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Northern California Celebrates Ethnic Media Award Winners

New America Media, News Report, Text: Carmen Ng// Photographs: Som Sharma and Kevin Chan Posted: Mar 24, 2009

NAM winners
SAN FRANCISCO -- Asianweek columnist Emil Guillermo was surprised when he found out he had won for best blogger on ethnic perspectives at the Northern California Ethnic Media Awards last Friday, honoring outstanding journalists in ethnic media. I was totally surprised and shocked by the award, didnt expect it, said Guillermo. I really see my work as a journalist, as a columnist, as a blogger, and so its interesting now that Ive won an award for my blogging, my TV work, my radio work, my newspaper work. Im not exactly king of all media, but Ive an award in all media. Emil Guillermo

At the Mission Language and Vocational School in San Francisco, the event was organized by New America Media in partnership with the Graduate School of Journalism, UC Berkeley and the Center for Integration and Improvement of Journalism at San Francisco State University.

Guillermo, who started his column, Emil Amok, 14 years ago, explained that he works in the ethnic media because he has something to say and the mainstream media arent always interested in the issue. When I am writing for Filipinos, for Asians, they care about my perspective when I write about things they care about, thats important, said Guillermo. When you are writing for the ethnic news media, you are the voice of the voiceless.

Aside from giving voice to the community, Kalpana Mohan, winner in the arts, sports, and entertainment category, thinks of her stories as a channel to connect to people outside of her ethnic group. In her winning feature article in India Currents, Karnatik Revival, Mohan wrote about the history of Karnatik music in the United States in the last four decades.

Kalpana Mohan
The award is a wonderful confirmation of putting all my energy into writing. The articles that Im writing more and more are all about showcasing an aspect of my culture to a mainstream audience, said Mohan, a first-time award winner. My idea is to show or teach them that there is value in it.

Another important role of the media is to advocate for change when there is injustice.

One single photo cannot change anything, said Manuel Ortiz, winner of Best Photo and runner-up for Best Commentary. But it can show that something needs to be changed. Oaxacan Migrant, the photo he shot for Alianza News shows the problem of poverty and exploitation and the need for social change through the portrait of an immigrant who is living in an extremely difficult situation.

When photos cant say enough, there is the commentary. In Chief Davis, Falsehoods and Inconsistencies, an editorial published in Alianza News, Ortiz attacked the chief of a San Francisco Police Station for lying about the existence of racism in the police force. When I interviewed the chief, said Ortiz. He was smiling and saying to me, you know what, nothing is going on, everythings fine. But before that, I heard a lot of comments from the community about racism from the police. That day I wrote something basically saying that he is a liar.

Wei Jiang Huang
Wei Jiang Huang, winner in the Best In-Depth Reporting category, said he was happy that he could use his own language to tell stories about his community and share them with all the Chinese people here. He hoped the award would also inspire the Chinese community and provide a force for them to move forward.

His story written for the Sing Tao Daily was about a group of Chinese immigrants who live in single room occupancy hotels in Chinatown. The judges commended it for its gritty portrayal of the American dream in a single room.

NAM Awards audienceThis years Northern California Ethnic Media Awards received 130 entries and honored journalists in 10 categories: in-depth/investigative, health care and environment, arts, sports and entertainment, commentary/editorial, inter-ethnic relations, youth reporting, photojournalism, community reporting in television and radio, and the new category for blogger on ethnic perspectives.

Winners of all five regional awards competitions will automatically be entered into a national contest, culminating in a national ethnic media expo and awards on June 4-5, 2009 in Atlanta.

Below is the complete list of winners for the 2009 Northern California Ethnic Media Awards.

Best In-Depth/Investigative
WINNER: Wei Jiang Huang
Sing Tao Daily
Dream of Heaven in the SRO

RUNNER-UP: Lisa Tsering
India West
Flight School Out of Business

Health Care & Environment
WINNER: Sunita Sohrabji
India West
Postpartum Depression: South Asian Moms Suffer in Silence

RUNNER-UP: Erika Cebreros
El Mensajero
Tijuana in the Shadow of HIV

Arts, Sports and Entertainment
WINNER: Kalpana Mohan
India Currents
Karnatik Revival

RUNNER-UP: Almah Lavon Rice
The Rise of Street Literature

WINNER: Weihang Que
China Press
Government Officials Accountability is Only the Beginning of a Sound Quality Safety System

RUNNER-UP: Manuel Ortiz
Alianza News
Chief Davis, Falsehoods and Inconsistencies

WINNER: Manuel Ortiz
Alianza News
Oaxacan Migrant

RUNNER-UP: Fanny Chiang
Sing Tao Daily
Mexican Dancers in San Jose

Inter-Ethnic Relations
WINNER: Weiwei Ren
Sing Tao Daily
Confronting Chinese-Indian Race Relations in Silicon Valley

RUNNER-UP: Editorial Staff
Nichi Bei Times
In the Mix

Youth Reporting
WINNER: Pendarvis Harshaw
Youth Radio
Sex Without Condoms is the New Engagement Ring

WINNER: Ragini Tharoor Srinivasan
India Currents
Model What?

Best Community Reporting (Radio)
WINNER: Cindy Yip & Otis Fang
Sing Tao Chinese Radio
Teachers Responsibility and the Sichuan Earthquake

Best Community Reporting (Television)
WINNER: Harry Liu
DTV Transition

Best Blogger on Ethnic Perspectives
WINNER: Emil Guillermo,
Obama Polarizes Asian Americans with Richardson Choice

RUNNER UP: Nancy Lan-Hsin Kao
World Journal
Dilemma of Traditional Media Embracing New Media

Related Articles:

Journalism Highlighting Inter-ethnic Relations Honored at NAM Awards in L.A.

New England Honors Ethnic Media

Twin Cities Honor Hyperlocal Journalism

D.C. Honors Ethnic Media, Community Storytellers

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