Michelle Ye Hee Lee, President of the Asian American Journalist Association and the new Tokyo + Seoul Bureau Chief of the Washington Post joins Jerry to share her story of growing up in Guam, how she found her love of journalism, and what she's learned about our community covering the stories of the past year. Support Michelle and the work of AAJA at AAJA.org
Meet Michelle, in her own words:
I'm a reporter on the foreign desk at The Washington Post, where I've worked since 2014. I'm the incoming Tokyo bureau chief covering Japan and the Koreas, beginning in August 2021. Previously, I was a reporter on The Post's national politics desk, covering diplomacy and the State Department, campaign finance, lobbying, election administration, voting rights, political influence operations and other topics. I was formerly a reporter on The Washington Post Fact Checker, with a focus on fact-checking the 2016 presidential campaign, the Obama and Trump White Houses and congressional leadership. Before joining The Post, I was a government accountability reporter at the Arizona Republic. In my free time, I volunteer as president of the Asian American Journalists Association, which I joined as an 18-year-old aspiring journalist. I've been on the national board of AAJA since 2013, as national secretary, senior vice president and now going on my second term as president. I was born in Seoul, South Korea and moved to Guam when I was 7, and was raised there until I went to Emory University for college.
AAJA is a professional nonprofit that was founded in 1981 to create a network for AAPI journalists and to make sure AAPIs are accurately and fairly represented in media coverage. Today, we're an organization of 1,800+ across the U.S. and in Asia, dedicated to our mission to advance diversity in the news industry and ensure fair and accurate news coverage of communities of color. We not only make sure that media outlets tell our communities' stories, we also hold them accountable for offensive and incomplete coverage and provide resources so that they tell our stories thoughtfully, accurately and comprehensively. Through AAJA Studio, our speakers bureau of AAPI subject matter experts, we make sure that newsrooms have no excuse of excluding AAPIs as a source on any topic they cover. In everything we do, AAJA aspires to carve a larger space for AAPI journalists and our communities in this country.
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