HomeBreaking BambooAsAmNews story about distressed babies in Ukraine honored

AsAmNews story about distressed babies in Ukraine honored

AsAmNews contributor Corrie Martin received an international reporting award for her story about a California woman whose non-profit is aiding troubled babies in war-torn Ukraine.

Ethnic Media Services and California Black Media presented the award to Martin at the Ethnic Media Symposium, Expo and Awards Ceremony in Sacramento, CA Thursday.

Below are Martin’s random thoughts about the conference and winning the award:

 "Panelists--Building Stronger Communities Together" (left to right):  Martha Askenazi, Owner & Publisher, San Fernando Valley Sun;  Marcela Ruiz, Director, Office of Equity, California Department of Social Services; Tuyen Nguyen, Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Valley;  Helen Zia, Director, The Vincent Chin Institute, writer/journalist and activist; Tazheen Nizam, ED of CAIR, San Diego; Rick Callender, President, CA / Hawaii State Conference of the NAACP; Becky Monroe, Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, California Civil Rights Department; Julian Do, director of media relations at Ethnic Media Services
“Panelists–Building Stronger Communities Together” (left to right): Martha Askenazi, Owner & Publisher, San Fernando Valley Sun; Marcela Ruiz, Director, Office of Equity, California Department of Social Services; Tuyen Nguyen, Catalyst of San Diego & Imperial Valley; Helen Zia, Director, The Vincent Chin Institute, writer/journalist and activist; Tazheen Nizam, ED of CAIR, San Diego; Rick Callender, President, CA / Hawaii State Conference of the NAACP; Becky Monroe, Deputy Director of Strategic Initiatives and External Affairs, California Civil Rights Department; Julian Do, director of media relations at Ethnic Media Services . Photo by Corrie Martin, AsAmNews

“It was an incredible feeling to walk into the Kimpton Sawyer—Sacramento’s swankiest downtown hotel—and be enveloped by people of color of all ages, speaking different languages, celebrating their diverse cultures and communities. From the moment I stepped into the lobby for the 2023 Ethnic Media Symposium, Expo, and Awards ceremony, I felt transported and transformed. This was not going to be an ordinary conference!

Related: Jane Chen uses her non-profit to help vulnerable babies, now focusing efforts on Ukraine

“Every journalist, editor, and publisher I met over the course of the day had an inspiring story of their own about how they came to the writing and publishing life, how they could not not do what they do despite the challenges every ethnic media outlet faces in seeking to survive.  

“One publisher who has been at the helm of her publication for over 30 years shared with me her struggle to cope when journalists are attacked as “the enemy of the people,” and ethnic media journalists even more so for “speaking truth to power,” sometimes even within their own communities. Yet, as evidenced by the vibrant, indefatigable energy and commitment of the 300+ strong crowd, ethnic media is as strong and as “fired up” as ever in the mission to tell the stories, expose the issues, and document the lives and voices of their communities. At the end of the day, I was humbled, inspired, and empowered by their stories, wisdom, and journalistic know-how. 

Darla Givens of CBS Sacramento poses with Corrie Martin,
Darla Givens of CBS Sacramento poses with Corrie Martin, Photo courtesy: Corrie Martin

“Being honored with the outstanding award for international reporting was a huge surprise for me and I will never feel that I am worthy of the recognition, but it makes me want to strive to be, and for that I am deeply grateful. I am moved by the comments about my writing from the judges, but the true heart of the award is the subject of the article, a visionary, doggedly determined woman named Jane Chen, whose innovative baby incubator is having life-saving impact on women and infants in war-ravaged Ukraine.

“The war, impossibly, continues, more than a year after our story was published in AsAmNews. It’s heart-breaking to know that more women, more children, are suffering, and dying. But, as long as there are women like Jane Chen, perhaps there is also reason to hope. 

Corrie Martin of AsAmNews wins the Ethnic Media Award for International Reporting
Photo by Corrie Martin

“The awards ceremony that night was a celebration of the power of writing and of particular stories that were incredibly inspiring, enraging, edifying (some had all three qualities in equal parts). For me, the lesson is that ethnic media is not merely a niche corner of Journalism with a capital “J.” In fact, ethnic media is where readers can find the most relevant truths, the information and the issues that matter most to our particular communities and to our democracy, our nation, at large.  

 Regina Wilson, executive director of California Black Media, and Sandy Close, executive director of Ethnic Media Services, as they give closing remarks at the end of the night. Photo by Corrie Martin
Regina Wilson, executive director of California Black Media, and Sandy Close, executive director of Ethnic Media Services, as they give closing remarks at the end of the night. Photo by Corrie Martin

“I am grateful to the visionary leaders in community-based journalism, Ethnic Media Services and California Black Media, Inc. for organizing the event and calling ethnic media journalists and publications together so we could see and feel how powerful we are when we are together! ”

Put next year’s symposium on your calendar; I imagine we will all need to be in community even more so in 2024, to remind each other that ethnic media matters. That we make a difference. That we are, impossibly, still writing and being read!

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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