Lori Matsukawa lauded at NW Emmys

By Sue Misao
Northwest Asian Weekly

Lori Matsukawa, flanked by Dan Kleckner, left, and Steve Pool. (Photo by George Liu/NWAW)

Generations of Pacific Northwesterners have grown up with the familiar smile of Lori Matsukawa, who has been informing and enlightening the public for 36 years, 31 of those at KING 5 television.

For all her years, her “excellence in broadcasting,” and her service to the general community, Matsukawa was inducted into the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Silver Circle at the 51st Annual Northwest Regional Emmy Awards ceremony on June 7 at the Hilton Seattle Airport & Conference Center. The Silver Circle is presented to those who have worked in television media for at least 25 years. Matsukawa is the Academy’s first Asian American Silver Circle inductee.

“Lori’s leadership has been so important to broadcast journalism and diversity,” said Sharon Chan of the Seattle Times in an e-mail.

Matsukawa was one of nine broadcasters inducted into the Silver Circle, in a region that includes Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, and Washington. She currently co-anchors the nightly news on KING 5 and KONG.

Matsukawa came to KING in 1983 to co-anchor “Top Story,” a daily in-depth news program. She has reported from Tokyo in the aftermath of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami, the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, and from China, Honduras, Hawaii, Washington D.C., and New England. She covered Gov. Gary Locke’s first official trip to his ancestral home in China.

In 2005, Matsukawa was given the “Lifetime Achievement Award” by the Asian American Journalists Association for mentoring aspiring journalists, and was inducted into the University of Washington Communication Department’s Alumni Hall of Fame. In 2012, she was named a pioneering Asian American broadcast journalist by UNITY: Journalists of Color. She volunteers with the Japanese Cultural and Community Center of Washington, the Seattle Chapter of the Asian American Journalists Association, and has served on the boards of the YWCA of Greater Seattle and Asian Counseling and Referral Service.

“I’ve known Lori since 2008, right out of college, and for as long as I’ve known her, she has always been a champion for young and student journalists,” said Redmond Reporter reporter Samantha Pak. “She is always willing to help and will offer it before you even think to ask. As one of the founders for the Asian American Journalists Association’s Seattle chapter, and a continued active member, it’s obvious that she’s passionate about giving under-represented groups a voice — both in terms of news coverage as well as in the newsroom.

“When I heard she was being inducted into the Silver Circle, I couldn’t think of anyone who deserved the honor more,” added Pak.

Matsukawa was born and raised in Honolulu. She earned her B.A. at Stanford University and her M.A. at the University of Washington. She’s worked in Redding, Calif., Portland, Ore., and Seattle. She also worked at KOMO 4 television.

Other local Silver Circle inductees included Ed White of KING, Steve Pool of KOMO, Walter Farley of KIRO, Tom Speer of the Seattle Channel, and Cleven Ticeson of KCTS. (end)

Sue Misao can be reached at editor@nwasianweekly.com.

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