Stop Asian Hate Movement Rebuilds Media Coverage of Minority Groups – The Daily Evergreen
There was more media coverage of the AAPI community after the hate crimes; the stigma around Asian Americans is unfounded
Media coverage has focused more on issues affecting the Asian American and Pacific Islander community following the shooting of six Asian women in March and other hate crimes against this group.
“There has been a recent shift for the better in media coverage of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” said Alexis Tan, a professor at WSU Edward R. Murrow College of Communication.
Bigger news outlets started running more stories about hate crimes and other events, Tan said.
However, that coverage came too late, said WSU AAPI Student Center member Taylor Dunaway. Even now, hate crimes against the AAPI community are not as heavily covered.
Dunaway said she felt hurt and shocked by the events that transpired.
Yoon-Wha “Yuna” Roh, an assistant piano teacher and a native of Seoul, South Korea, said she felt confused and shocked that events such as the Atlanta spa shooting could take place.
“Rejected. I’ve lived in the United States for more than half my life, and Korea is my home as well,” Roh said.
The media did not cover the events as hate crimes at first, Roh said. The articles gave the impression that a random shooting had taken place rather than a specific, targeted attack on the AAPI community.
“Not just random people, these are humans,” she said.
The Stop Asian Hate movement has gained momentum because of these hate crimes. It is only at this movement that the media started covering the stories as hate crimes, Roh said.
Asian Americans weren’t the only ones to attend rallies organized by the movement; members of the African-American community and other groups were also present. It helped ease the feeling of rejection, Roh said.
Fear and anxiety were already high in the AAPI community before the shootings and other attacks. COVID-19 has contributed to rising racism against the AAPI community as many members have been blamed for creating the virus, AAPISC says member Kaila Chang.
There were more examples of Asian Americans being told they liked to eat dogs or that they were sick people. There was a lot of stigma around Asian Americans that was unfounded, she said.
“People think it’s a joke, but it’s really not,” Chang said.
Crimes that occur against the AAPI community are often swept under the rug and not covered by the media, she said. Those in the majority are uncomfortable accepting that there is a problem in the minority and avoid having the subject take away their power.
Television and movies are another form of media that portrays Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Tan said.
“I think it’s great that there’s kind of a revolution in the media because now you have movies like ‘Shang-Chi’ coming out,” Dunaway said.
Films like this create a more accurate representation of the AAPI community, she said. As more movies and dramas like this come out, the most human members of the AAPI community are represented.
More diverse media hiring can also lead to more representative coverage of the AAPI community, Chang said. Awareness programs can help the hiring process to diversify and create more opportunities.
“People are more willing to see us with an open heart as who we are, that we’re not that different,” Roh said.