Ethnic media expand audience by 8 million adults in 4 years; outlets now reach 57 million Blacks, Latinos and Asians

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Poll for New America Media Puts Penetration at 82% of Targeted Markets

ATLANTA –Over the last four years, the ethnic media have picked up 8 million new readers, viewers and listeners, and now regularly reach 57 million people in the US, according to a poll released today by New America Media (NAM).

The increase comes as mainstream media, especially metropolitan daily newspapers, struggle to keep their audiences.

NAM, an organization that collaborates with more than 2,500 ethnic media outlets, released the poll during their National Ethnic Media Expo & Awards at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency Hotel.  The survey, conducted by Bendixen & Associates, contacted 1,329 African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American adults. It has a 2.7 percent margin of error.

“The poll results demonstrate significant penetration for the ethnic media,” said Sandy Close, NAM’s executive director, noting they regularly reach 82 percent of African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American adults. “The thirst for relevant news and information has made many residents of ethnic communities turn to media outlets that do substantial reporting on their culture, issues and neighborhoods. The increase in ethnic media audiences is incredible, considering the declines that many mainstream media outlets are confronting.”

Moreover, the poll found that Asian Americans reported that they turn to ethnic media for news coverage of their home countries.  For instance, new ethnic television stations, such as KCNS-TV (Chinese) in San Francisco and VATV (Vietnamese) in the Washington D.C. metro area, are popular because of their home country coverage.
The poll also found that:

  • The penetration of Spanish-language television – led by network giants Univision and Telemundo – increased during the last four years and is now almost universal, covering 86 percent of the country’s Hispanics.  New Spanish language television stations are broadcasting in Raleigh, N.C. and Seattle.
  • The availability of African American-oriented channels is still limited, but a majority of black adults report watching Black Entertainment Television (BET) and similar channels on a regular basis.  Meanwhile, the penetration of African American-oriented radio stations has increased. They now reach two-thirds of black adults.  
  • Newspapers like Sing Tao, the World Journal, Korea Daily and Korea Times have substantially increased their circulation during the last four years.  The reach of weekly and monthly publications that cater to the interests of the Filipino and Asian Indian populations has also expanded.  A biweekly newspaper for the Filipino community launched in 2007—the FilAm Star published in San Francisco.
  • Many new Spanish-language newspapers have begun publishing in the last four years and now reach more than one-third of Hispanic adults. New publications include Padres & Hijos in Atlanta and La Voz de San Diego.

Sergio Bendixen, president of Bendixen & Associates, said the polling also showed that a substantial percentage of African American, Hispanic and Asian American households have cable or satellite service.  “What’s clear is that even as the country suffers through a recession, ethnic communities are staying tuned into ethnic media,” Mr. Bendixen said, noting that an increase in penetration for African-American publications was sparked, in part, by interest in Barack Obama’s candidacy and presidency.

Ms. Close said the increases in penetration come as the ethnic media are transforming themselves and preparing to play broader roles in their communities.

Ms. Close unveiled an emergency network system that will send urgent health and disaster alerts to 3,000 ethnic media outlets, which will then transmit those messages to ethnic communities.

“This state-of-the-art system will open the doors to ethnic communities that are not reached by mainstream media,” Ms. Close said. “The poll results reinforce the importance of using the ethnic media to communicate with populations—many don’t speak English–which have often been ignored.”

It’s clear, Ms Close said, that “ethnic media can be counted as an important segment of the New Media, and will continue growing in audience and influence in the future.” 

New America Media is the country’s first and largest national collaboration and advocate for more than 2500 ethnic news organizations. Over 51 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries and to America through 3000+ ethnic media, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with offices in New York and Washington D.C. NAM also partners with journalism schools to grow local associations of ethnic media around the nation.

Visit NAM’s homepage for news and updates programs.


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