Lights, camera, action!
Asian American news reporters make a big splash in the Pacific Northwest
By Evangeline Cafe
Northwest Asian Weekly
have noticed some new faces gracing the screens of local television
news. Several Asian American journalists are making quite a name
for themselves in the Seattle area, after taking on stints across
the nation. We’ve
profiled three of these local starlets so you can get to know them
a little better.
Monique Ming Laven, KIRO 7
Monique Ming Laven grew up in Sacramento, Calif. and is thrilled to
be back on the West Coast. She joined KIRO 7 in June of 2006 after
working as an anchor and reporter at stations across the Midwest. During
her tenure in Ohio and Wisconsin, she covered everything from local
beats, to the 2004 presidential election, to the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
As a journalist, Laven strives to be a voice for the communities in
which she works.
“To give our audience information that’s important and
relevant to their lives, and to help them understand the people in
their communities … that’s why I work in news,” she
passion for journalism has taken her on some awe-inspiring adventures.
She once biked nearly 600 miles from Minneapolis to Chicago while
covering the Heartland AIDS Ride and even journeyed to Nicaragua
to accompany a Wisconsin-based medical mission.
hard work has earned her numerous honors, including the Edward R.
Murrow Award for Best News Series and the Associated Press Award
for Best Documentary. She has won awards for her sports reporting,
features and spot news.
The multitalented journalist graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University
of California Berkeley. She is native to the Golden State but has always
had ties to the Northwest. Her Chinese American grandmother spent her
teenage years in Seattle, and Laven currently has a great uncle and
cousins living in the region.
Laven said she is happy to call Seattle her new home.
Jeff Nguyen, KIRO 7
Jeff Nguyen boasts years of experience in front of the camera and
behind the scenes. He joined the KIRO 7 team after reporting for a
CBS affiliate on the central California Coast.
Prior to that, Nguyen worked as field reporter for FOX News Channel.
He traveled into the danger zones to cover Hurricanes Ivan and Francis
in Florida and helped provide in-depth coverage of the devastation
following the deadly Southwest Asia tsunami in 2004.
used his skills to cover not only news and natural disasters, but
also Hollywood starlets. As a field producer for the NBC show "Access
Hollywood,” he got to get up-close-and-personal with celebrities
on the red carpet.
Nguyen grew up in Southern California and began his journalism career
as a news writer at UCLA, where he obtained a political science degree.
His talents have earned him an Associated Press Award for Investigative
Reporting and two Emmy nominations in the Los Angeles market.
Robert Santos, KOMO 4
Born and raised on the island of Guam, Robert Santos is happy to once
again live and work where land mingles with water.
Santos joined KOMO 4 in February and currently works as a weekend
weathercaster and environmental reporter.
Santos knew early on in his childhood that he wanted to work in television.
He recalled the intrigue he felt watching the cable news streaming
in from Los Angeles. He said it was the power to reach the masses that
inspired him to enter the world of broadcasting.
“My calling, so to speak, is to tell stories of people who are
often not heard,” Santos said.
was a great way to educate and inspire.”
got off to an early start. He landed a news job straight out of high
school, and then moved to the mainland to obtain a degree from Pepperdine
University. His career soared from there, taking him to stations
across Southern California and Las Vegas.
Santos says growing up on an island where violent typhoons were a
normal part of life helped cultivate his fascination for Mother Nature.
When he accepted a weekend weather anchor and reporter position at
a WB station in San Diego, Santos found his niche.
move north to the Pacific Northwest has only invigorated Santos’ love
for the elements.
“Seattle is just beautiful. It’s a different kind of beauty. … I
love the trees, I love that there’s water; it’s all around
Santos says he is humbled to be one of the few Chamorro or Asian Pacific
Islander men working in television news and to be serving as a voice
for the masses.
“It’s an honor. … I’m basically someone who
tells the story of all people,” said Santos.
Northwest Asian Weekly staff contributed to this report.
Evangeline Cafe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.