In October 2012, the City University of New York Board of Trustees approved the creation of a Center for Community and Ethnic Media to be housed at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. The Center, which is financed initially by over $1.6 million in grants from various foundations, serves as a hub of research, training, and professional support for community and ethnic media outlets in the New York City metropolitan region.

Ethnic media outlets provide a cultural, political, and educational lifeline to the 36 percent of the city’s population that is foreign-born. Of those, 1.8 million residents (23 percent of the population) speak little or no English. Ethnic media serve as a bridge between new arrivals and more established immigrants and ensure that the next generation, though assimilated, remains connected to its heritage.

GOALS

In support of New York City’s community and ethnic media sector, the goals for the Center are:

  • To use research and technology to enhance audience engagement and economic sustainability
    • The center produces market research about this media segment, as well as topic-driven “white papers,” case studies and best practice manuals. We will become a national clearinghouse for information related to community and ethnic publications.
    • The Center produces research on topics that have direct applicability to small-scale community and ethnic publications, such as new advertising opportunities and ways to harness mobile technology.
  • To use education and training to raise professional journalism standards
    • The Center provides high quality journalistic training from some of the best practitioners in the field and top-notch professors at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism.
    • In addition to training journalists in digital tools, the Center offers training in basic journalism skills such as investigative reporting, fact-checking, copy editing, legal and ethical issues, and business, health and political reporting.
    • The Center also features a fellowship program for working journalists from the community and ethnic press.
    • The Center hosts regular sessions focused on business sustainability issues and opportunities to identify new revenue streams.
  • To strengthen civic engagement and cross-cultural understanding in New York City by building the capacity of this media sector to generate even better journalistic work.