Nearly 60 million Americans now regularly get information from ethnically oriented TV, radio, newspapers, and websites, many of which are published or broadcast in languages other than English--and that number is on the rise. New America Media, the non-profit group that supports ethnic media producers nationwide, commissioned a poll by Sergio Bendixen.
As mainstream newspapers and cable news channels in the United States are losing more money, readers, and viewers each year, ethnic media appears to be "maybe the most vibrant part" of the media landscape, said Bendixen, releasing the latest statistics this month. "The ethnic media is growing, and it is growing at a very impressive rate," Bendixen told a meeting of media producers.
Spanish-language television giants Telemundo and Univision have captured large shares of the U.S. viewing audience, but smaller Spanish stations are having an impact as well. Channels have popped up to serve Hispanic populations in new locales like Raleigh, North Carolina and Seattle, Washington, Bendixen said. And the majority of African Americans report watching BET or other television channels with African American-oriented programming on a regular basis.
To determine where the 69 million Hispanics and African and Asian Americans in the United States get their information, Bendixen's company conducted a poll in eight languages. They determined that more than four out of every five Americans of those ethnic backgrounds are now being informed on a regular basis by ethnic media. Many consider non-English programming their primary source of information, though most also get information from mainstream, English-language media like CNN, Fox News, and the major networks CBS, NBC, and ABC.
The number of U.S. adults consuming ethnic media is up 16 percent--from 51 million to 57 million--since 2005, when Bendixen conducted the first poll of this sort. New America Media says advertisers, lawmakers, and others would be wise to pay more attention to the sector.
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Click here to see the results of the recently released study on ethnic media.
The Charlotte Area Association of Black Journalists (CAABJ) is an affiliate chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ), a nonprofit organization focused on establishing strong ties among African-Americans working in the media and expanding and balancing the media's coverage of the African-American community and experience.