The world's story is now an Asian story. But to tell that story the world needs great journalism.

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Asian Stories

Asia is home to half the world’s population. Its economy is bigger than the rest of the world’s combined. It is growing a 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 region’s importance. Journalism in Asia is often domestically focused. Collaborations by Asian media on regional issues is still relatively rare. Globally, Asia-literate journalists are still a minority and international media ignore vital stories across the region.

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 will do this in a variety of ways. Its initial focus will be supporting reporting collaborations between Asian and international media on major regional issues and themes. It will champion great journalism in the region and on the region. It will publish an annual News in Asia report mapping the news media landscape in the region and focusing on critical issues from media freedom in Asia to donor funding for journalism.

And 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.


Malaysiakini journalist Aidila Razak at work in Kuala Lumpur.

Early projects

Reporting collaborations

Asian Stories is funding reporting collaborations between Asian and international media on major regional issues and themes to be published in 2021.

An investigation of digital crimes in Asia that brings together the South China Morning Post, the Korea Times, Tempo in Indonesia, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and ABS-CBN in the Philippines.

An in-depth examination of regional energy, environment and resource issues by Tempo in Indonesia, Malaysiakini, the Centre for Media and Development Initiatives in Vietnam, Tortoise Media in the United Kingdom, The Australian Financial Review, Tokyo-based investigative newsroom Tansa and the Korea Center for Investigative Journalism Newstapa in South Korea.

News in Asia report

A second initial component of Asian Stories will be a News in Asia report, published by JNI in collaboration with the Journalism and Media Studies Centre (JMSC) at the University of Hong Kong and the News and Media Research Centre (NMRC) at Canberra University, the Australian partner institute of the Reuters Institute at Oxford University, which publishes the annual Digital News Report.

The report, to be published in 2021, will map the region’s news media landscape. It will identify the key components of the news infrastructure in the region, highlight emerging news consumption trends and cover issues such as media start-ups, disinformation and fact-checking, social media, media freedom, donor funding for media and the impact of COVID-19 on Asian news media.

The project encourages engagement between the media in the region and international counterparts.

AFR South-East Asia bureau

Asian Stories will also continue JNI’s support for The Australian Financial Review’s South-East Asia bureau in 2021.

That 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 examines 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 will report on China’s technological rise and the impact it is having on the region and the world.