Multicultural Reach of Social Media

2:30-3:45pm – Saturday, Feb 16. – World Room (Third Floor) at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism

As social media becomes more and more ubiquitous, ethnic media outlets are building innovative social media strategies to deepen their reach. Panelists will discuss these methods, including new ways they communicate and collaborate with their audience, the use of mobile in the communities of color and the limitations of social media in the communities they serve.


Sital Patel (@Sital) is a New York based reporter at MarketWatch, covering Wall Street and financial services, and focusing on social media strategy. Prior to joining MarketWatch, Sital worked as a producer, reporter, researcher for Fox Business Network where she has covered a broad range of financial stories including different aspects of Wall St, earnings, the stock market and politics.She attended Medill on an editorial scholarship and while there received another fellowship to study religion, spirituality and values in our society. Prior to graduate school, Sital lived in the Bay Area where she worked as an anchor and reporter for a weekend South Asian community-based show. In addition, she freelanced as a writer at the San Jose Mercury News, India West, India Focus Magazine and India Post. She is a board member for the Asian American Journalists’ Association in New York and its former president and a member of South Asian Journalists Association.


Lee Hernandez (@EXCLUSIVLee) is currently the Deputy Editor, Digital at Latina Magazine. He was previously the former Entertainment Editor for Latino Voices at The Huffington Post. He is and is executive producing a new movie called “They Call Me La Lupe,” starring Lauren Velez. 

Gordon Hurd (@theslowman) is Senior Editorial Director for News, Entertainment, and Men’s Lifestyle at,, and, where he also is also responsible for oversight of social media for our national brands. He has worked in online media since 1998 in various editorial and management roles for Intuit, Yahoo, AOL, McKinsey, and Interactive One, gratefully serving millions of visitors on a daily basis. Most recently he helped Interactive One create its social media strategy and expand its reach over 300% between 2011 and 2012.

S. Mitra Kalita (@mitrakalita) is the ideas editor at Quartz, the global economy startup of Atlantic Media. She worked previously at The Wall Street Journal, where she oversaw coverage of the Great Recession, launched a local news section for New York City and, most recently, reported on the housing crisis. She also launched Mint, a business paper in New Delhi, and has previously worked for the Washington Post, Newsday and the Associated Press. But no matter how many front-page stories she’s written. nothing impressed her parents, in-laws and their friends more than a biweekly column she wrote for India Abroad in 2002. Mitra is the author of three books related to migration and globalization (the award-winning Suburban Sahibs and more recent My Two Indias), and speaks seven languages (but only four of them well). She is an adjunct professor of journalism at St. John’s and Columbia universities, and previously served as president of the South Asian Journalists Association. Born in Brooklyn, Mitra was raised in Long Island, Puerto Rico and New Jersey—with regular trips to her grandparents’ villages in Assam, India. She lives (and eats) in the Jackson Heights neighborhood of New York City, along with her artist husband, two daughters and a dog.


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