NYC community media Open Letter to NYC and State Leaders seeks legal protection of ad initiative

by PDM STAFF

Members of the Filipino American Press Club of New York attend a press-con with the then-Consul General Tess Dizon-De Vega | File Photo Lambert Parong/Kababayan Media

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On May 22, 2019, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Executive Order 47, one of the most consequential measures supporting the city’s community media industry, directing all city agencies to spend at least 50 percent of their annual print and digital advertising budgets on community media publications.

The initiative has been a resounding success, as shown in an independent report by the Center for Community Media (CCM) at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. In the fiscal year after the executive order was signed, New York City spent a record $9.9 million on community media publications, 84 percent of its total print anddigital advertising budget. We were offered a lifeline as we saw city agency campaigns rolling in, many of us receiving them for the first time.

We are more than 230 print and digital publications serving communities in all five of the city’s boroughs, publishing in 37 languages. Without advertising from city agencies, many of us would not have survived the pandemic that saw so many businesses – who had advertised in and even distributed our newspapers – shutter across the city. Many of these businesses may not return, and now more than ever, we have an essential role to play in helping our readers survive and rebuild in the wake of this pandemic.

These public service campaigns reached vital communities of color and immigrant communities, in many languages, creating awareness about the resources available to them during the pandemic, guiding them on how to access critical services, and encouraging stronger civic engagement from an informed and responsive citizenry.

As we move into a new year and get ready for the 2021 municipal elections, it’s time to build on the remarkable progress made by the de Blasio administration. Important steps are necessary to build on the progress made by the mayor:

  1. A renewed commitment from city leaders to continue the current policy of allocating at least 50 percent of the total print and digital ad budgets to the local community media, while maintaining a robust ad budget
  2. City Council legislation to solidify this commitment and protect it from political or administrative changes.
  3. Effective implementation of the new legislation in its true spirit

We also ask that the New York State government and Legislature follow suit. Like the City, the State will also find the community media a necessary partner in building a more engaged society.

Kowshik Ahmed, Editor, Weekly Bangalee
Najmul Ahsan, Publisher, Weekly Parichoy
Manuel Alcantara, Editor, Peruanisimo News
María del Carmen Amado, Newspapers Group General Manager-Editor, Westchester Hispano, New York Hispano
Czarinna Andres, Co-Publisher, QueensPost
Lovlu Ansar, Executive Editor, Bangladesh Pratidin
Ruben Avxhiu, Editor-in-Chief, Illyria
Michael Babwar, Publisher, Caribbean Times News
Liudmyla Balabai, Managing Editor, ForumDaily Inc (ForumDaily.com)
Kevin Benoit, Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Parlé Magazine
Helen Cadena, Ad Sales Representative, Ecuador News, Ayllu Times
Isseu Diouf Campbell, Publisher, Africa in Harlem
Ibrahim Chowdhury, Editor, Prothom Alo
Angie Damlakhi, Owner, Allewaa Alarabi Newspaper
Silvana Diaz, Publisher, Noticia, El Correo NY
Sheikh Musa Drammeh, Publisher, Muslim Community Report, Parkchester Times
M. R. Farrukh, Publisher, Weekly Awaz
George Fiala, Publisher, Red Hook Star Revue
David Mark Greaves, President & Publisher, Our Time Press
Sunil K. Hali, Publisher, Divya Bhaskar North American Edition, The Indian Eye Newsweekly
Michael Hinman, Editor, The Riverdale Press
Rick Ho, General Manager, Sing Tao Daily
Manzoor Hussain, Executive Editor, Weekly Dunya International
Paul Jackson, Publisher, Harlem Times
Léopold L. Joseph, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Haiti Observateur
Adnan Khalil, Chief Editor, Al Hawadeth Newspaper
Maude LeBlanc, Editor-in-Chief, Haiti Progress
Henry Levy, Editor & Publisher, Jewish Post
Paddy McCarthy, Publisher/Editorial Director, The Irish Examiner
Debbie McGoldrick, Senior Editor, Irish Voi
Alec Meeker, Publisher, Bushwick Daily
Kamlesh C. Mehta, Publisher, The South Asian Times &
Forsythe Media Group, LLC

Hameed Minhas, Publisher, New York Awam
Síle Moloney, Interim Editor-in-Chief, Norwood News
Mutiu Olawuyi, Editor-in-Chief, New York Parrot, Parkchester Times
Kishor Panthi, Editor-in-Chief, Khasokhas
Cristina DC Pastor, Founding Editor, The FilAm
Pearl Phillip, Editor-in-Chief, Caribbean American Weekly, The Immigrant’s Journal & Workers’ World Today Publications
Garry Pierre-Pierre, Founder/Publisher, The Haitian Times
Edward B. Prial, Publisher, The Chief Leader
Ilayas Quraishi, Chief Operating Officer, Parikh Worldwide Media, LLC, and ITV Gold
Mahfuzur Rahman, Editor & Publisher, Weekly Bornomola
Mizanur Rahman, Editor, Thikana
Traven Rice, Publisher, The Lo-Down
Stuart Richner, Publisher, Herald Community Newspapers
(including The Riverdale Press, Rockaway Journal, Jewish Star)
Ricky Rillera, Executive Editor, Philippine Daily Mirror
Prof. Indrajit S. Saluja, Chief Editor, The Indian Panorama
Angchhiring Sherpa, Publisher, Everest Times
Sharanjit Singh, Publisher, The South Asian Insider, and Punjabi Dunya
Mica Soffer, Publisher, COLlive.com
Scott Stiffler, Founder/Editor, ChelseaCommunityNews.com
Danny Tisdale, Founder, and Publisher, Harlem World Magazine
Sunil Tristar, Managing Director, eMalayalee Online,
IndiaLife Online, IndiaLife Television, Pravasi Channel
Angel Vazquez River, Local Sales & Marketing Director, El Diario
Momar G. Visaya, Executive Editor, Asian Journal

Stephen Witt, Publisher, KingsCountyPolitics.com,
QueensCountyPolitics.com, NewYorkCountyPolitics.com
Jeong Shin Yoon, Publisher, The Korea Daily New York
Liena Zagare, Editor & Publisher, BKLYNER

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