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New England Honors Ethnic Media

New America Media, News Report, Anthony D. Advincula Posted: Nov 22, 2008

Editor's note: The best in New England's ethnic news media were honored on Thursday night at the New England Ethnic News Awards (NEENAs), the first journalism competition in the region that recognizes the excellence of journalists who report in languages other than English. New York-based NAM editor Anthony D. Advincula reports.

BOSTON A police officer fatally shot a young Brazilian immigrant. Somewhere, it could be in the basement or in plain sight, a clandestine radio station operates to air rebellious black voices.

A Hindu temple raised $10,000 for tsunami relief but donations never reached the victims.

Undocumented carpenters build houses as federal agents with ICE break up their families.

These were among the top stories feted on Thursday night at the New England Ethnic Newswire Awards (NEENAs), the first journalism competition in the region that recognizes the excellence of journalists who report in languages other than English. The awards ceremony took place at the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB).

Honoring the amazing work of these journalists and their publications creates a strong sense of togetherness, said Frank Herron, director of the Center on Media and Society. Everyone in this room will be the future of this media sector and this country. Its emotional and rewarding.

Although Herron admits that he cannot predict what the future holds for many ethnic publications, he is certain that there is a place for the vital work that they do. We need to help them develop their journalism skills, and we must help them on the business side, he said. We dont want to isolate these journalists. We dont want to isolate this very important journalism.

With the growing immigrant population in the New England region, the NEENAs a project of the Center on Media and Society at UMass drew in more than 125 entries from 24 news organizations in Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island. Six languages are accounted for in the entries: English, Chinese, Portuguese, Spanish, Korean, and Russian.

Paste alt hereAwardees from left to right: Jehozadak Pereira, Emanuela Lima, Celia Bacelar, Angela Barbosa.

Emanuela Lima, editor-in-chief for Tribuna Connecticut, a biweekly in Danbury, Conn., that publishes in Portuguese, English and Spanish, has seen the role of newspapers like hers grow over the years. Nine years ago, we established a newspaper that would strengthen immigrants, she said. Now Im very happy to see everyone from different communities are together.

The contest not only gave ethnic media journalists a chance to meet each other, but it reinforced for many the importance of their service to their communities. Some of them traveled for hours to be at the ceremony.

I drove from Montreal, Canada to be here. This is great, said Julie Masis, a Russian immigrant who used to work for India New England.

Her investigative story about Sri Satyanarayana temple in Middletown, Conn., which mismanaged $10,000 in relief funds for tsunami victims in India, bagged first place in the news reporting category. When her story was published last year, it played a key role in the federal investigation and the ultimate return of the money to donors.

Sue Yang, of the Korean American Press, won several awards, including one for her article about the remaining Korean comfort women during the Second World War. Im proud of what I have done since I came to this country, Yang said through a translator. Im so grateful to set up the first bilingual Korean and English-language newspaper here.

Carrie Tang, a reporter with the World Journal in Boston for over 20 years, was a finalist for her story about gambling in Chinatown. Im looking forward to the next years awards, she said. I will continue to work hard to serve the Chinese community.

This years NEENAs honored five editorial categories: news reporting, feature writing, editorial/commentary writing, arts/culture reporting and photojournalism. It also recognized ethnic media news outlets for its community service. Judging was supervised by the staff of the New England Ethnic Newswire (www.ethnicnewz.org), a Web-based news service run by the Center on Media and Society, which is part of the John W. McCormack Graduate School of Policy at UMB.

NEENA is one of the three regional press awards linked to New America Medias nationwide ethnic media award competition, which will culminate on June 4, 2009, in Atlanta, Ga.

The winners of the 2008 NEENAs are:

Local News Reporting:

FIRST-PLACE (tie): Mark Connors, India New England and Julie Masis

FINALISTS: Talia Whyte, Bay State Banner
; Pete Stidman, Dorchester Reporter; Elizabeth Mendonca Simoes, A Noticia; Marcony Almeida, Brazilian Journal; and Luis Filipe Dias, O Jornal

Feature Writing:

FIRST PLACE: Bill Forry,Dorchester Reporter

FINALISTS: Carrie Tang, World Journal; Adam Smith, Sampan; Chris Nelson, IndUS Business Journal/a>; Emanuela Lima, Tribuna; Sue Yang, http://www.Korean American Press; Marcela Garcia, El Planeta Heloisa Galvao, Metropolitan Brazilian News; and Lurdes C. da Silva, O Jornal

Arts/Culture Reporting:

FIRST PLACE: Susan Jacobs, Jewish Journal

FINALISTS: Susan G. Lindsay, Boston Irish Reporter; and Sung-Yoon Lee and Sue Kang, Korean American Press

Editorial/Commentary Writing:

FIRST PLACE (tie): Heloisa Galvao, A Noticia; Mark Puleo, Brazilian Journal

FINALISTS: Ric Oliveira, O Jornal; Brian Concannon Jr., Boston Haitian Reporter; Celia Bacelar, Tribuna; Alfonso Acevedo, America News

FIRST PLACE: Jehozadak Pereira, A Noticia

FINALIST: Elizabeth Mendonca Simoes

Community Service Award (given to an ethnic media, not to an individual):

FIRST PLACE: http://www.Tribuna

FINALISTS: White Eagle News and the Korean American Press.

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