I was born and raised in California, with a family that speaks Mandarin. I attended Chinese school on Saturdays for 12 years. While it may have been grueling at the time, it has certainly paid off in situations when language became a barrier to storytelling.
As a board member of the Seattle Asian American Journalists Association, I try to work toward not only diversity in newsrooms, but also fair coverage of Asian Americans in media.
A local sheriff recently posted to social media, when he believed his deputies had been banned from a Chinese restaurant. The backlash was severe, but I was the only reporter who was able to interview the restaurant owner in Mandarin. He said it was a big misunderstanding:
President Xi Jin-Ping visited Seattle and allowed media just a few minutes’ time to observe his meeting with Washington’s governor. There were no translators in the room:
A brother and sister reunited after nearly three decades. The sister told me her brother had not been allowed to leave China: