Sylvia Komatsu is executive vice president and chief content officer for North Texas public media stations KERA/KXT. In her 32-year career as reporter, documentary producer and program executive she has received numerous honors, including two national Emmy Awards.
What’s your life motto?
While I have several life mottos, this quote by Gandhi is one of my favorites: “You must be the change you want to see in the world.”
What advice would you give for up-and-coming journalists?
My advice for up-and-coming journalists is to maintain your curiosity and never stop learning. Explore any subject through as many viewpoints as possible. Uphold the highest standards of our profession. Expect the unexpected.
Describe how you’ve been involved in AAJA over the years?
I’m proud to say I was part of the group that founded the Texas chapter. I’ve also served as chapter treasurer and have worked on events and fundraising.
Why did you decide to become a journalist? What inspired you?
Growing up in the 1960s-70s, I developed a keen interest in current events and politics. I was eager to learn more about the pressing issues of the day, and was inspired by the role journalists played in helping people gain a greater understanding of the world we live in. Good journalism is essential to fostering an informed and engaged public -– the foundation of a strong democracy.
Why is media diversity important to you?
To fulfill our journalistic mission, it’s important that our newsrooms reflect the communities we serve. Diversity includes race, ethnicity, culture, gender, socioeconomic background, age, life experience, perspective and more. A diverse newsroom leads to better decision-making and to deeper, insightful storytelling.
What do you love most about being Asian American?
I’m extremely proud of our ancestors who paved the way so that we could enjoy the opportunities we have today. I think growing up at a time when there were few Asian Americans in my hometown has helped me to better understand the issues faced by those who may feel misunderstood or isolated because of their race, culture, language or other reasons.
Are there any interesting facts/trivia about your past experiences?
One of my assignments in high school was to write about something I had never done before – so I went skydiving.
Learn more about other AAJA members profiled for AAPI Month.