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AsianWeek: On the Cutting Edge of the APA Community

NCM Profile

NCM, Astrid Martinez Posted: Jun 17, 2003

Every Thursday morning throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, red newspaper racks are filled with dozens of colorful AsianWeek publications reaching out to the diverse faces that make up the Asian Pacific American community.

Samson Wong, Editor-in-Chief of AsianWeek

AsianWeek is the only national English-language publication catering to Asian Pacific Americans, an audience comprised of an abundant amount of Asian sub-groups, languages and cultures. The free San Francisco-based tabloid publishes articles for a broad audience––from recent immigrants to second and third generation Asian Pacific Americans––in an attempt to connect the 10.2 million Asian Americans in the nation.

AsianWeek positions itself on the cutting edge of Asian Pacific American issues and communicates to both its Asian audience as well as those seeking the pulse of an emerging community. Founded in 1979 by John T.C. Fang, the publication strives to unite a diverse population of Asian Americans by reaching out to the growing community that is no longer fluent in their native languages. By providing news in English with an Asian Pacific American focus, AsianWeek attempts to keep American-born Asians and Asian immigrants informed and connected to their communities, both old and new.

“We’re here to help APAs (Asian Pacific Americans) work closely together, know each other better, and identify our common heritage,” says editor Samson Wong. “We are a publication that chronicles events of importance to APAs.”

With a circulation of 50,000 and a readership of 175,000, AsianWeek brings news from around the globe and highlights its impact on the Asian Pacific American community at home. Its focus on immigration has included stories on the INS raids in airports shortly after 9/11 and the registration deadline for visitors from Arab and South Asian countries. The publication has also featured articles on drug abuse by Asian American teenagers that goes unnoticed in government statistics and in their own homes. AsianWeek also covers national political issues such as Asian Pacific Americans speaking out against George W. Bush’s stance against affirmative action.

AsianWeek reaches out to young people by publishing poems, essays, and drawings by winners of the national contest “Growing Up Asian in America.” It also engages Asian Pacific American youth in its weekly column "Floss," where high school students write about their positions on the Iraq war, applying to college and getting ready for their prom.

The online edition www.asianweek.com includes sports articles on topics such as Chinese basketball legend Yao Ming, and the regular comic strip “Secret Asian Man” which features an Asian boy dealing with the complexities of being Asian in America.

AsianWeek’s articles on the issues facing the growing Asian Pacific American community are written by a staff that is almost all under 30.

“We’re here to help Asian Pacific Americans work closely together, know each other better, and identify our common heritage,” says Wong. “Beyond our common history and heritage, we’re also looking to identify our common futures as citizens in this country.”

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