Now more than ever, Asian American and Pacific Islander, or AAPI, college journalists should be empowered to center their community’s voices in their work.
Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition that records and reports discrimination against Asian Americans, received 3,795 incidents of harassment throughout the country between last March and this February. From the Trump administration’s ignorant remarks to the six Asian women who were attacked in Atlanta, violence has become more pronounced.
For many Asian Americans, racism is nothing new — not when it is rooted in the United States’ long history of anti-Asian sentiments. But in order to change this narrative, Asian American journalists need to have their voices heard.
As reports about the victims of the Atlanta shooting came out, Asian journalists had to create pronunciation guides to victims’ names and call out cases where outlets misidentified victims in their reports.
On college campuses, Asian American student journalists are also working overtime to ensure AAPI perspectives are heard and protests are properly covered by their newsrooms.
It’s not easy having to watch your community suffer while simultaneously reporting and ensuring fair coverage, especially when having to juggle coursework and other demands.
Here is a list of resources AAPI student journalists can use not only while reporting but in looking after themselves.
AAJA Guidance on Atlanta Shootings & Anti-Asian Hate Incidents
The Asian American Journalists Association, or AAJA, put together a comprehensive list to ensure respectful reporting in future coverage of anti-Asian incidents.
The list includes guidance on framing hate crimes within the context of the United States’ history of silencing Asian voices, harmful language that could contribute to hypersexualization and fetishization of Asian women, tips on diversifying sources and methods to empower Asian journalists in their newsrooms.
AAPI Mental Wellness Resources
AAJA compiled a list of mental health resources, providers and suggestions to help mitigate potential trauma from reporting. The organization also provided links to conferences focused on methods to improve mental health and ensure culturally sensitive coverage.
AAPI Journalists Therapy Relief Fund
The AAPI Journalists Therapy Relief Fund, which was created in partnership with AAJA, was set up specifically with Asian journalists’ mental well-being in mind. Given the strain many Asian American journalists face, the campaign will help fund therapy or psychiatric medication. According to the campaign page, journalists will need to fill out this form for financial assistance.
Media Mentors program
Student journalists can use the Media Mentors program, founded by Adriana Lacy, to gain insight and tips from reporters in the field. Many mentors encourage discussing mental health and breaking into the industry. Students can view a mentors’ biography and field of specialty and then sign up for office hours through their profile.
AAJA’s solidarity workshop
During AAJA’s workshop, UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism assistant director of journalism and media ethics Anita Varma taught best practices to ensure coverage respects people’s dignity. During the panel, journalists discussed writing about the solidarity between Black and Asian communities during this time and their own candid experiences reevaluating reporting on race. As a part of the workshop, AAJA also provided a document with resources and examples of stories that exemplified solidarity in reporting.
Hopefully, by accessing these various resources, Asian American college journalists can feel empowered and supported in sharing their indispensable voices.