New Report by AAJA Shows Lack of Asian American Pacific Islander Representation in Local TV

By Kevin Eck 

A new report by the Asian American Journalists Association’s shows what it calls a lack of Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) representation at local stations.

In the report, the AAJA looked at the number of AAPI reporters, anchors, meteorologists and hosts in the top 20 markets and found that nearly 25 percent of stations have no on-air AAPIs and more than 70% have inadequate AAPI representation in on-air staff.

The report also mentioned the “lack of openness and cooperation by local TV newsrooms and their ownership groups.”


“The lack of transparency was surprising, especially the fact that so many newsrooms completely ignored our request to verify their data,” said AAJA director of programs and partnerships Waliya Lari. “Most of the very few stations that did respond declined to comment on or verify the data we collected.”

The report revealed that only Phoenix, Denver, Miami, and Cleveland had on-air staff representative of their local AAPI population. The markets with the lowest proportion of AAPIs to population were Philadelphia, Detroit, and Orlando.

“For too long, American society has functioned on the idea that equality is the goal and the best way to achieve that is to ‘not see color,’” said Lari. “Not only do we have to see color, we have to acknowledge it and its impact so that we can properly attain the new goal of equity.”