Vikki Katz


Understanding Ethnic Media

Understanding Ethnic Media

Ethnic media are created for, and usually by, immigrant, ethnic minority, language minority, and indigenous communities all over the world. These media are important and unique resources for the communities they serve. They are also increasingly serious contenders in rapidly diversifying media landscapes.

In 2011, I co-authored Understanding Ethnic Media: Producers, Consumers, and Societies with Matthew Matsaganis and Sandra Ball-Rokeach. Our book has been well-received by researchers, educators, students, and media professionals, and we wrote the book with all these groups’ interests in mind. We integrated international scholarship on ethnic media with our own original research about ethnic media consumers and producers, ethnic media in history, their roles in ethnic communities, how they are affected by globalization, professional challenges faced by ethnic media journalists, and the future of ethnic media.

In subsequent articles and book chapters, we pick up where our book left off. The first, published in the Journal of Information Policy, argues that ethnic media can be crucial partners for increasing broadband adoption by the immigrant and ethnic minority communities least likely to be online. The second, published in Journalism, explores the challenges that ethnic media producers experience in their everyday professional routines and communities of practice. Finally, we have a book chapter on ethnic media and their capabilities to address immigrants' critical information needs, which will be published in 2016.

My interests in ethnic media also relate to my broader research on immigrant families and their engagement with technology, since ethnic media are often integral to family media practices and strategies for engaging their communities and understanding their environments.