Just as mainstream publishers and broadcasters have struggled to make the transition to a new online world, ethnic media has struggled as well. Many ethnic media outlets came into the most recent recession with smaller budgets and leaner operations than their mainstream counterparts, and the recession has slashed the newsrooms of traditional and ethnic media alike. Some outlets’ lack of comfort with technology, in addition to budget woes, has made the transition even more challenging.
To promote the vital stories produced by Chicago’s ethnic media, and to help ethnic media become stronger in the shifting media landscape, The McCormick Foundation funded the Ethnic Media Project, based at Community Media Workshop.
Despite the many challenges facing ethnic media, Ethnic Media Project Director Steve Franklin, a long-time Chicago Tribune reporter, has noticed many promising trends in Chicago’s ethnic media community as well, including a number of newer Hispanic/Latino online media outlets and the strength of Asian-American media, especially Indian-American media, in making the move to online. While budgets may be slim and paid reporters few, ethnic media is still committed to telling the stories about the diverse communities throughout the city. The voices represented in Chicago’s ethnic media publications are often overlooked in mainstream news, especially as that news hole shrinks, making a thriving ethnic media scene more critical than ever. Ethnic media will continue to struggle and be challenged to “do more with less,” but the Workshop sees drive and determination among many publishers to keep telling the stories about the communities and people who make Chicago the great, diverse city that it is. Finding ways, financially and strategically, to support ethnic media moving forward will be critical to its long-term success.
Here is a selection of notable ethnic media outlets among the 120 city, regional and national outlets originally on our screening list.
http://www.vivelohoy.com (ranked in citywide news)
http://www.hispanicallyspeakingnews.com (ranked in aggregators)
http://www.gozamos.com (honorable mention in Arts & Culture)
http://www.windycitymediagroup.com (ranked in citywide news)