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Ethnic Media Quietly Creating A Story Of Enormous Success

While newspapers large and small find themselves working overtime just to keep up with fast-changing shifts in reader preferences--and while some have simply failed altogether-- papers that concentrate on ethnic minorities are thriving.  The Mercury News, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, has a good piece about the influx of papers that serve the local Vietnamese community.  "The proliferation of Vietnamese and other ethnic publications is in stark contrast to the challenges facing mainstream newspapers: declining readership and advertising," says the Mercury News.  "The landscape of the ethnic press is dramatically different. About a dozen Vietnamese publications now circulate in the Bay Area.Readers of Chinese can choose from at least six dailies and Indian-Americans, at least six monthly and weekly publications." According to the paper--which cites a 2005 study by New America Media--ethnic media, including television, online and radio, reaches a quarter of the U.S. population and 80 percent of adults in minority communities.  "If all the mainstream media went on strike, I wouldn't miss a beat," Ling-chi Wang, who heads Asian-American studies at the University of California-Berkeley, told the Mercury News.  "What I read in Chinese papers is so much richer than mainstream content."





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