New Canadian Media launched earlier this month with a mission to showcase the perspectives of immigrant Canada. Founder George Abraham shared details of the new media organization in an interview with J-Source.

By Eric Mark Do, Reporter

New Canadian Media launched earlier this month with a mission to showcase the perspectives of immigrant Canada. Founder George Abraham shared details of the new media organization in an interview with J-Source.

Give me the elevator pitch. What is New Canadian Media?

Essentially what we're trying to do for the first time in Canada is represent the immigrant perspective in Canadian discourse. We're doing this through news, views and comments from an immigrant perspective.

You recently wrote a piece for Nieman Reports about this initiative. Can you describe the inspiration behind New Canadian Media?

I was a Nieman scholar in ’94-’95 and I go back to the foundation fairly regularly to update my skills and knowledge. And at one of the sessions there I came across something—not quite what we're trying to do, but something in the same immigrant space in the United States. It's called New America Media and it's based out of California. That's where the idea of representing the immigrant point of view in Canada came from.

Why is it important to show this perspective?

I believe the immigrant point of view is not adequately reflected in the media. I'm not saying it's entirely absent but it's not enough. If you consider the fact that one in five Canadians is born abroad, obviously they bring a fairly different perspective to current affairs in Canada.


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Can you tell us about New Canadian Media’s partnerships?

We've been very fortunate to get support from both iPolitics.ca, which is based in Ottawa, and The Walrus magazine, which is based in Toronto. As a startup, obviously we don't have our systems in place, so they have been trying to mentor us because they believe this is a much-needed voice in Canadian media.

What are some milestones you hope New Canadian Media will accomplish in the next year?

First, to improve our editorial content. I think we have fairly good content up, but we want to improve it even further. We want to be as good as anybody else out there in Canada. The other one is obviously building a self-sustaining, market-driven operation. These are tough times. It has always been tough in the online media business, so we are looking for partnerships and innovative revenue streams. We have applied for charitable status so that we can get tax-exempt donations and we have built ourselves as a not-for-profit so that we are able to communicate the fact that this is not a purely money-making, mercenary operation. We believe fervently that all Canadians should have an equal voice in Canada.

Can you tell us about your editorial team?

It's a group of people who firmly believe in supporting what we are trying to do. So you'll see academics, you'll see great journalists, you'll see publishers in the ethnic press, you'll see a fairly good collection of high-calibre people both on the corporate and editorial sides.

New Canadian Media features original content as well as stories aggregated from other sites. Is there any one area that you're focusing on or are you just trying to put the best work out there?

When we say we want to represent the pulse of immigrant Canada, we want to do that through two different avenues. One is our own content. But we also believe that the ethnic media, especially English-language ethnic media, can play a role and hence we aggregate their content on our site. Over time, we believe original content will gain even more prominence than aggregated content but we will always have aggregated content.

This interview has been edited and condensed.

Correction: this story has been updated to reflect the correct name of New America Media.