KTVU-TV features Korean-Americans after July name gaffe

Mediabistro | SFGate | AAJA

Last Saturday, Oakland station KTVU-TV aired “Success Makers,” a show about prominent Korean Americans, Kevin Eck reported for Mediabistro Thursday.

In July, Poynter reported that the Bay Area station misidentified pilots from an Asiana Airlines crash, using made-up names that the NTSB confirmed but later revealed were made up by a summer intern.

Saturday’s show, Eck reported, featured Daniel Dae Kim from “Lost” and San Francisco 49ers president Gideon Yu, and was “an attempt to reach out to the community after its much publicized reporting of ‘joke’ Asian sounding names in the Asiana Airlines crash last July.”

In October, Bobby Calvan reported for the Asian American Journalists Association that the AAJA met twice with staff from the station.

Station officials reiterated their embarrassment over the incident, explaining that the noon newscast is relatively understaffed — which they said was pointed out to them by other stations when KTVU assessed the factors that led to the on-air mistake.

KTVU said it is doing a series of segments, hosted by “Survivor” winner Yul Kwon, that will profile prominent Korean Americans, including entrepreneur and philanthropist Chong Moon Lee.

AAJA was also concerned about the station’s lack of diversity in its sources, saying that “more needs to be done.”

On Wednesday, San Francisco Gate’s Matier & Ross blog reported on the special, quoting Ravi Kapur, a local journalist and vice president of AAJA, about the show and the meetings between AAJA and the station.

The idea, Kapur said, was to encourage the station to be more attuned to Asian Americans in its news coverage – although, he added, a show featuring the winner of “Survivor” wasn’t quite the kind of journalism they had in mind.

“They need to do more, and it’s not just at KTVU,” Kapur said.

Correction: An earlier version of this story identified KTVU as based in San Francisco rather than Oakland.

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