AAJA Updates ‘Handbook to Covering Asian America’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 1, 2012

SAN FRANCISCO — This spring, the Jeremy Lin phenomenon reminded everyone of the importance of the Asian American Journalists Association as a resource to ensure fair, accurate and sensitive coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. As the UNITY Journalists convention begins, AAJA is releasing a full update to our “Handbook to Covering Asian America.”

The handbook, first released in 2000, has been revised and includes dozens of additional entries offering guidance on the concerns of racial and ethnic groups. We explore stereotypes but, with explicit exceptions, we proscribe few words as slurs. In the most offensive cases, we precede the discussion with “avoid.” With some words, such as “Oriental,” we signal possible trouble with “caution.”

Above all, we have written this guide for journalists on deadline who are doing the best they can. Consult this guide so that journalism, and the journalists, will be better.

To point out possibly unintended omissions or to suggest revisions, e-mail AAJA_guide@hotmail.com.

Media Contact: AAJA Executive Director Kathy Chow

E-mail: kathyc@aaja.org
Telephone: 415-346-2051 | Fax: 415-346-6343
Mailing address: 5 Third St., Suite 1108, San Francisco, Calif. 94103


The Asian American Journalists Association is a nonprofit professional and educational organization with more than 1,500 members across the United States and in Asia. Founded in 1981, AAJA has been at the forefront of change in the journalism industry. AAJA’s mission is to encourage Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) to enter the ranks of journalism, to work for fair and accurate coverage of AAPIs, and to increase the number of AAPI journalists and news managers in the industry. AAJA is an alliance partner in UNITY Journalists, along with the Native American Journalists Association, the National Association of Hispanic Journalists and the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association. For more information about AAJA, visit www.aaja.org.