Ippies Highlights: Two Stories from Chinatown

The grieving Chen family

The grieving Chen family. (Photo via Sing Tao Daily)

To showcase outstanding New York City journalism published last year in languages other than English, Voices of NY is running translations of articles that won 2012 Ippies Awards. Here are excerpts from two winning articles, both from New York’s Chinese-language press.

Jacky Tik Wong’s exclusive report on Pvt. Danny Chen, a soldier who was killed due to alleged racially-motivated bullying, won second place for best investigative/in-depth story. The story was published on Oct. 10, 2011 by Sing Tao Daily, which also provided this translation.

Private Danny Chen Allegedly Subjected to Physical Abuse and Racial Taunting before Death

Merely two months after his deployment to Kandahar, Afghanistan, the body of a 19-year old Private Danny Chen returned home yesterday (Oct 9th, 2011) to New York, Chinatown in Manhattan, where he was born and raised.  The military had since been silent in making an official announcement on his cause of death.  Nevertheless, according to family members, military officials had confirmed with them that Private Chen was subject to physical abuse and racial taunting before his death.  Devastated and confused, Chen’s family screamed in pain over the viewing of Chen’s body; and they also cried out to the authority for a thorough investigation to reveal the truth.

Private Chen died in an army outpost on Oct 3rd 2011.  The military had delayed the announcement on the cause of death.  More suspiciously, all levels of government, ranging from the federal and the state and to the city, had invariably extended the highest acclaim and honor to Private Chen, and assigned the most prestigious protocol to receive Chen’s family.  All such undertakings seemed to be specifically arranged to serve a purpose, i.e.to commission a more honorable tribute to the departure of Private Chen than to those military members killed in action on the battle fields.   The unusually sublime form of arrangement raised curiosity as well as suspicion of the family and the community in time of sadness.

Read the rest of the story at Voices of NY.

The ten year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks was covered extensively by New York’s ethnic media. A three-part report by Meng Fang, Tu Yichen and Law Wai Ki in the Chinese-language paper World Journal won first place for best investigative/in-depth story. Translation provided by World Journal.

New York’s Chinatown Ten Years After 9/11

The economic structure of New York’s Chinatown has gone through a major transformation in the decade following the September 11 attacks.

The major economic drivers prior to the attacks – the traditional garment factories, restaurants and jewelry shops – have entered an evident state of decline over the ten years.

During the two weeks following the disaster, garment factory workers could not get to their places of employment due to the street closures all around Chinatown. The factories could not deliver their merchandise on time and simply had no choice but to shut down. The impact of the 9/11 event on the factories is still visible today as there are very few left in operation.

The collapse of the World Trade Center towers and the decline in the number of visitors to New York as a result of the event caused Chinatown’s restaurants to lose their two major sources of diners and many had to go out of business.

Jewelry stores struggled to survive as the sector had been hard hit by a widespread recession in the market.

The businessmen and women of Chinatown who witnessed the rise and fall of Chinatown over the post-9/11 decade each have their own story.

Read the rest of the story at Voices of NY, and stay tuned for more highlights from the 2012 Ippies Awards, which celebrate New York’s ethnic and community media.

Fi2W is supported by the New York Community Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation with additional support from the Ralph E. Odgen Foundation and the Sirus Fund.

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