ETHNIC NEWS MEDIA CONVERGES IN CALIFORNIA

By: Joel Davis

Calif. Gov. Davis Addresses New California Media Expo


SAN FRANCISCO – In a sign that the pendulum of power in
California media is swinging toward ethnic news organizations,
the New California Media Expo opened Thursday here to strong
attendance, representation by wide array of both mainstream and
ethnic media, and a keynote by California Gov. Gray Davis.

“I am pleased to honor all segments of California society,” Davis
told a diverse crowd of about 1,000. “News organizations
recognize we are America’s modern Ellis Island.”

Davis was one of several well-known politicians attracted to the
event, which also featured opening remarks by San Francisco Mayor
Willie Brown, one of the state’s top power brokers.

New California Media (NCM) is a collaboration of some 300-plus
ethnic news media organizations. This year’s Expo features dozens
of media booths representing a variety of electronic and print
media, most of them – though certainly not all –
Hispanic- or Asian-owned or operated.

Dubbed a “high-touch Expo for a high-tech age,” the daylong event
also featured workshops uniting the “new” online media, the “old”
mainstream media, and the ethnic media – together with
advertising agencies, advertisers, public officials, community
organizers and interested groups and citizens.

The day concluded with the Third Annual NCM Awards for ethnic
news media – 12 winners of a statewide, multilingual
competition honoring the ethnic press, online, TV and radio news.
Judges working with the San Francisco State Center for the
Improvement and Integration of Journalism and the Annenberg
School of Communication at the University of Southern California
pick winners. It is billed as the only multilingual, ethnic media
awards competition in the country.

Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in September 1996,
NCM aims to heighten awareness of the ethnic news media and its
accessibility to advertising dollars, as well as promote inter-
ethnic collaboration. NCM has recently launched a placement
service to funnel advertisements to NCM members on a one-order,
one-bill basis. (Over the last six months it has generated ads
worth over $165,000 for 78 NCM associates.)

Perhaps most remarkable about the Expo is its strong growth in a
short amount of time, though it comes as little surprise in a
state where whites are no longer a majority.

“Two and a half years ago, you could barely get civic officials
to blink at us,” NCM Executive Director Sandy Close told the
audience prior to Davis’ speech. “You’ve done it. You can get on
the radar screen of the most important officials and the most
important advertisers.”



Joel Davis (jdavis@editorandpublisher.com) is West Coast editor for E&P.



Copyright 2001, Editor & Publisher.

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