🚨 Bulletin: Support AAPI journalists
#StopAsianHate/#StopAAPIHate Resources for mental health, supporting journalists & coverage
I didn’t plan on sending out another bonus issue in our first week, but the news cycle sometimes just makes that not possible.
As you probably know, nearly 4,000 hateful incidents again Asian Americans have been documented nationwide since the pandemic began1, but the news of this week of the shooting spree in the Atlanta area that left eight dead has thrust this issue into the spotlight.
In this bulletin, I wanted to outline a few important resources from the America Asian Journalists Association for everyone:
If you’re an AAPI journalist:
Mental wellness fund
This fund is designed to provide financial assistance specifically for AAPI journalists to help you get the support you need during this time. There are no therapists designated for this fund, so the money can be used at your discretion, whether it’s to continue seeing your current therapist, to see a therapist for the first time, or to pay for your medication.
At this time, the maximum per person is $1,500. I will begin distributing funding after the first $2000 is raised.
The goal is to be able to help everyone who applies and qualifies for funds. To make that possible, we've asked for both your desired amount and the minimum amount that would help at this time.
For everyone else: You can donate to the fund. Details are below.
Mental health resources
AAJA has been compiling a list of mental health resources.
On Sunday, AAJA will host the second off-the-record mental health conversation for AAJA members working in newsrooms. If you’re a member, details should’ve been emailed to you.
Please read toward the bottom of the newsletter for a note I think we all need to read.
If you’re an ally - journalist or not:
AAPI Journalists Therapy Relief Fund
As I shared earlier, there is a fundraiser dedicated to providing therapy and mental health relief.
As we saw with Black Lives Matter this past summer, the journalism industry is calling on the most vulnerable to share their stories and provide on-the-ground reporting offering little financial compensation or emotional support in exchange for labor.
This campaign will secure AAPI journalists with funding for mental wellness resources needed to process trauma resulting from both their work in the media industry and their daily lives. Funding will be distributed as it comes in starting after the first $2000 is raised. The initial goal is set for $35,000, but will be increased upon fulfillment.
Become an AAJA member
You don't have to be AAPI or a journalist to join AAJA.
If you’re a journalist
AAJA issued guidance on how to cover this story. It actually ended up crashing their website.
Here’s a quick summary:
Take caution with language in news coverage that could fuel the hypersexualization of Asian women, which has been linked to violence and discrimination
Understand anti-Asian racism and invisibility
Diversify your sources by interviewing and quoting AAPI experts
Empower and support your AAPI journalists and colleagues
AAJA stands with our AAPI journalists, who have been subject to violence and discrimination over the past year and as anti-Asian incidents have risen during the coronavirus pandemic. Many of our journalists are pushing for — many times, quietly and without recognition — increased coverage of AAPI experiences. Many are experiencing compounding trauma while covering the violence. We commend their dedication and resilience.
A note to remember
I found this tweet from Tom Huang, Assistant Managing Editor for Journalism Initiatives at Dallas Morning News, important:
I want to end with words from Michelle Ye Hee Lee. She is the president of AAJA and a Washington Post reporter covering diplomacy and the State Department. She tweeted this on Wednesday:
To all the Asian American and Pacific Islander journalists logging on/showing up to work this morning, feeling shook, horrified, exhausted and invisible, I see you and you’re not alone.
You’re processing the news while putting on your game face to do your job. Maybe none of your managers or colleagues are checking in on you today. Or maybe they ARE checking in and you worry about seeming weak or biased.
Maybe you're the only AAPI in your newsroom, or maybe there are no AAPI managers there. You may be the only one pitching the shooting story today, even if it's not your beat. There are hundreds of AAPI journalists across the country feeling the way you do today.
You’re human. And that’s okay. WE'RE here for you. #AAJAfamily is here to support you.
We’ll have much more in Sunday’s issue.
In the meantime, please comment with any other resources.