Posted on 15 January 2009.
In the past two weeks, there have been two news items that have rattled us. First, we learned that after three decades, AsianWeek in San Francisco was shutting down its print publication. Then we heard what we thought was impossible: The oldest newspaper in Seattle, the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, will shut down its print operations unless it can find a buyer in 60 days.
These two papers have served as good role models for us. We read through them for leads every day. They are like old friends to us. Northwest Asian Weekly has had a long-standing history with them.
We admire them because we can tell, from the way their pages look to the way their pages read, that there are countless people who work really hard to produce great work. We respect them because they had a commitment to develop good journalists.
Founded in 1979, AsianWeek was the largest and longest established English-language newsweekly for Asian Pacific Americans. AsianWeek was the pioneer of its field, paving the way for all the English-language weeklies that followed, including our own. We appreciate its staff for running content that dealt with the issues of our race in a complex and thorough way. We appreciate them for their continual expression of the uniqueness of the Asian American experience.
The Seattle P-I was the first to run an in-depth series about API issues in the 1980s. Written by Evelyn Iritani, the P-I not only put our issues on its front page, but also made it a long-running series.
It was the first of its kind in Washington state, a move that we, as Asian Americans, will always be grateful for. We appreciate the P-I’s leadership in giving Asian Americans more visibility during a time when it wasn’t yet the norm to do so.
In the past, both the Seattle Times and the P-I have used Northwest Asian Weekly as a bridge between cultures. They have called us to verify and identify sources. We were glad to help and honored that such major newspapers would look to us for information.
Our biggest hope is that all the journalists and staff from AsianWeek and the Seattle P-I who will be displaced will be able to bounce back quickly in finding new work and new opportunities that they deserve. We will always remember their contributions and appreciate them for doing a job that can often be overlooked.