Annenberg Radio News

‘Hear Us’: L.A. Times journalists on representation in media

A panel at USC Annenberg’s “Hear Us” conference featured L.A. Times journalists Calvin Alagot and Jeong Park speaking about diverse and accurate representation in news.

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LA Times journalists Calvin Alagot and Jeong Park spoke to the USC Asian American Journalists Association as part of Annenberg’s weeklong “Hear Us” conference.

Alagot, a photo editor, and Park, an Asian American communities reporter at the LA Times, led a conversation on objectivity, trauma and reporting on Asian communities in the newsroom.

During the panel, Park shared his experience covering the mass shooting in Monterey Park this January.

Jeong Park: You look at the community where this happened and you try to tell the story of the community past the fact that this tragedy occurred there Monterey Park, obviously it’s known as one of the first suburban Chinatowns in America.

As the panel reflected on the traumatic event, Alagot spoke about steps the LA Times took to improve coverage.

Calvin Alagot: I feel like we’ve been doing a better job at giving space to BIPOC communities... Personally, I get frustrated because I feel like we’re not moving fast enough. But I guess change takes time. So at least we’re moving in the right direction.

Afterwards, we spoke to Park to hear his thoughts on how the discussion went..

Park: I thought the students had really interesting questions about objectivity and how to cover Asian American communities. I can see that they have given a lot of thought about those topics in their time at USC... I’m excited to hear that students are interested in coming into this field, working in this space. So it’s good to be here.

The discussion was part of “Hear Us,” conference recently organized by the Annenberg Cross Cultural Association hosting events for the National Associations of Black, Hispanic and Asian Journalists in Annenberg. It’s the first of its kind in the school’s history.

Valerie Fang is a junior studying Communications. Like many other students who attended the panel, she left the conversation inspired.

Valerie Fang: I mean we’re not in the industry yet, per se, but yeah, I’ve been amazed by how much student journalists can do. I think that gets me excited and makes me hopeful me just motivation to do more and think more and just communicate more.

For Annenberg Media, I’m Edward Huang.