Newmark J-School Releases First-Ever Study on AAPI News History

(New York, New York) – May 26, 2024 –The Asian Media Initiative at Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism’s Center for Community Media is launching a groundbreaking report on the evolution of the news media ecosystem for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the U.S.

This report — AAPI Media: Origins and Futures — comes on the 100th anniversary of the 1924 Immigration Act (Johnson-Reed Act), which banned all immigration from Asia. Today, AAPI communities face parallels in rising anti-Asian violence, xenophobic property bans and inflammatory anti-immigration rhetoric, yet they are poised to play an increasingly important role in the 2024 elections.

Findings uncovered by report explore how diverse AAPI communities – from San Francisco’s Chinatown to New York City’s Little Syria – established and lost their news media sectors during the 19th and early 20th centuries, only to re-establish a vibrant news media ecosystem of more than 650 outlets that produce news in 54 languages today. Such historical examination not only enriches our understanding of AAPI media, but also establishes a framework for analyzing contemporary challenges in the digital age.

Click on the report to read the PDF.

Delving into issues of digital disinformation, online harassment, overseas influence, and other pervasive threats facing APPI media, the report underscores the critical need to safeguard news for and by journalists from these communities.

“Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been a part of the American story from the very beginning, documenting it through community media for 200 years,” said Asian Media Initiative director Kavitha Rajagopalan. “With this wide-angle view of the entire AAPI news media ecosystem through its long history, and in all its forms, we hope to build awareness of this powerful, often overlooked, mechanism for engaging AAPI voters and supporting AAPI communities.”

This report represents the first effort to view the national AAPI news media ecosystem in its entirety, through all the periods of its existence, and in all its manifestations — from hyperlocal newspapers and glossy magazines to call-in shows and investigative reporting projects.

“The analysis brought forth by this study, along with the detailed map and comprehensive directory, paints a vivid picture of the enduring strength of AAPI community media,” said Mikhael Simmonds, executive director of the Center for Community Media. “These outlets, historically among the best stewards of American history, have adapted to overcome myriad challenges. Today, they continue to play a crucial role in shaping a more inclusive and democratic America.”

AAPIs are the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S. with a voting-eligible population that has increased by 15% since the last presidential election. This report showcases the value of AAPI media, a critical and often overlooked resource for understanding AAPI history, engaging AAPI voters and building AAPI futures.

READ THE REPORT

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The Center for Community Media at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism serves news organizations that provide essential local coverage for populations whose voices and issues are underrepresented in mainstream media. The Center serves as a hub of information, resources, and training aimed at increasing the sustainability of the local news media sector. CCM is home to three national initiatives: the Asian Media Initiative, the Black Media Initiative, and Latino Media Initiative.

About the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY

The Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, founded in 2006, is a public graduate journalism school based in the heart of New York City. With affordable tuition and extensive scholarship support, it prepares students from diverse economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds to produce high-quality journalism. The school offers 16-month master’s degree programs: M.A. in Journalism, M.A. in Engagement Journalism, and M.A. in Journalism – Bilingual Program (English/Spanish). Through the school’s J+ division, which offers a suite of executive training programs, the J-School trains seasoned journalists to reimagine news business models, build news products, and step into leadership roles with an entrepreneurial mindset. The Newmark J-School is also home to four unique centers and initiatives: the Center for Community Media; McGraw Center for Business Journalism; the Journalism Protection Initiative; and the Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism.

 

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