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“Over my last 32 years working in the multicultural media industry, I look back with fondness.

Relationships have come and gone, newspapers and radio stations have opened and closed. The media have extended their reach in the digital realm, however, the essence of having a voice in the multicultural media landscape has remained the same.

The more things change the more they stay the same.” – Allan Kaufman

The purpose, passion and determination of the media owners, to deliver news for their community has stayed the course. In many cases, a second generation of media owners are taking the helm and exhibiting the same passion and purpose their parents did, all with a solid grasp on the new technology to help them engage with their community. 

The publishers do it for their community. Publishing is a selfless labour of love.

The first is community connection. The CALD (Culturally and Linguistically Diverse) media is a key conduit for communication within a community. Imagine arriving in a country as an immigrant and not having a grasp of the local language. You would naturally gravitate to media available in your language. You would expect to find information about what is going on in your community, stories about locals, community organisations, jobs and more. Now imagine the comfort that would bring you knowing that there is media out there just for you. Community connection is essential for newcomers as well as established residents. 

Information. The local CALD media has its tentacles in all facets of community life and can report on what is going on in the community. They can also deliver local, regional and national Government information, all specifically relevant to their audience. No other media source, such as mainstream media, or international digital media will address these local information needs. It is simply not in their remit, they do not have any insight into what the local community needs. That’s why the local multicultural media are so essential for providing information. 

Trust is a major factor when learning about and surviving in a new country. A trusted news source in your language is essential. Trust is earned by delivering news and information in a consistent and reliable manner over many years. The local media offers such a trusted and reliable source of news and information, expressed in language, so there are no misinterpretations and misunderstandings. The local CALD radio stations run talk-back segments, where local issues are discussed. They can hear the voices and opinions of fellow community members. The deep-thinking editors or key opinion leaders write long detailed editorials explaining what is going on so new migrants connect and better understand their new environment. Without trust the media has little value. 

Language use and retention of cultural identity. The publishers are passionate about the use of their own language and the celebration of their own culture. Their platforms perpetuate the use of their language, for the younger members of the community to practice and learn. Some publications are bilingual, which allows younger generations to remain connected with their community. As they grow older, there is evidence that second and third generations are returning to their family language and re-engaging with their cultures. 

The media also strengthens social cohesion. The publishers bring Australian culture to the readers too, nurturing a better understanding of the Australian way of life, and fostering understanding, tolerance and respect. They have an opportunity to embrace their values and highlight the Australian way of life. This in turn contributes to the strengthening of a multicultural Australia. It also empowers new immigrants to more confidently participate in Australian society. 

Empowerment. The CALD media provides a platform for the many different communities to share their voice, advocate for their rights and address issues. It provides opportunities for engagement, community participation and connection. Overall, it fosters a sense of belonging and inclusion in Australian society. Empowerment gives every individual a say in this great country. 

Finally, the CALD media offers a key opportunity for advertisers to reach into the heart of a community, with less clutter, in a trusted environment and with relevant contextual surroundings, thus making it more effective and positively received. If there is an effort made to talk to them in their own language and in their own loved medium, then advertisers are rewarded.