Looking for a place to pitch a story about Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) voters in December 2020, journalism student Dan Hu discovered The Yappie, a digital news publication focused on activism and policies affecting the AAPI community. Soon after that initial pitch, Hu joined The Yappie as a writer and is now its executive director.
“There isn’t another publication like ours that focuses on AAPI politics,” says Hu, who spent three months in Washington, D.C., in 2021 reporting on the debt ceiling and the bipartisan infrastructure bill as part of Northwestern’s Medill on the Hill program.
“I’ve always loved following politics. But there’s so much reporting that isn’t being done about the AAPI community,” he says. “Affirmative action is a big example. There’s a huge Supreme Court case coming up that’s controversial within the AAPI community — we’re providing the deep coverage that the community needs.”
Among major racial and ethnic groups in the U.S., Asian Americans are the fastest-growing segment of eligible voters, according to the Pew Research Center. Meanwhile, a 2021 survey from Stop AAPI Hate and Edelman Data & Intelligence showed that one in five Pacific Islanders and one in five Asian Americans had experienced a hate incident in the previous year.
“Since the media often only covers the AAPI community after a shooting or hate crime, it creates a narrative that we’re victims,” Hu says. “By telling a much more diverse set of stories from the community, we’re building a new narrative.”