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

Turkey's Controversial Reform Bill Giving Investors Jitters

Homeland security reform bill will give police new powers in search, seizure, detention and arrests, while restricting the rights of suspects, their attorneys More

Audio Slideshow In Kenyan Prison, Good Grades Are Path to Freedom

Some inmates who get high marks could see their sentences commuted to non-custodial status More

'Rumble in the Jungle' Turns 40

'The Champ' knocked Foreman out to regain crown he had lost 7 years earlier when US government accused him of draft-dodging and boxing officials revoked his license More

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.
Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisiai
X
Henry Ridgwell
October 30, 2014 11:39 PM
Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Victorious Secularists Face Challenge to Form Government in Tunisia

Official results from Tunisia show the Islamist Ennahda party has failed to win the second free election since the so-called "Arab Spring" uprising in 2011. Ennahda, which handed power to a government of technocrats pending the elections, lost out to the secular party Nidaa Tounes. Henry Ridgwell reports from London that the relatively peaceful poll offers some hope in a volatile region.
Video

Video Africa Tells its Story Through Fashion

In Africa, Fashion Week is a riot of colors, shapes, patterns and fabrics - against the backdrop of its ongoing struggle between nature and its fast-growing urban edge. How do these ideas translate into needle and thread? VOA’s Anita Powell visited this year’s Mercedes Benz Fashion Week Africa in Johannesburg to find out.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.

All About America

AppleAndroid