Ethnic media as alternative media for South Asians in Metro Vancouver, Canada: Creating knowledge, engagement, civic and political awareness

Syeda Nayab Bukhari


South Asians, making 11% of the total population of Metro Vancouver, have established a large number of ethnic media sources including exclusive 24/7 radio stations, several newspapers, magazines, and online media in different South Asian languages for their audience. This qualitative research study of ethnic media of South Asian communities living in Metro Vancouver, reveals that ethnic media, specifically radio, provided active media space for discussion and dialogue on crucial issues concerning their everyday life challenges as ‘immigrant communities’. According to the participants, ethnic media triggered political activism and awareness through their content, especially due to mainstream media’s failure of coverage or negative coverage of ethnic minorities. This qualitative study uses in-depth interviews with thirteen South Asian ethnic media practitioners including media owners, journalists, and anchorpersons, as well as focus group discussions with South Asian audiences in Metro Vancouver. The article discusses the role of South Asian ethnic media, as alternative media, in creating knowledge, engagement, civic and political awareness, and giving a participatory platform to raise the voices of their audiences.


South Asian immigrants, ethnic media, alternative media, political awareness, settlement and integration, Metro Vancouver

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