(Video excerpt: Mayor Adams responds to a question from Mona Davids, publisher of LittleAfrica News on providing space to Ethnic and Community Media at City Hall to cover his administration.)
During a media briefing on Tuesday, December 19th, Mayor Eric Adams reaffirmed his commitment to enhancing the representation of ethnic and community media in the coverage of his administration and his support for a state-level media diversity bill.
This commitment is part of Adams’ ongoing efforts to diversify media voices, recognizing their essential role in reaching New York’s diverse communities.
Mayor Adams addressed the issue of limited media representation at City Hall’s press room, also known as Room 9, and the press room, known as the “Shack,” at NYPD headquarters, where larger media outlets primarily occupy desks.
He acknowledged the challenge faced by many New Yorkers who rely on smaller, community-focused media for comprehensive information about city activities.
Adams stated his intention to change this by expanding access to these spaces to a wider range of media voices.
Ethnic and Community Media (ECM) outlets, representing a range of diverse groups, have advocated for increased representation in City Hall and NYPD headquarters.
Adams emphasized the need for a thorough analysis of the press space utilization within Room 9.
He said, “We’re going to do an analysis of how we are using space in the building for the press. We’re going to make a determination if those who have multiple seats, if they’re going to have to decide which one of them are going to have to give up one. We are going to have to open this place up to the ethnic and community media.”
New York’s smaller media outlets, encompassing radio, print, and digital formats, have recently formed the NY Coalition for Ethnic and Community Media.
Their goal is to establish a state-level law akin to New York City’s current legislation, focusing on enhancing ECM representation and addressing the issues of inequitable advertising and community disenfranchisement.
The coalition has expressed its objectives on its website, stating, “We are seeking a state law, equivalent to NYC Local Law 83, codified as a state law, so all communities will have access to important services, programs, and initiatives of state agencies across New York State.”
New York City has already taken steps in this direction by establishing an office in 2021 committed to directing at least 50% of its advertising budget to ECM outlets.
However, a September study released by the Center for Community Media (CCM) highlighted the existing disparities on the state level, revealing that in the last decade, less than 3% of such advertising spending was allocated to ECM by six state agencies with the largest advertising budgets.
Adams also voiced his support for the state-wide bill, being sponsored by State Senator Kevin Parker and Assemblyman Al Taylor, aiming to replicate the inclusivity of NYC’s Local Law 83 on a broader scale.
He said, “I’m gonna support that bill and I’m going to speak with both the assemblyman and the senator.”
Adams concluded by emphasizing his commitment to “level the playing field” in media representation.