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A microphone for the marginalised

Yin Wu's brand of journalism at SBS Mandarin is insightful and inclusive.

Thursday 5 December 2019 12:00am
Yin Wu and The Hon. Richard Wynne MP

As a journalist at SBS Mandarin, Yin Wu has worked hard to help Chinese audiences stay informed. But it’s her passion for inclusion and her sensitive approach to reporting that is giving marginalised Victorians a voice.

It's a balancing act that saw her receive a high commendation in the Multicultural Media Award category for Victoria’s Multicultural Awards for Excellence 2019.

We spoke to Yin about her outstanding reporting and what she aims to achieve.

Yin Wu's journey to becoming a media professional began as an international student.

Hailing from China, she studied journalism at Monash University in Melbourne before starting an extensive career in media. Her work has included reporting for 3CW Chinese Radio and Melbourne China Daily, and more than 5 years reporting and producing at ABC Radio Australia.

Yin sees her lived experience as an advantage in her line of work, and it continues to motivate her.

“I have seen, first-hand, the difficulty that multicultural communities face in wanting to find a place for themselves in the mainstream while maintaining pride in what makes them distinctive,” she said.

Over the last 6 years, her perspective has brought immense value to SBS Mandarin.

Yin's stories for the outlet include local and international news, critical public information and compelling features on mainstream Australian culture.

According to her SBS’s Content Editor - Intake, she brings an unwavering energy to the role that engages and inspires the Chinese community.

It's not an easy job to serve a diverse audience with wide-ranging needs. Fortunately, Yin's in-depth understanding of contemporary issues for the Chinese community has been a strong foundation for her stories.

“For Chinese Australians today, understanding and confronting the narrative of ‘divided national loyalties’ within this community, knowing the intricacies of the regional migration program, and questioning if aged care services cater to the needs and values of Chinese families, are very significant,” she said.

Yin is also known for her relentless dedication to unearthing the facts and seeking the truth on issues that concern Chinese Victorians.

“Although Chinese language media cannot serve as a voice for the community in the mainstream, I think it can be used as a tool to help the Chinese community find its voice. It can help people to learn more about how they can be heard,” Yin said.

In July 2018, Yin’s story about a university program doing early testing and intervention with children who may have autism explored the stigma surrounding the disorder and addressed misconceptions that prevent people from seeking help. Currently, she's also compiling a program investigating the stigma experienced by migrants from Chinese backgrounds with Hepatitis B, a group in which the prevalence of the disease is high.

She published one of her most impressive pieces in November 2018, ahead of the Australian same-sex marriage legislation's first anniversary. Her feature on the experience of Nancy, a Taiwanese lesbian living in Australia, showed what it’s like to live with more protections but still feel targeted. Nancy’s story shared not only her experience of seeking acceptance of her sexuality from her parents and community, but also revealed the discrimination she has continued to experience both within and outside of the LGBTIQ community following the legislation.

Yin’s feature gave a platform for Nancy’s marginalised perspective, conveying sexual diversity within the wider Asian community, encouraging greater awareness and inclusion in the Chinese community, and empowering Chinese Australians with a similar experience. It also aimed to generate deeper cross-cultural understanding among people from LGBTIQ backgrounds and was promoted by the Australian GLBTIQ Multicultural Council.

The potential for a more inclusive world is what truly drives Yin’s work, and she sees this concept as a great opportunity for Chinese language media outlets as well.

“By making Chinese people better aware that they have a rightful place in this society, I can also help them become aware of the rightful place that diverse and disadvantaged groups have within the Chinese community. Ultimately, I hope that I can help both the mainstream and the Chinese communities become more inclusive,” she said.

In receiving the media award, Yin has demonstrated how cultural insights, inclusive values and solid skills can assist journalists in contributing to our multicultural society.

It also shows how media outlets can benefit from embracing diversity among staff.

With over a decade of experience in a very competitive industry, Yin says journalists from diverse backgrounds should not forget they have a big advantage.

“They can open a door to a world of stories and perspectives that would have traditionally been overlooked in the mainstream,” she said.

Stay tuned for more stories on our 2019 Diversity Heroes on the Commission's FacebookExternal Link , InstagramExternal Link and TwitterExternal Link , and find out more about Victoria's Multicultural Awards for Excellence.

Reviewed 23 June 2021

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