Rita Allen Foundation and Public Radio International® announce "Immigrant Lives" initiative

Jul 25, 2012, 14:00 ET from Public Radio International

PRINCETON, N.J. and MINNEAPOLIS, July 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In today's fractured news media landscape, the challenge of connecting audiences, producing news relevant to a global society, and telling meaningful stories that show us who we are becoming as a global society, has never been greater. Public Radio International (PRI) and New America Media (NAM) will embark on a pioneering collaboration, "Immigrant Lives," designed to elevate public awareness of, and discourse about the experiences, struggles and successes of the over 38.5 million immigrants across America. PRI received a $400,000 grant to jump start the initiative from the Rita Allen Foundation, which seeks to nurture breakthrough solutions in science and society.

PRI's flagship public radio news program PRI's The World® will work with New America Media to uncover and produce stories at the intersection of immigrant experience and civic life in the United States. These stories (30–40 throughout the year) will air on The World, reaching 2.5 million weekly listeners, and will be distributed through the New America Media network of ethnic press. The stories will be produced by journalists from both organizations and from public radio stations. PRI will also launch a groundbreaking social media effort aimed at fostering dialogue and civic engagement around issues the stories address.

"This initiative is central to our mission to provide content and experiences essential to helping people live successfully in our interconnected world," said Alisa Miller, PRI's President and CEO. "Through this and other initiatives, PRI continues to push innovation in public media through content and distribution partnerships that provide platforms for the different voices of Americans and others across the globe to be heard."

"Our partnership with PRI on this initiative is extremely important to the work of New America Media and the hundreds of ethnic news organizations we represent," said Sandy Close, Executive Editor and Director of New America Media. "Ethnic media amplify the voices and tell the stories of their communities in their own terms. Collaboration between and among ethnic media and between the sector and PRI will ensure that immigrant communities will be better informed, better connected to one another, and better able to influence policy makers."

In addition to creating in-depth stories on issues affecting first- and second-generation immigrants and distributing them widely, the collaboration is aimed at breaking down barriers between the traditional audiences of public media and the ethnic press. By creating routes of conversation and engagement between recent immigrants and Americans whose families have been here for more generations, it aims to help people from all backgrounds better understand the issues that affect us all.

"Immigrants are an essential part of the fabric of American communities," said Elizabeth Good Christopherson, President and CEO of the Rita Allen Foundation. "We are supporting this important collaboration between leaders in public radio and the ethnic press with the goal to increase understanding and inspire citizens to engage around stories that affect the lives of immigrants in the United States."

About Public Radio International® and PRI's The World®
For over 28 years, Americans have identified PRI as the source of news, information and cultural insights essential to understanding our interconnected world. On almost 900 radio stations across the U.S. and on digital platforms that reach millions around the globe, PRI continues to innovate in sharing powerful stories, connecting people and cultures around the globe, and helping people affect positive change in their lives and the world. More at PRI.org.

Launched by PRI in 1996, The World is a co-production of PRI, the BBC World Service and WGBH Boston, and is broadcasting's only program dedicated to transforming how Americans experience the world. The hour-long, daily news magazine offers a multi-dimensional and often surprising take on news, current events, arts and music from around the globe, and can be heard on over 300 stations across the U.S. More at Theworld.org.

About New America Media
New America Media, a national news and communications agency founded in 1996 by the nonprofit Pacific News Service, has developed the first and largest collaboration of ethnic news media in the United States. Headquartered in San Francisco with offices in New York and Washington, D.C., New America Media syndicates multimedia content—both original stories and stories aggregated and translated from the ethnic media sector—to ethnic, mainstream and "new" media partners, including NAM's own online, TV and radio portals. www.newamericamedia.org

About The Rita Allen Foundation
The Rita Allen Foundation invests in transformative ideas in their earliest stages to leverage their growth and promote breakthrough solutions to significant problems. Areas of active interest include supporting young leaders in the sciences and social innovation, promoting civic literacy, and building stronger communities. The Rita Allen Foundation was established in 1953 and is based in Princeton, New Jersey. For many years the Foundation has sponsored a Scholars Program that has supported more than one hundred scientists and researchers over the last thirty years, many of whom have made important advances in medical research. www.ritaallen.org

SOURCE Public Radio International