On Wednesday, July 28, 2021, more than 60 people attended “Covering Anti-Asian Violence: A Workshop for Journalists and Scholars,” a virtual workshop for journalists and scholars interested in writing about Asians and Asian Americans, especially stories relating to anti-Asian violence. See the recording of the workshop here or watch it below.
The workshop was moderated by National Communication Association Immediate Past President Kent A. Ono, Professor in the Department of Communication at the University of Utah. According to Ono, the goal of the workshop was to “help journalists and scholars think through ways to improve media coverage about Asian and Asian American people.”
The workshop featured the following panelists:
Erika Lee is an Incoming Reporter for KWTV News 9 in Oklahoma City (CBS). She has covered breaking news, features, and stories that impact the local community and is an active member of the Asian American Journalists Association.
Diana Lu is a writer, media critic, and scientist in Boston, MA.
Marrian Zhou is a Chinese American journalist based in New York. She graduated from Columbia Journalism School and is currently a reporter at Nikkei Asia.
The panelists discussed the importance of journalists recognizing what they know and don’t know about Asian and Asian American communities when covering a story, as well as the importance of recognizing that Asian American communities are diverse and comprise many different religious and ethnic groups. The panelists also talked about their own experiences within the industry and the challenges that Asian American journalists face. Erika Lee described the skepticism that journalists may face when pitching stories: “When I was trying to pitch the story that I wanted to cover, it was often really hard to get people and managers to actually understand that this is worth covering. The only way that I actually got people to agree to let me cover [anti-Asian violence] was when I tied it to [President] Biden signing the anti-Asian hate crime bill… if he hadn’t signed that, then I wouldn’t have been able to tie it to a big topic.”
The workshop was co-sponsored by the National Communication Association and the Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication.