Media in Focus: A Blog Ends, Another Expands, and a Newspaper is Born

Here at Voices we were saddened to hear, via The South Asian Times, that the blog Sepia Mutiny shut down after almost eight years of posts from young South Asian-Americans on politics, culture and religion, as well as quirky musings on the immigrant experience, and some good chuckles too.

But we were comforted by two pieces of good news for New York City’s local and immigrant news landscape:

A new Spanish-language print publication, INDIGNación, with roots in the Occupy Wall Street movement but ambitions to be an ongoing “people’s mic” of Latino voices, got a strong start last month, distributing 25,000 copies.

And the long-promised expansion of the Ippie-award-winning New York City news site DNAinfo into all five boroughs came to fruition last week.

In the video above, by our friend Jenny Marc for GlobalPost, Pablo Benson Silva, the editor of INDIGNación, explained why he and his fellow volunteers started a print newspaper.

“This is probably the worst possible time to start a newspaper or to even talk about creating a newspaper,” said Silva, who started out as a Spanish translator for the Occupied Wall Street Journal. “It’s kind of a dying medium. So yeah, not in my wildest dreams did I think I’d be starting a printed newspaper.”

But a print newspaper turned out to be the best way to reach the movement’s target audience, Silva explained.

“We can’t really purport to speak for the 99 percent if there’s this huge language barrier that’s dissuading people from joining the movement,” he said.

INDIGNación, which started out online earlier this year, is seeking donations for its operations on the fundraising website Indigogo.

The expansion of DNAinfo’s coverage area to include all five boroughs of New York City has been underway for the past few months, according to the website, which has hired a crop of new reporters to pound the streets.

DNAinfo plans to expand its coverage to all five boroughs. (Image via DNAinfo) began covering the South Bronx, parts of Queens and Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick at the start of 2012, and will continue adding neighborhoods throughout the year. About a dozen journalists were added to a staff of nearly 30 for the launch of New York.

As for the much-mourned Sepia Mutiny, the blog’s owner, known as Abhi, offered a positive spin on its demise.

“I also truly feel that the mission of Sepia Mutiny is complete, especially for what I envisioned SM would be all about,” he told The South Asian Times. “Back in 2004 there was very little brown representation in the media and very little ‘voice’  representing us. There was not a single loud speaker for the South Asian American community. Now there is quite a bit more and brown is everywhere. There seems much less need for a ‘mutiny,’ given our strides.”

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