The Center for Community and Ethnic Media (CCEM) at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism builds a bridge between minority and ethnic media and mainstream media outlets and the public at large through close and collaborative contact with more than 300 community and ethnic media outlets headquartered in the New York metro area that serve readers, listeners and viewers across the nation. Through its work, CCEM elevates the stature of these newsrooms, helps journalists to develop professionally and aims to strengthen civic engagement and cross-cultural understanding in New York City by building capacity in this media sector.

The Center does this work in New York, but we are a model for institutions seeking to support the rich diversity of voices and experiences in communities across the U.S. At a time when people of color and immigrants are not only marginalized but often abused, CCEM plays a pivotal role in ensuring that the output of community-based media outlets becomes part of the larger national discourse.

Housed at the CUNY J-School, the only publicly-funded graduate school of journalism in the Northeast, CCEM also offers journalism students resources for collaboration and a better understanding of the diverse media landscape. The City University of New York Board of Trustees in October 2012 approved the creation of the Center for Community and Ethnic Media at the CUNY J-School. CCEM was financed initially by more than $1.6 million in grants from various foundations.

CCEM engages in the following activities:

*Showcasing the best work of community and ethnic journalists on its flagship site, VoicesofNY.org. Working with translators and contributors, including J-School students, Voices of NY reflects the news and views of a rich diversity of communities by publishing stories not found in the mainstream press. Through Voices of NY, CCEM is able to demonstrate the important contributions made by this media sector.

*Offering numerous educational and training opportunities to help journalists hone their skills. CCEM offers special training in digital skills from 360 video to podcast production supported by a five-year, $1 million grant from the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment. Special training fellowships in business reporting and health reporting are also offered to reporters and editors in the community and ethnic media.

*Sponsoring Newsmakers and roundtable events at which government officials and others are questioned by the community and ethnic press.  These CCEM briefings provide reporters with special access to public officials and civic leaders, and help train reporters in interviewing techniques and how to report effectively on immigration, housing, elections and much more.

*Conducting research on topics of interest to this media sector. Reporters, editors and publishers in the non-mainstream media face competitive pressures as great if not greater than those faced by the mainstream media. CCEM’s research on topics such as how to garner more government advertising and how to adopt new digital strategies helps community and ethnic media better navigate the media landscape.

*Rewarding the best work of this media sector with CCEM’s annual IPPIES awards. The IPPIES awards program is the only New York-area competition that recognizes excellence among journalists, photographers, graphic artists, editors, publishers and broadcasters of the ethnic and community media. In June of 2018, CCEM hosted the 16th annual IPPIES event at the CUNY J School, where $8,750 in cash awards in nine categories were distributed.