The Canadian Ethnic Media Association (CEMA)is the nexus for 3rd language media in Canada. At a time when marginalized voices are getting silenced and traditional media has less opportunities to reflect issues of importance to ethnocultural communities, CEMA is a conduit and platform for ethnic media and advocates the potential of multilingual communication and the importance of access to Canada’s diverse communities.
Ethnocultural communities develop and maintain their ethnic identity in concert with the influence of communication options. Access to local ethnocultural communities and exposure to people who speak other languages is a positive factor in nation building. The existence and availability of ethnic media reinforces and enhances citizenry by creating a comfortable environment that facilitates successful integration. As a third pillar of communication in Canada, it is not only a bridge to accessible content but also serves as a barometer of positive portrayal, acceptance, self expression and identity.
Canadian ethnic media act as a promoter of a just society. By engaging community discourse, they become a vehicle with which to dispel false assumptions regarding cultural and social imbalances and differences. Ethnocultural communities benefit from community participation and engagement through communication in their language of comfort. It is this open and trusting climate that supports grassroots diversity and thus can be maximized as a tool to manage the risk of social imbalance.
CEMA, as THE pioneering organization of the annual juried Awards of Journalistic Excellence, has recognized for 41 years, professionals in print, broadcast, web journalism and writing reflecting Canada’s diversity.
Canadian ethnic journalists are rarely, if at all, recognized for their contribution in connecting ethnocultural communities to important Canadian issues. These awards are a showcase not only for ethnic media journalists, producers and writers but also for the important and necessary work they perform! The Award gala attendees are educated about Ontario and Canada’s ethnic media landscape as well as the opportunities that can be availed from ethnic media. The Awards contribute to the self esteem of both the award recipients and the ethnocultural communities that they represent.
The Canadian Ethnic Media Association continues to contribute to discourse involving issues that affect ethnocultural audiences by participating in national Conferences, think tanks and round tables as a valued and expert voice on media and diversity.