AZN Television, the network for Asian Americans, launched a new community forum on their website called Outspoken. Clicking the links on the front page gets you to the AZN TV blog where two poets and two intern journalists post weekly.
Beau Sia, a Chinese American poet, and Ishle Yi Park, former Poet Laureate of Queens, New York, are the poet bloggers. Lena Wong and Emma Carew are the student interns. AZN television will select new interns each semester, with the help of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA).
Bill Georges, Senior Vice President of Advertising and Affiliate Sales at AZN Television, said “We created Outspoken to further connect with our viewers by offering them a forum that addresses the issues affecting the Asian American community.” The topics currently listed on Outspoken’s front page are Reality Shows, Journalism, the Western Influence, Communication, and Consumerism. At the blog, you get additional topics such as Adoption, Citizenship, Racism, Thanksgiving and Weight.
None of these topics has more than one or two posts, and topics such as Thanksgiving and Weight are symptomatic of blog category sprawl. It’s unlikely that there will be many more posts about Thanksgiving, so it shouldn’t be its own category. The topic Asian American Role Models could be merged with Asians in Music and Media. Otherwise, in a few months there will be as many categories as there are posts.
From reading the site, it’s apparent that at least some of the time, the writers are given topics or questions to answer. And then they go off, with varying levels of success. Beau Sia’s sound off about Reality Shows, for example, isn’t well-considered. But at any rate, the website is another platform for discussion and source for ideas about current events, lifestyle and cultural issues.