Nearly 200 people gathered at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism the evening of June 5 to celebrate the thriving community and ethnic media in the New York City area. More than 25 Ippies awards were distributed to honorees in this community of more than 300 media outlets, showcasing the excellent journalism produced by non-mainstream media.
Also honored, with a Lifetime Achievement Award, was Edward Lewis, who co-founded Essence Communications Inc., one of the country’s largest African-American multimedia organizations. The company was acquired by Time Inc. in 2005.
“The Ippies is one of my favorite events each year. The work that is celebrated here serves as a powerful reminder of the vibrancy of this media sector,” said Sarah Bartlett, dean of the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
Now in their 12th year, the Ippies awards were established to honor the independent press in the metropolitan area. Originally awarded by the Independent Press Association of New York, they are now given annually by the Center for Community and Ethnic Media (CCEM) at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, and are the only journalism awards in NYC to honor reporting in English and in languages other than English by the ethnic and community press. The Ippies are considered a benchmark of journalistic excellence and are a coveted prize for the publishers, editors, and reporters in New York City’s ethnic and community press.
Garry Pierre-Pierre, executive director of CCEM, in welcoming the attendees, noted that CCEM will be doing more this year to highlight the role of this sector. The center plans an annual “State of the Ethnic Media” survey, and will continue to offer training sessions and workshops as well as sponsor roundtables and other events with NYC politicians and other newsmakers. The Center also publishes Voices of NY, an online outlet which curates stories from the community and ethnic media and publishes original reporting on topics of interest about communities, ethnic groups, immigration, labor and other issues.
The cocktail and dinner reception, held at the CUNY J School, was abuzz with local journalists who write and broadcast in Spanish, Chinese, Arabic, Bengali, Korean, Russian and other languages. Numerous representatives of English language community-based outlets were in attendance as well. Guests sampled Spanish tapas, Afghan kebabs, and pad thai before the awards ceremony.
Keynote speaker at the event was Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist, filmmaker and the founder of Define American, a campaign that seeks to elevate the conversation around immigration.
Among first place Ippies winners were: Long Island Press in the Best Story about an Immigrant Community category for “Muslim Americans: Behind the Veil of a Religion under Attack“; DNAinfo.com in the Best Investigative/In-Depth Story category for “Millions Raised by AIDS Walk Spent on Rent, Not HIV Services,” Sinovision, for best video for “Behind the Protests“; and Tablet Magazine, for Best Overall Design of an Online Publication. For a complete list of winners, click here.
Atef El Beialy, editor in chief of Allewaa Al Arabi, which won first place for overall design of a print publication, said he was “very happy” that his publication’s work had been recognized with an Ippie.
Jeff Mays of DNAinfo, who won an Ippie for his coverage of the murder of Islan Nettles, an African-American transgender woman beaten to death in Harlem, said that it was a “wonderful honor to be recognized for this coverage.”
This year, more than 150 submissions were received from nearly 50 different outlets for work published or broadcast in 2013. Entries in 10 categories for excellence in journalism – from Best Overall Design of an Online Publication to Best Investigative/In-Depth Story to Best Photograph – were reviewed by an independent panel of judges, who awarded 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. No prize was awarded this year for Best Editorial/Commentary.
Watch the ceremony below (1 hour):