Voices of NY’s Top 20 for 2013

Scroll through our gallery of this year’s high-impact stories from community and ethnic media outlets.

Native Hawaiians Keep Their ‘Aloha Spirit’ in NYC

Hawaiian food, hula dancing and ukelele workshops offer homesick Hawaiians reminders of home.

What’s in a Chinese Name? For Politicians, Plenty

Savvy city politicians enlist help to choose elegant Chinese names.

Chinatown BID Pushes Dream of a Gate

Unlike Chinatowns across the world, the one in Manhattan has no arch beckoning New Yorkers and tourists. But a plan that started four decades ago may finally be coming into fruition, reports World Journal.

Forward Dissects Major Report on US Jews

A Pew survey on Jewish Americans has found members of the community turning away from conservative factions as growing numbers step away from the religion and marry outside of the faith. An editorial in The Jewish Daily Forward lays out proposals to sustain the future of the community.

Muslim Community in Shock Over AP Revelations

Muslims are in shock over revelations that the NYPD designated certain mosques as “terrorist organizations.”

Campaigns Embrace Spanish, But What Are They Saying?

Candidates’ efforts to reach Latino voters in their native language leaves a lot to be desired.

‘Hijabistas’ Help Muslim Fashion Grow

U.S.-based designers and bloggers, know as hijabistas, hijabis and turbanistas, may be jolting stereotypes, reports Women’s eNews.

Ethnic Media is More Than a Niche

Why is ethnic media still relatively invisible and what are the costs if this trend continues?

Farm Hands Disconnected from Immigration Reform

Mexican and Central American workers in upstate New York, know little about immigration reform and whether it could help them, finds El Diario-La Prensa. Being on a farm, they have scant contact with the outside world and just want to earn a living.

Latina Muslims Face Ridicule, Find Peace

El Diario-La Prensa profiles three Latinas who have converted to Islam and face harassment from fellow Hispanics. From being called “Talibana” to trying to balance a religion seen as disparate, the women nonetheless hold strong to Islam, where they’ve found peace of mind.

Weiner Justifies Presence in Race, Asserts Agenda

In a Q&A with members of the community and ethnic media, mayoral candidate Anthony Weiner shared his views on affordable housing, fines on small businesses, and Raymond Kelly, among other topics.

Fujianese Immigrants Fuel Growth, Changes

The influx of Fuzhou immigrants over four decades has impacted major businesses in the Chinese community, reports Sing Tao Daily in a special report that focuses on the Fuzhounese influence in the garment, restaurant and bus industries.

Unconscious Polish Immigrant Patient Sent to Hospital Back Home

An uninsured Polish man suffered a stroke and without his consent or knowledge, was sent from a N.J. hospital to one in southwestern Poland, reports Nowy Dziennik. Diplomats question the legality of the move and fear it could set a dangerous precedent.

Push to Bring Halal Food to Schools Tests Candidates

The absence of halal menu choices in New York’s public schools has become a political issue in New York’s mayoral campaign as Democratic candidates look for ways to appeal to an estimated 105,000 registered Muslim voters.

Did Pakistanis Vote for a Tiger or a Lion?

When supporters of Pakistan’s prime minister-elect Mian Nawaz Sharif stamped their approval on his PML-N party’s election symbol of a tiger, were they really voting for a lion? Newspaper editors, party supporters and members of the New York Pakistani community are not really sure.

Special Report: Employers Turn Their Backs on Undocumented Workers Injured on the Job

In N.Y. and 27 other states, undocumented workers are entitled to workers’ compensation but many immigrants are unaware of these protections and are reluctant to confront their employers when they are injured on the job. They fear their bosses will fire them or worse, rat them out to immigration authorities.

‘Almost Like India, Minus the Animals’

Follow Little India’s Rachel Khona on a trip through the Indian enclave of Jackson Heights, Queens. Walk through supermarkets, sari shops, and jewelry stores, and take a seat at Jackson Diner.

Special Report: Immigrants Increase Clout, Elect Reps Back Home

Local elections to choose a representative in a faraway legislature are becoming increasingly common and New York City, with its large, vibrant ethnic enclaves, plays a visible and important role. For example, Ecuadorean New Yorkers Ximena Peña and Alex Guamán were elected last month for a seat in the National Assembly back home.

City Shortchanges Community & Ethnic Press in Ad $

The combined circulation of community and ethnic publications in the city is about 4.5 million, equal to 55 percent of the population, but they receive only about 18% of the roughly $18 million the city spends in ads a year, a new report finds.

In Astoria, A Spot Where Food and World Peace Mix

Ali El Sayed is an artist. His canvas is a plate and his brush ranges from an eggplant to a beef shank. The Egypt-born chef has owned Kabab Café for over 25 years and believes that food, not diplomacy, is the key to attaining world peace.

Coverage of the New York City mayoral race in the Chinese and Latino communities topped the list of the “most read” stories published in 2013 by Voices of NY, the unique online publication of the Center for Community and Ethnic Media at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism. Voices of NY translates and curates the best reports from the city’s vibrant community and ethnic media sector.

Other stories top stories of 2013 included one about Latinas converting to Islam and one showcasing designer fashions aimed at Muslim women. A World Journal story about the search for a design for a welcoming gate in Chinatown, featured in Voices of NY, was picked up by the New York Times.

For the full list, click here.

Given the size and growth of the Hispanic and Asian communities, it’s no surprise that stories targeting these readers were so popular. According to a recent report by the Brookings Institution, the Hispanic and Asian communities grew by 41 percent and 43 percent respectively over the last decade in the United States’ 100 largest cities.

New York City alone counts more than 170 nationalities. Some 1.8 million New Yorkers speak little or no English, and more than 90 ethnic groups publish in some 50 languages. New York is home to some 350 ethnic publications – among them 14 Bangladeshi newspapers, seven Chinese publications and 54 Spanish-language publications.

CUNY’s Center for Community and Ethnic Media (CCEM) is the first university-based organization to study this sector and its relationship to city government.

“Unfortunately too many of the city leaders have failed to understand the depth and breadth of this media sector and the impact it is having on the civic discourse of a city that has become a majority minority metropolis,” said Garry Pierre-Pierre, CCEM’s executive director who oversees Voices of NY. “And so our job at the Center is to ensure that decision and thought leaders are keenly aware of the role of the ethnic media.”

In this media environment, Voices of NY and the stories it covers have become “must reads” for local reporters, government officials, advocacy groups and NGOs – a kind of “tip sheet” for what’s going on throughout NYC in underrepresented communities. It also commissions original content on topics of importance to immigrant and minority populations, such as education, immigration, discrimination, politics, civil liberties, health care and inequality.

“Voices of NY gives such great breadth,” said NYC Commissioner of Immigrant Affairs Fatima Shama, who routinely circulates Voices stories to her staff. “For the immigrant communities, that’s our newspaper to look at.”

Propelled by the increases in immigrant populations, the ethnic press is the fastest growing sector of the media industry. In New York City alone, there are 18 dailies serving the city, nine of which are published in languages other than English. The combined circulation of these 18 publications exceeds 500,000. By contrast, The New York Daily News delivers about 270,000 papers to the city’s five boroughs.

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