AAJA-Asia Launches News Diversity Initiative for Asia

Hong Kong, 3 August 2021

The Asian American Journalists Association’s Asia Chapter (AAJA-Asia) today unveiled an ambitious initiative, Advancing News Diversity in Asia or ANDA, at its annual New.Now.Next Media Conference (N3Con 2021). Supported by the Facebook Journalism Project, ANDA launched in seven markets (Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, The Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan) to define diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) from an Asia perspective.

The ANDA project aims to raise awareness and support efforts to improve diversity and representation in newsrooms and coverage throughout Asia.

AAJA has been advocating for diversity and the fair representation of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the US for over 40 years. Its Asia chapter membership comprises media professionals who are passionate and committed to advancing diversity in the region where they live and work.

AAJA-Asia President K. Oanh Ha announced the ANDA project at the journalism organization’s annual N3 conference, taking place online this week. 

“The discussions on diversity, equity and inclusion are just beginning in many newsrooms in this part of the world,’’ said Ha. “Here at AAJA-Asia, we want to encourage and help shape those conversations for our region. And we want to help bring solutions to advance DEI in this fast-growing media environment that is Asia.” 

With the support of the Facebook Journalism Project and media partners across Asia-Pacific, the ANDA project is structured as a three-tier initiative focused on research, advocacy and solutions. 

ANDA has launched its research initiative to better understand diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in an Asian context and how Asia’s journalists perceive DEI in their newsrooms and storytelling. It organized nine focus group discussions involving 44 journalists from 38 news outlets in English and five Asian languages. The focus groups helped shape a questionnaire that will be distributed soon to journalists across the Asia Pacific region.

The project’s advocacy initiative will build upon the research findings and feature the publication of an Asia News Diversity report, online webinars and launch of a website with dedicated resources.

“We are excited to partner with AAJA-Asia and gain a better understanding of news diversity and inclusion in Asia’s newsrooms with the ANDA project,’’ said Anjali Kapoor, Director of News Partnerships for Facebook APAC. “Our partnership with AAJA-Asia is part of our commitment to help the region’s news industry create more inclusive newsrooms and support a news community that is as diverse as the communities we serve at Facebook.’’

ANDA’s focus group discussions have shown the need to discuss diversity, equity and inclusion in a context that’s relevant to Asia.

“There is momentum globally to improve diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) in workplaces as citizens around the world engage in dialogue on racial justice and equity,’’ said Gilles Demptos, the AAJA Director for Asia Pacific. “However, DEI issues tend to be defined from a Western perspective, which is not always relevant or applicable to other parts of the world.’’

The ANDA project is supported by a team across the region, including AAJA-Asia members and local academic advisors in each of the markets included in the research project. Other partners include the BBC 50:50 Equality Project, Tempo (Indonesia), The South China Morning Post (Hong Kong), Media Today (S. Korea), Mothership (Singapore) and Rappler (The Philippines). 

For more information about the ANDA project, please write to asia@aaja.org

About AAJA-Asia

The Asia chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA-Asia) represents members across the Asia-Pacific region. It is a diverse, multi-ethnic community of local and international journalists and media professionals committed to supporting a vibrant press in the Asia-Pacific region. We are committed to advancing diversity and inclusion in media organizations, providing training opportunities to members, supporting students interested in journalism and advocating for fair media access. AAJA is a nonprofit educational and professional organization with more than 1,500 members across the U.S. and Asia.

About the Facebook Journalism Project

The Facebook Journalism Project works with publishers around the world to strengthen the connection between journalists and the communities they serve. It also helps address the news industry’s core business challenges. Our trainings, programs, and partnerships work in three ways: 1. Building community through news by working with and investing in organizations that fund quality journalism; 2. Training newsrooms globally; and 3. Partnering with news publishers and nonprofits to combat misinformation, promote news literacy, fund new initiatives, share best practices, and improve journalism on our platforms. For more information, please visit facebook.com/journalismproject.