The Asian American Journalists Association’s Asia Chapter (AAJA-Asia) launched in 2021 an ambitious initiative for Advancing News Diversity in Asia: the ANDA project. Supported by the Meta Journalism Project, ANDA initially launched in seven markets: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, The Philippines, Singapore and Taiwan.
The ANDA project aims to define diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) from an Asia perspective, raise awareness about DEI 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 on 3 August 2021: “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 Meta Journalism Project and media partners across Asia-Pacific, the ANDA project is structured as a three-tier initiative focused on:
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. The ANDA research report was completed and published on April 2022, alongside with DEI Stories commissioned by the ANDA project to journalists from across the Asia Pacific region.
The project’s advocacy is building upon the research report’s findings and includes online webinars and in-person panel discussions in the various markets covered by the initiative. Events have been held so far in Hong Kong (in partnership with Telum – video recording here), Taipei, Tokyo (check the video and blog post) and Singapore between May and August 2022. Other events will be announced soon.
The ANDA research report identified the training of journalists and newsroom executives as a key solution for improving DEI in Asia’s newsrooms. However, Diversity training resources are notably scarce in Asia’s news media industry. One of the first solutions the ANDA project is implementing is consequently a Training of Trainers program to develop – in partnership with WAN-IFRA Women in News – a taskforce of Asia-based trainers able to deliver training for spreading the culture of gender balance and DEI in news content, policies and media organizational structures.
“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 Meta 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.’’
The ANDA project’s unique selling point is that it tackles 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.’’
For more information about the ANDA project, please write to email@example.com