Ethnic Media Services (EMS, also formerly known as New America Media), a fiscally sponsored project of the San Francisco Study Center, works to strengthen the capacity of ethnic news outlets in the United States. They support these outlets to tell the stories and amplify the voices of the communities they serve while also using their expansive network to promote cross-ethnic conversations. Over the past three decades, EMS has worked with over 3000 ethnic media outlets nationwide. In California, where EMS is based, there are over 300 ethnic news outlets serving millions of households. Past studies have shown that up to 25% of American adults turn to ethnic media as their primary source of news and information. EMS’s public policy-centered journalism provides information people need to engage in the political processes shaping their lives. Developing a diverse communications infrastructure that serves the public interest and supports participatory democracy is their goal.
ORA Action Research Grant Project
A quick scan of today’s ethnic media reveals an abundance of headlines and story synopses that cover disparate elements of the larger polycrisis including migration, racial persecution, inequitable economic development, and indigenous communities striving to secure their own destiny. These are hyper-local news outlets that connect their communities to the larger national and global context in which local events are unfolding. However, many of these reporters are not aware of the systemic drivers at work that comprise the polycrisis. EMS proposes to conduct an experiment whereby it will educate its network about the polycrisis and then choose 8 journalists to do some in-depth reporting that explores the linkages between the issues they typically cover and the global polycrisis. EMS will provide technical and editorial support to the selected journalists and will publish/air their stories on their platforms and via social media channels. At the conclusion of the project they will produce a study that explores this question of salience around the polycrisis and where opportunities and challenges lie in relation to expanding and improving media coverage.