Clicking through the channels, you might not see many Asians reporting on the evening news, even though they're the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population.Juju Chang is one of only a handful of Asian-American news anchors, and she says it's due to a lack of diversity in top management.
“When I went on air at the network here, I was the only Asian-American and among the few women, and I'm sad to say that many all these many years later, I think that we've gone a long way in terms of diversity in front of the camera,but I think we still have ways to go behind the scenes, especially in upper management.”
Chang says it's important for minorities to be involved when story ideas are approved.
“Until Asian-Americans get real traction in that sense, you know, we're going to keep pressing our noses against the invisible window.”
Asians make up only three percent of the broadcast workforce.Journalism Professor Angie Chuang says a cultural bias may be to blame.
“The truth is that all kinds of psychological studies and employment studies have shown that we tend to favor or be more comfortable with people who are like us.”
Another issue is gender bias.Television journalist Alan Wang spoke to us on Skype.
“I think the image of Asian women for other people is that they're soft, they're beautiful, they're not threatening, whereas the image of the Asian male, what you're looking at, really has been, you know, (this is) the face of the enemy of this country during the last three major conflicts.”
Analysts say Asians lack the political clout of other groups such as African-Americans and Hispanics.Another group fighting for greater representation is the Asian American Journalists Association.VOA spoke with the group's Vice-President for Broadcast Niala Boodhoo on Skype.
“Certainly, I feel like even having those conversations is something that would not have happened years ago, and I think the fact that we're even having those conversations is a sign of progress.”
A leading broadcast industry group says 2011 was the best year for Asian American broadcasters.But still Asians made up only 3.5 percent of the industry.And the percentage of Asians sitting behind this desk has declined since then.And, with that, many Asians fear issues important to their communities will continue to be ignored.