Friday, June 19, 2009

NAM Project Sparks Collaborative Coverage of Veterans

Friday, June 19, 2009

* An African-American soldier in the Iraqi desert learns that her son has been killed in a gang shooting in South L.A.

* A Chinese-American sergeant loses his legs to a roadside bomb in Iraq and comes home to try to succeed at Cal State Fullerton

* A Latino soldier has to fight for his veteran benefits after the Army fails to provide a copy of his discharge papers

These and other stories are emerging from a New America Media (NAM) initiative that is bringing together ethnic media, journalism schools and mainstream dailies to cover the complex issue of soldiers returning home from war. The collaborative project, funded with an MF grant and coordinated by veteran editor Sharon Rosenhause, brings together Sing Tao Daily, La Opinion, Our Weekly and the Los Angeles Daily News, in an effort to build on the growing willingness of newsrooms to collaborate with one another in coverage of complex issues. In the Fall of 2009, this project will partner with Arizona State University to explore the stories of Native American veterans returning to Arizona.

To see links to the Los Angeles coverage, including a video featuring the work of Sing Tao reporter Charles Ding, click here:

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ethnic Media is Growing, Expands Audience by 8 Million in 4 Years

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ethnic media outlets now reach more than 57 million people in the United States, according to a new poll by New America Media (NAM). The survey results were released at the New American Media Ethnic Media Expo held in Atlanta, Georgia, earlier this month.

Ethnic media readers and viewers have increased by 8 million people in the last four years. The poll, conducted by Bendixen & Associates, surveyed 1,329 African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American adults in the United States.

The uptick in readership signals the deep penetration of ethnic media into the communities. Ethnic media outlets now reach 82% of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American adults. NAM’s executive director, Sandy Close, attributes this to a thirst for information in communities that are not typically covered by mainstream media outlets.

One notable finding was that Asian-Americans turn to ethnic media outlets such as VATV (Vietnamese) in Washington, D.C. and KCNS-TV (Chinese) in San Francisco for news coverage from their home country.

The Hispanic population has also embraced television as a media outlet, with Spanish-language stations such as Telemundo and Univision continuing to increase their viewership and now reaching 86% of the Hispanic population.

Sergio Bendixen, president of Bendixen & Associates, notes that through the economic downturn, ethnic media consumption has remained stable. He attributes part of the recent increase to Barack Obama’s candidacy and presidency, with many minorities finding a newfound interest in political news coverage.

Please tell us what your organization is doing to reach the ethnic community and develop your audience.

--Compiled by Jenn Bollenbacher, Citizenship Program Intern

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

McCormick Grantees Speak Out in Support of Laura Ling and Euna Lee

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Laura Ling and Euna Lee, the two Current TV journalists that were detained in North Korea, were sentenced last week to 12 years of hard labor in a North Korea labor prison. As the United States weighs its diplomatic options and obligations, many of the McCormick Foundation’s journalism grantees are speaking out in support of the two young women.

The Committee to Project Journalists (CPJ) has reached out to its Leadership Council members, informing them of the involvement of Bob Dietz, the director of CPJ’s Asia program. Dietz has been working with the families of both journalists and assisted them in voicing their concerns publicly. Dietz has also appeared on such broadcast outlets as NPR, Fox News and Al Jazeera. Additionally, CPJ has reached out to press groups around the globe to sign a joint appeal.

The International Women’s Media Foundation has condemned North Korea’s sentencing of the women, fearing that their imprisonment is unrelated to their work as journalists and instead is being used as pawns in broader political circumstances. IWMF has organized a petition in support of the young women’s release and has encouraged members of journalism groups to call for the release of Ling and Lee.

The Asian American Journalists Association has also expressed deep disappointment in the harsh sentencing. AAJA is worried about the safety of the two young women and urge North Korea to reconsider the punishment. The AAJA Web site features news updates and a list of related links from other media outlets.

The Journalism Program encourages all readers and grantees to share opinions on the imprisonment of Laura Ling and Euna Lee.

--Compiled by Jenn Bollenbacher, Citizenship Program Intern

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Friday, June 12, 2009

Newspaper Circulation Up 1.3% Worldwide in 2008

Friday, June 12, 2009

Despite the global financial crisis, newspaper circulation grew 1.3% worldwide in 2008, according to data compiled Gavin O’Reilly, president of the World Association of Newspapers. Nearly 1.9 billion people read a paid daily newspaper, reaching 41% more adults than the Internet. The data was presented in May 2009 at the World Association of Newspapers Power of Print Conference in Barcelona, Spain.

Other significant findings include:

Although North America, Australia, and Europe saw newspaper circulation decline by 3.7%, 2.5%, and 1.8% respectively, other markets saw large increases. Circulation increased by 6.9% in Africa, by 2.9% in Asia, and 1.8% in South America.

In the United States, combined print and online newspaper audience grew 8%. Some 52% of online newspaper readers said they spend the same amount of time as they did previously with newspaper content, 35% say they spend more time overall with newspaper content, and 81% of online newspaper readers say they've read a printed newspaper in the same week.

For the full summary of findings, visit the Center for Media Research.

--Compiled by Jenn Bollenbacher, Citizenship Program Intern

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Wednesday, June 10, 2009

High School English teacher Brings Journalism to Hispanic students

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

San Antonio high school journalism teacher Michael Guevara will be attending the Intensive Journalistic Writing Institute (IJWI) in Washington, D.C. this July, thanks to the support of The National Association of Hispanic Journalists. As the chair of the National Council of Teachers of English’s Committee Against Racism and Bias, Guevara sees firsthand that Latino males are under represented in the English classroom

The IJWI program will help Guevara, a high school English teacher at Alamos Heights High School in San Antonio, expand his skill set to bring journalism to his school, which has a 30 percent Hispanic enrollment. “Sometimes people tend to not want to award us money because the district is made up of many affluent families,” Guevara says. “It is probably the smallest of the 16 districts in San Antonio, but has the highest per pupil spending rate. They sometimes forget that it is the families, not the teachers, in the district, who are affluent.”

Since 1988, the Intensive Journalistic Writing Institute (IJWI) has trained hundreds of English and journalism teachers around the country in new approaches to teaching writing, using real examples of contemporary and classic journalistic models. To register for the July 5-11 workshop, contact Carol Lange, IJWI Director. The sessions will be held primarily at the Washington Post.

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Monday, June 8, 2009

The Messenger Stumbled?

Monday, June 08, 2009

A recent online Nielsen survey gave low marks to the media for its reporting of the issues leading up to the economic crisis. The survey, based on responses from 250,000 consumers from 52 nations, suggests that the lack of valuable information about the economic nosedive left many "blindsided" by its depth.

The reaction was most negative in Europe and North America. More than 50 percent of North Americans and 48 percent of Europeans indicated dissatisfaction with the media's coverage, compared with slightly lesser figures for other regions. (Latin America gave the media the most slack, with only 43 percent expressing dissatisfaction and 31 percent disagreeing that the media had done a poor job.)

Some critics cite the speed of events following the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy filing for the media's shortcomings. Others claim that the financial media was "too close" to the people it covered, implying that the media struggled to present an objective view of unfolding events.

Read more about the survey here.

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Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Kaiser Family Foundation Launches Health Policy News Service

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Despite the ongoing financial turmoil in the media industry and cutbacks in newsroom, topics such as health reform are being given in-depth coverage, thanks to a new health policy news service, Launched earlier this week by the Kaiser Family Foundation, the niche news site provides a new source of reporting and examines the nation’s health care system from a consumer perspective. The site covers complex health policy issues and major developments in features contributions from a wide array of leading health policy commentators and independent journalists, and includes:
  • a daily health policy report
  • original programming from Kaiser’s broadcast studio
  • regular blog and columns from contributing writers and experts
  • multimedia content through partnerships with leading news organizations, including The Washington Post, The Philadelphia Inquirer, NPR News and The New Republic
  • bookmaking and content-sharing tools.
The site is notable for its not-for-profit business model and in-depth, public service journalism. All content is available free of charge to other news organizations and the public. The site is primarily funded by the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-partisan, non-profit, private operating foundation dedicated to producing and communicating analysis and information on health issues.

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Monday, June 1, 2009

Cash Cows for Online News?

Monday, June 01, 2009

Profit generation is one of the most challenging aspects of the digital news revolution. Digital media expert Rishad Tobaccowala offers some fundraising suggestions, from the conventional to the offbeat (at least for news outlets), in the May/June issue of the Columbia Journalism Review (link courtesy of

Among Tobaccowala's ideas:

* Charging for select archived material (many online papers do this already)

* Selling merchandise

* Targeting Web advertising towards individual readers

Read more of Tobaccowala's suggestions (and add some of your own!) here.

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