America's 21st Century
San Francisco - "We are engaged in the creation of a media collaboration
America has never seen," says New California Media's (NCM) visionary
and director Sandy Close.
Journalists, commentators, photographers and community leaders
were honored at this year's New California Media Expo & Awards
2001, featuring the only multilingual, ethnic media awards event
in the U.S.
Close, executive editor of the non-profit Pacific News Service,
founder of NCM says, "In forming NCM, ethnic media are breaking
out of their isolation and connecting with one another, across language
and cultural borders. In this way ethnic media confound the notion
of "ethnic" as insular and parochial and become catalysts for a
truly global society." "In the midst of a fiercely competitive multi-media
environment, ethnic media are exploring to serve [California's]
Close's mission is applauded by many who see ethnic populations,
buying power and influence dramatically expanding in America. Her
vision and leadership at NCM is financially backed by some of the
nation's top foundations including the Rockefeller Foundation and
the Ford Foundation. (See article on Ethnic
special honoree, Alberta Lee, received an "Exceptional Communicator"
award for her courageous and successful efforts to defend her father,
Dr. Wen Ho Lee, against unfounded espionage charges. Lee described
how she had turned to and received support from the Chinese- and English-language
ethnic media "which stood up to the mainstream press and made
me realize how great this country is and what it stands for." Lee
talked of the chilling prospects that without the advocacy role played
by the Chinese- and English language Asian media in America, her father
would probably still be in prison, unfairly accused of espionage.
"It was an awakening that racial profiling can happen
to Asian Americans today. I was really ashamed of my country and
not until the judge apologized did I feel proud of being an American
again." Lee received a B.A. in English at UCLA in 1995, and
plans to attend law school in 2002. She grew up in Los Alamos, New
Mexico and currently works as a technical writer in the San Francisco
AsianConnections.com was an NCM invitee to showcase its new
media network at NCM's first-ever Expo. NCM transformed several
floors and the main theatre of the Masonic Auditorium atop San Francisco's
Nob Hill. Media booths, workshops, an evening gala awards ceremony,
elegant cocktail receptions and gourmet buffet dining, were all
well orchestrated and designed to optimize networking opportunities.
"New" online media; "old" mainstream media;
and ethnic media mixed together with ad agencies, advertisers, public
officials, community organizers and citizens.
California's Governor Grey Davis, San Francisco Mayor Willie
L. Brown, and Secretary of the California Technology, Trade and
Commerce Agency Lon Shoso Hatamiya were among dozens of public officials
attending the event.
NCM aims to raise the visibility of the ethnic news media
and its accessibility to the advertising dollar, as well as promote
inter-ethnic collaboration. Today NCM hosts a weekly television
show; a Web site that includes briefs drawn from NCM members as
well as original stories by PNS and NCM editors, available as part
of an inter-ethnic media exchange; monthly briefings bringing newsmakers
together with the ethnic media; and a placement service to funnel
advertisements to NCM members on a one-order, one-bill basis.
NCM was founded by the non-profit Pacific News Service in
1996. NCM has received support from numerous sponsors including
E21Corp, Bank of America, The California Endowment, The Asia Foundation,
Chinadotcom and the AOL Time Warner Foundation. NCM has received
major funding from the James Irvine Foundation, Ford Foundation,
Evelyn and Walter Haas Foundation, Rockefeller Foundation, San Francisco
Foundation, Community Technology Foundation, Pew Center for Civic
Journalism and the Rosenberg Foundation.