Original Robert Scheer SI Podcast

‘Scheer Intelligence’ Interview With Janet Yang Wins NAEJ Award

"The Power and Pain of Being Asian American During the Coronavirus Crisis," a prescient episode of veteran journalist Robert Scheer's podcast which features Hollywood powerhouse Janet Yang, has received a National Arts & Entertainment Journalism award.
Janet Yang, movie producer
Janet Yang. [Illustration by Mr. Fish]

At the 13th annual National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Award Presentation “Scheer Intelligence” received a first-place award for host Robert Scheer’s one-on-one interview with Hollywood powerhouse Janet Yang. This year’s NAEJ award winners were announced by the Los Angeles Press Club in an online presentation–which you can watch in the video player below–due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The award-winning podcast episode, which first aired on KCRW on April 17, 2020, is a prescient conversation about the rise of anti-Asian American sentiment and violence in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, violence against Asian Americans in the U.S. has only increased as attacks on members of the community are reported across the nation. Yang, who produced the “The Joy Luck Club” and “The People vs. Larry Flynt,”  among other films, expressed her concerns early on about a new strain of racist violence she witnessed take hold of her country at the same time the novel coronavirus was spreading around the globe.

NAEJ judges lauded the “Scheer Intelligence episode, titled “The Power and Pain of Being Asian American During the Coronavirus Crisis,” stating, “This is a beautiful ‘act of journalism’ where the host sets up the conversation and gets out of the way when interviewing such a relevant and impactful interviewee like Janet Yang.”

Scheer contacted Yang after receiving news of the award, writing, “Finally, I learned not to interrupt you and the podcast gets honored. I should follow your lead from now on.”

You can listen to to the full interview in the player below and read the transcript here. You can also listen to more episodes of the multi-award-winning podcast hosted by Robert Scheer and produced by Joshua Scheer at KCRW and read the full transcripts on ScheerPost.

Other notable NAEJ award-winners this year include New York Times reporter Kyle Buchanan, who won the print Journalist of the Year award, Spectrum News 1’s Giselle Fernandez, who was named broadcast Journalist of the Year, and the Los Angeles Times’ Justin Chang, who won an award for his film criticism. Read the full list of winners here and watch the awards ceremony below.

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