In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Ethnic Media

  • Introduction
  • Early Work
  • Overview Work
  • Encyclopedia Entries
  • Journals
  • Theories
  • Methodological Approaches and Concerns
  • The Roles of Ethnic Media in the Lives of Their Audiences
  • Ethnic Media Audiences
  • Ethnic Media Producers
  • Ethnic Media Organizations
  • Comparative Journalism
  • Policies and Regulations

Communication Ethnic Media
Sherry S. Yu, Matthew Matsaganis
  • LAST REVIEWED: 21 March 2024
  • LAST MODIFIED: 21 March 2024
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199756841-0308


Ethnic media are defined in the widely cited book Understanding Ethnic Media (cited under Overview Work) as “media that are produced by and for (a) immigrants, (b) racial, ethnic, and linguistic minorities, as well as (c) indigenous populations living across different countries.” This bibliography on “Ethnic Media” specifically focuses on the first two groups and not the third, because a rich bibliography dedicated to “Indigenous Media” already exists in the Oxford Bibliographies. The emphasis in this bibliography is on both “ethnic media” and “diasporic media,” whose audiences comprise migrants (immigrants) and people of migrant heritage (racial, ethnic, linguistic minorities). While digital native ethnic media expand the concept of what ethnic media used to be, locally produced media are still often associated with the term “ethnic media,” whereas internationally imported media from or linked to a variety of countries of origin are often associated with “diasporic media,” as discussed in the references provided in this bibliography, including Understanding Ethnic Media. The references are organized to provide a roadmap of ethnic/diasporic media research, from Early Work to Areas for Further Research. The first three sections (Early Work, Overview Work, and Encyclopedia Entries) showcase ethnic media research dating back to Chicago School pioneer Robert E. Park (see Park 1922, cited under Early Work) to recent work that offers a comprehensive overview of ethnic media research. These publications will likely serve well any researcher, instructor, or student venturing into this field for the first time. Two sections that follow, on Theories and Methodological Approaches and Concerns, offer references that speak to conceptual frameworks and methods used for ethnic media research and lay the groundwork for the sections that follow to examine ethnic media from various vantage points: The Roles of Ethnic Media in the Lives of their Audiences, Ethnic Media Audiences, Ethnic Media Producers, and Ethnic Media Organizations. Expanding on ethnic media production, the references on Comparative Journalism highlight studies that juxtapose mainstream and ethnic journalism practices and explore similarities and differences. Such comparisons are marginal in the comparative journalism literature but are significant in the ethnic media literature. The Policies and Regulations section offers references that inform our understanding of how policy regimes in various regions of the world affect ethnic media production and consumption. Although all of these sections consider research on Asian, Black, and Latino Media, alongside studies on other ethnic media, a separate section is provided to highlight the long history of ethnic media research pertaining to these three groups. For example, while the Early Work section introduces several seminal studies on Black media, the references in the Black Media section emphasize more recent work. The final section of the entry, Areas for Further Research, compiles work that expands the conceptualizations of ethnic media, highlights understudied regions in the world, and begins to fill in these gaps in the literature. Note that this bibliography cites a limited number of specific chapters found in edited volumes that have been included in the reference list in order to avoid double listings as much as possible. Some seminal work is not listed for this reason.

Early Work

Determining when the first ethnic media were created and when research on ethnic media was first published are two different and difficult questions to answer. Matsaganis, et al. 2011 (cited under Overview Work) contends that the Gazette de Leyde was likely one of the very first ethnic newspapers to be published, back in the late 1600s. It was produced in Holland for French Protestant audiences who had fled France when it was ruled by a Catholic royal family. Other research confirms that the beginnings of ethnic media date back to the eighteenth century in Europe, while evidence suggests that the first ethnic media were created in Australia and North America in the nineteenth century, as Wilson, et al. 2003 discuss. As the reference to the Gazette de Leyde suggests, historically, many ethnic media were created to serve vital audience needs, including staying in touch with a place of origin one had fled to avoid persecution and/or pursue a better life, and to give a voice to immigrant populations as well as racial, ethnic, linguistic, and religious minority communities who were marginalized by mainstream society, including institutions such as the mainstream media. Naturally, much of the early work on ethnic media has investigated these roles of ethnic media; this is true in the Australian context, but also in Europe and North America (including Canada, Mexico, and the United States). In Europe, scholarship focused on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries emphasized the role of these media in independence movements, such as that of Bulgarians seeking freedom from the Ottoman Empire. In the post–World War II era, in Europe, the focus was on the roles of ethnic media in the social integration (or not) of immigrant workers leaving behind mostly countries of the South to seek better work opportunities in the North, as discussed in Matsaganis, et al. 2011 (under Overview Work). In North America, the emphasis on ethnic media as advocates for marginalized communities is reflected in the very rich bibliography on Black and Latino media, including Bryan 1969, Hogan 1984, Painter 1971, Pride 1956, and Wolseley 1990. In this context, early ethnic media research was preoccupied with capturing the role of ethnic media in the lives of diverse populations across countries, theorizing their role as a democratic institution, and analyzing policy frameworks that enabled and constrained their production. A number of informative case studies, but also conceptual and policy-oriented studies, are included in collections edited by Husband 1994, Miller 1987, and Riggins 1992. In his pioneering and influential monograph Park 1922 specifically argued that ethnic media performed a central role in the social integration of immigrants into their communities of settlement.

  • Bryan, C. 1969. Negro journalism in America before emancipation. Journalism Monograph 12:1–38.

    Bryan surveys the history of Black newspapers in the United States before the Civil War, with particular attention to the individual figures involved in different Black newspapers, including founders, publishers, and well-known editors, such as Frederick Douglass. This study situates the Black press as a vehicle to record Black experiences and support abolition. A list of Black newspapers published before emancipation is provided.

  • Hogan, L. 1984. A Black national news service: The Associated Negro Press and Claude Barnett, 1919–1945. Rutherford, NJ: Associated Univ. Presses.

    Hogan provides a chronological history of the Associated Negro Press (ANP), founded by Claude Barnett in 1919, during a period of intense racial segregation in the United States. It is noted that despite its financial struggles, the ANP offered superior reporting and maintained high journalistic standards.

  • Husband, C., ed. 1994. A richer vision: The development of ethnic minority media in Western democracies. Paris: UNESCO/John Libbey.

    This edited volume explores ethnic media case studies in six Western democracies: the United States, the Netherlands, Australia, France, Norway, and the United Kingdom. The volume focuses on the lack of ethnic minority groups employed in the media industry, and the effects of different policies on national media. The case study approach allows for comparison between the different countries covered.

  • Miller, S. M. 1987. The ethnic press in the United States: A historical analysis and handbook. New York: Greenwood Press.

    This edited anthology covers twenty-eight ethnic communities and includes the origins of the press for these groups, along with immigration information and demographics.

  • Painter, N. 1971. Black journalism: The first hundred years. Harvard Journal of Afro-American Affairs 2.2: 30–42.

    Painter divides the first hundred years of the Black press in the United States into four distinct periods: 1827–1847, 1847–1865, 1865–1890, and 1890–c. 1927. The focus is on the importance of self-representation, a wider international Black community that was covered in the African American press, and the racial orientation of the Black press. These roles positioned Black newspapers as outlets to challenge injustices and oppression.

  • Park, R. E. 1922. The immigrant press and its control. New York: Harper & Bros.

    This pioneering work on ethnic journalism considers the ethnic press in the United States as a factor in assimilation. The volume is divided into four distinct parts that cover the origins of ethnic journalism, its contents, further historical background, and political and social control elements.

  • Pride, A. 1956. The Negro newspaper in the United States. Gazette 2.3: 141–149.

    DOI: 10.1177/001654925600200302

    Pride offers a summary of the Black press during the mid-twentieth century. The focus is on the motivations, content, and future of Black newspapers in the United States, with particular attention to the role of the Black press in exposing inequality and discrimination. Useful statistics, as well as demographic and newspaper-related data on different geographic levels, are included.

  • Riggins, R. H., ed. 1992. Ethnic minority media: An international perspective. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    This edited collection of case studies explores both Indigenous media and the media of minority groups in various countries around the world, such as Greenland, Chile, Israel, Algeria, Canada, France, and the United States. Overarching themes include empowerment for ethnic communities and the contributions that media make to this empowerment and to shaping identity. Different models of external state support as well as internal and external structural supports are discussed.

  • Wilson, C. C., F. Guttierez, and L. M. Chao. 2003. Racism, sexism, and the media: The rise of class communication in multicultural America. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

    This book provides an extensive account of the depiction of racialized minorities in the popular media in the United States, focusing on Native, Black, Latino, and Asian Pacific American communities. Issues covered include audience segmentation, racial stereotyping in the media, including in advertising, and the place of racialized women in the media.

  • Wolseley, R. E. 1990. The Black press USA. 2d ed. Ames: Iowa State Univ. Press.

    Wolseley outlines the Black press in the United States, with an emphasis on its attempts to represent Black communities. After defining the Black press, providing historical context, and identifying major newspapers and magazines, the book includes sections on journalism education and training, as well as issues in publication and business operations.

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