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

    Hope Remains for Rio Olympic Games

    Facing a host of problems, Rio prepares for holding the games but experts say some risks, like Zika, may not be as grave as initially thought

    Diplomats Hope to Revive Cradle of Civilization After Defeat of IS

    Diplomats from around globe gather at US State Department, discuss how to rebuild minority communities shattered by Islamic State group

    Women Voters Look Past Gender in Assessing Clinton

    She's the first female presidential nominee, but party identification, other factors outweigh gender

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora