Tag: Democratic Convention

How Ethnic Media Covered the Conventions

During the Democratic and Republican National Conventions Feet in Two Worlds worked with the New York Community Media Alliance to bring a group of ethnic media journalists to Denver and St. Paul to cover the conventions, the candidates and the parties.  The following article was written by a member of the group, Jehangir Khattak, a free lance Pakistani journalist who reports for newspapers and radio in the US and Pakistan. 

For more reports from the conventions by ethnic media journalists click here

America’s minority communities are the driving force behind major economic sectors such as agriculture, service, hospitality, and construction. They fill the jobs common folks are unwilling to do, as well as create job opportunities through their enterprising skills. However, major parts of these communities remain in the shadows, and their contribution to the American dream is barely mentioned in the national media.  Little wonder that mainstream media’s intentional or unintentional neglect of these fledging communities has created huge room for the ethnic press to take root and grow. According to the National Directory of Ethnic Media, there are more than 2,000 ethnic media organizations nationwide reaching out to more than 50 million Americans, or roughly one-fifth of the total population.

The demand for ethnic media is growing at such a pace that in New York alone there are nine different Urdu-language weekly newspapers. Nationwide, the number of Pakistani community weekly newspapers, radio and television channels has crossed the 20 mark. However, the strength and importance of this uncelebrated segment of the American media has rarely been recognized in the mainstream media. In fact the more the mainstream media ignores ethnic minorities, the more it strengthens media from these communities.

There has always been a need for organizations that could recognize, highlight and connect the ethnic media with the mainstream and build its capacity to market publications meeting the highest possible journalistic standards. It’s in this context that the New York Community Media Alliance and Feet in 2 Worlds sponsored journalists from the New York-based ethnic press to cover the DNC in Denver. The initiative proved to be more productive than many had thought as it exposed the ethnic media journalists, many of whom were covering a DNC for the first time, to the vast trove of information for their respective communities. For the first time ten different communities saw the convention coverage from their angle.

Not only that, the NYCMA and FI2W’s project had some impact on the mainstream media too. The New York Times “embedded” one of its reporters with our group of ethnic journalists to write about a story about ethnic media’s coverage of the convention. Thus the initiative not only generated several blogs, dozens of stories and radio interviews, but also mainstream media recognition of our efforts. The New York Times story could be the beginning of a nationwide mainstream media effort to pull the ethnic media out of the shadows and into the limelight, recognize its strength and utility, and enter into partnership to dig deep inside America’s immigrant population. NYCMA and the FI2W deserve full credit and accolades for the thoughtful intiative to empower a forgotten side of the larger American information sector.

Jehangir Khattak is a US-based Pakistani journalist, and can be reached at mjehangir@aol.com

Radio

Antoine Faisal on the Brian Lehrer Show

Antoine Faisal, publisher of the newspaper Aramica, appeared on WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show on Monday morning. Faisal discussed Arab-American perspectives on the presidential campaign and conventions.

You can listen to the conversation here:
http://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl/episodes/2008/08/25/segments/106944

The Brian Lehrer Show is broadcasting live from the Democratic National Convention. Listen for more of Brian’s conversations with ethnic media reporters throughout the week.

Feet in Two Worlds Covers the Conventions

Feet in Two Worlds kicks off its coverage of the Democratic and Republican National Conventions tomorrow, featuring reporting by immigrant journalists from around the country who are attending the conventions. We’ll be podcasting and blogging from Denver and St. Paul, and our reporters will be on public radio with reports and analysis. Listen to the Brian Lehrer Show on WNYC, New York Public Radio each morning at 10:40 for segments with ethnic media journalists.

Journalists whose work we’ll be featuring include Pilar Marrero from La Opinion in Los Angeles, Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska from the Polish Daily News in New York, and freelance journalist Aswini Anburajan.

Monday we’ll present the first in a series of panel discussions on Deconstructing the Ethnic Vote, an in-depth look by ethnic media journalists at the conversations going on in immigrant and ethnic communities about the presidential candidates, the issues, and the parties. This event is co-sponsored by the New York Community Media Alliance. If you’re in Denver, please join us Monday at noon at the Big Tent. We’ll have more information soon about where you can hear and see this conversation on the Web, TV and radio.