Ethnic Media Pummeled By Economy
An Associated Press story reports that the state's ethnic newspapers, especially those in Los Angeles, are now succumbing to the recessionary pressures that they had previously seemed immune to. Unlike mainstream English-language newspapers and periodicals that have suffered declining circulations, ethnic publications have held onto or expanded their readerships. But they share one critical similarity with their English-language counterparts -- eroding advertising. Another problem is that ethnic publications' older and more technologically conservative readership has made it difficult for these papers to make the exodus to online publishing -- a move that would be difficult enough for many publications that have relatively low budgets.
California's ethnic press has provided otherwise insular communities with a bridge to political education and influence, as well as supplying news about mother countries that mainstream publications pass over. While many of the newspapers serving Asian and black communities are located in San Francisco, a number have been hit hard in L.A. The Spanish-language magazine Tu Ciudad, printed by Emmis Publishing, folded last June, while the currently printed Hoy, like the Los Angeles Times, is owned is owned by the Tribune Company, which has filed for bankruptcy protection and faces an uncertain future. Southern California still has a vibrant African American print presence, although these publications also face the problem of scaring up ad revenue in a contracting economy.
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