Table of Contents
The Asian American Journalists Association is releasing the final report for our broadcast snapshot analyzing the number of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) reporters, anchors, meteorologists and hosts working in local television newsrooms across the nation. Top findings and the full report can be found at the link below, where this information will live and serve as a reminder that AAPI representation in broadcast newsrooms must be significantly improved.
AAJA examined AAPI representation across major metropolitan areas by comparing the demographics of the top 20 TV media markets, which include cities such as Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago, with the proportion of AAPI on-air staff at the stations.
- There are not enough Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) journalists on television. AAJA took a snapshot of AAPI on-air talent in the top 20 local TV markets and found that nearly 25 percent of stations had no AAPIs on air and more than 70 percent of the stations didn’t have enough on-air staff representative of their AAPI populations in their markets.
- Representation is crucial to accurate and nuanced coverage and building trust and engagement with the audience, which in turn improves the quality, impact, and reach of journalism.
- The lack of response and participation in the snapshot project suggests that DEI goals are not a priority for many local TV news stations.
- The lack of representation leaves AAPI reporters dealing with two issues: being passed over on stories about AAPI communities because of questions about their objectivity and being expected to represent all AAPI communities and speak up for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color individuals because of their identity.
- The snapshot also supports some AAJA members’ recruitment and promotion experiences, where they encounter an unspoken misperception that there are already too many AAPIs on air or they are the “wrong minority” for openings.
- It’s time for newsroom ownership to address this ongoing structural and historical issue.
The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is releasing the findings from a snapshot project analyzing the number of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) reporters, anchors, meteorologists, hosts, and any on-air staff roles working in local television newsrooms across the nation.
AAJA examined AAPI representation on local television across major metropolitan areas by comparing the demographics of the top 20 designated market areas (DMAs), which include cities such as Los Angeles, New York City, and Chicago, with the number of AAPI on-air staff in those markets.
The result? AAJA found that local TV stations in those DMAs did a poor job of proportionately representing the AAPI population in their communities. Nearly half (48.3 percent) of the AAPI population lives in the top 20 DMAs, yet a quarter of the stations had no AAPIs on air.
The project also found that:
- More than 70 percent of the stations did not have on-air staff that was proportionally representative of the AAPI population in their DMA.
- Only four out of 20 DMAs had on-air staff representative of their local AAPI population: Phoenix, Denver, Miami, and Cleveland.
- Philadelphia, Detroit, and Orlando were the TV markets with the least proportional AAPI representation on air.
Why did AAJA conduct the project? AAJA initiated this broadcast snapshot in the absence of publicly available diversity data from stations. The project builds on AAJA’s mission to advance diversity in newsrooms and ensure fair and accurate coverage of communities of color.
As journalism evolves, newsrooms cannot afford to overlook AAPI communities. On-air representation matters to audiences, and newsrooms must reflect the diversity of the communities they cover, not only to ensure that the totality of their communities’ experiences are captured in their editorial process, but also to build trust and engagement with audiences. With the U.S. population becoming more racially and ethnically diverse, diverse and inclusive hiring, news gathering, and reporting are smart foundational business practices that newsrooms cannot ignore.
TESTIMONIALS FROM AAJA BROADCASTERS
What's it like to be the only one, or one of the only, AAPI in the newsroom?
Who did you see or didn't see on air growing up and how did that impact you?
What reactions do you get from AAPI community members when you are out in the field or in the community?
Some of the next steps that the report calls for include:
- News Consumers and AAPI Communities: Advocate for your local news stations to hire more AAPIs on air and build relationships with local newsrooms so that you can be a resource for stories.
- Researchers: Fill the research gap by conducting research on AAPI journalists.
- Journalists: Although it is an unfair burden, journalists should advocate for better DEI policies and practices in their workplaces because these problems are realities.
- Local TV Newsrooms and Ownership Groups: Listen to your audience’s concerns. Make DEI a priority, be transparent about hiring and retention goals and provide data about them.
- News Directors and Hiring Managers: Prioritize attending AAJA’s annual convention to meet promising, accomplished AAPI journalists face to face.
- Government and Regulatory Organizations: The Federal Communications Commission should add diversity accountability and reporting demographic data of news staff to their requirements for local TV stations to use public airwaves.
- Advertisers: Businesses that want to reach a growing consumer base with strong buying power should advertise with local TV stations that make DEI a priority.
BROADCAST SNAPSHOT NEWS AND RESOURCES
Full Report Press Release [LINK]
Fact Sheet / Initial News Release
AAJA Media Contact: Waliya Lari, Director of Programs and Partnerships, firstname.lastname@example.org
Newsy: “Report: More Americans See Asian Americans As ‘Perpetual Foreigners’”
MuckRack: “Underrepresentation of AAPI journalists in local TV news: Results from AAJA’s broadcast snapshot”
AsAmNews: “Data shows lack of AAPI journalists in top 20 media markets – AsAmNews”
NBC News: “‘The wrong minority’: Former news anchor accuses TV station of discrimination”
Marcom Weekly: “Muted Voices: Where Are The AAPI On-Air Journalists?”
AAJA Broadcast Snapshot Finds Underrepresentation of AAPIs in Local TV News in Top 20 Media Markets
The Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) is releasing the preliminary findings from a broadcast snapshot analyzing the number of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) reporters, anchors, meteorologists and hosts working