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AsAmNews to embed reporter on Maui to cover wildfire recovery

Report for America announced this morning that it has selected AsAmNews as one of more than 50 host newsrooms awarded a reporting fellow in 2024.

This reporter will be hired to follow the recovery of the Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander and Filipino communities on Maui in the wake of the wildfire disaster in August.

“We want to focus on the socio-economic impact of the fire on the large AAPI community on the island and examine efforts to rebuild the community while retaining their vibrant culture and heritage,” said Randall Yip, founder and executive editor of AsAmNews and President of Asian American Media Inc, the non-profit that publishes AsAmNews.

Report for America is a national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on under covered issues and communities. It is an initiative of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit media organization, and is structured to harness the skills and idealism of an emerging group of journalists plus the creative spirit of local news organizations—like ours.

Report for America logo

Report for America is a two-year program (with an option for three) that delivers a wide range of benefits to its corps members. Beyond paying up to half of the journalists’ salaries, it provides ongoing training and mentorship by leading journalists, peer networking, and memberships to select professional organizations.

“We are honored to be part of the Report for America program and our uplifted by the trust the GroundTruth Project has shown in us by selecting us to participate,” said Yip.

He thanked Associated Editor Akemi Tamanaha who has relatives in Hawaii and California Local News Fellow Jia Jung who previously worked on the Island and the Pacific region for helping to develop the proposal ultimately selected by Report for America.

“Report for America invites journalists from diverse backgrounds to weave their unique narratives into the fabric of local newsrooms. With a dedicated beat as their canvas, these storytellers ensure that every community’s voice is heard and critical issues are amplified,” said Earl Johnson, vice president of recruitment and alumni engagement at Report for America. “Through Report for America, journalists find not just a job but a calling—a perfect opportunity to make a profound difference where it matters most.”

To help subsidize AsAmNews’ share of the reporter’s salary and full health benefits, we have launched a year-end fundraising drive with the goal of raising $60,000. This goal has been made easier by an anonymous donor who has pledged to match dollar for dollar any donation made between November 1, 2023 and the end of the year up to $30,000.

Donations can be made via credit card, debit card or PayPal here. Checks made out to Asian American Media Inc can be sent to 440 North Barranca Avenue #8117, Covina, CA 91723.

As of this morning, together with the matching grant, we are 42% of our goal with three weeks to go.

Applications are now being accepted to work with AsAmNews as a Report for America fellow or any of the other 50 newsrooms chosen to participate as a 2024-25 host newsroom. More information can be found at Report for America.

Happy Lunar New Year! Time is running out to support our Lunar New Year Fundraising Drive through this link. The campaign ends Sunday. AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.

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