Mayor de Blasio Directs Ad Money to Community and Ethnic Media

City agencies directed to spend at least 50 percent of their annual print and digital publication advertising budget toward community and ethnic media outlets

Mayor de Blasio announcing the executive order Wednesday, May 22. Photo / Courtesy NYC Mayor’s Office

NEW YORK CITY (TIP): Mayor de Blasio signed an executive order, Wednesday, May 22, mandating all city agencies spend at least 50 percent of their annual print and digital publication advertising in community and ethnic media outlets. The Executive Order becomes effective beginning in Fiscal Year 2020. Since Mayor de Blasio came into office, the City has increased its advertisement spending in community and ethnic media by over 220 percent from $850,000 in FY13 to $2.74 million in FY18.

New York City is the most diverse city in the country with New Yorkers speaking over 200 languages. Community and ethnic media provides an important way for the City to connect with all residents and ensure services reach all communities. This executive order is part of the de Blasio Administration’s plan to provide equal access to City services to all communities citywide, and strengthening its commitment to community and ethnic media.

“We can’t be the fairest big city in America if only some people know how to receive city services,” said Mayor de Blasio. “Community and ethnic media outlets are critical for delivering news across the city. This Executive Order will help us reach more New Yorkers, ensuring that more people can benefit from all the City has to offer.”

“The City is further enshrining our commitment to reaching all New Yorkers—including through the media they read—no matter the languages they speak,” said Bitta Mostofi, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. “A healthy democracy cannot exist without a thriving press, and community and ethnic media are trusted sources of valuable information for the communities they serve. I am proud to join the Mayor today in further demonstrating through this Executive Order the City’s commitment to being a welcoming and inclusive city for all.”

“Community and ethnic media outlets are vital to ensuring the rich diversity of New York City’s media landscape,” said Anne del Castillo, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office of Media and Entertainment.  “We are proud to be a part of the City’s efforts to support these critical resources by facilitating increased advertising revenue and visibility for local print and digital outlets.”

“City government best serves all New Yorkers when it includes all New Yorkers,” said Lisette Camilo, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “Community and ethnic media outlets play a special role in giving voice to everyone in our diverse city. The executive order announced today will make sure City government is reaching the people it serves, both in the neighborhoods they live and in the languages they speak.”

“This executive order will increase fairness and accountability, and the Office of Operations is proud to support and coordinate this ongoing work with Immigrant Affairs and our agency partners,” said Jeff Thamkittikasem, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Operations.

Agency representatives that are responsible for purchasing print and digital publication advertisements will be required to participate in annual trainings held by the Mayor’s Office of Operations and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.

Beginning in fiscal year 2020 and for every fiscal year thereafter, agencies will submit a year-end data report to the Mayor’s Office of Operations regarding the agency’s annual print and digital publication advertising spending. Data on each agency’s annual print and digital publication advertising will be made available to the public through the Open Data portal at the beginning of each fiscal year beginning in Fiscal Year 2021. 

Senator James Sanders Jr. said, “This is an important step in ensuring that more New Yorkers of all ethnic backgrounds receive information about the city’s many resources and services.  It is also a good way to support these diverse media outlets so they can continue to grow and report the news that is most essential to the demographics of their particular audience.”

“Smaller-scale media outlets play an integral role in Queens—the most diverse borough—and throughout the entire city,” said Senator Leroy Comrie. “Immigrant communities, non-English speakers, low income communities, and others that rely on these community-specific and ethnic publications will gain greater exposure to critical information from our city government because of this executive order. Our city’s strength lies in our diversity.”  

“Many New Yorkers rely on ethnic media for their news. I support the Mayor’s effort to publish city advertising in non-English media outlets. More people will be reached and become better aware of government actions and services. This will improve the quality of life and delivery of services in many neighborhoods,” said Assistant Speaker Felix W. Ortiz.

“A free, independent press is essential for democracy.  I commend Mayor de Blasio’s initiative that will increase transparency, promote local media outlets, and support small businesses which are the backbone of our communities,” said Assembly Member Rebecca A. Seawright.

The Mayor’s Director of Community and Ethnic Media will develop and maintain a list of community and ethnic media outlets from which city agencies will select outlets for advertising. The list can be found here. According to the U.S. Census population estimates for 2017, approximately 37 percent of New York City residents are foreign-born, and approximately 23 percent of City residents do not speak English as their primary language and have a limited ability to read, speak, write, or understand English.

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