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CUNY urges more advertising equity as NYC spends more on community media

NEW YORK — City ad spending on ethnic and community media outlets increased by more than $5 million in 2021, according to a report by the CUNY Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism. The school is also stepping up calls for New York State to commit advertising money ethnic media outlets, as the mayor’s office did in 2019. 

During fiscal year 2021, New York City agencies including Parks and Recreation, the Housing Authority and others devoted $15.6 million of their ad spend to more than 230 community media outlets. This amount, according to a report by Newmark’s Advertising Boost Initiative (ABI) represented about 82% of the city’s $19.1 million advertising budget for the year. It also tops the amount of $10 million the city spent during the previous fiscal year. 

The spending follows a May 2019 executive order by former Mayor Bill de Blasio directing city agencies to spend at least 50% of their advertising budgets on community and ethnic media outlets. A subsequent bill passed by the City Council last year made this requirement permanent and created a new Mayor’s Office of Ethnic and Community Media, now directed by Jose Bayona. 

In an open letter published this week, the Newmark School’s Center for Community Media urged New York Gov. Kathy Hochul “to likewise commit to equity in advertising from New York State’s government agencies, as they seek to reach and serve all New Yorkers during this critical election year in an ongoing pandemic.”

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