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Times‘ ‘Style’ Section Says Asians Struggle To Attain Pop Stardom; South Asians, Norah Jones May Beg To Differ

norah_jones_saja.jpgIt’s tough being an aspiring Asian-American pop star. Or so says the Times‘ “Style” section:

There are Asian-American stars in sports, movies, television and classical music. But the “Asian thing” is what Mr. Lee and many other aspiring Asian-American singers say largely accounts for the lack of Asian-American pop stars. People in the music industry, including some executives, have no ready explanation, but Asian-American artists and scholars argue that the racial stereotypes that hobble them as a group — the image of the studious geek, the perception that someone who looks Asian must be a foreigner — clash with the coolness and born-in-the-U.S.A. authenticity required for American pop stardom.

Enter Sree Sreenivasan, who writes on the South Asian Journalists Association forum that the piece neglects to mention a little South Asian-American named, oh, Norah Jones:

No mention of South Asians in the piece — struggling or otherwise. This despite the fact that the current #1 album (since Feb. 17) in the country is by a South Asian American named Norah Jones (see her Billboard history, including three #1 albums) and one of the most visible and successful contestants on “American Idol” is 17-year-old Sanjaya Malakar (who has done at better than the East Asian “Idol” contestant featured in the article, Paul Lee).

This is the second time in less than three months that the Times has let Sree down. A January education story failed to mention South Asians, too.

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  • MEDIA WATCH: NYT “Styles” section needs a diversity — and geography — lesson [SAJA Forum]
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