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:
“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!
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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!
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