Minority Journalists

The news organization was created by white men, and continued to be run by white men until a few multicultural individuals entered the journalism field to pave the way for minorities in America.

African Americans in the news

Though some African Americans preceded Max Robinson in the journalism field, Robinson made the biggest impact. Robinson grew up in Virginia and attended both high school and college at Oberlin College and Indiana University. He also served in the United States Air Force before receiving a medical discharge.

Following his discharge, Robinson got his first taste of journalism when he worked as “Max the Player” on the radio in Virginia. But he didn’t begin his television career until 1959 where he was hired to read the news behind the news logo. However, when he once attempted to remove the logo and reveal his face, he was fired. Later he went to WRC-TV in Washington DC where his career really took off. He won six awards for his reporting on civil rights and won two Emmys for his documentary The Other Washington.

Even later, Robinson became the first African American anchor on a local television newscast when we was employed at WTOP-TV in Washington DC. In this position he really gained fame with both his audience and political professionals. Robinson also became the founder of the National Association of Black Journalists, paving the way for future African Americans in the news industry.

Asian Americans in the news

Veteran investigative journalist Lee speaks after being awarded the Foundation for Improvement of Justice 2007 Paul H. Chapman Award in Atlanta, Georgia
Kyung Won Lee was among the first Asian Americans to make a big splash in the journalism world. He was a first generation Korean American who is often thought of the pioneer of Asian American journalism in America. Lee found himself usually as the only Asian American on journalism staffs across the nation. As an Asian American, Lee focused primarily on minority issues, often covering immigrants.

Lee’s most significant contribution was translating many of the Korean newspapers into English in order to help the younger, often second generation Korean Americans learn both English and Korean. Lee also started a weekly newspaper, Koreatownin 1979 that was based in Los Angeles. Following that, he began translating the Korean version of the Los Angeles Korea Times into English in 1990. Lee is also known for founding the Korean American Journalism Association Throughout his career he has also received multiple awards from the CSPA, AP and other professional associations.


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