Asian American Journalists Have Space to Shine In The Changing Industry

Former anchor of The Today Show Ann Curry spoke at the 2013 national convention of Asian American Journalists Association in New York City about keeping faith and passion in the changing industry. Before a flight to the edge of Syria, Curry took the stage of the AAJA gala with MSNBC anchor Richard Lui. She gave her support to the community of Asian American journalists and reminded young journalists that “the job of a journalist is to give voice to the voiceless.”

Curry said “I am always Asian American,” in response to Lui’s question, “When are you Asian American?” Recounting the days when she felt lonely as one of the few Asians in her community or in the newsroom, she said to other Asian American journalists “I applaud your success and I cheer for you.”

I was part of VOICES, the student newsroom program of the convention, and the 13 of us student journalists flew in early in the week and started reporting for the convention with our mentors.

Students had shown high level of professionalism. Student journalist Mega Sugianto had witnessed a terrible car accident on her way to report another story. She quickly pulled out her camera and started shooting the tragic scene as one woman was seriously injured. Sugianto said she was traumatized by what she saw, but the instinct of a journalist pushed her to take on the difficult task. She made her name on the New York Daily Post that day with the valuable footage that no one else had. As I had reported a crime story related to two dead victims and been in a campus shooting rampage myself, I understood by first hand how traumatizing it can be, and how difficult to be a journalist, especially a professional journalist, in situations like that. My heart goes to Sugianto and I applauded her true professionalism.

I had the opportunity to interview Laura Ling and Lisa Ling before I came to the convention for a story I did for VOICES. Both of them, including Ann Curry, said that although the journalism industry is changing, and there may be fear about the tough job market, that passion in journalistic storytelling that can pull you through.

There are many amazing Asian American journalists in the country like Ann Curry, Lisa Ling, and Laura Ling. As the newsroom become more diverse, young journalists like Sugianto will find their place to shine.

See the future stars in the journalism industry.

DISCLOSURE: Shako Liu and Jocelyn “Joz” Wang are both members of AAJA. Joz also serves on the National Advisory and Governing Boards of AAJA, but did not assign this story to Shako. Shako submitted this story to 8Asians for editorial consideration without prompt.

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About Shako Liu

Shako Liu is a multi-media journalist in Los Angeles. She gained her master's degree in journalism at University of Southern California.
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