NYC community media publish Open Letter to make ad initiative a law

The Center for Community Media comprises more than 230 print and digital publications serving communities of color in NYC’s five boroughs.

On May 22, 2019 Mayor Bill de Blasio signed Executive Order 47, one of the most consequential measures supporting the city’s community media industry, directing all city agencies to spend at least 50 percent of their annual print and digital advertising budgets on community media publications.

The initiative has been a resounding success, as shown in an independent report by the Center for Community Media (CCM) at CUNY’s Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. In the fiscal year after the executive order was signed, New York City spent a record $9.9 million on community media publications, 84 percent of its total print and digital advertising budget. We were offered a lifeline as we saw city agency campaigns rolling in, many of us receiving them for the first time. 

We are more than 230 print and digital publications serving communities in all five of the city’s boroughs, publishing in 37 languages. Without advertising from city agencies, many of us would not have survived the pandemic that saw so many businesses – who had advertised in and even distributed our newspapers – shutter across the city. Many of these businesses may not return, and now more than ever, we have an essential role to play in helping our readers survive and rebuild in the wake of this pandemic. 

These public service campaigns reached vital communities of color and immigrant communities, in many languages, creating awareness about the resources available to them during the pandemic, guiding them on how to access critical services, and encouraging stronger civic engagement from an informed and responsive citizenry. 

As we move into a new year and get ready for the 2021 municipal elections, it’s time to build on the remarkable progress made by the de Blasio administration. Important steps are necessary to build on the progress made by the mayor:

  1. A renewed commitment from city leaders to continue the current policy of allocating at least 50 percent of the total print and digital ad budgets to the local community media, while maintaining a robust ad budget 
  2. City Council legislation to solidify this commitment and protect it from political or administrative changes 
  3. Effective implementation of the new legislation in its true spirit

We also ask that the New York State government and Legislature follow suit. Like the City, the State will also find the community media a necessary partner in building a more engaged society. 


Kowshik Ahmed, Editor, Weekly Bangalee

Najmul Ahsan, Publisher, Weekly Parichoy

Manuel Alcantara, Editor, Peruanisimo News

María del Carmen Amado, Newspapers Group General Manager-Editor, Westchester Hispano, New York Hispano

Czarinna Andres, Co-Publisher, QueensPost

Lovlu Ansar, Executive Editor, Bangladesh Pratidin

Ruben Avxhiu, Editor-in-Chief, Illyria

Michael Babwar, Publisher, Caribbean Times News

Liudmyla Balabai, Managing Editor, ForumDaily Inc (

Kevin Benoit, Founder, Editor-in-Chief, Parlé Magazine

Helen Cadena, Ad Sales Representative, Ecuador News, Ayllu Times

Isseu Diouf Campbell, Publisher, Africa in Harlem

Ibrahim Chowdhury, Editor, Prothom Alo

Angie Damlakhi, Owner, Allewaa Alarabi Newspaper

Silvana Diaz, Publisher, Noticia, El Correo NY

Sheikh Musa Drammeh, Publisher, Muslim Community Report, Parkchester Times

M. R. Farrukh, Publisher, Weekly Awaz

George Fiala, Publisher, Red Hook Star Revue

David Mark Greaves, President & Publisher, Our Time Press

Sunil K. Hali, Publisher, Divya Bhaskar North American Edition, The Indian Eye Newsweekly

Michael Hinman, Editor, The Riverdale Press

Rick Ho, General Manager, Sing Tao Daily

Manzoor Hussain, Executive Editor, Weekly Dunya International

Paul Jackson, Publisher, Harlem Times

Léopold L. Joseph, Publisher/Editor-in-Chief, Haiti Observateur

Adnan Khalil, Chief Editor, Al Hawadeth Newspaper

Maude LeBlanc, Editor-in-Chief, Haiti Progres

Henry Levy, Editor & Publisher, Jewish Post

Paddy McCarthy, Publisher/Editorial Director, The Irish Examiner

Debbie McGoldrick, Senior Editor, Irish Voi

Alec Meeker, Publisher, Bushwick Daily

Kamlesh C. Mehta, Publisher, The South Asian Times & Forsythe Media Group, LLC

Hameed Minhas, Publisher, New York Awam

Síle Moloney, Interim Editor-in-Chief, Norwood News

Mutiu Olawuyi, Editor-in-Chief, New York Parrot, Parkchester Times

Kishor Panthi, Editor-in-Chief, Khasokhas

The FilAm is a media partner of CCM.

Cristina DC Pastor, Founding Editor, The FilAm

Pearl Phillip, Editor-in-Chief, Caribbean American Weekly, The Immigrant’s Journal & Workers’ World Today Publications

Garry Pierre-Pierre, Founder/Publisher, The Haitian Times

Edward B. Prial, Publisher, The Chief Leader

Ilayas Quraishi, Chief Operating Officer, Parikh Worldwide Media, LLC and ITV Gold

Mahfuzur Rahman, Editor & Publisher, Weekly Bornomola

Mizanur Rahman, Editor, Thikana

Traven Rice, Publisher, The Lo-Down

Stuart Richner, Publisher, Herald Community Newspapers (including The Riverdale Press, Rockaway Journal, Jewish Star)

Ricky Rillera, Executive Editor, Philippine Daily Mirror

Prof. Indrajit S. Saluja, Chief Editor, The Indian Panorama

Angchhiring Sherpa, Publisher, Everest Times 

Sharanjit Singh, Publisher, The South Asian Insider and Punjabi Dunya

Mica Soffer, Publisher,

Scott Stiffler, Founder/Editor,

Danny Tisdale, Founder and Publisher, Harlem World Magazine

Sunil Tristar, Managing Director, eMalayalee Online, IndiaLife Online, IndiaLife Television, Pravasi Channel

Angel Vazquez River, Local Sales & Marketing Director, El Diario

Momar G. Visaya, Executive Editor, Asian Journal

Stephen Witt, Publisher,,,

Jeong Shin Yoon, Publisher, The Korea Daily New York

Liena Zagare, Editor & Publisher, BKLYNER

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