new york, new jersey, connecticut

Will Senator Edward M. Kennedy’s endorsement of Senator Barack Obama sway Irish-Americans? What about The Irish Voice’s endorsement of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton? Could Mr. Obama become a household name among Chinese-American voters? Will American relations with Russia and Pakistan affect immigrant voters here? And can any Republican contender distance himself from Bush administration policies in the eyes of Arab-Americans?
These questions have not figured high — or figured at all — on televised debates and in the mainstream media coverage of the 2008 presidential campaign. But they are being asked in New York City, which is not only a media capital, but also the ethnic media capital, host to about 200 periodicals and broadcast outlets in dozens of languages — including Bengali, Tagalog, Dari, Latvian, Yiddish, Malayalam and Hungarian.

These ethnic media outlets have been intensely attentive to the presidential competition, not only because it is the most competitive presidential race in decades, but also because American foreign policy and immigration reform are also headline issues that resonate with their audiences. With an eye cast here and another overseas, a group of ethnic media reporters participated in a radio project called Feet in Two Worlds and went to New Hampshire last month to cover the primaries. City Room interviewed five of those journalists ­ as well as other ethnic media journalists on how the campaign is being covered in their communities.

Perhaps the most impressive effort is being put out by the Spanish-language ImpreMedia chain, which was freshly formed during the last campaign cycle from a merger and now expanded to a combined circulation of 10 million weekly. This election cycle, the media chain is embedding six reporters with various campaigns, covering Super Tuesday from seven battleground states, and doing its own extensive polling of Hispanic voters.