New Canadian Media
, a non-profit multimedia portal for news and commentary from immigrant perspectives, launched this week from publisher George Abraham.
"We see ourselves pioneering a new niche in Canadian journalism - a crossover between 'ethnic' and 'mainstream,'" said Abraham in a statement. The site counts The Walrus
as "allies" and has received praise from figures at Carleton University, the University of Western Ontario, the National Ethnic Press and Media Council of Canada, and more.
New Canadian Media offers immigrant perspectives, "from the newly arrived to the grandchildren of immigrants"
"We think that they provide an important voice in the Canadian media landscape," said Nick Boshart, manager of digital initiates at The Walrus
. "They're right that the voice of the new Canadian is under-represented and we want to be supportive of new voices coming into the cultural landscape as much as possible."
Boshart and Walrus
co-publisher Shelly Ambrose have been assisting with technical guidance and business advice, and the relationship will be ongoing, he said.
New Canadian Media
began with a proof-of-concept site in 2011 and launched a beta upgrade in late 2012. The official version went live Feb. 12, 2014 with both exclusive content and 35 aggregated feeds.
Abraham, who is originally from India and moved to Canada in 2002, recounts the site's inception in a post on Harvard's Nieman Reports
. "New Canadian Media
furrows a growing niche," he writes, "An immigrant perspective on current affairs in Canada, highlighting topics of particular relevance to newcomers."
Online launches are frequent and success rates are low, he notes. "We are also dealing with the fragmented nature of the ethnic media, where many outlets do not publish in English. In my bleaker moments, when the odds seem overwhelming, I draw on my varied experience in some of the most treacherous countries in the world for honest journalists. I also remember the reassuring words of Bill Kovach, my Nieman curator in 1995: 'Keep the faith.'"
Abraham says the site will not feel compelled to update daily, but will keep active on Twitter
. In the future, New Canadian Media
hopes to expand with an "AP-style" news agency.