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New Initiative to Help Support and Sustain Asian Community Media

  • By Newmark J-School Staff

The Center for Community Media at Newmark J-School is launching an Asian Media Initiative (AMI), the first national effort to organize and sustain community media for and by Asian American and Pacific Islander communities across the U.S. The AMI will work to build visibility and sustainability for this vast and growing media sector through mapping and analytic research, public events, community spaces and resource-exchange networks, and targeted training and programming based on an in-depth needs assessment with Asian media leaders.  

With a population of more than 25 million, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders nonetheless remain largely invisible and underserved in traditional media. Community media for and by AAPI have existed in the U.S. for more than a century and continue to evolve to serve both newly arrived immigrants and longstanding audiences. Publishing in more than 20 languages, Asian media outlets comprise a vast and growing community news sector, and many face existential threats. 

Similar to CCM efforts aimed at Latino and Black media, the Asian Media Initiative will provide resources, research, training, and public discourse for the sector it serves. 

The initiative will be led by Kavitha Rajagopalan, who previously served as CCM’s community engagement manager. The AMI will build on her ongoing efforts to engage and highlight Asian media, from public conversations on Asian media’s response to hate crimes to a special report, Asian Media on the Front Lines. Earlier this year, Rajagopalan convened the Asian Media Women’s Network, a peer-to-peer group for women journalists and publishers in Asian media to share resources and support. As an author and policy expert on global migration, she has written extensively on Asian immigrant and refugee communities.

 “CCM has been serving individual Asian media journalists for a long time, but this initiative will allow us to strengthen our commitment to this sector and support publishers in finding paths to sustainability,” said Graciela Mochkofsky, former executive director of CCM and dean of the Newmark J-school. 

The Asian Media Initiative will:

  • Compile a national map and directory of AAPI-serving media across the country
  • Develop targeted training opportunities, workshops, and cohorts to explore new revenue models and sustainability pathways
  • Convene peer-to-peer networks for Asian media leaders to share resources and support
  • Publish original research and reporting on the sector, including a landscape report of the Asian media ecosystem and analysis of community media’s role in supporting AAPI voters
  • Host public conversations featuring Asian media leaders to share their expertise as journalism innovators and their insights on news events affecting their communities

The Asian Media Initiative will formally launch with a virtual town hall on September 15 at 4:00 pm EST. Titled Asian Media, Past and Future, the town hall will engage thought leaders and Asian media publishers in a dialogue on the evolving Asian media landscape, and how Asian media can support and connect both new arrivals and news audiences in the face of social media disinformation, political polarization, anti-Asian hate crimes, and more. The town hall will open with a conversation between Rajagopalan, CCM communications director and longtime community media advocate Jehangir Khattak, and digital storytelling pioneer Dr. Shirley Suet-ling Tang (鄧雪齡); followed by a moderated conversation between Sing Tao Daily reporter Rong Xiaoqing, Khasokhas editor Kishor Panthi, Indonesian Lantern publisher Indah Nuritasari, and Mochi Magazine editor Giannina Ong. An open, moderated discussion with Asian media journalists and newsroom leaders will follow. Register here to attend.