Engagement and Ethnic Media
Elevate Engagement
May 19, 2017

Link to Google doc: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vQgE9Bk1lRgyCBl-H6n5J3Ehyl6tJIfvoONFODjGX7g/edit

Session by Daniela Gerson and Anthony Advincula

Defining questions/statements in the discussion:

  • What strategies people are using to engage with immigrants? Specifically translation tools
  • How can ethnic media can collaborate with you all in terms of translation?
  • What are your thoughts on how we can use the ethnic media sector?
  • Empower the communities that ethnic media serves
  • How to promote visibility of the journalism publications producing content already on immigrant communities?
  • How does my publication do more foreign outreach, in other languages, and what are better ways to serve immigrant populations in the United States?
  • There have been lots of pitfalls when it comes to covering and doing outreach in immigrant communities. I want to make sure we don’t repeat that mistake.
  • “We have a language crisis in American journalism.”
  • Language access is really important.
  • How do bridge the gap to include immigrants in the greater discussion of race in the United States?
  • What is the narrative, who gets to tell stories about race?

How to have a successful partnership with ethnic media
Required reading: The benefits of collaborating with ethnic media, by Rong Xiaoqing on Poynter
There is this commodification of ethnic media — you go there cause it’s hot. It’s not “hot” for ethnic media outlets. It’s their community that really matters to them.
You don’t need to need learn about the community on your own. You can work with reporters at ethnic media outlets.
Perfect example is the The New York Times story on nail salons in NY, which described the horrors and abuse that manicurists around the city endure as part of their jobs. The Sing Tao Daily (Chinese language newspaper) had investigated this almost a decade prior. But because it was never translated into English, their stories didn’t make much traction. It would do both legacy and ethnic publications good if they partnered together on investigations (bigger impact and faster impact.)
Ethnic media journalists are HUNGRY for collaboration. They want their reporting to be magnified. How do you know what’s happening out there if you don’t connect with knowledgeable people?
That being said, if you do partner, you need to give credit. Anthony Advincula, who works with New American Media (a coalition of ethnic media organizations around the country), says that when ethnic media partner with places like with IRE/NYT, their reporters often don’t even get a byline. Or even a tagline.
Credit is important in a partnership with ethnic media.
“NY Times is the worst at taking credit for other people’s stories, said Advincula.
So, in summary– What would ethnic media outlets want out of a partnership?
Opportunities for their reporters to learn skills from traditional outlets
More money to produce stories — ethnic media often work on a shoestring budget
Want their stories to get more traction, expand the visibility of their stories, and the visibility of the issues that matter to their communities
Some ethnic media reporters want jobs with traditional outlets, eventually

Today’s ethnic media landscape:
Startups — internet startups like “Good Muslims, Bad Muslims,” Latino Rebels
A lot of what older ethnic media does is an integration effort
Where do you go to find a job?
What restaurants are good to go to?
Don’t necessarily report on news back home anymore — folks can find that on the internet
What ethnic media need more of: explanations of U.S. policies and how they intersect with certain communities.

How to reach/report on immigrant communities, and ethnic media’s role in that coverage
Meet people where they are.
Doing that requires you to look at immigrant groups with nuance. New immigrants are in different places than older immigrants. Teen immigrants are different from their parents.
Some immigrants exchange information through apps like Telegram, Line, WeChat, and WhatsApp
Recognize the linguistic isolation that some communities may experience
Make a commitment to long-term coverage of a community. If you’re not doing that already, ethnic media can help here. The most damaging thing you can do to trust is to drop in for an investigation, and then disappear for years. The relationship and stories need to be ongoing, and not just on an anniversary or in unrest.
Ethnic media reporters can help with translation and dissemination of valuable information.
Do coverage from the community’s perspective. Framing is a big part of doing coverage responsibly.
High touch versus high tech engagement tactics.
“Most journalists think that ethnic media is not American media. If that mindset persists, I think ethnic media is always going to be relegated as “secondary journalism.”
Traditional newsrooms should always ask themselves, before partnering, “Whose interest are we trying to serve?” (Question posed by Ivan Roman)
Is it for PR? And checking off a box?
One good answer, and reason, is because it’s good for general audiences and for exchanging information between communities. “If you’re Filipino, you likely don’t know what’s going on in the Russian community,” said Advincula.