Asian American Publications Increase on College Campuses


One afternoon while passing time in between my college classes, I came across a colorful stack of magazine pamphlets. Curious, I picked up a copy and was both surprised and delighted to find that it was a student publication focused on issues affecting the Asian Pacific American community. The USC magazine, called Bamboo Offshoot, is one of a handful of other Asian American student publications that have emerged on college campuses in the U.S., such as UC Berkeley's hardboiled, Dartmouth College's Main Street and NYU's blog Generasian among others. A recent article from Diverse Education highlights that despite the decline in the general public's consumption of media, sections of ethnic media, a category that Asian American issues would fall under, have actually seen considerable growth.

"I believe that the rising number of Asian American publications on college campuses is correlated with the growing presence of Asian Americans in the entertainment industry," says Michelle Banh, editor-in-chief of Bamboo Offshoot. "For once, Asian Americans can call on celebrities like Jenna Ushkowitz, Kevin Wu (a.k.a. KevJumba), and Far East Movement to give an identity, voice and presence to Asians in the media that goes beyond the usual stereotype. I feel that more and more Asian Americans are now taking to college publications to contribute and help foster this Asian American voice unique to our generation."

I'm all for the growth of Asian American publications, whether they're college magazines or online blogs like the newly-launched, which showcases up-and-coming Asian Americans in careers outside of traditional and conventional realms. These outlets provide a diverse and unique voice, help break down stereotypes and foster a greater understanding of Asian culture. But most importantly, like we strive to do here at Mochi, these publications explore topics that are relevant to young Asian Americans--such as the "Tiger Mom" phenomenon and promising Asian American talent--and that may not necessarily be found in other forms of media.