Who/What is Community Media?

Friday morning, May 15

Host: Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, The Medium Consortium



Juana Ponce de Leon, NYC Council Speaker’s Office, formerly NY Independent Press Association

Jennifer Preston, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Iván Román, Communications Consultant, formerly NAHJ

Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, The Media Consortium

Note takers: Jo Ellen Green Kaiser, Tracie Powell

Community Media

====> Foreign language, dailies, radio, web, podcasts, hyperlocal, community and neighborhood newspapers, youth media, black (non-corporate) media

We got into a long conversation about advocacy and whether journalists do advocacy. Tracie, Juana, and Ivan noted that community journalism is based on the premise that the journalists are advocates for that particular community. We all agreed that what journalists do not do is push for a particular program, candidate, or way of thinking–that that is the realm of activism. We agreed that journalists are advocates but are not activists.

How to support community media?

  1. Peer-to-peer training
  2. Bring people inside newsrooms that are like theirs (e.g. the audience ethnic publications have), but bigger/better.
  3. Develop the audience to support the media

To connect ethnic/community/independent media you need:

  1. People who travel between worlds
  2. Institutions to come into the world of a specific paper/community
  3. Invest in individuals
  4. Provide information/access to community media
  5. Conference calls
  6. Connect radio broadcasters together

Action List

  • Peer-to-peer connections between white independent media and black and foreign language media (Jo Ellen will start this work via TMC)
  • We need to assess financial health of black and foreign language media
  • Convene editors from different places to talk deeply about differences in issues
  • Equip individuals with resources who have feet in both worlds.

NNPA (black press) – They represent black newspapers across the country.

Peer-to-peer training resources:

Ivan Roman – J students who are bilingual

Juana – News literacy for bilingual students to then work with local papers

Jo Ellen mentioned Oakland Local example – Train local youth in digital and then have them help community

Re-think the way the question is framed: Who is community media?

  • The image of independent media is YES! Magazine; it is not the “ethnic media.”
  • Influencers vs. engagement in community media. Who is community media and how can we strengthen? Allow for groups clustering around certain issues, age of people in the room.
  • Find out where there are similarities to make a difference.  Rather than provoke conflict, facilitate introspection. Value both groups as equal partners. For example, why aren’t we talking about how “ethnic publications” can help “independent media?” Is it our (ethnic media’s) role to educate independent media?