Donald Trump has won the number of delegates needed to secure the Republican presidential nomination. The prospect has sparked as much controversy abroad as it has in the United States. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Drawings by Children in Hiroshima Show Hope and Peace

    On Friday, President Barack Obama will visit Hiroshima, Japan, the first American president to do so while in office. In August 1945, the United States dropped an atomic bomb on the city to force Japan's surrender in World War II. Although their city lay in ruins, some Hiroshima schoolchildren drew pictures of hope and peace. The former students and their drawings are now part of a documentary called “Pictures from a Hiroshima Schoolyard.” VOA's Deborah Block has the story.
    Video

    Video Vietnamese Rapper Performs for Obama

    A prominent young Vietnamese artist told President Obama said she faced roadblocks as a woman rapper, and asked the president about government support for the arts. He asked her to rap, and he even offered to provide a base beat for her. Watch what happened.
    Video

    Video Roots Run Deep for Tunisia's Dwindling Jewish Community

    This week, hundreds of Jewish pilgrims are defying terrorist threats to celebrate an ancient religious festival on the Tunisian island of Djerba. The festivities cast a spotlight on North Africa's once-vibrant Jewish population that has all but died out in recent decades. Despite rising threats of militant Islam and the country's battered economy, one of the Arab world's last Jewish communities is staying put and nurturing a new generation. VOA’s Lisa Bryant reports.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora