Diversity in the Newsroom: 10 Asian Pacific Journalists to Follow Right Now
Diverse voices in our newsrooms ensure that every facet of the American story is told.
Recognizing and recounting the unique perspectives of all members of our community contribute to creating an informed and empathetic citizenry.
In recent years, the Asian Pacific American population in the U.S. has seen demographic growth and increased recognition.
A diverse group itself, Asian Pacific Americans comprise numerous communities, including South and East Asian and Pacific Islander Americans, each with a unique history and culture.
In the U.S., we set aside May to celebrate these long and rich histories and the contributions these communities have made, so to prepare for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, we’ll take a look at 10 influential journalists making their voices heard in U.S. media.
Juju Chang is the host of ABC’s Nightline as well as a contributor for Good Morning America and 20/20.
Chang told KoreAm about her journey into journalism and her admiration for pioneering Asian American anchor Connie Chung, “I felt even more compelled when my mom said to me, ‘Oh, you could be like Connie Chung. She’s Asian, she talks a lot.’ Because I also won a lot of speech contests in high school.
“And the hysterical thing is that later, one time when Connie and I briefly worked together at 20/20, we became friends. I earnestly told her my story, about how she inspired me, and I thought we were going to have a kumbaya moment, and instead she said to me, ‘Juju, if I had a nickel for every Asian girl that told me that, I’d be really rich.’ But in a very girlfriend-y way. There was an entire generation of young Asian American women like me who were inspired by Connie Chung, and I think it says a lot about who we see in the landscape ahead of us.”
Hari Sreenivasan is a senior correspondent and the weekend anchor for PBS NewsHour.
Prior to NewsHour, Sreenivasan worked at CBS and ABC reporting for CBS Evening News, The Early Show, and CBS Sunday Morning, as well as World News Tonight with Peter Jennings, Nightline with Ted Koppel, and served as anchor for World News Now.
Sreenivasan won an Emmy for his story about child labor in the Philippines.
Discussing diversity in the newsroom with Asia Society’s Asia Blog, Sreenivasan said, “Again, racial diversity is not just about bringing a different set of life experiences to the table. It can also bat down preconceived notions and stereotypes that all humans, including storytelling humans, have. Someone at the table has to say, ‘What you just said is accurate for one slice of the population, but from where I live, where I grew up, we saw this event or this series of events, this person, or this institution, very differently.’“
Elaine Quijano currently is an anchor on CBS’s digital platform in addition to anchoring the Sunday edition of CBS Evening News and frequently filing reports for CBS This Morning and CBS Evening News.
Prior to her work on CBS, Quijano was a White House correspondent on CNN.
Quijano rose to national prominence in 2016 when she moderated the vice presidential debate, becoming the first Asian American to do so.
She talked about her Filipino heritage and offered advice for aspiring Filipino American journalists in an interview with Filipinas Magazine.
An Edward R. Murrow and Peabody Award winner, Xaykaothao told Angry Asian Man blog, “I want people to be heard, especially those who have historically been denied the opportunity to speak, or were never asked their opinion. I work in public media because I believe in community empowerment.”
Richard Lui is a daytime anchor on MSNBC and a contributor to USA Today, Politico, The Seattle Times, Detroit Free Press, and The San Francisco Chronicle.
Previously with CNN, Lui anchored a CNN Headline News morning show and contributed political reporting. Lui’s history in politics began when he was a campaign manager in a local race at 19.
Lui also has worked extensively in the private sector, including technology, and has a long history in community service. Most recently he has been an outspoken advocate for Alzheimer’s Disease awareness.
Ailsa Chang is one of the anchors of NPR’s venerable evening news broadcast All Things Considered. She also reports for Planet Money, NPR’s economics podcast.
Chang has a background in law, having practiced and clerked before turning to journalism.
Prior to All Things Considered, Chang was a congressional correspondent and reported on a variety of domestic and political issues, including an award-winning investigation of the New York Police Department’s stop-and-frisk policy.
Fareed Zakaria hosts Fareed Zakaria GPS on CNN in addition to contributing columns to The Washington Post and The Atlantic.
Zakaria’s show covers international and domestic policy and he has interviewed the world’s leading statespeople, including Barack Obama, Vladimir Putin, and Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
Zakaria has written three best-sellers and is frequently cited as one of the most influential policy thinkers today.
Lisa Ling began her career as a teenager on the kid-oriented school news show Channel One and eventually rose to a war correspondent post while still in her early twenties. After that, Ling gained popularity during a stint on the Emmy-winning day-time show The View.
Ling also worked on National Geographic Explorer and the OWN Network before landing at CNN with her documentary series This Is Life with Lisa Ling, which explores the stories of niche groups and little-known subcultures.
In 2018, Ling was named one of the 100 most influential Asian Americans by the nonprofit organization Gold House, which cites her as saying, “I’m not sure I have been taken as seriously because I’m an Asian woman. I think I’ve been discounted a few times despite having numbers that were/are commensurate to my male counterparts.”
Ann Curry is an Emmy Awarding-winning journalist best known for her 15 years as co-anchor of NBC’s Today.
Curry currently hosts the documentary series We’ll Meet Again on PBS, which recently completed its second season.
While at NBC, Curry also served as an international correspondent covering disasters and conflicts and interviewing presidents, world leaders, artists, and celebrities.
John Yang is a national correspondent on PBS’s NewsHour.
Before PBS, Yang reported for Nightly News with Lester Holt and Today on NBC, where he was part of a Peabody Award-winning team. Prior to NBC, he worked as a White House and Mid East correspondent on ABC.
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Nicole Howard is an associate product manager at Cision, as well as an editor and freelance writer. When not working or reading, she enjoys word puzzles and the outdoors.