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SPJ encourages responsible coverage of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities


3/18/2021


CONTACT:
Matthew T. Hall, SPJ National President, 619-987-7786, mhall@spj.org
Jennifer Royer, SPJ Director of Communications and Marketing, 317-361-4134, jroyer@spj.org

INDIANAPOLIS — The Society of Professional Journalists stands with the Asian American Journalists Association and SPJ's Asian American members in urging reporters to be responsible and fair in covering the Asian community following the March 16 shootings in Atlanta.

Eight people were killed in the Atlanta shootings. Six of the victims were identified as Asian and seven were women. At least four of those killed were of Korean descent. SPJ joins AAJA in urging newsrooms to take caution with language in news coverage that could fuel the hypersexualization of Asian women, which has been linked to violence and discrimination.

“We stand against hate and with members of AAJA and journalists from the Asian and Asian American and Pacific Islander communities today, and we urge everyone to support AAJA every day,” said Matthew T. Hall, SPJ national president. “We also urge our peers to follow AAJA's powerful guidance to newsrooms in the wake of the killings in Atlanta, and in particular, to provide appropriate context in your stories and to understand and report that anti-Asian racism is real and worsening during the pandemic. We urge newsrooms to listen to their communities and to tell this story in their communities, and we thank those who have been doing this. We want the hatred to stop and the focus on amplifying community voices to continue.

“Lastly, we urge newsrooms to diversify their sources, their stories and, importantly, their staffing to help tell important stories in the Asian and AAPI communities, and in all communities of color, not just in moments like this, but day in and day out,” Hall continued. “Thank you for your incredible work in a difficult week, AAJA.”

SPJ joined AAJA in February in condemning recent harassment and violence toward AAPI communities, including threats against journalists.

For more information, contact the SPJ Diversity and Inclusion Committee; contact the SPJ Race & Gender Hotline and refer to the SPJ Code of Ethics.

SPJ promotes the free flow of information vital to informing citizens; works to inspire and educate the next generation of journalists; and fights to protect First Amendment guarantees of freedom of speech and press. Support excellent journalism and fight for your right to know. Become a member, give to the Legal Defense Fund or give to the SPJ Foundation.

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