AsianWeek to Cease Publication

December 31, 2008

"On the one hand, this has been the most difficult decision in my life," AsianWeek editor and publisher Ted Fang told me in a phone interview. "On the other hand, we're still moving forward and still have many dreams and aspirations for the Asian American community."

AsianWeek was founded by Ted's father, John Fang, in 1979 and was the nation's oldest Asian American newspaper.

Ted says AsianWeek will continue to do community outreach through its foundation and sponsor events, such as the Asian Heritage Street Celebration on May 16 in San Francisco. He also said would continue and special print editions would be published, though the details on how that would work with no staff have yet to be determined.

"It's difficult, tough and sad, but we're moving forward,"  Fang says.

AsianWeek's former associate editor, Lisa Wong Macabasco (who's also a Hyphen editor), says the staff of about 10 was told yesterday, and she was not too surprised, given the state of the media industry.

"I was sad, I think, even though I know AsianWeek has been controversial," she says. "Not everyone in the community has universal positive feelings about AsianWeek, but it definitely had a role."

What Lisa's alluding to is the conservative stances AsianWeek took in some of its political coverage and the Kenneth Eng debacle over his column, "Why I Hate Blacks."

But Lisa is right, we need ethnic media, and we need publications like AsianWeek.

Ted Fang says he's not sure what the future holds, but whatever medium it takes, "We'll still be communicating with the Asian American community in any way that works best."


Harry Mok

Editor in chief

Editor in Chief Harry Mok wrote about growing up on a Chinese vegetable farm for the second issue of Hyphen and has been a volunteer editor since 2004. As a board member of the San Francisco and New York chapters of the Asian American Journalists Association, Harry has recruited and organized events for student members. He holds a master’s degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley, where he was also a graduate student instructor in the Asian American Studies Department.



What I'd like to know is if it's going to be entirely volunteer-run now or what. Sure, web is cheaper, but it's not free.
It'll be interesting to see what they do.Here's AsianWeek's announcement to its readers.Associated Press, the San Francisco Chronicle and Angry Asian Man have stories about AsianWeek..
From what I understand, the American print media is in desperate straits. Other mainstream media outlets like PC Magazine are also dropping their print versions and going online only. And Houghton Mifflin Harcourt made the unheard of decision to stop acquisition of new manuscripts.It will be interesting to see if the leaner and more agile alternative media will gain greater voice and influence as a result of the decline of these mainstream media dinosaurs.PC Magazine Will Be Online Only Ahead....
Good riddance! AsianWeek may have been useful at one point, but most of their content, a few columns aside, have been just not that interesting. That and their sketchy political dealings in the past won't have me missing them.
it's interesting how asianweek decided to just cease print altogether, as opposed to finding alternative solutions to try and stay in print. the news came so suddenly that it makes me think that they didn't even want to try. for example, what if they printed once every two weeks? or once every month? bitch, koream journal all sent out messages for help... it's just kind of odd to me that asianweek didn't.
What about TNR/The Atlantic model, where free blogs funnel readership to the premium-paid print or online version? Why even bother about print - the overhead is steep. Let software and the web do your work!