Engaged Journalism Exchange: Lessons from Immigrant-Serving Media

Many immigrant-serving media outlets have been practicing engaged journalism since before that term was used. In this Engaged Journalism Exchange discussion held Monday, May 24, we explored lessons we can learn from how immigrant-serving media outlets have been innovating with engagement in their work — and in particular how they have adapted their strategies during the pandemic.

We heard from Daniela Gerson and Chi Zhang, authors of the Center for Community Media report Digital First Responders. They shared lessons from their report, and updates since it came out a year ago. Chi also shared more on the emerging sector of primarily WeChat-based immigrant Chinese media, which has grown and diversified in recent years, and serves as a significant source of local and political news. We also heard from journalists serving immigrant communities in Chicago, Madison, Seattle, Queens, and more.

Daniela Gerson is an assistant professor of Journalism at California State University, Northridge and co-founder and editor of the weekly immigration newsletter, Migratory Notes. Chi Zhang is an independent researcher with expertise in immigrant media and misinformation. Her recent study investigated the impact and resource gaps of ethnic media in California.

Featured participants:

Mohamad Ahmed, Salaxley TV, Seattle, Washington
Malek Abdulsamad, Chicago in Arabic, Chicago, Illinois
Garry Pierre-Pierre, The Haitian Times, New York, New York

About Engaged Journalism Exchange

The Engaged Journalism Exchange connects researchers and practitioners interested in engaged journalism. We will be hosting a series of these discussions in the lead up to our AEJMC preconference on August 3rd. We will share updates to those who RSVP. Check out past discussions here:



This series of digital and in-person gatherings seeks to bridge the divide between journalism scholars and journalism innovators and funders.

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Jacob L. Nelson

Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, Knight Innovation Fellow @TowCenter