OpEd: Open Letter To NYC And State Leaders Wanted, A Legal Protection For A Commendable Model

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 the community media publications.

Directing all city agencies to spend at least 50 percent of their annual print and digital advertising budgets on the 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 and digital advertising budget.

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 and digital 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.

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. 

  1. Kowshik Ahmed, Editor, Weekly Bangalee
  2. Najmul Ahsan, Publisher, Weekly Parichoy
  3. Manuel Alcantara, Editor, Peruanisimo News
  4. María del Carmen Amado, Newspapers Group General Manager-Editor, Westchester Hispano, New York Hispano
  5. Czarinna Andres, Co-Publisher, QueensPost
  6. Lovlu Ansar, Executive Editor, Bangladesh Pratidin
  7. Ruben Avxhiu, Editor-in-Chief, Illyria
  8. Michael Babwar, Publisher, Caribbean Times News
  9. Liudmyla Balabai, Managing Editor, ForumDaily Inc (ForumDaily.com)
  10. Kevin Benoit, Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Parlé Magazine
  11. Helen Cadena, Ad Sales Representative, Ecuador News, Ayllu Times
  12. Isseu Diouf Campbell, Publisher, Africa in Harlem
  13. Ibrahim Chowdhury, Editor, Prothom Alo
  14. Angie Damlakhi, Owner, Allewaa Alarabi Newspaper
  15. Silvana Diaz, Publisher, Noticia, El Correo NY
  16. Sheikh Musa Drammeh, Publisher, Muslim Community Report, Parkchester Times
  17. R. Farrukh, Publisher, Weekly Awaz
  18. George Fiala, Publisher, Red Hook Star Revue
  19. David Mark Greaves, President & Publisher, Our Time Press
  20. Sunil K. Hali, Publisher, Divya Bhaskar North American Edition, The Indian Eye Newsweekly
  21. Michael Hinman, Editor, The Riverdale Press
  22. Rick Ho, General Manager, Sing Tao Daily
  23. Manzoor Hussain, Executive Editor, Weekly Dunya International
  24. Paul Jackson, Publisher, Harlem Times
  25. Léopold L. Joseph, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Haiti Observateur
  26. Adnan Khalil, Chief Editor, Al Hawadeth Newspaper
  27. Maude LeBlanc, Editor-in-Chief, Haiti Progres
  28. Henry Levy, Editor & Publisher, Jewish Post
  29. Paddy McCarthy, Publisher/Editorial Director, The Irish Examiner
  30. Debbie McGoldrick, Senior Editor, Irish Voice Newspaper
  31. Alec Meeker, Publisher, Bushwick Daily
  32. Kamlesh C. Mehta, Publisher, The South Asian Times & Forsythe Media Group, LLC
  33. Hameed Minhas, Publisher, New York Awam
  34. Síle Moloney, Interim Editor-in-Chief, Norwood News
  35. Zawadi Morris, Founder and Publisher, BK Reader
  36. Mutiu Olawuyi, Editor-in-Chief, New York Parrot, Parkchester Times
  37. Kishor Panthi, Editor-in-Chief, Khasokhas
  38. Cristina DC Pastor, Founding Editor, The FilAm
  39. Pearl Phillip, Editor-in-Chief, Caribbean American Weekly, The Immigrant’s Journal & Workers’ World Today Publications
  40. Garry Pierre-Pierre, Founder/Publisher, The Haitian Times
  41. Edward B. Prial, Publisher, The Chief Leader
  42. Ilayas Quraishi, Chief Operating Officer, Parikh Worldwide Media, LLC, and ITV Gold
  43. Mahfuzur Rahman, Editor & Publisher, Weekly Bornomola
  44. Mizanur Rahman, Editor, Thikana
  45. Traven Rice, Publisher, The Lo-Down
  46. Stuart Richner, Publisher, Herald Community Newspapers (including The Riverdale Press, Rockaway Journal, Jewish Star)
  47. Ricky Rillera, Executive Editor, Philippine Daily Mirror
  48. Prof. Indrajit S. Saluja, Chief Editor, The Indian Panorama
  49. Angchhiring Sherpa, Publisher, Everest Times 
  50. Sharanjit Singh, Publisher, The South Asian Insider and Punjabi Dunya
  51. Mica Soffer, Publisher, COLlive.com
  52. Scott Stiffler, Founder/Editor, ChelseaCommunityNews.com
  53. Danny Tisdale, Founder, and Publisher, Harlem World Magazine
  54. Sunil Tristar, Managing Director, eMalayalee Online, IndiaLife Online, IndiaLife Television, Pravasi Channel
  55. Angel Vazquez River, Local Sales & Marketing Director, El Diario
  56. Momar G. Visaya, Executive Editor, Asian Journal
  57. Stephen Witt, Publisher, KingsCountyPolitics.com, QueensCountyPolitics.com, NewYorkCountyPolitics.com
  58. Jeong Shin Yoon, Publisher, The Korea Daily New York
  59. Liena Zagare, Editor & Publisher, BKLYNER

One More Thing

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This morning the New York Times published a guest essay by Dean Sarah Bartlett of the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY and Julie Sandorf, President of the Revson Foundation about the Center for Community Media’s Advertising Boost Initiative.

As you know, this initiative was launched to follow the progress of Mayor Bill de Blasio Executive Order 47 to strengthen New York City print and online community media.

The mayor’s effort enabled a record $9.9 million in city ads to reach community news outlets in every neighborhood of NYC last year.

Here is the link to CCM’s thread on this awesome oped for publishers who want to share:

Publishers Note: Harlem World Magazine would like to thank other 59 publishers for signing on to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s measure in supporting the city’s community media industry. We know there is power in numbers, we hope that this initiative will result in all city agencies spending at least 50 percent of their annual print and digital advertising budgets on the community media publications.

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