NCM Awards Show Is Launching
for First National "Ethnic Pulitzers"
Jose, CA: New California Media is going national. Just before
changing its name to New America Media, the San Francisco-based
group threw its 7th Annual Awards ceremony, celebrating the
best journalism in California's ethnic media, on Jan. 26 in
The sold out banquet boasted an audience of 800, and included
journalists, advertisers, community advocates and elected
officials - from California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson
to media leaders like Hardy Brown, publisher of San Bernardino's
Black Voice news and Rick Rodriguez, president of the American
Association of Newspaper Editors and editor of the Sacramento
"The award winners kept repeating 'New America Media,'"
said executive director Sandy Close, "as if the name
magnified all of us in the room by putting us on the national
The ceremony celebrates ethnic media of all types; television,
print, radio and Internet news organizations submit entries
in multiple categories, including health care, investigative
reporting, youth voices and international affairs. Many of
the stories focus on immigrant tales of successes and obstacles
in their new country. Winners reported stories ranging from
an underground economy of cars sold to illegal immigrants
- to Indian American men falling victim to extortion through
exploitation of Indian dowry laws.
Congressman Mike Honda, a speaker at the event, said the role
of journalists as "rabble rousers" is important
to raise questions on topics Americans seldom consider. He
points to former Army Chaplain Capt. James Yee, an awardee
at the event, as one example.
Capt. Yee served the Muslim detainees in Guantanamo Bay as
a chaplain. He was arrested on espionage charges and spent
76 days in solitary confinement.
Bernard Lloyd, an advertising representative at Los Angeles
Sentinel, a weekly serving the African American community,
said he read Yee's story in a major newspaper and thought,
"This guy is going to spend the rest of his life in jail."
He read another, he said, and thought, "This guy is definitely
going to spend the rest of his life in jail." Only after
picking up the Japanese-American paper Rafu Shimpo did he
read an account of the story that was less "cut and dry,"
Yee was eventually cleared of all charges and was given an
honorary discharge from the Army.
Lloyd also said Sandy Close made a "great idea"
come to life through organizing the ethnic media. He compared
NCM with the more established New York Press Club, saying
the California upstart is earning its way to national recognition.
Close's outfit represents publications "never recognized
outside their own communities," he said.
Public relations consultant Lee Callaway and husband of honoree
Tami Adachi of PG&E, said "more people need to be
aware of how important it is to work with ethnic media."
At the ceremony, New America Media also announced the First
National "Ethnic Pulitzers," scheduled for November
14, 2006 in Washington, DC.