Just Ahead of Oversight Hearing, City Announces Ethnic Media Plan

Print More

Council Member Menchaca at Wednesday's rally

Samar Khurshid

Council Member Menchaca at Wednesday's rally

* * *
City Limits and Gotham Gazette are two independent media outlets, each with a mission to cover New York policy and politics. We’re teaming up to bring more of our news to a bigger audience.
* * *

Mayor Bill de Blasio and City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito launched on Wednesday an online directory of ethnic and community media and a new effort for city agencies to work with those outlets. The push to expand outreach and public messaging across different languages and communities comes as El Diario, the country’s oldest non-English daily newspaper, and other ethnic publications are struggling.

[Read the mayor’s and speaker’s proposal here.]

The timing of the announcement raised a few eyebrows – it came barely an hour before an oversight hearing of the Council’s immigration committee on ways the city can support ethnic and community media. Critics have said that the city is not doing enough to advertise and communicate with such outlets.

New York has about 95 ethnic newspapers with a combined circulation of 2.9 million people, more than one-third of the city’s population. Combined, there are nearly 200 outlets across television, digital, print, and radio covering more than 30 languages. But, in the past, city government has largely relied on English-language publications. A 2013 report from the CUNY School of Journalism found that only 18 percent of the city’s advertising budget in Fiscal Year 2012 went to ethnic media, while the rest went to mainstream outlets such as the New York Times, the New York Daily News, and the New York Post.

What kind of a grilling did the mayor’s office get at the hearing? Read more here.