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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Korea Daily and USC launch ‘Healing California’ project to report on health issues

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The Korea Daily, celebrating its 50th anniversary, and USC are launching the “Healing California” project to jointly report on health and welfare issues, including mental health among Korean Americans.

“Healing California” is the first ‘ethnic media healthcare reporting collaboration project’ by the USC Center for Health Journalism (CHJ) with eight ethnic media outlets. These include the Korea Daily, World Journal for the Chinese community, Asian American News for Asians in Northern California, Black Voices News, and the Sacramento Observer for the African American community, along with Univision LA, Univision Sacramento, and Univision Bay for the Latino community.

“We are honored to partner with the Korea Daily on its 50th anniversary and the Healing California project,” said Michelle Levander, director of the USC Center for Health Journalism. “Our center is committed to collaborating with multicultural media to bring the critical issues facing each community to the attention of the state’s public and policymakers.”

Michelle Levander, director of the USC Center for Health Journalism

“We hope that the stories we will tell over this year will result in improved health and well-being for many communities,” Levander added.

The following is an edited excerpt from the interview.

-What is the overarching goal of the Healing California project?
“This project will bring together media organizations with Korean American, Chinese American, African American, and Latino audiences to do vital reporting on health and wellness in the state. It will give them the challenge and opportunity to identify stories from their own communities and, ultimately, to think about the needs of their communities and how to address them. By working together to shine a light on California’s health and wellness issues, we can make a bigger difference. We hope to help community members through in-depth reporting. I also hope that policymakers will take action to change health and welfare policies to better serve communities of color.”

-What is your biggest aspiration for this project?
“The exchange of information between community media and the high quality of the articles produced. Through this, we hope to highlight the stories of the Korean, Chinese, Black, and Latino communities we serve and improve the health and welfare sector.”

-Including the Korea Daily, why is the participation of 8 minority media and the stories of each community important?
“We consulted with more than 24 minority media leaders, journalists, and scholars before launching the project. They all emphasized the importance of engaging multiple media outlets that can reflect the diversity of California, not just serve a particular community. With expert advice, we selected media outlets that represent and reflect the diversity of California’s communities. I am looking forward to working with these passionate, dedicated, and talented journalists.”

-2024 marks the 50th anniversary of the Korea Daily. What is its most important role for Korean Americans and other communities?
“I am happy to learn about the half-century history of the Korea Daily. The Korea Daily has been working for the Korean-American community in Los Angeles and across the U.S. and has earned the respect of the community. I would like to see them cover topics that are not often discussed, such as mental health issues, like this project. It would be helpful for the media to provide useful information to individuals and families who feel marginalized. Delving into topics that the media is reluctant to cover and providing information and resources to address issues can be very helpful and beneficial to those in difficult situations.”

BY HYOUNGJAE KIM, JUNHAN PARK    [kim.ian@koreadaily.com]