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Study Finds Asian American Voices Missing From Sunday Talk Shows

In a study of "The Big Five" Sunday television news shows, Asian-American think tank, ChangeLab, found that Asian Americans are simply missing from the conversation, even when the shows are discussing issues that are of interest and relevance to Asian Americans.

Changelab analyzed six months of Face the Nation (CBS), Fox News Sunday (Fox), Meet the Press (NBC), State of the Union (CNN), and This Week With George Stephanopoulos (ABC), and found that in these 130 episodes, Asian Americans were only mentioned thirteen times, 11 of which were merely a listing of different racial groups, and in only 73 words. And most of those 73 words, the study says, were references to model minority stereotypes and mischaracterizations of the Asian-American community.

The study found that most mentions were by Republicans, although often with regards to how Republicans could win Asian-American support despite being perceived as anti-immigration. Democrats did not mention Asian Americans outside of lists, even though Asian Americans are more likely to vote Democrat.

To re-balance the debate, the ChangeLab study suggests disaggregating data, featuring more Asian-American journalists, inviting Asian-American community leaders, and lists three topics into which Asian Americans could easily be incorporated: voting rights, affirmative action, and immigration.

“Asian Americans are both agents and subjects of U.S. politics,” said study author Scot Nakagawa, “If the purpose of the news media is to foster and inform public debate on key political matters, fulfilling that purpose demands the inclusion of Asian American stories.”

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