Sunday, December 28, 2014

The Role of Ethnic Media: Increasing in Influence

With California's growing multi-cultural population, one can expect that various ethnic groups will develop and support media outlets that focus on their individual issues. Félix Gutiérrez, a professor of journalism and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California, supported this idea when he said, “In a multicultural society, people pay attention to media that pay attention to them.”

A 2013 Pew Research Center survey showed that the mainstream media in the U.S. is declining dramatically.
Nearly one-third of the survey's respondents (31%) said that they had deserted their regular news outlets because they no longer provided them with the in-depth news and information to which they had grown accustomed.

A poll taken several years ago by the firm Bendixen & Associates, showed that ethnic media in the U.S. is thriving. According to the poll, one quarter of the U.S. population regularly turns to ethnic media for information and 13% of U.S. adults said that they preferred ethnic media over mainstream media as a source of their information.

As mainstream media outlets shrink and undergo various transformations, ethnic media outlets are continuing to assume responsibility for getting critical news and information to their individual communities.

While some might debate the extent of the growing power of ethnic media, their influence is evident in many communities throughout the U.S.

One of the nation's most prominent ethnic media organizations is New America Media, also known as NAM. In future posts, I'll say more about New America Media and describe how East Palo Alto Today and my show, Talking with Henrietta, are working with NAM to get information to the public on several important issues.

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