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Asia is home to half the planet’s population. Its economy is bigger than the rest of the world’s combined. It is a growing source of technological innovation and its cultural influence is expanding.

Asia is home to the world’s most important new power, China, and is the frontline in the world’s most important rivalry between China and the United States.

Asia is once again at the centre of the world. The world’s story is now an Asian story. But to tell that story the world needs great journalism — great journalism in Asia and great journalism on Asia.

Media coverage of Asia does not always keep pace with the region’s importance. Journalism in Asia is often domestically focused. Collaborations by Asian media on regional issues are still relatively rare. Globally, Asia-literate journalists are still a minority and international media ignore vital stories across the region.

A photojournalist documents the protest crackdown in Yangon in March. Image: Nyein Su Wai Kyaw Soe

Asian Stories is a multi-year, multi-dimensional effort to help Asian and international journalists tell the region’s most important stories in intelligent and compelling ways. It also aims to encourage rich engagement between media in the region and counterparts outside it.

Asian Stories does this in a variety of ways.

  • Supporting reporting collaborations between Asian and international media on major regional issues and themes.
  • Publishing the News in Asia report, which maps the news media landscape in the region.
  • Championing great journalism in the region and about the region.

This is just the start. JNI will add new elements to Asian Stories over time to help ensure that the world’s most important region is covered by the world’s best journalism.

News in Asia report

JNI has brought together the world’s leading experts and institutions to provide a nuanced account of journalism in Asia.

The News in Asia report is an essential reference tool for anyone interested in journalism and news media in Asia, from journalists, academics and civil society to policymakers and businesspeople.

The report deals with everything from how journalism is produced and consumed to the obstacles it faces and the advances it is making.

Read the report

Reporting collaborations

Asian Stories is funding reporting collaborations between Asian and international media on major regional issues.

Collaborations have brought journalists from 10 media organisations together so far and have resulted in almost 30 stories, told through podcasts, videos, online and print articles, and social media.

AFR South-East Asia bureau

Asian Stories has continued JNI’s support for The Australian Financial Review’s South-East Asia bureau in 2021.

The project has already deepened the coverage of the region in Australia and built new connections between Australian and South-East Asian journalists.

In just 12 months the AFR published more than 200 articles by correspondent Emma Connors and generated increases in page views and audience engagement for coverage on South-East Asia.

Forkast on China’s tech ambitions

Forkast is a news outlet based in Hong Kong that has a strong focus on blockchain, crypto, digital finance and emerging technologies.

In a three-part series, Forkast has examined China’s technological rise and the impact it is having on the region and the world.

Part 1: China bets on blockchain

The first part of the series examines China’s ambitious efforts to push the leading edge of technology and finance — it saw the potential in Bitcoin’s technology to spawn the next internet and a new form of currency — and how it may affect the world.

Part 2: China lays digital groundwork for a new Silk Road

The second part of the series examines how China is deploying technology — in particular the digital yuan — to advance initiatives that intertwine economics and geopolitics, straddle concrete and virtual infrastructure, and span the hemispheres, from Cambodia to the Caribbean.

Part 3: Digital dragons and digital dollars

In the final instalment, Forkast examines how China’s transition to a digital currency could affect its social and political systems and whether it will usher in an era of stricter controls.

The Long Road

Lauren Beck is a Melbourne-based writer and director, and is the creative mind behind ‘The Long Road’, a film commissioned by the JNI to launch Asian Stories.

The film is narrated by Malaysian journalist Aidila Razak and tells the story of a 14-year-old boy who was shot and killed by police, less than 500 metres from his home, while his family slept.


The main part of the film was filmed in Kuala Lumpur, but also required multiple shoots by separate film crews across Asia. The process was helped by Josh Woo, one of Malaysia’s leading cinematographers, and was directed by Lauren in Melbourne.