Viva la Prensa: Ethnic Media Thriving

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image by Stephanie Glaros

Start seeing Sing Tao Daily, Poder, and La Noticia–these newspapers and magazines might be the future of news. At a time when many mainstream news organizations are fighting for their lives, ethnic media outlets like the heavyweight Spanish-language TV station Univision and the Bay Area’s new Filipino biweekly FilAm Star are finding more followers. According to a poll commissioned last year by New America Media, an association of more than 2,000 news organizations, ethnic media outlets saw their audiences grow 16 percent between 2005 and 2009. All told, 82 percent of African Americans, Latinos, and Asian Americans tune in to these media outlets regularly.

While they’re not immune to the recession, ethnic print and broadcast outlets have a special, trusting relationship with their audiences, who want to know specifically how an issue will affect their communities–a perspective they may not find anywhere else. For example, as Global Journalist (Fall 2009) explains, Asian Americans reading up on immigration reform proposals might be most interested in family reunification plans, while the local news or even the New York Times will focus on the proposals’ plans for guest workers or undocumented individuals.

The mainstream media would do well to pursue and nurture this sort of trust.

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