In the days following the September 11th attacks, when Muslim communities felt their perspective was invisible, a group of New York-based journalists founded “Voices That Must Be Heard.” It was the first online publication in the country to focus on the ethnic media, and 10 years later, it continues to be one of only a handful of online publications in the country – and the only one in the New York region – that serves as a bridge between mainstream society and immigrant communities and communities of color.
In the spring of 2011, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism assumed ownership of the site from the New York Community Media Alliance, and redesigned and re-launched the publication as “Voices of NY.” The site curates the best journalistic work being produced by scores of community and ethnic publications and (where necessary) translates that work into English. The audience for “Voices” includes mainstream and immigrant journalists, advocacy groups, city and government agencies, students, and individuals seeking a broader perspective on the news. As a testament to its global reach, “Voices” content is viewed through browsers from 134 countries.
Under the Journalism School’s direction, “Voices” will commission more original content. Our role as a central clearinghouse for news will also make it easier for us to spot trends that transcend communities. We will use that position to initiate citywide coverage of emerging issues, as well as promote cross-publication coverage in response to breaking news. We expect “Voices” to evolve into a newswire service that enables the region’s small, independent publications to exchange content, whether it be text, audio, video or photographs.