OK, you want the truth?
When this special ‘top stories’ issue was conceived, it was really a way for the newspaper staff to relax during the holidays. In general, December tends to be a slow month. We aimed for a ‘best hits’ collection of stories that have had a strong impact during the past year. The stories were previously published, so the editing and proofing process for this issue should have been streamlined. We thought the issue would be a no-brainer.
But as we put it together, unexpected challenges cropped up. It was tough to figure out which stories best represented the community over the past year. In fact, we had planned on doing a ‘top 10 of 2010’ — it just sounds good, right? — but we couldn’t bring ourselves to cut out two stories. Thus, this issue has 12 top stories.
What makes a top story? Well, it’s not really about how well-written it is. These stories are also not necessarily the ones that we are most proud of. Some of the stories we pick revisit tragedies and open up old wounds. Some are embarrassing for the Asian community. These are the kinds of stories we don’t revel in.
However, we felt that it was important to showcase both the good and the bad in our top stories of the year. It’s important to give good news a second look — such as Rich Cho becoming general manager of the Trail Blazers — and to find some inspiration — the fact that he’s one of the few Asian Americans to reach such a high position in professional sports and the first in pro basketball.
It’s also important to take a second look at bad news. Often, it is easy for Asian Americans to bask in the achievements of a few and overlook others that could be suffering. News from the Burmese, Thai, Cambodian, Lao, and Samoan communities is often hard to come by, as those communities are small. We are always looking for more news from those communities. It’s always unfortunate when that news ends up being bad news.
It may be a little rough for the reputation of Asian Americans when a tragedy such as the West Seattle murders occurs, but most importantly, we must think of the impact that such an event has on the Cambodian community, which is hit much harder. That story was tragic for both the family involved and the Cambodian community, which has worked so hard at conveying a positive image of itself to the mainstream. We hope that by including that story as one of our top stories of the year, our readers will be able to reflect on it and empathize.
In choosing our top stories, we did our best to draw news from various ethnicities, partly to show that Asian Americans aren’t homogeneous in culture and accomplishments. We also want to show that despite the differences, there’s kinship among all groups.