2012 Ippies Awards: Media Round-up

Fi2W cleaned up at the Ippies

Fi2W cleaned up at the Ippies. From left: Von Diaz, Lan Trinh, Cristina DC Pastor, John Rudolph, Mohsin Zaheer.

This story was originally published on Voices of NY.

Here’s a rundown of coverage from the community and ethnic press of last Thursday’s Ippies Awards, held at the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.

Feet in 2 Worlds – which swept up awards for best editorial/commentary (2nd place), best video (3rd place) and best audio (2nd and 3rd place) — said the Ippies reflect their mission of giving immigrant journalists a platform to showcase their work.

Winning these awards is not only a great honor, it validates our unique approach – work with skilled immigrant reporters with great story ideas, carefully edit their work, provide them with excellent training, and maintain robust partnerships with ethnic and mainstream media organizations and academic institutions.

The FilAm, whose founding editor Cristina DC Pastor won second place for an editorial she wrote for Feet in 2 Worlds, highlighted keynote speaker Connie Chung’s speech at the Ippies.

The TV journalist said her father spoke little English, but through the Chinese ethnic press, he kept himself informed about what was going on in China and the world.

“My father loved reading his Chinese newspapers,” she told an audience of community media publishers and journalists who gathered April 12 for the 2012 Ippies Journalism Awards, recognizing independent ethnic media.

Chung commended the ethnic media for its “fortitude” in reporting the news despite limited resources and bare-bones operations. She said immigrant journalists who write for the mainstream press could be “very effective in raising (immigrants) voices.” In some news reporting about Muslim and Asian immigrants, she said the mainstream media is “not doing its job.”

World Liberty Television has a brief six-minute video clip of Connie Chung’s speech.

A detailed piece from Capital described two of the other speakers, CUNY J-School Dean Stephen Shepard and Master of Ceremonies Errol Louis.

According to the school’s dean, Stephen Shepard, there are more than 350 daily newspapers, magazines, broadcasters and websites that serve non-English speakers in New York. And they often get at stories that aren’t covered by mainstream media for any number of reasons.

But in some key ways, community media is big media. Foreign-born immigrants make up at least 36 percent of New York’s population and many of them speak little English, giving the small papers inroads into big readerships.

(They’re also courted by politicians who recognize their reach: John Liu, the embattled city controller, who spoke during last year’s awards, quickly shuffled through last night’s event.)

“I feel your pain,” Errol Louis said to the crowd. “I was not just a worker at community press but I sold ads and pitched to advertisers to keep the enterprise alive. And I know how hard to it is to do.”

Morris, who had a column in Our Time Press, eventually worked his way through more mainstream outlets like the Daily News before becoming the anchor of NY1’s “Inside City Hall.”

And as we mentioned in this Monday’s Voices in FocusMetroFocus did a beautiful job summing up the purpose of the Ippies: to shine the spotlight on articles and journalists that the mainstream media overlook.

In 2011,  an investigative, three-part story looked back on how Manhattan’s Chinatown has changed in the decade since the World Trade Center attack. The story riveted its readers, but most of the city never saw it, because the story by reporters Meng Fang, Tu Yichen and Law Wai Ki was printed in World Journal, the Chinese-language newspaper based in Queens. But on the evening of April 12, 2012, these journalists received broader recognition for their work when they won first prize in the “best investigative story” category at the 10th Annual Ippies Awards.

New York City is filled with community and ethnic media organizations whose journalists shed light on issues often untouched by the big newspapers and radio and televisions news stations, and also provide vital current events information to non-English speakers.

If you can read Chinese, World Journal – which won best investigative/in-depth story – also wrote about the Ippies.

Below are more articles and releases on the winning entries, from their respective publications:

The Indypendent



  • Best overall design of print publication, 1st place
  • Best overall design of an online publication, 2nd place
  • Best video, 1st place and 2nd place
  • Best multimedia package, 2nd place

WBGO 88.3

Click here for photos from the Ippies and a full list of the winners.

AboutFeet in Two Worlds
Feet in 2 Worlds (Fi2W) is an independent media outlet, journalism training program, and launchpad for emerging immigrant journalists and media makers of color. Our work brings positive and meaningful change to America's newsrooms and has a broader impact on how immigration is reported and the ethnic and racial composition of news organizations.