Our job at CUNY's Center for Community and Ethnic Media is to ensure that NYC's decision and thought leaders are keenly aware of the role of the ethnic media.
New York, NY (PRWEB) December 16, 2013
Coverage of the New York City mayoral race in the Chinese and Latino communities topped the list of the “most read” stories published in 2013 by Voices of NY, the City University of New York’s unique online publication that translates and curates the best reports from the city’s vibrant community and ethnic media sector.
Other stories on the "most-read" list included one about Latinas converting to Islam; another showcased designer fashions aimed at Moslem women. The New York Times picked up a World Journal story about the search for a design for a welcoming gate in Chinatown.
Given the size and growth of the Hispanic and Asian communities, it’s no surprise that stories targeting these readers were so popular. According to a recent report by the Brookings Institution, the Hispanic and Asian communities grew by 41 percent and 43 percent respectively over the last decade in the United States’ 100 largest cities.
New York City alone counts more than 170 nationalities. Some 1.8 million New Yorkers speak little or no English, and more than 90 ethnic groups publish in some 50 languages. New York is home to some 350 ethnic publications – among them 14 Bangladeshi newspapers, seven Chinese publications and 54 Spanish-language publications.
CUNY’s Center for Community and Ethnic Media (CCEM) is the first university-based organization to study this sector and its relationship to city government.
“Unfortunately too many of the city leaders have failed to understand the depth and breadth of this media sector and the impact it is having on the civic discourse of a city that has become a majority minority metropolis,” said Garry Pierre-Pierre, CCEM’s executive director who oversees Voices of NY. “And so our job at the Center is to ensure that decision and thought leaders are keenly aware of the role of the ethnic media."
In this media environment, Voices of NY and the stories it covers have become “must reads” for local reporters, government officials, advocacy groups and NGOs -- a kind of “tip sheet” for what’s going on throughout NYC in underrepresented communities. It also commissions original content on topics of importance to immigrant and minority populations, such as education, immigration, discrimination, politics, civil liberties, health care and inequality.
“Voices of NY gives such great breadth,” said NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Fatima Shama, who routinely circulates Voices stories to her staff. “For the immigrant communities, that’s our newspaper to look at.”
Propelled by the increases in immigrant populations, the ethnic press is the fastest growing sector of the media industry. In New York City alone, there are 18 dailies serving the city, nine of which are published in languages other than English. The combined circulation of these 18 publications exceeds 500,000. By contrast, The New York Daily News delivers about 270,000 papers to the city’s five boroughs.