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 is 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.