Nearly 20 percent of Sacramento’s population and 16 percent of California is of Asian descent, and The Sacramento Bee wants to enhance its coverage of these communities and others across the state.
To boost its coverage of the region’s Hmong, Filipino, Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Cambodian and Japanese communities and others, The Sacramento Bee has hired Theodora Yu, who will join the newsroom in June as our new full-time cultural reporter covering Californians of Asian descent.
“I am honored and excited to be hired by The Sacramento Bee to cover the Asian American community in Sacramento, as immigration and women issues are topics that I care about deeply,” Yu said. “Knowing that issues are much more complex than they look, I will try my best to understand, learn and report about the Asian diaspora. I look forward to working with great reporters and editors at The Bee.”
Yu comes to The Bee by way of Report for America’s 2019 corps of journalists. She is one of 61 reporters who have accepted positions in local newsrooms nationwide.
Yu will explore topics including the DACA debate’s effects on Sacramento’s Cambodian community, civic engagement among AAPI populations, deportations occurring in the region’s Vietnamese community and how local Asian American culture has been impacted and affected by the recent #MeToo movement.
Yu graduated with honors from the University of Hong Kong in 2016 and will complete her master’s degree at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism this May. Yu is a Toni Stabile Fellow in investigative reporting.
She brings her experience to California after more than two years with Hong Kong’s FactWire News Agency, a startup organization where her investigative efforts included coverage of child abuse at a Hong Kong kindergarten. Her impressive résumé also includes significant fact-checking and data journalism experience.
Yu is a native Cantonese speaker, speaks fluent Mandarin and English, and is conversationally proficient in Japanese.
Columbia Professor Dale Maharidge said Yu has “an abiding interest in human rights,” in a letter of recommendation to RFA’s selection committee.
RFA’s corps campaign is an initiative started in 2017 as part of of The GroundTruth Project, a nonprofit. RFA provides training and mentoring to its journalists, who are embedded into local newsrooms for one to two years to tackle under-covered issues and communities.
The 61 journalists that make up the 2019 class were chosen from nearly 1,000 applicants. Yu is one of eight corps members in California.
RFA pays half of each corps member’s salary, while the rest comes from their local news partner and from community support.