UCLA ASIA INSTITUTE
AsiaMedia (www.asiamedia.ucla.edu) “delivers news about all aspects of the media in Asia, including its role in regional and national economies, societies and political debate.” This seven-year-old Web resource, published by the UCLA Asia Institute, provides rich daily coverage for those interested in Asia and media policies and practices. The site features original reporting, stories reprinted from cooperating news outlets, and diverse commentary from and about Asia.
Recent stories produced by AsiaMedia staff and contributing writers have explored the evolving roles of blogs and online forums in China, how Nepalese journalists are coping with post-coup restrictions, media responses to the devastating tsunami, and investigations into the deaths of journalists in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh. AsiaMedia’s media partners include major publishers such as The South China Morning Post, The Japan Times, The Korea Times, The Age, and the Straits Times. AsiaMedia draws on this network for articles focusing on the basic rights and responsibilities of reporters. Stories are grouped by region: East Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands (including Australia), the United States, and the World. Individual stories are also linked by topic (e.g., censorship). The rate of updates varies by region, with several times per week the norm. Original commentaries about current issues come from a wide range of scholars, journalists, and policy makers. This pool of opinion and analysis is further enhanced by editorials from media and institutional partners.
One of the most useful features for educators is the ability to search the site’s extensive archives for articles about particular places or issues. This fast-loading site is easy to use. One can register to receive free weekly email summaries of AsiaMedia coverage. Some developments have merited the creation of special sections with timelines and recommended resources, and the site welcomes letters from readers.
AsiaMedia also features links to stories published by its UCLA sibling Asia Pacific Arts, a biweekly Web magazine covering Asian and Asian-American arts and entertainment. It explores film, television, music, literature, art, exhibitions, and festivals. Asia Pacific Arts includes reviews of recent films, interviews of new as well as established artists, good illustrations, many streaming video interviews, and archives dating back to April 2003.
AsiaMedia is a valuable resource for high school and undergraduate educators teaching about Asia, government, international relations, journalism, and performing arts. Opportunities abound for students to learn more about Asia and about critical media issues. Editors of school publications might be inspired to expand their horizons by consulting AsiaMedia.