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The Colorado Dream Podcast

Newcomers Welcome: Ethnic Media

 Afrik Digest publisher Vera Azuka Idam sits at her home office in Aurora, Colo. where she edits a magazine on her computer. This image shows Afrik sitting at a white desk and is shot at an angle so that you can see her computer screen.
Stephanie Daniel
Afrik Digest publisher Vera Azuka Idam sits at her home office in Aurora, Colo. on January 25, 2023. The Nigerian immigrant founded the magazine to bring African people together.

Aurora has a large foreign born population and some of them turn to local ethnic media outlets for news and to stay informed about their home countries. There are over three dozen ethnic media organizations that serve the city and the greater metro Denver area. They are print, digital and broadcast outlets that publish in many different languages including English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese and Polish.

Vera Azuka Idam started Afrik Digest in 2018, a free magazine and online publication, to bring African people together.

“To be their voices, to raise their voices,” she said. “We know what they want. We understand the way to put it that they would understand.”

There are hundreds of ethnic media outlets across the country. They face challenges like evolving digital and social media, loss of in-community businesses, an aging audience and lack of bilingual journalists. Fake news is a big issue too. It can stem from a variety of sources like targeted campaigns in communities of color that hope to influence elections to social media platforms like WhatsApp, WeChat and Facebook Groups.

One of the biggest challenges in funding.

“For those of us who are doing these things alone, maybe that's because we're struggling with, you know, with support and very minimum financial support,” said KETO 93.9 FM founder Endale Getahun.

KETO is a multicultural immigrant community radio station that primarily serves African immigrants and refugees. The signal originates in Aurora and has a broadcast radius of 10 miles and also streams online. There are shows and music in English, French and Ethiopian languages like Amharic, Tigrinya and Oromo.

Aurora partners with KETO, Afrik Digest and other ethnic media outlets to ensure the different immigrant groups have equal access to information and resources coming from the city.

“Networking with others is very helpful because you get to share experience,” said KETO-FM 93.9 founder Endale Getahun who attended the event.

“I feel like for many of these communities, they really trust, you know, these ethnic media organizations,” said Ricardo Gambetta, Aurora’s manager of International and Immigrant Affairs. “They know that they want the best for these communities.”

Links and Credits

Afrik Digest on social media

Center for Community Media at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York on social media

  • Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY on Facebook
  • Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY on Twitter
  •  Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY on YouTube

KETO 93.9 FM on social media

City of Aurora on social media

The Colorado Dream: Newcomers Welcome is a production from KUNC. This episode was written and reported by Stephanie Daniel. Editing by Sean Corcoran. This season's theme song was composed by Jason Paton. Jennifer Coombes is the digital editor.

The “American Dream” was coined in 1931 and since then the phrase has inspired people to work hard and dream big. But is it achievable today? Graduating from college is challenging, jobs are changing, and health care and basic rights can be a luxury. I report on the barriers people face and overcome to succeed and create a better life for themselves and their families.