Podcast | How we covered the anniversary of the Wah Mee tragedy

Reporter Maleeha Syed talks about revisiting Washington's worst mass shooting without reopening wounds.

Street scene outside the ‘Wah-Mee Club’

The Wah Mee Club building in 1958. (Courtesy of Seattle Public Library, spl_shp_21137)

It has been 40 years since the Wah Mee massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in Washington history and one that had a devastating impact on many of the residents of Seattle’s Chinatown International District. 

For some, it wasn’t just the shooting that caused the pain, but the media’s coverage of the tragedy, which employed xenophobic tropes that painted the neighborhood as a dangerous place. In fact, some survivors have asked journalists not to cover these anniversaries anymore. 

Listen to Crosscut Reports on Apple PodcastsSpotifyAmazon or wherever you get your podcasts.

For this episode of the Crosscut Reports podcast, host Sara Bernard talks with reporter Maleeha Syed about her recent story focusing on the effects of that coverage.

Syed discusses what she views as the responsibilities of a journalist from outside the community when reporting something so sensitive. And she shows how the community has told its own story over the years.

Read our full report on the Wah Mee Club killings here

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