It’s hard to imagine that Asian American journalism was ever in the crosshairs of Donald Trump’s xenophobic campaign, but it’s the latest example of the Trump administration’s refusal to acknowledge that there are racial gaps in the field.
“I think there are more of these conversations going on,” said Anish Kambhampati, the Asian American head of the New York Times, when asked about the lack of progress in Asian American media.
“There’s a lot of work to be done.
I think this is a big part of why the Trump campaign got so strong.”
Kambhampsiti said the administration had yet to engage in a substantive conversation about Asian American representation in journalism.
“I don’t think that’s been the agenda that they’ve put forth,” he said.
“In terms of trying to change the conversation, it’s not working,” said Kambhlani.
“It’s not going to change, but we have to start talking.”
The Asian American Journalists Association said it was working to educate members about how to get ahead in the industry.
“As a society, we’ve got to be aware of how we’re going to keep these voices in the spotlight and that’s where the dialogue needs to start,” said JAsHA president John Sifton.
The association, which is also working on ways to support journalists who are not on the radar of Trump, said it had been working with its members to create a “black list” of journalists who have been targets of racist harassment.
“It’s about being prepared for these moments and being prepared to be that kind of person,” said Sifson.
“When that moment comes, we’re all in the position to have to make that kind and effective choice.”
The APA said it would be “immediately working to remove the names from this list.”
A recent study found that in 2018, there were 1.4 million Asian American journalists in the US, up from 633,000 in 2017.
Sifthons office, which works with media companies to recruit and train journalists, has also been working on the issue.
In 2016, the APA launched the Asian Pacific American Journalists Fellowship to train young Asian American reporters and help them advance.
That program is currently being expanded and will see the group expand to include women, people of color and LGBTQA people, it said.
In 2018, the Association of Asian American Women was also working with Asian Pacific Americans and their allies to “re-invigorate” the Asian-American community, Sifts office said.
That effort, it added, is focused on creating a “media environment that reflects Asian American values of diversity, inclusion, and inclusion”.
In the wake of the election, the group’s board of directors voted to establish the Asian Americans Media Alliance, which would help “to create a platform for Asian American leadership in media and the industry”.
The Asian American Media Association said the initiative was a “great first step” in addressing racism.