Executive Director, Center for Community Media
The mission of CCM is to serve news organizations that provide essential local coverage for populations whose voices and issues are underrepresented in mainstream media. The Center serves as a hub of information, resources, and training aimed at increasing the sustainability of this news media sector.
Communities of color and immigrants often rely on their own news outlets as the only trusted sources of information. Yet these news outlets remain largely invisible to mainstream media, public officials, the nonprofit sector, advertisers, and philanthropic organizations.
The single most pressing issue these outlets face is financial stability. They suffer from the same business pressures burdening all news organizations today. But they face additional unique challenges that include being resource-starved for a longer period of time, lacking access to professional training, often serving smaller audiences, and producing news in non-English languages which limit distribution. While some community media outlets have adapted and are thriving in a digital news environment, many lag behind in adopting the technologies and techniques now available to engage audiences.
As a result, at a time when immigrants and communities of color are under increasing threat, the media outlets that serve them are deprived of the critical resources needed to sustain the delivery of important news.
CCM plays a key information and networking role, ensuring that community news outlets from across the country have access to the same research, tools, funding, and training as mainstream news outlets. It serves as a resource hub and bridge to other organizations, professional associations, and foundations. CCM also connects community and immigrant media outlets to each other across the country, so that they can easily share best practices and experience the benefits of networking. This was achieved, in part, through collaborative relationships with regional partners in key locations, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, El Paso, and Denver.
In addition, CCM runs the Newsmakers Series, a program of on-the-record conversations with public officials attended by community journalists. The series aims to increase coverage in this media sector of public officials and government agencies and departments, as well as foster better communication and promote civic engagement. Past Newsmakers have included conversations with New York City Council Speaker Corey Johnson, Comptroller Scott Stringer, Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, then-Public Advocate Letitia James and numerous city commissioners.
In January 2020, CCM launched the Advertising Boost Initiative to help print and online outlets in New York City to become more effective in accessing their share of city agencies’ advertising budgets. CCM serves as an information bridge between the outlets, city agencies and advertising agencies.
The Center for Community Media launched the 2021 NYC Elections Initiative to support community media in deepening and expanding their coverage of the elections, and connect their publishers with prospective advertisers in political campaigns, city government agencies, and voter education campaigns.
The Center for Community Media launched the Black Media Initiative in 2020 to support Black media outlets through advocacy, convenings, training and research. Its aim is to be a one-stop resource for publishers of Black media, connecting them with available resources to build their capacity and stay sustainable.
Born out of the Newmark J-School’s Spanish-language program, the Latino Media Initiative is a series of programs designed to provide resources to the Latino news industry. These resources include research, an annual conference, and specially designed trainings and bootcamps for journalists, industry leaders, and entrepreneurs. It also includes a “Community of Practice”—an industry network that meets both in person and virtually to brainstorm solutions to common challenges—for Spanish-language publications.
CCM offers dozens of free workshops and custom trainings designed by J+ for local journalists, as well as targeted fellowships, with a special focus on digital skills and business sustainability.
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The Center for Community Media will produce significant research about media sectors both owned by people of color and that cover communities of color and immigrant communities across the country. The goal of this research is to fill the data gap and make the findings publicly available. Our research topics will center on critical issues such as sustainability and capacity building, as community news outlets face unprecedented financial uncertainty.
See links to existing maps and directories from regions of the U.S. and nationwide that showcase community media outlets.
Between 2012 and 2019, the Center for Community Media (CCM) was called the Center for Community and Ethnic Media (CCEM). It focused exclusively on New York City, serving as a bridge between community and immigrant media outlets, public officials, mainstream media organizations, and the public at large.
(Photo by Brock Stoneham)
Executive Director, Center for Community Media
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