Updated Nov. 18
"While daily newspapers across the country battle for their lives, a scrappy little ethnic newspaper in San Francisco's Japantown is discovering new ways to survive,"Jon Funabiki wrote Wednesday for New America Media. "It is the Nichi Bei Weekly, and it's become my poster child for the special role that ethnic news media can play in their communities.
"The elements of success include the newspaper's deep roots in the Japanese American community, a new nonprofit business model, and an expanded mission that includes a growing set of vibrant, intergenerational cultural programs. A recent example was the Nikkei Angel Island Pilgrimage, which drew more than 600 people, young and old, to honor the 85,000 Japanese immigrants who passed through the 'Ellis Island of the West.'
"All of these elements were evident when the newspaper recently held its fifth anniversary celebration in a cavernous basketball gymnasium in the heart of Japantown. The program featured traditional odori dancers, a UC Berkeley a cappella choir singing songs in Japanese and English, and gourmet food with your choice of pesto mashed potatoes or steamed gohan (rice). The event had a distinctly Japanese American and multigenerational flavor, with awards and honors given to numerous volunteers and organizations who have contributed to the Nichi Bei's success. One award went to Renaissance Journalism — more on this later.
"The newspaper traces its history back to 1899 . . ."