What Would State Ads Mean for the New Jersey Ethnic Press | Opinion

By Phillip Sungyong Han, Clyde Hughes and Aleksandra Słabisz

Ethnic and community media are essential sources of information for tens of thousands of people in New Jersey. Immigrants and people of color have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic and are often the first to take the brunt of economic and natural disasters – and the ethnic media are their most reliable and direct sources of information and information.

But despite the essential role of ethnic media, few ethnic media receive advertising support from the state of New Jersey or municipal agencies.

“When it comes to state advertising budgets, we think we’ve always been low on the totem pole,” said Phillip Sungyong Han, editor-in-chief of Miju News, a Korean-language weekly based in Palisades Park, NJ.

There is an estimate 150 ethnic and community media in the state, providing content in dozens of languages ​​other than English, including Spanish, Chinese, Polish, urdu, Filipino, korean, Turkish and Portuguese, among others. These posts represent nearly 30 racial and ethnic communities, but the majority say they have not received any public advertising opportunities in recent years.

If the state placed more ads in ethnic and community media outlets across New Jersey, it would reach hyperlocal audiences that the mainstream media cannot. It would also help educate, inform, motivate and engage immigrants and communities of color by creating content in the language with cultural nuances and highlighting important issues that concern them. And, it would help financially support this critical, but underfunded, sector of the media landscape at a time when the pandemic has decimated their main advertising resources.

It is not new for a government to allocate advertising funds to ethnic media. In California, for example, Governor Gavin Newsom recently allocated $ 10 million in new funding for ethnic media in the state budget for an entire year. And in 2019, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio released a Executive Decree forcing all city agencies to lead at least 50% of their print and digital advertising budgets to ethnic media. In fact, out of the combined advertising budget of $ 11.8 million this year from all New York City agencies, $ 9.9 million was spent on print and digital advertising in ethnic media.

Last month in a exclusive virtual encounter with ethnic media, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy was asked if he would follow in the footsteps of California and New York City, where advertising dollars have successfully helped ethnic media stay afloat and hold their communities fully informed. “I wouldn’t necessarily commit,” Murphy said. “But it’s something I would absolutely consider.” From nearly $ 45 billion spending plan that Murphy unveiled for 2022, it’s unclear how much has been offered for the state’s marketing and advertising budget – or if so, is for ethnic media.

“Advertising in the black press and other ethnic media goes far beyond the money spent on advertising,” said Clyde Hughes, editor-in-chief of Front Runner New Jersey. “This allows the shopper to make a powerful statement about their desire to connect with this community in a sincere way with people who will not only see their ad and message, but share it with others.”

Access to government information is closely linked to the well-being of people and the well-being of their communities. Advertising in ethnic and community media would not only narrow the information equity gap between racial and ethnic groups in the state, but it would also lessen the impact on these underserved communities in the event of a pandemic or natural disaster.

“The ethnic media have become the only channel for us to get information and external resources during this critical time. It has also become our social and emotional safety net, ”said April Xu, reporter for the Chinese-language magazine. Sing the Tao daily.

“State and local government funding can help keep our platforms functioning and better serve our communities,” added Aleksandra Slabisz, journalist for the Polish-language daily, Nowy Dziennik.

With Governor Murphy’s re-election, it is time for his administration to make ethnic media a top priority for informing the public through advertising. Without equal access to government information, it is not only the ethnic and community media sector that suffers, but, ultimately, the Black, Latino, Asian and other communities – the majority of the population combined. the state – they serve.

Phillip Sungyong Han works for Miju News (Korean). Clyde Hughes works at Front Runner New Jersey (African American / Latino). Aleksandra Słabisz is at Nowy Dziennik (Polish).

This opinion piece was also signed by:

Maria Carmen Amado, Hispano from New Jersey (Latino)

Don Tagala, ABS-CBN News (Filipino)

Kleibeel Marcano, Reporte Hispano (Latino)

April Xu, Sing Tao Daily (Chinese)

Gregg Morris, NJ Urban News (African American)

Mohsin Zaheer, Urdu News (Pakistani)

Raymond Tyler, Shore News (African American)

Marivir Montebon, OSM! Magazine (Filipino)

Selcuk Azar, Turkish (Turkish) newspaper

Laszlo Bartus, Amerikai Népszava (Hungarian)

Momar Visaya, Asian Journal (Filipino)

Orhan Akkurt, Zaman Amerika (Turkish)

Kalpesh Shah, Gujarat Darpan (Gujarati)

Abu Taher, Bangla Patrika (Bangladeshi)

Silvio de Souza, Brazilian press (Brazilian)

Diego Maya, The Latino Spirit (Latino)

Co-operative Media Center, Montclair State University

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